Having an online presence need not be expensive

If you are a small company or maybe someone who just wants to put up a blog, you don’t have to think that having an online presence is expensive.

dotcom

I admit that I was not to keen on spending for my own domain and hosting before. Heck I don’t even want to spend for any services on the internet. But after realizing that I really enjoy writing online and that it could earn me some spare cash, I did some research on how much it would cost to set up an online presence (which I eventually did).

Here’s what I learned that you might find helpful.

DOMAIN NAME

Having your own domain name (like www.calvinshub.ca) is the most important thing. It’s your brand and you don’t want it associated with the free hosting sites (yoursite.wordpress.com or mysite.blogspot.com).

Try to come up with a catchy name. Not too long and not that hard to pronounce and attach it to a .com or a .net which are the most popular domains. Then check if it’s still available by going to whois.com.

godaddy GoDaddy is highly recommended to register your domain name. They have been in the business since 1999 and considered as the world’s No. 1 domain name registrar. Can’t go wrong with them.

Their .com and .net are only $9.99 (Php460) per year.

Before you go with your purchase, always search the net for coupon codes to save a few bucks. I was able to shave off $3 per year for my domain with a coupon code.

WEB HOSTING

Now you have your own domain name it’s time to find a suitable place for your site.

Blog Hosting

If you are into blogging and don’t want the hassle of setting up and installing blogs, there are free blogging sites out there that can host your blog for you and will point it to your custom domain.

WordPress and Blogger comes to mind but you have to pay $10 to have WordPress use your own domain (free for Blogger). If you want help on which one to choose, you might want to read this.

Free Site Hosting

Now if you don’t want to use any blogs and just want to upload your own web site, there are some free hosting sites out there. Perfect for sites not expecting thousands of daily visitors and doesn’t require a lot of disk space (although you can easily upgrade if the need arises).

These free hosting sites can also accept your custom domain for free. You can host your forum, blog, photo album or just a plain HTML website but you need to be tech savvy to set up your site.

Problem with free hosting is that access to their servers are often slow and they offer only limited support. So you might want to try them out first.

awardspaceDecent free hosting sites out there that have no strings attached are AwardSpace and Free Hostia.

Paid Hosting

Paid hosting can be cheap or expensive but for a small site or a new site, it shouldn’t be that expensive. You just have to know where to look.

My blogger friend Dex recommended the 1Dollar WebHosting where his site is hosted. Its Personal Plan which is enough to start you up is only $0.50 per month or $6 (Php276) per year.

I’m wary about really cheap hosting sites and I wasn’t able to find any review for it from 3rd party sites so I decided to pass. Feel free to check out Dex’s site to see if it loads fast enough for you.

aso What I settled for is a hosting site called A Small Orange. Cute name. I found favorable reviews for them from different sites and they’ve been around for quite awhile so that’s good enough for me. Its most basic plan (called Tiny) goes for $25 per year but I found a coupon code that brought the price down to $20 (Php920) per year.

All I can say is that I’m happy with A Small Orange. Access speed to my account and to my site is really fast!

HOW MUCH FOR AN ONLINE PRESENCE PER YEAR?

Let’s see… $7 for the domain and $20 for the paid hosting. That’s only $27 (Php1242) per year or $2.25 per month!!

RETURN OF INVESTMENT

earnmoneyIf you think that’s too much, remember what I said about earning spare cash? It’s easy to earn money from your blog once you’re established. There are numerous ways to earn money online with a web site or a blog that I already tested but that’s for a different post.

Just to give you an idea though, there are sites out there that give their members opportunities to write for an advertiser. They will pay you a minimum of $5 for each post so doing only 1 of their post will cover your payment for 2 months.

Sometimes, advertisers would contact me personally to write for them (guess which of my posts are paid) and they are willing to pay $20 to $30 per post.

So don’t think that having your own online presence is expensive. It’s not and you should check now if the name you’ve come up with is still available.

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8 Responses

  1. katrina says:

    i tried smorty but i don’t have enough blog history for them to give me projects…:(

    calvin: yeah, usually they require blogs to be at least 3 months old.

  2. aLiNe says:

    Hmmm… interesting :D

    calvin: uu, isip ka na ng domain. mahaba yung memoirsofaline.com. hehehe.

  3. dyosa says:

    Apir tayo! I also got my domains from GoDaddy.com but my blogging service is from Typepad. I pay USD8.99 a month for it. :-)

  4. Calvin says:

    $9?? yaman naman. hehehe. pero sulit din naman sa Typepad eh.

  5. dyosa says:

    Maganda naman ang Typepad so sulit na rin. Mas madaling gamitin yung interface sa account manager nya and madaling mag-migrate ng stuff. I used LiveJournal kasi.

  6. Dex says:

    Ngek. na mention pala ako dito hehehe. thanks. so far ok naman itong host ko.

  7. jeff says:

    thanks for this post, Calv. very informative. =D

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