Good riddance to iFastNet

I seem to have a weird habit of switching web hosts. First, it was Wix, but I moved from it to WordPress for more freedom. I found a few when I searched for free web hosts that would give me a good platform to run a WordPress site. I almost went with AccuWeb, but I learned that you’d need to share a government-issued ID so, I couldn’t set up an account here.

Here’s the thing: most of the free web hosts out there are resellers of the same company’s hosting package, and that company is iFastNet. You set up an account on one of these resellers, get your website started, and then if you want to “take it further” you can transfer your website from the reseller to a paid plan on iFastNet.

I discovered one of these resellers after about 5-10 minutes of web searching, and this one was “aeonfree”.

Despite the poor English, I decided to set up shop here. The feature set was impressive, and the limits were generous. I created an account and registered a subdomain. After installing WordPress and moving my posts over from Wix, I enjoyed using it for quite some time, however, I had some massive issues with it.

First off, it was very, very slow. You could feel it was slow. I know that a common complaint with WordPress is that it’s naturally slow, it has to make SQL queries and such. However, my friend’s website ran on WordPress on a similar setup to mine (not the same host, mind you), and it was fast. It loaded in less than 2 seconds, whereas mine took upwards of 4 seconds, half of which was spent waiting for it to connect to the server instead of sending and receiving data. I tried optimizer plugins, CDNs, and lightweight themes, but nothing worked.

I’ve also had a major skirmish with tech support over a transcript of a chat conversation in a blog article. On April 12, 2022, the comment filter in Scratch stopped working, and all hell broke loose on the website. I created a quick blog article to inform people. I intended to leave it up as a historical archive, but I couldn’t because I was apparently breaking aeonfree’s Terms Of Use, via a screenshot of a chat conversation included in the article. They don’t like “chat scripts” on the websites they host. However, the article did not contain a chat script or a link to one, and only contained a screenshot of a conversation. I later deleted the article, however, I didn’t delete the screenshot from the WordPress media folder, so I continued to receive emails about them. I later deleted the images, and they stopped giving me grief. The whole experience left a bad taste in my mouth.

However, more recently, on August 23rd, my website didn’t work and responded with a 403, and did so for over 12 hours. I was able to get the site back, thankfully.

Even more recently on September 1st of 2022, my website all of a sudden now redirected all traffic to Google. No, really. I had set no redirects, and I had no idea why this was happening. I couldn’t even sign in to the WordPress admin panel, but I managed to break and enter using the desktop WordPress app. I grabbed a backup of my website made the night before, and I set up a new hosting account and subdomain, and well, here we are.

Don’t get me wrong, I sorta liked my time on that web host, but I’m looking forward to using this new one more.