The DSS Top Web Hosting Picks and Top We Avoid

Web Hosting is important as it’s where your website is going to live and provide essential email service. Making sure you have a company you enjoy working with is vital as you will likely work with them for years.

The DSS Top Web Hosting Picks

#1. GreenGeeks

  • The best Shared Hosting Platform and customer service combination I have ever seen.
  • I’ve never had a problem deploying a website.
  • They offer both live chat support and a ticketing system with really great response times.
  • They offer shared hosting and WordPress Optimized Hosting.
  • Monthly packages are $10 per month outside of introductory offers or long term commitment offers.

The only drawback is for the web developers it uses basic cPanel which can feel a bit cumbersome and less flexible however once you get used to it, you have any problems.

They are so good they are the only one I’m going to directly link to.

               

#2. 1and1

The company offers very flexible packages that are both very powerful and typically cheaper.  The admin panel features are great for web developers, which in turn provides value to customers.

I would recommend only their shared hosting vs the WordPress specific hosting. You lose database management and controls that I think are great on the WordPress specific offering.

Drawback – Customer Support

  • e-mail support submissions can take a day or two for response.
  • The phone support generally has long wait times and the first person you talk to isn’t always very knowledgeable.

Keep in mind over the course of 10 years I’ve only had to contact the company a half dozen times. Each time unfortunately I was disappointed with the customer support response time.

#3. Pantheon

Now Pantheon is not going to be one for everyone to consider. Pantheon is an Elite WordPress hosting platform providing development, staging and live production environments and workflows.

They start at $25 per month so more on the expensive side. They do offer best in performance and stability. Pantheon would most likely be overkill 90% of the time. However when you start getting 10k visitors a month performance and stability can start to become a big concern. That is when Pantheon will shine and compares to a dedicated server.

The DSS Top Web Hosting We Avoid

#1. Re-seller packages

The Re-Sellers offer everything for a low monthly price of $30 – $75+. Now this might seem great to just pay a monthly fee and get everything. There are some risks you should consider.

Risks

  • If you don’t want to work with that developer you may not be able to move your website
  • Make sure you own your domain name if they register it.
  • You might be stuck hosting while trying to work with a new designer/developer which can quickly get awkward.
  • They typically have bought a large re-seller package and are dividing it up into smaller pieces to sell higher than if you got it directly from the company. You really don’t know what your paying for.
  • You don’t have direct information. Is it shared hosting on a server with 100 other websites.

We prefer to keep the hosting independent from the design and development. This allows you to have a direct relationship with your hosting company. We focus on being open, transparent and providing the highest value and utilizing re-seller makes us more money but we don’t feel it shows we are putting your best interests first.

#2. Full website solution packages

Examples – Wix , SquareSpace – These services work for very few types of websites as they are not flexible.

  • Most services have limitations such as number of pages before you get charged additional fees (buy more pages, or features).
  • In some cases they put their ads on your website until you buy a big enough package to remove them.
  • They claim how easy to use to build out a fantastic website will be. Many times you will still need to higher a designer or developer to get your site working. You don’t want it to look like every other site they offer.

This doesn’t even begin to address web development concerns such as;

  • Search Engine Optimization – Making sure your website is found easily by search engines.
  • Accessibility (required by law in parts of Canada and soon to be all of Canada). Making sure everyone can use your website.
  • Lack of Web Standards and Best Practices.

Not to say these issues can’t be addressed but when they claim how easy it is, they leave out a lot of important things your designers and developers do for you.

#3. BIG NAME web host

I’ve experienced problems with these web hosting companies with my clients over the years.

  • GoDaddy – does not work well with WordPress it’s resources and how it’s setup just doesn’t work efficiently. When I opened a support ticket to ask why a WordPress website on my 1and1 dev server ran smoothly but on theirs it was maxing our processing the answer provided was You need to ask your web developer to solve why the website is built wrong. What it turned out to be some of the analytics software is not supported specifically on godaddy hosting and godaddy servers just didn’t work so i had to find an alternative. Also migrating to them with WP Migrate won’t work the limitations of Go Daddy servers prevents it from going through it will hang time you have to do each piece manually uploading core files, database and assets. I have not had a good experience with them in all of the times I’ve had to work with them for clients with customer support or with their actual servers.
  • Name – Name is another one that seems to have been around forever but again has so much trouble with wordpress and barely supports it. Resource caps and limitations of the server if you are running anything than a very small site I would skip it and customer support is  2/5.
  • Blue host- A lot of people use their affiliate system due to the high payouts, personally I only setup one client here are their request and we had nothing but problems and very unhelpful support after that I never went back. I even tried to get my account fixed with a password reset and help request and they never fixed it. That client has since moved over to Green Geeks.
About the author

My Name is George Matthews, I am married have 3 children and 2 dogs. I live in a small town on the East Coast called St. Stephen. Focuses: Front-end Web Development, Design and Analytics.

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