|"What's your web address?"|
>From small "mom and pop" home-based businesses to mega-
stores, people ask this question in business every single
day. Even if you only operate a small, local business, if
you don't have a website (or at least email) people
honestly look at you funny.
A few years ago, website hosting was one of the largest
expenses connected with setting up a website. Now, with
dramatic drops in pricing, website hosting can actually
present the least costly component of operating a website.
However, before you run out and sign up for $2-a-month
website hosting and wake up tomorrow filled with regret,
take 5 minutes right now and learn the main points to
consider when evaluating any website host.
How much space do you get to store your
website files? If you operate a small website with a
handful of pages and only a couple of pictures per page,
you can get by with 5-10 MB (megabytes) of disk space or
less. However, if your site contains dozens of pages and
hundreds of pictures, you may need a hosting plan with 10-
25 MB of space.
Data Transfer / Bandwidth
Here's where many people fall down and get run over by the
Internet bus! Bandwidth represents the total amount of
traffic the website host allows you to receive.
Successful sites that get a lot of traffic eat up more
bandwidth than sites without many visitors. Honestly,
bargain website hosting companies don't want you to get
much traffic because your bandwidth costs them money.
If you plan to do any business online, make sure you get a
bare minimum of at least 1 GB (gigabyte) of data transfer
Most web hosts allow you to set up email addresses
connected with your domain, such as firstname.lastname@example.org,
and have them forward to your email account, like
email@example.com. The ability to set up email aliases forms
an integral part of any online business. Make sure your
hosting company allows you to set up at least 5 email
If you want to do anything more than let people look at
static web pages, you will need to have certain tools
available. The two most important tools are CGI and website
statistics. These allow you to run scripts and see who came
to your site and when.
Make sure you understand any company's technical support
policies and hours of operation. Don't wait until Saturday
afternoon to discover your only help option is to wait and
email them Monday morning.
Go to www.comparewebhosts.com and check out the tool for
researching and comparing the offerings of over 9,000
different website hosting companies. Try the "Power Search"
feature, which allows you to specify about 50 different
variables, including price, company location, bandwidth,
and number of email aliases allowed. It even lets you
search by how often the hosting company backs up its
servers to protect against data loss.
About the Author
Jim Edwards is a syndicated newspaper columnist and the co-
author of an amazing new ebook that will teach you how to
use free articles to quickly drive thousands of targeted
visitors to your website or affiliate links...
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