A lot of website hosting companies are sprouting in Zimbabwe largely because of the ease of launching a hosting business. If you search about reseller web hosting you will find that starting a hosting company is easy and requires a few dollars. I have found a company which allows you to resell hosting at a fee of only twenty dollars a month!
Most of the web hosting companies which are emerging in Zimbabwe might be using different servers but definitely employ the same software to manage their clients. This can be clearly noticed from the similarity of the web interfaces. So what does it take to be the best hosting service provider?
The biggest factor in choosing a hosting package is the cost. A lot of people go for the provider offering the lowest price. Free hosting is sought after by many people and the good news is that there is a company offering that in Zimbabwe. The company is linked to Nivacity. So does that make Nivacity the best web hosting service provider? Pricing is not the only thing that people consider when choosing hosting. The number of features in a single package is another factor.
Hosting companies have different packages for their customers. You simply choose the package which you can afford. Feature you need to look out for are the number of subdomains and add on domains that you can create. You also have to look at the amount of disk space that you can get as well as the number of databases that you can create. From my research, there is none else offering a lowest tier package which can beat Nivacity’s CPanel starter package. You can get 5GB of disk space, 10 MySQL databases, unlimited subdomains and one website.
I recently tried one of the cheapest hosting service which I shall not name. Their price was superb but their support was poor. It took ages to get responses from them and that was frustrating. Nivacity has the most affordable prices and a professional support team. If we combine that with their feature laden web hosting packages, we can undoubtedly declare them the best web hosting company in Zimbabwe.
Free web hosting is not a marketing gimmick, although some unscrupulous sites can use it as clickbait. Sometimes you have to throw caution to the wind and try it. It is not always a hoax. There are some legit online businesses offering free web hosting. You just have to know where to look for them. However, is free hosting really free? Read on and I will also point you to the best site offering free hosting.
Activate Premium Features
Hosting your website for free might come at a price if you do not know how to activate premium features. If you do get premium features immediately you will hurt your brand or your online business will simply fail to take off. What are some of those features and how can you activate them?
Premium features include secure socket layer (SSL)- some know it as the lock which appears in browsers to tell visitors that the site is secure. It is actually a secure transmission protocol which ensures that your website’s users can safely type their passwords and other private information. If you do not turn on HTTPS or SSL on your site users who visit your site will get a warning that the site is insecure or dangerous. Who would like to open a dangerous link? No one.
Another premium feature is storage space. Most free hosting limit traffic and storage space. If the latter is limited then you can not upload large files. It is not only space which is limited, but the ability to download files. Some free hosting providers do not allow certain file formats usually compressed files.
There are many premium features like the ability to set custom domains, custom 404 pages and allowing OGP images but they are not critical. They are just needed to make your site look more professional. The most important features are SSL and storage.
I am assuming that you already have free hosting. Well if you don’t have it yet then Awardspace is your best option. I have tried it and it works like a charm. You can search online for other sites. For now, let me continue to talk about premium features.
Free SSL and Storage
The most important features you need are storage and SSL. The simplest way to activate them is by upgrading your free account to premium hosting but that is not what you are looking for, right? If you want totally free hosting you will not find it anywhere unless you have knowledge on how to add other features from third party sites. Google drive is my recommended solution when it comes to free storage. However, you need to learn how to make files you upload to the platform downloadable. If you know how to do that using a Google drive direct link generator then you can rest assured that you have 15GB of free cloud storage.
Now the other premium feature is SSL and you can find it free from Let’s Encrypt and Cloudflare or any other site of your choice. Once you activate the premium features it will be time to enjoy your totally free hosting. The only thing you may have to worry about is downtime and bottlenecked traffic. There is no workaround for that. If it becomes a hindrance to your business then it will be time to move on to paid hosting. You can find affordable hosting in Zimbabwe or online.
Finding the best domain registrar and hosting provider in Zimbabwe is easy. However, most of them have very expensive packages. To find affordable services requires extensive research. The prices are exorbitant to such an extent that most people consider it cheaper to host their websites with major online businesses like Godaddy, Bluehost or Dreamhost. I have decided to offer some recommendations to make life easy for those who are just getting started with website hosting and are looking for local solutions.
ZISPA is the authority on co.zw top-level domain (TLD)
and it has authorized some local companies to act as registrars of that TLD. Therefore, if you have a business targeting the Zimbabwean audience, you should consider buying a co.zw domain which helps in localizing your business for SEO gains. To do that you need to engage with a domain registrar in Zimbabwe and one of the best is Name.co.zw.
Top Domain Seller
Name.co.zw offers affordable services. Buying a domain name from them is a breeze. All you have to do is visit their website and sign up. After creating an account you can go on to pay for a domain name of your choice, if it is available, using PayNow. For those who are
not aware, PayNow provides users with numerous options to pay. You can pay using Ecocash, Telecash, One Money, Zimswitch and credit or debit cards like Visa or Mastercard.
Co.zw is not the only TLD you can find in Zimbabwe. There is also an option to buy ac.zw for academic institutions and org.zw for non-governmental organisations. Name.co.zw also sells those TLDs at low prices. When you get your domain name, the next step is finding hosting services. I have written an article on free web hosting but here I shall delve on paid hosting.
Freshspot hosting has incredible prices and moreover, you can also pay using mobile payments in local currency. The best thing I like about Freshspot is that they allow you to manage your website using CPanel, unlike some hosting providers who ask you to bring your files for hosting. Physically taking files to a hosting company might not be a turn off those businesses which use WordPress as their content management system (CMS) since WordPress provides a way to manage your site online. However, when a business has a custom website there is a need to frequently upload content and therefore a way to remotely upload files, like CPanel, is required.
How do the abovementioned companies fair with well established international businesses like Godaddy? The answer is that they give major hosting providers a run for their money. When I found that there were such services in Zimbabwe, I was elated. It is convenient to
pay in local currency. Let us support local companies so that they can provide us with more great services.