Happy Thanksgiving. Yes, I know – I am two days late, but it is still Thanksgiving Weekend and so I think this still counts. I hope you had a good holiday weekend so far. Did you know that Thanksgiving is a time to switch to a new web host?! Many web hosting providers have some awesome deals available and if you are in the market for a new web host or want to save some money compared to your existing web hosting, then now is the time. These cheap web hosting deals will not last forever as you can imagine. [Read more…]
I am doing a lot of work with local clients lately providing SEO Services, Internet Consulting, and other related services. One recent project included to move a static website to WordPress. The client was hosting her website with Lunarpages and so I did not anticipate problems in regards to the environment. Lunarpages has a decent reputation. The first warning came when I noticed that cpanel was not outdated, but was configured running a fairly old skin/theme and many functions were locked down or not available. [Read more…]
How much does it cost you to host a website on the Internet? This is one of the most common questions one might ask when talking about getting a website. It is 2011 and by now you would think that most people actually do know the answer to this question. As you can guess, not everyone knows how cheap web hosting can be. [Read more…]
Just a few days ago I talked to a friend about my different online ventures. He was amazed by the number of domain names I own (roughly 145 at this point). He asked me if I would have a website for each domain name I own. I actually declined and mentioned that I have roughly 60% of my domain names developed with their own website. Thinking about his overall reaction I think it is important to point out how easy it is to bring up your own website. [Read more…]
The answer for this question is easy: The answer is: “Yes” and “No”. Now that you are confused, let me explain this in a little more detail.
IX Hosting claims that with their offer of “FREE” unlimited domains this actually means the ability for you to host unlimited domains without any extra charges or fees on your IX Web Hosting account. This offer does not include the actual domain registration fee which is around $10 depending on where you register it these. Many people seem to get confused when they hear about unlimited domain web hosting and I agree – the verbage is often misleading. [Read more…]
With the growing popularity of streaming media (video, podcasts, etc.) on the Internet, there are many good reasons reasons why you to pick a web hosting provider that supports these new types of content. Visits to sites like Youtube and other streaming media sites has exploded over the years and Internet users are hungry for new content all the time. Some web hosts have not caught on to these trends and their web hosting packages and services are outdated. Therefore, if you are currently incorporating these rich media files into your web site, you may be limited by what your web host has to offer.
Your task: Find a web host that supports streaming media technology with its services
Although, some traditional web hosting services do support audio and video files via “progressive download” technology, this technology has a number of limitations. The biggest issue is that large file sizes for audio and video files translate into extremely long download times for the visitor. And as you know, Internet users will leave a website fast if the website or files load really slow. So, it is important that your web host supports streaming media. With streaming media applications, your audio and video files will start playing right away. There is no need to wait for a download to finish first.
Over the last 2 years some web hosts have paid attention to user needs and are offering unlimited web hosting. While “unlimited” is a little bit misleading, the main idea is that a moderate user will not have to worry about his website being limited by resources like disk or bandwidth. This is ideal if you want to host podcasts and videos on your website and stream them out to website visitors.
I can recommend the following 3 web hosts as they are a good choice for web hosting needs described above. They offer cheap web hosting, almost unlimited resource (keep in mind what I said earlier about “unlimited”), and these web hosts are reliable and well established. The list is in no particular order – no matter which cheap web host you pick, you should be just fine.
The old saying that goes like this “You get what you pay” in regards to quality of a products is partially true when it comes to web hosting. However, one main difference is the nature of how web hosting works at the lower end of the scale. Shared web hosting over the years has really reached the bottom end of where prices can go. Large web hosting providers have driven down prices dramatically, but do require a pre-payment of 12 months or more in return. New web hosting providers trying to compete with these companies have to go through a cut throat process to gain customers. The main difference I see here is that these newer web hosts do not require a pre-payment of 12 months or more – they offer lower prices on a month by month basis.
That’s where things get out of whack and that’s where cheap web hosting can put your website at risk. While the larger web hosts have enough cash flow to work things out, smaller web hosting providers do not. When things do not work out as they hope, they have to eventually shutdown business and take everything down with them. That is the situation you want to avoid. Cheap web hosting is a good deal if you do your homework upfront. You can save a lot of money by going with a cheap web host, but you have to pick a web host that is established and has a proven track record.
If you are able and willing to pre-pay going with a provider like JustHost or IX Web Hosting you easily cut your web hosting cost in half. You can bring your web hosting fees down to less than $4.00 per month without losing out on features, bandwidth, disk space, or support. However, you need to determine if your website is a good fit for one of those web hosts. Most personal or small business websites fit that category well. Websites of power users or larger business websites do not fit well.
The following list shows my current favorites for cheap web hosting (in no particular order).
Yesterday I wrote about how expensive a local web host can be when hosting your business website with such a company or a local web designer. Many small businesses use a local web designer to get an online presence and then are kind of held hostage by these web designers. While I support honest, local web designers there are some who take advantage of small business customers and charge an arm and a leg for web hosting without providing real value in return.
Yesterday I provided information on how to gain control of your domain name as a first step in the process of moving your business website to a different provider. Today I am going to show how to gain control of the files that actually make your website which is hosted under your domain name. Just taking control of your domain name is not enough as you would lose your website and your content unless you also gain control and physical ownership of your website.
I am assuming you are dealing with a web designer of some sort who is difficult to work with and makes it difficult to move away from him/her. You might have to get a little tricky to get copies of your website in those cases to avoid a situation where the web designer turns hostile and makes it impossible to move away without a major hassle. Any good web designer should respect your wish to use a cheaper web host. Anyway, how can you get a copy of your website? For one you need to determine if your website is just made out of static files or if there is an actual CMS (Content Management System) is used that also has a database backend. Your goal is to be able to upload everything to the new web host at one point and to have a working website.
One good way to ask for what makes your website is actually a valid business reason. Remember 9/11? When the towers of the World Trade Center went down many business were destroyed. Anyone who did not have an offsite copy of their data had lost all business records. 9/11 triggered a large wave of disaster recovery procedures where businesses realized how fast a fatal incident could wipe a business. As a result business started recording business procedures and stored them offsite with critical business data and backups of data. You can use the same reason to request a current copy of your website from your web designer. Explain that you are creating a disaster recovery plan which also includes the website and the web designer. What happens if the web designer gets hits by a bus tomorrow? How can you get your website? Properly explained it will be difficult for the web designer to deny you a copy of what you own anyway. Let’s take this a step further and use the same situation to have the web designer document your website at the same time. This will make it easier for your new webmaster or web designer to put all the bits and pieces together.
That’s it for today. In part III of this article I will provide detail f how to put all this together and how to move your website to a new webhost.
Is your website hosted with a local web host in town? Often web designers also function as a web host and sell this service is part of their package to you. This is often “justified” that they need to have control over the account to do their work and that other web hosting just does not offer the same level of control. And as a result the small business owner is kind of being held hostage by this web designer and his/her expensive web hosting. Any attempt to pick a cheaper option is kind of shoot down by these web designers which causes a lot of frustration with many business owners.
How can a small business take back control of their website, their domain, and their content then?
In the beginning of the effort to take back control of your website and your web hosting it is important to determine how trustworthy the web designer is. If it is a honest guy/gal they should understand what you are trying to do. They sell web hosting as part of how they make a living and should not hold you back, but rather support you. It could actually happen that they lower your web hosting prices without any need to do something. Use my list of recommended web hosting providers to find a new host and see if your web designer can work with one of those web hosts. You should then still make sure you are registered as the owner of the domain name. It is also advised to have local copies of all files and images, too.
If the situation is not that easy, a business owner should first start taking control of the domain name. If the domain name is registered to the web designer it is important to change that right away. Depending on how difficult the web designer is to work with, you should eventually approach this from a legal and accounting perspective and explain that the domain name is accounted for as an asset with a certain price in the books and to make sure the IRS does not complain about it during an audit the domain name needs to be registered to the business. I am not a legal expert and are not sure how feasible this is, but this might be just enough to take ownership of the domain name. Think about other reasons like this and approach the web designer in a friendly way so that. Than have the domain name transferred to your ownership.
This is part one of my guide on how to move your website from an expensive, local web host to another web host and how to save a fortune along the way. The second part in this article series will talk about cheap web hosting and how to take advantage of it with your website.
You need a new web host. You do a Google Search for “Web Hosting” and you feel a little overwhelmed by the 252,000,000 results Google presents in return. Admittedly, choosing the right host can be a overwhelming endeavor – no doubt. Now what? You pick a couple of web hosts and look at their websites, investigate pricing and hosting features. Now more confusion – all these web hosts pretty much look alike. Same pricing (though sometimes prices are $0.50 higher or lower), same features, same bandwidth and disk space and even the website design looks somewhat familiar going from host to host. It almost makes the impression they are running their web hosting business of the same blue print or the same manual.
Now, where do you turn to find a new web host? While you can use one of the many web hosting comparison websites (including my own list of web hosting recommendations), the best way is usually to follow the recommendation of a friend or family member. Personal recommendations are the best way to pick a new web host.
But when these personal recommendations are missing, how can you choose the right web host? Use common sense, spend some time researching and then create a list of 3 possible web hosts you like to try out. Verify that each webhost offers a money back guarantee and then move forward. Using a web host that offers a money back guarantee is important as it allows you to leave quickly without occurring any cost. Important in my opinion is the choice where you register your domain name. I personally do not want to be tied to a certain web host by registering the domain name I use through the web host. I prefer 3rd party domain name registries like NameCheap as an example. I keep control over the domain name. If I would try a new web host and have my domain name registered through the web host, they might either keep the name or charge a higher than normal price or make it really difficult to leave. What good is a money back guarantee if you have to leave your domain name behind?!
So, register the domain name at NameCheap (or if really necessary at Godaddy (be warned of the many upsells Godaddy has)), then work your way through the list of 3 web hosts that you like to try. Keep a good backup of your website so that you can easily move to a new web hosting provider as needed. Some web hosts offer better pricing if you pre-pay for 12 months or more. While this is a good deal, you might want to go month to month first and once you like a web host, contact their billing department and switch your payment option and pre-pay. Or at least pick the lowest pre-payment option and then upgrade later on. Do not let the lowest price force you into a decision you do not feel comfortable with. Every webhost will want you to stay and so it is never a problem to change your hosting plan option later on.
Here are my 3 favorite web hosts at the moment. Feel free to make them your list of web hosts to try out.