Lee Odden

We’re Changing our Blog Host

We’re changing hosts for Online Marketing Blog this weekend.

I never thought we’d need a dedicated server for a blog, but this blog will be moving over to a dedicated Dell Poweredge server with our new host VISI, who has been good to work with so far. In fact, they’ve gone way out of their way in terms of providing expedited set up since our our current host, Pair Networks, informed us yesterday they’re shutting our site down today. Yep, just like that.

Since we paid Pair a year in advance, this seemed a tad bit unreasonable (I’m holding back, trust me) so I made a plea to wait until Monday, which they agreed to.

There are a lot of hosting companies out there and picking one can be a challenge. Picking the right hosting plan can be tricky too, so when you sign up for a hosting account, be sure you read the fine print that says, “We will shut down your site and not tell you at any time we feel justified and then have our sales department follow up with an offer to upgrade.”

Yep, I missed that little clause when I signed up with Pair Networks. In fact I still can’t find the language in our agreement, but it must be there somewhere because that’s pretty much what happened.

Now we’re in the process of trying to make sure everything is setup properly with the new host. One thing is for sure, there is indeed a market for high availability, turnkey blog hosting.

Update: For the most part, it looks like Thomas and the weekend support people at VISI were able to get things ironed out. A few finishing touches and refinements on the admin side of things and we should be all set. If you made comments between last Friday and Sunday, I am sorry they are lost. If you notice anything out of the ordinary, please let us know. blog at toprankresults dot com. Thanks!

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Lee Odden About Lee Odden

@LeeOdden is the CEO of TopRank Marketing and editor of Online Marketing Blog. Cited for his expertise by The Economist, Forbes and the Wall Street Journal, he's the author of the book Optimize and presents internationally on B2B marketing topics including content, search, social media and influencer marketing. When not at conferences, consulting, or working with his talented team, he's likely running, traveling or cooking up something new.


  1. Avatar Adam Audette says

    Wow. Things seem to be falling apart at pair. It’s unsettling to see because they’ve always been loyal supporters and friends of our various online ventures over the last 10 years or so. But something just isn’t right there and this is the 3rd or 4th incident I’ve heard of this year.

    Coincidentally this year also marks the end of their relationship with the LED after they’ve supported it since 2003.

    I hope Kevin can turn things around there. He’s grown pair into a huge powerhouse but perhaps the growth is part of the problem.

  2. Hi Adam, that’s sad to hear because I know they have a lot of reputable folks in the search marketing industry as clients including Google’s Matt Cutts and Todd Malicoat.

  3. I’m not sure why anyone needs to think things are “falling apart” here. It seems to me that although we, as always, have many areas in which to improve, things are going great overall. Growth was huge in 2000; now it’s quite manageable and we have a strong internal structure as well.

    Lee, like any customer who leaves, will receive a fully pro-rated refund. We did try to work with him for a suitable solution but it didn’t work out. That happens. Hosting for blogs, WordPress in particular, is very challenging – it’s a hog under load. We’re working on a new service that will address precisely that problem.

    I’d love to be made aware of any other incidents or problems – I’m always reachable as sigma at pair dot com.


  4. Kevin, thanks for stopping by. As popular as blogs are, WordPress in particular, it would have been nice to know there would be potential issues. That’s something you might want to flag upfront so your customers are aware that for a modestly popular blog, a dedicated server would be necessary.

    Incidentally, we had no CPU or data transfer issues with the previous host.

    We did receive a refund, which is appreciated, but it’s not about the money. It’s about communication and service.

  5. Avatar Adam Audette says

    Kevin – It’s good that you’re part of the conversation here, and no disrespect intended by my comments. I said things seem to be falling apart because that’s how it appears after hearing several similar experiences recently. This really is the 4th such incident I’ve heard.

    I still think pair is a top-tier host but the customer relationship is so important online, and things like this reflect a disconnect internally there. Maybe as you grow larger individual clients become less important than the overall picture?

    The fact that Lee had this experience and you lost him as a client is clearly a negative I would think, and as Lee points out this isn’t about server loads and WordPress it’s about the customer relationship.

  6. I actually see the experience with Lee as a positive; before the incident with his blog in particular, it wasn’t clear just how poorly WordPress performs under heavy load. Problems with his site directly led to the development of a service to protect WordPress from heavy load. I hope to have that service available shortly after our FreeBSD 6.2 rollout; clearly it comes too late to help Lee and I don’t blame him one bit for having left the service. I don’t think there’s anything we could have done that would have made it easier for him; the server literally would not stay up, and that makes it impossible to provide service to his and all other sites on the same server.

    I still maintain that “falling apart” is an unfounded characterization; if anything, I have been more hands-on recently than in a long time, and intend to continue that approach, as well as putting my time into several major projects that I’m quite optimistic about.