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Our Top Pick for Almost All Sites: Cloudways

We recommend Cloudways for all websites of any size if you plan to build one or more sites and grow your online business over the long-term

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Why we recommend Cloudways: We recommend Cloudways for basically everyone.  In addition to providing lightning fast hosting (even for our big sites) I love that Cloudways charges monthly, so you’re never stuck with a host or plan you don’t love for a full year.  And even more than that, I love that with Cloudways it’s really easy to add capacity if my traffic grows.  Some hosts charge huge overage penalties if you get too much traffic and the cost to upgrade to the next level is often 3-5x the cost of the starter levels. 

What they could do to improve: I would love to see more guidance on how to select the right server.  With Cloudways, they’ll let you host your site with one of a whole bunch of different providers.  In poviding that flexiblity, it’s more complicated for most beginners.  If you’re getting started right now, the lowest cost plan with either Digital Ocean or Vultr servers is going to be more than enough for a very long time.

Compared to the competition: I’ve not had nearly the issues with site downtime that I’ve had with some providers.  Compared to Bluehost, our other recommendation for new sites, your site is going to load a bit faster but honestly, Bluehost is fine and will be cheaper for the first year.  

I’ve found Cloudways to be as reliable and perform as well as or better than any of ther other hosting companies I’ve worked with (including Biscoots, WP Engine, WPX, Siteground, Orange Geek, and others) but at a lower cost.

 

Our Top Pick for New Sites: Bluehost

We recommend Bluehost for all new websites which have under 100,000 pageviews/month

Why we recommend Bluehost: We recommend Bluehost as the best host for any new website.  They have the easiest-to-navigate interface of any hosting company we’ve used, their US-based customer support team is knowledgeable and easy to reach, and their plans are CHEAP (plus, if you use our discount link on the left, it’s even cheaper).

We used to get INUNDATED with questions about how to set up WordPress and maintain it for a new site.  On most hosting companies, there are too many confusing settings you have to sort through to set up WordPress.  With Bluehost’s new interface, those issues just VANISHED.  We rarely have anyone ask about setting up WordPress anymore.

What they could do to improve: Bluehost could improve on their speed, but their reliability is top notch.  Nearly every successful site we have EVER built started out on Bluehost.  When the site gets large (over 30,000 pageviews/month) we usually migrate to Bigscoots or Cloudways, but for your first one or two years of blogging, you’ll likely not find anything better than Bluehost.

Compared to the competition: Siteground is SLIGHTLY faster and more scaleable, but the interface is a MESS, uptime is not great, they don’t do a good job with transfers, and it’s slightly more expensive.  We really wanted to like Siteground, but in the end it had too many drawbacks for us.

 

Our Top Pick for Established Sites: Big Scoots

We recommend Big Scoots for established sites or for those who want reliable, fast hosting

Why we recommend Big Scoots:  Big Scoots is what we host Income School and many of our large sites on.  It’s built for speed and simplicity.  Bigscoots won’t have any trouble hosting a blog of virtually any size without even flinching on speed, but isn’t overly complex or technical.  Their support is quick to respond and amazingly helpful.

What they could do to improve: We’d love to see a few more approachable plans for our site creators who are between Bluehost and Big Scoots.  Feels like it’s too big of a jump from a tiny plan to a giant plan.  It makes an option like Cloudways a much better fit in most cases.

Compared to the competition: WPEngine is their primary competition, which we found to be PUNITIVELY expensive and we don’t like how they handle DNS.  WPX was once our recommendation but now they have too much down time.  SiteGround used to be good but their interface is dated and they also struggle with downtime.  Orange Geek is a small family business that hosts large sites as well and they are good people and provide a good service but have no cPanel for easy management, and service requests are slow.

 

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