Are you a web developer? Or maybe your wondering about starting a podcast? Here are some of the services we use to do our podcasts and maintain our website.
Hostgator (our current web hosting and domain provider): The main reason why I first joined first Hostgator’s web hosting was because of the deal that they had during Black Friday. I was getting the web hosting for really an unbeatable price, around 70 bucks for 3 years of hosting, including hosting multiple domains. But now I sorta regret using Hostgator’s service. The cheap price tag came with several flaws and terms + conditions.
Pros: Very cheap web hosting and domain registrations, during their Black Friday promotions. You will probably not find any other cheaper web hosting deal out there on the Internet (or at least one that is accredited). They also offer free web hosting transfers, so if your wanting to transfer your current hosting to them, they’ll do all the Filezilla stuff for free (and I thank God that they did, I really hated using Filezilla). The tech support people are generally quite courteous and are honestly trying to problem solve your issues that you may encounter. I had one where he talked with me for over 2 hours trying to figure out the problem and not give up. Side fact, at least these jobs are not outsourced, all their call IT’s are from Austin or Dallas. Not that I’m against foreign workers, but when the economy is this bad, having jobs available locally is important and vital to the growth of your country. Kinda side tracked there, but this is definitely a good thing.
Cons: Hmm, where should I start. First, the 99% up time is completely a lie. More like 70% up time. When I first joined them, around the first few weeks, I started having issues accessing my site. Later, it turns out it turned out to be downtime due to “moving their servers to another location”. But the funny thing is that their own website at hostgator.com was still accessible. Isn’t that weird? While the rest of us was dealing with a blackout, their site was working perfectly fine, no glitches what so ever. I ran into several blackouts especially during the first few months of using their service (now is getting better, haven’t had one for over 2 months, but don’t jinx it!). And I told their service reps, “first impressions matter”. And that leads to the second point. Sure the tech support people are courteous, but they often don’t solve your problem right away, unless it is something very simple, but then again, I would know how to solve simple problems, shouldn’t I? Many of these IT’s do not have adequate knowledge of advanced problems and usually have to “escalate” the issue to get it resolved. Which leads to my third point, which is the wait for support. Because of all the cheap stakes out there, support actually takes a while to reach. On average, telephone support will take 20 mins to answer, emails around 24-48 hours and instant online chats about 10 mins (but much longer to reply back after you initiated the convo). And cheapness also gets you cheap service. Like their domains, which doesn’t even have a forwarding option (which all the others have). So you have to get a hosting package that accepts multiple domains in order to redirect that domain you bought from Hostgator. And no, they don’t let you upload unlimited file sizes onto WordPress or into your emails (despite saying they offer “unlimited” hosting). 64MBs is the cap for WordPress uploads while 50MBs (more like 40MBs, since usually I’m unable to send files max of with over 40 MBs, for unknown reasons) is the max for email files.
Verdict? Unless your very low on your budget and have to be frugal with your spending, AVOID HOSTGATOR. Go to like GoDaddy or something, they have much better and reliable hosting. 5/10.
GoDaddy (our previous and first web hosting and current domain provider): Who doesn’t know GoDaddy? Good advertising makes everyone know about your brand, especially when your paying millions for a Super Bowl commercial… Anyway, their service has been pretty good, I haven’t really experienced any issues with them, but I moved to Hostgator mainly cuz of the cost was going to be much higher if I renewed my hosting plans.
Pros: Quite reliable web hosting (never experienced any downtime) and good features with their domain services. Never really had to call tech support that many times and most of the times I called, they were able to resolve my issues (then again, I just started to learn about web hosting so I didn’t have any complicated questions). Also got some perks from them, including free Facebook credits and free day office rental at a fancy downtown location.
Cons: Don’t be fooled by their “introductory” prices, once your term is over, you’ll be crying for mercy for their renewal rates. Make sure you have another hosting company you can go to once your introductory pricing is over. Also they don’t use CPanel so it is a bit different and sometimes hard to navigate because of that.
Verdict: I would have stayed with GoDaddy (in terms of our web hosting) if it wasn’t for my frugalness and lack of an income. Try them out, see how it goes. But I heard from Sam (our host) who used their service for creating a HTML website, ran into several issues. 7.5/10
Hipcast (our current Podcast hosting company): I first discovered Hipcast doing some online research because Podomatic was asking for too much cash to host our podcast. Not many people use it compared with Podomatic, but I haven’t really had any “major” problems with them.
Pros: 10 bucks a month for unlimited podcast hosting. That means you can upload (each file must be 1GB or less) as many episodes as you want. Unlike Podomatic, they don’t put a restriction into how much files you upload. And unlimited bandwidth (which also does not appear in Podomatic). Customer support is done via email and they usually respond to you within 2-4 hours. And they usually will help you resolve your issue as soon as possible. The stats of the downloads your podcast gets are pretty detailed too.
Cons: They recently redone their site, but it is still not as good as Podomatic. For example, they still lack a main page for the podcast, like a page that lists all the episodes you have uploaded. The uploading page is still pretty naive compared to Podomatic’s uploading page, if you close the page by accident, nothing will stop you from doing so and you will need to rewrite everything if you do close the uploading page by accident.
Verdict: Reliable hosting, kinda no frills type of site, but gets the job done. If your not big with budget and want to upload a lot of material, I definitely recommend Hipcast. And that said, you shouldn’t be expecting too many features with your podcast too. 8/10
Final thoughts: Finding a web hosting company that will fulfill all my needs will be nearly impossible to find with the limited budget that I have. If I had more money with me, I’d definitely be moving towards web hosting with better reviews. It goes to say, you can’t get anything good with little money. But I certainly hoped the reviews I stated were helpful to you guys who might be considering to start a new website or podcast.