Best Web Hosting Sites for Blogs and Blog Networks
Here I have reviewed the best web hosting sites that I have used. Included in each review is my honest experience of each web hosting company. It can be really difficult to find good honest web hosting reviews on the net, as the industry can be so cut throat, it means that there are so many fake reviews that it is difficult to sort the real from the fake.
So I am just going to present the facts as I have them, and I will let you make up your own mind as to if you want to use them or not.
I’ll start off by saying that I really like A2 hosting. Their standard shared hosting packages are easy to understand (with only 2 choices Prime vs Prime SSD), and they offer really competitive pricing.
So what is the difference between Prime and Prime SSD Web Hosting?
The main difference is the speed of the hosting. Prime is using standard spinning disks, which Prime SSD uses solid state drives, which are considerably faster than the older spinning disks. The other major difference is the price. At the time of my review these are the set prices:
- Prime – $3.99 per month
- Prime + SSD – $5.49 per month
I have personally tried both of their plans, as well as one of their VPS (Virtual Private Server) plans. Overall I did notice that the SSD was faster, but in my opinion it wasn’t overly noticeable.
A2 Hosting Verdict – 9 out of 10
The Good – Pretty much everything is good about A2 Hosting, they are my top pick of all the hosting I have listed here.
The Bad – Compared to some of the others, it is a little bit more expensive, but worth it in my opinion.
- Would I host with A2 Hosting – Yes (I have a few websites with them now).
- Price – (8/10) I am OK with the price considering the great performance A2 provides.
- Speed – (9/10) It’s very fast compared to other shared hosting.
- Uptime – (10/10) For the shared hosting – most months it is 100%.
- What plan – Go with the Prime without SSD. It really didn’t make that much difference.
- Usage – Money sites and blog networks.
- Other Comments – The shared hosting is cheap, fast and affordable! The VPS hosting leaves a little to be desired – stick with the shared web hosting and you won’t go wrong. Perfect for blog or money site hosting.
iPage is one of the larger web hosting companies going around. They have been around for ages and have a reasonable reputation. iPage’s main selling point is their super cheap hosting which is available for an introductory rate of about $1.70 a month.
The Good – The introductory offer iPage offers is about as cheap as you are going to get when it comes to web hosting. iPage also has great uptime.
The Bad – iPage pricing is only good when you first sign up. Once you have to renew you will get hit for about $9.99 a month, which is pretty high.
iPage Verdict – 7 out of 10
- Would I host with iPage Hosting – Yes, but I wouldn’t pay $9.99 a month for it. Go with it for the into offer and then if you site is successful, move hosts or use a coupon when it comes time to renew.
- Price – (9/10) Although remember that it is only cheap for the introductory period. Don’t like that it goes to $9.99 afterwards.
- Speed – (6/10) I find iPage hosting to be mid range in terms of speed. Not really fast, but also not painfully slow either.
- Uptime – (10/10) Can’t fault the up time of iPage, their service is pretty much always up.
- What plan – Shared hosting plan (there is only 1)
- Usage – Blog networks.
- Other Comments – Don’t get lured into all the free trial software addons when you sign up. They start costing eventually, and they aren’t worth the money.
Bluehost is one of those hosting companies that have been around forever and have a massive user base. I personally don’t mind Bluehost, however I do have an issue with their CPU throttling which can stop a website dead in its tracks, and also that they had a few big outages earlier in 2014.
The Good – Free domain and unlimited number of domains on a single hosting account.
The Bad – CPU throttling.
Bluehost Verdict – 7 out of 10
- Would I host with Bluehost Hosting – Yes, although if you are planning on getting a lot of page views on your website, I would probably look elsewhere. Great for smaller website and blog networks.
- Price – (7/10) The price is competitive enough at $4.95 a month, and the free domain name is cool, but it is very expensive compared to the other services I have reviewed.
- Speed – (8/10) Can’t complain, it’s fast enough, but remember that they will take your website offline if you start using too many resources.
- Uptime – (8/10) Overall Bluehost is very stable, although they did have some massive outages early in 2014.
- What plan – $4.95 shared hosting plan. Don’t bother going Pro, it’s a waste of time and money.
- Usage – Blog networks or small money sites.
- Other Comments – Free domain is nice. Pretty solid hosting service.
Another really old web host with lots of mixed reviews. I personally only use this for private blog network hosting now. I had too many issues with speed and CPU limits that I moved my money sites to A2 Hosting.
The Good – Great server up time and pretty good price.
The Bad – It’s slow without caching.
Arvixe Verdict – 5 out of 10
- Would I host with Arvixe Hosting – Yes, but, their servers are very slow. Do not put important websites on this hosting – great for a PBN.
- Price – (8/10) The price is reasonable at $4 per month.
- Speed – (2/10) This has to be one of the slowest hosts I have used, although there is a silver lining. If you use Caching and Cloudflare, the customer facing pages are really fast, it’s just your WordPress back end that is slow.
- Uptime – (10/10) I haven’t had a single outage on my site, so despite it being slow, it is very reliable.
- What plan – $4 a month plan.
- Usage – Blog networks only, wouldn’t put a money site on this hosting – too slow.
- Other Comments – Allows up to 6 domains per hosting account.
I originally first started hosting a website with Site5 because I had a large website that kept getting resource constrained by other hosts. I spoke to the support staff at Site5 prior to hosting and they told me all about how they don’t sell “unlimited” hosting and how I would get a resource usage point allowance. At first I didn’t like the idea, but after having my site running nice and smoothly on their servers without issue, I can now see the benefit of not overselling their hosting resources.
The Good – Site5 will not just switch off your website if you use too many resources, instead they will work with you to find the right plan for your needs. Support staff are helpful and the resource points allowance system is great.
The Bad – Not as fast as other hosts, and a little more expensive.
Site5 Verdict – 7.5 out of 10
- Would I host with Site5 Hosting – Yes. They have been great, I really do like them.
- Price – (6/10) The price is probably Site5’s weak point compared to the other hosts I have reviewed here. $4.95 isn’t too bad, but it is only for 1 domain.
- Speed – (8/10) Not as fast as some other hosts, but definitely above average.
- Uptime – (9/10) In the last year I have had 1 outage that lasted about 15 minutes.
- What plan – $4.95 plan. Although if you want more domains for your hosting, you will need to move up to the $8.95 plan.
- Usage – Money sites – probably not blog network sites as the value for money isn’t there.
- Other Comments – The $4.95 hosting only allows 1 website. To host more you need to move up to the $8.95 per month.
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