Are you looking for a cheap web hosting solution for your new online creation?
Note, I now recommend Idologic Inc for hosting. See Idologic Inc Hosting Review for more details.
Here I detail my short road to high quality hosting.
For those who want the answer straight away, my current host is (edit: NO LONGER) Blue Who
Whilst not the cheapest in terms of dollars per feature, I feel it is a great deal given the quality on offer. I think paying a little more probably means less troublesome neighbours you may be sharing a machine with.
Best of all is the friendly and lightning fast support response. I have lodged over 10 separate requests and always received a response in a matter of minutes (and I don't believe any longer than 10 minutes). This kind of quick support is rare in any business, let alone Internet hosting providers.
Support forums are publicly available and seemingly always under the hawk eyes of technical support.
The network is fantastic, fast and with plenty of bandwidth on offer. There is also the choice of two data centres.
The accounts have great features like reselling and unlimited add on domains.
The staff is very knowledgeable and write back well written responses that are easy to understand.
There is no over the top marketing hype, eg special offers that coincidentally happen to be ending that day, yet always seems to still be on the next day. There is no affiliate program, so I'm not getting anything out of telling you how great they are, which should make it more believable.
Machines are not overloaded with users. My site runs much quicker than on my previous cheaper host.
Credit card and PayPal payment options
Things that may make BlueWho unsuitable for you:
- No dedicated hosting, you are going to have to look elsewhere.
- No support for Java.
- Linux only, so no Windows hosting and tools (.NET, ASP etc) For those looking for other options and search strategy ideas for finding their own perfect host, we continue:
When I first started looking for a host, I was aware that many of the cheap options would be a complete waste of time. The trouble is, there are so many hosts out there it is a trial to find cut through all the marketing hype and find a host that has the goods.
My first hosting search strategy was probably somewhat flawed. I was looking at cheap hosting review sites. With my first "cheap" host I didn't really notice how bad it was until I started uploading files and trying to modify them a lot more. It , I was quite horrified when my website appeared to crash with 5 people on it, the last straw had been drawn. I spent several hours in despair trawling through numerous stories of horror stories about web sites.
My second strategy worked much better. I found that by looking at webmaster forums, I got a better idea of the service you were going to receive after you paid the money for you account. Even if you don't find BlueWho to your advantage.
Other sites that had very good feedback by users are:
Pair Networks - From what I read, Pair is technically rock solid. When I first looked at Pair, they had a much higher fee for their service. On looking again, they seem to have reduced their prices and a Pair deal is looking pretty impressive now if they have maintained that high quality of service.
Linode. - This is an interesting one. You get a virtual server where you can install provided versions of Linux. You have to maintain everything yourself... which some people may like. It gives you the freedom to install what you want and how you want. You can upgrade your plan to get more CPU, RAM, disk space etc. I couldn't find much bad feedback about this company on their publicly available support forums. Possible issues:
Was only one main support person - whilst it did appear he was very good at his job and seemed to cover a lot of ground, it was a bit of a concern for me.
You have to do everything yourself. Depending on your experience, you will probably find this a little challenging, especially if you have never used Linux. There appears to be a nice friendly community that help each other out in the forums though.
Whilst looking around the Linode site, I had the feeling it was a quick and stable network. Having been back a few times since, I have noticed a few stability issues, eg the site appearing to be down. This may have just been bad timing though.