Reviewing Two New WebHosts – MDD Web Hosting & Stablehost
Update Sept 2014:
I’ve been with MDDHosting for about 9 months now and so far the service has been outstanding. My experience with both hosts was extremely similar: easy to use interface, fast load times, generous hosting plans. I was splitting hairs to decide, MDD’s customer services was just a little more thorough and faster to respond. One caveat is that their tech support is email-based (as are most hosting companies), so you want to make sure the email address they have is NOT the same as the website you are hosting with them. Otherwise, if there is a problem with your website, you may not receive their emails.
For whatever webhost you are considering, I would strongly advise to stay away from any company using an affiliate program. Affiliate programs incentivize people to write false reviews about their service.
Original post, March 2014:
Hostgator sucks. They used to be good, but something terrible has happened to them. STAY AWAY. 12-20 hours wait time in order to get a simple response from their customer service. They repeatedly shut down my sites without any clear explanation of why (before or after). And no metric for how to prevent the shutdown in the future. Also, some sites just suddenly became extremely slow with no explanation. They are now in my top 3 of terrible hosting experiences (the other two are GoDaddy and Network Solutions).[If you’re curious: GoDaddy because they shutdown one of my client’s sites when they were accused by a competitor of copyright infringement. The accusation was completely false and ridiculous. But GoDaddy took down the site immediately with no warning or notice (violating their own terms of service, which states they will allow 30 days to resolve the dispute before taking a site down). They refused to put it back up until we either A) had a court document saying there was no infringement, or B) that the content in question was removed. It took days to resolve. GoDaddy’s has a very clear protocol for copyright infringement accusations which allowed us 30 days to resolve the report BEFORE they take our site down. They did not follow it.
And Network Solutions because a client of mine got the opportunity to go on Good Morning America. We called NS to discuss how to make sure our site could handle the traffic. We were using their eCommerce system (which is terrible in and of itself). They told us that they’d move us to an Enterprise Solution in order to handle the traffic. Then they swore up and down that we’d be in great shape. I have it in writing from the online chats I had with several technicians. Ultimately, the site crashed for the better part of the day when GMA aired the url. GMA was furious and the NS technicians still have given no explanation for why it crashed. They were unable to help us all day, although we talked to them at length, all they did was apologize and promise to give an explanation once they figured it out. Then they revealed that they had never moved us to an enterprise solution at all and that the enterprise solution we were told we were paying extra for didn’t actually even exist. My client is not litigious and had bigger fish to fry with growing their business, so we never sued, although we certainly had grounds for it.]
The two new hosts I’m trying are:
So far, so good. The sign-up process was easy. The only unclear part was that they prorated my first month, then immediately sent me a bill for the second month as well. It seems that they are trying to keep everyone on a first of the month billing cycle.
MDDHosting sent a really friendly introductory email with a link to over 800 video tutorials – https://www.mddhosting.com/support/tutorials.php
My first tech support email was answered in 30 seconds. It was an easy question, “do you provide hosting migration services?” I received a detailed and friendly response about how their services work. Sent cpanel login info and my transfers were added to the queue – 24 to 48 hours to complete the transfer.
So far so good with these guys too. Clear and easy sign-up. They charged me for the first month and don’t seem to be worried about getting me to sync up with a first of the month payment schedule.
Received friendly and easy to follow emails from these guys too. They’re style seems to be a little more casual. The account info / ticket system pages look very similar for both hosts.
Took about 2 hours to respond to my first tech support ticket. But it was after 5 PM, so a slower response time is expected. The question was if they will do hosting migration and how to start the process. The answer was friendly, but short and included some tech terms I wasn’t familiar with, so I have to send a follow-up question to find out how exactly to start the process.
I’ll update more as I go along…