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Finding a good web host

Why do you need a good web host? 
Without a good web host, you have no site.  Without a site, you earn no affiliate program income.  Without affiliate program income... well, you get the idea.  This article will discuss some of the points that you should consider when looking for a good web host.

Free or Paid?
For a first (or practice) site, or for a personal site, free hosting can be a good solution. You will almost certainly have to put up with some ads on your site, you cannot expect too much in the way of support, and there will usually be major restrictions on using scripts, on bandwidth, on actual page content, and on disk space. Having said that, many free hosts have good online support, or forums, where you will find other users willing to help. You may also find that the servers tend to be slow at times which will affect users of your site.

A couple of free hosts are:

www.geocities.com
www.earthlink.com

For business sites, free hosting is really not an option. This is partly because of the ads that will appear on your site, over which you have little control.  It is also partly because you will have a ridiculously long domain name to deal with, such as www.thefreehost.com/usersites/yoursite/.  Mainly it is not a good idea to use a free host for a business, because it projects a poor image of the business.  If a business cannot afford the small amount of money it costs for paid hosting, often less than $150 per year, it is difficult to expect potential customers to take them seriously.

How much Disk Space and Bandwidth?
How much disk space you need will depend both on how large you expect your site to be.  Also, what do you plan to feature on your site?  If the nature of the site is a Flash site, or one making extensive use of video, audio, or large graphics, you will need more space than one that is mainly text based.

AffiliateAdvice.us recommends that you keep your site as text-based as possible, because that will help you to become more easily listed in the search engines, but that's up to you.

For most newer sites, disk space and bandwidth needs are usually modest. Statistically ,the average website is less than 20MB.  Being swayed to a more expensive hosting plan because of a large disk space allocation may not be a great idea if you are paying for a ridiculous amount of space you will never use. Make sure that there is a means of upgrading your plan should your needs change in the future.

Unless your site is likely to be extremely busy from the outset, or you are making heavy use of Flash, video, or audio, you are unlikely to need more than the standard bandwidth which will be provided with standard hosting plan. In general, as the disk space allocated increases, so does the bandwidth. 

Individual Requirements
All sites have slightly different requirements and thus there is no 'one plan fits all' solution. Make a list of featured that are most important to you and use this when comparing hosts. 

For example, you may need the latest version of Perl, PHP Support, a large number of POP accounts, access to a secure server, MySQL, etc.  Or maybe you don't know what any of that stuff is, and really, you just want to be able to build some pages, upload them, and make sure that when you have problems, someone can help you out, so perhaps a toll free support number matters more. It is important to get your requirements clear so that when you compare hosts you are comparing oranges with oranges, rather than oranges with lemons...

Oh and speaking of...watch out for the lemons.  There are a few web hosts around still who are not great, and a few bad new ones pop up from time to time.  They aren't good because they don't deliver on what they promise you at the outset.

Any of the hosting programs that you can resell through the Web design affiliate programs page on affiliateadvice are great, and our general advice is to use a web host that is recommended to you by someone you know and/or trust.

For example, if you've been pleased with your experience so far on affiliateadvice.us, and think you could benefit from high quality service as well as a very inexpensive (less than $8/month) web host, you might consider using our web host, Powweb.

The bottom line is that there are a variety of web hosts out there, and a variety of them offer different kinds of services.  If you don't know what your needs are, or do know today, but don't know what your needs may be in the future, it's a good idea to have a package which either gives you everything you need from the outset, for not a lot of money, or have a host that gives you the ability to upgrade when you need to.

Want to add this article to your site?  Simply cut and paste the HTML below.

Cheapest hosting and affiliate program directory with Powweb
Powweb really is a great host.  That's why we use them.
When you sign up for hosting through Powweb, affiliateadvice.us gets
one month free web hosting ($8 value).  If you've
been able to benefit from our site and are signing up for a host,
we'd appreciate your support in this way.

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