If you have something to say, i would suggest that relying on social media is not the only place you should be saying it since, ultimately, you have no control over your content. All mainstream social media platforms, and many alternative platforms, will happily shadow-ban, de-list, de-monetize, de-platform, demote or delete you or anything you post which they are critical of, regardless of whether it breaks the wall of text agreement they call their terms of service. Or they may simply dry up and disappear overnight, taking all of your content with them. Furthermore there are limitations as to how you can format your content.
I've also noticed a somewhat disturbing trend as social media and smart devices gained traction in that many people have either stopped using email, or do not provide a method to contact them outside of whatever privacy-hating social media platform(s) they use. This is particularly annoying for those of us who want nothing to do with the likes of criminal, data-mining mega-corporations like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, etc..
Having your own website can be very inexpensive and fun, plus you'll have far greater control over your content and will be much freer to say what you wish. You also have control over how you publish and format your content and there are plenty of software choices for handling that regardless of your skill level.
If you'd like to explore setting up a website of your own and this is all new to you, and you want to go the least expensive route, then shared hosting may be the answer. With a shared hosting provider you can easily keep the cost down to a few bucks a month and still have a great website with good support. Another alternative is to host your website yourself using your internat connection. This can even be done using a Raspberry Pi but some technical knowledge will be required, especially regarding your network security.
While there are several potential pitfalls with shared web hosting, if you decide to pursue that path, there is one in particular you'll really want to avoid when choosing a host and that is utilizing any company owned by Endurance International Group (EIG) a.k.a Clearlake Capital Group a.k.a Newfold Digital. As of 2022 these ultra-shitty corporations own approximately 60-70 web hosting companies, including some web hosting "review" websites, and the complaints about their rotten service and support can be found everywhere. To make matters worse, many of the companies they gobble up do not advertise that they are owned by EIG/Clearlake/Newfold and so avoiding them can be a bit difficult.
Click here to reveal a (probably incomplete) list of companies owned by EIG/Clearlake/Newfold as of 2022...
A Small Orange
Apex Infosys India
Berry Information Systems
Cloud by IX
Crucial Web Hosting
Garin IT Solutions
IX Web Hosting
Networks Web Hosting
SEO Web Hosting
One nearly universal lesson i've learned over the years is to avoid large companies that plaster their ads all over the place. Often their service, support and security practices suck and data breaches are common. This is especially true of VPN providers for example, but that's another story.
Personally i gave up shared hosting long ago since my needs are greater. In the interest of full disclosure, i wrote the article, Why shared web hosting sucks, but understand that the article is geared more toward those wanting to up their game and extend beyond the limitations of shared hosting, however dong so requires a greater degree of technical knowledge than what is required here. For those just starting out, or who just want a small, personal website for private or business use, shared hosting can be fine and it is one of the least expensive and easiest routes to building a website.
The choices as to what software you want to use for managing your website is practically limitless. On the more popular side are feature rich content management systems (CMS) like WordPress, Joomla, Drupal and many others. While such CMSs make it rather easy to get going, they are also bloated with features you may never use and require more server-side infrastructure than a simple static website, which we'll get into in a bit. Of these WordPress is probably the most popular, however i might recommend ClassicPress instead if you want to go that route.
Having used WordPress for quite a long time, and now ClassicPress after WordPress got "woke", one of the more serious issues i've found with these platforms is the plug-in market. One can easily extend the functionality of most any CMS using 3rd party plug-ins but the problem, at least with WordPress and ClassicPress, and probably most others as well, is a lack of regulations regarding what a plug-in developer may and may not do with their code, as well as a lack of security oversight. This can, and very often does, lead to all kinds of trouble from data mining to unwanted advertising to critical security vulnerabilities. I once suggested in the WordPress forum that this problem be adequately addressed and my post was quickly locked and buried by a senior moderator before anyone had a chance to reply. What does that tell you about the ethics regarding security at WordPress?
- STAY AWAY FROM ANY COMPANY OWNED BY ENDURANCE INTERNATIONAL GROUP (EIG) a.k.a Clearlake Capital Group a.k.a Newfold Digital !
- When searching for a hosting provider include "independently owned" in your search query.
- Make sure the company has been in business for at least 10 years or more. It seems many start-ups are looking to be bought and you want to avoid those.
- Beware of companies advertising unlimited resources, such as unlimited disk space and bandwidth. I assure you that attempting to start something like a video hosting platform on a shared server with "unlimited" resources is going to get you kicked out right quick. Storage space and bandwidth are expensive.
- Make sure they provide free SSL certificates. All websites nowadays should be served over an encrypted connection (https) and Let's Encrypt provides free certificates.
- Contact the company and ask them any questions you may have. Ask them where they are based and whether they employ their own support staff or outsource support, in which case you'll want to avoid them.
- Look for unbiased reviews for the host you're considering and be aware that many web hosting "review" sites are run by hosting companies themselves. If the primary focus of the website is to review web hosting providers it usually best to disregard it, though are exceptions.
- You generally get what you pay for, but even a good shared hosting provider will often cost less than $10 dollars a month.
Given that i currently do not use a shared host, i'm not up to date with the brands and their services, however SiteGround kept making an appearance in my research. While they are a bit more expensive ($6.99/mo. as of this writing for their smallest package), they seem to get good reviews by what appears to be honest people and they are apparently not owned by EIG/Clearlake/Newfold. A2 Hosting also seems to be very popular. Another potentially interesting company i found is VeeroTech Systems which claims to be 100% independently owned. If you want my personal recommendation for a company i have experience with, i might suggest KnownHost. Their support staff, reliability and speed have all been absolutely excellent since i signed on with them in late 2019. One really nice aspect of KnownHost is that they do not have a tiered support structure; all of their support people are professionals and they are very fast to respond regardless of what day or time of day i open a ticket but, like i said, you get what you pay for and KnownHost is on the expensive side.
There are many good, ethical hosting providers, it's just a matter of doing some research and LowEndTalk is a good starting point if cost is an important factor. Their forum is only lightly moderated and if a hosting company is crap, believe me, you'll discover this very quickly. LowEndTalk is affiliated with LowEndBox which offers lots of resources for cheap hosting services. Both websites are geared primarily toward resellers, however they are still great resources for learning about hosting provider.s
- Endurance International Group - Wikipedia
- Seven Reasons for having a Personal Website (This dude has a lot of good information)
- Thoughts on Endurance International Group (EIG) Hosting - Linux Depot
- List of EIG Hosting Brands/Companies [Updated 2020] - WebProTime
- As Full As Possible List of EIG Companies and Brands With Details (Beware EIG Hosting and Newfold Digital!)
- Choose the best shared hosting in 2020 | Petronella Korb, Feb 19, 2020