If you are comfortable with installing your C5 installation manually Hostgator is ok. Otherwise there one-click install will not create any of the override folders. Making it impossible to install add-ons or update C5. You will need to add the override directories yourself.
We've been using Hostgator to host small CMS sites for many years now and are very satisfied. We have some 10+ different hosting accounts with HG, both reseller and shared, and probably host somewhere close to 300 sites with them. Whatever problems we did have they tried their best to solve and generally kept their downtime much lower than any of the other companies we're working with.
Since starting to use concrete5 we've installed a few sites on their servers and generally found them to be working well. We haven't done a lot of optimizing for their systems though and so far they do not strike us as being exceptionally fast.
If you sign up with them and use our company name, WHIMSMEDIA, as a coupon you should get 25% off on your first payment to them.
We have no experience with TMDHosting.
Recently we've started to use the relatively new 4GH (4th Generation Hosting) from GoDaddy.com especially due to their cloud hosting setup in a European datacenter (in the Netherlands). GoDaddy has some limitations: databases can not exceed 1GB and you can't cram in as many websites for the same amount of money as HG.
However, without any optimization, the system is MUCH faster than any equivalent shared hosting service we've ever used. We've got about 10 concrete5 websites in development on their servers and I think any new ones we'll be doing in the next few months are going to GoDaddy as well.
So, you are actually saying that your Godaddy sites are MUCH faster than Hostgator and that Hostgator isn't exceptionally fast? Based on that, I don't see why anyone would want to sign up for either since GoDaddy notoriously sucks.
I found this thread comparing Dreamhost and Bluehost, since they are both featured on this C5 site as recommended cheap hosts. I did a Google comparison and found a thread on warrior forums where everyone said Hostgator was the better than either by far and faster than both. Then, I found this thread. I am confused.
I have been putting client sites on Pair, but they are semi-expensive and more than I want to pay for my own shenannigans at this point. However, C5 sites on Pair have not been all that fast and there is quite a bit of downtime (short-lived, but randomly in mid-day and more frequent than I'd like for sure). So, I don't know what to do. If Pair kinda sucks in a way, everyone else must really suck, I'm guessing, unless you spend $40/month or something.
We really don't know Pair so I cannot offer any kind of comparison.
People complaining about GoDaddy might not have tried the 4GH packages yet. We have no complaints. There was very little to no downtime at all in the past 2 months since we started using them. I'd say that from the point of view of reliability they are as good as HostGator.
The fact that they are faster might also have to do with the fact that their datacenter is closer to us than HG's.
We're also keeping fewer websites on each account we have with GoDaddy compared to what we do on HostGator which also tends to make servers run smoother.
I'd recommend both as a budget hosting option, especially on the grounds of reliability. And yes, you'd be looking at much more than 40 / month to get really fast hosting.
If you're an individual and freelancing, I'd recommend you to host some of your clients on the same server machine. When you still need help and guidance setting up your Concrete5 install yourself this isn't an option though.
If money is an issue, try XEN VPS hosting athttp://www.linode.com/
it's cheap and pretty fast and you've full control.
I don't recommend using GoDaddy, Bluehost or Hostgator. Google them to find out why.
I think you might just need a small shared hosting package, but keep in mind that hosting 300 clients in a cloud hosted/dedicated server is much cheaper than buying each client a shared hosting package.