Web Hosting: The Nightmare, Site5 versus BlueHost

For the longest time, I’ve spouted much love and support for my web host of over a decade, Site5.

The year was something like 2007, or even earlier. I recall they had a super sweet deal called “The Plan to End All Plans” for which they offered an unbelievable price for an unbelievable amount of web space. It was great. They even had a referral program for which I got a discount off each person I convinced to sign on with them.

I had no problem doing this, and most of my clients know that I’ve always been up front about this referral program. Their support staff were always, always, 100% helpful. I never had any issues with getting set up, and for all the dumb questions I’d throw their way, there was a patiently explained and understandable answer. To say that I was a fan of Site5 is fair. Or an understatement.

Then they switched their Backstage to a different platform. This took out the referral program, which was fine. Things seemed okay for the most part, and I didn’t think too much about it.

Fast-forward to early this year, where I had recently recommended Site5 again to a client. Perhaps I had gotten so used to living in the smaller pond, but when this client started outgrowing their hosting, I spent a bit more time talking to support.

I had also started experiencing some website downtime. It didn’t matter too much for me, because nobody visits my website. And I’m seriously okay with that. I use the space to put up baloney experiments like collecting menu preferences for my wedding and a Sausage Toss Simulator for my friends.

But this is not good for my clients. And I’m very protective of most of them. Others, not so much. But the ones I love, I really love. So I went on a bit of a journey here, and I started asking some more questions.

Then I started to notice that nobody from Site5 seemed to ever know what the fuck was going on anymore. I would ask one question and get three different answers. Gone were the support people who knew what they were doing, and each message from them now either started or ended with, “Please be on hold for 3-4 minutes while I check on this.”

Most times, they would answer my question with something completely unrelated. It was like watching a terribly-edited episode of Jeopardy! and nobody was winning.

So out of curiosity, I started searching for other options. We all know that it’s a good thing to look outside of our windows once in a while, because when we get too comfortable, we miss out on the rest of the world as it turns.

One afternoon, I ended up in a support chat with someone from BlueHost. Days of, “Sorry, let me check on this. Please hold!” from Site5 may have taken its toll on me, because as soon as I realized that I was talking to someone who actually knew what the fuck was going on, it felt like waking up from a terrible never-ending nightmare.

It was all a blur at that point, but I know I entered the conversation with pre-sales questions for my clients. I came out signing up for a Prime account with them and this exciting feeling of starting something new. I still remember my support guy’s name. It was Vincente. And I told him how awesome he was. And he told me, “If you don’t need the space, don’t waste the money.”

And then I asked him to marry me.

No, I didn’t.

But I wanted to.

Full disclaimer again, but I’m not getting paid for posting this or even talking about BlueHost. Just as I was pretty jazzed about Lunapads, I gotta say that I’m equally jazzed about BlueHost. I’m using the word, “jazzed”. That means something, guys.

Their Shared Hosting Prime offering was much better and cheaper, for way more things:

  • Unlimited websites
  • SSL installation for WordPress sites
  • 1 free domain
  • Domain privacy
  • Back-up services

What the actual fuck. And while I was looking at VPS options for another project, their very similar options were at very different price points.

Site5’s VPS starts at $62/mo
BlueHost’s VPS starting at $20/mo

Friends, I can’t even.

I know I’m no expert at any of this, and cheap web hosting is hardly something worth talking about at fancy dinner parties or when you’re trying to impress colleagues. But I just felt like sharing this experience because for one thing, it kind of woke me up to how I had lulled myself into complacency with Site5.

It might still be the honeymoon stage with BlueHost at the moment, and I’m already discovering a few annoying things there and there, but at the moment, they are miles ahead and way better than what I was previously dealing with.

Maybe in another 10 years, I’ll change my mind again, but for now, my bottom line is:

Yes, I would recommend BlueHost!

I Really Love Liz Climo

One of my favourite illustrators is Liz Climo. I had seen one of her cartoons on my Facebook feed one day, and when I visited her page, I just couldn’t stop.

I love her idea of friendship shown through animals, which just feels so natural and happy. Especially at the times where we find ourselves in a non-stop swirl of grief and sadness, Liz Climo’s little vignettes remind me of the small things to be thankful for. The animal kingdom is so large and diverse, and it makes me ask myself, if those guys can figure it out, why can’t we?

Lunapads: Washable Cloth Pads

My first impression of reusable pads was pretty lukewarm. I never really thought about it, as I’ve just grown up with the idea of disposable pads. Few friends can attest that I’m kind of obsessed with menstrual pads, which I usually refer to as “ladythings.”

Back in university, a buddy of mine was over at my apartment and saw that in my bathroom was literally a pile of ladythings higher than an average person’s knee.

Mark Cuban stocks up on toothpaste, I stock up on ladythings. It’s my thing. They are not perishable, and it’s something I use consistently. If it’s on sale, yes, assholes, I fill up my cart like it’s Doomsday.

Fast-forward maybe a decade later, and now I have a new story!

Meeting the Ladies

By chance, an acquaintance of mine had connected me with Lunapads to talk about some website work for a project they had called G Day. It’s all very woman-focused, and at our first meeting, I was immediately struck by the way they spoke and regarded their work.

There are some people who are kind of hammy and annoying, despite the goodness of their product. And then there are others who give off an immediate sense of goodness more naturally. Perhaps it was because their primary goal was to help other girls out, and with this current landscape we find ourselves in, I suppose it struck a cord.

Talking with Madeleine and Alysha felt like their whole point to exist was for other young women, and whether that’s a product they sell or an event that they organize, it all felt really heartwarming and real. They talked about growing up and the awkwardness of it all, as well as this notion of power with numbers, and that it takes a village to raise a child.

Their company and organization sprung from a natural need to pay it forward, and it felt really good to be able to lend a hand wherever I could.

This, of course, led to me being curious about their flagship product, Lunapads. Again, this wasn’t really something I had ever thought about. Just like toothpaste or toilet paper, ladythings to me were literally waste products of which to be disposed.

But looking at it more, a close comparison to this would be using cloth diapers on children. I think I grew up with that. I don’t recall. Either way, it wasn’t that far-fetched to me at that point, so I went ahead and ordered a Deluxe Kit in all black and a pair of their MAIA undies.

What Do I Think About Lunapads?

My friends, I really like it. I’ve been using them for about 3 months now, which, granted, is not that long. But for what its worth:

Things I like about Lunapads:

  • I have pretty sensitive skin. Maybe everyone says that, but I’ve always had a tough time with certain fabrics and materials against my skin. Again, I never really thought about it, but since using Lunapads, completely taking out these plastics that sit against your ladyparts all day was a noticeable benefit.
  • Obviously, less garbage. Way less.
  • Also, while the upfront cost of purchasing these bad boys were pretty up there, I like the idea that I don’t need to go to a store anymore. It’s one less thing to “refill” or check. And I think that there are more benefits that even out the cost. To me, it’s not just the bottom line of money.
  • The MAIA underwear also provided really good leak protection for when I go to bed. I used to worry about it a lot, but they fit well and I haven’t had any accidents so far.
  • The other thing that makes Lunapads different is that they come with inserts that make it much easier to swap out during the day. I looked at other brands, and I was kind of uncomfortable with the idea of wearing the same thing all day. I have the same apprehensions about hot tubs, however. I’m not a fan of sitting in my own filth, much less in other people’s filth. So this is a totally personal choice.
  • Their support team is so amazing. They are so nice and are so friendly. I’m very big on good support teams in general, and a large part of keeping my loyalties come down to this. If support is shitty, I am so quick to leave.
  • I did have to make a few changes in my routine. Instead of just throwing away used ones, I wash them after each change. I do the same with my dishes (for the most part). I don’t like letting things sit. Since I work from home, it’s not a huge thing for me to stay put and indoors for when I get the ladypains.
  • Getting the Lunapads in black seemed like a good choice in the beginning, just to cater to my personal abhorrence to stains of any kind. But later I found that it was kind of difficult to tell them apart by size. I ended up adding some colour-coded stitching to the back edges so that I could tell the long pads from the maxi pads. OMG, was that a nerdy thing? Do I give a shit? NO, NOT REALLY.

    Subtle line stitches to help me quickly tell what size pad I’m using.
  • It might be odd to mention it, but the fabric is also kind of cozy, and maybe in my mind, that kind of comfort affects my way of thinking. Perhaps a little bit of the hygge craze played a part in this.

Some kind of con list:

  • They sell travel bags and little pouches for when you’re on the go, but I think when I travel or go camping, I’d still use the disposable versions. I have to draw the line at keeping soiled things like this in my purse or bag. No thanks.
  • The other downside for me was that the mini sizes shifted around too much. This comes down to our varied shapes and build, of course, so that’s not really anyone’s fault. I took advantage of their exchange policy and was able to get 2 more long pads instead. These work much better for me. Mostly because I’m an old lady at heart, and I love my coverage. If I could swaddle myself without the social stigma of it all, I would.

More Lunapads?

It kind of goes against the idea of reusable, but I did end up buying a second pair of MAIA’s and a pack of their long pantyliners. I swear it’s the last time! Until the next time!

This time I felt a little brave and went for the patterned versions.

Unicorn Lunapads
They had a pattern with unicorns on it called, “Night Mares.” How can I not buy???

I’ve read other reviews about reusable pads in general, and I find that I do relate to a lot of them. I feel good about creating less garbage, and that it’s a different way of thinking all together. Again, it’s still pretty early for me, compared to those who have been using these for years, but I still kind of get a little excited about getting my ladypains just so I can use them.

So yes, I’d recommend Lunapads!