If you have a website, you must have web hosting to serve your webpages. If you have an overwhelmed web server your web pages will be delivered slowly to your site’s visitors. It has been researched, that home pages that take more than a second to download from a slower web server will often be skipped and browsers will quickly move on to more responsive web sites. The following quote generally describes what you should be looking for with good web hosting:
“Perhaps the best way to ensure that your site is running as fast, smooth, and consistent as possible is to find the best host. More than anything, with web hosting, you get what you pay for. If you are serious about running a solid site that is fast and reliable, stay away from cheap [Go Daddys], sold-out web hosts and find something with excellent servers and strong service.”
You should avoid the big discount hosts because they operate on a huge scale where millions of customers compete for cattle-like customer service. They get you onboard with a great deal on their low monthly hosting cost, but nickel and dime you on additional services beyond basic hosting. The so-called “sold-out” hosts have been purchased by a few huge Amazon-like hosting companies that want to buy up the existing competition in the industry and we all know what this leads to.
My partner and I host about 50-60 domains from small companies. We have what is called dedicated-hosting vs. shared-hosting, meaning we have 100% control of our server and how it is configured, and what sites are hosted from it. We know our clients’ web sites and what bandwidth their sites consume. With shared-hosting you really never know what the hosting environment will be like until after experiencing a couple of months with them. Do they have 500+ sites being served from their shared server? Do they host domains that are bandwidth hogs? Obviously, companies (share-hosting resellers) offering shared hosting packages are going to make the most money when they have fewer online servers with more sites per server; which usually means poor server performance. WP Engine has shared hosting packages starting at $29/month. They specialize in WordPress hosting and generally get good hosting reviews, but they are almost twice our monthly cost ($16/mo.) from a dedicated server with a limited number of installed domains (50-60 small sites). We are still shared hosting, but our server’s resources are very closely monitored. Plus, with our hosting there never is any bandwidth overage or surprise fees, you are billed $192 ($16 x 12) once a year. I think we offer a great value if you need WordPress hosting.
Security in cyberspace is increasingly challenging because the black hats (bad guys) vs. white hats (good guys) are winning the cyber security war (think: Target, HomeDepot, Chase, and even WordPress sites). The black hats are interested hijacking server bandwidth for their own needs, finding credit card numbers, borrowing somebody-else’s mail server, or promoting other shady internet businesses with spam comments posted to your site. We do our best to create secure WordPress installations and monitor our hosted sites from malicious activity. As web developers with server admin experience, we can deal with 90% of server-related issues. The remaining server issues are dealt by us with the backup support of our co-location admins (on-site). You might not get these layers of service with a large discount host; who probably doesn’t intimately know your WordPress files. Keeping all our domains running optimally and the black hats’ interests at-bay, means; a better and faster web experience for all hosting from our server.