Posts Tagged ‘Hosting’

2016 WordPress Hosting Survey Results

Back in April, we invited our community to participate in a WordPress website hosting survey. This WordPress hosting survey is intended as a public service to the Event Espresso and WordPress communities. Our only interest is to provide these communities more information so they can choose the best WordPress hosting given their needs.

We are pleased to share the (not-statistically-valid) results of our 2016 hosting survey. Of the 115 total results, we only included results for hosts with four or more complete responses, but you are free to look at the full results yourself.

What is web hosting?

Definition: Web hosting is the activity or service of providing storage space to individuals or organizations, for the websites that are accessible via World Wide Web. Learn more about web hosting >>

Note: This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the hosting links and signup for their hosting services, we may receive monetary compensation.

WordPress Hosting Survey Results

Hosting Support

  1. SiteGround: 5.0
  2. WP Engine: 4.8
  3. Digital Ocean: 4.6
  4. DreamHost: 4.2
  5. HostGator, Godaddy, & Site5: 3.5
  6. Bluehost: 3.4

Hosting Uptime

  1. SiteGround & WP Engine: 5.0
  2. DreamHost: 4.7
  3. GoDaddy: 4.6
  4. Digital Ocean: 4.4
  5. Hostgator: 4
  6. Bluehost: 3.75
  7. Site5: 3.2

Hosting Features

  1. Digital Ocean, SiteGround & WP Engine: 4.8
  2. Bluehost, DreamHost, GoDaddySite5: 4.2
  3. Hostgator: 3.6

Hosting Value

  1. SiteGround: 5
  2. WP Engine: 4.5
  3. Digital Ocean: 4.4
  4. DreamHost: 4.2
  5. Hostgator & GoDaddy: 3.8
  6. Bluehost: 3.4
  7. Site5: 3.2

Average Scores for Website Hosting

  1. SiteGround: 4.91
  2. WP Engine: 4.77
  3. Digital Ocean: 4.5
  4. GoDaddy: 4.22
  5. DreamHost: 4.36
  6. Hostgator: 4.0
  7. Bluehost: 3.68
  8. Site5: 3.62

Closing Comments:

We’d like to take the liberty to share a a few points of interest about these hosts:

  • Again this year, SiteGround and WP Engine are leading the pack for best WordPress hosting all around. While GoDaddy seems to have improved significantly since 2015.
  • Unfortunately InMotion Hosting, Liquid Web, and a few others were excluded from the lists above, because we didn’t receive enough responses. Full results can be viewed here.

WordPress Hosting in General

  • Collectively, Uptime (4.64/5) and Features (4.49/5) received the highest average scores, while Support (4.24/5) and Overall Value (4.32/5) received the lowest average scores.
  • On average, respondents are spending about $55/mo on hosting. That seems to be up $5 from last year’s survey results.

Our Perspective

Over the past 7 year’s, we’ve struggled with our own hosting issues. We’ve also seen our customers struggle with low cost/cheap hosting the most; while customers that have spent a little more on WordPress hosting from the start have had much better success with ticket sales and up-time.

With the right hosting environment your ticket sales can really soar. For example, our hosted ticketing service, Event Smart, is able to process over 1,000 registrations per hour on Amazon Web Services hosting. Of course there’s no way we could do that with a shared hosting provider, or even some dedicated servers.

Notable Respondent Comments

Unedited responses from our 2016 WordPress Hosting Survey:

  • When it comes to hosting YOU really do get what you pay for. We use and highly recommend WP Engine. Why, because they listen to their customers.They are NOT the cheapest hosting provider and that’s OK cause were not interested in cheap We are interested in keeping our website up and an ensuring that the Security Side always taken care of by professionals. The range of tools they offer for User and Developers alike is cutting edge. No CPanel..what they have built is more intuitive and easier to understand and use. Above all their Customer support is experienced with WordPress and have the technical background to support their clients. IN the end run this means more money in my pocket as I don’t have to chase down security issues and if I have a question, I get someone with the knowledge to answer it.
  • I actually use all three of your top contenders: InMotion VPS, SiteGround, and WPEngine. InMotion was great several years ago, but service and overall value have dropped since they grew so fast. Their higher priced VPS accounts you would think would come with more support, but just the opposite is true. SiteGround is very attentive. They answer the phone and chat straight away, but we have experienced more than one serious screw-up due to the language differences and their haste to get tickets completed. WPE has its own set of issues, of course. No cpanel there. You have to play by their rules, but when you do everything just flows smoothly. It is also comforting to know whoever you contact there probably knows more about WordPress than you!
  • I have tried a some of the hosts in the list and they are AWFUL: Arvixe, HostGator, Small Orange. Arvixe and Small Orange used to be good when they were small, but once they got to be a certain size, the customer support, speed, and reliability all went downhill. I have found this to be the case with nearly ALL webhosts, and have found that the only thing that can really be done when you are in the $50-100/month hosting range is to move around every few years to a host that is big enough to be fast, and small enough to still provide great technical support.

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Posted in Home Page, Hosting | 5 Comments »

2015 WordPress Website Hosting Survey Results

A month ago, we invited our community to participate in a hosting survey. This WordPress website hosting survey is intended as a public service to the Event Espresso and WordPress communities. Our only interest is to provide these communities more information so they can choose the best WordPress host given their needs.

We are pleased to share the (not-statistically-valid) results of our 2015 WordPress Website Hosting Survey. Hopefully next year you will help spread the word about the WordPress website hosting survey to get more results so the data is more representative. We only included results for hosts with three or more complete responses, but you are free to look at the results yourself.

Note: This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the hosting links and signup, we may receive monetary compensation.

WordPress Hosting in General

  • Collectively, Uptime (4.38/5) received the highest average scores, while Support (4.03/5) received the lowest average scores.
  • On average, respondents are spending about $50//mo on hosting.

Hosting Support

  1. SiteGround: 5.0
  2. WP Engine: 4.75
  3. Inmotion: 4.6
  4. DreamHost: 4.3
  5. Bluehost: 4.0
  6. HostGator: 3.8
  7. GoDaddy: 3.1

Hosting Uptime

  1. SiteGround & WP Engine: 5.0
  2. DreamHost & Inmotion: 4.67
  3. Bluehost: 4.60
  4. GoDaddy: 4.14
  5. Hostgator: 3.8

Hosting Features

  1. SiteGround: 4.75
  2. WP Engine: 4.71
  3. Inmotion: 4.67
  4. DreamHost: 4.3
  5. Bluehost: 4.2
  6. Hostgator: 3.6
  7. GoDaddy: 3.0

Hosting Value

  1. SiteGround: 4.75
  2. Inmotion: 4.67
  3. Bluehost: 4.6
  4. WP Engine: 4.5
  5. DreamHost: 4.0
  6. Hostgator: 3.8
  7. GoDaddy: 3.43

Average Scores for Website Hosting

  1. SiteGround: 4.88
  2. WP Engine: 4.74
  3. Inmotion: 4.67
  4. Bluehost: 4.35
  5. DreamHost: 4.34
  6. Hostgator: 3.75
  7. GoDaddy: 3.43

Closing Comments:

We’d like to take the liberty to share a couple points of interests about these hosts.

Managed WordPress hosting and caching

  • The survey responses did not indicate whether or not their Event Espresso 4 powered site is hosted on GoDaddy’s Managed WordPress platform. We can conclude that anyone using EE4 is hosted on the regular GoDaddy hosting package, because Event Espresso 4 does not work as expected on GoDaddy’s Managed WordPress hosting due to their inability to disable caching for specific pages.
  • WP Engine received high marks for support, which was not a surprise to support staff. This is because we’ve found that WP Engine support staff are very responsive whenever a few initial issues arise due to caching. They’ve been very helpful to Event Espresso customers to who request help with configuring specific pages to be excluded from caching.

 

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Posted in News, Hosting | 5 Comments »

Do You Love Your Hosting Company?

event-espresso+heart+digital-ocean

We all remember the first website we built; or if you’re building your first website now then you won’t forget it. I wish someone would have shared their hosting experience with me long ago so that we could have avoided some of the challenges we’ve had trying to find the right hosting for Event Espresso and Event Smart. In light of sharing what we’ve learned, here is our website hosting journey. We hope you will share your hosting story too so other people can learn and have a better experience.

The success of my business is largely dependent upon my websites remaining operational and performing well. If a site doesn’t perform well, it brings in less revenue, revenue that is used to pay the hosting bill, the team salaries, and more. With so much riding on the performance and reliability of the sites, it only makes sense that the platform I choose to host my sites on is one of the most important decisions I can make for my business. If the sites consistently have troubles due to the hosting infrastructure, the business will suffer.

Pippin on You should love your hosting company.

Our Hosting Journey

Everyone seems to have a story about their website hosting company. Either you love them, hate them, or have dated them all. This is our brief hosting story.

Chomping at the bit with HostGator

We began our hosting with HostGator because Seth had a reseller account that he used for his freelance clients. Event Espresso began like any other new project (boot strapped) so we didn’t spend a lot on hosting. We wanted to prove we had a good idea and that we could pay our bills before investing in unnecessary infrastructure. Over time, we needed additional processing power so we grew from a virtual machine to a dedicated server. The power of a dedicated server was sufficient for a time. However, HostGator eventually had a lot of service interruptions (sometimes for nearly a full day). I think we were paying less than $200 per month for a dedicated server with the technical specifications we needed, but the service up-time was falling. The interrupted service cost us far more in lost revenue than it cost in hosting fees. We knew we needed to find a better, more reliable host…

Trial and Error by FireHost

At the same time that we started looking for a new host for Event Espresso, we knew we wanted to choose a host with the infrastructure that could support Event Smart. We knew we would need firewall protection, scalability options, redundancy options, etc.

We knew of a specialized “WordPress hosting” company that used the FireHost infrastructure as their core service, so we thought it would be a good fit for our needs. We signed for two servers with FireHost: one for EventEspresso.com and one for EventSmart.com. For both servers, our hosting fees went from $200 per month to about $900 per month. We kind of expected those fees for a more scalable infrastructure, but we also expected things to work better than they did. For the most part, EventEspresso.com worked alright with FireHost. But we had a LOT of problems with the FireHost WAP (web application firewall) and WordPress multisite while trying to build EventSmart.com. We even tried their Advanced WAF but it didn’t work well enough either. In order to give us the service level we needed, FireHost was going to have to buy a new WAF appliance and charge us an additional $1,500 per month. So our hosting fees were going to go from $200 with HostGator to $2,500 with FireHost, and that’s even before we started scaling servers and building in redundancies. FireHost clearly was not going to work for us.

Learning to Swim in the DigitalOcean

Our experience with FireHost taught us a lot. We better understood our needs (especially for Event Smart), and we better understood the server management side of hosting (not the hardware). At this same time, a more simple cloud hosting service began called DigitalOcean. DigitalOcean is designed for developers who want or can manage their own servers. They keep things simple in that they limit most of their responsibility to keeping the server on and the datacenter secure. Users (we) are responsible for server configuration, WAF security, server updates, etc. (and I have to say Darren has done a great job at learning and handling this transition). They also use SSD disks which are usually faster than standard disks. This means that we can spin up a new server for as little as $5 – $640 per month. This gave us the option to control the server configuration, firewall protection, etc. for as little as $5 per month. And, if we wanted the top-rated plan it would still be less than it cost with FireHost!

This became a win-win for us. We now have more autonomy, higher up-time, built-in redundancies (especially for Event Smart) and more scaling options than we ever thought we would. We now run 10 VPS servers for less than $200 per month! We have individual servers for testing sites, EventEspresso.com, internal blogs, several servers forEventSmart.com (redundant databases with Hyperdb, etc.), servers just to collect and store backups, etc.

Needless to say, we love Digital Ocean! There have been small hiccups here and there (a few internal network interruptions), but these interruptions have been only momentary inconveniences. We HAPPILY use DigitalOcean to host EventEspresso.com and EventSmart.com (our cloud-based SaaS event registration and ticketing platform). We don’t claim to be server experts, but for the most part we don’t have to worry about the interruptions or cost that existed with our prior hosts.

Note: HostGator and FireHost may have improved their services since we were customers. You are welcome to try (or continue to use) their services.

Share your hosting story

Using a host you LOVE or HATE? Want to share your website hosting story with others? Please fill out this survey and we’ll share the results in a future blog post OR use the comments section below to go into detail.

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Posted in Open Source, Technology Partners, Developers, Hosting | 5 Comments »

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