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5224 Views 17 Replies Latest reply: May 17, 2012 9:42 PM by gabriel RSS
Contributor 26 posts since
Jan 19, 2012
Currently Being Moderated

Feb 29, 2012 9:58 AM

Building a personal website - any recommendations for a good Web Hosting company?

We are building a personal website for our vacation rental (on it's own domain).  Started looking for a web hosting company and got overwhelemed with options. I found some good reviews on http://top3hostreview.com/ but am still looking for advice.  If you have any experience with this - please help!

  • harborfields Contributor 206 posts since
    Jul 12, 2011

    I've been with HostGator for a little over a year now and am happy. Previous hosting company was OK at first but there were issues that developed as time went on (it was a much smaller operation than HostGator).

  • lrbaldwin Active Contributor 755 posts since
    Feb 16, 2011

    I've been using Bluehost.com for years. Don't remember the annual fee (maybe $50), but you get to host unlimited domains for no extra cost.  I have sites for both grandsons, their parents, and other friends.  Also, over the years I've collected a bunch of domain names that I'm not using for sites, so I have them automatically point to my vacation rental site.

     

    Linda

    http://www.chatterboxtoo.com

  • tyann Contributor 222 posts since
    Dec 28, 2010

    I use Bluehost.com also for some of mine. And I use Yahoo for some as well. Yahoo is a more expensive, but their stats page is nice, and the email is simply added on to your Yahoo account (but separate), so no logging in to another account.

     

    Tyann Marcink

    Nature's Retreat and Canyon Retreat | Vacation Home in Branson

    Website Design and Photography | Marcink Designs

  • jeffbailey Contributor 102 posts since
    Jun 3, 2011

    Take a look at SquareSpace (http://www.squarespace.com/).  You can make some great looking sites using their hosted environment.  You can try it free for 14 days.

     

    I currently use iWeb and MobileMe, but MobileMe is going away this summer and I plan to switch over to squarespace.  I know a number of friends that are very happy with them.

     

    Jeff Bailey

    jeff.bailey@fourthframe.com

    Creator of Vacation Props, an innovative iPhone/iPad app to manage vacation properties and quickly respond to inquiries

    http://www.fourthframe.com/FourthFrame_Technologies/VacationProps.html

    http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/vacation-props/id452612798?mt=8

  • sodamo Contributor 260 posts since
    Nov 5, 2011

    I'm using a2hosting.com  Support has been awesome. On site tools, but I decided to go with Freeway from Softpress.

     

    Stay away from 1and1.com  They still owe me refund and I lost my domains thru them.

     

    David

    vacation.ninolehawaii.com

  • anja Senior Contributor 1,555 posts since
    Aug 9, 2011

    HostGator.  I actually moved my website twice from two other host companies and will be staying with Host Gator ...been with it for 5 years now.  I have more than one website...all with HG.  100% reliable...never had any issue or down time...very inexpensive...very good support.  I never even have to think about my host company...it just works for me.  The choice of host is many out there...and you will hear from people who stick with what gives them the best [customer] service and performance...etc. No doubt, you'll hear from Owners here with varied and good suggestions.

  • New Member 4 posts since
    May 9, 2012

    Hi char.truman

     

    When I decided that I needed a website to promote my apartment in Calabria, Southern Italy I did a lot of research and came across a company offering a free 'basic' website building program :

     

    www.independentowners.com/rent-my-villa.html

     

    I say 'basic'- there are numerous templates and designs available and it's very easy to enter your information and quickly end up with a very professional looking website. Even the basic templates offer pages for Home page, Property details, Photo Gallery, Pricing, Availability, Local Information, Map, Weather, Travel, and Guestbook. - the drawback is that with the free version you have to accept some advertising at the bottom of each page.

     

    I was so pleased with my website I upgraded to the optional extras and paid a small fee for the following – removal of adverts, purchase of my own domain name, translation mirror pages and the statistics package- please see the end result:

     

    www.calabria-vacation-rental.com

    • Contributor 233 posts since
      Dec 26, 2011

      Very nice website!  Can you tell us more about the annoying ads at the bottom of the page on the free version?  How much does it cost to upgrade to using your own domain name?  Can you tell us about the booking and payment system you use, costs related to that, etc.?  Thank you very much.

      • New Member 4 posts since
        May 9, 2012

        In reply to dbmeyer

         

        The free version does have annoying ads placed at the bottom of each of your web-pages – this is how they cover their costs – you get free hosting and a free “domain name “ of the type :

        wwww. XXXXXX.iowners.net ( where XXXXXX is a name of your choice). If you just want to showcase your property with more information and photos etc a link to this is great but it is limiting in that you are effectively linked to the iowners site.

         

        To have some independence I purchased my own domain name through them – As it was a couple of years ago I think the cost was approx $50 US for setting up hosting on an independent server company and purchase of the domain name. I've since renewed my domain name through Go Daddy ( a US company) at a cost of £15.53 ( Pounds GB) approx $25 US

         

        Back to the annoying ads – when I initially completed my free website – one of the first things I did was to pay £24 ( Pounds GB) approx $38 US to have “No more Ads”- my reasoning was that I wanted a website to draw clients in, offer more information, and hopefully convert into a booking. Having the ads at the bottom could actually take clients away as quickly as they came- if they clicked on the ad they were gone. I wanted them to linger

         

        The website building concept had proved itself to me – I was very pleased with responses from colleagues about design, ease and speed of access and I could now direct my “ advertising” - word-of-mouth, business cards, web-sites like OwnersDirect and Homeaway etc to this site

         

        I needed more “clicks” so I purchased my own domain name. Its taken some time but I now appear on Google searches for my area ( this is where the Statistics option comes in – it gives No of unique visitors, referrers, search terms used to find my site, and source of enquires etc) I can't remember how much this cost me – not much

         

        The Languages and Optimisation options cost me £72 GB together ( approx $115 US ) They can be purchased separately. The Language option would probably only be suitable for property owners in Europe as the only languages offered as well as English are Spanish, German, Italian and French.

         

        Overall I consider I've built quite a sophisticated website, with a good web presence where I have complete control of content that I can modify very easily - all for very little money and I'm no computer wizkid.

         

        _________

         

        With reference to the RentalSytems online booking calender and payment engine- its owned by the Daily Mail newspaper group over here in the UK. As far as I can see it can be used to accept secure card payments of any currency from anywhere - doing away with having to set up a merchants account. If you have a website its very easy to set it up on a web page. I picked it as living in the UK we are outside the Euro zone so I had difficulty with banking Euro cheques, length of time clearing, potential clients having difficulty sending money, bouncing cheques etc. This middleman provides security for both client and owner

         

        Its linked to a website called VillaRenters which is like HomeAway etc . To use RentalSystems you pay a one-off activation fee of £50 GB ( approx $ 80 US )  this also includes an advert on the Villarenters site

         

        Each property gets a central online booking calendar so that customers can check availability, book and pay online. The moment a booking is placed your calendar is updated and you are notified via e-mail. If you accept the booking the system takes the customer through the entire booking process – dealing with deposits, contracts , balance due reminders , arrival instruction etc. I like to vet the bookings but the booking process can be made automatic if the dates are available

         

        The costs are :-

        If a booking comes from the advert on the Villarenters site you pay 10% commission

         

        But if you generate a booking and use RentalSystems to process the booking ( all the above- card payment, contracts etc ) the commission drops to 2%

        (You generate a unique link – you send it to the client- they access your RentalSystems online calender- and the system knows you generated the booking)

         

         

         

         

        For more on RentalSystems see the link at the bottom of my web page

        http://www.calabria-vacation-rental.com/pricing.html

         

        When you get to the directed RentalSystems page there is more information towards the bottom.

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