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Web hosting is a critical first step (along with purchasing your domain name) in the website creation process. Without web hosting, your website will cease to exist. In the wonderful world of the "www" aka World Wide Web/Internet, there are large, electronic servers that house all of your websites data (i.e. pages, photos, videos, database of contact information — think: eBay, Target.com and countless others). Without these dedicated servers, no website would exist today. In order for your website to "live," you have to purchase web hosting and there are several company's that offer web hosting at a yearly cost, broken down to the client as a monthly cost (but you pay up front for the year). And you've seen some of these company's — GoDaddy, being one of the most popular, along with Bluehost, iPage, HostGator, etc. You might be thinking, but "why is GoDaddy so popular? Or is it? According to Forbes, here are 5 Reasons You Should Leave GoDaddy) GoDaddy prides itself on providing the most server space and terrific 24/7 Customer Service, which is vital. If you're working on your website at 2 AM, and your it goes down (for example), you're going to need to contact the web hosting company (i.e. GoDaddy, in this case). GoDaddy was/is clearly backed by someone/some company with deep pockets, because from day 1, they've had ad placement on TV, radio and even billboards throughout major cities. Now, there is nothing wrong with this, but other website hosting providers that offer the same, if not better, service than GoDaddy never stood a chance when GoDaddy came on the scene in 1997 (i.e. Bluehost launched in 1996, HostGator in 2002). Luckily, there are more curious people out there, than you and I, who did the web hosting research (just one of many) for us. Even with the research already done for you, to make a sound decision, it's still going to take a little research on your part to 1) determine your website needs (i.e. amount of server space needed, hosting for 1 website or multiple websites, etc, and 2) to decide at what price you're willing to spend for web hosting and ultimately, peace of mind (i.e. 24/7 customer support). In the end, Craft Web Solutions' recent research, and trial-and-error (we used GoDaddy for over a year – we don't recommend that long!), we finally landed on Bluehost, and so far, so good! Why We Love Bluehost (Bluehost Plus account) Note: GoDaddy offers the following as well, except what's in bold
- Bluehost's pricing is comparable to GoDaddy's and the other leading host providers.
- Unlimited website hosting space (lots of servers, just for ya!)
- Unlimited Bandwidth (bandwidth is all about speed — how fast your website will run)
- Unlimited email accounts
- Unlimited email storage
- $200 worth of marketing offers
- No up-sale!
- 24/7 Customer Support
- Live Chat!
- Video Tutorials, directly on the Bluehost website (versus GoDaddy that only lists Articles for tutorials. The video? Located on YouTube and produced by someone other than GoDaddy)
Questions to ask yourself, before choosing a host provider:
- How much do they cost per year, per month?
- Will the fee increase over time?
- How much storage space are they going to offer me, especially if I know I'm going to have a lot of photos and videos?
- How good is their customer service? Do they have an online Community?
- Is there Customer Service 24 /7?
Good luck, and happy website building!