Believe it or
not, where you host your web business can have a significant
impact on the response from your customers. One of the hardest
things to do with a web based business is to convince your customers
to trust you. If they don't trust you, they don't buy from you.
There are any
number of free hosting services, probably including your own
Internet Service Provider. The main problem with using one one
of the free providers is that it takes away from the professionalism
and therefore the credibility of your business. Experienced web
surfers look at the URL of the websites they visit - after all,
it's the first thing displayed on the top of their browser and
the only thing to read while they wait for your home page to
A free service
is a good place to start if you're just "testing the waters"
of the web, but plan on buying your own domain name and moving
to a paid host soon. You will never gain the trust of many potential
customers if you show your own doubt in your business by not
committing to those two things.
which type you start with, you will need to spend some time "comparison
shopping." Read the policies of each to find the best to
suit your needs. Pricing and policies can change so much it would
be pointless of me to include them here - the info would be out
of date in a week.
If you plan to
design your web pages using FrontPage2000, you will probably
want to be hosted on an NT server as opposed to a UNIX server.
If your business is going to require you to have multiple mailing
addresses or use CGI scripting, you will need to take that into
consideration and be sure those features are offered. Do they
offer a Shopping Cart program if you need it? Some free hosts
do not allow certain types of commercial sites and others put
an obnoxious pop-up banner on your home page with your competitor's
advertising on it.
In other words,
plan on spending a few hours reading about hosting and start
a notebook with a list of what you need, what is offered by each,
and how much they cost.
Here are a few
to get you started.
Free Web Site
MySiteInc will pay you
$20 for each person you refer to them for a free website, that
later upgrades to a paid site.
The most reliable host
I have found - the one with the
least amount of downtime is Host4Profit:
Another way to
have your domain hosted on a paid host for free is to become
an affiliate of a paid host and send them customers. You will
receive a monthly commission for each new account, and eventually
make enough to pay for your own site and possibly more besides.