Web Hosting Company: How Do I Choose One?
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If you want to publish any kind of website or blog you’re going to need web hosting. You can build a pretty website right on your own computer but if you want people to be able to access it then you’d have to give them access to your computer. And if you plan on having a lot of visitors, you’ll need a very powerful computer. It’s just not feasible for the average person. So let’s take a look at some things you need to consider when you choose a web hosting company.
Types of Web Hosting
Free Shared Hosting
There are really a variety of types of free shared hosting. WordPress and Blogger are probably the two most popular and most flexible. You can register at either site and have a blog up and running in a matter of minutes. Weebly is another free blogging platform.
Then there are sites like HubPages, Squidoo, Tumblr, and probably dozens of others. These websites allow you to post individual pages of content, if you don’t want to go with a full-blown website or blog.
You’ll also find lots of miscellaneous websites that offer you free web hosting, usually in exchange for something. You have to use their site builder or you can never move your site, or you have to promote their ads.
Obviously, the biggest benefit is the price. But using these various free platforms also allows you to test the waters before you go to the expense of building a full website or blog. A lot of marketers will try out new affiliate programs with Squidoo or a free Blogger blog first, just to see it there’s really an interest.
The drawback of free shared hosting is that you’re generally limited in what you can do. For example, some sites won’t let you promote affiliate products and some won’t let you use any type of ads at all. Some will let you promote your own products but their own ads appear all over the page.
You’re also typically limited in bandwidth which means if your site gets really popular and you start getting a lot of traffic these hosting sites might not be enough to handle it and your blog will crash just when things are getting good.
The biggest drawback of free shared hosting is the domain name. You don’t own it. You’re always working on a sub-domain which can be harder to rank.
Dedicated hosting costs you a few dollars a month, usually around eight or ten bucks. HostGator.com and GoDaddy.com are two popular hosting providers.
With this type of plan you have a lot more flexibility. You purchase a domain name, so you own it. You’re working on a top level domain, which is much easier to rank. You can also do anything you want with your site – affiliate offers, scripts, videos, images, contextual ads, whatever you want. And you don’t have any hosting company ads on your site. You also have more bandwidth and larger download capabilities.
One of the benefits of dedicated hosting is that you can usually get a pretty inexpensive package that allows you to add unlimited domains. If you’re planning to set up multiple niche blogs or websites, this is ideal.
Reseller hosting allows you to set up multiple, unlimited domains, each on its own dedicated hosting. This plan actually allows you to become a web hosting provider and it’s really a pretty cool way to pick up a few extra bucks each month.
A lot of people who buy and sell websites use this type of hosting. The downside to site flipping is moving the site after it’s sold. But if you build your sites on reseller hosting you can include web hosting in the package and nobody has to worry about moving it. Add a web hosting fee into the selling price and you can cover your hosting fees forever.