Web Hosting Reviews

My recommended web hosts for setting up a basic website, after several hundred installs as an independent web developer.

Common needs:

  • Small scale website / portfolio / blog
    • look for "shared hosting" options below
  • Custom app with users
    • look for "VPS" options below
  • Ecommerce
    • Shopify
      • Shopify hosts for you - don't worry about losing data
      • $30/mo+. No performance concerns at any scale
    • Woocommerce
      • run on your own server - with great power comes great responsibility
      • $10/ mo and up - with DIY / dev skills, this is a great deal. If not done correctly, you will need to pay much more to keep your server running fast.
    • BigCommerce
      • an older framework for large ecomm sites

Dreamhost

appropriate for: both general public and developers

  • shared, managed hosting: 9/10
    • basic plan - $3/mo intro, then $6
    • unlimited - $4/mo intro, then $11
    • unlimited plan hosts "infinite" websites - awesome deal for devs
    • my favorite admin control panel of all the hosts
    • great chat support
    • these low priced servers can run Woocommerce, but it will be slow. The cheapest shared host I recommend for Woocommerce is Siteground.
  • VPS - ?/10
    • managed VPS starts at $10/mo, but no root access
    • new "cloud computing" compares well with other VPS hosts - starts at $5/mo and scales up.

Bluehost

appropriate for: mostly public use, but also provides tools for devs

  • Shared hosting: 7/10
    • $3/mo first year, then $10/mo
    • customer support lacking
    • admin interface needs help
    • better than other hosts like iPage, HostGator under the Endurance International umbrella.
    • not recommended for Woocommerce unless on a more expensive plan
  • VPS hosting - ?

SiteGround

appropriate for: both developers and general use

  • managed, shared hosting - 9/10
    • Pro: high quality admin panel added in recent years
    • Pro: high speed shared hosting at $12/mo
    • Con: multiple domains will cost you $20/mo
    • The "quality over quantity" host for shared hosting
    • capable of running a small - medium sized Woocommerce installation well
  • VPS - ?

Digital Ocean

appropriate for: developers

  • low end VPS hosting - 10/10
    • cheapest prices around, very reliable service
    • $6 / month, set up and run entirely custom stacks quickly with their high quality tutorials
    • not recommended for WordPress or cPanel installs - get all the custom configuration handled for you just as cheap on shared hosting
  • high end VPS hosting - ?

Godaddy

appropriate for: general public with deep pockets

  • shared, managed hosting - 5/10
    • Pro: longevity - they've been around and will continue to be
    • Con: upsells - no company does it better
      • charging you for SSL - this is free on most hosts
      • 'special' email, backup, and managed hosting plans that often make your website only more complicated in the end, and may be free on other hosts
  • VPS - haven't tried

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