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Free web hosts?

Discussion in 'Digital Marketing' started by CFLS22, Dec 8, 2012.

  1. CFLS22

    CFLS22 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 163

    Anyone using free websites? If so do they offer enough for me to just show pics of my work and info about myself? And for those who pay for web hosts, who do you recommend and what are the rates your paying?
     
  2. tonygreek

    tonygreek LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,391

    The true "costs" of using free sites are usually the sub domain requirement, such as bobsmowing.geocities.com, on-page advertisements (either syndicated or from the hosting company), terrible, underlying code base, lack of flexibility and customization, and inadequate SEO.

    If you plan on using it just as an online brochure you have to point customers to, it could be fine. If you want customers to find you, this isn't the course you want to take.

    In terms of web hosts, there are too many to list and each person will recommend a different host from the next. $5 to $15 month is the norm for good hosting. If you stroll through the archives here, you'll find a ton of recommendations. Take a look at the very recent "Few questions for building my first website" thread and you'll see some useful insight and direction.
     
  3. jonthepain

    jonthepain LawnSite Senior Member
    from Raleigh
    Posts: 520

    In this instance, free is not good. Don't waste your time, for all the reasons that Tony - who is an expert - states, and them some.

    There are lots of great inexpensive hosts. I host 43 sites and use Fatcow for around $3 a month and Bluehost for $4.

    I recently recommended Justhost for $3 and the customer is very happy with them.

    Stay away from GoDaddy. I and everyone I've talked to has had problems with them.

    A good resource is http://www.top10bestwebsitehosting.com/
    to help you make your decision.
     
  4. CFLS22

    CFLS22 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 163

    Thanks for the help guys I didn't know you could get hosting for around $5 so I would definitely prefer that and have my own domain. As always there's always a reason why it's free!
     
  5. jonthepain

    jonthepain LawnSite Senior Member
    from Raleigh
    Posts: 520

    you're welcome.

    most of those hosts on the 10 best site include one free domain for a year.

    think carefully on what you want your domain name to be!
     
  6. jonthepain

    jonthepain LawnSite Senior Member
    from Raleigh
    Posts: 520

    I'd also suggest using wordpress to build your site once you get your hosting squared away.

    it's free, super easy to use, and there are lots of free and paid templates you can use. you can drag and drop your photos, and if there is anything you can't figure out how to do, just google your question, and i guarantee at least a thousand people have asked and had answered the same question.

    even the big boys use wordpress nowadays.
     
  7. CFLS22

    CFLS22 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 163

    Does the domain cost around $15 a year on most of those?
     
  8. greg8872

    greg8872 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 298

    Most places you can find between 10 and 20 a year, things to note, some places charge more for things like private registration, while some will include it. Where I get my domains, pairnic.com, seems pricier, but does include privacy protection, and the nice part with them, you can select what is private. (example, you can still have it list your company as the registrant and your mailing address, but then use private email/phone settings.

    Mentioned was WordPress. While it is a nice choice, just watch out for throwing everything into the site. Sadly, speaking from a programmers point of view, WordPress is not that efficient, especially the more and more plugins you ad. (I just consulted on a site this past week where they have SO much going on, with so many plugins, it takes the server almost a full second to generate the code to send the visitor. Nothing to do with download time, that is just building the page. If you go the WP route, definitely look into an SEO plugin as well as a Caching plugin, two definite needs!

    -Greg
     
  9. jonthepain

    jonthepain LawnSite Senior Member
    from Raleigh
    Posts: 520

    domains usually go for between 10 and 20 a year, but there are always deals, and most hosts will give you one year free for a new domain when you initially sign up.

    i usually buy them for at least 2 yrs at a time because my seo guy told me google doesn't consider on year domains as legit as multi-year domains. idk but hey you also get a discount for multi-year.
     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2012
  10. greg8872

    greg8872 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 298

    I have a friend who has been doing SEO since before SEO was popular. He does many tests, and has found that domains registered for 10 years out do rank better.

    Also just a note, while watching the Steelers fail today, I kept seeing ads for 1&1 with $.99 domains. Good deal, but make sure you read the terms of it. 1&1 has a bad rep for issues with billing even after you move domains.
     

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