Unsatisfied with free web hosting services provided by Geocities, Angelfire, and Fortune City? Easily forgotten long domain name full of dashes and slashes which will fail the Radio Test, Pop-ups, banners making your life miserable! You start looking for a real professional hosting service for your beloved website. You start searching over the Net. Suddenly the possibilities are immense! $20 a month and 20MB space. Fantastic, isn’t it?
Is it?? Read on. Way back, when I was a real novice, when I was amongst that typical “The Internet is so wonderful” optimist, I signed up with a paid web hosting service provider. I thought I found the perfect solution. I was provided a chunk of webspace, a web address and content for my site. But before I could even realize what’s going on, I found out that the space was a useless chunk which won’t work properly, the address wouldn’t connect, the contents warped and too much downtime.
Wiser I grew as an year passed, I labored my way up to get a working website, having a helpful lovely support team. I knew what I wanted for my website. How did I achieve it? I had the advantage having a lot of wonderful friends who are working for several web hosting companis. But what about you? You see a world of opportunity waiting to be tapped and just dive-in into the vicious circle of money loss and disappointment!
I don’t seek to be the angel of all odds, but I thought some useful tips and hints on how to get started in the web might help the ignorant and also save you from the misfortune. So what is it? I don’t want to repeat the “Know what you want” statement because that’s too clich ©d and not that simple to handle when it comes to the real thing. Sure you have a vague idea of what you want but what about the fine prints in all that, the “mumbo jumbo”, so to speak?
I don’t think you do! So relax, sit back and before you go jumping off to the last line, just read a bit.
MB of Space What’s an MB? MB stands for MegaByte. Basically this is the storage place allotted to you. Before buying the space, spend a little time in thinking about your website’s requirements. Calculate approximately how much you require and then add another 50. Excess space will help you to add and alter and expand in the future. Always better to have too much in the bag than too little, isn’t it? Remember audio and video files need a lot of space.
Pricing (Monthly/Yearly) The payment options are either monthly or yearly. Believe me it is wiser “test the water” first by starting with the monthly plan. Don’t be tempted by all the marketing talks about discounted rates for longer period of time and pay for the year (or more) at one go!
Domain Name Registration What’s a Domain Name? It’s basically the www.yourdomainname.com. This Domain name has to be registered so that no one else can use it. Most web hosts would provide domain registration as a package. If you already own a domain name then you surely have to transfer to the new host. Ensure that the host provides this service. Also ask for directions on how to do it yourself. If you don’t have a name already, then ponder for a moment and think how many names you would need. Will one be enough? No extra names to be attached to sub-domains? Do you need redirects?
While selecting the suitable domain name for your website, make sure that it is relevant to what your site would feature. It should not be that you talk about “woodworking” while your website name is “cool-curtains.com”. That’s very embarrassing!!
Email Accounts There are quite a few options here. Mail Servers: You think you would be getting substantial amount of mail through your website, then opt for a mail server. It is basically an actual online site, like mail.yoursitename.com, where you have your personal mail box. An email address like firstname.lastname@example.org would be more professional unlike those free email addresses like John6578@hotmail.com
Mailing Lists: Do you want to promote your site through newsletters, promotional informations, sending emails to lot of people, then you might look for this mailing list option. However, lists are not always a “must-have” service option for the hosting company.
Mail Catch all: This service executes what the name suggests. It collects emails which have wrongly typed names (typo), wrong names etc but have your domain written properly in the email ID, like email@example.com
Mail Redirects: If you want the emails, to be redirected from your firstname.lastname@example.org email ID to another mail box e.g. to your hotmail account, then avail off this service. There are many other options you might choose for your page. Like having multimedia, Front Page Support, Access/Database support, cgi bin, custom 404 error pages, search engine submissions etc. Think and make a list of your website’s requirements.
But before you initiate anything, send an email to the support team of the web hosting service provider, asking them whether they provide the services you require. Try to be polite and friendly and point to your specific requirements. Assess their feedback and response time, whether they are prompt or slow. This would give you a good indication of what kind of support you would get in the future.
Basically, the crux of the matter is that you think before you spend. Countless victims are there to tell their tale of woes and frustrations. I’m one of the one but I had grown wiser. Don’t be fooled by sweet talking marketing guys whop would spare no efforts to promise you everything. Are you sure they can deliver?
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