My Hosting Experiences
I have been around the board, I have been trying out many different Web Hosting companies and VPS/Dedicated Service providers as well. Going around the block, I want to share some of the information I have collected over the years on the different companies out there. I will put a disclaimer on here, that some of these will have an affiliate link so if you do sign up I might get a kick back if you decide to join that service, simply because well if you do end up heading to the service the little kick back to help me keep doing small things like this.
Web Hosting Companies
Now I have used a few different web hosting companies in the past few years. This is for personal sites, business sites, and other various projects just to toy around with. However, these days I run my websites myself on VPS’s because I get more control over my sites. But that is not to say these shared Web Hosting companies might not be a bad choice for you. I would say if you are just looking to run a blog, small website, etc. hosting with a Shared Hosting Provider is not a bad idea, so long as it is not with a bad company.
I originally did free web hosting in the very beginning of doing websites. I am want to point out that free web hosting is not always a bad thing, and some are not even a bad hosting for a small blog that you want more control over. So I am going to include a few of the free web hosting companies I have used in the past, as well as when I use just to play with them. By the way, all these free hosts I have posted in this article are Ad-Free so don’t worry about running your own ads if you wanted too.
000Webhost – In the beginning this was a great host, however, I noticed when I used it before it has a very long setup time. However, it sadly has had some downtime and that has kinda made me feel a little upset with them, that they kinda play it off as that they are reviewing the sites for fraudulent sites. But in terms of their reliability from data protection, this has become kinda a big deal as they just recently were breached and all their user’s passwords and emails were hacked. So I kinda push people to avoid this host, they were pretty good in the beginning but has kinda gone down hill over the years.
x10Hosting – Now for a host that really impressed me for the features you get for free, and that was x10Hosting. Now that being said, they offer the full CPanel experience to users for free, they have amazing uptime and their staff and community on their forums are very nice and quick to respond even today. However, there is one drawback about these guys… since you are getting all these nice things for free, they have resource limits that I feel are a little low. If you site or community you host on their free hosting is even only slightly popular, your site will get suspended for up to an hour at a time. I had a small forum hosted on their with about 5 active users, it was suspended several times as they said that caused too much resource usage. That I just don’t agree with, but if you are just running a small static site theses guys are great.
ByetHost – These guys I don’t think get enough credit. They really are a very fast free web host, however, I will note since they are free if email is important to you their email service is kinda wonky since they have their own custom control panel you don’t make email accounts they have a wild card email system which to beginners is kinda confusing. But these guys don’t impose limits that are very low, they have a somewhat simple control panel, and then their MySQL databases are fast but not on the same server so you gotta pay special attention to that but it is not to complicated. All I want to say is that they are very awesome given those downsides. I used to use them when I wanted a free host, and I have heard they now even offer a full CPanel service for free too.
HostGator – Now these guys are pretty awesome, if you are looking for just some simple shared web hosting for a few websites and projects they are worth the money and even allow you to pay month to month which is my preferred method of payment because I don’t like locking into anything for more than a month at time because of previous experiences. Their support is pretty good, but if you call during certain times of the day they do answer, but after a long wait. They don’t seem to know much more than scripted responses, sometimes you get lucky and you get someone who does. Most calls turned into support tickets because it resulted in higher paid IT people who don’t do phone calls ticket only.
GoDaddy – Now this is something that surprised me, I have always heard bad things about GoDaddy. I was very very surprised to tell you, these are my top pick for web hosting. Their pricing is not the cheapest but is very fair pricing. I want to start off by saying, sometimes you might have a long hold time but the staff at GoDaddy is very much worth it. Almost every single time I have called, in the web hosting support team. They have helped me, even fix my own code when I made a mistake and thought it was their servers! That was insane that they were able to look at my code(with me giving them permission), and tell me I needed to change three lines of code because of the version of Apache they used. It was just jaw-dropping, their staff is very well educated. When I did have issues with their servers(which was very rare), they would keep me on the line while they spoke with the IT people to give me a real answer before making the ticket. So GoDaddy is who I recommend as they know their stuff.
Cloud, VPS, Dedicated Hosting Companies
Now these are more of the companies I used these days, sharing my experiences with these different hosting providers. Let you know some of my experiences, just like the previous section about the web hosting companies, I am just going to give short summaries of my experiences.
VolumeDrive – This if my very first VPS Provider as well as my very first Dedicated Server provider. I have a lot of nice things to say about them too. I never had many issues when I used them for my VPS, however, I will point out they don’t have the most up to date Operating System choices. The other downside is that if your dedicated server, unlike their VPS’s if it crashes you have to send a support ticket to get it rebooted. They do respond pretty quickly, but still something that pushing me away from their dedicated servers.
OVH VPS SSD – I have to say I played with the ones they had before their classic ones, however, I have to say I am much happier with the performance of their SSD ones. There is, however, one problem I have noticed with OVH, and I don’t think it is overselling, but the fact that they have a lot of abuse. The issue is sometimes your VPS may be placed on a server where someone is running a seedbox which saturates the bandwidth. I will say the server resource abuse is not so bad anymore since they have switched from OpenVZ to KVM. So I think OVH is a very great choice, great price, and super simple interface to use.
Virpus – I have used these guys a few times before, back when they used to have their servers in Kansas City. They are now based out of Seattle, Washington. I haven’t noticed much difference in their performance over the change. They have really great support ticket response time, and they offer both Windows and Linux VPS’s at really great prices. I will state that sometimes instant deployment is not always available, but other than that it is still a great provider. Their control panel is one of the generic ones, and also keep in mind that they provide Xen which means less resource bleeding from abusers on the same node.
Vultr – I really like Vultr, they have many amazing features. My favorite feature is that I can install my own operating system via an ISO, that is something I have yet to find anywhere else. This feature gives me the ability to test all sorts of different Linux distros without ever having to set up rigs in my home. They also offer three different types of instances, as well as being billed hourly. But now comes the downtick, we have noticed that support team is not always open, their forums certain posts that ask for basic information about the hardware they use, get removed or censored. There have also been several users being over billed, including a personal friend of mine. I personally have never experienced this but… yeah just something to consider that some people have run into this.
DigitalOcean – This is one of my favorites, and they are constantly improving their service. Their latest feature Floating IP’s allow for some very amazing high uptime projects I personally been working on. They offer private networking, which is very cool for when you want to do routing for a separate database server or something you don’t want to be exposed completely to the web but only in a datacenter. I have to say it is one of my favorites, not to mention big businesses have even switched to using DigitalOcean as a backend for their services. Some even leaving AWS, for DigitalOcean which I think attests to how far they have come.
Linode – These guys offer a unique backend system, something that I really like. I don’t really use them much anymore, just because I don’t know of any use case that I would personally find a use for them right now. They offer many of the same features as DigitalOcean in the sense of hourly billing, multiple datacenters, and then some unique ones. The biggest one is they allow you to partition the storage into completely separate volumes. This is a big deal for advanced users, as you could change distros without ever losing data by setting up one disk as the home directory and then the operating system on another. So then you can just format the OS disk and mount back up to the existing home directory disk. They even offer managed hosting, which you pay them to manage your machines completely.
Webtropia – Now for a company that I am literally willing to jump up and down screaming to get your attention to stay away! They oversell all their services, literally, my VPS would stop working and I didn’t know why. I would log into it, and MySQL was stopped when I would try to run it, I got an error message saying not enough disk space. I only used 20GB out of my 300GB plan. Then when running a command to check disk space I would get that I was using 20GB out of 3GB… That is just absolutely terrifying if I was you… run… don’t bother with these guys, it is not worth your time.
Hetzner – This is an amazing company, and they are always improving their services. Just note they are only in Germany, but that said they have great ping times to most global locations. I have used them quite a bit, and they have amazing support so if you are looking for a server in Europe they are a great provider and don’t think twice, they are very much worth your money.
Contabo – This is another European provider in Germany, they are really amazing and from my experience have great pricing and great support. I have used them personally for quite some time now, and I have not had much of an issue either. I did have slightly higher ping time then Hetzner but nothing that was unusable. I suggest giving them a shot if you need an affordable box in Europe.