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I am starting a small business and will need to create a web site. The domain was registered through GoDaddy.com. Does anybody have any experience with their web hosting service and their web site building tools? Do you all have any other recommendations for web hosting companies? If I do choose a different company, will the fact I registered the domain with GD pose a problem? I apologize if these seem like simple questions but I am really inexperienced in this particular area.
 


I am starting a small business and will need to create a web site. The domain was registered through GoDaddy.com. Does anybody have any experience with their web hosting service and their web site building tools? Do you all have any other recommendations for web hosting companies? If I do choose a different company, will the fact I registered the domain with GD pose a problem? I apologize if these seem like simple questions but I am really inexperienced in this particular area.
I've been very happy with Pair networks - they do my domain names and web/email hosting. I don't use any of Pair's web tools. I prefer to build websites using RapidWeaver.

MacInTouch is (was?) hosted on Pair. Ric had issues, I'll let him provide details.

in my opinion I wouldn't trust GoDaddy for anything. You can transfer your domain name to a different registrar. It may not be as simple as a few clicks, but it shouldn't be too difficult.
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
I've been very happy with Pair networks ... MacInTouch is (was?) hosted on Pair. Ric had issues, I'll let him provide details.
in my opinion I wouldn't trust GoDaddy for anything. You can transfer your domain name to a different registrar. It may not be as simple as a few clicks, but it shouldn't be too difficult.
I've just been doing domain transfers, as it turns out, switching some domains from Register.com to Hover, which was recommended in some extensive previous discussion on MacInTouch. My issues with Pair have been primarily with poor support experiences on occasion.

FYI:
 


I am starting a small business and will need to create a web site. The domain was registered through GoDaddy.com. Does anybody have any experience with their web hosting service and their web site building tools? Do you all have any other recommendations for web hosting companies? If I do choose a different company, will the fact I registered the domain with GD pose a problem? I apologize if these seem like simple questions but I am really inexperienced in this particular area.
My personal fair-sized website is mostly hosted on GoDaddy and it's been generally satisfactory. On the one occasion where something did go wrong (I forget why, but I think they were changing servers or something) the telephone support (and I'm in the UK) sorted it out pretty quickly. I can't answer for their web-building tools as I do all that myself. FTP is fast and efficient.
 


Domain registration, DNS hosting, and Web hosting can all be done separately and exclusive of each other.

I do recommend that you keep your registration separate from your web hosting, simply because if you need to dump your web host for service reasons, it's easier to disentangle yourself if your registration is simply handled elsewhere, under your full and independent control. We've had discussions about domain registrars before, but I currently recommend NameSilo and NameCheap who both have cheap prices, clean interfaces, 2FA, and provide private registration at no additional charge. I avoid GoDaddy for philosophical reasons and technical reasons (their UI/UX is atrocious).

There can be legitimate reasons to have DNS hosting separate from the web hosting, but for most people, it's easiest and has less potential for problems to simply use the DNS servers provided by the web host. If, for some reason, you need a separate DNS host, there are several free, high-quality ones out there, including Hurricane Electric Free DNS, and NameCheap FreeDNS.

For web hosting, I had occasion to use about a dozen different web hosts about a decade ago and really stress test them, so I have some opinions. First of all, GoDaddy and Yahoo Small Business were at the bottom of the list. For GoDaddy, I was able to determine that they were artificially limiting the data transfer speeds for individual websites. For Yahoo, I can't remember exactly, but it was technically deficient. Additionally, there has been a tremendous amount of consolidation over the last 5 years, and you should avoid anything owned by Endurance International Group (the list is extensive). I was going to write something about them, but this blog post says it better, and the criticisms are accurate and fairly deserved. I have successfully used Dreamhost for my hosting needs for a number of years and would recommend them.
 


Ric, thanks for tip about Hover. I was looking into Name Cheap and Google Domains but Google is still in Beta. Someone recommended Pair but I found Name Cheap had better pricing (transfer, privacy...). Now that I see Hover, I may move my domains (3 parked, 4 total with privacy).

I do not recommend GoDaddy (two clients had poor support and site issues). Also from experience, I do not recommend Net Solutions. They are more or less, expensive, and sales spammy.
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
I was looking into Name Cheap and Google Domains but Google is still in Beta
I helped a friend with his domain and email, and he'd gotten involved with Google earlier in that process. I wasn't impressed at all with Google's domain name hosting. (We ended up moving his email and DNS hosting to FastMail, and it has been working well for him.)
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
I do recommend that you keep your registration separate from your web hosting, simply because if you need to dump your web host for service reasons, it's easier to disentangle yourself if your registration is simply handled elsewhere, under your full and independent control.
For what it's worth, I agree with Todd on this and recommend the same thing. (I also agree about avoiding EIG-associated businesses and GoDaddy.)
 


Our non-profit rescue group has used Hostrocket for at least 10 years. It was registered elsewhere by someone else in our group. Another small non-profit site that I built was also hosted there. No major problems and support response has been quick, although we haven’t needed it often. If I ever get my own site built, I will have it hosted there. We don’t use any e-commerce tools or do anything remotely fancy but I assume that the tools are there. They are worth considering, in my opinion. For building the site, you could have a look at Wolf. I think you want something that will give you a “responsive” site, one that can display OK on mobile devices.

I am still using a combination of a text editor (where page structure and CSS were created) and, believe it or not, GoLive to maintain our site. We clearly need an overhaul, but I don’t have the time to learn a new workflow right now. Gotta love Snow Leopard for keeping this thing going until I have the time and energy to dive into something new.
 


I am starting a small business and will need to create a web site. The domain was registered through GoDaddy.com. Does anybody have any experience with their web hosting service and their web site building tools? Do you all have any other recommendations for web hosting companies? If I do choose a different company, will the fact I registered the domain with GD pose a problem? I apologize if these seem like simple questions but I am really inexperienced in this particular area.
I had nothing but bad experiences with GoDaddy. I am in Canada, and since your country of residence doesn't matter, I would highly recommend 4goodhosting.com, located in Vancouver Canada. Speedy servers, absolutely excellent tech help and quick replies, with very competitive and fair pricing. I have been with them for 10 years, with no bad experiences, and host 9 customers throughout their reseller program.
 



I am starting a small business and will need to create a web site. The domain was registered through GoDaddy.com. Does anybody have any experience with their web hosting service and their web site building tools? Do you all have any other recommendations for web hosting companies?
I worked for that company for over 6 years, and the last 4 were on the hosting team. I emphatically do not recommend GoDaddy for hosting, and I hope that's saying a lot, because I worked with guys just like you every day who had lots and lots of issues.

I left when it became more about pushing people into buying products they really didn't need than helping them have a great customer experience. Many of the "veterans" on the hosting team left within the same year I did, a couple years after investment companies bought 49% of the company and they went public. It became a bad to worse customer experience around 2015 with GoDaddy.

There were many cases we couldn't do a thing for a customer whose site was down or pathetically slow on shared hosting, because someone on the same server was trying to do illegal stuff, and Go Daddy would do "network protection" on the whole server and slow it to a crawl for all the users of that server while they investigated, which could sometimes take several days to a couple weeks.

The shared hosting servers for the most part are overloaded and don't have enough bandwidth for a serious business. Same with VPS, and Dedicated servers do require that you know your stuff about servers and hosting, so if you don't, you would be hiring a web/server master, and they aren't too cheap.

I moved my personal stuff to gandi.net but haven't done much testing of their hosting, only email and domain services, which are fine, and their support when I needed it getting started was excellent.

There are a lot of nicely proficient designers out there who would build you a very nice WordPress site for not a lot of money. I suggest you be certain about their ongoing site updating policies and cost before signing on with any of them.

I'm sorry I don't have any good recommendations for hosting for you - do your research and read the reviews out there and of course the wonderful people here on MacInTouch have great advice and experience. If you aren't happy with a company, it's really not that hard at all to move a website to a different one.
 



I am starting a small business and will need to create a web site. ..... Do you all have any other recommendations for web hosting companies?
I have used MacHighway (https://www.machighway.com) ever since Apple killed iWeb (about 10 yrs ago or so?) and have been very happy with them. Any questions that I have had are answered within a day and their on-site tutorials are informative.

They do the domain and all necessary registration for me on a yearly basis for a, to me, very reasonable cost. To my memory my site has never experienced any downtime and was used by a 100+ students each academic year multiple times a day.

I create and update my website using RapidWeaver and upload the files either using its built-in FTP client or use Transmit (https://www.panic.com/transmit/ ), which I like better.
 


I've been using Siteground.com for hosting my small web site and handling my personal domain for the past year and have been favorably impressed with their customer service, mostly handled over chat. My only reservation is about their spam filtering provided by a company called "SpamExperts". Until the last couple of weeks their false positive rate averaged 2-4%, then it changed abruptly to a little under 1%. Worse, the procedure for checking the spam filter is cumbersome each time it takes a couple of minutes to click through the options.
 


I use Liquidweb, which is a very premium service, mostly because “in the good old days” I needed a dedicated server (later, a big “cloud” server, which was just a dedicated with virtual environment, so it could be moved from machine to machine if needed). They were the first hosts that never let me down, and if I needed help — usually from my own stupidity — they were available by phone, 24/7, usually on the second or third ring. I went to them after using a much less reliable host. (I also liked the fact that Liquidweb had facilities in Michigan, which makes a lot more sense than hot-hot Texas or California). Their hosting seemed good to me when I tried it a year or two ago, and their “cloud VPS” (otherwise known as “VPS”) is certainly good, but you pay for what you get. You also get what you pay for (!) in their case.

A VPS is a Virtual Private Server. Hosting gives you an account with limits; a VPS is like running Windows on your Mac in VMWare or Parallels, in that it's a complete environment but it’s running in a “software box.” That means you can customize anything you want, and even, in most cases, save an image of the VPS, which can be moved to a different machine on the same host service. Usually the VPS can easily be changed in terms of RAM and hard drive space and CPU time, just like a real machine. Very convenient for many applications! And it’s been around for ages.

Linode has always looked interesting to me, too, but they are definitely a hands-on outfit in terms of “you provide all the support.”

I used Dreamhost for years, but now I much prefer using CPanel for portability; if Liquidweb starts being jerks, I can move to any other CPanel host very easily indeed. Dreamhost had their own proprietary systems, though they were very cost-effective. They also became known for a while as a porn haven, I believe, though whether that’s a bad thing is really up to you, and it probably doesn't affect the quality of the hosting most of the time. That was maybe ten years back, and things change!

1&1 gives you a remarkable deal that’s too good to be true, and it’s too good to be true, in my experience. My one VPS with them kept going down for no apparent reason, and I gave up after four harrying months.

As for DNS, I have used and been satisfied with Dynadot, Hover, Moniker, and Namecheap. All have good and bad points, entirely related to customer support, which you normally should not need, and interface. I am moving slowly away from Hover, because they have one annoying bug: if you transfer a domain from them, it still shows up in their system indefinitely, and you start to get expiration warnings even though it has a year left somewhere else.

I’d say the only truly wrong choice of registrar is Network Solutions. They charge far more than anyone else, and my dealings with them have been painful.
 


I have used MacHighway (https://www.machighway.com) ever since Apple killed iWeb (about 10 yrs ago or so?) and have been very happy with them. Any questions that I have had are answered within a day and their on-site tutorials are informative.
They do the domain and all necessary registration for me on a yearly basis for a, to me, very reasonable cost. To my memory my site has never experienced any downtime and was used by a 100+ students each academic year multiple times a day.
I create and update my website using RapidWeaver and upload the files either using its built-in FTP client or use Transmit (https://www.panic.com/transmit/ ), which I like better.
I have exactly the same setup as you. RapidWeaver (learning it), Machighway for 12 years, and Transmit. All good
 



My needs were quite simple: a website with my business info plus "contact me" form and robust email server. Used to use GoDaddy (10+ years, I think) but their email system was abominable and died weekly. Their last excuse was that IMAP was inherently defective, but if I switched to their Exchange Server (at twice the price), it would all be good. Fat chance.

Switched late last year to Greengeeks.com, and it just works as expected. Very happy. IMAP email working perfectly. Domain is still sitting at GoDaddy, but I'll move it over presently.
 


I've been very happy with Pair networks - they do my domain names and web/email hosting. I don't use any of Pair's web tools. I prefer to build websites using RapidWeaver. MacInTouch is (was?) hosted on Pair. Ric had issues, I'll let him provide details.
in my opinion I wouldn't trust GoDaddy for anything. You can transfer your domain name to a different registrar. It may not be as simple as a few clicks, but it shouldn't be too difficult.
I've also been using Pair Networks (pair.com) for many years -- actually more than 20 years.

I run two web sites, hosted by pair.com, and have I have several additional domains registered with them for email accounts that I run on their severs. My experience with Pair has been excellent. They have always gotten back to me promptly with any technical questions I have had and I have found their hosting to be extremely fast and reliable. I feel they offer me very personalized service and I have always felt like a valued customer.

As an experiment about 10 years ago, I tried GoDaddy with a test domain. (I thought at the time I might be able to save some money over using Pair.) But I cancelled GoDaddy after 1 month because I wasn't reliably receiving email and the website ran extremely slowly. By the way, it was difficult to get them to stop billing my credit card after the cancellation; their customer service was poor. So I have stayed with Pair Networks.

Perhaps you can save a few bucks at another larger web hosting site, but I feel that Pair gives me top-notch hosting service and reliable support.
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
Here's what I got today from the forum software on our (inexpensive) Pair hosting account:
Server error logs

MySQL server has gone away
Yesterday at 9:52 PM

MySQL server has gone away
Yesterday at 9:51 PM

MySQL server has gone away
Yesterday at 4:55 PM
Did anyone notice a problem around those times (presumably EDT)?
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
Interestingly, Pair Support says they don't see any problems with the database, but I'm seeing much worse performance for exports from it.
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
Update from Pair Support: there's a problem with the hosting system (that runs the web server), not the database server, but that's apparently affecting database access.
 


I decided to be the guinea pig for testing GoPanel, which purports to be a CPanel/WHM replacement. CPanel is sold as a subscription, $10-$25 per month for a single server or VPS, so I was intrigued by the GoPanel cost of $25 and Mac-friendliness. I even chose to overlook the fact that GoPanel comes out of Romania, from a very small company.

$10 bought me an instance at HawkHost, though I probably should have just used Digital Ocean, as GoPanel itself does (for testing). $25 got me GoPanel.

Some aspects of GoPanel are quite nice. You immediately get a good view of your server when you launch it, showing memory, CPU, and disk usage as little graphs; the OS, hostname, kernel, uptime, load average, etc. as text. Then you can install Apache, MySQL, etc. with an easy “one-click” interface. That part is tremendous. They even have an Nginx reverse proxy option, free, or Varnish, etc. Three major SQL options, plus NoSQL. It's pretty amazing what you get. There are firewalls, intrusion detection systems, and such — all very nice. The installs take very little time. I'd say it's much faster than CPanel. It also seems to take up much less space. With no actual sites, but with Apache, Nginx, email, database, etc. set up, the system seems to be taking around 225 MB of space. There is a facility for one-click WordPress installs.

The downside: you'll still need to go into command line quite a bit, e.g. to install PHP's mcrypt. I don't see a way to change the home directory, which since it's /gopanel/sites will break each and every script I have. Custom Scripts seems to just stall out for a long time and then come up with essentially a blank display. You really have to trust the company that provides it, which might be easier with CPanel, despite the latest scary and “monopolizing” corporate acquisition.

Controls are mostly limited to showing you manual configuration pages, and installing software. There are some good basic Apache controls but nothing too extensive. There's very little for php that isn't in the manual configuration system. No MultiPHP as CPanel has. Couldn't find SpamAssassin. It does have an email account setup system which looks good, and it does have Let's Encrypt (free SSL certs).

This is a great way to do initial setup, but I think it's worth the monthly fee to have CPanel do all the rest of the work. Among other things, CPanel does its own security updates in addition to implementing those of the vendors/open source projects.

I'll post updates if applicable.
 


What's the feeling about buying extra security protection from web site hosts? I'm currently a MacHighway user and they offer additional protection. Are these worth the price? Thanks.
 


I have an email and webpage account at MacHighway. Starting a few days ago, I am unable to have my web page, www.iraflatow.com, load from any of the devices I use: iPhone, MacBooks (3), iPads, not even my wife's. I also cannot get my email to load from any device client. A webmail browser won't load the site and can't log on to the cPanel. MacHighway cannot figure out what is going wrong, as my web page loads easily for them. And so does my email. MacHighway says that my IP address is not blocked. I sent a traceroute log to the server folks and you can see that it times out after traveling a bit.

Here's the kicker.
.. if I open my laptop Opera browser and turn on its VPN feature, I can do all of those things. My webpage opnes nicely, I can go to my webmail via the browers, cPanel is accesible. The VPN on my iPhone, though, does not help.

We are all stumped, including the professionals. Suggestions welcomed.

PS. I did get a spam ransomware emaill a few days ago from a supposed hacker who said he had hacked my account via a pixel in a .jpg file in the email, and if I didn't pay a ransom in bitcoin, he would cause lots of trouble. Server folks think that this is just spam. But perhaps anything to this?
 


I have an email and webpage account at MacHighway. Starting a few days ago, I am unable to have my web page, www.iraflatow.com, load from any of the devices I use: iPhone, MacBooks (3), iPads, not even my wife's. I also cannot get my email to load from any device client. A webmail browser won't load the site and can't log on to the cPanel. MacHighway cannot figure out what is going wrong, as my web page loads easily for them. And so does my email. MacHighway says that my IP address is not blocked. I sent a traceroute log to the server folks and you can see that it times out after traveling a bit.

Here's the kicker... if I open my laptop Opera browser and turn on its VPN feature, I can do all of those things. My webpage opnes nicely, I can go to my webmail via the browers, cPanel is accesible. The VPN on my iPhone, though, does not help.

We are all stumped, including the professionals. Suggestions welcomed.

PS. I did get a spam ransomware emaill a few days ago from a supposed hacker who said he had hacked my account via a pixel in a .jpg file in the email, and if I didn't pay a ransom in bitcoin, he would cause lots of trouble. Server folks think that this is just spam. But perhaps anything to this?
Check stuff you use that might block internet connections: ad-blockers, anti-malware, firewalls, etc. Your domain appears to be shared with several others at one IP address. It's conceivable that a not-you bad actor caused the IP address to be listed on a blocklist somewhere. Are all attempts from the same physical location? It's possible some appliance, say at home, is blocking. I can see your website from my location.

The spam probably has nothing to do with your problem. I got the spam too; it seems benign.
 


I have an email and webpage account at MacHighway. Starting a few days ago, I am unable to have my web page, www.iraflatow.com, load from any of the devices I use: iPhone, MacBooks (3), iPads, not even my wife's. I also cannot get my email to load from any device client. A webmail browser won't load the site and can't log on to the cPanel. MacHighway cannot figure out what is going wrong, as my web page loads easily for them. And so does my email. MacHighway says that my IP address is not blocked. I sent a traceroute log to the server folks and you can see that it times out after traveling a bit.

Here's the kicker... if I open my laptop Opera browser and turn on its VPN feature, I can do all of those things. My webpage opnes nicely, I can go to my webmail via the browers, cPanel is accesible. The VPN on my iPhone, though, does not help.
Your webpage opens fine from down here in South Florida. By your description, it could be something silly as a router acting up somewhere between yourself and your server location. The fact that you can get to it via Opera's VPN points to that line of reasoning. I performed both a dig and traceroute in Terminal and all looked normal in my quick examination.
 


I have an email and webpage account at MacHighway. Starting a few days ago, I am unable to have my web page, www.iraflatow.com, load from any of the devices I use: iPhone, MacBooks (3), iPads, not even my wife's. ...
I also get to your web page very easily from a Fios gateway in the Boston 'burbs. Pings average about 40 milliseconds, and the Fios gateway gets to MacHighway in one hop.

Looks to me like it's a bad connection somewhere between your connection to the Internet and your web host, which using a VPN would get around. Have you tried accessing from another location, such as a coffee-shop WiFi?
 



Thank you all for your responses. I'm still waiting for a response from Optonline/Cablevision to see if my cable server is blocking my website IP.

Robert R. I do not myself use Pi-Hole, but I am interested in your response: "On my system your domain came up on one of the blocklists, so I had to whitelist you and all was then good." Can you give me any more details that I might convey to my cable ISP?

Thanks.
 


Do you use Pi-Hole on your network? On my system your domain came up on one of the blocklists, so I had to whitelist you and all was then good. Hope this helps.
I've been running Pi-hole for several months, and I believe all of my blocklists are up-to-date. I have no problem accessing Ira's web page. (My blacklist and whitelist are essentially empty.)
 


I've been running Pi-hole for several months, and I believe all of my blocklists are up-to-date. I have no problem accessing Ira's web page. (My blacklist and whitelist are essentially empty.)
I suppose it could depend on what blocklists you have installed. Currently, I have over 60, covering approximately 1.2 million domains.
 


Blocking lists and blacklists can be uneven in quality, and some anti-spam services can be fooled by forged headers so they block or blacklist email addresses or web domains. It's happened to me.
 


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