After searching for months for a quality host I decided to document what I have learned so far. Everything from domain name choice to customer support and more. First off, I would like to say that I have no affiliation with any of the hosts mentioned in this article, and have not been paid to promote them. Though, why would anybody pay a blogger with three other visitors to promote their website?
Finding a reliable host is probably the first major challenge a designer, or anybody running a site for that matter, must face. You need to have something that can support your traffic, files, and offer everything you need to get your website off the ground. Originally I was using a small host called EHost Pros. Now, they did well in supporting my very small site. But when it comes to traffic support and all around features the company just wasn't cutting it.
When searching for a host you want to look for something affordable that has PHP 4+ support, along with a good amount of MySQL databases, uploading space, and especially bandwidth. I suggest something around 70 gigabytes of monthly bandwidth if you plan on launching a large site, and around 30 gigabytes monthly transfer for smaller, usually personal sites. You also want to check on features and see who else is hosting with the companies you are looking at. It's a good idea to host with a company that has some popular clients. In the end I will be using Dreamhost, a very popular hosting company that has clients like Devil's Details and others. I also recommend Media Temple, probably one of the most popular hosting companies around.
Now, domain choice is a very important part of setting up your website. You need to choose something that is simple, effective, and most of all, easy to memorize. A simple tip, go with a .com extension over a .net extension. When searching for a website most people automatically use a .com extension with any web page. It makes sense and currently is the most popular extension. Now, you need something short. If your company or website has a long name, try using abbreviations or acronyms. If it were available I would use wfd.com instead of webfuziondesign.com, or even wfdesign.com. Pricing is another important issue. Usually a registrar will only cost you about $10 for a fully supported domain name, which you'll have to renew yearly, depending on your plan. In most situations your web host will provide your domain name.
In essence, choosing a web host and domain name is a very important matter, and should be done with care. Once I make some money I will personally be signing up with Dreamhost, and will be closing this blog to make room for my WordPress based blog. If Google ever release a downloadable version of Blogger I'll use that instead. Speaking of the Blogger system, I need to suggest that to somebody. Hopefully this article has been helpful. Unfortunately, I'm not that good at putting my thoughts to words. I plan on writing a full set of these articles once I get my finalized site set up.