I recommend the OP remove 1 & 1 from this as well. I had a nearly similar experience with them, and I didn’t even use them for web hosting. While you are right in what happens with expiration, it is worth noting that 1&1 makes it as difficult as possible to transfer and *will* keep your domain after it expires. Once you’re in, you’re stuck and you’re at their mercy.
With 1&1’s Basic package, you get 100 GB storage, 1 free domain for the first 12 months and an SSL certificate. For scalability, level 1 is included. Meaning, up to 2.5 GB RAM of which half is always guaranteed. You see an instant traffic increase? This allows your website to work uninterrupted. Scalability goes up to level 5 in just one click. Be always prepared.
First of all, IONOS is not a free domain name service provider in general. We usually have very competitive pricing for our domain customers; however, you will not be able to enjoy free domains all the time. The reason we can occasionally give away domains at little or no cost is that our large customer base enables us to attract a lot of registries that work with us.
Domain name generators allow you to input an initial keyword or domain and then generate a list of similar domains you can purchase. While some specialize in offering an extensive list of domain extensions, others help you find domains specific to your business niche, and still others help you find currently owned domains and then negotiate their acquisition.
You can also find that some WordPress-centric hosting companies, like WPEngine offer expensive managed hosting services. It’s built specifically for running WordPress websites on it, and it’s optimized for speed, security, and scalability. Such services also come with many enhanced WordPress-specific features, which are not necessary for users who’re just starting out.
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One thing we learned in reviewing the services listed here (and many more) is that even though the packages are very similar, they are not identical. Some are more security-focused than others, offering anti-spam and anti-malware tools. Others offer a variety of email marketing tools. While most of the hosts we've reviewed have built-in e-commerce, you may want to consider using a more-robust third-party online shopping cart application like Shopify instead.