Web Hosting: Best vs Worst

2017 update here.

Last Updated October 10th, 2011 — Being a web designer for 5+ years now, I’ve seen a wide spectrum of web hosting setups and I’ve done just about every task associated with a hosting account and website. Some hosts were a breeze to navigate and set things up, and some were not.

The Best Web Hosting

Signup for HostMonster
HostMonster (or BlueHost, same company) Review

Update: I put a little more research in and found that even WordPress, which is respected by millions, also recommends this hosting as the #1 hosting for WordPress installs.

HostMonster is by far the best web hosting I have ever worked with and it’s what I personally use and run about twenty websites on, including this one. The reason is simple, it has everything you could ask for. It’s easy, affordable, and there is quality and quantity. There is no compromise with this service.

Here is a breakdown of the service:

  • Price: $5.95 – $7.95 a month
    (months purchased in advance and special deals may differ in price)
  • What you Get: Unlimited storage, unlimited bandwidth, unlimited domain add-ons, and pretty much unlimited everything else you could ever need.
  • Server: Linux. This is the standard for most websites and is the most reliable environment for WordPress and websites in general.
  • Control Panel: cPanel. The easiest system I’ve ever used and I think most people who’ve used both cPanel and something else would agree. To do anything is a snap. Create a new email or FTP account, add-on a new domain, etc.
  • Customer Service: 24/7 phone and live chat (US-based). I’ve used it often and have always been satisfied and answered within minutes.

Signup for HostMonster

Signup Now (and if you prefer BlueHost signup here)

Have more questions about HostMonster?Ask me Anything
With my over 5 years of experience with the service I’m sure I can answer all your questions.

The Worst Web Hosting

GoDaddy Review

Sorry GoDaddy, it’s nothing personal, but you have the worst, most convoluted system I have ever seen. I actually get a mild feeling of dread when working on a client’s project that is on a GoDaddy account, I dislike it that much. And there is almost always a hurdle, delay, or disadvantage to a client’s project solely based on the fact that their site resides in the GoDaddy environment.

Here is a breakdown of the service:

  • Price: $9.99 – $14.99 a month
    (months purchased in advance and special deals may differ in price)
    You must purchase GoDaddy’s most expensive package (twice as much) to get anything that even closely resembles HostMonster’s default package.
  • What you Get: Unlimited storage, unlimited bandwidth, unlimited domain add-ons, etc. (I believe it’s roughly the same as HostMonster, but again you must buy their most expensive package to get this).
  • Server: Windows (you pay extra for Linux). This may not seem to be a concern to you if you’re not designing your own website. But if you pick(ed) Windows it will affect the quality of your site and the cost to hire web pros. I’ve worked with hundreds of clients and customers (professionally and moderating forums) and I’ve seen many issues arise because of someone’s website being hosted on a Windows server. The majority of them were using GoDaddy.
  • Control Panel: Custom. They’ve created their own and this is where the trouble comes in. It’s difficult, slow, and a mess to accomplish even the simplest of tasks. It’s pretty difficult to setup FTP with GoDaddy, so you often resolve this by just using their built-in Java FTP client which if you leave unattended for more than a minute times out or crashes. Also, if you try to upload too many files at once it crashes. The navigation of the entire admin/control panel is a mess, so many different pages and sub-pages and almost everything opens in a new window causing a mess in your browser and a headache. You will time out of the admin if left unattended for just a short while. I could go on but I’m already creating my own convoluted mess in text.
  • Customer Service: 24/7 phone, but no chat (India-based). And it was a horrible system and I was on hold forever.

Important Note

Mentioning US-based versus India-based in terms of support is in no way a racial or cultural statement (I’ve happily worked with people all around the world), merely a practical one. Pointing this out is simply for the fact that as many of you may know, it’s already difficult enough to explain a technical problem you’re having, let alone on top of that having difficulties understanding a customer service rep or vice versa because of a language or broken accent barrier.

When companies outsource customer support (wherever that might be), the quality almost always suffers. The reason for this is because the customer support reps then become too many steps removed from being in the loop and often have poorly constructed scripts and out-dated info that they’re working from.

However you feel about it, GoDaddy outsources to India and HostMonster handles customers in-house one-on-one in the US and it makes a difference.

Update

I was recently speaking to a GoDaddy tech support about a client’s email address that still had not propagated or become usable in over 24 hours of initiating its setup. At the end of the conversation I thought I’d go ahead and ask:

So, why is it, that GoDaddy takes SO long to do anything when other hosts I’ve worked with handle everything almost instantaneously?

His reply was something to the effect of:

Well, it is true that certain things can take up to a day or so to update. On good days when it’s not so congested things can go more quickly. But, the fact of the matter is that GoDaddy is the most popular host, and it gets very busy.

I definitely would not argue the point that it is the most popular and that has plenty to do with how slow it is, but it certainly is not the best. Truly, GoDaddy is an unstoppable beast that with their money and commercial advertising with Super Bowl spots has become the household name in hosting. With that being said, they’ve done a better job with marketing than they have building a great system for customers.

Just discovered NoDaddy. UPDATE: Looks like GoDaddy bought out NoDaddy (which publicized many horror stories from both previous and current customers and employees) and then shut it down for obvious damage control reasons. So, in short, the site is dead.

The Challenge

Don’t just take my word for it, do your own research.

godaddy sucks AND hostmonster sucks are popular Google searches. Read up on it yourself, there are pros and cons to everything of course, no one person and no one company or service are ever perfect in life. You just need to weigh the pros and cons.

Politely, if you can make a good case for or against either GoDaddy or HostMonster I’d love to hear it in the comments below. I’ll do my best to rebuttal, but if you make valid points they will be recognized. You’ll never get fluff and salesmanship from me, but honesty and straightforwardness.

Finding a Domain

With HostMonster, signing up for your domain and hosting are one in the same. Of course, you’ll want to make sure your desired domain is available first (not already registered). I recommend using DomainTools.

One final note. If you decide that HostMonster is not the right solution for you, I still very much hope you leave having learned at least enough to avoid GoDaddy at all costs.

  • kelley wood

    I enjoyed reading your article. I have recently started using Go Daddy.

  • And what has your experience with GoDaddy been like?

  • Jason

    I always thought the posts that people make about how crap Godaddy are just rands hating Godaddy. I always thought a seemly big company like them are honest and true about what they say in their advertisements, how they claim their “revolutionary” 4GH hosting is way better than other hosting companies. But I am wrong and f*** I am dumb to have signed up with them, I am really regretting now not to have listen to people.

    What I am experiencing is almost daily down times (not just me but my friends and members from all over the world). Other sites are up while mine is down. Even when the site does load it takes ages. So much for their…”amazingly fast, secure cloud hosting — even during the busiest traffic spikes.” which is a load of bulls. Honestly they are f***ing scammers.

    Sorry that I sound like I am raging. I am. I am because I am not experienced with transferring database for wordpress and SMF. If I am I really really want to switch hosting. Sigh*

  • Jason

    just like to add that even the free web hosting I am using from x10hosting to host my other site is way faster with less down time. I think the only reason why I chose Godaddy in the first place was because their ad said their is no resource usage limit.

  • Neo

    Mochahost.com is very horrible don’t even go near them.

  • pooja

    The best web hosting company according to me is http://www.magicworkshost.com
    i have been a user of this hosting provider from last 1 year and i have not faced any issues up til now.
    plus the pricing is affordable and the customer support team is very helpful.
    earlier was a user of another famous hosting company but with each renewal their service quality kept on decreasing.
    highly recommend http://www.magicworkshost.com