Feedback Request: My shortlist of webhosting prospects

Big on Hosting. Unlimited Space & Unlimited Bandwidth

Hello fellow WHTers!

After being with Dreamhost since January 2005 and because of their continuously declining webserver performance in the last year, I’ve decided to move on to a new webhost. Below is my shortlist of prospects and my general requirements. I will be sending a pre-sales inquiry to these hosts momentarily, but in the interim, I would be very grateful for your feedback and recommendations. Since I’m a WHT newbie, I can’t post any links yet.

Prospective Webhosts

In no particular order or preference:

  • BigScoots
  • CrocWeb
  • GreenValueHost
  • Host4Geeks
  • MDD Hosting
  • StableHost
  • 48-14 (for my two blog sites)
  • Others recommended by WHT members

Web Projects in Development

Currently, I’m in the process of planning, designing and developing several startup website projects related to guitar technology and my original music. I hope to launch these projects at different intervals within the next few months, as my health challenges permit:

  • Two static HTML/CSS/JS-based website;
  • One or two blogs, based on WordPress or other blogging platform (may host on a separate account or use specialized hosting service like 48-14, WordPress(dot)com, Blog(dot)com or other);
  • A PHP/MySQL/SQLite or flatfile CMS website;
  • A private, member-only forum with a premium area for paid users, based on Simple Machines Forum or other bulletin board software, which may reside in a subdomain (or may host on a separate account or use specialized hosting service like WebsiteToolbox);
  • A very small private intranet/groupware/file sharing site for three users to start, which may also reside in a subdomain.

Expected Website Traffic and Bandwidth Requirements

Each of these sites will most probably have very low traffic, unless I’m lucky to be featured in a blog or trade magazine which may cause a sudden surge in visits. For the first year after launching, I realistically expect the combination of these sites to have less than a hundred to optimistically a couple thousand visitors per month (including surges, but not including search bots). Therefore, I’m uncertain about my bandwidth requirements (I’ll leave it up to your recommendation) but I do wish to have a smooth upgrade path as growth requires. I also want my web pages to load quickly, preferably under 2 seconds and optimally under 1 second. However, I do understand certain scripts and plugins may adversely affect load times, so I know much of the software optimization may be up to me.

Additional Hosting Requirements

Except for logos, graphical design elements and perhaps a few select photos, I’ll most likely be storing media files (photos, audio, video) on external sites such as Picasa, SoundCloud, YouTube, Amazon S3 or others, and link or embed these in my web pages. I will also use PayPal, BandCamp and/or other external web services for shopping cart/payment gateway at the start. I’m hoping shared hosting or “semi-dedicated” (not quite VPS) will suffice. Here’s a list of my expected storage and other requirements, which I believe all the above hosts can meet:

  • 10GB+ Disk Space;
  • RAID SSD (preferred) or high-speed HDs;
  • Multiple addon domains and subdomains;
  • Linux OS (preferred);
  • LiteSpeed (preferred) or Apache Web Server;
  • FTP access and accounts;
  • HTAccess (password-protected directories);
  • Control panel (for managing account, domains, databases, ftp, users, email, stats, resource usage, etc.);
  • WordPress capable or other blogging platform (if not hosted elsewhere);
  • Sufficient access privileges to install and configure PHP/MySQL/SQLite or flatfile-based open source CMS, forum and other server-side scripts (SSH would be a nice extra but not indispensable);
  • One-click installs, Softaculous or other script library (nice to have, but not indispensable);
  • Email list functionality for announcements (nice to have, but not indispensable, I could use MailChimp or similar service);
  • Other requirements recommended by WHT members and host.

Thanks so much for your feedback. If you wish to know more about me and my “webventures”, just run a Google search of my username “RLSguitar” and you’ll learn everything about me (I’m a very transparent, extroverted kind of guy).

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