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.

Back to My Recommended Tools


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  3. Jim – do you have an affiliate link for Bluehost? I’d like to make sure you get credit for all of this great advice!

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  5. I have had several people suggest a free web hosting site like weebly or blogspot to start a blog. Would you recommend starting at this kind of site and then as more traffic finds the website move to bluehost or another similar kind of host? I have some ideas about why I’d go the free route while I’m still new in the game but a “dot com” seems to come with more credibility. Curious about your thoughts and recommendations. Thanks!

    1. I just found another article you posted about using wordpress and the reasons for not going on the free route. Thanks for the info.

  6. Jim, I’m neck deep with and wonder if you’ve ever had an experience with them being able to take a serious load such as one of your referrals. I wouldn’t personally recommend them anymore (they were awesome as a startup) as they try to upsell you every chance they get and are generally classless. But their tech support is pretty good and they seem to have had good uptime.

  7. I’ve been searching for a affordable, stable, and responsive web hosting company. I know that a lot of business podcaster are recommending bluehost, but the independent reviews are pretty bad. I’ve been looking at managed hosting service like I’m interested in your thoughts.

    1. Author

      @Ian Keller – The trouble with reading reviews is you never know the motives of the reviewer. I recommend Bluehost despite the fact that other sites like Hostgator are paying TWICE as much in their affiliate commission. I’ve been a Bluehost customer for 6 or 7 years.

      I keep all of my smaller or newer sites on Bluehost. I have TONS of sites on my hosting account and still only pay the base price.

      Bluehost speeds for their cheap hosting plans are as good as other companies, and faster than some others. But it is NOT a good option for a large website. If you have over 100,000 visitors per month, then it’s time to move into a serious host, like Websynthesis (and they don’t even have an affiliate program).

      Hostmonster is not perfect, but it is the BEST bang for your buck and it WILL do everything you need it to do for a newer site.

  8. This will end up being a dated comment, but I just saw that BlueHost is having a special…only $3.95 per month for their web hosting deal!

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