If you are just starting out with your website, and are like the majority, money is not easy to come by. You have probably sacrificed far more than you ever imagined you would have to, in order to create the best site you can. Having done that, you now need to get it hosted. And this will cost you money – perhaps more than you anticipated. But don’t lose heart, there is a way out.
Over the last few years, the growth of web hosting companies has ensured that prices have come down and are today, at fairly affordable levels. However, there is a huge range of options available, both in range of service and price. Overall, there are three types of web hosting services and each has its own deals that you need to look out for.
Free website hosting - When you buy your domain name, you will often find that the agency you bought it from is willing to host your website for free. Sounds too good to be true? In a way, it is and in a way its not. Yes, once you have paid for your domain name, you need pay nothing more for your site to be hosted. But the company has to earn revenue somewhere and the way they do it, is to sell advertising space on the websites they host. The problem here is that visitors to your site may be turned off by the ads that keep appearing – we all know how irritating that can be. Driving away visitors is not something that you want to be doing. And the space will be limited as will the type of support you will receive from the company. But, if you are just starting out and have little or no money to pay for web hosting, this is better than nothing. However, never look upon free web hosting as anything more that a short term deal that will carry you (with the ads) until you can afford to pay for web hosting.
Shared web hosting - A better deal and one that is reasonable in terms of cost is to go in for shared web hosting. Many companies will place a lot of small sites on one server and the cost is divided between these sites, so each one pays only a little. With this kind of deal you will get better service and reliability, although your space will still be limited and the domain name you get will incorporate the company’s name – there’s no choice since you don’t have a server of your own. This is okay if you plan to stay small or as a step upwards from the free web hosting, until you can afford to pay for a full hosting service.
Dedicated web hosting - under this deal you will be paying based on the amount of server space you need. You will have control panel access to manage your site and full support from the web hosting company. This is the most expensive of all the web hosting deals but offers the best service and reliability. Getting to this level of operation may not be viable when you are starting out, but reaching here should be your aim.
Within these segments there are a lot of variations in regard to service, features and cost which vary from web host to web host. Spend some time checking out and comparing the deals available to find the best one for you. Remember that while price is important, so too are reliability and support.