For the past few years I've been offering free, fully-managed web hosting services at GeoffStratton.com. If you're looking to run a web site where you can focus on content and not the technical details, I can help.
If you're looking for low-cost, unmanaged hosting, I'd suggest GreenGeeks web hosting for only $3.96 per month. (I'm both an affiliate and a sometime customer.)
What You Get
- 1 web site, customized as needed. I usually recommend WordPress, but I can host Drupal or other heavier content management systems as well.
- Managed hosting and unlimited support, as needed
- Up to three yoursite.com email accounts
- No setup fees or hidden charges
- Free assisted setup and transfer from your current host
- Up to 10 GB of space, and 500 GB monthly transfer*
* This is plenty for the vast majority of web sites, but if you believe you need more, please contact me.
What I Get
- I get to run up to 3 Google ads on every page of your site, and I'll place my Amazon affiliate link on your site as well. These will be placed without interrupting your content, and my ads will be customized for your user base. (Nothing offensive or explicit.) This model makes sense: the more popular your site becomes, the more money you might make, and the more money I can make as well to offset costs.
Do You Care What I Post?
As a rule, no. I don't interfere in the content or activities of any hostee unless you're doing something blatantly illegal. This has never happened to me.
Will You Register a Domain Name For Me?
As a rule, no. I strongly recommend that you register and manage your own domain names rather than paying someone else to do it for you. Not only are your domain names valuable to you and your business, but if you lose your domain name due to an accident, unscrupulous registrar, or poacher, it's likely gone for good.
If you need a registration service, I'd suggest Namecheap. I'm not affiliated with them, but I am a customer; they do what they claim to do, and they don't bombard you with endless marketing spam.
Technologies I Use
For a blog site, or personal site or portfolio, I typically recommend WordPress, but I can host more complex web environments like Drupal, MediaWiki, Plone, Concrete5, or Joomla!. If you want a full content management system, or you'd just like to consult with me about what environment might work best, please contact me.
- All sites are backed up automatically every day. Lost files can be retrieved quickly at no additional charge.
- High security. I use industry-standard intrusion detection and prevention software, anti-spam and anti-virus solutions, and monitoring systems.
- High stability. Systems are mirrored in multiple time zones.
- Fast and personal customer service.
If I already have a blog on Wordpress.com, how do I migrate my content over here?
The easiest method is to let me do it for you. But if you want to try it yourself, go to Tools -> Export in your existing blog and save your content to your computer. Then, on your new blog, go to Tools -> Import and upload your content. You'll need to install the same themes and plugins to make everything work the same of course.
Now that I have my blog, what should I do first?
Check out my recommendations for this.
Do you update WordPress and its themes and plugins for me?
Yes. In general I'll install new updates within 24-48 hours after they're released. You can still install updates yourself using the automatic updater, as shown in the WordPress documentation.
Where do I get help using WordPress?
You can always contact me, of course, but Wordpress.org maintains extensive documentation on how to use their product, and there are also user forums and tutorials all over the web. When you encounter a problem with WordPress, chances are someone has already solved it.
What WordPress themes do you recommend?
In general, I'd suggest using a "responsive" theme that adapts its appearance to laptops, phones, tablets, and desktop computers. You might start with the aptly-named Responsive. You might also check out Suffusion, a highly configurable free theme. But it really depends on the look and features you want, and there are thousands of free themes available.
What WordPress plugins do you recommend?
For starters, I'd suggest the following:
|Akismet||Stops comment spam. This is essential if you accept comments on your blog. The Akismet plugin is included in WordPress, but you still need to activate it and sign up for a free Akismet ID. If you don't want to sign up for Akismet, Antispam Bee is a good alternative.|
|WP Clean Up||Helps you safely clean up all the post revisions and drafts that tend to pile up over time. It can also optimize your database at the click of a button, which reduces your disk usage and keeps your blog running at top speed.|
|YARP||The Yet Another Related Posts plugin. This gives you automated "related posts" entries on every post on your site.|
|Yoast Google Analytics||Tracks your site with Google Analytics, which is more detailed than the built-in WordPress statistics.|
|Yoast SEO||Helps to promote your site in Google and Bing search results.|
Will you develop a new plugin or theme for me?
Yes, but I charge $80/hour for development. For a popular product like WordPress, you should look around the web before you pay someone to build some custom functionality for you. The chances are good that someone has already created a plugin or theme that does what you want.
I'm getting an error message on my web site. Will you fix it for me?
If it's a misconfiguration with your server, then absolutely I'll fix it for you. I can also usually fix most WordPress problem quickly. However, if one of your plugins or themes are seriously broken, I can point you in the right direction, but you may need to try a different plugin or work with the author to resolve the problem.
Backups, Email, and FTP
Do you back up my web site?
Yes, daily backups of your site and database are included in your hosting fee. As a rule, these go back 30 days. I still strongly recommend that you make your own backups through a service like VaultPress. If you delete something you didn't mean to, please contact me, and include as much information as you can.
Can I get FTP access to my site?
Yes, if you request it. All access is by secure FTP (SFTP), and once your FTP is access is operational I'll send you the details. You can access your site using any number of free FTP clients, like FileZilla, Cyberduck, or WinSCP.
Can I get a mydomain.com email account?
Yes, if you request it. Each account comes with up to 3 yourdomain.com email addresses and (if desired) a corresponding webmail page at http://mail.yourdomain.com/. Frankly, though, the huge email hosts like Google or Outlook.com will give you way more space and better features than I can provide.
Does my email count against my disk and bandwidth quotas?
How do I access my mail with my phone/iPad/email client?
Use the following settings:
|For Receiving Mail||For Sending Mail|
|mail server: mail.yourdomain.com
protocol and port: IMAP, port 993
mail security: TLS
|mail server: mail.yourdomain.com
protocol and port: SMTP, port 587
mail security: STARTTLS