Ok, I’ve been dealing with web hosting companies since 1997 when I created my first website. It was a terrible site on even worse hosting.
I’ve become more skilled at building feature-rich robust sites over the years. Sadly, many hosting companies I’ve dealt with have not gotten any better. Many have added shiny bells and whistles and toss about keyword-stuffed phrases like cloud computing, distributed storage, hybrid cloud, yadda yadda yadda. Granted, it is good when technology improves, and it has come a long way for sure. Sadly many just provide piss-poor customer service.
I got lucky back in 1999 and found Westhost. I did a bunch of research and found people raving about them. They were a new company who did what all the other hosting companies did and they did it at a good price. Score! However, I read review after review that said something I didn’t see with the other, often more spendy, hosting companies. Their customers were loving the level of customer service. I figured, I’d give them a shot.
Nearly 15 years later, I’ve had them come to my aid many times when I couldn’t sort something out. Many times they helped me solve things that were beyond the scope of the hosting. I can’t tell you how awesome this is. If they weren’t willing to do this, I’d have needed to pay a contractor to jump in and pull my ass out of the fire.
It is really easy when researching any sort of service or product to focus on the specs. With hosting you might get caught up on server ram or processing power, how disk space, whatever … I’m telling you that the one thing they will have a hard time quantifying is customer support. I’ve tried other hosting companies over the years (Godaddy, Rackspace, bluehost, Network Solutions, Host Gator and InMotion*) and none have kept my business. Issues I had ranged from support reps that didn’t speak English well enough to reps that seemed to only know how to read from a script to not being able to get support when I needed it.
So, if you are looking for hosting for a new website or are not satisfied with the one you have, look to Westhost. I love them and have many sites hosted with them.
Side-note: I mentioned InMotion above and I’m NOT dissatisfied with them. I used them for some Virtual Private Server (VPS) hosting for about a year now and I also like them quite a bit. Expect to hear more about them soon.