Founded in 1998, Laughing Squid is an independently owned web host focusing on WordPress hosting. The company once kept optimizing its servers to provide reliable and easy-to-use services for WordPress users, which gained it a good reputation. It was loved by thousands of webmasters, and even listed on WordPress.org as one of the best WordPress hosting providers.
Unfortunately, the glory has gone in recent years. We have seen a dramatic decline of the company’s hosting services, and it is not the one it was. Several months ago, Laughing Squid was removed from the recommendation list on WordPress.org due to a large number of complaints.
Considering these facts, we do not recommend Laughing Squid for hosting WordPress. But still, we will offer detailed information about the pros and cons to let you know why.
Before presenting any detail, we want to show you the following ratings.
Pros of Laughing Squid Web Hosting
Laughing Squid has much fewer advantages than drawbacks. Below are all the benefits we can find in terms of hosting WordPress with the company.
Monthly billing cycle
All of Laughing Squid web hosting plans are billed monthly, and there is no limitation brought by contract. You can feel free to upgrade or downgrade the hosting plan without worrying about the impact on the cost. Also, when you are unsatisfied, you are able to transfer your site away at any time without wasting much money.
WordPress multisite allowed
You can enable the multisite functionality on your WordPress site. But note that you can only do this when WordPress is installed in the root directory of your account. Besides, wildcard domains are not supported.
The power of cloud hosting
All of Laughing Squid web hosting solutions are built on a cloud hosting platform, which ensures good flexibility and scalability. The company can provide you with additional resources at any time. Besides, the hosted websites are backed by a cluster of servers instead of a single one, so they are expected to be highly accessible.
Cons of Laughing Squid Web Hosting
Laughing Squid is now performing badly in nearly each single aspect that may influence a WordPress user’s choice of hosting. The main drawbacks are listed and explained in below.
Low price value
Laughing Squid offers a total of 3 web hosting plans. Named Simple Squid, Micro Squid and Mega Squid respectively, the plans are priced at $4/mo, $6/mo and $8/mo. The prices are not high, but at the same time, the resources included in the plans are very limited. The cheapest plan does not even include a mailbox. More details are presented in the table below.
|Feature||Simple Squid||Micro Squid||Mega Squid|
|Disk Space||1 GB||2 GB||3 GB|
|Bandwidth||30 GB||40 GB||50 GB|
You can see from the table above that Laughing Squid plans, especially the entry-level Simple Squid plan, are of low-value. But thanks to the flexibility of the cloud, the company offers add-on packages for users who need additional resources. However, the costs are much too high.
- $4/mo for 1 GB disk space, 10 GB bandwidth and 250 compute cycles.
- $1/mo for each additional email account.
- $1/mo for each add-on database.
In addition to the expensive prices listed above, you should also pay attention to the following facts.
- One or several add-on packages will be added to your account automatically once you exceed any existing resources (disk space, bandwidth or compute cycles). You must pay for them.
- Laughing Squid only accepts credit cards for payments.
Laughing Squid offers most of the basic features required to run a WordPress site and manage an account, such as PHP 5.4, MySQL 5.1 with phpMyAdmin, FTP access, spam filter and access to server logs. However, the company does not offer a full feature list like other web hosts.
We have found so many limitations and disadvantages. Below are some of the most obvious ones.
- Web-based cloud control panel. Laughing Squid does not adopt a popular control panel like cPanel or Plesk. Instead, it offers a custom control panel for website management. The control panel comes with most of the basic functions, but it lacks some important features. For example, there is no file manager. You must rely on an FTP client to upload files and change the file permissions.
- No WordPress installer. With Laughing Squid, You have to install WordPress manually by following the company’s installation guide. There is no auto script installer available.
- SSH is not supported. Laughing Squid does not allow SSH. This is not a piece of good news for developers and those who usually establish remote connections.
- Ruby on Rails is not allowed. This feature does not matter for most WordPress users since WordPress is built on PHP, but those who need it will find the web hosting plans disappointing.
Domain registration not available
Laughing Squid does not offer domain registrations. So if you want to host a WordPress site with this company, you have to register the domain somewhere else and then point it to Laughing Squid. You need to manage your domain and website at separate places, which is not convenient.
No hosting solution for large WordPress sites
Laughing Squid provides shared hosting only. Any website that exceeds 10 GB disk space or 200 GB bandwidth is not allowed to be hosted on the company’s servers. When your website grows big, you will have no choice but to transfer it to another web host.
As Laughing Squid does not operate their own servers or data center, they have been using the cloud infrastructure of RackSpace since 1999. Supported by cloud, Laughing Squid is expected to deliver good uptime, but in recent months, we have seen poor uptime records from our monitoring.
There are many service interruptions, while most of them are caused by constant server errors instead of the facilities of RackSpace. Many of Laughing Squid users have moved away in the past months due to this reason.
Below are the uptime monitoring results for the past 30 days.
Laughing Squid has been a little bit slow all the time. But the problem has become more severe. About half a year ago, the average server response was approximately 800ms, while the figure is now over 1000ms. During some spikes, the response time is even longer than 3000ms. Loading a simple page can take more than 10 seconds. Below is the recent monitoring.
Laughing Squid offers some written materials, so you can resolve the simple common problems such as website setup, FTP and email configuration independently without contacting the support team. Besides, a ticket system and phone support are available.
Even though, Laughing Squid is not doing well in technical support. The main reasons are:
- The company does not provide 24×7 support. All the communication channels are reachable during work hours only which are from Monday to Friday, 9 am to 6 pm Pacific Time.
- Technical support is not available on several US holidays, including Christmas Day, Thanksgiving Day, Memorial Day, Labor Day, etc.
- The calls made to the support team are not always answered immediately. The company usually makes a callback several hours or days later, so phone support is even slower and more inefficient than tickets.
- Laughing Squid does not offer support through live chat.
No refund guarantee
Since all web hosting plans are billed monthly, Laughing Squid does not offer a money back guarantee. You cannot get any money back even if you cancel the account several minutes later than the payment is processed. Most web hosting providers nowadays provide a minimum of 30-day full refund guarantee.
What Are the Good Alternatives for Hosting WordPress?
Laughing Squid is too bad to be chosen for hosting WordPress. If you are searching around for a reliable solution, you can try any of the following options. All of them are offering affordable, rich-featured and fast hosting services for WordPress. More importantly, BlueHost is currently the only shared web host recommended on WordPress.org.