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Selecting Web Hosts

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There are many web hosts available to provide you with both the web space and associated services you need for your new web site. The first decision you must make is what type of web host you want. There are both free web hosts and those that charge a monthly fee for their services.

Considering Free Web Hosts

Most Internet experts say free web hosts make a good choice if your web site is little more than a social gathering point as opposed to a business. Of course, if you are starting up a commercial enterprise, the thought of a free web host can be enticing, as least for budgetary concerns. Here are some issues to keep in mind if you are considering free web hosts:

  • Pop ups. Whether its banner ads, pop-ups or other forms of advertising, expect plenty of it on your web site if you choose a free web host. The advertising is the way web hosts who don't charge a monthly fee from web site owners earn their money. If you find the ads annoying - particularly any pop-ups - think about what people who visit your site will think. Also, experts say web sites run from free web hosts tend to close with little warning because the ads aren't generating sufficient revenue.
  • Size. Does the web host offer enough size for your web site and any traffic that you will draw? If not, the web site will not operate properly and visitors may have trouble loading and accessing content and features.
  • Features. One of the first areas of discussion with web hosts should be the features available with the web site, such as Perl or FTP.

Considering Commercial Web Hosts

If you decide that free web hosts don't have the array of services you need, or you don't want your traffic bombarded by advertisements that have nothing to do with your products or services, then a commercial web host is a best bet. While forced advertising isn't an issue with commercial web hosts, you should make sure any web hosts you consider can provide the space, options and customer service you may need. If you are considering a content management system with your site, make sure that is something offered by all web hosts you talk to. Request a list of other clients and ask about the web host. Another good idea, according to Internet experts, is to go through the web host's own web site. If it seems clumsy or difficult to navigate, you may want to consider another web host.

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