An SSL certificate ensures all information transmitted to and from your website is protected from third parties attempting to access it. It is important because browsers, like Google Chrome, mark pages without https and the green padlock in the address bar as not secure. This can have a negative effect on the trustworthiness of your website. Pages that are protected with SSL receive better search engine rankings, and are more likely to be trusted by visitors.
This way, you really never have “your own” domain. The name of your free website builder provider is going to be permanently put in the website’s URL. Surely, some personalization is still possible – as you get to choose the name of the project but that’s really where it ends. This little issue actually makes perfect sense. After all, it would cost additional money for your provider to register a full custom domain name just for you. So if you want your page to spell “yourwebsite.com”, a free builder won’t suffice.
Many desirable domain names are already assigned and users must search for other acceptable names, using Web-based search features, or WHOIS and dig operating system tools. Many registrars have implemented domain name suggestion tools which search domain name databases and suggest available alternative domain names related to keywords provided by the user.
Rounding out the wins, InMotion offers a full 90-day money-back guarantee. On top of that, here's a special money-saving hint. In a chat session confirming pricing and offerings, the operator offered me some special prices and deals that reduced the published price by a few bucks. I was also told that while promotional pricing does go up at the end of the offer period, if you contact customer service, InMotion has a "loyal customer discount" that may bring the price back down.
You gain the most web-building functionality if you create a self-hosted site. This typically involves transfering the free WordPress CMS to server or signing up for a web host's optimized WordPress plan. With an optimized plan, the host automatically handles backend stuff, so you don't have to worry about updating the plug-ins and CMS, and enabling automatic backups. In these instances, the WordPress environment typically comes pre-installed on the server.

The server where you bought the domain probably offers hosting services but usually at a cost. If you want to do it for free, have your domain redirected to whatever free web service you decide to use for your website. Remember, free sites are limited in the number of pages and can have a lot of ads. On the other hand, hosting your own website as in Method 2 above, or having your site hosted where you bought and keep the domain, allows you to pretty much create as many pages as you want, without any advertising you don't put up for yourself.

That said, not all web hosts offer email. WP Engine, for example, does not. In such instances, you must email accounts from a company other than your web host. GoDaddy, for instance, sells email packages starting at $3.49 per user, per month. That might sound like a hassle, and just one more thing to keep track of, but there are actually some webmasters who feel that separating your email hosting and web hosting services is smart. That way, one provider going offline won't completely bork your business.


There are two other factors that led to the nearly perfect score earned by Dreamhost. First, the company's pricing is pretty transparent. There are no hidden gotchas in the rates. Plus -- and this is the best we've seen across all our hosting providers -- Dreamhost provides a 97-day money back guarantee. There's quite literally zero risk in giving them a try.
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