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So, You Want Your Own Website? Is Free Or Paid Hosting Right For You?

You have made the decision to build a website! Good for you. Whether you are simply looking for a way to show off your family, to try your hand at making money from an ... program or to go into

You have made the decision to build a website! Good for you. Whether you are simply looking for a way to show off your family, to try your hand at making money from an affiliate program or to go into a full-fledged business, your first decision is going to be where to host it.

Traveling the maze of hosting options is a bewildering and time consuming job these days. There are literally millions of hosting sites on the Internet! If you don’t believe me, try putting “hosting sites” into any major search engine, and look at the number of sites you will get back. There are free ones, cheap ones, expensive ones… ones that offer a lot of space or only a small space… some offer free templates to build a site “in minutes” and some require an extensive knowledge of HTML programming. Will you need an on-line control panel? Do they allow uploading from your hard drive, or are you going to need an FTP manager? Am I confusing you? Well, these are all things that you are going to need to consider before you make your choice.

Most people want to try their hand at a free site to begin with. If you are going to try and do it yourself this is a good way to start learning the ins and outs of site design. I strongly recommend that you sign up with a well-established free hosting site for starters. There are a ton of free hosting options out there, but
you are going to want one that is not going to disappear after you have built your site! You also want one that has very little down time. The best site is never going to be seen if the host is unreliable. So, consider such hosting options as Tripod, AngelFire, Yahoo Geocities, AOL Communities and other long-standing sites for your choice. Remember, anyone can buy a used server and set himself up as a hosting site, it does not mean that they will give you anything but grief.

If you are starting a business, you really should consider paying for your hosting. Those banners at the top of your free site, or the constant ad pop-ups say to the visitor that you do not have enough faith in your product to risk paying for a site! It may be unfair, but it is the reality. How much you pay for your hosting has a lot to do with your budget. Most of the free sites will allow you to upgrade to a banner-less site for a small amount of money each month.

If you are thinking of going with another option, shop around carefully. Check to see how long any hosting business has been around. You are going to want to pick one with a proven track record. Do they have an 800 number for tech support? Sites that only offer email support are chancy. They might not respond for days, or at all. Any reputable hosting business will have a phone number clearly posted. Be sure and check out what country they are located in. You don’t want language problems if you need help. You also might seriously consider contacting them and asking them for the email addresses of other clients. This is a good way to see if their other sites are satisfied with the service. If they don’t want you to contact their other clients, beware!

Also, I assure you that you do not have to pay a lot of money in order to get a good hosting site. There are many good options in the $15 to $20 a month price range. Don’t be dazzled by a lot of options that you may not need. All it really takes is common sense to find just the right hosting site for your needs. Good luck!

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Sibyl McLendon is the owner of Spirit Web Design She has been designing
sites for 3 years. Visit Spirit Web Design for
useful information on website marketing.

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