Hosting website, what options to choose?

I’m thinking about hosting my website where I can practice scripts as well as to post my projects. I’ve been researching the web and hostgator comes close to my pick.

I looked at plans comparison charts and what benefits I’d get from each. Since this will be my very first web host, I’d like to go with the Hachling plan but there are additional services to purchase within the plan and I don’t know if I really need any of those additional services.

Additionally, I picked my domain name but it seems offering a 1-year price without having any other year range. Does hostgator only offers domain 1-year base and requires renewal annually?

Hope someone helps,


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i don’t see the point of hosting your own website i mean there are a lot of free platforms out there where you can practice coding and publish your work


I’d like to build my portfolio as well as my interest in web development involves server side scripts such as php. I’ve been using local server to test them out and it’s time to revamp those and publish to promote my work.

If you have questions about a hosting company, I suggest contacting them directly.

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@lakedejavu I always recommend DreamHost shared hosting. They are reasonably priced and include stuff for free that other hosts charge extra for … TLS Certificates, CLI access, etc…

Have you seen Neocities?

It’s free and super simple. All you have to do is drag and drop files and folders to upload them and they go live right away. You can point a domain name at it and have a real live website in no time at all.

The people who run Neocities (really just one guy) are big supporters of the open web and I trust them (him) as much as it’s possible to trust random internet people.

As I said, it’s super simple (like everything, when you know how) but if you want any more help just ask.

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I sneak-peeked their features and it seems slightly more expensive than big names. Although it offers free ssl, it doesn’t seem to have cpanel as a manament tool.

I will read through more.
Appreciate your suggestions! :slight_smile:

I recommend digital ocean


+1 Digital Ocean is great, with the downside you’ll have to configure the server yourself. This is a reasonable compromise though, given the quality.


@lakedejavu That’s true about cPanel. Personally, I HATE using cPanel. :confused: I very much prefer DreamHost’s custom panel. I also prefer the command line if I have that option.

DreamHost’s basic shared hosting will give you solid and secure hosting with the features you need to practice your skills.

DreamHost is also an ethical company. Here are their two most recent blog posts:

It’s possible to find discount codes by searching or you can ask current DreamHost account holders to see what discounts they have available to them. The thing to remember about affiliate/discount codes is that they help the affiliate most. So, using a random code will help someone you probably don’t know and don’t necessarily care about. ALL of the hosts mentioned here so far offer various discounts on hosting, so do that research before signing up for anything.

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@r1chard5mith Do they offer free TLS certs? What about command line access via SSH?

@algorithmjunkie Setting up and maintaining a secure server is not easy. At least, in my experience. I’ve used both Digital Ocean and Linode, with and without Serverpilot, and eventually settled on DreamHost managed VPS so I can be sure my server is set up correctly and is as secure as is possible given current security standards. This way, I don’t have to worry about it at that level. Instead, I can focus on the front end and the services I want to offer.

I also recommend Digital Ocean. Their $5.00 per month droplet, a virtual private server, is excellent. Warning though - there is a bit of a learning curve. The droplet ( their name for your server ) is a blank slate. You pick the OS - for example I go with Ubuntu 16.04 on my droplets. If you use Let’s Encrypt your SSL certificate is free, again that is the route I take. I also install nginx for the server, PHP, MariaDb for the database, and phpmyadmin to administer it.

Digital Ocean has some of the best tutorials for learning all this stuff that I have seen.

But back to the warning - there is no cPanel - you install and configure everything via a SSH terminal. Great skill to know but takes a bit of time to learn. The only thing they do have in a panel for you is an editor to manage your DNS records, and that works well.


I would consider what you want to do. I don’t think Node.js works on GoDaddy or Hostgator, but if all you are doing is running PHP scripts, you would be fine. I personally like Digital Ocean. The server is extremely flexible, you can run Node, Python, Wordpress, PHP, or whatever. Also, for about $5.36 a month (hourly based pay is weird sometimes), it is very affordable and a great way to learn valuable skills.

It’s good to hear lots of personal experiences on hosting sites and I value all of your opinion. Dreamhost sounds appealing in overall but as I don’t find myself good at server admin side it’s difficult to measure the level of expertise required in that part.

I appreciate you all! :clap:

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Digital Ocean is a good choice if you want a lot of control and you’re prepared to SSH in.
(They’re running Hacktoberfest this month, so be sure to do a few pull requests to get a free developer T shirt) offer some nice packages with an easy to use control panel.
Enjoy. Let us know how you get on.

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I used github pages for mine. I used to host through bluehost, but it was expensive. github pages is free and easy to set up.

It’s great to see everyone talking about their experiences with web hosting. I’m just jumping in as a moderator to remind everyone that the forums are not to be used to promote goods or services for profit, either directly or through affiliate links. Spammers can take advantage of honest questions like this, so if you feel that a response is a marketing attempt, please flag it.

Carry on!


There’s no command line because there’s no server. Neocities is “just hosting”. They have site-wide TLS certificates, it’s https only. In my opinion, it’s best to avoid running your own servers unless you really need to - it’s too hard to do well unless you actually want to eventually learn everything about running servers. Personally, I’ve made a conscious choice to be a programmer and not a server admin - as much as possible, I don’t want to care how it works. Once I’ve written the code, and it works, I want it to just keep working (and if it doesn’t, I want it to be someone else’s job to fix it).

I have my main site deployed to Netlify, which is what I’d really recommend to anyone interested in deploying serious static sites. For hosting the node projects, I’ve had no problems with Heroku and mLab, which both have a free tier. If you just need a virtual box, you can get 12 months of a single EC2 instance for free from AWS with a new account - you also get lots of free credits to play with their other services such as databases, the load balancer (I think you can have them manage TLS for you and have it terminate at the balancer, but I haven’t tried it yet) and their lambda ‘serverless’ framework.