Top Service Providers to Host Your Website, and One to Avoid
First, if you’re new to the world of web development, let’s clarify what is web hosting and what is domain name registration…
Your domain name, or URL, is your address on the web. For example, http://321launch.biz is the domain name and URL of this site.
Web hosting is where your website lives. Think of it as your website’s house, while your domain name is your street address.
If you haven’t already registered your domain you’ll want to do that as soon as possible. We like GoDaddy for domain registration as they have the best pricing we’ve seen. You don’t have to register your domain where you have your hosting, although it can make things easier. If you’re ready to set up web-hosting, you can also register your domain with any of the hosting companies listed below.
BlueHost is a major hosting company that gets top marks from the web development community for it’s stability, speed, and value, plus has great pricing.
HostGator is another major hosting company highly regarded by the web dev community. They have a number of great value packages for small business, and again offer speed and stability.
The downside of both BlueHost and HostGator is that they require clients to be somewhat web savvy and computer literate to set up a website.
GoDaddy is probably the best-know web hosting company, thanks to their Super Bowl ads along with their NASCAR racer sponsorships, and the GoDaddy Girls. Their strength is great value and web building solutions that are easy for the little guy with no web experience.
Wix is the easiest way to produce professional looking websites with no coding and no design skill. Their pre-designed sites are elegant, modern and fresh when compared to traditional web solutions for small business.
One to Avoid
As a web designer, I’ve been incredibly unimpressed with the Intuit/Yahoo Small Business web solutions.
First, they package up the domain registration with hosting, so if you decide to move your hosting elsewhere, you have to jump through hoops to separate your domain registration out. I’ve had a lot of clients cancel their hosting and accidentally cancel their domain registration. Then, when they’ve tried to correct the problem, Yahoo has held their domain hostage and required hefty ($160) fees to get their domain out of hock.
Some of my clients have enjoyed the design aspect of their projects, but, as a small business owner, you should be focusing on your business, not learning web design.
Second, their hosting fees are quite high – $30/month!
Third, their solutions result in some pretty ugly websites.
Written by Melissa Shimmin
Melissa Shimmin is an award-winning designer who has been helping companies both big and small create, evolve and strengthen their identities, branding and marketing collateral for more than 15 years. And yet, Melissa is more than just a designer: she takes a big picture perspective, combining marketing strategy and copywriting with design to create stronger, more impactful branding and identity for the companies she partners with. Check out her work at Shimmin Design.