Host a Complete Website for Less Than $50 a Year
So you may already be aware of how to register a domain name through godaddy for $10 per year, and point it to a myspace page or anywhere else on the web that you desire. But did you know that you can get an entire web host for less than $50 per year? Yes, that's correct. Less than 50 a year.
If you require a complete web site hosting solution with ftp access, dns control, email services and more for the year at only the cost of a pizza delivery...then you'll want to try out an official host service that satisfies this price range and simultaneously gives you quality service without breaking the bank!
If you already went ahead and purchased a domain name and are currently using it to point to a place to the web, then don't worry! Most times you can easily use that same domain name with a new host just by logging in and changing a few small things on godaddy or another registrar's control panel. If you haven't already registered a domain name with godaddy.com, web.com, or one of the other great registrars online, then you will want to do that now. At godaddy.com it will run you about $10 on average for a .com domain name. It's important to have your domain name registered first before you proceed to register new hosting service. This web host needs to know what domain name we plan to use with it before they can activate it on their servers, so please make sure you have that first before you proceed. If you already have a domain name registered that you can log on to and change when you need to, then you can ignore this paragraph and proceed on.
After you have a domain name, you are ready to get your hosting started for it. What you'll want to do next is visit http://www.edatarack.net and select their business starter package. It is listed at $2.95 per month, but is prepaid yearly as $35.40.
So your out-of-pocket expense for the hosting is $35.40 per year. If you needed to register a domain name, then add $10 to that. Your total cost, even with any tax, should be less than $47 for the entire year. This package is perfect for most personal sites, small business, and medium-scale businesses. If you start running an extremely high-volume site, then your costs will still be under $100 even if you upgrade to one of the higher-level (and higher-dollar) packages available from e-datarack.
As a tip, it's ideal to use the same credit or debit card information for your host that you used to register your domain name with. It helps to keep all of the emails and paperwork together if possible to help simplify the tracking of the information later.
When you order hosting and fill out all the information online, make sure that there are no typos on your email address or your domain name! Otherwise, you will have to write firstname.lastname@example.org to let them know about the error which can delay things quite a bit. As long as everything is typed out correctly, the process will be automated and quick. You should receive an email with new account information and a receipt of payment in a few hours at most.
Do not delete the emails that they send you, because those emails have important information regarding the setup of your account.
On one of the emails sent from edatarack, you will see information that says "DNS settings". It will look somewhat like this:
You'll want to log on to the godaddy web site (or your current registrar if different) using the log on information you were sent for your domain name.
Once logged on, you will need to edit the DNS settings. Replace the current DNS information you'll find with the information that they gave you on the email, and make sure the site updates it successfully.
It will take about 24-48 hours at most to globally reflect this data across servers world-wide. After the mirror process for the DNS information is complete, your domain name's IP address and other information will be updated and synchronized with all primary internet name servers. You may be able to access your domain name's new setup and hosting paired with it long before the 24-48 hours have passed to begin working on uploading your site and configuring it. But be aware that others may or may not be able to see it yet until all mirror updates are completed.
Once the site is live, you should see a temporary holder page from edatarack when you visit your domain name through the browser.
Now you are ready to begin uploading your web site if you have developed it offline, or you are ready to have your web designer do it for you if you elected to do all this yourself so that you retain exclusive ownership of your site!
If you developed the site on your own, then you should already be familiar with how to use FTP clients and programs. But if not (and if you are using Windows), then you can download a freeware program called Whiz FTP to use as your FTP client and make file transfers easier. This program will let you log on to the host server and upload all of your files. You can manage it entirely with a graphical user interface, and drag & drop files to and from the desktop or any other folder or directory.
Before you can upload your files, you need to first connect to the server. Use the FTP logon information (username and password) that was sent to you by e-datarack via email (usually same email that has the DNS information). You can save that data onto the graphical Whiz FTP program, or use it with your client of choice to log on.
If you are uploading a traditional web site that does not use SSL (secure socket layer) technology or secure-server certificates, then you will want to upload all of your web site's files to the /http directory. Otherwise, if you DO use SSL, then you will need to upload them to the /https directory.
Once you have uploaded an index.html, index.htm, index.shtml, or index.php file, when you go to your domain name it should come up with your site's page rather than the placeholder page. If you need to create sub-domains to point to other places within (or outside of) your web site, you can do that now with your registrar's login page.
People have asked whether or not this is a good company. I can say, though ever-so ironically...they are an excellent company that's been around for a long time. They used to be one of my primary competitors! Since I had left the web hosting business and sold the assets to my old company in mid 2004, E-DataRack.net has been going strong still, and is still reliable as ever. As far as I'm aware, they've been around since at least 1999. For small and medium-sized business sites, they are great. The only thing that could beat what they offer is if you ran a site yourself and hosted it on your home computer (using your hard drive as space, and your cable or dsl modem as your limit of bandwidth per month). Unless you have a lot of time, expertise, and a dedicated machine at home, it's usually best to just have a quality host keep your site up and running at an affordable price.
One thing that I will mention however is that they are restricted still on how many domains they can host. Usually, it is one domain per web site, and they need to know the domain name that you plan to use beforehand to set it up. One of the things that my marketing used to attack was that very fact, since back then I offered unlimited domain hosting. There are other hosts that offer multiple domain hosting on a site which are good, but not as affordable as E-DataRack is for single domain sites. If you plan to host more than one web site or more than one domain, it may be in your favor to check them out.
If you are sure that you are going to be hosting 2, 3, or even 5+ web sites and need as much space, flexibility, and freedom to assign domains to them as possible, then check out http://www.phpwebhosting.com BEFORE you register with E-Datarack to see what they can do for you. PhpWebHosting runs about $10 per month ($120 per year), but they let you assign an entire web site to a domain name almost immediately by letting each site be a seperate folder under your main ftp directory. They can also let you do multiple ftp account logins for the other sites, and will work with you on a lot of different things. Sure, they aren't nearly as inexpensive as E-DataRack, but you can host as many sites and domains as you want to transparently, and they don't meter your bandwidth. Edatarack is going to give you about 5GB of space and 150GB of transfer per month, which should be plenty for most sites. But if you host 3 sites anyway with PhpWebHosting, you are paying the same $10 a month that you would be for one. At $3.33 per month, you now have the same flexibility and convenience of managing all of them from one account simultaneously without worrying about any limitations on raw usage. If you add 10 sites, then guess what? You are only paying $1 a month to host all of them! After you host 3 or more sites, it makes sense to go with PhpWebHosting. If you plan to host just one, then it makes sense to go with E-DataRack.
Hosting a site on a home or business server has been a realistic and viable possibility since the early 1990's. However, it does require more effort, upkeep, and knowledge to maintain. If you work from home (or manage network computer systems for an office and have the clearance to set up an outside server), then you may want to check out a site like http://www.xitami.com which provides a powerful, secure, and freeware home-hosting solution for Windows, Unix, and OS/2 users. They even include the source code for each version, so that you can modify and recompile the entire thing at will! You may also want to check out the Apache Web Server too, by googling it. User forums and newsgroups are an invaluable resource for getting that off the ground. As a word of advice, make sure that you don't store any private or sensitive data on a home server if you choose to implement one. Make sure that what you host is on a completely seperate computer and network. Never, ever use a home computer with private data on it that you can't afford to let the world see with, or without, your consent. That's my two-and-a-half cents on home server hosting on a moment's notice.
Now, on to traditional hosting bandwidth considerations...
We all know that when hosts advertise unlimited-bandwidth...it isn't really unlimited. There's a lot of bandwidth that they have to offer, and they can make using it seem as if it is unlimited up to a point. They aren't going to count what you use that they can afford to include with your plan, and hence if it is more than most people ever use, they can often get away with calling it "unlimited". But that still does not mean that it is truly unlimited. Extremely high-volume sites have been hit up for charges they never expected when they went over certain bandwidth limits, and many respectable companies have had to backpedal their way out of an explain the entire "unlimited" clause to customers. So as long as you keep in mind that unlimited bandwidth doesn't necessarily mean unlimited (and you don't abuse their bandwidth policy), you should be ok and never have any worries.
If you plan to host any type of adult sites, rom sites, torrent sites, or other extremely high traffic or click through PPC sites, you might want to check their terms if any for implementing those on their network.
Whether you decide to host with either site above, use a home server solution to run your site, or decide to go with a recommendation for alternative data centers and other web and application hosting solutions that are available...I cannot stress enough that you must always back up your data. Even if a host says that they have redundant servers and you never need to worry about your data...please, back up the data you have anyway. Whether it's saved to cds, dvd discs, a blu ray disc, or an external hard drive for fast retrieval...it is important that you always save and restore your data. Even if a host stores your data for you securely, all it takes is a hardware server failure for a backup server to lose some data that you can never get back. Other times, a fire, flood or other unpredictable or unaccountable situation occurs and takes everyone by surprise. Granted, most data centers have a variety of measures to protect your data these days. But some more than others. It's always best to be safe rather than sorry.
So before you upload anything to a host's remote server, please ensure that you have a duplicate hardcopy of that data outside of your computer's hard drive (just in case anything happens to that, too).
As long as you keep your domain name and hosting account in good condition and your original site data preserved, you should be just fine. The only thing you need to do from here is manage and design your site, which I will leave up to you! But, before I end this article...just in case you want to build a site online for free and pair your domain name with it, you can check out a place called yola.com which lets you build free sites (albeit, not anywhere near as good as if you designed them yourself or professionally). They permit you to host a basic site with or without using a domain name, and may be a transitional tool to getting a new presence out there for free, and then upgrading to one of the other three options menthioned within this article.
Once you have a site out there and need to promote it for free, make sure that you do the obvious and add it to google and bing. Then, you can check out and go a step further using another free alternative such as http://www.self-promotion.com to get your site (or sites) off the ground. Web promotion and SEO is an entirely different animal and something that you should definitely research independently from a variety of sources.
So this article ends here with helping you to establish everything that you need to run a web site for under $50 a year.
But your quest to conquer the web with that site? Well...
Preapre to travel the web, my friend...for that adventure has only just begun!