So, you want to build your first website and you’ve got your domain name all picked out. Your next thought should be, “Who has the best website domain hosting?” Or maybe you haven’t even thought about that yet. Let’s talk about website domain hosting today.
Shared, Managed, or Dedicated Website Hosting – What’s the Difference?
This is what the majority of people who want to run their own websites end up using. It just means you share server space with a bunch of other people who have websites.
There are a lot of companies out there who will give you a package deal for your website hosting. For example you can do a domain name search and buy your domain name from them. And you can use WordPress and they do have some support.
They’ll even have attractive introductory rates to lure you in. And they are good rates, don’t get me wrong. The problem is that after the introductory period is over they are fairly expensive.
I just went to one popular website hosting company and went through the process to sign up. Their introductory plan was $262.14 per year for the first 3 years. That’s actually a great rate. But after your first three years are up and (presumably) your website has been up and running all that time, your annual cost then jumps to $592.14. That is quite a jump. And there’s no guarantee that at the end of three years their rates won’t have gone up past that $592.14 amount. It will potentially be more like $625 or $650. Ouch!
And is your website hosting even managed? That’s a key question when choosing a website hosting company.
Most website hosting companies will have some level of management included with your annual fees. But how extensive is it? Is it just as little as they can get away with? Do they only have support when you have a complaint, or are they proactive in their management?
Here is an explanation of what good managed hosting means from Carson Lim, one of the founders of Wealthy Affiliate.
“Managed hosting means that you have some level of support available to you to help ‘manage’ your website. At WA [it] means that you have full-time expert engineers that continually monitor your website. If a website experiences an issue then an engineer will get on that right away and fix it. This sometimes means that an engineer needs to login to your site, make code changes, or make security updates, remove or fix plugins/themes. If a site is slow, we investigate why, and fix it. Sometimes we move a site to a different server if that site requires more resources – this keeps the shared hosting network balanced and running optimally. Managed hosting usually costs $100’s per month – at WA it’s part of the Premium service.”
You have probably guessed by now I’m going to recommend Wealthy Affiliate. Right you are! Here’s a screenshot of a side-by-side comparison of Wealthy Affiliate with three other popular website hosting companies:
There’s more to this chart; this is just all I could get with the screen-grab tool I used. If you’d like to see the whole chart, click here.
Dedicated Hosting – If you’re just starting out with building your own website it’s not likely you’ll use dedicated website hosting. This means you have your own onsite server that you have your website “hosted” on.
This also means you’re on your own as far as maintenance, bugs, or any other problems you may have. On a technical level you probably wouldn’t want to get bogged down with this as it takes some time to learn how to do it, not to mention the expense of buying your own server.
You’ll have to configure it, secure it from hackers, and don’t forget the power costs which can range from $20 to $50 a month depending on the size of your server and your electricity rates.
Also, would your ISP (internet service provider) even allow it? For most consumer grade ISP services the answer to that is usually a big fat No. You could ask your friendly neighborhood data center to run it for you, but then it really starts getting complicated, especially if you thought you were going to save money having your own server.
Owning your own server in your home is not a feasible option, in my opinion. Can it be done? Of course. But you have to weigh the benefits of pursuing this path, and the cons outweigh the pros. I would liken it to your wanting to learn to ride a motorcycle, but first you have to build one from the ground up with parts you bought. Not a very good idea, but that’s just my opinion.
Some website hosting companies will offer VPS, or a Virtual Private Server. Your own server is on their physical site, maintained by them, secured by them, etc. This is a good deal if you need huge amounts of disk space and bandwidth, and it’s not cheap. That’s always an option for you in the future if you really need it. But for your first website, it’s total overkill. You just don’t need that much space or bandwidth.
Website Hosting is Only One of Wealthy Affiliate’s Services
Chances are if you are interested in checking out the different website hosting services you may need some help actually building your website.
Wealthy Affiliate has some of the best training out there when it comes to building your website. They use WordPress, a hugely popular website building tool, and they are always there to help you out with your quest to build your perfect website.
You have to consider all the costs involved with building out your website, too. With the “inexpensive” website host companies they get you to sign up with a cheap introductory price, but then to get other services you are going to pay extra.
For instance, to get unlimited e-mail accounts (e-mails specific to your website) you’re going to have to pay extra for that. At Wealthy Affiliate it’s included in your membership.
The Cost Effective Option
To me the choice is obvious: Wealthy Affiliate offers the most “bang for your buck” when it comes to managed website hosting, WordPress website building, domain name buying, mentorship, training, community, and access to the accumulated knowledge and experience of thousands of people who belong to Wealthy Affiliate.
Would you rather pay $592.14 a year, or $359 a year? Kyle & Carson, the founders of Wealthy Affiliate, haven’t raised their membership costs in years. I don’t know how they can afford to keep the entry price for membership that low for so long, but they are still active affiliate marketers themselves so maybe they’re just so wealthy they don’t care. I’m making a pretty cheeky assumption here, LOL.
What the Heck Does “Affiliate Marketing” Mean?
Affiliate marketing is just using your website or blog to promote other businesses, and earn a commission each time someone uses your link from your website or blog to go to that business’ website and buy something.
Affiliate marketing is the main goal of Wealthy Affiliate, but that’s not all you can do there. If you just want step-by-step training and help building your website, you can do that, too.
If you start getting a lot of traffic to your website and you want to put an affiliate link or two up there, you can make a few bucks doing that. If you want to really focus on driving traffic to your website and promoting Amazon or other big websites, you could make quite a bit more than a few bucks. It’s up to you.
But, if you’re looking for a cost effective website hosting platform with other benefits, Wealthy Affiliate is pretty much the best game in town!