Blog Web Hosting Recommendation

I get emails everyday asking for advice and one of the most asked question is, “Where is your blog hosted?” or “Who should I host with?” These two questions come up so often I’ve decided it was time to make a blog post about it.

John Chow dot Com is hosted on its own servers. The servers are collocated inside the NetNation Datacenter in the Bentall 5 building, downtown Vancouver. Whenever I tell other bloggers this, they get a bit dejected because the cost for that kind of setup is out of their price range. That leads to the next quest of which webhost they should use to host their blogs. For a long time I had no answer to this question because I don’t have much experience with other webhosting services – until now.

When Ed Lau and Paul Mudhar started their blogs, I told them to host at Monster Hosting because their prices were low, they were local, and I knew the owner. What I didn’t know was how good their infrastructure was. Ed and Paul both ordered up their Mini Unix plan. At $4.95 a month, it wasn’t expensive and it offer more than enough disk space and bandwidth to do the job. The question we were not sure about was if it can handle a Digg.

That question was answered when Ed got this story to the Digg front page. Not only did Ed’s blog stayed up but we didn’t even noticed a slow down. Most shared hosting service can’t handle a Digg or Slashdot. The server either goes down or the web host will kill access to your site because you exceeded the CPU usage limit.

Now that I know Monster Hosting can handle a Digg and not shut down, or shut you down, I can highly recommend them for your hosting requirements. I guess I should ask Gary (the owner) to give me a coupon code so readers can get a discount, but if you can’t afford $4.95 a month, well.

* Update – To 15% off any hosting plans, use promo code johnchowrocks.

33 thoughts on “Blog Web Hosting Recommendation”

  1. Ed Lau says:

    My site saw roughly 15,000 visitors during the Digg and another 8,000 on the day after and it stayed up just fine. Didn’t notice any sort of slowdown. Their support is also top notch. They were real quick when I asked to change domains and helped me with other questions I had very quickly.

  2. Nice post Bro. Since I am in the United States and this service provider is in Canada I wonder if I could sign up with them, do you know if this is possible? $4.95 a month is a really affordable price.


  3. John Chow says:

    Ya, they welcome US customers. That’s why they show prices in USD as well as CDN.

  4. Michael Kwan says:

    I’m with GoDaddy both for hosting and domain registration, and while the domain reg thing went fine, I’m not exactly excited about their hosting. Sure, it’s cheap (all said, included hosting and domain reg, it cost me between $50-60 for a year), but I have experienced some slowdown, even when traffic wasn’t that substantial. Maybe when it comes time to renewal, it’s time to jump ship. I’m just concerned about moving the blog ( since it’s based on their blogging software. There should be a way to do the export, though.

  5. Jack says:

    i am using and
    my site which is hosted in hostgator has no problem when i get dugg in the front page, fark, and other news submit website. i get 5k visitors per hour. no suspend. no down.

  6. Tyler Ingram says:

    I have hosting done for me at work. I get unlimited bandwidth and the use of my own server that I get to maintain/update.

    My blog-style site was just recently started and definately not as popular or as informative (yet ;)) as this one so lagginess should not be a factor yet. Perhaps one day I’ll get to test the power of the little server I use.

    I am looking for recommendations for webhosts though for a couple of my clients and preferably in the Vancouver area so I will take a look at Monster Hosting.

    Who knows, perhaps one day I’ll get a resellers account and do my own hosting, that could be fun, but I would need to find a unqiue spin to hosting I think if I want to make anything of it.

  7. Doug Karr says:

    I’m a big fan of Jumpline.. I used Netcraft to find them by viewing hosts with the highest customer retention rates. They are more expensive, but worth the money!

    They also have a very extensive program for resellers.


  8. nice info…what about dreamhost? they always have promo code for $10 for first year..try google them for the code.

  9. I have heard good things about … curiously john are you still banned from Digg?

  10. John Chow says:

    Terrence Thurber – Yep! Still banned. Well the blog is still banned. I can still Digg stories since they didn’t banned me.

  11. David Mackey says:

    I was Digged on my site (for a blog article about giving Windows away for free and why Microsoft should). I am hosted by WebSecureStores, and they didn’t go down either.

  12. Jack says:

    hustlermoneyblog: about dreamhost. the bandwidth and storage space is high. my website which is hosted in dreamhost never have server down yet. but i have friend host there and the server down for 2 times within 3 months.

  13. Bill says:

    They look like they may be an option for me, I’m in the market for another web host. 🙂

  14. I use Dreamhost which can handle a Digg well most of the times. I recently added on wp-cache and it traffic spikes are no longer a problem. If you use WordPress, wp-cache is a useful plugin on any webhost.

  15. siong1987 says:

    I wrote something about webhosting which can endure digg effect in this post –

    I really hope that this might help you all.

  16. Rich says:

    Thanks John;) I have looked them up, It looks good and even better after what you are saying about them. I will sign up with them for my new blog. For $4.95 you really can’t go wrong;)

    Originally, I wanted to sign up with media temple but as I have been travelling abroad for the last six months and don’t have a US phone number right now. (mt) didn’t want to set up my account without me giving them a call first. Reason given: security!!! I mean, WTF??? Is this a net or phone company??? As long as I have a bank account and address in the US, they really shouldn’t mind, or should they??? Sorry for my ramble;) And thanks again…

  17. HMTKSteve says:

    I’m still locked in with iPowerweb and they suck!

    When my first blog article got Dugg they locked out the blog portion of my server! Anyone who tried to get to it ended up with a forbidden message!

    A few months ago I added some domain names to my account but one of them was pointing to one of their own park pages. It took over a month to get it pointed properly. A month that they got revenue and I did not due to it pointing to an ad-covered park page for them and not me…

    I plan on switching when my current contract runs out.

  18. Dave says:

    I use I’ve tried a lot of different hosts, and this is the only one which I’ve been ultimately happy with. They did have an issue a couple weeks ago where there was some downtime, but stuff happens. I’ve been with them for about 4 years now with multiple sites, and that was really the only issue. They were very quick to fix the problem and keep their customers updated.

    They are a bit more expensive than $5/month (starts at $20) but they are apparently “Digg Tested” with their new “Grid” setup.

  19. Bryan says:

    Thanks John for promptly giving suggestions. That is one thing about your site that surpasses many others. You listen to your readers and always give concise information. Also want to thank Ed for giving out his visitors per day information. Gives me an idea what I’m working with. Im going to try out Monster and see how it goes. Thanks

  20. John C (not John Chow) says:

    If anybody is still interested here is a dreamhost code that will give you quite a lot off. It is from my own account, as they allow you to create promo codes.

    The code is: MINUS85

    It will give you the amounts off shown here in a screencap of the code in my acct. And yes, it’s not the max discount that they allow, but its close to it. For an inside look into their referral program: The difference you see between “max discount” and “this code’s discount” is the referral fee that they pay me. If I chose to give no discount at all, but gave a referral link, the amount in “max discount” is paid directly to me. I’d say $97 is a serious referral fee. It’s stuff like that that makes me love dreamhost.

    I have been pleased with their features and their custom panel is really nice and easy to use as well, though I have never received digg levels of traffic.

  21. Tyler says:

    I’ve used Dreamhost in the past and didnt have any issues. They definately over sell their services (which most web hosts do) but it’s nice to hear good things about them still.

    Hey John (Chow), any word about any ‘special’ promotions with MonsterHost for people who follow your blog or members of TTZ? 😉

  22. John Chow says:

    Tyler – Nope. I guess Garry at Monster Hosting hasn’t came across this blog post yet. LOL

  23. Gary says:

    I did notice the post earlier just been busy with work to get back to post a promocode.

    To get 15% off our various services use promocode…


  24. Michael says:

    We provide a decent hosting service that runs out of our data center in Florida called Michelonia. Hosting for as little as $2 per month with a free domain included. We have even survived a week when we experienced over 3,000,000 hits on on upon her death. Just for information, she was Mrs. Martini in the film “It’s a Wonderful Life”. Her 68 year old son has continued her blog since then….might want to take a look.

  25. Mr Al says:

    Hi there,

    I decided to check out based on the recommendation from this blog [and the discount code]. It looks good, but I found a problem on their site even before signing up.

    I emailed the technical support team at 10AM [15jan07] clearly outlining the issue. No reply after 26 hours and the problem still exists.

    I then mmailed their sales department [forwarding the message from the previous day] at Noon – no reply after 20 hours and the problem still exists.

    Check it out. You will be able to search for and register a new domain name here because it is available, but when you go here to do the same thing, it says that the same domain name is *not* available and you can only transfer the name [which no one else owns] to their service.

    I think this is a major issue. Even if it is not, the fact that my email received no reply [and the problem still exists] concerns me as to their overall commitment to customer support.

    A Google search of “reviews” reveals/confirms some of my concerns.

    Choose wisely,

    Mr. Al

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  27. Cheapbooks says:

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