“So what’s your web site?” comes the inevitable question. If you don’t have your own properly hosted web site these days, it’s almost as if you don’t have a business card. “In the future everyone will be famous for fifteen minutes.” said Andy Warhol (who was certainly famous for more than fifteen minutes). Well, it IS the future, Andy is long gone, and you can’t be famous without the right web site hosting.
If you’re new to the whole website hosting and building gig, get ready for an education and an investment in time. There are lots of things to do along the way. But thankfully, you won’t have to make a huge investment in cash …
First, you have to find and register a domain name. Having a real domain name is essential if you want folks to think that you’re the real deal. It’s just not cool to have a URL like http://www.myohsoveryverytlameISP.com/users/unclefrank853 (with apologies to Uncle Frank, in advance). Once you have your domain name squared away, you’ll need to decide whether you can get along with cheap web hosting or bite the bullet and go for dedicated web hosting. (Hint: most folks will be just fine with the cheap hosting plans.)
And then you have to actually build the thing.
uh, yeah …it’s at this point you find out that getting your website hosted is easy. And that actually building the site is where you’ll spend countless hours … no make that days … even weeks … getting it done (not to mention right). Getting a basic website up and running can happen quickly. You can start building your site on your local computer before you even decide on a name or a web host. But perfecting it can take a lifetime.
If you have no desire to mess with HTML you can go with a host that provides online site building tools. (On the other hand, if you have no desire to mess with HTML whatsoever, you should re-evaluate whether you really want to build your own web site.)
You can find a basic web hosting plan for as cheap as $3 a month these days. That’s pretty amazing considering what it cost back in the early days. You won’t have a ton of features for that $3, but you may get all you need to start on the web walk of fame. The web hosting prices go up as the requirements rise for bandwidth and storage. A good web host will let you upgrade your hosting plan along the way, if you happen to need additional bandwidth and hard drive space. A sleepy little web site might never need to upgrade.
FWIW, I’ve built some websites around fairly obscure topics, like soccer replica jerseys just for kicks. No doubt you have some obscure areas of interest that deserve their own $3 a month web site hosting plans.