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View Full Version : How do I find a good host for my website?



Prawn
09-06-2007, 07:53 PM
I want an author web site, but I am poor. I need a few gigs of space, an e-mail app that will forward my e-mail to the one check everyday.

I have looked, at places like godaddy and moster host, but I am not sure if those are good because there are so many complaints against them.

Any ideas?

P

JamieFord
09-06-2007, 08:24 PM
I registered with plain ol' Network Solutions, but have bought other domains from godaddy with no problems. I use SquareSpace for my site.

Fahim
09-07-2007, 05:06 AM
Some people say very good things about GoDaddy as hosts (not as domain registrar, which is a different thing) and others hate them. The same with quite a few other hosting companies. Your choice would also depend on what *you* need and your website administration experience level. For instance, if you nothing about webservers, you might want a lot of customer support and handholding and when you don't get it, you might think the hosting service bad. On the other hand, if you are a webserver expert, you would only want the servers to be maintained and administered well by a company and you would know how to do all the rest. So, your expectations determine how good or bad a host is, to an extent.

Additionally, the host you go with would also be determined based on how much you are willing to spend, the level of control you require and the features/functionality that you expect. I believe you have specified the latter to an extent but you haven't mentioned if you need PHP, mySQL or any other extra features. If you don't, and price is a consideration, you should be able to get a basic site with about 500MB - 1GB of space for about $5 a month. Or, you can go a bit higher and get your own virtual private server (VPS) for about $20-$40 a month. The advantage of a VPS is that it's a self-contained virtual server that you can manage on your own - you control what's installed, what's not installed and so on. But, you have to have the Linux knowledge to do that.

The best thing would be to check out a forum like WebHostingTalk (http://www.webhostingtalk.com/) for hosts in the particular category you're interested and make your own decision based on the feedback provided by others. If there's a specific host you are interested in and they don't have any feedback on the forums, you can even start a new thread asking for feedback.

ETA:
Since this question comes up about once every month, I'm sticking this thread and changing the title slightly so that others can find it easily :)

Prawn
09-07-2007, 04:08 PM
Ooo! Ooo! I'm all sticky!

Thanks Fahim. I don't need a virtual server. I just want some basic features that I think any of the bargain basement hosts can provide. Thanks for your help!

She_wulf
09-24-2007, 02:35 AM
StartLogic.com is providing a 24 month package with domain name registration. It got four stars in an independent review.

the one time fee is: $118.80
- that works out to 4.95/month

It has multiple databases, blogs, asp/java/php, subdomain hosting and other bells and whistles.

But, it's not for the novice web designer. There are templates you can use, but they are not that functional for some of the things you could be doing. And, if you don't have a clear plan of how your site should look + content ideas, it becomes even harder because you need to understand how to change the pages. Of course, if you're that new you really should go with a provider like GoDaddy, or just create a MySpace page instead.

Fahim
09-24-2007, 03:18 AM
StartLogic.com is providing a 24 month package with domain name registration. It got four stars in an independent review.

the one time fee is: $118.80
- that works out to 4.95/month


About $5 a month used to be standard for a low-end hosting package even like 4-5 years ago. Of course, what you get for that $5 varies from host to host.



But, it's not for the novice web designer. There are templates you can use, but they are not that functional for some of the things you could be doing. And, if you don't have a clear plan of how your site should look + content ideas, it becomes even harder because you need to understand how to change the pages. Of course, if you're that new you really should go with a provider like GoDaddy, or just create a MySpace page instead.

I am not sure, but I don't believe GoDaddy holds your hand either - so if you don't know what you're doing, that might not be an option either. But then again, GoDaddy might provide WYSIWYG site development tools which might help you but the best thing to do if you don't know much about hosting a site, is to first learn how to do it properly :)

kara
10-17-2007, 07:14 PM
I have nothing but good things to say about hostmonster.com. They have great customer service, wonderful features (cpanel 11) and reasonable pricing.

ALG71
10-17-2007, 11:31 PM
Okay I don't know anything about starting a website but everything posted above has been a big help already.

I have a couple questions though. I gather that I can register a domain name with one place, and find a place to host it somewhere else. Correct?

Also, for example, could I register a domain name today, and then find a host a month or two from now when I'm ready to create the website? Or do you have to find a host and start the website immediately after you've registered the domain name?

Thanks in advance.

Cath
10-17-2007, 11:42 PM
That's right, Alex. You can buy a domain name and some server space, on which to host your domain, separately. The web-host will tell you how to get the DNS servers pointed to your webspace so your page links up to your domain name whenever you get it set up.

akiwiguy
12-24-2007, 05:08 AM
I have an account with http://www.webhost4life.com and they are very very well priced and every feature you could think of. They are not "fly by nighters" and have a great reputation. For example... for $US9 a month I get 3Gb disk space, unlimited bandwidth, every language (PSP, Perl, .NET etc)... what I like is, they are Windows hosted and support latest .NET versions, along with SQL Server databases. In fact I can create a new SQL Server database within about a minute, with no support needed. I work with .NET and SQL Server, and usually the lower priced sites are freeware tools such as mySQL etc. Whilst those options are still there, this is by far the lowest priced Windows-basd site I have seen.

And in terms of support... recently a .NET app I'd written wouldn't run, and I opened a support query. Within the next 5 minutes I re-tried the url and it worked. Puzzled I went back in to support to tell them there was no problem, and saw their response to my problem, which they'd fixed in that five minutes. I was stunned.

Hope it's not considered spam to mention this site by name, I have no financial incentive to do so... I just can't speak highly enough of them.

tupp
01-16-2008, 06:19 AM
IĻam looking for a good cheap but fast host for a small on-line shopping cart business ,,,,could you give me some ideas on good hosts thanks

Fahim
01-16-2008, 06:44 AM
IĻam looking for a good cheap but fast host for a small on-line shopping cart business ,,,,could you give me some ideas on good hosts thanks

Please read the information contained in this thread. That should give you enough information to get you started as to what you need to look for.

madmumbler
09-23-2009, 04:10 PM
(EDIT: Okay, I didn't pay attention to the date on the original post! So it's an oooooold thread, but the info is still valid. Sorry, not enough coffee this morning!)


Okay, if you want to stay REALLY cheap, for now do this.

Set up a Gmail account to take your email. It's really easy to do, you can forward accounts into it or set it up to pull email from other accounts. I now do this.

Register your domain name through Godaddy.com (I used to use them for hosting, long story short, I don't anymore because their service went downhill.) You can also check out their domain email address pricing if you really want custom.

THEN, get a free site like Blogger.com or WordPress.com (you can find LOTS of templates for free) and set the domain name to forward there.

That way you can set up a website cheap without any concerns for maintaining a hosting account on a server.

HTH.

Matera the Mad
10-14-2009, 05:49 AM
Do not use GoDaddy! Not. Ever.

Please.

MoonStone
05-01-2010, 08:30 AM
I know this question has already been answered but for anyone else I would like to offer this hosting site. It is FREE with limitations (though I fail to see any limitations that affected me yet). It has flash and let's you create animations and awesome material with just a click of a button. It's really simple and looks professional if you want it too.

www.wix.com

Tirjasdyn
05-17-2010, 05:53 AM
Hi!

As a web designer, I suggest using a package deal...I recommend Bluehost, Hostgator or Hostmonster.

You can register one place and move it to another hosting but I find it's best to keep them in the same place.

If you chose another host (I do not recommend godaddy unless your just buying domains and pointing them other places...as a host they are extremely limited and hard to deal with both on line and via customer service).

Choose a host that offers Control Panel to manage your website. Not Plesk, not Parallels, not "their own special control panel) but the actual Control Panel software. Nothing measures up to the Control Panel imnsho.

Also Unlimited bandwidth is good but bandwidth is the dirty secret of the web...there is no such thing, bandwidth is limited by the hardware, and software of the host...there is always a limit but unlimited means that you won't bust the limit unless you are getting millions of hits a day.

Emerson
05-18-2010, 06:27 AM
I recommend InfluxHost. I don't know what their current plans are, but I've had a website with them for several years for about 35 bucks a year. That's domain and hosting, and a pretty good hosting plan at that.

EDIT: Now that I look, it seems their website is under reconstruction and you can only make sales inquiries for now. Still, I highly recommend them when they get back up.

I pay 10 bucks a year for my domain, and 24 a year for the hosting plan. That includes 3 GB webspace, 150 GB of bandwith, cPanel (as the above poster said, an absolute must), and all the basic amenities of a hosting plan (email, subdomains, etc.)

hotmomJ
07-16-2010, 11:46 AM
Check out www.ultrawebsitehosting.com I've used them for a couple of years now and I think they are the best all around. Can't beat their price or their service

Matera the Mad
07-16-2010, 12:42 PM
Several-years-of-satisfaction plug for http://swifthost.net/

BookFormatterJen
08-27-2011, 10:16 AM
I am using GoDaddy. They are very affordable and easy to use for a newbie. Just buy a domain and a year of hosting. If you do not know anything about web design, you can just install WordPress and choose any out of a thousands templates that they offer. GoDaddy also has a quick shopping cart product, a good way to sell your books. Just the basic and nothing fancy if you are not the techie type.

Hope this helps.


TheBookFormatterJen

Medievalist
08-27-2011, 07:38 PM
I am using GoDaddy. They are very affordable and easy to use for a newbie. Just buy a domain and a year of hosting.

Do not buy a domain and hosting from the same company

The chance of a problem later on if you switch hosts, for instance, is huge; they can choose to not transfer your domain, or even, to kill the DNS.

Tedashii
08-27-2011, 08:11 PM
This thread is nearly four years old.......

Medievalist
08-27-2011, 08:50 PM
Yes, but people still are using it for hosting reccs.

The question isn't outdated, in other words, even if the OP has a solution in place.

shelleyo
08-28-2011, 02:10 AM
This thread is nearly four years old.......

It'd be different if the last response was four years ago.

I ditto the not buying the domain and hosting from the same place. Too many people have had their sites held hostage that way. I use Hostgator and am perfectly satisfied, but there are many options out there.

I'll admit I do like GoDaddy for domain purchases, after having done it through other companies that are really just offshoots of the big ones like GD, and being faced with delays, mistakes and other problems. I once bought a domain through a discount domain company, and a week after I purchased it I went to GoDaddy and bought the domain, then a week later the company came back with "your domain was unavailable after all." Sometimes you do get what you pay for. Bears remembering.

Shelley

2 Moon Press
09-12-2011, 07:53 PM
We have found that Liquid Web is a great host. They have had great up time, and their security is second to none. We use them for our site, and also our tracking system for authors.

GoDaddy also in our opinion is a solid place if you are looking for a web design one stop place. However, also they have severe limitations and their tech support is not the greatest.

Steven_Lake
09-13-2011, 04:03 PM
I second that notion about LiquidWeb. I started hosting with them some 5 years ago and haven't looked back. In fact, it's where I recommend all of my clients to host their sites as well. The servers are always solid, the staff is great, and it's a fair price for all the stuff you get.

Saul Tanpepper
09-13-2011, 07:32 PM
For domain name: GoDaddy (quick, easy, and most hosts I've found have specific instructions for GD for directing your domain to their site).
For hosting, originally went with WebNode, but dropped it because they charge for using your own domain name. Moved my site over to Weebly, which doesn't charge. It's free for everything I need it for and quite easy to use. Some limitations, of course, but not enough to be a problem. And the html editing was simple for a non-coder like myself.

Gale Haut
09-13-2011, 08:01 PM
I'm using Laughing Squid and I love it. They also have good documentation and great Wordpress support. And it's really not that expensive. :D

Laer Carroll
10-11-2012, 10:34 PM
I'm a recently retired aerospace software and systems engineer, working most recently at NASA and Boeing. I've helped create and keep up Web sites both professionally (at Boeing) and for personal use. After a lot of research I chose WordPress.com. Here are the reasons for that (http://en.wordpress.com/features/).

I've been using it for three years now and have helped several friends and family to use it. So far the only expense I've had is the yearly fee to rent a domain for my sites. (You can't "buy" a domain name for more than a limited time.)

I have both a personal Web site and a professional one. The pro one is in my Sig. My personal one is http://LaerCarroll.com. Both are good examples of what a pro writer can do with their Web site.

But your Web site may look quite different. It's intended to tell the world about YOU and YOUR writing. Look at what others have done and pick what features you want and don't want. For more examples here are some WordPress sites for other SF/F writers.

http://www.theonering.net/ - J. R. R. Tolkien
http://whatever.scalzi.com/
http://www.ericflint.net/
http://robinhobb.com/
http://www.jerrypournelle.com/jerrypournelle.c/chaosmanor/
http://www.theworksoftimpowers.com/
http://www.victoriastrauss.com/
http://scottwesterfeld.com/
http://www.wenspencer.com/

Medievalist
10-11-2012, 10:44 PM
Keep in mind that there's a difference between hosting and platform.

While WordPress.com does offer hosting, and it is exquisitely simple to use as a host if you want to use wordpress, it is restrictive and for many writers is not a good choice as a host. Their policies about advertising (http://en.support.wordpress.com/advertising/) and affiliate links (http://en.support.wordpress.com/affiliate-links/) are an issue for some.

Those people can still use all the WordPress goodness of the software at another host. There are bunches that have one-click installs for WordPress.

What I do like, very much, about hosting a domain at WordPress is the simplicity, and their built in support for creative commons (http://en.support.wordpress.com/creative-commons/).

Laer Carroll
10-11-2012, 10:53 PM
Lisa, good point about the restrictions of WP.com.

As you point out, if you want a full-fledged commercial site you must go to a self-hosted or commercial-hosted site.

WP.com gives you tools to migrate your free site to the new host. So some developers use WP.com to create free "first drafts" and test beds of a site that you'll eventually migrate. But meanwhile the WP.com site can generate interest in a writer's career and works.

I've chosen not to migrate because I've no need for the extra features of a full commercial site.

Reziac
12-31-2012, 09:32 PM
I've had hosting with 1&1 (http://www.1and1.com/?k_id=6761404) since their original freebie offer 8 or 9 years ago. I used to register domains with GoDaddy, but because of their penchant for confiscating 'em without notice, and generally crappy interface, a couple years back I moved all my domains to 1&1 as well. If I ever need a hosting upgrade, I'll do it with 1&1.

Been nothing but happy with 1&1. I get a lot for my money (and what I get keeps expanding over time, at no additional cost). Their "control panel" gives me complete control over my domains (I can point them wherever I want), websites, mailboxes (including forwarding and webmail), FTP, etc. Tech support is Real Humans with Real Clues, not script-monkeys or bots. And if your payment gets messed up [my Discover card sometimes barfs for no reason], they get in touch with you and wait for your payment to go thru -- unlike a lot of hosts that will confiscate your domains at the first late payment (and resell them to the highest bidder).

A couple others I can recommend because of friends' good experiences with them are Dreamhost (http://dreamhost.com/) and Lunarpages (http://www.lpwebhosting.com/). My one friend (who knows his stuff) lives right down the way from Dreamhost and goes there to do his own maintenance at need.

One thing to beware of: if you decide you want a domain, DON'T "check to see if it's available" -- I don't know of ANY trustworthy places to do that anymore. The problem is that if you check to see if it's available but don't immediately register it, the place where you checked WILL register it, in their own name, usually within 24 hours (I'd guess there are scripts that do the job). And then if you really wanted that domain, it's liable to cost you $200 to $10,000 to buy it, rather than the $10/year or so it would have been up front. Or you can wait 2 or 3 years and see if it's abandoned, but that may never happen. "Domain squatting" costs so little that there's no disincentive for the registrars.

Also, always make sure the domain is registered in YOUR name, not in the hosting company's name (as many will do if you ask for "private" registration, where your contact details aren't available to anyone who asks). I know personally of a case where the registrar stole the client's domain that way, and then made a good business of selling his freeware off what had been his domain. (Since he was just a kid and lived in another country, he really couldn't do anything to stop them.)

SuzieRox
01-03-2013, 07:16 AM
I've used GoDaddy for domains in the past with Blogger. With GoDaddy domains you get 1 free email address. Use custom name with Blogger and it costs nothing. Pretty good now that they have lots of templates.

Or do the same deal with wordpress.com and pay a small annual fee to have it directed to your own domain.

I'm learning Wordpress now and it's much much better than Blogger with all the plugins and themes but you can't beat free if you're on a budget!

I've heard that a lot of people use Weebly although I don't like the look of it myself. I think Google are now doing some free templates and hosting.

erob41
03-15-2013, 07:37 AM
I have been thinking about buying a domain and putting up a simple website, so this thread has been helpful.

I imagine a simple website with basic information about me and links to where visitors can buy my books.

Here is my question: how would I allow them to download sample chapters of a novel, say in .pdf? Would that file take up space in the 5 gigs (or whatever) I rent for the website? Or would I have to put it on a cloud drive with a link for them to download?

Thanks in advance.

BradCarsten
03-15-2013, 12:27 PM
I have been thinking about buying a domain and putting up a simple website, so this thread has been helpful.

I imagine a simple website with basic information about me and links to where visitors can buy my books.

Here is my question: how would I allow them to download sample chapters of a novel, say in .pdf? Would that file take up space in the 5 gigs (or whatever) I rent for the website? Or would I have to put it on a cloud drive with a link for them to download?

Thanks in advance.

Yes it would use your 5gigs, but the size of your file should be negligible- say 0.2mb at most, which means you will have to get about 25,000 downloads to use all your bandwidth.

if you're really worried Award space (http://www.awardspace.com/) offers unlimited traffic for $2.99 a month, so you'll never run out.

They also have a free option that gives you 5gb a month. The only problem with the free option is that they do not allow uploads of more than 1mb and there is no email forwarding, so you can't have a contact-us box on your website. Other than that it's great.

Reziac
03-15-2013, 08:13 PM
I keep forgetting that I've already posted most of what I had to say in this thread :) Anyway, someone asked about making files available for download. There are a couple simple ways to do that:

1) Put them in an open directory that anyone can root through and download whatever they like. (I do this with some public stuff, like PC junk and my DOOM archive.)

2) Make a basic webpage with links to the files.

Either way -- look up how to use HTACCESS files to set a directory open to the world, or conversely, how to keep well-mannered bots like Google out (tho it won't stop the rude ones). Also, if your web host supports it, you may want to password-protect certain directories.

Sassy1
04-18-2014, 05:42 PM
I know this is an old thread but since I used to be a programmer, and still do occasional website work for friends, here's my take on the hosting/domain name thread:

I used to use/recommend Godaddy for Domain registration, but they have a nasty habit of "bait and switch" where you sign up for a super low cost (e.g., $1.99 a year for Domain Registration) then, at renewal time it goes up to $19.99. They also chargeextra for any "add-ons" such as privacy, and their "low cost add-ons" go up at renewal time as well!

They also have hosting packages, which I don't recommend, because unless you are an absolute beginner, their hosting packages/tools are way too limiting. Fine if you want a "canned" website - but you can get that anywhere for a lot cheaper and a LOT less headache than Godaddy offers!

I recommend Dreamhost for Domain registration, they have ONE price when you sign up, same price year after year for domain registration. They have only raised their cost once in the past ten years and their cost also includes privacy, no hidden costs anywhere.

For hosting, depends on what platform your website is built on. If it's Windows based or Linux based. There are several hosting companies that offer hosting for both, and offer really good deals for personal packages, it just really depends on what your needs are.

I do recommend Dreamhost ONLY if you are using .php, they don't have a windows based platform. I recommend Arvixe for Windows hosting. They have really good packages, and the cost is very low, depending on your needs. I have a friend who uses Arvixe, and swears by their customer service I'm Not "endorsing" them, but here is their URL:

http://www.arvixe.com/

For anyone looking for Domain Registration and Hosting, Good luck and have fun!

Underdawg47
01-20-2015, 06:52 AM
I have been thinking about starting my own website and perhaps placing my entire novel there. I noticed that many of the hosting sites don't allow adult content. Where would be the best hosting site to for a website such as mine where I would plan to free creative license without censorship?

BradCarsten
01-20-2015, 03:56 PM
I have been thinking about starting my own website and perhaps placing my entire novel there. I noticed that many of the hosting sites don't allow adult content. Where would be the best hosting site to for a website such as mine where I would plan to free creative license without censorship?

I would imagine that only applies to images and videos, as those use up a lot of bandwidth and tend to carry a lot of malware. I don't imagine they'd have a problem with someone posting an erotic story.