New to web hosting, what hosting services can I use?
January 31, 2013 8:23 PM   Subscribe

I've recently created a small hobby site using wordpress and currently hosted on It is a niche site and I will have a number of product recommendations that I feel would be valuable to monetize. I'd like to add affiliate links (specifically or possibly use adsense but that's a no no on Can anyone help me through the myriad of options for hosting by providing some recommendations?

My requirements are very basic (I think):
-Domain name registration (I will need to buy/purchase a new domain name).
-Hosting - In the short term I am not expecting high traffic. If the volume of page views was in the hundreds per day I would be surprised in the near future.
-Allows ads/affiliate links
-Simlicity - Although I have a solid technical background in computer science and networking I have not done any web design since HTML was still the main player in town. Easily porting the wordpress site is a must.

Thanks to everyone in advance!
posted by Octoparrot to Technology (18 answers total) 16 users marked this as a favorite
I have had really good experiences running Wordpress sites on Dreamhost. Dunno how much you're looking to spend, but I pay $9 a month for hosting for like six websites (plus $10 a year to register each domain name, which you can do through Dreamhost) with way more bandwidth and storage space than I will ever use. They're reliable, and not as gross as GoDaddy. It's easy to set up Wordpress on Dreamhost - they have a little wizard that does it for you, basically. Yep. I like 'em.
posted by goodbyewaffles at 8:38 PM on January 31, 2013

If your site truly is very low traffic, Nearly Free Speech might work out--I can't say how easy their set up for WordPress would be, however.
posted by foxfirefey at 8:44 PM on January 31, 2013 [1 favorite]

I have used Hostgator successfully for Wordpress with multiple installs. I would not recommend GoDaddy for Wordpress hosting. The small sites I have on there always seem to hang.
posted by thorny at 9:38 PM on January 31, 2013

I second foxfirefey's suggestion for Nearly Free Speech. They can handle domain registration and hosting, and ads are acceptable there. I've never seen them get overwhelmed by traffic.
posted by Pronoiac at 10:34 PM on January 31, 2013

I am another satisfied Dreamhost customer with a lot of domains running wordpress on my account. They're cheap because they utilize shared hosting, but they do their job well enough and the tech support has been excellent when I've needed it.
posted by TimeDoctor at 10:57 PM on January 31, 2013

I should also mention that where Nearly Free Speech charges extra for some services (private whois) Dreamhost doesn't.
posted by TimeDoctor at 11:00 PM on January 31, 2013

Wordpress lists three recommended hosting companies here.
posted by Dansaman at 11:06 PM on January 31, 2013

I work a lot with sites on Dreamhost and I like it. I also like Web Faction but their cPanel is much less user friendly.

I use for domain registrar.
posted by humboldt32 at 11:22 PM on January 31, 2013

Nearly Free Speech is good, cheap and reliable, and I'm very happy with them, but since you're looking for simplicity I don't think I can recommend them to you. While it is possible to install Wordpress there (I've done it), PHP safe mode is enabled by default so you can't use the "normal" way of installing the software or updating addons.

See also this entry in their FAQ.
posted by Caconym at 11:58 PM on January 31, 2013

Bluehost. Cheap. Excellent wordpress intergration and their customer service has been outstanding.
posted by Kerasia at 2:12 AM on February 1, 2013

I use HostGator for hosting & Namecheap for domain registration and have been very happy with both.
posted by belladonna at 5:43 AM on February 1, 2013

If you just want to run this one WordPress site, a company like Laughing Squid that specializes in WordPress hosting would probably be simplest.

I've used DreamHost for over 10 years and generally been happy, but about once a year for the last couple of years or so they've have a complete meltdown and did a very poor job communicating to their customers about it, so I started switching to WebFaction.

I've used Dotster and DreamHost for domain names in the past. DreamHost is convenient if you're hosted there because it's one-stop shopping. Lately I've been using Namecheap and I'm happy with them.
posted by kirkaracha at 6:12 AM on February 1, 2013

Put me down as another generally satisfied Dreamhost customer. I run a very very casual sort of personal site, so the occasional meltdown, as kirkaracha mentions, hasn't really affected me at all. YMMV. They have a one-click install for Wordpress that makes the already simple Wordpress install even easier, and it will automatically update it for you. I've always had great support experiences too, on the rare occasions when I've needed to contact them.
posted by ashirys at 6:52 AM on February 1, 2013

2nding Bluehost. I've had no problems with them and have used them for multiple sites over the last six years.
posted by SpiffyRob at 7:09 AM on February 1, 2013

I'll second Caconym's comments on Nearly Free Speech. I'm playing around with some Wordpress sites hosted there right now. They are dirt cheap for low-traffic sites, but you have to be willing to fart around and read the FAQ a lot to do things that one-click on other hosts. You'll have to get under the hood when you're doing an update or other maintenance.

They would certainly be the cheapest option, though, so if you wanted your site to make some extra money as opposed to just covering hosting costs, they might have an advantage.
posted by echo target at 9:13 AM on February 1, 2013

My advice:
Separate your DNS registrar and host from your webhost. This makes it easier to move thing if you get into a dispute with your webhost, or they suddenly go off line or out of business.

Continue using Wordpress. no porting necessary, and wordpress provides tools for exporting your content from and importing it into self- or third-party hosted Wordpress.
posted by Good Brain at 12:21 PM on February 1, 2013

Another happy Nearly Free Speech customer here.

I like how cheap it is, the pay-as-you-go nature of the thing, and have learned a lot in getting the Wordpress site up and running.

I've since branched out and setup a Twitter archive (a second mySQL instance) and a URL-shortening service (a third mySQL instance) with minimal fuss. I didn't think I'd get that deep into other uses for webhosts, but there you go.

Agree with others that it is a bit more work to get things setup (no 'one-click installs'), but it is pennies per day for a low-traffic site.
posted by scooterdog at 3:38 PM on February 1, 2013

I am very happy with fatcow. For a cheap service ($3.95/m I believe), their customer service has been superlative. Domain names with them are a bit more expensive ($14.99 instead of $9.99) but I'm actually finding the simplicity of having everything together, with great help by phone or live chat, worth it.
posted by Salamandrous at 7:06 AM on February 4, 2013

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