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About hosting

By Craig Goldwyn, visibility.tv

Hosting services are places with computers called servers connected to the internet. Your website will live on a server in a hosting service somewhere.

Hosts offer a menu of options. The good ones have fast reliable machines and routers connected to major arteries of the net with backup power supplies, locked server rooms, protection against viruses and denial of service attacks, data backup policies, and secure socket layers for credit card transactions. Knowledgeable and responsive tech support is also important.

Pricing depends on what you want the server to do. For simply dishing out html pages, prices range from $10 to $30 per month depending on the amount of storage needed, the number of email addresses needed, and the number of visitors anticipated. Some hosts charge additional fees for features such as serving audio-video and multimedia, shopping carts and e-commerce solutions, guestbooks, surveys and forms, databases, or email newsletters.

Here are some sources for selecting a host.

http://www.thewhir.com - The Web Host Industry Review has news and reviews of hosts. Good place to look for a host.

http://www.hosting-review.com - Good reviews of hosting services.

http://www.thelist.com - A list of practically every ISP in the country.

Free websites

http://www.tripod.lycos.com - Lycos will sell banners on your site, likos it or not. Use site building software or their templates. Pick your member name carefully because it becomes your site name. You can create cgi driven databases, slideshows, polls, forms, guestbooks, and more.

http://hometown.aol.com - You do not have to be an AOL member to get a free site. Package includes clip art, sounds, guestbooks, chat rooms, password protection, and revenue possibilities from advertising. AOL has useful tutorials on metatags and more.

http://geocities.yahoo.com - Yahoo's free sites offer less storage and fewer tools.

http://itools.mac.com - For Mac owners only. Template driven.

http://www.freewebspace.com and http://www123freepage.com - These are sites that list the many other sites where you can get free space.

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