Domain and Hosting
A quick intro on domain names and web hosting...
Within the past few years, the number of domain registrars and website hosting companies has grown exponentially. As a result, it can be a challenging process to select a domain registrar.
However, in my opinion, the top two domain registrars are GoDaddy and Namecheap!
Since both of them offer so multiple services and promotions to customers, it is difficult to compare the prices of each service. For the purposes of this review, we will compare the prices of a 1-year renewal rate for domain names of each site.
Some registrars - including Namecheap and GoDaddy - specialize in selling domain names. While others sell additional features like web hosting, security, email marketing solutions, etc.
As you compare Namecheap and GoDaddy, remember that GoDaddy is a larger company. There are some issues that large companies face. For example, GoDaddy may not have personal touches as Namecheap. As a result, Namecheap can provide more personalized attention and services for its customers.
Overall, prices are cheaper on Namecheap and they offer you Privacy Protection for FREE, whereas you pay a premium on GoDaddy.
In all honesty - since my primary goal is to help you make an informed decision - I use and therefore recommend for you to use either or both GoDaddy and Namecheap for Domain Registration ONLY, and either or both SiteGround and HostGator for Website Hosting ONLY! But do not use one for all! I say use "either or both" because if you're like me, I have multiple domain names and websites, and I have them registered on these four companies.
So, are you ready for your domain and hosting? Let's dive in...
What is Namecheap?
As a leading domain registrar, Namecheap has developed a strong market share since it was founded in 2000. Namecheap has provided over four million domain names with over 10 million domains.
As mentioned above, although Namecheap’s core business is domain registry services, they also provides additional services like web hosting, email hosting, security and cloud-based services.
Like GoDaddy, Namecheap allows you to register your domain name for up to 10 years.
The check-out process for Namecheap is quick and seamless. The process is straightforward, and there are not a lot of upselling tactics to disrupt your experience.
Namecheap provides a good search engine for domain name suggestions. Namecheap does not have all of the bells and whistles like GoDaddy. Namecheap offers a quick live chat feature, but no telephone support services.
- Good service and security features
- ICANN Accreditation
- Domains are simple to transfer
- Minimal upsell tactics
- Knowledgeable help desk
- 24/7 customer support via help desk
- Competitive price points for all services
- Some new domain extensions can be very expensive
- Customer support needs improving
Click here to learn more.
What is GoDaddy?
GoDaddy is exceptionally well-known as the World's #1 Domain Name Registrar. However, GoDaddy isn't just about domain names. They’ve got everything you need to get online. From cheap web hosting and email hosting to building your website and attracting new customers, GoDaddy have you covered.
As of January 2020, GoDaddy has approximately 19 million customers with around 59 million domain registration which s around 30% of the market, and over 9,000 employees worldwide.
I’ve been happily using GoDaddy for the registration of my domain names since 1999. However, I personally have never tried their hosting or any other services as I've always been content with HostGator and SiteGround. Therefore, I will only touch upon the domain registration part!
So, What's a Domain Name?
Domain names are created to make IP addresses easy to remember. Every computer has an IP address assigned to it – much like a street address. But instead of having to memorize each IP address number, adomain name is assigned to that number so we can easily remember them.
The Domain Name System, or DNS for short, translates domain names into IP addresses so that computers can communicate with one another.
Why Do I Need a Domain Name?
A domain name can serve as your distinct identity on the Internet. Therefore, if you want to promote yourself, your brand, or your business, a specialized domain name is a must.
A domain that is tailored to your needs will make you look professional and capable and can boost your presence on the web so you get noticed.
If you're starting a business, a domain name search can help you become discoverable and accessible.
GoDaddy makes it incredibly easy and affordable for folks to choose a domain name, sign up for hosting, and start building their online business or personal web property.
What is SiteGround Hosting?
SiteGround is a Bulgarian hosting company launched in 2004 by university students. Since then, it has grown steadily, and is now home to over 400 employees and nearly 2 million domains.
With an impressive breadth of overall hosting services offered, SiteGround is a leading innovator in the hosting space — from custom software solutions to premier customer support.
Why SiteGround Hosting?
SiteGround, wich is recommended by WordPress as a top WordPress host, offers:
- Excellent Uptime - SiteGround has some of the best availability figures around 99.9%
- High-Speed Hosting - They use SSD disks and SG Optimizer and HTTP/2. As a result, they offer above-average speeds
- Easy and Intuitive to Use System - The features are perfectly integrated between them
- Excellent Support - SiteGround offers a complete level of customer care and expert support with no wait time on phone or chat 24/7/365 - It's probably the BEST online!
- Free Migration - If you choose to upgrade ypur hosting, they will migrate your website, once, for free
- Server Location - When you start with SiteGround, you can choose between servers in America, Asia and Europe
- Advanced Features - SiteGround includes features that many other hosting providers don’t have. For Instance, staging, own caching or Git repositories. Or free integrations with CloudFlare or Let’sEnrcypt (SSL)
- Unlimited Traffic - They don’t measure your website’s traffic
- Collaborators: With SiteGround you can create additional users with access to the different websites you manage
- Free automated daily backups, CDN, email, and SSL
- 30-Day Money Back Guarantee with NO Obligation
SiteGround offers 3 shared hosting plans, which, in most cases, adjust to the needs of most users – unless you have a really big website. These Hosting Plans are:
- StartUp Plan: Perfect for people with one website who need less than 10 GB of space. You’ll have the cache service for static content only to make your website faster. Advanced features like staging, aren’t included in this plan - $3.95/month
- GrowBig Plan: A great value for money offer, including the option for multiple websites within 20 GB of space. It also includes SuperCacher that greatly improves website speed. You’ll have access to the staging tool and their on-demand backup system. In addition to the caching system for the static content, you can cache dynamic content too - $5.95/month
- GoGeek Plan: Ideal for people with e-commerce and larger sites, or more geeky development needs like more server resources and GIT integration. In addition to the 30 GB of space and better-performing servers, this plan gives you access to pre-installed GIT integration. It also comes with Payment Card Industry (PCI) compliant servers, necessary for ecommerce sites like WooCommerce. You’ll also get priority support - $11.95/month
I've been using the GoGeek plan for the past 4 years and I am tuly chuffed!
As can be seen from the above plans, SiteGround is suitable for various projects. However, if you need more performance down the line, you can upgrade to one of its premium hosting plans like Cloud or Dedicated.
TRY BEFORE YOU BUY: 30-Day Money Back Guarantee with NO Obligation
What is HostGator Hosting?
HostGator is one of the biggest, oldest web hosting companies in the hosting industry. Their basic shared hosting plans come with unlimited storage, bandwidth, free domain for the first year, and a free SSL certificate.
HostGator doesn’t provide domain name registration. You’ll have to purchase your domain name from a domain registrar like GoDaddy
HostGator has been around since early 2000's and is well-respected for its large number of servers and consistent reliability. Known mostly as a shared hosting provider, HostGator still supplies decent dedicated and VPS options if you need your site to scale.
Why HostGator Hosting?
There are a lot of freebies that HostGator throws in with each hosting plan, including:
- Strong and stable uptime of 99.98%
- 24/7/365 support is available via phone, chat, ticket system, and an online knowledgebase
- Site security features available
- Free site and cPanel migrations
- Free domain transfers
- Unlimited MySQL databases
- Very user-friendly for beginners
- Unlimited disk space, a nice control panel, and free several hundreds of website templates
- Enjoy access to hundreds of one-click installs available for all of the major open-source projects, such as WordPress, Joomla, and Magento
- The ability to add numerous add-ons for privacy, security, and productivity as you see fit
- Windows hosting customers can oversee their environments using Plesk for website management, email account creation, and software installations
- 45-Day Money-Back Guarantee allows you plenty of time to try out and ensure that HostGator is the right hosting company for your website
HostGator has nearly limitless options and control available for their servers, with the support and beginner-friendly tools that will appeal to the full range of customers.
- HostGator offers Shared, Dedicated, Cloud, and VPS hosting, as well as domain registrations, a website builder, and reselling options.
- The core of HostGator's services is its Shared server hosting. As a result, it helps the team to lead customers into the virtual and dedicated server world as they outgrow the shared space over time.
Who is HostGator For?
HostGator is more suited to host single websites and small businesses. For example, if you’re starting a blog on WordPress or building a simple portfolio website.
On the other hand, large businesses may want to consider HostGator’s VPS Plans for the resources they need to run their website smoothly.
HostGator’s Business Plan has even more valuable features. With an included private SSL certificate and dedicated IP address, you will be ready to start accepting payments on an e-commerce store immediately.
This is a rare inclusion for hosting companies, as with many other hosts, you’d need to purchase private SSL certificates separately.
The Cloud Plan is ideal for people on shared plans who find they’re reaching usage limits. You can easily upgrade to cloud hosting at any time from the control panel.
Cloud hosting manages your website efficiently so dynamic content is processed super-fast. With unmetered resources, your websites can be scalable to respond to visitor spikes. You can scale up your resources from your dashboard with one click, without experiencing downtime or requiring reboots.
To compare the Cloud hosting with Shared hosting, we can say that for each of HostGator's basic hosting plans, you can pay a small amount more for cloud hosting. This will give you twice the speed and four times the resources over a shared plan.
Virtual Private Server Hosting
The Virtual Private Server (VPS) gives users full control over their hosting environment. It’s meant for people who want root access to the server and need to install their own software or scripts.
But VPS plans can be challenging to maintain. HostGator offers fully-managed VPS plans which include access to their customized cPanel.
However, semi-managed servers do not include the control panel. You will need advanced technical knowledge to run websites smoothly on these semi-managed plans.
HostGator’s VPS Plan will provide you with a scalable hosting environment. Your VPS will be fully allocated to your own site. No sharing resources with other people. Your site will be able to handle more complexity and higher numbers of visitors.
Due to the VPS server’s virtual nature, HostGator offers them at cheaper prices than dedicated servers.
Don’t assume that VPSs will always lead to higher performance, though. HostGator’s lower-level VPS plans will not necessarily outperform the company’s shared hosting plans.