Friends Don’t Let Friends Use Giant Shared Hosting Companies

choose small hosting companies | david and goliath

Note: WPShout has no corporate sponsorships of any kind.

I just moved a client’s site off a GoDaddy VPS. This was a new client, so I jumped in in the middle. Here was the experience he was having at GoDaddy:

  • Old shared hosting account still sitting parallel to the VPS
  • SSL certificate mistakenly installed onto the old shared hosting; site (and VPS’s cPanel) giving an “Insecure” warning because of broken SSL certificate
  • $180 in bills for SSL certificates in the past three months
  • Around $400 in bills and up-sells in the past three months, many of which were to pay GoDaddy tech support
  • 15-minute hold times for support techs, who then told him they couldn’t help him because he hadn’t bought a VPS plan that included support
  • VPS site was INCREDIBLY SLOW: A Google PageSpeed Insights score of 42/100 on a fairly straightforward WordPress site

Last night, I moved him to SiteGround, my personal favorite host for years running, and the one we use on all our own sites. Within three hours, my client:

  • Was on a cheaper monthly plan
  • With infinite tech support and no hold times ever
  • With a forever-free SSL certificate from Let’s Encrypt, installed in about three clicks from cPanel
  • Was running 27 percentage poitnts faster on Google PageSpeed Insights
  • With properly configured static and dynamic caching layers

Here’s the thing: This always happens. GoDaddy is consistently a nest of confusion, cost, and poor performance. My experiences with the other giant in the space, EIG, and all its brands (HostGator, Bluehost, etc.) have been even worse. SiteGround, on the other hand, is consistently excellent, across dozens and dozens of sites.

This isn’t the fault of the companies’ techs themselves. When you finally do get a human at GoDaddy or Bluehost, he or she is usually very nice and trying hard to deliver a good customer experience. Rather, it’s the companies themselves that use their enormous marketing budgets to force a bad experience on a large body of consumers that don’t know to look for better options.

I try not to be inflammatory, but I thought it might be worth emphasizing here that large shared hosts are an objectively worse choice than smaller hosts that do it right, like SiteGround, WP Engine, Flywheel, and others. Any credible source you read will back up this assessment:

  1. WPShout 2016 WordPress hosting review
  2. WPShout 2017 WordPress hosting review
  3. CodeInWP 2016 WordPress hosting review
  4. ReviewSignal

This is true even in the realm of ultra-cheap shared hosting. So I’m hoping today’s post helps get the news out slightly. It’s time we stopped letting our clients buy horrible hosting.

Image credit: Martin aka Maha

1 Response


  • Could not agree more. About 18 months ago I moved away from Bluehost (because their support became unbearable) and went to SiteGround (largely due to your recommendation). Their support is super speedy and I usually get someone that can help me the first time around.
    For higher-end clients (truthfully where 90% of my clients now live) I lean towards WP Engine. Their support is also amazing. It has been interesting to see Siteground start to step up their malware scanning and security features as well. They are starting to give WPEngine a run for their (much less!) money. 🙂

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