Which Web Host Are You Using? (FAQ)

Review of my current web host

Which Web Host Are You Using? (FAQ)

by Christopher Heng, thesitewizard.com
Updated: 4 July 2023.

I worry a lot about this page. I originally set it up to cut down the number of email messages I receive at thesitewizard.com asking me to recommend a web host. However, over time, I have found that I had to revise this page numerous times as a result of changes in the web hosting scene. The worst thing is finding out that the quality of the hosts I had mentioned here earlier had deteriorated. Naturally those hosts are no longer listed below.

The best way to treat this page is to regard the comments I make here about web hosts as merely the opinions of one person given at a particular point in time. I recommend that you thoroughly investigate any host before signing up.

Note that I only mention commercial and free web hosts providing shared hosting, where yours is not the only website on a particular machine. I have no direct experience with leasing a dedicated server (where the entire computer is dedicated to serving your site) or getting a virtual private server (VPS) (a sort of intermediate step between shared web hosting and dedicated servers), so I am not going to review such services below.

Commercial Web Hosts: My Current Web Host

At present, thesitewizard.com is hosted on DreamHost. I moved the site here in July 2023 after my previous web host, on which this site was located for about 23 years, closed. That said, they are not actually new to me, since I have had other sites placed here since 2007. They are fairly developer-friendly, in that they have a lot of the features that a web developer typically wants, and the package I am using allows me to place as many websites as I want on a single account.

From my experience with my other websites hosted here (including thefreecountry.com and howtohaven.com), the server is adequate in terms of speed although not as fast as my previous web host (the one that closed). I have not found their email facilities to be 100% reliable though; I have had an email alias (ie, an email address set up to forward all mail to another mailbox) abruptly stop forwarding mail from my contact form without warning (although it worked before, and it continued to work with email sent to it from external servers). I have no idea if this has been fixed, since after a few months of this, I permanently changed the script to send to an actual mailbox (rather than to an alias as it did before). As for their technical support, I have only contacted them once (many years ago) over a matter that I can no longer remember, and found them to be friendly, patient and helpful.

I realize that the above is not an unqualified recommendation of any company. I don't know of any perfect web host. Sorry. If you like, you can peruse through a list of a few web hosts on thefreecountry.com, but note that that list is an unfiltered one, unlike this page, where I only mention a web host where I have direct experience with. As I said above, make sure you evaluate any web host yourself before making a decision.

Free Web Hosts

Many years ago, when this page was new, I also included a section on the free web hosts that I had found noteworthy. However, as I have not had a serious site hosted on a free web host since 1999, my knowledge of good ones is hopelessly obsolete. I actually have accounts on some of them, but they are nothing more than play sites. I signed up for them mainly to make sure their free hosting offers are genuine, before listing them on thefreecountry.com's Free Web Hosts page.

Since the free web hosting scene changes even more rapidly than the commercial one, with web hosts disappearing frequently, it is best to decide for yourself which free web host you want to take a risk with. As I said, you can find a list of them here.

And Finally...

Whichever web host you choose, I suggest that you always keep an up-to-date backup of your website. That way, if the host goes bad, or they close, or they raise prices to a level that you can no longer afford, you can move the site to a new one without loss of data.

Best wishes for your site!

Copyright 2000-2023 by Christopher Heng. All rights reserved.
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