We help IT Professionals succeed at work.

Looking to replace Web host provider --

Phonebuff asked
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2019-06-09
Need a cost effective alternative to SiteGround Grow Big account.  

Most of the time they seem like a good solution, but then something happens usually around DNS updates and they just fall apart.  My latest headache with them involves moving an SNPP (Port 444) connection into AWS with the host name in Route 53 and the connection in the Dynamic Load Balancer.   Well that apps, been done all day.  They don't allow you to DIG, PING or NSLOOKUP from the SSH CLI, and they always seem to feel that they should own the DNS registration.  

This is the third time this year already I have had similar issues and I need to look again.  Might move to AWS, but the nature of the sites seem to imply a variance in cost month to month and possibility of a HUGE surprise one month.  

Mostly a mix of PHP, Static HTML and WORDPRESS (Gravity and Genesis Enterprise) ..

I am out Tuesday, so will apologize in advance for any slow responses.

Watch Question

First, I'll say that I don't know SiteGround, so I can't really comment on their reputation, but my general thoughts on what you've described of their services:

1. It's not unusual to disable certain commands from the shell, especially on shared hosting. Most shared hosts just give you SSH as an extension of SFTP to give you a more powerful way to run some simple file management capabilities like chmod / chown, scp, rsync, etc...

2. It's a little odd for them to be owning the domain registration. Are you sure you're not talking about them owning the nameservers? That would be a far more common situation, especially if they need to update IPs from time to time. Sometimes that can be a good sign - indicating the host is swapping out servers from time to time and keeping their infrastructure up-to-date.

3. If I were you, I'd tell the host that I'm about to leave due to these outages and give a list of them and see what they come back with. Some hosts offer compensation for any outages, and if it's that frequent, maybe they could put you on a separate server infrastructure that doesn't have as many problems. The squeaky wheel gets the oil, so be squeaky. It'd likely be far less problematic for you if you could stay with them but be moved to more stable hardware / environment.

Moving onto AWS...
1. Yes, there's a chance that you could end up with a huge surprise. Is it really likely? No. First, you'd have to have a correspondingly-HUGE surge in traffic and have it sustained for a long time. Given the limited hardware resources of your instance, you'd almost certainly notice a huge performance decrease and be unable to consume sufficient traffic to create a huge bill. It's not absolutely impossible, but it shouldn't be the fact that keeps you from considering an AWS instance. It would be like considering buying a nearly-identical car with a bigger gas tank, but then NOT buying it because it has a bigger gas tank. Sure, it costs more to fill a larger tank, but if you're going the same distance all the time, then you're not really spending more. And even with a bigger tank, the car can only go far. So you're not going to randomly end up with a $1 million dollar gas bill someday.

2. Your bigger concern with AWS should be site management. If you're moving from shared hosting to one where you're managing the server instance yourself, that's a pretty big change in responsibility. You should make sure you're prepared to handle that and know how to stay up to date, troubleshoot, etc...

My personal overall recommendation would be to see if your current host can give you a better experience if you complain about the problems they've been having UNLESS you're prepared to go into that tech management side, in which case, AWS would be a good choice. Personally, I like Atlantic.net for simple, fixed-price VPS instances, but that's just me.
We use Siteground "GoGeek" since 6 years as any web hosting company they have pro and cons and limitation.
But til now I have found a way to live with some limitation by modifying the code of the apps or using third party service for cron job.
They have an excellent and quick support from the tickets interface.

The package you have is not expensive, so depend of the revenue and budget you may consider dedicated server with support or cloud but this will be a lot more expensive each month and you may need to hire an IT tech for the management.


So, been a busy week and I apologize for not responding sooner.

I had my own hosts and hardware for a long time.  Got tired of updates for Wordpress and other things, tried Site5 and got frustrated quickly then went to Siteground where things have been reasonably stable.  

But twice lately changes to the DNS and specifically name servers have resulted in extended outages and long aggravating threads with support team members who I don't think can spell DNS never mind support it when they don't host it, but also refuse to get the appropriate internal help.   The latest issue was resolved after 48 hours and 30+ entries in the ticket thread. as well as some unhappy users.  

You have both given me a number of things to consider and I appreciate it very much !!

On 6 years I think they have change DNS twice...
With the GoGeek plan we have priority support, I always get answer rapidly within the same hour

You can compare the packages

So you may consider just switching the plan...


Thank you both for your responses.