Host Reviews

Here is a review of the best hosts for introductory web hosting, all gleaned from my personal experience with them, via client sites.


Geared towards: PHP, WordPress

Dreamhost is my personal host, and the one I've used the longest. I highly recommend them for general responsiveness - esp. their online chat - and knowledgeable customer service, but the plans have been getting overhauled recently, in particular it seems that "unlimited domains" is gone, which was a huge win in the past.

However, you still get full shell access for developers, and free SSL with automated Lets Encrypt installs. Hosts without SSL and shell/ssh in particular are deal-breakers for me, when I'm in charge for new clients.

All in all Dreamhost is great for developers just starting to take their web hosting seriously.


Geared towards: PHP, WordPress

Bluehost offers just enough with free SSL and ssh access, and pretty good quality, that I'll use them for any client wanting to go on the cheap.

The customer support has been hit or miss for me, as the parent company is a giant conglomerate who buys out companies and moves them to India. Endurance International.

However, they have managed to beat out many other cheapo shared hosts like iPage as they updated their interface, and kept me a customer.


Geared towards: PHP, WordPress

Siteground is gaining a reputation as the most performant and reliable of the introductory hosts and in my experience it's true - heavy WordPress sites loaded with plugins have run best for me here.

After their intro year, the price jumps to 12 or more / month.

The interface still feels old and clunky at times, but they seem to be putting the focus on raw performance which is hard to argue with.

Single domain only - multiple domains is $20/+ month

Digital Ocean

Geared towards: your wildest dreams

DO is of a different stripe than these other hosts. It is for developers really looking to get serious, but on the cheap. You get a Virtual Private Server, meaning full root access allowing you to install whatever you darn well please. Node, django, php, Go, have at it.

Many people get into AWS at this stage, but I find the relative simplicity of DO refreshing. You don't need to worry about keeping up with the trends in AWS world to keep your app running; it still feels like you're buying space on an actual machine that is going to look the same in 6 months after you've forgotten about it for awhile.

In terms of value, it's undoubtedly the best at a whopping $5 / month, but the big, big catch is you'll need to enjoy configuring Linux servers. For some of us, this is actually kind of fun.

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