Word of mouth only gets you so far in this internet-centric age. These days, people discover new businesses—even local business—via Bing, Google, and Yahoo, search engines that make it incredibly simple to find companies' products, operational hours, and prices. If your business doesn't appear in the search results, especially on the first page, it'll be difficult for potential clients and customers to find you. In other words, no website, no money. Of course, web hosting isn't just for businesses. You may want to host a personal website or blog, too. Either way, the services here have you covered.
Domain names are often seen in analogy to real estate in that domain names are foundations on which a website can be built, and the highest quality domain names, like sought-after real estate, tend to carry significant value, usually due to their online brand-building potential, use in advertising, search engine optimization, and many other criteria.
One thing we learned in reviewing the services listed here (and many more) is that even though the packages are very similar, they are not identical. Some are more security-focused than others, offering anti-spam and anti-malware tools. Others offer a variety of email marketing tools. While most of the hosts we've reviewed have built-in e-commerce, you may want to consider using a more-robust third-party online shopping cart application like Shopify instead.
Luckily, there is a range of such options to choose from. Here, I will look through several web hosting providers and their products in order to decide what is the best free website hosting platform. With a plethora of options, I hope it will become easier for you to make an informed decision. When looking for free website hosting online, you will find two types of services available. Here’s what they are.
By definition, a domain name is simply a human readable form of an IP address. In function it is the destination that you type into a web browser in order to visit a website, such a www.google.com. Metaphorically, it is very similar to how you would scroll to a contact in your cell phone rather than manually dialing the person by entering their full phone number; the phone number would be an IP address and the saved contact would be a domain name. Always buy a domain with a reputable domain registrar.
In order to register any domain, you must provide certain personal information that you may not wish to be publically searchable in the Whois database. Signing up for WhoisGuard is a great way to keep your registration data private. WhoisGuard acts as a "shield" for your searchable information, displaying the address, phone number, and email of the domain registrar (Namecheap, e.g.) instead of your own. Keep in mind that WhoisGuard is an optional security add-on that must be renewed separately when you renew your domain.
GlowHost picked up major points for their 91-day money-back guarantee. They were six days short of DreamHost's 97-day guarantee, but with these numbers, who's quibbling over a few days? The company also picked up points for their 24/7/365 phone support option and free cPanel offering for most plans. The company operates 18 datacenters worldwide. Finally, the company gains major points by driving all its hosting services with wind power.
You also want a web host with 24/7 customer support—if not by phone, then at least by chat. Forums, knowledge bases, and help tickets are all well and good, but sometimes you just need to communicate with another human to get things ironed out as quickly as possible. That said, not all 24/7 customer support teams are equal. Companies like GoDaddy and Liquid Web boast incredibly knowledgeable and helpful customer support squads—a fact that we confirmed in our in-depth reviews of those web hosting services.
The host may also provide an interface or control panel for managing the Web server and installing scripts, as well as other modules and service applications like e-mail. A web server that does not use a control panel for managing the hosting account, is often referred to as a "headless" server. Some hosts specialize in certain software or services (e.g. e-commerce, blogs, etc.).
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.