If you’re looking to create an online destination, you need a web hosting service to lay the foundation. Domain.com is a competitor in a crowded space, one that gives you the storage, data transfers, email, and other tools to do just that. Unfortunately, the service lacks the advanced hosting tiers and flexible pricing options offered by competitors, such as 1&1 Ionos, A2, AccuWeb, DreamHost, HostGator, and Hostwinds, the PCMag Editors’ Choice winners for web hosting services. Still, if you don’t need the features that Domain.com lacks, you’ll find it a capable and dependable web host.
Shared Web Hosting
Like HostMonster, Domain.com doesn’t offer month-to-month shared web hosting options. Instead, you must sign up for one of Domain.com’s annual plans. Furthermore, unlike the other hosting services I’ve reviewed, Domain.com offers no discount for signing up for a longer-term plan. In other words, you pay the same amount of money per year committing to a one-year contract that you do for a three-year contract.
Domain.com’s entry-level shared package, Basic, starts at $3.75 per month with a one-year contract. It includes unlimited disk space, unlimited monthly data transfers, unlimited email inboxes, 10 databases, five FTP log-ins, and the ability to host a single site. The Deluxe package, which starts at $6.75 per month with a one-year contract, adds unlimited domain hosting, and ups the databases and log-ins to 25 each. The Ultra package, priced at $13.75 per month, boasts unlimited databases and log-ins.
If you don’t want to start out with an annual web hosting commitment, HostGator, the Editors’ Choice for shared hosting, should be on your radar. Its plans have monthly hosting plans that start at $10.95 for a single month. If, on the other hand, you are ready to commit, you can drive the price down to $2.08 per month, a bit less than a similar Domain.com package, if you sign up for three years. HostGator also tosses in unlimited email, storage, and monthly data transfers with all of its shared hosting plans. That’s a nice touch, and it makes HostGator quite a bit more attractive than Domain.com when it comes to shared hosting.
WordPress Web Hosting
Domain.com has two WordPress hosting plans: WP Starter and WP Essential. WP Starter (starting at $3.75 per month) offers unlimited storage, monthly data transfers, email, and a handpicked selection of WordPress themes and plug-ins. WP Essential (starting at $6.95 per month) adds expert WordPress support, automatic malware removal, and enhanced site security. Like Domain.com’s shared plans, these WordPress plans don’t give you a discount for an annual sign up.
Those are fine packages, but A2 has slightly better WordPress hosting plans. Although the two companies’ WordPress offerings have similar specs, A2 boasts a free SSL certificate with each blogging tier. As a result, A2 is the Editors’ Choice for WordPress hosting.
What It Lacks
Domain.com has shared and WordPress hosting plans that are worth checking out, but the web host lacks the cloud, dedicated, VPS, and reseller options that you’ll find in our highly recommended picks. It’s missing a Windows server option, too. A Domain.com customer service rep suggested that I check out FatCow, the company’s sister site, for reseller and VPS plans.
Domain.com doesn’t give you much room to expand into other web hosting tiers, which is a significant ding against the service. If you want to reap the benefits that a dedicated server offers, for example, you’ll need to migrate your site elsewhere. That takes time, and time, as they say, is money.
Still, if you’re fine with the idea of building a Linux-based site using shared or WordPress hosting, Domain.com is a great option.
Building a Website
Domain.com has several tools for building a website, including its own website builder. Its drag-and-drop functionality let me quickly build an attractive test page complete with slideshows, contact forms, social media links, and more.
The Starter plan (starting at $1.99 per month) lets you create up to six pages, but upgrading to the Business plan (starting at $6.99 per month) lets you create unlimited pages. The eCommerce plan (starting at $12.99 per month) adds PayPal integration, inventory management and tracking, and the ability to sell products online. All plans include unlimited storage and a free SSL certificate.
Weebly is also a website-builder option. Weebly’s free version gives you basic functionality (you can create unlimited pages and add custom HTML), but upgrading to the Professional tier ($8 per month) offers even more flexibility (custom themes, password protected pages, and more). You can read our Weebly review for a deeper dive into its offerings.
When it comes to getting your message out there, Domain.com offers Ecwid as a $4.95 per month e-commerce application, I created an attractive store in just a few minutes by dragging and dropping website elements. The basic version has many options, including real-time shopping quotes, sales and promotional prices, and 24/7 phone and chat support. As you move up the upgrade ladder, you get a SSL certificate and the ability to sell more products.
G Suite and Office 360 are available add ons, too.
Domain.com’s web hosting packages come with a slew of security features, including a password-protected directory and SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) support. An SSL certificate acts as a digital passport that lets data travel through secure networks and protects valuable information, such as financial and credit card transactions, signups, and so on. If you plan to sell products, SSL should be considered an essential add-on.
Website uptime is one of the most important aspects of a hosting service. If your site is down, clients or customers will be unable to find you or access your products or services. You do not want that.
I used a website monitoring tool to track my Domain.com-hosted test site’s uptime over a two-week period. Every 15 minutes, the tool pings my website and sends me an email if it is unable to contact the site for at least one minute. The data revealed that Domain.com is highly reliable; it didn’t go down once in the 14-day period.
Domain.com has both 24/7 telephone support and online web chat—I tested both help methods. I dialed Domain.com’s telephone tech support on a weekday morning to ask a representative about the differences between shared hosting and dedicated hosting. The rep came to my aid in under three minutes and gave me an informative answer.
I later fired up the web chat on a weekday afternoon to ask a representative about how to import my WordPress.com setup into Domain.com. I waited just under 2 minutes before a phone technician fielded my call. He gave me a walkthrough that let me quickly import an existing blog. Overall, I am pleased with Domain.com’s customer service squad.
Domain.com lets you cancel a hosting package at any time, and it issues a refund for the remainder of your current payment term. If you cancel the service within the first 30 days of signing up, Domain.com refunds your hosting fees in full. That’s a good offering, but DreamHost outdoes it with its impressive 97-day money-back guarantee window.
A Solid Service
There’s a lot to like about Domain.com, including ecommerce tools, strong customer service, and dependable site uptime. That said, Domain.com lacks options for cloud, VPS, dedicated, and reseller servers. There isn’t an option for Windows-based servers, either. If you want a robust web hosting experience with most, or all, those features, 1&1 Ionos, A2, AccuWeb, DreamHost, HostGator, and Hostwinds, PCMag’s overall Editors’ Choice winners for web hosting, are excellent options.
For more on the basics of getting a website up and running, check out How to Build a Website, 7 Things You Need to Know When Building an E-Commerce Website, and How to Get Started With WordPress.
The Bottom Line
Web hosting service Domain.com gives you many tools for setting up an entry-level online destination, but it lacks the advanced tiers of hosting growing sites may eventually want.