Are you tired of Geocities free hosting, Angelfire free hosting, and Fortune City free hosting? Forgetting long domain names full of dashes, slashes that fail Radio Test, pop-ups, and banners that make your life a living hell! So you start looking for a professional web hosting service for your favorite website. You start browsing over the Net. And suddenly the possibilities are endless! $20 per month and 20MB of space. Isn’t that fantastic?
Is it? Read on. Back in the day, when I was new to the world of web hosting, I was one of those "Internet is so great" optimists. I signed up for a paid hosting service provider and thought I was on the right track. They gave me a chunk of web space, a web address, and content for my website. But before I even realized what was happening, the space became a useless chunk that wouldn’t work, the address wouldn’t connect, the content was warped, and there was too much downtime.
As I got older, I worked my way up to having a working website, a lovely support team, and I knew exactly what I needed for my website. But how did I get there? I had the benefit of having a lot of great friends who work for several web hosting companies. But what about the rest of us? You see a golden opportunity waiting for you and just dive straight into the vortex of money loss and frustration.
I don’t want to be an angel of all things but I thought I’d share some helpful tips and advice on how to start your journey in the web that might help the uninitiated as well as save you from disaster. What is it? Well, I won’t repeat the “You know what you want” statement because that’s a bit of a cliche and it’s not as easy as it sounds when you’re actually dealing with it. Sure, you’ve got a general idea of what’s on your mind, but what about all the little details, the “little things”? Well, I don’t think you do. So sit back, relax, and before you jump to the last sentence, read a bit more.
MB of Space
What is an MB? An MB is short for MegaByte. This is the storage space you have been allocated. Before purchasing the space, take some time to consider your website’s needs. Count approximately how much space you need and then add 50. The extra space will allow you to add, change and grow in the future. It’s always better to have more space than less, isn’t it? Please note that audio and video files require a lot of space.
The payment options are monthly or annual. Trust me, it’s smarter to “test the waters” with the monthly plan first. Don’t get caught up in all the marketing hype about “long-term savings” and pay for the whole year (or more!) in one go!
Domain Name Registration
What is a domain name? A domain name is basically the name of your website. This domain name must be registered in order for anyone else to use it. A lot of web hosts offer domain registration as part of their package. If you already have a domain name, then you must transfer it to a new host. Make sure that the host offers this service. Ask for instructions on how to transfer your domain name. If you don’t have a domain name yet, think about how many names would you need? Would one be sufficient? Would you need any extra names attached to your sub-domain? Would you need a redirect for your site? When choosing the right domain name, remember that it should be related to what your website would be about. You don’t want to be talking about “woodworking” while your website is called “cool-curains.com”. That’s very embarrassing!
There are a few different types of mail servers. If you think you’ll get a lot of mail via your website, you’ll probably want to go with an email server. Basically, it’s a real online site, such as mail.joomla.us, where you’ll have your personal email address. For example, an email address such as info/yourdomain/domain.com would look more professional than a free email address such as John6578/hotmail/john6578.com. Mail Lists: If you want to send out newsletters, promotional information, and send emails to lots of people, you might want to consider this mailing list service. However, mailing lists aren’t always a “must-have” service for hosting companies. Mail Catch All: This service does exactly what it says on the tin: it collects emails that have misspelled or mispelled names (like “typo”), but with your domain’s proper spelling (“yourdomain.”).
Mail Redirect: If you would like your emails to be rerouted from your domain.com e-mail address to another mail address, such as your hotmail address, then make use of this service. Other options: There are many options available for your page, such as multimedia, front page support, access/db support, cg bin, customized 404 error page, search engine submission, etc. Make a list of what your website needs Before you do anything else, send an e-mail to the web hosting support team, asking them if they offer the services you need. Be courteous and friendly and mention your specific needs. Review their feedback and see how fast or slow they respond. This will give you an idea of the type of support you will receive in the future.
At the end of the day, it comes down to thinking before you spend. There are a lot of victims out there sharing their stories of pain and suffering. I used to be one of them, but I’ve learned my lesson. Don’t be taken in by marketing geniuses who would do anything for you. Are you sure you can trust them to deliver?