Do you even need your own web hosting?

by Paul on June 27, 2011

Do you have information such as a portfolio, personal writing, photos, art work, videos, or any other creative products that you would like to put on the internet?

Whatever they may be, before you can put them on a website you’ll need to either sign up to a free service, or purchase some web hosting. I will give you a brief overview of your options in this article to help you decide what you need.

Before you can decide whether you need to buy web hosting, you need to know what it is.

Free online services for blogging and photos

An important consideration if this is your first online expedition, is whether or not you want your own domain name. A domain name is the web address where people will find your content, for example, YouTube.com.

If you’d like to simply start a blog, or show photos, you can get away with using many free services such as WordPress.com, Blogger, Flickr, Smug-Mug, etc.

Often these free services will suffice.

However, if you want a personalised domain, a www.my-own-address-on-the-internet.com, then you need to also purchase both the domain name, and the web hosting space to store your files.

It might be a good idea to get familiar with many of the aforementioned free online services before buying a domain name and web hosting when you don’t know whether you need it.

Free Web Hosting

An alternative approach is to buy a domain name and take advantage of some free web hosting offers. There are many variations on this theme, but basically it allows you to spend a minimal amount of cash on the domain name, while getting a few hosting account to play with.

Don’t expect too much in the way of performance/capacity on a free hosting account, and for some, expect banner advertisements and such like placed on your site.

Advantages of paid web hosting

When you pay for hosting, you’ll get all the advantages listed below:

  • a domain name for yourself or your business.
  • freedom to put online what you want
  • tools and templates to help you get started, provided by your web host
  • no forced advertising that may come with free web hosting

For most basic packages, they’ll cover all your early personal needs, but if you’re in business or in need of a lot of resources, then you’ll to move beyond them.

The Simple package offered by Host Like Toast: Managed WordPress Hosting is designed to meet demanding personal and small-medium business needs. If you require more advanced business services, then the Premium package could be what you’re looking for.

Each hosting provider has their own strengths and weaknesses and not all packages will suit. It’s best to shop around and to trust the provider you decide to go with.

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