Open Discussion: What is Your Favorite Web Hosting?

By Daniel Scocco

Like it or not, web hosting is a vital part of any website. Reliable and fast hosting will give your readers a much better user experience, and they will be more likely to return in the future. Slow hosting with frequent downtimes, on the other hand, will not only annoy your visitors, but it might also harm your search engine rankings over the long term.

In the past I have already written about how to choose a good web hosting, and personally I believe that bandwidth, disk space and price are secondary factors.

Why? Well, it is very hard to burn even 20G monthly with a blog, so you are just kidding yourself if you think you will make a great deal by purchasing a hosting plan with 3 Terabytes of monthly transfer allowed. The same point applies to disk space.

In reality choosing a plan that offers such huge bandwidth and disk space limits is usually a bad idea per se. That is because in order to be able to offer that, a web hosting needs to jam hundreds if not thousands of sites on a single server. And when you do that you can say goodbye to reliability.

I have already been a client of many different companies, and here is my feedback:

GoDaddy: It was my first hosting company. I was a total beginner, so I had no clue what I was looking for, and the prices seemed pretty good. Needless to say that as soon as I started learning the stuff I realized that their plans sucked. I still use GoDaddy as a domain registrar, but I would stay away from their hosting services.

Yahoo!: After leaving GoDaddy I decided to give Yahoo! a try. They have a big name on the Internet, so I was expecting to find good stuff, which I did partially. The server speed and reliability are pretty good at Yahoo!, in fact one of my sites is still hosted there, and over a period of almost two years I never had any major problem. I said partially, though, because they operate with Windows machines, and that is a big limitation after you discover the wonders of the Linux world. (Update: Yahoo! migrated to Linux and Apache servers, so do not consider this last point)

Dreamhost: As soon as I started creating more sites I thought that I needed an account on a hosting with unlimited domains, huge bandwidth and huge disk space. Dreamhost was offering that for $7 a month, so I didn’t even blink before signing with them. Unfortunately this turned out to be an awful deal. Daily Blog Tips was hosted there on the beginning, but after a couple of months I was forced to move out. The servers were terribly slow, and downtimes would happen every other day.

A Small Orange: When I moved Daily Blog Tips out of Dreamhost I decided to go with ASO. I had heard pretty good stuff from friends that were hosted there, and they were not overselling. The first months went pretty smoothly. Their servers are very fast and customer support is good. After some time, however, I started to get frequent downtimes, and at times my site would start displaying blank pages. I used to recommend ASO to a lot of people, not anymore though. For the last four months I have been trying to solve these problems, but without any success. If things keep at this pace I might need to move Daily Blog Tips again soon.

Doreo: Well Doreo is my sponsor, so I don’t want to sound biased, but I decided to propose a sponsorship deal to them only after I was client. When I opened Daily Writing Tips I decided to try them, and the reliability was amazing. The blog has been hosted there for over 8 months, and I think it had some 20 minutes of downtime over that period. A confirmation that I really like them is the fact that I decided to go with them even for Daily Bits, my newest blog. Combined these two blogs have been on the Digg front page seven times already, and the servers managed it quite smoothly. In order to be impartial, I must say that Doreo also has some limitations, like only one SQL database per account and the inability to run some scripts at server level. So far they have not affected me though.

Anyway these are my personal opinions, and this blog is democratic. What is your favorite web hosting and why? Did you have a bad experience with any company in the past? Speak your mind!



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95 Responses to “Open Discussion: What is Your Favorite Web Hosting?”

  • stylo

    as i am also runing a hosting buseinss you mentioned godaddy first but i’m dis agree with you becuase Godaddy is No.1 in Domain registration service if we see the web hosting service i would say hostgator is top according to my experience and i always get connected with hosting industry. Hostgator is No.1 & also my blog is hosted on Hostgator hosting and my hosting site on my own server. I have buy new server with hostgator and also i will offer free self hosted blog hosting to my blog readers. at StyloSoft
    Thanks
    Stylo

  • ATP

    HOSTGATOR!

    IT’s cheap.
    I can talk to it’s tech support, online. Almost immediately.

    I have a good site. I like it.

    It’s bigger than doreo, and don’t mind this comment, Daneil, but frankly, I think it’s better. Feel free to disagree.

    BTW. Doreo’s ‘live chat’ was useless compared to hostgator. Period.

  • medyum

    To be honest, 2 days ago I was going to purchase a plan in HostGator (just because they’re not at WordPress recommended hosting list) but seeing they are already hosted 700k domains just reminds me to Dreamhost (600k +) and like Daniel say those overseller hosting companies.I plan to give Hostican a try (their tera shared plan seems a good deal and heard that their support is solid!) and Like Tejvan, i am now tempted to Doreo. Is DailyBlogTips runs on Doreo shared server? It’s cool then, your blog loads quite fast from my browser.

  • Bob

    I use mediaend.com and so far I’m very happy with the service and price.

  • Vishal

    I have been using Ipower web hosting successfully for nearly a year. They have excellent 24/7 support. I am pretty much satisfied with Ipower hosting.

  • Bryan Hee

    Hostgator is my first choice! Hostgator provides the following benefits!

    1) UNLIMITED Disk Space
    2) UNLIMITED Bandwidth
    3) Host UNLIMITED Websites
    4) FREE Instant Setup
    5) 99.9% Uptime Guarantee
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    7) CGI, PHP 5, RoR, Perl
    8) MySQL, SSH, SSL, IMAP, POP
    9) FREE Site Builder
    10) cPanel Hosting (Fantastico-Install wordpress Blogs)
    11) 24/7/365 Upgraded Support
    12) No Contracts or Hidden Fees
    and much more!

    To Your Success
    Bryan Hee

    Register Hosting Account Now for Only $0.01for the First Month for a Limited Time only!
    http://www.autopilotwealthsecrets.com/videos/web_hosting_reseller_hosting.html

  • odtaa

    Bluehost do not have proper backups. A friend of mine asked for help after his WordPress blog was virtually destroyed by comment spam – 1.5 million words 45,000 lines of spam.

    He was new to blogging and had not activated Askimet or updated WordPress.

    Bluehost only backup the the site once a month and they overwrite the same type.

    As opposed to Doreo who have an amazing backup regime, which I used once to restore a website where I had accidently overwritten a theme I was developing. The support staff were very helpful.

  • Mordock

    it was so tormented and painfull.

    ultrasurge terminated my account without giving me any prior notice and not responded to any of my emails and not given my money back. they are very secrate about their contact details you will never find their phone number.

    I requested them that they can remove all my site contents immediatly until I found and fix the problem and they can terminate my site if it repeats but they never responded.

    I lived all my life with rules and principles; they said my site violates termes and conditions but they did not give me proper reason or time to fix it.

    my web site has simple plain HTML and some downloadable files.
    No ads on my site; no commercial or explisit materials, no security breaches and no PHP or CGI scripts.

    I guess(I may be totally wrong), they advertise lot of bandwidth for cheaper rates and they expect you don’t use it. when your site becomes populor then they simply terminates it without giving proper reason or money back so that they can sell the band width to some one else.

    I can guess many people might have similar experience with them.

    If some know them, please post their “genuineness” so that atleast I feel happy that they might have a valid reason to terminate my account.

  • slimetoner @ yahoo.com

    On your favorite shared hosting, say we put up a website like youtube.
    Upload a single, one and only, 20mb video.
    Let’s disregard uploads.

    QUESTION (without abusing or “using too much much cpu”)
    1) what web hosting?
    2) how many people can view the video at the same time?
    3) how many people can view the video each month?

    i know that dedicated hosting is more suitable, but
    is there any shared web hosting where we can put that kind of website without running into any “too much cpu”, “abuse”, or other similar problems.

    – slimetoner @ yahoo.com

  • Brian

    I am very happy with BlueHost.com hosting my wordpress blog at the moment. I have never experienced downtime or a server crash. Their Fantastico plugin is perfect to set up and manage different applications on the fly.

    http://blog.briandicroce.com

  • BigAl

    I have been using Host Monster for nearly a year. Loved the availability of the support staff…always got someone knowledgeable on the phone and in a reasonably amount of time.

    What I don’t like is that they just terminated my account for having a Phising Site.

    Of course I didn’t put a phishing site up. Host Monsters servers and my Domain were hacked.

    My account was suspened twice before they terminated my account. I had to ask them where the suspect file or files were…they didn’t seem like they were going to volunteer any other information.

    Both times I deleted the files that they told me about, I even dug around and deleted additional suspect directories and files.

    The third time it was terminated. What I ended up finding th third time was a new directory named US.b which did in fact contain files for a phishing site for US Bank customers. (this all took place within a two week period).

    This directory was not there the last time (2nd suspension) I had checked.

    To make things worse the US.B directory wasn’t even in the domain that Host Monster support had said it was in…it was in the root.

    My concerns are that I had pre-paid for a two year hosting account, the account was terminated just shy of the first year. I do not believe the I will be getting a refund for the unused 14+ months of hosting.

    And I have to wonder if this is truly my fault (as it was implied by Host Monster). What about Host Monsters responsibilities? Do they offer any protection from being hacked? Is it truly my fault that my domain was somehow targeted? I do not have the resources at home to detect Phishing sites, or Trojans on Host Monsters servers.

    I had 9 active domains hosted and now I’ve lost over a weeks worth of email, and web presence

  • Joanne

    Thanks for sharing your experience! I remember how difficult it was for me to choose a webhost last year when I decided to self-host a wp blog. Asking for recommendations made the choices even more difficult, haha. At first, I was leaning towards BlueHost b/c WP recommended it and as a newb, I seriously didn’t know any better…

    In the end, I decided with SITEGROUND, a recommendation by a friend whose blog is roughly the same size/traffic as mine and who reported very little downtime. Pretty happy with it.

    There are def. better webhosts, I’m sure, but I think it’s important to consider one’s blog size/needs in a tradeoff with paying the $$ for self-hosting.

  • Justin

    I use yellowfiber there amazing awesome dedicated servers and great support

  • Jon Phillips

    Media Temple, hands down! 🙂
    Their GS plan proved to be very reliable (compared to other hosting companies I’ve tried before).

  • Jacob Cass

    I have just had downtime with UltraSurge.com and they terminated my account for using too much CPU power. You can see the post here:
    http://justcreativedesign.com/2008/01/21/banned-from-own-website/
    and then I did a bit of research on SolidInternet.com and they have caused a bit of trouble since then (I have also done a blog post on that today) found here:
    http://justcreativedesign.com/2008/02/12/just-creative-design-is-back-online/
    I have heard a lot of times that xhostsolutions.com is very good – I believe I will go there next if Solid Internet lets me down again.

  • Julian

    I currently have a few servers at LiquidWeb and they are great. They usually answer the phone within a couple rings 24/7.

  • Anthony Lawrence

    I think you guys jinxed me 🙂

    I haven’t had any problems for years and years: Hostpro -> Interland ->Web.com (buyouts) and server uptime just kept chugging along.

    This morning I’ve been down over two hours and they can’t even tell me why yet..

  • Eric Atkins

    I promoted (mt) in an earlier comment. I saw that HostGator is getting some mention in the comments.

    I have one account with HostGator. Their price/performance is very good in general.

    However, I have one big problem with HostGator and I don’t recommend them to any blogger or website owner that expects major traffic bursts.

    I had several sites with HostGator that made the frontpage of Digg and other high traffic websites. Some sites would not handle the load. (Ok, that may have been partially my fault due to the PHP files that I was running — although those same files haven’t gone down with Media Temple).

    The problem I have with HostGator is that they would not work with me on upgrading my plan.

    My sites were offline for a few days because I was out of bandwidth. HostGator would not sell me more bandwidth for my existing account. They wanted to upgrade me to an expensive $70+ per month semi-dedicated hosting plan.

    I was very unhappy that they would not allot the extra bandwidth. They knew this was burst traffic that would have gone away in a few days.

    Still, I kept my account with them because the price was so cheap and I like the extra bandwidth. But I quickly moves the sites to Media Temple where they’ve lived happily ever after.

    I don’t recommend HostGator to anyone that expects to get on DIGG or other major social networking sites.

  • Sandra

    I’ve been with Hostgator for several years and they are the best. Great customer service, very responsive by email and telephone 24/7. I’ve used several other hosts and HG is my favorite.

  • Tee

    I find your sites to be credible and extremely informative, and that is the only reason you have me thinking twice about godaddy, because I love their services. Please explain why their hosting didn’t work for you and how long ago did you try them for hosting. I have only had small one page sites until now (currently designing a more elaborate project), so i’m wondering specifically what I should be concerned about. What is the pricing of the plans only? If this was any other site (accept maybe Seth Godin’s) I wouldn’t even heed the warning, but as I said, your sites are really top notch and on the ball as far as info, so…

  • Bonnie

    What a great post. I am always looking for new hosts because you never know when you might want to change.

    I also found Bluehost disappointing. I haven’t had much downtime but I have more little things go wrong with my wordpress blogs on that host than anywhere else I’ve used. I don’t think it’s me as I do most of the same things on all my blogs.

    I really like Lunarpages the best. I have really good uptime with them and they are very responsive if I have a problem. Also, I don’t seem to run into any of the wordpress glitches that I do with the bluehost accounts!

  • Money Never Sleeps

    Hi…nice post…I am cheap so I still use BLOGGER…but at least I still have a custom domain name!

  • Curtis

    I just purchased a package with ASO. I have known several bloggers that recommend them.

  • Abhinav Sonkar

    I have hosted my website with FutureQuest and have been very happy with their services. They are by no means an overseller, in fact they are a bit on expensive side, but are very reliable.

  • Katy

    I have I’m Blogging That with ASO right now. Just moved it over there a couple of weeks ago and have noticed a HUGE difference. Recently, I’ve had big traffic surges (not digg worthy but big enough for me) and they’ve handled it well.

    I don’t like that they do not have a support phone number. However, they are very quick to answer e-mails and the support forum is helpful as well.

    All together, right now, I’d recommend them (and have). Over the long term though time will tell. My site has got to stay up and my e-mail has to be problem free.

  • No0b

    I used Network Solutions successfully for 3-years, but I do think they are overpriced. I never had any downtime nor did they seem to have sluggish server issues. It has been a while since I used them, but I was not impressed with their tech support, but that could be simply because I didn’t really understand all the “techie” stuff.

    Thanks to competition, there are lots of hosting services throwing in “extras”. I am looking for the biggest bang for my buck. I love the extries!

    Does anyone have experience with WebsitePalace or Site Build It? My biggest needs are ability to handle high-traffic, run scripts and user-friendliness for “non-techie” types such as myself.

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