What is a Web Host?
According to Wikipedia, a web host is “a type of Internet hosting service that allows individuals and organizations to make their own website accessible via the World Wide Web.” Web host services run the gamut from small, local companies who serve only a few clients, to large, multi-national companies who serve millions of clients. Regardless of their size, all hosting companies have one thing in common: They all provide you with space on the hard drives of their web servers where you upload your website’s files.
Free or Paid Hosting?
This debate rages on in the Internet marketing community. On the one hand you have those who advocate spending as little money upfront as possible until your business actually begins to make money online. This is the approach I recommend. On the other hand there are those who say you “get what you pay for” and free hosting is unreliable. I beg to differ. There are several very reliable free web hosting companies that have excellent uptime records. I use and recommend 000WebHost.com; their free hosting package boasts 99% uptime and they have all of the features that are necessary to set up a successful Internet marketing website or blog.
What Features Do I Need?
This is the question I am asked most frequently by newbie Internet marketers. My answer: It depends. If all you are going to do with your Internet marketing website is set up a few informational pages and a contact page, then you don’t much at all–any free web host will do. If you plan to set up a blog, multiple sales pages, newsletters, etc., you are going to need a full-featured hosting package. At minimum, you will need a package that includes plenty of storage space for your website files and graphics, sufficient data transfer volume to keep up with your traffic, and one or more email accounts.
For hosting your own blogging platform such as WordPress or Drupal, you will need PHP scripting language and MySQL database support. Also, many of the useful software tools and scripts that many Internet marketers use require PHP and MySQL to function. Most web hosts, including the one mentioned above, support this, so you shouldn’t have any problem in that department.
Finally, you will need to have access to your host’s server. All web hosts offer some type of graphic interface into your web space so you can configure and maintain your site, the most popular being cPanel. CPanel hosting is the de facto standard for most hosting services these days and there is plenty of information and training available free on the web.
Oil spills can cause big problems for our ecosystem. We all remember in 1989 the Exxon Valdez oil spill in Prince William sound, Alaska. It took over a decade for the wildlife to rebound and two decades before things turned back to normal.
In New Jersey is a company called Marine Spill Response Corp., which has a fleet of 15 vessels to clean up oil spills on any of the East Coast ports or inlets. These ships have skimmer take hoses and reels to pick up the oil that floats on top of the water from the spill. They can respond to large or small oil spills with their fleet and even their smaller vessels have four 1000-gallon storage tanks for the recovered oil.
Each unit has oil water separators and oil heaters to help treat the recovered oil. When one of these ships arrives on the scene it lowers out a giant boom and begins to pump the oil through the boom. If you'll recall there was a huge oil spill in Philadelphia on the water in 2004 and there have been several other smaller spills, both from ships and leaky tanks due to inclement weather and man-made mistakes that the Marine Spill Response Corp. has cleaned up.
This is just one way that entrepreneurs and industry are teaming up to help mitigate potential ecosystem disasters in our environment. By preventing such oil spills from polluting the local water, we can save local wildlife from destruction. Please consider all this in 2006.
Today anyone seems to call themselves web designer just because the learned to create a web site.
Is it traditional graphic design involved or is it just experts on programs like Flash, Dreamweaver, etc. who call themselves designers?
One guy looking for work told me he had a web design education and when I looked at his work it was like 5 pages crap made in FrontPage!
For me as an art director and graphic designer it all seems a bit strange. I have spent years in art- and advertising classes, over 30 years in the advertising business in Sweden and Spain and I’m still not sure I can use that title. Even if I have designed hundreds of websites last 10 years.
So be aware when you looking for help, with internet anyone seems to be whatever they like and advertise their services, trust them or not. You will never know for sure.
Today I saw the following ad in a local magazine: “We design web sites for 130EUR”. That guy must be something of a superman. Or is the education these days so fantastic that you can learn it all in a few years?
The “Graphic design” education is just a small part in building your web site.
The natural way was (back in the 80:s in Stockholm) that your advertising agency produced your website and designed it so it fit your company’s profile. A few years later a lot of digital production companies started, but still with people educated in the advertising business.
Short after that anyone with money could buy a computer, copy machines and some colour printers and start a Copy shop without any education in advertising. Unfortunately they after a while also offered help in layout and design.
That’s where we are today. Anyone with a computer can offer you anything online.
It’s up to you to find out who they are.
Over the years I have come across a few people who believe that if they search for domain names using any of the domain registrars on the internet there are people ready to steal their domain name ideas. This thinking believes that if you are going to search for a domain name for your new venture, you better be ready to register that domain name on the spot or risk having someone else see that you looked up the domain name and register it ahead of you…
So is this possible?
The short answer is no. Unfortunately though, it isn’t necessarily so simple. There are ways that someone could use to see what you are doing online and take action based on what you did. These methods would require at least one of three things. Either a keylogger that can track everything you type into your computer (usually delivered via a virus or spyware), a page that has been hacked to capture your details or a phishing scam where someone creates a web page that looks like a legitimate domain registrar but is in fact a cleverly devised page to capture your domain name ideas.
How likely are any of these options? The best protection from a keylogger is to have a recently updated anti-virus program. Hacked websites are a little harder to be able to detect. It is also much more rare. While it is possible for you to land on a domain registrars website that has been hacked, it is unlikely. A close cousin to a hacked website is running into a well designed phishing scam. I am not aware of any phishing scam centered around the registration of domain names. This doesn’t mean it can’t happen, but I’m not aware of any such scams.
So how can you protect yourself for scam artists?
Visit sites that you can trust. Look for websites that don’t look like they have been thrown together by a child. Make sure you are protecting your computer with a good anti-virus program. Don’t click on links found in emails to go to a website, instead, type in the web address directly to reduce the chance of being fooled.
I counsel you to do your domain name brainstorming searches in peace. Know that stealing domain names is uncommon. If a domain you have identified as available gets registered between the time you do an availability search and the time you try to register it, it very well may be chalked up to the fact that there are hundreds of thousands of people registering domains worldwide at any given time. If the domain name you looked at was an especially good one, chances are someone else would think so too.