Web hosting is a mission critical component of any online service. I have used many different web hosts over the years from some great US hosts such as Pair.com to UK hosts such as TSO Host. Here is a basic run down of the hosts I have used:
Based in Slough, Berkshire - just on the outskirts of London - TSO Host are my go-to web host for a variety of UK and international hosting. They offer some great services and are extremely competitive e.g. half the cost of Rackspace for twice the amount of hardware. I currently host a number of both high-profile and high-traffic sites with them such as:
- Startups.co.uk - 500k monthly unique impressions served from a dedicated server with Varnish and APC caching
- Conrandesigngroup.com - High profile client using VPS hosting and APC caching
- But-n.com - Database intensive social network hosted on a managed VPS account
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I have used Rackspace for a number of years and although they offer some great hardware, their support has gone down hill rapidly over the past few years. Response times are slow - it takes days to answer a simple ticket - and their hardware has become expensive. Rackspace are definitely one of the best web hosts money can buy but be prepared to spend a lot of money with them for this premium web hosting experience.
I host my personal website - jnorton.co.uk - with a company named 34sp.com. I have been using them for over 10 years and they provide a good service with quick response times. They are based in Manchester and support tickets are always answered quickly. I am very tempted to move away from them and join TSO Host but I am a loyal person and don't mind paying extra for the personal service offered by 34sp.com.
I used Media Temple around 5 years ago so things may have changed since then although some of my fellow web developers still complain about the sluggishness of their servers. If you are looking for a company who offer burstable grid hosting then use TSO Host - in my opinion you won't be disappointed.
Pair.com provide reliable and moderately prices US web hosting, they are responsive to support requests both over the phone and via email and offer a good range of products and services. I have used them in the past to host a variety of different sites using WordPress, Drupal and Magento.
Crucial Web Hosting are another US hosting company that provide great hardware and support, they also offer Magento optimised infrastructure which means you can be sure your e-commerce site will load quickly. I have used them for a number of years for everything from Magento stores to bespoke database intensive applications and have experienced limited downtime.
I offer a range of hosting options to my clients for both file storage, website and database hosting. I have experience of many hosting companies most of which haven't made it to the list above as they offer either poor support or unacceptable hardware and pricing. In general, I now use TSO Host extensively for both my own and my clients websites and web applications.