Just got my first website and domain, sonicali.com. My web developer, May, did some research on best hosting and domain options, and our conclusion was to go with PCMag’s recommendation for InMotion hosting.
My criteria for hosting options, in order of priority:
Reliable for users
I didn’t want a site that was buggy, slow, or down often. PCMag claims InMotion has great uptime. I guess the rest is up to May!
Easy to maintain and change
Both May and I need to be able to make tweaks fairly easily. I still have no idea what that will involve on InMotion. We’ll see!
We considered using one of the template-heavy sites, like WordPress or Wix. Still not sure at this point if templates are more of a help or a hassle.
I like WordPress’s blog-writing user experience, so I’m glad InMotion hosting has WordPress preinstalled.
Signing up through the PCMag article (linked above) gets you a bit of a discount. I’m paying $3.59/mo for hosting + $10/yr for domain registration privacy. Also, 90-day refund guarantee!
Hosting: Most hosting services are $8 to $30 per month. WordPress is $8, domain not included.
Domain registration: GoDaddy is the most common place to register a domain name (but the hosting service has bad reviews). However, InMotion takes care of the domain registration, so I did have to use GoDaddy.
Owning the sonicali.com domain also allows me to create email addresses that end in @sonicali.com! So far, I have email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org. Try emailing me there!
After setting up my emails, I entered this ugly email client:
And I felt something akin to homesickness. I thought, “I have to work out of this instead of gmail for the rest of my days??” We can get so helplessly attached to our habits, no?
Then I found this client setup instruction page, and my heart sank even lower. Where was the gmail??
But then I found the gmail setup page, followed the (buggy) instructions, and all is well now.
I’m now using my email@example.com gmail account to send and receive email for both my @sonicali.com accounts. Yay, technology!
So much to learn
The control panel for my hosting site is quite overwhelming. The default look-and-feel added to the homesickness:
The blue gradient…*shudder.*
But then I discovered you can switch the look-and-feel:
And once again, I was surprised to find my spirits significantly lifted.
As a former engineer and product manager, I can only imagine the headaches that the product manager must have gone through to convince the engineering team to postpone other important features in order to change the look-and-feel.
PM: Prospective users complain that the cPanel looks dated.
Eng: Seriously? You want me to create a new skin instead of fix any of these urgent bugs or add any of these critical features? If someone’s making a website, they should be tech-savvy enough not to care about how the cPanel looks.
PM: A lot of our users aren’t tech-savvy. But even if they were–
Eng: If they’re not tech-savvy, they should get web developers.
And so on…
You can feel the passive-aggressiveness that went behind the skin-switching feature. They didn’t even bother to make user-facing labels for the drop-down menu:
I can’t say I feel a drop of homesickness for the tech industry 🙂