How I Chose My Dedicated Web Hosting Provider

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In my last article entitled How Dedicated Hosting Can Actually Be Cheaper Than Shared Hosting, I discussed the reasons why I finally decided to switch from shared hosting to dedicated hosting with our online store.

After publishing the article, a number of readers subsequently emailed me to ask which provider I finally chose and how I made the decision. Ultimately I chose to go with Storm On Demand and here are the reasons why. Depending on what needs you may have with your own website, some of these criteria may not apply.

I Didn’t Want To Pay A Ton Of Money

As I mentioned in my last article, our online store doesn’t really require too much bandwidth or CPU resources at the present time. As a result, I wanted the cheapest dedicated hosting solution possible. The most reasonable dedicated plans out there are the virtual dedicated hosting plans.

For those of you who don’t know what VPS hosting is, it’s basically when your webhost virtually divides a single physical server into multiple virtual dedicated servers. From the perspective of the end user, it is as though you have your own physical machine and you have full control over anything that you might want to install.

The cost of VPS hosting varies but was well within my price threshold of roughly 50 dollars a month.

I Wanted A Seamless Upgrade Path

Even though my online store and blog don’t require intense compute resources at the present time, it’s always good to know that there’s an upgrade path available.

Migrating from one hosting company to another isn’t that big of a deal but it does take a good amount of time. For example, migrating our online store took me almost an entire day to perform. But if your hosting company has a good upgrade path, increasing the amount of bandwidth, disk space or even moving up to a true dedicated server is seamless.

Storm On Demand offers a wide variety of VPS packages all the way up to true dedicated hosting.

I Wanted To Use A WebHost That Well Known Bloggers Use

Let’s face it, if the big time bloggers use a particular webhost, chances are that webhost is good enough for you. It’s really easy to find out which webhost a particular website uses.

Simply go to or, type in a URL and you can immediately find out their web host provider.

Using these websites, I found out who a few of my favorite bloggers used to host their blogs. For example, Steve Pavlina uses ServInt, Tina Su and David Ning use Media Temple and JD Rucker uses Omegabyte.

Using this methodology, I immediately narrowed down the field of web hosts down to 2 or 3.

I Needed Good Technical Support

I’m pretty clueless when it comes to server administration, so naturally I require good technical support. To determine if the level of technical support was adequate, I called each respective webhost and asked a slew of questions to the tech. I also wrote down how long it actually took to obtain a live service rep and how long it took to get responses to my emails.

Here are some of the questions that I asked(Some of these only pertain to my online store)

  • Do you have a basic setup faq on how to setup a dedicated server from scratch?
  • How do I migrate an SSL certificate?
  • How do I set up a nameserver?
  • Can I easily install updates to Apache and PHP?
  • Can I downgrade my php version to version 4 if necessary?
  • How many VPS accounts do you place on one server?

Anyways, you get the idea. Unsurprisingly, I found that all of the web host providers used by my favorite bloggers offered very quick response times. In fact, technical support was not an issue for practically every provider that I contacted. My experience with Storm On Demand was especially good. I received email responses within minutes and I had no problems whatsoever getting a tech on the phone. The only problem that I had with Storm On Demand tech support was they had this tendency to do everything for me instead of telling me how to do things.

I Wanted The Most Bang For My Buck

By this time, I had already narrowed down my search to 2 providers, Media Temple and Storm On Demand. Ultimately, the decision came down to what I would get for my money.

Storm’s lowest on demand plan, priced at $35 per month, offered 1GB of guaranteed RAM, 75 GB disk space and 1 full CPU.

Meanwhile, Media Temple’s basic VPS service, priced at $50 per month, offered only 256MB dedicated RAM, 20GB of disk space and 1 TB bandwidth.

Storm On Demand offered better storage and dedicated RAM so that iced the decision for me. Hell, if Storm On Demand is good enough for other bloggers who get millions of readers a month, it should be good enough for me.

Final Words

Surprisingly, deciding on a dedicated hosting provider wasn’t that big of a deal. Because it is extremely easy to find out who other people are using as their web hosts, it’s usually pretty safe to just follow the leaders. If you ever have trouble deciding, just pick your favorite blog or website and find out what provider they use. It is that simple.

Related: How To Choose The Best VPS Hosting – Virtuozzo Or OpenVZ Vs Xen Vs KVM

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8 thoughts on “How I Chose My Dedicated Web Hosting Provider”

  1. nice post im currently using mediatemple

  2. When you choose a dedicated web server to host your sites you have to pay attention to a lot of things indeed. But the main concern in my point of view is the up time which should be over 99.9% especially if u are running an e-comerce site! Things like disk space and bandwidth should be taken in consideration last. There should also be a good raport between the price you pay and the services you receive in exchange!
    The rule β€œu get what u pay for” is applied only in a small number of companies that provide web hosting and this is very sad. So be carefull when you choose a web hosting service!

    1. @DedicatedWebHosting

      Totally agree with you. Uptime is the most important factor. However having said that, all of the webhosts I looked at already offered amazing uptimes so it wasn’t a factor in my decision.

  3. Laura Bondini says:

    I have found a secret and simple method that works very well:

    Just search in Bing or Yahoo (not in Google!) for “what is the web hosting company with the world’s lowest account cancellation percentage”. You should use this complete search term WITHOUT the quotes and you can copy this long search term here if you want.

    If you follow this advice, a handful real good very best hosting providers (guaranteed) will appear at the top of the search results. These are the only 100% reliable ones.

    These are the providers who are not afraid to be transparent by publishing their web hosting account cancellation percentage. Don’t use Google for this because their search results are much less relevant than Bing or Yahoo. Good luck!

  4. What I was paying attention to when choosing dedicated server hosting provider was flexibility and technical support level. After considering several marketplaces, I finally stopped on, because I can contact their team anytime on live chat or Skype, and may ask any question concerning the services.

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