I started my 1st website in 2013 and till date, I have worked on almost 8 websites with varieties of features and purpose. Over a period of multiple years, I have shifted from varieties of hosting providers. The main reason for migration from one host to another was the increasing traffic on my website and the cost and service.
Mid-2013, iPage was my 1st hosting provider. This was a $1 hosting and obviously a bad one.
November-2013 I shifted to Arvixe shared hosting plan. I migrated because the hosting was not able to handle the traffic. But still, Arrvixe have the best hosting support I have encountered. The cost was $7/ month.
Feb-2014, I went to Host4Geeks. They started repeatedly blocking the server because of the increase in traffic and was one of the worst for handling this. The cost was $29.95/ month. It was a Semi-Dedicated SD Plus hosting.
June-2014, to GreenGeeks. Good hosting environment but still gave me downtimes. The cost was $39.95. It was a VPS HOSTING WITH SSD & CPANEL/WHM and 1 GB RAM.
August-2015, to A2hosting. It was Power+ Managed VPS. The cost was $120 for a 3 month of service. This is the 2nd best-hosting provider I have encountered and their VPS is amazing. The only reason for migrating out was my sites giving increased server response times without any good reason and their support guys not helping with it and blaming and asking me to do management. I am a doctor by profession and do not have much of the technical expertise to do all these. So I migrated out.
July-2017, I migrated to LiquidWeb Managed hosting Plans.
Let me start by saying this is the best hosting provider I have come across. Their servers brought down my server response times to less than 1 sec from 4-5 seconds previously and the average of 776ms. Managed hosting caching is amazing and page load times without any ads were about 1-1.3 seconds. I had never seen such kind of page load times on my websites. My website is a social network for doctors with a lot of plugins including bbpress and BuddyPress. This is the only hosting provider with which I had 100% server uptime. This is due to their cloud hosting environment. There is a simple button to enable Varnish cache but it worked only on the websites which do not have user login/ registration and my main website was loading cached pages for logged out users only even after the login was done. So, I disabled the Varnish cache. Following are the screenshots from Pingdom Monthly report for my website:
Tasks like installing plugins is a piece of cake and are done in almost no time. Server responded equally no matter how much traffic it had. There are many instances when my website has >100 users at a single point in time, doing stuff like reading web pages, downloading pdf, register, login, commenting etc. Their servers handled this without any problem.
LiquidWeb calls their customer service as Heroic support, but I found them to be slow in resolving the issues and far from heroic.
Just to mention my websites have a traffic of about 50,000-100,000 visitors per month.
The only downside for me was the cost which was $120 per month. Income from my sites was almost similar and I was getting almost no profits out of this. I the meantime I changed the strategy of my website and focused only on the blogging part without bbpress and BuddyPress. So I decided to shift to WordPress.com Business plans which have recently allowed to install custom made themes and plugins on the wp-admin side. This is in partnership with Pressable according to them. Pressable themselves do not have very good reviews but I gave this a shot as the cost for 1 website was $300 annually.
I am still working on WordPress.com Business plan migration as the process is having a lot of issues like the encoding problem, sync issues with jetpack, post not getting deleted, 7-22 seconds of server response and page load time and many more issues. Following is the screenshot of the Pingdom server response time during my migration period from LiquidWeb Managed WordPress hosting to WordPress.com Business plan. You can see in there that my server response time has increased to about 5-6 seconds and already have multiple downtimes at wordpress.com compared to 100% uptime on LiquidWeb. Note that I migrated from LiquidWeb to WordPress.com on 19th October 2017.