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Blog Hosting Recommendations

Posted By Darren Rowse 9th of November 2006 Blogging Tools and Services 0 Comments

Editor: Check out this post on Darren’s updated recommendations for best blog hosting options for bloggers in 2018

A number of readers have sent me emails in the last few days asking for advice on blog hosts.

I’ve always had my hosting through a private arrangement with a friend – so I’m not the best person to ask for recommendations – so I thought I’d open it up for readers to make suggestions.

Who do you use? What do you think of them? What advice would you give someone shopping for a host for their new blog?

About Darren Rowse
Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.
Comments
  1. Hello

    I’ve been with ServerGrade for some months now. They are at:

    http://www.servergrade.com.au

    Their Linux plans are very affordable and I’ve got a couple of client web sites with them. I’ll soon be putting up a blog on my own web site, which is also on ServerGrade.

    They don’t have a help phone number, they just do support via email. As I’m qualified in the IT field (as well as wanting cheap hosting) I’m not too phased by that but anybody without an IT background might want to pay extra for phone support.

  2. We host a number of blogs at their own domain names. We started doing this for ourselves and then expanded to include a whole bunch of our clients. Some are using the blogger format, others using Drupal.
    We can handle WordPress and other blog engines as well.
    We don’t charge much and in some cases offer a free hosting service (though we place some ads to allow for this.)
    Feel free to check out the deals here http://www.jethroconsultants.com/taxonomy/term/12

    I guess our main differentiation is we offer a boutique service. We dont crunch large numbers of people through with minimal support. We will assist you with templates, design issues, the “tech settings” buying and hosting a domain name (which is different to hosting a website), and basically sorting the rest of the technical mumbo jumbo out for you. We offer prompt email and instant messaging service and prde ourselves on attention to detail and excellence.

    Finally we are also interested in providing discounted services to not for profit organisations.

    Feel free to contact us
    Thanks for letting me use this spot for a free plug Darren!

  3. I don’t have a recommendation, but I have compiled a list of about 30 web hosts, their fees, and what they offer:

    http://izachy.com/2006/10/10/too-many-eggs-in-one-basket/

  4. I’ve always used Dreamhost:

    http://www.earnersblog.com/lessons/choosing-the-right-webhost/

    however lately I’ve been looking at the new hosts that offer gird servers that are supposedly “digg proof.”

    http://www.mediatemple.net do grid server hosting for $20 a month, with awesome bandwidth. I’m considering moving across from dreamhost just to test it out & post thoughts :)

  5. Dreamhost has some really cheap, nearly unlimited plans, and as long as you enable the WP-Cache plugin for wordpress, they can stand up to virtually anything, including the “digg” effect. Be sure to shop around for the referral coupons… I was able to get mine for $22 for an entire year.

    As far as really good quality hosting goes, MediaTemple’s new grid server is just amazing, but for $20 / month is a little more expensive.

  6. am happy with godaddy.com, my personal advice is not to go for those USD1.00 per month hosting or un-reliable/fly by night hosting, it is generally cheaper but comes with sleepless nights.

  7. Stuart,

    You will love MediaTemple…. so incredibly fast, and their admin panel makes everything a breeze.

    I switched from Dreamhost as well.

  8. I use and recommend TextDrive for reliable, good value service. Particularly good for people with a techy bent.

  9. Dreamhost gets a lot of recommendations. Besides offering a lot for the money, they’re also, in my opinion, doing a lot of other things right.

    I wrote about some of those things here: http://patriklockne.com/blog/2006/10/23/why-dreamhost-is-a-great-company/

  10. I can tell you not to go with Dreamhost. It’s been a nightmare. I’ve had a lot of good luck with a small hosting company out east called Colorteck, you can check em out at http://colorteck.com (disclamier:ive worked or am working for them currently)

    Aslo Midphase (http://midphase.com) is a great webhost. I currently run 3 servers so its kind of a crazy scenario as I use 3 different companies. But i’d go with Colorteck for the small publisher and Midphase for bigger VPS and Dedicated.

  11. Hmm. I use Blogspot, it’s intuitive to use, easy to update, free of charge and is connected to various other Google assets. I also use a WordPress-based community blog on a private server, but I find Google’s alternative to be better in most ways.

  12. As soon as your blog is doing anything more (revenue-wise or readership-wise) than taking up space, then reliability and QOS starts to really mean something.

    So for Aussies I can’t recommend Anchor highly enough.

    http://www.anchor.com.au/web-hosting-plan-30.py

    The company I am with (www.alliancesoftware.com.au) uses them exclusively and there’s nothing too big or small for them. They’re also in (arguably) the #1 datacentre in Australia (Sydney).

    I still say, if your audience is primarily Aussies, host here. No doubt about it.

    – Alister

  13. I’ve been a Dreamhost Customer since may. I have had mostly good luck with it. I just find it a bit unresponsive sometimes when I ssh in. Their loads on their servers are pretty hardcore during the day. As long as your not running mission critical stuff they will be just fine. If you need mission critical I would look elsewhere, or at least get a dedicated server with them.

    -Jeff
    http://blog.zemote.com

  14. I’m a big supporter of MediaTemple. It’s a bit pricy compared to some other hosts out there, but you get a lot of bang for your buck.

    I think their latest plan is something along the lines of 100GB of space, 1TB or storage, and all the good server stuff (PHP, Ruby, Rails, MySQL, etc, etc) for about $20/month.

  15. I use dreamhost… they upgrade your disk space and bandwidth every day plus unlimited domains in one account.

    They also have WordPress one click install which makes it very easy for non technical people to start a blog.

    Their URL is http://www.dreamhost.com

    And here is a 50 dls coupon when you sign in: ELCUPON
    (all letters)

  16. I’ll agree with the dreamhost problems… you pretty much have to expect some downtime now or then when you are using them.

    but for $22 for a year…. they are about the best you’ll find for the price.

    Once I started making money off my blogs, I switched to a more reliable provider (mediatemple)

  17. Media Temple-Grid Server. The performance is really great, had no downtime yet even after appearing on Digg 5 days in a row.

  18. I’m quite happy with BlueHost. Support is easy to get hold of and they have been very helpful to this non-techie.

  19. I was surprise no one had said BLUE HOST until the last guy. I have used them for http://realwomensfitness.com for a few months now and have had no problems at all.

    Traffic is about 200 visitors a day so I’ll be interested to see how it goes after 1000 hits a day.

    Did anyone mention that WordPress.com has a list of their reccomended hosts. I wonder if they reccomend them based on their quality or maybe just kick backs they recieve?

  20. If you need simple blog hosting you can just go to wordpress.com.

    However, if you want more control over your site and wish to host large files I would recommend hostingzoom.com or hostgator.com, I was looking for hosting suggestions on webhostingtalk a while ago and those were highly recommended, however, I’m sure there are many more qualified hosts out there. If you need something specific, again, webhostingtalk forums is a great resource. You’ll find a lot of help there.

    Luis
    http://www.animepodcast.org

  21. I highly recommend http://www.livingdot.com I’ve been with them for 2 years and am totally happy with their service. Price is great too. I pay $9.95 a month and that includes up to 10 add-on domains and sub-domains. Great blog support and free installation, as well.

  22. It was just a matter of time before someone chipped in with a Dreamhost referral code and aff link. – Moises

    In terms of the blogosphere, the 2 hosts that always stick out are Dreamhost and Media Temple, and I think it really is up to personal preference and your experience with them, than anything else.

    I personally host with Dreamhost, and haven’t had much trouble, mostly only good as come from them, but then again, you will read of someone that has had a terrible time, and cannot rip them enough, which completely contradicts my time with them. :-)

    As I said, go with the host that makes you feel comfortable, offers you what you are looking for, at a price you can afford, and you can’t really go wrong.

  23. I’m really curious about Media Temple’s Grid Server package, especially since I run a couple of servers back in Sweden to handle some large sites, and would like to see how they compare to each other. (No, I wouldn’t move a Swedish oriented site to USA.)

    For my international projects, like Bloggertalks.com and my personal blog, I’m going with A Small Orange. They have great support and although I have yet to truly push them, they give a solid feel and just works like a charm. I also like all the opportunities they give me, settings is nice, at least when you know what you’re doing. If I outgrow them I would absolutely consider Grid Server, nice pricing and if it really works it’s a good deal.

    So A Small Orange is a good suggestion if you ask me, although perhaps not the cheapest one out there. They are located at http://www.asmallorange.com – you should check them out.

    (No, I don’t work there. ;)

  24. I have my blogs hosted by BryteNet, and have recommended this host to all my friends. Their address is http://brytenet.com/.

  25. I use WebHostingBuzz (www.webhostingbuzz.com) – they have great deals (look at the “mini” packages – $3/month for 5,000 mb of space and 100,000 mb/month bandwidth) and their service has been excellent. My site is hosted there, they have tons of features, pretty fast, and it seems pretty decent.

  26. Hi,

    I personally use Textdrive and it’s has been wonderful so far. It’s reliable and the uptime is about 98-99%. However, the new Grid Server plan by MediaTemple seems tempting though I’ve got lifetime hosting on Textdrive. Thus, won’t be moving hosting company for the foreseeable future.

    Isaak
    http://www.isaakkwok.com/

  27. I’ve been using http://www.livingdot.com/ for a year and I can recommend them – extremely good support and quite a reliable service.

  28. I have three sites running with http://www.lunarpages.com/, two of them for over three years. I used a few hosts before ending up there and have had no reason to leave them. Great customer service, excellent up-time. Highly recommended.

  29. I’ve got a mega site account at http://Blacksun.ca (Canada) but it’s using domains, and domains aliases on that mega account. When I needed more domains for more blogs, it was too costly to create more domain aliases so I have been using http://Ace-Host.net (USA) Reseller Plan Pro account for everything else.

    I still affiliate myself with Globat.com on my site because I think they are the cheapest and best for single site creation. I think it’s 100GB space, 1000 GB bandwidth, up to 7 domains forever on that site $6.95 per month ($1 first 3 months). If I didn’t have all my sites, I’d be here.

    I should mention that having Blacksun in Saskatchewan Canada helps Canadians as they are subject to Canadian laws . as you know, other providers are subject to laws of USA or their home country. I won’t go into the benefits here, but think of a word starting with “m” and ending in a number.

  30. I would recommend that you use a hosting company that lets you put multiple web sites into the domain that you buy.

    HostGator are a good example of this and then if you want to launch a new site or blog you don’t need to go and buy more space.

  31. Here’s another ex-Dreamhost customer now happy with Mediatemple.

  32. As a few others have said, TextDrive is pretty good, though they do tend to favour the more technically minded. There is support on offer, and some excellent user forums, but they’re probably better suited for people who are very happy getting stuck into the shell, PHP and doing their own blog/software set-up.

    There have been a few moans with reliability on TD, some servers seem worse than others, but I have two plans with them – one on a general shared virtual server and the other on a more exclusive business account that has less users on. Both have been very reliable overall.

  33. I went with Dreamhost to begin with and they were really slow to respond to setting up my account and answering any questions – in fact they didn’t.

    Second choice was Webattention and I’ve been stunned with their level of support. Very personal, hands on, and very proactive. I’ve had no downtime from them as a result and they are either contacting me before a problem, or taking positive action to stop it before it becomes a problem.

    Excellent hosting company I would (and do on my site) recommend.

  34. I have godaddy on two of my sites. Until now everything has gone well.

  35. Hi Darren
    Thanks for the opportunity to post this here. I have left comments with a few of your articles. I own a web hosting company and run several blogs. I also own the servers, and I am a small company. We give great support to bloggers. We install WordPress free, and we also offer Drupal and a couple of other blog software to be installed free. Our hosting fees are great and anyone wanting to open a reseller account, I have great deals not listed on the main page. We gear our attention mostly to bloggers and artist so we would love to hear from you guys to help you get your blog netwrok up and running. We give personal support also!

  36. We just switched a bunch of our sites over to Media Temple’s grid server. There were two little glitches in the first week, but the mt folks got them taken care of quickly. We don’t do a huge amount of steady traffic, but we do get spikes on two of our bigger sites that would cripple our old dedicated server. The grid just busts those spikes like nobody’s business.

  37. I have been using http://www.hungry-media.com/hosting.php since day 1, and that was 7 years ago. Since then I added various other sites on their servers. Good service alltogether.

  38. I recently switched hosts due to poor customer service and I’ve been happy with the switch thusfar. At the recommendation of friends, I went with BlueHost. Since I’ve only been with them for a few weeks, I don’t think I have enough experience to recommend them yet, but they certainly make a good first impression. You can read more about it at: http://www.projectparadox.com/web-design/web-development/goodbye-to-freedom-2-operate.php.

  39. I have a blog and two podcast sites all running on WordPress (www.wordpress.org) hosted at Lunarpages (www.lunarpages.com).

    I’ll echo an earlier commenter and say I’ve had other hosts — and am very happy with Lunarpages. It is inexpensive, offer a wide range of features and has active forums for support. I’ve never had an issue I coudln’t handle.

    I would recommend that anyone who uses a hosted solution upload their own blogging software such as WordPress rather than using a scripted install, like Fantastico, which Lunarpages and others offer. I don’t think the installs by those scripts are always 100% right and upgrading is then left to the whims of the people who update these things.

    FYI, the Drupal content management system (www.drupal.org) is really great for more elaborate sites with blogs and other features. I’ve just built an online news source directory with Drupal and hosted on Lunarpages called NewsNosh (www.newsnosh.com).

    Check it out to see what’s possible. Every member get a blog and forum posting as well as the ability to search the database and contribute to it!

  40. I have my sites hosted with Verio. A VPS account which hosts multiple domains. (http://viaverio.com). I get shell access, manage my own processes and get to choose what I install/don’t install. I have zero complaints. Of course, when apache or mysql dies (which has happened to me once in 3 years) it’s up to me to fix it. lol!

    They also offer shared hosting (but no shell access) http://verio.com. Less customizable, but you don’t have to be technically savvy at all to keep things going.

  41. I use Webbleyou.com and highly recommend them. For someone who is new at setting up their own WordPress blog, they’ve been a dream host. Customer service is top-notch! I even get help with coding and such things from the owner Justin Baeder. In the 3 months or so that my blog has been up, it only had 1 outage (that I know of, anyway). Their $4 hosting is affordable too, with only a monthly commitment.

  42. I use http://www.asmallorange.com. They are cheap and have great hosting and awesome support.

  43. I’ve been hosting all of my blogs (and friend’s blogs) on 1and1.com without a hiccup. I signed up with them way back when they offered 3 free years of hosting and have recently switched to their $4.95/month package.

    I don’t necessarily love their control panel, but everything else seems pretty solid. My site has survived being slash-dotted a few times without any problems.

    I know some people don’t care for 1and1, but I’ve been happy with them.

  44. I’ve been using Blue Host ( http://www.bluehost.com ) and have been very happy with them.

  45. I’m using hosting accounts with both BlueHost and AN Hosting.
    they host multiple domains, have a whole bunch of MySQL databases (one MySQL database is required for each WordPress blog, forum or CMS installation).

    Have a great experience with both thus far.
    I promote bluehost through my link secretwebhostingweapon.com and give some freebies and strategies to squeeze out extra functions from the hosting account.

    I’m looking forward to test out mediaTemple’s grid hosting one of these days though.
    I blogged abt mediatemple recently: http://www.whoisandrewwee.com/155/web-hosting-goes-the-grid-way/

    i think most bloggers would want a combination of both multiple domains and multiple mySQL databases.
    it’s strange but you might get accounts with 1 domain and unlimited databases, or unlimited domains and 1 database (what the heck!)
    it got me peeved and i highlighted some of these issues facing those who’re newer to web hosting. http://www.whoisandrewwee.com/65/internet-marketing-insider-look-into-web-hosting/

  46. Just to expand on my thoughts…

    Sorry for the referrer link… but I don’t see nothing wrong with throwing a coupon that might help a few people.

    I’ve had around 7 or 8 different hosts (jumpline, mediatemple, modwest, jaguarpc and some other that already dissapear or I don’t even remember).

    Until now I have to say that the best value for your money is dreamhost… the support is good (not great) and it seems like all the problems that they were having are gone.

    Jumpline is pretty good but I find it a little expensive for a bloggers need.

    I’ll have to take a look at Mediatemple’s Grid plan… but for now I’ll stick with Dreamhost.

    By the way… I still have one site in media temple and another two in jumpline… I just think that both of them are a little expensive for a blog were you don’t need special configurations or some weird custom made script.

  47. I use http://www.nearlyfreespeech.net which is a very unique host. Hosting starts at 25 cents (not per month, 25 cents total) and you only pay for what you use.

    My site has been slashdotted and did not go down, and I believe the slashdotting cost around $5 total. No big deal. Sites that get little traffic I pay almost nothing for, and I can host unlimited domains and subdomains. They have a great “grid” style hosting system which really handles all sorts of attacks fine. I’ve had a few spammer DDOS that have halted my site for a minute or two (about once a month), but they’ve done a great job reducing the incidences.

    I won’t go to anyone else — I’ve virtual and dedicated hosts that have crashed from my blogs and forums when heavily used (crashed!), and NFSN hasn’t stopped more than once in my history with them.

  48. About Dreamhost: http://www.dreamhost.com

    Features:
    I’ve been using Dreamhost for four years now and I’ve been pretty happy. Here’s what I get for $19.95/month. This same plan (Code Monster) is now available for $15.95 a month.

    – 431.8 GB of storage (growing 2 GB/week)
    – 5+ TB (5056 GB) of bandwidth (growing 32 GB/week).
    – unlimited domain hosting and 1 free registration/year
    – unlimited mySQL databases
    – one-click install goodies like WordPress and Joomla
    – a host with a sense of humor and humiliation. They’ve been good about responding to my requests and they’re dead honest with you, even if it makes them look bad.

    The cheapest plan listed, Crazy Domain Insane, is now $7.95/month and has the same features as Code Monster but with half the storage and bandwidth. See my super coupons at the end of this comment.

    Uptime:
    I had been worried about recent server issues but I’ve been monitoring my server for free with Site 24×7 (http://site24x7.com/) and the uptime has been good. Just one 11 min. downtime in the past month. I’m not doing any serious blogging at the time but have a few new sites in the works, so we’ll see how Dreamhost holds up to (hopefully) higher traffic.

    COUPON CODE: BLUESKYDAY
    I’m a really nice person. And this is my first promo code. So take advantage of it before I get wise. I won’t make any money off of this at all.
    The setup fee is $49.95 if you pay monthly. Waived if you pay yearly.
    Use this coupon to get these one-time discounts, effectively waiving the setup fee and a bit of the first month’s fee:
    L1 – Crazy Domain Insane ($7.95/mo): BLUESKYDAY = $50 off initial setup for monthly plan, $97 off 1 or 2 year plans.
    L3 – Code Monster ($15.95/mo): BLUESKYDAY = $60 off initial setup for monthly plan, $97 off for 1 or 2 year plans.

    Cheers!

  49. Wow, I can’t believe anyone is still recommending DreamHost. I hosted a number of blogs with them for over a year, and had so much donwtime that my sites started dropping from the search engines.

    I liked their prices, and they seem like a nice group of people (their blog is pretty danged funny, too) but the best intentions in the world can’t make up for the fact that if you make money off your blog you really need it to be hosted somewhere that is stable.

    A few days of downtime every few months I might be handle, but a few weeks of downtime, twice in a year, was far too much for me to stomach… I moved my blogs over to A Small Orange, and while they don’t offer one-click WordPress installation, they have been steady as a rock.

    It does require a little more knowledge to set up your blog there, but is well worth it.

  50. I use 1 and 1 internet. I know that lots of people have trouble with them but I have been pretty happy, I had one call that I had to make for support which kind of sucked ( 1 hour to get a my site back up after it turned into read only and my blogs broke) but after three years with them I can’t complain much at all. They offer lots of server space losts of bandwidth and tons of subdomains. I am pretty hands on so I do not use the built in tools at all but for $10 per month I think that I get really good value

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