Hosting Services

Cut to the chase: My top picks for hosting services and domain registration (there is more information about domain registration beneath this section):

Hosting Service – GreenGeeks

New customers can enjoy these incredible prices on hosting services for up to three years! Please note that your account will renew for the same three year term at regular pricing after your first three years of service ends.

– EcoSite LITE: $2.95/month (Regular price: $9.95/mo)
– Ecosite Pro: $5.95/month (Regular price: $14.95/mo)
– Ecosite Premium: $11.95/month (Regular Price: $24.95/mo)

We heard rave reviews about GreenGeeks from a friend who signed up in 2016, so we signed several people up specifically to get their feedback on the service, and everyone has been SO MUCH happier with their sites in their new homes at GreenGeeks than with their old hosts. Now it’s been a while and I’ve set up LOTS of people with GreenGeeks hosting. I’m happy to report that we’ve had no problems at all, and on my end, working with GreenGeeks is a joy compared to other hosting service companies.Their support is awesome and the control panel is unrestricted so I can access the files I need to work with when doing certain customizing tasks on your website or troubleshooting issues.
If you’re in the market for new hosting—whether your site is new or not—don’t miss this opportunity to speed up your site load time and improve your SEO. They also do CPanel to CPanel hosting transfers for FREE! However, some hosts do not use CPanel, so if you find that you’ll need help transferring your site over to your new GreenGeeks account, contact me and I’ll be happy to help. For most sites it’s $150 (which is what Bluehost and others charge for this service) or less.

GreenGeeks is a serious web host with the advantage of being green — both through offset credits and a corporate culture devoted to using a few resources as possible while still getting a great job done for their customers. This year (2020) is GreenGeeks’ 12th year in business. They’ve reduced their new customer special pricing on the EcoSite LITE plan to $2.95/month when you sign up for a 3 year term. That’s an insane $106.20 for your first three years of hosting! After the first three years your account will revert to the industry-standard $9.95/month regular pricing.

GreenGeeks EcoSite LITE  plan includes:

1 Website
WordPress Installer/Updates
Unlimited Web Space
Unlimited Data Transfer
Free Domain Name for 1st Year
Free Wildcard SSL
Standard Performance

GreenGeeks EcoSite PRO  plan includes:

Unlimited Websites
WordPress Installer/Updates
Unlimited Web Space
Unlimited Data Transfer
Free Domain Name for 1st Year
Free Wildcard SSL
2X Performance
PowerCacher Included – This will further increase your site’s performance.

GreenGeeks EcoSite PREMIUM  plan includes:

Unlimited Websites
WordPress Installer/Updates
Unlimited Web Space
Unlimited Data Transfer
Free Domain Name for 1st Year
Free Premium Wildcard SSL
Free Dedicated IP
4X Performance
PowerCacher Included

On all shared hosting, GreenGeeks offers:

  • SECURE IMAP/POP3 E-mail Accounts
  • Unlimited Web Space & Data Transfer
  • FREE Marketing & SEO Tools
  • FREE Domain Name Registration or Transfer
  • 24/7/365 US-Based Support
  • FREE Site Building Tools
  • 99.9% Service Uptime
  • FREE Website Migration
  • 30 Day Money Back Guarantee

Whether you’re a WordPress blogger or a veteran WordPress developer looking for a fully loaded WordPress hosting service that delivers performance & reliability, GreenGeeks provides great features you need for your WordPress website. However, you don’t have to get WordPress-specific hosting to host your WordPress site with GreenGeeks.

For the security of WordPress sites, GreenGeeks offers automatic updates to the WordPress core, account isolation — which keeps your site separated from other sites on the server for added security — real time security scanning with active threat blocking, and Brute Force and DDoS protection. That’s awesome! They also offer great performance features, with only the best hardware to power your WordPress website, CDN and multiple data centers, built-in PHP caching and performance enhancements to HTTP and MySQL. (Don’t know what that means? That’s okay, it just means they’re serious about high performance web hosting and not only being green!)

  • Unlimited Web Space & Data Transfer
  • FREE 1-Click WordPress Install
  • FREE WordPress Migration (that’s a great deal!)
  • WordPress Optimized Servers
  • FREE Blazing Fast SSD RAID-10 Storage (Ummm…most hosts will charge you at least $5/month more for this!)
  • FREE Enhanced Security

Also remember that in addition to the bonus of supporting a company with a commitment to a green corporate culture that offsets its energy usage by 300% with carbon credits, you are also supporting an independent hosting service that is NOT owned by a giant multinational corporation!

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DOMAIN REGISTRATION

The very first step in creating your new website is to secure your domain name. That’s your “www” web address (though you don’t have to use the www), which people type into the address bar of the browser to find your site online. I strongly recommend NameCheap (www.namecheap.com) Their purchase experience is very clean, without the overwhelming number of upsells that most registrars/hosting companies harass you with. The upsells they DO include are valuable – domain privacy “WhoIs Guard” free for the life of your account, discounted premium DNS service, free Let’s Encrypt SSL certificates and low cost Comodo SSL certificates. That is a savings of $10-25 per year for domain privacy ~ no other registrar I’ve seen offers this service for free! Domain privacy safeguards your personal details in the WhoIs registry database, which is open to the public and frequently used by spammers, scammers and identity thieves who scrape domain registrants’ profile information for these purposes. Namecheap’s domain registration prices are better than anyone else I’ve seen, especially for the first year, and those savings can be extended for up to ten years with your initial registration.

Find a domain starting at $0.88

powered by Namecheap

NameCheap also offers very reasonably priced hosting services. It’s not recommended that you have your domain and hosting with the same provider, as the risk of losing everything due to a missed payment, downed or hacked server, etc., is too great. However, I understand that the price and convenience is tempting to those with tight budgets. So if you feel you must have both domain registration and hosting services with one provider and need to spend as little as possible, use NameCheap. They’re ethical online operators and big supporters of a free and open internet – net neutrality. Like Bluehost and Dreamhost, they are also optimized partners with CloudFlare, a service that provides free caching and security for your website when you route your domain through their nameservers, as well as giving you a presence on the IPv6 internet-in-progress. The internet we currently use is in transition from IPv4 to IPv6. Be in the front guard and avoid the last minute rush when it’s time for all IPv4 users to switch over! More on Namecheap hosting services below.

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HOSTING SERVICES

Before I can upload your completed website, we will need to secure a hosting service to store and serve your pages to online visitors. When you get your confirmation email, please forward it to me or give me a call, as I will need the information to access your hosting account and set up to transfer files to your server (for html sites) or install WordPress (for WordPress-based sites and blogs).

Please be aware that these are affiliate links and I will receive a small commission if you sign up for the services of one of the fine hosting companies below. This may not apply if you use a promo code when signing up for their services or if you click someone else’s link before you make your hosting or domain registration purchase.

I am including links to others with great reputations so you can research and compare hosting services to make your own decision. I work with clients who already had their sites hosted with BlueHost, HostGator, InMotion and DreamHost, and though their features differ, all are WordPress-friendly and very nice to work with. DreamHost, Bluehost, JustHost and NameCheap are all optimized partners with CloudFlare, a free service I recommend for speedy page loading and security optimization. CloudFlare works regardless what hosting provider a website is running on. However, some hosting providers have taken the extra steps to make sure their customers get the most out of CloudFlare and have become a CloudFlare Partner. CloudFlare Optimized Partners offer all the benefits of a CloudFlare Certified Partner, plus Railgun. Railgun ensures that the connection between an origin server and the CloudFlare network is as fast as possible. DreamHost has the added advantage of being a Let’s Encrypt partner, so you can get a free SSL certificate through them with your hosting. Always check to make sure you aren’t required to pay extra for a dedicated IP address beofre purchasing an SSL certificate! Let’s Encrypt certificates are available for shared hosting, so they won’t cost you extra.

My Current Faves

GreenGeeks

I heard rave reviews about GreenGeeks from a friend who signed up in 2016, so we signed several people up this year specifically to get their feedback on the service, and everyone has been SO MUCH happier with their sites in their new homes at GreenGeeks than with their old hosts. If you’re in the market for new hosting—whether your site is new or not—don’t miss this opportunity to speed up your site load time, host as many sites on one account as you want, and improve your SEO. They also do CPanel to CPanel hosting transfers for FREE! However, some hosts do not use CPanel, so if you find that you’ll need help transferring your site over to your new GreenGeeks account, contact me and I’ll be happy to help. For most sites it’s $150 (which is what Bluehost charges for this service) or less.

If you would like further information before making a commitment, please visit this page at their website.

GreenGeeks is an up-and-coming host with the advantage of being green – both through offset credits and a corporate culture devoted to using a few resources as possible while still getting a great job done for their customers. I learned about this website hosting service when doing an estimate for a prospective client and thought they looked good enough to investigate. Their standard new customer special pricing is $3.95/month, or 60% off. If you sign up with them, please tell me about your experience and I will add your comments here. On all shared hosting, GreenGeeks offers:

  • Unlimited Domains on 1 Account
  • SECURE IMAP/POP3 E-mail Accounts
  • Unlimited Web Space & Data Transfer
  • FREE Marketing & SEO Tools
  • FREE Domain Name Registration or Transfer
  • 24/7/365 US-Based Support
  • FREE SSL certificate
  • FREE Site Building Tools
  • 99.9% Service Uptime
  • FREE Website Migration
  • 30 Day Money Back Guarantee

Their advertised WordPress hosting looks promising. Whether you’re a WordPress blogger or a veteran WordPress developer looking for a fully loaded WordPress hosting service that delivers performance & reliability, GreenGeeks provides great features you need for your WordPress website. However, you don’t have to get WordPress-specific hosting to host your WordPress site with GreenGeeks.

For the security of WordPress sites, GreenGeeks offers automatic updates to the WordPress core, account isolation—which keeps your site separated from other sites on the server for added security—real time security scanning with active threat blocking, and Brute Force and DDoS protection. That’s awesome! They also offer great performance features, with only the best hardware to power your WordPress website, CDN and multiple data centers, built-in PHP caching and performance enhancements to HTTP and MySQL. (Don’t know what that means? That’s okay, it just means they’re serious about high performance web hosting and not only being green!)

  • Unlimited Web Space & Data Transfer
  • FREE 1-Click WordPress Install
  • FREE WordPress Migration (that’s a great deal!)
  • FREE Domain Name Registration or Transfer
  • WordPress Optimized Servers
  • FREE Blazing Fast SSD RAID-10 Storage (Ummm…most hosts will charge you $5/month more for this!)
  • FREE Enhanced Security
  • 24/7/365 US-Based Support
  • 99.9% Service Uptime
  • 30 Day Money Back Guarantee

Overall, I think giving GreenGeeks a try will be a good experience and worth your investment.

 

Bluehost

  • FREE Domain
  • FREE Website Builders
  • 1-Click WordPress Install
  • 24/7 Support

One of the hosts recommended by Matt Mullenweg, the founder of WordPress, BlueHost generously offers:

  • 2500 email accounts
  • free domain for life
  • free SSL certificate
  • unlimited server space
  • unlimited data transfer
  • unlimited subdomain
  • unlimited domains on one hosting account
  • a 30-day MB guarantee
  • $50 Yahoo ad credit
  • $25 Google ad credit
  • 24/7 toll-free phone support with their 9.99/month hosting plan.

Click the image link above to investigate further. They’re WordPress friendly, too. Hosting services for their unlimited “Plus” plan are frequently on sale for $3.49/month for new customers, and these savings can be extended for up to three years. If you’re lucky, they also have random specials that pop up during the checkout process which can reduce your costs even further! Your hosting service will renew at BlueHost’s regular price, which varies according to the plan you choose. Bluehost also offers free SSL certificates! 

Note: Bluehost has made changes in their Control Panel that make it harder for me to customize and troubleshoot certain parts of your website. That’s a downgrade on my end and in my opinion. For those who prefer to work with small companies, you should know that Bluehost was acquired by the monstrous EIG group in 2011. This too is not necessarily a plus.

Ebates users can activate the Bluehost site for $10 cash back on their first order and other coupon codes.

InMotion Hosting

WordPress Hosting:

Through this exclusive, limited-time offer, your referrals will receive additional discounts of $1 off a WP-1000, $2 off a WP-2000, or $3 off our WP-3000 WordPress hosting plans.  That is an additional discount on our already low introductory promotional price!

Managed VPS Hosting:

Anyone who purchases any Managed VPS plan for an annual term via my affiliate link will receive 15% off of their regular renewal fee for as long as they maintain their subscription!

Dedicated Servers:

Anyone who purchases Dedicated Server Hosting via my affiliate link will receive double the primary storage for any package.  You’ll save from $200 to $1500 a year for as long as they maintain their subscription!

I have one client who has her site hosted with InMotion hosting. When I was first setting up her online presence and building her new website, I was impressed by how fast large files downloaded from her server, something I always watch for. With InMotion the price is right and the servers are faster than average at that price point. This is a rare thing to see included with your hosting package, as most hosts charge quite a bit more for hosting plans on fast, solid state SSD servers. Inmotion and GreenGeeks are the only hosts I know of who offer SSD hosting at the same price that most charge for regular shared hosting on slower servers.

Free SSL certificates:

  • Free Domain Validated SSL
  • 256-bit Encryption
  • Powered by Comodo and cPanel
  • Free Automatic SSL Renewal

The knowledgeable developers behind Elegant Themes have recently recommended InMotion hosting, and I have to say that their control panel is very nice and easy to work with. Read the excellent review Elegant Themes did on InMotion hosting HERE. Be sure to check InMotion out when researching a new hosting service or one to migrate to!

 

Namecheap

Namecheap.com is my favorite for registering your domain name. Not only are their prices better than I’ve seen anywhere else (yes, even better than GoDaddy’s, which I do NOT recommend to anyone. Here’s a post that does a good job of explaining why)(and here is a more recently discovered post that also does a good job of comparing Namecheap with GoDaddy detail for detail, concluding with why Namecheap is probably your best choice) but they include url and email forwarding at no extra charge.

Domain privacy is FREE! This is a great value when most other hosting companies & domain registrars are charging $10-25 for the same service.

Last but not least, you can get a free SSL certificate (SSL – which lets you use the https:// prefix and encrypts all activity between your website and the user’s browser to protect the exchange of personal and financial information), or you can invest a ridiculously small amount in security certificate for only 1.99 for the first year, and for a very reasonable 9.00/year thereafter that’s verified by Comodo, an industry leader. Note that you must have your website hosted with NameCheap to take advantage of this—few hosting companies will issue the CSR (certificate signing request) for another company if they offer SSL certificates themselves. This is not only a great deal, but will help your site make better friends with the search engines and place better on search result pages. Security is one of the factors they consider when ranking websites now.

One final note on domain registration – the current consensus is that it’s safer to register your domain with a company OTHER than the one you will host your website with. This way if the servers for one go down, or you miss your hosting payment or any other kind of SNAFU, you don’t lose your website AND your domain name all in one fell swoop. So register your domain with namecheap.com for the value and added features, and if you’re not sure if you want to try their hosting, choose GreenGeeks or one of the other hosting services on this page.

Namecheap’s hosting service looks like a great value. I’m extremely curious about their control panel and how easy it is to navigate, uptime, etc. The security and speed options look great, but I see they get mixed reviews online. They do not offer phone support, but their online (email, chat, support console) support gets good reviews from most people and is available 24/7.  From what I see so far, I think they would be fine for someone with a smaller site and an very tight budget. Otherwise, for a more robust hosting services plan, return to the top of the page and choose GreenGeeks..

Hostgator

While I personally don’t have any sites hosted with HostGator, a couple of my valued clients do. I’ve found their back-end hosting control panel has improved in recent years. Their downloads are incredibly fast, and while I haven’t had the occasion to deal with their support staff,  my clients say HostGator’s support is excellent. Ebates/Rakuten users can activate the site for a fabulous $30 off their first order!