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Website Hosting

So you want to launch a website, you've purchased a domain name, and now need someplace to host the thing, where do you begin?

The Pitfalls of Unreliable Hosts

There are countless bad hosts on the internet and you should choose your host carefully.  Hosting is also an item worthy of spending your money on.  When your site is down you risk losing both your customer and your relevancy ranking, as crawlers will lose the ability to examine your site.

Poor quality hosts will sometimes assign more than a thousand domains to one IP address residing on one server.  When the system eventually lags and overloads the server, you suffer downtime.

An Example of a Bad Host

Most people learn about hosts the wrong way after the host has frequent downtime rendering the site useless.

Recommended hosting companies

Linode, Digital Ocean, Rackspace & Peer 1 are all highly recommended hosting companies.

Choosing Between Dedicated and Shared Hosting

Shared hosting must meet your personal needs.  Others might recommend dedicated hosting but it costs more.  Shared hosting means that several other domain names are on the same IP address and the same server.  Dedicated hosting provides you with a server to put your files on that is dedicated to your needs.

Search engines like Yahoo! and Google do not normally penalize IP addresses, only domain names.  A hosting network has rarely gotten penalized, although the SearchKing network is a special example of a whole hosting network being penalized.

If you are investing a lot into your site, you may want to spend the money for a reliable dedicated server.

The Problem with Free Hosting

Free hosting will greatly hinder your efforts.  There are so many junk sites out on the internet and people may not link to your site as they consider free hosting suspect.

Commercial websites that reside on a free host must demonstrate high quality content before you link to them.  Also, a free host will often put loud banners on your site, ruining the look of the page and turning off people as seeming unprofessional.

There are blogs that do well, such as Blogger’s free host product Blogspot.  That is an exception and not the norm and it is based on the fact that blogs tend to be more personal and not driven by an industry or marketing.

Additionally, if you create a subdomain and want to move your site it will be very difficult to regain that link’s popularity at the new location.

Inexpensive Hosts

There are also several risks involved with cheaper hosts, but there are some decent and inexpensive hosts for the secondary type sites.  This can help diversify your business model and will maintain the site if your main site goes down.  Remember, each new site should still relate to the main page but concentrate on a specific topic.

Cheap hosting, may not work for you.  If you make a payment error, your sites may be immediately taken down and you may receive no warning.  Other than that instance, they have done a good job.  Keep in mind that you can expect this type of behavior when you deal with cheap hosting providers. 

Domestic Hosts

Many of the larger search engines will grant relevancy to a site that is hosted in the same region as the local search market.  There are plenty of regions where local hosting is not affordable or viable.  However, if your site is primarily targeted at the United Kingdom, they you need to host that site in the UK.