An Informative Web Hosting Guide (to help you make that all-important decision)

Last Updated on: February 17th, 2017

picture of question marks

This web hosting guide has been deemed excellent and informative due to its truthful nature and also because it contains numerous internal navigational links. Written by Lorraine Reguly, it consists of factual summaries of (and answers from) 14 web hosting companies. Feel free to share this with all of your friends and colleagues; you just never know who is thinking of creating a website and may be seeking web hosting!

Introduction to Owning a Self-Hosted Website

Like many of you, I started blogging for free. I didn’t get a domain name right away. I didn’t even know what blogging was all about, and I didn’t want to spend money until I was sure it was a necessity. When I finally made the decision to get my own website, I agonized over which company I would choose as the host.

In my quest to find the best web hosting company and the best web hosting package to suit (and surpass) my current needs, I spent a lot of time doing my research. Google became my best friend. We had an affair that lasted nearly three weeks.

I read countless articles about web hosting, but it wasn’t until AFTER I published this guide that I came across this one: Web Hosting Reviews. This particular guide reviews 27 different hosting companies and even goes so far to include their price, page load speed and up-time. (I wish I would have had THIS guide readily available to me back then!!!)

My guide is a bit different because of the information it contains.

During my quest, I even went so far as to send a letter of 21 questions to over a dozen different web hosting companies. (I also got on the phone and queried a few more.) Once I got a reply from each, I then asked if I could have their permission to publicly post their responses. Many said yes, and so in this web hosting guide you will see not only my letter that I sent them, but each of their answers as well.

Related: Best WordPress Hosting • TOP 8 Options Compared • 2017

Why Get Hosting?

I am not here to tell you why you should consider getting web hosting of your own, but I will tell you that there are both pros and cons to it.

For more information, refer to this article: Want Your Own (Hosted) Website? Consider These Factors!

The information presented in that article as well as this guide will help you decide:


  • whether or not you should get your own website
  • what hosting factors you should consider
  • which companies you should and should not consider when you finally take the dreaded plunge into the wonderful world of web hosting.

14 Web-Hosting Companies (some good, some bad)

The 14 companies that provide web hosting and are discussed in this guide include: Abivia, BlueHost, CanSpace Solutions, Cirrus Tech Ltd., EasyPress, GreenGeeks, 4GoodHosting, HostPapa, HostUpon, HostUtopia, InMotionHosting, NamesPro, Site5, and WebHostingCanada.

When discussing each web hosting company, I will state a few facts as well as offer my opinion, where applicable, based on the research I have conducted. I strongly recommend doing your own research into the web hosting companies you are interested in and select packaging options based on your web hosting needs. (There are more things to consider than initially meets the eye! You will discover this as you read and learn – like I did!)

Please also note that I did not edit their emails, either, although it is obvious that several people who responded to me could benefit from my services.

Also note that this guilde contains affiliate links. I have absolutely no problem endorsing these companies. Either I’ve used them myself or my friends have.

The ones I recommend are CanSpace Solutions, Bluehost, and GreenGeeks

 

Abivia is who I ultimately selected to be my first host, for a variety of reasons, but the tipping factor was the personal service I received from the owner himself. He also impressed me with his extensive knowledge and ability to explain things to me (a self-proclaimed non-techie) in a reassuring, easy-to-understand way.

I selected CanSpace to be my second host because they made me an offer I simply couldn’t refuse! I have to say that they also give me excellent service, answered all my questions and made switching to them easy and painless! They handled everything for me (I’m not techie and they did all the work!).

I was also told that Bluehost and GreenGeeks would do the same.

Navigating this Web Hosting Guide

I have inserted various links throughout this web hosting guide to help you navigate your way through it from top to bottom and it is as user-friendly as possible. Endless scrolling is optional but not necessary; use the links to click back and forth from one section to another! Easy-to-use links are found at the end of each section!

Contents:

go to My Letter of 21 Questions
go to 4GoodHosting (summary only)
go to CanSpace Solutions (summary only)
go to Cirrus Tech Ltd. (summary only) (summary only)
go to HostUpon (summary only)
go to NamesPro (summary only)
go to WebHostingCanada (summary only)
go to Abivia (summary and response to letter)
go to BlueHost (summary and response to letter)
go to EasyPress (summary and response to letter)
go to GreenGeeks (summary and response to letter)
go to HostPapa (summary and response to letter)
go to HostUpon (summary and response to letter)
go to HostUtopia (summary and response to letter)
go to InMotionHosting (summary and response to letter)
go to Site5 (summary and response to letter)
go to WebHostingCanada (summary and chat transcription)
go to FinalWords

My Letter of 21 Questions

After copying the first question from the WordPress.org site, here is the exact letter I sent:

Hi, I am currently seeking web hosting and have many questions. I would appreciate a numbered list of answers to them when you reply to me, so that I can keep my information straight. Thank you.

Here are my questions:

1. I’m interested in running the open-source WordPress <http://wordpress.org/> blogging software and I was wondering if you support the following:

PHP 5.2.4 or greater

MySQL 5.0 or greater

The mod rewrite Apache module

2. Do you have a phone number where I can speak to a live person?

3. Will you do the initial WordPress installation, and if so, is this a free service?

4. Will you keep my WordPress installation up-to-date?

5. Does your support system or helpdesk support WordPress related inquires?

6. Do you take backups of WordPress sites, and if so, how often?

7. Do you run Windows or Linux servers?

8. How long have you been in business?

9. Where are your servers located, geographically speaking? (ie which city?)

10. Do you offer any types of discounts to new account holders, and if so, what is the coupon code I can use, or where can I find it?

11. What is your upload speed? (ie, how many mbs?)

12. Do you provide FTP access? (File Transfer Protocol)

13. Do you provide website statistics?

14. What is your average monthly up-time, and how do you handle situations when a website goes down?


15. How big is each server, and how many of you customers are on a single server?

16. Where is your home base, and is tech support located there or are they outsourced?

17. How do you handle cancellations, and is there is a minimum amount of time you I’m tied to the contract before I can move elsewhere?

18. How do you handle site security?

19. Is tech support available 24/7?

20. As my website grows, I may need to increase the size of my hosting package to meet bandwidth demands or to add more space. How hard is it to upgrade to a bigger package? If rates go up, will I get the reduced rate since I am already a customer? Also, will you automatically upgrade my package, and will you use the billing information on my file or will I have to provide it again?

21. What makes you the best choice?

Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions. I appreciate it.

Sincerely,

Lorraine Reguly

The companies I sent this letter to are Abivia, BlueHost, Cirrus Tech Ltd., EasyPress, HostPapa,  HostUpon, HostUtopia, InMotionHosting, GreenGeeks, Names Pro, Site 5, and WebHostingCanada.
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Web Hosting Companies (Summaries Only)

Listed alphabetically (for the most part), below you can find my overall impressions of each web hosting company (including a couple of companies to whom I didn’t send my letter).

4GoodHosting


While I didn’t send my letter to this web hosting company, I contacted 4GoodHosting via live chat. On paper (well, the internet), their service looks really great, but there are limits on the number of domains you are allowed to have. Since I have diverse interests, this was the deal-breaking factor for me. However, they have been in business for over ten years, have made some nice YouTube videos for WordPress users, and generally seem to be pretty impressive, overall, even though the guy in the live chat said that he had four open chat windows when I was talking to him. (I’m an impatient person and like getting attention, so I was not too happy with that.) This web hosting company also gives you a free domain name if you sign up for a minimum of one year, as well as $300 in Google Adwords credits when you spend $100 on Google Adwords.

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CanSpace Solutions

CanSpace Solutions offers many attractive web hosting packages for great prices. They offer free site migration, a web-based site builder, and a ton of other great options. They are a Canadian-based company, offer 24/7 support, have a toll-free number to call, and have inexpensive prices for domain names and offer free Whois protection for .ca domains. CanSpace is my current host.

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Cirrus Tech Ltd.

Cirrus Tech Ltd. answered my questions but would not let me print them, perhaps because they were answered by a tech support person from India, which shows that they outsource their tech work. (I’m making a guess on that, though, from the poor grammar used in their reply.) The only reason I mention them here is because of their inexpensive web hosting packages. Don’t forget to be wary of places that offer “unlimited” options! However, they do have a logo from the BBB (Better Business Bureau) on their website. They’ve also won awards and have been in business since 1999 and offer both Windows and Linux plans. They are a Canadian web hosting company, yet they charge you in American currency (USD). What’s up with that?

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HostUpon

HostUpon has live chat available, they are a green host, they are patient with non-techies, they have two plans to choose from, offer a free domain for life and unlimited disk space and bandwidth (something to avoid, as it is a definite red flag), offer discounts, have affiliate programs, but have many add-on options which will make your hosting costs much higher. The CEO doesn’t reveal his name, they have a small online presence, they take forever to reply to their Tweets, and doing multiple Google searches yields few results. When Googling “Hostupon negative reviews,” there was only one result before Whitney Houston’s name appeared next on the list. Weird. They also took a while to answer me on Twitter, too, and didn’t really give me an answer the first time! Look:

Twitter screenshot of conversation with HostUpon

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NamesPro


NamesPro answered my questions but, unfortunately, would not give me permission (they said they would appreciate it if we kept our correspondence private). They are a reputable Canadian web hosting company who seems to be a good choice in web hosts. They run Plesk instead of CPanel and support many different platforms. Their prices are reasonable and if you prefer Plesk instead of CPanel, then you are making a good choice if you choose them. But be warned if you are the impatient type; their support is not instantaneous; you will have to wait up to 1.5 hours for assistance.

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Hosting Companies (Summaries and Responses)

Abivia

Abivia is a Canadian web hosting company where domains cost about $15 each, and where Whois privacy protection is free with the purchase of a domain name. Different hosting packages are available for Canadian hosting and US hosting, and they also have an option for Concierge hosting and managed servers.  They permitted me to post our email exchange, and is the only place I encountered where I had problems submitting my letter. However, the man I dealt with was the CEO, and he impressed me with his knowledge and wit. He even took the time to visit my website, learn about me, and leave a comment. He is also now in one of my Google+ circles, too! Abivia also has a program in place where a portion of your web hosting costs can be donated to Food Banks Canada, a non-profit organization that helps feed the needy. This is very admirable, in my opinion!

Here is the response I got from Abivia:

Hello Lorraine:

I’m sorry, our request form seems to have cut you off at about 1.8 questions. I’ll answer what I can, please feel free to send the rest along.

1. We support WordPress. We’re currently running php 5.3.26 and MySQL 5.1.72. New servers are running PHP 5.4.
2. There’s a toll-free number with a live person at the other end (usually me). We don’t answer the phone 7×24, but someone is usually available between 8am and 8pm Monday to Friday. We do monitor servers 7×24.

I’m looking forward to the remaining 19.2 questions…
Alan Langford, Abivia Inc.
Most of our business comes from referrals. If you’re happy with our service, please tell a friend. If you’re not, please tell us!

So I resent the questions, adding the following notation:
I love your sense of humor, Alan!

He wrote back:

I’ll provide answers in-line. If I slip into geek mode and get too technical and/or convoluted, just ask for clarification.

1. I’m interested in running the open-source WordPress <http://wordpress.org/> blogging software and I was wondering if you support the following:

PHP 5.2.4 or greater

MySQL 5.0 or greater

The mod rewrite Apache module

Yes to all of that. We have lots of clients running WordPress. I even have a “4 posts a year or bust” blog that runs WP.

2. Do you have a phone number where I can speak to a live person?

Up there in my header. The 416 number is my cell. I’m almost always available.

3. Will you do the initial WordPress installation, and if so, is this a free service?

Yes and yes.

4. Will you keep my WordPress installation up-to-date?

First nontrivial answer: As far as core WordPress is concerned, version 3.8 and higher are now self-updating. But that’s not the full story, because it’s a good idea to make sure the plugins are also kept up to date. Our traditional answer to this was “managed application” hosting, which includes keeping everything up to date, but that’s a fairly pricey option (add 19.95 per month). As applications like WordPress have been making it easier to do this, that service is really only of value to hard core technophobes. With WordPress when you log in, there’s a status ribbon that identifies plugin and theme updates. Getting updated is just a matter of selecting the updates and pushing a button.

Now we do an automated security scan of every account. I’ll detail some of the other great benefits this provides below, but in this context one of the things the scanner does is identify out of date plugins that represent a security risk. We’ve just implemented a system that will send notifications of these issue directly to account owners. So if you neglect your blog like I do, we send you a notice saying “hey, you should log in and update this”. This service is included with all our hosting packages.

5. Does your support system or helpdesk support WordPress related inquires?

That’s really difficult to answer. If it’s something like “why can’t I log in” then we’ll certainly try to diagnose the problem. If the answer is because there’s a problem at our end, then obviously we’ll fix it. If the question is, for example, “how come my Twitter plugin isn’t showing Tweets anymore?”, then we’re likely to direct you to the folks who wrote the plugin. If it’s somewhere in the middle, we’ll probably try to turn your plain English question into Techie Geek Dialect, stuff that into Google, and see if there’s an answer to your question written in English.

6. Do you take backups of WordPress sites, and if so, how often?

Yes. We’re positively anal-retentive about backups. We keep a week of daily backups locally on the server; we push backups off-site, retaining daily backups for 60 days, bi-weekly backups for 6 months, and first-of-the-month backups for a year. Within the data centre we have a separate daily “bare metal” backup. Bare metal means that if a server dies completely and suddenly with complete loss of data, we can restore everything onto new hardware and continue on, losing no more than 24 hours of changes.

7. Do you run Windows or Linux servers?

Linux.

8. How long have you been in business?

Since 2005. We’ve been in web hosting since 2007.

9. Where are your servers located, geographically speaking? (ie which city?)

Our Canadian hosting data centre is in Montreal. Our US hosting is in Dallas. We also manage dedicated servers in Toronto and Atlanta.

10. Do you offer any types of discounts to new account holders, and if so, what is the coupon code I can use, or where can I find it?

We don’t, sorry. We do have an affiliate program.

11. What is your upload speed? (ie, how many mbs?)

There’s no non-bullshit answer to that question. Our servers are connected to the data centre backbone with 100Mb/s and 1Gb/s network interface cards. The data centre connections to the outside world are optical and in the terabit per second range. There are many limiting factors that make all those numbers irrelevant. The first is usually the upload speed of your ISP, then it depends on whether or not your ISP does “traffic shaping,” which means deliberately slowing down some kinds of data to favour others, then there’s the amount of congestion along the way, and finally the ability for the server to actually write the uploaded data to a hard drive.

All that said, unless you’re uploading hours of video or Gigabytes of images, you should be fine. Also, if you are working with huge files, I’d recommend using a “content delivery network”, but that’s a separate discussion.

12. Do you provide FTP access? (File Transfer Protocol)

Yes.

13. Do you provide website statistics?

There are a few statistics programs included, but none of them are as detailed and friendly as what you’d get from Google Analytics.

14. What is your average monthly up-time, and how do you handle situations when a website goes down?

Another question where misinformation rules. If you only consider “ping” times, we’re somewhere above 99.99% what they don’t tell you is that “ping” is a nice low-level network function that has nothing to do with what you would consider “up-time”, loosely defined as “if I ask for a web page does it show up before the browser gives up?”. By that measure, we’re around 97%. There are a lot of reasons for this, mostly intrinsic to a shared server. Sometimes bad things happen to good websites and they start consuming far more resources than they should. There’s a long list of reasons for this, ranging from badly designed software, to malicious attacks, to sudden success (the last thing you want is to be on a shared host when Oprah endorses your product or service).

We monitor our servers from our office, from my cellphone, and from a global network of up-time monitors. They check both ping time, and the time required to deliver a page. We also run monitoring software on the server itself that sends out messages if it detects a load problem. If any of these alarms goes off, we immediately connect to the server, diagnose the problem, and take corrective action. If a poorly designed site is repeatedly problematic, we work with the site owner to correct the problem (usually a software update). In extreme cases where we can’t get a site to behave, we’ll suspend the account. I hate doing that, so it’s a last resort.

15. How big is each server, and how many of you customers are on a single server?

They vary quite a bit in terms of speed, RAM and total disk space. I’ll answer the question slightly differently. In Linux, there’s a measure of server load, appropriately called “load factor”. In a single CPU machine, load factor 1.0 means that the server is running at full capacity. In an eight core CPU, load factor 8.0 means the server is at capacity. It’s quite possible to run servers at ridiculous load factors. I’ve seen hosts running at 10 or even 20 times capacity. We set our servers to start sending warning signals when they hit 75% of capacity. They’re normally running at more like 30-50%. In fact the biggest cause of server load is making the backups I mentioned above.

So there’s no real answer to how many sites you can put on a server. I actually wrote a post about this: http://torontojoomla.ca/blog/18-how-many-sites-can-you-put-on-a-shared-server since that post we’ve lowered the threshold for warnings from 1.5 to 0.75, largely so we can detect some forms of denial of service attack more quickly.

16. Where is your home base, and is tech support located there or are they outsourced?

Toronto. I’ve looked at getting some help with support from India, but my experience has been that it’s difficult to find people who are both capable and reliable. I hope we never grow to the point where we consider some generic offshore call centre.

17. How do you handle cancellations, and is there is a minimum amount of time you I’m tied to the contract before I can move elsewhere?

We offer terms that renew monthly, quarterly, semi-annually, annually, and longer. Our starter plan is only offered on an annual term. You can actually move any time you want, but we don’t pro-rate if you cancel in mid-term.

18. How do you handle site security?

The full answer to this might be longer than all others combined. Security is the number one issue for us. Briefly, we:

Keep a lot of backups. Site hacks are inevitable, no matter how much effort we put into defending against them. By keeping deep backups, we can usually go back to before the hack, figure out what the issue was, and move forward.

Maintain a dynamic firewall that blocks unauthorized access attempts. Offenders are blocked for an hour for each offence, and if that happens five times their IP address is permanently banned from our entire network.

Run full-site virus and exploit scans daily. These scans identify viruses, malware, suspicious files, out of date software and more.

Do real time upload exploit scans. If a client’s computer has a virus that attempts to upload to their account, the file is put in quarantine and we receive a warning.

All accounts run in their own security space, so cross-account infection is nearly impossible.

We use complex passwords and strongly encourage our customers to do the same — even if they are a huge pain in the butt.

We monitor servers for unusual load patterns, often tracing them back to denial of service attacks. We work with customers to defend against this sort of attack.

19. Is tech support available 24/7?

Not yet. We’re basically available from 8am to 9pm Monday to Friday for regular stuff, but if there’s an emergency like a site down, call anytime. Our objective is always to discover and fix major issues like that before a single customer even notices.

20. As my website grows, I may need to increase the size of my hosting package to meet bandwidth demands or to add more space. How hard is it to upgrade to a bigger package?

It’s dead easy. You can upgrade or downgrade at any time. We pro-rate the difference over your current term.

If rates go up, will I get the reduced rate since I am already a customer?

Rates usually go down, and we pass that along. If rates have to go up, it’s going to be because our costs go up (say the cost of power doubles, for example). If that happens, we’ll have to pass the increase along. Almost all of our costs are in Canadian dollars, so when the US dollar rises, our costs don’t change, and neither do our prices.

Also, will you automatically upgrade my package, and will you use the billing information on my file or will I have to provide it again?

We won’t automatically do anything that costs you more without consulting you first. If your site grows, it’s very likely that we’ll start seeing warnings (for example, that you’re using 80% of your bandwidth), well before it’s a problem. If that happens, we’ll find out if that’s a one-time thing (for example a popular promotion) or part of your long term growth. Honestly if it’s a one-time thing and not going to hit something like 200% of your allocation, we’re more likely to just bump the limit for the rest of the month. If your site is growing, we’ll pick a new plan. If your site is really growing, we’ll look at moving into a non-shared environment.

21. What makes you the best choice?

I think I’ve hit on a lot of what I think makes us a first class operation. “Best” really depends on what criteria you’re using for evaluation. We started out building websites, and only got into hosting because the hosting companies our clients chose wound up being awful. We started reselling hosting, and even then dealing with our hand-picked vendors proved to be a frustrating process. So we grew into running our own servers, and since then we’ve continuously improved service, with a huge focus on performance and security. As far as I’m concerned, we’re only successful when our clients are successful, so we’ll do everything we can to deliver the best value in the industry.

The last thing I should mention is that we’ve recently launched a charity donation program. If you elect to donate some of your hosting fee to Food Banks Canada, we’ll match it dollar for dollar. We picked food banks because they do a very good job of delivering direct benefits to their customers, and we picked a national organization because we have customers across the country and wanted to make sure that we were giving back to the same scope of people.

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BlueHost

BlueHost answered my questions in-line, but neglected to answer #20 and #21, and when I requested permission from them to post their responses, they got a tad snippy with me, stating that my questions “weren’t that specific” and that the information they provided was “generic and considered public knowledge.”

Read all about it here:

Hello,

1. I’m interested in running the open-source WordPress <http://wordpress.org/

> blogging software and I was wondering if you support the following:

PHP 5.2.4 or greater
MySQL 5.0 or greater
The mod_rewrite Apache module ****** We are one of the main hosting companies that are listed on wordpress.org’s site so yes all things wordpress related we are compatible with.****

2. Do you have a phone number where I can speak to a live person? *** yes the phone number is listed below***

3. Will you do the initial WordPress installation, and if so, is this a free service? no this is something done by you, we do have a 1 click install program that will initially do these things for you.

4. Will you keep my WordPress installation up-to-date? Again this is something you are going to have to upkeep

5.Does your support system or helpdesk support WordPress related inquires? yes we do have support for both

6. Do you take backups of WordPress sites, and if so, how often? our back ups system does a weekly, monthly and daily back up, there are also plugins you can get that will do this.

7. Do you run Windows or Linux servers? Exclusively linux( apache) servers

8. How long have you been in business? Since 1996

9. Where are your servers located, geographically speaking? (ie which city?) The servers are located in Utah

10. Do you offer any types of discounts to new account holders, and if so, what is the coupon code I can use, or where can I find it? The discount will be on our main page and it will automatically be applied when you first sign up

11. What is your upload speed? (ie, how many mbs?) This depends on the type of account you have and how many resources you are taking up, as well as what your ISP is capable of doing.

12. Do you provide FTP access? (File Transfer Protocol) Yes

13. Do you provide website statistics? Webalizer and AWSTATS can be turned on

14. What is your average monthly up-time, and how do you handle situations when a website goes down? Both of these questions vary depending on the situation

15. How big is each server, and how many of you customers are on a single server? Again these vary depending on the type of account you are using

16. Where is your home base, and is tech support located there or are they outsourced? Utah

17. How do you handle cancellations, and is there is a minimum amount of time you I’m tied to the contract before I can move elsewhere? You can cancel anytime, and will be refunded on a prorated basis depending on what has been purchased, somethings can’t be refunded like the domain name registration.

18. How do you handle site security? On an account level we do not do this it is up to the customer to set their security up, for our servers this is something that isn’t given out to the public.

19. Is tech support available 24/7? yes

20. As my website grows, I may need to increase the size of my hosting package to meet bandwidth demands or to add more space. How hard is it to upgrade to a bigger package? If rates go up, will I get the reduced rate since I am already a customer? Also, will you automatically upgrade my package, and will you use the billing information on my file or will I have to provide it again?

21. What makes you the best choice?

How did we do? Please help us improve the support that we offer you
by filling out this online survey:
http://www.surveygizmo.com/s3/1248462/bluehost

Thank you,
Richard
Web Advisor
BlueHost.com
888.401.4678

Most questions can be answered by articles in our forum, knowledgebase, and video tutorials:

Forum:               http://www.bluehostforum.com

Knowledgebase:       https://www.bluehost.com/cgi/help

Tutorials:           http://www.bluehost.com/tutorials/

Server Status:       http://serverstatus.bluehost.com/

Here is what I sent them back:

Thank you for your limited answers. I will not be choosing Bluehost.

Lorraine Reguly

As an afterthought, I sent them this:

I would like to know if you would grant me permission to publicly post your answers to my questions in an article I’m writing on web hosting.

Please let me know.

Thanks,

Lorraine

They then sent me:

I apologize if you found the answers “limited”, but at the same time the questions weren’t that specific.  As far as, “using” the information, it seems very generic and considered public knowledge. Good luck in your project!
Best regards,

Ryan
Supervisor
BlueHost.com
888.401.4678

How did we do? Please help us improve the support that we offer you by filling out this online survey: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/5PPBQR6

Introduce a friend to Bluehost and earn $65! Please visit: https://www.bluehost.com/affiliates

I then sent them this final email:

Thank you – on both counts!

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EasyPress

EasyPress looks like a web hosting company that is worth researching further if you don’t mind spending a few extra dollars. They are too expensive for me (at the moment) but they answered me and allowed me to post their response:

Hi Lorraine,

1. Yes, yes, and No. We run nginx. It’s faster than Apache. It supports alternatives to .htaccess files.

2. Yes.

http://easypress.ca/contact/

3. Yes and yes.

4. Yes.

http://easypress.ca/when-will-my-site-get-updated/

5. Yes.

6. Yes, daily, offsite and encrypted.

http://easypress.ca/how-often-is-my-site-backed-up/

7. Linux.

8. EasyDNS for 18 years, easyPress for a year.

9. Toronto and Newark.

10. We offer a money back guarantee for the first 2 months. Not happy, let us know you get a full refund.

11. Our servers are connected to gigabit ethernet switches. Upload speeds depend on your network connection and all the hops along the way to us.

12. We provide SFTP, a secure version of FTP which provides authentication and confidentiality. There are free SFTP clients for Windows and Mac.

13. Yes.

14. Around 99.98%. When a website goes down we investigate the issue and fix it ASAP. All our servers are redundant so if one goes down we can bring the backup up within 20 minutes.

15. We several different sized servers and the size determines how many websites are running on one.

16. Toronto is home base and that’s where the support team works.

17. You can leave whenever you want. No penalties. Just email or call us to let us know and we’ll take care of the cancellation details.

18. It’s one of our specialties. We have a category dedicated to this topic: http://easypress.ca/category/help/security/

19. No. 8:30am to 6:00pm EST Monday to Friday 12:00pm to 6:00pm Saturday & Sunday.

20. We monitor monthly usage levels and if you surpass your plan’s limits we will email you about the need to upgrade. We take care of the details and you will receive a new invoice.

We never shut sites down due to higher traffic

21.

  1. easyPress is simple, no cpanel, just wp-admin, phpmyadmin and SFTP.
  2. Great support. Call us. Email us. We’re friendly and knowledgeable about WordPress.
  3. Our platform is built for speed. We cache like crazy. It’s the best way to make WordPress go fast.
  4. Our platform is built with security in mind. We have features that will help protect your site against attacks.
  5. We manage WP updates, and we take care of backing up your site daily!
  6. DNS hosting (level depends on which plan you choose) is bundled in the price.

Thanks for considering our hosting services!

Victor

Victor Granic                   |  easyPress Happiness Engineer

Direct Email: [email protected]  |  Help Pages:   http://easypress.ca/help/

Support Line: (416)-535-8672    |  Contact Info: http://easypress.ca/contact/

I then sent:

Victor,

Thank you for answering my questions! I appreciate it!

I’d like to obtain your permission to publicly post these answers in an article I’m doing on web-hosting. I may not use them, but if I do, I’d like to be able to. Can you grant me this permission? (It may mean more business for your company.)

I look forward to your positive reply!

Sincerely,

Lorraine Reguly

This is his reply:

Hi Lorraine,

Sure, no problem. Let me know when you’ve posted the article. I’d be very interested in reading your review.

Thanks,

Victor

[Tweet "See the response EasyPress gives in this web hosting guide. "]

[Back to Contents]>

GreenGeeks

GreenGeeks is an American web hosting company. They have live chat available and seem to be a good company. They also have an affiliate program (which is good, because you can sign up and promote them on your site and earn money!). They also responded to me and permitted me to use their answers.

Here is their response:

Hey Lorraine!

Thank you for your interest in GreenGeeks! Let me do my best to answer your queries for you!

> 1. I’m interested in running the open-source WordPress

Not a problem! All our platforms support this and all the requirements are in place for this to be utilized on our shared hosting platform.

> 2. Do you have a phone number where I can speak to a live person?

Of course, our phone support is one of the best in the world, and all our agents are around to help you, even on weekends!


Phone Numbers
Sales Hotline: 1-877-ECO-SITE (326-7483)
Local Phone: 1-310-496-8946

> 3. Will you do the initial WordPress installation, and if so, is this a free service?

We have no problem in doing this for you, however we do also have a 1 click installer we can also teach you to use for future reference, but if you struggle we are happy to install it free of charge.

> 4. Will you keep my WordPress installation up-to-date

I am afraid we do not update anyones installations unless specifically requested – It can destroy themes and potentially have bugs with updates and so forth, so we leave updating to users and it is very easy to and all automated in the admin dashboard.

> 5.Does your support system or helpdesk support WordPress related inquires?

We generally do our best to help all our clients with whatever we can, so yes no problem. If you have any issues then contact us and we will do what we can to help you as always 🙂

> 6. Do you take backups of WordPress sites, and if so, how often?

We take daily backups of all accounts and store them for 2 days, we generally keep 2 days worth of backups at all times, but we do not specifically backup wordpress, it is the whole account.

> 7. Do you run Windows or Linux servers?

Linux

> 8. How long have you been in business?

Nearly 7 years and still going strong!

> 9. Where are your servers located, geographically speaking? (ie which city?)

All American based (Chicago) but this will not make much difference to US based users.

> 10. Do you offer any types of discounts to new account holders, and if so, what is the coupon code I can use, or where can I find it?

Indeed, you can grab 20% off your first payment with the code ‘take20off’

> 11. What is your upload speed? (ie, how many mbs?)

Our servers generally have between 100mbps – 1GBPS connections, however the upload speed would depend on your net connection. Most users can’t upload much faster than a few mbps but anything between 5-20 should work.

> 12. Do you provide FTP access? (File Transfer Protocol)

As standard all accounts have FTP access and the ability to create FTP accounts.

> 13. Do you provide website statistics?

We provide awstats and webalizer which are both great pieces of kit for monitoring traffic.

> 14. What is your average monthly up-time, and how do you handle situations when a website goes down?

It depends what happens, but mostly 100% and the situation depends on what is the cause, we can generally restart the web server or database server if there is issues, the situation really really depends on the issue, there is no real definition other than we work really fast to restore service on the rare occasions it happens.

> 15. How big is each server, and how many of you customers are on a single server?

Generally each server is dual quad core+ RAID 10 (4+ drives setup for redundancy) 24GB ram+ but you would be better reading up here: http://www.greengeeks.com/about/data-center.php

> 16. Where is your home base, and is tech support located there or are they outsourced?

Canada and our tech support is American based, we have users who work remotely for us and some who work in our office. We help reduce carbon emissions with allowing members of our team to work from home. We don’t outsource our support.

> 17. How do you handle cancellations, and is there is a minimum amount of time you I’m tied to the contract before I can move elsewhere?

This depends on each individual case – You can cancel at anytime if you desire, we offer a 30 day money back guarantee and generally pro-rated refunds if people cancel early.

> 18. How do you handle site security?

We generally secure our web servers with security rules, firewalls and other php security configurations. But site security is generally down to users keeping scripts up to date and ensuring php coded websites are secured from exploits – However our rules help towards this.

You can also check www.cloudflare.com

we also offer this free in our control panel which can help.

> 19. Is tech support available 24/7?

Our ticket and live chat support is 24/7 – However our phone lines are generally 9AM EST until midnight EST

> 20. As my website grows, I may need to increase the size of my hosting package to meet bandwidth demands or to add more space. How hard is it to
upgrade to a bigger package? If rates go up, will I get the reduced rate since I am already a customer? Also, will you automatically upgrade my
package, and will you use the billing information on my file or will I have to provide it again?

You can upgrade at ease to our premium service (double resource) or VPS packages at anytime and it does not take long at all, generally a day to migrate. We don’t put rates up against current users, only new signups would face the new rates.

> 21. What makes you the best choice?

We appreciate you considering GreenGeeks as your web hosting choice and we’d like to invite you to read through why we’re the right choice: http://www.greengeeks.com/why-us/

This was written by our CEO Trey Gardner, who has been in the web hosting industry for over a decade and we believe these are the strongest reasons why you should choose GreenGeeks over any other web hosting provider.

Please get back to us if you need any further assistance and let us know how else we can help.

Thank you and have a great day,

Paul Owens
GreenGeeks Support Team

I then sent this:

Paul,

Thank you for answering my questions! I appreciate it. In fact, I’d like to obtain your permission to publicly post these answers in an article I’m doing on web-hosting. I may not use them, but if I do, I’d like to be able to. Can you grant me this permission? (It may mean more business for your company.)

I would also like to know, if your servers are in the US, then are you a Canadian web host? I would think not, even though you have offices in Canada. I ask because of the privacy laws…

I look forward to your positive reply on the permission issue, and clarification on whether you are considered a Canadian or US host.

Thanks again for your help.

Sincerely,

Lorraine Reguly

They replied:

Hello Lorraine,

Yes, you can use the answers publicly. We are a US-based company with servers in Canada for server location diversity.

Please get back to us if you need any further assistance and let us know how else we can help.

Thank you and have a great day,

Karl Davids

GreenGeeks Support

Here is my next email to them:

Thank you for granting me permission to use your answers.

I’d also like to know how the difference in privacy laws apply to your servers in Canada vs. the US. Are they subject to the same laws or different ones?

http://www.cio.com/article/698432/The_Patriot_Act_and_Your_Data_Should_You_Ask_Cloud_Providers_About_Protection_?page=1&taxonomyId=3133

vs

http://www.priv.gc.ca/information/02_05_d_08_e.asp

I appreciate any clarification you can provide. Thank you.

Lorraine

Their reply was this one:

Hello Lorraine,

Since we are based and operating out of the US all US laws pertain to our services located in the US and Canada. This is the same for any business whether they are located in the US or not as long as they have operations running in the US they are bound by US laws.
Thank you and have a great day,

Bill Ellis.
GreenGeeks Support Team

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HostPapa

HostPapa’s  original email was in French. (Good thing for translators!) A self-proclaimed Do-It-Yourself web hosting company, this is not what a non-techie like myself needs. They also replied to me, permitted me to post their answers. If you pay close attention to a few of them (specifically see answers to questions #5, #6, and #10), you will see why I would not choose them:

Hello Lorraine,

Thank you for contacting HostPapa.

I will number the answers to the questions you have asked and provide information links for you to review.

1. Yes. WordPress can be easily installed via Softaculous our easy one click script installer. Please click the link to see Versions of PHP, MySQL, cPanel, Linux, etc.
http://hostpapasupport.com/index.php?/Knowledgebase/Article/View/1110/0/versions-of-php-mysql-cpanel-linux-etc

2. We look forward to hearing from you soon you can call any of the numbers below we are here 24-7, 365 days a year.

Australia 800 099 453
Belgium 0800 76 127
India 000 800 100 8055
International +905 315 3455
Netherlands 0800 022 0535
North America 888 959 7272
UK 0800 051 7126

3. Again WordPress can be easily installed, we offer a simple one click script installer called Softaculous, Softaculous is a script library that automates the installation of web applications to your website, including blogs, shopping carts, and full-featured content managers. All you have to do is install the script, one per directory, using the easy directions provided for each one. Go ahead and try them out – they’re just as easy to uninstall!

4. HostPapa is a “Do it Yourself” environment, meaning we do not facilitate in design, maintaining or updating clients websites in any capacity. With that being said if you are having a problem we are always happy to try and help and point you in the right direction.

5. Unfortunately HostPapa does not support 3rd party software such as WordPress. Again if there is an issue we are happy to point you in the right direction.

6. Since HostPapa is a “Do it Yourself” environment client are responsible for their own back ups. We offer an amazing add service which we fell is essential to every hosting account called HostPapa Website Back-Up.

HostPapa Website Back Up! for as little $2.99/month
Product Link: http://www.hostpapa.com/website-backup/

HostPapa Website Backup is a powerful, easy-to-use premium backup solution.
Automated backups mean you’ll save time, rest easy, and be prepared for any website-related disaster that may come your way. Whenever you need it, full website restoration is just a click away!

7. HostPapa is currently in a Linux operating system environment and does not use or support any Microsoft Windows Operating Systems-based servers at this time. As such, we do not offer support for .ASP or .NET technology. Our servers are the industry standard, Linux-based servers.

8. HostPapa has been around for over 15 years. Why HostPapa is better than the competition click the link.
http://hostpapasupport.com/index.php?/Knowledgebase/Article/View/1066/0/why-hostpapa-is-better-than-the-competition
9. HostPapa has data centers all around the world. Due to security concerns we do not disclose the locations and with CloudFlare which is free with all hosting packages speed is never an issue.

To find out more about CloudFlare please click the link below:
http://www.hostpapa.ca/web-hosting-plan/cloudflare/

Our system administrators allocate each account based on server resources. This is to ensure every HostPapa customer receives the best possible service as such we do not allow clients to choose where their accounts are placed due to our shared hosting environment.

10. HostPapa only has one hosting plan called the HostPapa Plan!
Please click the link below to view the HostPapa Plan and click the orange “Get Started Now Button” to start the sign up process.
http://www.hostpapa.ca/web-hosting-plan/

Hosting Pricing (CAN
3 year contract @ $3.95/month = $142.40
2 year contract @ $4.95/month = $118.80
1 year contract @ $5.95/month = $71.40
* plus applicable taxes

Domain Registration is $14.99+tax (per year, per domain)

HostPapa provides your Primary Domain’s registration FREE for the first year. The coupon is automatically entered on the first page of the order form.

11. HostPapa upload speed is not based on our servers, Upload speed is determined by the users connection to the internet.

12. Yes we provide FTP access. You can also create custom FTP accounts.

13. Yes included with ever package is Web Statistics, Analog, Webalizer. Raw Log Files, Web Log Files, AWStats and Error Logs.

14. Our Pledge To You: 100% Service Guarantee: http://www.hostpapa.ca/why-hostpapa/service-guarantee/

15. Our servers are the industry standard, Linux-based servers. Our system administrators allocate each account based on server resources. This is to ensure every HostPapa customer receives the best possible service as such we do not allow clients to choose where their accounts are placed due to our shared hosting environment.

16. Our home base is Canada our support is handled from Canada.

17. HostPapa’s 30-day money-back guarantee
http://hostpapasupport.com/index.php?/Knowledgebase/Article/View/1183/0/hostpapas-30-day-money-back-guarantee

18. Clients are responsible for security, We offer an awesome service called SiteLock as an addon service.

For hackers, small websites are very attractive
Do you think hackers only attack the big banks and corporations? Think again.

Forensic analysis by the U.S. Secret Service and Verizon Communications show that 63% of data breaches hit companies with 100 employees or less. Visa estimates that about 95% of the credit card-related data breaches it discovers affect its smallest business customers.

Hackers love small websites because most have little protection. They can hijack sites through seemingly friendly applications, like simple plug-ins or website themes. Just one small oversight on your part may be enough to let a hacker gain control of your website, turning you into an innocent accomplice.

Product link: http://www.hostpapa.ca/sitelock/

19. Yes we are 24-7 365 days a year.

20. Again since we are unlimited we only offer 1 plan, there is no need to upgrade.

21. Top 5 Reasons to Choose HostPapa
http://www.hostpapa.ca/why-hostpapa/top-5-reasons/

Thank you for your questions and considering HostPapa. We look forward to you joining our family.

I then asked them:

Thank you for your reply.

I’d like to obtain your permission to publicly post these answers in an article I’m doing on web-hosting. I may not use them, but if I do, I’d like to be able to. Can you grant me this permission?

Sincerely,

Lorraine Reguly

They replied:

Hi Lorraine,

To follow up on your request and in order to allow you to publicly post the answers you got through our Customer Care Centre, we simply require the coordinates of the review website, blog, media outlet and/or publication for which you work. Then, once registered on our Media list, we will be able to grant you permission.

Regards,

Sylvain Patry

HostPapa Inc.

So I sent:

I am a blogger who will be posting my article on my personal website, which is currently at http://lorrainemariereguly.wordpress.com/.

Do I have your permission to post your answers?

I’d like to.

They replied:

Hi Lorraine, yes you have permission.

Thank you for your interest in HostPapa.

Best regards,

Sylvain Patry

HostPapa Inc.

Then I asked:

Thank you; I appreciate your cooperation.

Would you like me to send the link of the post to you once it has been published?

They said:

By all means, yes.

Looking forward to read your post!

Thanks.

Sylvain Patry

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HostUpon

Here is the response from HostUpon:

Hi Lorraine,

We had a lengthy conversion in depth regarding all these topics you mentioned.
I Will once again address your questions for you.

1) Yes we fully support WordPress on all our plans and provide a one click installer for this script.
2) You can reach our phone support from 9am to 5pm week days by using the following number – 1866 973 4678
3) Yes we can install WordPress for you free of charge (Remember we offer a 1 click installer.
4) Keeping WordPress up to date is your responsibility not ours.
5) Yes we can assist with WordPress issues however any scripting related matters need to be handled directly with the script provider.
6) We offer an Automated Backup Service which will automatically back up your data every hour.
With our Backup Service you are able to restore a single file/folder or entire account as far back as 5 days or anywhere in between (Be it 3 days or 2 hours etc)
This addon service costs $49.95/month or $79.95 on a 2 year term.
7) All our servers are Linux based – We don’t do any sot of Windows based hosting.
8) We have been around since 2007.
9) Our server’s are located in Toronto, Canada.
10) Our servers are on a 1000mbps connection – We don’t cap download/upload speeds.
11) Same as above
12) Yes FTP is available on our server’s on port – 21
13) Yes you can monitor your webstats by using Awstats located in your cPanel account.
14) We provide a 99.9% up time guarantee and will maintain and handle the server if it goes down.
15) I cannot provide you with an exact figure as this is confidential however we do limit the amount of client’s that are hosted on our servers.
16) All staff are in-house in Canada – We are firm believers of not outsourcing our Support.
17) You can cancel your account at anytime as you are not on a contract.
18) Our server’s are fully hardened/secured and have a dedicated server admin team who handle any required updates/patches that need to be done 24/7
19) Yes our Support is handled 24/7 356 days a years.
20) We will handle the entire upgrade process for you whenever it is required with no downtime or data loss.
Yes we would gladly work with you if you decide to upgrade your plan at a later stage and your credit card on file can be charged (Unless other wise).
21) We have won numerous web hosting awards and are quite well known for our quality hosting server.
You can have a look on our site at the awards we won:
http://www.hostupon.com/whyus.php

I hope this answers all your questions.

HostUpon Web Hosting
www.HostUpon.com

Twitter: @HostUpon

I then sent them this email:

Thank you for answering my questions! I appreciate it!

I’d like to obtain your permission to publicly post these answers in an article I’m doing on web-hosting. I may not use them, but if I do, I’d like to be able to. Can you grant me this permission? (It may mean more business for your company.)

I look forward to your positive reply!

Sincerely,

Lorraine Reguly

They replied with this one:

Hi,

If we can review the article prior to publishing that would be acceptable.

Thanks!

HostUpon Support Team

So I sent this:

Okay, as soon as I finish writing it, I will send it to you.

Thank you.

Lorraine

Then I got a separate email, which said:

Thanks Lorraine.

[Back to Contents]>

HostUtopia

HostUtopia is a web hosting company that has live chat available, but it is expensive to buy a domain name from them. They have an attractive website, an informative blog, a strong presence on social media, but this negative review says to run from them! I was seriously considering using them. I even had a total of three different chats with them. During the last one, I copied our conversations after learning that they do not do free site migrations, but charge upwards of $90 per hour for this service.

Take a look:

Online

Daniel Eosco

Sales Dept.

says:

You are now chatting with Daniel Eosco (Sales Dept.)

Daniel says:

Hello & Welcome to Live Help.

Lorraine says:

Can you explain what disk space and bandwidth are, please? I’m not a techie!

Samuel says:

Hello

Samuel says:

Let me know your domain name please

Samuel says:

Disk space is the total space your account took in server

Lorraine says:

I am in the process of getting my own site and am shopping around for a host.

Lorraine says:

And bandwidth?

Samuel says:

bandwidth is the amount of data transferred when accessing your account

Lorraine says:

How much do I need for a site that gets

Lorraine says:

a. 5000 views per month

Lorraine says:

b. 50 000 views per month?

Samuel says:

regarding this all, can you please contact our sales dept: they can assist you in a better way

Lorraine says:

why can’t you just answer my questions?

Samuel says:

These all values like the bandwidth needed etc, sales dept can assist you perfectly

Lorraine says:

okay, connect me please

Samuel says:

Please hold on, Our respecting Representative will assist you shortly

Lorraine says:

Okay

Dave says:

Hi,

Lorraine says:

Hi.

Dave says:

The amount of bandwidth a site uses is determined not only by the number of hits or views, but the content that is being viewed. If it is plain text, the amount is small. If it is high resolution images of video, the amount is much more. There is no way for me to be able to tell you how much you will use.

Dave says:

That should read “or video”.

Lorraine says:

Okay… just wondering what I would need for a site that had mostly text and about 10 000 visitors per month

Dave says:

Probably not that much if it is simply text.

Lorraine says:

So the entrepreneur plan would be okay?

Dave says:

We can increase your bandwidth relatively cheaply.

Dave says:

I would start there and see how it goes mid month. We don’t shut you down.

Dave says:

There are tools to track your usage on a daily basis.

Lorraine says:

I have a site right now on wordpress.com and have doubled my visitors in the last month so now I think it is time to get my own site…

Dave says:

That awesome, congrats.

Lorraine says:

But I live in Canada and it seems like there are limited hosts here!

Dave says:

Our servers are in a brand new facility in Montreal.

Lorraine says:

I’ve been comparing plans and researching hosts for the last three days, today for six hours.

Dave says:

All new hardware as if the end of the past year.

Dave says:

Wow, good for you.

Lorraine says:

This is a pain for sure – and I’m not technologically adept so I’m looking for someone to help me.

Dave says:

Be aware of plans that offer “unlimited” stuff. 1, there is no such thing and 2, they’ll throttle your speed if you use too much.

Lorraine says:

Like HostUpon?

Lorraine says:

lol

Dave says:

I’m not familiar with HostUpon.

Lorraine says:

Yeah, they seem to have very little presence… but have okay support…

Lorraine says:

Do you offer a free domain name with any of your plans?

Dave says:

Hmmm, not familiar with them.

Dave says:

We do not. Our annual renewal rate for most TLDs is $17.50.

Dave says:

We are not a low cost domain registrar. What we do is set every domain we have to auto renew. That way we don’t loose it. [sic[sic]

Lorraine says:

Okay, do I have to register it anywhere or just with you – if I choose you?

Dave says:

Most registrars just allow them to lapse and charge you big if it does.

Dave says:

You can register your domain anywhere you like.

Lorraine says:

If I get it from you, do I have to register it elsewhere?

Dave says:

No.

Dave says:

You can register your domain and set up hosting at the same time with us.

Lorraine says:

Okay. So if I buy three domains from GoDaddy, I can just move them over here when I buy hosting?

Dave says:

You can either leave them registered with GoDaddy and point their DNS to your hosting plan with us, or you can move their registration to us. Either way.

Lorraine says:

Is this how it works all over? (Sorry, I have a lot of questions…)

Dave says:

Yes.

Lorraine says:

I think they are cheaper…

Lorraine says:

Money is an issue…

Dave says:

Yes. We do not compete with them price wise. You get what you pay for.

Lorraine says:

Do you accept PayPal?

Dave says:

Yes we do.

Dave says:

You mention 3 domains. Why?

Lorraine says:

Not sure what you mean when you say “you get what you pay for” – wouldn’t it be cheaper to get them there and get hosting here?

Lorraine says:

I will have three sites eventually.

Dave says:

We have people who leave us and go to places like GoDaddy all the time. We also have people who come back to us or come to us from places like GoDaddy all the time because of customer service.

Lorraine says:

Is the entrepreneur plan 5GB disk space per month? or is this per year? or total?

Dave says:

Disk space is a finite amount of storage space like a file cabinet. Think of Bandwidth or Transfer as water coming into your house which resets every month.

Lorraine says:

So it’s per month, then?

Lorraine says:

Kinda like paying for electricity usage? Sort of…?

Dave says:

Yes, bandwidth is per month.

Lorraine says:

Okay – so what happens when I use up my 5GB? Do I have to move up to a higher plan?

Dave says:

Yes.

Dave says:

That’s a lot of space.

Lorraine says:

Okay. I get it. Yeah, I’ve only used a small portion of my 3GB limit in the last year over on WP.

Dave says:

Going from the Entrepreneur plan to the Business plan is a massive jump in both disk space and bandwidth for an increase of only $4 a month. If you are getting close to needing that much space and transfer, your site is rocking!!

Lorraine says:

Just checked – I have only used three percent of it! LOL

Dave says:

That’s another reason why unlimited is such a joke.

Lorraine says:

I’m not sure how fast my new site will grow; I wrote three posts that get daily traffic from search engines… and have already attained page rank of 2 in 12 months on my free little blog!

Dave says:

Then the next step is finding a way to monetize it.

Dave says:

You might want to check out Google Ads.

Lorraine says:

But this month I got almost 5000 visitors, so yes, time to branch out and then start selling stuff.

Lorraine says:

I also am a writer (believe it or not) and so plan on having books to sell soon.

Dave says:

Good for you!!

Lorraine says:

And I offer writing and editing services. Hence another site: Freelance Lorraine.

Dave says:

That’s awesome. Our Business plan not only gives you more storage and transfer, but also the ability to have 5 websites.

Lorraine says:

Thanks! Plus, I’m earning money as a regular contributor to a blogging site called Dear Blogger. And have an ebook for sale over there. Can’t do that on my free site right now – so need another one. Sigh. This is not my cup of tea, figuring out hosting and all this techie stuff. Ugh!

Dave says:

Well, when you get ready to set it up, just chat in or email. Someone will help you.

Lorraine says:

Do you support WordPress sites easily?

Dave says:

Make sure you contact our Sales Department.

Lorraine says:

I’m supposed to ask you:

Lorraine says:

I’m interested in running the open-source WordPress <http://wordpress.org/> blogging software and I was wondering if my account supported the following:

PHP 5.2.4 or greater
MySQL 5.0 or greater
The mod rewrite Apache module
Thanks!

Dave says:

Yes, WordPress is our #1 site we host.

Lorraine says:

Okay, I’ll think about it. Thanks for your help. Gotta go. Have an appt. Take care!

Dave says:

Thanks for contacting HostUtopia, it was a pleasure chatting with you.

Lorraine says:

Ditto, Dave!

Dave says:

Ask for me when you are ready!

Lorraine says:

Okay. Do you get a commission?

Dave says:

No.

Dave says:

Just want to make sure you are taken care of.

Lorraine says:

Aww. Too bad. Thanks again. I’ll remember that.

Dave says:

🙂

Lorraine says:

Bye

Here is my next chat with them:

Lorraine says:

Is Dave around? I was told to ask for him, specifically, as we’ve had prior contact.

Lorraine says:

Anyone there?

Lorraine says:

Is anyone there?

Lorraine says:

Hello?

Lorraine says:

Can I get a domain name from somewhere and transfer it to you?

Jamie says:

Hello Lorraine

Lorraine says:

Hello.

Lorraine says:

I’ve been trying to get ahold of someone!

Lorraine says:

Is Dave around? I was supposed to ask for him.

Jamie says:

No it is Jamie here

Lorraine says:

I’m still deciding on a host, and have some questions.

Jamie says:

Okay

Jamie says:

Let me know your queries

Lorraine says:

1. I’m interested in running the open-source WordPress <http://wordpress.org/> blogging software and I was wondering if you support the following:
PHP 5.2.4 or greater
MySQL 5.0 or greater
The mod_rewrite Apache module

Jamie says:

okay

Lorraine says:

So, yes, then?

Jamie says:

Do you want to install wordpress on your domain

Lorraine says:

Yes.

Jamie says:

?

Jamie says:

Okay

Lorraine says:

Will you do the initial WordPress installation, and if so, is this a free service? Or do I have to do this?

Jamie says:

You can do it from your cpanel

Jamie says:

It is very easy to install wordpress via cpanel

Jamie says:

We can install it for you

Lorraine says:

Will you help me transfer my current site over to the new one?

Jamie says:

Sure

Jamie says:

You need to open a support ticket with us

Jamie says:

Please mention all your queries

Jamie says:

so that we can assist you in a proper way

Jamie says:

That the details of remote server where your domain is now hosted

Lorraine says:

http://lorrainemariereguly.wordpress.com

Jamie says:

Also please mention your needs like installing wordpress etc

Lorraine says:

That is my site now, which is free.

Lorraine says:

I am not a techie, so this is all hard for me.

Jamie says:

Okay

Jamie says:

The mentioned url is a subdomain of wordpress.com

Lorraine says:

Yes.

Jamie says:

It is provided by wordpress

Lorraine says:

My blog is free right now, provided by WordPress.

Jamie says:

yes

Jamie says:

Please hold on for a while

Lorraine says:

So my next question is, can I buy a domain and then start my new site but somehow make it unavailable to the public (unpublished) while I fix it up and then when I am ready, move my old site over?

Jamie says:

You need to purchase a domain with us

Lorraine says:

Can’t I buy it somewhere else and then just transfer it when I order hosting?

Jamie says:

then export the wordpress contents from your wordpress admin page

Jamie says:

yes

Jamie says:

you can purchase from anywhere

Jamie says:

If you want us to host this with us

Lorraine says:

Ok. I’m just trying to keep costs down.

Jamie says:

you need to import those files from wordpress to our server

Jamie says:

once the domain is hosted with us

Lorraine says:

Ok, how do I do that?

Lorraine says:

Do I use the export feature?

Lorraine says:

I think I saw it in my dashboard somewhere…

Jamie says:

That need to be checked further

Lorraine says:

Just looked. Seems like I can do it.

Jamie says:

If you open a support ticket with us with all details we can have a further check on those details

Jamie says:

Okay

Jamie says:

that is fine

Lorraine says:

Okay, getting back to some of my other questions…

Lorraine says:

4. Will you keep my WordPress installation up-to-date?
5. Does your support system or helpdesk support WordPress related inquires?
6. Do you take backups of WordPress sites, and if so, how often?

Jamie says:

Please hold on

Jamie says:

4. It can be set up in the admin page

Jamie says:

5. Yes we support

Jamie says:

6. We keeps 10 days back backup of all accounts in our server

Lorraine says:

7. Do you run Windows or Linux servers?
8. How long have you been in business?
9. Where are your servers located, geographically speaking? (ie which city?)

Jamie says:

Please open a support ticket for more queries

Jamie says:

so that we can properly update you with details

Lorraine says:

I did this already but was told to just look at your website for the answers

Lorraine says:

That’s why I am asking now, here.

Jamie says:

Yes, most of the answers are there in the website

Lorraine says:

Okay thanks for your help then.

Lorraine says:

Oh, forgot to ask you if you have any discounts or coupon codes?

Jamie says:

We are not sure about this

Jamie says:

as it is a technical support chat

Lorraine says:

Okay. Thank you for your help! I appreciate your time and efforts.

Jamie says:

You are most welcome

Jamie says:

Closing the chat session

Jamie says:

Bye

Lorraine says:

Bye

Here is my last chat with this company:

Lorraine says:

Do you have a website builder? If so, is it offered with one of your hosting packages?

Daniel says:

Hi Lorraine.

Lorraine says:

Hi

Daniel says:

Yes

Lorraine says:

Oh, I could not find where it said that. Where should I be looking?

Daniel says:

http://hostutopia.com

Lorraine says:

I’m there, on the hosting packages page

Daniel says:

Here is the direct link to our Content Managers:http://hostutopia.com/web-hosting-plans/cms/

Daniel says:

These can be installed in cPanel.

Daniel says:

If you are looking for a simple website builder, we are not GoDaddy, these plans are for more do-it-yourself users that want more powerful tools.

Lorraine says:

Okay, I ask because I recently used Weebly to create a site (a free one, with weebly.com as part of the URL) and was wondering if I would be able to create a customized site somehow with you, if I got hosting with you…

Daniel says:

We do offer the software installations you need to build a website.

Lorraine says:

Do you offer any kinds of discounts or coupon codes for new customers?

Daniel says:

No

Lorraine says:

Why not?

Lorraine says:

You should look into doing this; it may mean more customers for you!

Daniel says:

We are not looking for rock bottom price shoppers, that’s not the type of client we are looking for.

Lorraine says:

Do you offer free site migration?

Daniel says:

No

Lorraine says:

How much does it cost for this service?

Daniel says:

Site migration starts at $90/hr

Lorraine says:

What other support services do you offer that the customer has to pay for?

Daniel says:

We cannot import from Weebly, they are a proprietary system.

Daniel says:

Please email your list of questions to

[email protected]

Lorraine says:

Do you do free migrations for wordpress.com sites?

Daniel says:

No

Lorraine says:

Okay, thank you for your help.

Daniel says:

Have a great day!

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InMotion Hosting

InMotion Hosting is a US-based web hosting company that appealed to me even though I was seeking Canadian hosting. They have a strong social media presence (thousands of people like them all over the place), have attractive options that are reasonably priced, offer 24/7 help, and basically seem to be a great choice if what you are seeking is hosting with an American company.

They also permitted me to post their responses to my letter:

Hello Lorraine and thank you for contacting InMotion

1. We fully support these needs. We are actually considered optimized for hosting WordPress here and work very closely with it.

2. We are available by phone 24/7. Our main number is 888-321-4678

3. We include WordPress as a one-click installation on your hosting account with us. So it is very quick and simple to get started on with us.

4. We include a tool for you called Softaculous, which gives you all of the software we include as one-click installs. Softaculous will update with new versions of the software as they are made available and notifies you and provides it as a one-click update.

5. Our entire Support Staff is trained in WordPress and we have even written up an entire WordPress 101 Tutorial for our customers to be able to use.

6. we do automated backups of our customers websites every 24 hours at no extra cost.

7. We only work with Linux based servers at the moment.

8. We have been in business since 2001.

9. We have a datacenter in Los Angeles, CA and one just in Ashburn, VA.

10. We do offer promotional pricing for new customers. As you go through the order process on our website you will see that the discounted pricing is automatically made available to you.

11. All of our servers use gigabit connections, so they are designed for throughput of 100MB/s.

12. You would have unlimited FTP access with us.

13. We actually include multiple analytic tools for you to work with.

14. Over the past year we boast an uptime record of 99.995% and historically are at 99.98%. So server downtime is generally never something our customers have to deal with. However, if the situation were to arise we generally notify our customers as promptly as possible with as much detail on the situation as possible and get right to work on resolving the issue. We personally purchase and manage each server we provide hosting from here, so we can jump on issues like this immediately.

15. Our Shared hosting servers are top of the line Dell Power Edge blade servers utilizing more than 98GB of memory each. We do not load our servers more than about 75% capacity so that your site has plenty of space to breath and grow without having to worry about being negatively effected by other customers on your server.

16. We do not outsource any work at all from this company. Our main office is in Los Angeles, CA and our Support Center is in Virginia Beach, VA.

17. You can cancel with us at anytime and there are no fees involved with it. We even provide a 90 day money back guarantee on nearly all of our sign up options.

18. All of our servers have every security measure we have available to us in place. It is of course in our best interest to keep them as secure as possible, not just for our customers but for our own sake as well. So we have multiple SPAM and Virus protection suites in place, custom API Firewalls, and suPHP encryption to name a few. From a server side standpoint you are very much secure with us.

19. We are available 24/7 by phone, chat, and email.

20. You can upgrade at any time and it is a seamless process. When that time comes you would be upgrading based on whatever the current rate is for the service you are moving to. We do upgrades at a pro-rated cost and by default would use the current billing information on file for you unless you dictate otherwise. You would not need to provide it again.

21. I feel like I have touched on this a bit throughout these answers for you. But there are several things that stand out about us in general. Where most companies fall short is with the tech support and customer service they provide. Those features are actually the biggest reason behind all of the positive reviews we receive here. Our support team is available to you 24/7 by phone, chat, and email and they are all in-house. We do not outsource any work at all. So any time you need assistance you will be able to reach someone right here in this building with me to work with. Also, we design our hosting plans to be as all-inclusive as possible. So nearly every tool and feature we have to provide you is just part of your service with us already without having to worry about adding things to your account and paying extra for them. A lot of hosting companies are set up as “a’ la carte” services. They appear cheap at first and then when you go through the signup process, they end up nickel and diming you until you are paying a lot more than you initially expected.

I hope this information has been helpful, Lorraine! Please feel free to get back in touch with any other questions or concerns that pop up, I am more than happy to further assist you.

When you are ready to get signed up it is much faster to order over the phone with us as all online orders are held up to 30 minutes for verification and also we do call to confirm any order received through our website prior to activating the account. Please feel free to give me a call at 1-888-321-4678, or 757-416-6575 for international customers then option 9, then extension 1125. We can have you setup in 5 minutes and I can also address any more questions you may have. Or if easier you can contact me through chat by simply putting my name into the question line of the chat.

If you prefer to purchase online, using the following link will allow me to make sure your account gets set up correctly as well as give me credit for working with you: http://www.inmotionhosting.com/?intref=shear

Shea Rodrigue
InMotion Hosting
Hosting Sales Specialist
888-321-4678 ext. 1125

I then sent this:

Shea,

Thank you for answering my questions! I appreciate it!

I’d like to obtain your permission to publicly post these answers in an article I’m doing on web-hosting. I may not use them, but if I do, I’d like to be able to. Can you grant me this permission? (It may mean more business for your company.)

I look forward to your positive reply!

Sincerely,

Lorraine Reguly

Shea then wrote back to me:

Hello again Lorraine,

Sure, feel free to do with this information as you need. Are you interested in hosting with us as well or are you just doing some research?

So I wrote to him:

Thanks, Shea. I am doing research in my attempt to make a decision about who I will choose for hosting. I also appreciate that you are going to let me use your answers, and I can send you a link to the article I’m writing once it goes live, if you like.

At this point, I am still undecided on who to choose. I want a Canadian host, I think, and it seems like your company is not one. Please correct me if I am wrong.

Lorraine

Then I was sent this:

Hello again Lorraine,

We are entirely U.S. based at the moment actually. However, the location of your hosting provider plays basically no role in the service you receive. Do you mind my asking why exactly you are looking specifically for a Canadian hosting provider?

So I sent this back:

I want Canadian hosting due to the difference in privacy laws between Canada and the US. I also live in Canada, too, so this just makes sense to me.

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Site5

Site5 seems to be a great company for web hosting. Live chat is available, as are several hosting plans. They offer free site migration and have an easy site builder you can use. They are prompt in replying to their Tweets on Twitter and offer a 45-day money-back guarantee for shared/reseller hosting but only 15 days for virtual servers. Although they have an affiliate program, I didn’t bother signing up for it, although I will admit I looked at their many rules and regulations. Site 5 is an accredited company with the Better Business Bureau (BBB).

They also responded to my letter, and permitted me to post our email exchange:

Greetings Lorraine,

Thank you for contacting Site5.

I will do my best to answer your questions as much as I can.

1. I can confirm that we can fulfill the provided server requirements. We support WordPress and have hundreds (and even thousands) of customers using WordPress with no problems.
2. Yes. You could reach us at +1-888-748-3526 (Toll-Free) or +1-720-545-9093. Our phone support hours are currently Monday – Friday | 10AM – 6PM EST. We are planning to make this 24×7 soon.
3. We actually do not do manual script installs. But we have an automated installation tool which lets you to install hundreds of different scripts including WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, Magento and many others.
4. Unfortunately, we would not be able to provide that extensive support, upgrade of individual WordPress instances is a bit out of our support scope. You would need to keep your instance up-to-date yourself.
5. As may know WordPress itself is a third party tool for ourselves and other extra third party themes, plugins makes things more and more complicated for WordPress problems. What I can tell is, we always will be doing our best to help you with your WordPress related problems but honestly we do not provide a complete WordPress support and cannot guarantee solution for every problem you come across – no hosting company would provide that under normal circumstances.
6. We do backup every single shared account hosted on our servers, whether be a WordPress site or not. Backups are taken daily and the retention period of each backup is 30 days. (So you will be able to restore your account from 30 days ago at anytime.)
7. We are running Linux servers.
8. As Site5, we have been in this business for about 15 years now. Site5 was first founded in 1999. You could learn more about our company and management team at http://www.site5.com/about/.

9. As Site5, we are working with tens of different facilities around the world. There are currently 21 available service locations in 21 different cities, 9 countries and 5 continents. You could have a look at http://www.site5.com/about/server-locations/ to learn more about our locations.

10. As a new user, you are eligible to get your first month for free! Simply use the coupon code FREETRIAL to benefit from this offer. Details athttp://www.site5.com/about/coupons-and-specials/.

11. All of our servers feature gigabit uplinks – that means 1Gbps port speed, in other words up to 125MB/sec data transfer speed, theoretically. However, this of course is not the guaranteed speed but you will be able to use your connection fully most of the time, with no limitations.
12. Yes we do allow/provide FTP access with every account.
13. Yes, website statistics is provided for free and this will be available on your control panel at anytime.
14. We have hundreds of servers and it’s quite difficult for us to provide a certain total uptime value based on these statistics because there are lots of factors. We do publicly publish our uptime values for each of our servers and these can be found at http://www.site5.com/support/uptime/. As Site5, we guarantee a 99.9% uptime backed up by pro-rated service credit. Details can be found at http://www.site5.com/about/guarantees/.
15. The exact specifications of each server varies based on many factors so I would not be able to give exact specifications but I can tell that our servers feature at least Intel Xeon(E5XX or new E5 series) Processors with at least 8 GB of RAM and at least 1-2 TB disk space on RAID arrays. The number of customers put on a server also varies and there is no certain number I could provide for this.
16. We are headquartered in Denver, CO – US. We have support staff from all over the world. All of our team members are 100% dedicated Site5 employees and we are not outsourced.
17. For cancellations, we only require a cancellation request/form to be submitted which can be found easily on your customer panel once signed up.
18. There is no contracts involved – you are free to cancel your service at anytime after signing up.
18. Security is a very extensive field. For such a question, I would ask what type of security are we talking about by site security? As Site5, we pay extreme attention to our environment’s security and have many in-place measures. These security measures are generally server-wide and not account specific. So no matter what we do, the scripts, tools you use on your website may cause security problems for your website if they are not secure enough and that would be something out of our control, completely. If you are looking for an account specific security solution, we have a Malware Protection service which is an extra service provided at a charge. You could learn more about this service at http://kb.site5.com/security/malware-protection/.
19. Yes our support department is available 24/7/365.
20. Upgrading with Site5 is a very easy process. We strive ourselves to make everything easy, understandable. Should you need an upgrade, we will handle it for you, will take every step needed. For regular upgrades, yes you will need to prove your account ownership as this involves billing. In some cases, we do upgrade our customer’s accounts on our own(of course we do let them know prior to this) if we think it is really necessary – this happens very rare and applies only to accounts that are causing serious problems for other customers on a shared web server(we call these forced upgrades). Normally no discounts are applied on upgrades, but of course you will be getting your credit for the remaining time of your previous service. Also, for instance if a forced upgrade took place, we are providing the first month for free.
21. Why Site5? That was the easiest question! ->http://www.site5.com/about/why-site5/

I hope I was able to answer/explain your questions clearly – as you would expect.

If there is anything else I can help you with and/or if you have any/other questions please let me know and I will be more than happy to help/answer!

Thanks,
Mustafa Bacak
Technical Support Specialist, Site5.com

I then sent this email:

Thank you for your feedback. I am looking for Canadian hosting, and it seems that you are not one. I’d like to ask your permission, however, to be able to publish your answers in a blog post that I am writing about web hosting. Perhaps your answers will benefit someone who is considering you. Is it okay to do this?

I am looking forward to your reply.

Thanks again!

Lorraine

I got this reply:

Hello Lorraine,

You’re very welcome. Please feel free to use my message on your blog. I just hope this does not only help yourself but also helps anyone who’s looking for a new hosting company and/or looking to gather some information about Site5 – and that just makes me happy, thank you.

I see that you are looking for a Canadian company – considering the fact that I have informed you about our multiple service locations including 3 cities in Canada and you are still looking for a Canadian provider, I would say you are looking for a company based in Canada – am I correct? If your only concern is to be able to host your website on a Canada located server, you could achieve that with us – please do not hesitate to give us a try!

Please let us know if there is anything we can help you with.

Thanks,
Mustafa Bacak
Technical Support Specialist, Site5.com

I emailed him back with this:

Thanks for giving me your permission to use your answers. I will send you the link to the post when it is published.

While I don’t think I am going to be using your company, I will mention that you answer your Tweets in a very timely manner. I was impressed by that.

Sincerely,

Lorraine

A different person answered:

Hi Lorraine,

Thank you for getting back to us and for the nice feedback! 😀

Please do not forget to update us once the post is published, we are really eager to see it.

Meanwhile, if you have any more questions/concerns, please do not hesitate to contact us. We’re 24/7 here to serve you!

Thanks,
Nuri Gunay
Technical Support Specialist, Site5.com

I then sent them this:

While you have servers in Canada, you are a US-based company and so are subject to the privacy laws of the United States, regardless of where my hosting would take place (in Canada or the US) and so I regret to inform you that I will not be choosing your company for my hosting needs.

However, I will definitely send you the link to my post once it is published.

Thank you for your time.

Sincerely,

Lorraine

They then sent:

Hi Lorraine,

Thank you for your appreciation and if you ever in need of hosting outside of Canada we are here 24/7 and always happy to assist. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact our team.

Thanks,

Bogdan Stratulat

screenshot of Twitter conversation

screenshot of Twitter conversation, part two


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WebHostingCanada

WebHostingCanada aka NewMedia would not give me permission to reprint their answers, so I’ll simply summarize a few main points and tell you that their telephone support is available from 9AM EST to 9PM EST, which, to me, is not enough! They are a Canadian web hosting company who offers a 20% discount for as long as you keep your account, however, and seem to be a good choice if tech support is not one of your issues, and you don’t mind paying $50/hour for help, not to mention that they only take weekly and not daily backups of your site. Ugh. They also offer live chat, but I think they outsource their support. I surmised this from a conversation I had with someone during a live chat session. What I liked was that, when the chat was over, I had the option of having a transcript of the chat sent to me by email. I decided to take advantage of this option, so that I would have proof of my own of the incompetence of the “assistance” I was given. This company offers attractive hosting packages at affordable rates, and even offers discounted prices, but do not offer free migration for an existing site; they charge about fifty bucks. They also charge $75 per hour for other “support” services. Because they are based in Quebec, they also have a bilingual website (English and French options).

Here is the transcription of our chat. I have to admit, I was tired and got a bit snooty with the poor person on the other end. You may find it entertaining. I’m sure Taruna did not.

Taruna has joined the chat.

Taruna: Hello

Lorraine Reguly: I have a few questions about getting set up.

Taruna: Yes

Lorraine Reguly: I’d like to know how to set up a new website but not have it “published” (available to the public) until I customize it. It will be a WordPress site. Can you tell me what I need to do?

Lorraine Reguly: Do you know?

Taruna: can you please confirm the domain name with us

Lorraine Reguly: I have not bought it yet. I’m going to buy it when I buy hosting. I just want to know what to expect. Can you help me?

Taruna: You can installed wordpress using our cpanel and configure your website

Lorraine Reguly: Don’t I have to put up an “under construction” page or something?

Taruna: No it will automatic take default page

Lorraine Reguly: I don’t know what this means…

Taruna: After installation of wordpress through cpanel it will default install index page

Lorraine Reguly: so then what do I do to make it public when I am ready?

Taruna: You want to publish your website worldwide ?

Lorraine Reguly: Yes

Taruna: You can purchase hosting plan with us so that you can publish your website

Lorraine Reguly: That was not my question.

Lorraine Reguly: Are you Canadian?

Lorraine Reguly: You don’t seem to understand English very well.

Taruna: Please mail us at [email protected] so that you will get details

Lorraine Reguly: No. I would like answers right now

Taruna: May I know exact changes you want to do

Lorraine Reguly: I want to get a domain name and hosting but be able to customize my site before it goes live. Then I want to know how to make it go live after I have imported my old site into it.

Taruna: For this please mail us so that our developer team assists you better way and check changes

Lorraine Reguly: You are not being helpful. Tell me, do you live in Canada? I do not want to deal with someone who does not know the language here.

Taruna: I apologize for inconvenience caused to you

Taruna: as this is sales chat , if you mail us then our admin explain you in details

Taruna: Before your site get live

Taruna: you can view it through temporary link after purchase hosting plan

Lorraine Reguly: Okay.

Taruna: Is there anything else I can help you with ?

Lorraine Reguly: No, thanks.

Disconnected by the visitor. Chat session has ended.
=== ===

Warm regards,

Taruna

Web Hosting Canada
http://whc.ca | 1-888-545-3942

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Final Words

This is a lot of information to digest in one sitting. It took me about three weeks to put this guide together, from initial research to organizing to customizing to completion. (Phew. I’m exhausted!) The great thing about writing this web hosting guide was that I taught myself some html code (so you could jump around from place to place using the handy links)! It is my hope that this will serve you well and shed some light on the many different web hosting companies and options available to you.

Feel free to share this web hosting guide with your friends, comment on it, and refer to it often. Everything in this guide is 100% true and comes from a trustworthy source (me!) so I truly do hope you find it useful when you are making your all-important decision on who to choose for your web-hosting company.

Good luck with your future websites – and web hosts – and see you again soon!

Oh, FYI, you can find out who is behind almost any website by entering the URL of the site here.

PS. I if you choose Canspace, Bluehost, or GreenGeeks, I’ll earn a small commission for referring you to them. I know you’ll be as happy with them as I am!

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[go back to the beginning of this guide]>

Got a question or comment? I’d love to hear from you.

22 thoughts on “An Informative Web Hosting Guide (to help you make that all-important decision)

  1. Mark smith says

    everything is described in the brief in this article containing loads of information and the content which is helpful in many ways to decide which is good hosting service.
    Really great post, Thank you for sharing This knowledge.Excellently written article, if only all bloggers offered the same level of content as you, the internet would be a much better place

  2. I am new to blogging and still learning many things. This article clears lots of my doubts about hosting a website.

    Some of the web hosting companies you mentioned in your article are new to me. It looks an old article, which hosting company you are with right now.

  3. Maria Loranger says

    Hi Lorraine,

    Just happened on this guide to web hosting companies and had to drop you a line to congratulate you. You did an amazing job. I’m looking to change my current host and you did the work for me!
    I’d like to ask you if you are still happy with Abivia now that you’ve been with them for a few months?
    Thank you,
    Maria

    • says

      Maria, it’s funny you should ask if I am happy with my choice, because I’m currently working on a post that praises Alan Langford, the owner of Abivia! I’m very impressed with the service I’ve received. I am not very techie and so Alan has gone above and beyond for me, assisting me with plugins, offering advice, securing my site, etc. I can rave about this guy and his company all day!

      I also love the personal attention; I don’t have to go through hoops to reach him or get help from an employee who doesn’t know how to solve my problems. I haven’t had very many, but I’ve had a couple of techie issues that he has solved for me (I also don’t know too many techie people to ask, either, so he has been kind of my go-to guy.)

      They also offer an affiliate program, like many companies do, and so if you DO decide to sign up with them, I sure would appreciate it if you did so through my affiliate link, which is https://my.abivia.net/aff.php?aff=005 because I will get a reduction on my hosting costs in February when it’s time for me to renew my plan.

      I can say, with the utmost confidence, that you will NOT regret going with Abivia. I love them!

      I hope this helps to allay some of your doubts, Maria. 🙂

  4. web hosting dubai says

    Thanks a lot Nanda! I am quite pleased to say thank you to you as I have found the right web hosting service here in Dubai for my business. Was a problem before but now I am set to go 🙂 I hope I have linked to their website correctly

  5. Nanda Rahmanius says

    Hi Lorraine,

    The first thing I can say, this is the longest article I have ever read. With tips as many of these, I’m sure, a lot of your readers will find a webhost that is suitable for them. And I also hope that you also find the right web host for you, Lorraine 🙂

    Thanks for sharing these helpful tips. I hope you have a nice weekend ahead.

    Regards,
    Nanda
    Nanda Rahmanius recently posted…Great Affiliate Marketing Tips To Generate More Sales

  6. Raspal Seni says

    Hi Lorraine,

    *PHEW* I would say! Such a super long blog post, but a nice guide for newbies to select a webhost. You may want to make this guide into an e-book and give away for free download. Just a thought. Thanks a ton for this guide and taking the time to compile it.

    I didn’t know about many of the webhosts in the list probably because some of these are Canadian hosts. I did the same thing as you did here – test a few hosts for tech suppor/presales support. Out of this list, I had tried Inmotion and Site5 and surely these are nice webhosts to host with. Shea was the person who came in contact with me too.

    I have jumped from one to another webhost, the last few months till the one I use now – HawkHost. About 6 webhosts including HostGator. I asked for advice on web hosting forums and HawkHost was the one mentioned by many, so I tested their sales and support before finally moving my blogs to them. Also got a 50% BF discount. Since then, have received excellent and quick support from them.

    I’m quite good at tech so my questions were very different, but this post was very interesting and I read it almost twice- once on my laptop and later from this mobile. By the end, I was so tired, I didn’t post a comment last night.

    This post also inspired/gave me an idea about a future post/guide for my blog. I’d like to provide some deeper insights, which you missed here. Nothing wrong with your post, though – it’s fine from a newbie’s perspective.

    So, did you move your blogs to Abivia, or not yet? If you wish, I’ll help you with the move. I know you have two other blogs too, one on weebly.

    BTW, thanks to Chitraparna for a retweet about this post, or I wouldn’t have known about it.

    • says

      Thank you for your comment. Many of my readers are “newbie bloggers” because I met a lot of them on WordPress.com and so the majority of my blogging tips are for these people. I’m now more involved with authors and writers, as I’m working on a couple of books.

      I thought about the free ebook idea, too; thank you for that suggestion. I don’t think it would be a good idea for this site, though. I’m actually thinking about giving my ebook, 20 Blog Post Must-Haves away for free (with a subscription) but I have not set that up yet through Aweber. This is the site I moved already; it used to be called Lorraine Reguly’s Life. (Ha.)

      When deciding upon a move, I wanted my new site to be niche-specific, and because I am a freelance writer and editor, I went with Wording Well. It suits me, don’t you think?

      I’m very happy with Abivia. The help I’ve received about little techie details has been superb. Truly. Alan Langford is great, with a capital G. Great, I tell you!

      Now what kind of deeper insights did I miss? I’m really curious, so please tell me!

      • Raspal Seni says

        I too am connected to a lot of authors, writers and bloggers, if you see my Twitter profile. Newbie writers and bloggers will always be there, so this post can always help them in the right direction.

        Also, nice to see you learned the ”page jump” or the inline-page links. If not the e-book, I’d suggest you break this guide into 9 (or whatever the number of webhosts you wrote about) posts. A series of posts, containing links to all the other ones in the series. That would be manageable and easier to read and load too. Anyway, your choice.

        Yes, Wording Well suits you, no doubt. You brainstormed a lovely tagline too, with lots of words starting with a W. I’d even suggest using ”Works Wonders” instead of ”Happens”, so the whole tagline has W words. 🙂 That could make people think, you’re really a well full of superb words, which, undoubtedly you are. I’ve read your guest post on dearblogger and your writer site on weebly too.

        With deeper insights, what I meant was to have some practical review of these hosts and include things like uptime (lots of webhosts say they are up 99.9% of the time, but in practical, things are different). You can know these things only when you host with them. I’m saying this from my bad experience with 6 webhosts last year. Site5 gives a one-month free trial account, so you can test them but with others, you can’t do this type of testing and review without paying for one month. I’d however love a detailed review of Abivia after you use them for a month and get tech support a couple of times.

        P.S. Below the ”post comment” button, I see two checkboxes for the same thing. One says ”Confirm you are NOT a spammer”, the next one says ”Check to confirm you are not a spammer”. The second one already has the checkbox checked. Please check your G.A.S.P plugin settings.

        • says

          Raspal, I purposely chose “where weaving words with wisdom happens!” for my tagline due to the 5 Ws and H. (Recall the 5 Ws and H are: who, what, where, when, why, and how.) I thought it was kinda clever. 😉

          As for the settings on CommentLuv, would you mind telling me if the problem has been rectified? I’ve looked into this, and tried to fix it.

          I appreciate your suggestion for splitting the guide into sections, but I’m going to leave it the way it is. I WILL be writing a review of Abivia, though, so stay tuned! 🙂

          Thanks for the feedback; I appreciate it!

          • Raspal Seni says

            I didn’t even think about what the 5 Ws and H meant. Thanks for telling. Very nice 🙂
            BTW, WordingWell also means you word (write) well, and a well full of words. Sweet and double meaning, very intelligently chosen! 🙂

            It’s not Commentluv but an option from your G.A.S.P. plugin (Growmap Anti-Spambot Plugin). But, I’m not seeing the second checkbox when reading/commenting using my laptop – only see it when using my mobile. So, this could be some problem with your mobile theme too or the mobile options if your “Future” theme has it.

            Can’t say exactly which of these is causing the problem unless you try disabling the above two plugins one by one and then check using your mobile. First check with your mobile phone if you too get the two checkboxes below the comment form.

            I also wonder why my latest blog post link doesn’t display on my comments above, whereas Greg’s and yours do. Strange. No big deal, so don’t worry much.
            Raspal Seni recently posted…How to Keep Your WordPress Contact Form Spam free?

  7. Chitraparna Sinha says

    Lorraine,

    This is by far the most extensive guide on web hosting ever, at least to me. I can just imagine the time you spent in preparing this amazing guide.

    Most of the web hosting are new to me. I have heard of InMotion hosting but never tried. I did use BlueHost in 2011-12 but had to switch due to blog uptime problems.

    Excellent resource.
    Chitraparna Sinha recently posted…Will Co-Citation be the next Anchor Text and Replace Guest Blogging?

    • says

      This literally took weeks to make. Believe me, if I could sell this, I would! It was a huge investment of time, but I was researching hosts anyway, so I decided to go the extra step and write about my findings to save others (especially newbies) the time and trouble. I’m just helpful that way. Needless to say, I’m sure glad it’s done!

      The trickiest part was trying to wrap my head around the whole “page jump” notion. I’ve seen them used and thought they were cool, but until I wrote this guide, I had no idea what they were called or even how to insert them. As someone who does not understand code, it was an experience. But I love how the guide turned out! I’d do another, easily on another topic, if someone wanted me to (for pay*). 😉

      (*Hint to all companies out there looking for a writer!)

    • says

      Thank you, Ashley! I love the internal links and think they enhance this guide so much.
      So far, I am very happy with my host and the service I’ve received. Alan Langford (Abivia’s owner) is one smart man, indeed, and helped me with several things, including showing me how to code my “click to Tweet” boxes!

      • says

        I was new to using a website to promote my business online. MidiTech helped me with the set up and hosting. I have been using their services now for almost 2 years. They offer the most cost effective and professional support. In fact, technical help is available 24 hours a day with minimal downtime! Kudos to these guys! I am all set to use them for my next venture as well.

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