Cheap Web Hosts Are Workhorses For Web Developers

Cheap web hosts can actually do quite a lot for those of us who know how to use their services to the fullest. Now when I say “cheap”, I don’t mean anything poorly set up. I’m talking about inexpensive, yet valuable – know what I mean? The fact is that many cheap web hosts online provide excellent service, and their account packages each allow for our creativity in web designing according to each of our individual needs.

For a good example of what I’m talking about here, let’s assume you need to create a presence on the web for a business you might have in the real world, in order to spread the word and increase your client base, or just to offer information about your whereabouts, what you do, etc. – using the services of any of the cheap web hosts out there, you could do this with a simple, single-paged website, a domain name and maybe an e-mail account as well. For this, you could easily find an account costing around $5 per month. That’s pretty darned cheap, right?

Or it could be that your needs are not so uncomplicated, but cheap web hosts can still supply you with an account to have your needs met. Let’s say that you run a web log (or “blog”) which showcases the business you run, offers tips or tutorials on the subject of your hobbies you might like to share, or even to create a world-wide discussion on some areas that you are expert in. performing this activity would eventually accumulate a large group of readers, loyal fans, fellow bloggers and others. You could still use the cheap accounts that web hosts can provide.

Imagine that you did all of this as a means of generating income. You could monetize your blog through the use of relevant, contextual ad placement within your posts. This would create the need for more storage
space for posts, bandwidth to accommodate increasing numbers of visitors and perhaps sub-domains for branching off of your main domain name for each post. You could easily find the right account to use for this that cheap web hosts offer, for around ten to fifteen bucks per month to do all of this – perhaps less.

As a further example, let’s say that you need to do your web hosting on a much larger scale – cheap web hosts can still provide you with service. Maybe you’re someone who generates your income solely online. You’d certainly require more bandwidth and storage space, as well as other things. Maybe you’re a publisher of a newsletter that you distribute through e-mail to a vast subscriber base. Maybe you offer products for online sale which people could buy and download from your web pages. Maybe you operate an array of monetized blogs which review other people’s products for affiliate commissions.

Okay, so maybe you do all of the above. Can the use of cheap web hosts really still be a feasible option here? With the use of a reseller account, cheap web hosts can still handle this, and surprisingly, even much, much more – seriously. You see, the concept of reseller accounts was originally put together so that anyone who wished to join in on web hosting business, offering services to others, could do so and enjoy a stable monthly income… but now, reseller accounts aren’t used for just this type of reason anymore. You can actually use a reseller account, which many cheap web hosts offer, to host an unheard of amount of websites, affiliate promotion sites, monetized blogs, forums, discussion boards on various topics, and stake your claim on a huge chunk of the internet all for your own use.

Paying for a reseller account would only cost around twenty to thirty dollars per month, and it would permit you to create and host more websites, domains, and download pages than you can shake a stick at. If you think about it for a bit, at the price of the account, all of your websites that you can host on a reseller account could effectually be less than one cent each month in cost, per website – could cheap web hosts be any more inexpensive?

Before You Call a Web Developer, Ask Yourself One Question

Because we develop Web sites, not surprisingly, the first words we often hear from people are: “I need a Web site.” My response is often “why?” The answer to that question can be quite telling. I can almost guarantee that you won’t end up with a good Web site if you don’t even know why you need one in the first place.

People waste a tremendous amount of time and money on pointless Web sites. The reality is that a Web site should be treated like any other business or marketing expenditure. As with any other advertising medium, you should set goals for your Web site. For example, suppose you sell dog treats. You spend a bunch of money printing a brochure that explains why your dog treats are healthier or tastier than the ones at the grocery store. The goal for that brochure is to give people information on all the fabulous benefits of your special dog treats.

In much the same way, your Web site might explain why your dog treats are great. In fact, it might be nothing more than an “online brochure” with a lot of the same information as the paper one. That’s a reasonable goal for a new site. Since lots of people surfing around online have dogs, later on you may decide that you want to expand your horizons outside of your local area and use the Internet to sell your marvelous dog treats online. In that case, you might need to learn more about ecommerce, merchant accounts, and shopping carts.

As a general rule, people go online to find information, to be entertained, or to buy stuff. If your site lets people do one or more of these things, it has a reason to exist. However, unlike your paper brochure, a Web site has only about four seconds to get your message across (according to a recent report from Akamai and Jupiter Research). If you have no clue what information people are supposed to glean from your Web site, neither will your site visitors. Four seconds later, they’re gone and they probably won’t return.

Your site goals have a lot to do with your business. Many businesses put up Web sites largely for people who are outside of the community and looking for products or services. The most likely visitors to these sites would be tourists and people moving or new to the community, so the information on the site could include frequently asked question (FAQ) pages, pricing, driving directions, and contact information

When setting Web site goals, it makes sense to think about the visitors you are hoping to attract to the site. Who will be reading it? What do they need to know? Why would they visit your site in the first place? What terms would they type into a search engine to find your site? If you don’t have good answers for these questions, you should reconsider the question I asked at the beginning of this article: “Why do you need a Web site?”

Not every business needs a Web site. Many service businesses that rely exclusively on local customers and word of mouth may not. You know your business better than anyone, so before you pick up the phone to call a Web designer, think about what you want your Web site to do for you and why.

Web Development and the Big Time Out

One of the great debilitators in online business is simply the perceived (or real) lack of time. Business owners are used to moving forward. An online web presence can make them feel tied to an office chair learning skills they aren’t sure they want to know.

It’s not uncommon for those who deal in full time web design to have individuals contact them for a site design, but have absolutely no idea what they want. Furthermore when the designer questions them the response might be, “I don’t know, just make it look nice.”

Let’s not forget the core values or mission of the business. Many business owners have no idea how to answer those kinds of questions. They may stare blankly for a moment or two and there’s no more time for further deep thought so they go back to action – without answers.

In many cases it is possible to answer some of the questions needed, but it may require taking time away from a familiar setting. It may also require more time than you think you want to give.

If you can get to a place of concentrated contemplation you are likely to find yourself stripping ideas to their core to find out what your business is trying to accomplish and what your ultimate goals might be.

As with almost any project you can turn frustration around if you will just take the time to come to terms with your vision.

Sometimes we spend so much time ‘doing’ we never stop to ask the question, “Why?”

This process can be a bit like taking a bus that drives around the park. You keep looking at the flowers and the park bench and long to sit in the quiet shade of a tree and just absorb the calming atmosphere. You know they will have a positive effect on you, but for some reason you just can’t seem to find the energy to get off the bus.

It seems to me there are some sites that are misguided or rarely guided that could benefit from the process of self-evaluation. These sites may look nice, but there is a sense of disconnection that may not be easy to identify, but it’s fairly obvious to visitors.

Creative energy is at a minimum while business owners simply tackle what seem to be the most urgent details.

As more people gravitate to online business there needs to be a shift in the thinking of how one goes about doing business online. In many ways it can’t be approached in the same way a traditional business is developed, yet that is typically the way many new web commerce ventures choose to tackle the subject.

You may discover your business will be more successful if you take some time for rigorous reflection. The time set aside can be a bit like an architect that takes the time to develop plans for a new building. You wouldn’t expect the architect to simply tell a construction crew to, “Go out there and build – something.”

Work at ‘building’ your online business in a comprehensive way. Your effort can develop a firm foundation for long-term success.