This is, undoubtedly, the most difficult page of the tools section to write. Why? Because most Internet Marketing bloggers like me make a significant chunk of their money from website hosting affiliate links. I took their recommendations and ended up using some truly horrible hosting companies in the past and I don’t want you to go through what I have.
Basically, there are two different companies I recommend for hosting. Each of them can be right in the right situation. I’ll explain the two companies I use and recommend, as well as which one you should consider for your site.
BlueHost: The Perfect Solution for Startups
I have been a BlueHost customer since 2007 and they have hosted over three dozen websites for me. It’s where I register all of my domains, host all of my email, and still run many smaller sites.
The great thing about BlueHost is for about $5 per month, you can host dozens of WordPress sites. No traffic caps, quality support team, and a very easy-to-use dashboard. They even have their dashboard set up to handle a one-click WordPress installation. In my experience of being a loyal BlueHost customer for over 6 years, the uptime has been quite good as well. There have been times that my sites have gone down, but usually they fix the problem in less time than it takes me to reach for the phone and tell support to fix it. I can’t say enough good things about this company.
BlueHost does exactly what any new website owner needs, and they don’t charge you an arm and a leg for it.
Who should use BlueHost: Internet marketers who want to host one or more websites that currently generate under 85,000 page views per month.
Who should NOT use BlueHost: Internet marketers who get over 85,000 pageviews per month OR who have a social media fan base of over 40,000 followers. The reason for this is that they simply aren’t set up with powerful enough servers to handle massive amounts of traffic.
You can guarantee great uptime for growing sites without worrying AT ALL about your site going down, but once you establish a big audience you’ll need to move your site to a new hosting provider. That is no problem. If that’s you and you need to move, then I highly recommend WebSynthesis, and they will migrate your site for you for a small fee.
WP Engine: What we use for our Established Sites
I’ve been using WP Engine for a couple years now.
WebSynthesis: Another Solution for Established WordPress Sites
You can’t bring down a Websynthesis server. It simply cannot be done.
The truly remarkable thing about WebSynthesis is that they provide fantastic wordpress hosting for websites that get massive traffic, and they do it for a fraction of the price. When I foolishly decided to try Storm on Demand, I paid several hundreds of dollars per month and they were unable to handle the amount of traffic I got. Now that I’m with WebSynthesis, I never ever have to worry about my site being online and you can host two sites for about $97.
What really sold me on this company, though, was when I received a phone call one morning from one of the head guys at WebSynthesis who noticed the configuration I had on my site and called me to recommend a change that would make my site more secure. I was sure he was going to try and pitch me on some product. Nope. He really was just looking out for me and taking care of my site.
These guys are insane about security. Their servers are Sucuri certified and they even manually comb through each new wordpress update release and thoroughly check it for potential security threats before they send out the “all clear” email to customers to let you know it is safe to upgrade to the new version of wordpress. When there are vulnerabilities to common wordpress plugins, they will send out email alerts and warn customers.
Better yet, WebSynthesis has extremely good page load times. When I used Storm on Demand my page often loaded 4 or 5 times slower than how the same site with the same configuration does on WebSynthesis. My sites generally load in under 1.5 seconds depending on how many plugins I’m running and how many images I choose to put on the page.
Who should be using Websynthesis: Anyone running a wordpress site who has enough traffic to justify the expense of a “big boy” server.
Who should NOT be using Websynthesis: There is a downside to WebSynthesis. They have no phone support and no cPanel. This means this hosting company is not a good choice if you run dozens of sites because you’d want that control.
However, my experience in working with their email support has been quite good. They KNOW what they are doing way better than I do, so not having the cPanel means everything done on the site is done by the professionals (meaning they don’t allow me to mess it up). Basically, if you run a wordpress site with traffic and you want it to load fast without any downtime and unbelievable security…. you want WebSynthesis.
In addition to WebSynthesis Hosting, big sites need premium DNS service
If you are starting out your site or have under 85,000 page views per month, you can stick with Bluehost for hosting and DNS. I promise it’ll work just fine for you.
But when your business grows and you have a large site with big traffic, you’ll want to use premium DNS from someone like Godaddy. I do not like Godaddy because of their irresponsible advertising practices, but this is the one service that I think they are the best at.
You can keep your domains registered wherever you want if you choose Godaddy premium DNS, but this will enable your site to be found much faster.
If you aren’t a geek, basically, DNS service is the phone book of the internet. DNS isn’t the server where your website is stored, but it is the service that tells a user’s computer where to go to find the right server with the information. If your DNS provider goes down, your site is unreachable by some visitors.
The good news is that premium DNS is not expensive. It usually only costs about $5 per month and since you’re saving a bundle by choosing WebSynthesis, $5 extra to go with a premium DNS provider is a drop in the bucket. WebSynthesis does not offer DNS service.