Looking for a better shared host (USA) with current software and room to grow!

Big on Hosting. Unlimited Space & Unlimited Bandwidth
I’m currently using HostGator (shared hosting, nothing special, but it was a step up from what I had before). Since EIG gobbled them up and moved everyone from the Dallas DC to Provo my service has gone from usually OK to pretty typically awful. My currently-low-traffic sites (I only have two – one is currently an “addon” domain to the other) load slowly, despite their attempts to add caching and so on (never needed that before, and now even WITH caching it’s still slow as molasses more often than not).

I’m overdue for an upgrade… I’m here looking for opinions and options (and what to avoid), not a price quote. Thus, what I’m looking for in my next host:

  • Not owned by EIG. Period.
  • Shared hosting that is not ridiculously oversold.
  • Doesn’t need to be “unlimited”: reasonable limits are reasonable (as long as they keep abusers under control).
  • Decent pricing. I’m certainly willing to spend more than I do now, up to a point.
  • Hosted in the central part of USA e.g., Dallas, which has always been curiously reliable.
  • Apache2 (some offer “LiteSpeed” which I do not want.)
  • Cpanel 11+
  • SSL shared cert available
  • SSH available (also SFTP)
  • Cron jobs allowed (that would come in handy once in a while!)
  • MySQL 5.5 preferably
  • PHP 5.2, 5.3, 5.4, later? (Ideally multiple versions available)
  • Python 2.7 preferably (at least 2.6 but that’s EOL now!)
  • Perl 5.10 or greater preferably
  • Linux kernel 3.2.x or later preferably (2.6.x is pretty long in the tooth now too)
  • Deals promptly with blacklistings by Spamaus, etc. (I’ve been through that thanks to spammers on the shared host… some places are proactive and some ignore such things in the hopes the customer will go away – which I finally did.)

Some places I’ve pondered so far:

  • A Small Orange (Oops, EIG ate them too! I’d probably have moved there months ago… the ASO people seemed nice. Software versions were not as current as I hoped when I checked though. And, EIG… I really don’t want to have to move the next time they force their subsidiaries to “consolidate”).
  • Site5 (Very interesting but the opaque “resource points” calculation thing gives me a whole lot of pause as I read stories about it here and elsewhere.)
  • A2 Hosting (Intriguing… kudos for having a full list of dev package versions! They don’t appear to offer a “business” tier though, and that plus “unlimited” worries me. DC is in Michigan.)
  • Arvixe (User reviews are mixed, but they have a “business” level of service that might have fewer users per box. Lacking a lot of details though.)
  • iWF Hosting (Looking into their offerings, gathering details.)
  • GeekStorage (LiteSpeed = non-starter, otherwise kinda interesting.)
  • MDD and StableHost (LiteSpeed = non-starter, otherwise they seem very similar.)
  • … there are others, but the ones above came up most frequently.

Footnote: VPS is probably overkill for what I have. I’ve thought about doing my own hosting for web and email but frankly I don’t want to play sysadmin at that level for this – that’s a lot of time and effort. I’ve also thought about splitting out the email hosting part entirely… any thoughts on good email-only hosts?

Last edited by MartyMacGyver; Today at 12:29 AM. Reason: formatting

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