Site Unseen

Hosts With The Most

Making the switch to a Web-hosting service

Get serious about building a company Web site, and free Web space just doesn't cut it anymore. Why? For one thing, the major search engines pay little attention to the "personal pages" on most free sites.

What's the solution? Switch to a hosting service, a company that provides high-quality, reliable space for building sites as elaborate as you can imagine. Hosts don't sell dial-up access; all they provide is Web site space. But a quality host can be just the key to creating a Web site that sparkles.

The hosting-service market isn't dominated by big names--hundreds of small companies are all chasing your business, and they vary wildly in what they offer, so consider your needs before choosing a host. Some provide 24-hour telephone support; others provide help via e-mail only. Some allow unlimited hits within the monthly fee; others impose extra fees for heavy traffic. Some restrict e-commerce; others offer extensive support for online retailing.

Prices range across the board as well. Sign-up fees range from nothing to more than $100, and monthly charges vary from under $10 to $130 and more.

How to sort through the maze? Find help at the Ultimate Host (http://hostlist.InternetList.com) and FindaHost.com. Both offer extensive listings and are a huge help in sorting through the options to find the host that precisely meets your needs.

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This article was originally published in the September 1999 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Site Unseen.

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