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In May 2020, I changed my Hosting Recommendation, but I secured a great deal for you with a new web host.
My reason for switching?
An increasing number of complaints from my students about their poor customer service and support. I need to know that the host I recommend is working for my students, and not leaving them frustrated.
But the good news is that..
- I chose a host that is one of the web hosts that WordPress.org recommends for a WordPress website.
- I secured a great deal for you, so you can get a great discount.
- I created video tutorials taking you step-by-step in setting up the hosting and installing WordPress on this host. Just follow along the steps on this webpage. I have recorded videos of the entire process, so follow them in order, at your own pace. By the end, you'll have WordPress installed on the host.
Before I tell you about my recommended host, there is something important I need to tell you about web hosts and domain registrars.
You Should Use a Separate Web Host and Domain Registrar
NOTE: If you decide this is all too much bother, you can use Bluehost as your combined registrar and host. Simply go to Bluehost to get started.
OK, still with me? Let's start off with a couple of simplified definitions.
Definition: A web host is the company that rents you server space for your website.
Definition: Domain Registrar is the company that looks after your domain name for you, making sure it is renewed and safe. Your registrar is where you set the Domain Name Servers (DNS) for your domain. The DNS identify which web host the domain uses. If you decide to move host in the future, you simply change the DNS to the ones your new host gives you. More on that in a bit..
Be careful!When you sign up for web hosting, the web hosting company will try to be your registrar as well, and it sounds like it makes sense. I mean one company looking after both domain and web hosting. But I recommend you keep these two important services separate and use different companies. It won't cost you any more (and may be cheaper):
- When your web host is your registrar, it can charge you more for your annual domain renewal than a dedicated domain registrar.
- If you have a dispute with your webhost and they close down your site (temporarily or permanently), it is difficult to get the site moved to a new host because they can block your access to the DNS. If you have the domain registered with a different company (registrar), you simply get new hosting somewhere else and change the DNS at your registrar. Your site can be back up in a few hours on the new host. There is nothing your old web host can do to stop you.
- If your host goes out of business, you could have trouble getting your site back if you cannot access the DNS. With a separate registrar, you’d just get new hosting, upload your site backup and change the DNS in your registrar control panel. You’ll be back in business in a few hours. 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.
My Recommended Domain Registrar Is...
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:
- Namecheap is an ICANN-accredited domain registrar and technology company founded in 2000.
- It is one of the fastest-growing American companies according to the 2018 Inc. 5000.
- Free Whois guard protection for life.
- Namecheap manage over 10 million domains for its customers.
- Registrar lock prevents someone from stealing your domain.
- 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.
So the first step is to go and sign up for your free account on Namecheap, and buy your domain name. Once you have the domain name, you can go and get your web hosting. Here is a video showing the entire process.
Step 1. Click through to Namecheap, then follow the video instructions:
Step #1 - Buying your Domain on Namecheap
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.
cPanel or not cPanel
Some web hosts use their own proprietary software for server maintenance and this can make things a lot more difficult, especially for beginners because features you expect are not out in the open. They are hidden or absent. For these reasons, I prefer to use cPanel hosts and if you are taking any course of mine that references the server, it will be cPanel that I teach.
My #1 Recommendation (cPanel)
The Reasons I Recommend Bluehost
- Founded in 2003, it has a long established presence as a web hosting provider.
- WordPress.org recommend Bluehost as one of three web hosts to use for a WordPress website.
- Offers a good combination of speed, reliability & price. They offer plans for all budgets.
- Uses cPanel.
- Offers free SSL certificates through Let's Encrypt. That means your site can use the secure HTTPS for free.
- 24/7 support including FAQ knowledgebase, phone and live chat.
- Money-back guarantee includes an initial 30 days if you change your mind after purchase, and then a pro-rata refund for the remainder of your contract. That means you'll get back unused months at any time during your contract.
I am an affiliate with Bluehost, so will make a commission if you buy hosting through my link. However, my relationship with Bluehost means I have secured a discount on your web hosting fees so you can get hosting from just $2.95 per month through my link below. Remember, there is the refund guarantee if you do change your mind at any time.
Step 2. Click here to visit Bluehost, then follow the video below to order your hosting account and install WordPress.
Once WordPress is installed on Bluehost, there are a couple of things you should do. The first is to make sure your website is using HTTPS and not the insecure HTTP. If you are using a separate registrar as shown in this article, chances are you will need to fix this. But it is easy, and the process is shown in the next video.
Step 3. Making Sure Your Site uses HTTPS
Just watch this video and repeat the exact steps I do.
Everything should now be working. I have recorded one more video for you which shows a couple of options for logging into your WordPress dashboard. I'll also mention a few pre-installed plugins that Bluehost added to your Dashboard.