I started my career as an amateur webmaster way back in 1997, 14 years ago, but I opened a truly mine site for the first time in 2000. Up until then I have used free hosting, but there were always problems with them. Sometimes happened that it just stopped working, or that after a couple of years they asked to pay for the service, or that the service was initially fine and then became unreliable. Finally I was able to understand how the whole system works and I made some money through sponsors, so I decided in the new millennium to become a little more professional and open a site with my own domain and have professional hosting. Of course, I have to pay for it. Since I had earned some money, it felt right to invest some of that money to improve the business. The first problem was how to choose a good hosting. I searched for information and studied various solutions for almost a month. Many factors had to be taken into consideration and the decision was quite challenging. I finally decided to entrust my web destiny to the WebAir provider, located in New Jersey, USA. All companies offer multiple plans, depending on what the user needs. First I opted for a virtual server, meaning my site would share it with other sites. Of course, my free sites have always been on such servers. It costs a lot less than a personal server and this was the main reason for this decision. Two other important factors that determine the price are the amount of memory and the amount of traffic included in the base price. I didn't skimp as I was full of hope for the future development of my business and I chose a plan that greatly exceeded my needs at the time.
In the end, I chose an option that cost me 39.95 dollars per month. I also registered my first domain with the same provider. My semi-professional career started in my free time. I had various problems with this provider, especially with the memory, because I often found myself unable to insert new content because there was no space on the server, even if the memory I used was ten times less than what I had paid for. The problem was theirs, so as an old customer they moved me to a higher level, but for the same price. In early 2020, I received a notification that WebAir has been purchased by a larger company and that from a certain date I will have to do all my business through it. Its name is Nerivon. In the end, I don't care too much; it is important that everything works as before. And so it was until the end of the same year.
Then the people from Nerivon informed me that they would charge me 5 dollars for each domain I host, to use the email server. I had 4 domains with them, so that meant an extra 20 dollars a month; more than half of what I was paying for the hosting itself. My protests, the e-mails exchange, but they are stronger: in the end they sell a product and it's up to me to decide whether to buy it or not. The problem is that I'm very lazy sometimes. I prefer to spend more, so I don't have to do everything necessary when I switch suppliers. Then they told me they would transfer my domains to an other register. The problem is that registering with them costs 3 times more than the average price on the Internet. That fact turned everything upside down and made me decide to start looking for a new solution.
About 10 years ago I opened another hosting with a Dutch provider. I have always been very happy with the service provided and I pay less than half what Americans cost me. One possible solution was to move my 4 sites from them, but... I prefer not to put all my eggs in one basket, so after a few days I finally decide who will be my new supplier. The choice fell on the French hosting company Ikoula. Half the price of Nerivon, plus it also includes free HTTPS. For domains I decided to choose Namecheap so that it is independent from my hosting providers.
With Namecheap everything went very smoothly, as expected: it's just a domain registration. They were also very kind and contacted me personally, it was not an automatic email, to thank me for the trust and offer their help. Initially I had some small problems with Ikoula and I found that their technical support is not the best, but in the end I managed to solve the problem and at the moment everything is working fine. As for support, before choosing a service, I always contact it via email: I want to see if there is anyone on the other side. I turned down two hosting companies due to a late response, in one case, and ambiguous response, in another. I hope this experience of mine will help some of you webmasters, especially the newbies entering this area.