Many people, especially newcomers, when they register their domain names, are convinced to sign up for a hosting account with the company that registered their domain name. That could be godaddy.com, yahoo.com or any number of other domain name registering companies. That’s really unfortunate, because the hosting services those people usually get don’t generally meet the needs of an online entreprenuer. Those hosting accounts just lack the functionality you really need to promote your business.
Here’s what happens – the domain name registering companies will make you an offer of a low level hosting plan. Since the customers that are registering the domain names are usually beginners, they aren’t aware of all the hosting choices that are readily available elsewhere. They think that just because the company they’re dealing with can register domain names, they must have the best hosting too.
To make a long story short, people that buy into the hosting that’s offered when they register their domains are usually disappointed once they get started with their new online business. Although they got what seemed like a low price, they’ll find out later, when they compare it to other offers, that it really wasn’t such a good deal.
But that’s only part of the problem. As they become more and more involved in running their new online business, they discover that there may be some special software that they want to run on their website. Perhaps it’s a shopping cart or maybe a content management system. When they look at the requirements of the software and compare those requirements to their hosting account, they’ll see that their hosting account won’t support the new software. You see, most marketing related software will use PHP or mySQL databases. If your web hosting account doesn’t support PHP and mySQL, you’re just out of luck.
Of course, these customers can go back to their hosting provider, who will explain to them that the features required for support of the new software are available to them, but they’ll have to ‘upgrade’ their hosting account. And the upgrade isn’t free, by the way. Their original hosting may have cost only $7.95 a month, but the new, upgraded hosting will cost them $25 or $30 a month. Now, all of the sudden, that great hosting deal doesn’t seem so great anymore.
Don’t waste your time and money with ‘bargain’ web hosting that won’t do the job.
Another mistake is trying to run your business with free hosting. First of all, if you’re looking for free web hosting because you’re not willing to spend a small amount of money for your own web hosting account, you might as well just give up right now. If you want to do everything for free, you’re not looking for a real business, you’re looking for a hobby.
Usually, when you go with free hosting, your website URL will end up being something like “freehosting.megacities.com/18987/~parkavenue/1793” If your only interest is in having a place on the web to display your family photos, maybe the free hosting is right for you. But if you’re trying to run a business, the free hosting can be a big handicap. For one thing, the URL doesn’t look very professional.
And the free hosting companies tend to display their own advertising banners on the pages of your website. How does that look to your potential customers? Just imagine that if you’re trying to operate a family oriented business and when prospects visit your website, banners advertising “Adult Chat Rooms” are on your pages.
Types of web hosting – Primarily, there are 2 different types of web hosting. One is Microsoft Windows based and the other is Linux/Unix based. My personal recommendation is to stay away from the Windows based hosting. I’ve had friends that went with Windows hosting, and then later found out that much of the software they wanted to run wasn’t compatible with the Windows server. Most all web based software that is used for marketing purposes is designed to run on Linux servers, so I wouldn’t recommend anything other than Linux based hosting.
Now that we’ve established the need for Linux based hosting and that you shouldn’t get hosting from the same place you registered your domain, the question is – Where do you get hosting?
I’m going to let you in on a little secret – all those banner ads and email messages you probably see pitching hosting deals – IGNORE THEM. The absolute best hosting I’ve seen is available at dirt cheap prices on Ebay. Yes, Ebay, the online auction.
Just go to ebay.com and search for “web hosting reseller” By getting a reseller’s hosting account, you’ll get all the hosting you’ll ever need. Here’s how it works – A reseller’s hosting account gives you the ability to sell hosting accounts to other people. One of the benefits of a reseller account is that you can usually host an unlimited number of domains.
Right now you may be thinking this isn’t for you because you’re not interested in selling hosting to other people. You just want hosting for your own business. That’s OK, you don’t need to sell hosting with the reseller’s account. You can just use it for yourself. You can use it to host the new domain that you recently registered and then, later on, if you register more domain names, you can host those also – without paying any more money for hosting.
I bought a hosting reseller’s account on eBay about 3 years ago. It’s full featured, reliable, and the service and support is great. I pay $139 a year and I currently have about 95 domains hosted. Do the math – that works out to a little over a dollar per year for hosting that has everything I need. I think that’s a pretty good deal.
If you don’t want to get a reseller’s account, you can get by even cheaper. I have another hosting account I bought at eBay that only hosts a single domain, but it only costs 75 cents a month. This 75 cent account supports PHP, mySQL, has unlimited space and bandwidth, unlimited email accounts and just about everything else you could think of.
I strongly recommend that you check out the hosting offers on eBay before you make any other commitments. Here are the features you want to make sure your hosting has –
1) Linux based web server
2) CPANEL admin control. This is the web based admin where you can check traffic stats, setup mySQL databases, setup email accounts and a whole lot more
3) Fantastico – This is an installation aid that’s really handy to have. It allows you to automatically install several high powered software applications with just a single mouse click. Want a WordPress blog? Click and you have it, ready to roll. Want an online forum – same deal, click and it’s there. Catalog and shopping cart – You guessed it, click and you’ll have it.
It goes without saying that you should check the seller’s feedback on eBay before you make any commitment. See what other customers have to say about the service. You want to make sure you’re dealing with someone that’s reputable.