It seems like every few weeks someone in my professional or personal life asks me what web hosting provider they should use. My answer has been the same for a dozen years. I have my own servers, want to put your sites there for free? Now, as I set my sights on distant shores, I am preparing for a less tech-immersed life. As a result I had to go through the confusing and chaotic process of finding a web hosting provider.
I started by looking for reviews. If any of you have tried this, you’ll know, 99% of all of the review sites are paid for. You can tell by the rainbow farting unicorn reviews you read on them, and the fact that their reviews are completely without nuance. I did find one review site that seemed to be less biased webhostingreviews.com. I looked at dozens of plans, including coops which I thought would be price competitive for a geek like me.
As it turns out I went with a cpanel based hosting provider. I thought this would be a really painful transition (unix to gui) but Host Gator is cool enough to provide a jailed shell if you ask, so the transition was smoothed over by some of my favorite tools (rsync, ssh, scp, and cron). My domains are all hosted under their Shared Hosting Business account, which runs be $14.96/month. For this price Host Gator serves my entire empire of domains (svconvivia.com, tuckerbradford.com, forgoever.com, victoriabradford.com, etc.)
I did find installing my rails apps to be more difficult than I cared for. After several (pleasant) chats with the support guys I decided to just use the free services of Heroku (more on that in another post). For all of my other web based needs (email, static web, php, and webdav) the Unlimited Bandwidth, Unlimited Storage, and Unlimited domains made Host Gator a no-brainer.
As I mentioned I have had several chats with their support staff. They respond almost immediately to the online chat and find answers to my questions with reasonable haste and extraordinary curtesy. I have very little (save for my nightmares) to compare Host Gator to but I can report that I have been stoked with my experience so far.
I recommend and use Host Gator because I believe it to be a fantastic value. Because I use and believe in their services I have set up an affiliate account with them. This means that I may receive a commission for new signups.