Creating your own website is an important part of kickstarting your personal brand, whether it’s for showcasing your creative work with an online portfolio or for opening your own store. To get started, you may need to invest in the right tools, such as the best cloud storage (opens in new tab) solution or a dedicated web hosting platform.
Web hosting is the service you’ll need to house all the files that make up your website, including images, videos, and the code that underpins everything. This data is stored on a server and may or may not be capped in terms of the amount you can store.
Hostwinds has offered web hosting since 2010 and comes with a selection of decently priced hosting packages that make it a suitable choice for those on a budget.
Three great web hosting deals
01. Bluehost – up to 65 per cent off (opens in new tab)
If you're a beginner, Bluehost is the best web hosting service to get you started, and until 2 August, it has a special birthday offer with up to 65 per cent off its shared hosting plans, taking the price as low as $2.75 / £1.99 / €2.32 per month.
Deal ends 2 August
02. Hostinger – up to 80% off (opens in new tab)
Hostinger's cloud hosting not only keeps your website safe, via data centres spread across the globe, it offers brilliant value for money, too. Right now, there's even up to 80 per cent off web hosting plans!
03. Hostgator – the best shared web hosting provider (opens in new tab)
To keep costs low, you'll want shared hosting. And Hostgator is a great choice for this, providing you with strong support, a free domain name, unlimited email addresses and a website builder.
01. Hostwinds review: Plans and pricing
Shared web hosting allows you to host your personal website on a budget, as your data is stored on a server alongside other sites. Hostwinds offers three pricing options for its shared hosting services.
The Basic package comes in at $5.24/month with unlimited bandwidth and disk space, so you can host as many files as you want. You also get one free domain name included, which is a big bonus considering many competitors charge for this after the first year. With the Advanced package ($6.74/month), you’ll get four domains, which is handy if you are looking to create multiple sites. And with the Ultimate package, you can have unlimited domain names. All three packages come on a monthly rolling basis, with options for annual, biannual, or triannual billing as well.
With all three subscription levels, you’ll get free website transfers if you’re already using a different host and want to move over to Hostwinds, unlimited email accounts connected to your website, and access to the Weebly site builder, amongst other perks.
02. Hostwinds review: Features
Hostwinds has a variety of hosting options for both personal and business users, plus other solutions for site-building and data storage.
Hostwinds’ shared hosting option is best for individuals on a budget and not only comes with free domains and unlimited storage but also a range of other extras. For example, you can make use of the nightly backup service to make sure your data isn’t ever lost. The Website Monitoring service keeps tabs on your site at all times and raises automatic support tickets if anything goes wrong. Weebly’s website builder is included in your Hostwinds subscription, so you can create your site using its intuitive drag-and-drop functionality without the need to code. You can also integrate Hostwinds with cPanel, a highly regarded website management tool, or Softaculous, which installs useful apps on your site. And if your online brand takes off, you could consider upgrading to Business hosting, which stores fewer sites on each server and ensures your website runs faster.
Virtual Private Server
If you need a more advanced hosting service, Hostwinds offers a choice between a Virtual Private Server (VPS) or Cloud Server. A VPS virtually divides up a physical server, providing you with a simulation of a dedicated storage space. As such, your VPS won’t be shared, which can bring big advantages in terms of speed—especially if your site has very high traffic. It can also be more secure, which is particularly useful if you’re running an e-commerce business. A VPS is more suitable for large business owners, as traffic and security probably aren’t a major concern for those only needing a personal portfolio site.
Weebly Website Builder
When you sign up to Hostwinds, you’ll get access to the Weebly website builder. This is a drag-and-drop site creator that makes it easy to design the site you want. You can pick from a selection of templates and tweak them to suit your brand style. Whilst Weebly isn’t as flashy as some other site-building competitors, it’s easy to use, and the integration with Hostwinds means you can handle your hosting, domain purchase, and website design all in one place.
03. Hostwinds review: Interface
On sign-in, you’ll come to your Hostwinds dashboard. The clear icons make it easy to find what you’re looking for, although there are a lot of options to choose from. If you’re new to this kind of web hosting service, it could be tricky to know where to start, as there’s no obvious path to follow. However, once you know your way around, you can accomplish a lot from this simple dashboard. For example, you can easily add other users if you’re looking to share your account, and you can install apps like WordPress to upgrade your site.
04. Hostwinds review: Security
You get a free Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificate when you purchase a Hostwinds shared or Business hosting plan. An SSL certificate encrypts any data that users enter on your site, so anything sent from your website to the server will stay private. This is a worthwhile measure these days when it comes to fostering user trust.
05. Hostwinds review: Support
Hostwinds offers 24/7 chat support via its website, which, when we tested the service, was found to be impressive, quick, and helpful. You can also open a support ticket or email Hostwinds directly from the site. However, phone support is lacking and could be a good addition. Nevertheless, Hostwinds has a handy suite of self-help resources available, including product documentation, tutorials, and a helpful blog for further support.
06. Hostwinds: is this the hosting platform for me?
Hostwinds offers excellent value for money, especially with at least one free domain name included with all plans. The website monitoring and backup features are also noteworthy and should give users peace of mind.
Although the interface may be a little confusing for a beginner, Hostwinds’ range of handy tutorials and 24/7 chat support goes a long way towards helping even novices get started. You can also build your website from scratch using the Weebly site builder, which comes included as standard. If you’re looking for a budget hosting service that’s equipped with a selection of useful features, Hostwinds could be a great choice for you.