Hosting OR Where you Keep Your Domain Name
As I discussed in Monday’s post, hosting services are services that “store” your website files in a place on the web (or, really, on a server that is always connected to the web) so that anyone can find them anytime.
Now, the reason I said not to buy your domain name immediately once you find one that you both love and that is available, is because some hosting services offer a free domain rebate or free domain name with purchase of a hosting plan. My host, dsgnrhosting.com, offers said rebate. Godaddy also offers hosting – my roommate bought her domain name through Godaddy and uses them for hosting and has been very pleased with them thus far. As with any major business decision, shop around a bit. The following are some things to consider when comparing:
Price and Payment Plans – Some sites are more flexible than others. Do you have to pay the year upfront? Can you pay month-to-month? How easy is it to upgrade or downgrade your hosting package? Do they offer any coupons (godaddy offers a number of coupons, according to my roomie)? Remember, money spent on hosting and your website is money you are taking out of your bottom line. It is an investment, and having a good website is a good investment, but you want to make sure what you’re buying is actually what you need. In addition to looking at the price for hosting services, check for extra fees –set up fees and domain registration fees, especially.
Memory – Essentially, this is how big your cabinet is; it will decide how many files you can keep up and how complex your website can be. If you already have a website built, you can look and just see how big the files are. If you don’t have a site built yet, it may be a good idea to ask a friend or colleague whose site you like how large their site is – this is likely to give you a pretty good indication of how much space you’ll need.
Email - Most hosting services include email services @yourdomainname.com. For instance, that is how I have an email account mbreau(at)jargonwriter.com. Can you create unlimited email addresses at your domain name?
Hosted Domains - This is how many domain names you can have set up for that hosting service account. I plan on having at least 3 domain names – one with my company name, one with my actually name and one for my blog (which will be http://www.jargonwriter.com as soon as I get it set up).
Traffic – This directly effects how many visitors you can get per month. In addition to actual visitors, this number is affected by search engine spiders (“crawlers” that check your site and catalog it so that search engines know what the site contains), which run through your site on a regular basis. There is a complicated formula for figuring out how many visits you can get per byte, but the easiest thing to do is just call or email the services you’re considering and ask what those numbers are.
Downtime – Servers generally undergo routine maintenance, but occasionally things happen and they go down. While the server is down, people will be unable to access your site. Ask about average annual downtime and policies pertaining to downtime, like whether the site reimburses customers for extended downtime.
NOTE: There are free FTP services out there (firefox offers one, for example) which essentially make the need for a hosting service moot. Instead, your website is uploaded to the ftp site and web surfers can access it. The downside, is many of the free services are fairly easy to hack; if you’ll be using your site for any sort of monetary transactions you NEED to purchase a hosting services or you’re putting your customer’s accounts at risk. If you’re just setting up a basic website, you may be able to get away with using a free account – but hosting services come with many additional perks (like the email address thing) and a good hosting services is a lot less likely to go down than a free ftp site.
Once you’ve chosen a hosting service, signed up for a package and bought your domain name, it’s time to start designing your site.
In the comments, please let me know what hosting service you use, what your experience has been and/or what factors play(ed) into your choice of a hosting service.
April 7, 2010 - Posted by Melissa Breau | Freelancing, in practice, writing | buying hosting, domain, hosting, hosting services, register a domain, set up a website, setting up a website, small business
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I’m going to work on building a freelance business, following How to Start a Home-based Writing Business, by Lucy Parker. On this blog I’ll chronicle my progress through her book following her tips and advice.
Jargon is terminology which is especially defined in relationship to a specific activity, profession, or group…In other words, the term most often covers the language used by people who work in a particular area or who have a common interest (from Wikipedia).
To me, jargon represents the idea of an exclusive club, a group of people who have had to develop a shared but uncommon vocabulary in order to communicate on a professional level. I want to break into that club.
A little about me:
My name is Melissa Breau. I am a freelance writer and editor specializing in business content. I currently work full-time as an associate/web editor at a business to business magazine company. I have a masters of science in publishing from Pace University. For more info, check out my Portfolio page.