And the winner is… A2 Hosting! (I thought I’d go all Tarrentino on you and start with the ending)

I have been looking for a new developer friendly hosting provider for my portfolio website. I wanted a high-quality provider that was professional, offered a lot of technologies, and was reasonably priced.

The list I came up with after searching and seeking out recommendations was:

Here’s my quick breakdown:

A2 Hosting


They offer everything from simple web hosting plans, VPS, managed VPS, cloud hosting, and dedicated servers.

  • They offer all of the usual suspects for programming (Ruby, Rails… ) but they also include a few extras like node.js (server side javascript), as well as MongoDB (document oriented NoSQL) and PostgreSQL (object-relational). That translates into tons of opportunities to learn new things!
  • The price was right and so far the backend has been great.

Liquid Web


Liquid Web seemed awesome and was one of my runners up. Here’s why they didn’t make the cut.

  • Expensive
  • They offer a LOT of technologies. But I had difficulty navigating their website to figure out what would work for me. That left me with an uncomfortable impression. User experience and navigation should be good whether you selling shoes or hosting.



Another impressive host with lots of technology options. They had the most programming languages and one click installs. However, they only offer one database option – MySQL. That is a break for me. I need an opportunity to learn different storage types and/or more strictly compliant / robust query langues.

Digital Ocean


I almost went with Digital Ocean as my main provider, and will definitely play around with them in the future. They are developer oriented and offer tons of technologies. They also sell in a creative, cost-effective way.

You spin up droplets (their term) which is a server with the technologies you want for one particular purpose. Want to play with another technology or host something else? Spin up another droplet. Not only is it quick to get up and running with just about anything you can think of, the pricing is smart. You only pay for use. So if you want to play with something for a short time and then decommission it, you’re not locked into a long contract. Basically, every droplet is $5 a month. In fact, pricing is done by the hour, which equals $ 0.007 / hr. So, you can play to your hearts content for a few hours or week, and you’re out less than the cost of a candy bar.

I will definitely try them for short stints with some of my more obscure experiments like Cassandra, Django, and 20 other technology names they feature that I have never heard of.



Before reviewing Hostgator I felt like I wouldn’t go with them. But they really impressed me, especially considering their price point. They are the cheapest, but they offer a ton of great technologies, and their site is easy to navigate. In fact, I’d put them ahead of Liquid Web on that front.

I would have no problem using Hostgator for freelance projects.

AWS and Heroku

Heroku_logo AWS

I took a look at these two cloud application platforms because that’s what many of the real technology players use to host their own solutions. There’s no question in my mind I will set up accounts with them to get up to speed on what they offer and their interface. But for personal development purposes, this is overkill.


You already read the spoiler, A2 Hosting was my choice to host this site. They meet all of my technology needs, are reliable, easy to use, and reasonably priced.

In the future, I will play around with my newly discovered gems: Digital Ocean, AWS, and Heroku.

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