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Setting up your own website: Hosting options
Ankur Jain
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September 12, 2007

So you want to tell the world you have arrived or you have a business and want to expand its reach, whatever your motivation, setting up your own website is a great way to get noticed.

Before you shrug off the idea pleading ignorance of coding, Photoshop, web design and everything else related to the topic, take a look at our easy-to-follow guide to setting up your very own website.

The first decision you need to take is whether you want a free (almost free) web page or if you're willing to shell out a certain amount on a paid domain name and hosting services. (The domain name is the name through which people can access your webpages. Hosting is the service that provides you space on the internet to save the web pages that you have created.)

Free hosting services
Freewebs.com, tripod.lycos.co.uk, geocities.yahoo.com, freewebsites.com and many others provide you with space on their servers where you can host your website for free. For most of these free hosting services, you do not need to buy a domain name. These services would provide you with a sub domain name on their server.

For instance, I may host my web pages for free on geocities and anyone on the world wide web may access my pages on  'http://geocities.com/ankurjain/index.html'. Some of these free hosting servers may also provide you with easy-to-use utilities to create web page polls, feedback forms, albums and blogs on the web pages you host on their servers.

However, if you are a firm believer in the saying 'Nothing comes for free', you aren't far wrong. The catch here is these sites will take up a prominent space on the pages you host on their servers (a small, but prime spot). The company will use this space to display advertisements relevant to the content of the webpage and relevant to the visitors to your page.

For instance, if you are an expert on financial planning and you plan to host some articles on financial planning, then the service provider may use the space to post an advertisement from a company dealing in mutual funds or tax consultancy firm.

So, while this option is very handy for people with tight budgets, if you are using a free service to host your company's web page, be warned that your clients might just end up seeing your competitor's advertisement on your home page.

That's where paid hosting services come in.

Paid hosting
Once you decide on your hosting options, the next step is to book a domain name. To buy a domain visit any of the following websites: godaddy.com, buydomain.com, net4omains.com.

If I am hosting a website about myself, then I might want to buy the domain ankurjain.com. Since domain names are unique, only one website can exist with the name ankurjain.com. If someone has already booked this domain name, I could opt for ankurjain.in or ankurjain.name among others.

After checking the availability of the domain and the other domain options, the website will show you the annual price listing for each. You will need to renew the registration at the end of the end of every year if you want to continue using the domain.

If you take the time to search, you'll find a number of good offers by Indian hosting providers for web hosting on the net. You can also just choose to host your site with your registrar (the place you buy your domain from). For example, if you buy a domain from and host your website at GoDaddy.com, you can get 500 MB of web space, a 25-GB data transfer limit and 100 e-mail IDs with both POP3 and web mail access for just $3.95 (approx Rs 170) a month!

What hosting provider you eventually choose depends solely on your needs and budget, but you should trawl the web for user reviews that are a good pointer to the most user-friendly and dependable service providers.

Most of the hosting services provide you with complete know how on how to setup your website on their servers. They provide easy to understand step-by-step documents for uploading the pages created/designed by you on to their servers.

The only drawback is that you have to have a credit card!

Tomorrow: Designing your homepage 


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