Starting your first website is an exciting ordeal indeed! But where to start? Of course, the first step to hosting your first website is picking a web hosting provider. But which web host should you pick?
You’ll definitely want to pick a web host that is easy to use, since this will be your first time ever using web hosting. You’ll also certainly want a web host that has friendly and knowledgeable customer service, since you may have to call for help once or twice.
Let’s look at some of the most popular web hosts, and what they have to offer someone that is completely new to web hosting.
This is one web host you’ve probably heard of plenty of times thanks to their extensive marketing. GoDaddy is well known to be webhost newbie friendly with their extensively customized user interface, jazzy helpline (literally, they play popular jazz music while you wait to talk to someone), and friendly help agents. All this does come at a cost though – GoDaddy is one of the most expensive web hosting providers on our list.
Is GoDaddy worth it, though?
While GoDaddy does make a few things like domain settings a little less painful, they still use most of the same tools every other domain name and hosting provider uses, just with a prettier interface. Additionally, despite the jazz music and hand holding staff, Go Daddy’s customer service can be found lacking when it comes to technical knowledge – something you really don’t want to find when something seriously goes wrong with your hosting or domain.
While the extras can make you feel like a rock star, and may very well be worth the premium pricing to you, it can be said that much of the same ground level tools can be found with other web hosting providers for a lower price.
Namecheap doesn’t spend nearly as much on marketing as GoDaddy does, but instead has left their imprint on the web hosting world with their name – Namecheap – which expresses exactly what they want it to express: they are dirt cheap. $10USD a year will buy you a full year of basic hosting, and many domains range anywhere from under $1USD to under $10USD. Their user interface isn’t nearly as pretty or user friendly as GoDaddy’s, but then again you can’t expect much for the price. However, Namecheap doesn’t leave their customers out in the cold.
There is an easily accessible App Marketplace that for a mere few dollars a month offers managed app hosting which is painless and newbie friendly. There’s also the completely free Softalicious app installer which is a little more complicated but still pretty easy to use. Additionally, Namecheap offers surprisingly friendly and knowledgeable customer service which has no issues helping you with whatever issues you are having getting your website set up. In addition to that, there is a fully robust knowledge base and support center at your fingertips, in case you’re more of a DIY type.
Hostinger is a bit of a step up, choosing to call back to the days of classic web hosting with a more standardized user interface than the aforementioned web hosting providers. There is a website builder called Zyro, which has gotten some pretty enthusiastic reviews as being quite flexible and fun to use.
Hostinger also has the Softlicious app installer, just like Namecheap, so you can easily install apps like WordPress and Ecommerce. If you get stuck, their 24/7 customer support is just as friendly and knowledgeable as Namecheap’s. As an added bonus, Hostinger also makes a collection of tutorials available on their website to help walk you through building your first website and other hosting related tasks.
If colorful, quirky web hosts aren’t quite your speed, then Siteground is probably going to appeal to you more. This web host has a more sophisticated appeal with its minimalist approach to its user interface; and earthy, neutral tones. Rather than push you to read through knowledge bases and tutorials, Siteground focuses entirely on one-on-one personal customer service via chat, phone, and support tickets.
The Softalicious installer is available via CPanel here, too, for easy app installation. There also are some standalone installers for popular apps such as WordPress and Joomla. There is a free Weebly website builder if you’re interested in building a site from scratch, as well.
A2 Hosting takes a unique approach to the beginner’s hosting package by offering a wide variety of hosted apps from the very start. Of course, you can still obtain the normal shared hosting packages as well. The A2 Cpanel also sports the classic Softalicious app installer, so you can easily install WordPress, Drupal, and any other apps you desire.
A2 doesn’t appear to have any kind of WYSIWYG site builder, so if you go with this host you will have to choose an app to create your site with.
The most noteworthy feature is A2’s customer service. They’re not only friendly and knowledgeable, but speedy as well. That’s a great thing, too, considering their knowledge base is vast but a little difficult to navigate.
Now It’s Time to Choose Your First Web Hosting Provider!
So now you’ve seen a nice selection of web hosts to choose from, and what they have to offer you. It’s time to figure out what you value the most in a web host and choose one! Think about what your strengths and weaknesses are, and try to pick a web host that syncs up with you. The ideal web host should offer strong support in the ways you are weak, and not so strong support in the ways you don’t need much help at all.
As an example, if you are the type of person that does pretty well learning as you read about how to do something, you might want to pick one of the web hosts that has excellent support documentation. However, if you are someone that does better having someone to talk to, you may want to go with a web host that offers better customer service. If you are someone that isn’t that technical, you may want to choose a web host that doesn’t require you do much set up.
As long as you remember to choose a host that plays to your strengths and weaknesses, you will have no trouble picking the one that’s perfect for you. Your first website will be sure to be a great success!