Is there such a thing as a good shared webhost?

Yet again I find myself moving my blog to another webhost. Over the past six months this website has been hosted by Bluehost, Dreamhost, iPage and 1&1; all of which fail to offer stability and speed. Bluehost’s issues have been well documented by myself and others. Dreamhost were simply too slow, changes took forever to happen, specifically relating to DNS, I changed my name servers, but no zones were ready when the nameserver change happened, meaning extended downtime. iPage returned a 500 error on my WordPress site from the outset and never worked. Finally 1&1’s response times were three seconds and non existent; plus random 300 and 500 errors; and this was on their “Performance” package; I’d hate to experience their cheaper packages if that’s performance.

Chart of Response Times and Down Time over 72 hours

1&1 Response Times & Downtime

Key: Vertical axis shows response times, Red Dot(s) indicate downtime.

From 7pm on Tuesday, 10th June on the above chart is after switching to Knownhost, you can see the immediate jump in performance, zero downtime and response times drop to sub 100ms.

I’m not expecting sub 100ms response times on a shared host because that’s not feasible given that hundreds of websites are using the same hardware. I’d be happy with 1 – 2 second response times, but the random 500 server errors which takes my site down for upto 15 minutes at a time is not acceptable. I have come to the conclusion that here in the US, a good reliable shared host for less than $15 per month doesn’t exist. For the time being I have my website hosted on a VPS server.

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