I usually try and solve my own problems, and I can be pretty resourceful, but sometimes I get stuck, that was the case recently while working on this blog. WordPress is a beautiful system and pretty easy to use, but anyone that knows me, knows I like to experiment, and this blog has certainly created those opportunities! The theme (the program that controls the layout) on the original site was a free one, and it worked ok, until I did an update and the site crashed. Doing some research I found that free sites can have some problems because, well, you get what you pay for.
After getting some great advice from my online buddy Len Tuma over at Geek Specialities I was off shopping for a new theme and ended up at Solostream where I got a great deal. During installation, I had a few questions which were answered on the well laid out tutorial page and when I had an issue with the way the images loaded, I posted a question on the forum and was quickly provided with the information needed to fix things. Great experience!
One of the benefits of self hosting your WordPress blog is the huge selection of plugins, these are little “applications” that add features to your blog. One that I really liked was Nrelate, this allows you to post related blogs at the bottom of every post, including blogs from your blogroll. I could not get it to work though and in my search for an answer I came across this post and made a comment. Well, imagine my surprise when I got an email from Neil at Nrelate within an hour of that comment! He quickly set up a webinar session to help diagnose the problem, which was caused by me renaming a file! During the webinar they had three people there looking at my site, and discussed ways to improve the plugin, it was fascinating! In no time they had the issue fixed and Neil followed up to make sure everything was ok.
Now on Solostream, parts of the support forum is only available to people who purchase themes, but the part that is open is easy to navigate and find answers, on Nrelate it is free, and they do have options to run ads for a small fee. But what really impressed was the service and response time on both sites. Do you think I will recommend them to others? And continue to use and support their products?
You bet I will!