I already tried these four hosting providers and I want to share my personal and honest reviews about these because while finding the best hosting for me I found less honest reviews online about hosting providers. Most of the reviews I checked seemed to be sponsored. So here’s my own take to reviewing four of the popular hosting providers for small to medium websites. Take note that these are my own reviews based on my own experience.
My first self-hosted wordpress blog, The Muslim Bricks, was hosted on Hostgator. It was my first time self-hosting a blog. I bought the Hatchling plan which is good for only one website. It has unmetered bandwith and unlimited disk space. As a new customer, who was new to hosting, the price was a big factor for me and Hostgator was very affordable. So throughout the year, I had no problem with them. Amazing customer service and no down time. So, I assumed it to be the best provider for me.
The following year, I upgraded my service with them because I wanted to host more than one website. This Blog, By Najmah, and my other blogs happened. I upgraded from Hatchling to BabyPlan hosting package. On BabyPlan package, it’s not unlimited. So, it has limit to how much files I could host. At first everything was fine, but as my websites’ activity and traffic increased, I encountered more downtime and it’s what’s supposed to happen. I was told that shared hosting works that way. If you have more websites, more traffic, on a shared hosting, sharing resources, then there’s a tendency that they reach the limit of resources usage resulting to downtime and worse case is it may result to termination.
I didn’t blame Hostgator for that because it was the same thing that may happen to all shared hosting of any hosting company. When my websites and my traffic were less, there were no downtime. I got series of website downtime when I got more websites and more traffic. The solution is upgrading to a higher plan.
But, that was already the time that my freelancing business grew and I added hosting services to my clients. So, I thought of upgrading to a Reseller plan instead. On this plan, I could sell hosting to my clients without experiencing down time because (it is not a shared hosting) each one of my client had their own hosting (cPanel) — but with limited disk space and bandwidth. As part of the offer, I was also given a free account on ResellerClub. So, I was able to sell domains too. As my web design and hosting grew more, I needed to upgrade and upgrade to a higher plan. But that time my experience with Hostgator wasn’t anymore getting worth the price I was paying. The customer service was getting slow, the price increased, the security of my websites was weak, some of my websites were attacked, and there are better packages and offers that other providers are offering.
To conclude, my experience with Hostgator was nice especially when I was just a newbie when it comes to hosting. The customer service back then was nice and fast. My first year self-hosting my blog was not difficult because Hostgator was always helpful. But, as my websites grew I have to transfer to another host for a better experience, especially that there are clients involved. For a newbie with a small website, this hosting provider could be one of the good choices. But as someone with more experience with different hosting providers and have more websites, if I would be asked if I would ever consider going back to Hostgator, my answer would be no.
As a blogger, I’m constantly seeking for a better service for my websites and I found that in others.
When I wasn’t anymore happy with Hostgator, I transferred my websites to a2hosting. I bought the reseller plan. Everything was fine then. There was 100% uptime, security, neat interface and many tools I used to manage my websites easily. I had no problem with them. A2Hosting does not offer Live Chat to existing customers, which was a bit disappointing at first. But, when I tried their support tickets, I got quick and helpful responses but their hosting is expensive especially the plan I bought. Recently, I’m reducing my freelance services to web design only which means I’m no longer offering hosting service to my clients. I’m joining med school soon and I can no longer handle hosting service to my clients. So, I don’t need a reseller plan anymore. I had to downgrade to a shared hosting again because I’m just going to host my own websites. I wanted to stay with a2hosting’s shared hosting but it is expensive and they don’t offer discount for existing customers so I though why not try a new hosting that is affordable and that provides best service just like a2hosting does. I tried GoDaddy then…
As a new customer, I was eligible to the 50% discount of GoDaddy. GoDaddy is a popular provider especially when it comes to domain. It was one of my choices when I was self-hosting my blog for the first time, but HostGator was cheaper. So last week, I bought GoDaddy’s shared hosting to try it out. Gladly, they offer 30 day refund for customers who bought 1 year plan. Although I know how to manually migrate my websites from one host to another, I was expecting they would offer me a free migration but none. One thing I don’t like about GoDaddy is that they don’t have live chat, support tickets or email , they only provide support via call. And of all, that’s what I find very important. Ease in communication is a big plus. Not everyone could conveniently call abroad. I tried calling their Philippine number several times, it’s always not available or busy. That’s a big turn off for me. Another thing is that the packages isn’t promising. Just by transferring one website, I already experienced almost full usage of resources. I thought of upgrading to a higher plan so I can host more of my websites but I couldn’t contact them easily. So, I decided to cancel my service with them and get a refund.
After few days of finding the perfect hosting, I found SiteGround.
I’m already familiar with Siteground before, but I just got the interest to research more about the hosting recently. It has good reviews from my fellow bloggers, it is affordable and it is just like A2Hosting, which is the hosting I was most satisfied with. To add on that, it has more features and it has live chat even for existing customers which is a big plus for me. I already migrated 5 of my websites on my new hosting and hoping to have long term satisfactory experience with them.
Great customer service
Affordable price 60% discount for new customers
Special cache tool
And a lot more
Let me know your hosting experience and what hosting provider you’re hosting your blogs with.