Since I started this site and the video on YouTube, the single biggest question I get asked is ‘who do you recommend’. As time passes, I find my mailbox stuffed 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 for me to write back, you get my reasoning behind not recommending a host.
The 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 is 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. Since I am searching for a home, I see many 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 confident I could make more money than sites like webhostingstuff.com while not selling my soul in the process.
I have minimal long term experience with cheap hosting.
Most people want me to tell them who to host while wanting a plan that is less than $10 a month. The trouble is my own sites are on $150 or more a month. Except for this site, none of my sites have been on a cheap plan. Unless you count my GeoCities website from back in the ’90s, I made the most unusual transition 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 a 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 the support is while I am uploading and fine-tuning. Not to mention how quickly the site loads when all is done. Generally, I only spend a week or two at best. However, when 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 who wants me to rework their existing site while running off a cheap solution. But when they contact me, it’s generally about migrating the site(s) to a new hosting company.
While I have an idea of how things may be initially, 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 fair amount of traffic less than 3 months after I had started a blog, this site had 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 who drive me nuts want cheap solution to their current cheap solution. The one they claim lost them thousands in income. 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 more prominent 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 many 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 seemed 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 appeared on a site called webhostingstuff.com. I could go on and on about how they and other review sites are biased based on who pays for a top position but I think there are 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:
Please note I will not allow hosting recommendations here, and review sites will be beaten with wet noodles should they try to post their opinion.