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My Guide to Picking a Web Host

~ 9 Minute Read

This Should Be Easy….But It Isn’t

Finding a proper web host is sort of like trying to find a quality mechanic.  It can be really hard to find objective reviews and often you don’t know how good the mechanic is until the work is done and paid for.  I have found that the best source of reviews for these types of services is simple word of mouth.  I’ve had my best experiences getting my car serviced at places recommended by friends and family.

Web hosting is no different.  Every time I’ve looked to move my websites to a new host it has been troubling how tough it has been to get objective reviews on the best web hosts.  There is a simple reason for this: affiliate programs.  Almost all web hosts have affiliate programs that website owners can sign up for.  Each web host pays out a certain amount of money for each person referred by the website who ends up signing up for a web hosting plan.

“Guess I’ll be spending all my time looking for a decent web host rather than jerking off, thanks to no one”

The Lucrative World of Web Host Affiliates

The problem is that affiliate commissions vary greatly from each web hosting company.  For example, you may notice that if you do a Google Search or go to some of the more well known make money online “guru” websites you’ll find that more often than not Blue Host is a web hosting company they recommend.  Well it just so happens that Blue Host pays out $65 per customer, more than most other web host affiliate programs out there.

In fact, the Blue Host Affiliate Program is so lucrative it just so happens to be a well known passive income guru’s single biggest income producer.  In fact his most recent income report shows he made $33,000 off this affiliate program last month alone.  Holy shit, that’s a lot of cheddar!

Which income guru am I talking about? Well, I’ll just say his name rhymes with Matt Blynn

The fact is that “Matt” knows that Blue Host is far from the best web hosting company out there and yet he promotes it because it makes him rich.  This is more than a bit disingenuous and a big reason why I decided to create The Micropreneur website in the first place.  I wanted to offer information that could be trusted to anyone who had a desire to start an online business.

EIG is the Web Host Equivalent of a Disney Villain

So, a reasonable question you might be thinking of is “How does The Micropreneur know that Matt Blynn knows that Blue Host is not the best web hosting provider?” Wow, you really went meta there, man.  The reason that Mr. Blynn and I both know that Blue Host sucks water buffalo sack is because it is part of the powerful (soul crushing) Endurance International Group (EIG).

For those not familiar with EIG, let me do some ‘splainin’.  EIG is a huge publicly traded company that owns 70+ web hosting brands.  EIG’s entire business model appears to be about acquiring up and coming web hosting companies with solid reputations and then milking that reputation for all its worth while turning the quality of the acquired web hosting company to dirt.

Let me create an analogy for you that may help bring the EIG model to light.  You create a nice vegetable garden that helps feed your community.  EIG decides they want to buy your vegetable garden.  You sell it to them because they make you a very lucrative offer.  Once acquired, EIG sets fire to your garden and proceeds to sell your customers shitty EIG tomatoes for the same price while banking on your original vegetable garden’s reputation.

“The Jagoffs of Web Hosting”

To put it simply, do not use a hosting company that is owned by EIG (including Blue Host).  We are going to be putting together a list of EIG brands so you know which to avoid.  Avoiding EIG can be tough because even if you leave your web host for another there is a good change both hosts are owned by EIG unless you do your research.

For the time being here are a couple of non-EIG hosting companies that I actually use and can recommend with a clear conscience.

As an added step of transparency I am going to put the exact amount I’ll make for referring a customer under each recommended web host.

My Recommended Web Hosts

Currently, I am recommending the following two web hosts.  I personally have sites hosted with both of these companies.  I will update this as needed if things change or either of these hosting providers are bought out.

1. SiteGround

Pros:

I use SiteGround for several of my websites.  It has been around since 2004 and grown over time to host over 500,000 domains.  Best of all they are not owned by EIG.  My experience with SiteGround has been nothing but positive.  My sites on SiteGround have loaded reasonably fast for shared hosting and have experienced virtually no down time. Simple shared hosting plans come in three price tiers.

Cons:

They do not offer unlimited web space for their shared hosting plans.  At the time of this article their shared hosting plans have 10GBs, 20GBs, and 30GBs of space.

Affiliate commission I earn per sign up: $50-$125

Note: The Micropreneur is about to try and save some major face here.  That commission is fucking ridiculous. I truly did not know what the affiliate commission was before deciding to make SiteGround my top recommended web host.  You’ll just have to believe me on this one.  If it makes you feel better then just go with MDD (my #2 pick) as they are a fine web host and offer far lower affiliate commissions.

2. MDD Hosting

Pros:

Founded in 2007, MDD has shown itself to be a solid web host through my personal experience.  Shared hosting starts at a very reasonable $3.50/month, but we strongly recommend ordering the $9.50/month “professional” plan as it offers unlimited disk space.  Need more convincing?  TheMicropreneur.net is actually hosted on MDD and I’ve never seen it not load at a decent speed.

Cons:

MDD only offers two shared hosting plans, and the $3.50/month is unlikely to meet the needs of even beginner micropreneurs.

Affiliate commission I earn per sign up: $5-$15 for shared hosting plans

Conclusion

At the end of the day I just want my budding micropreneurs to find a quality web host that will give them reliable performance with limited down times.  If you take anything from this article, do not get hosting from an EIG owned web host.  It really is that bad.  Case in point, I used to promote A Small Orange as the best web host out there, but they have slowly but surely turned to sun-baked poo after being acquired by EIG within the last couple years.

If you have any questions about selecting a web host or other online business related inquires feel free to contact me.

Disclosure: This article is for entertainment purposes.  I do not literally think that EIG is the “Jagoff of Web Hosting”, I just prefer to have my sites hosted elsewhere.  Also, I can not know for sure what “Matt Blynn” actually thinks in regard to Blue Host.

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