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How to Find Web Hosting for Your Internet Business

Aug 24, 2007
Whether it's intended for personal or business use, having your own website is a great way to communicate with the world. But many prospective webmasters are deterred by expensive web-design software or the daunting task of mastering HTML. In fact, you don't need either of these to create and publish a professional-looking site, thanks to the wide range of building tools available online.

These are often included as part of a web-hosting package and generally let you build a site by adapting a pre-designed template. Once you've selected a style, you can then change the various elements to get your pages looking the way you want.

After designing and creating your site, sometimes you may feel unsure where to start and which companies are the best for web hosting. The web hosting market is flooded with businesses offering their services to you.

For one thing, your ISP usually assigns you a generic Web address, which doesn't make your business look very professional. For another, you don't need the typical lags in response time that you find on the servers of large ISPs. Plus, commercial sites are probably against your ISP's terms of service, and you don't need the hassle of them closing down your site along with your personal email account and Internet connection.

If you'd prefer not to use your personal server space for your site, just go to your favorite search engine, and look up Web hosting to begin your research. Don't be surprised if your results number in the millions. There are many, many, many Web hosts out there. You can't possibly research them all.

You need to narrow your optionsand fast. A good way to start is with the names that you recognize: Yahoo!, Earthlink, Netfirms, perhaps also your phone or cable company. If they don't have what you need or want, work your way down the list.

There are companies out there that are fairly reliable, and others that are not, so you need to pick one that offers a reliability guarantee.

Also, think about support: try contacting a few companies by telephone or email to see how quickly they respond and be careful of expensive phone numbers. A large proportion of companies seem to charge a lot and give standard answers to support questions.

The smaller companies are often cheaper and can offer personal support but might not offer the level of support you need or the guarantees of the larger companies. Don't pay for a whole year's hosting up front.

It is often cheaper to do so, but unless you have tried and tested the company and know it is good, you may wish to leave and struggle to get a refund -- I had this situation recently. You wouldn't believe the trouble I had in getting the refund I was due!

Before you sign on with a Web host, check them out. Look up their name under your favorite search engine, and see what turns up. Look for reviews, too. Many of the better Web hosts have lots of positive press. If your check-up search is strangely silent about your host of choice, think twice.

Finally, consider what size package you need in terms of disk space and bandwidth, plus the features required, for example databases, PHP and so on. Choose a host where you can change packages or upgrade at any time.

My advice would be to check out a few hopefuls before you make your final decision, and ask for recommendations.
About the Author
Adrien Brody (http://crivz.com/host/) is a webmaster which specializes in providing website hosting solutions for businesses. If you're looking for web hosting with best support in the industry at the best possible price, take a look at http://crivz.com/host/
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