Some tips for choosing your band’s website host
I have been designing websites since 1995. I have seen web hosts come and go. I’ve been hosted on big name website companies and on small do it your self hosts belonging to friends and everything in between. I have ran an online radio station, I’ve designed digital signage for businesses, I teach computers, and am currently 11 years into creating my own online/fm Radio show & podcast called the Pennsylvania Rock Show (www.buildthescene.com).
I have had sites (both mine and clients) hosted all over the place http://www.gigarank.net, http://www.webhostpython.com, http://www.bluehost.com, http://www.siteground.com, http://www.dreamhost.com, http://www.1and1.com, http://www.greengeeks.com, http://www.godaddy.com, http://www.hostgator.com, http://www.networksolutions.com, http://www.vodahost.com, http://www.flatlinesystems.net, http://www.seanic.net, http://www.ipower.com, http://www.comcast.net, http://www.yahoo.com, http://www.geocities.com (yes geocities), and many many more. I’ve been hosted on private servers, VPS servers, and shared hosting. I’ve designed personal sites, band sites, animal breeder sites, small business sites, large business sites, podcast sites, radio station sites, and more. I’ve hand coded websites and I’ve used content management systems like WordPress, Joomla, FrogCMS, SharePoint, etc. My clients and I have paid as little as $0 to as much as $69.99/mo for hosting.
I start out with the biography to give you some background before I bring up my point about the question I’m about to touch on. What web hosting is the best? You see this question constantly when searching the internet. And there are a ton of websites about it. Let me first caution you about using those “top” 10 webhost type of sites. On these types of sites you’ll find sites like http://www.bluehost.com, http://www.siteground.com, http://www.dreamhost.com, and a ton of other shared hosting. I’ve used a lot of them and still do use a lot of them. I see those more of a paid advertising type sites or popularity contests. Web hosting isn’t about either of those things. It’s about finding a web host that can serve your website the best. Also keep in mind that “unlimited” is a gimmick. There is always a limit. Read the fine print.
Unfortunately, it has been my experience that you just have to try and try again. I’ve stayed on hosts for years. And then one day something happens to sour me. I’ve stayed with hosts for a lot less time, too. I’ve been on hosting accounts that worked great for static websites and terrible for content management and the reverse. Being a freelancer without my own server to host on, I try to have a few hosting options ready to suggest to new clients. I have the advantage of being at this for about 20 years.
Here is my advice to those of you that do not have that same advantage. Read reviews, ask current clients of the webhosts, go to forums like http://www.gigarank.net/forum/ & http://www.webhostingtalk.com/. When I start to decide that it’s time to move on to a new host, I spend months searching for new hosts to vet. Once I narrow it down to the one’s I want to check out, I start searching for and reading reviews. I then narrow it down further still. Then I start trying to find websites that are hosting on this set of web hosts and seeing how quickly that are served. I try to find website owners that are hosted by these hosts and ask them what the pros and cons of said hosts are, read the terms of service, try out their hosting panel if you’re not familiar with it, contact their support and ask questions that are important to you for your website… basically do your due diligence.
So I leave you with the final answer, there is no 1 best web host. You need to find the one that works the best for your site through hard work.
For those of you are not tech savvy and do not want to hire someone (note I have not tried most of these):