Yes, over 30 Web Hosting accounts with actual websites.
Seems Like Overkill, Maybe So.
Although I would love to cover each web host in great detail, it’s best I stick to my experiences. I will also mention a few you should avoid. Finding the best web host isn’t the easiest task. In fact, there probably isn’t a best host.
Important Note – Fake reviews are running rampant on the Internet, especially in the web hosting review area. Hopefully, I can save you some time and money with your hosting journey. Not All Hosts are Created Equal.
Affiliate Disclaimer – Some of the links below will carry an affiliate link to the hosting provider.
My Web Hosting History
Web hosting, in general, has evolved significantly since 2004. From shared hosting, cloud hosting, VPS hosting, dedicated hosting and all of the other types, there is something for everyone. I use many of the big names as well as the smaller providers. Overall, the ones I kept over the years all ran well for my needs. It’s my turn to share what I found out.
Web Hosting Setup
Each host held one to five websites except for my reseller hosts like Hostgator and WebHostingBuzz which carried a lot more. My hosts were all used for a different reason but none of my sites were resource-intensive. A basic package was all I needed. Your criteria might be a lot different. Remember, it is relatively easy to upgrade the plan level you select if you need to expand for growth. This is a great problem to have. I don’t get into to much detail about bandwidth, email, and disk space. Rather, I focus on four major factors that are important to me.
- How many Addon Domains you get.
- Whether they use the CPanel backend.
- How Much I Pay Annually.
- How Good is Their Customer Service?
Here are my Top Five Web Hosts
Here is a Look at the Rest of the Web Hosts I’ve Used
I put my top five hosts at the beginning but after that, there is no particular order.
I currently host one of my biggest sites here. I’ve had small issues but nothing that makes me worried. I actually had this site on another good host, that host was HostGator and moved it to SiteGround. I haven’t looked back since. I plan to roll with them as long as they keep up with their service. My support tickets dealt with a transfer to them when I left Hostgator and support with my SSL certificate. I did have some live chats for minimal things.
They offer their customers all kinds of service options. From shared server hosting to the most extreme. My current price is $72/year.
The only support situation I had was when I added SSL certificates. Dealing with them was a piece of cake. HawkHost should be in your top five when deciding which host to use. My current price is $29.16/year.
I do remember opening a support ticket and received a quick response. This makes them better than some of the rest. The price is fair for the service and support you get. You may have to upgrade your plan depending on your needs but for the most part, you’ll be satisfied. My current price is $60/year.
I recently realized they did away with their ticket system for support. They created their own in house customer support set up. I decided to test it out. Someone responded within 5 minutes and answered my question. This may be a factor for me if something were to go seriously wrong. For now, the web service has been exceptional. I will continue to host some big sites with them and would recommend them to you as well. My current price is $43.45/year.
The history of my support looks fairly minimal. I had to increase my resources due to some high CPU but they took care of it quickly. I didn’t have downtime which is the important part. For the price I’m paying, I feel like I’m getting a good deal. My current price is $54.00/year.
At the time of signup, they were the biggest for small businesses. I felt like I was going with a trusted company and for the most part, I did. Pricing was more expensive compared to the rest. It is definitely one of the more expensive hosts out there today. I’m not going to say don’t use Hostgator because I did for so long. Remember, everyone’s experience will be different. I’m just sharing what I found. My Price when I left was $29/month for a reseller account.
The history with BlastPort looks straight forward I had one request over the five years and that was to update the PHP versions. If you just want a simple blog or something with minimal resources, BlastPort could be a good option for you. My current price is $11.88/year.
I currently have around 10 websites hosted with them. I could move them to my other web hosts but at $60 a year that’s a really good deal for a reseller account. I believe now reseller accounts start at $11/month. I guess you can say I got grandfathered in. There servers and services have always gotten better through the years and could be a good choice for you. My current price is $60/year.
I did run into the site being hacked, but that was most likely from my neglection to the updates in WordPress. They were able to restore it from backup and I was good to go. I wouldn’t suggest them as a super production site, but if you want to run tests and other projects it’s nice to have a very cheap host. My current price is $12/year.
All I had to do was move my sites to one of my other hosting accounts. I submitted a cancellation request soon after and the process was fulfilled before the next billing cycle. I do have servers in a lot of different countries to this day. My price when I left was $5.00/mo.
Topping things off, my simple WordPress sites kept getting hacked. They kept blaming my site theme and plugins. By the time I moved they realized that their server was not fully secure. It was a frustrating ordeal and I wouldn’t recommend using them for your web hosting. My cost at the time was $11.95/month.
It turns out that my hosting here has been pretty spot on. If there are no problems in the hosting world, I would say all is well. I would highly recommend them as a cheap hosting solution. Again, my needs for this were for minimal resources and cost was the priority. My current price is $12/year.
This is another site where you get what you pay for. I was only able to host one site with HostSo. They offer several other plans. I can’t guarantee their service on a larger scale since I never used it. The bigger plans are still more affordable and you get a lot more out of the server if you need it. The biggest plan they offer gives you a ton of power and is still way better than the sucky HostRocket. My current price is $12/year.
Looking back on the history of tickets, I only see issues with a billing situation. Not once have I seen downtime. My use of this host is minimal and this package only allows me one website. It’s been doing what I asked for over 5 years now. Unlike some of the other providers mentioned, they do offer all kinds of hosting packages. You can even get a dedicated server. My current price is $12.60/year.
- The backend dashboard for managing billing and tickets is not simple to use. (I can’t even find my old invoices)
- The support was fast to respond but they always had an issue fixing my problems. Typically they blame it on WordPress.
- I purchased a business class service which was $218/year and I felt like one of my cheap hosts was performing better at times. – I dropped this plan in 2018
Although they offer a ton of service plans, I don’t think I would tell you to use them. I currently have their base package for a different project. It gives me three domains in total. It hasn’t been foolproof. For the money, I would suggest going elsewhere. My current price is $38.88/year.
They also have first-year predatory terms. Although they give you a nice deal when you sign up, you eventually get bumped three times the cost. I got sick of paying them this money so I moved on to some of my other hosts. My last price is $143.00/year.
The backend seems like one they built themselves but for the most part, it’s pretty easy to navigate. I wish I could get a few more domains on this host for the price I pay. Currently, I can only have four total. This is the main reason they didn’t make my top 5. My current price is $107/year.
There were a couple of things I wasn’t too happy about. They wanted to charge me $5 a month more for using an older PHP version(unsupported). I wasn’t even sure what they were talking about at the time. I had to contact them to get refunds on these charges. The backend was created in house as well. It’s not nearly as clean as a Cpanel.
The price was above average but they were one of the biggest hosts at the time. Although I wouldn’t say don’t use them, I’m also going to say I’m not using them anymore. The service I got allowed me to host up to 5 domains. I left in 2016. My last price is $83.00/year.
Looking back at my support cases, I did have a few. Some were for sites not loading while another was for some Cpanel issues. For the price, they’ve faired well enough. I can’t say I would use them for a main site. My current price is $18.91/year.
My support tickets are loaded with frustration. If you can’t count on your hosting provider it’s not worth it. Even at a low rate or in my case for free. I’m trying to get to one of my sites right now and it’s taking forever. Luckily I don’t really need these sites anymore. My current price is Free/year.
I haven’t had many issues with my site so I can’t really tell you what the support is like. I guess that is a good thing. Bottom line is, you don’t get much for your dollar with hostnine. My current price is 47.88/year.
Honest Opinion of Godaddy – I consider them a huge conglomerate and are always nickel and diming. There were many occasions where I felt like they were forcing me to sign up for services I didn’t need. You’ll see what I mean if you ever get to a checkout page.
GoDaddy Auctions is the main reason I still work with them today. Although this service could be a lot better it does allow me to find good aged domains. I’ll go over this in a future post. They are also my domain registrar for over 150 domains. Between yearly renewals and domain privacy, I send them a lot of money. By the way, my price when I stopped hosting was 134.04/year.
I did have one bout with downtime back in 2018. It appeared my sites weren’t loading but as soon as I contacted support my issue got resolved. They do have a ticketing system which I do like. My Current Price is $71.88/year.
Going back on some tickets, I believe I had a discrepancy with them about a second account. This led to my sites being suspended but we cleaned this up real quick. For the most part, the service has been running optimally for many years. I do pay annually for my service. My Current Price is $36.00/year.
Going back on my support tickets I was pleasantly surprised to have only a billing issue back in my first of 4 renewals. I had paid the bill upfront only to realize after that my PayPal account was set up to auto-renew. This was a simple refund. This host doesn’t do much of my heavy lifting but it may one day since their uptime has been that good. It could break into the top 5 one day. My Current Price is $50.00/year.
My support tickets weren’t pretty either. There were latency server days. I would say stay away from HostMetro. At the time of sign up, I was paying $33.00 a year but after the first two years my price went up. My Current Price is $41.00/year.
You can get better deals all over the world. They moved their hosting system to Australia. Although I’m on a US data center, there is no reason for me to be with them as my host. I also signed up with a 3-year billing cycle. This turns out to be much more than most of the hosts I use today. If you have one site that you will depend on this host may work for you but you have to consider the price for the lack of addon domains. My Current Price is $96.00/year.
With the Cpanel, I get five addon domains with this host. I feel like this is a good set up for the basic hosting plan. I pay on a two-year cycle which works for me. At my current price, I don’t feel like I’m crushed come billing time. I would say you can go with them and feel good about your purchase. My Current Price is $48.00/year.
Looking back on the support tickets I did have some minimal downtime. Once was during the migration and the other dealt with downtime but was taken care of within an hour. The fact that I can host this many domains is great. I had just renewed my plan as I wrote this post. It’s a three-year billing cycle. My Current Price is $47.00/year.
The support backend doesn’t look completely clean. I think a year after hosting with them I suffered some downtime but it was resolved quickly. The cool thing was the SSL support. They installed it for one of my new domains from a simple request. My Current Price is $60.00/year.
Going back on support tickets I hardly had anything worth mentioning. If you have the money and want a solid service you should go with Site5. I added one of my big sites to this host. In the future, I will add domains to this host. My Current Price is $108.00/year.
Since they are a WordPress Host, they don’t offer some of the bells and whistles a normal CPanel host would offer. For example, you need to create a third party email setup. This is a bit disappointing for the amount you pay. If email isn’t that important it’s no big deal. They want you to use companies like MailChimp if you have newsletters or marketing plans. The Afternoongrind is using a newsletter service from Mailchimp. I’ll break them down in a future post. For now, if you want solid WordPress hosting WPEngine is a good place to start. My current price is $245/year. You save two months if you pay annually.
Final Web Hosting Review Thoughts
If you made it through all of these, well, god bless you. This isn’t the most exciting read. However, if I was able to help you just a little bit in your research than I’ve done my job. Web Hosting has come a long way and will continue to evolve. It’s picking the places that offer the best bang for your buck with the best customer service. The top sites will be rated for uptime, price and customer service. If you can nail these you are well on your way. Remember, there probably isn’t a best web host out there. You have to take a chance and hope you get the best service. Good luck with your research and don’t hesitate to ask me anything. Keep an eye out for more great reviews in the future.