Over the past 10 years I’ve had tried out several hosting companies, some good, some not so good. With 1and1 and Dreamhost my sites were always experiencing drastic downtime and no one was ever available at customer service. With Bluehost the downtime was less, but the customer service was lacking. With GoDaddy nothing ever worked when it came to PHP and plugins, and their customer service didn’t seem to know which way was up when it came to anything other than domain registration.
I landed at HostGator several years ago and stayed firmly there for a long time. WordPress and plugins were working good, they had 1-click installations with cPanel, everything seemed smooth for quite awhile. For awhile. Things seem to have shifted in the last few years and the only thing I was able to get from customer support was canned responses that in most cases didn’t address the issue I was having.
In addition to the canned response run around on support tickets, HostGator kept telling me to buy some big overpriced VPS package that I knew I did not need, they actually insisted that if I didn’t upgrade to their VPS package that they could no longer offer me customer support on my account. I switched to Reliable Webs that same week and I haven’t had a single problem since (I’ve been with Reliable Webs now since October 2010)
I actually have more sites hosted in my Reliable Webs account now than I ever did in the similarly sized package at HostGator. With no bandwidth problems, no constantly being nagged to buy a VPS package that I don’t need, and very little downtime. I don’t know when they do maintenance runs because I certainly never catch it down.
If the up-time wasn’t enough to spark your interest already, you must meet their customer service. It’s the best I’ve ever experienced with a hosting service and, like I said, I’ve been through a few hosting services in the past. They helped me get moved in, they offer plenty of additional support, and if I ever have a problem I know I can count on getting help from a real person instead of a canned copy and paste response. That’s a huge perk in my book.