You have decided to build yourself a website. You know what you want the site to be about, you have some potential names for the website picked out in your head, and you are hoping they are still available. You know what you want the site to look like. But, you are wondering how you actually get it on the internet. You have read some articles that explain that you need a web host to put your site on the world-wide-web. Now the real problem arises. How do you pick a web hosting company that is best suited for what you need?
There are hundreds of web hosting companies out there. Every one of them claims to have the best prices and the best service. You have looked for information on the internet that may clue you into how to go about choosing. You may have even been lucky enough to come across an article from someone commenting on a great experience with their hosting company.
Choosing a web hosting company can be intimidating. You have to choose between how much storage space you need, how many email boxes you can set up, how many FTP accounts you can have, SQL databases, control panels, sub-domains, and the list goes on. Each company usually offers different levels of all these to meet your needs and then multiply that times all the different companies out there. That is a lot of research to do. Some companies offer free website building programs as part of your package. Some even offer programs where you tell them what you want and they will build it for you. Most companies will offer your free domains names as well. The more your monthly package is then the more free names you get, usually.
I thought it was important to write this article because I was overwhelmed when I was building my site. I ended up going with aplus.net. They seemed to offer the most for the money. Well, one thing that did not come with the package was customer service. Their service is awful. I have spoken to them 4 times since signing up with them. Each of the times I did not get an answer to my question by the time I got off the phone. I finally just got so aggravated with their lack of desire to help me with my problem that I ended the call and just tried to fix it myself, which I usually ended up figuring out. I bought a package with a sizeable amount of storage space because I wanted to build a nice sized website and did not want to run out of space. Well, I have well over 100 pages to my site so far, I have pictures, video, and multiple articles. I have not even used 1% of my storage space yet. I do plan other sites in the future but I do not think I will ever use all the space. I have 15,000 MB of space and I have used 18.40 MB’s to date.
My site has a handful of web hosting sites on it. I have tried to add ones that I have heard good things about, since signing up with aplus.net. However, since I have not spoken with their service people I really cannot say for certain if they are any better than aplus.net. Here is a comparison of a few of the companies that can be found on my site. This is just a guideline on explaining what to look for. I am not recommending any company over the other, nor am I recommending any of these sites over the others on the internet.
Webwizards.net- this is a perfect example of some of the differences. This particular company offers very cheap monthly rates but does not add in many of the extras I mentioned above as part of their rate. They offer them at extra charges per month. So, if you are not looking for anything fancy this may be ideal for you because if you do need the services they are available. If you don’t need them you don’t pay for them. Their cheapest plan is $6 a month. Some of the charges for services are: $4 per month for additional domains. $1/month for use of Frontpage (site building program). $.50 for each subdomain, and the list goes on. This site offers 6 plans with the prices ranging from $6 a month to $68. The more expensive package includes most of the extras as part of their monthly fees.
Godaddy.com – they offer a very basic hosting plan for $3.95 a month. This is one of the cheapest I have come across but I do not see that there are any of the extras available if you need them, which differs from the first site we looked at. Their most expensive plan is only $19.95 but if you compared it to the first site I believe it would be comparable to their package close to that price. There is no mention of any site building tools even being available. So, you either need to find a free site builder on-line (which are usually pretty limited) or you have to buy your own.
Bluehost.com – from a quick look at this site it appears they only offer one program. It may be that you can customize it during the sign-up process but I wasn’t about to sign-up to find out. The home page on their site says $6.95 per month.
The most important piece of advice I can give anyone looking into this is to not be sucked up by all the stuff they offer, if you do not need it. Secondly, some of the freebies they offer are not useful anyway because they do not really work. An example would be search engine submission tools. They claim to submit your site to hundreds or thousands of search engines. I have seen one that has offered as much as 700,000 search engines. Who even knew there were that many? They may submit the site to the search engines but that doesn’t help you. It can take up to 6 weeks for the search engine to even review it and it isn’t even a guarantee they will index your site. If they do index it, it may never be seen because it may fall on page 250 of 250 pages for a search word.
There many more effective tools out there to get yourself a high ranking in the search engines. Feel free to contact me if you’d like more information on other products, or keep an eye out for future articles. I wish you luck with your website. It is an interesting hobby (for me anyway). You will make mistakes when you start out, I made many and still continue to make them. Hopefully this article will help you avoid some of the ones I made.