How do I host my website?
This question was answered on November 27, 2000. Much of the information contained herein may have changed since posting.
A company that hosts websites provides computers that are connected to the Internet and makes its contents available to everyone on the Internet These computers are known as "public servers" which are computers that are specifically setup to allow outside users to access the information on them
The type of webhost you require depends upon what your website has to offer If you are simply looking to create a small personal website you may already have space set aside for your use from your current ISP (Internet Service Provider) AOL, MSN and virtually all ISP's provide some space as a part of the monthly charge for access, so start by checking with your current ISP Hundreds of companies provide free hosting space that is advertiser supported if you don't have a current ISP You can get the Yahoo! list for free web pages by <a href="http://dir.yahoo.com/Business_and_Economy/Business_to_Business/Communications_and_Networking/Internet_and_World_Wide_Web/Network_Service_Providers/Hosting/Web_Site_Hosting/Free_Web_Pages/"><font color="#003399">clicking here</font></a>.
If you are a business, the free options are not a good idea because you can't control which ads will appear on your site and you won't have your own unique web address (ex:www.yourcompany.com) Businesses should start by registering a domain <a href="http://computerproblems.com/answer.cfm?AnswerID=16628&QuestionID=16690&CatID=38"><font color="#003399">(click here for our article on domain registration)</font></a> that can be used for marketing purposes
Once you have aquired your domain, you must find a hosting package that will provide all the services that you will need If you are simply posting a "brochureware" site, you won't need very much in a hosting package If you want to use your website for marketing purposes, features such as traffic analysis, e-mail forwarding and databases could be needed If you want to sell things through your website, credit card processing, shopping carts and auto responders may be necessary.
Most hosting companies charge based on the amount of space you require and the amount of traffic your site generates Most websites are rather small unless you are using lots of photographs or streaming media, so your content will have a lot to do with your hosting needs
If you need a professional hosting package, start by checking with your current ISP as it is always best to do business with someone that you already have a relationship with If your ISP does not offer the proper level of hosting, you can research hundreds of web hosting companies by <a href="http://webhosts.thelist.com/business/"><font color="#003399">clicking here</font></a>.
About the author
Posted by Ken Colburn of Data Doctors on November 27, 2000