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A Web Hosting Conversation
Hello. I own a business and I need a web site.
Congratulations on your business. Why do you think you need a web site?
Ummm... everyone I talk to says I should have one.
Is everyone trying to sell you a hosting service?
What's a hosting service?
A web hosting service puts your web site on the Internet. Without a host, your site is guaranteed to get no visits. You can gave the prettiest and most useful site ever developed, but unless it's hosted, it's offline.
Oh, my. Evidently a good web hosting service is a moral imperative.
Perhaps we are dipping into hyperbole. Have you identified potential web hosting companies?
"Companies"? How many do I need?
You only need one, but it pays to shop around a little.
How in the world do I shop for a web hosting company? Costco? Sam's?
Actually, the mega warehouse big box bulk food stores probably have a web hosting package included in their membership plans, but we will focus on identifying a company through the Internet.
OK. How do I begin searching for a company that will meet my needs?
Let us begin with a simple Google search. We shall search on the phrase "Web Hosting Companies"
Wow. I received "About 1,830,000 results" from my search. This could take a really long time.
Don't fret. We won't look at all of them.
I don't 'fret', I perspire.
Irregardless of your extremely bad pun, let us consider some important aspects of web hosting.
I want it to be cheap.
We can do cheap. Web hosting has become a commodity item. You could literally spend $5 a month for basic web hosting services. Of course, you could spend $500 if you're not sure what you're doing.
$5 sounds good. What do I get for that?
Most small businesses simply need a landing page and two or three additional pages with contact information, directions to the storefront, and perhaps a few color glossy photos.
Color glossy photos, with circles and arrows and a paragraph on the back explaining what each one is?
Probably not, unless you find yourself creating a web site for Stockbridge, Massachusetts.
Moving on, you can expect to pay about $5 a month for a basic web site hosting package.
What do I get for $5 a month? I spend more than that on cafe latte mocha iced frappuccino smoothies.
I'm sure you do. $5 goes a long way in the web hosting business. You can expect to receive unlimited disk space, unlimited bandwidth, and a boatload of email addresses.
Cool. I get unlimited disk stuff and band stuff and I also get email addresses. What do I do with all this stuff? Will the web hosting service help me figure out how to use these unlimited gizmos?
They will help you a little bit. Keep in mind that you aren't going to get much human contact for $5 a month. You'll be relying primarily on help pages and tutorials.
Yikes! I can't read anything technical. My eyes glaze over and I start dreaming about Oprah. Who will help me?
You should rely on your web designer for help setting up your site. The hosting service keeps their costs down by automating as many procedures as possible.
Very well. That makes sense. What else do I need to know about picking a web hosting service?
We'll discuss that in our next conversation. Stay tuned for Part 2!
I can't wait.