2. Website Hosting

There are different hosting plans available through many, many different companies for varying website needs. The features and pricing vary somewhat as do sizes and quality of housing (although the prices themselves are very different!). Where cheap apartments are small and may not have room for all your “things”, there are always better plans with more features, hard drive space to store your website’s files and bandwidth, which is like data usage on your cellphone’s plan (like cellphones, bandwidth gets used up fast with images, faster with audio and fastest with video, but also depends on the number of monthly visits to your site). Once you have chosen your domain name and have the website design planned out, you will need a place to host it. Having built websites since 2005, I have tried out many different hosting companies. The results I have had were fairly similar with all I have actually used, they start off great, with fast delivery of the website to viewers, and fairly easy to use. However, after a few months, a pattern started to emerge. The sites started to have lags and other issues (including being hacked, but I have learned how to prevent that as well as is possible!). When trying to contact their customer service I found longggggg wait times for serious issues like the downtime (meaning the server was not serving up my websites at all, just an error message or page would show in the browsers), hacking (someone not authorized and outside the hosting company accessed the sites, usually changing the website content that is shown, for malicious reasons), often there was a language barrier (customer service is usually located outside the US and their English was limited and hard to understand their pronunciation over the phone and even written). Once I finally was in touch with them, I would be treated as an idiot who knows nothing about websites and told that the problems were not from the hosting; the issues were blamed on anything else that could go wrong…even after I proved that it was not the case. They would often just make changes to the configuration without informing me what was done, even when I requested instructions on how to do it myself so I could learn and not bother them in the future. Then I would be steered to a more pricey plan when none of the “fixes” worked… you get the picture! For several years now, I have been using WebFaction hosting for an increasing number of websites. Yes, this is an affiliate link, but I DO believe in this company, and I highly recommend it. In fact, if you choose to have me obtain hosting for your website, WebFaction is the company I will use. I have not had any slowdowns, customer service replies have never been longer than 24 hours, I have never had to even call them, emails have done the trick, not that I have had much to email about either! I have not been treated like an idiot, and WebFaction’s service agents will give me instructions instead of doing it for me, as long as I tell them up front that’s I want. They also make almost everything so easy to do (with one exception: automatic installation of Let’s Encrypt secure certificates to keep everything safe in “transit” through the net), although they did improve it to make it easier to do manually, just not automatically like some other hosting companies have done. However, I even found outside help with the automation for free! And best of all, I am still on their most basic package (so obviously it contains all I have needed so far for both my clients and myself), and they have never tried to upsell me!