For the last two years I’ve recommended TigerTech as THE website hosting company to go to in every single discussion on webhosting.
2 years as a blogger and consultant is a long time, and I’m proud to say that given the chance, I would have started out with TigerTech in the first place instead of wasting time and money at various ‘good but sometimes unreliable and often clueless’ web hosting companies for 6 years.
Talking strictly shared and VPS hosting (I don’t pretend to be an expert in dedicated hosting, although I know enough to know it’s bloody easy to waste money down that road if you don’t know why your site is consuming so many resources),most of the big names are actually quite decent.
The competition is good too
BlueHost is an above-average webhost. So is DreamHost. And A Small Orange. And Media Temple. And even the lads at Mosso and Slicehost. And WiredTree. Apart from Netfirms (whose staff really didn’t have a clue),all the companies I’ve hosted sites with have been good to great for a large number of people, but aren’t what I would call ‘awesome’ web hosts.
The guys at TigerTech are not only awesome, they’ve redefined awesomeness and taken it to a whole new level that only a $800+ / month server setup at RackSpace seems to get you. And they do it for $8 / month (basic plan – current highest plan costs you $20 / month, that’s what Soccerlens is on).
Yes, TigerTech offer shared hosting. What’s more, they only offer shared hosting. But for $8 / month (domain free if you register through them),here’s what you get:
World class customer support
You have to experience it to believe it. Ever had your site ‘shut down’ by a shared web hosting service because it was getting too much traffic? Never happens with TigerTech. They will, in the following order:
Check your site to see what’s causing the problem, email you with a note if it’s something you can fix (i.e. install wp super cache plugin),install the plugin for you if you need help, take action to limit cpu usage if it’s a runaway script (without pulling down your site – e.g. a cron job run awry),propose fixes (actual php code!) to your inefficient scripts / wordpress plugins, wait for you to fix the problem instead of shutting your site down, even if your site is screwing with their server for over 12 hours.
All of this has happened to Soccerlens in the past two years. Actually, a lot more has happened, and every single time, without fail, the TigerTech customer support staff have come through and more than helped in solving problems.
And this is all through email. Living in Pakistan, I’m not always able to access tech support via phone, but first-hand accounts from Ryan Caldwell and Loren Baker confirm that their phone-support is just as awesome.
TigerTech is not perfect
They only offer shared-hosting (although their largest shared hosting package is good enough for a site with several million pageviews per month, and they’re close to launching a high-cpu-usage package for bigger sites).
They only allow one domain per account (last I heard they allowed more domains per account for an extra annual fee per domain, but that offer seems to be missing after their last redesign / info update),which is a bummer if you’re looking to host 300 sites on one account. There’s no Fantastico – if you want to install something, you do it manually. There’s no ‘live chat’ for support – you either email or call them on the phone. Their mailing list rules can be strict (but fair).
Their design (improved from last year, believe it or not) is ‘austere’ and in stark contrast to the usual web hosting sites. If you were going by first impressions and landed on their front page, you’d click away because they looked too simple.
Downtime? What downtime?
All these would be a significant drawback for any other hosting service. But for TigerTech – their world class customer support, their near-zero-downtime, their digg-proof, crash-proof, everything-and-the-kitchen-sink-proof hosting – those are ridiculously minor issues that one adapts to.
The only time Soccerlens.com has been down since going with TigerTech has been because of a ‘runaway cron job’ setup by myself and for scheduled WordPress / design upgrades. You can see our site traffic here (with the number of plugins and scripts we run it makes for a heavy site),we crashed a 512mb ASO VPS back in April 07 before moving to TigerTech and safely negotiating through the summer peaks of 07 and 08 without any downtime.
What do you want from your webhost?
People who know servers and hosting? People who know the software you work in? People who help you fix your problems instead of penalising your for them? Near 100% uptime? Peace of mind?
I don’t worry about Soccerlens being down anymore, I haven’t for a couple of years. You only know how valuable that feeling is after you spend months fretting over your site ‘going down’ if you did anything to boost traffic to it.
TigerTech have a pretty decent affiliate program – you can go through either the straight links (all the other links on this page) or this affiliate link – it’s up to you. They do a fantastic job and it’s a company I have no problems giving money to. I hope you will give them a try.
A special thanks to Loren Baker over at SEJ for first pointing met in TT’s direction.
Thanks for reading. Hop over to TigerTech and stop worrying about web hosting.
Note: All TigerTech links are affiliate links.