One thing is certain about the world of web design and development:
To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often. ~Winston Churchill
The web world has changed so much in such a short period of time. There are an endless number of content management systems (WordPress, SquareSpace, Wix), plugins (a mere 45,893 today in the WordPress.org repository – up from 29,000 when we first got into this biz), ecommerce solutions, and web hosts. How in the world is one to choose – especially when you may have little-to-no knowledge about any of these products? And, once you choose (WordPress vs. SquareSpace, Ecwid vs. WooCommerce, etc.), how willing are you to make a change if needed? Changing any of these “items” (as we’ll generally call them) can be a huge headache and possibly even a significant expense.
One big thing we’ve personally changed and recommended to others is in regards to our web host. We used to recommend BlueHost to all of our clients, and we did so confidently and quite excitedly! We loved their support, pricing, and ability to host as many sites on the same account as you’d like. Over the past couple of years, though, their service, pricing, and offerings have changed quite a bit. Some of the negatives include very long wait times for phone and live-chat support (what used to be less than 5 minutes each time is now typically 20 minutes or longer); frequent sales pitches/up-sells while on tech support calls and chats (that NEVER used to happen!); different pricing that now does not allow for as many sites as you’d like on your account (this used to be offered even at their lowest hosting level); and frequent site down time.
While we totally understand that prices need to increase as companies grow and the economy changes, but service level and site uptime do not need to decrease!
After speaking with numerous experts in the web world as well as reading many “best web hosts” lists and reviewing comparison charts, we have honed in on one web host that we are now recommending to all of our clients. SiteGround is the new favorite in our eyes, and here’s why:
- FANTASTIC phone and live-chat support with very little wait time (this is pretty priceless in our book)
- You’re not bombarded by icky up-sales
- Pricing is clear and up-front
- FREE website migration and domain transfer
- Your site will be FAST (they use a SuperCacher!)
- 99% uptime (If we had a dollar for every time our site was down with Bluehost for no reason…)
- Officially recommended by WordPress.org
There are many web hosts out there, and many of them are [still] good solutions. With BlueHost now being part of a large company that owns many hosting companies, we feel that this is the reason their service level may have gone down.
Nonetheless, as we mentioned above and as we all know – change is inevitable. To improve is to change, and if you want to improve your website speed, decrease the number of issues you experience, and have a better overall website/web hosting experience, SiteGround is what we recommend.
BONUS: They’ll help you migrate your site (if you need to do that), so don’t worry about having the techie knowledge or skills to do that. In fact, they’ll help you through the whole process (except for requesting the refund from your current host, unfortunately).
Questions, comments, opinions about web hosting? Tell us in the comments below!