My beautiful fuchsias haven't been so beautiful lately. Normally, my little grove dangles with white aprons, like fairy princesses with dense bluish purple and hot-pink pom-pom skirts. But for the last two seasons, instead of blooming, their leaf tips dry up and blotches of brown grow in their broad bodies. They soon curl, turn gray, and fall off. Another opportunity to bloom lost. It's disheartening.
I’ve tried many solutions: changing nutrients, severe pruning, and adding new soil. Time and again, I trim the dying leaves and branches, and they sprout with new life. But as they’re ready to bloom, the disease strikes again!
I’ve hosted a long term client website with the same company for several years, and there have been some chronic problems we’ve overcome in all kinds of creative ways. But like with my fuchsias, the problems continued and the solutions presented more challenges.
The first sign of trouble was when a Russian hacker defaced her About page, leaving behind a sexy image of a man in a t-shirt. Sexy as it was, he had to go. It took a few attempts to remove the hack, but we succeeded! It was then that we implemented several security layers that have kept hackers at bay.
But it didn’t end there.
Hundreds of spam email started to fill her inbox, almost every day. How can a small business owner ever be expected to filter through so much junk every day, and to locate the real email in all that noise, while remaining sane?
The spam solution the host offered, a blunt sword that sometimes assassinates authentic email, left us wanting. What’s more, it often lashed out at my client as if she were spamming, rejecting her attempts to send email!
We’ve essentially implemented our own ad-hoc security measures to block hackers and spammers. We’ve had to get really creative.
Back in my garden, I unknowingly conducted an experiment.
I wanted to see some beautiful fuchsia blooms through the lightwell window in my living room. I took cuttings from the two most mature trees, cuttings that had lost their leaves in the problem area. I planted both in the light-well, away from the troubled trees, in pots with new soil.
Guess what? The aproned fairy princesses with purple pom-pom skirts have returned! The leaves on my potted fuchsias are green, lush, and full.
What made the difference? What changed? Location. Location. Location. New soil for the roots, its underpinnings, and more light for its leaves in a new location. Different light. The biggest difference was probably the plant’s change of root environment. The soil and location create the environment for a plant. It’s not just about what’s coming from above but what’s feeding it from below that matters.
As soon as I saw those new, gorgeous blooms, I called my client and told her it was time for a new website host. A new location!
Think of your website and email service as plants, and your host’s server farm as the environment. They are, in fact, called farms. When they are not cared for properly, they become prone to failure and hacks. And when the farm environment is not properly secured and maintained, your website and quality of email service suffers.
If your web host is creating more work for you, chances are it’s time to move your fuchsias to a better location. You may not be planted in the best farm for your website and email. Change the environment, and you’re ready for this season’s bloom.
Need help shopping for a new host or making the transition? Web Revamp’s maintenance plans give you the resources to fix problems with your website and make improvements large and small. Set up your free consultation or give us a call at 415.508.7692.