Mark’s Miscellaneous Monday – Rants and Raves – Customer Service Blu Domain and Discount Tire

August and time for a little miscellaneous Monday action.

Colorado Castle Wedding picked up
by Colorado Wedding Style Blog

I’m very excited and pleased to see that Matt and Jennifer’s recent wedding was picked up by the Colorado Wedding Style blog. Colorado Wedding Style is a wonderful blog feature real Colorado weddings as well as other resources. It’s a great resource for Colorado brides looking for ideas.

Colorado Wedding Style – A Castle Wedding

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Wedding Vendors Netwworking

I had the chance to talk a bit about blogging and websites at last weeks Bridalize vendors meeting.  The best part of these meetings for me is aways meeting some wonderful people in the wedding community that I might not know yet.

So last week besides myself there was

Ashlee from The Wellshire Event Center.  A unique and romantic wedding venue The Wellshire Inn has been a choice from couples getting married since 1926.

Evette from Pretty Writing.  Pretty Writing does wonderful hand-crafted calligraphy, perfect for invitations, program, menu and place cards.

Mountain Occasions – With Aimee and Kretice at the helm Mountain Occasions is a wonderful event and wedding planning company.

Susan of Marriage Makers – a great choice for Wedding Officiants.

Nicole of Swank Stems.   Swank Stems offers couture floral design and event decor.   Well worth a look by brides still undecided about which way to go with their floral arrangements.

and fellow Photojournalist wedding photographer Preston Utley.

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So now for my rants and raves.

I’m going to start with my rant first since I’d rather end a post on a positive note with a rave.

RANTS

If you look through my blog history you’ll see I’ve done a few posts on various web site hosts that are aimed at photographers and have mentioned Blu Domain on several occasions.    Despite the fact that my current gallery site is not a BluDomain template site I’ve still tried to be fair in my posts about their products.  However a recent 4 day support thread may have me cutting my losses and walking away finally.

So over the years I’ve purchased around 8 of BluDomains templates, from $50 ones up to their fancy $400 ones.   With every purchase it was stated that hosting was free if I already hosted with BluDomain (*see note below) and my new template was simply installed as a new folder off my root domain.   BluDomains hosting FAQ also says that with each hosting account I receive 5 parked and 5 add-on domains.

If you don’t know the difference there’s a great example over on http://www.theinternetdigest.net/archive/add-on-domains.html

A parked domain just allows a second domain name to point to an existing domain.   So that markhayesphotography.com and markhp.com both point to the same place.   While an add-on domain would allow the two different domain names to point to two different folders on the same hosting account.

Now despite the fact that my hosting FAQ says I get 5 add-on domains to point additional domain names at different folders on my main hosting account, and each of the 8 templates I’ve purchased over the years is indeed a separate folder under my one main hosting account as installed by their own support staff, according to their tech support I cannot use them in this way.

* Blu domain has since my last template purchase (last year) changed the line about free hosting when buying a template if you already host to indicate that you cannot host two separate templates sites on one hosting account.

So while ultimately they can manage their hosting as they wish I find that what seems inconsistent use of general hosting practices leads me to think when my current hosting has expired it’s time to cut my losses on the templates and just move on.   It’s not like I actively use them anyways – I’ve just been paying for the hosting to keep the templates active “just in case” and to have a private art works gallery online.

If BluDomain didn’t want add-on domains to be pointed to templates in folders off the main account well then they shouldn’t install them this way when buying additional templates.

While I’ve often overlooked BluDomains F rating with the Better Business Bureau assuming it’s just a few squeaky wheels I think it’s time to concede that to anyone looking for quality hosting, image galleries and customer support, BluDomain isn’t on the recommended list anymore.

Photographers looking for quality image gallery sites with customer support to match I’d suggest

www.showitfast.com

www.tafota.com

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RAVES

I recently purchased a new set of wheels and tires for my car at my local Discount Tire store.   When I went in to have them mounted there was a problem with the lug nuts – too long on the back to mount properly.    They’ve ordered a differnt sized kit and they should be in this week, but in the meantime since I had a road trip wedding this weekend and some engagement sessions, and two of the tires that came on the car when I bought it where looking pretty poor, Discount Tire put a new set of tires on my car.   That’s right they installed a new set of tires that they’ll take back when they get the correct parts for making the items I purchased fit.

Now it’s not their fault that the new wheels don’t fit just right, but to make sure I’m not driving on bad tires they still did something to take care of me as a customer until the final fix is in place.   Service well above and beyond my expectations.

Until next time,

Mark