The most common complaint I hear from new clients is “I think need a new website because my site is slow, or is down all the time.” But in most cases, the problem isn’t the website, it’s who they’ve chosen as their web host. When I ask these clients who they’re hosting with, it’s almost always GoDaddy, FatCow, Hostgator, or any of the atrocious EIG subsidiaries like BlueHost, HostMonster, Arvixe and Site5.
Why Shared Hosting is a Bad Decision
The biggest suggestion I can make, is that it’s important not to go with a “shared” hosting service. These are hosts that normally charge anywhere from $2-$20/mo for website hosting. I call this “communist hosting” because they jam hundreds of users onto the same server and make them share the server’s (limited) resources.
Granted, this shared setup makes the monthly cost appear cheaper for everyone, but if someone happens to be running a porn site on your assigned server (which you’d never be able to know beforehand) and that website is maxing out the server’s resources with their hundreds of thousands of visitors and adult video downloads, everyone else’s site will experience severe slowness or complete blackouts due to this. If you choose to remain on a host like this, your business’s SEO is going to suffer tremendously, because Google discriminates against slow websites and websites with frequent outages.
If you plan to have a WordPress website (which most people choose to do these days, because it’s open source, easy to use, and can accommodate those with limited web experience) then I would recommend WP Engine. (Be sure to use our 20% off promo code to save yourself some coin.)
Why I Recommend WP Engine & Other “Managed WordPress” Hosts
WP Engine constantly monitors your website to make sure things are running properly. They’re hosting experts, but they are also experts in WordPress, so if you ever find yourself struggling with any (and I mean ANY) aspects of your website, hosting-related or not, they will dedicate their time to help you through it. This is priceless, especially if you have limited web experience.
Their hosting services start at $30/month, but the speed, free SSL encryption, nightly automatic backups, and expert support team makes the cost a no-brainer, especially when you’re running a business and don’t have the time or knowledge to troubleshoot web issues.
A Warning To Those Who Aren’t Web Experts
Hosts like GoDaddy are tremendously tedious to manage for people who aren’t web professionals. Yeah, their $5/mo hosting sounds great, but when something goes wrong, they can’t (and won’t) help you. It may cause you to have to rebuild an entirely new website or hire a professional for $120/hr to troubleshoot problems, all because you wanted to save a few bucks each month.
On average, troubleshooting a website problem takes about an hour of time. If you hire someone for an hour to troubleshoot, the $120/hr you’ll spend on a web professional will completely obliterate what you thought you’d save by hosting for a year with GoDaddy and the like.
So there you have it. If this info is able to help you or anyone else out there that is shopping for a reliable web host, I would like to save you (and your web designers) the hassle and heartache of dealing with these low-quality hosting providers. Because, the truth is, they’re not actually saving you anything.