By: Nick Grosso on August 29th, 2018
So you’re sick of clunky, unreliable hosting and support teams that make you feel like a number?
— You’re not alone.
After struggling through years of varying, incompetent hosting providers, horribly unfriendly control panels, policies that make running an agency difficult, and support trends that make you want to leap from a tall building… we’ve collected some valuable insight that we wish we’d had years ago!
Let’s get to it…
Entities we’ve engaged over the years for hosting needs have always been the product of hours of Googling, talking with other agencies, and ultimately landing on a balance of cost-to-benefits value (at the time).
Based on these engagements, the following hosting platforms were used over the course of 12 years in business:
We’ve rated each hosting outfit based upon the following criteria, derived from what we’ve experienced:
Having used GoDaddy for most of our clients’ domain registration needs at the time, the natural next step was to give ’em a shot at hosting their websites.
Overall, our experience with GoDaddy hosting was hindered by a few outages and the slow throughput of extremely over-sold, shared servers.
The control interface at Site5 is what kept them from the bottom of our list, providing strong, accessible interfaces for controlling your own platform. They’ve got that going for them.
Though it wasn’t included in our criteria, the biggest drawback that was presented during our interaction with Site5 has always been policy. It is their policy NOT to send notice of expiring SSL certificates, or that there is an upcoming software update that has the potential to take down your site.
We even had an instance where they decided to change the way that their shared servers send emails from PHP, crippling all existing sites’ ability to send anything programmatically. This frustrated our clients, their potential customers, and ultimately, us.
The unilateral lack of concern for the requests of their customers bleeds over into the support side as well. Countless times, when requesting support, we sat in support “queues” for more than 40 minutes, only to be told that they couldn’t help us due to a policy decided on by what I can only assume to be greedy higher-ups, squeezing addition margins out of their customer base.
Migrating away from Site5 as a host was one of the most liberating, eye-opening experiences that our agency experienced.
MediaTemple attracted us due to their affiliation with some of their partnerships with some of our favorite industry peers at the time. Didn’t hurt that these partnerships gave them a real “leg up” in terms of their website layout. Generally speaking, the platform was reliable, and the price wasn’t bad.
Throughout the course of the 3 years we employed and referred their services, we experienced a slow, but steady, deterioration of their speed and customer service.
DreamHost really impressed us with their customer service, solid reliability and an attractive price point.
Our customers were generally happy with the company, though almost all of them complained about the interface through which settings and administration took place.
Having a team of hardcore geeks is a must for working with DreamHost, as the interface limits many traditionally clickable configuration settings. Speed fluctuated depending upon which server they chose to put your website on, so we ultimately had to look elsewhere.
The move to SiteGround was the product of the longest research period we’ve ever committed to looking for a new host. Glad we took our time.
SiteGround instantly impressed us with customer service people that were friendly, accessible on a moment’s notice, and extremely knowledgable of all things hosting (and coding for that matter).
We have yet to see a faster hosting experience among any hosting provider (we have clients among every tier of their pricing structure now). Clients write us “thank you!!” emails regularly once they see the difference that SiteGround‘s speed represents. They are masters of subdividing their customers among the server space they offer, apparently.
Impeccably reliable and easily controlled via their intuitive interface, maintaining our clients’ systems has become a breeze (finally).
Did I mention that SSL is included for free? Yeah, you’re welcome.
In case you couldn’t tell to this point, SiteGround continues to impress us (to-date) with their unmatched attention to detail, lightning-fast speed, and support that makes you feel like a valued customer.