Who do you use?
I’m often asked who I recommend for web hosting, domain names, etc. Here’s the answer…
I register domains through Go Daddy. Despite pushy upsells and tacky advertising campaigns, they have been reliable over the years. Regardless of who hosts my site, all domains are centrally managed through one Go Daddy account. The only “add on” I recommend is the privacy option. There is so much spam and junk mail targeted at domain registrations it really is a worthwhile addition.
If you want an alternative- look to Google. In fact, if you’re a beginner and want an online presence for your business go spend a couple of hours and set up a Google My Business account. It’s free, offers real-world customer referrals and provides you a one-stop hub for search and website traffic and promotion.
What the heck is Cloudflare?
If you looked up my domain you’ll find the server listed is none of the companies mentioned here. Cloudflare is a content delivery network that can provide secure connections, protection from malicious attack and increased performance. Think of it as sitting between the domain name provider and web host.
I have also managed collocated servers and dished up websites from my office. The best solution for you depends on what you’re trying to achieve, who you plan to see it and the tools you need to do it. If blogging is your priority, then you might not need a host at all— a free account with Blogger or WordPress.com might satisfy your needs quite well.
You should consider the aforementioned companies if you want to develop multiple sites, manage your own installation of open-source software, offer eCommerce, generate revenue from affiliate marketing or otherwise have full control of your project.
If you are planning to create sites for clients then you should look into Pantheon. Pantheon is not just a web host, they’re more of a development platform. They provide top notch hosting for Drupal and WordPress. You can even try it for free— charges are only required once the site goes live to the public. The best part is they provide you an industrial-strength account with development, test and live server environments. If you don’t know what that means, you should probably check out…
Fast Comet offers state-of-the-art hosting from a number of data centers around the world. What has impressed me is their support. I moved a phpBB forum site to them and they set up the entire account for me. This page you’re reading was served up from their Dallas datacenter.