Hi guys and welcome to part four of my five-part article series about web hosting. To recap, in part one I highlighted five reasons why hosting your site with a free host may not be a good idea.
Part two continued the discussion further with another five reasons why using a free host is simply not worth it.
Then I moved on to shed some light on what type of hosting and hosting resources you need in the most recent issue, part three.
So let’s continue with this important, foundational blogging topic:
OK, So Which Hosting Company Should I Sign Up With?
That all depends on your level of experience and on the resources required to meet the level of success you are having right now. Let’s take a look at which hosting companies are best suited to each stage of your blogging career:
Recommended Hosting Companies for Beginning Bloggers
If you’re in the habit of watching the Super Bowl every year, then I’m sure you’ve heard of this massive paid hosting company. They have made a habit out of spending millions of advertising dollars on clever, entertaining Super Bowl commercials. And despite this huge outlay, their services are very affordable in that they are not any more expensive than your standard budget hosting company.
So why would a new blogger would want to use GoDaddy as opposed to the other cheap hosts out there?
First of all, their Managed WordPress hosting platform is designed from the ground up JUST for WordPress. They’ve built it so it’s much faster and safer than building a WordPress site on a standard shared web hosting plan. Since a standard web host doesn’t know what software programs you’ll be running, they aren’t able to accomplish the same objective.
Secondly, they’ve automated the setup completely so you can log right into WordPress and start building your site right away. Their Quick Setup Wizard walks you through how to build a basic site and the whole setup can be done in literally 30 seconds.
In addition, GoDaddy offers 24/7 free phone support and again, their prices are very affordable with plans starting at $4.49 per month to host multiple sites-oh, and you get a free domain too.
In fact, as of the date of this article, they have an incredible economy hosting special for new accounts. Get this-they’re giving you 12 months worth of hosting for only $1 per month! Even when the plan defaults back to the regular price afterwards, it will still be just as cheap as most other budget hosting companies, anyway. Oh, and it also includes their website builder
It would be tough for a beginning, intermediate, or even a business blogger to pass up such a deal, even if you can get faster page-load speeds elsewhere (see WP Engine and HostAwesome in the fifth article). Other hosting providers that offer a Managed WordPress product (i.e., auto setup, security and an optimized platform) charge at least three times as much for their product.
I nearly forgot to mention one of my favorite aspects of GoDaddy-and that is their domain auctions. If you’re a Blogger looking to get an aged domain to help you rank faster and higher in the search engines, this is a great place to find one. If your business involves building several “money sites” with older, authoritative domain names, then you’re as well off to buy them from AND host them with GoDaddy, keeping everything “under one roof”, so to speak.
GoDaddy is a well-known, respected brand. When you also consider that their services are very reliable in terms of down time, as compared to several other budget hosting companies, it’s no wonder GoDaddy is the host of choice for millions of site owners.
Lunar Pages’ focus is on their “Unlimited” offers for their customer base, and they are indeed very attractive. They strive to provide what they can to make sure everyone, from mom-and-pop to the big fish, has what they need to be successful.
Lunar Pages offer a large range of services, from basic shared hosting to dedicated servers, Exchange mail, and also a WordPress 1-click install plan. In addition, they understand that many bloggers these days are also affiliate marketers, so they make every effort to include content-specific information to cater to their Blogger clients and affiliates in their monthly newsletters. They’re also always running new special promotions and giving out discounts, their latest being the Lunarpages’ Summer Special.
Lunar Pages not only offers a great price for hosting, but also they offer quality web hosting. This is the reason their customers stay with them for years. No one wants a great deal, only to suffer poor service after signing up. They provide reliable, top quality web hosting at a bargain price.
Founded in January 2009 and headquartered in Bangladesh, HostPair’s main strength is the incredibly low pricing of all their hosting plans. In particular, their Starter plan is priced at only $1.80 per month, which affords Bloggers in less affluent regions of the world the opportunity to start and maintain a quality website. Keep in mind that this is not an introductory price special-it’s always this cheap!
This plan also offers 1GB of disk space, 20GB of monthly bandwidth, 5 domains and 10 email accounts. This is more than enough resources for a newbie Blogger, or even a business blog.
Unlike a lot of ultra-cheap hosting companies-and certainly unlike most free hosting companies-HostPair do not overload their servers, so you will still get fast loading speed. The fact that their performance is this good despite offering such low-priced hosting plans is a testament to this company.
In addition, they provide quick, reliable support and they too have a premium auto installer, so their clients can install WordPress with a few clicks, just like with the other big name brand hosts.
But What About Those Other Big-Name Hosts Out There?
The popular hosts that I didn’t mention yet, like HostGator, BlueHost, FatCow, HostMonster, BigRock and JustHost, are all under, what I call, “The Endurance International Group (EIG) Umbrella”, along with several other small to medium-sized hosting companies that EIG have acquired along their way. You’ll be amazed at how many hosting companies that EIG now own (see the list by clicking the link above in this paragraph).
Here’s why I’m not advocating these companies, like so many internet marketers do all over the web: these companies are no longer the reliable hosts that they used to be.
Now that they are all on the same EIG server network, they seem to be enduring more downtime than ever before-and it’s only going to get worse, in my humble opinion.
There are a lot of dissatisfied site owners constantly voicing their negative opinions about the EIG-owned hosting companies mentioned above. Basically, it all boils down to the same thing: the host used to provide fantastic support and downtime was virtually non-existent-but now they are dragging their feet and their servers are going down more often than is acceptable.
Indeed, there have been some serious outages in 2013 and this year too that have lasted for hours or even a day or so. This is simply unacceptable and it cost a lot of site owners some serious profits. Some people blame EIG, citing that EIG destroy the hosting companies that they acquire; others just blame the hosting company itself for becoming complacent.
Nevertheless, there is one host from the EIG list above that still deserves a mention and have some attractive hosting packages. Just bear in mind the recent server outage events discussed above.
No doubt that you have seen banner ads for HostGator all over the web. This popular budget hosting company, which was only recently acquired by EIG, stands out for their unlimited disk space, bandwidth and email accounts, with prices starting at as low as $3.96/month.
They offer monthly billing options, whereas most other shared hosts require that you pay for one year minimum up front to get their cheapest monthly hosting plan equivalent.
In fact, JustHost (also owned by EIG) requires that you commit to them for FOUR years up front to get their cheapest $3.50 per month hosting plan!
The one really good thing about HostGator is that they have excellent 24/7/365 customer support via email, phone, and Live Chat. They too have a one-click WordPress Installer to get started instantly with building your website.
Experienced bloggers are going to go where it’s the easy for them to operate. HostGator will transfer an existing site over to them for free, so that will help with transition. Not only that, the ease of usage within their Control Panels means that you can do everything from one place.
Last of all, having direct access to your files to make code changes can be used to your advantage for SEO purposes and when your site starts to grow, you can upgrade quickly and easily without any disruption to your site.
However, please bear in mind that there have been a good few isolated incidents of server downtime over the past couple of years, so tread carefully here. At least HostGator will send out an apology when this happens.
Nevertheless, these recent occurrences are simply not acceptable for serious Bloggers. I would only recommend joining them now if they’re offering a really cheap discount AND after you confirm a long period of several months without any serious outages. Click this link to check their server status.
I was with HostGator for quite a long time earlier in my blogging career and they were very good to me, that’s all.
Conclusion to Part 4.
In this post, we took a good look at a select few web hosting providers that are best suited to newbie Bloggers. We examined the strengths of these web hosts and how their competitive advantages relate to your online business situation and budget.
I also showed you the results of a little investigative work that I did on EIG to highlight concerns about signing up with any of the hosting companies now owned by them.
Over to You
So what do you think of this unconventional guide?
Were you aware of all the problems recently experienced by EIG that adversely affected the downtime of several hosting companies that they own?
Did this affect your online business negatively, causing you to switch hosts?
Are you with any of the recommended hosing companies above? If so, how’s it going with them?
Let me know in the comments section below and have a nice, successful day! 🙂
Now, let’s get over to the final article in this series….
Web Hosting Solution
Image courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net