This guide is written with the intention of a novice setting up a photo booth or standard business website at low cost, to get you off the ground. And for me, free or low cost is always good. But firstly, we need a server to store our site on, and we have to pay an annual rent for this.
There are 2 viable types of Hosting on offer from hosting company’s.
- Web hosting (with a database)
- Your own server (VPS)
It’s important to remember that not all hosting is the same. For many years I have used web hosting. It’s simple and cheap, 2 things to bear in mind though are the following and your hosting supplier package should include these a minimum:
- POP/IMAC email accounts (at least one or two).
- A MySQL database.
Web hosting is a good cheap method, alternatives are to have your own server. You may have guessed this is a lot more expensive. The only real advantage for a business is the fact that your own server may index pages a tiny bit faster for search engines. Also, it is your own server so you need a bit of know how to set it up, including loading up a database. Most web hosting servers are managed by the hosting company and very easy to set up.
Anyway, you can start with web hosting and migrate up to your own server anytime (or vice-versa).
Let’s talk about web hosting for now. Some hosting company’s limit bandwidth and memory space. Don’t worry about this if you are starting up, I am sure they will let you know if you exceed limits.
So, if we choose a web hosting account, part of your hosting package should include POP/IMAC mail accounts. This is so your business can have a unique mail address associated with your domain name. For example, email@example.com. Again, some hosting company’s charge differently for this service. For example, 5 mail address to start with.
I like POP/IMAC email accounts because they work well for business, you can use them for Microsoft Outlook and iPhone. Web mail is an alternative but, I like the way POP/IMAC works for contacts etc.
The second thing is a MySQL database, this is sometimes an extra cost. This is free software however; the hosting company may charge for the set up and use. We need MySQL because we will load a web site construction programme called WordPress. WordPress is free software; your hosting company should help you install it.
Finally, ask about backups, some hosting suppliers make you responsible for this. I should finish this off by letting you know that you can simply host your site at a cost on wordpress.com (cost for hosting your own domain and no ads). But, you still need email accounts and this will lead you back to hosting.
To find out more about website hosting or discuss options for your business, call Paul Stephenson on 07772 784 106 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
This article has been written by Paul Stephenson, expert in domain hosting, as a contributor to the Photobooth Business Hub.