I have spent years and years on the net. I've researched countless web hosting service providers, and I've tried many. Here is a difinitive (but small) giuide to the absolute best host providers there are (we'll maybe a better one 'popped up' since writing this but I'm certain that those listed here will remain competitive and I'm sure that its not worth your time trying to find them).
One quick note before we start, I absolutely promise that these recommendations are independent and genuine. Providers listed are the best I know of, not the ones who pay the most to people to refer them. My number one pick is also the hosting service provider I use (check www.whois.net if you must).
The start, choose the description that best fits you, then scrol down to the apropriate paragraph.
I just want free, free, free. I just want the most features possible for $0. I don't need my own domain name (before you click read the next line as well).
I want a free site, but also want my own domain name (eg .com, .org, .net). I want to run less than 3 sites. This hosting provider gives you all that but you wall have to pay a small yearly domain registration fee.
I want to run 4 or more sites (with these provider you'll get unlimited sites/domains) with all the scripts and everything you need (not to mention 24/7 live service) for a very low cost.
Free, Free, Free:
If all you want to get a free site, then thats no problem at all. I started out with a site at www.freewebs.com and was very happy with their service. You do get a good amount of space without any banner or advertising. If its a blog site your after www.blogger.com is fine, I have at least one page with both of these services and am very happy. With both these options you may one day want to host your site on your own domain to get rid of the freewebs or blogger test in you pages URL (web address), if so and consieder one of the next alternatives.
Your own dot com - Free with doteasy:
If you want a real domain name like .com .org .net etc and aren't planning on hosting more than 3 sites (if you host more than three site, then the next option will actually be cheaper) then your best otion is doteasy . You will have to pay a yearly registration fee of $25. It's more than you would pay for domain name registration with services that also charge a monthly fee, but because thats all you pay (and their service is great) I found it great value when I got my first domain name. I would however take one thing into consideration, if you think you might want other domain names reasonably soon then you might want to consider the next option as it will start to be better value than doteasy when you want to host more than 3 domains.
Pay just $6 or $7 per month for massive value hosting services which allow unlimited domain names:
If you really want the best deal on web hosting and are looking to host more than 3 sites (or you absolutely must have php, mysql or large transfer allowance etc) here are the absolute best I have found in years of searching. I say "here are", because I think its fair to show the top two so you can check them out separately, of course I'll put the best one (in my opinion) first.
The very best web hosting service in my opinion is www.hostmonter.com. Closely followed is www.imhosted.com they have great offers from time to time so its also worth checking them out. Hostmonster is the hosting service I use. I pay a monthly fee $5.95 and host a number of websites which cost $10 per year for registration. I also looove their service. At any time I have a question (no matter how dumb), all I do is open a chat window and ask someone for the answer, I hardly ever have to wait and they are always helpful the even helped me fix a bug with Joomla which have nothing to do with their hosting service. I can stress enough how great that is. They also have everything else you could want, scripting, php, mysql, ssl etc (got there to see the full list).
Imhosted is similar, for me they would be more expensive because they charge $15 per year for registration, but you need to look deeper than that. Imhoster has a number of advantages. At time of writing the offer a free one year subscription to templatespace ($79 value) who have some great teemplates. Also if you pay four yearly for your hosting, it becomes only $4.95 per month. They also offer one free domain name for life and more space and transfer allowance than Hostmonster .
I can't tell you if their (imhosted) support is as good as Hostmonster because I don't use their service, but they do provide all the same scripting and features as hostmonster. The only thing is you will need to install ICQ to use their chat support service, whereas with hostmonster you don't need to install anything, you can even just click on the chat link and go through t a real person to see what it like before you sign up.
You could spend days surfing through ads that promise free hosting or cheap hosting and you wont find anything better. If you want to compare, try these two very famous services and you will see that Hostmonster and Imhosted really are the best.
Alternative great hosting sites:
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