Finding a WWW Host for Your Project

Finding a host for your project may not be so hard as it would seem at first glance. Finding hosting for free may be another question--but that is the objective. If your need is for a host for a commercial venture, most probably you will end up paying for the service*. (Consider your own domain name -- it makes your address portable to any provider without changing the URL. Check here to see if you name is available.) However, if your project is educational, entertaining, or personal, it is likely that you will find a free home for it if you are willing to put out a little effort. Here are some suggestions:

1. You may already be entitled to server space through the service provider you are now using. Many Internet Service Providers include hosting a small number of documents for you in your basic monthly fee. Ask them. Even if it is not included, competition is fierce in the business--especially in major markets. They may be willing to make you a deal in order to keep your account.

2. If your employers have Internet access you may be able to use one of their machines. 

3. Many educational institutions will allow you to use their server at no cost if you have some affiliation with them (student, alumnus, docent, contributor, etc.) and your proposed project is in harmony with their goals. High quality local content is a valuable commodity in the academic web-world.

4. The same goes for local government and non-profit organizations' servers.

5. If you end up buying space, shop around. If you are happy with your current provider but for some reason can't arrange host service from them, buy it from someone else. You don't need to do all your business with them just to use their server. You can administer it via the Internet using ftp just as easily as if it were next door. Check out prices in Montana or Mexico City for web service. Remember, "prices may vary." The best deal I have found is Cheap Web Hosting provided by Dayana Host, who will give you great service for $15 a YEAR! I use them for several web sites.

* (For a commercial venture, consider trading advertising space. Find an exisiting advertiser with his own underloaded server and offer to link his advertising to your pages if he provides the server space for both of you. He then gets exposure to people looking at your pages and you get a host.)

Bill Proudfoot
Reveal e-mail address
Updated August 11, 2011

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