Hosting Services

DOMAIN REGISTRATION

Namecheap.com

The very first step in creating your new website is to secure your domain name. That’s your “www” web address, 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” for free the first year and only 2.88/year thereafter, discounted premium DNS service and low cost SSL certificates. That is a savings of $10 or more per year for domain privacy ~ no other registrar I’ve seen has a price this low to safeguard your personal details in the WhoIs registry database, which is open to th epublic. Their 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.

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 many. So if you feel you must have both domain registration and hosting services with one provider, 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 IPv4, and IPv6 is coming, though there aren’t very many sites there yet. Be in the front guard and avoid the last minute rush when it’s time for all IPv4 users to switch over! More on their hosting services below.

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. There are other hosting companies coming up all the time, so if you use one you love but don’t see below, please let me know and I’ll check them out/add them to this page.

 

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.

 

WEB HOSTING

INDUSTRY LEADERS



  • 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 offers 2500 email accounts, free domain for life, unlimited server space, unlimited data transfer, unlimited subdomains, unlimited domains on one hosting account, a 30-day MB guarantee, $50 Yahoo ad credit, $25 Google ad credit and 24/7 toll-free phone support with their 9.99/month hosting plan. Click the link to the left 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 extend 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.  Ebates users can activate the site for $10 off their first order and other coupon codes.

 

Web Hosting

 

One of the hosts recommended by Matt Mullenweg, the founder of WordPress, Siteground has VERY competitive pricing (even after the first-year new client discounts have passed!), and claims fast and secure servers and geeky support (which is good!).  Click here to see their pitch on site loading speed. See their overview on security and how they stack up to other hosts here. Click here to read how proud they are of their support staff and how they compare to those of other hosts. All in all, a very worthy up-and-coming hosting company absolutely worth considering when researching a new web hosting service!! I might just move my big website here later this year…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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 (it used to be nearly impossible to find!) Their downloads are incredibly fast, and while I haven’t had the occasion to deal with their support staff,  both clients say HostGator’s support is excellent. Ebates users can activate the site for a whopping $30 off their first order!

HostGator is offering special pricing through the end of 2017. These are the packages I think you might be most interested in. If you feel you need something different, please contact me so I can assist you with researching alternative plans and packages.

Get Your Domain, Hosting, and Unlimited Email for Just $3/mo

Save 50% Off Your New Optimized WordPress 12-Month Plan w/ coupon code WDA50

 

 

 

 

 

dreamhost

The third of three hosts recommended by Matt Mullenweg, the founder of WordPress. While I don’t do business with DreamHost myself, I have a client who does, and I have found that their customer support, while entirely online—console/email-based with no phone access—is nonetheless very prompt, courteous and knowledgeable. One of the hosts recommended by Matt Mullenweg, the founder of WordPress. Their proprietary dashboard is pretty nice, though getting to your actual files can be a challenge. They will make sure your WordPress installation is updated so you don’t have to do that yourself and offer a fabulous suite of additional services. Hosting services begin at $8.95/month. One of the big advantages of DreamHost is that they are a Let’s Encrypt partner, which means you can get a free SSL certificate through them – a huge value and a major Search Engine Optimization plus! They also offer free domain privacy if you register your domain name with them.

DreamHost is now competing with WPEngine (see below for WPEngine’s awesome services!), offering WordPress optimized hosting for 19.95/mo. Less expensive than WPEngine’s $29/mo service, I’d still take WPEngine if I had to make a choice. Leaders are leaders.

 

 

 

 

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. Ipower, the host I long used and recommended, fell out of favor with me when the backup files I downloaded form client websites became slow as molasses compared ot the other hosts I was working with (not to mention their pricing, which was always high on certain essentials like domain privacy and became exorbitant on regular hosting plans). So, with InMotion the price is right and the servers are fast.

I haven’t had the opportunity to discuss anything with their support staff.

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!

 

 

 

 

 

EXTREME VALUE HOSTS

 

Namecheap

 10.27.14: I just learned about Namecheap.com and they’ve become my new 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) but they include url and email forwarding at no extra charge. Domain privacy is free for the first year and renews at only 2.88/year! This is a great value when most other hosting companies & domain registrars are charging $7-13 for the same service. Last but not least, you can get a security certificate (SSL – which lets you use the https:// prefix and encrypts all activity between your website and the user’s browser) for only 1.99 for the first year, and for a very reasonable price thereafter. 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. Also note that SSL is slated to become FREE as of July 1, 2015, so you should take that into account when making your domain, hosting and SSL decisions. This is not only a great deal, but will help your site make better friends with the search engines. 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 from 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. Therefore I will be moving this website to them very soon. The security and speed options look great, but I see they get mixed reviews online. Like Dreamhost 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 that won’t get thousands of visits per day.

Update, 7/18/17: I moved this website to NameCheap hosting to give it a test several months ago. I have to say that the site is loading fast, and the few times I’ve needed a hand from support, they have been courteous, professional, and very helpful. The control panel is the standard one I see on other hosts, and other options within the account are easy to find. So far, so good! Another update either when warranted or after my renewal date.

 

 

GREEN HOSTING


GreenGeeks is running a flash sale for Cyber Monday on their award winning shared hosting – 3-year shared hosting price to $2.96 per month.
The sale begins at 12:00 PM EST and ends 11:59 AM tonight (Eastern time, November 28, 2016) {That would be now through 9:00PM Pacific time}.

I haven’t had personal experience with California-based GreenGeeks, but they are an up-and-coming host with the advantage of being green. I learned about them when doing an estimate for a prospective client and thought they looked good enough to promote. It appears that they also have frequent new customer special pricing, and theirs 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 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.

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, 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 hardwareto 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 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
  • 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. I might have to put one of my own here just to take it for a drive.

 

click here to learn more about ipower.com webhostingI’ve used Ipower since 2003 and have had few complaints: good service, reasonable rates, green hosting. They include free domain registration with their packages, along with 1500Gb of server space and 15000Gb of data transfer, unlimited subdomains, 2500 email accounts, 24/7 customer service and lots of extras, including $75 in Google and Yahoo search credits. Just as I was wondering if their services were worth the price, Ipower broke away from the pack and distinguished themselves with a hugely helpful service none of the rest are offering, and this happened at the same time other hosting services raised their pricing to the same level as Ipower’s. Namely, Ipower now assigns a dedicated customer service rep to all clients, so you will have the reassurance of having the phone number of a real person whose name you know and whom you can call if you ever need help with anything! (Apparently this service has been discontinued) The regular price for the Ipower Pro hosting package is competitive with the pricing most others offer –  and they frequently have sales during which you get your first year of hosting services for 3.95/month! They may call after you sign up with a sweet deal if you agree to extend your initial signup beyond one year, and this is not only more economical, but a good call from a search engine optimization standpoint. Note that your renewals will require you to pay for the entire term at the regular price. NOTE: Ipower’s pricing has gone beyond what’s competitive in the industry. I now recommend people using their hosting service migrate to another industry leader.

 

FOR LARGE and E-COMMERCE SITES THAT NEED HIGH PERFORMANCE & SECURITY

 

WP EngineI used WPEngine for a large WordPress e-commerce website in 2012 and they were extremely helpful, even instrumental in helping me get the site online. WPEngine hosting is strictly for WordPress sites; for a large ecommerce site using a credit card merchant account like this client’s was, WP Engine’s WordPress and security expertise, and oustanding speed and stability made them the perfect hosting solution for the project. A fantastic value for the price, WPEngine provides larger WordPress-based single installations, multi-user and ecommerce sites with secure, fast and scalable servers and friendly, knowledgeable customer support, with dedicated IP addresses and SSL security certificates available for very reasonable prices to those who need to implement merchant payment gateways for their ecommerce installations. Their tech support is awesome; each employee of the company is fluent in coding PHP, the language in which WordPress is written, so anyone there can help you with WordPress questions and issues. How rare is that? Call them if you need help! Also very rare in this industry – most web hosting services will provide a means for you to install WordPress on your server, but they won’t touch a support call that deals with WordPress itself. (This is changing lately, but WPEngine was the first to offer this service and still the only one which requires proficiency in PHP coding for ALL its employees).  You may find that their pricing is worth it to do business with a hosting company that can satisfy even the most demanding WordPress hosting and security needs. Please click the banner to learn more about this amazing hosting company!

Get 5 months free using coupon code cyberwknd on annual plans with WP Engine! Expires 11/28/2016.  Use  coupon code cyberwknd

 

 

 

 

HOSTING AND DOMAIN REGISTRATION DOWN UNDER


Professional Hosting from Just Host

A client whose site I maintain turned me on to this one. JustHost has recently upgraded their hosting plans to offer unlimited email accounts, free domain for life, unlimited server space, unlimited data transfer, unlimited subdomains, a 30-day MB guarantee, and 24/7 toll-free support with their 4.95/month service. One of very few hosting services available to both my American and Australian clients, as well as many other countries. Though they do not offer .com.au domain name registration, they do have a dedicated Australian freecall support line. Click the image link to the left to learn more. They are also CloudFlare partners, a real plus.


oceania hosting

After exhaustive research for a client Down Under, I found that the best of the Australian hosting services is Sydney-based Oceania. With competitive pricing and service, and a pleasant human voice answering their 24/7 toll-free customer support line, we recommend them for all our southern hemisphere friends. Hosting starts at 5.95/month and they have the VERY best prices on .com.au domain registration in Australia! You can even renew your service with a payment by cheque (you’ll need a credit card for your initial setup, however). Look no further – click the link to the left to select a plan and get started with Oceania.com.au.