STEP – 2 Do you really need a hosting provider ?

This is another question you should ask yourself. As I mentioned in Step – 1 you will surely want to have your presence on the Web, but is it necessary that you go and buy a plan for a hosting provider?

In this post I will try to answer this question and hopefully save some of your bucks 😉

First and foremost try to list down the reasons why you want to host a website and what is the ultimate objective. Budget is of course one thing but before having a good enough background on hosting, it does not make sense to jump for a webhost and pay a hell lot of money for it.

I will suggest that before jumping to a conclusion and purchasing a hosting plan, try to host your website on some free hosts. Below I have listed down some webhosting provider where you can host your website for free :

  1. www.blogger.com : If you have a google/gmail account, you don’t need to create a separate account but just go to the website and login with that account. It’s very easy to start making a website, literally! On blogger you can also have your own domain name as the URL (for FREE). See here you will see the benefit of having a separate domain provider I discussed earlier 🙂
  2. www.wordpress.com:  This is another website which allows you to create your own web space or a website. In addition you can also have your own domain name, but then you need to pay for it unfortunately 🙁
  3. www.weebly.com: This is another free service. Personally I have not used it but since its free, it is worth trying.
  4. More options will be added soon…

I can guarantee that I have tried the first two options and they are really good. You will also find many people using it successfully as well.

Of course anything free comes with it’s own downside. Below I have listed down some issues which you should be aware of:

  1. By default these services give you a not so friendly URL (e.g. mywebsite.wordpress.com OR mywebsite.blogger.com). If you want to have your custom URL, you will have to either purchase one from one of the domain providers (e.g. www.namecheap.com) OR from these services, which will cost you at least $10/year;
  2. If you want to use Google adsense, Blogger does provide you that service, but most probably wordpress does not. So if you want to use Google adsense or any ad network, please check the descriptions whether they allow or not;
  3. After using these services for a while, when you have made your presence on the Web and want to move to your own hosting website, it might pose a challenge. Challenge because your pages would by now be part of search engine results and if you move to a new domain/website, you will have to do a bit of work to keep the ranking intact (more on this in a different post later on)
  4. There will not be enough flexibility on the size you can use. The size in terms of the images/videos/documents you can host and link. So if you do care about size then this is not for you 🙁
  5. I will think on more and add it here …

In summary please try the above option, if required simply purchase a domain and configure it on any of the above and see how your personal website flourishes. If it works fine, then I don’t think you will need a separate hosting provider.

-Abhi