Hosting Your Website
Once your website is designed, you need to have it hosted somewhere so people can look at it. This involves putting it on a computer called a server that is permanently connected to the Internet, and giving the site its own unique address (URL) so people can find it. You will need to register a domain name as this is the basis of the URL. (You'll find more information on domain names here.)
Using the Word Pool to host your site
We can host your site for you on the fast, commercial servers we use for our own sites.
As an optional extra, you can use your domain name for email. All messages to your domain addresses are automatically forwarded to the real address provided by your Internet service provider. This looks professional and avoids revealing your real address on the web.
Another optional extra is a statistics package which tells you how many people visit your site, how they found it and which pages they looked at. To show you how these work, you can see the statistics for our children's book site here. These are set for open access but yours can be password protected if you prefer.
Using another hosting provider
There are many other hosting providers offering a wide range of packages at various prices. A basic package is usually good enough for a straight forward author website, but you will probably need something more advanced for an online bookshop.
When choosing, check out the support available. If your site goes wrong, it's better to be able to talk to someone on the phone rather than rely on email support. If the phone number is given on the site, give it a call to see if anyone answers.
If your ISP provides freespace, you may wish to use this. However, there are some snags to consider.
- Freespace can be slow, especially at busy times of day.
- The URLs for freespace are often difficult to remember.
- Changing your service provider means changing your URL
You can get round the URL problems by registering your own domain name
and pointing it at your freespace. However, if access to the space is
slow, there is nothing you can do about it. As good commercial hosting
is fairly inexpensive, we recommend that you only use freespace if your budget
is extremely tight.