Since I started this site and the video on YouTube that fed traffic to this site the single biggest question I get asked is ‘who do you recommend’. As time passes, I find my mail box stuffed with with emails asking that very question, and I usually don’t have the time to answer everyone. This is my attempt at a prefabricated response. This of course will not stop people from writing to ask me. But it does tell me who is paying attention. My intention with this post is to let people know where I stand, so instead of waiting me to write back you get my reasoning behind not recommending a host.
Problem is I am not very comfortable recommending anyone.
I still wrestle with the very ethics of recommending a host. Yes you may see ads on here for hosts. But that is just advertising and the ads really do not bring in the money I could make being a direct affiliate of many of the companies that I did a review on. Not to mention you’re just as likely to see advertising for something else you were searching for especially if you are logged into a Google account. Like for myself since I am searching for a home I am seeing a lot of ads for real estate appear on hosting-reviews-exposed.com.
Perhaps in time I may change my mind, or worse yet (for those in the hosting review industry) I will start my own hosting review site. I am certain I could make more money than sites like webhostingstuff.com while not selling my soul in the process.
I have a very limited long term experience with cheap hosting.
Most people that want me to tell them who to host with want a plan that is less than $10 a month. Trouble is my own sites are on $150 or more a month. With the exception of this site, none of my sites have been on a cheap plan. Unless you count my geocities website from back in the 90’s, I made the most unusual transition of going from free hosting to my own dedicated server with Virtualis. $0 – $400 a month in less than 6 months.
Sure I do design work for people that end up choosing plans with companies like fatcow, ipage, hostgator.com, and variety of cheap hosting solutions(despite my objections). But for me I am only there in the beginning at the point where a site has no traffic. Sure I can see how fast I can ftp. Compatibility with anything I install. How well support is while I am uploading and fine tuning. Not to mention how fast the site loads when all is done. Generally I only spend a week or two at best. However when I am working with a cheap host I may have dealt with a host during a good month or a bad month. I have yet to encounter anyone that wants to rework their existing site that are running off a cheap solution. But when they do contact me its generally about migrating the site(s) to a new hosting company.
While I have an idea of how things may be in the beginning my opinion really does not express a long term experience of a cheap host. In short I am just one step above that person that signed up less than 24 hours to post a positive or negative review when I express my opinion on a host.
My only real experience has been with Godaddy.com, which really I did not pay attention to how well it functioned for the first 2.5 years I had that account (you will find there are a lot of hosting customers that really do not keeps tabs on how well their hosting works). By the time I got a good amount of traffic less than 3 months after I started a blog, this site needed something more which jumped from a $3.99 a month plan with Godaddy.com to a $40 a month plan with Mediatemple.net, and in January of this year this site went to a plan with Rackspace.com at $150 a month.
The people that drive me nuts about wanting a cheap plan are those that tell me that they lost thousands in income with their last host. Which begs the question why would you trust a site that makes thousands a month to a less than $10 a month account? Seriously if your site is your source of income it is no better than the hosting plan it’s on.
Should you avoid cheap hosting?
No, we all have to start somewhere. Yes I stated that I went from Geocities to Virtualis. From free to $400 a month. In a way that was a mistake. As I took my first design check and went for an expensive solution. When I could have settled for a plan that was 25% the cost. Frankly if you don’t have a bit of experience with web design or hosting you are better off with a small plan with a company like Hostgator.com or Godaddy.com. But the moment you start to understand what you are doing and your site is making a profit it is time to start thinking of a bigger solution. Generally my hosting is 10% of my income. After all my income depends on my online presence.
So you should avoid every host that I did a post on?
Okay, okay I realize a lot of the big and small time hosts that appear in the posts on this site come under a negative light. Ones that appeared on webhostingstuff.com appeared here because I wanted to find a reason for them not being a top 25 host.
Does that mean you should not choose them?
In short no, but I want you to be aware that these hosts have engaged in questionably unethical behavior. Most of which have appear on a site called webhostingstuff.com. I could go on and on about how they and other review sites are biased on the basis of who pays for a top position but I think there is more than a enough posts to explain why. The best explanation can be found at:
There are some hosts I have done some posts on that I do think should be avoided and I am pretty clear on those posts on that. Other hosts I think should be joined only with some caution.
For my tips on how to find a host can be found at:
Also please note I will not allow hosting recommendations here, and review site will be beaten with wet noodles should they try to post their opinion.