AlphaBlossom’s website recently underwent a complete makeover. We’re calling it a “soft launch” while we work out the final bugs and details, to be followed by a major launch party, champagne, confetti…the whole works! Well, maybe not that much, but we’ll definitely write an article explaining why we made the changes we did, as well as how we designed and developed our new site (built using WordPress and the Genesis Framework).
A major part of our relaunch is web hosting. We’ve been with Hostgator for quite some time, and it’s been our number one web host recommendation for our budget conscious clients. During our redesign we made the decision to move to a new web hosting provider.
So why did we break up with Hostgator, and who is our new web host of choice?
My Decision To Leave Hostgator
Let me start by saying that I don’t hate Hostgator. I still have websites hosted with them (with no plans on changing), and many of my clients are still hosted with them. I will still recommend them if a client is looking for budget hosting. I’m still comfortable sharing my Hostgator affiliate link (which earns a referral fee at no extra cost to you), and they’re still listed on our Resources page.
The number one reason I decided to move my website to another host?
If you pay peanuts, you get monkeys.
There. I said it. You get what you pay for. Hostgator is an inexpensive host that provides a lot of bang for the buck. You can often find sales on Hostgator hosting for 75% off.
Their “Baby Plan” (now 20% off at $6.36/month – often times much cheaper) offers unlimited websites, unlimited bandwidth, unlimited databases, unlimited disk space, all for…cheap.
It’s a good deal for solid hosting…as long as you have realistic expectations.
Recently Hostgator was bought out by EIG. EIG is the parent company of over 60 hosting companies, including Bluehost which I also sometimes recommend. Since their takeover of Hostgator, there have been several major outages, and more minor outages.
I’ve had websites (my own and my clients’) down for an entire weekend, and other times for several hours at a time. This has not been an issue before the buyout, but after the buyout Hostgator made some major changes to their data centers and many people experienced, and continue to experience outages.
Another reason is the increasing amount of popups and emails trying to sell you something. Every time I log into my Hostgator admin panel, I’m bombarded with popups. It’s just plain annoying.
After my fifth outage in a few months, I decided to stop complaining about it and do something…I made the decision to move our website. As our traffic continues to grow, and our visitors engage more with our new site (newsletter signups, contacting us for web development, etc), it’s become much more important for us to have a secure, reliable and fast web host.
So I still like Hostgator, I just have higher expectations that need to be met so I’ve decided on a new host for this website.
Why We Chose SiteGround Web Hosting
After carefully reviewing several candidates, we decided to switch to SiteGround for our web hosting needs.
Siteground has custom shared WordPress Managed Hosting plans from $3.95/month to $15.95/month (currently promoted as 50% to 60% discount):
- StartUp – $3.95/month. 60% off of the regular $9.95/month
- GrowBig – $7.95/month. 50% off of the regular $14.95/month
- GoGeek – $14.95/month. 50% off of the regular $29.95/month
The StartUp plan pricing compares very favorably to most budget host plans, but you can only host a single website, along with 10GB of web space and approximately 10,000 visitors a month (more than enough for most websites).
The GrowBig plan allows unlimited web sites, with 20GB of web space and up to 20,000 visitors a month.
We opted for the GoGeek plan, which allows 30GB of web space and up to 100k visitors a month. The GoGeek plan also offers some really cool features that are hard to find with other hosts:
- Improved server infrastructure with less users, resulting in more speed and power
- PCI compliance for eCommerce websites
- One-click staging allows you to instantly clone your website so you’ll have a copy to make changes to. If you decide to keep those changes, another click will push your changes to your live site! No more editing your live site!
- Git Pre-Installed – if you want to use the GIT version control with your WordPress site, the SiteGround GIT tool will allow you to create and destroy repos with a single click.
- Improved WordPress Security – Not only our serves are configured to provide the most secured hosting service for WordPress but our team of experts is constantly monitoring and adding new rules to our state-of-the-art application layer firewall that acts as a shield against WordPress vulnerabilities protecting even vulnerable installations.
- WordPress SuperCacher – our in-house built Varnish-powered dynamic caching system (available on GoGeek) will skyrocket the performance of your website!
It’s only been a couple of weeks since we made the move, but we’ve been thrilled with the changes!
We’ll be writing an article soon to go into more detail about the GoGeek features and benefits. Check back soon, or enter your email here to get free updates by email:
The Bottom Line
If you have a website that doesn’t have too many visitors, you’re not dependent on it for income, and understand that you get what you pay for, look into Hostgator or Bluehost. They’re good hosts that give you a lot for a low price.
If you’re serious about your online presence and take your website seriously, it’s time to look for a premium host that delivers premium reliability, premium security, premium support and premium features! If this is you, go to SiteGround right now and sign up for your premium plan!