I finally took the plunge to move away from A Small Orange (ASO). After experiencing repeated, terrible customer service over the last year, most notable after their acquisition by EIG. I'd always had great customer service and enjoyed using ASO. The hosting was reliable, used renewable energy for the data centres and relatively cheap. As soon as I noticed there was more than a one-off in terrible service (read: support ticket issues), I began scouring Google to see if anyone else had the same. I came across Review Signal - The Rise and Fall of A Small Orange, which led onto countless other negative reviews.
Over the last week and after research, consulting friends and colleagues, I decided to move my domains and hosting away from ASO, as my domain was up for renewal and hosting expires in June 2017.
Hosting: Digital Ocean
Digital Ocean are primarily focused at developers, a fact I didn't appreciate until I was faced with a nice graph and then "console", meaning a Terminal window. I'm no stranger to using a console and have the fortune of using a Mac with the Terminal app installed as standard, but I am by no means a developer (haven't touched code in quite a while - I'm a Project Manager by trade!).
This has meant a lot of very quick, on the job learning. Luckily, Digital Ocean has a plethora of support articles for how to use it's service, as well as specific guides for the one-click Droplets (like installing Ghost with once click).
There's also some nice GUI features, including easy-to-understand domain related features, power cycling, networking features etc. So far, I've made quite a few mistakes, but learning on the job and enjoying the new challenge!
123-Reg are a UK-based domain registrar. We got off to a rocky start due to 123-Reg not notifying me that I needed to get the WHOIS domain privacy removed from ASO. That was a bit of a ballache (ASO didn't do things properly!)
Now, however, everything is great. I only use the domain part, the rest is with Digital Ocean.
Cloudflare offers a free-to-use for personal blogs, CDN (Content Delivery Network). I've used it with work (Vaimo) for enterprise level clients, but hadn't considered using it for my personal stuff. Now I've got a CDN and free SSL installed - winning!
I'm looking forward to continuing to blog to, in my blog's new home!