By definition, a domain name is simply a human readable form of an IP address. In function it is the destination that you type into a web browser in order to visit a website, such a www.google.com. Metaphorically, it is very similar to how you would scroll to a contact in your cell phone rather than manually dialing the person by entering their full phone number; the phone number would be an IP address and the saved contact would be a domain name. Always buy a domain with a reputable domain registrar.
When it's time to set up shop, look for a web host that offers the aforementioned dedicated servers, as well as advanced cloud server platforms (such as Amazon Web Services or Google Cloud), custom server builds should you need it, and 24/7 customer support. Depending on your business' focus, you may need a web host that can handle pageviews or visitors that rank in the high thousands or millions. Many busy hosting plans offer an onboarding specialist that can help you get started, too. 

A2 Optimized is a product of our team of WordPress experts who noticed a concerning trend of users loading their WordPress sites down with plugins to try and get the fastest, most secure setup possible. Unfortunately, in most instances, too many plugins can actually make a WordPress install slower and less secure. That's because each installed plugin generally slows down a WordPress site and many times these plugins are not updated often enough. Out of date plugins make WordPress sites particularly vulnerable to exploits.
For plans or packages featuring unlimited websites, domains, or email accounts, we do not enforce any official limitations. Customers are able to utilize as many of these features as they wish. That said, these are of course not infinite resources and there are inherent maximums associated with the technology powering them. For example, while email account creation is unlimited, these rely on the file storage available on the account. Therefore customers need to be operating within the Terms of Service to ensure resources are available to fully enable email functionality. Customers operating within the Terms of Service have yet to come up against technical boundaries for email, domains, or websites.
HostGator hosts over 8 million domains and is one of the most popular web hosts in the industry. With 1-click WordPress installation, 99.9% up time guarantee, and 24/7 support, it's a smart choice for every website owner. We consider them one of the best web hosting for businesses. They're offering our readers an exclusive 62% off discount, a free domain name, and free SSL certificate.
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Ideally, we like to see the inclusion of a free domain name in hosts’ packages, particularly for those strictly looking for domain hosting. Many of the top providers of WordPress domain hosting will allow you to host an unlimited number of domains, and they often chip in on the registration cost of one domain for at least the first year of service. Give BlueHost a try if you want to pair custom domains with top-tier WordPress hosting.
Web hosting services offer varying amounts of monthly data transfers, storage, email, and other features. Even how you pay (month-to-month payments vs. annual payments) can be radically different, too, so taking the time to plot exactly what your company needs for online success is essential. Many of these companies also offer reseller hosting services, which let you go into business for yourself, offering hosting to your own customers without requiring you to spin up your own servers.
WordPress.org references the open-source (free) software that can be downloaded and installed pretty easily, particularly if you have a web host that makes this process a breeze. Self-hosted WordPress allows you to capitalize on the robust offerings of the established content management system, plus the potential for more features, such as a free domain, unlimited email accounts, marketing credits, and expert support).
Above all else, we strive to deliver outstanding customer experiences. When you buy a domain name from Namecheap, we guarantee it will be handed over to you with superior standards of service and support. Our primary goal is to build a customer-focused atmosphere filled with the happiest customers in the galaxy. The Namecheap guarantee is our mark of excellence.
Hey Caroline, WordPress.com is a bit of a different animal because you don’t run a self-hosted WordPress site on there. That means, you can’t install all the plugins you might want to (especially on lower plans, where you can’t install plugins at all) and overall have less control over your site than with a self-hosted site. That’s why we didn’t include it in this list. For more information, I recommend this article: https://websitesetup.org/wordpress-com-vs-wordpress-org/
Web hosting services offer varying amounts of monthly data transfers, storage, email, and other features. Even how you pay (month-to-month payments vs. annual payments) can be radically different, too, so taking the time to plot exactly what your company needs for online success is essential. Many of these companies also offer reseller hosting services, which let you go into business for yourself, offering hosting to your own customers without requiring you to spin up your own servers.
If you register a domain with Bluehost when signing up for a hosting account, there is a domain fee that is non-refundable. This not only covers our costs, but ensures that you won't lose your domain name. Regardless of the status of your hosting service, you'll be free to manage it, transfer it after any required lock periods, or simply point it elsewhere at your convenience. You retain ownership of your domain until the end of its registration period unless you elect to extend it.
In our experience, some web hosts are great at hosting WordPress sites, and some are simply not. Our team signed up for and tested every major hosting service to determine which was best for hosting WordPress — analyzing everything from installation, WP-specific tools, pricing, reliability, and a ton of other factors.  Below are the top hosts that earned our trust:

There are free web hosting available, but almost all of them have some sort of catch. Usually, you can find free WordPress hosting being offered in online forums or small groups. In most cases, these are managed by an individual who is reselling a small part of his server space to cover up some revenue. Often the catch is that you have to put their banner ads on the site. Some may ask you to put a text link in the footer of your site. These folks will sell that banner ad or text link to cover up the cost of your free space along with pocketing the profits. The biggest downside of having a free host aside from the ads is that they are unreliable. You never know when this person will stop offering the free service. They can leave you hanging at any time. If you are serious about your website or business, then avoid Free WordPress hosting at all costs.
One of the oldest web hosts started in 1996, Bluehost has become the largest brand name when it comes to WordPress hosting. They are an official 'WordPress' recommended hosting provider. With Bluehost, you never have to worry about your website being slow even when there is a lot of traffic. Their 24/7 expert support is always there to help when you need it by phone, email, or live chat. They are rated #1 in web hosting for small businesses. On top of that, they are offering WPBeginner users an exclusive 63% off discount, a Free Domain, Free SSL, and a free Site Builder with templates.
A2 Optimized is a product of our team of WordPress experts who noticed a concerning trend of users loading their WordPress sites down with plugins to try and get the fastest, most secure setup possible. Unfortunately, in most instances, too many plugins can actually make a WordPress install slower and less secure. That's because each installed plugin generally slows down a WordPress site and many times these plugins are not updated often enough. Out of date plugins make WordPress sites particularly vulnerable to exploits.
Once you decide you price range, you need to consider how long you'll need web hosting. If it's a short-term project—say, less than a month or two—you can typically receive a refund should you cancel your hosting within 60 days. Some companies offer 30-day money-back guarantees, others offer 90-day money-back guarantees. Once again, it's beneficial to do your homework.
When it's time to set up shop, look for a web host that offers the aforementioned dedicated servers, as well as advanced cloud server platforms (such as Amazon Web Services or Google Cloud), custom server builds should you need it, and 24/7 customer support. Depending on your business' focus, you may need a web host that can handle pageviews or visitors that rank in the high thousands or millions. Many busy hosting plans offer an onboarding specialist that can help you get started, too.
Their cheapest WordPress hosting plan starts from $0.80/month with a 48-month commitment and renews at $2.15/month. This plan includes 100GB bandwidth and 10GB storage which is optimal for a smaller WordPress website. Furthermore, 1 email account is included in all of their plans as well as a free SSL certificate. Additional CDN is not included. And if you’re not satisfied with their service, you can get a full refund until 30 days from the signup.

Hey Caroline, WordPress.com is a bit of a different animal because you don’t run a self-hosted WordPress site on there. That means, you can’t install all the plugins you might want to (especially on lower plans, where you can’t install plugins at all) and overall have less control over your site than with a self-hosted site. That’s why we didn’t include it in this list. For more information, I recommend this article: https://websitesetup.org/wordpress-com-vs-wordpress-org/
The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) is the organization that governs the rules and regulations for domain name registrations. ICANN requires, for various reasons including to determine ownership of a domain should a dispute transpire, that a publicly accessible database be maintained that contains the contact information of all domain registrants. In layman's terms this means your domain name will be searchable by anyone and those search results will include your full name, physical address and other contact information. In order to protect your privacy in this regard, Domain.com offers WHOIS Domain Privacy which then masks your information using our own and implements a procedure for you to control who is able to then gain access to your contact information via a WHOIS search. Whenever you buy a domain name, no matter what domain name registration service you use, you are subject to the same ICANN rules, for this reason it is important to use a reputable service who cares about your privacy. Domain.com always recommends enabling WHOIS Domain Privacy.
WordPress is the #1 website creation software in the world. Powering over 25% of the internet, WordPress provides everything you need to create a beautiful and powerful website. Built by a community of global developers, WordPress is continuously being improved and refined to provide the best functionality and performance for its users. This open source approach has made WordPress the website creation and management platform of choice for new and skilled users all over the world.
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If you're planning to create a WordPress-powered site, there's no reason not to invest in WordPress-specific hosting. It's chock full of benefits. That said, a WordPress environment won't allow you to set up a non-WordPress site—that's something else to keep in mind, especially if you have a site in mind that will rely on specific frameworks, for example. In such instances, you'll want to go build your site on shared hosting, VPS hosting, or dedicated hosting services. And, if you want to start your own web hosting company, reseller hosting is the way to go.
GreenGeeks has become a well-known brand in the WordPress hosting industry with their blazing fast website performance, 24/7 U.S. based support, and an environmentally responsible platform. They offer automatic 1-click WordPress install, managed updates, enhanced security, free CDN, free site migration, and the choice of over 5 different data center locations. GreenGeeks power over 500,000 websites and customers love them. On top of all this, they have a special 60% discount for WPBeginner readers combined with free SSL and a free domain name.
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