As someone who owns a lot of sites, I’ve had to deal with many different web hosts over the course of my business. So which is the best web hosting company I’ve used? It’s little hard to declare what the best web host is but I do have a couple of favorites. In this post, I wanted to share my experiences with each of the web hosting companies I have personally tried myself.
In general, the most important factor I’m looking for in a web host is reliability. There’s nothing more costly to my business then a web host that’s down. A close second is support. I want a web host that will reply to my support tickets in a timely manner. The best web hosting companies in my experience will be able to handle these two factors easily.
I’ll keep this post updated as I try new web hosts.
Shared Web Hosting
Hostgator – Yeah, everyone promotes them online, because they have a really nice affiliate program. But as a web hosting company, Hostgator is really good. I’ve been with them since the beginning of 2008 and reliability wise they are outstanding. Honestly, I can’t remember the last time I had any significant downtime with them. Plus, support is great and they usually respond to support tickets in under 15 minutes. They are a little more expensive then some other shared web hosts, but please, don’t make your web hosting decisions based only on price. Use the Hostgator coupon code JOSHGATOR1 to save 25% off.
BlueHost – Another popular web host, that I have a couple of sites hosted with for the past 5 months. So far, I have not experienced any downtime with them, and I really haven’t had to deal with their support much either. Which is exactly what you should want from a web hosting company.
DDos Hosting Solutions – Awhile back, one of my sites on Hostgator experienced a DDoS attack and I was asked to move it off the server. So I searched around for an affordable web host that would provide me with some DDoS protection and I came across DDOS Hosting Solutions. I couldn’t find many reviews, but I decided to try them anyway because the price was right. Fortunately, they were able to handle my site and the DDoS attack against it with no problems.
Still support really matters to me and they really don’t have much in the way of support staff. At least that’s the impression I got when the CEO was answering the majority of my support requests. Often responses to tickets could take hours or even days. I eventually got fed up with this and switched my site over to KnownHost.
InMotion Hosting – I’ve been with these guys a couple of months now. No major problems with them so far. Support though, seems to be a mixed bag. I’ve had some support tickets answered in 15 minutes, and others not even answered at all. Plus their shared hosting plans limit the number of addon domains and MySQL DBs you can create, so watch out for that.
WebHostingPad – I gave these guys a try, and I initially had some issues transferring one of my sites over. So I talked to their live support and got one of the rudest customer service people I ever met. And not only that, when I tried to talk to someone else on the live chat I ended up getting the same guy 2 more times. Suffice to say, I got a refund and I never looked back.
VPS Web Hosting
WiredTree – This is the web host that this site is currently on and I’ve been with them since June 2009. I also use them to host my Prosper202 and CPVLab tracking systems. Where WiredTree excels is its excellent customer support. There are many times when my support requests are answered in under 5 minutes or less which is fantastic. On the other hand, they’ve had a few high profile outages in the past 6 months which is a little disconcerting. It seems like they are going through some growing pains, because their reliability had been great before. Still, I’m going to continue to stick with them for now.
KnownHost – As I mentioned earlier, I recently moved one of my sites over to one their VPS plans. I went with them mainly because of their good reviews on WebHostingTalk.com. While I haven’t been with them long enough to adequately judge their uptime (it’s been good so far), I am happy with their support. While perhaps not as fast as WiredTree, my tickets all seem to get answered within 15 minutes. In terms of cost vs performance, KnownHost seems to offer very good value.
Burst.net – I initially signed up with a Burst.net VPS plan as an experiment. Their cheapest VPS plan is $5.95 a month which is the lowest price I’ve seen for a VPS. Recently, I upgraded to the next level up plan to better test their web hosting services. I encountered a couple of issues with my server that I needed to get help with from their support. So far, I haven’t found them to be as responsive as I would like. Sometimes they respond fast, while sometimes it can take quite a while. Still, it’s early and I’m going take more time to evaluate them.