There are many things that you need to consider about
your site. The choices that you make here, will determine which of
the hosting services you need to use.
You want to run a business on the
You can't do this with the free space that your ISP gives you,
it says so in the terms and conditions.
You may be able to do this on your space from a free webhost, but
to be sure, you need to read the conditions of use.
Personally, I wouldn't advise running a business on a site where
ads for your competitors may suddenly pop up over your page.
You want to use a domain name
You can't do this on your basic ISP package or on the
free webhosts. You have to pay for this and once again, your ISP,
the free webhosts, and the paid for hosting companies will sell you
the appropriate package. They will also register the domain name for
you, for a fee of course.
You are using Microsoft FrontPage
Later versions of FrontPage, I believe from version 2000 onwards
(but I am not really sure because I don't use it) use what are called
These allow you to add extra features to your pages. However for
these extensions to work, your webhost has to have the FrontPage
extensions installed on their server.
Note You can turn off the extensions in the options, then
any of the menu commands that require the extensions to be on the
server, are dimmed out and unavailable. This means that you can
use FrontPage to create your web site even if your web host doesn't
provide the FrontPage extensions
At the time of writing, the basic ISP and free hosting servers
don't offer this service. It is only available on the paid for hosting.
However with Microsoft's pervasion into all things computing, this
situation may change in the future.
You want to use CGI scripting etc.
on your site
Common Gateway Interface, whether provided by Perl, PHP, ASP, JSP
CFML etc. etc. allow you to use many advanced features on your site.
These include things such as guestbooks, counters, forms for gathering
and storing information from visitors, shopping trolleys, chat rooms
and the list goes on.
However all of these require the special software on the server
to make them work. As far as I am aware, these are only available
on the paid for webhosting.
You want to conduct e-commerce on
Apart from requiring the software mentioned above to make this
possible, this type of business needs to be done on a secure server.
Many people are wary about giving their credit card number on a
web site and they won't want to do it on an insecure server. And
you shouldn't want to do it either. If something went wrong, you
would be responsible.
The companies that offer this service on secure servers, are also
responsible if something goes wrong. Hey let them worry.
You want to know more about your
You can have a guestbook where visitors can introduce themselves
and leave comments, but actually only a very small percentage actually
take the time to do this (by the way have you signed my guestbook
yet?. Why not sign the guestbook before you leave today)
You can have a counter, but that only lets you know how many people
have accessed your site.
Where you can get some really information is through the statistics
that you get with the paid for web hosting. You access this by logging
onto the administration page at your site.
Here are some of the things that I can find out about visitors
to my web site.
The number of visits to each page, broken down monthly, weekly,
daily and hourly.
The country that the visitor is in.
The webhost that they were on before they jumped to my site.
The operating system and browser that the visitor is using.
What words they typed into a search engine to find my site.
And much more, a lot of this information is also displayed visually
in a graph.
You want individual mail boxes
This allows you to have your visitors send e-mail's to different
departments e.g.. sales, enquiries, support etc.
Depending upon the package you go for, these can be real individual
mailboxes, or on the cheaper plans, pseudo mail boxes where all
of the e-mail's are redirected to your main mailbox, though you
do get an indication of the department that the sender is mailing
Yes I know that you often get five e-mail addresses from your ISP,
but the ones from the paid webhosts are connected to your domain
name e.g. email@example.com
Is that all?
Well, there may be other things that I have forgotten, or even
things that I haven't even thought of, I am relatively new to this
web creation stuff myself. Don't worry, my students will soon let
me know about any glaring omission's.
But that is plenty to be going on with.
So now it's over to you to make you decision, but just in case
you are still not sure here are some words of advice