Home Based Internet Business
Putting the Business Online

Mt. Gould in Glacier Park

Publishing Your Home Business

Part of my "job" for bigskyfishing.com is to go fishing and rafting on Montana's rivers. This picture is from my raft on McDonald Creek in Glacier National Park.
Photo Use Guidelines

Once you've created your web site and put in all the content, the next step, of course, is to get your home based Internet business online so other people can see it. You do this by uploading all the files that were created in developing your web site to a web host, or a web hosting company. The choice you make in selecting the right web hosting company is crucial to the long-term development of your web site, so shop carefully. Also, keep in mind that if you use the Site Build It program, hosting is already provided...so you don't have to worry about this.

I spent literally days scouring the web, looking into various web hosting companies. Many of these companies were good, a handful were not. While doing this, I learned a couple of things that should help you narrow you search down for a good web host.

  1. Send Email - Always send the Web Host an email, asking questions about their service, even if you don't have any questions. If a web host does not promptly respond to your inquiries about sales, then you know for a fact that their support after the sale will be terrible.

  2. Toll Free Technical Support - Make sure the web host has toll-free technical support. Generally, you will not need to use this. However, at times, the ability to get in touch with your web host via phone is crucial. Generally, these hosts cost a few dollars more than ones that do not have phone support, but it is worth every penny when the need arises.

  3. Expandability - It is very important to make sure whatever web host you choose has lots of expansion possibilities. As your web site grows and your site receives more traffic, the ability to easily and effortlessly upgrade to different plans is very important. Equally important is the ability to add new features to your site as it grows - such as adding in dynamic database capabilities for both UNIX and Windows operating systems.

  4. Fast Servers - Many web hosts offer dirt-cheap rates because they pack their web servers full of web sites. All of these web sites, and their associated traffic, will slow down connection speeds for visitors to your web site. Use the tools at Site Solutions.com to gauge how fast or slow a particular web hosting company's servers are.

  5. Linux Server - I started Big Sky Fishing on a Windows Server. Besides being more expensive, it's well...Windows. Linux Servers are faster and more reliable. And...most importantly...you can use My-SQL databases and PHP scripting language. Why is this important? If your site gets huge like Big Sky Fishing, you WILL start using MySQL and PHP in one form or another. I do on this site (to run ads, among other things). And I can guarantee you that if your site spans 1000 pages you'll use it too. So...do it right and get a Linux Server right out of the gate. It's cheaper, more expandable and will save you headaches down the road.

Want a Hosting Recommendation?

Sorry...I'm not going to specifically suggest one. The reason? I've only had good luck with two hosts in the past...Host My Site and Midphase. Both these companies have given me excellent support, are competitively priced and have 24 hour support and have plans that start at 8 dollars or so a month. I've also suggested these two hosts to friends, and they've never had complaints (I think Host My Site is the best of the two, by the way).

BUT...I can't entirely recommend them because they don't provide a "few things" I need for my own sites, such as full cPanel or a sophisticated web analytics program or multiple databases. If you can live without these feautures (which most can, especially when starting out), either of these hosts are as good as any and better than most. But I'm a computer geek...which is why Big Sky Fishing.Com is hosted on a Virtual Private Server (which costs me 80 bucks per month) using JVDS.Com. I also needed the bandwidth and, in particular, the storage space.

If you do a search online for web hosts, you'll find tons of "reviews" about web hosts. Cough...well, one thing you'll notice is that all the best reviewed hosts tend to be the same from review site to review site. The reason? Those hosts pay a bounty (a large one) for each new sign-up.

Some of those hosts might be good....but I've never used them (except for one that I'll NEVER recommend). Thus, I won't comment on them. But when doing a search for web hosts, always be "wary" when you see the same hosts plugged from site to site.

Next Page : Selecting Merchant Partners


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