WYSIWYG? ORLY? OMG!

While many web hosts provide WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) site building software, it is important to consider the matter of whether this software is what you want to use. Make no mistake, for the most part these are perfectly useful and often even very good. But your best bet may be to ignore these editors and choose a Content Management System instead. The CMS (as it is known for short) can be installed on the cPanel of your hosting software and you can then use it for all your web building needs.

The advantages of using a CMS over the WYSIWYG editor on your site are substantial. Primarily, it comes down to the fact that these systems (Joomla and WordPress are the two most popular) offer you a lot more latitude with what you want to do with the site. Both are highly customisable and also offer a real “plug and play” element, which makes it a whole lot easier to install extra content on your site – content like road maps, YouTube videos and Paypal clients which make it a lot easier to create a business site.

Additionally, these systems make it a lot easier to make your site look good. It is very easy to download a “theme” or template for your site which will give it a distinct and professional look. Although the WYSIWYG editor is a nice touch and may be useful for basic sites, you should never look a gift horse in the mouth – install a free CMS today.

Is There Such A Thing As “Free” Web Hosting?

In this world, getting something for nothing is rare – and, perhaps naturally, people distrust things that are free to acquire and give benefits back for what is seemingly no financial reward. This applies across all walks of life, from business to finance to the internet – and applies particularly to the concept of free web hosting.

Web hosting is expensive, there’s no doubt about it. That’s why offers for free web hosting seem too good to be true, and many users will just avoid on sight. In reality, there are some benefits that can be gotten from free web hosting. For some users, it might be worth looking deeper in to the idea.

Free web hosting is not without its drawbacks – usually you cannot use your own domain name, and you will be limited in terms of how much space and bandwidth you have. So far, it’s not such an attractive package if you are looking to host a professional, large site – and in truth, it probably isn’t a good idea if you fall in to that category.

It is with the small, often first-website user that free web hosting comes in to its own. If you only want to put a minute website, with a couple of pages and perhaps contact deals on the web, then it may be something worth considering. It’s certainly cheaper, and if you are not relying on the website solely to generate business or income, then a free offer may be exactly what you need.

Cheap May Be Better Than Free

Although free web hosting exists, there is no getting around the fact that a company has to pay for it somehow. This tends to result in you having to make do somewhere along the line. Yes, you’d like to have a website without ads on it, or at least have some control over what is being advertised. But if the hosting is free, then you may have to make do with distracting and potentially off-putting ads on your site. You’d hope for good tech support, but they have to pay for that “free hosting” and good tech support doesn’t come cheap.

However, not everyone has the budget to go with the more established, well-reviewed companies, so there has to be a third way, and that comes in the form of cheap web hosting. Yes, “cheap” is a relative term, but if you’re paying something to them, and a lot of other people are too, then it at least gives them a budget to spend on important little things like tech support people who know what a computer is and servers that don’t explode when someone actually visits your site.

Cheap web hosting has this in common with the more expensive type – there are good providers and bad providers. The more established big names in the sector are, generally, well-liked by those who use them and while you might not expect as much from them as you would from a blue-chip company there is a lot to be said for a fresh, inexpensive option – especially when you’re starting out.

Customer Support Is A Deal Breaker

Whatever else you look for in a web hosting provider, you should always be on the lookout for good customer support. All web hosts will say they provide it, just as all heavyweight boxers will say they are going to win their next fight by a knockout. Just because someone is saying something, it doesn’t mean it is true. There are several things you will need to ensure your web host has before deciding that it will provide you with the right level of customer support.

A toll-free customer support line is a sure sign that the company really is confident that it can give you the help you need without any messing around. Someone has to pay for a phone call and if it isn’t you, it’ll be them. If they’re paying for the call, they want it to be short and final, so they will move mountains to get you back up and running if there’s unscheduled downtime. Still, it is helpful to have a record of every query, so if they offer an additional email support service, you should double up by sending them email.

Many of the better web hosting providers also have customer forums. If they’re any good they will be patrolled and moderated by techies, and placing a post on the forum is a good idea if you have an unresolved problem. They don’t want to see a lot of posts on there saying their service sucks, because that’s liable to turn people off them – expect someone to reply to your query fast and have you up and running again. Finally, look out for hosts who have frequently updated documentation of potential downtime and other issues on their site. If you’re going to have downtime, it’s nice to know in advance.

Paying For ISP Internet Access

Choosing ISP services can be real tricky and the rule of thumb is to pay for those services that you only need. Instead of plunking down change for all the bells and whistles. The typical small business web-site, four to seven pages, could choose a virtual hosting service with multiple email addresses, cgi-bin access and a T3 connection from the Internet for $19 to $27 per month.

Most small businesses pick the managed server hosting packages which could range from $3.95 a month to $20 a month. As stated before, these hosting packages have all the administrative support that you need and all you have to worry about is the development of your web-site. You are given an FTP client to load your site to the internet.

Socket Security Certificates cost extra for secure transactions of the financial type through your web page and you expect to pay at least $40 to $80 per month. The setup fees can be expensive and cost as much as $55, and sometimes more if you order special features. Large companies and high volume web sites pay more for certain types of services.

Shop around and get the best deal for your business. You can get web hosting through the internet from anywhere but you have to really study the ISP’s and see what they offer.

A big concern in choosing an ISP should be the response time in case a server goes down. How does the server respond during high traffic times on the server? You would have to ask the ISP representative what their percentage ranking is as far as server downtime.

You can find some of these rankings on the internet by going to cnet.com or use the Google search engine to rate the top ten ISP providers that have the best percentage of what the industry calls, “up” time according to their servers.

Free and Cheap: Web Space Options for the Thrifty At Heart

There are some good deals on the internet concerning web space and hosting but you have to look to find the best deals. You should also consider how long a provider has been in business.

Finding free web space on the Internet is simple. All you have to do is use a simple Web search (Google, AltaVista or Yahoo) and the results should bring back options for free web space. There are many individuals and businesses looking for a place to put their website without having to pay for the service. These free services can provide anywhere from 5MB to 100Mb of online web space for hosting your web site.

Free sites also come with some cool stuff, such as counters, guest books, virtual domain names, tracking logs, blogs, copy and past scripts that are usually Java code scripts and more. These additions are good for people that have little or no knowledge into building a web site.

A free service provides benefits to all people and may sound like a good idea but the goal is to do your research to see if the deals are viable or not. Free services can also bring other unwanted things that you have to deal with when you sign up for the service. Usually, you have to submit to advertising and surveys by filling out a form before you can get your free service. Be sure that you read the user agreements that come with the free services.

You can go on the cheap and don’t want advertisements running on your site, you can get a service similar to free hosting but you would have to pay a small fee to keep your web page ad-free. Some of these providers will offer you a service for $2.95 a month with 100MB of web space if that’s all that you need, and you can always upgrade your packages.

There’s a lot of competition for your Web site hosting dollars, and you can find some pretty good deals if you look hard enough.

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