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Hosting My Website

June 2013


There are many site hosting packages available for your website. Some very inexpensive and some for free... or so they say. At last check there was still no 'free lunch'. Reliable hosting fees usually start at about $5 per month and can run to over $1000 per month.
Does free hosting need an explanation? Unfortunately it does, because what has been advertised and widely recognized as free hosting is not free at all in 99.99% of the cases.

'Free hosting' is usually offered in exchange for placing advertising on your website. Either banners at the top or bottom of every page of your website. Sometimes they use pop-ups instead. In exchange for free hosting you will be asked for something. That is not free hosting! It is barter. Moreover, you cannot control the add type. What a distraction to your customers.
Free hosting is almost never free - at least in the form in which it exists on the internet today. You should be wary of free hosting arrangements. A host must have funding so it is coming from somewhere, maybe you are paying for it in another form. All hosts have to pay for the servers, bandwidth and staff. If they don't have a good plan to cover the costs, the future for them is grim and limited services will soon degrade due to underfunding.

Your best option if you want to reduce costs for hosting is to barter for it with a respected, serious, honest web host. But don't ever trick yourself into thinking that you're getting something for nothing. Businesses are in business to make a profit.

There are three levels of hosting. Which should I choose?
At the $5 per month level you probably will not have some of the concerns associated with the 'free hosting' sites. Still, money needs to be spent to maintain and update servers that carry your cargo. Usually in the $5 to $15 range hosting arrangements are scalable from fair to good. There will be variances in backup policy and service. Be sure that you have a personal copy of the code and the software that created it. Your internet business is only as safe as your last backup. There will also be variances in support from a little to fairly good.
Above the $15 hosting fee you will find solid and reliable backups by schedule. These professionals are very serious about your business and theirs. Support is much more available and even technical advice or assistance can be found. Often they will maintain your domain name as part of the service. That would be a little savings. At this level, you can expect to find interactive software links where you can update some or all pages on the fly. This is great if you want to have daily, weekly or monthly specials on your site.
For those hosting fees above $25 per month just be sure you know what you are getting. Most of these are offering special assistance such as monthly optimization and social media content with blogs and perhaps e-commerce benefits or list building database functions. All are very worthwhile if that is the goal of your website. On the other hand a well qualified web master may be of more value to your business at a lower cost.

The answer to the question of hosting and who will do it for your business relies heavily on your tolerance of risk and the need for interaction with your website. There are many advantages to having a marketing arm (your website) on the internet. It is your business card to the world. It should be clean, clear and crisp as well as inviting your readers.

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Free hosting: No hositng agent is doing so well that it can become a charity. Read the fine print. It's all in the fine print which you may not be able to find, so beware. Offers of anything free must be made up somewhere else.

On the other hand, there are many fine package deals that provide hosting for a very reasonable cost for the first 12 months and then revert to the original price. If you are looking to build multiple sites, the more expensive packages may allow you to host multiple domains on the same server. When you factor in availability, backup schedules, security and tools that may be offered in a $15 per month package the cost is usually less than two $5 per month packages.

Entering into any kind of contract requires the parties involved to look into the terms very closely for their own protection. It is no different with web hosting contracts. Customers of web hosting providers must make sure that they are participating in the contract with full knowledge of its contents and possible consequences.

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