There are quite a few WordPress sites that I run: losefatstat.com, videostory.com, timelapsevideogroup.com, videobizbook.com, tributevideobook.com, and others. Most are video production related, and a few are about other things I’m passionate about.
What the experts will tell you is that speed is the most important factor in making your site a success. I’d add to that there are a number of other factors as well: An SSL certificate, frequent backups, and a staging site when you need to make major changes to a site and don’t want to push those changes to your site until you’ve tested them.
Been There, Done That, and Here We Go Again
I’ve used many hosts over the years (and that’s MANY years, by the way). I’ve switched hosts when I found missing features, or features that were free suddenly costing big bucks. That has happened to me again. I will be switching templates on one site ( losefatstat.com) to he one I use on this site. It’s a major change, so I decided I better use the staging feature my host offers. Well, USED TO OFFER. This host was bought out by another company a few months back, and without announcing it, their free staging site feature quietly disappeared, to be replaced by the need to buy up to “professional” WP hosting for $15 / month single site, or $40 / month for multiple sites. Ouch.
Making the Switch to a New Host
So, yet another web host search began. And this is not an easy task. But over the course of two days, I think I found a host I can live with nicely.
I hadn’t hear of A2, but they kept popping up in the sweet spot between cost and functionality. They use SSD drives, so speed isn’t an issue, and the offer the following musts:
- WordPress, Drupal & Joomla optimized
- Turbo Servers (up to 20X faster)
- Free & easy site migration (they’ll handle it for you!)
- Server Rewind Backups
- Free SSL Certificate
- Free Staging Site
The last three were must haves, especially, as I said, the staging site. My changeover is just too complicated to do in public.
BUT THIS WEEK, that $3.99 price you see above is cut to $1.98 / month with Black Friday /CyberWeek pricing (click here). I’m sure it’s only good for the next few days (as is, of course, CyberWeek). I’m an affiliate (I didn’t waste any time) so I get a small cut which doesn’t cost you anything. But as with everything on this site, I only recommend things I can stand behind, and so far so good.