Great! You’re here. That must mean you’re at least considering getting some hosting and getting your website set up. Yay! I actually wrote a whole book about this topic, which you can find over at “Funny You Should Ask: How to Make a Website.” It is really thorough and walks you through making a website step by step.
Note– the first step in the “building your website” process is registering a domain. I always recommend people do this with NameCheap, because (as the name implies) they are usually the cheapest. So, if you haven’t done that yet, go over there and get your domain!
Once you have your domain, you will need a “host” for it. Getting your domain is like buying a house, and your hosting is the land where the house will stand. It’s kind of a backward analogy, but let’s go with it. So, you have your house (domain), and now you need a place for that domain to live.
Hosting companies can be a bit of a crap shoot if you haven’t done your research ahead of time. It can be a hassle to switch hosts once you have your website up and running, so it’s worth a little extra time spent early on, selecting the perfect host.
I will list these in order of preference.
I like NameCheap hosting, mostly because NameCheap is where I want people to get their domains, and connecting domain with hosting is super easy when you get them at the same place. You want the middle level of shared hosting, which at NameCheap looks like this and is called “Stellar Plus.”
There are a few things I don’t love about NameCheap, and I’ll tell those to you so you can make your decision accordingly. For one, NameCheap is chat-only for customer service. This is fine for stuff like buying domains, but if you are the kind of person who likes to call a place and get their stuff handled by someone on the phone, do not host with them.
The other thing I don’t love about NameCheap is that their SSL certificate is only free for the first year. After that, you either need to pay to “renew” it, or you’ll need to redirect your hosting through Cloudflare. I can see this being annoying if you’re not tech-savvy.
2. I just started using a new company called Hostinger, and I am actually loving them. So much so that I am adding them to the book and moving them up to the # 2 slot on the list. Hostinger has great prices, fast servers, and a super simple user interface.
Moving on, one of the better known hosting companies is HostGator, and I use them as well. My personal experience is that HostGator is the company that makes it the easiest for you to get over the “setup hump,” which is the part where most people get frustrated and give up.
Customer service is one of the most important areas of hosting and in this,HostGator excels. The company has online support, but you can also call them, if you prefer. In most cases, situations are handled efficiently and only when the issue is larger (such as deleting your entire blog) will they charge you for the services they perform.
HostGator offers CPanel and Softaculous, which provides you with one click installation of Joomla, WordPress and a number of other popular platforms. There are many additional tools.
My recommendation is the “Baby” plan (the one in the middle):
4. My last pick is for BlueHost, and I also cover them in the book. They are only the last choice because they cost more, but their setup process is great and the customer service is good. I would go with “Plus” or “Choice Plus” to give yourself the opportunity to expand.