I’ve noticed that in many “start your blog” posts online, experts recommend Host Gator. In my experience, Host Gator has a terrible user interface and frequent downtime. So why do people recommend Host Gator? In part because Host Gator pays fat referrals fees for every new signup.
Here are two alternatives I recommend…
#1: Dreamhost for most people
- I signed up for Dreamhost years ago, and it’s where my personal site is hosted;
- Dreamhost has fast and comprehensive customer service, though you need to have some tech or DIY knowledge;
- Hosting is reliable and reasonably fast;
- It’s cheap and also has a good referral program;
Warning: Some of the sites I host on Dreamhost have been hacked, so I’m not 100% confident in site security. Admittedly this could be due to me not updating WordPress or using weak passwords.
#2: WPEngine for high performance
- I use WPEngine for client sites, e.g., Museum Hack is hosted on WPEngine (t’s a $2 million+ business that does company team building tours at museums in NYC and SF);
- WPEngine has amazing 24/7 customer support via live chat, they are super smart, friendly and good communicators (e.g., they don’t just say, “this is the technical solution”, they say “these are your options and this is how it may affect your SEO”);
- Great backup and restore ability;
- WPEngine has a “staging” feature where you can do website development and then easily push it to the live version;
- Awesome site security, with details about updates and plugins exactly when you need them;
The only “drawback” on WPEngine is that it’s more expensive than many of the alternatives, so it may not be a great fit for bloggers just starting out. But if you run a business on a WordPress based site you should absolutely make this investment.
Also, if you aren’t sure what’s best for your blog/business, I’d recommend looking at other experts:
- Ramit Sethi’s I Will Teach You To Be Rich appears to be hosted on Rack Space;
- Ramit’s sub brand Growth Lab appears to be via Cloud Flare;
- Andrew Warner’s Mixergy I believe is hosted on WPEngine via Cloud Flare;
- Nick Gray’s personal site about life in NYC is hosted on Host Gator;
- Derek Halpern’s Social Triggers is also via Cloud Flare;
- Julia Kelly’s JK Expressions is on Servint;
- Eric Conley’s personal site about HR is on Dreamhost;
- Naveen Dittakavy’s flight deals site, NextVacay is via Cloud Flare;
- Selena Soo’s site about PR and influence is on Go Daddy;
- Navid Moazzez’ site about building online business is also via Cloud Flare.
FWIW, I found the “where it’s hosted” information via this tool: http://www.whoishostingthis.com/