Sometimes, not saying anything at all is saying something. Apple failed to update iWeb in its latest iLife refresh, and at last week’s keynote at WWDC, there were plenty of details about iCloud, but no mention of what was to become of the web hosting side of MobileMe. Now it appears Steve Jobs has spoken via email, and those of using this part of MobileMe will be forced to look elsewhere.
The usual suspects. By simply searching for the term “Top 10 Web Hosting,” you will find several lists, all vying for the honor of the definitive top 10 list of web hosts. I’ll save you a lot of trouble, and point you to hostmonster.com, justhost.com, fatcow.com, bluehost.com and hostgator.com, all of which appear ranked highly in most of these lists. Be sure the package you select supports hosting domain names on the account, and be aware of page limits and bandwidth caps on entry-level accounts. You should be able to find decent virtual accommodations for personal use for less than $5/mo.
Domain registrar. Apple doesn’t provide a domain service of their own. You can point your registered domain to your MobileMe account, but Apple is not a registrar themselves. Many, if not all, domain registrars also offer web hosting solutions, too. I happen to use GoDaddy as my domain registrar, and have been looking at what they have to offer. I was able to find a plan that suited my needs for less than $10/mo.
Squarespace. This is where things start to get interesting. Squarespace has lots of nice features to offer its customers. It is featured on many of the podcasts I listen to and watch. Squarespace’s strength lies in its easy-to-use, prefab template-based site development that is highly customizable supports multiple authors. But if you’re handling your web design and development elsewhere, this may be more than you need, and in order to avoid a ten page limit you have to start looking at plans that costs as much as $20/mo.
Apple may be getting out of the web game in favor of moving to the cloud, but it’s a feature that’s well-represented by many providers already, so it really isn’t a great loss. Nor is the demise of iWeb, which, truth be told, wasn’t a stellar web page creation tool to begin with. If anything, this may be the shot in the arm needed to get users to make some timely improvements to their personal websites.