If you are really serious about building a business presence on the web, two things that you are going to need are
There are a couple of options for web hosting: free and paid. Each has its advantages and disadvantages. Let's take a look at those.
- Price - it's free, after all
(but is it really?)
- You can often upgrade to a paid account when you're ready without having to re-create your entire site.
- You don't get much storage space. This may be OK if you're only putting up a page or two.
- You get long, ugly URL's like http://hostingcompany.com/my-account/page1.htm
- Your pages will have the hosting company's ads on them, and maybe other people's ads as well. That's how the hosting company pays for your "free" web space.
- You have no control over whose ads are shown on your site, but they will probably belong to a competitor because the keywords on YOUR site are what the hosting company uses to determine what ads to show on your site.
- There usually are not many tools or features unless you upgrade to a paid account.
- Your site may suffer from bandwidth limitations or slow service.
- You will probably be limited in the types of files you can upload to the server and will probably NOT be allowed to execute scripts.
- You have your own domain name, so your page names will be http://mydomain.com/page1.htm. Much more professional than the free ones, don't you think?
- Most hosting these days is very cheap - under $100 for an entire year will buy you at least 25 Gigabytes of storage (that's enough for several large sites) and several hundred gigabytes of data transfer (site traffic - this amount would represent several Million visits to your site each month). You can often host multiple domains within one hosting account, with separate email addresses and FTP for each domain.
- Many hosting services include online video tutorials for every step of the hosting process, from setting up email accounts to FTP and how to use your control panel tools.
- Many hosting services provide excellent customer support either by live chat or by phone - or both.
- Most hosting accounts include at least a rudimentary online site builder tool and often these tools are quite advanced. You will probably find tools like forums, blogs, guestbooks, calendars, content managment software and a host of other features available to install on your site at no additional cost.
- Many hosting companies will offer some kind of bonus, like Google AdWords credits or real web site builder tools, for accounts that pay for 12 or 24 months of service up front.
- You generally get faster response for your pages. Many hosting companies have their servers right on the internet backbone.
- The only ads your site will display will be the ones you put there yourself!
- It's not free
(but it's inexpensive)
- You have to learn a little about managing a web site (video tutorials make this much easier)
Techkat recommends the following web hosting providers:
For advanced features: Ultimate Marketing Center
If your business requires advanced features like an autoresponder, shopping cart, affiliate program, membership site, help desk and autoresponder you can get them all under one roof for a really economical price at Ultimate Marketing Center. The reason I like this so much is that everythin you need to run a successful business is included in one account.
Host multiple web sites, start a membership site (or two or more), set up unlimited lists in the autoresponder ...
Want to sell products? Digital, physical, it doesn't matter. You can set them up here in your products center.
Plus, you can use the Help Desk on any site, even if it is hosted elsewhere. so set up as many as you need!
For simple web hosting of one or more domains: Lunar Pages
- Their price for the basic package is one of the best values around anywhere.
- If you purchase 12 or 24 months of hosting they include a bonus of $700 worth of Coffee Cup site development tools
- Their customer service is among the best I've found anywhere.
- They provide video tutorials on every step of the domain managment process.