We turn to hosting in this episode of our search for free and low-cost tools. To be honest, free is not a long-term option with these tools although you can find a few that will start free. These are popular, provide excellent support, and a solid list to begin with if you need to build out a hosting solution.
This is a solution that is best suited to WordPress hosting. It is easy to use and inexpensive, so it makes a perfect solution for a small business or consultancy that wants to provide an occasional blog article. The plugins and customizations are a little limited. However, these should be more than your typical customer will need.
When you ask people about hosting providers out there, it is likely that they will mention GoDaddy. This option is well-known, has incredible entry level costs, and offers some additional features to launch a business (SEO, Web Design, email, etc.). I am not a fan of heavy customization of a GoDaddy site, but they are suitable for hosting your domains, and the pricing makes them a cost-effective choice for testing out a series of names.
When you are looking for more control and a full cloud solution then Linode is worth a look. They do not have a lot of do-it-yourself tools. However, they make it easy to price and launch a virtual machine with a wide range of options available. There are also some additional services like backups and dynamic storage that you can add on to build your infrastructure in the cloud.
We have spoken at length on the AWS services, but Azure is a solid competitor. When you are comfortable with the technical skills required to build out your infrastructure, then these solutions can be a bargain. They also make it easy to scale up (or down) your resources.
This is an interim cloud provider like Linode. They have the advantage of using droplets to get you going quickly for a broad range of server needs.
1 and 1
When you are looking for cheap and simple then look no further. 1 and 1 has been around for a long time and has filled the niche of a low-cost solution for hosting a simple (HTML/PHP) site that is focused on marketing.
Arguably as popular and solid a solution as GoDaddy, HostGator is a solid web hosting provider of the traditional sense. They provide standard tools and simple pricing options that are a good choice for most small and start-up businesses.