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Web Hosting Explained
(and some secrets revealed)

When you buy web hosting, you are really renting some space on a computer that is permanently connected to the internet. (A bit like renting a flat in an apartment block)

You have a wide range of choices and should consider many factors including price, reliability, features and support.


Web Hosting Options: Free Websites

You may be on a low budget, or just want to experiment with a website.

There are many free services which have lots of features that help you actually build your own website. Almost all of these require you to accept advertising on each page of your website in return for the free service.

Some of these advertisements  are huge. Others are quite discreet - a  small link at the bottom of each page.

Most free providers also force you to have pop up advertising windows, which will really annoy your visitors.

Free Websites are great to try things out for your personal website. But if you are serious about putting your business online, don't use a free provider - it's not a good image for your business.

To find companies offering free websites, just use your web browser to search for the words "free websites".


ISP Hosting

Your ISP (Internet Service Provider) provides you with access to the internet by dial up modem or a permanent connection.

When you signed up with them you probably got a few megabytes of space where you could set up a website.

While you CAN use this space for a business website, it has many disadvantages.

The main function of an ISP is to maintain their internet connection facilities so that their customers can log on to the internet and get satisfactory performance.

The provision of webspace is much less important to them. They often don't perform security upgrades promptly, or provide comprehensive administrative facilities for website and email management.

The facilities are minimal, and the monthly traffic allowances you get are small. If you exceed them your site normally gets shut down for the rest of the month. You usually get no traffic monitoring tools, and no ability to run the more advanced features of websites like CGI scripts, databases, or forms.

Another disadvantage is the refusal of most companies to connect your own domain name to these sites. They'll tell you that it can't be done, or that you have to purchase one of their more expensive commercial packages.

Professional Web Hosting

A Web Hosting company provides you with a place to store a website, so that is available to internet users 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

The main function of a web host is making sure that the computers storing their clients websites are operational and connected to the internet 24 hours a day 7 days a week.

Web hosts offer a range of services and facilities. Some will let you run programs from their servers, as well as provide online databases for internet use.

You will normally receive access to a control panel where you can perform management tasks including the management of your website, files, and email system.

There are thousands of web hosting companies to choose from - and the service and reliability you will receive varies from excellent to appalling.


Some Web Hosting Secrets.


Secret #1 - There's No Such Thing as Unlimited Bandwidth

Some web hosts attract clients by promising unlimited bandwidth or unlimited traffic. Try these at your own risk - you'll find that their definition of unlimited is different to yours, as discussed in our article on unlimited bandwidth.

Secret #2: The location of your hosting server doesn't really matter.

Some companies will try to tell you that your site will take 5 times longer to load if it is hosted on a server that is not in Australia.

This is a mischievous misuse of technical information.

It is true that a "ping" test to a US site can take 5 times longer than to an Australian site. However, this has nothing to do with the speed of loading web pages.

The design and size of your web pages determines how quickly your pages load - not the location of the server.

Secret #3 - Don't select a web hosting company just by the look of the website or the price of their hosting plans.

It's easy to set up a professional looking web hosting company. Anyone can do it for under $200. All you need is a hi-tech looking website template (the more flashing lights the better ! ) and a cheap server or reseller account. Many 16 year olds with a bit of technical knowledge do it to earn a bit of pocket money.

When you are evaluating a web host, take a bit of time to find out some more information about them to make sure that they will meet your needs. After all, you are choosing a business partner - not buying a cup of coffee.

Secret #4 - Make sure that your hosting company does not allow illegal sites, spammers, and other problem users.

These activities can result in the unique internet addresses allocated to your hosting company being entered into blacklists, which in turn means that any mail you send out could be blocked.

It can get rough out there! Be careful.


WebAngel Pty. Ltd. (ABN 50 098 071 124)
GPO Box 370 Hobart, Tasmania Australia 7001.
Phone (03) 6243 1334 email: sales@webangel.com.au

Internet: WebAngel.com.au

Blog: EricGraudins.com

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