Web Hosting - Amarillo, Texas and Global - A Quick Guide to Website Hosting Plans
Domains and Website
The maze of website hosting.
Updated December 06, 2017
The information on this page is aimed towards helping my customers choose which type of hosting that works best for their needs. The links are given as a courtesy to give you fast access to additional information (I do not receive a commission by linking the following hosting services, I am providing the links solely because I feel that the hosting services are worthy of being referred). Some of my best customers started their websites with free hosting, and after spending months learning that managing a website was not as much fun as they thought it would be, the customers now happily pay me to manage their sites. My customers know that I am as interested as they are in their receiving the best service possible: my offering the best choice is important in the short-term as well as the longterm.
The following links jump to the different sections on this page:
The first thing that I recommend to all of my customers is that they take full control of their domain name. By "full control" I mean that the customer has immediate personal access to the domain name, and that the customer can at any time make any necessary changes to the domain's online settings. If you do not have full control over your domain name, and you later change web hosting services, it might be difficult to have your existing domain forwarded to the new host, or worse, your website might be offline several days while waiting for the domain name to be redirected to the new host. I have seen websites that were previously number one on search engines be completely removed from search engines due to the sites being offline too long. Please, never take chances with your domain name.
I sometimes handle domain maintenance for my customers, which saves the customer a lot of time and frustration. For customers who have the time and experience to maintain their own websites, I recommend that the customers set up an account at Enom or at NameCheap. Enom usually has lower prices, but requires a minimum initial account balance of $100.00 before you can purchase domain names for around $10.00 per year (depending on the TLD) plus an additional cost of about $10.00 per year for ID protection. NameCheap offers a free account, with domain names costing around $10.69 (depending on TLD) per year plus an additional cost of $2.88 for ID protection. Enom is more economical in the long run, especially for customers who have several domain names, but NameCheap is the better deal when using ID protection.
It has been my experience that some well-known domain registrars have notoriously slow servers and control panels. A typical domain modification that takes a few minutes on Enom or NameCheap can take half an hour or more on some other registrars. Too, transferring domains normally only takes about an hour with good registrars, but can take weeks on the big-name registrars. Registrar speed is an important consideration when paying hourly charges for domain service. Saving a dollar at the big-name registrar is not worth the hundred dollar labor charge.
Whether you choose Enom, NameCheap, or some other domain service, ensure that you have complete control over your domain name's DNS server settings (the host's IP address that the domain name points to), and that you can renew the domain name each year by yourself.
Free Web Hosting Services
Google® Sites is likely the best choice for a free beginner website. Dependability should be good, and there are numerous features offered at no cost, but the bottom line is that a website built through Google will have little chance of competing in search engines. There is also a free hosting plan for users of WordPress®, which ought to be a useful choice for individuals who want to build a site around a blog. The important thing to remember about free hosting is that it is free for good reasons, and the reasons are usually those of slow servers, poor quality 'site builder' software, and charging high prices for added features. If your site is for family and friends, and you have no desire to compete on search engines nor in a business venture, then free hosting can be an excellent choice.
Angelfire dependability is good, there are plenty of free add-ons, and there is a site-builder for beginners who do not want to learn HTML. The two main drawbacks of Angelfire are that all of your web pages must display numerous ads and pop-ups, and there are no statistics for you to see which pages are being viewed or if another website is linking to your website. The minimum cost of ad-free hosting through Angelfire was $2.95 per month the last time I checked, which is more expensive than many full service web hosts.
Tripod is part of Lycos, which includes Angelfire, and so the advantages and disadvantages of Tripod are the same as Angelfire. The one advantage of Tripod over Angelfire is that your URL would be yoursitename.tripod.com, whereas on Angelfire the URL is angelfire.com/home/yoursitename. I have a few small unimportant websites on Tripod and Angelfire, and except for almost a tenth of the screen being covered with ads, Lycos has worked well enough.
50webs is a relatively new free web host that I discovered several years ago. The main advantage of 50webs is that there are no ads or pop-ups. 50webs gives 500mb or more of disk space to build your free website, which is usually enough for small personal and business websites. Similar to all other known free hosting services, 50webs hopes that you will later purchase full hosting and pay for your domain name through 50webs. At $15.00 for a domain name through 50webs, plus the free ad-free hosting, it is actually a pretty good deal. Like most any other free hosting, there will be no available statistics showing which of your pages are the most popular, customer service might be scarce at times, and the server speed is often much slower as compared to paid hosting, but for free, it's a pretty nice offer and the one that I would recommend above all other free hosting services.
Three of the most important things necessary for a website to gain popularity are (1) a domain name, (2) statistics to learn where the hits on your website are coming from (so that you can adjust your topics to fit popular searches), and (3) no ads, especially no pop-ups (unless, of course, they are the ads that you placed on the site yourself). While it is possible for a web page on a free web hosting service to achieve high rankings on search engines, it is very rare. If a person only wants a website to learn on and to share with family and friends, then free web hosting is fine, but if you want to create a popular website, then free hosting is not a good choice.
Cheap Web Hosting Services
Flip Hosting Services offers four hosting packages — Entry, Intermediate, Monster, and Custom. Some of the advantages of Flip Hosting are the low cost, statistics, dependability, great service, and ease of add-on domains (host several domains on the same hosting package). The disadvantages are few, and are generally limited to the hosting speed itself not being quite as fast as some higher prices hosts, which is not a problem for most small websites. I currently have several websites hosted through Flip, and I highly recommend them. Please visit their website for more details.
There are hundreds of different web hosting services available, and it is not easy to choose the one that is best for you. If your website will require a lot of speed and bandwidth, such as for videos and music, you may want a hosting service that includes a dedicated IP address, but for most small websites a shared IP address is plenty good enough. Some webmasters collect domain names and then place the domains on a single host that permits add-on domains, which saves a lot of money by not having to pay hosting service fees for each domain name. The final decision of which host to choose can be difficult, but only you know what will work best for your own needs.
Best Hosting Service
There may never be such a thing as a single 'best' hosting service, but dollar for dollar and feature for feature, Pair Hosting is the very best hosting service that I have found in over fifteen years. Pair's basic plan offers 15gb of storage plus 5gb of bandwidth, along with a dedicated IP address, excellent service, and superior server speeds for about $5.95 per month. Generally, Flip hosting is good, but Pair hosting is better.
Full Hosting Service
For my customers who do not have the time or patience to build and maintain their own websites, I can host the website, upload the website's pages, configure any needed subdomains, configure email accounts, handle the domain name, and renew the annual subscriptions for the customer. Below are just a few of the problems that many website owners do not know about until after a web hosting plan has been purchased.
(1) The free domain names that are included with some hosting plans are difficult to keep and are relatively expensive if you change hosts. A very popular domain registrar has low prices on its domain names, but unless the domain owner uses the registrar's expensive hosting plans, then the owner may not be able to direct the domain to another hosting service. A domain name is useless if you cannot direct it where you want it to go. I primarily purchase domain names through Enom where I can direct your domain to any website hosting service you want, and I can do it quickly, easily, and inexpensively. If you later decide that you want to manage your own domain name, then we can transfer it from Enom very quickly and without any additional cost (except, of course, the additional one year registration cost that your registrar will charge you to transfer the domain name into your account).
(2) Are you familiar with how hosting services work? Do you know about the index page? Do you know how and where to upload pages and graphics? Does the host require that you use FTP? Do you need a subdomain? Do you know what subdomains are best used for? What about shared servers, dedicated servers, virtual servers, and dedicated IP addresses? If you are new to hosting you may find it very time consuming to learn, and for many individuals it is much less expensive to pay me to do all of the hosting work rather than the customer lose time that could have been used more profitably in their own business.
(3) If your website needs a good ranking on search engines, do you know how to link your web pages to gain the best results? Search engines have become relatively sophisticated, with each search engine having specific likes and dislikes of how your website is structured. Every little thing counts with search engines, including your website's hosting.
(4) Are you familiar with the advantages of Microsoft® and Linux® hosting software? Which one works best for your needs?
(5) Are you familiar with the current website security concerns? Different hosts use different security measures, and different types of websites need different types of security.
The full service hosting costs $199.00 per year and includes a domain name, maintenance if something breaks, and plenty enough disk space and bandwidth for most any customer. For the few customers who need additional storage and bandwidth, the additional cost is only a few dollars more per month. Please contact me for additional information about the full service hosting plans.
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