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2015-10-04. By Kelly.
Fig. 1. What are we doing here? (Patrick and I in our website hosting dilemma.)
Patrick and I took a long time setting up a website hosting service. In fact it took our computer breaking down to renew the intensity of our search. At first, it was difficult to determine what we needed to build a website and understand what services were being offered by each of the providers. For example when we wanted to sign up for our website hosting service, we had to figure out if we really needed a website builder like WordPress. I posted some of the reviews and ideas that Patrick and I shared as we were making our decision. Although we looked at website hosting services off and on for the last year, I didn't compare different services until October.
ARVIXE: ARVIXE was good for people building a website for the first time. This web hosting service offers up to 6 WordPress domains. This interested me since we both want our own professional website as well as Island CT. It also had unlimited data storage which was a bonus for Patrick with his large images and video files he creates at work. I think this was my top pick. The down side was that it was not a good commercial website. However we are not at that stage and that is something that we can evaluate when the time comes. The SITEGEEK gave this website hosting service a 76% approval rating. Reviews were mixed for this website hosting service and people were complaining about frequent down time of the websites. Specifically 10 minute intervals of down time that were frustrating to deal with when uploading. The PC Magazine gave this website hosting service a positive review and commented that the phone service/customer service needs to improve. Review Sources: https://www.sitegeek.com/arvixe http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2462052,00.asp
DreamHost: A website hosting service which was better for users with experience in website hosting. This service was a little more expensive. There were high set up fees with a monthly plan. DreamHost was rated 2.5 on a scale 0 to 5 in customer satisfaction for the last 5 years. Several reviewers commented on long wait times for customer service. The service complaints move this website hosting service to the bottom of my list right now. Review Sources: https://webhostinggeeks.com/user-reviews/dreamhost/
InMotion: InMotion was a good website hosting service but the cost was higher and the add-on programs like WordPress would be more expensive then GoDaddy and the Arvixe. PC Magazine reviews mentioned that it was known as having a dated site design. This concerned me. We want to choose a website hosting service that was updating and maintaining their package. The higher cost of the web hosting service and concern about proper maintenance made this web hosting service less appealing. Review Sources: http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2426348,00.asp
GoDaddy: GoDaddy was one of the better website hosting providers. But because Patrick likes linux we were not sure if the email service being tightly integrated with Windows would be a problem. GoDaddy does offer both Windows and Linux platforms. This website hosting service was geared towards businesses. This website service also has great customer service reviews. You must pay for the website building tool. The webhosting service was slightly more expensive than Arvixe. However, the WordPress monthly fee was less than InMotion. Review Sources: http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2423429,00.asp
1&1: 1 & 1 website hosting service offered easy set up and use. It was reasonably priced and offers changeable domains. This was probable the cheapest website hosting service that I have looked at. The set up tools that are provided with the service offered quick setup for one website. The website building tools available were limited and didn't provide a variety of packages for web hosting services like GoDaddy. This would be a cheap first option for web hosting. However, the shared website hosting is important so that we can easily add on our professional websites later. Review Sources: http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2324541,00.asp
Host Gator: This website hosting service was actually better than I thought. This offers a baby plan that allows you to have unlimited website domains. This was the only web hosting that provides this option. If the website grows into a commercial website you can get a free 1-800 number. This is the only service that offered that option. The down side was that Host Gator wants you to sign up for three year terms for some packages and make it the default. You just need to be careful as you sign up. Arvixe matches most options provided by Host Gator except the 1-800 number. The interface for setting up a website using Host Gator is a little tricky. However, Host Gator sends a getting started email to help you navigate through the process. Review Sources: http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2423475,00.asp
Update 2015-12-06. We eventually decided to go with GoDaddy.
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