Well its been a month since we relocated our hosting and frankly, it hasn’t been the easiest month ever, but we made it. Finding affordable, speedy hosting doesn’t have to be a unicorn hunt! Here, I’m gonna tell you how this all went down and how YOU can do what I did and improve your site, speed and security almost instantly. Lets start at the beginning.
*** This post offers my own opinions and hasn’t been influenced by the hosting company at all. There are affiliate links in this post, which help us
keep the site alive stay caffeinated. No pricing changes because of affiliate links. ***
Most of my business sites, including this one have been hosted by Wired Tree since almost forever. Wired tree offered (initially) great prices on vps and superior customer service. Something changed, I’m not sure what, and although the techs are friendly enough, they seem not to be as thorough as they once were, omitting or not even reading tickets, contributing to downtime for myself and a number of clients. Problems became more prevalent and the answer to the problem was always, you need something ‘more’. Which almost always meant more $$. (For those of you who may not know me, I’m not a tightwad when it comes to hosting)Cheap generally equals lousy hosting, less than pleasant experiences with tech support and more downtime than anyone needs. But I found my self inching toward a hosting rate for my sites, that I found untenable. So I started looking around (yeah kinda like kicking tires on new cars)
EIG WANTS TO OWN THE HOSTING WORLD
Here’s what I found.
1. EIG (Endurance International Group) that vast conglomerate, has purchased a whole wad of companies
As part of the Genius Blogger’s Toolkit I received FREE MONTH OF HOSTING, FREE SITE TRANSFER, AND FREE SITE SPEED ASSESSMENT through Agathon Group.
Agathon Group provides WordPress hosting for people ready to take their blogging to the next level. With a dedicated and friendly team, they can help you start from scratch or migrate from an existing host and then support you as you grow.
Sounded like a pretty good deal when I looked over their hosting options and although their cpu offerings were smaller than what I had with Wired Tree at the time, I thought this might be a good place to hang my hat for a while. Finding out they didn’t have any user control panel, meant leaving my sites, in the hands of a support team I didn’t know, for transfer and install. Those of you who know me, know this didn’t go down well. However, after an extended thread of emails, and several phone calls, I felt confident enough to let them handle it. Sure enough, they did a stellar job of import and install but when it got down to my wanting access to my OWN databases, that was the point at which I said this will never work. Because I do so much development, getting to databases is important. Getting to files was swift and without issue but the one key for me was the databases. Their support guys mostly bent over backwards to help until.. I found it just wasn’t a tenable option for me and decided to leave. Another one bites the dust.
I looked again at options I’d used at other times and if the property wasn’t now owned by EIG, the support tickets or chat went unnoticed or ignored, not sure which, but it doesn’t matter anyway. I even looked at RackSpace, and found the pricing still crazy after all these years. So back to the hunt, all the time tweaking my largest sites for speed and so forth. My page speed scores were plummeting for this site and for my food/lifestyle blog. This was my lifestyle blog page score before
and this site now
I don’t have the ‘before’ shot for this one, apparently I was so ill with it I just deleted it. But I call this WINNING. And how did I do this you ask?
The Unicorn Hunt For Fast Speedy Hosting
It all started with a test at Fast Comet Hosting. (because you can read all the reviews you want and still know nothing) I put a few sites onto shared ssd ecommerce hosting. At the rock bottom price of $6.95 per month, with 45 days guaranteed money back, a free move and well for that I could lose 7 bucks so why not try. I WAS AMAZED. SIMPLY AMAZED. They added free cloudflare, free varnish caching and their own superduper firewall, to my own configuration of WP-Rocket (caching) and Sucuri Cloud Proxy. Additionally, the control panel we all know and love is there and they offer some pretty nifty freebies as well as a coupon for WP-Rocket (if you don’t own it this is your chance to get it for a steal). I personally was so impressed with the speed at which tickets are answered, and chat is handled that I decided to move everything over (with the exception of a couple sites that I still have elsewhere). So now we’re hosted on a Cloud VPS at less than 1/2 of what I was paying at Wired Tree, with so much more speed, and I’m not out in the wind doing all the work myself (I’m not lazy but dang its nice to have someone else deal with all the server stuff)
Now I’ll be remiss if I don’t tell you that some things didn’t go too easily, since I was using Sucuri and cloudflare, but those issues were between those 2 apps, and with a phone call was cleared. Getting ads to run with cloudflare is a little tricky but its doable as well.
All in all I could NOT BE MORE HAPPY, AND its my recommendation that if you’re paying 4 arms and 2 legs for hosting, or even paying a reasonable price for hosting at one of the EIG owned hosts, that you don’t wait, you move and move now. I’d be willing to bet you can’t get these speeds (even with the ads I run) anywhere else.
And now for a word about UNLIMITED HOSTING.
******There is NO SUCH THING AS UNLIMITED HOSTING.
Above all, you should read “unlimited” as “don’t worry if you have a typical website or a blog”. But if you have a popular or big website, then there’s no “unlimited” for you. But people love the feeling that the word “unlimited” gives them. And hosts just put down what people WANT to hear. But the hosts do not mean it; they’d go broke if they actually provisioned unlimited hosting for everyone.
Shared hosts’ basic plans are not supposed to be for clients with hundreds of visitors per day, even if they say it’s “unlimited”. The same is about disk space. It depends on price and other limited plans (if any) offered by the company. But I would not expect to store more than 10-30 GB on shared hosting for the same default price.
Usually, if your websites utilizes more disk space or bandwidth, then you are contacted by the hosting company to upgrade your account. For some reason, people don’t expect it on “unlimited” plans. So, it makes sense to contact the company’s support and ask them about how limited their “unlimited” plans are This statement applies NO MATTER WHERE you are hosting.
Note that it may turn out that “unlimited” plans of some hosts can be even more limited than limited plans of other hosts. (Hope I did not confuse you with this circle of words ) . You may just contact a hosting company which offers unlimited plans and ask it directly on how much of the resources you can actually count on.
Again, if you have a high traffic site or a large site. NO UNLIMITED HOSTING is going to hold you, so face it and pick a VPS or Dedicated Server if need be.
I’m Winning ‘Yall! And You can too! Feel free to reach out via my contact form or project inquiry if you need to know more.
UPDATE: FASTCOMET has made many changes in its shared hosting. While I can still recommend them for new bloggers, if you have an aged site, *been online for a few years* I can’t say its going to be your best option. Check our RESOURCES PAGE FOR OUR RECOMMENDED HOSTING.