10 Website Hosts & Domain Registrars to Utilize Based on your Business Model
No matter what your business model is, having a website will undoubtedly increase your chances of attracting customers. Depending on your business model, you will need to take into consideration which web hosting option is best suited for your brand. Some of these options cater more to those with a focus on blogging, whereas others cater more to those with a focus on eCommerce. Of course, there are some that have a rather balanced focus on both aspects.
GoDaddy is the most popular Domain Registrar out there right now, which you’ve probably already heard about, even if you’ve never used it. One thing I will personally say makes GoDaddy stand out is that they have exceptional customer service. Their lines are open all day every day. They even offer free website hosting. GoDaddy even offers integration with popular brands such as WordPress & Office 365. Don’t have a professional email with your own domain name yet? GoDaddy has an option for that too. They also offer a web design service for people who wish to hire a professional web designer.
Learn more at GoDaddy.com
What was once an option not very many businesses were utilizing, by constantly implementing updates, Wix has become one of the more popular web hosting services. I, myself, even use it to publish my site. What I like most about it, is that it gives you nearly full control over designing your website from scratch, inch by inch, without any need for a background in HTML. Giving beginners of website design the ability to create professional looking websites. However, keep in mind that creating something from scratch that’s appealing to others may require a great deal of your time, so if you’re not someone looking to dedicate a lot of time to designing a website, you may want to utilize another platform or hire a professional, which Wix has a service for. Its eCommerce options integrate with a number of different popular payment processing platforms, which I will mention later in this book. Wix is loaded with many different plug-ins and add-ons, such as social media feeds and pop-ups that will enhance the overall look and feel of your website. If you don’t mind having a subdomain, you can even publish websites for free. Wix also offers domain registration, custom email domains and email marketing campaigns. If you don’t mind dedicating a lot of time to designing a website and you want the power of completely customizable features, then Wix would be a great option for you.
Learn more at Wix.com
One of the most popular web hosting platforms that have been around for a long time, WordPress is a great option for building a website. While collaborating with a business partner a few years ago, I was given the opportunity to view the backend of building a site with WordPress. I can definitely see why so many people use it. It simplifies the process of creating a website by giving you access to many different themes, so that you can spend more time on things like sales and blogging. If you’re someone who plans to put a great deal of time into blogging on your site, I’d definitely recommend Wordpress. Just like Wix, Wordpress is suited with thousands of add-ons to enhance the look and feel of your website. Wordpress websites also have excellent loading times due to the simplicity of designing on its platform. It even allows you to create subdomains, so if you’re looking to create a social media network of your own, without the need for your own servers, this could be a great option for you. I, myself have even considered moving my website to WordPress, but after spending so much time building my site on Wix, I haven’t been in too much of a hurry to do so.
Learn more at wordpress.com
Focused primarily on the eCommerce aspect of a website, Shopify has grown into one of the most popular ways, if not the most popular way, to build an online store. One of the things that stands out most to me about Shopify, is its integration with Instagram. Businesses can create an online store within the Instagram app itself, making it really easy for people to shop with you without having to actually go to your website. With 24/7 customer support, Shopify is a great option to consider when looking for a web hosting solution. If you’re someone who plans to offer a wide range of products, you should definitely consider Shopify as your website host.
Learn more at shopify.com
5. Blogger and Domains by Google
In addition to the many other business solutions that Google provides, they’ve also added domain registration. Now, I can’t say that I’ve registered a domain with Google, but I wouldn’t doubt that doing so gives you an edge when it comes to placement in Google’s Search Engine Optimization. Google even offers a website building platform, which many know as “Blogger.” I’ve actually built a website on Blogger about 8 years or so ago and even though it wasn’t as all-inclusive as other options, it was definitely easy to do. It even has an incorporated social media community to it, where you can connect with other bloggers. Given the name, Blogger, it’s a great option for anyone planning to do a lot of blogging. Especially if you want your articles to get good placement on Google Search pages. You can even post to Blogger directly from Google Docs.
Learn more at domains.google.com
Now integrated with Square Payment Processing, Weebly has become another popular web hosting platform. Now, I haven’t personally used Weebly to create a website before, but from the looks of it, it offers tons of themes for building the overall look and feel of your website. So, if you’re someone who wants to simplify the process of building a website and you prefer Square as a payment processor, then Weebly may be the option for you. Similar to Wix, Weebly has a drop-and-drop feature that allows you to select add-ons and put them in a specific place on your website giving you more power to customize how your site looks. Boasting that over 50 million people already use Weebly, I definitely don’t doubt it as a viable option for web hosting.
Learn more at weebly.com
7. Square eCommerce
Now a competitor for Shopify, Square now offers an option for businesses to create a website strictly focused on making sales. They even offer this service for free. The only time you pay for utilizing it is when you actually make a sale, whereas they take out a percentage and a fee of your transactions. It even functions with Apple Pay & Google Pay. Just like Shopify, Square also integrates with Instagram. Its features even accommodate for businesses that offer delivery and pick up options. As this is a fairly new option for web hosting and considering the already high level of popularity that Square has as a payment processor, you can bet that this one will continue to grow.
Learn more at squareup.com
This one is rather new to me, but after taking the time to research it, I can see why it has become so popular, having been featured in numerous business magazines such as Forbes and The Wall Street Journal. For one, it’s free for up to 2 websites. The catch to this is that you can only have up to 2 pages per website. The other catch to this is that you will have to stick with a subdomain, making your site less "brandable." In addition to the free option, they have a paid subscription which includes domain registration and management, custom email accounts, an online store and more.
If you just want a couple of easy to design landing pages for free just to at least have an online presence outside of social media or you want to be able to manage most of your online tools and resources in one place, then Yola might be the option for you.
Learn more at Yola.com
Built with the blogger in mind, Tumblr not only allows you to create a blog site for free, but just like Blogger, it also incorporates a social media aspect to it, making it stand out as a way to blog. Like other social media platforms, people can share or “reblog” your Tumblr posts to their blog. Creating my first blog site with Tumblr in 2010, I eventually fell in love with the platform and at one point advocated it as the best social media community out there. My magazine, Entrepreneurs of Color Magazine even had its first online presence outside of social media on Tumblr. Have more than one blog idea in mind? Tumblr allows you to create multiple blogs that can easily be managed within its platform. Unlike other web hosting platforms, Tumblr allows you to connect a custom domain free of charge. If you’re someone who strictly wants to blog and generate revenue or brand awareness in that way, while interacting with a large community of people, then Tumblr is definitely a great option for you.
Learn more at Tumblr.com
Now, this one is new to me. After taking the time to research it, I can see that it’s probably one of the cheapest, if not the cheapest domain registration, email hosting & website hosting solutions out there. But, that doesn’t mean it’s not useful. One thing that stands out most to me is that you never lose ownership of your domains. It was actually suggested to me after expressing how a domain which I put a great deal of work into popularizing had been purchased by someone else after I went more than a year with no business activity. I’m actually thinking about switching over after my terms are up with GoDaddy. However, I can see that GoDaddy has much better customer service options. But, if you’re someone who feels like you’ll almost never need customer service or you’re willing to settle with email support and you’re on a budget, then this could be a great option for you.
Learn more at whois.com
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Written by Jordan Nichols a.k.a. Yerodin Ghedi Adwin Beluchi b.k.a. Preech