Search for best WordPress Hosting

We had been a happy customer of pair.com for many years. Its hosting service is premium-priced, but we had been happy to pay the premium for its reliable service and excellent tech support. Several recent events had forced us to look for a hosting elsewhere.

The following is our search and experience for a best hosting company.

It is a tiny list, it may help you if you happen to consider the following providers. Most of those companies offer money back guarantee, if you have time and stamina you may try them all before you decide.

Disclaimer: we are affiliates of Hostgator and ServInt and we may receive referral fees from them through your purchase via links from our site.

Shared Hosting – Bluehost vs Hostgator

There are an array of choices for shared hosting. We only focused on Hostgator and Bluehost.

Both Bluehost and Hostgator offer excellent hosting at reasonable price. We used both and decided to host this site on Hostgator. Among many, three factors really help us make the decision.

1. Speed
It may be an isolated case, but with Bluehost we were getting a noticeable pause/delay in page initial rendering while Hostgator ‘s page rendering is almost instantaneous. We did check with another site hosted by Bluehost, the pause/delay is much less noticeable, but it is still noticeable.

2. cPanel with domain management
When you try to add a domain to your account, Bluehost insists on verifying the domain and even offer you to key in your domain transfer code (under a disguised name). The add-on domains are hosted under a separate domain tab in case you want to transfer your registration. The verification process is wholly unnecessary and Bluehost is supposed to make thing easier for customers, not the other way around.

Just a friendly advice – you should NEVER EVER transfer your domain registration to your hosting company. Hosting and Domain Registration should always be separate, so no hosting company can take you hostage. With them separated, you are free to move your web sites around. Set it up with your new hosting company, point your domain nameservers to those of your new hosting company, you are good to go.

With Hostgator, as it should be with most web hosts, you can set up your site and once you are all-set, just point your domain nameservers to Hostgator’s namesevers which Hostgator make it super easy to find on its cPanel . With Bluehost you will have to look for them if you forget the namesservers.

3. Customer Service
Hostgator offers much better customer service. Hostgator even assigns an account manager to follow up with you, with both a phone call and an email, to check on your needs. No such follow-up from Bluehost. Two email requests to Bluehost got answered 24 hours and 48 hours later respectively. Called Bluehost’ tech support once, again maybe an isolated case, the person on the other end was not that user friendly that you would expect.

Bluehost is not making cancellation any easy. We have to go through a several-step procedure and several emails to get refunded. “Anytime Money Back Guarantee” means little.

In comparison, one of hosting company we used, Korax.net, offers 30 days money back guarantee. We used it for one site for almost a month before we finally consolidated the site with ServInt, we received full refund to our pre-paid three-month hosting fee with just one cancellation request email, even though we offered to pay for the month used. Korax.net offers very reliable service and excellent technical support, unfortunately it is priced too high: $30 per month for a shared hosting account with only one domain.

We don’t know how will Hostgator handle cancellation, we do hope it will be easy for all.

Sign up with Hostgator and get 25% off with couponcode:  wptipsoffer

 

VPS Hosting

We used three VPS providers, VPS.net, ServInt, pairVPS.

VPS.net

Highly recommended by Yoast SEO, we signed up with VPS.net. Technical support is excellent, but we left for the following reasons.

VPS.net offers mind-boggling choices of hosting platforms. Unless you are really into setting up your own servers, the more choices the more confusing and time-consuming for you to decide. VPS.net, if you are listening, slim down your offerings and offer the best choice to your users, then give user options to add and remove services. Less is more.

Live building server system – once you have made your choice, your server would start to be built. Even though your server is isolated but it still shares the resources with others users. You really don’t want your neighbours building their servers constantly.

Node systems – VPS.net offers you the choice of monthly node and daily node. Again it is very confusing.

cPanel is not free and is NOT refundable. We learned a $10 lesson.

Down-time. Yoast SEO recommended VPS.net on the strength of no downtime. We selected Chicago server location and our server just started to get built, then it was spitting out errors after errors and we could not even shut down the server. Checked with the tech support and was told the SAS drive at their Chicago location has gone haywired. Our server did not come back online for another 3 hours. Even the cancellation department offered us 50% discount, we declined.

pair VPS and pair shared hosting

We has been a shared hosting customer of pair.com for almost 10 years. About six months ago, we decided to upgrade to their lowest VPS offering.

We are advised (or ill-advised) that it was not a good thing to run MySQL directly on the VPS account with 1.5GB RAM, so we continued using shared MySQL resources. Our main site, was not busy at that time, but ramping up. About two months ago, we started to get constant disconnecting problem to a shared MySQL server. Even moving it around different MySQL servers did not help.

After several tech support requests and no solution offered, we downgraded from VPS back to a shared hosting and started to search for a VPS alternative.

pair.com used to be excellent in responding to tech request, but once we downgraded, responding time seems to become longer and longer. So we decided to move altogether to another shared host.

Cramming too many databases into a single MySQL server may be the beginning of the downhill ride of an once excellent company.

For many sites, MySQL is the backbone of their sites. Without a fast and reliable MySQL connection, it means little with a fast web server. With servers so cheap, it does not cost much to improve MySQL server to web server ratios to make customers happy.

Don’t know if pair.com has not realized this simple truth or just simply does not care, we can’t wait, so packed we left.

ServInt

ServInt is our choice of VPS hosting. So far we are very satisfied with it. It offers a simple choice of hosting platform. Both server speed and technical support are excellent. If you are looking to get into VPS, prepare to learn the intricacies of WHM and cPanel. Good thing is ServInt tech support is always there to help you get over it.