Best Web Hosting: How to Find the right one for your business

*This web hosting post contains affiliate links that would give me a small commission if you sign up through them, but it won’t cost you any extra for that.*

Ok, here I am, after who knows how long looking for the perfect web hosting for my blog. If you have been around for a while you know how much I’ve struggled with the hosting subject.

Probably some of you might even be tired of me and my hosting drama. And I must confess after all was done, I look back and I HAVE to admit I behaved like a drama queen about it.

How to find the right web hosting for you

How to Find the right Web Hosting for your business

For what is worth, to me, switching host was a huge deal. I was so scared of losing data, traffic of who knows what else. My heart was actually and truly aching and I still don’t know why.

Because I know this journey is painful for most bloggers, I thought it would be good to share with you how to find the right web hosting for you and your site.

When I think about it, why the hell was I so worried if my site and data would still be in my current hosting the whole time? It actually still is; new hosting would give me back my money if it doesn’t work, and we can always switch again, right?…

Well, lesson learned!!! Actually, I learned a lot of things on this journey and the most important is that not every web hosting is the same and not all of them are right for everyone.

First of all, let’s state that there’s no such thing as the PERFECT web hosting service and no host really offers unlimited everything. It’s just a marketing strategy.

For unlimited storage or Bandwidth exist, there should be unlimited hard disks and unlimited memory, which we know they don’t; at least not yet anyway.

So, getting this out of the way I know now that depending on each type of blog, size, and traffic, it would need a different kind of service, plan and web hosting provider.

So the big question here would be: how to choose the right web hosting, am I right?

Well, the answer is simple… It depends on what you need and what you can afford.

Best Web Hosting: How to Find the right one for your business

Let’s start from the beginning of my journey…

I started blogging with Google’s Blogger platform and I used it for almost a year. Then I decided I wanted to take my blogging business to the next level and decided to move to WordPress and, of course, that meant finding a host.

My mom had moved to WordPress a month before and she had picked iPage because her site is really small and the iPage was really cheap. My mom was happy with it so since I wasn’t monetizing my site much yet, I decided to go with that one too.

After over a year with iPage, with ups and downs in the road, and growing in size and traffic, I started having issues. That’s because a shared hosting can’t handle everything, and the space a web hosting company sets up for you could not be the perfect one. Often happens that you might not have good neighbors which sucks.

I don’t really know for sure but I think there is a percent of luck involved too.

Switching Web Hosting decision

When I finally I decided to switch, my first step was asking on one of my mastermind groups what hosts they use and why. I got lots of feedback. Many of my friends shared their insights about their hosting services, about which they think would not be good and what would definitely be a good one. So I started doing my research on those hosting companies.

After much debating and back and forth I decided to go with A Small Orange. I was being so naïve to think my site would go well in their medium plan with 150GB of bandwidth.

After 3 days with them, I discovered that not even their large plan would handle my site’s size and then I freaked out completely. I used 14GB of my bandwidth allowance in 3 days. That means in 10 days I would be offline unless I upgrade and probably in less than 20 days I would be offline again at that rate.

The problem wasn’t the host, was my site. After researching and researching I figured that my site was huge in size {not in traffic}. A blog with 4.5MB consumes a lot of resources. Bandwidth is basic math: your site’s size times pageviews times a factor that is usually 2.

You see my point.

I asked again in the mastermind group for a second round of ideas. And I got many new ones and many new insights that lead me to new research.

Now I learned and figured out that all this could be easier and less painful. But sometimes we need the stumbles to see things clearly, right?

At that point, I figured that I needed to do 2 things. Optimize my site as much as I could and find a web hosting that was fast and that would limit monthly visits, but not bandwidth.

I chatted with many, I did my research on many and I brought the options down to 3, even though one of them had bandwidth limitations. I had chosen WordPress managed Plans with GoDaddy, WordPress managed Personal plan with Media Temple and Pro Plan with RFE.

I finally decided to go with my gut and chose Media Temple, which gives me 2 months free signing up for an annual plan, 400K visits a month and 30GB SSD storage {Solid State Drive which is a super fast hard drive}. Also, 2 sites and a lot of room to grow for a reasonable price.

GoDaddy was cheaper but at this point, even with a tight budget, I was looking for more than just low budget.

Right-host-for-you

WHY DID I LEAVE IPAGE Web Hosting?

iPage is a great web hosting while being so cheap. You can start as low as $1.99/month. I must say their uptime is great. Their customer service is fairly good. I always got a response within a few hours depending on how urgent it is and I never had to wait too much on their chat to be helped.

Overall, iPage is a pretty decent host, but you get what you pay for. As you grow you need more room and more speed. I started having issues with loading and maybe my one size and other sites were affecting my performance… I felt it was time for me to leave and find a bigger place to keep growing.

I really don’t recommend iPage even if you are starting and like me back then and you don’t have a big budget. If you are starting I would definitely recommend BlueHost or BigScoot on their starter plans.

WHAT ABOUT A SMALL ORANGE?

I have to say this, I LOVED IT, those 4 days I spent with A Small Orange. They were so kind and helpful, the server is super fast {my site’s performance increased a lot}, they helped me set up and migrate my site, and it was great overall!

My only problem was my own site that needed a lot more than 500GB bandwidth a month and I couldn’t afford higher plans. But other than that I have nothing negative to say about ASO.

Depending on your site and needs I’m sure you would be so happy hosted with ASO too.

WHY DID I CHOOSE MEDIA TEMPLE Web Hosting?

Besides what I mentioned before about my allowance, I just didn’t really want to go with big authority hosting companies, to be honest. Actually, I wanted a smaller company who probably cares about each customer and would pay attention to my specific needs.

To be honest I kind of felt that with ASO and with Media Temple. I also was certain that I wanted a WordPress Managed host/plan because those are servers specially set up to handle WordPress sites because of its complexity and requirements.

Media Temple was highly recommended by big successful bloggers like Abby from Just a Girl and Her Blog and Jenny from The NY Melrose Family, so between the 3 I mentioned I just followed my gut and I did not regret it.

My whole site loaded faster. My dashboard worked faster and I couldn’t be happier in that sense.

I definitely recommend Media Temple for WP bloggers with big blogs with high traffic. They have different plans for each type of blog so you have plenty of room to grow.

What Web Hosting I’m Using Now?

2 years after switching to Media Temple, I felt it was time to move to a bigger more personalized Web Hosting company. I switched to BigScoots.

Why?

Because regardless of all the great service and optimized servers, Media Temple lacks one thing: the personalized part. Every time I needed something, or help, they would direct me to a knowledge base documentation so I could do it myself.

Often I felt helpless and alone in that side of my business.

On the other hand, Google had released the https (SSL certificate) must have and MT was charging excessively for that service and also would charge to install it or I would have to do it myself. That really disappointed me.

Talking about it with my Bestie from This Silly Girl’s Kitchen, she had switched almost a year before to BigScoots and she only said great things about them.

What caught my attention about her experience was that they would do all the hard work of moving the site, redirections, and in the price, the SSL certificate was included.

The Best part?

They actually do everything. BigScoots exceeded all expectations. The few first days after switching are critical. Many issues arise and they jumped in within minutes to fix them all.

It was a really easy decision to make. That’s what I was looking for.

It was a little expensive to my budget but in the end, I thought it was going to be worth it and IT IS! I’m still with them as of today and I have nothing but good experiences with them.

BigScoots‘ customer service is to notch, their plans are fairly accessible and you have a wide range to choose from, from beginner plans to high-performance ones.

I highly recommend them. They have saved my blog’s life more than once in a matter of a few hours.

Bottom Line?

As I said, there is no PERFECT web hosting service, there is only the RIGHT ONE FOR YOU.

One that fits all your needs, your site’s requirements and remember there’s always that LUCK factor.

You might choose a great hosting and have the luck to be set up with a really bad neighbor or just in a too crowded server.

Each person has its experience with hosts and that someone who had a really bad experience with one host, doesn’t mean the hosting company is bad. But it does scare to read bad reviews.

If you are willing to be objective and really hear what the review says, you might be able to tell that, one person just had a bad experience and is letting his/her frustration out which is perfectly understandable or if the host is actually the problem.

It’s good to keep those bad reviews in mind and talk to as many known people as you can about their hosts and make your decision based on your own site’s specific needs and what your gut tells you.

How to find the right host for your site

HOW TO KNOW WHAT YOUR SITE’S SPECIFIC NEEDS ARE?

That’s hard to find out but not impossible.

First, you need to know what your site’s performance is like. Sites like GTMetrix, Pingdom and Google PageSpeed Insights tools can tell you how good or bad it is, how big it is and how long it takes to load.

For all those numbers, the lower the better. All of those factors affect the resources usage of your site on your host.

As I mentioned in my post Image Optimization tips, images are usually, the biggest factor for slowing your site down and consuming resources.

Also, ad services, bad coding, bad plugins or an excessive number of them can make your site use more resources than it should.

Bandwidth Vs Visitors Limits

If your site is naturally big in terms of size {MB} (Like image-based ones: tutorials, recipes, etc) and also has high traffic, you would be better with hosts that measure traffic (visitors) instead of bandwidth.

You should also try your best to optimize your website to make it more hosting friendly. There are so many factors, and each site is different. But, there are also many ways to still improve your site.

If you are a techy person, you could optimize your site yourself with a little help from tutorials and what those tools tell you to improve. Or, you can hire someone to do it for you. There are many out there, me included.

After all I’ve been through and all I’ve made to improve my site, I now offer those services too.

My Web Hosting learnings Summary

There’s no need to worry so much about the migration, your data will stay on your old hosting as long as you need it. You don’t have to run and close it right away.

There’s no need to worry about the money so much, if it doesn’t work they will give you back your money, either if it’s full or pro-rated.

You can always go back or move to another one, it’s not the end of the world. It might be time-consuming or maybe a few comments lost but there’s always turning back. If you were in the mastermind group you’re probably rolling your eyes, thinking I told you!!!, right??? LOL

Switching web hosting is intimidating because our blogs are like our babies. But it’s also always a good step in our growing blogging life. It’s like when you are old enough to move out and start new. When that home gets small then we move to a bigger one.

The feeling of growing is AWESOME!!!!

So, now I would love to hear your thoughts on this matter. How did you find the right web hosting for you? Do you have any other strategy or tip to make this hosting hunt easier? Let’s hear it in comments!!!

If you found this Web Hosting Article useful, don’t forget to share with Friends and PIN for later!

Best Web Hosting: How to Find the right one for your business
How to find the right web hosting for you
Find the right web hosting for you

*This posts contains affiliate links that would give me a small commission if you sign up through them, but it won’t cost you any extra for that.*

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