Whether you want to run your own blog or build a dynamic e-commerce shop, your site will need a strong hosting provider. The good thing is there are thousands of hosting providers to choose from, and each one offers certain deals and advantages to make it more affordable. However, the best domain hosting providers also have great customer satisfaction. They take care of their customers by providing excellent service, dependable uptime, and website building tools.
There are a few things that make certain hosting providers really stand out. In this case, you may think going with the cheapest hosting provider will save you money, but what if your site goes down for 24 to 48 hours because the hosting provider has poor server uptime? That will cost you money too.
As you look for different hosts, these are some of the features that you should look for in hosting packages. You should also be familiar with the different types of hosting available as each has advantages depending on the traffic you plan to bring to your website.
Best Domain Hosting Features and Types of Hosting
Domain hosting refers only to the domain registration service. Most domain registrars are judged based on the price to register a domain. You can get a free domain with some hosting providers if it is purchased along with website hosting.
In addition, domain registrars may offer private registration, SSL certificates, and email hosting.
On average, you should be able to register a domain for under $10. If purchasing multi-year registrations, hosting providers almost always offer a discounted rate, even allowing you to purchase a domain for $0.99/year.
If you have already purchased a domain and want to transfer to another hosting provider, then you mainly want to look at the price for the transfer. Some transfers are free with the purchase of web hosting. However, for most transfers, you will pay around $8 or $9 per year. This also depends on the type of domain extensions. Domain transfers from HostGator, for example, cost $7.95 per year.
For a .com or .net, you will pay less to purchase or transfer than a speciality extension like .space or .tech.
Web Hosting to Go With Your Domain
In addition to finding the best domain hosting, you’ll also need a good website hosting service. Most hosting providers will provide multiple types of hosting packages. There are huge differences in these packages, so you should pay attention to the bandwidth and storage capacity of each.
This is probably the cheapest option with any host. With shared hosting, your website is allocated space on a server with a bunch of other sites and applications owned by other customers. While this brings down the cost, it can be difficult to scale up on a shared server, and you may experience downtime if something happens with one of the other websites on the server, although this is rare with most reputable hosting providers.
Shared hosting is best for hobby websites, blogs, and small businesses that do not expect a ton of traffic. If you think that you will be scaling up in the near future, you may want to look at getting your own server or cloud hosting.
Dedicated hosting is the other main type of hosting available from hosting providers. With this type of host, you purchase a server that is completely your own. You do not share it with anyone. For that type of storage, you will pay more than shared hosting. However, you can scale up as much as you need, and you never have to worry about sharing a server with other websites which could lead to viruses or downtime.
Sometimes dedicated and VPS hosting can mean the same thing to a hosting provider, so it is important to look at whether you are getting your own server or sharing a large space within a VPS. Typically, you pay a little bit more for VPS than shared hosting, but you do not pay as much for a fully dedicated server.
This is another term used by hosting providers that typically describes a VPS. These are very scalable servers that use the cloud to allocate resources as you need. You can also use automatic scaling in case you have more traffic. This is helpful if your website is growing fast, and you know that you will need to scale within the next few weeks or months. Cloud hosting is also more effective because you only pay for resources used.
If you purchase a server, then you may additionally want managed hosting, which helps with security, scaling, and uptime. A managed server means that the hosting provider will allocate an IT team to help with your server needs and website administration. If you are a small business and want to outsource your IT, this is a great way to do it.
WordPress is one of the fastest platforms to build a website. You can typically install a WordPress application through cPanel within your hosting dashboard and have a website in minutes. There are lots of plugins, design tools, and content management tools that make it a great way to get started with your first website or build a responsive website. There are also tools for e-commerce applications such as WooCommerce.
Hosting providers will offer WordPress hosting as a separate package that is tailored to the WordPress interface. You may get website templates, drag and drop builder, and some additional plugins by purchasing a WordPress hosting account. However, you can purchase any other type of hosting and still install WordPress.
Types of Servers
If you are new to web hosting, then you may find it confusing when a hosting provider says “Linux and Windows Servers Compatible” or something similar. There are mainly two types of servers today.
Most websites are on Linux servers, as they offer more options for programming languages and website tools. If you want to build with PHP for example, it’s best to use a Linux server. It’s also better for building mobile applications and working with Ruby on Rails.
However, Windows servers offer a lot of security and have better options for CRMs. If you are working with .NET and.ASPX, then you will want to get a Windows server.
Other Features to Look For with Hosting Providers
Locking down the best domain hosting is only one part of building your web presence. If you are simply registering names as investments or to sell later, then you probably will not need any other services.
Why not start building your web empire now?
Hosting providers will typically compare two to four plans under each type of hosting. These packages should include some of the following:
*Max bandwidth of 1.4 TB per month or more
*Free domain registration
*24/7 customer support
*Maximum RAM of 240 GB (VPS)
You can look within the specifications of each package to see what the options are. If you are purchasing a shared hosting package, you may not have some of these features available as it is the cheapest type of hosting.
Best Domain Hosting Reviews
These are our picks for the best domain hosting providers with great rates for domain registration and tons of hosting options.
HostGator is known as a top web hosting provider with 99.99% uptime and lots of website building features for those who want a powerful web host, email hosting, domain registration, and unlimited storage.
There are several plans to choose from, and with some of the plans, you have the option of hosting unlimited domains. For example, the Baby Plan under shared hosting starts at $5.95/month and offers unlimited domains.
Unfortunately, there does not seem to be any free domain registration with purchase of any plan under HostGator. This means that all domains will have to be purchased separately, starting at $12.95. You can transfer a domain for as low as $7.95.
*Auto domain renewal
*Domain control panel
*Affordable web hosting plans with lots of options
*Free Positive SSL and Free Dedicated IP for Business Plans
*Enterprise server options for big businesses
*24/7 customer support
*No free domain options with any plan
*High cost for single domain registration
*High cost for domain transfers
GoDaddy is one of the leaders in domain registration and web hosting. With a variety of different plans, affordable domain registration, and free domains with hosting purchases, customers can pick and choose plans to suit their hosting needs easily.
One of the great things that GoDaddy offers is a free domain with an annual hosting plan. You can get this with any of the web hosting annual plans from shared to VPS to dedicated.
GoDaddy also includes free email hosting with your domain, and you can manage your domain through cPanel or Plesk, depending on whether you pick Linux or Windows servers. There is also a money back guarantee.
*Variety of affordable plans starting at $1.00/month
*Free domain registration with annual plans
*Linux and Windows server hosting
*Free email hosting
*Customer service has received poor ratings in the past
*Annual plans can be costly if you choose dedicated or VPS
If you want to go with WordPress hosting, InMotion has a great option for free domain registration or transfer with WordPress pre-installed. You can host unlimited WordPress sites within your InMotion account as long as you purchase a corresponding web hosting plan.
All plans come with unlimited bandwidth, free data backups, and an SSL certificate. This adds some great protection and security features for your website. It also provides more trust for your visitors that your website is secure.
InMotion also offers private registration, email hosting with IMAP support, and SPAM safe with their hosting plans so you can start building a dynamic, secure website from the beginning.
*Free domain with purchase of *WordPress hosting
*SPAM security features
*Free Email hosting with IMAP Support
*Not all plans come with free domain registration
If you are looking for a simple and cheap domain registrar, then iPage.com is one of the best options. You can get a free domain registration and transfer with purchase of an annual hosting plan. All plans come with unlimited disk space, domains, and MySQL databases.
One of the really amazing benefits that iPage.com offers is a Google advertising credit. If you want to use AdWords to market your website, then iPage.com will give you $100 towards Google ADwords and $100 in SEM credits. This means you can get some ads up in Google Search and display ads on the Google Display Network.
In addition, iPage.com also offers unlimited bandwidth and email addresses. This makes it an affordable option for small businesses that want to set up their business online with handy tools and simple-to-use features like the website builder.
*Free domain with purchase of annual plans
*Lots of website building tools
*Unlimited disk space, bandwidth, and domains
*Customer service experience has been rated poorly
*Only 30-day moneyback guarantee
*Domain registration only free for one year
With high reviews for hosting and customer support, DreamHost is one of the top domain hosting providers that you can purchase from. Most of the domains are also extremely cheap when purchased for the first year. For example, you can purchase .XYZ domain for only $0.99 per year.
While there are no free domain options, you can purchase popular domain extensions for $11.95 per year. If you do choose to add on hosting, you get an uptime guarantee of 100% and multiple hosting plans to choose from.
All hosting plans with DreamHost include cPanel, 1-click website installer, award-winning 24/7 customer support, solid state drive, and website templates. Basically, you have everything you need to build and support your website, including an IT team at your fingertips.
*Lots of hosting plans available for less than $15/month
*Choose between shared, dedicated, VPS, and cloud plans
*Domain transfers free with hosting purchase
*No free domain registration
Google Domains rose to prominence in 2017 as Google started expanding its hosting and domain services to the public. You can now purchase a domain for as little as $12/year. While this may seem a bit expensive compared to free options, there are a number of reasons why businesses are choosing to register with Google instead of the other domain registrars.
For one, Google Domains includes private registration at no additional cost with each domain purchase. You also get a custom email with G Suite, website builders, customizable sub-domains, and domain management tools.
You also do not need any coding experience to build a website with Google domains. You can build a dynamic website using some of Google’s builder tools like Shopify, Squarespace, Weebly, Wix, and Blogger.
*Private registration included with domain purchase
*Great site builder tools for easy website creation
*Custom email through G Suite
*The website builders may not be the best option for larger businesses that want custom options
*No free domain registration
Name.com has been around for years and has always offered great rates on domain registration. You can type in any domain name and look at options for all extensions, then select one to get started with free domain registration.
The free domain registration does have a catch. You will need to purchase a website hosting plan in order to get the free domain. This is called the Prologue Website Bundle. This includes shared website hosting for a year, email hosting, and a website builder.
However, Name.com is not exactly the best for web hosting. While most hosting providers are able to keep up with 99.99% to 100% uptime rates, Name.com still falls short with an average of 97.99% uptime. In addition, the details of the Website Prologue bundle are not explained well, which means that you may get even less support than with some of the hosting plans.
*Free domain registration with a purchase of the Website Prologue bundle
*Free private domain registration
*Free email hosting included with *Website Prologue bundle
*Uptime is not as good as other hosting providers
*Customer support lacks chat and 24/7 features
This list would be amiss without the long-standing cheap domain registrar known as Namecheap.com. For over 10 years, Namecheap.com has been offering the lowest prices on domain registration. You can actually purchase a domain for as little as $0.46 per year.
Most of the domains at that rate are not the most popular extensions. You will still end up paying $10.98/year for .COM registrations.
NameCheap.com also guarantees 100% uptime and has several hosting plans to choose from. The cheapest plans available are shared hosting options with 20GB SSD, unmetered bandwidth, and support for multiple websites.
While NameCheap.com does not have the best customer service options, you can save a lot of money by going with their affordable dedicated hosting plans. These prices are extremely low compared to other hosting providers, starting from $58/month for a 500GB dedicated server.
*Cheap domain registration for certain extensions
*Free email hosting
*Cheap hosting options from shared to dedicated hosting
*Free domain transfers
*No free domain registration
9. 1&1 Hosting
Most people have heard of 1&1 hosting because they were one of the original hosting providers to provide a website builder. While the days of free domains seem to be gone with 1&1 hosting, you can still purchase a .COM domain for $0.99 for the first year.
1&1 has a lot of hosting options depending on what type of site you are looking to build. You can purchase their shared hosting for as little as $0.99/month and get a free website builder to go with it. There are also cloud server options that are extremely scalable for as little as $9.99/month.
Each plan comes with access to a control panel where you can install different applications such as BB forums, WordPress, and enterprise email options. Professional email hosting can be included or purchased separately for $0.99/month.
By purchasing a domain, 1&1 will also include free email hosting and sub-domains. This is important if you plan on hosting a forum or blog in a separate directory. All new domains registered also come with free private registration.
*Nearly free domain name or $0.99 for the first year
*Free private registration included
*Additional web hosting can be added for $0.99 per month
*Includes free email and sub-domains
*No SLA or uptime guarantees
*Does not include 24/7 customer support
10. A2 Hosting
A2 Hosting is mainly known for its shared hosting, VPS hosting, dedicated hosting, and cloud hosting options. However, the hosting provider does include a hosting swift plan that comes with a 1-year subscription of pro web hosting services and a free domain.
You can register all types of domains with A2 hosting, and even if you did not choose the swift hosting plan, you can still get a great rate on most domains. Each domain comes with email forwarding, custom nameservers, free DNS management, private registration, domain theft protection, and 24/7 customer support.
*Free domain with purchase of swift hosting plan for $14.99
*Free website builder and email hosting with web hosting plans
*Most domains are over $14.95 to register without a hosting plan