Friday, October 30, 2009

On Finding a Web Host

Disclaimer: links to web hosts are referral links. Signing up through them is appreciated, but I don't expect anyone to. =)

For the past few days, I have been searching for a quality web host - preferably for ridiculously cheap. These two criteria (quality and inexpensiveness) are often at odds, but not always. I got a few recommendations, including DreamHost, Host Gator, and LunarPages. DreamHost was recommended about a year ago, while Host Gator and LunarPages were new recommendations. I was looking for some more information on the hosts, though.

As it turns out, it is very difficult to find information on web host quality. Most of the search results you get back for "web host reviews" and "top web hosts" and similar queries are lists of affiliate links ordered by highest paying referrals. In other words, they're a list of top web host affiliate programs, rather than top web hosts. I'm sure it's not the only honest web review site out there (assuming it is honest, of course), and it might not be the best, but struck me as fairly honest. One of his other sites,, was also helpful with some raw performance data. The fact that he hosted his sites on Host Gator was perhaps the best selling point.

That, coupled with the fact that the recommendation for LunarPages was qualified with some reports of downtime, left me heavily leaning toward using Host Gator. When I looked, also listed HostGator in the top two in all three performance categories on the main page. I also found recommendations somewhere to have separate companies manage the web hosting and domain registration. I'm not convinced that is really necessary, but since Host Gator charges $15/year or so, and most places only charge $10/year, I figured I'd look into it. Five bucks is five bucks, right? I found Namecheap to be the most recommended place to register a domain, but as I'll explain in the next paragraph, I didn't end up using either it or Host Gator.

Just before I registered the domain, I decided to check one last time what DreamHost's domain registration costs, and how I could manage two accounts at once through them. It was when I was exploring my account control panel for a domain I ordered a year ago that I noticed I can host multiple domains through the same account. The only added cost is the domain registration of $9.99/year, which is close enough to Namecheap's rate. I originally signed up with DreamHost during a special for something like $22 for two years of hosting. It really was a ridiculously good price. I'm sure they are counting on renewals, which I don't think any host offers ongoing discounts on. So, while I probably can't continue getting hosting for so cheap, a little bit of research into multiple domain hosting saved me a lot of money, or at least put off the decision of finding a new web host for another year. All three web hosts listed in this post appear to offer multiple domain hosting, so my decision isn't narrowed down at this point. Chances are that I'll stick with DreamHost just to avoid the hassle of transferring things, unless prices are wildly different.

Now, all I need to do is develop an attractive web page. As you can tell from this blog, I go for simple layouts and colors (or lack thereof). Building an attractive page will be a first for me! (Help...)

Host Gator


Lord Hughes said...

Interesting to see what you will do different from what blogspot already provides. Any reason for the move? I suggest lighter colors. I don't like reading the white text on black, then get blinded by the black text on white when I post a comment :)

eis271828 said...

I'm not moving my blog. I am hoping to create a whole new site, completely unrelated. It will be a brighter site, for sure. As for this blog, I'm not opposed to changing the style, but I have no specific ideas...