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Free sites may also change rules about what you can have on your site. You may suddenly find that one or more of your pages are banned because of their content. I started out with free hosting years ago, but soon outgrew it and had to buy my own domain name, create a new website and start all over again getting my pages listed with search engines. When my free site was removed, all links on search engines to that site no longer worked.
Avoid a hosting company that gives you Shared or Virtual Hosting. Shared hosting means that server, computer where your website resides, is shared with possibly hundreds of websites who all use same server software. The hosting company gives you a certain amount of storage space on server's hard drive for your site, and that hard drive stores as many sites as space allows. The problem is that since all websites are sharing same server software, if one website is attacked by a virus or hacker and server software is damaged, then all websites on that server will be affected same way that single site is affected.
Look for a host that offers a Virtual Private Server. This means that your website resides in a partitioned section of server and has its own server software. I've used Westhost for several years with no problems. They have great tech support and constantly improve features they offer. You can find a banner link to them at bottom of my page at http://www.creativecauldron.com/WebsiteDesign.shtml
To look for other web hosting services try these links.
- Compare Web Hosts http://www.comparewebhosts.com/BudgetWebHosting.asp
- Consumers Review http://www.consumersreview.org/webhosting.html
- Host Index http://www.hostindex.com/
- Web Hosting Reviews http://www.web-hosting-reviews.org/
- Web Hosting Unleashed http://www.webhostingunleashed.com/
- Web Site Hosting http://www.web-site-hosting.md/
- Webhosting Top 10 http://www.webhosting-top10.com/us32/
As you check out web hosting services you will encounter some words that you may not have heard before. Here's some useful terminology that will clear things up for you.
- Auto Responder - An automated program that, when it receives an e-mail, sends out an e-mail with a message and/or attachment to person who sent e-mail. This is often used with websites that sell ebooks and other electronic information. The person clicks on an e-mail link for ebook they want and autoresponder sends it to them. It's a real time saver.
- Bandwidth (Data Transfer) - This is amount of data that you or others upload to your site and download from your site. A typical site uses less than 5 GB (Gigabytes) per month.
- CGI Bin - Common Gateway Interface bin is where programs are stored that let you put things on your site like a guestbook and bulletin board.
- Control Panel - This is an interface that lets you control tools, settings and utilities that your web host provides.
- Disk Space - This is amount of space you have on server's hard drive to store your website. Unless your site is loaded with graphics, which it shouldn't be, then you don't need a lot of space.
- FTP - File Transfer Protocol is a common way to upload and download your website pages and files.
Once you find a few place you like, check them out at Better Business Bureau at http://bbb.org/ and do a search on Yahoo and Google to see if anyone has posted anything bad about them.
It can be difficult to know what to look for in a hosting company if you're new to Internet. The best solution is to do a lot of research, talk to people you know who have websites and start trying different hosts who offer a 30-day money back guarantee. As long as you own your domain name, and you have created your own website, or had someone create it for you, then you will be fine. With these two things done, you can take your site to almost any host without any problems.
http://www.CreativeCauldron.com Jeff Colburn is a website designer and writer. His goal is to make the process of creating or updating your website easy and simple for you, while creating a website that meets all your needs and expectations. Jeff can also create all of the copy for your website.