You're probably already aware of our hosting suggestions list: List of Best Web Hosts - Shared, reseller, VPS, cloud, dedicated
If you want to find a list of the best website hosts available, read that guide!
(Not this page!)
" Then what is this page? ", you ask.
Many people -- both potential customers and
hosting owners -- have asked me here (as well as via PM on WHT) what it takes be listed on that suggested hosts list
. That list currently shows what we suggest as being the top web hosting company choices, and is based on dozens of experiences spanning more than a decade. I've been creating and hosting websites since the 1990s, and know my way around hosting pretty well. And as is the philosophy of this site, I'm sharing that information with you, so that you can make an informed choice -- as opposed to you simply buying what's cheap (or worse, you being lead to a lousy host simply because the person making the suggestion is paid a huge commission).
The only real way you can make a legitimate "top web hosts" list is by using each host for at least a year, and experiencing both good times and bad -- and then seeing how the host reacts and handles those situations
. It's not much different than a good marriage, to be honest: "for better, or for worse"! A bad host can have perfect uptime for 6 months, then act laissez-faire (uncaring, uninterested) when a problem does happen. A good host can be down a few times per year, but handle each incident swiftly and to your satisfaction. Long-term testing is what reveals the true character of a host.
You don't want a host with no downtime (100% uptime is an impossible task, I assure you); you want a a host that responds well when downtime occurs.
In all, I've probably reviewed 50 hosts in the past two years, and many of those reviews are being written up for future publication. Anything older is being discarded (reviews expired).
This list does NOT include hosts alreadu found on our Best Web Hosts list
, nor does it include expired hosts.
Here's a partial list of some hosts we've testing since Q1 2011:
* The lowest prices often require 1-year or longer payment. Monthly plans are often about 10-20% higher.
|Stream101||$10+||Linux cPanel reseller||1st||10/2011||Excellent uptime and support|
|SpeedySparrow||$3+||Linux cPanel shared||2nd||9/2011||Established hosted, decent experience|
|SpeedySparrow||$20+||Linux cloud VPS unmanaged||2nd||9/2011||Established hosted, decent experience|
|123Systems||$1+||Linux VPS unmanaged||3rd||8/2011||Support can be non-existent.|
|BuyVM||$1+||Linux VPS unmanaged||2nd||7/2011||Established hosted, servers decent for price.|
|CrocWeb||$1+||Linux cPanel shared||1st||7/2011||Canadian host|
|Evolucix||$6+||Linux VPS unmanaged||1st||6/2011||Very competent, new host that should be around for a while.|
|HostPolar||$5+||Linux VPS unmanaged||4th||3/2011||Support unreliable since 8/2011 buyout by AltusHost|
|Hostable||$3+||Linux cPanel shared||3rd||3/2011||Servers slow, like most large hosts.|
|Semoweb||$5+||Linux cPanel shared||4th||1/2011||Horrible, inexcusable downtime; Engrish/gibberish speaking techs|
| || || || || || |
** NOTE: Some hosts give coupons, which gives the low price shown. See our Daily Shopping Deals section for web hosting coupons!
Rankings ... already ?!
You'll notice that I've included some current preliminary
grading and notes, which reflect experiences and realistic expectations.
Current because we could change them at any time -- these are in a state of flux.
Preliminary because that's how they're doing at the moment, and these are not final review evaluations just yet. Reviews are in-progress!
The class grades are very similar to our rankings for blank CD, DVD and Blu-ray media reviews
: 1st Class, 2nd Class, 3rd Class, 4th Class.
Or "N/A" for yet-unranked hosts (no preliminary opinion formed yet).
These rankings have very specific meanings, and are not random or arbitrary:
- 1st Class - reliable/near-perfect uptime, quick/effective support desk, friendly/professional staff, reasonable prices.
- 2nd Class - reliable/near-perfect uptime, reasonable/so-so prices ... but support is somewhat slow, maybe brief/curt in tickets
- 3rd Class - uptime is an issue, but the host can improve; situation not hopeless; support possibly slow/curt
- 4th Class - the host has screwed up royally -- downtime, incompetent/evasive/lying support staff, data loss, rude/unprofessional.
More detailed mini-reviews are found in the next post.
NOTE: If you're a host that would like to be reviewed
, please feel free to Contact Us
As time permits, we'll respond with the steps necessary to conduct a review. Do understand that this does NOT cost money; receiving standard reviews is free! We're an ethical site, and we cannot be bribed into giving undeserved good reviews. This is a slow process, but it will easily result in the kind of high-quality review that can land you many new clients -- assuming you have a good hosting company!
The Digital FAQ is an established site with respectable medium levels of traffic (50,000+ minimum uniques per month).