Buy Web Space

Written by Helen Glenn Court
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Once you commit yourself to having a web presence, once of the first things to think about is where that presence will be. Choosing from among the thousands of web hosts available can be daunting, but needn't be. The first step is to know your needs. The second is to get a grip on the terminology and what it means in relation to what you want and need your website to do for you. Just as references are your surest guide to a savvy realtor, health care provider, or rush-hour shortcut, they are for finding a reliable web space provider. Two of the first resources to check are TheList (www.thelist.com) and CNet (www.cnet.com).

TheList is a directory of Internet service providers, from dial-up to broadband to web host to web designer. You'll find a dedicated array of web space providers under the web hosting option. Your first choice to narrow your search is among shared hosting options, reseller hosting, co-location hosting, and dedicated servers. TheList is comprehensive and continually updated, hence an indispensable tool.

CNet.com is a more complex technology resource only because it covers hardware, software, service providers, and electronics from digital cameras to cell phones. It's impossible to identify a single predominate CNet strength. It is fair to say, however, that its reviews and articles are invaluable. These cover, as well as computer hardware and software, web hosting providers, Internet service providers, and more. Like TheList, CNet's value comes in part from its up-to-the-minute data.

Typical Hosting Server Configuration

Shared hosting is by far the most common, and certainly the most affordable, web space available. It is just what it sounds like: shared space on an enterprise-level server. How efficient and stable. Virtual private servers are also shared hosting, but among a smaller group. The shared space in either case might be 10 megabytes at the low end or 2,000 megabytes at the higher end. It might have a unique IP address and domain name (for example, www.clientsite.com). It might also simply share that IP address with many other websites, just as it might be identified by name only as a subdirectory of a server (for example, www.hostingprovider/~clientsite).


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