Affordable Web Hosting: Benefits of Using WordPress As a Content Management System

Over 73 million people are using WordPress for their personal or business websites. The two main versions of this hosting platform are WordPress.com and WordPress.org. WordPress.com is a free platform that allows users to create websites and blogs. WordPress.org is used as a content management system (CMS) by millions of people worldwide. With this program, you have total control over your website.

If you have ever had a website, you know how difficult it is to find a simple content management system that works. The WordPress platform is easy-to-use and comes with lots of great features. Most web hosting providers offer WordPress as a content management system. Users can install WordPress on their sites or blogs with one click. This program can be hosted on any standard server that has PHP/Apache/MySQL/Linux environment.

Many business owners rely on web designers to make minor changes about their websites and this can be costly at a designer’s hourly rate. With WordPress, anyone can manage a site or blog without professional help. Another advantage of using WordPress as a content management system is that it is extremely SEO friendly. This means that search engines will find and index your website easily. Additionally, there are many SEO tools available to WordPress users, including the All in One SEO Pack and the Optimizer plugin.

One of the biggest benefits of using WordPress is that it is easily customizable. There are more than 17,000 free themes that you can use for your websites. You can choose a basic theme and customize it with plugins and graphics, or you can purchase a premium theme with lots of features. Users can add contact forms, photos, videos, forums, polls, and interactive applications with a few clicks. You can choose from over 10,000 free plugins.

When writing a post on your website, you can type into WordPress exactly like you would type into a Word document. If you have an online store, you can use WordPress as a content management system. There are various ecommerce plugins such as WP ecommerce, eShop, and Ecwid. Users can add different features such as membership options, registration forms, and automatically generated emails.

WordPress is currently being used by over one quarter of all the websites in the world. There is a large community of users and web developers who update the software regularly. New widgets and plugins are launched every day. Whether you want to build an online store, a blog, or an affiliate website, using WordPress is a good choice.

4 Questions To Ask Yourself About Lifetime Web Hosting

We have all see these deals from time to time “Lifetime Web Hosting! Pay one price for the lifetime of your account!” On the surface the deal seems to be good. But is it? There are several questions you should ask yourself before you consider such a deal, because you may not get your money’s worth out of it, and you may experience some other unfortunate consequences. So how do you know if lifetime web hosting is right for you?

1. How long will you have your web hosting account?

The first question to ask yourself is how long will you have a hosting account for the particular site you are building? The way most lifetime hosting offers work is they determine how long (in months) an average customer stays with their company and multiply that number by their monthly selling price for a web hosting account. They will then use that number to determine how much to charge as a one time hosting fee.

If you are only planning to have your account for 1 year or less, it probably isn’t worth it to purchase a lifetime web hosting account, as you will be charged a premium for your hosting account.

If you plan on keeping your account for more than 2 or 3 years, it may be worth the price, but you will have to answer the following questions to see if a lifetime hosting account is really for you.

2. Is your web site going to require a lot of resources?

If you plan on having a web site that has a high amount of traffic, or will actively use a database, you may want to re-think your purchase. Companies that sell lifetime hosting accounts make money from you once, but their expenses happen every month. As a result, they have to continue to sell lifetime web hosting accounts in order to make enough income to pay their expenses, which gives them a strong motive to minimize.

One of the expenses, is server space and capacity. The more servers a web hosting company has, the more their monthly expenses are. One way to reduce their expenses, is to put more hosting accounts on a server than it can reasonably handle with the expectation that most websites will not use the full capacity of their account. Many times, these servers are oversold on space and bandwidth (think of an airline selling more tickets than they have seats for a specific flight).

The result is that sites on these servers tend to be slower than average, and if you have a site that has a lot of traffic, many of your visitors may have trouble getting to your site, and will leave before your web page shows up in their browser.

If this situation isn’t important to you, the next question is certainly one you should be asking yourself.

3. What is the refund policy of the hosting company?

Since many of the servers in these lifetime hosting companies are overloaded, they usually take a zero tolerance policy on any web site that causes any extra load on the server, which may cause it to crash, and it can be a one strike and your out, with no refund.

On over-extended servers, (servers with more hosting accounts on them than they have capacity for), it is very easy to create an overload on the server. It can be as simple as having a lot of page views from the traffic the website gets, or having your blog attacked by a bunch of robot scripts trying to post comment spam to your blog. There is nothing you can do about it in these cases, but it can cause a server that is already at it’s limit, to crash.

If this happens after only 6 months into your web hosting contract, you may be totally out of luck and have your site shut down with no refund. In this case, it would have been a very expensive hosting service. Be sure to check the terms of service before purchasing this type of hosting.

4. Do you expect a high level of customer service?

The quality of the customer service goes along with the theme of reducing expenses. One of the first places most customers experience in expense cutting is the level of customer service. Much of the time, customer service is outsourced and overseas. There may be language barriers to contend with as well as some delays in getting your questions answered, and problems resolved. Sometimes you may have to deal with less experienced hosting administrators, but by no means do you find the less experienced customer service representatives only in the lifetime web hosting arena.

This is an important factor to consider because if the customer service is really bad, you may be forced to leave the hosting company and walk away from your entire hosting investment. Be sure to get as much information as you can about the particular company you are considering, especially their level of customer service and their technical competency.

When asking the question, “Is lifetime web hosting right for me?” you want to determine what kind of site you plan on having, and how you plan to use it (will there be heavy traffic or not?), how long you plan on having your web site up, and some other factors such as how important are things such as customer service to you. In a limited number of circumstances, lifetime web hosting can be a deal as it is better than free hosting, but if you step outside of the limited situations, you may end up paying a lot more than you bargained for.

Look for resource sites to help you with deciding how to pick your web hosting.

Copyright 2006 B Hopkins

Free Web Hosting Sites For Your Business

For a first-time user, paid web hosting may seem unnecessary when a simple internet search pulls up free hosting alternatives running into the 1000s. Of course if you look deeper into the offers, then obvious differences appear: free web hosting comes at a price (pun intended) in that disk space, bandwidth and services will be less than paid for sites, and often advertising (which is how the service can be offered free) may seem out of place, or worse still, over the top.

For the professional or business website, paying a nominal monthly or annual charge through hosting companies (a lot of whom offer free trial periods, or upgrades from free service start-ups) will be the way to go. In the following list of hosts, many offer a “try before you buy” business plan, and this is a good reason to use a free hosting service in the short-term.

But for individuals, or small businesses or groups that do not have a problem with advertising and only need a limited number of website options, then free (and limited) web hosting is a suitable choice.

Please Note:

Do always read the Terms and FAQs: offers and services can alter at the stroke of a keyboard button!

Bandwidth is used each time a visitor views your site’s content: a 1 MB file uses 1 MB of bandwidth each time the file is viewed.

Web Storage/Web Space/Online Disk Space is just like your own computer’s hard drive: there’s only so much space. More space means more room for site content like pictures, videos, and documents.

10 Web Hosts with Free Services

Yola

Offering website hosting and design with a WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) tool, as well as controlled advertising, Yola makes website creation simple. Small business and solo users will be able to build on their original sites with paid-for add-ons when the situation arises, and new web users have a library of free designs to choose from, as well as paid-for premium themes. A good starter choice for new starters, especially with the options for growth.

Webs

Yes, that’s their name (perhaps “Internets” was taken?). With a point-and-click (WYSIWIG again!) site builder, this web host and design site offers plenty to the most un-technical among us. They offer a Mobile Website App to give people visiting your site from a Smartphone a mobile-friendly experience. Services include domain name – and the option to transfer, email, 40 MB Web Space and 100 MB Bandwidth on their free option.

www.gbbo.co.uk (Getting British Business Online)

Getting British Business Online is a joint initiative from Google, Enterprise UK, BT, e-skills UK and many other partners to help small businesses create their first website and understand the opportunities offered by the Internet. Their website proudly proclaims that users can create a website for their business in 20 minutes. A WYSIWYG tool means, like many other free hosting sites, technical knowledge of the web is not needed. As well as the customisable website, users will receive a.co.uk address, regular updates, and a business email.

FreeServers

With over 4 million websites under their belt, this web hosting provider has the age and experience that means a lot of the kinks of web hosting services have been ironed out. With similarities to 50megs (see below), this established service offers 50MB Web Space and 1 GB Monthly bandwidth, and is supported by (some may say heavy) advertising.

FreeHostia

From their busy (and pretty) website, this web hosting company offers a free service with 250 MB Web Space, 6 GB Monthly Bandwidth and 3 emails. Offering both Joomla and WordPress templates for the blogging side of your site, this service has one-click set-up, 24/7 Customer Support, and is bannerless – good news if you don’t like advertisements.

FortuneCity

Like many other hosts on the list, FortuneCity has a free service that will be enough for some users, and an affordable option that would do for most. The free service has 1 GB Web Space and Unlimited Monthly bandwidth, as well as their own blogging tool. Having been around since 1997, they are well-used, well-tested, and well-known, and upgrading to their Affordable package means users may cut out advertising.

Bravenet

Ad-supported free hosting, and plenty of scope with premium paid-for packages, this Web Host offers multi-domain hosting, 5 MB Web Space and 1.5 GB Monthly Bandwidth. Bravenet has a number of options available if the free service satisfies but you still want more, and is a well-known name in the industry.

AwardSpace

Offering a free service with 250 MB Web Space and 5 GB Monthly bandwidth, this free web host has some impressive numbers. They are also upfront about the limitations of their free service, which includes a limit on outgoing emails, file sizes, and no site builder. However, for the smaller website this host is an excellent option.

Agility Hoster

A free web hosting service, with the option to upgrade to paid personal or business plans, which is another good example of a suitable candidate for polished personal websites and small businesses. Their service includes two domains, 200 MB Web Space and 5 GB Monthly bandwidth, numbers that are not uncommon on paid hosting sites.

50megs

There may be a lot of ad placement at 50megs, but that hasn’t stopped the web hosting company offering its services since 1995, and they have had plenty of satisfied customers! As well as their own website templates, users can copy pre-existing sites over to the service. Anyone doing a web search (and others have commented, too) will notice that 50megs and FreeServers both have websites and services that are (ahem!) alike… with 50MB Web Space and 1 GB Monthly bandwidth.