If you are anything like me, you'd probably like to have a website on the Internet but you just have no idea how to go about it. All this talk of web hosting, bandwidth, disc space, and other jargon can cause one to say, "This is too complicated and technical, I just wanted to have a place to put all of my favorite skateboarding photos, cool information on ramp designs, and the best places to skate!" To get a website on the Web you have to go through a web host. The question is how do you find the web host for you?
If you type 'web host' into your search engine like Google you will get thousands of sites. Hit on one of these and like any product on the market you will see all sorts of persuasive propaganda to incite you to use their company; that is if you can decipher any of the technical jargon that only computer-heads can comprehend. Some web hosts offer free business cards with an account; some probably offer free watches?like all consumer industries you the buyer must beware.
I'm a writer so I'll use the analogy of a writer's journal. The journal I like must not be too big or small in book size. It also must have a good amount of space allocated to each day, again not a whole page but not just a few lines. Of course I also want it to be cheap but of a good quality that won't fall apart while I'm using it, and I hope it would last for posterity. I just want the diary, some nice pictures in it are O.K. but unnecessary especially if it adds to the price.
It's the same with a web host and web site scenario. You want to get the right deal for you, enough space and enough access to the public that you wish to associate with. As a novice who doesn't understand all the jargon this can pose a problem. Are you an individual, small business, blog, or a big time corporation? What do you need and how do you get it?
As far as I can tell the web hosting business is a lot like the fast food business. The big corporations have strict guidelines, will offer you special deals, and have monthly 'cheeseburger specials'. But, I've always been more interested in the 'Mom and Pop' small time diners who have that real caring human approach. You know you are a customer and a person, not just a number on a sales receipt. I believe the hosting companies are the same.
A smaller hosting company will probably treat its users with more honest integrity as well as having more flexibility in dealing with your individual situation. They can often tailor web site packages to accommodate exactly what you are looking for as well as the ability to update them quickly when your needs change.
My advice is to contact a few of the smaller companies. Look for ones with good reputations or just arbitrarily email them and compare results from different places. Which one do you feel most comfortable with? Go for it; ask as many questions as you can, see how the different hosts differ in their answers. Try one; if it doesn't work out try another, it's really easy to move around. Don't be afraid, you've got nothing to lose except the fear itself!
Jesse S. Somer
Jesse S. Somer is a novice in the computer world hoping to inform others like him that the Internet is nothing to fear.