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Got a website? Why the hell not?

webhosting

Intro

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, are subject to censorship, or they may simply disappear. Furthermore there are often limitations as to what and how you can present 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 social media platform(s) they use. This is particularly annoying for those of us who want nothing to do with the likes of privacy-hating, data-mining mega-corporations like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, etc., since one is often forced to join such platforms in order to contact the person. This shouldn't be the case.

A personal website is easy to setup and can be very inexpensive, plus you have far more control over your content and are less prone to censorship, shadow banning, and whatever other crap the Facebook's of the world subject their subjects to. You also have far more control over how you present your content.

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 is 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, if you need it.

Pitfalls

There are some pitfalls and while most of them won't matter to anyone just starting out with a personal website, there is one that you really want to avoid and that is signing up with any company owned by Endurance International Group (EIG). This ultra-shitty company owns a ton of web hosting companies and the complaints about their incredibly poor 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.

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 this also requires a greater degree of technical knowledge. For those just starting out however, or who just want a small, personal website for private or business use, shared hosting can be fine and it is by far the lease expensive and easiest route.

Recommendations

Here's some guidelines i'd suggest considering if you want to start your very own website:

  • STAY AWAY FROM ANY COMPANY OWNED BY ENDURANCE INTERNATIONAL GROUP (EIG)!!!
  • Beware of companies advertising unlimited resources, such as unlimited disk space and bandwidth.
  • Make sure they include a free SSL certificate. All websites nowadays should be served over an encrypted connection (https) and Let's Encrypt provides free certificates which any decent web host will take care of for you.
  • Look for unbiased reviews for the host you're considering and be aware that many "review" sites are run by hosting companies who give themselves a higher score than the rest of the companies they "review".
  • 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. 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, then i'd suggest KnownHost. Their support staff, reliability and speed have all been absolutely excellent since i signed on in December of 2019 and their support is great. On that note, KnownHost does not have a tiered support structure. All of their support people are professionals and they are very fast to respond but, like i said, you get what you pay for and KH is on the expensive side.

There are many good hosts that are ethical and not owned by EIG, it's just a matter of doing some research and LowEndTalk is a good starting point if cost is a really 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 discovering a good hosting provider.

Resources

Definitely check out Seven Reasons for having a Personal Website. This dude has a lot of good information there.

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