Consumers have been worrying about money since the dawn of time. This is why we clip coupons, watch for things to go on sale, and use websites like MyDealBoard.com. Internet Service Providers (ISPs) know this and as a result, they started to bundle services like Internet, cable TV and telephone service. In the last few years, most major ISPs have also jumped on the web hosting bandwagon. Should you host your website with your ISP? Before making the jump, here are a few questions you should ask.
Do you want a domain name?
Your ISP will be happy to host a generic, one-size-fits-all website for you at no cost. Almost every ISP in the world offers a free, non-domain based web hosting plan. If you choose this type of hosting, you’ll be given a very small amount of space and bandwidth and a URL for your website like MyISP.com/user/myusername. If you only need a bit of space to call your own to share family photos or blog, this might be a perfect fit. If you’re looking to earn money from your website though, don’t count on free hosting. Nearly all ISPs forbid advertising on free accounts and disallow eStores or the selling of merchandise.
Do you need to upgrade your account?
It sure is convenient to pay for your phone, Internet and cable television all at once by bundling services, but it’s not necessarily cheaper. The same is true when it comes to web hosting with your ISP. Many large Internet Service Providers require that web hosting clients upgrade their accounts to business class in order to sign up for a web hosting package. That means you’ll be required to upgrade your Internet connection and possibly your phone service, which can come with serious sticker shock. If your plan is to host an eCommerce website that will be making money monthly, this upgrade may pay for itself. If you’re just starting a hobby site however, the move up to business class hosting will be significantly more expensive than going with a traditional web hosting company.
What are your actual requirements?
How much space and bandwidth do you need? Do you want to install Wordpress or other software to manage your website? Do you prefer a control panel or do you want FTP access? You need to ask yourself all of these questions (and more) so that you can be certain that your ISP can fulfill all of your needs. Some Internet Service Providers don’t allow certain types of software (like Joomla or Wordpress) and some do. Certain ISPs state that you must register your domain name through their company and others will let you choose your own domain registrar. Know your needs so that you can be certain you’ll be getting the best value for your dollar.
Should you host with your Internet Service Provider?