I was thinking of making this a Page, with calling it something cheesy like… “The Top Ten Hosting Companies”, but I think I am going to make it an actual post. The only thing I feel I can really do is make this visible to everyone and I’ll just let you guys decide from here on which host you like. I am going to list all the hosts I’ve been with below this paragraph, and I’ll write what I liked and didn’t like about them.
Oh, and yes, I will list my top favourite host at the bottom of this article. I also advise that anyone reading this article that is not using WordPress, should only take the advice I give that doesn’t have to do with WordPress, as I mostly talk about WordPress advantages for some of these hosts, and I also talk about non-Wordpress benefits to many of these hosts.
Hosts I’ve Been With:
1. Go Daddy -
Godaddy, of course isn’t the best, and is the most unrecommended host I ever hear about from other bloggers. Reasons not totally unknown, I think it’s because they are the biggest host in the world and they tend to be targeted more often by DoS attacks any many more things. I have experienced some downtime with them and my site, including a notification email saying that I should change my password and also a notice of what was going on with their servers. I honestly still use them to this day, but it’s because I already use them with 3 domains and I just felt it would be easier to just stay with them for some basic blogs I started.
2. Blue Host -
The good old Blue Host was a host I tried out before they completely revamped their whole website design. What it still looks like when you log into your account, is not known unless you know someone or you are already with them. To me, GUI is almost one of the most important things to keep customers, for simplicity, and to show off what kind of host you are really dealing with. But aside from that, I did notice that they really try to keep you as a customer there, which I think they should not even bug you before you cancel. And it also seems that Pat Flynn had an issue with them, so if I was you I’d just stand clear of them. I noticed they used the simple Cpanel interface when you logged in, so they’re hosting is pretty generic.
3. 4 Good Hosting -
This is not a very well known host, but when I tried them out it wasn’t bad. One thing I noticed is that they offer free hosting to non profit charity organizations, I think that’s pretty cool. But all in all, the user interface when logging in was of course very generic, and I was able to find my way around the place like walking in a busy mall with big signs for directions. I tried them since they were Canadian, but I have learned that location doesn’t really matter for your hosting company. They use Cpanel, and a huge variety of hosting packages.
4. Site 5 -
This host was not bad, I admire how their support is 24/7 (which you can usually get that with most hosts). I remember wanting to migrate a giant database from my FTP server with them to the phpmysql database, and they were willing to do that for me, which is not something Dreamhost would do for me. So, I liked that. When you set your account up with them, you will notice how the main domain you register with them is what your whole account is registered under, so, after logging in with using your registered domain as the username, you go to the top right and click on the domain again, to get to your settings. I had to chat with their support to find it. I noticed some minimal downtime with them as well, ranging from 5-15 minutes every 3-4 weeks. I also noticed that one time my site was down for almost an hour. But it was in the middle of the night. I used Pingdom to keep track of all of these downtimes, so I didn’t just sit there with my web browser and a stop watch, I let technology do that for me.
5. Pagely -
“WordPress Hosting Like A 5 Star Hotel”, is the motto they used in their advertisements. But when I was with them, I only had to migrate my wp-content folder over to set everything up. They are supposed to be a Premium WordPress hosting company, and I can say that they are better than some hosts, like even Go Daddy, but I think I am happy with who I am with right now and it’s just a personal decision to no longer be with Pagely. One thing I noticed with them was that their support has a slow response, and most of the time it was just one guy I was talking to, the same guy every time. It’s a family business too, which you can say is better than corporate. I noticed no downtime at all with them. So I can say they are an option, I don’t not recommend them, but I’ll leave that host up to you to choose from.
6. Web Synthesis -
This is the hosting company behind the theme I am using on this blog right now, and it works well with their hosting if you do choose to go with them while using the Studio Press themes. ProBlogger, Darren Rowse swears by them, and I can honestly say that I only got as far as trying to set up my blog with them many months ago and I didn’t get to finish. But I also stopped because they have the same pricing as WPengine almost. Around $30/month for only so much traffic, and if your traffic goes up, then you either get pushed up to a higher monthly fee which can be around $90/month, or you pay overage fees which is also annoying.
If you get like 500,000 views to millions of unique visitors per month on your site, then they charge you $300/month. But if you monetize your blog with an advertising program, with getting that much traffic, that $300/month price tag is worth it. It really gives you piece of mind, since your blog is basically running off a VPS with protection from threats, and backups being made for you all the time. This is what we call Premium WordPress Hosting at it’s best. But take a look at my review of WPengine below. One last thing I will mention though is that, getting your blog set up might be a bit confusing at first with Web Sythesis, but you can pay $150 for your blog to be migrated, or you can just contact support and spend the time to have it done in a few hours or a few days by yourself.
7. WP Engine -
I really liked this Premium WordPress Hosting company, except for their pricing that is similar to Web Synthesis almost exactly. This host came out in 2010, but all of their staff know WordPress more than most hosts. But so does Web Synthesis. You have the capability of having access to your websites backups, and backups are made daily. Plus, you have your tech support around the clock, I think they have Live Chat now but when I was with them in 2013 it was just email support that I used, and most of the time it was decently fast in terms of a response time.
I liked how I could reply to their replies in the support emails, without logging into WPengine at all. And to go with those features, you get yet another awesome VPS, with great speed, and also a nice Firewall to prevent spam. Also, you get Malware Scanning. These premium hosts don’t provide you with alot of storage, but most WordPress blogs don’t really require a ton of space unless they were photography blogs or something with huge image files. I can pretty much admit that 10GB’s is just enough for anyone. So, the last thing I’ll mention is that, while I was setting up my site with them, there were times I tried to contact tech support to get assistance, where I then figured out the problem myself eventually and they then eventually clued in and responded.
Sometimes in saying “oh, you figured it out already”, or by asking me if I had fixed the problem yet. So it’s not the fastest response time, but it’s still pretty good. These guys are a step below Web Synthesis in terms of quality, and that’s pretty damn good. I did notice that some of the backups I made of my site were not always displaying the images in my posts. Maybe because the backups were made while I was doing stuff?, so some backups can be corrupt sometimes?. I’m not sure, but this gave me a wake up call to always back up my stuff through FTP just to make sure. I am not sure if they have a service to migrate your blog for you incase your totally clueless on how to do that, but I am sure there is a service out there, oh and I just found one called “WordPress Migration Service” for $147, which they claim they can do this in just 3 business days or less for you.
8. Media Temple -
There you go, I just explained my experiences with all the hosts I’ve been with. But I do have to mention the last host that I’ve ever been with, and not to say that like I didn’t like them, but I finally found my near-perfect web host to be with as they offer such an awesome package for me. Just recently, they began offering “Premium WordPress Hosting”, and on an unlimited-bandwidth-per-month basis. You pay a flat rate of $22/month for a 3 blog hosting package. You have limited space yes, but the unlimited bandwidth gives you all the reason to be with them. You have malware scanning, daily backups, an easy migration tool, migration services for $150, and awesome tech support for your website problems.
I later learned that GoDaddy had actually bought MediaTemple just last year, which was why I could not add a domain from Godaddy onto MediaTemple until Godaddy had actually allowed the changes of the Nameservers for my domain to go through. This happened because they are somewhat connected. The CEO of Godaddy did say that they are keeping both companies separate, but I think they are connected in some sort of way. So once the nameservers were changed on Godaddy, and after waiting over a couple of hours, I finally could add the domain to MediaTemple to host this blog.
But any ways, you really don’t want to try and migrate your blog through FTP to Media Temple because overwriting the WordPress files already in your webspace will cause havoc for your site. Luckily, you can easily re-add your site to a new installation, then use the easy migration tool they offer which only takes minutes to migrate a WordPress blog after entering your older FTP credentials and blog login details. I tried everything I could to drag and drop my blog files through FTP, but it’s just not worth it, their setup is so complex it’s not even funny, and I say this in a good way. I actually prefer to use their migration tool now, I migrated two blogs in just a matter of minutes. I’ll be updating my review on Media Temple in this article, to show how easy it was. Oh, and the last thing I’ll mention is that I don’t think that Media Temple being owned by Go Daddy now will affect Media Temple’s quality as a hosting company. They still are in fact, better, than Go Daddy, still, in my opinion. Go Daddy still has alot to learn from them.
I myself, am astounded that I’ve been with this many hosts in the past 5-7 years. But, in the end I figured out which niche I wanted to stick to (WordPress and Blogging tips), and in the end I found the host that was perfect for my needs. I also have a good idea of what hosts out there are good and bad. So now that I have reached 2000 words on this article I think I have made a good article which may be useful to many bloggers out there. I do actually recommend Media Temple as a first host for a new blogger.