Bleg: Time To Find A New Webhost

I know, I know. We asked you back in June for suggestions for a new webhost, and many of you kindly responded in comments or emails and tweets, and we haven't moved yet.

But now the frequent outages are making me more stabby. Time to pull the trigger on this thing.

If anyone has anything to add to what they said before, or if anyone didn't get a chance to recommend a host before, your suggestion will be much appreciated.

I want something that is reliable (doesn't go down all the time, whether during surges of traffic or not), something that is relatively easy to use, and something that makes WordPress updates and installs easy.


Last 5 posts by Ken White


  1. says

    > more stabby. Time to pull the trigger on this thing.

    Jeez, what a culture of violence you've got going on here.

    Someone oughta call in a drone strike on you to stop the hate!

  2. says

    Three suggestions:;;

    I use the latter two; a very good friend uses the first. Any minor problems we've had have been resolved in minutes, or an hour or two, tops. Those problems have not included outages, because we haven't had them.

  3. says

    Stay away from directnic. Multiple downtime incidents, one for two days and a server crash lost several days of my blog posts.

    I've been with A2 Hosting for a year or so now (at TJIC's suggestion, if I recall) and have been pretty happy. Only one significant downtime that I can recall.

  4. says

    I've been very happy using for my blog and website needs for the last few years: they're both cheaper and much more helpful/responsive than the Canadian ISPs I'd been using before.

    I installed and maintain WordPress myself, but I believe they now offer other options than they did when I first signed up with them.

  5. says

    EC2 is not exactly for the neophyte. Unless you have solid knowledge of a UNIX command line, stay away. Our firm's sites are with Site5 – they are very affordable and stable, and have great support.

  6. Johnny Sheeley says

    AWS has some nice wordpress solutions on their marketplace – totally worth checking out. Feel free to e-mail me or tweet me if you want technical help!

  7. says

    I can't find our internal discussions right now, but I'm pretty sure we ruled Amazon out. David and to a lesser extent myself can move about in a Unix environs (or quickly get up to speed in such). We could teach Ken to do this, but we estimate it'll cost us a year and a day + quite a bit of electricity. To say nothing of the toll taken on Ken's physical and mental well being.

    Whatever we settle on needs to have a good management interface, because we can't always have someone technically inclined to help out. And because life is too short to put up with software that isn't dead-simple to use.

  8. Jake says

    I recommend – I use them personally for the several sights I manage. They get fantastic reviews, mostly because their customer service is excellent. I've never had any issues with down time, but then again my sites combined wouldn't get as much traffic as yours does – I'd suggest sending an email and asking about how well they handle spikes and what plan they would recommend based on your needs (the Owner/CEO sometimes answers tech-support emails, which is interesting). I know for a fact that they are not the cheapest out there, but I find their customer service and quality to be worth every penny.

    As to WordPress – they do have "Fantastico" (lets you automatically install WordPress and other software). However, why not just backup the current site and it's database, then transfer it all to the new host? WordPress handles it's own updates, so that shouldn't be an issue with any host.

  9. says

    I use Fluid Hosting ( — kind of. They bought out part of the company I'd been hosting through for about five years, Steadfast Networks. I've never had any trouble with downtime or speed issues, but I'm not exactly running a high profile site.

    If their shared hosting uses the same control panels that I use as having been grandfathered in from Steadfast, I highly recommend it. They do have an auto-installing WordPress, but I think it's an old version and I had to manually install my own, but it didn't require any tinkering outside of FTP and a browser. They also have have a number of other self-installing scripts. You'd probably have to touch base with them to see whether it's he same backend is used by new customers, or if it's available on a dedicated server (if that's the route you take).

    If you guys would like to see the backend and toy around with it (PUN NOT INTENDED), I'd be happy to set you up with a username and password if you email me.

  10. says

    Yeah, the "something that makes WordPress updates and installs easy" is just Ken showing he's a newb. We're not concerned about updating WordPress.

    We are concerned about being able to handle 250,000 hits in a single day, in case that ever happens again.

  11. says been on them since early spring, haven't been down yet and the techsupport guys have been great. Haven't had a single problem with installing updates to WordPress either. Disclaimer: if you click through the link on my blog to sign up I might make a penny or two!

  12. says

    I've been using HostGator for years now after trying others. I recently took my six WordPress sites to a single VPS server at Hostgator and once I've figured out the VPS stuff it will be even better. Excellent 24/7/365 support with Hostgator. I am an affiliate, but no link here, just go to the site.

  13. James C says

    I personally use Rackspace (they bought Slicehost), and they have a similar "Cloud" solution to Amazon, and you can be as hands-on or hands-off as you like with them. I've been quite happy with their service and customer support. They even have WordPress-specific hosting solutions, but will tailor it to your needs. Is three nines good enough?

  14. Phil says

    I would recommend for the blog, but it sounds like you need VPS-level access and forum hosting as well (and I assume you don't want to try to host the forum separately.) has reasonably priced VPSs with good support. Although depending on how much you're relying on a non-tech person (i.e. Ken) to do with the system, it might not be easy enough. They have a fairly simple interface to manage account settings, although not quite as pretty as Dreamhost.

    Whichever host you decide on, I'd recommend setting up Cloudflare to help handle the load. And keep your Dreamhost account for the domain name – at $10/year with free WHOIS masking, it's the best deal around.

  15. says

    I'll second the recommendation for I've been using their shared hosting solution for years. They're pretty small and therefore flexible, and they don't freak out about occasional bandwidth spikes, although your spikes are bigger than any of mine.

  16. Bruce says

    I think you will need to screen your candidates and ask them bluntly – can you handle our site getting a link from The Oatmeal or @stephenfry or other similar traffic tsunami generators.

  17. says

    If you really don't care about "easy Dreamhost-like WordPress installs"…

    I've read (and heard) very good reviews of Linode VPS Hosting. Marco Arment (who ran Tumblr and has a high-volume blog that gets links from Daring Fireball regularly) swears by them, for one.

  18. Patrick says

    I'll recommend staying away from Downtown Host. –I was with them for a couple of years, and I got tired of unexplained downtime happening at least a couple of times a month.

    Since you're already running WordPress, consider just going with and let them handle the hard work. –It may cost $10-$20/month, but if it means very little downtime, it's probably worth it.

  19. TheGeek says

    As much as I like WP I think you might be better off dumping WordPress and going with SquareSpace, because of it's virtual server model it can better handle sites that get blitzed on a semi-regular basis.

  20. bvierra says

    What about using directly? I know the people that are behind it also do (which does TED, CNN, Time, etc) but for much smaller sites and it runs like $100/yr. I hear HostGator is much better than when I used to be an exec there, but I also hear they still shut you off with no warning and there is no way to dispute. I also would not recommend 1&1, far too many horror stories there.

    I personally run all my own sites on VPS' so I would recommend the EC2 platform for ease of use, but it is a lil pricey. Rackspace will be your best bet for support / performance, however they are also on the pricey side.

    I was in the hosting industry for many years (finally broke out of it a few years back, YAY) so if you want any help with it just shoot me an e-mail, you should have it :)

  21. Matt says

    Might I suggest aGandi VPS? Gandi is a French company, I've been a customer of theirs for years for domain registration, they have had outstanding customer support and the only major issue I've had with their service was promptly forwarded to their development team and fixed.

  22. jb says

    I used for a site for a year, and it was top-notch compared to others that I've used. And it was focused on wordpress, which made the whole process very easy.

  23. says

    Hi Ken – I'm an engineer for Applied Innovations ( – We do quite a bit of WordPress based hosting, have management packages, support over phone email and chat 24×7, and enough resources to allow you to rapidly scale as you continue to grow (infrastructure in Tier IV data centers with multi-carrier redundancy means no power failures and we don't run out of bandiwidth). Give us a call – a lot of performance issues can take place at the application level, where adding additional RAM and CPU cores won't resolve the issue. We will spend the extra time with you to figure out what will work for you. Anyway, I'm not a sales rep for Applied, but I am a regular reader and it would be great to work with you!

  24. angstela says

    Well if it's not too late, we've been using since 2000 with only a very small smattering of issues we've ever had to contact them about. They're all about connectivity redundancy, and despite their location, they had no downtime for 9-11, or Sandy, which amazed me in both cases (that is, right now they're running on generators and have been since last night). Status reports:

    I've only ever been their customer; I don't know them or get anything by recommending them. :)