Wix, Weebly, and SquareSpace — The easiest way to build a free web presence is actually to avoid traditional web hosts altogether and use a site builder. These are services that not only provide web hosting, but also help you build beautiful, robust websites in minutes. All three of the top site builders — Wix, Weebly, and Squarespace — offer free and paid options. They’re not perfect, but if you’re feeling overwhelmed by the prospect of managing your own web space, they’re a good entry-level option.
You can also host your website on WordPress.com, but that's different from the kind of hosting mentioned above. WordPress.com uses the same code from WordPress.org, but it hides the server code and handles the hosting for you. In that sense, it resembles entries in our online site builder roundup. It's a simpler but less flexible and customizable way to approach WordPress hosting. It's definitely easier, but if you want to tinker and adjust and optimize every aspect of your site, it might not be for you.
Telling someone what I do for a living is always an interesting experience. Either we’re totally in sync, both lost in conversation about WordPress woes or some time-saving program update, or it’s me talking with crickets in response. There’s just something about web hosting. It’s hit-or-miss whether someone is up to speed on the nuances of all that this industry has to offer.
Choice of Datacenter ( USA / Europe / Asia ) • 100% SSD • Free SSL • Unlimited RAID-10 Storage • 25 Email Addresses • 1 Domain, 5 Sub-Domains, 25 Parked Domains (b2evolution can manage all 25 with a single install) • 5 Databases • Free site transfer • 24/7/365 US-Based Guru Crew Support • Green • Easy install & configuration of b2evolution at signup (many other scripts also available)
Honorable mentions this week include Rackspace, which handles both personal and enterprise hosting and platform services (backed by “fanatical support!”) and Nearly Free Speech, a contender in our last look at personal web hosts, who offers exceptional hosting plans for as low as $0.25 and promises to only make you pay for what you use. Finally, we should at least mention InMotion Hosting, which mobilized quite the effort to get their customers to vote for them.
Had a WP site with HostGator 4 years ago. Tried to cancel it and it took 4 months. The pressure they put on you is incredible but I still wanted it canceled. The guy said he did and actually lied over the phone and I was billed the next month. So I called again, yep, missed the cutoff so I was billed again. Then a “glitch” meant I was billed again. Just be prepared and make sure you get everything in writing when you cancel and then call back to verify. I was canceling for my own reasons not for a HostGator issue.
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The first step in building your online presence is finding a web host, the company that will store your website's files on its servers and deliver them to your readers' and customers' browsers. Web hosting services offer varying amounts of monthly data transfers, storage, email, and other features. Even how you pay (month-to-month payments vs. annual payments) can be radically different, too, so taking the time to plot exactly what your company needs for online success is essential. Many of these companies also offer reseller hosting services, which let you go into business for yourself, offering hosting to your own customers without requiring you to spin up your own servers.