A good domain hosting service will do much more than publish your site online. Most domain hosting services give you features and tools like a site builder, secure shell (SSH) access and comprehensive support. The best domain hosting services are flexible and can address whatever needs your website may have. Domain hosting is a complex and technical process, and domain hosts take most of the technical responsibility upon themselves. This leaves you more time and energy make your website shine.
No matter what the purpose and needs of your site, there is a domain hosting service that will fit it. Some websites are basic and only really need to be published online, while others have large databases and make use of complex scripts. Most domain hosting services have different tiers of service in order to serve various users. Reliability and uptime are major considerations when choosing a domain hosting service. Every service on our lineup will provide you with solid uptime. The top-rated services are Just Host, Go Daddy and iPage. For more information, read our articles on domain hosting.
Every domain hosting service will do the bare minimum of putting your site on the internet. However, most domain hosts offer features and benefits beyond publishing your site, and this is where the hosting services can differ greatly. The differences are mostly in these areas:
Almost all of the domain hosts on our lineup offer monthly subscriptions and several tiers of service. Some hosts also offer services like managed servers and virtual private servers. We based our reviews on the shared hosting offerings. Some domain hosts offer unlimited disk space, bandwidth and domains, while others put caps on their service.
Which tier of service is right for you depends on how large your website is and whether you want more than one website with the domain host. Limited and small hosting packages are sufficient for simple websites and blogs, but professional sites for medium-sized businesses and eCommerce sites will likely need larger hosting packages.
The best domain hosting services will give you access to a full list of features and tools that include everything you need to build, launch and maintain your site. These can include a site builder, an SSL certificate and a control panel to help with site management. Email functionality and features are also important. You should look for unlimited email addresses, autoresponders and spam filters. Domain hosts should also provide domain check and domain registration services.
A domain host should include advanced features that allow experienced users to customize their site and take finer control over how a site looks and behaves. Here, custom cron jobs, a script library and customizable error pages are desirable. You should also consider a domain host that includes server access options such as .htaccess, unlimited FTP accounts and secure shell (SSH) access.
Ease of Use
Usability is an essential part of domain hosting. It is a complex process and if the domain host can't sufficiently streamline the process, it can quickly become time-consuming and daunting. We looked for intuitive interfaces that are user-friendly and make site management straightforward.
As anyone with experience in domain hosting can attest to, your website can experience problems at any hour of the day. That's why your domain host should provide you with 24/7 technical support. We looked for responsive support representatives that were helpful and knowledgeable. When your site has an issue – and it likely will at some point – you want someone who can help you resolve the issue immediately. Many domain hosts also include helpful documentation, user forums and video tutorials.
With the right domain hosting service, you won't have to worry about site management, and you'll spend more time fine-tuning your marketing campaigns and creating compelling content. The best domain hosts give you access to powerful tools and features if you want them, but don’t force them upon you if you don't want them. All of the services in our lineup can help you build, launch and maintain a successful website.
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