We firmly believe that it is in our clients' best interest to directly own their domain registrations and hosting accounts. We also believe that it is best to obtain these services from different and independent companies. Only rarely will we provide those services because of a client's unique needs.
The choice of vendor for domain registration and hosting is, of course, always our client's. We are willing to work with any vendor that can provide suitable facilities.
We have worked with many vendors over the years and our experiences have run the full gamut from outstanding to terrible. We have a short list of those we feel comfortable recommending to clients.
Domain Name Registration
The first step in creating an internet presence is to select and register a domain name, e.g., our domain name is Troutreach.com. Additionally, for technical reasons, we recommend purchasing at least one additional domain name, e.g., one of our additional domain names is Troutreach.net (frequently we call the first name the primary domain name, the name that site visitors will use, and the other the secondary domain name, which we will associate with the hosting account).
We strongly recommend 1and1 for domain name registrations. Their registration prices are consistently among the lowest, if not the lowest, available, and they provide free private registrations (which we also strongly advise when possible) at no additional charge. Their services have continually improved over the years. 1and1 frequently offers substantial discounts on the first year registration fee.
We do not recommend 1and1 for hosting services because we believe there are other companies that provide better products at competitive prices.
Every website needs a place to live, a server, connected to the Internet at all times. Domain hosting is a very competitive business with thousands of companies offering multitudes of hosting offerings. Prices range from very inexpensive to very expensive. It's very difficult for the inexperienced to make an intelligent choice.
Shared hosting, where a number of clients are hosted on a single web server (computer) is the best price/performance option for most small organizations. They are inexpensive, easy to use, and provide adequate performance.
We've worked with a number of hosting companies. Some are very good and some look good on the surface but fail to provide adequate service. Some are local and some quite remote. Again, we've been able to develop a short list of companies and products that we both recommend to our clients and use for our own needs.
Note: Many hosting companies offer hosting on Linux and Windows servers, with the Windows option generally costing a little more. Linux hosting is, in our opinion, a better choice both technically and financially. The choice of server platform is completely independent from the operating system on your computer; e.g., the Troutreach desktop and laptop computers all run Windows but our hosting accounts all run on Linux servers.
Our Shared Hosting Company Recommendations
Historically, we’ve used and recommended Midphase Hosting for a wide variety of hosting needs. They’ve been, and remain, a good company. However, in 2017 they made some changes that had a very negative impact on some of our clients; essentially, they were forced to find hosting elsewhere to support their specific programming requirements. Also, they refused to honor our repeated requests to add support for Let’s Encrypt, a technology that we feel is appropriate for both our own and most of our clients’ needs. As a result, Midphase is no longer our preferred hosting company.
Several years ago, we established a relationship with A2 Hosting and used our own account with them to evaluate their suitability for our, and our customers’, needs. They’ve served us well.
Most Troutreach clients’ hosting accounts were migrated to A2 Hosting during the middle and end of 2017. Making the move allowed our clients to take advantage of substantial new customer discounts offered by A2 Hosting and allowed us to convert them to use the secure HTTPS protocol at no additional expense.
A2 Hosting became our “go to” hosting provider in 2017. They’ve consistently provided good service at good prices for both our needs and those of our clients. We particularly like the features of their Swift Web Hosting Package.
Midphase Hosting, and Sister Companies
Midphase Hosting was our go to provider for hosting client sites until mid-2017. While their service and pricing were quite good, they made two decisions in 2017 that made it impossible for us continue recommending them. We will continue to support customers that choose to keep their hosting accounts with Midphase.
Other Hosting Companies
We have worked with other hosting companies, sometimes because a new client already had a hosting contract and sometimes because we wanted to evaluate, and possibly use, an attractive offering. Our experiences have been mixed. In a couple of cases these other companies provided services that exceeded our expectations. In several cases we were unable to get adequate performance and chose to move to one of our preferred hosting companies. In another case, a well known and respected company with a very promising offering completely failed at providing a viable platform.
At the current time we do not recommend any shared hosting provider other than A2 Hosting. We will, of course, explore using any new client's existing hosting company to determine suitability.
Virtual Private Servers
A Virtual Private Server, or VPS, is the next step up the hosting account chain. We've used one since about 2007 and once thought that this was necessary to get adequate website performance.
RimuHosting is the New Zealand based company that Troutreach has used since 2006 to meet some of our needs. Quite frankly, their offering is beyond what we, or most of our clients, are likely ever to need. Their prices are reasonable. Their technical support is unequaled! We haven't moved some of our sites to lower cost providers simply because of their support, and the effort to make the move.
We unhesitatingly recommend RimuHosting to any client, or other entity, that needs the facilities offered by a VPS.
Troutreach Technologies LLC has an affiliate relationship with the vendors listed above. We earn a commission when someone follows one of these links and makes a purchase. We only recommend companies that we have had experience using for our own purposes and/or would consider using in the future depending upon our needs.