Category Archives: Web Hosting

The Best Domain Name Registrars You Should Look At In 2021

A domain name is a unique internet address that allows people to easily find your website online. As you go through the process of choosing your domain name, you’ll also need to pick a place to register it. That’s where domain registrars come in. A domain registrar is an entity through which you purchase and set up your domain; it also assigns your URL to a unique IP address.

You’ll want to vet the different domain registrars before you make a final decision.

These are the best places to register a domain name.

1.GoDaddy

GoDaddy is the most well-known domain registrar in the world, but that doesn’t make it the best option. GoDaddy is the most expensive of all of the domain registrars, with high renewal fees and privacy as an add-on. If you want to go with a big, well-known domain registrar, GoDaddy is the best choice.

Initial prices and renewal pricing: 

Pricing for .com domains starts at $11.99 for the first year. Renewal cost is not listed on the website and can only be found in your account once you have a domain registered with GoDaddy. From personal experience, GoDaddy renewals are the most expensive out of all of these registrars.

Privacy options: WHOIS protection is not included with your domain. GoDaddy offers three levels of domain protection, all of which include WHOIS privacy. Pricing depends on your domain.

Domain transfer: Transferring is easy and starts at $7.99 for .com domains.

Bundled and add-on services: Website security, privacy protection, website builder, website hosting, email, and an online store builder.

2. Google Domains

Google Domains is no-frills. The pricing is affordable, and it costs less than other domains. The best part about using Google Domains as your registrar is the ease of putting out paid ads. If you’re planning to use the Google Ad platform to market your products, Google Domains makes it very easy to set up. Google also offers built-in email forwarding and 24/7 customer support. 

Initial prices and renewal pricing: New domains start at $9/year. All plans include privacy protection, 24/7 customer support, email forwarding, Google two-step verification, Google Cloud DNS, and domain and subdomain forwarding.

Privacy options: WHOIS protection included.

Domain transfer: It’s easy to transfer a domain to Google, but the cost depends on the domain you’re looking to transfer.

Bundled and add-on services: You can add on Google Ads, email, and website design to your purchase.

3. Namecheap

Namecheap is an affordable option for domain registration and offers a nice web hosting bundle. This is a good option if you’re looking for a fair price and package that includes WHOIS protection and web hosting. 

Initial prices and renewal pricing: Pricing for .com domains on Namecheap starts at $8.88/year. Renewal pricing starts at $12.98 and averages about $4 more the second year than you paid during the first.

Privacy options: WhoisGuard protects your personal information from the WHOIS directory, and it’s free for all domains registered with Namecheap. Namecheap also offers security features like SSL certificates, a VPN, and PremiumDNS as add ons to your yearly fee.

Domain transfer: Transferring a domain out of Namecheap is as easy as it gets. It’s a pretty standard process—you can leave Namecheap so long as your domain is over 60 days old and it hasn’t been transferred within 60 days. Transferring a domain to Namecheap is fast (from 30 minutes to six days) and affordable. You just type the domain you want to transfer over in the search bar to see if it’s eligible and then transfer it in three steps.

Bundled and add-on services: Namecheap offers a package deal with domain registration and web hosting. Add-ons include email, security features (SSL, VPN, DNS), and WordPress hosting.

4.Domain.com

Domain.com is known for speed and reliability as a web hoster. It also offers a live chat function, which can be deeply helpful as you start to set up your new website. But, privacy protection costs extra and pricing is better elsewhere. Domain.com is a good choice for reliable web hosting, so it's good for those looking to host their site the same place they register it. 
  • Initial prices and renewal pricing: Pricing for .com domains starts at $9.99/year with a one-year minimum. Domain renewals for .com domains start at $13.99/year.
  • Privacy options: Domain privacy is considered an add-on, and you can bundle it with your domain registration for $8.99/year.
  • Domain transfer: Domain transfers are easy at Domain.com, but the caveat here is that the company doesn’t list pricing on its website. You’ll have to input the domain you want to transfer before seeing how much it’ll cost. If you do decide to go with Domain.com, be sure to take a look at the other services listed here to make sure you’re getting the transfer at a fair price.
  • Bundled and add-on services: You can also purchase web hosting (starting at $3.75/month), WHOIS privacy protection, web design, and marketing services, a website builder, email, and website security like SSL.

Problems you might face with free Web Hosting

Free hosting isn’t free

Companies offer free hosting with only one aim — to sign you up on their platform. Once you become a customer and start creating a website, you will inevitably find that it’s nearly impossible to create and maintain a website through a free hosting plan. 

They remove all the features that a hosting plan should come with. So, when you create a website, you’ll have a rude shock waiting for you. Once you realize you need a few tools and features, they start charging for that. For example, basic tools and resources like bandwidth, disk space, SSL, control panel, etc. will be charged separately. 

The idea is that because you’ve put in so much time and effort for your website, you’ll pay up. What’s more, those features or tools aren’t sold cheap. 

Advertisements

Web hosting companies that offer free hosting services are spending money on you. They are creating space on their servers for your website. If you somehow manage to get your website running for a while on free hosting services, they will start putting ads on your website. 

These are not ads that make you money. The ad revenue goes to the hosting company. The twisted reasoning is that you’ve got free hosting, so they get the ad revenue. This isn’t temporary, by the way!

Crash

As you might have already guessed, free hosting servers don’t get the best maintenance in a hosting company. It’s being offered for free. So, they go easy on the maintenance, meaning your website will be down a lot. 

With Shared Hosting plans, companies are charging money for the services rendered. When you buy the hosting plan, the web hosting company will give you a service guarantee, which will include an uptime guarantee as well. This ensures that you can hold the web hosting company accountable for the uptime scores and demand your money back in case of sub-standard services.

Low bandwidth

Bandwidth is the rate at which data is transferred from your server to the user’s browser, and here’s what you need to know – more is better. Greater the bandwidth, the higher the speed of your website. And when it comes to websites, speed is everything. 

With free hosting, you can expect very little bandwidth. Sometimes this happens because hosting companies stuff servers full of websites and there’s little to go around. With some companies, the limiting of bandwidth is purposeful. Companies create bandwidth caps in hopes of signing you on for a paid plan with higher bandwidth.

Bottom line

there’s no such thing as free hosting in the real world. Companies will make their money in one way or another. It may be through ads on your website or by making your hosting experience so frustrating that you’ll end up buying a paid plan. And once you do start paying, costs start adding up. 

Why should I pay for web hosting? – Here are the Reasons

Uptime (Reliability)

Reliability is extremely important for both free and paid services, but you should only expect any real reliability with a paid hosting plan. It’s likely that you’ll want your website to operate 24/7, and you’ll only get that from a web host with reliable servers and stable network connections. Before you decide on a host, check out its uptime history. You can read reviews and check their advertised uptime guarantees.

A site that is hard to reach or frequently down loses visitors, customers, and can hit revenue hard. If someone finds your site and tries to access it only to find that it’s unavailable, they won’t hesitate to go to a competitor site. Slow access is also very frustrating for dedicated visitors (and for you also, when you upload new content).

Traffic/Bandwidth

Read and understand any limitations placed on the bandwidth you use and select an appropriate plan. If your site is going to incorporate video, audio, or other elements that require a higher level of bandwidth, you want a plan that matches your needs.

Control Panel

The purpose of a control panel is to allow you to manage various aspects of your website’s hosting account yourself. You should expect a control panel from a commercial host so you can perform everyday maintenance tasks without having to wait for technical support to make simple changes. A ‘cPanel’ provides a simple dashboard to manage email addresses, account passwords, and basic server configurations. It can be time-consuming to go through a technical support operator or be obliged to pay an additional fee each time you want to perform simple admin tasks.

Multiple Domains Hosting

It’s common to own more than one domain, they’re cheap these days, and it’s hard to resist owning a few. In this case, you need to accommodate extra domains with extra hosting space. To simplify the hosting process, it’s possible to host more than one domain from a single account. Each separate website hosted on the same account is called an add-on domain. Most shared hosting providers allow addon domains. It’s advisable to check in advance how they charge for it.

Cost

With web hosting as with everything, you often get what you pay for. If you have a basic website not expecting a large amount of traffic, expect to pay between $10 to $150 per year for shared hosting. Higher capacity hosting plans can start at $150 and go up from there.

Most commercial hosts offer the flexibility to choose how you want to pay with monthly and annual payment plans; the latter gives you a cheaper rate. Once you’re reassured they offer a reliable service, you can switch to the cheaper annual payments, or switch hosts quickly if they don’t meet your expectations.

Finally, let’s discuss renewals. If you’re satisfied with the price of a package, check the price for renewals. It’s a norm in the industry to offer low signup prices but charge much higher amounts on renewals. Unless you are ok with switching between hosts every few years, renewal prices are unavoidable.

Email

If you want to host email accounts alongside your website, check that your host allows you to set up the email addresses you want on your domain – before signup. It looks a bit shabby to have a random email address not associated with your domain: How much more professional does info@yourdomain.com sound over info.yourdomain@gmail.com?

In the case that emails are provided, it’s not a big deal. There are other ways to get your hands on an email account at your own domain name.

Technical support

Things can go wrong at the most inconvenient of times so best to check your host has 24/7/ 365 professional support. You’ll want someone there to throw you a lifeline when you press the S.O.S button and to know the person picking on the other end is technically equipped with the knowledge to help you, there and then. To get a feel for this, read online reviews with accounts of real customer experiences.

There will be times when you have a non-urgent query. You might want to solve it in your own time while getting a better handle on your server settings. Does the host have a knowledge base or FAQs to browse to help advance your understanding? Whether you prefer to chat over the phone or rather have comprehensive documentation at hand to solve problems yourself – check they are available.

Managed Cloud Hosting and its Advantages

Cloud Hosting has taken the hosting world by storm. From the initial hesitation among users to adopt the Cloud technology in hosting, Cloud Hosting has come a long way. Due to the massive adoption by large organizations and the host of benefits it offers, Cloud Hosting is touted to be the future of web hosting.

What is Cloud Hosting?

Cloud Hosting is a type of hosting where the data of your website is stored across multiple servers. This is a fundamental departure from any type of traditional hosting where all the website data is stored in just a single server. There are many types of traditional hosting methods where multiple websites are housed in a server, but in Cloud Hosting, the website data is housed in multiple servers. This ensures a high level of data redundancy and data protection.

What is Managed Cloud Hosting?

Managed Hosting is a type of hosting plan that web hosting companies offer. It’s a type of offering where your web hosting company will look after the management, administration, and security of your part of the server. 

In essence, that means that you just choose whatever plan you want and the operating system you’re comfortable with and leave the rest to the web hosting company. The web hosting company employs qualified system administrators and web security experts to take care of all the other system management and server upkeep needs. 

Advantages of Managed Cloud Hosting

Server monitoring

This is one of the biggest benefits of Managed Cloud Hosting. Server monitoring is a prevention strategy for cyberattacks that’s implemented by scanning all the files in the server and checking for any abnormalities. 

Server monitoring enables system administrators to find points of failures and inherent vulnerabilities in the server setup. Once a problem has been detected, steps can be taken to mitigate it. 

Reliability and overall security

Even without opting for Managed Hosting, Cloud Hosting is a very secure form of hosting, thanks to its architecture. As mentioned earlier, in all forms of traditional hosting, the data of a website is stored in one server. If there’s a successful cyberattack on the server or if there’s some sort of hardware failure and it leads to a server crash, your website will crash too. 

With Cloud Hosting, that problem will not occur. Your website data isn’t stored in one server, to begin with. It’s stored on multiple servers. So, if a server fails, for whatever reason, there will be no discernible effect on your website. The data from the other servers will be made available to keep your website up and running. 

If you opt for Managed Cloud Hosting, you add another layer of security to your website. Security professionals use varied and powerful tools to prevent attacks in the first place. These tools include malware scanners, DDoS prevention applications, enterprise-level antivirus, and so on. Security professionals also periodically conduct audits and update all firewalls, making your website truly secure. 

Pricing

Cloud Hosting isn’t the cheapest hosting method. Additionally, Managed Hosting plans are slightly more expensive than non-managed hosting plans. So, it might seem counterintuitive that pricing is listed as an advantage. 

The reason is that it’s a lot more expensive to manage your website on your own. A lot of the tasks mentioned above, like server monitoring, malware scanning, server monitoring, etc., need expertise. If you’re not an expert in web hosting, you’ll have to pay experts to do these jobs for you if you want a secure and reliable website. This expertise isn’t cheap. 

Additionally, these aren’t one-time costs. They are continuous expenses, meaning that you may even have to end up hiring a dedicated IT team. All that is far more expensive than simply paying a little more to your web hosting company for a Managed Hosting plan. Thus, Managed Cloud Hosting is highly cost-effective. 

Disaster recovery and backups

Cloud Hosting, as mentioned earlier, is quite reliable and secure. However, this is no reason to neglect data backup and disaster recovery strategies. Irrespective of how good your web hosting company is and how great your web hosting plan is, you will, at some point, need backups. It’s best to stay ready for that. 

While it is possible to implement a data backup strategy on your own, it’s not all that straightforward. Additionally, backups have to be taken routinely to ensure that your backup is always up to date, and in case of data loss, you have the latest copy of your website at your disposal. 

With Managed Cloud Hosting, your hosting company will take care of creating, maintaining, and updating backups, making your life that much simpler. 

Opportunity cost

Students of business management are better equipped to talk about opportunity cost, but it refers to the potential losses you incur doing one task while you actually should be concentrating on something else.

The primary goal of any business is to grow, expand, and become stable. As a website owner, that’s probably your aim too. So, your primary task is growing your core business. But maintaining a website is something that will take up a lot of time too, and while maintaining your website, you’re not growing it. 

The advantage of Managed Hosting boils down to one thing – it takes website management off your hands and allows you to concentrate on actually growing your business. Now, if you have an IT team in-house, you don’t need Managed Hosting. 

Even if you’re a web hosting expert, having Managed Hosting makes sense because it allows you to grow your business and not worry about routine maintenance, updating applications, creating backups, and things like that. You leave such tasks to the professionals and concentrate on your business. 

Conclusion

Managed Cloud Hosting isn’t the cheapest way to host your website. A Shared Hosting plan is cheaper, but the combination of Cloud Hosting and Managed Hosting is hugely beneficial for high-traffic, growing websites. 

Cloud Hosting enables your website to be safe, fast, and reliable. Managed Hosting ensures that you don’t have to deal with the nitty-gritty of website management. 

How Website Speed Affects Your SEO Rankings?

Even though website speed itself has not been an official ranking factor in Google’s SEO algorithm until now, experts have largely proclaimed its importance for good SEO. With the upcoming Core Web Vitals update planned by Google for May 2021, which adds 3 new metrics to the Page Experience signal, website speed officially becomes a ranking factor. So now many webmasters wonder what the immediate impact of that change will be on the SEO searches.

Website speed effect on organic searches after the Core Web Vitals update

The optimal website loading speed

It’s good to know that major shifts are not foreseen as a result of the new Google update, but still, if your site is not really well optimized, or if you are not sure where it stands, you are still bearing risk and Google is sending you a message to get to work. A good start for this is to figure out how your website currently scores on the 3 new metrics – Largest Contentful paint (LCP), First Input Delay (FID), and Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS) and what to aim for.

Useful website speed test tools

There are a lot of website speed test tools, which you can use to check your page loading times. Some of the most common ones are LighthousePageSpeed InsightsSearch Console > Core Web Vitals report, and more.

Website Speed Optimization Suggestions

Here’s a concise list of simple ways to optimize performance.

Lower Largest Contentful Paint (LCP) under 2.5s 

1.Optimize your images

The most common problem for website performance and LCP, in particular, are the large images that need to be loaded simultaneously and slow down the page. That is why you should consider the following optimizations:

  • Add lazy loading of images – that way not all images will be loaded at the same time upon opening the page. 
  • Use caching for static assets 
  • Serve an alternative image format – WebP. This is a very useful way to reduce the size of the images on your site. 

2.Minify your CSS and JavaScript

One of the easiest ways for big performance wins, in this case, is to use compression like Brotli or Gzip. Another possibility is to use plugins for WordPress sites. 

3.Limit 3rd party scripts

The more scripts that need to be loaded on the page, the slower it will open. Third-party scripts are for example tracking software, advertising scripts, heatmaps, and others. Once they serve their purpose, make sure you removed them so they don’t pile up slowing the website.

4.Get a faster web host

Having a fast server helps a lot for boosting the LCP metric. So if you have done all of the above and your site is still loading slow, see what’s happening with your hosting and how your provider can help optimize the environment for more performance.

5.CDN

Since website speed tests are greatly affected by the speed of the Internet connection, where sites with international traffic are most hurt, experts suggest that you use CDN. In case you wonder which of all those optimization suggestions should be the first on your list, take a listen to the users’ opinion.

Get First Input Delay (FID) under 100 milliseconds 

If you score poorly on this one, it is most likely that your JavaScript is the culprit. Minify and defer JavaScript to fix the issue. WordPress sites, that could be done with a click of the mouse from the plugin. 

Get Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS) under 0.1 

The CLS is largely a web design issue. The most common reasons for it are:

  • Images without dimensions  
  • Ads, embeds, and iframes with dimensions  
  • Dynamically injected content 
  • Custom Web fonts – AJ suggests using “swap” in CSS and instruct the browser to show the browser font first until the custom font gets loaded to avoid users seeing blanks on the page.
  • Actions waiting for a network response before updating the DOM 
  • Infinite scrolling 

In this blog, we focused entirely on optimizing website speed for the 3 new metrics that will become ranking factors in Google’s algorithm. But your optimization efforts should not stop with LCP, FID, and CLS. There are other things you can do that will improve your performance overall and have a positive impact not only on your SEO but on your user experience and business results. 

Step by step guide to transfer your domain to Bluehost

One of the most exciting steps when signing up for a new website is choosing a domain. Conducting a domain name search to find the perfect name and registering it makes everything feel official. However, over time you may find yourself unhappy with your hosting providers’ service or realize that your needs have expanded. You might opt to transfer your existing domain name to another provider.

Can You Transfer a Domain Instantly?

A domain transfer is a process of changing your domain registration. You can transfer your domain instantly if it satisfies the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) transfer conditions, which require you to have had your domain for at least 60 days.

What Is the Average Domain Name Transfer Time?

A domain transfer can take anywhere between five to 14 days to complete. The amount of time it takes depends on how fast you meet the requirements and how quickly your current domain name registrar and the web host you’re switching to authorize the transfer.

To have a better idea of the domain transfer process, keep reading for a step-by-step guide on how to transfer a domain.

Step by step Guide

  • Choose a new web host and create an account with the host you want to transfer your domain to. 
  • Review your contact information When you register for a domain, the registrar will ask for your contact information because your new web host will be notifying the administrative contact during the transfer.

If you’re using your domain-associated email, you need to change it to a general or public email address such as Gmail.

  • Update privacy settings with the current registrar – Disabling domain privacy allows the current registrar to view your contact information. You will then need to wait for the WHOIS database to update its records with your details.
  • Update your name servers – Name servers direct the traffic from your domain to the host server. 

If you already moved your website to your new host, it’s best to update the name servers now as you cannot make DNS changes when the domain transfer is in progress.

  • Unlock your domain name – Upon purchase, most domain registrars “lock” your domain to ensure it’s safe from unauthorized changes or transfer attempts. 

Unlocking your domain name is relatively simple — some registrars will let you do so manually, while others will do it for you.

  • Request your authorization code – The last thing you need before initiating the domain transfer process is the EPP (or authorization code). Most registrars send this code via email. 

This step often takes the longest — it can take up to five days before you receive your code.

  • Initiate the transfer – Once you’ve received your EPP code, you’re ready to initiate the transfer. Your new web host will guide you through the process.
  • Pay for the transfer – An important thing to note about the domain transfer process is that some web hosts will charge transfer fees on top of annual renewal costs. Consult the web host you’re transferring to for any related charges.
  • Cancel your previous domain registrar – Make sure the domain transfer is completed, and your new account is up and running before canceling your prior service.

If you’re moving to Bluehost, you can check out this guide on transferring your domain.

Why Your Domain Transfer May Be Taking Long

If your domain transfer is taking longer than the recommended amount of time, you may have encountered some issues, such as:

  • Your new web host hasn’t received the EPP code – It can take anywhere from five to 14 days to receive the EPP code in your email. 

If you haven’t received the code yet, check your domain’s registered email address. If it shows the domain-associated email address, you’ll have to file a Change of Registrant request.

Otherwise, if you’ve changed your email address, check your spam or trash folders. 

  • Invalid EPP code – The EPP code is case-sensitive, so if you encounter any errors, simply copy-paste the code again and make sure to remove any spaces before or after it. 

If it still doesn’t work, the EPP code may have expired, so you will need to request a new one.

  • Domain privacy is enabled – If you’ve already received an EPP code but still experience delays in domain transfer, check whether your domain privacy is disabled.

If your privacy settings haven’t been updated, the registrar will send the domain transfer emails to a Privacy Protection inbox that isn’t easily accessible.

Once domain privacy is disabled, it will take up to 24 hours for the WHOIS database to be updated. Only then can the new administrator receive the domain transfer email.

If you’ve tried the fixes here but cannot find the solution to your problem, visit Bluehost’s domain transfer troubleshooting guide. If you’re not satisfied with your current domain registrar, it’s easy to transfer your domain.

Bottom line

If you’re searching for a domain registrar or a new hosting provider, look no further than Bluehost. Because Bluehost is a trusted global hosting provider that offers a large selection of domain names, including geo-location domains. Bluehost domains offer domain privacy, 24/7 support, and the ability to create a fully customizable website. Sign up for a Bluehost domain today.

Secure Cloud Hosting And Storage For Your Business

When an organization decides to start using secure cloud hosting storage solutions, one of the first questions that usually comes up is how to secure data that is loaded to the cloud. In this post, you’ll know about secure cloud storage for business, and what you should be looking for to keep your data safe.

Secure Cloud Hosting – What To Look For

At a minimum, when shopping for secure cloud storage for business, you should be looking at:

1. How much support the cloud service provider (CSP) can/will provide
2. Levels of encryption
3. Speed (both in terms of accessibility and in upload/download times)
4. Their experience working with companies like yours
5. The cost for the services and support offered

Types Of Secure Cloud Hosting Environments

There are three basic environment types of secure cloud hosting:

1. Private: in-house
2. Public: built and managed via a third-party, and
3. Hybrid: a combination of public and private

The type of secure cloud storage for the business you choose will depend largely on time and resources and the availability of space and personnel to build and maintain storage servers. Because of these factors, many companies choose to partner with third parties to help them with their secure cloud hosting solutions.

Common business models that provide secure cloud hosting include, but aren’t limited to, software as a service (SaaS), platform as a service (PaaS), and infrastructure as a service (IaaS). 

Additional Ways For Keeping Cloud Data Secure

How to secure data is not just about the CSP you’re using, but also how you use it. For example, if you have a single login for everyone on your team to use, that’s not very secure. But, if all of your team members have their credentials, and each person is given only the access they need to specific files, it’s significantly more secure. When using secure cloud hosting it’s a good idea to:

1. Require strong passwords and multi-factor authentication
2. Only give the users that need access the clearance to view the data most relevant to them
3. Utilize a web application firewall (WAF) when accessing your secure cloud hosting to block malicious traffic
4. Encrypt data before you load it
5. Backup data off-site regularly
6. Use website scanning tools

It’s often said that the best defense is a good offense. And, when you have security top of mind, you’re miles ahead of companies who don’t proactively take steps to secure their data.

The Truth About Website Hosting Costs

Every website needs a hosting plan. Some plans start below $1 per month. Others are over $2,000 per month! To make matters even more complicated, there are more than 300,000 web hosting providers on the market today. Trying to find the best web hosting plan for your site without overpaying can feel like an impossible task. 

This guide will teach you the truth about web hosting costs. We’ve identified the top costs associated with web hosting and how to evaluate those costs as you’re shopping around. By the time you finish this post, you know what you need and what you should pay for a hosting plan that meets your needs.

Web Hosting Type

The type of web hosting plan you select will have the most significant impact on the price. This isn’t a hard and fast rule, but generally speaking, here’s the order listed from cheapest to most expensive:

  • Shared web hosting
  • Cloud web hosting
  • VPS (virtual private server) web hosting
  • Dedicated web hosting

Depending on the hosting provider, cloud hosting and VPS hosting might be switched. There’s a significant price gap between each type of web hosting. The starting price of a dedicated server is roughly 20 times higher than the shared starting rate. 

Unless you’re expecting huge traffic surges out of the gate, the vast majority of new websites should stick to a shared plan. That’s the best way to save some money, and you can always upgrade down the road as your site grows. 

Contract Length

Generally speaking, you’ll need to commit to a longer-term contract to get the lowest possible rate. This is one of the best ways to save money on web hosting costs, especially as a new customer. 

Depending on the provider, plans are typically offered in 12, 24, 36, and up to 48-month contract terms. Month-to-month web hosting isn’t very common. So expect to commit to a year, at a minimum. 

Renewal Rates

Locking in a long-term contract also helps you avoid renewal rates. It’s standard practice in the web hosting industry for providers to offer low promotional rates and then jack up the prices when your contract renews. 

Don’t get me wrong. It’s not like they aren’t upfront about it. But most people don’t think about the costs they’re going to incur three or four years down the road. Some providers double, triple, or even quadruple your rate upon renewal. 

Hosting Resources

Every web hosting plan allocates a certain number of resources to your website. While this might vary slightly from one provider to another, here’s a basic overview of what to expect:

  • Bandwidth – How quickly your server can transfer data. 
  • CPUs – Central processing units to handle all the requests on your site. 
  • RAM – Short-term memory for processing multiple requests simultaneously. 
  • SSD Storage – The maximum allowed size of your website.

Setup Fees and Site Migrations

Most web hosting providers offer free setups. This is especially true with entry-level packages, like shared hosting plans. However, if the provider needs to take in-depth steps to get you started, you might incur some setup fees. 

Setup fees are more common at the dedicated server level, where providers need to physically add hardware components based on your plan requests. 

Domain Registration

Normally, I wouldn’t mix domain registration and web hosting. It’s usually in your best interest to get your domain name from a domain registrar and your hosting package from a web hosting provider. That said, new websites can bundle the two, especially through Bluehost. All new Bluehost customers get a free domain for one year with a web hosting subscription.

It’s cheaper long-term to get your domain directly from a registrar. Bluehost’s domain renewal rates will be a bit higher. But overall, the added cost is pretty marginal. Most new website owners will just find it easier to bundle everything under one roof, as opposed to using different platforms for a domain name and hosting plan. 

Security

There are a handful of different security measures that should be added to your site. I’m referring to things like network protocols, spam filtering, malware scans, firewalls, and more. But you can get additional security directly from your web hosting provider. 

At a minimum, every web host should be offering you a free SSL certificate. That’s become an industry standard, and I wouldn’t recommend any host that charges an extra SSL fee. 

Managed Support and Server Maintenance

Managed web hosting has become increasingly popular over the years. The term has different meanings depending on the plan and provider you’re using, but in short, a managed web host will take care of all the server operations behind the scenes. This typically includes setup, maintenance, server monitoring, support, updates, and more. Alternatively, high-traffic websites could consider a managed WordPress plan. 

Package Extras

Every web hosting provider makes an effort to sign you up for as many different services as possible. Navigating through upsells is just part of shopping around for web hosting. With that said, you can skip the vast majority of add-ons and upsells offered by web hosts, especially the ones that aren’t directly tied to web hosting. 

Downtime

Downtime is an indirect cost of web hosting. It’s not something that you’ll see on your bill.

But every time your site goes down due to a server crash or network error, it costs you money. The type of website you have and your monetization strategy will dictate exactly how much money you’re losing. 

You can use uptime monitoring from Pingdom to see how different web hosts stack up with each other. 

Don’t just look at an uptime guarantee from a hosting provider and assume you’re in good shape. Those guarantees typically come with all types of contingencies. If they fail to meet the uptime agreement, you’ll just get credit off of a future bill. 

Always look at reviews to see what real people have to say about the uptime reliability of different web hosting providers. Frequent downtime can be costly long-term. 

Conclusion

Your total cost to host a website will depend on several different factors. I’ve identified the top ten costs associated with web hosting above. As you can see from this list, it’s fairly easy to keep hosting costs low if you understand what to look for. 

Bluehost is a favorite way to save money on web hosting. So if you sign up with them, you’re on the right track. You’ll even get a free SSL certificate and free domain name.

Why You Should Use GoDaddy to Host Your Business Website?

Is GoDaddy the apt website host for your business?

Choosing a website builder and hosting service is one of the first major decisions for any business owner. If you’re not entirely sold on the benefits of Godaddy, or just overwhelmed by the choices available, you’re not alone. Find your perfect domain for free

GoDaddy is a globally recognized brand, with SuperBowl Ads and top positioning in search results. Their authority with search engines and popularity with users is well established. That being said, negative press and mixed GoDaddy reviews from users can easily be found with a little searching on Google. How do you sort out fact from fiction?

We’ve broken down the essential criteria you should be considering, compared reviews, researched other website hosting services, and here’s what we were able to discover:

GoDaddy Domain Hosting: Highly Competitive

Hands down, GoDaddy is one of the most affordable domain hosting services out there. Registering a domain is super easy and there are frequent deals available. Top-tier domains (.com/.ca) can be purchased for as little as $0.99/month for the first year. Dedicated servers are provided to give users the assurance of reliable hosting, security, and efficient load times.

GoDaddy Website Builder: Highly Competitive

GoDaddy has one of the most user-friendly interfaces for building a website. Their cPanel hosting provides users with an intuitive graphical interface, suited for beginners or experts. You won’t need a high level of expertise to create, publish, and manage your website. Bring your business online with a .com

GoDaddy Design Features: Fairly Competitive

GoDaddy’s website builder is fairly robust. Over 300 professional design templates are available, which can be easily customized using their drag and drop tool. You can upload your images (logo, trademark, etc) straight from your desktop or phone. Music and video can also be embedded.

Data Access: Restrictive

Restrictions on email addresses, databases, and memory can be problematic for web administrators seeking more control. Web forms, wikis, and auto-generated content will take more effort as you try and navigate GoDaddy policies. Other hosting services are less restrictive.

Backup and Restore features are included in most of their hosting plans. Save and backup as many versions of your website as you want, which other services do not offer. GoDaddy also makes it easy to import third-party MySQL files.

Pricing: Highly Competitive

There are four basic plans: personal, business, business plus, and Online Store for eCommerce enterprises. Cost ranges from approximately $100 – $500 annually, which works out to somewhere between $8 – $40 monthly. All of them include 24/7 support, but the features and customization vary with each tier.

Uptime: Needs Improvement

One of the most important criteria for evaluating the quality of a domain hosting service is uptime or the amount of time a server is functioning. A server fulfills millions of requests each day, transmitting billions of bytes to IPs around the world. While Godaddy boasts dedicated servers for your website, the feedback from users has been generally poor when it comes to uptime. Loading issues with mobile and desktop have been experienced widely and continue to be a major source of dissatisfaction for unhappy customers.

GoDaddy Security: Highly Competitive

Your data is in good hands with GoDaddy. They use the latest technology and invest heavily in security to reduce spam and hacker attacks. With the addition of SiteLock and Sucuri, GoDaddy’s web security is a definite plus.

GoDaddy Support: Adequate

Perhaps the most troubling aspect of GoDaddy’s service is its customer service, which many users rate poorly. They offer 24/7 live, phone, and email support, but help desk attendees are often criticized for their lack of expertise in addressing technical issues (i.e. downtime, re-directs, hosting, WP, SQL databases). Web administrators seeking HTML access to their server will run into problems. SSH access is limited. There is SFTP access but you won’t be able to overwrite files.

GoDaddy WordPress Hosting: Competitive

GoDaddy has partnered with WordPress to provide users with three hosting plans for building an affordable WordPress website or blog. Domains are free with an annual subscription. A free image library exists, along with an auto-install Quick Start Wizard to help you launch your website quickly. You won’t find a better deal.

If you have an existing WordPress site, migrating to GoDaddy requires some technical expertise. Some WordPress plug-ins and themes require a tutorial to be integrated smoothly. While there are step-by-step directions for moving your WordPress site to GoDaddy, following the steps can be a challenge even for experts. Correcting errors down the road will cost you around $150 to repair. Small websites with no plug-ins are relatively easier to migrate.

Summary:

GoDaddy has been under fire for unusual marketing tactics, aggressive upselling, and poor customer service, but their affordability, brand recognition, and comprehensive tools make them a popular choice for many start-ups.

If your business is fairly established, involves a lot of eCommerce, and you’re looking to expand, there are better options. Small business owners with little technical expertise can register a domain and launch a website with relative ease, but getting the help and guidance you need from a customer service representative may leave you frustrated and annoyed.

Creatives and professionals working with a hyper-local focus will find GoDaddy is a great bargain, but if you plan on expanding into eCommerce, you might want to look around for a provider with more knowledgeable and responsive customer support.

Bluehost – Hosting Features and Affordable Results

Bluehost is dedicated to getting your idea online. Whether you’re a blogger, a small business, web designer, or developer, Bluehost has something for you. Bluehost enables small businesses to create an online identity by equipping them with the right tools – domain hosting, marketing tools, recommended SEO keywords, analytics dashboards, and more, all at affordable prices, appropriate for small business budgets.

There are lots of hosting providers on the market today. But what makes Bluehost stands out?

More Than Shared Hosting

Bluehost provides nearly every web hosting service that you could need including advanced hosting like VPS, dedicated server, and managed WordPress hosting. They handle the technical details, like updating plugins, updating the core, handling security, and optimizing performance.

Hosting Features

Bluehost provides you with more than what you can normally expect from hosting plans.

Here are the top Bluehost features:

  1. Easy-to-use
  2. Dozens of site tool add-ons
  3. Free site builders
  4. Free domain-specific email addresses
  5. 99.99% uptime
  6. Technology to support fast page load times
  7. Cloudflare integration 
  8. Free SSL certificate.
Affordable Results

The good news is that some critical digital marketing services can be commoditized and delivered at valuable costs. That’s a core part of Bluehost’s strategy.

These are some of their services:

  • Websites: You can use their easy Do it Yourself(DIY) site builder to create your own or you can get their design pros to build a site for you.
  • SEOadvertisingsocial media marketing, and local business visibility: Bluehost provides professional marketing services, including creating content for your site. You can get monthly consultations with a marketing professional. And they measure progress so you can see your Return on Investment(ROI).
  • Technical support: In-house professional experts for 24/7 help and support includes video tutorials, guides, and more.

So, if you have a business website, or need one, Bluehost is a solid web host that’s worth checking out

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