What Is Web Hosting?
Web hosting is the rental of space on a computer server for all of your website’s pages, images, and other content. The server then allows the public to view your website’s content via a web browser, but without being able to change or delete it.
There are several types of web hosting that can range significantly in price, but when you’re first getting started, the only two types of hosting that make any sense are the aforementioned website-builder hosting, and shared web hosting.
”Shared web hosting” simply means that your site will share the resources of a server with many other websites. This is the least expensive solution for a new site that isn’t yet getting large numbers of visitors, and it can sometimes include a site setup wizard or even a website builder to help get you started. Usually, though, you’ll use a content management system (CMS) like WordPress to build and manage your site with a shared hosting provider.
Not all web hosts are of equal quality, so it’s imperative to select one that provides good value for money. The best web hosts have good server performance, are easy to use, and provide free security features like SSL certificates to ensure your website is up to current standards.
In our testing, we’ve found that Hostinger offers the best price-to-performance ratio on the market for shared web hosting. It offers everything you’ll need for your first website at an affordable price.
What Is a Domain Name?
A domain name is an address for your website, like “websiteplanet.com.” To access any website, you must type its address – also called a domain name, or a uniform resource locator (URL) – into your web browser. Or, you can click on a link that brings you to that address.
To get a domain name, you must register an available one with a domain name registrar. As most web hosting companies are also domain name registrars, you can often register your domain name (or get one for free) with whichever company you buy hosting from.
You’ll need to select a domain name extension when you choose a domain name. The most desirable domain name extension for businesses and individuals has traditionally been “.com” since it’s the most common and the most memorable.
If you can’t get your domain name with a .com extension (if it’s already been registered by someone else), you can always try another one like .co, .net, or one of several others. You may prefer .org if you’re a not-for-profit organization, or a country code extension (like .ca if you’re a Canadian company or .co.uk if you’re a British one).
You don’t necessarily have to purchase web hosting and your domain name from the same company. If you ever decide to switch web hosts, it is sometimes easier to do so when you have registered your domain name with a registrar other than your web hosting company. However, the simplest and quickest way to get started is to get your hosting plan and domain name from the same place.
Here Are My Top Web Hosting Recommendations (Some Include a Free Domain Name, Too!)My top recommendations below start with web-builder hosting, because this is the easiest method for beginners. I then list some shared hosting providers that offer WordPress, which gives you more flexibility when building your site, but will present you with a slightly steeper learning curve. Wix’s Combo plan gives you everything you need to launch your first website including a domain name, web hosting, and a website builder. But what makes Wix an ideal option for beginners, however, is its easy-to-use, drag-and-drop style website builder. The builder, along with its 900+ website templates, will enable you to set up the framework for virtually any type of website in minutes. It’s reasonably easy to make changes to the layout, as Wix does not put any constraints on where you position page elements (text, images, menus, etc). If you’re not much of a designer, it’s probably a good idea to leave the template-based layout as it is. Then, you can simply swap out the placeholder text and images with your own content.
- Wix ADI. If you want to create something different from the standard template-based designs, Wix’s artificial design intelligence (ADI) will make major layout decisions for you based on what it thinks is most effective. This can help you to build your website’s pages in a way that is unique, but still follows the principles of effective user interface design.
- Free domain name registration. With most of Wix’s plans you get one free domain name registration for your first year, and you can choose from the following extensions: .com, .net, .org, .info, .biz, .rocks, .pictures, .co.uk, .club, .space, and .xyz.
- 14-day free trial. Wix offers a 14-day free trial so you can try out the service risk-free.
Save up to 30 % on your Squarespace plan today!
Plus get a free domain for one year!
- Unlimited site traffic. Squarespace offers something with its two entry-level plans that Wix doesn’t: unlimited bandwidth, or site traffic. What that means is that the number of visitors your website can handle can grow without you having to upgrade your plan.
- Free domain name registration. Just like Wix, Squarespace offers a free domain name registration for your first year.
- 14-day free trial. Again, just like Wix, you can try out Squarespace absolutely free for 14 days to see if it’s right for you.
- WP Starter. A WordPress-specific site setup wizard. This can help you install WordPress and choose a theme.
- Free email addresses. You can set up a custom domain-name-specific email address with Hostinger’s entry-level plan, and with its Premium Shared Hosting plan or higher, you can have up to 100 custom email addresses.
- Optimized for WordPress. Hostinger uses LiteSpeed web server and other technological upgrades specifically geared towards running WordPress-based websites efficiently.
- “Inter-Insurance.” InterServer offers a robust security solution, and it backs this up with a promise to clean up your website if it is ever compromised.
- More reliable email delivery. InterServer ensures customer satisfaction by allowing an unlimited number of email accounts, but also takes proactive measures to prevent spam usage. Our dedicated team meticulously filters all customer emails through a comprehensive series of checks. As a result, you can rest assured that your emails will remain free from any flags or interruptions. We stand by our commitment to guarantee the successful delivery of all your messages.
- Plenty of server resources. Many shared hosting providers load up their servers with as many customers as possible, reducing overall performance. InterServer’s policy is to run servers at only 50% of capacity, so another customer’s busy site won’t slow your site(s) down.
- One-click software installer. Install WordPress in a matter of seconds, and use any one of its thousands of available themes to build a framework for your website very quickly.
- Daily site backups. Your website and all its content will be backed up at least every 24 hours, so if you make a huge mistake and break your site, you can restore it to an earlier version.
- Unlimited traffic. With IONOS, you get unlimited bandwidth (traffic) to your website so you don’t have to worry about any limitations or overage charges.