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How Creating an Online Business Works

Web Design and Web Hosting Firms

So maybe after reading all of this you've decided your best bet is to hire a professional. Prices vary, and will increase if your site is complex. Remember that while you'll save a lot of time hiring someone to do this for you, you'll still have plenty of work to do. You'll need to provide the person or company with text, images of your products and design ideas. And you'll have to proofread and test the site. Still, it's a lot less work than doing everything yourself.

Your relationship with your website host is an important one. You depend on them, and they depend on you -- and that can be good or bad. Poor customer service and support when problems arise (which they probably will at some point) can cost you a lot of money in lost sales and bad first impressions for the visitors arriving at your site while the problem persists. So make sure you get all of the facts about a host before you move forward.

A Web hosting firm leases space for your Web files on its server, which has a direct connection to the Internet. You can either choose a virtual Web host that allows you to use your own domain name, or a nonvirtual web host that will give you a subdomain name that uses its primary domain name. For example, using a virtual Web host, your address might be, while using a non-virtual web host, your Web address could be There are some non-virtual web hosts, however, that will let you use your own primary domain name, so be sure to ask.

The good thing about non-virtual Web hosting is that it is usually free. But its tools and capabilities are usually limited, which is why most businesses look for a virtual Web host. The most affordable virtual Web hosting is through a shared package, which means your host has a single server serving multiple websites, not just yours. Look for Web hosts offering 24/7 customer support and easy options for expanding your site if and when you grow [source: Rashid and Wilson].