Choosing who to host your website with is always a tricky problem – there are so many web hosts out there, that selecting a reliable company can be very hit and miss.
Web hosting itself is not a difficult job and pretty much anyone can provide a decent reliable package. Although the cheap price you see advertised can be appealing, the service you receive is much more important. The problem is that because hosting is easy, often the only times you can really judge the quality of the company is when something goes wrong. That is why a personal recommendation is often very important.
When selecting your own web hosting company you will probably use Google or look at the ads in the computer magazines to help you select. Unfortunately, the better web hosts tend not to advertise simply because they don’t need to – they get a good deal of their business through personal recommendations, and this is kind of the point of this post.
When I decided to write this post, I started thinking why I really wanted to recommend these two companies, and why others are so passionate about doing the same. The answer that came to me was “variation”. Web hosting, more than many other services, is very variable in the quality and value you get. The services are either really good, or really bad. And the really good ones tend to be very expensive too. Add to that the fact that so many of us have received such bad service from so many web hosts that when you do find a good one, you’re pleased – very pleased!
And so to the point. I’ve dealt with loads of web hosts over the years – many of them have come and thankfully, gone, but the better ones have stayed the distance and grown. I’ve dealt with single site shared cPanel hosting and fully redundant and load balanced bespoke hosting systems, but the two hosts I’m recommending are ideal if you want to host a few affiliate sites, or a medium sized site.
I was first told about Vidahost back in 2007. I wanted to diversify my hosting, and was quite surprised at the prices – they were, and still are, some of the best I’ve come across. However, it is the level of service that always astounds me. The first time I had cause to contact them was to enquire about a package upgrade – this was at 9pm one evening and I naturally expected a reply the next day. But five minutes later and the email had been answered and my package was being upgraded.
This experience was not a one off, but has been consistent. I have since moved six more sites over to them on a shared hosting package and because the service had been so good for my personal sites, I was happy to start using them for my company’s websites too. I transferred a mixture of ten blogs and discussion forums from a dedicated server to a VDS server – and managed to halve the costs and gain better performance and service in the process – pretty much all you can ask for! You can arrange the hosting fully online if you want, or email them and ask for something more custom – they’ll reply pretty quickly.
Click here to vist Vidahost ». Use this special discount code for 10% off hosting: MCGOV10
Catalyst2 were my first proper web hosts back in 2001. They were one of the few companies at the time that did decent priced Windows hosting. What I like about Catalyst2 is that if you have a single website that needs hosting, they are a great value option. The service has been good too, and although not quite up to the standard of Vidahost, it has been consistent and more than satisfactory. I’ve recommended them numerous times and still have a couple of websites with them – and after nearly ten years, that is a pretty good indicator of quality.
Both these companies have been around a good few years now and were both personally recommended to me. I’m not saying these are the only two hosts you should consider, just the ones that I have been consistently happy with, and have experienced over a good number of years.
For the purposes of transparency, the link to Vidahost is an affiliate link, which means that if you click it, and buy a package, I’ll get a couple of quid as a referral fee. This doesn’t in any way affect my opinion here, and If you don’t want to click it, you can of course just Google them instead (or Bing them as we’re being transparent!). The Catalyst2 link is a normal non-affiliated link.