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Costs Involved Getting A Web Site

Hosting / Maintenance

When someone is talking about your monthly maintenance or hosting fees, translate that to mean rent. In dealing with Real Estate, whether you do your business in an office, a building, or a shopping mall, there will always be rent. And of course, this figure will vary considerably - according to the amount of space you're renting, where you're renting it, and who you're renting from. The same is true in Cyber Space. The only thing different is the term used to describe the fee. Maintenance = Hosting = Rent.

Now, as to what "Hosting" really is...  it really is rent! You see, a web site is actually nothing more than a group of files. But in order for people using the Internet to see those files, they have to be stored on a special kind of computer that is very powerful, and extremely expensive, and is connected to the Internet in a very specific way. This special computer is called a "Server"...  because that's what it was designed to do - serve up web sites. And generally speaking, the more expensive it is, the faster it serves them. When you pay a monthly maintenance charge, you are actually paying rent for the space your files take up on the Serving Computer.

There is a little more involved than that... in all actuality, you can turn your home computer into a Server. BUT it will not serve up your web site anywhere near as fast a professional hosting company. Why? Well, one reason is that your computer was not designed as a Server. But even more important than that... it is the way in which you are connected to the Internet! You are probably connected to the Internet by a modem of some kind... telephone modem, cable modem, or DSL modem or some other kind of modem. And these modems work very slow compared to the connections that good hosting companies have.

A reliable hosting company will probably advertise their connection(s) because they are very proud of it. There is a local company that advertises nationally... "We have a double redundant T3 connection." What this means is they have a T3 connection... it is a redundant connection - so it's repeated... and it's doubly redundant so depending upon how you interpret that twist of the language, it means in actuality they may have either 3 or 4 T3's as their connection.

Please see the Web Host Guide for a detailed explanation of Hosting. 

Some hosting companies host many more sites than their connections can handle. That means that bottlenecks will be common - and nobody, especially internet users, don't like being caught in a traffic jam. On the Internet, getting out of a traffic jam is just a simple click away. So keep in mind that the company that advertises web hosting for next to nothing... well, that's exactly what it's worth - next to nothing.

Set Up

There is usually a set up charge involved when you first establish a web presence. In most cases, this can be thought of as a processing fee... or the one time charge that your utility company assesses to turn on your utilities. This covers the cost of configuring your group of files on the Server Computer properly. It is common to expect a set up charge of $50 to $100 for a web site or domain. 

The one case in which "set up" may mean something else, is if you are buying a template... or (mostly) pre-designed... or pre-manufactured  "cookie cutter" web site.

For Instance: In the Real Estate business, each Real Estate Agent has pretty much the same needs to present the same type of information. As a matter of fact, usually the only information that changes from one Real Estate site to another is the the agent's personal information and their personal property listings. This enables a web designer to set up a number of templates... or pre-designed sites - which can be much less expensive than having a site custom designed from scratch. In this case, the "one time set-up fee" usually includes the "processing" fee described above, the cost for designing the site, and the cost for personalizing the site to the individual Real Estate Agent. Usually there are other "perks" involved in a situation like this also, so the set-up fee can vary greatly. 

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