Pretty much every week I receive an email from people who want recommendations about web hosting. They want to know what hosting company I use, what plan I have, what plan they should get for a new blog or website and so on. That is why I decided to write this article, so that I can refer every one who asks here. I will structure the post as a Q&A, as I believe it will make it easier to follow along.
What Hosting Companies Have You Tried Over the Years?
I have been building blogs and websites for 10+ years (started in 2005). Over that period, I tried the hosting servicers of dozens of companies. Here are the ones I remember from thet top of my head:
- A Small Orange
Some were good, some were average, some were terrible. The good thing about web hosting is that it’s pretty easy to migrate to another company, so I didn’t stick with the bad ones for too long.
What Hosting Company Do You Use Now?
Out of all the companies listed above, the one where I found the best technical and customer service was HostGator, and that is why I host all my sites with them now. I started with their basic plan for a single site, and over time I upgraded to a VPS and now to a dedicated server.
The technical part involves the speed and reliability of the servers, and I always found both to be pretty good with HostGator (not perfect, but much better than the other providers I tried). Same goes for customer support. While it’s not perfect, they usually reply to my tickets and fix problems that emerge much faster that what I was used to with other companies.
Can You Give Me an Example of When You Experienced Good Customer Support?
Whenever I had technical issues with the sites, their customer support resolved them pretty fast, even if it was something in the middle of the night.
On different occasions I also asked them for favors, given that I am a very loyal customer, and they always agreed to help me out. Once they doubled the RAM on my server without any extra cost, and on another occasion I run out of dedicated IP addresses on my server, and they hooked me up with one free of charge.
What Hosting Plan Do You Use?
As I mentioned above, today I rent a dedicated server with HostGator. But that is because I host many sites, and some receive a good amount of traffic, so I can justify the monthly cost.
That being said, in the past I used pretty much all their plans, from the basic one (used to be called ‘Hatchling’, now it’s called ‘Starter’) to the Business plans and VPSs. All offered good value for money, and that is why I stuck around and upgraded over time.
What Hosting Plan Do You Recommend for a New or Small Site?
When people are starting out they tend to freak out about the hosting plan, imagining that they need a powerful plan to make sure their websites will be able to receive all visitors and be fast.
That is not the case. Even a basic plan will be able to handle a new or small site with efficiency. The limitation is usually the bandwidth (i.e., how much data your site can transfer), and it’s very hard to go over bandwidth limits. The speed of your site shouldn’t vary much from a basic to a more advanced plan.
In the case of HostGator, a Starter or Standard plan are certainly enough to get you started, and the cost starts at $6 monthly or so, which is pretty affordable.
What Do You Think About Cheap or Free Hosting Plans?
If you research around you’ll find that some companies offer free hosting, as in zero dollars per month. Some do that in exchange for placing links or advertising on your site. I used those in the past on experimental websites, mostly to know how it worked. The hosting does work, but the quality is not that great as you can imagine, so I wouldn’t recommend it for any serious project.
The same is true for cheap hosting services (i.e., those that cost $2/month or so). Sure, you get a better service when compared to free hosting options, but going from $2 to $6 is not a big jump in price, but it will be a big jump in service quality.
When Do You Think I Should Move to a VPS or Dedicated Server?
A basic VPS will cost around $40 per month. A basic dedicated server will cost about $100 per month.
My rule of thumb: as soon as your site is generating 3x the hosting cost, you should upgrade.
So when you reach $120 in monthly earnings, move to a VPS. When you reach $300 in monthly earnings, move to a dedicated box.
Why upgrade? Because the reliability you’ll get will be much higher. On a shared server what other users do on the server affect your site. If a user runs a bad PHP script and crashes the server, for instance, your site goes down together. On VPS and dedicated servers, your site is isolated from the others, and this is worth the extra cost in my opinion over time.
If you want to get all the details of pricing and specs, go to HostGator.com and click on “VPS” or “Dedicated” on the top menu bar.
What Is Your Relationship with Hostgator?
HostGator is not a sponsor of this blog, and I am not earning money to recommend them. I am an affiliate, though, which means that if you signup with them through my referral I get a small commission.
That being said, I am only recommending them because I have been a customer for 8+ years and I am extremely satisfied with their services. In other words, I am walking the talk here. I often get approached by other hosting companies to promote them, but I decline because I don’t trust their services. HostGator also offers a money-back guarantee, so you can test the service and see if you like it with no risk of losing any money.
How to Get 30% Off Your Hosting Plan
HostGator offers some very competitive prices to begin with. The Starter plan, for instance, costs $5.99 monthly (if you prepay). If you use the discount code dailyblogtips you’ll get an additional 30% off your order. Click here to view all plains and details.
Original post: Here’s Why I Recommend Hostagor and Think You Should Use It