Don’t want to be fooled choosing a web host?

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Top web hosting - Google inside, fools outside

Don’t trust Google about top web hosts

Choosing a web host may be a quest and a challenge. The prize is a zen – your peace of mind based on a reliable hosting. I’ll share with you my way to it. And if you think that this zen is awaiting for you by simply Google’s top search results for “Top web hosting” query, then it is far not zen but just a beginning of the way to it. And don’t be fooled on your way!

Web hosting zen is behind the curtains of search engines lures. You are welcome to explore the way to the best website hosting and then come back to say what you think in the comments below.


  1. Good post. It is useful for me to know more details about web hosting

  2. Yes sure plz i expect more information about web host from you. I appreciate your effort. Thank you.

  3. Newbie here, thanks for the research , it is matter if web server close to the website visit area right , I can’t seem to find ant list that show web hosting server location, Actually I ‘m looking web hosting that have server close to SF BayArea, CA, any list suggestions ?

    • Hey Joe,

      Location matters a bit, but it’s not the first factor that should be taken into consideration when choosing a web hosting provider.

      Ideally, the closer location, the quicker ping. But it’s just one of the factors for your website download speed. Far more important factor is web hosting overloading and overall proper server management.

      For instance, close server location can give you an advantage of less than a second or so.
      But correct server management of your hosting can give you a faster speed by several seconds and much more uptime in general.

      Moreover, if you have a typical website or blog (and not sort of multimedia storage), server location is not that important as reliable web hosting.

      For example, my website is hosted on the cheapest shared plan in the good hosting company in Europe, although most visitors are from US. But when I compare my site speed with many others hosted in US or wherever, I see that my site is faster than most of other websites.

      So my advice is simply ignore the server location, but focus on choosing a good hosting company first of all. And if there’s a choice of server locations in the hosting company of your choice, then that’s great – ask the hosting provider for advice and they’ll recommend the server for you.

  4. Hi Michael, Thanks for sharing your thoughts here, its quiet effective to taking the right decision when someone choose a reliable web host. i really appreciate.

  5. Michael, you want to check out the ASO Christmas present it has given to its customers. 6 days of downtime and some still offline. Plus as much BS as you can eat. Mass exodus from EIG ASO. See twitter.

  6. Margaret Bartley says:

    The information I’m looking for isn’t here, at least I can’t find it. I really appreciate the work you’ve done, it will help some, but I need to know things like what databases do they support, what languages do they support? I”m a small user, looking for both an Access database and also a PHP- MySQL. I’d also like to be able to offer streaming downloads to a small group of family members for family videos. Plus, I’d like to have password-protectored directories. I don’t need all this in one website, I have six right now, for different purposes.

    I’m using OneAndOne. It is slow, but their tech support is 24/7 (an important detail you should include in your reviews) Their online documentation about how to set things up is really bad, although the last time I used it, it seemed better than before. I have to call every time I need to do anything. And they keep changing the way the administrative site is organized, so even if I think I know how to do something, I still have to call.

    Fortunately, they hire smart people who listen, whose accents are fairly undetstandable – NONE OF WHICH are universal qualities in shared web hosts, and are as important in a comparison as the amount of data that can be downloaded.

    Anyway, just some feedback.


    • Thanks Margaret, but your comment seems like a… hmm… a little bit of 1-and-1 ad 🙂

    • Anyway, if you need MS Access, you need Windows hosting. Have a look at LiquidWeb.
      Php-mysql is a standard things for all Linux-based shared hosting (by default any hosting you can find out there is Linux-based)
      Streaming downloads – you need to contact each host with this query. However, usually for streaming video/audio, you need something more than shared hosting (a VPS or a dedicated server). On the other hand, if you need to deal with just small videos, then different extensions such as may be sufficient for you.
      As regards supporting languages, if you mean technical support, then for specific languages you better find a host in a specific country.
      Hope it helps.

  7. Mark Cohen says:

    HI Michael,

    We had a staffer who was very keen on bluehost, and we were seriously considering them, but went with a small local provider. They are not great, but sounds like we dodged a bigger bullet. I guess they were decent until they sold out.
    I’ve had my client sites on 1an1 for a decade, and they are reliable if nothing else, but agree with one of the commenters that they now seem to be competing with godaddy for worst CP ever.
    In any event, thank you for doing this work! I’ve been increasingly hesitant about recommending 1and1, but you’re my go-to guy from now on!

    • Thank you Mark for your comment and kind words.

      Indeed small providers may be very good choice because of their really great attitude and unparalleled quality of hosting because they want to stand out.

      And in order to do so they need to offer something really outstanding. But as you correctly noticed, it may go downhill once it’s sold out. That’s the risk with small or young hosting providers.

      I’ve used more than one hundred hosts for my projects. And a part of the hosts were young hosts which were not bad at first (considering their very low prices!), but after some time after getting more clients they were sold out and outages started over-flooding.

      Probably it was the initial idea of creating such hosts to gain clients and be sold out. Anyway, hosting business is quite competing. And maintaining a good quality for a long time is possible not just thanks to a good business strategy but also thanks to a sort of way of business ethics when a hosting owner does not care only of income.

      So, I recommend hosts which are already established, and are great in both hosting quality and business ethics for different pricing categories. I pick out the best ones in the different hosting segments.

      Moreover, recently (since Feb ’16) I’ve launched a hosting monitoring project where I anonymously monitor performance of the hosts. You are welcome to to keep an eye on it!

      Thanks again for your voice!

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