The Internet has grown exponentially over the past decade. With close to 800 million Internet users sprung over the past few years, it is undeniable that the Internet has become part of our community. Online trading or e-commerce in the United States itself is a billion dollar industry. Take a close look at Amazon.com, YouTube and Google, as each of these companies are not only very successful but each is worth at least a billion dollar.
To tap into the e-commerce industry, the prerequisites are you will indeed need a web host to host your website. Though you can get many free web hosting services on the Internet, a paid web hosting is many times better compared to a free one.
These are some of the benefits that you will get when you host your business or website on a paid web host:
More bandwidth and disk storage capacity – A free web host will only provide you with a mere 50 to 100 megabyte of storage space and bandwidth is very limited. Renting a web host will get you at least 5 gigabyte of disk space and 250 gigabyte of bandwidth. This is sufficient to get a medium sized website up and running. It is also sufficient to build a small online community.
Better in search engine optimization and faster getting indexed – Search engines are always on the prowl to look for new websites that are hosted on paid servers. A free web host will always be neglected by search engines.
Free email – Of course, subscribing to a paid service would also enable you to have your own personalized email service with your own domain name. This service is not available when you use a free web host. Email that contains your domain name is many times more professional than using a free email service such as Hotmail, Gmail or Yahoo!
Domain name – An online business or simply a website with its own domain name would always look professional and creates an atmosphere of trust between the web owner and his visitors or customers. Trust is particularly important when it comes to an online transaction.
Free software – An assorted range of free software are available when you subscribe to a web hosting service. You can implement your website or online trading portal with ease using it. From my experience, you can even implement a website with moderate complexity within 24 hours.
Database storage facilities – An online trading portal or community would need a database to store user’s information. Free web hosting services in Canada do not have this service. Without the ability to store information, your online business is most likely handicapped.
Reliable – Of course, paid web hosting services guarantees 99% up to 99.9% up time for their servers. A frequent breakdown of your online service will turn potential customers away. A server that guarantees 99.9% up time means that their services would not break down even a single day for a year. This is crucial for an online community or a trading portal.
Ideally choose a web hosting service that provides at least 5 gigabyte of web space and 250 gigabyte of bandwidth each month. You have a choice of hosting you website using Microsoft or Linux hosting solutions. If you are planning to implement your website using ASP.NET, then the obvious choice is of course Microsoft. On the other hand, Linux hosting grants you many choices of free software – WordPress, Joomla, Mambo, Picture Gallery, Forum services, Community Builder tools and many more. These software can actually help you get your new website up and running in less than 24 hours. Choose wisely because you will most likely use the web hosting service for at least a year. Not forgetting, get a domain name when you subscribe to a hosting service. You can get one for less than $10 which is valid for a year.
Listed below are two web hosting companies that you might want to consider – GoDaddy.com and 1and1.com.
GoDaddy.com offers an economical web hosting solution. Their economic web hosting plan only costs $3.99 a month. However in order to be eligible for the ‘Economy Plan’, you will need to subscribe to their web hosting services for at least a minimum of two months. Adding a domain name to your shopping cart would only costs another $1.99. For those who want to give GoDaddy.com a try, two months of web hosting services plus a domain name amounts to only $9.97.
Amongst noticeable features in GoDaddy’s hosting plans are you will get 5 gigabyte of disk storage space, 250 gigabyte of bandwidth, 6 FTP user accounts, 500 free email accounts, 10 MySQL databases, 25 subdomain names, free firewall and site statistic software, 24 by 7 phone and email support and of course various choices of free software.
I consider this as a good plan since you will get further discount if you subscribe their service for a year. GoDaddy.com is known for their reliability and they have been operating for many years.
On the other hand, 1and1.com is offering a fifty percent discount on their entire selection of web hosting solutions. It only costs you $1.50 a month to subscribe to 1and1.com’s Beginner Plan. However in order to be eligible, you will need to subscribe their service for at least 6 months. This offer is rather enticing because they even throw in a free domain name once you subscribe. A 6 months subscription to 1and1.com will cost you $9 dollars. However, 1and1.com’s web hosting services are extended to US and Canada only.
1and1.com’s web hosting plan has similar specifications when compared to GoDaddy.com. 1and1.com provides 5 gigabyte of web space, 250 gigabyte of bandwidth, 1 FTP account, 500 email accounts with 2 gigabyte of email storage space, 25 subdomain names, 10 MySQL databases, 24 by 7 phone and email support and of course a broad range of free software for you to use.
As a conclusion, choose you web hosting company wisely. Each consideration that you put into your choice will decrease complications in the future. Always conduct a thorough research on the company before you subscribe to their service. Perform a search using search engines as well as read comments posted on forums regarding the web hosting company. You will most likely get an idea on how good the company is. Try it and good luck.