29 January 2009

Researching Web Hosting Sites

When I began blogging last March, I discovered that I could do it free through Blogger. Since I am a big fan of free, I decided to give it a try. Because I did not know the first thing about blogging, web sites, servers, or domain names, I figured that this would be the best way for me to go. This way, I can learn what I need to know and not have to pay for it. However, now that I know a little more about what I am doing and what I hope to accomplish, I will soon be in the market for my own domain name and hosting.

Because there are many companies out there that are trying to get your business, trying to find quality hosting can be a very intimidating process. Since you have such a wide range of companies to choose from, you will need to do your research. I would suggest dropping by forums and finding out where other members have their hosting. I would also suggest reading a variety of web hosting articles, because by getting several different opinions you will begin to notice the companies that seem to stand out. Yes, you want to find the best hosting for the least price, but you do not want to trade price for service. When you drill-down the various services to your top three or four, you should take out your trusty Notepad, and compare and contrast your top choices.

You may think that I may be going overboard with the research stuff, but as I have found out, sometimes the most popular choice may not be the best. When I end up spending money for something, I want to be sure that I’m getting what I pay for, that's why it is important for me to try and find affordable web hosting and the service that goes along with it. So, I read the articles and I go to the forums to discover what other people have experienced. You will find that most people are very happy to help you and will gladly give you the information you need to make an informed decision.

I realize, that depending on your needs, you will have to greatly expand this list. This is a list of the bare minimum to compare. Some of the things you will want to compare are the up-times, amount of disk space you get, shared vs. dedicated hosting, bandwidth (very important if you get a great deal of traffic), number of domains allowed, the number of email addresses included, and template builders. You will also need to think about finding a domain name so, I would check and see whether the company you are interested in offers free or discounted domain names. As I always say, “free is good.” These are just a few of the things you will want to look at. I realize that as your site grows or if you decide to monetize your site, there will be additional items you will want to take into account.

In short, I am suggesting that you not to pick the first hosting company that you come across. Take your time and find the company that best fits your needs. Do your homework, listen to the experiences of others, and make an informed decision.

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