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 by john gibb

Many people are put off from starting their own website because they think it?s going to be expensive ? they hear about the massive amounts that big companies spend on their websites and think that hosting costs a lot of money. In reality, however, technology and bandwidth are getting cheaper every day, and the cost of web hosting is falling along with them.

If you?re looking to get a website hosted on the cheap, then the ultimate services are the free ones. Free web hosting didn?t die off after the dot-com boom, but it did get a lot harder to find, and today there are only a few big players, such as GeoCities and Tripod.

Free hosting is obviously a good thing if you?re starting out, but it comes with all sorts of limitations. If your site gets popular and too many people visit, the free host will often take your site down until you sign up to a paid plan. Even if they don?t do that, they are likely to plaster ads all over your site (and they?ll never give you a penny they make from them). Also, if you want to display images from your website on other pages (?hotlinking?), this will not usually be allowed.

If you?re just dipping your toe in the water and you?re not ready to commit to a monthly hosting plan, but you want to avoid the limitations of the free ones, a very good alternative is pay-as-you-go hosting. Pay-as-you-go hosting is a relatively new way of paying for hosting, but more and more hosts are offering it (you can find plenty with a search engine). Instead of paying monthly, you just pay in a small amount of money to your account, and it ticks down slowly each time someone downloads one of your pages. That way, you only pay for what you use.

John Gibb is the owner of web hosting guidance For more information on web hosting check out

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