I have been getting more heavily involved in my web endeavors and had a recent inclination to do some serious research on hosting and domain companies. I have been with GoDaddy for several years, and they’ve been okay. However, I did encounter some concerns, discovered some benefits elsewhere and made some switches.
HostGator, in my opinion, will give you quite a bit more bang for your buck. This is primarily because of the ability to use many sub-domains under one account. HostGator has “cPanel” (a great way of operating your site that’s packed with features), which GoDaddy doesn’t have at the present time. This company also has excellent 24/7 support, both by phone or by chat, and their staff is one of the best I’ve seen in this business.
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I like the fact that there is no contract or commitment with HostGator and you can simply sign up for month to month. It even comes with a 45-day guarantee.
When I signed up, I did a search for current “HostGator codes” on the web, which enabled me to receive a one-word entry for a discount. I was actually able to get the entire first month for 1 cent!
Some of the control panel features include: Fantastico (which I used to easily install my WordPress site), instant blogs, portals, forums, counters, FormMail, redirect URL, web based file manager and password protected directories. E-Commerce features include Agora, ZenCart, CubeCart and osCommerce.
I would suggest starting out with their “Baby Croc” hosting account, and then later you could upgrade to a reseller account if things start to really rock. The pricing is all reasonable in my opinion, especially considering what you receive.
If one prefers to get domains there, they have that, too. However, it’s better to not have hosting and domains at the same company if you’re doing anything important or substantial, in my opinion. If something goes wrong with one, the other is not at the same place and is protected. However, if you’re doing something simple, such as a family website, it won’t really matter.
During the course of my aforementioned research, I decided upon NameCheap for my domain company. The first step I took was search for a discount code, as I did with HostGator. Lo and behold, I was able purchase my first domain with a savings.
One of the benefits I also love at NameCheap is the domain privacy protection, which I received for free. They’re offering it at no charge presently, but it normally only runs $2.88. Other companies often charge quite a bit more, and that can really add up if one is purchasing many domains.
NameCheap has a nice interface and I feel comfortable keeping my domains there. They even have a feature that gives one the ability to sell and transfer domains. I haven’t used that yet, but I may give it try because it could very well be lucrative.
I will advise you about the best way to get a high level of support at NameCheap. This company does not have phone support, but they offer a ticket system that works extremely well, according to my experience. Even though I usually don’t like ticket systems, they’ve gotten back to me promptly with accurate solutions. There is a box that allows you to specify the level of urgency, which includes low, medium, high, urgent, emergency and critical!
I submitted a ticket with a “high” selection at around mid-day on a Friday and amazingly received a response at around midnight! I will caution people, however, about one aspect to avoid at NameCheap, and that is their chat for support. I’ve found the people on this talk window to be slow and unhelpful. I honestly don’t know why they even have this, since their ticket system seems to work so much better. I believe that they added it not long ago, which could account for the problem.
Other features include at NameCheap include: free URL forwarding, free e-mail forwarding, free parking page, free ownership transfer, free security features, registrar lock, an advanced control panel, custom DNS settings and custom nameserver registration.
These companies have made me happy, and I hope this information is helpful for those considering a new domain or hosting company.