By Michael Brymer
This may come as a surprise: Some web site hosting services don't have software to help you build a site! Some that do, don't allow you to input HTML. You may want to add in small scripts that jazz up or protect your site such as 'No Right Click' or upload downloadable .exe files etc.
There are some great web site tools out there that you'll want to use! This article will give you things to look for when deciding on a host, domain or getting a better one than you have now.
1. Try them out q(^.^)p
A good hosting service will allow you to use their services for free for a limited time or at least a demo. If they don't have either, hah, get out of there. You need to check out the graphics, templates etc. Do you like them?
If you don't like what they have you'll find yourself spending time searching and finally buying templates and graphics from someone else. Try them out first.
Do they offer one of those fancy splash or flash pages? Not a real necessity but hey, I want one. Some are great and some not. Do they suit the real me :) Check out their collection of bells and whistles. Good for impressing your friends and visitors.
Those templates, graphics, splash pages, bells and whistles let your site give you professionalism, but can you completely change the look of your site with one or two clicks?
2. Ask dumb questions (@_@)
When you consider joining any web hosting service that allows you to use their state of the art web page building services, you are going to have questions!
There is nothing more frustrating than being in a hungry hurry to get your web site together and not being able to do it. This, will waste your late nights and weekends in a big way.
Make sure the service is quick and friendly to answer your questions, no matter how silly they may seem.
As easy as user friendly software is, it's sometimes difficult to understand at first, (bit like, "Where's the salt? "In front of you・. For example I wanted to upload an .exe file and the software told me I couldn't (like most free hosting services do). I questioned my host and found that I was uploading in the wrong place :)
If you are like me, you are going to have great questions and some real hah hah funny ones. You need a hosting service that will treat each question equally and give you the exact easy steps to follow. You don't want high tech jargon or inadequacy to add to the problem.
Until you get a good hold of how every great thing works you will have a lot of questions I'm sure. Good customer service is a must. Try them by asking a question, even a silly one :)
3. Traffic to your site (^^ゞ (^^ゞ
Without traffic to your great site, especially a business site, you won't have much joy. A bit like wetting your self in a wet suit, feels nice and warm to you but nobody notices :)
Does the web hosting service offer ways to get traffic to your website? Or are they letting you wonder off in search of paying some other service to provide you with traffic? It's easier to have everything in the same place.
4. Get a good domain -(^.^)/
What's in a name?
The shorter the domain name the more valuable. A domain name that is easy to remember is easy to find. A domain name that won't be misspelled helps. A good domain name should reflect the contents of the site or be of a general non restricting nature.
Domain names are property. You may want to sell it one day.
Some domain name registering services only register domain names and don't have a hosting service. This means you will have to move your domain to a domain hosting service. This takes time and is a waste of your time. You are better off buying your domain name from your hosting service.
According to a new report from Verisign, 4.6 million new domain names were registered in the second quarter of 2004, representing a 2.5 percent growth over the first quarter, 2004. In all, worldwide domain name registrations reached a peak of 64.5 million domain names, a 7 percent increase over end of year 2003.
The domain name rush is on.
5. What's in a host (?_?)
Choosing a hosting service is like getting a present, the wrapping and the size are not often much of an indication of what's inside. Which would you prefer: (A) Giving someone $100 to buy you a present or (B) Taking $100 and choosing your own present?
I prefer to know what I'm getting! This is why I recommend getting a hosting service that will give you a no obligation trial period. A trial period that gives you full use of their service without any tool, template etc, limitations.
6. How to get your monthly hosting for free ($_$)
You may also be surprised to hear that I don't pay my hosting service!
They pay me, each month. I prefer it that way and I'm sure you will too.
If possible, I only use services that have an affiliate program. This meaning that if I introduce a couple of friends to the service I can get it for free or eventually have the hosting service send me money each month. I'm sure you'd also like that possibility.
In conclusion, there are many places to where you can buy a domain name, let's get a good short one. Building your website can be heaven or hell so go with a company that has the tools to let you do it easily and with customer service to answer all your questions quickly. Be sure they have a system to supply your site with traffic, lots of visitors. Be sure to try their web site building tools before they bill you. If you enjoy your hosting service and feel them worthy of introduction to your friends then the hosting service may become your bank accounts best friend.