Hello, friend! You’re reading this if you are curious about domain hosting, what it means and pros and cons of different platforms. This is something very important to a website’s performance – finding the best domain hosts can be overwhelming and confusing all-in-one. We’re here to break it down for you! ⤵️
What is a Domain Host?
In simple terms, a domain host is a company that handles all the technical backend data of your website such as servers and files, which then powers to get your website live onto someone’s browser. Likely, your domain host is a company whom you have purchased your actual domain from, i.e. chloecreativestudio.com.
A common way to describe domain hosting is to think of a house address. Your domain (i.e. chloecreativestudio.com) would be the address of your home, whereas the domain host is the actual house your domain points to.
Some common domain hosts are:
- Google Domains
- GoDaddy (would not recommend them)
Now, I know what you are thinking: “But, how do I know which one to choose?!”, and that’s where we’re going next.
Before we get into the breakdown of what each of these platforms have going for them, let’s discuss the different plan options you have for most hosting companies. It’s not as easy as going to their website and saying – “Yep, I want the domain! Paid and done.”, you must know what plan to choose first.
What are the different types of domain hosting plans?
Almost every domain hosting company will have varying plans that contain different specs:
Capacity of website visitors per month.
When you reach a certain amount of visitors (let’s just say 25,000 visitors on your website per month), you will need to upgrade your hosting plan. In the backend, this is because the company will likely change your domain to a different server with higher capacity. If you do not increase your hosting plan, your website will slow down which has a direct impact onto your SEO.
Shared website hosting.
Think of this as a neighborhood (in correlation to the house example I gave above). If your friends also have high-performing websites and you all want to save money, sometimes people consider a shared website hosting plan. This means that all of your websites will be on the same server – people like this option because it saves money than hosting your domain yourself. However, it’s unlikely that you’ll have friends whose websites are performing in the same range as you.
WordPress website hosting.
If you have a WordPress website, this one is for you. Since WordPress is the leading website platform for blogging, many business owners are told to start on this platform ASAP. (However, if you’ve followed us for a long time, we agree, but there’s a time and place!).
If you’ve been in the website game for quite some time, you may know there are two different types of WordPress website hosting:
- Managed WordPress Hosting:
- This is when the domain host specializes in WordPress. They offer to take care of all the clunky backend work of a WordPress website to ensure your website’s performance is top-tier. We recommend this to all of our clients because it ensures your website is very fast, and maintained on a good server.
- [Normal] WordPress Hosting:
- This option simply allows you to have access to WordPress. You’d be responsible for the optimization of your website (which is really not a bad thing!). You have full access to what plugins can function on your website AND it’s cheaper than a Managed WordPress Hosting plan.
When we tend to ask clients where they purchased their domain from to gain access to WordPress, they aren’t sure. If you have WordPress, you likely have one of these plans above. WordPress is not a “plugin” that you add-on to get access to.
The Best Domain Hosts Have…
Now that we are familiar with a couple different types of domain hosting plans, how do you know which is the best for you? Well, if you are like me, you’ll get analysis paralysis with all the options available to you. However, hopefully this breakdown is helpful for you. It’s all going to boil down to what you prioritize is most important for your current situation in your website journey – and yes, you can always switch hosts whenever you want or if your situation as changed!
Our recommendation for a domain host that is easy to setup is Google Domains. It truthfully cannot get easier than this. First, you’d type in the domain you are looking to purchase to see if it’s available. From there, you purchase your domain and your website is good to go!
We’d recommend using Google Domains as your domain host if you are on a Showit website – Showit actually will host all of your website files with THEIR servers (they use WP Engine or BigScoots) so you’d only be using Google Domains for the domain registration. See more on this explanation here if you are considering Showit.
Amazing Customer Service.
Things will happen to your domain that are unexpected. What if you got a new credit card and payment fails on your hosting plan? What if your website randomly showcases an error and is unavailable? In these times of stress, you want to know you are going to be responded to and taken care of fast.
For that reason, we recommend BigScoots. Although not as popular as some other website hosts out there, BigScoots customer service is unbelievable. They respond so fast and are so detailed. They also have amazing documentation to help guide you step by step to do things if you are comfortable with doing so.
This is a big reason why we unfortunately no longer recommend GoDaddy to our clients. Over the course of the last year, we’ve had some client websites taken down unexpectedly (and without notice) with long wait times. About 6 months ago, we had a 9.5 hour wait time on both their support chat and phone number. This was not helpful during our emergency situation!
Fast Load Times.
Website load time can sometimes be a mystery, but domain hosts can have a large affect on how fact your website does or does not load. When your website loads slow, your SEO will be impacted largely. We have had great results with Siteground and BigScoots in this arena. This all boils down to if the company invests the right amount of money into having a fast-supporting server and enough memory to hold all their customers websites at capacity.
It’s not uncommon for our clients to have big goals for their websites: 25k visitors, monetizing their blogs, introducing paid ads, etc. Sometimes, you’ll need to switch domain hosts when you are ready for the next step in your website.
For example, Sitegrounds largest hosting plan accounts for 400,000 visits per month whereas BigScoots has millions per month visits available. If you are looking for scalability, we’d recommend BigScoots.
The Best Domain Hosts Winner Is…
BigScoots! Right now, we are really loving BigScoots for their scalability, customer service and option for optimizing a Managed WordPress plan. However, as mentioned in this blog, there are so many factors you can consider before deciding what domain host is the best for you, your business and website at the time you are in.
Design Services for Dietitians
Hi! I’m Chloe Thomas, founder of Chloe Creative. You can read more about us here, but we absolutely love working with dietitians and private practice clinicians in branding, website design & development, and scalability opportunities such as membership creation, SEO management, hosting and maintenance plans. We have many services to correlate to whatever place you’re in your private practice!
We specialize in WordPress, Squarespace, Showit and Shopify platforms. When you work with us, we aren’t going to tell you a certain platform for your website to be on – we take the time to deeply understand your situation and meet you where you’re at. After our suggestions, you then have the final say so into where your website is built!
Consider applying to work with us on your next design project!