As a reviewer, I sometimes bounce around from service to service as I test different products. It’s important to me that you always know what services I personally use and why. This can help you make an informed decision when I recommend something.
I may recommend services that I personally do not use, but I recommend them for someone who may be in a different position than me.
Last updated: 8/14/20
I currently have domains registered at both Namecheap and Porkbun. I’ve used Namecheap for many years and have been generally happy with their service. I tend to register domains there during their Black Friday sales, but I have began to transfer/register domains at Porkbun for cost savings.
Disclosures: I pay full price for all domain services at Namecheap and Porkbun
My recommendations for domains
- Namecheap for beginners or those who don’t have a lot of experience managing domains
- Dynadot if you want a similar experience for cheaper
- Porkbun if you want the absolute cheapest prices and don’t mind an inferior management panel
I currently have a 2GB Digital Ocean server with Cloudways for nearly all of my websites (including this one). I have one business website hosted at WP Engine. I do enjoy my experience at WP Engine and think it’s worth it if you’re a bigger business needing rock-solid reliability and amazing customer support.
Disclosures: I pay full price for my service with Cloudways. WP Engine supplies my hosting account for testing and review purposes.
My recommendations for hosting
- Dreamhost or Namecheap for budget hosting – they both offer a decent budget experience. Dreamhost has a better overall experience with support, hosting quality, etc., but Namecheap has a standard cPanel hosting experience that will make it much easier to transfer your site to other cPanal hosts.
- Cloudways for more power or multiple sites – you just can’t go wrong with the power and flexibility of Cloudways. If you’re looking for staging environments, daily backups, and your own managed VPS experience for less, Cloudways is a wonderful choice.
- WP Engine + Flywheel for ultimate customer support – if you’re looking for the “it just works” of WordPress hosting, try WP Engine or Flywheel. Flywheel is owned by WP Engine and offers a very similar experience, but they also offer a smaller starting plan for $15/mo that might make sense for new WordPress users.
Disclosures: I pay full price for my email hosting with G Suite and Namecheap
My recommendations for email hosting
- Use G Suite if you want the “golden standard” of email hosting with the best security you can find. If the online Gmail interface and Google Apps experience matters to you, G Suite is the best option. Some find that it’s not worth $6/month per email, so consider Namecheap Private Email Hosting for a great budget option.
- For reliability matching G Suite on a budget, use Namecheap Private Email Hosting. You don’t get the Google Apps experience, and the security is inferior (though still secure), but the reliability and functionality is totally there.
I currently use ExpressVPN to keep my internet service provider from seeing my browsing activity. I’ve used it for close to a year now and enjoy the experience. I’ve also been testing WeVPN lately and have liked the experience so far.
Disclosures: ExpressVPN and WeVPN have provided test accounts for me to review their service
My recommendations for VPNs