The world of domain name-purchasing and online hosting is a confusing one. I encountered many problems while trying to set up HannahDPruitt.com, ranging from bad host support, misleading costs, and just trying to get my site online. It was a very stressful and more costly experience than I would have liked it to be. Overall, however, the anxiety was worth it. The process of setting up your own website is a valuable experience, and I know next time it will be much easier.
I first tried to purchase my domain name with one company and then my hosting with another company. This seemed to be the cheapest course of action to me — Namecheap.com offered the url HannahPruitt.com for only $10, and it seemed too good to be true. Apparently it was. After purchasing HannahPruitt.com through Namecheap, I went to A Small Orange for my hosting. It had gotten positive reviews online and in class, so it seemed like a safe bet. Unfortunately, I didn’t realize that many sites like Namecheap require a waiting period of 60+ days after purchasing the domain name before they allow off-site hosting. The site claims this is to cut down on domain-grabbers and scammers. It fell on deaf ears as I frantically refreshed my screen and shook it, trying to get the EPP code from Namecheap without success for twenty minutes.
It became clear that given span of time before the grading period ended, I was going to have to try again. Researching a new potential domain host (where you can purchase a domain name and hosting) was difficult due to the fact that many sites intentionally leave out information about their pricing. $8.00 per month for hosting sounds eminently reasonable until you realize that the host will only provide it for you if you buy all twelve months’ worth of hosting (close to $100) upfront. Other sites that had much cheaper rates but were marred by unprofessionalism. For example, 000WebHost offers completely free hosting service, but is riddled with ads, and the domain names begin with “000WebHost.[yourtexthere].com.” That wouldn’t do for a professional website.
Finally, I settled on DreamHost. The website has some layout and functionality problems in that it can be very confusing to navigate, but with the help of the website FAQ, I was able to figure it out. DreamHost had a LifeHacker 80% discount currently going on as well, which was a significant factor in my decision, considering the $100 another site had tried to charge me. Hosting and a domain name (HannahDPruitt.com) cost me $12 total. It was also very easy to create new email addresses with DreamHost — just a few clicks and a few lines of information and email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org came into being.
Trying to upload my pages to the host was also initially difficult, but I was eventually able to accomplish it using the FTP process the website provided. Overall I am very happy with DreamHost and even though their website is somewhat difficult to navigate, it is a strong hosting service that alleviated many of my problems. Though this process with incredibly stressful, frustrating, and confusing, I feel much more empowered about making and hosting websites now.