Finding a Web Host
Finding a good Web host can be a bit like choosing a long-distance telephone provider. It's difficult to compare different offers. One Web host offers unlimited bandwidth at a flat rate but doesn't support certain types of programming language (such as Common Gateway Interface, also known as CGI), and another offers a fee that rises along with your bandwidth usage but supports several programming languages. Before you know which Web host is right for you, you must have some idea about how your site is going to operate, which makes it incredibly difficult for the first-timer. Remember, though, as with a long-distance provider, if you find that your current host is insufficient for your needs, you can switch to another with relative ease.
Most Web hosts will insist that you get a registered domain name. Your domain name is your address on the Internet —
The first variable to consider is bandwidth. Does the Web host offer sufficient bandwidth for the traffic your Webcomic generates? If you're launching a new title and don't have a clue about the traffic it will produce, aim for around 5 gigabytes per month.
Some Web hosts offer a low price in exchange for the right to advertise on your site. This usually takes the form of banner ads, but can often include annoying popup ads. There's nothing wrong with advertising on your site — it helps to pay the bills — but many Webcartoonists would rather have greater control over their ads. Besides, if you are personally in charge of the advertising that runs on your site, then you can use that income to help pay your hosting fees — keeping the surplus if any exists.
Some Web hosts require owners of Web sites to sign a contract that obligates the owners to a one-or two-year commitment. You don't want to wait several years to switch if your Web host is insufficient for your needs. At the very least, look for a host that offers a money-back guarantee for a limited time so you can get out if the host doesn't live up to your expectations.
This is another factor that is difficult to estimate if you're just starting out. Disk space is the amount of computer memory it takes to store everything necessary to present your Web site. About 100 MB of disk space should be more than enough for a fledgling Webcomic. Before you sign, though, make sure you have the ability to get more — even if you have to pay a small fee — for extra space if you need it.
Monthly Data Transfer
Some Web hosts limit the amount of data you can upload per month. This really should not have a significant impact on your Webcomic. Try to get at least 1 gigabyte (1GB) of monthly transfer allowance.
Terms of Service
Finally, be sure to read the Web host's terms of service (TOS) document very closely. It's written in legal language, so take your time and study it carefully. Sometimes Web hosts will try to sneak language into the TOS that could cause trouble later. For example, don't sign with a Web host that claims ownership of the hosted content. Also, pay particular attention to sections regarding your privacy.
How do I know which host is best for me?
Web Hosting Choice (