A personal letter from Erick Danzer, Founder and CEO of Photocrati and Imagely (last updated August 2016):
Well, our team has now been working in WordPress for 7 great years. Our main products – the Photocrati theme, NextGEN Gallery and NextGEN Pro, and the Imagely themes – are collectively active on 1.3 million websites.
As deeply experienced veterans, we’ve used, supported, tested, and worked with dozens of hosting companies, including all the names you know (Bluehost, GoDaddy, HostGator, Dreamhost, Rackspace, MediaTemple, 1and1, etc), and lots that you don’t.
Over the years, our hosting recommendations have changed. For a long time, we recommended Bluehost. But Bluehost declined rapidly after it was acquired by an outside company. After that, we shifted our recommendation to Siteground. Siteground continues to be a reputable shared hosting company. If you are looking for cheap hosting, and are willing to handle the trade offs (slower, less reliable, limited service, etc), then Siteground is still a fair option for you. Visit Sitground.
But due to some continued frustrations, we finally came to the conclusion that cheap, general purpose, shared hosting just can’t offer the kind of service we want to recommend and stand behind.
The result: Imagely hosting. We’ve worked with a team of talented hosting industry veterans to launch and build out a new type of hosting that is perfectly optimized for both WordPress and photography. It’s a bit more expensive than Bluehost/Siteground. But as with all things, you do get what you pay for. We’ve packed 10X more value into our hosting, and we think you’ll more than make up the cost in saved time, hassle, and development cost.
So allow me to make the case for why you should consider Imagely hosting.
SIX REASONS TO USE IMAGELY HOSTING
1) Optimized perfectly for WordPress. Hosting companies support all kinds of stuff on their servers, not just WordPress. That means they build their hosting infrastucture to accomodate many different kinds of software and websites. Imagely, by contrast, is focused like a laser beam on WordPress. Every component in our servers is optimized to ensure WordPress is fast, reliable, and smooth.
2) Supported by WordPress experts. Because hosting companies aren’t really focused on WordPress, many of their tech support representatives know little about it. There’s nothing more frustrating than trying to get support for your WordPress site from someone who knows little about WordPress. At Imagely, we’ve been working on WordPress for 7 years and make some of the most popular WordPress components ever built. And our entire hosting infrastructure is tailor made for WordPress. You know when you contact us for support, the person you’re talking to is an expert.
3) Support for your entire WordPress website, not just your ‘server’. This is a biggie. At most hosting companies, if you have an issue with WordPress, you are on your own. They support the server, not your WordPress website. Most end users don’t understand this distinction. But this is why hosting companies so often give you a few suggestions and leave you to troubleshoot your own website. At Imagely, because we’re so focused, we can offer support for both hosting and your actual WordPress website. That means when you have a WordPress problem, you have somewhere to go!
I will add a small caveat. We can’t always solve everything. If the problem is truly with a third party WordPress plugin, we can’t fix that plugin. But we can help you diagnose it up to that point. And there are lot of broader WordPress issues that come up that we can diagnose and solve entirely.
4) The power of Amazon: speed, reliability, and scalability. Imagely hosting is build on Amazon S3 cloud servers. That means we’re leveraging the full power of Amazon to create highly reliable, infinitely scalable, and incredibly fast hosting. With shared hosting, you share a little server box with 1000 people you don’t know. That’s a lot of traffic to begin with. But if any of them has unusual traffic or other issues, it affects every site on the server. And there’s nothing you can do about it. With Imagely, your site has its own space on the Amazon cloud and can scale to as much traffic as you need without missing a beat or affecting anyone else.
5) Simpler to use. Because we’re so focused, we can strip out all the unrelated options and baggage you’ll find in most hosting control panels. The result is a simple, easy to use interface that’s focused entirely on your WordPress website. If you’re coming from other shared hosts, you’ll find our interface is a breath of fresh air.
A related benefit? Because all we do is WordPress, when you first create your account or set up a new domain, we just install WordPress for you automatically. You can immediately log in and start adding content to your site. It’s a small thing, but another example of how our WordPress-only focus makes your life simpler.
6) Supported by photography enthusiasts. If you are a photographer, then you get a double bonus. Not only are we WordPress experts, but we’re photography enthusiasts as well. We’re deeply engaged in the photography industry, and deeply understand the special needs of photographers on the web, ranging from gallery management to image optimization to proofing and image sales to blogging and SEO to client interaction. This expertise is built into our products, including our hosting and support.
In short, for a few extra bucks a month, you can get faster and more reliable hosting, built on Amazon, perfectly optimized for WordPress, and supported by WordPress and photography experts who actually support your entire WordPress website. I know I’m biased, but to me, this seems like a no-brainer.
If you’re interested, you can try it with 30 days free.
Oh, and I forgot to mention, we’ll migrate your existing website to our servers for free so you can test it out – no obligations.
Give it try now at: www.imagely.com/hosting
Thanks and best,
Founder & CEO, Photocrati and Imagely