So, you?re done with the free web hosts. Gone through Geocities, Angelfire, Fortune City. You?re exhausted with the pop-ups and banners. You want a real site. But where to go? You look around the net, and the possibilities seem endless. 20 MB of space for only $20 a month! Wow! That?s fantastic!
Or is it? Way back when I bought my domain and signed up with a web host, I was the typical ‘the internet is so wonderful’ optimist. I was thrilled to find something that sounded just about what I kind of wanted, and bam, just like that, $300 poorer and with a useless chunk of web space that wouldn?t even work properly. My domain addresses wouldn?t connect, my content was being warped; things weren?t looking too good for me.
A year later and much the wiser, I know better. My site is working, I have a lovely, helpful support team, and I now know what I want. But, that?s all well and good for me, I have had the added advantage of working for a web hosting company. But what about the rest of you out there who don?t have my experience, who see a world of opportunity and are about to jump into the cesspit of money loss and disappointment.
So, I figure, why not let you in on a useful hint, one that may save you from misfortune. What is it, you ask? Well, simply, know what you want! Sounds way too simple for me to be handing it out, right? I don?t think so! Sure, you have a vague idea of what you want, but do you know what all of it means? The ‘mumbo jumbo’, so to speak?
I didn?t think so! Listen up, sit back, relax, and before you go jumping off the deep end, scroll down and read a bit.
MB of space? MB? Eh? Well, MB stands for MegaByte. This is basically the amount of storage space you will have. You can figure out how much space you will need if you spend a little bit of time thinking about what is going onto your site ? how graphic intensive it will be, how many pages, any multimedia or music, etc. Make an approximation in your head and then add another 50. This will allow you to add on and expand. It?s always better to have too much, rather than too little.
Pricing (Monthly/Yearly) – The payment plans are generally either monthly or yearly. Make sure, even if you want a year or more of hosting, to start with a monthly plan! If you give them $3/400 for a year, and then they end up being useless, I?ll bet you that you won?t be getting that money back. If you start with a monthly account, you can always upgrade to a yearly account. And if you can?t upgrade and you?re really worried, add up how much it will be for a year, and set that money aside to slowly add back onto your credit card every month.
Domain Registration – Do you already own a domain name? A domain name is basically the www.yourdomainname.com. Most of web hosts will provide domain name registration in their packages. If you already own your own, you will have to transfer it to their name servers. Make sure this is possible!