IMPORTANT UPDATE – The quality of this particular host has gone downhill since this post was made. I can no longer stand by this recommendation. Today, I suggest checking out: This Host – The best part about them is that you never have to wait for a chat or a phone call to start. You almost always get a response in under 1 minute! Often, it’s better than 30 seconds. Try them out. They know what they are doing and they do a good job (updated on May 3rd 2015) – Next – Go There Now ( I suggest avoiding the host that I name – but it is your business and your choice!)
Of Utmost Importance
I do believe that is important to choose the right host from the start. You don’t want to make a mistake with this choice because it can cost you time and more importantly money to move.
Moving from one host to another can be problematic. It can cost you down time in the form of your website not being available as well as the time it may take to reconfigure things.
Reconfiguring is sometimes necessary because there can be subtle differences between web hosts that no one is aware of until you discover some part of your site no longer works the way it once did.
Learn from my experience, which I am going to share with you here here. I have wasted time on a number of web hosts.
It is important to find a quality host. Choose one that does have stand alone dedicated servers available. Even though you may not need one and can start with a relatively cheap shared hosting plan, it is still a good idea to choose a host who has dedicated servers available.
The reason why is that if your site starts to do well, it is a lot easier to move within the same host to your own server than it is to move somewhere else.
I think I have been with about 5 or 6 different web hosts since 2002.
Most of them have been LOUSY. One in particular was so horrible, that I couldn’t believe it. They only backed up 1G of data and that backup was done ‘whenever the admins got around to it’! I had way more than 1G of data on their server!
When I needed a backup from the day before, they did not have one. Their most current backup was about 3 months old! I couldn’t believe it. I had to move – again! You do not want to risk NOT having a file that you really NEED available. I still shake my head when I think about that experience. They are a very popular host but my experience tells me they were terrible!
Do not let that happen to you.
Another host, and this is something that I cannot prove for 100% certainty, was using my account to send out spam and then blaming me. I have never had that problem with any of the other hosts I have used over the years. I believe their admins were behind the scam. I won’t name that hosting service. But I think they were taken over by another company since I had the unfortunate experience of using them.
Lesson learned: Get a hosting provider that is professional and is interested in doing the best job possible to support you, because you WILL need support and help from them. You may need a little or a lot, but you will need some support at some time for sure.
A good host should be accessible and capable of providing real help.
The Hosting Service That I Am Using Now
Eventually, I found my way to HostGator* and I have been there for a several years now.
While they are not perfect and I have had some unhappy moments with them, overall, they have been the best out of all of the hosts I have tried to date.
They have 24 hour chat AND phone support. This is something that is relatively hard to find in a hosting company.
What is more important than how easily you can reach them is whether they provide competent support or not. Lousy support is worthless no matter how easy it is to reach them.
HostGator is usually pretty good at getting problems fixed. I did have a several hour long outage with them once that made me a bit angry. However, overall, they have still outperformed all of the other hosting platforms I have tried by far.
For this reason, and based on my experience with MANY web hosting companies, I would recommend HostGator* to anyone looking for hosting.
I am currently using a dedicated server with HostGator*.
Having a dedicated server means that I pay a lot more than others do for hosting, but in exchange I get to be on my very own server. No other company or person’s websites are on my server. It is just me and I like it that way.
In this way, what other webmasters do with their sites will not affect me. If they are using up all the server resources, such as memory or CPU power, it does not effect my sites one bit. I am isolated from all of that nonsense.
This current site that you are on is hosted on that dedicated server.
I have the ability to pretty much do anything I want with that server. I can reboot it at anytime. I can create and manage accounts. I could even sell hosting to other people if I wanted to (I don’t, so please don’t ask me).
I like having more control and power. I don’t want what someone else does with their website to mess up my sites. That is why I chose dedicated server hosting.
However, you don’t absolutely need a dedicated server. This is particularly true if you are just starting out. You can go with the cheap hosting plans if you are just beginning your career on the web.
Later, when you have a lot going on, you may want to change. You will know when it is time.
Transferring Data Experience
I had a great experience getting my sites transferred over to host gator. They have a system that takes care of everything. That includes databases and all. I only had to make a few minor tweaks.
This was one of the first signs that told me that hostgator knew what it was doing.
I had a transfer experience with another host that did not go well. I had to make annoying adjustments to databases and upload them by hand. That was a terrible, time wasting experience!
This was not the case at HostGator however. I feel comfortable recommending them because they do seem to have admins that know what they are doing, unlike the other hosts I have tried.
You will probably be able to save yourself some hassles by going with HostGator*
This is my opinion about them, based on my experiences with them as well as other hosting providers.
If you can profit from my experience, by avoiding poor providers, that will be much better for your business and / or for you.
Read more about *HostGator
*( Disclosure: There is a material connection between that link, HostGator and me – That means that I may get paid if you sign up with them ). This is one of the ways that I make money through my sites, by utilizing affiliate programs.
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