Of Good Hosts And Bad Hosts, Beware The Bad Hosts

Over a year ago I wrote a post about how I moved this blog from one host to another. That post was called WassupBlog Alive And Kicking After Transferring to BlueHost. If you’re looking for a good host you can’t go past BlueHost and their CPU Throttling would have to be one of their best features.

Over a year later it’s happened to that host again. The first time it happened I thought it wasn’t really the host’s fault, it was just that Wassup had outgrown it, especially as I had three other blogs hosted under the one domain. Let that be a warning to people, although many hosting packages give you unlimited domains you have to remember the more domains you have on the same host the more strain you’re putting on your CPU and the more likely you’ll get your account suspended. Once I moved WassupBlog I left behind three other blogs, my Scenic Adelaide, Photos2Blog and my Load Of Bullshit blog.

Web Hosting Servers
Image by ivanpw via Flickr

I left those blogs there because it was an Aussie host and I wanted to support an Australian company. It turns out that was a big mistake. I woke up one morning to find that my account was suspended yet again. The turkeys at HostSmart, yeah I’m naming them as others should know what to expect from this host, didn’t take the time to find out which blog was causing the problem and suspending that blog, nope, they suspended the whole account. I couldn’t even access my CPanel or use my FTP program to access my blogs to check things out. Shit, I couldn’t even receive emails linked to those accounts.

No damn support. No phone numbers listed on the site. I finally found a phone number but do you think anyone would answer it? I left a support ticket and when I got a reply some 24 hours later it was to say that my account was suspended due to it was overloading the server and it wouldn’t be restored until I confirmed I would do something about it.

There was so many things that could have been done that they failed to do and in the end they’ve lost me as a customer. Not only that but I will no longer be sending people to them, an average of some 200 – 300 per month! What a waste that proved to be, they couldn’t even convert one of them. Perhaps those people were just smarter than I was.

Once I got access I couldn’t get out of there fast enough. While I was waiting to get access I searched the web for another host as I didn’t want to put all my eggs in one basket by using the same host. I settled on HostGator as they seemed to have a great reputation. Once access was restored I started moving everything over and it all went through without a hitch. As it turns out HostGator has a 24hr Live Chat which I used a few times, both before and during the transfer, so that I could clear up a few things. Every time I used it they were quick to respond and they were able to answer all my queries. Now that is what I call service, something my previous host knew nothing about.

Here are some tips for those looking for good Web Host.

  • Ask other bloggers who they use and what they think of them.
  • Check the forums, most good hosts have them, to see what the reaction from members are. Do they resolve problems quickly?
  • Check to see that they a phone number so that you can contact them quickly in an emergency. Leaving a support ticket is OK but can be time consuming.
  • Do they have Live Chat available? I’ve found this to be an indispensable feature and both BlueHost and HostGator have it.

If there are any other important features that you require or recommend when choosing a host I’m sure others would like to read about it in the comment section.

Mitch, if you’re reading this post, yes you did warn me about staying with them, and yes as it turns out I should have listened to you. Again. Let that be a lesson to me huh?

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Peter Pelliccia

Aussie blogger who loves to blog and share everything that he has learned on his blogging journey, including blogging tips and ways to blog for money.

This Post Has 90 Comments

  1. I always make sure I use reputable hosts that many ppl use… such as BlueHost, DreamHost, HostGator, even GoDaddy ain’t bad for hosting… the small ones I stay away from b/c they offer no support or phone numbers. I always stay away from resellers as well.

      1. Valid reply but that doesn’t mean larger companies don’t offer reputable services. I’m with Henley on this one; large companies became large for a reason and I’d rather have my domains and hosting from the same company.
        Jason recently posted…Top 10 SEO MistakesMy Profile

  2. Thanks Sire. Now I know which host to choose. I am gonna buy Hostgator hosting. 🙂

    1. Are you looking for a new host Ayush?

      1. Yes! Moving from Blogger to WordPress soon!

        1. Excellent! You won’t regret it. I know a few bloggers who have made the move and they’ve all said it was the best thing they’d ever done.

  3. Rotten luck! Seems even the pro bloggers sometimes get taken in by bad servers. Proves yet again that word of mouth truly is the most powerful form of advertisement and can make or break a company. I’m a bit of a beginner in the blogging-as-business market, but this post was definitely one which teaches a remarkably good lesson!

  4. I also have Hostgator for a huge forum, and no problem there. About 1,5k visitors each day, and the speed is very good. Their support is great too, just one advice: If you have a hard questions, don’t contact the live support. Send a mail, they send the mail around to the right person and you get a very good answer back within 24h.

  5. Yep i’ve been using hostgator since I started more or less (their $0.01 deal for the first month was great start for a new blogger!).

    Their support is good and even when I forgot to pay them (on holiday) and was overdue by like a month my sites were still up and running and they were very understanding.

    I got hacked once; they helped sort it out and clean up and even give tips on how to prevent it!

    From me 9/10 for the gator! (missed a 10 only cos I havent given a 10 out ever!)

  6. This kind of post is a very helpful resource for those who are looking for webhosts. A few months ago, it was posts like these that I searched for and read when I searched for another host as I also have heard about not putting one’s eggs in the same basket. Aside from lunarpages, I now have an account with fatcow. Of course, had this post happened back then, I would have gone to hostgator without second thought. 🙂

    1. Thanks for the vote of confidence James.

      LunarPages was my first host and I still have three blogs with them. All in all I use 4 host so I’m I sure am spreading my eggs around.
      Sire recently posted…There’s More To Helium Than Meets the EyeMy Profile

  7. I’m sure glad you got the problem resolved quickly and reasonably easily. I’ve been down that road myself.

    I used to be with a host that had outgrown their MySQL servers and they’d crash regularly. Bad news for any site that used databases! I’d call and get put on hold… forever. When I finally got through they’d say, “Let me look; no, there is no problem.” And sure enough, it was fixed. Getting them to admit that there HAD been a problem was like pulling teeth.

    After a few rounds I moved all my web sites to a new host. A couple of months later I got a promo e-mail from them announcing all new MySQL servers for even more robust service.

    I guess I wasn’t the only one to pull my accounts!

    Glad you’re back “on the air” Sire!

    1. The biggest problem I could foresee was populating the databases of the blogs. You never know with those things if they’re going to play up or not. Luckily everything went smoothly.

      Seeing how it’s so important for these business’s to keep their customers to remain viable you have to wonder why they treat them so poorly?
      Sire recently posted…Rotating Banner Problem Resolved By Max Banner AdsMy Profile


  8. Twitter:
    Dude, as I always say, I’m always right! lol Man, having to deal with hosting issues like that are irksome as all get out. I had to deal with them for some of my clients, and of course I originally lost all the files to my first blog when my original hosting company crashed and burned, which is what encouraged me to go to a larger service.

    Lessons learned; I hope your experiences from this point on are much better.
    Mitch recently posted…Using CommentLuv EffectivelyMy Profile

    1. I had the same problem as you. Lots of different accounts with lots of different passwords. My solution was to offer my clients web space at my own VPS. With that I have full control and don’t need to bather about accounts on different hosts. Almost every client choses me to host there site for them.

      So my tip is to have an own VPS.


  9. Twitter:
    So glad you seemed to have found a good replacement to help ease your troubles! Some companies don’t really seem to realize how much business they end up losing through the actions they take against one individual. One individual CAN make a big difference!
    Allie recently posted…Spicing Up Our Superbowl PartyMy Profile

    1. That’s right Allie, it’s a pretty well known fact that one disgruntled customer will tell a lot more people about their experience than a happy customer will of theirs.
      Sire recently posted…Why I Chose MailChimp Over AweberMy Profile

  10. Ah yes, live chat…a friggin godsend ain’t it? Saved my ass countless times!

    Welcome to the HG family!

    1. And so glad to be a member of the family.

    1. I reckon there has to be something wrong with their servers or something, especially how it’s happened to me twice now. I can’t see any reason for it either because those three blogs combined don’t have as much traffic as this one.
      Sire recently posted…Rotating Banner Problem Resolved By Max Banner AdsMy Profile

  11. Hi Sire,
    Glad to know that you are in good hands now. A very good hosting website should have a live chat feature available and it should be reliable if they have it. It’s the HostSmart’s loss when they decided to suspend your whole account.
    Thanks for the heads up about HostSmart.
    Johanna recently posted…The New Microsoft Touch Mouse UnveiledMy Profile

    1. No worries Johanna, I’m sure there are some who are happy with them. The thing is you judge a host on how they act when things go wrong, not when everything goes OK.
      Sire recently posted…Why The List Hater Has His Very Own ListMy Profile

  12. Hi Sire

    I use Hostgator and can’t believe I got it right first time around lol Can’t even remember who advised me on this one but so glad they did.

    I have used their support on numerous occasions and they have been so helpful. I went for a company that gave 24/7 support as no good to me if they are closed when I have problems.

    Glad you got it sorted and retrieved what you had on that other host.

    Patricia Perth Australia

    1. Good on ya Patricia. Great that you can get it right on your first time out. Also good to know that I’ve made the right choice 2nd time around. :thumbup_tb:

  13. Hi Sire,

    Excellent tips, I’ve been eying hostgator for quite some time now (in launching more micro sites), since I’ve been seeing a lot of reputable bloggers promoting their hosting services. Currently, most of my sites are hosted by Godaddy, no problems so far, but as you’ve said, putting all my eggs on one basket can be risky.

    1. Hi Ben,

      there’s probably something else you should consider. I’ve heard that there is less value when you’re linking between blogs that you host under your primary domain. That means there is a whole lot more value when linking from blogs on another host.

  14. Hi Sire,

    I enjoyed reading your experience with the hosting companies. I’ve got some experience with Hostgator, JustHost, AussieHost, ipage and a Malaysian hosting company because I’ve got some clients hosting with them.

    I love those big hosting companies with 24/7 live chat support and I’ve love justhost which you can call on a 1800 number in Australia, and they’ve resolved my issue over the phone.

    Now, my only concern with those shared hosting is the speed. I’ve find they could be slow at time, is that because those web servers are in the US and we are in down under? Does the distance matter, I’m not sure.

    I’ve asked a friend in the US to check the speed at her end and she told me it was fast, so if it’s fast in the US then maybe it’s good enough for Google.

    I think when my traffic increase I’ll consider moving to cloud web hosting. Do you have any opinion about cloud web hosting?

    Ben Wan
    Ben Wan recently posted…How Important is it to Connect with Real People OnlineMy Profile

    1. Speed can be a problem with shared hosting which is why they get upset when some site hogs up all the CPU resources because it will then slow down all the other sites using that particular server. One of the reasons I like BlueHost is they use CPU throttling, as I mentioned in the post above, which means when someone uses a lot of the resources it only slows their site down, not affecting the others.

      I was talking to Mitch about internet speed and he reckons they get around 15Mbps where we’re lucky to get 4-5Mbps. That alone would make a big difference.

  15. Hi Sire
    A warning to us all.

    I’m happy with my hosting company.
    When I started out I haden’t got a clue.
    I used to FTP my files to the wrong location but they used to move the files for me. LOL

    I’m a bit more savvy now but I still contact them with questions and they reply within an hour or so.
    Always polite and helpful.

    Did you mention server speed?
    Wordpress sites are notoriously slow and theme producers always go on about choosing the right host.
    Presumably some servers are faster than others.
    Any thoughts?
    Keith Davis recently posted…Look for the Shining EyesMy Profile

    1. I’ve heard the same thing about some servers being faster than others. I think it can depend on how up to date their software is.

      One of the reasons I like BlueHost is because of their CPU throttling, as I mentioned above.

  16. I have used Hostgator since I began self hosting my blogs. I just happened to have them recommended and I wouldn’t have know what to look for. I have never had a problem and I am happy to know that wiser heads use them as well. I continually worry about what I don’t know that will cause me problems. It looks like I can cross weh hosting off that list.

  17. I can sympathize with you Sire. I’ve been with BlueHost for over 2 years now and I love them. Had my own problems with another service that I rant about from time to time that everyone seems to think is so great. Yet I had nothing but problems with them and even their own tech support couldn’t figure out my particular problem. It can be very frustrating.

    Glad you finally got that all resolved and are enjoying where you are now.

    Best to you,

    Adrienne

    1. Man, life can be so frustrating at times you just don’t need to add to the frustrations by using a host that won’t provide the service, especially when one that does is waiting for you with open arms.

      Thanks for dropping by Adrienne.
      Sire recently posted…Sometimes It’s Better To Just Not Give A ShitMy Profile

  18. Even though I was starting nothing but a very simple personal blog, I researched the hosting topic a fair amount. It seems that the conversation always seems to end with either Bluehost or Hostgator. Since the (first) dot come bubble there has been a tremendous amount of consolidation in the hosting space and those two seem to be some of the survivors.

    For a little guy like me, however, sometimes it’s hard to differentiate between what I need and I don’t need for the purposes for running my blog (i.e. I could have my own data center, but methinks that might be overkill…) since much of the discussion revolves around the needs of larger (not necessarily enterprise) websites.

    (I use hostgator, although much of its features probably go unused in my case.)

    1. You may not be using all the feature now papa but it’s nice to know it’s there when you do need it.

  19. Man selecting a good host is SOO important. I started my first website using GoDaddy for the cheapest plan possible. Then, I started getting front pages on Digg.com. Then, my site started going down. Then i started getting mad. Then, I did some really good research and found a host I really really like: MediaTemple. I like them so much, but I admit they’re not perfect. My site has still gone down like 3 times in a year, but I can handle that.

    1. While shared hosts are a lot cheaper they do have that one flaw, that any major fluctuation in traffic can cause your site to go down. It’s never happened to me with BlueHost and I’m sure it’s because of their CPU throttling.

      I’ve thought of a dedicated host but they’re just way too expensive. Maybe when I become a 6 figure problogger. :tongue_rolleye_ee:

  20. It certainly pays to do your homework. Mind you, it doesn’t matter which hosting company you look at, if you dig a little you’ll find people with bad things to say about them.

    Believe it or not, but some folks don’t like Dreamhost, who, in my eyes, are the undisputed best hosting company on the planet. 🙂

    Congrats on finding yourself a good home, mate!

    Kind regards,
    Steve

    1. Another one I haven’t heard of, but then again there’s so many out there you can never know them all.

      You are right though, you’re bound to find a dissatisfied customer no matter where you go, but if you find there’s a whole lot of them then you know something is up.

      1. You don’t pay close enough attention to my blog, mate. 🙂 I reviewed them a few weeks ago.

        1. Fair suck of the sav mate, I’m only one man you know :tongue_laugh_ee:

          1. I guess I should make allowances, I mean you’re not getting any younger are you… takes you a bit longer to make the rounds than some of the rest of us, hey mate? :smoke_tb: :tongue2_tb:

            1. That’s so bloody true it’s not even funny :tongue_rolleye_ee:

    1. I’ve never heard of them Barbara, I did just have a quick look though and they’re more expensive than any of the ones I use and it seems they don’t have a 24hr Live Chat…..at least it was off line when I looked.

  21. Hey Sire,

    I too had some hosting problems, some time ago, especially when my website outgrown their shared accounts.

    Funny thing is that I had problems with Hostgator, and they do suspend the whole account when one website is eating too much CPU. Of course this wasn’t their fault, the websites was getting some heavy traffic and it didn’t have any kind of caching mechanism.

    Oh and just like you said their support is fantastic, even when they suspend your account they will promptly reinstate it as long as you take the commitment to do something about your scripts/websites. So that’s definitely a plus.
    Alex recently posted…Tunuri cu cartiteMy Profile

    1. That’s exactly why I said you shouldn’t have too many sites under the one domain with one host. That’s why Wassup is on it’s own. Like I said it’s not a good idea to have all your eggs in one basket.

      Service is everything these days. Makes you wonder though when you do have more than one site on your account why they don’t just suspend the one causing the problem?
      Sire recently posted…Rotating Banner Problem Resolved By Max Banner AdsMy Profile

      1. That’s right, that would not only solve their problem but will keep your other non-disruptive website online.
        I think one of their argument would be the number of website they have to take care of. But cmon, can’t you just hire some programmers to make a script that only suspends the website that is causing the problem? Or better yet the cpu-hogging script.
        Alex recently posted…Tunuri cu cartiteMy Profile

        1. Exactly, how hard can that be? When I first got the email it was obvious which blog was causing the problem, apparently one of the scripts got stuck and kept executing, so why not just suspend that blog.

          Like you said. it can’t be that hard to incorporate a script that will only suspend the offending site.

  22. I use Hostgator and find their service to be very good. Another thing to consider is the service of you domain name registrar because some of them have terrible service and will never respond to an email inquiry. If you find a host that treats their customers well it will make your life as a web designer or business person so much easier.

    1. I will be transferring the domains over to HostGator as well because it will make it easier to deal with one company instead of two.

  23. Hi Sire,
    I guess it is down to the individual. How much research and recommendations they get before buying their hosting. I am lucky in that I have never had any problems with my hosting. I am going to migrate my main blog onto it’s own server in the near future.
    Great article to highlight some of the hosting issues.
    Pete

    1. I’ve often thought about that myself Pete but I can warrant the expense. Still, who knows what the future holds for this blog?


  24. Twitter:
    Hi Sire, I have had my share of horror stories when it comes to hosting.

    Personally I think the only hosting company a person should use is one where they have 24 hour live support. You need that especially if you are a newbie.

    When I first started I didn’t know how to do anything and using a ftp server was intimidating. So it was really helpful to be able to call my hosting company for support.

    Looking back they where really nice to me because I asked some pretty silly questions.

    Anyhow – I don’t recommend anyone ever using 1 and 1 hosting.

    I think hostgator rocks! they are affordable and like you said, you get 24hour tech support.

    Warmest Regards,
    Larry
    Larry Rivera recently posted…1 Mistake Made By Facebook Page AdminsMy Profile

  25. I am with HostGator and they are doing a good job. One thing I fail to understand is why people even go for smaller hosts. Now, I know they are cheap but bigger companies are just one or two cents more and offer service that is light years ahead of others.

    1. I think Ishan it’s because these people are newbies and just don’t know any better. They think they are getting something for a better price not realizing they’re not going to get the service until it’s too late.
      Sire recently posted…The Good The Bad & The Ugly of Lists & List BuildingMy Profile

  26. We sud be aware of bad hosts.
    My site is with Hostgator and I have not faced any issues with them till now.
    Iwud say that their support and services are xcellent

    ATUL

  27. I was with hostgator too, I thought their service was great. I really loved the 24/7 live chat since I could ask any question and get an immediate response when I was working on my site late at night. I’ve switched over to a smaller UK company though purely because they offer unlimited web hosting for half the price!

  28. Man, I’m hearing so much great stuff about HostGator that I wish I had known about them before launching my website!

    Anyways, I’m on LunarPages right now, and they gave me one heck of a package, so I can’t complain. The only thing that has been bugging me so far is that my server is banned from sending mail to Hotmail & Gmail. Apparently some idiot who’s hosted on the same shared server as mine used his website to send spam messages out there until he got us all banned.

    I’m still waiting for the day that LunarPages does something about it..

    1. Hi Amr,

      I have three blogs and two websites on Lunar Pages. I did have more but it couldn’t handle them all and then I heard about the extra SEO benefits of having different IP’s on different servers and so I moved a few over to new hosts. That was when I decided not to have all my eggs in one basket.
      Sire recently posted…Rotating Banner Problem Resolved By Max Banner AdsMy Profile

  29. Even though most web hosts advertise premium packages with unlimited disk space. we know that its not possible. there are limitations to the disk space. what they do is to put up your files in a shared hosting plan. and the since there shall be many sites hosted on the same server, there can be a hit in the loading speed of your site.

  30. I can’t tell you how many hosts I have used over the last 12 or so years.

    I can tell you Hostgator is the best that I have used.

    I don’t often use their chat, but their ticket system is excellent. Very quick responses, and any issue will be resolved.

    Steve

    1. Good to know Steve, thanks for that bit of information.

  31. It goes without saying that HostGator and BlueHost have indeed earned their reputation by constantly providing great service. I have used GoDaddy as well as 1and1 but my ‘recommended’ would always be HostGator. Their live chat and phone service actually works and you get to talk to a person who understands technology.

    BTW, the checkbox ‘confirm you are not a spammer’ should be ‘before’ submit button. 🙂

  32. I’ve used Hostgator in the past and they have been the best for me to, I currently use bluehost for now though. Great post thanks for the insight.

    1. No worries Fabrizzio, I’m glad you were able to take something from it.

  33. As a blogger I might consider to change my hosting company. Recently, my site is hacked twice by imprudent hackers. Is there any issues with my hosting here? because I only used cheap web hosting which I don’t even know what its name is.

    1. It could well be that a poor host can leave you more prone to hacking attacks, but I’m not qualified to say for sure.

  34. I have had to go some pretty horrible issues with Hosts suddenly suspending the account without giving notice. (A runawy WP plugin). This made me realize that the cheaper option isn’t always the best option cause you have to pay the cost in getting worse support and inexplicable downtime’s. I have switched over to GoDaddy which again has its own flaws but at least not as severe as my earlier ones.

    1. Good to see you’ve found one that is more dependable.

  35. Ha ha.. I don’t know much about BlueHost, but HostGator’s done the trick for me! A couple of friends of mine follow the GoDaddy faith as well, but I’m yet to meet a BlueHost dude.

    Jimmy

  36. I use bluehost and I’ve had great service across the board. The best part is that if I ever have a quick question I can simply interact via live chat with a rep. I absolutely love this feature, that way I don’t have to call and wait 20 mins for a rep to answer.

  37. Choosing Web-hosting is not much difficult. If you ask some experienced bloggers, they will surely help you out to choose best web hosting. I started my blog on blogspot and it’s been over 3 months I have been into WordPress and selected Hostgator web hosting. Till now I haven’t heard any bad about Hostgator and haven’t faced any problem with it.

    1. That is so true, it doesn’t hurt to ask for the right information.

  38. Wow, i didnt realize it was such a different from host to host… Im about to launch a new website and i need a host. But its hard for a beguinner to know which one to use… I suppose i just need to reed a bit more om some different sites and then try to decide. I mean, all cant be bad?

    1. No, not all are bad but you sure as hell don’t one to pick one that is.

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