I've been building websites since 1995. And I've built hundreds of my own websites over the years. And over 100+ of them are WordPress websites.
And I've also created and launched several WordPress plugins, and my team and I have had to support those plugins, which means logging in to many of our users' websites.
And from all those years of experience with being a website owner, plugin developer and tech-support person, I can tell you that a majority of the web hosts that the average "influencer" peddles (on podcasts and blogs) are utter crap.
When it comes to hosting your website, I recommend only two hosting companies. If keeping your site(s) running practically all the time, and having insanely great support from your web host, are both important to you, then you go with a VPS server from one of the two hosting companies below.
If you need support like your life and your entire multi-million dollar business depended on it, then go with LiquidWeb. Which is why for DigitalAccessPass.com, we use Liquid Web. For most of my other non-mission-critical, blog and sales type websites, I use SiteGround.
Now, my Digital Creators Academy too is hosted with SiteGround. That is in a way mission-critical too, but not like in a "OMG, if it goes down for 10 minutes, our users will be at our throats" kind of serious. So yes, you can host your mission-critical websites on SiteGround as well, as long as it's not a SaaS-kind of app (PS: For a SaaS, you shouldn't be using managed hosting anyway, and going with a AWS or Google Cloud type setup).
Be sure to get a Linux-based, fully-managed VPS with at least 1 GB memory. For about $50 a month, you can get yourself a great server, with terrific up-time and support.
And this will also let you host multiple websites. And with each additional web site you host on that same server, your cost-per-website will become cheaper. Now, if you are using it for a high-traffic eCommerce website with shopping carts and a membership site and such, I wouldn't recommend overloading your VPS hosting with too many websites. But if you do get to that point, you can easily upgrade to a higher tier with a faster server and more memory and such.
If you can’t (or don't want to) afford the $50 a month for a VPS server, or don’t (yet) see the value of high site availability and great support, then the next best option is shared hosting, where you share a server with other business owners. Not all shared hosts are made equal. And that’s why I recommend Siteground for shared hosting as well.
Having worked with thousands of website owners over the years, the following is my "DO NOT TOUCH" list of web hosts.
Now, if you are already hosting with one of these hosts below, then you already know how well they work (or don’t), but if you’re happy with them, then there’s no further issue. But if you have a choice of upgrading to a good webhost, then be sure to run away from the following.
GoDaddy is great for registering your domain names. For hosting? Not so much.
In our plugin business (like at DigitalAccessPass.com, aka DAP), we have seen large number of users who use (or used) Godaddy for hosting, and they all either totally love it, or hate it. More hate it than love it. But no middle ground.
We’ve ourselves have witnessed many issues with some GoDaddy-hosted sites. Their email systems don’t always work consistently on all servers. It works great for some, while some of our other users have reported that even simple admin notification emails don’t get sent correctly. To compound the issue, Godaddy has been found to queue up even real-time emails on their end, and only send them out as batches. Which means even instant “Thank You” emails sent to your buyers with their membership login info, may not get sent for a couple of hours, even though DAP has actually sent them out, but are being intercepted and put on a queue by Godaddy to be sent out “later” in a “batch”.
And then there are the random blank pages and “internal server errors” (500 error). If you search Google for “Godaddy internal server error”, you will see enough folks to form a small city, complaining about it.
For various reasons, like poor support, poor availability, and more, these are among the hosts I do NOT recommend: Dreamhost, HostGator, HostMonster, BlueHost (latter three are part of the same group I think).
Make sure your server is running some for of Unix (Linux/BSD/etc). DO NOT use Windows-based servers unless you really, really know what you're doing. Windows is great for a laptop, but to oversimplify it, it's not great for hosting websites. (You don't really host your website on just a server running Windows, but that's why I said "to oversimplify it" because the details would require another article 🙂 ).
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