Your web hosting matters.
Hosting affects page loading time, search rankings, visitor experience, ease of website management, updating and reliability. It affects your bottom line.
Getting the wrong hosting can sabotage your Google rankings, annoy your visitors, waste your advertising dollars, and leave your website entangled in tricky technical problems that need time and money to resolve properly.
My Hosting Rules of Thumb
Website hosting is a topic for a book all to itself but here are my rules of thumb that might help when choosing a hosting provider.
My Hosting Recommendations
After decades of experience and working with hundreds of different websites on many different hosting companies, here is my #1 web hosting recommendation for SMEs in 2018.
Note: before I get to that, I want to state that some of the links on this page are affiliate links – that means I get a small commission payment if a new customer signs up through our link. That said, I only recommend products that I use or have thoroughly researched.
My credibility online means everything to me and I take my responsibility when making recommendations to businesses very seriously. For any affiliate links, I reviews and recommendation in good faith.
Who I Use and Recommend
If you’re starting out and not sure where to start, get “Shared Hosting” from a high quality hosting provider. Here’s the one I recommend first: SiteGround.
WebsiteDoctor.com is hosted at SiteGround and they’ve been absolutely awesome. They’re based in the EU, and have some servers worldwide so are suitable for US customers too. They have great prices, services and support, a friendly control panel, and easy to use, free, SSL security certificates. Highly, highly recommended. Yes, that is an affiliate link and I’m happy to recommend them without reservation. They will migrate your website for free, and without hassle (they do around 100 website migrations per day).
I also recommend Blacknight (also based in the EU). They are Ireland’s #1 host. They have great support, and are based on the east coast of Ireland, and as far as I know, they are the only Irish-owned hosting company who have their own datacentre. They follow technology closely, staying up to date with new developments, and are a solid, reliable choice for Irish businesses.
Customer Testimonials and Speed Tests
Here’s what a client I referred to SiteGround had to say:
“Have set up account on SiteGround. Decided to go with GoGeek for extra speed and staging. I had one small thing to correct in the setup and support had it done in no time – impressed so far!” – Liam
And another friend of mine who I helped move hosts after her terrible experience with some of the big names in the industry:
In fact here’s the actual speed tests I ran at the time, Before on the old host, and After on SiteGround:
I also recommend Blacknight. They are Ireland’s number one host (and probably up the charts in the UK too). They have great support, and are based on the east coast of Ireland. They follow technology closely, staying up to date with new developments.
What about Domains?
You can buy the domain and hosting from the same company, and it will save you a tiny amount of time — and maybe even save you $10 if they include the domain in the hosting fee — but you do run a small (perhaps tiny) risk of having your domain name held to ransom or even hijacked by unethical providers, and in my opinion that’s a good enough reason to keep them separate. Your domain is the single most important online business asset, keep it safe.
Here’s my recommendations again
- For hosting: WebsiteDoctor.com is hosted at SiteGround and they’ve been absolutely awesome.
- For hosting: I also highly recommend Blacknight for hosting in Ireland.
- For domains, I’ve been using NameCheap.com since 2007 and highly recommend them.
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