OK this is a short cut for you if you are looking at who to host your website/blog with.  There are many on the market and everyone has their favourite, but our coders are all behind SiteGround hosting for a solution for a hosting provider who goes above and beyond just keeping your site online, they work to improve your SEO through some fundamental services that make for good website presence.  This is a review of some experience with the 4 hosting providers outlined below.

UPDATED; originally I was a fan of moving over to Crazy Domains – omg, watch out and give them a very wide swerve.  The email issues were so bad that we moved our emails to Rackspace, it is also a very good practice to have your emails hosted separately from your website, so if things go down at least you can still send and receive emails = makes for a good strategy.  The support with CD has always been inconsistent and they are not always clear with their instructions –  it is a training error.   But the fundamental flaw is that most hosting companies – Crazy Domains, Hostpapa, Hostgator, GoDaddy – give very little technical support.  And this is something I like to think my clients can manage themselves from time to time by using the staff in house at their chosen hosting company to walk them through the support strategies very simply.   Not one of these companies offer this.  As long as their server is working that is the breadth of their support.  But there is hope, read on.

Rather than be a baiased blog written when reaching the end of my tether with these hosting companies, here is a brief review of the prices and product offers by Crazy Domains, HostPapa, HostGator and GoDaddy;

Each offer a SSL certificate; the cheapest they offer are at $99 a year (Crazy Domain), or up to $495 a year for what they call a Wild Card SSL which just means that you can have more than one domain on your certificate, but if you have two with (Crazy Domain) it still works out at just over half price.  There are also different grades of SSL certificates, one for blogs/content management system sites and one for e-commerce which has a higher security guarantee, you need to buy the right one for your site or it will not fit the purpose you are buying it for.  Go Daddy; their SSL certificates range from $89 for blogs and $149 for e-commerce per annum.  Crazy Domains $49 for blog sites and $149 for e-commerce sites. NOTE; it is good practice to buy your SSL certificate from the host provider, it just makes for tidy business and no room for error now or down the track.

Hostpapa and Hostgator are great at offering small businesses a cheap hosting solution, BUT watch the details of that price offering, it is usually attached to you buying their hosting for 3 years to be able to get this price.  From experience, just buy 1 year, test them out and then if you love them, commit for longer next time round.  Depending on the amount of content you generate and the traffic flow to your site; blog or commerce site, this will impact the amount of data that you are allowed within your package, if you go over that amount your site may perform slower or worse not be available – 500 internal error is usually what you will see.   Most hosting companies offer an easy upgrade, but not many alert you that you are close to your limit and your site times may be impacted if you go over the data limit.  Making sure you audit and interview your hosting option with the right questions can help you avoid this trap, in my experience the providers we have already discussed do not this kind of support or alerts they are not the best for service if something goes wrong, you can try and call and if they aren’t too busy you may get through to someone but other than that you have to raise a ticket and wait a few days for an email reply.  Which if your site is experiencing issues, that will equal a bit of undue stress.

To date my experience with GoDaddy has been the best of these 4; they offer great online/offline support 24/7, it has unlimited storage, they offer good back ups of your site online although it is best to add a plugin; Updraft for example and have it save your backups to a remote site i.e. Dropbox or Google cloud.  The monthly hosting is $6.99 pm on sale and $13.99 pm normally; the best price is obtained with the longer subscription time with them which is the same with all hosting providers.

But the best experience hands down that I have had with all of these, from small – micro to medium size sites has been;  SiteGround – the key here is = MANAGED, not just plain hosting.  I’ll explain.

Web Hosting

 

The way their software for their hosting operates is that they offer managed automated hosting. They offer technical support, not just hosting, you speak to web developers not sales people – they know all the tech insights to go and have a look at the back end of your site, raise a ticket if there is work that needs to be done and let you know when the work is complete..  Apart from the fact that they offer insane speed for your WordPress/Joomla/Magento sites, they have 24/7 support through 3 different options; an awesome Live Chat feature – a must for when you want to multi-task while sorting things out, a landline number for your country of origin and online support tickets where you get to speak directly with web developers and coders.

They DON’T oversell their plans – they tell you what you need and it is usually less in price and higher in value.

They have caching software built into the hosting = want your site to go 3/4 times faster!!

They do Malware scans of your site for $1 a month, sign that one up – which sends an alert to your inbox as soon as something goes wrong.

They offer wildcard SSL per year for $89.   They also offer an inclusive back up service, CloudFlare – complimentary with your SSL certificate = extra protection for your site from hackers/spam bots,and complimentary migration of your site from your existing hosting company to SiteGround.

I have never had such peace of mind with a hosting company, they are professional, offer great support either through Live Chat or a ticket system that is answered within hours, not days.  And when you have web developers and coders recommended their service you know it is a great hosting option.

THE FINAL HOSTING TIP FOR YOUR WEBSITE

A good backup to your hosting would be to utilise a free service offered by Google is to set up an alert for when your site goes down, read this step by step guide on how to do this.

Just for a little more sugar on this post we came across this golden nugget of a video from Rand from MOZ – because a fast site and relevant content on your site are the two key factors to improve you CTR (click through rate = they click on your link) and SEO (search engine optimisation = organic reach of the content that you are producing for your client base) ranking.  It’s 30mins long but totally worth it as he packs a lot in this and he is a dynamic speaker, so really your saving time while learning in a fun way.

 

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