Whenever I have put research into 'affordable' web hosting (for me, something like $100/yr), it seems like everything out there feels or smells scammy. Too flashy, poor English, popups, 'last chance' offers—the whole nine yards. With my current provider (one of the above) I'm getting fairly good service, not quite excellent. But the tech support is unmotivated, to say the least. I'm thinking about switching.

As I look again for hosting providers, I'm totally confused. Everything I see in a Google search looks like a scam. Even the sites set up to rate hosting providers look scammy.

So am I in fact missing the good stuff, or am I just being too picky? Or should I be thinking about raising my price range?

EDIT: I'm not sure how this works. Am I allowed to mention a particular host I might use?

  • My experience with the majority of affordable hosts that rank highly in google serps is that they all work as intended, and you get what you pay for (not a place to host a critical web app). Occasionally your page will fail to load if it hasn't been cached in a while, but other than that they usually work.
    – JMC
    Aug 15, 2011 at 17:22
  • And their tech support is poor because you pay so little per year they generally can't afford quality technical support on the slim margin.
    – JMC
    Aug 15, 2011 at 17:25
  • 1
    You always pay for what you get in terms of hosting. I think customer/tech support should be held in the highest regard when determining a provider.
    – chrisjlee
    Aug 15, 2011 at 19:45

2 Answers 2


Word of mouth is definitely my favorite method for finding hosts.

For a PHP stack I use DreamHost and they're great. Good customer service, good uptime, etc. I have unlimited storage, bandwidth, email, etc for ~100 a year. They offer automated installers for WordPress and stuff as well. If you're interested here is their package comparisons: http://dreamhost.com/servers/compare-our-products/

For MS stack a few of my friends have recommended WinHost or MidPhase. I've used WinHost and its decent but a lot more restrictive then DreamHost. I haven't used MidPhase yet but am planning to subscribe there soon. Good luck!

You might also consider looking at SquareSpace. Takes a lot of pain out of making a website if it going to be a simple one. I recommended it for my less technical friends.


I've never used the hosting review sites, but the common opinion of them is that even if you manage to find one that isn't an outright scam, anyone ranked high on one of them at the very least probably paid for the position, which tends to undermine the recommendation/review aspect.

Get recommendations, from people you actually know or can at least communicate directly with. If you've never heard of the host, there's no real reason to take a chance. Your budget is a bit on the low side, but there are still options with established, reputable hosts, eg. Pair, WebFaction. You'll be on the "entry-level" plans, but they can be trusted. Others can probably recommend some other hosts; I just happen to have direct experience with these two.

  • What would you recommend as far as budget for a non-commercial custom WordPress blog with plenty of space (20 GB or more) and good tech support? I'd consider it worth the cost to be in good hands.
    – jnm2
    Aug 15, 2011 at 17:34

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