In order to build an educational website for students AND have the ability to freely create content, the site will need to be hosted on a server. There are free ways to create websites and gain hosting through the publishing platform, but there are many pitfalls to this arrangement. So a little money must be spent to gain the freedom to create engaging content for students. Hosting is one of the few necessary expenses that can quickly cause a headache. It becomes confusing as to which is the best as they all seem the same. Well, most of them are the same at lower levels, but can change drastically when the website requires more power because of demand. If the website is only for students, other teachers or self-promotion, there is no need for a virtual private server (VPS) or dedicated server that can cost over a hundred dollars a month. A new website can utilize a shared server which can cost as low as $3~7 a month. This section will only give information about hosting services that TesolClass or our mentors have personally had experiences with in the past. It would be easy to make a top five or ten list, and become affiliates of each, but we only want to talk about products we know will provide the type of service educators desire.
Disclaimer: TesolClass is an affiliate member of these sites, so if you purchase from these hosting companies, we will receive a commission. This commission does not influence any reviews or evaluation regarding the products. Tesolclass strives to provide honest assessments to help educators create great websites for their students.
Bluehost is the hosting company of TesolClass.com, and outside one problem where Bluehost suffered from a DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) attack, the site’s performance has been outstanding. At the moment, the site is handling 200 people a day without any problems and the numbers are steadily rising. Bluehost has been in business since 1996 and has a great reputation for service. All of the servers they use are in-house, which means if something goes wrong, they fix it there. Some hosting company use third party companies which can cause problems when something goes wrong. Plus, there are many perks that make it easy for someone starting a website.
- Free domain name on sign up, if you don’t have one. If you already have a domain name, or want to purchase one from GoDaddy or another company, then it’s easy to register it with Bluehost.
- Unlimited disk storage. This is good because an educational website can require a lot of space if adding pictures and videos. However, there are actually limits, if you try using the website as a P2P file sharing network then this will not work. If used for educational purposes only, there will be no problem.
- 1 click script instillation. This means that platform scripts can be install with a click of a button. Super easy integration for the novice with no experience.
- Easy C-Panel controls. Login to the C-Panel to monitor and set controls for the website. Check statistics and site speed performance with a few clicks of the button. It can look overwhelming at first, but very intuitive.
- 24/7 support. If there are problems, there is great support available through hotline or chat.
- Throttling: Throttling is when the service provider intentionally slows down the internet service to regulate traffic and minimize bandwidth congestion. This happens with EVERY internet service provider, especially on a shared server, but this can slow the response time of the website. Periodically, there will be times when pages don’t load quickly, so a quick check of the C-Panel can tell if it is the result of throttling or not. However, there are many other things (bad code, video, audio, sliders, etc…) that can slow down a website. Throttling will always be an issue, but hardly ever a concern.
Final Thoughts We have been extremely satisfied with Bluehost as a hosting service, and when it comes time to upgrade servers, we will look into their VPS servers. They have been in business for years and own the server farm where the information is stored. We recommend them 100% for the basic shared server services. Click the banner below to find out more information about plans and services provided.
A close friend has a private educational website (only designed for his students), who uses HostGator for hosting services. A quick look at HostGator and Bluehost show they are basically the same, and there is a reason for this- they are owned by the same company. Notwithstanding, there are some differences.
- Many of the same functions as Bluehost. HostGator has the same goodies as Bluehost above.
- Cheaper. The basic plan for hosting services are cheaper than Bluehost by a dollar per month. However, this is also a negative if you need certain services. See the cons list below.
- 45 day money back guarantee. Bluehost offers a 30-day guarantee.
- Throttling. There is no way of avoid being throttled on a shared server.
- Just the basics. As I mentioned in the pros, HostGator is cheaper by a dollar per month (hatchling plan), but for that dollar you are getting less. To receive the same benefits as the lowest Bluehost package, you have to upgrade to the next level on HostGator which is the baby plan. Now, to receive the same benefits as Bluehost, services will have to be upgraded and cost a dollar more per month. The only real difference with the cheapest plan is it only allows one domain name. With Bluehost’s cheapest plan, customers can have unlimited domains and even park domains.
- No SSL with basic plan. If you plan on trying to sell items, materials, or services, the website is becoming a business that will need an SSL certificate for credit cards. Only the second tier plan (baby plan) allows this and will cost an extra two dollars a month.
Final Thoughts The cheapest hosting service plan will be enough for anyone wanting to build a website for students and teachers. If there will be selling or financial transactions involved, it will cost more and the better choice would be Bluehost. Either one of the hosting services will provide the needed power to run an educational website. Also, if the website grows in popularity, it will always be possible to upgrade with no headaches. Click the banner below to find out more information on plans and services.
There are so many choices available that it is easy to become confused about which is the best hosting service for a website. Do the research and find what’s best for the purpose of the site, but be careful about believing everything printed on the internet. Almost all of the articles written on this subject are from affiliates. So when you see a top five or ten list, this is normally from individuals who are affiliated with all of the hosting services. I am an affiliate of Bluehost and HostGator above, but we refuse to promote hosting services without any personal knowledge. Feel confident we are providing information to help educators help students, not just to make money.