HOSTING A DOMAIN NAME The first thing to understand about having a domain name is that you have to pay someone (site on the web) to host your domain name, i.e. having a domain name is worthless unless it is hosted some place. You can't buy a domain name and then have it point to some free home page such as a free GeoCities home page.

Hosting means that some site will store your web pages on their servers, i.e. your domain name will point to specific servers (see Domain Name System names). When someone types your domain name in their browser's location bar, e.g. www.myname.com, they will see your main web page.

There are thousands of sites where you can host your domain name. Several that I have found and that people report good things about are listed below. Always carefully checkout any host and compare services, features, help, etc. before making your final selection.

You can also find a vast variety of hosting sites by going to HostSearch.Com where you can search for a host based on

  1. Price - From $4.95/month and up.
  2. Guaranteed Up Time - normally from 99% - 99.9%. But with 43,200 minutes in a month, the site can get down for 43.2 minutes to 7.2 hours and still be within the guaranteed up time.
  3. Disk Space - From 100MB to unlimited.
  4. Platform - Windows NT, Linux, etc.
  5. Programming allowed, e.g. cgi, asp, php, SSI
  6. Front Page Supported - supports "publishing" to the site.
  7. FTP, File Transfer Protocol - uploading/downloading file to/from your site. All hosts will offer this feature.
  8. Monthly data transfer - From 1GB/month to unlimited. See Data Transfer.
  9. E-Commerce:
  10. Help Desk - A critical feature! Normally 24/7/52 online. Some hosts have a telephone number for help and a few may have a toll-free number.

There probably is not any one host that is the best. Almost all hosts will have both good and bad features. You can ask other people in chat rooms, such as GeoCities Help Chat or Yahoo! Web Design, what host they use and their experience with the host.

I use 1planhost.com, which is one of the many $99/year hosts. I have had my domain name with 1planhost.com since October of 2001 and rarely have a problem. A few times my Live Stats, how many visitors, where visitor come from, pages visited, etc., have been down for short periods of from 12 - 24 hours. And a few times it has taken them more than a day to answer my questions. I can, however, call them on the phone rather then use their excellent Help Desk.