First of all, I feel the need to caution you – this article contains my blatantly honest review of the web hosting companies I’ve been dealing with. You may consider what I write as an advice and recommendation.
Identify your need
In choosing the right web hosting provider for you, you need to identify your need first. This is simple, but often overlooked by webpreneurs.
What are you going to do with the web hosting account? Will you host only a site? Will you host plenty of sites? Will you host plenty of sites and plan to flip them sometime in the future?
I generally favor reseller web hosting account over personal web hosting account, because I can sell web spaces to clients, as well as set each of my website on it, in such a way that when the time comes to sell them, I only need to pass the login details to the buyers, even charge the buyers for using the web space and bandwidth. I don’t want buyers to meddle with my other sites’ hosting account; this won’t be accessible if you choose shared hosting.
Web hosting reviews
I have partnered with several web hosting providers, and here are my verdicts:
I once sign up with GoDaddy web hosting for my Joomla! and WordPress based site, only to find that I’ve made a wrong setting on the web hosting. It’s, of course my newbie mistake, but it also means that GoDaddy hosting is not newbie-friendly.
If you are going to build sites based on CMS (content management system – e.g. Joomla!, Drupal, WordPress, etc.,) GoDaddy web hosting might not be the right choice. GoDaddy is one of the best domain registrars, but probably not in term of web hosting.
One comment regarding iPower’s service: It sucks! It’s probably the worst of all I’ve been partnered with. Customer support is weak, web server is slow and it did suspend my account for no reason – I may have violated something on the TOS, but I didn’t get any notices or clarifications whatsoever. I can’t find anything nice to say, really.
If there’s something positive about iPower, it’s now powered with wind energy (through purchased green energy certificates,) making it a 100% green hosting. It’s might also be a better quality web hosting today, but it’s difficult to re-build trust when there are plenty of options available on the Net.
3. Green Geeks
I particularly enjoy being a client of Green Geeks due to the fact that it is, so far, the greenest hosting of all – 300% green hosting. Green Geeks also purchase green energy certificates; 300% means that Green Geeks replaces 3 times the energy consumptions with carbon offset credits.
I host several sites with them and my experience with Green Geeks is fairly okay. Some turn-offs include: Manual website backup (you need to understand how to backup database and files manually,) costly reseller account (e.g. $24.95/month for 20 allocated slots, vs. HostGator’s $24.95/month for unlimited slots) and occasional database crash (causing a white screen for sites on WordPress, can be fix easily, though annoying.)
Another bad experience is that one of sites was once suspended because it’s using too much CPU resources, e.g. due to lots of traffic in a short time. While I agree that excessive use is unacceptable, even for a web hosting provider offering unlimited spaces and bandwidth, suspension without notice is not ideal – it kept a newbie like me wondering what’s gone wrong.
Green Geeks top qualities include fast web servers (resulting in fast web page loading,) always-helpful 24/7 online support, and the fact that not only you neutralize your sites’ carbon footprints, but also hosting with them can help the world to become greener.
My top choice and highly recommended web hosting for many reasons, such as you can host unlimited sites on a web hosting account with unlimited space and bandwidth. Even HostGator web hosting server capacities are huge for reseller plans’ limited space and bandwidth (I have hundreds of sites on my basic reseller plan – including My Web Estate – that has limited spaces and bandwidth – superb!) One major upside: the customer service; customer support is truly the industry leader: responsive, helpful and always available 24/7.
One bad experience with HostGator is when one of its web servers is crashed and turned out not to be able to be completely restored. I lost some site updates and a brand new site setup due to the crash. Obviously, it’s not their fault – it’s inevitable; it’s our responsibility to back up our sites on regular basis.
In addition, if green living fascinates you, HostGator is also green powered – with wind energy certificates – that makes it 130% green.
Which to choose?
It’s all up to you, but from my own experience, it seems that I’ll be with HostGator for quite a long time.
The best way for you is to probe using their online support system. You need to evaluate their responsiveness and helpfulness, and don’t forget to ask regarding the hosting quality itself.
Choosing a web hosting provider