Thanks very much for your feedback.
Those fakes sites are nothing but misery for folks that are unaware of their real intentions. Our list -- http://www.digitalfaq.com/forum/web-...-best-web.html
-- was created to actually help others, not use them for monetary gain. Because people like you have found it so useful, we'll be adding more and more hosting-related information to this site in 2012. Not just vetting more hosts, but guides on how to maintain sites and servers, as well as offering some unique low-cost services of our own to site owners.
Moving on to your question...
A $5 account would easily handle four low-traffic domains. And each of the hosts you're looking at -- CrocWeb
-- would handle this task just fine. It would be hard to make a bad choice between these hosts.
I'd also use the phrase "low-cost" to describe these hosts -- not "cheap", as they have excellent/caring owners and support staff. This is important in the realm of hosting, because a lot of hosts don't seem to care about you, and their poor decisions (or inactions) can completely screw people over. As a recent hosting CEO told me in an interview: "As a human being, I don't think I have that right to affect others in such a manner" (Evolucix
, paraphrased). Stable, Speedy, Croc and Hawk all have customer-focused attitudes and policies.
Now in terms of how I'd rank those four hosts:
-- the best of the four, no contest, not even close.
I've had Stablehost for more than two years now. I started as admin for a friend in late 2009 (technically it's his SH account), then added my own account in late 2010 for personal sites. Uptime** is virtually 100%, and tech support is helpful for both advanced users (like myself) and complete newbies (like my friend). I use their unmanaged MrNerd VPS servers, too.
Everything worked, no issues, good support and uptime. I really don't have anything lengthy to say about them. It was used for a small event-based project for less than a year, with several months unused on the one-year prepay.
So far, everything has worked well, and Croc does well to communicate issues. I've mostly just done some dev work on their server, but hope to go live later this year with it. I plan to renew my account this summer with Croc. No issues with uptime, support, etc. Nothing lengthy to say here either.
The only reason I put Speedy as 4th and not 2nd is because they're undergoing some temporary growing pains. Their systems are not 100% yet, but I have faith that they certainly will be later this spring or summer. The datacenter had chronic issues last fall, so they moved servers to another facility. Some of the cloud-based tech hasn't worked flawlessly during the winter, and they're getting it situated. I'm patient and understanding, and don't see this as an issue, especially since I'm just dev'ing sites there right now -- it's nothing mission-critical at this time. But if you need a site to work perfectly at 100% right now, it may not be the best option. In theory, they have a better hardware setup than the other three hosts, but making it work smoothly takes time. I communicate regularly with several hosts, and Sean of Speedy is one of them who I enjoy writing to/from.
Each of these hosts is a model citizen in the hosting industry.
Hope that helps.
I moved this post from PM, so that it may help others in the same scenario as yourself. If you have any other questions, feel free to post questions on the forum. I can assist with not just hosting decisions, but quite a few aspects on maintaining websites, design, SEO, which apps to use, etc. There's so many things that people overlook when trying to run an online business.
Kudos on not running to the first big "unlimited" host you saw -- your business will long-term be better off.
** Uptime note: Dev servers are monitored hourly, while production servers are monitored every 3/10/60 minutes (using 3 monitoring methods -- one local, one monitoring VPS, one third-party monitor server). So there may be small downtimes that are missed on devs. Stablehost is a live production account, HH is archived, and the other two are currently in dev use.