Web hosting is critical to the success of any business. It is the first thing to consider once you have decided to take your business online.
It is no surprise there are many below par web hosting services around today whose intent is to prey on unsuspecting victims in search of free, cheap and/or affordable hosting services.
Having been on the internet for so long, I have learnt that neither the cheapest nor the most expensive is the best form of hosting to use on a blog, a forum and/or a business portfolio website.
You need lots of researches to pick a hosting company that will not let your business down. Good enough, I have tried – the free, the cheap and the expensive web hosting options to be able to make the right judgement and give advice to those looking for a reliable web hosting company to go with.
From Managed WordPress hosting, managed server, virtual private server, cloud hosting to dedicated hosting, shared server hosting and even free web hosting; I have used these at one time or the other and so can give a perspicacious verdict based on experiences and judging from critical areas such as –
- Server Up-time / Down-Time
- Caching and Speed
- Server response and over sold servers
- Cost and user-friendliness
- Good infrastructure and overall Technical know-how of the technicians
Update! February 2016. We have made an improved version of this post with detailed review, full list of EIG hosting services and our experiences. You can read all of it from here.
The Best Web Hosting Providers
I have banked greatly on the experiences of the past to come up with this list of best web hosting companies to use for your blog or business.
For me, they have withstood the test of time, have good server up-time and are built with customers in mind. Here’s the best hosting providers we recommend to every serious business.
- SiteGround Hosting
- MDD Hosting
- Squidix Hosting
- Linode VPS and
- BlueHost Managed WordPress Hosting.
Site Ground hosting is never in the business of playing Italian trottola with their clients. At SiteGround hosting, what you pay for is what you will get.
At SiteGround, you aren’t promised unlimited disk space and unlimited but what is really obtainable. Our experiences with them over the years has been awesome and worthy of recommendations.
Even their shared server hosting plans is fast as they are usually not oversold. Their security is top-notched, so is their infrastructure and technical support [See PROVE].
I’d gladly recommend siteground web hosting services to anyone that is serious about committing the longevity of his business to a company that cares.
Update: SiteGround is now fully endorsed by WordPress and listed in their official hosting recommendation page. We actually thought that the move was going to spell an era of poor support for we old clients, but never experienced such till date.
Another area of improvement for SiteGround customers is the free SSL (Let’s Encrypt) certificate plugin inclusion that lets you https your website in a few seconds.
See More from SiteGround’s Homepage and take advantage of their over 50% off discount offer for new customers.
MDD Hosting is hands down the best hosting company we have used till date. Their server is graced with the award-winning LightSpeed technology while their storage drives are powered by the solid-state type disk drives.
As an MDD hosting customer, You’ll be amazed at the speed the MDD hosting staff uses to resolve real hosting problems, sometimes, you’ll be attended to in less than five (5) minutes with the real solution and not just some random links that leads to no where positive.
In summary, MDD hosting servers are lightning fast, rock-solid and gives steady peace of mind. Their premium hosting plan (known as semi-dedicated in most other companies) is best for websites with huge daily traffic or that needs higher resources.
You can use “WHT50” coupon code to get 50% off one time discount on any of their hosting plans or “monster10” for 10% off lifetime recurring discount.
Update: MDD Hosting is one of the first hosting companies to implement the FREE SSL certificate module for all account levels. You can simply secure your website with a formidable SSL certificate by clicking on the Cpanel’s Let’s Encrypt module.
For more features, Visit the MDD hosting homepage.
Squidix Web Hosting
Squidix web hosting is one of those web hosting companies whose sole aim is delivering awesomeness; dedicating more time on their service and customer support than they do on advertising and forceful promotions.
Squidix web host offers various classes of web hosting plans that are completely optimized for speed. At Squidix, you’ll normally get the value for your money. They have good number of positive reviews from real users of their hosting services.
We have had only but stellar experiences with their semi-dedicated plans that’s wholly optimized for high traffic website like ours. We recorded a 100% service uptime and above 100% improvement in speed and response. You can hardly go wrong with a qualified Squidix hosting plan.
For new customers, you can use “7YWMBJR3N2” coupon code to get a 25% off discount for life recurring discount on their semi-dedicated plans or “TEN” for 10% off lifetime recurring discount on any other plans.
Visit the Squidix hosting homepage for more features.
Linode is the developer’s favorite, even some of the top premium hosting services are either reselling Linode services or leveraging on their fast DNS management API to deliver awesomeness.
They are ‘a perfect solution’ for resource-hungry web apps and high traffic websites. It uses the solid-state type drives (SSD) in place of the slow-spinning hard disk drives (HDD) to deliver resources fast and smoothly.
The support you’ll normally get at Linode is fast and should never be difficult to understand for an average web developer.
The only down-side with Linode is the lack of Cpanel and managed plans for average users. But then, their resource page contains real help and solution for most of the challenges you’ll likely encounter on their platform.
Being an all-round “UNmanaged VPS hosting services” provider makes the platform a bit too-technical for an average user. You can see all features from their official homepage at https://www.linode.com
Bluehost Managed WordPress Hosting
If like us, you use WordPress for your blog or business, banking on the Bluehost’s superior servers and reliable infrastructure will be the best decision to take for the success of your business.
Bluehost managed WordPress hosting do not only come with a server greatly optimized for WordPress but does also give with each plan: a dedicated RAM (2GB for the starter plan), a dedicated IP address, a managed server, guaranteed backup, free domain name, enhanced control panel (cPanel) and top-notched support.
Even though We do have a strong reservation for their shared server (that is usually over-sold) and below par support, We have had a great time with their managed WordPress hosting plans.
The plan is usually discounted for new users and works beautifully on high traffic website and apps.
The Average Hosts
The average ground is usually not a good place to be, but the hosting companies listed here aren’t really bad but do not just cut into our best web hosting providers list.
Mediocre hosts are best for new websites and SEO listing directories without many tasking day-to-day activities. Highly active websites would normally suffer on mediocre servers.
Hostgator to us is like a good bride that turned sour after being exposed to the wealth and unlimited assets of the groom. Their server turned out a far cry from what we knew them for, their support became epileptic as their server uptime.
We almost lost our business to their mediocre support crew until bluehost came to the rescue.
Site 5 was the 3rd web hosting company we used, the ability to create a separate account for another user on their regular shared hosting plan was what actually tempted us to their platform.
After using them for years, we realized they are no better than Arvixe, the resources are thin and the support isn’t what we can describe as being awesome.
For an average user, they are great and can serve well for low traffic websites, anything higher than that should opt for VPS or managed servers already reviewed above.
Dream Host VPS
Dream Host used to be one of our preferred choice for virtual private server hosting, with DreamHost, you’ll be getting virtual servers that are highly tailored to meet your needs.
Their support is one thing that separates them from Media temple and Inmotion hosting. Those tech heads up there knows what they are doing and works until their client’s satisfaction.
Dream Host is optimized for speed and comes with SSD hard drives that makes your server respond faster and better than most below par hosting services out there.
There’s more on the Dream Host HomePage.
Arvixe offers cheap and affordable hosting services that are superb, reliable but has moved down the pecking order as their support portfolio is becoming littered with incompetent staff.
recommend their services (Arvixe hosting is very bad at the moment, and should be avoided at all cost.) but not as much as we did in our earlier Arvixe web hosting review post. Their official website is here.
Other Average Web Hosting Companies in our list
- Inmotion Hosting
- Media Temple
- iPage (Best for simple HTML websites)
The Worst Web Hosting Companies
The hosting companies down here are the ones we can’t recommend to any one, neither their support nor servers are fit for any real business.
We have had the worst experiences with them both as a business, individual developer and freelancer. We strongly discourage hosting a serious website with these providers.
- AtSpace hosting
- Godaddy hosting
- Mocha Host
- 1and1 Hosting
Atspace has clearly improved from what it used to be when we started out with them. Almost every young freelancer started out with a free host when trying to develop and/or improve their programming skill.
We started out with atspace and can clearly tell that – nothing is free even in Freetown. A free hosting at atspace.com is free until it starts getting visitors (traffic).
Your hosting plan at atspace will normally serve as a cheap advertisement for their below par services once you start getting good amount of visits.
They use many dubious tactics such as error pages marketing (redirecting or advertising in your error pages), hostgator does this as well but provides a complicated workaround to get over it.
Even when we upgraded to their paid plan, it wasn’t anything different from the free plan as one error messages or the other is thrown here and there.
Almost 50% of the modern tools needed to run a fast content management system (CMS) website doesn’t work here, their WordPress hosting services is nothing short of celebrating mediocrity.
One funny thing is that their support crew will hardly see anything wrong with their server but will put the blame on you, the plugins, theme or even the WordPress software itself.
This host is useless for anything business except for learning and hosting low traffic static xhtml websites.
In my humble opinion, I think they are better of selling domain names and should have absolutely no business with hosting.
Their support is non-existent, server time-out rate is usually at an alarming rate, their marketing tactics is extremely annoying to mention but a few.
I have tried out their normal hosting services without a good story, got hoodwinked into their managed WordPress hosting with another bad story and now trying them out again on a low traffic website to see if the reply sent in by a user turns out to be true about my bad experience with their managed wp hosting.
Mocha host didn’t really give us the chance to explore their services, although I am confident it won’t be any better than the epileptic support their sales-team rendered to us.
Their server setup time is far from being reasonable, takes donkey number of days to respond to support ticket and was clearly a weak excuse for a hosting company.
We regretted visiting their homepage and still does till date, our server was put in maintenance mode all the while we were waiting for their setup that never came through.
We shared a limited version of the story here and can’t recommend such incompetence not even for a free host.
Our experiences with 1and1 hosting isn’t any different from what we had with Godaddy, their cancellation process was so cumbersome that we had to let the 1 year plan expire without bordering about renewing it.
We understand their negative marketing tactics and won’t even border visiting their homepage again, except better news and reviews springs up.
Some news have it that they have improved in their services, but that isn’t our business now since the best web hosting companies above is serving us fine, what business do we have with the ones listed as one of the worst hosting companies around?
a cheap host isn’t always a bad host, but most bad and really bad web hosting companies uses cheap marketing tactics to lure in their victims.
Other really bad web hosting experiences we’ve had is listed below –
- Smartweb (a local web hosting company)
- Syskay (a Local hosting company)
In a bid to make this list as straightforward as possible we omitted re-seller hosting services as all the hosting companies listed above offers re-seller web hosting.
There’s clearly no point listing worst reseller hosting companies, best reseller hosting company and all that. All the worst, average, and best experiences we have had with re-seller hosting is from one or two hosting providers already in our list.
We will advice you do not always go for the free domain name that comes with most hosting companies as that can make things really cumbersome when trying to move away from them.
Also hosting your email accounts in the same host means that your email is down once your hosting provider is experiencing a downtime or making some changes on the server. This shouldn’t be an issue if your hosting provider experiences downtime seldom.
Are there other really bad hosting companies you have had your best or worst experiences with?
Please do list them below in the comments section.