Finding the perfect Web host can be perplexing with so many out there to choose from. If you are a serious programmer, then you have more to consider than the average customer. While some people are merely looking for their cheapest option with the most bandwidth, you may require a host that supports Ruby on Rails, MySQL, PHP, cPanel, or Perl or CGI-BIN access. To aid you in your decision, we have compiled a list of 14 good hosting options for hardcore developers.
- A2Hosting — A2Hosting is a very reliable company, offering packages for sites both big and small. Whether you are building a personal homepage or a major Web presence for a large corporation, A2Hosting is a developer-friendly solution to your hosting problems. The service is Linux-based, supporting features like MySQL, PHP and Ruby on Rails. A member of the Better Business Bureau, A2Hosting guarantees a 99.9% uptime, which is as high as any business can promise. With cutting edge technology at the forefront and guaranteed reliability, A2Hosting is an outstanding choice for serious Web developers.
- DotServant.com — There are many low-cost hosting companies available, but most of them offer less-than-stellar reliability and aren’t suited for professional developers. DotServant, however, is one of the few hosts that combines low price with high performance. A standard package with DotServant is quite cheap and developer-friendly, supporting PHP, PHP5, MySQL, MySQL5 and Ruby on Rails. With a high transfer rate and large storage space, even large sites can be maintained through DotServant on a budget.
- DreamHost — Speaking from personal experience, my favorite aspect of DreamHost would have to be its easy-to-use control panel. The ability to host unlimited domains, created new e-mail users, and create new MySQL databases is a snap. Hosting plans start at under $100 a year. For a small business that needs to keep start-up costs low, DreamHost offers very good service for the price.
- HostGator — HostGator.com is considered to be one of the best Web hosts in the world. Boasting a 99.9% uptime and round-the-clock phone support, HostGator.com also provides a variety of packages at affordable rates. Web developers at any level of expertise will be pleased with this company, in particular serious programmers. Features supported by HostGator include MySQL, Ruby on Rails, Perl, Python, SSH, cURL, streaming audio/video and more. From personal homepages to large, dedicated sites, this company can serve anyone’s needs.
- HostPapa — HostPapa is a Canadian Web host that offers many developer-friendly features for a reasonable price. Domain names are available “for life”, which means you will never have to renew them for as long as you remain with the company. Programmers will be interested in the multitude of supported features, including MySQL databases, PHP, Fantastico, Perl, FrontPage extensions and more. Flash, Shockwave, MIDI files and streaming audio/video are also supported by HostPapa. If that isn’t enough to interest you, then the 24/7 monitoring and guaranteed 99.9% uptime should.
- InMotion — InMotion is a flexible, reliable and award-winning Web host, perfect for both personal and business sites. The service is compatible with Windows, Mac and Linux, so a wide variety of programmers can use the host. Also, supported features like PHP, Perl, MySQL and CGI-BIN make the company desirable to serious Webmasters. A member of the Better Business Bureau, InMotion is also notable for its 99.9% uptime guarantee, 24/7 customer service and world class technology.
- Joyent — Joyent, the official Ruby on Rails host, has won multiple awards for its applications and customer service team. They focus on business Web sites and offer features additional to Ruby on Rails, including PHP5, MySQL 4.1, Lighttpd, Subversion, WebDAV and more. Joyent promises a 99.9% uptime for all its services, including shared hosting.
- Jumpline VDS — Jumpline VDS is a small, family business that has grown to impressive proportions, thanks to its reliable and flexible hosting plans. There are many features included with a Jumpline VDS site, including Perl, PHP, ColdFusion, FrontPage extensions, Python, Ruby, Java and more. The company guarantees a stable, lightning-fast server and is always up-to-date with the latest in hosting technology. With affordable plans for sites both big and small, Jumpline VDS is a great choice for Webmasters.
- Media Temple — Media Temple is the choice of big companies such as Nike, Sony, Starbucks, and WHDb. They offer basic shared server hosting or high end dedicated server hosting. As a Media Temple customer, I can honestly say that they offer terrific uptime and their customer support is unparalleled; often times, there is no wait time to speak with customer service, and if there ever is a wait, it’s never more than just a couple of minutes. Highly recommended. If you sign up, tell them WHDb.com sent you!
- midPhase — midPhase is so confident in its hosting services, the company offers a risk-free, money-back guarantee. With new specials and features being offered every day, midPhase stands out amongst other low-cost hosting companies. Serious Webmasters shouldn’t be deterred by the term “low-cost”, as midPhase is quite serious about its commitment to programmers. Features supported by the company include PHP, CGI, FTP, MySQL and more. If you need reliable hosting for a minimal fee, try midPhase.
- PowWeb — You will be hard-pressed to find a cheaper solution to your hosting problems than PowWeb and yet, surprisingly, there are many features offered with the company’s services. While this host may not support as many scripts as some higher-end competitors, it is laden with fun extras and software. Free software included with a PowWeb site includes MediaWiki, php-Nuke, WordPress, Mambo and Gallery2. With 24/7 technical support and a reliable, fast server, this budget host shouldn’t be underestimated.
While the masses may be content with mainstream hosts like GoDaddy, you may be looking for something different. Serious developers are looking for features beyond free templates and cheap domain names. They need high-end servers that are guaranteed with at least a 99.5% uptime, as well as support for various scripts and databases. If you are an experienced programmer with a long list of hosting requirements, then look into one of the above companies for support. Want to see more? Check out our extended list of Web hosting providers.