We admit it: We’ve got more than a few domain
hoarders collectors on the HostingAdvice team. When you’re given the opportunity to snag YourRoommatesName.com or let some inside joke live in infamy on the web — how can you turn it down? What about when your pet’s name becomes available? What’s a hosting geek to do? With support from the top hosts and domain name registrars, it’s too tempting.
Given our familiarity with domain registrations and hosting plans, we decided to compare notes on what the leading domain hosting services have in common. Make sure the following features are on your list as you determine who should host SirWhiskertons.com or DieselPup.net.
The first step to signing up with any web host is securing the domain name at which you’ll be hosting your website. If you’re starting from scratch — whether you’re a first-time site owner or you’re launching your 23rd sure-to-be-successful project — you’ll need to register a new domain.
If you already have your domain, you’ll need to migrate the contents hosted at that domain to your new host. You can trust the providers at the top of this page to make the transition seamless for you. Industry-leading web hosting providers like iPage or Bluehost will throw in a free domain for your first year of service as they help you migrate to their servers.
Hosts in this field are particularly savvy at what we colloquially call unlimited everything hosting — meaning you can get unlimited domains, email accounts, MySQL databases, and storage included in the monthly price.
Each provider packages the seemingly unlimited offerings differently, though: Some may offer to host an unlimited number of domains on one account while others may promise one domain with unlimited email addresses at the domain. All in all, iPage excels at unlimited hosting.
Once you have a domain you’re proud of and you’ve customized a site design to match your vision, you need people to actually see your vision come to fruition. A website is only as good as the number of visitors it attracts, after all.
That’s why free marketing credits offered by some hosts are appealing. You can use those paid advertising incentives to help your domain crawl up the chain of results delivered by prominent search engines. Many of the top domain web hosts do this. For example, Bluehost and iPage will offer $100 or more toward search engine marketing with Google, Yahoo!, or Bing.
Wait, you’re not sure how to build the website of your dreams with the domain you were given for free? You’re not alone. It turns out many of the leading domain hosts recognized a need for website design resources for their non-coder customers.
You can get free website builders and a free domain with top-rated hosts, so you don’t have to be a CSS whiz or a PHP expert to create a beautiful website. All of the services listed in our domain hosting reviews include some form of drag-and-drop site builder to serve this purpose.
Now, you should be off to secure your free domain with a trusted web host — factoring in length of registration periods, the number of hosted domains and emails accounts, along with marketing and design perks. Keep an eye on the registration renewal fees, if that expense might be a major concern for you. Registrations and renewals can cost anywhere from a few dollars to $15 or more per year.
Additionally, take a look at other features that may improve your domain hosting experience. Domain privacy, in which the company substitutes your personal contact information with a proxy email address and phone number, can be a useful feature for those looking to avoid spammers and identity thieves.