The Old Man's Humble Experiences With
Webpage Hosting and Domain Hosting
Including "freeesite", or "ISP provided web page server space"
(and) "Domain Hosting"
Very Basic, for more info, opinions or comments, Email
1. "Freesite" hosting is like you can get free from (Tripod or others) for your pages.
maybe something like http://home.somewherefree.com/~yourname/
2. "ISP-provided server space" comes with your Internet Service Provider fees
maybe something like http://www.boontown.net/~yourname/
3. A "Domain Name" you buy from InterNIC or other Registrars, and "Host" with a "Hosting Service"
maybe something like
NOTE: You can save some hosting fees by having control over the DNS pointer for your domain name; at VeriSign (NetworkSolutions.com) you can purchase your domain name and "aim" it at your address at a freesite or the server space your ISP includes with your monthly fee. Some other registrars give you that capability also, however they are few and far between!
Most private people, when they first get their feet wet on the
Internet, are a bit hesitant to sink a lot of money into the venture. After all, most non-business pages are just
for fun and entertainment of yourself and friends anyway, and if "free" is available, why shell out your hard-earned
bucks right off the bat?
The Old Man felt the same way when he first started out, and
so he took advantage of the good folks at Tripod for his
first venture into cyberspace real-estate. (Thanks, Tripod !). Years later, even though he owns several of his own top-
level domains, he still maintains his updated pages on Tripod. It's
real hard to give up old friends, you know, and the Lycos, Tripod, Angelfire family still gets the lion's share of The Old Man's time and clicks. A real close look will probably convert you to the Lycos Family also.
The Old Man chose Tripod for his first venture, because of
the Tripod position regarding copyright ownership on your private sites, and because they actually answered
his questions, trying to learn how to set up the directories for a website. (Yeah, real carbon-based life forms
actually answered his questions!) Eventually, The Old Man got to prowling around, exploring the resources of
the Internet, and found places like Larry Dozier's HTML4Rookies
great (Thank Heavens!) webauthoring instruction, also
Animation Sites , Computer
Security News and Computer Security Products sites like Steve Gibson's
great Domain, College and University libraries, government sites like the
U.S. Congress and Senate and other neat places too numerous to list.
Eventually, The Old Man decided he'd like to have his own
Domain, and was lucky enough to find some appropriate names left to register. If you'd like to check on a domain
name that you'd like for your private (or business) website, it would be a good idea to check on it sooner, rather
than later! Anyway, here's the story on what kind of "hosting" (general term) The Old Man found available for
In order for you to own a "Domain" (www.yourname.com/net/org) you
must have it "Hosted" on a server with internet access (or at least "reserved") in order to even
buy it in the first place. At NetworkSolutions about $70us for first two years, then $35us each year after. Remember what I told you about having control of your domain, back up there a ways...?
You have LOTS of choices of where to "Host" your domain name. You
can grab a fast, free service (like Tripod ), or you can choose from dozens of other totally capable
hosting services. The Old Man is real partial to his old friend Larry "Griz" Dozier's Domain Server. You can find them at
I get 125 meg of server space, all the POP-3 Email accounts I can use, the server has one of the best
admin consoles I've ever seen and tech support is just a toll-free phone call away (to a real person 24/7 !!!). I get the hottest servers built, the hottest
modems, and fibre-optic lines right into the backbone of the same phone company that serves
Lycos, Yahoo and a couple other "biggies". Just can't beat the equipment, the service or the price ($12/month!) for
features. If I was even going to think of changing at all, it might be to my local ISP if the price and features
were comparable, which I can guarantee you they aren't even close.... Not in my state, and most probably not in yours either.
OK, Old Man, what do you look for in a "Hosting Service"?
First off, eventually, you will might become tired of the "free hosting" sites plastering
pop-up ads over the top of your pages. That's how they pay for your free space though. But they are somewhat
distracting, reduce the size of your visitor's screen viewing area, and take up computer resources that could
be better used in loading your webpage onto your visitor's browsers. With some of your visitors, their
processor resources are severely strained anyway. For them to continually reload the massive files required
for most ads just slows down their visit to your page and might even drive them to another website that will load quicker. Yes, Tripod has ads but as soon as you start to navigate they park themseves out of the way.
What does "advertisement-free" Web Hosting cost you?
You can find
ad-free hosting services from five dollars per month, up to as much as you want to pay, including a very wide
range of "setup-fees"... The difference will be what kind of equipment the Host has invested in, their expense
for phone lines (everything from twisted-pair rotary on up to fibre-optic (or exotic) digital). What does it matter?
The phone connections and server modems are the greatest determiner of the speed at which your visitors'
modems can download & exchange data, and greatly affects the reliability (no disconnects) of the connection.
The equipment required to set up a reasonably reliable ISP that can handle, say, 500 clients with no (or very few)
busy signals and even fewer disconnects is about ... sixty grand, I'd say, give or take. That doesn't count the
fact that you have to have a place to house the equipment, a SysOp sitting at the console most of the time
for a couple years or until the equipment is maintenance-free enough to have a part-time SysOp. I wouldn't
even talk to an ISP that didn't have a fulltime SysOp, or that gives you a "punch-the-number" message when
you call support! If you send an Email to support at the ISP, and it takes a couple days to get a reply, that's
how long it will take you to get assistance when your site experiences difficulties. There are very few Hosting
services that have full-time SysOps ("System Operators", may the Lord bless them, and you & me ain't smart
enough to be one!) to "fix" problems "right now"!!
"OK, Old Man, I'm a business and make a lot of area sales from my website...
What do you suggest I look for in a Hosting Service?"
Well, in your case, I'd choose the best ISP (compare servers, modems, phone lines, admitted
"down-time", and tech support) I could identify as close to my brick&mortar as possible. Why? 'Cause if most
of your online customers are local, you don't need them dialing clear to the other side of the continent to view
your pages, although that small item is usually transparent on the Internet anyway.
"OK, Old Man, I've just got a personal web site, don't make any money on
it, and am already catching crap from my wife/husband because of the expense... What do you suggest for me?
That's a no-brainer... I'd just go with a free site, like BraveNet (or others, of course), or, go
to Tripod, learn how to buy a domain name and host it on Tripod
for free (Tripod's ads go away as soon as you click the mouse) and do my best to create easy-to-load pages,
and put up with the advertisements! What the heck, who cares, you're just having fun and learning anyway,
right? Then, someday, you may want to graduate to a paid hosting service, or you may even get tired of all
the hassle, unplug your 'puter and find something more fun to spend your time with. ... Like gir... Aahhh Well,
never mind, I'm sure you get the idea!
OK, Old Man, I've got the idea on hosting... Now, how about telling me
how I get a web page put together on my Domain (www.myplace.com) for my visitors to look at?
Sure, no problem, just go back to my front page and click on the "webdesign" hyperclick,
or just click these words:
The Old Man's Webdesign (called a "link").
Email comments or questions to
The Old Man