A Forum Admin's Guide to Web Hosting

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cheat_master30 submitted a new Article:

A Forum Admin's Guide to Web Hosting

As anyone who's searched for a new web hosting company probably knows, guides to the hosting world are an extremely common sight online. Just look at all those results!

View attachment 12540
Above: Although isn't Siteground's article a bit unethical? They're a web hosting company, they're gonna recommend themselves!

So why am I writing this one? Why do we need yet another guide to the world of web hosting when so many exist out there online?

Because there's one major problem with almost all those other articles.

They're garbage. And this is because the hosting world is dominated by affiliate schemes. No one wants to write a critical, interesting web hosting review, cause it doesn't pay. It pays to send people to low quality, crappy, EIG brands and rake in the dollars made off referrals. Hence just about every hosting article you'll read elsewhere was thought up by a snake oil merchant in some sad attempt to conning people into picking terrible hosts and giving the writer an easy paycheck.

View attachment 12541
Above: Even WordPress.org lists crappy hosts as 'recommendations' in order to rake in the affiliate dollars.

But this article is different. I'm independent, I don't make any money at all from affiliate referrals and I'm only listing hosts I've had some experience of in the past. So if you want the first genuine, unbiased guide to web hosting, read on!

So what type of host should I use?

Shared Hosting

The obvious advantage of shared hosting, is the price. Because you're only paying for a small percentage of a server, the monthly costs are extremely low, being between 2 and 15 dollars a month. This means its affordable for everyone, ranging from young kids to college students to retirees to people on the bottom of the career ladder.

It's also pretty user friendly too. You just get a control panel (like CPanel) and can edit things like databases, FTP accounts, email, etc in just a few clicks. This is pretty good if you're new to hosting websites and just want to get your brand new site or forum up and running, since you only need the bare amount of knowledge to do so via a shared hosting.

The drawback with shared hosting however, is a lack of control. Because with hundreds of customers all relying on the same server, the host really can't afford to let clients go messing around with server software and resource intensive scripts. Otherwise everyone's services will be equally affected,...

Read more about this article here...
 
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Nogitsune

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lol AT Webking!

this is a good tutorial(learned some stuff myself) though the hosting recommendations I am a bit meh about since you're speaking more what you read for a lot of companies vs direct experience with them(And the media temple recommendation was a bit ehh)

overall it was a good tutorial :)
 
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cheat_master30

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I just had to visit webkings website after reading your article, he offers web design too!

I genuinely pity the guy's clients. Oh god what a rude awakening they'll get when they compare their sites to those of their competitors...

On another note... yeah, his examples of website design are as bad as they sound. And most of them went broke too, most of the sites linked in his portfolio don't even exist any more...

lol AT Webking!

this is a good tutorial(learned some stuff myself) though the hosting recommendations I am a bit meh about since you're speaking more what you read for a lot of companies vs direct experience with them(And the media temple recommendation was a bit ehh)

overall it was a good tutorial :)

Yeah, hosting recommendations are not my strong point, because I've picked mostly good hosts over the last few years and have had only one bad experience.

But hey, it's better than lying that crappy EIG companies are 'good' in order to get a paycheck, right?
 

Phillip

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I like this article very much, it will end up helping me the near future. :)
 

HostXNow

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What about webhosting review sites?

Ignore them. They're basically scams.

This is because (as mentioned in the intro), affiliate payments rule the web hosting world. As a result, these sites are not neutral databases of web hosting reviews, but carefully 'moderated' propoganda rags designed to shuttle people off to EIG brands like Bluehost, who just happen to pay the best affiliate referral fees.

View attachment 12531

View attachment 12532

Above: Oh look who runs the fake directory...

They get even more dishonest when you look into them on a deeper level. For example, quite a few are actually run by web hosting companies. Oh look, guess who ends up on top of the list?

And those reviews are very carefully filtered too. For instance, many bad reviews of high paying hosting companies will rather suspiciously get deleted in order to not give the game away or stop people from going with the companies paying the best referral fees.

Finally, some of them literally work like mafia protection rackets. Pay us well, and we'll remove bad reviews and keep up good ones. Pay us poorly (or not at all), and we'll censor away your good reviews and leave up only the bad ones, giving everyone a terrible image of your company.

Don't bother with these websites. It's an utter miracle that they haven't yet been shut down for astroturfing yet.

And so, that concludes the article. I hope it taught you how to find a good web hosting company, as well as how to avoid falling for the affiliate based crap that keeps being published in otherwise 'respectable' publications.

Let's get some decent hosting articles and reviews out there!

cheat_master30

I setup FreeWebHostingDir for the reasons mentioned at http://www.freewebhostingdir.com/page/about-us

The aim was not to say which site is #1 but just to list as many popular providers as possible and offer them a business listing page. You may think the site is a scam but I assure you it it is not. We do not use any affiliates links on the site. Listings are simply sorted by reviews + number of hits. All 48 reviews for HostXNow are genuine which were left from real customers who originally left feedback on HostXNow forums. If other companies have more reviews + hits than we do then the other companies listings will appear above ours. As we have the most reviews + hits at the moment ours is bound to be listed at the top, but only for the services we offer if you notice! We are not listed at the top for service that we do not offer. I have no reason to mess with the stats. Those who know me know I would not do that.

Personally, I do not like sites like WebHostingStuff as its all about revenue like you say! The best way to get reliable web hosting services is to get recommendations from friends and family, but if you do not have much luck with that you can use reputable forums like WebHostingChat, HostingDiscussion, WebHostingTalk and TheAdminZone to name a few. There is much less chance of reviews being biased with those type of forums.

But now you have bought this up I may just remove the reviews section from FreeWebHostingDir. I created it to just list all popular web hosting companies and offer them a business listing page, again, for the reasons mentioned at http://www.freewebhostingdir.com/page/about-us

If you have any feedback to help improve FreeWebHostingDir please let me know either in this thread or via PM.

Thank you!

--

Kind regards,
Chris
 
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cheat_master30

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It's a nice enough directory (and hey, true to your word, there don't seem to be any affiliate links there).

But to be honest, for a site like that to be worthwhile, it needs some sort of reviews or ratings. Ideally ones by trusted individuals without a financial tie to the company they're reviewing.

On another note, have you seen this?

http://hostingreviews.io/

It's apparently another attempt at a more neutral review site. They automatically get the reviews and stuff from sites like Twitter, and use actual people's opinions to rate them.
 

HostXNow

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Users can leave reviews and ratings for their web hosting provider when logged in Example: http://www.freewebhostingdir.com/listing/vultr-2053 though the reviews and ratings are not from twitter, which sure would be better if I could get the same working at FreeWebHostingDir. Unfortunately I do not have the time to integrate stuff like that at the moment. I agree that HostingReviews.io does look really good! Cool idea. But then twitter users could be asked to leave fake reviews too... but sure, it works better than standard review/voting system like used at FreeWebHostingDir.

I was going to add different stats so users could sort web hosting providers by reviews, ratings, views, pagerank, domain age, latest coupon codes, etc, but just have not got round to adding them yet. Be better if I could get someone else to run the site who has more time to improve the site, etc but such is life and all that. ;)

Btw for those interested in reliable providers I recommend the following (other than ourselves of course), in no particular order:-

- IntoVPS
- Vultr
- Linode
- ReliableSite
- RapidSwitch
- PCSmartHosting

Plenty of top quality providers around, you just have to do your due diligence first.

Good luck to those looking for a reliable web hosting provider. This web hosting guide should sure help put you on the right track. :)
 

dojo

Passionate admin
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Apr 27, 2005
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3,780
Personal experiences:
- QualityHostOnline (don't know if they still exist). Took them for a good price, horrible support, slow sites etc.
- ResellerZoom - Ok for 2 years, bad afterwards. Constant downtimes that would take 2-3 days to solve.
- HostGator - still using them (reseller account). Not stellar, but OK. Have been on their servers for 8 years now, it's a love-hate relationship, but 99.99% of the time things are good.

Clients:
- RackSpace - few days, till we decided to ditch them. Support was stellar, I hated the managed idea. Come on, I can install a database. No, I cannot do it via command line :D I need cpanel.
- LiquidWeb - client still uses them. VERY good. Pricey, but good.
- Godaddy - by god what a mess. I actually convinced my client to go to LiquidWeb, since any work on his sites meant more time wasted (waiting for databases to be created, working on the hosting panel which clearly wasn't too well thought (or at least not for me).
- Yahoo - had a client for a one time project. The changes I had to make took 5 minutes, uploading and dealing with the FTP settings took close to an hour.

So ... HostGator still is my choice, even if, as mentioned, am not always thrilled with them. I'd pay for LiquidWeb dedicated hosting, but I need a way bigger budget :D
 

Finn

Participant
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Mar 22, 2014
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Awesome tut. Thanks for sharing it. It's quite true these days that people will lie and say something is better than it is, or recommend crappy posts as long as they're benefiting from it.
 

Tiernan

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Jan 10, 2015
Messages
126
I have had a good experience with BlueHost so far. Speedy and quick to set up.
 

Jacob

Aspirant
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Jan 18, 2015
Messages
45
Wish I would have read this before I took on my battle with the hosting compainies. Phew.
 

obazavil

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Joined
Jan 28, 2014
Messages
37
My recomendations based on what I have used:

VPS:
-wiredtree

Dedicated:
Hivelocity

I have been using hivelocity for the last 5-7 years and their uptime is nice. Good prices around $100 usd for a xeon server with cpanel. Is self-managed tough.
 
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