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Self-hosted Site Builders vs. Web Hosting Accounts

As your Web business grows, you'll eventually reach a point at which it makes sense to switch from a self-hosted site builder like Do It Myself Website in favor of a traditional hosted Web site. To determine whether you've reached this point, you need to understand the differences between these Web site options.

Quick and easy.

Self-hosted site builders typically offer the fastest, easiest route to a Web site. They usually don't require any technical knowledge to build (you choose a pre-designed template and add your text or images), and they can be ready to launch within 24 hours. Self-hosted site builders also represent the least expensive Web site options, partly because they eliminate the need to separately pay a Web hosting provider. But these sites can be inflexible, too, allowing a limited number of Web pages, offering a narrow selection of templates and preventing you from uploading your own pages. Most can't accommodate the use of complex scripts either.

Scalable and flexible.

True Web hosting allows you to build your own Web site, upload pages with sophisticated functionality, and modify your site in almost limitless ways. Although most hosting packages offer site-building software, users more frequently build their own sites with MS FrontPage® or similar software. A hosting account apportions space on a server (or exclusive use of a dedicated server for major sites) and includes a set amount of data transfer traffic from your computer to the host's server, so you can upload entire pages, images, multimedia files, or change existing pages. You can easily integrate eCommerce software into your site (some hosting companies even provide it with your account). But this flexibility doesn't come cheap. Expect to pay a monthly fee of $10-$50, depending on your needs.

Your threshold.

If you're just starting out and you can make due with a limited number of pages and fixed templates, and if you aren't ready to build a store or accept credit cards, consider saving money by using a self-hosting site builder like Do It Myself Website but as you need a much bigger site and more unique page design, you'll soon find that only a Web hosting account can accommodate your needs.

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