Getting Online - Hosting & Domain Names
Rather than provide my own hosting servers I recommend external companies that specialise in this service. Hosting and ISP services require specialist expertise and considerable investment in hardware, software and staffing to provide a professional level of service.
The advantages to you of specialist hosting services are:
- Excellent value for money
- You retain independent access to your domain name (url) and web account
- Professional service from a company dedicated to website hosting and ISP services - this can often mean very useful hosting extras, such as professional site statistics (web stats)
- Risk spread - keeping your design and hosting services separate is good business practice - if one fails the other should not
- 24/7 access to online support if your site goes offline (depending on which hosting company you use)
Many of my customers use www.eukhost.com. Typical costs for hosting and a dedicated email account (e.g. firstname.lastname@example.org) are in the region of £40.00 per year.
Naturally I can use your preferred hosting company - unless your site has specific technical requirements that you hosting company does not support.
Hosting account size and bandwidth (traffic)
The amount of space your account will require depends entirely on what you intend to have in your website. Most sites fit comfortably in 20mb of space however, if you plan to upload videos or audio, plan a blog, or wish to use ftp (file transfer protocol) to send and receive very large files you'll need 500mb or more of space. If you plan to have large inboxes for your emails you'll also need a
Bandwidth is the amount of data that your site uses per month. If you site is popular it can use a lot of bandwidth, even if the site is relatively small.
Hosting costs are always being driven down. I recommend from the outset selecting an account with plenty of capacity to allow for the growth of your site in the future. As will all my services I am happy to advise and answer any questions you may have.
If you see a domain name you like why not buy it now? You can buy domain names from many online companies - it's not necessary to but them from the same place you purchase your hosting. If you are stuck I am happy to advise on a choice of a domain name for your site. .com domain names remain popular for websites with an international audience, but for UK-based businesses the .co.uk domain name has certain advantages. It tells your customers where you are located. .org and .org.uk are still associated with charities and not-for-profit groups. There is no restriction on which suffix you use, but it's worth considering your overall presentation online, which often starts with your URL.
Use the following form to see if your domain name is available: Please also note that domain names are not case sensitive, must not use special characters (such as £ $ &) and spaces are not allowed. For spaces use a dash e.g. my-domain.
Please be aware that some design agencies offer what appears to be their own dedicated hosting. Often they have re-seller accounts which are hosted with the same companies you can host with directly. It is a means by which a web designer can make a small profit selling on a hosting account to you. There is nothing wrong with this, however you should be aware that in some cases you may not be able to gain full access to your domain or server account. Full independent ownership and control of your domain name is vital. In the long-run it is worth the small but painless learning curve required to register your domain names(s)!
I advise that my customers always retain independent access to their domain name account. If you've fallen out with your current web designer (it happens, sadly) and they registered the name for you then you'll need their help to transfer the domain name(s) to you.
All of my customers have full access to both their domain and hosting accounts, including the ability to change access passwords if you feel the need to do so.