I had hosted my website with GoDaddy since 2007 and had been fairly happy with them. However, last year I noticed that a large number of files had disappeared from my hosting without explanation, resulting in my website being broken.
Off I went, to contact GoDaddy support, only to discover that they had now discontinued their online help and that you had to phone them up. A web host with no online support?!
I tried their support Twitter, but they were extremely limited in what they could do. Only telling me that they were “working on it” and couldn’t tell me how long until the issue would be resolved.
Luckily I had my own backups so I was able to restore the most important files.
Even since this incident, I have noticed the modified dates of large numbers of files are not what they should be, indicating they’ve been restored from backup without my knowledge. Who knows how many times this has occurred without me noticing.
The final straw was when I wanted to upgrade the version of PHP on my Windows hosting. It was restricted to version 5.3 which went unsupported in 2014!
Don’t even get me started on all the spam emails they send you…
Searching for new web hosting
So my GoDaddy hosting was up for renewal and I decided to switch hosts. The resulting search was far more difficult than it should have been.
Usually you can search for a particular product/company and find a good number of unbiased reviews. But with web hosting, it seems that the majority of comparison and review sites just promote those hosts who give the largest affiliate payouts.
I even tried looking on forums, but wasn’t able to find a consensus on the best web host.
I did manage to find a few review sites that seemed relatively trustworthy:
Let me know in the comments if there are any other web hosting review sites that you’d recommend.
After hours of searching, and chatting to their online support, I decided on Siteground (affiliate link!).
My requirements included:
- PHP 7
- A decent amount of email storage
- Free SSL certificate (Siteground use Let’s Encrypt which they will automatically renew for you).
- Online /email support
- UK based data centre.
- Not too expensive!
The admin area of Siteground is a bit nicer to use than GoDaddy and although I haven’t done any official tests, my website seems to load faster than before.
I purchased the StartUp plan which came to £39.60 for a year.
I’ll update this post if I encounter any issues with Siteground. Let me know in the comments if you’re a Siteground customer and what you think of them, or if there’s a web hosting company that you’d like to recommend.