I’ve been hosting either my own, or my clients’ sites, for over 20 years. Crazy, right? During that time, I’ve used many many MANY hosting companies, or have been forced to work with the hosts that clients were using. So many hosts are really awful, but there are quite a few that are very good. Over time, some of the very good hosts end up growing too fast, or get bought out, put under new management, etc., and their very good service declines considerably. When that happens, it’s time to move from that host to another. So, where should you host your site in 2020? First things first…
No Host Is All Good Or All Bad
Every host has its share of problems.
- Humans run the companies.
- Humans take care of the machines.
- Humans talk to clients.
- Humans make mistakes.
- Humans have good days and bad days.
- Likewise, machines are not infallible.
- Machine parts break.
- Code will have bugs
All hosts have pros and cons, good days and bad days, and have to constantly deal with outside factors such as hackers, and yes, even you! Yes, we, as clients, often mess things up all on our own. So, when I say a host is good, I mean that in an overarching sort of way. They are good if they get most things right, most of the time, when the pros outweigh the cons, and when they are as reliable as you could hope any company to be.
So Which Hosts Are Good Right Now?
There are two and a half hosts I would feel comfortable recommending right now. (I’ll explain the half shortly). Please understand that anything I recommend may be a service that I am an affiliate of. What does that mean? That means if you sign up via my recommendation, I may receive a small payment for that. Here’s what it also means. I do not recommend any service merely because I am an affiliate. I only recommend anything because I truly believe it is worth using. I am an affiliate of MANY hosting companies that I would never recommend to you any longer because I believe they are a truly bad option. So you can be assured that if I recommend it, I believe in it. And the price you pay will never be negatively affected by my affiliation. If anything, you may even get a better price in some circumstances. Ok, on to the recommendations now.
I have slowly started moving more client hosts onto WPX, or recommending them, as I’ve watched them become a hosting company I can trust. Simply moving sites from other hosts (I won’t name names here) over to WPX has immediately resolved recurring problems and increased page load speeds. Some things I love about WPX include:
- Their support is stellar! They have Live Chat options with approximately 30 second response times.
- They move sites from your old hosting for free
- They remove malware for free. (This is huge. Almost no one does this for free). And with so many plugins being attacked recently, I love knowing this is available.
- WPX has built its own custom FREE CDN. This is, again, almost unheard of. And this really helps speed up sites.
- There are other reasons as well, but I can’t list them all here. Check them out if this sounds like a service that is right for you.
I consider Kinsta Hosting to be the top of the line in hosting choices. It’s not right for every site because it is pricey. But it’s the only host I would recommend for sites that need top-tier hosting for large-scale sites with high traffic. If this is the kind of site you have, then Kinsta is who you should be hosting with. Here are some other reasons:
- High-level support. Kinsta doesn’t have Level 1 or Level 2 support techs. All of their techs are highly skilled developers or hosting engineers. So when you need support, you start with the best.
- Rock-solid infrastructure that automatically scales as you need it.
- Fast performance that is enhanced by KeyCDN
- Kinsta also removes malware for free. It may seem common by now, but it’s not!
- They will migrate one or more of your sites for free (depending on your plan).
Like WPX, there are many more reasons to choose Kinsta, but what it boils down to is that Kinsta is top-notch…best of the best hosting.
This is the “half” host recommendation I mentioned earlier. I have ambiguous feelings about Siteground. If you need a cheap shared hosting company, this is the one I recommend. But it comes with enough “buts” that I hesitate to give it the full force of recommendation. Even with the “buts” however, it’s the best of the cheap shared hosting choices that I’ve used, so it still makes the cut. It’s pretty decent as a host, and fairly decent with support. Most small sites will happily run well for years. So what are the “buts”?
But many sites will outgrow Siteground’s restrictions and although they’ll try to upgrade you to a bigger better plan, at that point, you’re better off moving to another host completely. (Obviously, either WPX or Kinsta for the reasons I mention above).
But you only get their nice, cheap price for the first period of time you buy. If you buy a year’s worth, that cheap price will skyrocket the next year. If you buy 3 years worth the first time, you’ll get the cheap price for 3 years, but again, it will skyrocket the next time you need to pay. And while it might be a good idea to lock in that cheap price for 3 years, you will regret that if you outgrow their hosting in year 2 for example. If you have to move to another host, you won’t get refunded for any amount of time you still have at Siteground.
For me, those “buts” are significant enough to hesitatingly recommend Siteground. And yet, I DO still recommend them for many small sites because they will likely never outgrow Siteground, or the price jump later doesn’t bother them. And despite the “buts”, they still outperform any of the other cheap shared hosting companies I’ve ever dealt with. I’m sure there are other cheap shared hosting companies that are great, but if so, they haven’t been ones either I or my clients have ever used, so I can’t give my thoughts on them. Feel free though to shop around if cheap shared hosting is what you need. But be careful. Cheap shares hosting companies are often very very bad.
Which Host Is Right For You?
Of course, that depends, but in general, most sites need something that is better than shared hosting but not top-tier. For all of you, WPX Hosting is probably perfect. If your site is small and will likely not ever get much traffic, Siteground will work but be aware of the eventual price hike that will happen. If your site is large, gets lots of traffic, or needs lots of resources, then Kinsta is definitely the right choice.