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How to choose your web hosting company

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A web hosting company is a company that "hosts" your web site. They are who you will go through to put your business online. Much like renting a building to open your physical address in - your web host will provide you with your web address. There are many different factors that come into play when choosing a web hosting company. Which option you choose will depend on your needs for your company.

There are free web hosting companies, and there are web hosting companies that charge a fee, or "rent". Most people's first reaction, as in anything, would be of course to jump at the free space and move right in! However, as you do in anything, you have to ask yourself, why is it free? Is it in the ghetto in a dark alley that hasn't had people pass by in years? Not necessarily, though there is a catch.

A "free" web hosting service is going to be free because they will need you to allow them to advertise through you. There are three different ways they will ask you to do this for them, and depending on how big of a company they are they may want you to do just one or all three. The first will be through pop-ups. Every time someone visits your site they will have to go through a million pop-ups before they can see what you have to offer. The second way of advertising is through a banner. At the top of your site will always be a banner that will run through a series of different advertisements as long as your customers are on your site. The third mode of advertising will be an advertising frame. Your host company will literally "frame" your site with different advertisements in blocks throughout the frame. Does one or more of these advertising options work for you? If they do, then free may be the way for you to go.

Speed and reliability, no matter who you are you probably are looking for a web host you can rely on. If you're a business you are not going to want people to find you in their search engines, pull you up, and then not be able to get through - your potential customers will just look somewhere else. So before choosing a web hosting service be sure to check them out at all hours of the day to make sure they are still up and running quickly. If your customers have to wait to long for your site to load, they may just move on.

How much web space are you going to need? Don't think just about your needs now, but how much do you see yourself needing in the future? Web space will depend on how many pictures, pages, and videos (if any) you plan on using. Really look into it and calculate where you are hoping your business will eventually be before deciding on an amount of web space. This won't cost you too much extra and it will be worth it to you to be able to always keep the same web address.

How much traffic are you looking to attract to your site? If this is your business, you probably don't want a limit. Many web hosts (especially free) are going to give you a limit though as to how many times during the day your site can be loaded. If your site is loaded more than their set amount of times, they will either send you a bill, or shut you down. Make sure that they provide for you maximum amount of traffic before choosing them, even though just starting out you will probably only use your minimum.
The last thing to consider when choosing a web host is what type of files will you be loading? Will it be the typical HTML and JPG files, or are you going to need to load some of your own files? If so you will need to make sure you are with a company that can accept and load the type of files you are interested in using before deciding on a company.

Choosing a web hosting company really depends on your needs and expectations for your site.

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Posted by DF
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