So you want to publish a web site do you? Welcome to the club. These days it seems that almost everyone has a web site of some kind, and thousands more continue to be launched every day. It’s challenging enough to design a site and fill it with interesting content, but when all is said and done another challenge still remains – where to host it?
A popular choice for newbie webmasters, and even experienced ones, is to secure a free hosting plan with a company such as Yahoo! Geocities, Tripod or Angelfire. While these are easy to setup and free of charge, they do have limitations. Most free hosts don’t offer all the nice features that paid hosts do such as FTP access, CGI-BIN, or your own personal domain name. Instead you’re stuck with minimal features and a generic URL such as www.freewebhost.com/marcswebsite. This somewhat limits your web site‘s potential. Most free hosts also require you to run banners or pop-up ads on your web site to make it worth their while – these banners and pop-ups can obstruct the view of your web page and ultimately annoy visitors and drive them away. Lastly, most free hosts have a daily bandwidth limit that is very small, so if you do get a lot of traffic you’ll most likely exceed the allotted bandwidth and your site will be temporarily disabled. Overall I would recommend free web hosts for people that are new to web hosting and want to get a feel for how it works. I’d also recommend them for web sites that are personal in nature (such as an online journal) as well as web sites that don’t plan to generate any revenue. Free web hosts are a great stepping stone to paid web hosts – I myself starting building web sites 4 years ago using free hosts, and today I run several high traffic web sites that are hosted on paid web hosting plans.
Now it’s time to get into the good stuff – paid web hosting. Web hosting companies that charge money for their services are plentiful on the Internet, and feature a wide array of hosting packages at various price points. First we begin with so called “budget” web hosts, who claim to offer you the world for only $1 per month. Having used numerous such companies I feel I must tell you to proceed with caution here, as these companies aren’t