Recommended Domain Registrar & Hosting Companies

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Quick Jump Menu

My Analysis

Before I begin, let me just warn you that features and prices listed on this page can change at any time.  They were correct at the time of writing, but to get the latest details, you should visit the websites.

Why Use Separate Host & Registrar?

It is possible to use your web host as domain registrar, but I recommend you keep these separate for a number of reasons:

  • If you have a problem with your webhost and they close down your site (temporarily or permanently), it is difficult to get the site moved to a new host and will certainly take several days or even weeks.  If you have the domain registered with a different company (registrar), you simply get new hosting somewhere else and change the Name Servers at your registrar.  Your site can be back up in 24 hours or less.
  • If your host goes out of business, you could have trouble getting your site back.  With a separate registrar, you’d just get new hosting, upload your site backup and change the name servers in your registrar control panel.  You’ll be back in business in 24 hours or less.  Of course, this point is also true if your domain registrar goes out of business, which is why you need to choose one of the high profile domain registrars who have been in business for several years.  That brings me onto my nomination for best Domain Registrar.

The Choices..

Over the years, I have used a lot of web hosts and none have been perfect.  As website owners, the holy grail is to find an affordable host that will have little or no downtime, and fast server responses.

While I could look at expensive hosting solutions, VPN servers, or reseller accounts,  I decided instead to limit this article to the type of hosting most people want when starting out.  I have chosen a hugely popular shared host and will be comparing it to a host that I have used for several years, yet fewer people will have heard of.

The two hosts are Bluehost and Stablehost.  I expect you have heard of Bluehost, but maybe not Stablehost.  

I originally published this article in 2013, and back then I had been using Hostgator.  That's another one you may have heard of.  You can read my original comparison article here if you are interested.  What you will see on that page is the reason I stopped using Hostgator – very poor server performance.  Hostgator and Bluehost are actually owned (at the time of writing) by the same company, so I would expect both to perform in a similar manner.  Bluehost has certainly improved since I last tested several years ago, but how does it compare to my current host, Stablehost?


How I compared the two hosts

I wanted to make the comparison as accurate and as fair as possible.  I published the same website on both hosts for around a week, and monitored uptime and server response times.  The website was text based, without any images.  I used the same level of hosting on each web host.  The basic, shared hosting plan that most people start off with.  To monitor uptime and server response time, I used Pingdom.

I think a picture tells a thousand words, so let me show you the graphs and data returned by my tests.

The site hosted on Stablehost

As you can see there was a little bit of turbulence at the beginning of the test, but server was up 100% of the time, and server response time was 427ms (less than 0.5 seconds).  Server repsonse time is a good number to know, because it is the time it takes for the server to respond to a web page request, before the page starts to download.

When I was looking at the data towards the end of my experiment, I decided to repeat the experiment on a different server on Stablehost (basic shared hosting).  I couldn't repeat with the same website as I was still running tests, so this is a different website (though this one has images, unlike the original test site).

Again, this site had a great response time and 100% uptime during the test.

Moving the Test Site to Bluehost

Moving the test site was as easy as backing up the original WordPress site using WP-Twin, deploying the test site on the Bluehost account, and switching the DNS at my registrar (Namecheap) to point the domain to the Bluehost servers.  The site had zero downtime using this method of moving a site, and it gives us a great opportunity to see any change in server response times or uptime.  Here is the graph showing the switch:

As you can see, the switch to Bluehost is accompanied by an increase in server response time.  Remember that is the time it takes for a web host to respond to a request to download a web page.  This value does not include downloading the web page itself.

Over the next week or so, I monitored the site on Bluehost.  Here is that graph:

As you can see from the graph, the average server response time has jumped to around 1.5 seconds.  That means the server is taking an extra second (compared to Stablehost), BEFORE the website starts to download.  

Bluehost also had 10 minutes of downtime during the week.  That isn't a huge deal, but in comparison, Stablehost was up for 100% of the time during the test.  Stablehost's 100% uptime is something I have gotten used to over the years.

At the end of the Bluehost trial, I switched the site back to Stablehost.  This was done in the same way as the switch to Stablehost, so there was no downtime for the site. 

Here is the switch-over graph.

The graph showed the server response time drop back down to around 0.5 seconds on Stablehost, compared to the 1.5 seconds on Bluehost.

Page Speed Insights

During the tests, I ran the site through Google's Page Speed Insights to see how the page performed on both hosts.  I won't go into details here as I will leave it up to you to interpret these results.

Here is the page speed insights on Bluehost:

Here is the page speed insights on Stablehost:

Although this experiment could be improved in a number of ways, I think the results are pretty clear. 

That leads me on to my recommendations for both host and registrar.  As I recommend you use a separate registrar and host, I will also show you how to set them both up so that they work together.

My Recommended Domain Registrar Is...

Namecheap.  The main reason I recommend NameCheap as a domain registrar is that I have used them for several years and never had a problem.  I’ve moved domains in, moved them out, bought and cancelled domains.  Everything worked as it should.  In an online world where web hosts and registrars come and go, I wouldn’t trust my valuable domain names with anyone else.

Features of NameCheap:

  1. Namecheap is an ICANN-accredited domain registrar and technology company founded in 2000.
  2. It is one of the fastest-growing American companies according to the 2018 Inc. 5000.
  3. Free Whois guard protection for life.
  4. Namecheap manage over 10 million domains for its customers.
  5. Registrar lock prevents someone from stealing your domain.
  6. Intuitive control panel for managing multiple domains making it very easy to use.

You can find a full list of features on the Namecheap website.

My Recommended Web Host Is..

Stablehost remain my recommended web host.  They are not perfect by any means, but the quality of the hosting speaks for itself.  

OK, what do I mean they are not perfect? 

Well, I have been using Stablehost for a long time.  I remember when customer support was easy, quick and personal.  As with any company that grows large, customer support can suffer a little.  This is my only real gripe with Stablehost.  They used to use a support ticket system which I liked.  It felt more personal, and support was excellent when needed.  Today, that has gone.  Its been replaced by a chat box on the website.  It means you can speak to a real person in real time, but the quality of the replies is not always great.  Fortunately I rarely need support, but this is one aspect that Stablehost needs to work on.  I preferred the previous system.

So what do you get with a basic shared hosting account?

Stablehost features on Starter Hosting package

  • Starts at $3.50 per month.
  • cPanel.
  • Unlimited disk space.
  • SSD drives for super fast web page load times.
  • Litespeed servers.
  • Unlimited bandwidth.
  • 1 Website (upgrade hosting when you need to add another site).
  • 24/7/365 support through the chat system (and email).
  • Unlimited MySQL databases.
  • Web stats.
  • Softaculous 1-click installer for WordPress and other scripts.
  • R1 daily backups.
  • Unlimited email accounts.
  • Unlimited autoresponders and mailing lists.
  • Virus & spam filtering.
  • IMAP, POP3 & online webmail access.

Stablehost offer different hosting packages.  For those of you starting out, I'd recommend the Starter Shared Hosting.  As you add more sites, you can upgrade to the Pro version (unlimited websites) at $7.50 per month, or the Platinum version for $28.50 per month.

Find out more about Stablehost here.

UP to 60% Discount Coupon - Stablehost

How would you like to get up to 60% off the cost of your web hosting on Stablehost?  As a long time customer (and affiliate) of Stablehost, I have a discount coupon that will get you up to 60% off your first bill.  The usual discount is 40% but occasionally Stablehost offer a 50% coupon on their site.  During those promotions, my coupon will get you 60% off, so is always a better discount than the one offered by Stablehost.

The longer you initially sign up for, the more you will save.  Not only will you pay less per month for a longer contract, but you'll save on a larger amount, therefore saving more money.

For example:

Using 40% discount as an example.

Sign up for 1 year, you'll pay  $4.45 per month, or $53.40.   With the coupon, that reduces the cost to $32.04, saving you $21.36.

Sign up for 2 years, you'll pay  $3.95 per month, or $94.80.   With the coupon, that reduces the cost to $56.88, saving you $37.62.

Sign up for 3 years, you'll pay  $3.50 per month, or $126.00.   With the coupon, that reduces the cost to $75.60, saving you $50.40.


To use the coupon and save on your  web hosting, click this link to Stablehost, and enter the following coupon at the checkout:


At the Checkout

And Save..

Linking NameCheap (Registrar) With Your Web Hosting Company

This is very easy.  Here are the steps to follow:

  1. Buy your domain name at NameCheap.
  2. Order your web hosting at Stablehost.   When you order, select option three, “I want to use an already existing domain“, and enter the domain you bought on Namecheap in the space provided.  Click Next:

3. On the right, select the number of months you want to sign up for.  Remember that if you are using my discount coupon for up to 60% off, the discount is applied to the total of this bill, so the more months you sign up for, the more you save.

Follow the instructions and complete your hosting purchase.

Once your hosting has been set up on Stablehost, proceed to the next step.

4. Now login to your control panel at Name Cheap.  Click on Domain List in the left menu:

5. You’ll see a list of your domains.  Click on the Manage button to the right of the one you want to host at Stablehost.

6. One the Domain Details screen, make sure you are on the Domain tab.  Under Nameservers, select Custom DNS and then enter the two DNS given to you by Stablehost.  They may be the same as mine in this screenshot:

Once you’ve added these, you will need to click the check mark to save your settings:

OK, that will now take up to 24 hours (usually a lot less) to propagate, which means you have a few hours before you can work on your site.

Periodically, check your domain in a browser  and you’ll see a message from your hosting company when it’s ready.

You can then go in and install WordPress.

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115 thoughts on “Recommended Domain Registrar & Hosting Companies”

  1. Sean Breslin

    Bluehost and Hostgator are both excellent companies, but I find the cpanel system with hostgator annoying. GVO’s system is much better in my experience. Plus a major bonus is email autoresponders and video hosting and creation are thrown in for the same price… give or take a little.

  2. Andy

    I wholeheartedly agree with you about the need to separate hosing form registrar/nameserver. I got caught out some years ago when I did to save a little cost ( costs of domains/hosting etc were a LOT higher then than they are now)

    However I would suggest taht if any readers were looking to host a number of domains on Hostgator to go for the reseller plan rather than the baby any of their other options. My reason for that suggestion is that the servers they use for the reseller are higher spec which means faster loading and are are considered to be more advanced and reliable.

    Speed of loading is now important to google so that is one benefit but the higher spec is also coupled with ability to spread your websites across different Ips. You may not get a choice of dedicated Ips unless you pay extra for it of course but if you find you are seeing the same ip of a couple of you sites when you first set them up with WHM you should just delete them and come back the following day. Almost certainly by then you are going to be offered a different one. If not wait another day and you will definitely get a different class C IP..

    As regards NameCheap if you are running 50 domains with them (even if you have taken years to establish that number) ask support for their gold deal pricing structure and every domain renewal from then on will be cheaper.

    Thanks for your newsletters I have been reading them for at 4 or 5 years now and there is always some new thing in them .


    1. Thanks for the tips Ron. I’ll look into the Namecheap thing, but I still dont quite have 50 domains there. In fact I am retiring domains where the content is poor, so may never have 50 again. I had over 120 at one time.

      I actually use the business plan for Hostgator (and have another plan – the middle one – for some other sites). I am very happy with the shared hosting TBO. I get more bandwidth that the reseller would allow I think.

  3. So Andy, you no longer use 1&1? I remember you recommending them some years ago. Just wondering. — Thanks, Derric.

    1. Yes I do, but all new sites are going on Hostgator. I have had a few run ins with 1&1 which made me move most of my sites. This site is still at 1&1.

      1. I didn’t want to say anything but back when you were recommending 1&1 I decided to give them a try. They worked great for about a year and then I had a run in with them. I was not very happy with it and closed my account. I have a few domains with NameCheap and I am currently using HostMonster for all of my hosting, although I must admit that I have been considering BlueHost just because I’ve heard good things about them from a few other marketers I know as well.

  4. I would like to suggest Arvixe hosting because for any among us that doesn’t want further Google intrusions, they offer the free, feature rich, analytics program Piwik, ready to install. You just have to use the Softaculous software that’s also used to install the various platforms.

    Also, I had a real bad experience when I first bought a domain and hosting package together. It took about a week to get the domain registrar to release the domain to me so I could cancel the hosting package and change the DNS to the new host as it was registered under the hosting company’s name.

    1. I use to use Arvixe a few years back for some test sites. However, they had too much down time for me. I think they grew too quickly. If they have that sorted out, they are a great host.

  5. First time I am here. Just signed up for your newsletter and buying your book. The only domain name company I knew until now was godaddy. What would you say about them as a place to buy a domain name?

    1. I’ve never used them but I have heard a fair amount of negative comments. Having said that, I know people that are happy with GoDaddy.

  6. Saunders Aldridge

    I have started your book but your website (ezSEO) continues to kick me out
    (see amazon review). Any thoughts?
    Am I reading info incorrectly or is that site still hosted by 1&1?
    Saunders Aldridge

    1. Yes I am using 1&1 and it is the best host I have ever used. I doubt it is the host kicking you out, more likely your computer/browser.

  7. Barry Burton

    Hi Andy
    Just bought your WordPress book and I’m catching up with your advice on registration and hosting.
    I’m in the UK. Does that make the slightest difference to your advice?

    1. Barry
      If you are targeting the UK market, I’d use a TLD for your domain. I’d probably also host in Europe instead of the US. I use 1& for my UK hosting, but they are based in Germany. I don’t have any recommendations for UK based hosting.

      1. Hi Andy,
        So – the web hosting can be 1&, but the registrar can still be Namecheap?

  8. Brian Astbury

    Interesting – I just followed the links to Hostgator and Bluehost. The first took me there quickly, the second wouldn’t open at all – tried both Then I googled it and clicked on the link there. Still got ‘Connection failed’. What’s happening? I got to them both when I followed the links from the Kindle version of WordPress for Beginners.

      1. Brian Astbury

        Yup, it’s working for me now, too. I think their site must have had a brief outage, or the Internet had hiccups…

        1. Brian Astbury

          Dear Andy,
          Getting a severe headache going through the various web hosting offers. Like Barry above I am in the UK and will have a site with a .net suffix. Wherever I go (and I’ve spent the last three hours looking at various ‘best webhosting’ sites) the same names keep coming up. The most frequent is JustHost, followed by Bluehost, Hostgator, FatCow and Web Hosting Hub. On a British review site Justhost comes top, FatCow, 3, Bluehost, 4, WebHosting Hub, 7, Hostgator, 8. I have checked and they all seem to use cPanel and Fantastico.
          Have you heard anything about JustHost? And Web Hosting Hub seems to be getting really good reviews. At the moment it looks like the best thing would be to toss a coin….
          Thanks for your help. I’m off to go through WP for Beginners for the second time to get my head around the process before committing. Have just put up a rave on Amazon – it’s an exemplary piece of writing/tutoring. Congratulations.

          1. Hi Brian
            Thanks for the “rave review”, I appreciate it. As for JustHost, no, I haven’t heard of them. I wouldn’t actually put too much faith in reviews since the reviewers are more than likely getting affiliate commissions from their recommendations. Nothing wrong in that if they have actually tried all of the hosts and ranked them legitimately. My concern is that review you point to has a pretty spammy domain name. I would check elsewhere first. I really do like Hostgator and haven’t had any problems with them for my normal WordPress sites.

  9. Hi,
    I am in the UK working through your book. I notice that a few UK readers also had a hard time finding a host. I have used Vidahost, they use cPanel, have a 60-day money back guarantee and are reasonably priced. I haven’t looked at reviews due to possible affiliations – I am with the opinion I won’t know until I try them. I have only purchased a small package in order to host a small site for a builder so worth a go!! I hope this helps!

      1. Hi Andy,
        I am also in the UK – and looking forward to start my blog and I am kind of lost to be honest. Being in the UK, what do you think is the best web host and domain registrar?

        Domain registrar: Cheap Domain
        Webhost: 1&


        1. I use 1& in the UL and am generally very happy with them.
          I don’t use Namecheap with 1&1, simply because I bought my domains on 1&1 a long time ago and used 1&1 as the registrar. I would recommend you use a separate Registrar and Namecheap is the one I use on all of my other hosting.

  10. Brian Astbury

    Was just about to go with Hostgator (so I would know who to blame, Andy….) when I stumbled upon Tsohost (Justhost went the way of all flesh when I found complaints all over the place). It has more five star ratings than any other host that I have seen. After trying very hard to find complaints (googled ‘Tshost complaints’; ‘scam’; ‘reviews’, etc., etc.) the worst I could find was

    “Despite all of the above, I have at times been frustrated with them. Their core service is fantastic. For months though, I had major issues with SSH. This was at a point where almost every night I was having problems. Most of the time I didn’t bother putting a ticket in though because I ended up feeling that some of the staff don’t care much, or that I was bugging them – they’re a bit “cold” at times in my personal opinion. This could be a good thing though. I’ll tell you something… they tend to reply almost instantaneously to support tickets most of the time. So perhaps the missing “P.S. I love you” or similar on the end of responses is to save time and run a better service. Seriously though, I could feel just a tad more love at times, we’re all human here… not robots!”

    He goes on to rave, as do ALL the others I have found. I spent some time looking through their forums. Again, little but contented purrs and good response from staff.

    This sounds almost too good to be true (and, to quote the old saw, if it does then it usually is too good to be true…) But, if so, it is one of the best undetected scams on record.

    It operates a ‘cloud’ service, which I am still trying to get my head around. Most people on the forums and elsewhere seem to think this is not a problem. Any comment? Or problem? It also seems to have very happy WordPress users. To top it all it’s based in the UK and is the same price for a Pro account – with 10Gb Hosted Space; 150Gb bandwidth(none of this ‘unlimited’ stuff – though I have no idea what those figures mean. I’m sure the 10Gb will be enough for what I have in mind, but is the 150Gb limiting?) and 6 hosted websites (quite sufficient for me) – as most others: £4.99. And you don’t have to sign up for more than a months at a time.

    Sorry to lumber you with so much, but I have a record of rushing into things and regretting at leisure…

    And, thanks, Emma. Apparently Vidahost and Tsohost are owned by the same company. Same price, roughly, for equivalent package. Also gets raves.

    Decisions, decisions….

    1. Sorry Brian but I cannot help other than to say that I use two web hosts – hostgator and 1& My important sites like this one are on 1&1, while a lot of my affiliate sites are on Hostgator. I like both hosts, but if I had to choose one over the other, 1&1 would be my favourite.

  11. Hi, i just got your eBook and followed your advice and got HostGator, but it doesn’t have a Fantastico DeLuxe for me to install WordPress. What must i do? Can you update your eBook?

      1. Fabio Dovalle

        Well, it for sure doesn`t have it the way you show on the eBook, and if i have to contact the support it beats the purpose of using your book! Please take it as a constructive criticism.
        Siince your eBook has a link to this page, it would help a lot if you could update the info on this page.

        1. Fabio
          I’d love to see what you are seeing in your Control Panel. The Fantastico Delux icon is exactly the same in my Control Panel as it is in the book. It’s also in the exact same section of cPanel. If you want, send me a screenshot via email.

  12. Hi, I’m having the same issue here. Just did everything said by the ebook, but I don’t have the Fantastico delux icon on my cpanel.
    Any idea how I should go about this please? Is this normal?
    Thanks for your book by the way, I found the teaching style fantastic this far!

    1. The Fantastico is still there in my cPanel, so contact Hostgator support to see why you don’t have it. They have a 24/7 chat feature on their homepage.

  13. Hi Andy, thanks for your quick answer.
    I followed your advice and was able to chat online with someone. He said (and I quote) “We actually don’t have Fantastico De Luxe on our newer servers… please use Quickinstall instead”
    Now, that kind of freaked me out a little because the ebook doesn’t say anything about how to work through Quickinstall but the person I had on chat said that it’s quite easy and straight forward.
    So I’ll try it out now,
    wish me luck 🙂

  14. Hi Mr Andy Williams
    I’ve purchased a copy of your book WordPress for Beginners and it is great! I have purchased my domain name with Namecheap and now trying to order my web hosting from Stablehost but they’re asking me for the EPP code in order to allow me to transfer my domain to them. I am quite unfamiliar with this and new to internet stuff. How do I get the EPP code? Where do I go from here?
    Would appreciate your reply.
    Thank you

  15. Hi Andy:
    I managed to get into the transfer of domain name out of Namecheap to Stablehost. But as i was trying to request for the EPP code, Namecheap said to wait 60 days before trying to get this code again because my domain name is only registered today.
    Does that mean i cannot build my website without the web hosting company?
    Please advise.

    1. No. You do not want Stablehost to be your registrar, you want to use Namecheap for that. When you order your hosting with Stablehost, you tell them you already have your domain, and you do not want to transfer it to them. Simply edit your domain’s “Domain Name Servers” (in Namecheap), so that they point to stablehost hosting. I believe the values you need are and but ask them to make sure.

      There are more detailed instructions here:

      Those were written for Hostgator as the host, but it is the same procedure for stablehost.

  16. Dr. Gerhard Kroiss

    Hi Andy–
    greetings to your island in Spain. You moved east, I moved west from Europe to the USA.
    I bought all your books. Yesterday, I got your first one on WordPress.
    My question is a more personal one: I have “treated” math anxiety for some decades–and in the process written about 50,000 pages by hand for several hundred students, whom I have seen individually. Success was universal. Now I wrote a mathematical essay of 95 pages with the same intention–also by hand. I “published” it on But it drowns in the plethora of offerings.
    You can see that I have more the orientation of a monk (text and pictures by hand) than of a modern person–my mathematical collection contains a set of math books from 1763. I would be happy if you would have any suggestions from a person with a very modern orientation like you how to get my book out.

    Enjoy the beach.


    1. Gerhard
      I have written a lot about Kindle publishing and the new series on Createspace. This is the easiest way to get a book out. Look at the menu at the top of this page for details on Kindle publishing and Createspace.

  17. Why must I wait 60 days to transfer my new Domain from NameCheap to a WebHost you recommended?

    1. Mike
      Are you hosting at Namecheap, or just using them as a registrar (ie, you just bought the domain through them)? I you are just using the as a registrar, you do not have to wait 60 days to use Stablehost. When you sign up at Stablehost, select the option that says: ” I will update my nameservers on an existing domain Or I will register a new domain.”
      Once you have your Stablehost account up and running, go into Namecheap and change the DNS as I’ve shown on this page.

      1. micael caron


        Thanks for the reply. I registered the domain name with Name cheap. Then went to Stablehost to be the host site. The initial steps onStablehost request an EPP number. When I requested that from Name cheap they stated id have to wait 60 days from registration.

        Do you have any suggestions on how to get the EPP #?

        I only paid for the domain not web hosting with Name cheap.

        Any he and guidance is greatly appreciated. Trying to follow your book to the letter.


        1. You do not want an EPP number. You only need that if you want to move your site to Stablehost, which you DO NOT. Follow my instructions in the last comment. If you have already signed up with Stablehost, tell them that you made a mistake and you want Namecheap to be your registrar, and only use Stablehost for hosting. Ask them for instructions, their help is excellent.

  18. Roberto M.

    hi Andy,
    I’m loving your WordPress book but I have doubts on Stablehost, I have read very bad reviews on them and to be honest, your recommendation seems too much on the “awesome” side, basically a sponsored review.
    Also, Stablehost appears to be a very small company, not even remotely comparable to the big names.
    I’m rather let down by this.

    1. I’ll start by saying that you will find negative reviews about anything online. Secondly, I should also say that I understand your hesitation at believing anything that looks to good to be true. There are a lot of scam artists out there, but I am not one of them. Thirdly, the fact that they are a small company should not put you off. Small companies (my company is small with just two people including myself) often go above and beyond the larger companies to give their customers a great experience. They have to to compete with big companies. Just look at the decline of Hostgator & Bluehost (who have been bought out) to see this in action.
      I don’t hide the fact that I make an affiliate commission from most things I promote on this site. I don’t hide that fact – see the link at the top of every page to the affiliate disclosure. I guess you are let down by this because you haven’t read my stuff over the years. Those that have, KNOW, that I never promote anything I don’t use. I have companies asking me on a weekly basis to write reviews for their stuff, yet look back over the last few months and count how many services or tools I have promoted.
      I was with Hostgator foe several years before moving to Stablehost. While I was happy with Hostgator I promoted them as an affiliate. The affiliate commissions on Hostgator were up to $125 per signup I referred and I did very well with them. Stablehost by comparison pay me $25 per signup. Hardly worth switching for money, is it?
      I am assuming you have read the article where I compare Hostgator to Stablehost? That has proof to back up what I say about Stablehost.
      I stick 100% to my review. Stablehost are not perfect. No host is. However, I have moved all of the sites from one of my Hostgator account over to an account on Stablehost, and I will be moving all of my sites on my Business account at Hostgator to another. Finally I will be moving this site (currently on 1&1 to Stablehost towards the end of the year).

      1. Roberto M.

        I appreciate your honest admission about the commissions, it’s not a problem as long as you’re promoting a good product.
        The fact is that you yourself admitted “Stablehost are not perfect. No host is” but your review doesn’t make it look like they’re anything less than perfect.
        Also, I think pretty much every host is now comparing really well against Hostgator…
        I apologize if my tone was a bit over the top, I’m really enjoying your book and that’s probably what caused it: the huge difference in the attitude between the book (honest advice) versus the website (marketing campaign).

        1. Sorry Roberto, but I have to disagree with you when you call my website a marketing campaign. It’s not. It’s here to help my visitors with HONEST opinions of tools that I personally use. What part of my Stablehost review did you think made Stablehost look unrealistically perfect?

          1. Roberto M.

            1) when I read the comparison of the two hosts, I had to throw my hands up when you mentioned you didn’t dare to install Cloudflare because Hostgator’s instructions were “scary”: you have many years of experience in this field, have written books on SEO and other complex matters, yet you couldn’t install a product that turned out to only require a couple of clicks to install and which you describe very well how useful it is.
            Also, Cloudfare itself is what ended up resolving your problems, not switching to StableH, based on your graphs (!) so why didn’t you try at that point to install it on your sites still on Hostg. to make a fair comparison and evaluate whether to migrate all your domains? doh!

            2) in the ‘Update’ part of the comparison, you recommend StableH’s shared hosting based on four (!) days of monitoring, during which your friend’s site had “always” been up. If that is enough to recommend a host… Doh!

            3) in this very page of the site, I didn’t like the recurring use of links to Stableh, basically every small paragraph has a link to them, but it’s okayish now you have at least admitted you receive affiliation commissions from them.

            4) most of the section I’m referring to, is basically a copy-paste of features taken from their website, to which you already point several times: you either compare those features with other hosts, or you don’t fill your page with loads of them. Basically, the whole StableH section is a concentrated replica of their advertising plus several links to them just to make it even more marketing-oriented.
            If this is not a ‘marketing campaign’, I wonder what it may be!

            For the record, the part of your website I commented on is the one that talks about StableH only, I was not blaming your attitude with respect to other parts of the website (which I haven’t read yet, by the way).

          2. 1. Cloudfare with Stablehost is well integrated and tested. On Hostgator, their warning says: ” The installer is still in beta. There is a risk that it will cause a redirect loop or negatively impact your site. We recommend preforming the installation during low traffic periods.” It’s not something I am going to try, just for a comparison. In addition, Hostgator state that “Currently, requests must be directed to http://www.yourdomain.tld instead of domain.tld”. Those two are both seen as different in Google, and all my sites use the version without http://www., so again, it’s not something I would try.
            2. 4 days on Stablehost (with no Cloudfare) was all I had time to do for the update (as I added that update in response to reader questions about shared hosting). I just checked and in the last 30 days, his site was down 4 times for a total of around 7 minutes. My Hostgator sites (comparably without Cloudfare were down for around 60 minutes PER DAY!).
            3. Adding links throughout is there partly to help visitors as you have no idea when they will want to leave your review and click through. They are also there for marketing reasons.
            4. I am describing MY experience with Stablehost, and that is based on the specs of my hosting account. Nowhere have I copied and pasted their “advertising” in my comparison review (which you should read as it is linked to from this page for those who want to know more about the host). Obviously in the “Recommended hosting” article, I need to show their specs and although it’s not copied and pasted, there are only so many ways to show that information in a clear manner.

    1. Roberto, thank you for posting your concerns. I don’t often get challenged about the stuff I post, so it is great to get someone like yourself – it will ultimately allow me to create better content for this site (and my other sites).

  19. Hi Andy. When I try to link my domain name from name cheap with my stable host account on the add-on domain section it tells me once I’ve filled my details in that “You cannot park your main domain!” What am I doing wrong? Many thanks, Sam.

    1. Is this the first domain in your account, or a second one? If it’s the first, you do not want it to be an addon domain, it is your primary domain and you would have had the opportunity to select it when ordering hosting. Best thing to do is contact Stablehost support. They have been great sorting out any issues I have had.

  20. Hi Andy
    Just bought your WordPress for beginners book. I am a complete beginner. Just read some of the comments people have posted and realised that if you are based in the UK, as I am, then the recommended hosting and domain sites are different. If you are based in the UK do you recommend using 1& as the hosting site and NameCheap as the domain?


    1. If your target audience is the UK, then a UK hosting company is better. The servers used by 1&1 are actually in Germany, but I haven’t had any problems getting UK based sites ranking well. I do use 1& for all of my UK specific sites, but I don’t use Namecheap for those, simply because I created those sites a long time ago. I left the sites registered with 1&1 as the domain registrar. That is not ideal, and if I were to set these sites up again, I would use Namecheap as the registrar and 1&1 for hosting.

  21. Hi Andy
    Just wanted to say 3 things. First, as a complete beginner I devoured WordPress for Beginners & am about to put what I have learned into effect. Many thanks for a great service.
    Second, several other comments noted problems regarding Stablehost requiring an EPP code on signup. I was having the same issue & clearing the cache or the StableHost cart may be a solution after repeated tries.
    Finally, re installing WP, is it possible that both Fantastico and QuickInstall have been replaced by Softaculous? If so, there seem to be a couple more settings required for directory & database settings. Can you give any guidance on this? Or am I looking in the wrong place?
    Thanks for your help.

    1. You should only need an EPP code if you are transferring a domain to Stablehost (or any host). You don’t need one if you use a third party registrar. I’d recommend you contact Stablehost support if you are having problems.
      Yes, it is possible that Softaculous has replaced the other two. It shouldnit be too difficult to work out though. When I need to setup a new domain, I’ll make a tutorial on using Softaculous.

  22. Hello Andy,
    I have purchased domain names and webhosting from yahoo small business a few years ago. Now I plan to use WordPress to develop my sites. Although Yahoo has WordPress platform on its panel, I have read some posts on the internet about how bad yahoo is for WordPress hosting. My sites are going to be simple site/blogs with no e-commerce.
    Should I go ahead with Yahoo or is it worth considering a different host?

  23. Hi Andy
    I have just purchased your book and I am trying to set up my blog/website. I have taken your advice, which seems sensible, and have registered my domain name with NameCheap. I am pretty crappy with IT so I am already falling at the first hurdle. I have then tried to select my host by going to StableHost and by selecting the basic package. The problem is that I am not sure what to do next. I selected that ‘I want to transfer my domain name to StableHost’, yet it is still asking for this name that upon entering, I get ‘choose a domain’ and then a quote for $14.99. Surely I don’t want to pay for it again? Also if I continue with this and selected NL as my hosting location it is then asking for my EPP code, what is this and where do I get this? I would really appreciate your help with this, I am already wishing I just did it all in one place, but I know there is a great deal of logic behind this, so I hope you will humour me and help me out please. Many thanks

    1. Stiana
      When you go to sign up with Stablehost, choose option 3 – “I will update my nameservers on an existing domain Or I will register a new domain.”
      You won’t then be asked for an EPP code, but you will need to enter a domain name that you have bought on Namecheap. This is so Stablehost can setup your web space, and they need the domain name for that. The domain will remain at Namecheap and once your web hosting is set up, you login to Namecheap and change the Name servers there. If you have trouble, contact me via the contact form on this site and I will walk you through it.

  24. Hi Andy.

    I just bought a domain name through NameCheap then signed up to StableHost.
    I followed your instructions (I think) but have come unstuck at step 5 of ‘Connecting NameCheap Registrar with your Web Hosting Company’. When I do this it says ‘You cannot park your main domain!’.
    What have I done wrong and can I rectify it?

    Here’s hoping I haven’t done something silly…


    1. Since this is your main domain, and the one you told Stablehost about when you signed up, you don’t need to do that step.
      I have updated the tutorial on this page which should make things easier. If you see the same instructions as before, click the refresh button on your browser, and you might need to clear your browser cache.

  25. Hi Andy

    Thank you for your previous comment. I am currently in the process of trying to move my name across to stablehost, but I am already stuck at the first hurdle. When I go to Manage Account, I have no option for “Domain Name Server Setup”, all I have is ‘your domain’, ‘renew domain’, ‘reactivate domain’, ‘whois verification’ and ‘domain for sale’. What am I doing wrong? Many thanks for your help

  26. Thanks Any I managed to figure it out. Thanks for your help. Are they suppose to send you a confirmation email where you are suppose to verify all this?? Thanks

  27. Hi Andy

    I am sorry to be bothering you again. To be honest right now I wish I just used the same registration and domain as this is a headache and I am officially CLUELESS!! So would you please be so kind as help me. I finally managed to get through the steps of transferring the DNS to web host and I figured it would take as said around 24 hours. Well it is officially around 60 hours later and it is still not showing at Stablehost. Is this common? At Stablehost all I can see is that I have 1 no of services, but no domain listed at all.

    At Namecheap all I get is either to transfer the DNS back to them, but this is the message that appears when I log in – ‘You have purchased SSL certificates and at least 1 certificate(s) are not yet activated. Please go to the SSL Certificates page and click on ‘Activate Now’ next to your SSL purchase item to start the issue process.’ When I try and activate it it is asking for webserver type and asking for the csr?? Clearly I haven’t a clue what this means. I have tried to online chat with both of these providers and I am having no joy. What can I do?

    I really appreciate your help, honestly don’t know what I would have done without you!!
    Many thanks

    1. Stiana
      I am happy to help, but I need your login details for Namecheap, and also for Stablehost. It is impossible for me to know where you have gone wrong. I did update the tutorial on this page the other day, with fresh instructions, because I went through the entire process myself, so I think they are accurate. If you want me to help, send me a message via the contact form on this site, so I have an email address for you. We can then fix this via email.

  28. Hi Andy

    Thank you, after many hours I managed to figure it out. I am again facing the next dilemma in that your book was clearly not written for stablehost, which makes this process incredibly complicated I must add. I appreciate that you needed to move, but I just wanted you to know that it is most probably one of the reasons I am struggling with this. I have managed to successfully download wordpress, but I cannot for the life of myself find anything like quickinstall under my control panel to move on the next phase. What am I suppose to use?

    I look forward to hearing from you.
    ps I appreciate your help

    1. Hi Stiana
      Actually, QuickInstall was used by Stablehost, but they seem to have removed it. Look for Softaculous instead.

  29. Hi Andy – just reading your book WordPress for Beginners. Note: I am an absolute beginner! I am the secretary of a wine club and got a website going the absolutest, quickest and most stress free way imaginable: going to I understand that it’s better to build a website by WordPress (which is why I bought your book) but haven’t the faintest idea how to move my domain name or to find a new registrar. Indeed, I don’t even know who my registrar is: I bought the domain name through SimpleSite… I would like to progress through your book but am at a loss as to how to proceed beyond page 9. Please help a poor simple stupid soul out!
    Best wishes,

    1. Hi Geoff
      You current registrar will be I have never heard of them, or used them, so do not know how they operate.
      What it looks like you want to do is:
      1. Get your own hosting.
      2. Move your domain to a different registrar (as per my book recommendations).
      3. Install WordPress on new hosting, and move content across.

      Is that correct?

      First step you need to do is contact and tell them you want to move your domain to Namecheap registrar. They will need to unlock the domain and provide your with an authentication code.

      With that, you can go to Namecheap and initiate the transfer.

      NOTE: WHen moving a domain to a new registrar like this, your site may be down for a while, it all depends on and how they operate. Also, if you move your domain to Namecheap, and then use a new web host, your site will be down until you either upload your existing site to the new host, or rebuild the site in WordPress.

  30. Hi Andy,

    I’m currently reading your WordPress for Beginners book. I’m not quite a beginner at WordPress – but currently our blog is on and we want to move it to and have some more flexibility and control. I understand that our site is a “small” blog, content-wise. We have four years of daily posts (just over 2000 posts), 7100 comments and I am not sure how many images we’ve got but I would guess they run in the 100’s at this point. We average about 8500 visits per month right now, but due to the nature of what we blog about, we expect that to increase to about 11k or 12k visits in the next year. Basically, what I’m having trouble with is really understanding what the most appropriate type of hosting we might need. I really am hoping that once this migration is completed that we’ll be set for a while. Any help or guidance you might be able to provide would be great. Thank you!

    1. Firstly I wouldn’t say a site with 2000+ is a small site. I would suggest that you go to my recommended host listed in this article and ask them for advice. They are very helpful and I have no hesitation in recommending them. The cheapest plan might be enough, but you’d have to ask them. I personally use the Enterprise plan which costs $19.95 per month.

  31. I’m in the UK and having a lot of trouble with your suggestion for UK users to use namecheap to register the domain and 1&1 to host the site. Specifically, the problem relates to being able to point the host at the domain name.

    1. According to the 1&1 help material, you should be able to click on manage domains, and then there should be a button above the list of domains called ‘new’. There isn’t. At least, not any more.
    2. When I emailed 1&1 customer ‘support’, they simply directed me to the help information for transferring my domain registration to them… (perhaps I’ll be taking advantage of their 30 days money back offer)
    3. Namecheap’s website seem to be suggesting that if I point my domain name at a host which is not theirs, then they are going to disable emailing forwarding. Is this the case?

    I would be grateful if you could explain to UK users how to use separate registration and hosting using your recommended companies.

    Many thanks.

    1. It’s probably not a UK user issue, and more like a 1&1 issue. I host some sites (including this one) with 1&1 and have never been able to use Namecheap with any of my sites.

  32. I’m using OptimizePress WordPress Plug-in for my Membership pages, and it’s pretty big, around 35 MB. It requires the following requirements:

    Your server/hosting must be running PHP 5.3 or above
    MySQL 5.0 or greater
    WordPress 3.6 or above
    PHP Shortcodes must be enabled
    cURL must be enabled
    The mod_rewrite Apache module
    Memory limit set up at least 64MB
    upload_max_filesize at least 35MB
    No firewalls blocking access from our licensing server (this is used to validate your license)
    Please check you also have permissions to write to the theme/plugin folder
    fopen function enabled on server (not required in all cases but recommended if you have issues)
    Can Stablehost handle this?

  33. Anita Elwell

    On the section, “Connecting NameCheap Registrar with your Web Hosting Company”, Namecheap has changed the looks of its website, so #4 – #7 do not look nor work as you have shown. Current instructions can be found on the namecheap website. Click top left box that says “Support”, click “Knowledgebase”, then in the search box enter “How can I change the nameserver for my domain?”
    You will use “Custom DNS” and will enter the two addresses sent in an email from Stablehost.

  34. The menus in Namecheap for connecting with web hosting company as described in 4, 5, 6, and 7 above have changed. It is now necessary to go to domain list and click on the ‘Manage’ button for the domain, then click NAMESERVERS. ‘Custom DNS’ is at the bottom of the dropdown menu (you may need to scroll down to the bottom of the list to see it in the box).

  35. Hi Andy. I am currently working through your new book WordPress for beginners 2017. I am a complete novice. I thought it would be useful to let you know that Name Cheap have changed their page layout, it would be really helpful if you could revise the guidelines above on how to “transfer DNS to web host”. I am going around in circles at the moment trying to find the right bit! Many thanks

    1. Ahh, I see other people have made the same comment. I didn’t scroll down the feed that far! Thank you Ronpye!

  36. Lisa Luscan

    Thank you for all the helpful screen shots. I set two goals this year that you are helping me achieve: fix my business website by learning WordPress and create a blog. I also have your 2017 version of your book WordPress for beginners and I am happy that it seems like something I can learn

  37. Stuart J Collings (aka Martin Hedley)

    I followed your instructions, and I have transferred my domains from GoDaddy to Namecheap, and found them very helpful.
    However, I have now tried several times to follow the second part to host the domains with stablehost. Unfortunately, they refuse to
    recognise my domains. Therefore, notwithstanding your dire warnings about having separate accounts, I’m now going to put all my eggs in one basket and go with namecheap for both. Please wish me luck.

    1. Stablehost do not need to recognise your domains. You simply change the DNS at Namecheap to the Stablehost DNS. At Stablehost, if you are opening an account, you choose the option “I will use my existing domain and update my nameservers”. You do not enter anything in the register new domain. Stablehost will setup space on the server for your domain, and once Namecheap DNS has propogated, it will point to that space. Adding new domains are then done by adding “Addon Domains”. Email me if you want me to help you with this.

  38. Douglas Wheeler

    I recently signed on with NameCheap for DNS and Stablehost for hosting as per your book, “WordPress for Beginners 2017”.Great book and well written. However, following instructions in this website to transfer DNS to Stablehost so far has been a disaster. The NC website looks nothing like the screenshots and ARE NOT user friendly. I am usually able to navigate websites well but this one has me stumped. I have written to NC for help but with low expectations. I cannot imagine recommending them to anyone at this time. This is no reflection on your communication abilities but maybe check in with NC and find out what if anything can be done to make the transfer experience a little easier.

  39. “Connecting NameCheap Registrar with your Web Hosting Company

    This is very easy. Here are the steps to follow:
    Buy your domain name at NameCheap.
    Order your web hosting at Stablehost. When you order, select option three, to update the nameservers on an existing domain, and enter the domain you bought on Namecheap in the space provided:
    Once your hosting has been set up on Stablehost, proceed to the next step.”

    As advised in your article, I’ve registered my domain with NameCheap; I have been trying to get past this 3rd step for the last 24 hours – it just isn’t working! Keep getting the same message – “The domain you entered is not valid. Enter only the part after the www. and include the TLD”
    As far as I can see from the instructions, and the little information on the StableHost site, I am doing exactly as I’m asked … Any tips please..?

  40. Hi Andy,
    What about Namecheap’s shared hosting? For example, its Professional $19.88/yr plan may be a good choice if I just want to create and test a few niche websites ideas. If some of these websites start ranking well, then on the second year they should pay for themselves in the renewal price of $78.88/year, or I just can transfer them to Stablehost.

    Any thoughts about whether it’s a good idea to test some niche websites with Namecheap hosting?

  41. When buying a web-host, do you have to pay for the whole year or can you pay monthly? When I was going to get a host i saw at he end of the buying process, there was a total for the year and not the month, I stopped because I didn’t have it like that at the time admit was better for my budget to Paton a monthly basis.

  42. Brian Coman

    I have been following your course for WordPress both with kindle book and web lectures. I have set up on my own computer via server press. Now I have just purchased a domain name and a web host. Can I transfer my existing WP across or do I need to start from scratch?

  43. Hi Andy,

    Would you recommend SiteGroud for web hosting? I bought your book and I’m eager to get started. I used to use Dreamweaver but feel that I needed to get more current.


  44. Theresa Abell

    Your book (1-Hour WordPress 2018) references a promotional code for StableHost but I cannot find it. Can you help? Thanks!

  45. You wrote this article 6 years ago. Are StableHost and NameCheap still your recommendations after 6 years? You mention 1&1 also. I’m an American living/working in Taiwan, but my audience would be in America most likely. I’ve been using Powweb but not happy with them. Looking forward to your reply. Thanks.

    1. Wow. Has it really been 6 years? Yes, I am still with Stablehost and have been very happy with them. I have actually moved all but one of my sites to Stablehost now, with the one remaining site on 1&1. That site is only still on 1&1 because it is not an easy site to move.

      1. I’m “chatting” with StableHost right now. Did you know they merged, or were purchased by, Miss Group a few months ago? Have you noticed any changes? Any concerns? One of my concerns is that a few years ago, Powweb contacted me to say my sites had been hacked, spammed, or somehow compromised, and they wanted several hundred dollars to get them “fixed,” and then they sold me the SiteLock service. On StableHost, they have these 2 features: “hacked / compromised repair” and “spam experts spam filtering.” Those 2 features are included in the Platinum plan ($28.50/mo.) but not the Pro plan ($7.50/mo.). I can’t pay $28.50/mo. right now. I asked if I could use my SiteLock service with their Pro plan, and they said no. They added that it wasn’t necessary. Thoughts? I also asked if there would be any decrease in speed for my working out of Taiwan, and they said no.

  46. I have always trusted your judgements because I know you back it up with numbers. I had been with stablehost for a year and a half. I managed to get hacked that left code in my database. I had to rebuild by hand my site offline then moved to TMD Hosting. The speed the site is served up now is so much faster and it’s so much easier getting support. I will not go back to Stablehost. It was a horrible experience.

    1. Getting hacked is always a nasty experience. Do you know how the hack happened? I am glad that you have found a host you are happy with.

    2. Hi Rhonda.

      I monitored your site on the new host for a week. If you want me to send you the results, I will. Just send me a message via the Contact form on the site.


  47. Andy
    Thanks for your views on stablehost and bluehost. I am still with stablehost and my dealings with their chat have not been anything like you state.
    I have contacted them several times recently due to issues with my websites and on every occasion they start on the chat at the bottom of the page and then it takes sometimes 15 mins before they answer and then I am referred to an email chat. Really annoying. It took me over 36 hours to solve the last issue with my website by email.
    I am in the process of moving any website that I update a lot away from stablehost because of their new chat system, it is absolute rubbish.

    1. Sorry to hear you are having issues with their support Kevin. I guess I have just been lucky, though to be fair, I rarely use their support as I don’t get problems very often (other than self-inflicted ones).

  48. Hello Dr. Andy,
    Very nice reprint. Doing a little calculation it looks like I could get 3 years (the max offered) for $30 something bucks less than one year of HostGator. And since you like StableHost much better than the toothy one, that’s good enough for me. Assuming your discount is still valid in June, I’ll go for it. I’ll put it on the calendar to come back and revisit here.

    Now…. here’s the thing. You mentioned xferring sites. Might you prepare an article or point the way to one you have already done as far as moving complete WP sites from Gator to StableHost? I still have several so this is an important issue. I see that a standard license for WP-Twin is $147….which would more than nullify the savings. Gotta be a decent workaround.

    Norm, your bestest fan in Alabam

  49. Jason Frovich

    I was with 1&1, then Hostgator, but one EIG bought Hostgator, it all went down hill. EIG also owns Bluehost and a TON of others. I moved to inmotion, it was good for the first few months now ALL My sites are loading up super slow. Even a brand new site 1.7 seconds, base WP, no plugins. I tried tech support, my reseller account/server was fine I was told and then it was blamed on WP & plugins. So now im looking for a new reseller account.
    Your post on stablehost got me thinking, do they move sites over to them for you?
    It seems they will move a few, then charge you

  50. Hi Andy,
    After the ‘medic’ update/site destroyer, I wanted to start a new set of sites on another webhost (health sites are on Stablehost). I decided on Bluehost, and fortunately I only bought one month as a trial. Within 48 hours, I started adding new site and immediately stopped, when I saw that the cpanel dashboard was a mess!

    Icons for the areas within cpanel (file manager, email accounts, security etc.) were overlapping, and although they still clicked through to the correct areas, this continued to happen over 2 days and their support were not too helpful. I cancelled my account. If they can’t get the cpanel to work effectively, I was not going to let them control my sites. I have a friend that uses WPEngine hosting, and he says good things, but it is a little pricey!


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