Cheap WordPress Hosting: Buyer Beware

Cheap WordPress HostingWorking with a variety of clients, I have the “pleasure” of getting to know a wide variety of WordPress hosting providers. It only makes me feel better about my choice of Bluehost as my provider because I’ve encountered so many nightmares with the various providers that my clients have been saddled with.

I’m not alone. Other marketers like Pat Flynn strongly recommend Bluehost and many (if not most) of the rating sites include them as one of their top-rated hosting companies.

WordPress Hosting Horror Stories:

  • One client’s host (and/or the site’s set-up) prevented new plugins from being added. They also had a lot of down time. We quickly migrated from this smaller, local host.
  • Another WordPress host would time out when updating the WordPress version via the site’s control panel. Any upgrades had to be done by FTP (what a pain).
  • In another case, the client had multiple hosts (thanks to their consulting relationships). One of them was charging hosting fees for several months but had no domains or sites active. You’d think they might have tipped them off to this waste of money. Nope!
  • One client had purchased hosting through a consultant who white-labeled a larger host’s services. The problem was that we couldn’t access the control panel through the larger host’s system. It was a nightmare to track down the page that allowed us to access the control panel. It was extremely hard to get the client extracted from this situation.
  • In one of the worst situations I ran into, a local California company’s consultant had set them up with Canadian host – not sure why… The kicker is that the site had been hacked and was massively infected with malware. I guess the host didn’t notice. Needless to say, we quickly moved out of the host and sanitized that site with the digital equivalent of buckets of bleach (thanks to Regina Smola at WP Security Lock for the move/clean-up!)

What I look for in a WordPress host:

  • 24/7 phone support for tech support
  • Automatic backups of my site (as a last resort – always use a service like Backup Buddy to back-up your site regularly)
  • Monitoring and notification of hacking of your sites (this is also as a last resort, use a service like Sucuri or WP Security Lock to monitor and clean up your sites)
  • Ability to host multiple domains on one account
  • A robust cPanel (a type of control panel) that is easy to use
  • A nationally known brand (many of the issues above were with small, local hosts)
  • Plenty of support articles specific to their service (e.g. I don’t always want to call Bluehost, so I can easily find specific tutorials for Bluehost by searching in Google). Many smaller hosts won’t have articles to help you with minor configuration topics or things like their name servers to point domains registered elsewhere)
  • An upgrade path so you can get higher levels of service when (and only when) you need it

When working with a consultant, here’s what I recommend:

  • Vet any hosting recommendations. Saving a couple of dollars is not worth the pain of a bad hosting experience (or the cost of moving it down the road)
  • Make sure all domains and hosting accounts are registered in your name
  • Make sure you know exactly how to access all accounts. Save links to all sites and document (safely) your user names and passwords

For many small and medium-sized businesses, large national hosts like Bluehost, Host Gator or GoDaddy provide the right level of hosting at a reasonable price. I’ve settled on Bluehost for all of my sites and for many of my clients.

What’s your experience or advice regarding hosting?

What’s your experience with your WordPress host? Have you had any horror stories?

What do you depend on for your hosting?

______________________

Disclosure: I happily use Bluehost for all of my company sites and recommend their services. Right Mix Marketing Inc. is a customer and affiliate for Bluehost, WP Security Lock, SucuriBackup Buddy and other products and services that we use.

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Comments

  1. Totally agree with all of them. I recently decided to buy a cheap hosting account (I have few spread around including BH) so did Google search and found a hosting company called iPage and they seem to have been offering cheap hosting for a ‘lot of things’. So I bought a hosting for 3 yrs. But mate, was it a mistake or what!? My website takes 5-10 minutes to load sometimes. When I spoke to their ‘technical support’, every time they came back with the same BS response. WP has this and that…blah blah blah. So whatever you do, do not go for cheap domain. I learned the hard way.
    more recently posted..Metal Roof RestorationMy Profile

    • James,
      Yes, that’s the problem. Hosting is not quite the commodity that it appears because on paper a host can look great. It’s the execution and technology behind the scenes that can really lead to a horrible hosting experience. Thanks for your input here!
      Tom Treanor recently posted..How To Rank In Google: The One Essential SEO Mindset ShiftMy Profile

    • Hi Tom,
      I am really sorry about the experience you have with your hosting providers. All hosting providers are not same. Every one start with a aim in mind and then its difficult for them to be stick with that.

      We are the one who can prove you the ability of economic, reliable and secure hosting.
      I can provide you a hosting account free for three months, to check our support, uptime and security.

      I welcome every one for testing and breaching the security of my hositng.

      Regards:
      imran
      CEO AICHEAPWEBHOSTING

  2. Tom,

    I 100% agree with all your recommendations except I would NOT use GoDaddy. There are so many SPAM sites on GoDaddy that your site can get marked as SPAM for being on the same server. In exchange for GoDaddy I’d add in WPEngine who I absolutely love… We just moved our insurance agency site there with great results.

    Thanks!

    Hanley
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  3. I had started out with a small reseller in the beginning. It was hard to reach this person who lived in another time zone. I finally switched to Hostgator direct and love their 24/7 tech support online. Any time or day or night I can reach them and they have been great in helping me with technical things like using that nasty c-panel. I’m getting better with it but dreaded it in the beginning. You do pay for what you get too. Cheap is not always the best way to go. I have not used Bluehost but have used other hosting companies in the past too.
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  4. Finding the right hosting service is the most important thing right after choosing the good blog topic, imho. I never tried bluehost but I am reading so many good things about it I start thinking about switching to them.
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  5. I was aslo looking for a cheap option for IPs variety and just would like to confirm that iPage hosting is NOT the way to go. As I discovered that website backup costs extra and it takes 2 days for their customer service to respond I canceled my hosting with them and asked for the refund.

    I found that Webhosting Pad is even cheaper for $1.99/mo/3-4 years contract and provides a good service for the price: fast loading time, softaculos, manual backup and 15-20 minutes email inquiries response 24/7
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  6. Timothy M Maddogs

    Timothy M Maddogs

    Republic wireless,BUYER BE WARE if you get the 19 a month plan it stays at that plus tax .if you get the 29 a month plan with the discount on the phone it stays on that which comes to about 35 a month .Funny thing is they dont let you change the plan to 19 even before you get the phone .I tried a hour after ordering it and they refuse to fix it .I have to pay service fee and ship the phone back when it gets here , just to change the plan.What a scam this is BUYER BE WARE go for the 19 right away dont do the 29 even though it is cheeper than most at 35 the 19 is a much better deal for you and less tax .save yourself a big hassel go for the 19 right off .Please post this all over facebook BUYER BE WARE

  7. I agreed with the most opinions you’ve mentioned about hosting horrors. In-fact I’ve had bad experience using various hosting. My friends around the world are my major visitors of my personal blog and they’ve complimented me by saying poor browsing experience. I’e adopted Bluehost last year to host my site and since than I’ve never encountered performance or any other problems. Thanks.
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