Here’s a question that a lot of people run into: What happens if you run a small business by yourself or with your family and you want to create a website, but have no idea where to start? First, unless you are looking to be the next Amazon, there is no need for you to hire an expensive web designer. You also don’t need to shell out a bunch of money for a high-end web host. Most of the popular web hosts these days have built-in templates, easy website builders and intuitive e-commerce devices, so that setting up a business online can be pretty simple. Here’s what to look for when shopping for a web host:

Why Free Web Hosts Aren’t a Good Deal

If you have a simple site that you don’t mind having ads on or don’t need to be always reliable, then a free web host is actually a great choice for you. However, keep these issues in mind, since the hold true for a lot of free web hosts:

  • Most free web hosts require you to host ads on your website, and you don’t make any money off of them.
  • Free web hosts often don’t have reliable uptime and response time, so your site may go down for minutes, hours or days at a time and could be slow to load.
  • You get a limited amount of space, storage, traffic allotment and pages, so your website might end up outgrowing your free web host.
  • If your site does outgrow your free web host, it might be harder to transfer your domain name to a paid web host, as most free hosts make transferring domains difficult.

So Which Web Host Is the Best Bargain?

Most of the most popular web hosts around are between $3.50 and $4.50 a month, which doesn’t seem like a big difference, but when you add it up over a couple of years, the higher price ends up costing you a lot more. What you want to look for is the cheapest web host that also offers you the most features and add ons included in the price.

The best bargain web host that we found was FatCow. Here’s why:

  • The Price: FatCow often offers its web hosting services for 60% off, making the price $3.15/month, which is one of the cheapest prices we’ve seen.
  • Unlimited Features: FatCow basically offers unlimited everything, including disk space, bandwidth, email addresses, MySQL databases, FTP users and subusers, and domain names.
  • Free Extras: You get one free domain name, which could cost around $12 with other web hosts. You also get a free website builder, free shopping cart features, and free scripts to help you build your site, including WordPress.
  • Simple Builders: Speaking of WordPress, if you are looking for a simple way to get your site up and running without much design or HTML work, FatCow allows you to easily install WordPress along with all of their pre-made design templates. They also include a simple site builder that will allow you to build your site from scratch if you want.
  • Good Uptime and Response Time: While FatCow isn’t the quickest or most reliable web host, it is in the top 95%, which is especially impressive considering the price.
  • Free Advertising: FatCow also gives you $100 for advertising on Google Adwords, $50 for Facebook advertising and $25 for advertising on Yahoo and Bing. Considering a 3-year commitment is around a total of $175, you are basically getting your web hosting for free.

If you are thinking of checking out FatCow, click here to see the rest of the features they offer.