I found Charles Smith from Five Euro Food – he now owns a company that sells wordpress webhosting packages for people like us.
How many of my blogging friends remember Charles? We’ve probably all wondered what has become of him since he left France. He and his wife moved to Sweden to be near family as they raised their little boy. Charles is from England and before the baby was born he was working in Paris doing computery things. He gave it up to give his son a better place to grow up.
Charles had to learn a new language and cope with a very different environment – but then what? I had no idea. Not much new on his blog but from time to time I would check back on fiveeurofood.com and he hadn’t posted and me not being one to be nosy, I just left it. We shouldn’t do that. We should (I should) be better.
Then one day last week, our good friend Helene D’Souza from Masala Herb asked how things were going and mentioned that she was moving her blog from Hostgator. She told me that Charles Smith has his own webhosting business now called WPopt.net and he was going to move her blog to one of his 100% monitored servers. I was eager to see if Helene’s blog would be faster loading on the new setup.
Right away I went to webpagetest.org and ran a test on her site and waited a few days and ran the test again after the move. Her blog loads 11 seconds faster than it did before. Now eleven seconds might not seem much but reducing the wait time by 5% – 10% or even 20% is huge.
The day before yesterday I heard from Charlie Louie from Hotly Spiced who is also with Hostgator and they had shut her site down because of a plugin called wordfence that Hostgator said was hogging all the machine resources. Instead of writing to her and telling her what the problem was, they shut her down and waited for her to contact them. What horrible service! AND… she’d prepaid for an entire year.
If she can get her money back, she’ll move her blog to a wpopt.net server and if not, she’ll move the second her contract is up. Everyone wants to be with a webhost that they trust and who will always have their back. Good support is almost as important as a reliable server, especially if you don’t know how to manage your blog or server. I would trust Charles. He’s good people AND he is a mighty fine food writer and recipe developer. This is one of my favorite recipes of his – Swedish Sockerkaka. It’s a Swedish sponge cake filled with buttercream and strawberry jam and topped with more buttercream and fresh strawberries.
So if you want a great sponge cake, follow the link to the recipe but if you want webhosting or advice you can trust, contact Charles at wpopt.net.
If you check out Charles’ webhosting, the link I’ve included is an affiliate link. I wrote the article and John just read it and said, “You didn’t sign up as an affiliate for Charles?”
Me: “He’s got an affiliate program?”
Him: “No one would mind that you had an affiliate link as long as you declare it.”
Me: “You think?”
So I did. You should too.
Charles Smith says
<3 Thanks Maureen – so nice of you to say so many lovely things 🙂
You are good people, Charles and everyone who’s struggling with web hosting will do themselves a favour by checking out your service. I know Helene is very happy and Charlie will be. She’s really suffered at the hands of Hostgator. How’d you find this, anyway?? LOL You are watching the traffic. 🙂
Charles Smith says
Thanks Maureen – we’ll see! The whole thing has been a bit of a whirlwind… I started this about 2 years ago and it’s rapidly transformed from a niche into my main focus of operations. Important to take a breath sometimes!
Helene D'Souza says
You are doing great Charles 😉
Healthy World Cuisine says
I just contacted Charles the other day… going to let things settle out a bit after my big move before moving again. The great part is that he understands both end of the food blogging system. IT end and the front end. Take Care
John/Kitchen Riffs says
Good post. And I was wondering what was happening with Charles. I’m largely OK with the Blogger platform, although it has its problems. Don’t want to make the effort to change over to WordPress, although I think it’s the better platform. I hear a lot of horror stories regarding hosting — I’d definitely trust Charles to do right by his customers. Thanks for the heads up about this.
Glamorous Glutton says
I had wondered what had happened to Five Euro Food too. I’m now a little concerned about Hostgator as thats my host too. I’ll certainly be checking this out as an alternative. GG
Thank you for sharing the latest news on Charles’ doings. I’m glad all is well with him.
Your little boy isn’t little any more, Charles. Best of luck for the future.
Charles Smith says
Indeed – almost 5, and all the grumps and tantrums which come with it! 😀
Nagi | RecipeTin Eats says
Maureen, did you read my mind or something? Seriously – I moved to Charles YESTERDAY when a migration blew up. As in – catastrophically blew up and my site would have still been down, 3 days later, if it weren’t for Charles!
Oh Nagi, what awful news, poor you! I’ve known Charles for years and I wouldn’t say you could trust him if I didn’t honestly believe that to be true. Fingers crossed all goes well from here on out!
Helene D'Souza says
Oh my god Nagi! O.O
One of my biggest fears is technical issues which makes me crazy. I panic when I can’t control and don’t know what’s going on. Maureen and Charles can tell you some stories. lol Anyway, that was a main reason why I moved to charles because at least I know I am in good hands. You get cool notifications too which keep me up to date. =)
However, Charles will tell you too that I am a crazy suspicious/paranoid person too, so I don’t just let anybody touch my website. I am quite picky with these things and that again confirms the service quality of wpopt.
Liz Posmyk (Big Pond) says
I wonder if I could move my Weebly blog over?
All it takes is an email or customer enquiry at wpopt.net, Liz. It’s certainly worth a try.
Nancy | Plus Ate Six says
You’re such a great cheerleader for food bloggers and anything that can make our lives easier – especially the more technically challenged amongst us!
Laura | Tutti Dolci says
I have often wondered what happened to Charles, so I’m so glad that you tracked him down for us! 🙂
Hotly Spiced says
Yes – terrible service from Hostgator. Twice this year they’ve shut down my blog with no warning. What sort of a company treats their customers that way? Shocking. And I would never have been able to resolve the issues without your help – Hostgator certainly wasn’t going to help me. So a very big thank you to you and John for being so kind and generous with your skills and time. I’m still trying to find out if I can get a refund from them and trying to work out how to get their ads off my blog! Good to hear that Charles is doing well – I loved his blog and he conducts himself as a true gentlemen xx
Every time I saw your blog down I would groan. I’ll feel better when your blog is in a stable environment with someone you can communicate with and trust. <3
I’ve been wondering what Charles was up to. He’s been busy! Thanks for sharing all of this valuable information. Both my husband and I have our websites on hostgator, and so far, so good, but I’ll definitely check out Charles hosting site. Love to hear about the faster loading time and of course, I know that Charles would provide more personal service which is sometime that a huge hoster has a hard time providing.
Chris Scheuer says
Ha! Charles has saved my back more than once. We switched to WPopt back in December and I haven’t looked back! Charles is wonderful! (and I’m not in his affiliate program!)
I knew there would be lots of people who love Charles like I do but when BIG stars like Chris speak, people take notice!
Tania| My Kitchen Stories says
Maureen knows good people, so good luck Charles. i’ll tuck your info away cause we all never know when we need that kind of back up.
Oh, my gosh, Charles’ son has gotten so big! Thanks for the update!
Eva Taylor says
I was fortunate enough to have met Charles when we visited Paris in 2012 about the time his wife had their son (and they were expecting a new refrigerator). We had a lovely lunch at a Korean BBQ place (way too much food) and he insisted to have us as his guests. He is not much for social media but, from time to time, I see some posts from his wife Laila and their beautiful son as he is growning up. Laila has the same, dry, sarcastic humour that I have and enjoy.
I spoke to him a couple of years ago to move my blog into a self-hosting form (I’m still doing the free thing) but got lazy and never followed through. I would definitely trust him to provide wonderful and honest service!
My two favourite things from Charles’ blog are the Tuppkaka and Kladdkaka (almond cake and chocolate cake), both incredibly moreish.
Eva Taylor says
I meant to add the links: https://www.fiveeurofood.com/tuppkaka/ and https://www.fiveeurofood.com/kladdkaka-swedish-sticky-chocolate-cake-and-a-rant/
I forgot that you met Charles and his family – lucky you. So many votes of confidence for our friend Charles. Why would anyone go anywhere else?
Fran @ G'day Souffle' says
Arrgh! I’m not really up on all of these ‘techo’ web hosting things. I’ve been with Word Press and haven’t had any problems so far, but it’s good to know about alternatives. And as for that cake- YUM!
You’re exactly right, Fran. You’ll know if you’re ready to move on to more hands on administration of your blog. I agree on the cake!
Amanda (@lambsearshoney) says
This is good information to know – just in case – and I’d always trust your recommendations, Maureen!
Emma @ Bake Then Eat says
Thanks for the tips and the update 😉
Sophia Era says
Thanks for great tips and the update Charles