One of the important topics you'll come across as you get started working at home as a business is creating a website and getting some good web hosting to show it off to the world.
One of the first things you should really consider when deciding upon a work at home business is whether you are going to set up a professionally hosted website and blog(s) or start by going only with free hosted blogs.
Going the free route is the safest by far, as it gives you a taste of what is to come and you can cut your teeth and make all your mistakes with a free blog or three and not do too much damage.
Disadvantages of Free Blogs
The downside to this approach when you are serious about your home workig project is that you'll waste a lot of time if you subsequently decide to move up to a professionally hosted blog and a website or two. By wasting time, I mean that you'll go through all the hard work of setting up your blog, or blogs on your chosen free host (most choose Blogger as it allows you to place ads on your blogs where other's may not).
You'll create a name for your blogs and do a lot of writing and maybe some design work to make them look aesthetically pleasing and more original.
As time passes, you'll populate them with a lot of content and start to acquire links from other sites. After a few months, assuming you are still going strong, Google may reward your hard work by awarding your blog(s) with some Page Rank(PR).
So far so good. Then you decide you want the flexibility of hosting your own website and blogs. Guess what? You'll have to start at the bottom again.
Losing Free Site Attributes
You can't transfer your blog's domain name to your new professional host, so you have to buy your own. That means you can't transfer your Page Rank to your new website or blogs. Neither can you easily transfer the links you've acquired to your free blogs, especially if they come from other blogs and website owners that have linked to your because they like your blog and its content, not because you have gone looking for them yourself.
So that is time and effort wasted. I know, I did exactly that for the first couple of months before I was set straight by another more experienced online home worker.
So if you're serious, start as you mean to go on and get some professional hosting from the off. You can still create some free blogs as well as they come in useful in the wider scope of the working online from your own home arena.
So who do you turn to for professional webhosting?
Well, an established and highly recommended hosting company and the one that this blog is hosted on is HostGator. For the absolute ton of features that come with the hosting package the cost is minimal.
For your working at home online business, you'll probably want to create more than one website and/or blog. This is normal and extends the scope of your business. With HostGator, for the one hosting package and single monthly payment you can host as many websites and blogs as you can shake a stick at! That's more than you'll probably ever have time and patience to create, let alone find domain names for.
You can easily create a brace of Wordpress blogs using the easy Fantastico feature from their control panel (cPanel) or static sites just like this one by learning to code them yourself.
Don't get confused between your own self-hosted Wordpress blog and the free hosted variety. While you have access to the same templates (and there are plenty of them) you are not restricted by the tight rules they place on their free bloggers, like not being able to place affiliate links or ad banners anywhere on your blog. When you are self-hosted you can put what you like on your blog!
Another important feature of having your own hosted site/blog is that your hosting company will make sure your service stays up. HostGator guarantees 99.9% uptime, whereas free blog hosts couldn't possibly match that level of guarantee. In fact they have the power to take the service down whenever it pleases them, not when it pleases you!
With your own hosted blog, you can add as much content as you are able, including graphics, large MP3 file even video if you want to. Your disk limit is huge. My own hosting package with HostGator gives me 1,000gb of disk space (that's one terrabyte!) and I'd struggle to fill that up!
Another consideration is bandwidth. When you use all your up with a free host, they're not likely to give you any more. So if you fall short then you are shut down for the rest of the month often without warning. I get 1,000gb of bandwidth per month for my up- and down-loads as well as traffic, which again I would find almost impossible to use up (unless I got real lucky)!
In fact if I did start to get close to using that level of bandwidth, for one I could congratulate myself on having some very successful sites and for another, I could simply contact HostGator and upgrade my hosting to cover the extra.
Are you starting to like the idea of using this webhost like I am?
Lastly, as I've already mentioned, my own hosting package allows me to add as many domains as I want (or can afford to buy). The number is in fact unlimited domains and subdomains. Combine that with unlimited MySQL databases and I can create as many Wordpress blogs as I want as well, although I am probably limited by the amount of time I have to write in them all!
So that's my take on self hosting over free hosting.
As I said, don't completely discount free blogs as they do have their uses and one of them is to generate links to your main websites and blogs to help with page rank and also generate some more traffic, without which your work at home business will not survive anyway.
But that's for another article.