For the last over 10 years I have been using many hosting companies both for shared hosting and for dedicated servers. For local market in UK definitely the best was so far Webhosting.uk.com with very good staff support. Having dedicated server with webhosting.uk.com I was able to solve problems via chat within several minutes, with waiting time roughly from 15 seconds up to 2 minutes. If your audience is spread allover the world and you would like to use dedicated server as storage as well, the best option would be probably ASmallOrange.com web hosting company. In ASmallOrange.com you can get both web hosting (with CPanel) and advanced dedicated servers for reasonable prices.
However, there is one drawback – you can not use your account or CPanel at asmallorange.com if you try go log in from some WiFi service which uses dynamic IP.
Usually you don’t need dedicated server, because shared hosting or web hosting with some advanced features and dedicated IP would be perfectly OK and in most cases definitely the best economic solution.
We expect, that the higher price is, the better web hosting is, and it seems that this is a rule of thumb. But I found about 2-3years ago, with big hosting company GoDaddy, that despite paying almost £12 per month, I faced very often database connections problem. Very often means 10-30% of times I tried to log in to my WordPress admin panel. And traffic on my website was very low. On top of that management panel as used in GoDaddy was total mess. Maybe now the situation is improved, I don’t know.
It seems that some hosting companies deliberately keep relatively high prices and bad hosting performance filtering out customers with higher demands. One hosting account, with fixed price, can have very heavy traffic or no traffic at all. It doesn’t matter how much resources you use, price is still the same. For some hosting companies it is better to have ‘we don’t like you’ approach towards users with more demands, to keep users with low traffic and low resources expectations.
To cut the story short – avoid web hosting where host for database is not localhost but something like db948494.example.com. Usually it means that your website files are stored on one server, but all what is kept in database is stored far far far away in far far far away galaxy, on very very very busy and deadly optimized database servers. And it takes ages to communicate between web hosting server and database server. And during the communication proces there can be very very very long queue. It doesn’t sound good. On the other side, when database host is localhost it means – as name suggest – that database is stored on the same machine as your website files, so everything is usually much faster, or – at least – can be much faster.
Except that what was written above, definitely look for web hosting which offer something called CPanel. So far this is the best system for managing both dedicated servers and shared web hosting website. There are many options, but only useful or potentially useful. CPanel also enables automatic installation of some popular e-commerce or CMS software (WordPress amongst them as well). When you want to set up more advanced website CPanel will be big help making some tasks like setting up email accounts, database or files/database modification and many other things much easier and faster.
(will be continued)