If you are regular follower of What’s up Fagans? then you can tell that my website has changed considerably over the last two months or so. And that is because I went from being http://whatsupfagans.blogspot.com to http://whatsupfagans.com.
I went from the Blogger platform to a self-hosted WordPress platform. And it was and still is a steep learning curve, but I am so glad I did it. I generally love how my new design works, and love WordPress and all its amazing plug-ins and features. I still have things I want to change, but some things just take a little time.
The reason I switched was to be a “real blogger.” I really do hope to make some money off this little blog, while still being completely real, honest, and not a sell-out. So, I promise I will only promote products and things that I would actually use or want. I want to be authentic and honest and that means being selective in what and whom I choose to work with.
All that being said, I want to help you out in case you too wanted to become a “real blogger” or if you want to start your own website. While I’m not a web designer or much of a graphic designer, I am a frugal, cost conscientious consumer. So, I want to help you know how to save money on web hosting costs, and even domain name costs!
Buy a Domain Name
The first thing you need to do to become a website owner is to buy a domain name. While some hosting companies throw in domain names (for free) with their packages, I took my brother Jon’s advice (he’s actually a computer guy), and bought my own domain separate from a hosting company. That way it is not attached to any hosting company – it is all mine – and if I do want to switch hosts, I don’t have to worry about what will become of my domain name.
There are several different websites you can buy a domain name from. My brother Jon suggest joker.com. But, I’m thrifty and must shop around. After looking at a few others, I went with the most popular domain buying site – godaddy.com.
BUT, I didn’t just click and buy, I made sure I shopped through ebates.com! Shopping through ebates gave me 7% cash back on my purchase at godaddy! They also list current coupon codes for godaddy.com (as well as other stores) on ebates as well. It looks like now until October 31, you can score a domain name for only $1.99 (for the first year, $9.99 for the second) by using the promo code cjcEB199. When I bought my domain name – whatsupfagans.com – I paid $13.99 for 2 years, and received $0.98 back because I shopped through ebates.com. Whatever you spend there, you’ll get 7% cash back!! It’s that’s simple and that easy.
Of course you can check out other domain buying sites, sites like domain.com. If you are buying from domain.com and want the best cash back deal, I suggest using ShopAtHome.com‘s 110% cash back guarantee. Tell them that ebates.com has a better deal (they do – ebates offers 12.5% back, ShopAtHome.com only offers 8%) and they will match it 110%, meaning you’ll get 13.75% cash back on your domain purchase at domain.com!
Buy a Hosting Plan
I asked my blogging friends who they prefer for hosting companies, and the opinions were across the board. Some love GoDaddy, others BluHost, a few BlueDomain. Others hated those same ones! So, I looked into many, many different ones. Some are way more expensive than I feel this little blog can justify. Others didn’t include things I I wanted (like advertising credits, multiple domains, unlimited bandwidth and disk space, etc). There are hundreds of hosting companies out there., so I suggest scouring the internet for reviews. I also looked at prices, because web hosting is the most expensive part about running a website. I checked to see if any would garner cash back if shopping through a third party site, and was very pleasantly surprised that some did!
Fatcow.com – the one I chose
While I didn’t hear from that many who use them, they had some killer reviews on one site. Plus, they offered cash back through a third party site and would not cost me a fortune. I bought my hosting plan for $75.60 for two years, but I saved $50 by shopping through ShopAtHome.com. Total I spent $85.59 on setting up my own website for two years, but got $50.98 cash back via ShopAtHome.com and Ebates.com. That means I really only spent $34.61 to set up my website for two years. I really, really, hope to recoup that cost in two years’ time. If not, I’m not out much at all. So far I haven’t had any problems with fatcow.com, and I hope it continues that way.
If you decide to get hosting through godaddy.com, shop through ShopAtHome.com. They will give new godaddy costumers $40 cash back on a 12-month hosting plan, $10 back for existing costumers. Plus, they run promotions all the time. Their current promotion is 50% off hosting plans with promo code cjceb50hh.
If you go through ShopAtHome.com for them, they have all sorts of different categories, that garner different cash back. For example, Web Hosting Annual Packages will get you $50 cash back, but you’ll get 12.5% cash back on web hosting monthly packages. This one seems a little confusing, so I’d suggest emailing ShopAtHome.com (they’re really good about getting back to you) about what you are interested in buying, and what the cash back would be for that purchase. Or, you can just go with a flat 5% cash back from ebates.com.
Not only can you buy a domain, you can get hosting services too. ShopAtHome.com will give you $50 cash back on an Ultra Hosting Package, $45 on a Deluxe, and $30 on a Basic hosting plan. Or, ebates.com offers a flat 12.5% cash back on all purchases.
1&1 Web Hosting
This company is currently offering deals on all of their hosting packages. And ShopAtHome.com offers 25% cash back on all your purchases!
Other Cash Back Web Hosting Companies (in alphabetical order)
- AN Hosting Company – $62.50 cash back from ShopAtHome.com!
- Dot5 Hosting –$60 CB for 1 year or 2 year plan from ShopAtHome.com
- Easy CGI.com Web Hosting – $50 from ShopAtHome.com
- Host Rocket – $40 CB for ShopAtHome.com
- iPower – $50 CB from ShopAtHome.com
- iWeb – 40% CB from ShopAtHome.com
- iX Web Hosting – $20 CB from ShopAtHome.com
- MidPhase – $40 CB from ShopAtHome.com
- MyHosting Online – $40-55 CB from ShopAtHome.com
- NetFirms – $35 CB from ShopAtHome.com on Advantage or Enterprise Plans
- NewTek – $6 CB from ShopAtHome.com
- Omnis Network –$40 CB from ShopAtHome.com
- POWWeb – $35 CB from ShopAtHome.com
- Register.com Hosting – 12% CB from ebates.com; or 10%, $56 on professional package, or $96 for premium from ShopAtHome.com
- Start Logic – $40 CB from ShopAtHome.com
- Servage – 40% CB from ShopAtHome.com
- Web.com – $15 CB from ShopAtHome.com
- WebHostingBuzz Online – $20 CB from ShopAtHome.com
I wish some of the most popular web hosting companies (Bluhost, BlueDomain, DreamHost, Hostgator and others) were offering cash back. But, many great companies still are! So, if you really need (more) affordable hosting services, or want to switch companies, than I strongly recommend buying your plans through ShopAtHome.com. It doesn’t cost you a dime or a penny to shop through them, but is an incredible way how to save money on web hosting costs! Figure out what the right web hosting company, services, and plans are for your small business or blogging needs, and then click and save!