From #1 to #5: Top Ranked Web Design Resources


I’ve recently had a chance to review the most popular web design resources. Ranking factors that were used are listed below each resource. The categories include hosting companies, domain registrars, twitter marketing tools, freelancing websites, and icon resources.

Hosting Resources:

Ranking factors: i) reliability; ii) speed; iii) cost; iv) technical support.

#1. HostGator – 9.95

Reliable, trustworthy host that has been around for many years. They do free migrations from your old host, have cPanel and make it a pleasure to host with them. Their hosting support is rated #1. I believe they may be running a 20% off special at this time.

#2. JustHost – 9.91

This is a top rated web host with cPanel, unlimited space, free domain and free installation. We’ve heard many good things about JustHost from our web designer audience. Be sure to check them out when comparing web hosting companies.

#3. iPage – 9.89

Although it doesn’t have cPanel, iPage is nonetheless a terrific host. With the price of only $4.50/month, eco-friendly wind energy power, free domain, free migration, $75 Google Adwords credit, $50 Facebook credit, free SiteLock security suite ($100 value) and much more, iPage is a very solid web hosting company in 2011.

#4. FatCow – 9.84

Lack of cPanel is a disavantage, but the price is extremely attractive with the current hosting special for only $56 per year. Another huge plus is they transfer your website from your old hosting for free and even give you a free domain name when you sign up. If you are environmentally friendly, you should also know that they use green hosting 100% powered by wind energy.

#5. BlueHost – 9.2

Barely making our top 5, BlueHost has an attractive price and feature list. Their control panel is a modified version of cPanel which I found very easy to work with.

Domain Resources:

Ranking factors: i) cost; ii) reliability; iii) customer support.

#1. GoDaddy – 9.97

This registrar giant is the oldest and most reliable. Reliability is super important for your domain registrar because in 99.9% of the cases you let them handle DNS forwarding to your hosting company. If you use a cheap host, they can easily do something wrong with the DNS, which will make your website down despite your hosting company being up. Scary isn’t it? In addition to being very reliable, you can get cheap .com’s at only $7.49 each from GoDaddy. I use GoDaddy as the registrar for all of my domains.

#2. – 9.79

#3. NameCheap – 9.77

#4. Moniker – 9.69

#5. 1&1 – 9.54

Twitter Resources:

Ranking factors: i) quality; ii) cost; iii) customer support.

#1. SocialOomph – 9.42

#2. TweetDeck – 9.1

Icon Resources:

Ranking factors: i) quality; ii) cost; iii) customer support.

#1. IconFinder – 9.96

Highlights: more than 188,000 icons, very easy to use. This is the top icon site for web designers.

#2. IconShock – 9.75

#3. IconSeeker – 9.72

#4. IconsPedia – 9.34

#5. FreeIconsWeb – 9.20

Freelancing Resources:

Ranking factors: i) number of projects; ii) cost; iii) customer support.

#1. Upwork – 9.98

You can get as much as 30% of your clients from this Freelancing site. Very easy to use.

#2. Freelancer – 9.89

#3. Odesk – 9.42 (now purchased by Upwork)

#4. Guru – 9.45

#5. iFreelance – 8.80

Font Resources:

Ranking factors: number of fonts, quality of fonts, frequency of updating, ease of use.

#1. – 9.97

Highlights: It is one of the largest font websites online with a total of 20,000+ fonts, with many different categories and almost any font you can dream of.

#2. DaFont – 9.95

Every designer knows as it’s one of the best free font websites. Why didn’t it make #1? It just doesn’t have the same selection as Further, while the fonts are free, they are mostly for personal use and can’t legally be used on your clients’ websites, since that use qualifies as commercial.

#3. FontSpace – 9.90

#4. Urban Fonts – 9.78

#5. Google Fonts – 9.55

Google Fonts is a relatively new Google project and I hope it’s one they won’t abandon. While the collection is still very small, it has been growing. If Google takes their font service seriously this resource could be one to definitely bookmark.

63 thoughts on “From #1 to #5: Top Ranked Web Design Resources”

  1. Solid curation, Iggy.. I’m happy to say I am using the hosting and domain name providers on your list. Go me. 😛

    Guru looks interesting. I have only heard of Freelancer, which I am a member of… I’ve lost interest, however, as I’ve never won a bid and don’t care to pay to try for more attempts.

    I would like to recommend Font Squirrel. They curate 100% free (for commercial-use) fonts. Their list is small… but extremely useful.

  2. hello Iggy.,thanks for compiling these.,i havent checked my emails in while,now that i did,this is exactly what i been looking for.,thanks again.,

  3. Thanks for sharing this iggy with us,really helpful but if i may say i would among twitter resources add Buffer too 🙂 Other than that this is great!

  4. Nice and Thank you. I can vouch for many of the listed items above. We have a reseller hosting account through HostGator, a domain account through GoDaddy, really like Elance and have used DaFont and Urban Fonts.

    I use many of these on a daily basis and highly recommend them…this is after trying many other resources that just weren’t up to par. This is a top notch list!!

  5. GoDaddy is the worst Domain registrar / Hosting provider ever… Try search for “GoDaddy suck” to understand what I mean. It’s a shame it made it to this list. They are thieves, arrogant, ignorant and understand nothing about the hosting business. They better start a strip club for all those stupid ads they create.

  6. I would agree with the hosting list until yesterday. I had eight sites running on iPage and I was trying to FTP some files up to one of them yesterday morning and couldn’t. When I tried to log into the control panel, their site was down. So, I checked my sites and they were all down too. I called and the tech support guy acted like I was either crazy or stupid, and said that their site was up. He said it had to be something on my end, even though I told him I had about 20 different sites up and running on three different browsers. He actually, don’t laugh too hard now, he actually told me to try rebooting my computer. Really?

    Then, I checked with a colleague in London who also uses iPage and his site was down too. I called them back, but their phone lines gave me a busy signal. This was the first time I ever didn’t get through and at least get put into a hold queue. Their site, and mine, was down for almost an hour, and coincidentally I was able to get through to support just after the servers came back up.

    Look, I’ve worked in technology for over 25 years, and I understand that sometimes hardware goes down, and I can deal with that. What I can’t deal with is when a company knowingly gives me false information. I called back to ask about the outage and they denied that one ever took place. They’ve sent me several reports on the support ticket and each one says that there was no outage and the issue was resolved. They refused to escalate the incident to a level two support person, and basically had the attitude that I must have been imagining the whole thing. I guess my developer in India was imagining the outage too, as he was the one trying to access their FTP servers, and I suppose that my mail program was imagining it too when it displayed X’s on 4 email accounts, which couldn’t access the iPage mail servers. I suppose all the other people who were calling their support line during this time were either hallucinating from some peyote buttons they’d accidentally ingested, or were just folks inquiring about their great hosting services – at 3:30 AM Phenix time. That’s not exactly a peak calling time, which would overload their phone lines, but maybe there are a lot of people who conduct all their internet hosting business in the middle of the night (probably those people on peyote).

    Personally, I think they just lied about it as a company policy so their uptime statistics won’t be affected in a negative way. Who tabulates those ratings anyway? Is there some independent monitoring company that actually monitors a host’s servers 24 hours a day to determine what percentage of time they’re actually up? If anyone knows, please tell me. Thanks.

    By the way, I switched all my hosting to Host Gator by 9:30 AM the same day. I am SO glad I did. iPage’s load times have been getting increasingly slower and slower anyway, so I’d been thinking about switching for a while, and their support techs are also getting increasingly slower and slower. Today, I got a personal phone call from a guy who’d been assigned to my account as my own personal account manager, so if I ever have any issues I can call and talk to a real, live person who actually has an interest in my business, and doesn’t tell me to try rebooting my computer.

    • Dear David,

      Thank you for telling us your story! I feel terrible that something like this has happened to you as I have personally had my share of frustration with hosting companies. Do you think this outage may have something to do with hurricane Sandy destroying power in the majority of the East coast?

  7. Interesting lists:

    I had looked at FatCow but went with Site5 instead. They have been fantastic with support and their site is pretty easy to use.

    I’m no prude, but I personally find the GoDaddy commercials offensive so I would never give them any of my business.

  8. I had no idea there was such a thing as a Twitter Marketing program. I need that in my life. For sure. Thanks for this list. So happy I subscribed since I needed some serious tips.

  9. Wow, Justhost really, you put them second!

    Because as a service they are rubbish beyond all belief. I and other designer friends have had nothing by trouble with Justhost. Here is one problem I had and it was a Huge problem.

    I came to the end of my two year subscription with them and wanted to transfer my files over to another hosting provider. I first, got a lovely email asking me to say, and the would provide me with a good discount on the new subscription. I replied back nicely stating that friends have recommend other hosting provide and i would be giving them a try. A few day later I was ready to transfer my files and websites over to the new hosting provider and contacted justhost to do the transfer.

    first I got a rude person telling me that I was signed up to another two years subscription, When I wasn’t, then they didn’t let me move my domain names. I then contacted HQ and said that I would sue them if they don’t release my domain names, as they was breaking the law. They then hung up. So the next day I went to log in to my cpanel and couldn’t.

    I called HQ again and they said they closed my account as I was in the process of suing them. I lost all my domain names, and websites which caused major headaches, and lost of clients. After a long battle they paid me off before it went to court.

    So no, Justhost are Just rubbish. Don’t go there unless you want years of headaches and lost of clients.

    • I am very sorry to hear this. This is exactly why we have this roundup, so customers like you can share your experiences.

  10. you may have forget about v-worker or rentacoder

    I think v-worker is much better and secure then iFreelancer. By the its design looks little bit complicated. I used to search here for new clients before switcing to elance.

  11. I find it interesting that even though made you list barely, that they made it at all. Sure control panel is a bit nicer but they are blacklisted with many credit card companies due to their failure to provide accurate information on their website, including that you must pay upfront to purchase services (while in many cases that is standard, they gain customers by acting like this is not the case with them) and they have AWFUL customer service.

  12. Great list ! Thanks for sharing this. Just wondering why doesn’t anyone like GoDaddy for hosting? I’ve used them for years and have never had a problem.
    I think they have a great support staff and have always had any issues resolved.

    Hey Iggy how do I post my avatar on your site?

    • Hey Roger,

      I am actually not sure on the avatar – I think WordPress automatically pulls these from your gmail account, but I may be wrong : )

  13. I’d have to veto Just Host being on the list of best hosting companies and certainly off of the top 5 list. I’ve had nothing but problems with them. I was having some issues with their server where none of my images would show on my site. I had been racking my brain trying to figure out why it would be happening. After double checking code and running out of ideas I called Just Host and asked them if they could help me to figure it out. The guy asked which image didn’t show (which was all of them and I told him that but whatever.) The guy did something on his end and then asked me to refresh the page to see the results. Poof! One of the images showed. I asked what he did and he said that he opened the image file in THEIR online HTML/photo editor and then simply resaved the image. It made no sense to me that simply doing that would fix the issue. I use Photoshop for image editing and knew that whatever the issue was that it had to be on their server. I knew this because at the time I was transferring a fully functional website from another hosting company to my new Just Host server account. The issue had nothing to do with image paths or anything like that. It was like somehow uploading my site to Just Host corrupted all of the images. It made no sense to me. Just Host’s solution was to have me use their online editing tool and to open every image and resave every image using their tool. To me, that is not a solution. Especially since I knew the files worked just fine. I also knew nothing was wrong with my files because I had another site setup with an entirely different hosting company and I created a sub-domain, uploading the same exact files as I did to Just Host and I had ZERO PROBLEMS with any of my images not showing.

    Needless-to-say I left Just Host immediately and found another hosting company that I absolutely love (InMotiong Hosting – I now exclusively use InMotion and sign up all of my clients to use their services.

    I will NEVER send or recommend any to use Just Host and I really don’t see how they can end up in the top 100, let alone top 5.

  14. Yes, Iggy, you are right!
    I’ve been on the Net for more years now than I would like to admit; don’t know them all but was beta tester for some of the resources, so, experience allows me to guarantee your readers that the reviews are very accurate.
    If the ones I deeply know are balanced, why should the others be otherwise?
    Best wishes,

  15. I am not sure if it would fit in your resources per sa, but I highly recommend as an addition to your list.

    A free account allows for 2,000 subscribers and 12,000 emails per month and they do not skimp on the features for the free accounts.

    I have used them with several clients and would highly recommend them to freelancers, either as a self marketing tool or as a (marketing) tool for clients.

  16. I must be a rebel as I do not see any top notch hosting or domain control sites on this page? Two of the most pathetic are GoDaddy and Blue Host and I am shocked to see what I guess are webmasters that use these two!

    For domains I use who has some feature rich controls, real world prices and advertisements do not pollute my control panel like GoDaddy. For hosting I prefer to control my own servers but would highly recommend Host Dime or its sister company Surpass Hosting over anything I have viewed here!

  17. Great read and the information is very good. We’ve worked with Justhost for a while now as they support the 1 year free of hosting and domain name with each template sold. Even though we have our own hosting servers they handle the global client base very well 🙂

  18. Hey, thanks for the article. I just have one issue with your hosting choice.

    Fatcow and ipage (among other companies) are owned by the same owner. Visit the signup page and notice the similarities.

    They’re owned by EIG (Endurance International Group). Other hosting and domain solutions offered by them include: 1) Fatcow 2) Powweb 3) iPowerWeb 4) IPOWER 5) dot5hosting 6) Justhost 7) HostClear 8) Startlogic 9) Globat 10) Easycgi 11) Serverbeach 12) virtualave 13) Choopa 14) Webhost4life 15) iPage 16) BizHostNet

    Why would a company own so many hosting solutions? Why do all of them have the same layout? How can you be sure that due to all their employees they wont crash?

    I find what EIG is doing is unethical (business standards). They’re creating their own competition, I will never recommend them to my clients, even if their affiliate programs are tempting.

    I still admire hostgator for my host and find that is exeptionally great in domain hosting and dns handling.

  19. I used to host with another host and I was experiencing some slow server speeds and not great service if i’m honest. I was totally blown away by Hostgator packages and support. I actually looked into them from reading some of your other articles – So thanks, I never knew peace of mind could feel so good!

    I think 1 thing you missed off Hostgator is their on-line Live support, where you can talk directly to an agent in either sales, technical or something else, I forgot what. Just being able to have a real time conversation back and forth is so much more helpful, rather than you sending an email, getting a reply 3 hours later & someone doesn’t quite understand your question and you having to send another one clarifying your enquiry. Most of the time, you need a response ASAP.

    Echo your statements regarding GoDaddy hosting too. Not worth the hassle, despite the encouraging prices, but superb registrar.

    I also enjoy using Icon Archive too for my icons, it’s pretty good, has some decent filters on it too.

    Thanks for the tip on MarketMeSuite too, i bought this tool on the back of your recommendation, it’s fantastic. I’m following you, would you like to follow me? @iwebconsultancy if you do. If not no worries.


  20. those are great resources for web developers. I think most people have a hard time deciding what hosting company to choose. this should help.

  21. Nice list. Generally, I am in agreement (not that it matters, just my experience with a majority of vendors listed). However, W/R/T goDaddy, they are dead last in every aspect of their business. (I have done business with Bob since “bluedisk” days.) 1and1 is a close second to goDaddy—we’re talking hundreds of domains and multiple accounts over years, not one bad experience.

    As a criteria, price means nothing if a vendor drops the ball in every other user/service category. I’ll pay a little more to NameCheap to get good service, fast interface and error free domain purchase/transfer.

    Hosting quality/popularity has an ebb and flow. Slow user access, even in high demand times, is deal breaker for me.

    Watch for to get on your hosting “tops” list.

    • Thanks for your comments, Doktor. GoDaddy has been great for me as a domain registrar, although horrible as a web host. With regard to – although they are cheap, they are also painfully slow, which is just not worth it. You’ll be losing many more customers per month from the slow load times than what you will be saving on the hosting fees.

      • Not seeing slow with WebHostingPad–I am experiencing hundreds of 500 internal errors and slow delivery with Dreamhost. I’ll keep you posted.

  22. I was pretty pleased 3 of your recommendations I already use. And IconFinder is a keeper!! As Michael said earlier UK hosts reviews would be great having just moved from there. I too was with JustHost, but they ultimately let me down which was a shame and they’re servers were quite slow, but for a cheap start-up definitely worth it. Unfortunately it seems that a lot of UK based hosts just can’t compete with those in the USA. But i too would welcome any UK hosts reviews that you write.

    Thanks, keep up the good work 🙂

  23. I recently did some research and was leaning toward GreenGeeks for hosting. Has anyone used them / have feedback?

  24. Nice list, was helpful. However i am looking at some UK hosts at the moment and i have been with “justhost” for some while now. Quiet good support and servers just an annoying website with pop ups etc every time you try and leave!

  25. Thanks, Iggy. It is definitely time to re-evaluate my hosting strategy. This will be a key part of my research and other sources.

  26. I use hostgator and their tech support is top notch, which is great since I’m a newbie at hosting and have only recently started my own Starcraft 2 blog and strategy site.

  27. I use hostgator and their tech support is top notch, which is great since I’m a newbie at hosting and have only recently started my own Starcraft 2 blog and strategy site.

  28. Hey, Iggy!
    Thanks for compiling these, seriously.

    I might want to check all of them, after dealing with this “burnout” of mine 🙂

  29. I really like that you added the freelance section in here. One thing though – I tried to link this to twitter but there is no page available. I’m guessing that’s for a reason?

    • Hi Gerald,

      Thank you for your positive feedback. The page should be linkable now – can you please try again? Thanks.



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