Web hosts are the companies/services that provide space on their servers for your website and then make it available to the world wide web.
First, if you are happy with your host, then great. There’s no need to switch if you’re getting everything you want. If you’re not happy, or don’t have one, we recommend the following…
- Dreamhost – While reluctant to make any endorsements, we recommend Dreamhost mainly because of ease of use for beginners.
- automated installs of free and open source software like WordPress
- automated regular backups that make it easy to revert in case you make a mistake. (i.e. please make my site like it was yesterday!)
- unlimited domains and databases
- DreamPress hosting which is optimized for WordPress sites
- Free hosting for Non-Profits (see below)
These and the other services Dreamhost offers for the price we humbly believe make it a good value. You can also register your domain through Dreamhost.
MayFirst/People Link – very supportive on internet freedom, artists, etc. “May First/People Link is a politically progressive member-run and controlled organization that redefines the concept of “Internet Service Provider” in a collective and collaborative way.” They host The Yes Men, the War Resisters League, The New Press, The Brecht Forum, and Occupy Together, among others.
The Present Group has teamed up with The Collective Foundation to offer hosting for artists and use the profits to provide artists grants. 25% of the hosting fees they collect go toward artists grants and are juried by the users. They offer automated installs of WordPress or Indexhibit.
Bluehost, MediaTemple, and GreenGeeks also offer similar features as Dreamhost at a similar price and may be worth considering. Note: Bluehost acted poorly in a free speech/satire situation.
If you’re considering other hosts, use caution. Make sure they meet requirements for software you may want to use and check if they have installing and updating utilities for keeping installed software up to date easily. Can you host multiple domains? Multiple databases? Automated backups? Make sure the interface is easy to use. (for example, GoDaddy’s user interface is, arguably, terrible.)