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Before you put your valued info on a free website… understand your CHOICES better & why NOW is the best time for a website
When I was in the planning stages for my website, I tormented about all the details, and actually overwhelmed myself. Every article I read seemed to hold different aspects in importance. They each flooded me with information on tools and choices. It was hard to know what I should start and where it could go. And truly it has been full of surprises for me and taken me on a course I had not pictured. But when I finally took my leap, I made choices that I remain proud of for my domain name and my web hosting. I feel very lucky that I found the information that led me to pay for a website rather than go to a free website host.
Free site VS Paying for your own site
This is an important issue! You can certainly use a free website. There are plenty available really. Some are just a free trial basis, this is one of those things you need to research. Some will say when the free trial period ends and payments are required. This can be deceptive though… If you are doing something that you are very serious about and investing a lot of work into… then you should give serious consideration to paying for a website. It is then yours and stays yours.
The drawbacks of a free site
The free site domain name will look like yourname.freewebsite.com instead of just yourname.com. Moving your information to another site or even just removing it may be very difficult, hopefully not impossible. It can be taken away from you. This means that not only have you lost the work on your website, but all the links you have built for your traffic to it. Duplicate material is penalized by Google too, which is a good thing. You cannot just put it on another website. The security of the site is set and you don’t get to make changes in it. The customer service to help you may not be great. Your size is limited. If your site should become popular, the available resources probably will not be able to support the increased traffic. This could mean that your site goes down. Some will charge for the services for your free website.
Still other problems with a free website…
Of course, with a free website, your resources are going to be set and limited. Will they be mobile device compatible? Your tracking statistics may be poor or nonexistent. Yet another issue with free websites are advertisements. The website provider gets the income from the ads that are placed on your site. They can even place ads from what is competition for you. If it is your website, you have a choice of having it ad-free for your visitors. In the case where you do have ads, you choose the quality of them, and the income is yours. Here is another thought for you… are they willing to make money with your email and associated information?
Why get a website NOW
There are so many wonderful tools available to help with the tasks that you are working on in relation to your website. For just about any website type, there are incredible free resources that people are providing. These tools are designed as a base resource. Some groups just want to help others achieve these tasks. They may be a trial level item with additional resources that you can pay to have, or they are a creation that is building a reputation and need that will go to pay-only once established. This means many wonderful free tools have gone away before you got here. There are ones available right now that will be the next to go away. Start that site and learn what you want and need and utilize these NOW.
Here are examples of free tools & WHY NOW
When I first started my site, Google had a free resource for evaluating keyword search words [Keyword Tool]. They did take that away. What is available for free now [Keyword Planner] is much less informative and helpful. There are resources for public domain use pictures. There are ones to create nice media graphics. It never occurred to me to find such tools. I found them in helpful advice articles. This is usually how I find things. Just explore and learn about everything you need as you go along. You can get plugins (module of code for a specific task that can easily be added) for free.
Here is an example of a free tool that has benefited me recently
My site has grown to the point that I needed to tailor my website menu. I found a great free plugin that I use for this. This plugin adapts to mobile devices. It allow me to have drop down categories for my articles. This allows the effective presentation of content choices of my site without filling the reading area for them. This tailoring has been available to my site usage for free.
If you have not figured out your website name… that is the first decision…
PICKING YOUR WEBSITE NAME My page
Customer service help with your website
I did a GREAT DEAL of research on website hosting before my choice. I put together lists based on factors like the operating system base language, uptime, and storage quantity. While I researched them, more factors were added to the information. As I read reviews of the services, my views changed. I read the tragic stories in the complaints with some big companies and I started eliminating these from my list of choices. I came to see that the cheapest ones could actually be expensive to me in ruinous problems and lack of help. Customer service rose to the top of my list of factors.
My choices for hosting
I came to the decision that I would select from the low end on cost, but make sure that it was a great company on all the most important factors. I also value the other types of web service choices that are available from them. Upgrading to another type of website is a possibility. The reviews must be great and rank them very high. Great customer service has everything to do with that.
Unix (OS) – Linux (server admin)
(Most popular, Web designer preference)
Best for web servers. It is very reliable, stable, and efficient. Great for complex and mail server environments. It is handy for use with PHP, Perl, MySQL, CGI, and Linux is great for blogs, content management systems, online stores and forums. This works well with ‘what you see is what you get’ applications (WYSIWYG apps).
Windows is for execution of conception frameworks, .NET framework or SharePoint or Windows applications like ActiveServerPages (ASP), .NET script languages, VisualBasic or using Microsoft SQL databases (Access).
Whether Unix or Windows operating system – probably not really a concern…
I researched this a lot and worried about what would be the best choice here. Unless you are planning to work on the specific software, this is not much of a concern. I am capable of programming, and maybe I will be doing more of that down the road. For my start… I am happy to use available tools to set up my website and focus on the website itself. This is a difference in the executing scripts and databases languages. As far as WordPress is concerned, you can use it on either one. At the very least, there is an open source Ubuntu Linux (LAMP) or Windows (WAMP) that can be installed to work with it. Also good web hosts will help you set your site up. You can dig in to creating content and how you want it presented.
Website templates are resources of pre-designed web page layouts. These make it easy to display the information and visuals that you want to have on your website. There are many choices for these wonderful resources. The best known and most widely available one is WordPress. This is an opensource one… which means that it is freely available at no cost. There are also many customized ones available for a price. One thing I came to appreciate here through trial and error was that, the more bells and whistles that you have and use… the more you store, and the more that is required to load when someone visits your page. This can slow your load speed.
You can buy an attractive, specialized WordPress theme if you like, but there are also free themes you can acquire. You can research this easily to find what you like. They can be changed pretty easily too. Since it is an open source software, there are many different versions of this in use. There is a theme review team who goes through a careful review process with testing for all these themes. The great thing is that everyone has helpful code and ideas to aid in what you do. It is a HUGE community. It is very easy to make use of, and very easy to tailor. There are many plugins for tailoring them too. Many of these choices are free as well.
Type of web hosting
Don’t worry about this so much. You can always upgrade at a later time. This definitely played into my choice. I wanted a web host that had a great starting level with good ones to upgrade to as well. I am starting small and have no complaints. The only thing to be a difficult decision when you start here, is if you need to have a secure site (https rather than http). This secure layer is essential if you are opening an online store or anything that requires the handling of private information that needs to be protected. This encryption is both essential to keep the information safe and also to make your site visitors feel safe with that too.
Like the name sounds, the website is on the same server as other
websites using shared resources.
The website is contained in the cloud. It is decentralized and accessible by the internet. The resources are on computers spread around the internet that comprise the cloud you have to use.
Virtual Private Server (VPS) hosting
This is also called Virtual Dedicated Server and the server resources are divided among the virtual servers. These websites can be transferred between the virtual servers easily. There is area provided on the partitioned server that you can customize and configure, and are sometimes thought of as a “private cloud”.
The website is on it’s own server and has full control of that server. Usually the person with the website is the one responsible for the security and maintenance of the server. (TMD Hosting provides fully managed service from experts.)
This is the use of your own computer equipment for your website. This was my plan when I wanted to start. It is not permitted in most places, including where I live. Our internet provider does not permit this. The biggest reason they block this usage is because of the possible traffic volume that it can cause for your section in the internet provided. When your traffic volume is great, this can take away your neighbors resources. Your internet service provider may even pursue legal action against you.
Security layer certificate
There are 2 types of security layers… Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) and Transport Layer Security (TLS). These use different methods and the TLS is the newest and most secure. This is also not something to worry about when you are just starting out. You can buy a certificate and add it to your site at any time. With many sites, you can get something called a wildcard SSL which is a public key certificate which can be used with many subdomains of a domain site. Many website hosts will give you a free SSL certificate.
Shared site security
If you start with a shared website, this is the easiest to afford. It may, however, be limited on what you can do for the security layer. Most provide DV SSL. I have been safe and secure with this setup and my DV SSL for 2 years now (Still http site). My email list items go to a mail service that has the https encryption and are safe and protected by the encryption used. If you have Security Shell (SSH) access for a security layer for your site, you can put your choice of SSL certificate on it. My shared site has this SSH access.
FEATURES TO NOTE
Data storage space
This is the amount of storage your host service gives you for your website. It can take many forms and often multiple types are used.
The time your site is active, available, and without downtime.
The load time for the page being accessed.
The level of traffic, and amount of data that can transfer between your site, users, and the Internet.
File Management and Resources, Databases, SEO Marketing Tools, Email Resources, Metrics, Security Tools, Software Tools
Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) or the newer Transport Layer Security (TLS)
Certificate which gives an extra layer of security for your site. This gives your site the https (Hypertext Transfer Protocol with the added Security) that means the communication for it is encrypted. If you shop around, you can find packages that have the security layer certificate included in the price.
TMDHosting can supply the base SSL certificate for free.
The cost/month, and the length of the contract term.
Domain validation certificate (DV) – proof of domain control
Organization validation certificate (OV) – for informational, non-eCommerce website
Extended validation certificate (EV) – for communications & commerce website
ECC encryption – Elliptic Curve Cryptography algorithm encryption
RSA encryption – Rivest-Shamir-Adleman algorithm encryption
DSA encryption – Digital Signature Algorithm encryption
My experience with TMD Hosting [SHARED]
When my website started becoming more successful, I had to do optimization to get great loading speed. This was no issue with my web host! I have never had any real downtime. I had a little glitch when they upgraded my site. It was an upgrade that I feel actually should have cost me more money, it didn’t. Every time I have needed technical help, they are fast, kind, and set it right very quickly. They have always given me great sale prices for my website. They have both standard shared websites and cloud based shared websites. When the person using the cheapest package is happy and treated well, that says it all. The tech support is as responsive as the sale person. I recently made a mistake with a security setup change that locked up my site. They fixed it for me in about 10 minutes!
What is important to know about Cloud website hosting
This is something that can vary greatly on the prices and resources. I think that comparing the cloud cost against the shared and other website packages will give you a quick idea of the level of website resources. This has more resource availability of course, and the amount of the resources can be impressive. They are shared resources throughout the systems connected through the internet. They are not limited to physical ones of your web host. Your growth capacity can be much greater here. This is much faster and more powerful than the shared website. That is because of unlimited bandwidth and large available storage capacity. The security for your website is also increased here.
Virtual Private Server (VPS) website
The SSD has high performance with full time monitoring. There is redundancy in resources to guarantee that they are available. Many packages are available here. They have great resources like 2 – 6 CPU Cores, 3 – 10 TB bandwidth, 40 – 200 GB SSD space, 2 – 12 GB DDR4 RAM.
Dedicated Server website
This is a well supported Linux system. They install nearly everything and it is fully able to handle high traffic volume. Everything loads fast and well for users. The 4 packages here had unlimited bandwidth, 4 – 8 CPU Cores, 8 – 32 GB DDR4 RAM, 1 TB 2X2 (RAID-10) storage.
SHARED WEB HOSTING PRICING COMPARISON
Hostgator & Bluehost includes value added tax (VAT)
Database comparison & storage shared website hosting
SSL & Bandwidth comparison for shared website hosting
Websites & Domains feature comparison for shared website hosting
E-mail accounts offer for shared website hosting
The TMD Hosting is great on supplying ALL the pricing information as well as their package resources. Also they do a great job of helping you set up your website. If you look at the pricing, it will be comparable to the competition until you put a website name into the order form… then you will see the prices that I have listed. You can do this without following through on an order… I have also done this with the competitors to see their actual prices.