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This is a FREE Guide to Web Hosting (e.g. Host your own WordPress blog) and Domain Names, and takes you through what you should look for when selecting your Web Hosting service and/or purchasing Domain Names. To take the guess work out of selecting a Web Host, some recommendations are provided (of services that I have personally used). Domain Name Privacy is also touced upon for those who wish to help keep their personal details hidden when you purchase your domain names.
A Guide to Web Hosting Setup and Domain Names What to look for in a Web Hosting Service Provider and Domain Name Registrar A Guide for Internet Marketers By Andrew Boyd Copyright 2010 http://webhosting.megaclix.net/ Introduction If you are serious about Internet Marketing, at some point you are going to need your own web hosting. With your own web hosting, you get full control over your domain name, what you can put on your website (e.g. your own WordPress Blog), setup own email addresses, and create redirects to your offers and collect statistics for tracking your campaigns. So if you are completely new to Internet marketing and are worried that setting up web hosting is complex, don’t be. It is all rather simple and this guide will take you through everything you need to know (and go a little deeper for those who want it). Lets start with an overview of domain names and web hosting and how they 'hang together'. Domain Names When you purchase a domain name (e.g. yourdomainname.com), you are buying the right to use that name on the internet. Domain names are purchased in yearly blocks, and to continue using the domain name you must renew the domain name (i.e. pay the yearly fee) every year. Domain names are relatively cheap, typically costing no more that US$10 per year. Domain names are purchased from Registrars, but we will go into this in more detail later. Web Hosting When you buy your domain name, you will also need to 'rent' space on a web server that is permanently connected to the internet. This service is called 'web hosting' and is what stores your web pages and sends your web pages to your website visitors’ browsers. The web hosting service can also do other cool things such as handle your e-mail, show visitor statistics, provide a database, and allow you to create your own WordPress blog. Choosing a Web Hosting Service To recap, to host your own website you will need to buy a domain name and web hosting. However you can find certain web hosting providers that will provide a free domain name when you sign up for their service. When you are selecting your web hosting service provider there are a few things to consider. Don't worry if this list seems long, I will go on to recommend web hosting providers that tick all the boxes. However, it is good to understand why the recommended hosting providers make the list. • Cost • Reliability • Multi-domain Capability • Type of Hosting Package • Customer Service • Where your Target Market is located 1 Cost & Reliability These two are generally linked as in you get what you pay for. There are web hosting companies out there that offer web hosting for lets say less than $20 per year. Unfortunately, the cheaper the hosting package, the more websites are crammed onto a web server. Based on a 1 year hosting package, aim for a web hosting package that charges approx US$ 6.00 or more per month, or approx US$ 60.00 or more per year. Multi-Domain Name Capability If you are into Internet Marketing, chances are that you will be purchasing quite a few domain names that you can use to expand your successful methods, and/or try out new ideas. The different domain names can be used for (examples):- • Redirecting traffic (e.g. CPA offers, campaign tracking) • Different Websites (e.g. different niches) • Websites for Flipping For this reason, you should seek a web hosting package that allows for hosting of multiple domains under the 1 package. Customer Service/Technical Support When things go wrong or you need help, you will appreciate a responsive customer service and/or technical support. In the price ranges mentioned in the Cost & Reliability section above, you can expect the technical support to be 24/7 and response times to be rather impressive. Well I’ve been impressed anyway! Hosting Package Web Hosting can come in different ‘flavours’, meaning that the web servers run with different operating systems (mainly Windows and Linux), and different administration web pages. I will admit my bias and just say that I prefer a Linux hosting package with the cPanel administration pages. With these packages you will get everything you need including php scripting, MySQL databases, E-mail accounts, and also automated tools to install WordPress at the click of a button. Target Market Ok, now we may be getting a little fussy, but I thought that this is worth a mention. Having the web server hosted in the same country as where your target market is will generally mean faster webpage loading times for your website visitors. 2 Recommended Web Hosting Service Providers The following web hosting service providers satisfy the criteria laid out above and offer a great service and value for money, and come with a FREE domain name when you register. USA Host Monster Baby Plan with Host Gator UK UK2.Net with Business Plan (Hint! - Home plan has 10 Domains, upgrade to later Business for Unlimited Domains) Australia In Australia, it is hard to find web hosting packages with similar value to hosts in America or UK. However, I have used both of these 2 hosts and they are one of the few that offer multi- domain hosting on Australian based web servers:- Web Hosts Australia – Reseller Packages xHost Solutions – Reseller Packages (or other Multi-Domain Packages) Please note that I aim to keep an updated and expanded list of web hosts that make the grade, and this can be found at webhosting.megaclix.net. This site will also contain an FAQ, so if you have a question, check this out, ad if the answer is not there, please ask me at email@example.com. Hint on Free Domain Name When the multi-domain hosting packages listed above come with a free domain name, it is recommended that you choose a generic domain name. Why? The domain name will become the Master domain name for your account. Should you want to sell the domain name or website later, it can be difficult (not impossible, but this will involve technical support). Any other domain names added to your account later can be easily switched to another host in the event of a sale. You may still use your generic domain name for such things as tracking/redirects, or just testing ideas. For example, I am using ‘megaclix.net’ as my generic domain name, and on this I can get away with using the sub-domain ‘webhosting.megaclix.net’ to host a WordPress blog for this guide. This would not present as well, and could confuse the website visitors, if I created my account with ‘loseweightfast.com’ and used the sub-domain ‘webhosting.loseweightfast.com’ (I do not own ‘loseweightfast.com’ by the way, this was just an example). Note: Sub-domains are when you create domain names ending in the domain name that you already own. As I own megaclix.net, I can create sub-domain <anything>.megaclix.net via my web host. The good thing is that this does not cost you anything extra. 3 Domain Names Just to refresh on what I said earlier, when you purchase a domain name, you are buying the right to use that name on the internet. Domain names are purchased in yearly blocks and can be paid for from 1 to 10 years (maybe more). Domain Names are purchased from Registrars, and search for the term ‘domain names’ in your favourite search engine and you will be see that there are many to choose from. Buying Domain Names Note that you are not tied to purchase your domain names from your web hosting service provider (except when you get a free domain when you sign up of course). You may want to purchase your domain names from another provider due to competitive prices, domain name privacy options (see below) or other reasons. When you purchase a domain name from the different service provider, all you need to do is specify the ‘name servers’ to point to your web host. When you create your new website in your web hosting administration pages (e.g. cPanel), you will be given two or more Name Servers for the domain. You then login to your domain name administration pages, select Manage Name Servers (or something similar), and replace the set domain Name Servers with the new ones from your web hosts. Note that you may need to wait up to 24 hours for this to take effect, and for the domain name to point to your new website. Domain Name Privacy When you purchase a domain name, you have to provide a contact phone number, full address and an e-mail address. These details are made available in publically accessible databases, allowing people to obtain your full contact details when they lookup who owns your domain name(s). This is fine for many people and businesses. However, most Internet Marketers are starting out from home, and would prefer not to publish their personal details (reasons: id fraud, do not want to give out their home phone number in case they get calls in the middle of the nights). Additionally, when you become successful at Internet Marketing, you may start to purchase many domains. People can then ‘profile’ you (i.e. monitor what domain names you own, and new domains that you create) an copy what you do. If this is a concern for you, I recommend that you look for domain name registrars that provide a ‘domain privacy’ option. With this, your contact details are hidden. People can still contact you via the ‘domain privacy’ service via a forwarded e-mail address. Please note that ‘domain privacy’ does not guarantee that your contact details cannot be obtained, it just makes it harder for any interested parties to obtain your details. Even so, I still recommend this service. Best of all, you can get domain privacy included free when you purchase your domain from NameGuard.com. Many other registrars charge for this option. 4 Conclusion This guide has highlighted what you should look for when selecting a web hosting service provider that is geared for you as an Internet Marketer. You should seek a service provider that offers reliable multi-domain hosting with excellent technical support at a reasonable price. This guide has offered some suggestions of hosts that meet the criteria set down. It has also highlighted that you can purchase domain names from any provider (registrar), and that if privacy is a concern, then you should seek a registrar that offers the ‘domain privacy’ option. Disclaimer Some links specified in this guide may be affiliate links. However, these are links to services that I have used personally or have researched to the point that I believe that they offer the balance of competitive pricing without compromising on quality of service. 5
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