Moving to WordPress: Choosing the Best Web Host

Last week I ran a web host survey to gather feedback on various web hosts. My goal was to compile information so that people moving to a self-hosted blog would be able to choose the best web host possible. I’m really happy to present the results of this survey, but first there are a few things you should keep in mind:

  • Each rating you see is an AVERAGE of results submitted from other people. I asked people to rate the ease of WordPress installation, and then for each host I compiled the results, averaged them out, and displayed them here. Same for other categories like site speed, customer support, etc. As such, these are not necessarily my opinions, so please don’t treat them as such! The only place I give my input is in the “Nose Graze Rating” section, which does contribute to the overall rating.
  • The comments under each section are not my own. In each section (under “Click to Open”) I have summarized and compiled the responses from the survey participants. They are not necessarily my own thoughts or experiences (except under the “Nose Graze Rating” section).
  • Keep in mind that not everyone has the same experience with each web host. One person may have a horror story with GoDaddy, and another may have a glowing report. There are many factors that come into play, and for shared hosting one of the biggest factors is simply luck of the draw. If you happen to get placed on a very overcrowded server, you might have a horrible experience (with a slow site, frequent outages, and more reasons to contact customer support). But if you get placed on a fairly empty server, you might not ever have any problems, your site might be super fast, and you might never have to contact customer support. Just remember that everyone has a different experience.

Now, disclaimers out of the way, I would encourage everyone to share their own thoughts on this topic if you didn’t get a chance to participate in the survey (or even if you did)! I would like to continue updating this list of results in the future, so if you haven’t participated yet, please feel free to submit a survey. I hope you enjoy the results! πŸ™‚

Help improve these statistics by filling out the web host survey.

List of Hosts

8.1 Bluehost (11)
8.9

WordPress Installation

Click to open

Has 1-click installation.

It’s very easy to install WordPress, and some people report having completed the process in 5 minutes.

One of the people who reported having a bit of difficulty turned to customer support and they were able to help them with the process.

7.8

Admin Panel

Click to open

Bluehost uses cPanel, which is widely recognized and familiar.

Some people have had difficulty, but usually because they were brand new to hosting and weren’t already familiar with cPanel. It can be confusing and overwhelming at first, but people reported that they got used to it over time.

Others who are really overwhelmed by it tend to ignore it. Many people reported that they don’t even use it after they get WordPress set up, because they can do everything they need from straight within the WordPress dashboard.

It was noted that the admin panel has ads.

7.3

Site Speed & Reliability

Click to open

Several people have reported outages, but when they occur they usually get dealt with swiftly.

Another user reported having several outages because of other people on their shared server using more than their fair share of resources. This can happen when a site gets a sudden huge traffic spike. But the person reported that whenever it does happen, BlueHost usually steps in to take care of it within 1-2 hours.

One user in particular seems frustrated with the amount of outages. She has only been with BlueHost for 2 months, but there have been 2-3 brief outages and one full-day outage. BlueHost always resolves it in the end, but the sheer amount in a short time period seems frustrating.

9.7

Customer Support

Click to open

I emailed customer support when I was messing with CSS and posted something in the wrong place, thus crashing my site. I ended up figuring out through Google/forums how to fix it, but they answered within a few hours and were really nice!
I received a phone call about two days after registering, to see if everything was going okay. The rep was polite and excited for my move to BlueHost.
I’ve used both the online chat and the phone. The person I chatted with online was very helpful and knowledgable. In the case of the phone call, Bluehost actually called me to thank me for choosing their service and wanted to know if I had any questions. I was very impressed with this.
I had accidentally edited something in the script which made my site come up as an error. i contacted Bluehost and they were able to pinpoint what it was and fix it for me fairly quickly – and explaining what it was that set it off.
I usually call them up πŸ™‚ The phone conversations are all very good. The staff are helpful and professional, they actually don’t mind walking me through things that I have no idea of and they don’t rush me.
Lightning quick response via online chat. Resolved my issue right away. Very happy with BlueHost.
7

Nose Graze Rating

Click to open

One of the biggest complaints I have heard about Bluehost is downtime. I have read a lot of stories on Google about sites being slow or down all the time, and then I stumbled across this conversation on Twitter one day. Two book bloggers were complaining that their Bluehost sites were “constantly down” and that Bluehost never notifies them.

I think Bluehost is one of those cases where they overcrowd some of their servers. So it can be really hit or miss. If you get placed on a good server that doesn’t have too many people on it, you might have a good experience. But if you get placed on a crowded one, you’re more likely to experience frequent downtimes.

But I also keep hearing wonderful things about their cusomer support. Just check out the customer support section and see what I mean!

Summary

Everyone comments on Bluehost’s fabulous customer support. Bluehost does seem more prone to outages, but they always get resolved and people don’t have to contact customer support to get it taken care of.

However, some of their servers may be a bit too crowded.

8.1 Overall
6.8 DreamHost (4)
9.2

WordPress Installation

Click to open

Has 1-click installation.

6.5

Admin Panel

Click to open

DreamHost uses their own custom-built admin panel. So if you’re familiar with cPanel, you will have to get used to a new account control system.

8.2

Site Speed & Reliability

Click to open

A few outages have been reported. In one instance (about a month ago), one of DreamHost’s server banks was hit by an electrical outage and failed. Sites were down for about 3 hours, but no data was permanently lost.

6

Customer Support

Click to open

I sent them an email through a form they have on their website. They responded that same day, in just an hour or two, and provided very helpful information.
only contacted once and used email – they were hopeless thankfully it wasn’t anything major and I worked out an alternative. I think it may have been a fairly tricky question however as it involved AU domain name delegations and traffic routing.
4

Nose Graze Rating

Click to open

I have done a lot of research on DreamHost and have heard a lot of horror stories. One huge thing is that in the past DreamHost actually cancelled its customers accounts if they installed the “All in One SEO Pack” plugin on WordPress. A customer named Shandon Lewis experienced this and there are several other posts about it on WordPress.org.

DreamHost had no legitimate reason for banning their users from using this plugin. It’s honestly just absurd. However, apparently they no longer prohibit this and won’t cancel your account for it, but it still scares the crap out of me. They had no reason to ban this plugin, and yet they did. Their claims that it “Hogs resources” are absolutely absurd, since it’s a very light-weight plugin.

One person also posted reporting that DreamHost customer support actually made changes to his WordPress blog without permission. The person in question contacted CS asking why his site was so slow. The DreamHost customer support proceeded to log in to the person’s WordPress blog and disable plugins. The more professional thing to do would have been to e-mail them with a list of suggestions on which plugins should be deactivated to decrease loading times.

Because I’ve heard some DreamHost horror stories and I don’t like some of their policies from the past, I feel I have to give them a lower rating. I think they’re one of those companies that used to be great when they were smaller, but things have gone downhill a bit since they’ve become a larger company. I think there are better options out there.

Summary

The four people who submitted survey responses about DreamHost seem happy enough with it. But I have read a lot of DreamHost horror stories so I would encourage potential customers to be cautious and consider choosing another host instead.

6.8 Overall
9.4 GigaTux (1)
10

WordPress Installation

Click to open

No 1-click installation.

You have to install WordPress manually or using a “somewhat automated” system like Softaculous.

10

Admin Panel

Click to open

They use cPanel for their control area.

9

Site Speed & Reliability

Click to open

A few outages have been reported, but they are minimal, and GigaTux will send out e-mails in advance or afterwards to explain why.

10

Customer Support

Click to open

They have a client area where you can send support tickets regarding any issues or queries you have. They respond very quickly and are very helpful.
8

Nose Graze Rating

Click to open

Although I didn’t know much about GigaTux before now, they seem like a very solid company. They have a great looking homepage and I like the sound of their reliable communication.

However, their hosting packages aren’t very “beginner-friendly”. Someone brand new to self hosting might get confused about which hosting to select or which package they actually need.

Summary

Part of GigaTux used to be “Rewindhost,” which had a lot of issues with slow loading and outages. But Rewindhost eventually got acquired by GigaTux and all those problems disappeared! GigaTux has really turned things around and now everything runs very smoothly.

9.4 Overall
7.5 GoDaddy (4)
8.3

WordPress Installation

Click to open

Has 1-click installation, but some people have had difficulty finding it.

5.6

Admin Panel

Click to open

If you’re used to using cPanel, then GoDaddy’s custom admin area might be difficult to use.

However, if you go in with zero expectations (if you’re not used to cPanel), then it is pretty easy to navigate. However, it might not be very clean or have the best interface.

7.5

Site Speed & Reliability

Click to open

GoDaddy did have one huge outage over the summer of 2012, in which most sites were down for several hours. This was because they were targeted by Anonymous. However, servers were all brought back online a few hours later and no data was lost.

Another person reported a different outage, where her site was down for an hour. She sent in a ticket and tweeted at GoDaddy and they took care of it within the hour.

Another user feels that his site is much slower than he’d like. However, other people have used his site and they have reported that the speed is fine.

Otherwise, sites are mostly speedy and there are no outages.

9.3

Customer Support

Click to open

Phone support seems very good and reliable. You usually call, give them your name and number, and then they call back within 10-20 minutes.

I sent in a support ticket and tweeted them. The person was very helpful and responded rather quickly as well. I’ve also used them for work and calling their customer support was a good experience too.
[When I made an error and my site went down,] I called them and they had me back up and running in a flash. They walked me through what I’d done wrong and I was very impressed.
7

Nose Graze Rating

Click to open

GoDaddy is one of those sites that is very hit or miss. If you get placed on a decent server, you will probably have a great experience with a pretty fast site. But, you could also get placed on an overcrowded server, which means it’s more likely that someone else on the server will use too many resources and slow your site down.

I was lucky enough to be on a great server. My site was always pretty fast, never went offline (except for that one Anonymous incident) and this was with several years of use. Overall, I was extremely happy with GoDaddy.

GoDaddy does have a few quirks, but you probably won’t notice them unless you’re doing more “advanced” web work. One example is that GoDaddy doesn’t work very well with PayPal IPN. This is a problem if you want an e-commerce site. PayPal IPN is used when someone makes a purchase on your website, then PayPal “talks” to your site to say “The payment went through” so that the purchase can be marked as “completed” or “paid for” on your site automatically. The “normal” methods just don’t work with GoDaddy. If you’re writing your own e-commerce system you can make it work, but if you’re using a pre-coded package or plugin, odds are it won’t work with GoDaddy.

However, your average blogger won’t have any kind of e-commerce system so most people won’t have to worry about things like that. I think that GoDaddy is a pretty good option if you’re just looking for a simple blog host. They’re reliable and have decent prices, starting at $5.99 per month. They have sales quite often so you can get good deals if you buy at a good time. However, their economy plan does only allow for one website on your host, so if you want more than one you will have to upgrade to “Deluxe” at $8.99 per month.

Summary

GoDaddy is a very hit or miss site. You can have an incredible experience with them, or you could possibly have some troubles. If you just host simple blogs (like book blogs) then you will probably be just fine. But if you do any kind of advanced development, you might start hitting a few brick walls.

GoDaddy also uses their own account control system, so if you’re familiar with cPanel, you might be a bit uncomfortable with the change at first!

7.5 Overall
7.8 HostGator (1)
9

WordPress Installation

Click to open

Has 1-click installation.

9

Admin Panel

Click to open

There are a lot of options in the admin panel, but it’s very well organized and easy to navigate.

8

Site Speed & Reliability

Click to open

One person experienced a small period of complete downtime on her blog, but the issue was resolved very quickly (within 15 minutes).

10

Customer Support

Click to open

Customer support is very helpful and responsive with live chat.

3

Nose Graze Rating

Click to open

HostGator is one host that I have read a lot of horror stories about. Here is just one example: Hostgator Sucks: Mindless Account Suspension after being a Loyal Customer for a Year.

The summary in that article is that HostGator is just fine as long as everything is working okay. And if you have small issues with file permissions or tiny edits, their customer support is just peachy. But as soon as you run into a HUGE problem, their customer support is sketchy, they refuse to work with you, and they can scare the living daylights out of you. They can literally prevent you from accessing your site or retriving your file backups. There are loads of stories online about hosting accounts being suspended for no reason, or customer support being a nightmare.

Additionally, I have encountered one HostGator blog personally which was EXTREMELY slow. Now, to be fair, there could have been many factors here like bad plugins or too much traffic. But it could also be because HostGator’s servers are crappy and overcrowded (which is not uncommon with popular webhosts).

My recommendation: stay away. Yes you could have a great experience with HostGator, but why risk it when there are plenty of other more reliable hosts?

Summary

Users have reported good experiences with HostGator, but there are also a lot of horror stories online. It seems like as long as everything runs the way it should, HostGator is great and their employees are helpful. But if you have any big issues, things go downhill very fast.

7.8 Overall
6.6 iPage (1)
10

WordPress Installation

Click to open

Has 1-click installation.

8

Admin Panel

Click to open

Nose Graze Note: I can’t even tell you what admin panel they use because it’s not listed on their site.

3

Site Speed & Reliability

Click to open

No reported outages, but site speed can be very slow. This is likely due to too many people on each server.

9

Customer Support

Click to open

Live online chat regarding website speed. Very quick to respond, even if they don’t know why I am slow quite often.
3

Nose Graze Rating

Click to open

iPage seems to have some great deals, but they kind of trick you by hiding their real prices, which are about $8.99 per month (locked into a 12-month deal). That’s kind of expensive compared to other options out there. Overall, I find their website to be difficult to navigate and hard to find exactly what they offer on their plans. It looks like they’re trying to minimize their use of technical jargon to make it easier for newbies, but it also means they’re not very specific about what exactly you’re getting.

Combine that with very slow site speeds, and I’m not sold. There’s no reason to choose this host when they’re known for having slow sites. There are better options out there!

Summary

Higher costs than other providers, very slow site speeds, hidden costs.. but very responsive customer support.

6.6 Overall
9.2 KnownHost (1)
9

WordPress Installation

Click to open

No 1-click installation.

9

Admin Panel

Click to open

KnownHost uses cPanel, which is easily recognized and simple to use.

9

Site Speed & Reliability

Click to open

No reported outages.

10

Customer Support

Click to open

[KnownHost’s customer support] is nothing short of phenomenal. [..] They respond to emails *within minutes* regardless of time of day. They are also very detailed and responsive. They solve problems super fast. You can tell each and every one of their reps are expert developers unlike other hosting companies like GoDaddy who’s reps don’t even understand how WP works. The only thing I have to say is I think having them has been a learning curve. They don’t dumb down terminology and someone unfamiliar with running a self-hosted blog, and who has never used an FTP program, can easily get lost. But for someone who has been looking to switch hosts because they are looking for speed and a larger sever, KnownHost is the place to be.
9

Nose Graze Rating

Click to open

KnownHost isn’t the cheapest option, even for VPS/Dedicated. Even some of their add-ons are quite expensive. However, part of that is because they offer Managed servers. Managed is more expensive than un-managed, which is what I have more experience with.

But that being said, I’m impressed with what was said about their customer service. They seem like a solid, reliable company.

Summary

First, understand that KnownHost is a Managed VPS and Managed Dedicated Server host. They do not have Shared Hosting packages, which are the cheaper and more common options for bloggers. Their cheapest package is $25 per month. As such, this isn’t recommended for your average, newbie blogger. It’s for people who take blogging really seriously and want to take the next step up from cheaper shared hosting.

But that being said, KnownHost is a great option with wonderful Customer Support.

9.2 Overall
6.2 Laughing Squid (1)
9

WordPress Installation

Click to open

No 1-click installation.

You do have to install WordPress manually, but the one person who reported using Laughing Squid said it was a fairly easy process, despite not having been familiar with FTP or hosting in general.

7

Admin Panel

Click to open

They use a customized panel created by Rackspace. It’s fairly easy to navigate.

5

Site Speed & Reliability

Click to open

If you have a small site with not much traffic, Laughing Squid will probably suit your needs. But if you have a big site or want room for expansion, it might not be a good choice because it can be slow.

Laughing Squid is cool as long as you aren’t getting a bunch of traffic. When I first started blogging it was fine and my site ran smoothly. But when it started to grow and when Cuddlebuggery was created… it was pretty slow.
6

Customer Support

Click to open

They were ok, but the only support they offered was by way of email. I also found that they weren’t very swift to address my concerns. Sometimes I had to wait for the next day to get an answer. They also don’t have much support outside of business hours, including the weekends.
4

Nose Graze Rating

Click to open

Look elsewhere for hosting. Even if Laughing Squid is perfectly fine for smaller blogs, you should never settle like this. There are other, similarly priced hosts that have much more reliable speed and up-time. There is no reason to limit yourself! And, of course the lack of 1-click WordPress installation is a major drawback for anyone who is brand new to self-hosting.

Summary

I [think] Laughing Squid is good for those who have smaller sites. If you are getting around 1,000 page views a day and host a lot of images, look elsewhere.
6.2 Overall
9.2 RFE Hosting (1)
8

WordPress Installation

Click to open

Has 1-click installation.

8

Admin Panel

Click to open

RFE uses the familiar cPanel admin system.

10

Site Speed & Reliability

Click to open

No reported outages.

10

Customer Support

Click to open

I’ve used both email and online live chat. Email support was within hours and the live chat took mere moments to reach someone. Both were due to instances where I had made a mistake (like locking myself out of cPanel lol)
10

Nose Graze Rating

Click to open

I love the fact that RFE Hosting has an entire blog section dedicated to WordPress guides. They have guides on how to install WordPress, how to back up your WordPress blog to Dropbox, and more. They don’t blog that often (you’ll notice many of the articles are 1-2 years old), but I love the content that they do have. It makes them seem like they care about their users.

Their price plans also look very reasonable, and I think it’s great that your RFE site will be powered by CloudFlare! (I use CloudFlare myself and it’s awesome.)

I also really like how they put up a list of some of their clients with screenshots. They also offer a Blogger to WordPress migration service.

Update – 15 Aug 2013: Since writing this post, I have used RFE Hosting for multiple clients and they have been phenomenal. They have great service, excellent support, fast websites, no downtime that I’ve seen, and it’s insanely easy to install WordPress. I highly recommend them!

Summary

RFE gets great ratings overall. They seem like a very ssolid hosting option with fast speeds, reasonable prices, and a very personal touch. They seem to care a lot about their clients.

9.2 Overall
9.2 Safe Shark Hosting (1)
10

WordPress Installation

Click to open

Has 1-click installation.

8

Admin Panel

Click to open

They use cPanel for their control area.

9

Site Speed & Reliability

Click to open

No reported outages.

10

Customer Support

Click to open

Phenomenal. Very responsive, friendly, and eager to help however they can!
9

Nose Graze Rating

Click to open

With a lowest cost of $8 per month, Safe Shark Hosting might not be the cheapest option around, but it seems like a fairly solid host. cPanel is easy enough to use and their up-time seems reliable.

One great thing about Safe Shark Hosting is that they provide a free migration service. From their website:

If you’re currently running a blog or website, we’ll help you move your content to ensure nothing gets left behind – completely free of charge. In comparison, WordPress.com charges $129.

And assuming they keep to their word, they have a great 99.9% uptime guarantee:

Safe Shark Hosting has a 99.9% uptime guarantee – if your site is unreachable for more than 43 minutes per month due to issues on our end (and not due to user misconfiguration, etc.), we will work with you to make things right, be it refunds, bonus features/upgrades, or free months of hosting.

That is a very attractive offer!

Summary

No reported outages, reliable, excellent customer support, and great guarantees. The price isn’t the cheapest, but their service seems pretty solid.

9.2 Overall
8.4 Siteground (1)
10

WordPress Installation

Click to open

Has 1-click installation.

10

Admin Panel

Click to open

Very easy to navigate and find what you’re looking for.

7

Site Speed & Reliability

Click to open

Websites aren’t the fastest, but users have never experienced any outages.

9

Customer Support

Click to open

Online chat is very quick and reliable.

6

Nose Graze Rating

Click to open

Easy WordPress installation, a familiar cPanel admin area, no known outages, and no scary hidden Acceptable Use Policies. Overall, they seem like a pretty solid service. The somewhat slow site speed is a bit of a bummer though.

However, the one thing that makes me itch is the price. If you go to their site, it says $3.95 per month (with a $14.95 “set up fee” if you only buy 1 month). That set up fee is bullshit. But also, this is apparently the “sale” price. In nice small print, you will see “Regular $9.95/mo”. Web hosting for $9.95 per month? No thanks. I currently pay more than that, but that’s because I have a dedicated server. If you’re doing shared hosting, you don’t need to be paying more than $6 or $7 per month. And that set up fee is ridiculous.

The price is the only thing that bothers me though. And it makes me wonder if this $3.95/mo is truly a sale price, or if they’re just claiming it’s a sale price for marketing purposes, but in reality that’s the price 100% of the time. It just confuses me…

Summary

One great thing about Siteground that a user reported is that they have a permanent “friends special” deal, where someone who already has an account can give a friend a code which you can use to buy one year of hosting for super cheap!

But that being said, their site speeds aren’t always the fastest, and their normal web pricing is extremely confusing. They have “sale” prices and “regular” prices, but it’s very unclear about when that sale price expires (if it ever does). So how can you know for certain how much you’ll be paying?

8.4 Overall
8.8 Three-Words Hosting (1)
10

WordPress Installation

Click to open

Doesn’t quite have a 1-click installation, but you can easily and “somewhat automatically” install it using Softaculous, which is in your admin panel. However, because it’s listed under “Softaculous”, it might not be that obvious to a new user.

9

Admin Panel

Click to open

They use cPanel for their control area.

It’s very basic to navigate, but you would need to know a lot of web jargon, like SQL or POP3, etc, to find what you are looking for.
8

Site Speed & Reliability

Click to open

A couple outages have been reported due to “server maintenance”, but otherwise it is fast and relatively stable.

10

Customer Support

Click to open

Amazing customer support. There is a ticket logging system and I always get a reply within 24 hours. Fantastic support, the owner is always happy to fix anything for you, can’t rave about it enough.
7

Nose Graze Rating

Click to open

Three-Words Hosting does seem like a good, reliable option. I think my only hesitation is that it looks like a one-woman show (one person running the hosting site). That can be both good and bad. Smaller hosting companies tend to put a lot more effort into supporting their clients and being the best they can be. They’re not “sell outs”. But on the other hand, it also means they’re less established as a business so you never know when they might run into problems, close down, etc.

But I guess it’s not fair for me to judge Three-Words Hosting on “what could happen”, so I’d say it’s a fairly solid choice.

The other only downside is the WordPress installation, which is still easy, but might not be that obvious for a new user.

Summary

It’s easy to install WordPress, but you have to search for it a little bit (or know that it’s under “Softaculous”). There haven’t been too many outages, and when they occur they are brief. Otherwise, site speed is good, and customer service is fantastic.

8.8 Overall
8 WebHostingBuzz (1)
10

WordPress Installation

Click to open

Has 1-click installation.

7

Admin Panel

Click to open

It’s not the easiest or best admin panel ever, but it’s not overly difficult or complicated.

8

Site Speed & Reliability

Click to open

No reported outages.

7.5

Nose Graze Rating

Click to open

My first impression of WebHostingBuzz is that I like them. Their homepage is very crisp, clean, and professional. They have good price plans, starting from $4.95 per month, which is very reasonable. They also offer very generous disk space and bandwidth. Comebine that with 1-click WordPress installation and a 45 day money back guarantee, and you’ve got a good deal!

However, the user who submitted this survey had never gotten in touch with customer support, so we don’t know how good that is.

One major downside is that WebHostingBuzz doesn’t allow its WordPress users to install caching plugins, as stated in their Acceptable Use Policy. Caching is very common on WordPress because it can make your site significantly faster. So if that’s something you’re interested in, you might want to look elsewhere.

Summary

WebHostingBuzz has good hosting packages, is easy to use, and the service is reliable. However, customers are not allowed to install WordPress caching plugins. Doing so might result in your account being suspended/canceled.

8 Overall
Help improve these statistics by filling out the web host survey.
Photo of Ashley
I'm a 27 year old California girl living in England (I fell in love with a Brit!). I like to inject a little #girlpower into the WordPress development community by teaching women how to be coding badasses. more »

Don't miss my next post!

Sign up to get my blog posts sent directly to your inbox (plus exclusive store discounts!).

You might like these

Leave a Reply

(Enter your URL then click here to include a link to one of your blog posts.)

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

54 comments

  1. Thanks for sharing Ashley! I’ve been pondering whether if I should move to WordPress for some time. Especially after yesterday when a post I schelduled never posted, in fact it completely disappeared. *grumpy face*

    The whole idea of switching is quite scary, it can only go two ways and I never seem to find a cheap but reliable site. I can see some great options there so thanks and great post! <3

    Melanie recently posted: Paper Valentine By Brenna Yovanoff
    1. Yep that’s true! It’s definitely something to keep in mind. Most blogs won’t require too much of either, but it’s worth considering, especially if one host offers limited space but another offers unlimited for the same or a similar price.

      1. there are just so many options to consider…arrrrrgh! It’s a minefield out there!!! LOL. One other thing that I found quite interesting – and annoying….as an Australian, I’ve found that hosting on an American company is usually much much cheaper than going with an Aussie one. Sad, really, cos I would have liked to have gone local, and have customer support that coincides with Aussie hours. And uh…did you change your url?? I had to do a bit of a double take there, when I got the email…wondering if it was some sort of phishing thing. LOL!!

        Jaki recently posted: Misty Circus – Victoria Frances
    1. It kind of depends. Some web hosts offer a free (or paid) migration service if both hosts use the same control panel (like cPanel). So if you can find a host that will do that for you, it’s probably pretty seamless. But if the hosts use different control panels then you have to do it all manually. If you’re comfortable with web hosting and tech stuff, the process still isn’t that hard. But if you have no idea what you’re doing then it can be tricky and VERY overwhelming!

      1. Moving hosts was… an experience. It was way more complicated that installing WP. And a lot of the more commercial hosting companies seem to have custom panels.

        When I was thinking of moving our site the first time, I really wanted to go with WP Engine, but they are REALLY expensive. However, I hear they speed up sites the fastest and all of their techs specialize in WP (because that is all the host, WP sites). They also have built in cache, which sounds amazing. But I’m pretty happy where we are. πŸ˜€

        Steph Sinclair recently posted: Review: Fear by Michael Grant
        1. Yeah WP Engine’s prices are ABSURD. They limit your visits really harshly and don’t give you much storage space! I don’t know much about their service, but it is probably pretty good. But I kind of feel like it’s not really worth it for bloggers that have fairly simple sites.

          1. That was my biggest issue with them. Limitations on visits. It’s crazy! I heard about them from Dear Author (that’s who they use) and their site is lightening fast, but I can’t see myself paying $100 a month just to ensure we don’t go over in site visits. I also think every site is on it’s own server if I’m not mistaken (but don’t quote me on that).

            When I was researching hosting companies (the second go round) I hung out on a few developer forums to see what they were recommending and not recommending (and then did a lot of chatting with each’s tech support because I wasn’t going through another GoDaddy experience!). But I never saw anyone really talking about WP Engine and I could never really find many reviews in general for the company. That does mean they are bad (though, there aren’t many reviews of LS either, so take what you will from *that*), but I like to have a general idea of what I’m getting into before I jump into the mix. But still that price is insane.

            We happened to sign up with KnownHost during a promotion so we have $10 for life. Pretty sweet deal.

            Steph Sinclair recently posted: Review: Fear by Michael Grant
            1. Yeah I know what you mean. There are plenty of great, small hosting companies out there, but it’s hard to *know* that they’re good since they are small so there aren’t many reviews!

              $10 for life for KnownHost is a great deal! Lucky you. πŸ˜‰
              Just saw your edit. πŸ˜› But $10 off is still awesome!

  2. Awesome post idea!! This is amazingly helpful. I think I’m going to go with Bluehost when the time comes because it seems like they are the most popular and they are linked with WordPress, and a 5min installation sounds fun to me πŸ™‚

  3. Dude, this is freaking AWESOME! I really wish I had seen it BEFORE I bought my domain. But it’s okay because mine all worked out. Thanks for taking that survey and putting this together! Definitely bookmarked.

    (For some reason your CommentLuv doesn’t like my URL, whether or not I put the www, but I don’t seem to have this problem on any other site. What gives?)

    1. RE: CommentLuv: did this just start happening today or has this always been a problem? It might be because I just changed my web URL and I’m still working out a few kinks. πŸ™‚ I did just change one setting so maybe you could see if it works now?

    1. Thanks JoAnn! I would personally never use free web hosting. It’s almost always poor quality, doesn’t have reliable up-time, customer support is probably crap (if it even exists), many have adverts on them, AND the host could just shut down one day without informing you and take all your content with them!

      It’s just not a reliable option at all. I don’t think it’s worth the risk when you can get web hosting for as little as like $4 per month!

  4. This is such a great roundup of hosts! And it makes me feel a million times better about my own host (RFE), knowing that it has a Nose Graze rating of 10!! πŸ˜€

    Kelly recently posted: WoW: Relativity
  5. This was so helpful!! I went with Safe Shark Hosting, and it’s been great! I had a little trouble at first, but I emailed customer service and the web host emailed me back almost immediately and is handling my entire transfer! And I told them about this post because they asked where I heard about their service, and they seemed pretty excited they were one of the highest rated!

    tabithasbookblog recently posted: Top Ten Books On My Summer TBR
  6. Thank you for such an useful post, Ashley; I wish there were more posts like yours around.
    I have to clarify something, though: RewindHost did not get acquired by GigaTux, it’s a reseller for them…and it’s overselling like there’s no tomorrow (things so don’t run smoothly there).
    I also have a site that a friend of mine is hosting on her Three-Words account since 2012-13 and I can only give all 10s to that hosting so far: full cPanel, no glitches, excellent site speed…you couldn’t possibly ask for more.

  7. Neat review! Hosting is an entirely different experience for everyone, but when it comes down to it, I believe that support should be the highest priority, even moreso than speed I would say. Speed is definitely important, but knowing that you have a solid backing for your site and that you’re safe and taken care of when you have questions, is even more so.

  8. Thanks for the info! We’re just starting to look at moving from wp.com so this is very timely.

    Just curious though, the comments on Dreamhost all reference Bluehost. Is that simpy a typing error or are they the same company?

  9. Have you heard anything about Namecheap’s service? I have RFE and I love them for the most part, but they are slow often. They usually work, but when they don’t it’s really bad. I feel like accessing my dashboard takes too long too often, especially lately, so I am thinking of switching. Namecheap feels really inexpensive to me though, so I am worried about it. Plus, their hosting is rather new, so I can’t find much on them.

    Ariel @ Fictively recently posted: A Fictive Week (2) Trying to find a routine
    1. I haven’t heard anything about their hosting service, but honestly you get what you pay for.

      If you’re paying less than $10 or $20 for your hosting, you’ll be on “shared hosting”. That means you’re sharing a server with anywhere from 500-1000 other people. One people (or a handful) could easily hog that server’s resources for a few minutes (or hours) if/when they get a huge traffic spike. And if there are no (or very few) resources left, your site will be slow and/or crash. And usually, the less money you’re paying, the slower your site will be. That’s the case because if you pay less money, the company will be trying harder to maximize their profits. That means they’ll cram as many people as possible onto each server.

      If you want a speedy, reliable service, you’ll have to pay for it. The recommendations would be:

      1. A managed WordPress host. I’ve heard good things about SiteGround. But basically you’re looking for a host that’s BUILT to work on WordPress. And even SiteGround is still a shared host so you could technically still run into problems, but at least they’ll be optimized for WordPress. That helps.

      2. A VPS or dedicated server. This means you’re not sharing space with other people. You’re given a certain amount of resources, and then they’re YOURS. No one can “take” them from you. This definitely costs more per month though. You’re probably looking at $35+ or $45+ per month if you go with a managed server, which you’ll need.

    2. Also, have you tried contacting RFE when your site is slow? I’ve seen and heard great things about their customer service, so it’s worth talking to them. They could investigate the problem or even move you to a different server.

      1. You are amazing. Thank you. You know so much about this stuff and really know how to put it into terms anyone can understand. I truly trust your judgement on these types on things.

        I actually hadn’t thought to contact them. That is a real no brainer there. They do have amazing customer service, it’s one of the reasons I love them. I think having poor hosts in the past made me think nothing could be done so I didn’t even think about it. I put in a ticket with them just now, so hopefully something can be done.

        I’ve no problem paying for good service. If Namecheap was good, I wouldn’t have a problem with them. I know they say their prices are to be competitive since they got into the hosting market late, but when things are cheap they look too good to be true, which worries me. I’ve been considering moving to your book host as well. The plug in limitation and the fact that you don’t have a yearly subscription payment (instead of only month to month) are the only things stopping me currently.

        Ariel @ Fictively recently posted: A Fictive Week (2) Trying to find a routine
        1. I don’t think Namecheap would necessarily be any better than RFE Hosting.

          So much of hosting is just the luck of the draw. Like what I said about server capacity and resources before. If you get placed on a fairly empty server on RFE Hosting, you’d probably have zero problems. But maybe you got unlucky and got placed on a server with someone who gets A TON of traffic and is stealing all the resources, you know?

          The exact same thing could happen on any shared host, including Namecheap. You could get lucky and get placed on a fairly empty server. Or you could get unlucky and get placed on a crowded one.

          That’s why I think you should try to resolve things with RFE first. It would probably REALLY help if you contacted them as the problem is happening. As a web host myself, I know it can be really hard to try to backtrack and find the cause of a problem from 12 hours ago, you know? But if you are able to speak to them when it’s in the middle of happening, that’s the best time to solve the problem.

          My hosting does now offer a yearly subscription plan, but I totally understand your hesitation with the plugin limitations. It is kind of a unique set up and it may not be the best option for people who want plenty of freedom. I always install plugins that are requested and are compatible with my system, but I know that having to go through the extra step of ASKING for something to be installed can be cumbersome for some people.

          1. Well, the site is going slow right now, so it’s alright for the ticket. It’s not grinding to a halt so bad that it won’t load, but that does happen. It’s been pretty consistently slow lately, bad enough that it takes a while to load when I am working in the dashboard. It wasn’t slow when I first got them, and other sites load perfectly, so I know it’s not my connection. I will definitely try to work it out with them though. I really don’t know why I didn’t think about that myself.

            It’s a double edge sword really. On the one hand, I like the freedom to try things as I want, but on the other hand, if I had to get permission to have one installed, maybe it would make me think harder about my plugins. I’m not savvy with this stuff anymore so I’m always afraid of messing things up. I used to run fansites back in the late 90s/early 00s but things have changed so much since then and WordPress is a totally different monster than just html and a bit of css. I didn’t see that option with your hosting service when I looked day before yesterday, although, it very well could be listed in the payment screen and not on the main pages or I didn’t notice it. My year with RFE doesn’t end until June anyway, so I have time to look into things and really decide. I just wanted to be looking early so I wouldn’t be running around without a decision the day before renewal.

            Ariel @ Fictively recently posted: A Fictive Week (2) Trying to find a routine
            1. Oh yes, sorry. It’s not listed on the prices page. It’s only listed on the actual checkout page. That’s where you can choose a different payment plan.

  10. Thank you so much Ashley! You are really helpful for web rookies like me. Hey guys have any of you tried stablehost? or do you know anything about them. I’ve been reading a lot of good reviews about them, but I want to be sure. Any comments? Thank you

  11. I was with host gator at first but I’m thoughtfully disappointed. I switched to RoseHosting and they are great. They even moved my WordPress for free.

Recent Posts

    Random Posts