Okay so maybe I am writing this post a little bit out of desperation and frustration, but I do feel it is valuable information to know if you are planning on getting a WordPress website and looking for a hosting provider.
Let me just say real quick that 99% of the time I would suggest Squarespace (or ShowIt) over WordPress, however if you are insistent on a WordPress site here is my advice.
First of all, how do you pick who should host your site when there are thousands of providers? Here are 3 quick tips:
I upgraded/ updated www.makeroom.org‘s website and they were recently hacked and lost some of their content (although I was able to retrieve a lot of it) and had to go through some frustrating steps to get back on track. They host their site through GoDaddy and my personal experience with them (as well as with Hostgator) hasn’t been great.
This is a question I get asked a lot so I thought it was worth addressing. Your domain is the web address that people type in to get to your website (ie. rebekahreadcreative.com) and your hosting is where all of your images, files, pages, and everything that makes up your website, lives. So you could in theory buy your domain name through a program like GoDaddy and then have Hostmonster be your host, although it is easier to keep everything in one platform (another reason I suggest Squarespace over WordPress).
NO! WordPress.com and WordPress.org are two separate platforms. Many people start with a blog on WordPress.com and I would advise you not to do that. The main difference between the WordPresses is that WordPress is the software and then WordPress.com is the company that allows you to use the WordPress software. It has set themes and styles and is extremely limited. You can always download the WordPress software at wordpress.org
What do you use as your hosting platform? Let me know – I would love to add to this list! And if all of this just sounds WAY too overwhelming, I would love to help you design your very own Squarespace, ShowIt, or WordPress site!