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Blog Hosting - Do's And Don'ts
Every webmaster knows that hosting is just one of the services which can't be avoided (just like taxes). Anyone who wishes to publish content whether it is for business or personal reasons has to place it within a special computer called a "Server". These special type of computers are designed to be always on and provide always-accessible content.
A hosting service can be free or paid. Paid hosting has several subdivisions according the the user's storage and bandwidth needs. Free hosting is most of the time not recommended, specially for content management systems such as blogs.
Many free hosting providers do not provide necessary tools needed for a blog to function properly.
Blog users will need hosting tools such as: at least one MySQL database to store all the dynamic content, posts, etc. There are several MySQL database versions but the most commonly used are 4.0 and 5.0. Luckily enough, installing a blog is quite easy and doesn't require extensive technical knowledge of MySQL database management, some blogging platforms offer a 2-3 step installation process and others can be hosted within the CMS provider's machines under a sub-domain, Such is the case of Google's Blogger and Wordpress.
Depending on the type of Blog, users will need to tweak the settings a little bit to optimize the content, design and accessibility so FTP access or a web based management system is needed. Modifications to the blogging platform include design (CSS, images), format, publicly available areas, admin areas as well as restricted and member only areas through the use of CHMOD or permission settings as well as robot files ( robots.txt)
On top of all of the "free host" disadvantages users often find that advertisements which are not always suited to the site's topic, are placed in critical areas for visitors to see. This is a major disadvantage for business owners as well as individual bloggers, that is why it is always recommended to use paid hosts. These type of hosting service is very cheap and the most popular type of account is called "virtual or shared", meaning that one server will store several web sites in its hard drive, which is not a bad thing since the site will be indexed and ranked by Google the same way sites located in dedicated servers are. Businesses often need to upgrade from virtual accounts to dedicated accounts according to the amount of content being stored dynamically (managed through the blogging platform) and the site's popularity or bandwidth usage.
The best way to find good hosts which offer all the tools needed for a blog to function properly, is by taking a good look at the features offered such as: databases, management system, email accounts, storage and bandwidth allowance as well as "one click" script installation system.
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