What are the Top Australian Web Hosts 2017? – Reviews and Buyers Guide

Contents

We tested over 30 host providers and cross tested it with 10 years of data hosting hundreds of our clients websites to help you find the top host in Australia. 

By: Lucas Johnson

Last Updated August Sept 18th, 2017

For the last sixteen months we’ve bought and tried all the major hosting companies located in Australia.

Unlike the majority of hosting reviews which simply point you out to their favorite affiliate reviews we spend hours testing data and comparing different data points to help you find the best host.

We believe that our unique background allows us to be the best judge of which hosting company can provide the most value.


If you’re looking for the quick and easy answer to this question –  our recommended host is Siteground for a few reasons. Fastest datacenters. Most free upgrades that can save you $300/year over other hosts. The best 24/7 suppport hands down. Free transfer/backup/SSL/hacking protection. 

Siteground


Why Trust Us?

Lucas has been running a full service web design agency for the last fifteen years. We often joke that he’s been around since the Internet started. Any quality web development service often ends up managing their clients’ websites as well.  When it comes to hosting Jordan knows his stuff. He’s hosted and managed over 700 websites through Australia and the US. He’s seen hosting providers come and go.

Picture of Lucas

Spencer is our data guy. A engineer by profession he came to our team roughly three years ago with a keen eye for numbers as a PPC manager for 3 years.

Nathan helped monitor the results of our tests and help us create lovely visual outputs (which we’ll share here) to show you the data behind why we either recommend or don’t recommend each host.

Our Unique Data Collection

For the last ten years we’ve been using an internal system for tracking our clients websites. With a portfolio of 975 (as of 9/4/2017) sites we track everything in an internal dashboard.

We used the history in our internal site tracker to export the data and run multiple cross comparative analyses.

How to Use This Guide

In order to simplify things and avoid overwhelming you with the hundreds of choices out there we have arranged our recommended hosts in numerical order.

The first review is our most recommended. As you get past the top 3 we don’t necessary recommend those hosts based on our tests. 


 Who Are These Hosting Companies Good For?

Unless you’re a business that gets over 500,000 views a month any of the hosting companies explained below are a great choice.

Remember that all hosting companies allow you to scale up as your traffic or service demands increase.

How we Decide

Uptime/Reliability high quality image of a webserver downloading it's info

Think of this as basically how often your website goes down. For a big business this can be disastrous. You’ll lose customers and definitely lose trust in your brand.

Quality hosts almost never go down and when they do it’s planned. Most of the time you’ll get a notice indicating that there will be a planned maintenance fix or some other technical issue. Quality hosts plan around this contingency and only go down when your asleep.

Some of the sites we tested had over 1800 instances of downtime. 🙁

Site Speed

We all want a fast website that doesn’t lag. The modern customer is spoiled and anything longer than 5 seconds is way too long. With mobile accelerated pages that is even more important.

Our way back metrics over the last ten years allowed us to compare average load times across all major Australian cities including Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide.

We compared those results to average US speeds to monitor load times. Our top recorded load times were 226ms and the absolute worst was well over 2850ms (roughly 11.5X slower).

Customer Support funny customer support meme

Customer support is a big factor. Some have great service where your questions get answered in a couple of seconds while others will leave you waiting all day. We’ve worked with some providers who don’t even provide live chat and instead use an outdated ticket system.

Let’s face it. You want a hosting provider that is there for you 24/ 7. 🙂

I can definitively say that our top three recommended hosting companies are the best when it comes to hosting support. Our top pick has actually won awards for their insanely good customer service.

We didn’t need to test customer service because we’ve been using them for a while.

Here are some qualities of great hosting support

  • Live chat with a native speaker
  • No silly ticket system that takes days to get an answer from.
  • Ability of service agent to be able to fix technical issues.
  • Friendly and professional service
  • Response time

The Most Important Sentence in Finding Quality Web Hosting

Ready for it?

Avoid cheapest web host.

I can’t stress this enough because over the last few years we have dealt with hundreds of businesses that want to either migrate their existing hosting to another provider, add new features or troubleshoot technical issues.

It’s important to realize that the web hosting industry is full of scams and people trying to make huge sums from newbies (we’re talking millions of dollars). These hosts use extremely low quality servers that are both vulnerable to security breaches and absolutely don’t give a crap about their customers.

If you’re wondering who? Let’s name some names:

  • Godaddy is standing by ready to charge you 5X regular prices.
  • Network Solutions. I literally can’t find enough bad things to say about this company.

The point is if you pay for cheap hosting you’re going to have a heck of a time transitioning to another provider and in the process of using a cheaper provider you’ll end up paying 3-4X for upcharges and addons.

I realize for new business owners or bloggers saving a few dollars at the beginning is vital but don’t cheap out on your web host.

Issues with cheap providers in order of important:

  1. Serious Security Breaches (13 Million Stolen Passwords from a Major Discount Host)
  2. Huge upcharges on everything. $70-80 for SSL, $20-30 Privacy Protection, $20-30 Domain Registration = Extra 150-200/year :(:(
  3. Bad IP Neighborhoods Makes Your Website Difficult to Rank Top 1-5 (Check your IP neighborhood)

Australian Hosts = Bad

Singapore Hosting = Good

Yes a bit of blasphemy for all you die hard Aussies. Australian hosting sucks. It has always sucked. Don’t believe me, here’s some data.

image showing Australia Internet speed

Yes, number 46. Down three spots from Thailand. 🙁

The reason for this terrible score which really hasn’t improved over the last few years is two fold.

The Distance – I don’t need explain this one to you. Anyone who has taken an airplane anywhere knows that we are pretty far away from the rest of the world.

Australian Companies Lack of Innovation – I’ve been working in the industry for a while now and have personally met some of the biggest ISP or hosting company CEOs. They refuse to innovate and feel quite comfortable controlling a large percentage of Australian hosting and demanding exorbitant rates

However, there is a solution……

Behold the Indigo Submarine Internet Cable.

image of the indigo underwater cable

This wire was an initiative set forth by SubPartners, Telstra, Indosat Ooredoo and Singtel to connect Australia with Singapore. The wire is actually two sets of fiberoptics with an outstanding capacity for 20 terabits a second.

While you might think this has nothing to do with hosting, it does. Faster speeds allow visitors from both inside and outside of Australia access information much more efficiently.

That is why my top recommended host utilizes a huge brand new datacenter based in Singapore….

Best Best Hosting Australia Review 2017


1. Siteground – Best Overall Hosting for Price/Speed/Uptime & Unbeatable Support ($3.95/month)

Average Uptime: 99.95%

Average Load Time: 475Ms

siteground logo

Visit Siteground (www.siteground.com)

By far our favorite. Nearly all our personal websites and new client sites use Siteground. Coming it at a slightly higher price point than the other two guys, however, the quality is incomparable.

Siteground also offers competitive rates that are lower than most other hosts. 

Unbeatable Support
24/7 Support that can answer all manner of technical questions. Siteground Support has won awards for their highly trained staff. You won’t find anything like it.

Great Speed and Uptime
Siteground has some of the fastest speeds with data centers located throughout the world.

One Click Installs and Free SSL
You can literally install your new WordPress site in one click. They also offer free SSL which is an absolute must for anyone taking money on their sites. This will save you $150-200 a year compared to other hosts.

Best Choice for Beginners

If you’re new to blogging or setting up your own site, siteground is definitely the top choice for newbies. It’s easy to use with an easy to navigate interface.

2. HostGator Cloud Hosting – Runner Up (Only $2.99/monthly)

Average Uptime: 99.4% 

Average Load Time: 657Ms

image of the hostgator logo

Includes: Free Email, Daily Backups, Free SSL (very valuable), Site Transfer, Free Website Builder

Visit Hostgator (www.hostgator.com)

Hostgator has been a trusted hosting solution for a long time. Thousands of businesses and bloggers trust hostgator to provide web hosting for all levels of business.

Great Support

Hostgator combines quality uptime with great service. It’s also priced at a very reasonable price point and offers flexible plans as your business/traffic grows.

Competitive Rates

Host Gator offers some really discounted rates for new websites and also some flexible plans for all different needs.

3. A2 Hosting – Great Speed and Loading Times ($3.92/month)

Average Uptime: 99.1% 

Average Load Time: 601Ms

A2 Web Host Logo

Visit Hostgator (www.hostgator.com)

A2 is another quality host that prides itself on good support and reliability. We’ve used A2 for a lot of our hosting packages for both our Australian clients as well as our American/Canadian clients. Works well from all Australian cities.

The Other Guys – Subjects Failed for Speed, Uptime or Support

The remaining reviews are all the other guys we’ve been tracking for the last few months. While these are in no way bad, they don’t break into the top three. Remember our criteria we had for our tests, the below sites failed at least one of the top criteria in some way.

Here they are in order or most recommended to least.

4.  Bluehost – www.bluehost.com

image of bluehost icon

Average Uptime: 99.74%

Average Load Time:  Average time of 1.765 (tested from Australian cities)

If you have been lucky enough to ever make your way over to the Bluehost then you’ll know that thanks to their sophisticated Facebook retargeting you will now forever be haunted by Bluehost ads.  Most of these ads brag how Bluehost is the best hosting solution online.

While it’s a good choice, it’s definitely not the best.

The truth is Bluehost used to be one of the premier web hosts but over the years they have continually lagged in their performance.  Their page speed has continuously decreased and from our data we can see trends of increase page load times and slower performance across all of our Bluehost-based sites.

If you’re a blogger and looking for a personal site I wouldn’t recommend Bluehost, they attempt to squeeze every penny out of you. If you’re a business, definitely don’t choose Bluehost. I’d stick with our top pick and use Siteground.

5. Arvixe – www.arvixe.com

image of Arvixe icon

Average Uptime: 99.71%

Average Load Time:  2.654ms

So Arvixe is a decent host other than the fact that their servers are extremely slow, especially for the Aussie market.  Their uptime is actually fairly low when compared to some of the other guys as well.

Service is average. Some of their agents aren’t as technically qualified and answer questions based on scripts, so you feel like you’re not actually speaking with a real human.

The biggest thing with Arvixe is the slow page loads which can affect user experience and your SEO as well.

6. Ipage – www.ipage.com

image of Ipage icon

Average Uptime: 99.84%

Average Load Time: 994Ms

iPage is definitely a cost effective choice. I don’t really have any major complaints with them but there is also nothing that is extremely impressive about their page speeds, uptime and service.

iPage is like buying a 7-11 hotdog. Yes, it will fill you up and you won’t be hungry. Job done. However, there are a lot of better options when it comes to hosting for roughly the same price.

Service is also hit or miss. It really depends on the agent. I’ve had few instances where attendants were pretty helpful and a few agents who seemed like they just started the job the day before.

7. InMotion Hosting – www.inmotionhosting.com

image of InMotion Hosting icon

Average Uptime: 99.87%

Average Load Time: 1020Ms

InMotion hosting is a very popular choice for a lot of US based businesses. They have decent service, pricing and support. The major issue is that they page load times lag compared to other hosting companies.

With the majority of their clients being based in the US, their datacenters aren’t setup well for Australian companies.

InMotion would definitely be higher on our list if it weren’t for their slightly laggy page load times.

8. FatCow – www.fatcow.com

image of FatCow icon

Average Uptime:  On average we saw about 99.83%

Average Load Time: Average Load time was 1432Ms from Sydney/Brisbane combined.

So, right off the bat I wouldn’t recommend Fat Cow because it’s just not that reliable given their load times.

I realize that it is quite a cheap option and that can be a big bonus for a lot of starting bloggers, but I don’t think it’s a viable choice for anyone who wants a dependable host.

Support isn’t that great. Although this is speculative, I think that the majority of support is based in India and they just follow scripts. If you have anything that needs explaining you’re not going to be getting it from FatCow.

Also did I mention they hosting is called Fatcow? :):)

9. Web Hosting Pad – https://www.webhostingpad.com

imag of Web Hosting Pad icon

Average Uptime: We saw roughly 96.63%

Average Load Time: 1,821Ms from Sydney, Brisbane and Canberra.

Don’t use this host. Their uptime is too low to be recommended.  I suspect they are using antiquated servers that can’t keep up.

There is no reason you should be paying regular prices for this kind of load speed.

Customer support is also atrocious. They don’t even answer half the time. Other vendors have also made mention of their restrictive Terms of Service.

Web Hosting Pad offers some really low rates, but it’s just NOT worth it.

10. Web Hosting Buzz – https://www.webhostingbuzz.com

image of Web Hosting Buzz icon

Average Uptime: 96.73%

Average Load Time: 1,734Ms

Again, this isn’t our top choice.  Support was actually fairly good and their rates were reasonable, but we can’t get over their load/downtime. With increasingly laggy page speeds it’s just a little too much for us.

Not recommended.

 11. Host Monster – https://www.hostmonster.com

image of Host Monster icon

Average Uptime: 99.63%

Average Load Time: 1,004Ms

Average page speeds, load times and support. There is nothing great or too terrible to say about Host Monster. However, we think you can get way better quality with Siteground or one of our top 3 picks for the same price.

Host Monster also doesn’t have datacenters that are optimized for the Aussie market.

12. Host Metro – https://hostmetro.com

image of Host Metro icon

Average Uptime: 99.63%

Average Load Time: 1,424Ms

Host Metro gets a lot of new customers with aggressive online advertising and their “price lock” offer which helps convert a lot of their potential buyers.

Despite that value that they try to put up front they should have spent that on getting a proper server as their load time are borderline ridiculous.  With loading times like what we experienced you’re not only going to have to make your site’s visitors wait around it will also affect your online marketing performance and even SEO.

Not recommended.

13. Hosting 24 – https://www.hosting24.com

image of Hosting 24 icon

Average Uptime: 99.78%

Average Load Time: 1,655Ms

I think you can see the pattern here.

The sites anywhere down from position 1-5 are these guys with much slower load times.  Hosting 24 is way behind the bar when it comes to load times.

It’s almost like their servers are in Siberia with only one datacenter.

If you run an e-commerce site and are thinking about using this provider…. run.

 14. Just Host : https://www.justhost.com image of the just host logo

Average Uptime: 98.48%

Average Load Time: 1,055Ms

So Just Host wasn’t that bad when it came to uptime and page load but their support is insanely bad. I’m not sure how a company could even function in 2017 while utilizing such poorly trained support staff.

Another note, they have a tiered pricing system meaning that when you scale up to the service you do want you’ll be paying the same price as a top tier service.

15. Site5 : https://www.site5.com

image of Site5 icon

Average Uptime: 98.11%

Average Load Time: 1,155Ms

I don’t have much bad things to say about Site 5. Some of our legal clients have been using it for a while and seem to enjoy the service.

I’d say everything about Site 5 is average at best. It’s like getting a plain ham and cheese sandwich. It will fill you up but it doesn’t leave you very impressed.

16. Host Nine – https://www.hostnine.com

image of Host Nine icon

Average Uptime: 99.11%

Average Load Time: 851Ms

Host Nine is the little brother of the giant billionaire dollar company called EIG. That being said we expected a lot better from this hosting provider than the fairly average results we got.

Support was decent. Page speed was ok and uptime fine, but given their service financial backing we thought we would be expecting a little more from them.

Another issue we noted is that their support staff didn’t notify us at all when our test sites went down.

17. Host Rocket – https://www.hostrocket.com

image of Host Rocket icon

Average Uptime: 97.11%

Average Load Time: 757ms

Again, average all across the board. We would have put Host Rocket higher up the list if it weren’t for their fairly high cost of setup (they charge you a fee).

For the same value, go with one of our top three hosts.

18. Green Geeks – https://www.greengeeks.com 

logo for green geeks

Average Uptime: 98.11%

Average Load Time: 1,240Ms

Greek Geeks is a eco-friendly web provider and it has some pretty awesome support, load times and uptime – at least in the US.

However its datacenters just can’t handle Australian-based traffic that well and that’s why it shows up on spot number 18.

If you were a US based customer I would suggest Green Geeks for sure. Their rates are decent and they even throw in a free domain.

19. Host Papa – https://www.HostPapa.com

image of Host Papa icon

Average Uptime: 96.11%

Average Load Time: 1,243Ms

Take one quick look at those stats and you can see why they came in position 19. Thing is, like Green Geeks, Host Papa is actually a quality web hosting company in the US but in Australia they just don’t have the power to support sites over here.

Since we were testing via Australian cities their results weren’t that great.

So my advice is, if you’re doing E-commerce and selling in the US than Host Papa might be a good choice, other than that I’d say not recommended.

20. Mid Phase – https://www.MidPhase.com

image of Mid Phase icon

Average Uptime: 95.81%

Average Load Time: 1,543ms

Just don’t use Mid Phase. Terrible everything.

Combine that with their no money back policy and it makes you think are they purposely trying to fail?


What Are the Different Kinds of Hosting?

When you first start reading about the different options available for hosting it can be a little overwhelming. There seem to be endless choices with each hosting service promising that theirs is the “best” for your needs. Price points make it all the more unclear.

Some providers aim to give you the cheapest price humanely available at what seem like absurdly cheap prices of $1-2 dollars a month. Other ones even offer hosting for free. Despite those newbies often pick overly powerful hosting packages that they don’t need.

The simple rule of thumb that we stick to is – get a simple hosting solution and then grow into the higher end packages. 

For example providers like SiteGround offer very flexible plans that allow sites to scale up in hosting as their traffic increases.


Types of Hosting – Which Is The Top Pick?

the different kinds of hosting and where they are used

The majority of hosting plans can be categorized into five main types: Shared, VPS, Cloud, Dedicated, and Reseller. Let’s look at each of them.

Shared Hosting

When it comes to the cheapest plans for new sites shared hosting is it.  Think of it as renting an apartment in a large crowded complex. The better quality the shared host the more room you have in your apartment however you never have your own property per say.

Cheaper shared hosts are cramming lots of people not only into the same building but even the same room.

Image of Shared Hosting

The apartment would be the IP address of your website.  The idea behind shared hosting is that most websites don’t get much traffic so there is no reason that they should be assigned significant server resources. Instead they can share those resources with a large pool of other sites.

For more small businesses and bloggers shared hosting is the cheapest web hosting option available. When using shared hosting make sure you a pick a datacenter located closer to your potential web visitors.

VPS

Once you have surpassed the capabilities offered by shared hosting a lot of people will opt for a virtual private server or VPS. These networks offer you expanded power without having to pay for a dedicated server. You can expect greater power from a VPS as fewer people are visiting your server.

VPS Hosting and Images

Another plus of using a VPS is you have full control of the server. It’s basically like having your own house. No need to share it with anyone else.

Cloud

Cloud hosting has become quite popular lately with services like Cloudflare being used throughout the US. It works like a VPS however there is no dedicated physical address, instead the server is distributed over many hundreds of computers. This results in faster loading time and is a very scalable solution.

CDN hosting image

One of the best parts of using Cloud based hosting is the second you want to up your speed all it takes is a quick request to the hosting company.  You can also up your CPU usage and disk space easily.

If uptime and the ability to scale very rapidly is a concern for your business than you should seriously consider cloud based hosting. All of our reviews offer cloud based solutions as well.

With cloud hosting you are able to access multiple servers which allow you to use different data centers and also keep your information private and secure.

Dedicated

The top of the line option is dedicated hosting. This means basically you have an entire server running for yourself that is committed to your website’s performance.

Image of Dedicated Service Hosting

These are great if you are completing multiple financial transactions on your website or are worried about upside at all. They also offer the highest level of security.

Reseller Based Hosting

Think of reseller hosting like white label web hosting. Basically person A would maintain the server while person B would sell hosting as if they were the hosting provider themselves. Reseller hosting allows you do use any of the above mentioned forms of hosting: dedicated, VPS, cloud and shared.

Resellers often buy access to mainframes or high capacity servers in bulk and then allocate different parts of that to different websites. Hosting of this nature also requires much greater technical knowledge of cPanel and other hosting aspects.

chart showing all the different aspects of web hosting


Different Hosting CMS

A CMS or content management system allows a user to add new content or modify old content on their website. It’s basically the interface that he/she uses. Different CMSs work with different hosting plans and some are more suited for different purposes.

WordPress Hosting

76% of websites online use WordPress and it’s by far the most popular CMS online. Launched in 2003 it has grown into the best choice for most bloggers or small businesses. WordPress allows for a wide range of custom features and tools. Read our detailed article on the best wordpress hosts in Australia.

image showing the benefits of wordpress hosting

It installs quickly and has great security. Support is also much easier to find when using WordPress. If you haven’t setup a website before I would highly suggest using WordPress. It will take some time to get used to but it’s the bread and butter of the online world.

PHP Hosting

PHP is an old school language that utilizes server-side scripting code/language. The term PHP originally referenced the term “Personal Home Page”. Whenever you use WordPress, Joomla or Drupal it’s basically utilizing PHP script to make commands and additions. The WordPress CMS gives user a a friendly UX and a lot of versatility. If you have very specific functions and applications you want installed on your site I’ suggest getting a PHP developer.

Java Based Websites

Java is primarily used for web applications. Any website that has fancy graphics and visuals is utilizing javascript in some way.  Over the years it has lost popularity for bloggers and small businesses. Yet for big E-com sites like Ebay or Amazon it’s all javascript.  If you’re looking for super high end features than javascript is what you’ll need.

Joomla

Joomla is another CMS like WordPress. It’s probably the second most popular CMS platform. It’s definitely not as easy to use as WordPress.  Personally I don’t like using Joomla and recommend all our clients to use WordPress as I find it more SEO-friendly.


Windows or Linux Based Hosts

Remember before when we talked about dedicated servers? 

Each server requires an OS (operating system).  This means that your hosting is easier linux-based or windows based.  Let’s look at the differences.

Windows

Windows is the Microsoft flagship. Choosing a windows-based host lets you run Window’s databases/applications and more complex programming scripts like ASP.Net. Windows offers more flexibility than just standard scripts, you can also use PHP or even MySQL without any issue.  In most instances, a Windows-based host costs a tad more than a Linux host.  Windows system crashes are also slightly more common.

Linux Hosts

Most servers in the world run on Linux.  It’s the industry standard and with good reason. Linux servers are reliable and can handle nearly all modern programming scripts and languages. Most applications can also run on Linux without issue.  Linux systems are sometimes referred to as LAMP meaning Linux, Apache, My SQL and PHP (all programming scripts for web hosting).

What’s the Deal With Unlimited Hosting?

You’ll hear a lot of hosting providers mention something about unlimited plans. Either in the form of bandwidth, storage or email.  However, it’s important to read the fine print!

Basically all it means in a simplified explanation is that they haven’t set specific limits for your resources.  If you dig into the TOS (Terms of Service) you can usually find out what they really mean.  The unlimited offer is set within reasonable circumstances. The average shared hosting service won’t be receiving 500k visits a month or sending out 10k emails a day.

The unlimited offer is usually more of a foot-in-the-door technique than anything. So don’t be overly enticed from the unlimited offer, what is more important is upload speed. A server may give you unlimited bandwidth but at what speed?

That’s it for our review. If you guys have any questions, just leave a comment below and I’d be happy to answer anything that comes up. 

Summary
Web Hosting Review Australia
User Rating
5 based on 42 votes
Service Type
Web Hosting Review Australia
Provider Name
bestwebhostingaustralia.net,
23 Lewin Street,New South Wales,Australia-2660,
Telephone No.(02) 6148 4465
Area
Australia, Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Perth, Canberra,
Description
We reviewed the top Australian web hosts to find the cheapest and best hosts for E-commerce, small businesses, blogging and more. Check out our 2017 reviews.

60 Comments on “Home”

  1. Hey some really quality informed information on this post Spencer. Really appreciate you taking the time to write all of this.

    It seems like you used mostly American or foreign hosts and I’m wondering why would people here use those hosts when their datacenters aren’t actually close to here at all?

    It seems like it would make a lot more sense to use an Australian based host like Panthur or another one? Mind tell me a little bit about why you did that?

    1. Hey Evan,

      Thanks for stopping by and I definitely appreciate the time you took to read the article. We know it’s a long one!

      So let me answer you question in a few parts, I understand that you guys might think I’m biased but here’s the long version of why.

      1) Australian datacenters are terrible. It’s the truth. I’m sorry to say but they haven’t upgraded their systems for a long time and things are just running at 2005 levels. Check out this article explaining all about it.
      2) Singapore datacenters are faster. We’ve tested from Sydney, Melbourne and few other cities and they are just plain faster.
      3) Terrible customer service. Melbourne IT or Panthur. If you’ve used them and had some uptime or DNS related issue you’ll know they are terrible.
      4) Expensive. You’re literally paying 4-5X the price for 1/6 of the services.

      What it comes down to is that Aussie servers just haven’t upgraded their infastructure with the times. A couple of companies have had a monopoly on the market and gotten away with absolutely terrible service.

      Hope that doesn’t come across as a bit vitriolic but data is data 🙂

  2. Great post here. How do these sites work if you want to cancel an existing service or migrate to another host?

    I was using Panthur but I found there support to be absolutely terrible and we had some serious uptime issues.

    You recommended Siteground, how do we migrate an existing site over to their service?

    1. Thanks for stopping by Sally.

      So if you use Siteground or A2 hosting they have free website migrations for any new customers. Basically when you sign up let them know that you have a site on another web host and they will transfer it over to you free of charge.

      I think Hostgator and a few others will charge you a bit of money to do this. One important thing to remember is regardless of who you use make sure to BACK UP before you change hosts. This is the plugin we use to do that, it’s called Backup Buddy.

  3. Hi. I really enjoyed reading your post. I found it very informative. I’ve always been concerned about my online security. Can you explain in more detail how a dedicated server could offer me more online security ? Thanks! Great post by the way!

    1. Hey Chris,

      So think about it like this..

      Shared hosting is like sharing an apartment with lots of people while dedicated hosting is like having your own apartment or house somewhere that none can touch or harm.

      You’re basically more isolated from any potential danger than sharing your IP with lots of other people. Distance = security (in most cases) as it implies anonymity.

  4. How do you setup a CDN on a shared host? Is that even an option? Also do you recommend this?

    1. Hey Jean,

      So yes you can add a CDN on any hosting plan you want. Basically it just re-routes your IP to a CDN server like cloudflare. So with any shared plan on A2 or Siteground you can set it up via cPanel. It’s pretty easy to do as well. As for recommending it, I would say yes for a few reasons. It will make your site faster and more secure. It’s free and if you’re sending our email for sales or marketing from your @domain it will whitelist your IP.

    2. It’s pretty easy once you get logged into cPanel just go to Cloudflare and it’s a 2 step process. If unsure ask support. I definitely do recommend it.

  5. Hey, just want to mention that anyone who is considering using Panthur stay away. We had a terrible experience with them. They are an absolute nightmare. 🙁

  6. It seems like you know you’re stuff, and you’ve really done your research! I have a question for you, and it may be an obvious one (I’m new to the realm of web hosting/websites), but is web hosting just the server you base your website on? Or does it include the URL, too?

    For example: Let’s say I have a website built on WordPress, but I bought my URL from a service like GoDaddy or some other URL seller, and hired a web company to maintain the website and its security. Who of the three would be my hosting company? And is it bad to go through so many different third parties?

    Thanks in advance for your help!

    1. Hey Elli,

      Thanks for stopping by. So let me explain..

      Domain = Domain Register
      What you see on the Internet = hosting provider

      If you purchased both of them via the same service (GoDaddy does offer) this then you can setup your web hosting for your new domain really easily. Otherwise what you will need to do is point your domain’s nameservers towards your hosting. I suggest purchasing any new domains with namecheap as you’ll have 10-15 a year on privacy protection.

      If you have issues you can send me an email or drop a question via the contact form.

  7. Hey Lucas, this was a really informative post and a lot better than some of the other info out there which is just basically a list of sites.

    So judging from what you’re take on the matter is you think that Aussie datacenters are absolute garbage and that the Singapore based ones provide more reliable and faster Internet quality?

    Have you tested this from different cities?

    1. Exactly. Singapore beats out Australian hosting companies every time. The data is consistent over and over again.

      Until Australia gets its act together and actually builds some good hosting infrastructure that will remain the best option.

      Yes, if you check in the post we used a lot of different cities.

  8. Don’t you think it’s a bit unfair that you basically said Australian hosts suck and are encouraging us to pick a bunch of foreign companies? Do you work for them?

    1. Hey Tom,

      Thanks for stopping by. Always good to exercise a healthy dose of skepticism. However, in this situation the answer is no I don’t work for them. I recommend foreign hosts because data is data and numbers don’t lie. Aussie hosts don’t have the uptime or datacenters to compete with foreign hosting companies. Think what you will but I’ve been doing this for a while.

    1. Actually if you click on the side bar button for Siteground that link itself is a discounted deal for all my readers. 🙂

    1. You know it 🙂

      Actually I’ve been back in Sydney for the last few months but we’ll be back up there in a few months. Thanks for stopping by and good to see your still lurking around. 😉

    1. Yup, it’s actually the reason I recommended people to use Siteground as their big datacenter is actually located in Singpaore. You guys just don’t believe me…… jeez!

  9. Great info Lucas! Appreciate you taking the time to write up all of this. We are a medium sized business in the construction space.

    What do you think is the point when we should transfer to dedicated hosting as opposed to shared? There is quite a bit price difference

    1. Hey Klein,

      So the transition is up to you. It really depends on what is right for your business. Let me have a look and we can go from there. Can you drop me a message via the contact area? Thanks!

  10. I like what you guys are up too, definitely helped me pick my ecom site! I was almost about to signup for Wix

    1. Wix is garbage don’t do it. Well actually their visual builder is ok, but there is NO reason why you should be paying an ongoing fee for your website. It’s criminal. Send me an email and I can help you find a more cost effective solution.

      Good luck Callum.

  11. Siteground is pricing annually or monthly? I tried to checkout and it was the annual price – is that right?

    1. Yup, that’s right it bills you annually for it. Although if you talk to support I think there is a monthly option.

  12. I’ve used Siteground in the best and can attest to their quality service, speed and professionalism. Definitely a great option for anyone looking for an easy solution. VPS hosting I’d go with them as well cuz of their hybrid approach

  13. Hey Spencer,

    I’d just like to add I didn’t have quite such a negative experience with VentrapIP as you claim you did.

    They were courteous and helpful with their support and I didn’t notice my websites going down at any point.

    It seems a bit much to call their service “shit” doesn’t it?

    1. Hi Diane,

      So couple of questions Diane…

      Do you run a program that monitors uptime/downtime 24/7 365 days a year? Because I do and I have high standards for uptime, VentrapIP falls into the same category as cheap SEO hosting in the $1-2/month range.

      Have you worked with support on anything more technical? Like installing a VPS droplet with limited actions or configurations? Because I have and they are incompetent for a major web host charging the amount they do.

      I’m entitled to my opinions just as much as you are to yours. There is only one fact here and that is pure data and my data indicates that…. yes… VentraIP is a giant steaming piece of dogshit that is ripping people off using low quality unsecure servers with terrible uptime.

      Hope that didn’t offend your delicate web hosting sensitivities.

      Spencer

  14. I couldn’t agree more with what Spencer has to say about some of these products and services. Right on mate.

  15. I would disagree with some of these pretty harshly. I’m a junior web developer and some of our clients are using Net Registry and also VentraIP. They have been helpful and we have absolutely no issues with the hosting.

    Your reviews seems a bit harsh don’t they?

    1. Hey Debbra,

      First, thanks for stopping by and I appreciate the oppurtunity to answer your question.

      So here it goes….

      Both of those reviews focused on the pricing models of those companies which are … in my humble opinion…. outrageous. There is no need to be charging customers with a $200-300/year fee for SSL when it’s totally free.

      Yes, they may have good uptime in your opinion but you don’t check the website 1000+ times a day which is what our tracking software does. So in reality your objective opinion about the server speed times, isn’t that objective is it?

      I stand by my opinion as I have the data and data is king! :):):)

  16. Hey Lucas,

    I’m wondering what is this software or data solution your using to track all of these servers? Did you build your own API? I’m curious as we’ve worked with a lot of these hosting companies you’ve mentioned especially the Australian ones and their systems are so old that they don’t have APIs.

    What was your workaround on that?

  17. Excellent article. We went with Siteground for our local plumbing business. They have been very helpful with some of our quite uninformed questions.

  18. Ӏ couldn’t refrain from commenting. Verу well written!

    I’m wondering what you think of hosting my website on one of these free builders like Wix or Weebly?

    To be honest I know most people use WordPress but it’s a little intimidating to use and I don’t think I can spend the huge amount of time required to learn a complicated system like WordPress. It’s hard for someone like myself who isn’t very techy.

    So is a website builder a good idea? Is that tied in with hosting? What do you think?

    1. Thanks for stopping by Shannon.

      So here’s my take on it….

      1) Website builders are good if you don’t know what you’re doing and you’re looking for a quick way to start building out your site. They make WordPress a very simplified process and you can build a pretty good looking site in a few hours. You don’t have the level of customization that you would with WordPress or a basic HTML editor, but it is easy.
      2) Be careful if you migrate your website to another hosting company or want to change the way your website is setup. The files aren’t necessarily transferable and you might lose some of your data and your design work when you migrate over to WordPress one day.
      3) Developer community is a big thing to remember. WP has a giant community of people who are constantly building a 2nd layer of products on top of WP, that is really important for building a codebase that is always improving and getting better. You won’t get that with a website builder!

      Hope that helps!

  19. Woah! I’m really enjoying the template/theme of this site.
    It’s simple, yet effective. A lot of times it’s tough
    to get that “perfect balance” between user friendliness and visual appeal.

    I must say that you’ve done a great job with this.
    In addition, the blog loads extremely quick for me on Firefox.
    Outstanding Blog!

    1. Thanks Michael.

      I appreciate your appreciation for my site. I made it as fast as I could. I also went ahead and deleted your link in your comment. Hope you don’t mind. xoxo

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