I’m frequently asked who the best web hosting company is. And today, after a year and a half of trying to stay with the company I’d been with for years and had officially deemed the best web hosting company ever, and after agonizing over the decision, I finally decided that it just wasn’t worth it and moved on…which you’ll see is a pretty big deal when you see what I gave up.
Yep, I gave up free web hosting for life.
A few years ago, you might remember a little event in which I broke the world record for the longest uninterrupted live webcast. I happened to be hunting around for a web hosting company at the time, and it just seemed fortuitous that a web hosting company that had an exceptional reputation wanted to sponsor my event.
How It All Came To Pass…
Back then, a particular hosting company whose name rhymes with…”Shoepost” was the bees’ knees. They had human beings who answered the phone. In Utah! They were knowledgeable, too. When you called them for help, you got answers. I immediately loved them.
My deal with this company was that they’d be a major sponsor of my event and help me with some of the expenses of the event, and they’d give me free hosting for life. Not a bad deal, right?
And it wasn’t. Until things started to go horribly, horribly wrong.
The Tide Turns.
It started with the automated phone answering. One of the nicest things about…ah…”Shoots”…was that a human being always answered the phone. They changed that. Suddenly, it was a bot.
Other things changed too. My site slowed down. The company started getting bombarded with hackers and malware attempts, so that my site became infected – not once, but several times. My clients who chose this company were also attacked, and were told they had to use expensive services to protect their sites (truth: you don’t. WeWatchYourWebSite.com will do it for $39.95/year for unlimited domains).
The service changed. Instead of knowing someone would solve my problems when I called, now I could be sure that someone would try to sell me something that might solve my problems when I called. And I noticed that the tech support guys began to tell me their life stories while I waited for them to fix something – lengthy and often way-too-personal stories.
The Straw That Broke the Camel’s Back
But it wasn’t any of those things that made me leave. In fact, I probably could’ve tolerated all of those things if I’d had to…if my site hadn’t started coming up with error after error after error.
More and more, my site simply stopped functioning. Everything checked out on our end – nothing was wrong. But when I asked for help, the “Shoehost” technicians would tell me that the site worked perfectly…despite the plethora of server errors.
And my emails to the CEO who had been so generous to support my event years ago went completely ignored.
So I left.
I began to research other hosting companies, hardly believing I could even contemplate giving up free hosting for unlimited domains for life. But I had to. I simply had to.
I had clients filling out coaching assessment forms – lengthy, multi-page forms – getting a server error right in the midst of transitioning to another page. Imagine how frustrating! Imagine trying to explain that to a client.
Blog posts were lost. Plugins couldn’t be updated. Work simply couldn’t get done. So I chose another company and I left.
Where Did I Go?
My NEW Best Web Hosting Company Recommendation!
Earlier this month, I moved to A2 Hosting. And yes, I paid. I now pay for web hosting.
So far, I’m very pleased. The price point is extremely reasonable. Everything is working and working reliably. It’s been a year since my sites were running without those pesky server errors, so it’s a delight to know that my clients aren’t getting sidetracked with them. Instead, things are working smoothly and safely.
I get great security notices from A2 and I’ve found that everything functions just as easily, if not more easily than my previous host. You can auto-install blogs, wikis, forums and more at A2 Hosting, with just a click. I set up a WordPress site in about five minutes the other night.
I’ll report in again when I’ve been with them longer and have more of a history to report, but I chose A2 based on a huge amount of positive feedback, and my experience thus far has met my expectations.
If you’re tired of experiencing errors, hackers, malware, and slowdowns, my new recommendation for the best web hosting company is: A2 Hosting.
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