What Web Host Should I Use?

If I had a dollar for every time someone asked me what webhost to use, I wouldn’t have to work anymore. Well, maybe not, but I could definately buy one sweet pair of designer shoes! That’s why I’ve been documenting my answers, so I don’t have to write it anymore.

I always recommend Dreamhost.com right off the bat because I have personal, verifiable positive experience with them which has only increased in favor over time and which is supported by thousands of adulations by other customer of Dreamhost’s, freely accessibly via a Google search for “dreamhost“.

I have written about this on my personal blog, and recently someone asked me “but what about this ultra cheap host”. Well, here’s my review, and for future folks seeking reviews of their potential hosts…please just follow the advice herein and substitue “1and1″ with your webhost under consideration.

In short, if you’re going cheap as possible, their plans are better:

https://www.b-one.net/

http://dhost.info/

Registration is cheap, hosting is cheap, it depends on your needs. Because your needs are small (probably) for [the website] it might be fine.

For the price, it’s great…but here’s where they get you, entry packages are basically crippled and do not provide standard items such as Server Side Includes until the $10/mo (for instance, you want your navigation to be imported from one location on every page so navigation changes only have to be made in one file, not every page on your site), no statistics (on basic), no form builder and likely no ability to run scripts (for feedback/mail form, newsletter signup, etc) till $10/mo though you do get their pre-canned CGI form. Databases are where they really get you – SQL only included on $10/mo and up – only one database allowed on $10/mo and 2 on $20 per month with a truly measly 200mb limit. Although if you go with Linux hosting, you do start off with 10 mySQL databases on their base plan, but with a 100mb limit.

Again, if you’re just going to have a couple of static html pages then this could be a good deal for you. It’s definitely geared towards web design beginners and the prices are quite cheap. But if you guys decide you want to install some kind of calendar system or blog software, all of these things will require SQL (or mySQL) and you’ll quickly grow out of this plan and into the $20/mo and up. I didn’t see streaming media anywhere – I doubt it’s included and would quickly push you into traffic overages (extra charges) – so streaming music and vids would be out.

And of course, the ultimate test is a Google search the host, in this case, “1and1“.
It returned one oddly vague yet glowing review and then long threads of rants about them.
Also, I find their myriad incarnations of 1and1.com, 1and1.org, 1and1.co.uk, 1and1.fr, etc. a likely case of trying to push bad reviews on other sites down in search ranking (a direct domain name match nearly always gets ranking priveledge).

If a host is both cheap and good, trust me, a quick search will turn up pages and pages of raves from customers on blogs and message boards. People love finding cheap hosting that works. In fact, an interesting way to find a good webhost is a good search for “love my web host“. The many fine folks in the WordPress community have provided a small list of recommended hosts as well, even if you aren’t using WordPress (blogging software), I’d bet these hosts are pretty darn good in general.

1and1.com has a well-designed and enticing site, I’ll give them that…but you know the saying, if it seems too good…

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