That’s hard to say. It seems like many of them are good for a while, then their quality slips.
For example, I’ve been with Hostgator since September of 2009. I switched to them from Netfirms, based on recommendations right here in these forums. And I was very happy with the quality of the service until this year. In the past few months, my sites have been down or slow on way too many occasions.
I did some Googling, and found out that EIG (a huge Web hosting congomerate) has been buying up a number of Web hosting companies. EIG recently bought Hostgator, and now many people have been having service interruptions, myself included. Ironically, EIG bought out Netfirms a couple of years ago, and now also owns Bluehost.
So - I’m thinking of going with Dreamhost. I know they’ve had their downtime issues, but could they be any worse than Hostgator is now? Plus, you can sign up for a year’s worth of hosting for just $2.95 a month: http://www.dreamhost.com/promo/hosting295/. A lot of pro Webmasters seem to like Dreamhost, which -as of yet - hasn’t been swallowed up by EIG.
Anyone care to chime in? Dreamhost users? My account with Hostgator is up for renewal next month, so I too am interested in finding a good alternative.
I just looked at the second link you provided and had to smile. I had also used iPowerWeb back in around 2006, and thought they were great. I had chosen them based on strong recommendations. I used their hosting for a data-driven Toastmasters club Web site I built and managed, and for a while, everything worked wonderfully. Then, we started having issues. It doesn’t surprise me that our club’s problems with the Web site began right around when EIG bought them out.
I may consider InMotionHosting, mentioned in the article, but the author did say that EIG had made them an offer. Crazy.
Dreamhost are awful as well, and have a unique flippant/wacky/child-humour approach to customer communications that many would consider inappropriate for professional business.
You’ll never get excellent reliability with shared hosting or cheap hosting. You might get ‘good enough’ if you’re lucky. The network and server environment at these kind of hosts is too chaotic and overloaded, the resources and expertise are spread too thin, the distance between the customer and a knowledgeable service representative too large. If you want true reliability reevaluate what your business cost of downtime is and proceed from there.
BlueHost, HostGator and some other hosting brands of EIG are moved into the same facility, so I guess if something happens, it will affect to all of those hosts. The question now is why you are only considering unlimited offers? Still there are good hosts out there. Re-consider your hosting requirements and update us, then we can show you some.
I’ve used Hostgator for 10+ years and been very happy overall. I haven’t had any noticeable downtime except a few times when I have too many processes running. I’ve also noiticed that if I login to cpanel and then load my site right away, it’s not available. Not sure why but it usually comes back in a few seconds and is limited to me only.
I wonder how many of the down time reports are actually people with local issues or hitting service limits.
I have experienced slowdowns every once in a while that is normal with shared hosting and is probably due to other clients on the same server using a lot of the server resources. I’m hoping to upgrade to a dedicated server to eliminate this problem.
That website you reference is completely worthless. Which of the hundreds (or thousands) of servers Bluehost has is experiencing downtime?
You want a good web host? Ask an experienced webmaster you can trust. You can find plenty of experienced webmasters here on Sitepoint who have been members here for years.
Someone else mentioned Dreamhost. Two days ago I was browsing a Wordpress-based site and it was stunning how slow the pages were loading. The webmaster was using a plugin or two but that shouldn’t account for 20 second load times. I tried downloading some sample files. Download speed was 45 kilobytes per second–such a slow speed that nobody should consider acceptable. The site was hosted on Dreamhost. That is the kind of poor quality hosting you can expect on “unlimited” web hosts. I have heard complaints about this on every “unlimited” host with the exception of HostGator, and only probably because they kick people off the second they try taking advantage of the undeliverable promise of “unlimited” resources.
I think they’re probably referring to the complete BlueHost outage of a week ago? Where all of their thousands of servers (and others in the EIG Utah datacenter) were down.
Plenty of mid-sized hosts chug along offering good levels of service, reliability at a sustainable price and go rarely mentioned on forums like this. We get the the occasional mention/recommendation but they’re disappointingly rare compared to the service we provide. Happy customers are generally not on forums venting…
I just read about that this morning. HostGator customers were having problems, too. The hosting company I am with has some of their shared servers in that Utah data center (including the server I am on since late October 2012) and, quite frankly, I don’t really think Utah is a hotbed of technology and I question whether or not putting that many customers in a single data center is a wise move. Especially Utah. The Texas data center was great, never a problem. Moving to the EIG-owned Utah center is a money-saving move from what I have read.
True. There are a lot of hosting companies out there nobody ever hears about and some of them may be good and worth looking at. Angry people are the ones most likely to speak out about something.
The web hosting companies that get the most mention tend to have the largest size and, perhaps the main factor, have the highest-paying affiliate programs. HostGator pays a tiered $50 - $125 per qualified signup* depending on sales volume (or a flat $100 per signup through Commission Junction). That amount of money is going to be a powerful incentive to give them positive mention.
I’ve had many years of excellent service (and very limited downtime) from WebHostingBuzz. I’m not sure whether this is due to their top notch hardware, communications services or staff but I believe it is all three!
I have three accounts on differrent WHB servers and do have a check being made via third party on uptime and their reports are consistently ZERO downtime.
I’ve also had experience with other hosts in the past and have left for reasons other than downtime.
IMHO, best to find a good host (like WHB) and ride for years until their service/uptime starts to deteriorate. Then, if possible, have your host move you to a server without hardware/connectivity problems (while looking for another host). IMHO, I’m “riding” the peak at WHB and they show no sign of slacking off, only building upon their excellence. That translates to “Kudos to Matt (mdrussell)” and my extending my accounts long into the future.
Au contraire: You and your staff have definitely earned all the kudos I can heap upon you … probably more … for the reasons specified above!
I have been a very happy client for many years and try to let others know that my three accounts have had excellent service (hardware, software, communications and the few instances of support from your outstanding staff). I know that others will find the same.
I’m just so relieved to have left blacklisted hosting services (sharing EXIM with spammers on a VPS account with two hosts) behind … not to mention a few hardware problems and one major hack attack (about a third of the VPS’s domains were affected). WebHostingBuzz has been such a relief that they more than deserve all the praise I can heap upon them.
When I read about others’ problems with their hosts, I’m doubly thankful for my lack of problems so I’m not shy about my recommendation.
Further, WebHostingBuzz is big enough to have servers in the US and UK - and fast enough that my NZ clients are not disadvantaged.
Finally, they’re the only host I’ve found with “specialized hosting” accounts to accommodate the needs of the various CMS out there (high CPU requirements, mostly, of WP, Joomla, Drupal, etc.) and that fit the needs of one of my clients exactly.
Okay, now I’ll step down off my soapbox. I’m sure that you’ll find an account to suit your hosting requirements, too.
Please be SURE to use a STRONG password for your admin account AND check for WP updates every day! If you don’t, there will be nothing to stop the “script kiddies” from hacking your website when new hacking scripts appear. Just remember, it’s the webmaster’s job to keep those CMS’s up to date.
As for Matt, I don’t get to interact with the CEO very often (primarily because his staff is outstanding) but he’s a “hands-on guy” and will ensure that your experience will be as good as mine has been. Kudos start at the top at WHB!