Webhosts: Experience and Recommendations

Webhosts: Experience and Recommendations

My favorite and current webhost is Hostgator.

I had problems with all of the others, but so far I am very happy with Hostgator.  (See also, the  Hostgator Coupon page).

I believe Blue Host might have worked fine under different circumstances, but as I was transfering my sites and WordPress Blogs from Godaddy to Blue Host.  Transferring a normal static site to a new webhost is pretty simple if you know how to upload a webiste.  But transfering a WordPress Blog is a whole different universe and if you don’t know how, it can be really hard to figure out.

Blue Host referred me to a service which would transfer my sites and blogs for me, but it was over $70 for one website transfer, and I had several sites with WordPress Blogs to transfer.

I tried to do it myself.  When I asked advice of the Blue Host tech personnel, it appeared they were trying to be helpful, but they spoke to me as if I had a lot more technical knowledge than I did. This resulted in me making some mistakes which caused one of my websites to be down for a whole day, and I did not know what to do.  I was not able to get easy-to-understand answers on how to handle certain problems in order to make my websites compatible with Blue Host. (Not because it couldn’t be done, but because the explanations were hard to understand.)

With that said: Blue Host is not a bad host at all, and is considered to be one of the top ten.  At the time of this writing, Blue Host allows you to host unlimited websites on one account, lets you use up to 600 gigabytes of hosting space (that’s a lot), all for around $7.00-$8.00 a month.

If you want to set up a Word Press Blog, it is made very simple to do so on Blue Host. The same goes for many other features which you will no doubt one day want to use.  And when you do, you won’t want to go through the hassle of switching over to a different webhost just so you can get things done.

Blue Host also has a generally good reputation, which, in the case of webhosts (unlike people) is a valuable indicator of quality. (Check their website for more information on their different services and “perks.”)

I then tried Webhosting Buzz on the recommendation of someone else. I finally was able to transfer my sites over, but it took a long time and numerous back and forth emails with tech support while I tried to figure out exactly what to do and how to do it.

Then the “outages” began. My sites were continuously going down.  It turned out they had server problems. This was very bad for the sites, as they lost a lot of traffic and income.

Then one day, out of the blue, I got an email out of the blue saying that my entire Webhosting Buzz account had been suspended due to “resource abuse” and that my sites were “resource-intensive by nature.”  I could not get a straight explanation of what caused this. I would email tech support repeatedly and wait for hours for a response.

Finally, after on live chat with the sales dept (which took very long) I got the agreement that they would move my sites to another server.  But not for another 10 hours! I tried to explain to them that this was very detrimental to my sites and my work, and I tried to get some explanation of why this was.  But I was basically told “sorry, that’s the way it is.”

But it wasn’t 10 hours.  They had more technical problems, and it took more than 1 1/2 days of desperate emails and online chats with tech support, to get my sites running again.

So I did some more research and I found another popular webhost which is also considered one of the “top ten webhosts.”  This is  Hostgator.

My experience with Hostgator was very good.  They will transfer your website for free when you sign up with them.  Actually, they normally only transfer one domain for free (I think the others would have cost $10.00 each which is much less than what I would have paid to transfer to Blue Host).  But the sales representative I originally spoke to accidentally told me that they would transfer all of my sites for free.  Once they saw that this had happened, they did it for free for me anyway, in order to keep their promise.

I signed up for Hostgator and got my sites transferred over.  During the the interim, the servers on Webhosting Buzz went down again and my sites were again offline.  So I was quite glad that I was transferring!

My chats and emails with Hostgator tech support were a dream in comparison to my previous experience.  The support personnel were very helpful, clear, and easy to understand.  My emails were responded to very quickly and there was also live support available when needed.  Not surprisingly, I found that they have a quality control system for their technical support emails.  Every email you receive has a link at the bottom where you can rate the quality of the response you get!  Which I think is very smart.  So if someone wants to be rude and brush you off, they will hear about it.  And this never happened once.  In fact, just communicating with the personnel of Hostgator was a relief!

My sites were transferred without any downtime that I could see and without any difficulty.  Any questions I had on the domain transfer were answered rapidly and clearly.  Since this time my sites have been hosted by Hostgator and I have had no problems.  The site loading time also seems to be better.

Here are some of the current features of a Hostgator account.  (There are several types of account, and what I will describe here are the features of the type of account I got, which is called a “Baby” account (the options for this type of account are “Hatchling,” “Baby,” and “Swamp”).

Here are some of the features of this account at the time of this writing:

Free website transfer for your main domain name (in case you are switching over from another webhost)
600 gb of disk space
6,000 gb of bandwidth
Unlimitted domains (that means you can host as many websites as you want on one account as long as you don’t exceed the maximum disk space and bandwidth etc.  You just have to pay for each of the domain registrations).
cPanel (the best and most userfriendly interface for a hosting account)
Fantastico (will install WordPress and similar items for you in a few simple steps)

Price: $7.95 per month (can be paid on a monthly basis, does not require big advanced payments)

A few of the other features included in a “Baby” account at Hostgator:

99.9% Uptime guarantee
Unlimitted email accounts, catchall accounts, email forwarders, autoresponders, mailing lists, etc.
24/7 Support
No Contract
A website builder
Instant backups
Unlimitted subdomains
Unlimitted FTP accounts
Unlimitted MySQL Databases
Instant Forums (can be installed from the cPanel)

… and a bunch of other features which you may or may not understand.

Another feature I asked for was the ability to have my own IP address for the sites on my account.  This is important because when you share an IP address, you never know who you are sharing it with.  If you wind up unwittingly sharing an IP address with a questionable character who is up to no good with his websites, you can become inadvertantly associated with that “bad neighborhood” and this can have an adverse effect on your rankings.  When I inquired about this feature, I was told that it was available for another $2.00 per month.

In inquired into several other features I was looking for and found that they were included.

So, all said, I really feal happy with my webhost for the first time.  And I definitely can recommend Hostgator to anyone.

So there you have it.  I’ve just written the post that I wish I could have read in the very beginning!  Before I went through all that trouble – and all those hosts.

Just one other thing.  People sometimes talk about finding a “cheap webhost.”  Well, when you have an income-generating webhost, I think it is really pretty silly to try to save a few dollars a month on hosting at a sacrafice of quality.

When you have an income-generating website, you lose money if you lose traffic or if you frustrate your visitors with slow loading times, downtime, and other errors.

Have you ever surfed the net?  “Of course,” you say.  “Stupid question.”  Well, when you are searching for something online, what do you do when you reach a website that takes forever and a day to load?  Well, you leave, most of the time!  Right?

Good.  That’s what other people do if your website takes forever to load.  And what about the visitor who arrives when your site is down?  Maybe that visitor would have signed up for your subscription and become a faithful follower for years to come, buying things from you every month!  But no, your site was down when he arrived.  So he left.  Never to return!

Is that worth a savings of a few dollars a month on webhosting?  Don’t think so.

So, when you chose a webhost, please rememeber that quality is king.  And that cheap can be expensive.  That doesn’t mean a host has to be expensive to be good.  It just means – if it isn’t good, don’t use it.

Again, my personal recommendation is Hostgator, and if you don’t chose Hostgator then my next recommendation is Blue Host.  Both of these hosts are popular with online entrepreneurs and others, with reputations that tell the tale.

If you want to save some money on Hostgator, remember to check my Hostgator Coupon page for some good offers!

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9 Responses to “Webhosts: Experience and Recommendations”

  1. Helder
    June 23, 2008 at 2:28 pm #

    I also have hostgator for my site (only site for now)and i’m very happy with them, but i’m thinking about using bluehost too, i think they also have the fantastico button for wordpress, and it seems you have your domain name for free. Do you know if that is so? How does it work? Very good your post

  2. Anna
    June 23, 2008 at 2:34 pm #

    Hi there. Well, I am not sure why you would switch, unless you are having a problem with Host Gator? Yes I think Bluehost does give a free domain name. But domain names are not that expensive anyway. On Godaddy you can usually get a .info name for $2 per year and .com is maybe around $10 per year. So I wouldn’t change webhosts for that.

    Changing webhosts is the biggest headache I’ve experienced online, since I had WordPress blogs when I did it. The whole thing took many hours of time and trouble over a period of several weeks. Maybe it doesn’t have to be that way but it was for me.

    Remember that Bluehost won’t transfer your sites for you. You will have to pay through their expensive service which is like … $70 for one site, or so. And if you try to do it alone when you aren’t really sure how … ouch. I DON’T recommend it if it isn’t necessary!

    Thanks for your comment and feedback!

  3. Helder
    June 23, 2008 at 4:54 pm #

    Hi Anna

    I wasn’t thinking about changing my site, i’ll keep with hostgator, i’m happy with them. What i meant was trying a new site with bluehost, using Holly’s offer of making a website. That was it. Your new blog is really rocking, i like it really.

  4. Anna
    June 23, 2008 at 5:07 pm #

    Ah – I get it now. Well I’m not sure but I think Holly’s offeris more for people who are really new and don’t know how to set up their first site. Since they will have to pay for hosting anyway, they might as well get her to set up a site for them for free, and in return they sign up for hosting through her affiliate link.

    From what I remember it seemed that you know enough of WordPress that you wouldn’t need that. I would recommend you get WordPress for Dummies if anything and continue to use what you are learning from the Authority Site Center … you are a member of that, right?

    Thanks for coming by and commenting! I’m happy for my new blog to have some attention.

    P.S. At some point I will post some lists of recommended WordPress plugins and tweaks, and eventually maybe some tutorials for complete beginners to get their self-hosted WordPress blogs started.

  5. Helder
    June 24, 2008 at 5:48 am #

    You’re right, i know enough to set up my own sites, i’m still learning some things about wordpress, but i’ll get there soon. About authority site center, i have two excelent books, that i think you’d really like. I’ve left you a message about that in your other blog. they’re very good.

  6. Anna
    June 25, 2008 at 3:33 am #

    Hi – I did get that message and I answered you in an email. Did you receive it? I might or might not have those books already, but we can see! Thank you. 🙂

  7. Helder
    June 25, 2008 at 8:35 am #

    Hi Anna

    I didn’t receive your e-mail, please try again, it’s the one i give when i make the comments, it’s also my personal messenger. If you don’t have the books, i’m sure they’ll be very usefull to you, they changed my vision of internet traffic.

    And you’re welcome 🙂

  8. Ruri @ Free online article directory
    December 3, 2009 at 7:06 am #

    Moving one site from one hosting to another is difficult. I have this experience too. Lucky me, I am moving from lunarpages to in-motion hosting. People from in motion hosting offer me transfer for free. because the cpanel I use in lunarpages is the same with cpanel I use in in-motion. Therefore they can simply backup and restore. You know what, I have 6 domains and all transfer for free…
    .-= Ruri @ Free online article directory´s last blog ..The Best Film Evaluations Obtainable For Your Enjoyment =-.

  9. Usman Shahzada
    September 2, 2012 at 12:49 pm #

    I have a reseller plan from hostgator and I am very happy with the services/support of hostgator.

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