Do not pick a hosting company until you read this
Why you should listen to me
I have spent days researching hosting companies trying to make the right decision. I have worked with these companies for years. I also have worked with most of the major hosting companies – Bluehost, wp-engine, Hostmonster, Hostgator, etc. I am going to offer my advice based on my experience with them.
Your Hosting Company
If your hosting contract is about over or your new site will need hosting you should read this before calling up Godaddy or one of the other popular ones. Speed is really important now. The faster your pages load the more likely Google is to move your site higher in google search placement and the attention span of visitors is really low. After 3 seconds of loading, visitors start quickly hitting the back button.
Customer service can also make a huge difference. This does not really have to do with how nice they are. A company with good customer service will quickly fix an issue that might take down your site vs a company that will charge you to have someone fix it. (a good developer has a lot of experience troubleshooting these issues and can fix most issues.) A company with bad customer service might have a tech that will tell you to do the wrong thing or they will go ahead and do the wrong themselves. Godaddy is definitely in this category.
In my opinion one of the main reasons there is such bad hosting customer service is there is a company EIG, that has bought up a lot of the independent hosting providers including some of the well-known ones such as Bluehost. They keep using the original name of the company but run it like a greedy corporation and push profit over service
Quick Answer – If I have worked with a company enough I have added an affiliate link. These links are labeled.
Siteground – Great performance, good price. They are based in Ukraine and can seem like they have little patience but they all know what they are talking about, and will fix your issues
Wp-engine – Very Pricey, but very good. Siteground is a little faster. Great customer service
In-motion – I have limited experience with this company but it has always been good and they are highly rated. They are pretty cheap and fast
I use a company very similar to Siteground that is located in the U.S. I am a little reluctant to recommend their hosting because it is more geared for developers. If you are very techie you should consider A2. They are comparable to Siteground.
Why is this important to you?
You will probably have many calls with your hosting company. They can save you a lot of time, and help fix something that has you scared to death. You can call them with almost any question, sometimes they will tell you – you have to pay for a developer to get help but often they will just do it for you.
That was the customer service side but for me, a hosting company speed is more important. You can make a cooler site if you do not have to worry as much about how it will perform. The faster a hosting company serves your site the more you can add to your site without losing visitors. Images, videos, plugins, analytics all slow down your site. Google is more likely to show a website that loads fast rather than a site that might be better but loads slowly. You are only going to get traffic from a high placement in a search result.
Most of the hosting companies have good techs and bad techs. If you talk to a tech and they do not know the answer or provide you with an answer you know it is wrong. Hang up and call again and get a new one.
Often I am asked what Hosting company I should use. Again there is a major problem with biased advice online. Every site seems to have an agenda. (see unbiased sources I use). I like to suggest a few good options from my experience.
I consider speed first.
My go-to for recommendations
Those of us in the Web developing world are often told to consider Siteground. Since page load speed is so important this is my goto for advising others to use. The customer service is unique. Anyone you talk to knows exactly what they are doing. Most often they will fix issues for you rather than try to explain how to do it yourself. They can come across as a little impatient, most are very pleasant but often I get one that says. You do this, it’s fine. I ask more questions and the voice gets louder and faster to imply your time is up. Often it ends quickly with “I do it for you.”