Are you a beginner just starting out? Are you wondering what web host you should use for your first website or blog? I can help you with that, and tell you a few pros and cons to beginner web hosting, as well as a couple hosting company pitfalls to look out for.
I’ve been where you are many times in the past 8 years. When I started my first website, I got sold on a $300 package from Site Build It, and that didn’t include anything but the website builder software. LOL
Point being, I can recommend a much cheaper alternative (it’ll cost you less than $5/mo) these days, and help you avoid some of those crazy expensive website hosting companies out there. We’ll cover a couple points below, just to make sure you know to stay away from those too good to be true web hosting offers.
Like the old saying goes… If it’s too good to be true, it probably is…
Easy To Use Web Hosting Services(even for WordPress if you want to use it)
If you’re a newbie just getting started, you don’t want to have to read a book just to register a domain name and install a website or blog CMS. Would you agree?
So our most important criteria for the best web host for a beginner, is definitely one that’s super easy to use, even for a non tech savvy person. There are a few easy to use website builders/hosting companies out there, such as Ipage, Justhost, etc… But in my experience they have poor load time quality and take forever to load. (if this happens when you’re setting something up, it’s a nightmare… you’ll think you’re doing something wrong, but it’s just a bad quality host that has slow loading servers)
That said, I would steer away from those (you only save $.79 cents by going with them anyway) and go with a more reputable company like Bluehost or Liquidweb. I use both of these companies myself, including many more, and recommend either one for all beginners because their phone support is absolutely phenomenal. If you have any kind of issue whatsoever, you can call either of those companies, and you’ll get a native English speaking customer service rep to help you right away even at 3AM.
Bluehost is a little bit cheaper, but Liquidweb is more robust and has enterprise level options you can upgrade to. If you’re brand new, go with Bluehost. If you want some help setting up your first website or blog, I also have a complete tutorial that will show you how to do it step by step here.
The second most important reason I’d say Bluehost is the best for beginners, is the fact that you don’t have to configure your domain name to setup your website. Meaning, when you buy hosting from them, you get a free domain name if they’re running a promo. (they almost always are) Their backend automatically syncs it up for you, so you don’t have to learn how to create DNS records for your web hosting account… And then point your domain nameservers to the correct location. HUGE help for someone just starting out, you’ll save a ton of time.
The Least Expensive Web Hosting Company Might Be The Cheapest – But At What Frustrating Cost?
Of course we don’t want to break the bank! After all, if you’re just getting started you’re not making any side income from your blog or website just yet.
With web hosting services, this is always a delicate balance between service quality, and price. Everyone wants cheap web hosting, but the reality is you can only go so cheap before the control panel won’t even load and you get frustrated. Trust me, I’ve been there many times! In fact I’ve used over 23 web hosting companies in my 8 years online, and I’ve gotta tell ya, each time was one of the most trying times I’ve ever had. (I literally wanted to throw my computer out the window!)
That said, lets talk dollars. With Bluehost (the one I recommend to friends just starting out), they have a special promo right now where you can get 12 months of web hosting for $3.40/mo, and you get a free domain with that discount coupon. Liquidweb will be a little closer to $15/mo, but you get two free domain names with them.
Like I mentioned before, if you’re a beginner, save you money and go with the more economical option. Bluehost is affordable, and they have great support, which is what beginners need the most. Once you get going, move to a slightly better host that can handle more traffic in 6 months or so.
How To Tell Who Hosts A Website?
A lot of people want to find out who is hosting a website before they signup for a new service. For instance, if Clever Leverage.com was performing badly, you’d want to check and see who hosts me so you would have the chance to ask why that is occurring before you part with your hard earned dollars right?
Fortunately, there’s an easy way that even beginners can check and find out who hosts a website. It’s called: Who Is Hosting This
Most of the time, you’ll always get a result within a few seconds of typing in the site you want to check. Every now and then, if a blog or website is hosted by a private company it will come back with a no name hosting company listed as the host. But for our purposes, we just want to monitor the big name companies, and be able to check for them when we’re on a slow loading website for quality concerns.
A Quick Comparison Of Common Web Hosting Services You Hear About On TV
I know you’ve probably seen GoDaddy on tv all the time, and they have really good Superbowl commercials and all. But when it comes to web hosting, they really leave something to be desired in most cases. Their enterprise or business stuff isn’t bad, especially if you want to integrate Microsoft email services and Exchange, but I personally would not use them anymore because the customer service has been bad in my experience of using them. (keep in mind I have over 291 domains still registered with them, do it’s not like I’m not a customer anymore in all fashions!) I once had to wait over an hour for live chat support, or couldn’t get a native English speaking customer service rep on the phone outside of business hours on Pacific Standard Time.
Safe to say I can’t recommend Godaddy to you for web hosting anymore, I won’t even use them myself.
Most of the others you see on TV are Wix and Squarespace. While both can be good for small business websites and merchant accounts (like processing credit cards with an integrated Point Of Sale system), it’s a bit overkill for someone just wanting to get their feet wet with a blog or website. The cost is an issue as well, ranging from $8-$18/mo, it’s more than double what Bluehost is if they’re still offering a coupon special.
Wrapping up: if there’s a beginner web hosting question you’d like me to answer next week, head over to the QOTW page and tell me your question of the week!