Selecting a web hosting service is our next step on the long and winding road to that cloud-floating castle in the sky where “authors” abide.
If you Google “web hosting services” you will find a number of sites listing their assessments of the top 10 best web hosting companies. They generally list the same top companies, albeit in different orders. These sites contain reviews of what each web host offers as well as price comparisons. You can also Google “web hosting reviews” for further comparisons. Take your time to review them so you can winnow the top 10 down to your top 3, and then make your decision from there.
Here is another take on choosing a web hosting service that I just recently found on Google+. It is written by Helen Nunia who has also written numerous other useful articles. Here’s the link: http://www.webmastersun.com/blog/how-to-choose-a-good-web-hosting-company/. You can weigh her ideas against mine to get an even broader view on the subject.
At the time (approx. 1 year ago) my research had me tinkering with the following three web hosting services: Internet Options, Inmotion Hosting, and Web Hosting Hub. Internet Options was on my list because it was highly recommended by a knowledgeable friend. I included Inmotion Hosting and Web Hosting Hub as the other two in my top three because of their reviews. Their fees were all comparable.
I disregarded Go Daddy because it is such a large company and I was afraid I would get lost amidst the multitudes, but this was just my own personal idiosyncrasy. Likewise, iPage did not then have the status it does now or it would have been in the running. As we know, the internet and its offshoots rapidly evolve.
In the end I choose Web Hosting Hub because of the wide variety of services it offered, because it was responsive to my inquires, and because of its reviews.
An aside here; I find reviews to be an invaluable resource for making decisions on any number of subjects; books, restaurants, hotels, tools, you name it. I usually only read a couple of 4 and 5 star reviews because I find I get more valuable information from the 1 and 2 star reviews.
My experiences with Web Hosting Hub have been excellent. Their support staff is great with a few exceptions here and there. When I called and requested information to which they did not have a ready answer, I was sent an email with suggested solutions. Unfortunately, the emails were occasionally outdated. I got the feeling that the particular individual with whom I had just been dealing did not want to be bothered finding an answer for me. Most of the time, however, they were fine.
Once you decide on a web host they will register your domain name for you if you have not already done so. Your web hosting service will act like a nanny for your website for a fee payable monthly, quarterly or yearly. It is pretty basic and they will lead you through the process step by step. Questions can be answered 24/7 on their support lines.
I decided that I was going to build my own web site because I did not have the money to hire a professional. I learned that hiring a professional cost thousands and thousands of dollars, thousands of dollars I do not have. I did not know what building a web site entailed, so I had to snuff it up, and do the best I could.
It became apparent pretty quickly that the best bet for creating my own website was to use WordPress. WordPress is a free software tool used to build custom websites and it is so commonplace that all the web hosting services that I visited utilize it. I have no experience in building a web site other than that I gained working with WordPress.
There is WordPress.org and WordPress.com, each offering slightly different features. Here is a link that compares the two so you can make up your own mind which one is best for you: http://diythemes.com/thesis/rtfm/differences-wordpress-com-org/. I choose to go the .com route because I wanted my website to be more on the professional side.
Before I wrap up this post I want to call to your attention to the fact that the title of this blog and the first sentence use exactly the same words. This is the Search Engine Optimization (SEO) factor that I mentioned in my last blog that enhances the placement of your website on the internet. I have, however, come upon another opinion that states that the most important characteristic for websites to get high SEO ratings is the quality of their content. Going for both can’t hurt.
Search Engine Optimization is a wide-ranging, ever-changing subject all its own that falls under the even wider topic of marketing. These subjects will be explored in future blogs
So, we have chosen our domain name(s), our web hosting service, and will be using WordPress to build our own website. The fun now begins, We will next be creating our own websites.