Experiences with Webhosts

Finding a  great webhost is a hassel. They all say they are great, but how do you really determine what you need for your site? For me, the most important feature has been speed and efficiency with WordPress as that is the tool I have used to build the last few of my sites. I have found that WordPress, which uses a MySQL database doesn’t play nice with all the webhosts. This ends up hurting the speed of your site. There is nothing more frustrating than having a finished website not load because of the webhost.

The first webhost I experienced was GoDaddy. This is probably true of many people because the market their product so heavily. GoDaddy was used by Munster Church when I took over the web administration. I didn’t have any issues running an HTML site or a Google Site through GoDaddy, but when I switched to WordPress, I noticed immediately that sites began to load too slowly. I have seen load times cross over 20 seconds for a simple page. No visitor will wait that long for the page to load.

When I decided to build my first site, I shopped for a webhost with little knowledge of what I wanted (other than cheap of course!). I chose Fatcow for its price and popularity. I again noticed that load times for HTML Dreamweaver sites and Flash sites ran fine, but WordPress lagged longer than was acceptable. Fatcow ran better than GoDaddy, but not much. At this point, I began to wonder if the problem was with WordPress and not with the host.

Through my research, I found that many people use Caching programs to simplify the process of displaying WordPress sites. I setup a number of Caching programs on different sites and can report back that they work, but not well and not easily. Caching seems like a bandaid for a wound that shouldn’t exist.

Fortunately, my school was looking for a new webhost and asked me to shop for one. They were currently with BlueHost which worked well for our basic Dreamweaver HTML site, but we wanted something much easier to update. For more on that check out this post. I have heard good things about BlueHost, but they couldn’t help us transition from a vendor who held our domain to our own account with the domain without downtime. Instead I found Inmotion Hosting. My shopping strategy this time was very deliberately focused on WordPress. I spoke with there support and asked about WordPress speeds and if caching was necessary. They said “great” and “no”. Hammondacademy.org was then transferred over to Inmotion. For the last few months things have been going great. Ping and download times are fast and smooth. The true test will come next week when over 500 students start using the site several times a day. For now, I can say that inmotion hosting is the best choice for me because it handles WordPress sites the best of any host I have used so far, their prices are decent, and their customer support has been superb!

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