Virtual Nexus, Inc. is your one-stop shop for all of your Website needs. In addition to the skills required to create an attractive site, we also provide quality Web hosting and domain name registration services.

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Web Site Hosting and Domain Names



Free Web Hosting Options

Depending on the needs of your site and organization, a free Web hosting solution might be possible. The benefits? Well, for one, they do not cost you anything significant up front.

Are there disadvantages to free hosting? Quite possibly, yes.

  • The domain name might not be entirely transferrable
  • You may have to put up with advertisements from the hosting company
  • If you need more advanced features, like PHP or other Web technologies, they might not be supported

Paid Hosting Solutions

Disadvantages? Well, obviously, it costs you money every month. How much depends on who you go through and the level of service needed. In general, expect to pay about $12/month (This could be higher to support large, high bandwidth sites) for a good, reliable service without a bunch of hidden charges. Speaking of hidden charges, you can expect, either at the beginning or at renewal time, to have to pay for domain name registration. A good average number here is around $15 per year.

The advantages to going this way, versus free services, are potentially huge. For example, when you buy your own domain name (perhaps bigbusiness.com), you own that name and can take it along with you... as long as you continue to renew the registration each year or at whatever period you select. If the Web site was created using a free service, the domain name being used might look like bigbusiness/freewebhostingservice.com. Do you see how that might be confusing to a customer? Are they visiting Big Business' Web site or Free Hosting Service' Web site? Then, if you later decide to go with a paid hosting service, you probably will not continue to use the freewbhostingservice.com part of the domain name. So, if your business or organization is in it for the long term, I recommend going with a paid service to help you build and maintain branding. Simply put, it makes it more obvious to your customers who's site they are visiting and can help present the site in a more professional aire.

Another advantage, and I touched on this with the description above of free hosting services, is the ability to use advanced scripting and other Web technologies. For example, I like Net Solutions because I can expect things like PHP, CGI, Ruby on Rails, etc. to just work. I can easily set up a MySQL database to create a more interactive environment. If I choose to use a third party development application, like Adobe's Dreamweaver, I can use that to upload files via FTP (file transfer protocol). That is not to say that nice things cannot be done on free hosting service platforms. Some provide some interesting templates so you can have a site up and running fairly quickly, all without a lot of knowledge about how to program Web pages. Yet, if your organization needs a more customized, professional look, get a paid hosting service and have someone build your Web site for you if your organization does not have someone, in-house, qualified to build a professional site.


In Conclusion...

Look, anyone can have a Web site these days. Like buying a building for your organization, you will need to decide if an existing structure that was likely originally designed to work well with another type of business will work or if you would be better served with a custom designed, new building. Which will serve your needs better? Is creating a brand important? Who will design and implement the site? What are their abilities and will they fulfill the requirements of the organization?

The point is, you will want to take a good look at the long-term plans for the business. Just like a good business plan takes numerous variables into account, so should a good Web site's plans and implementation. Take a moment to think about who will be the architect and builder of your organization's online home.


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