Webhosting Musts for
Musicians & Bands
by Adrian Fusiarski
(Cape Coral, FL, USA)
A few tips that may help you in your quest to find a reliable, affordable webhost.
Take any hosting recommendations you get with a pinch of salt before you get a chance to check their claims out at any of the webhosting forums. The biggest and best is Webhosting Talk.
Personally I can recommend Hostgator. They have great support, are reliable and have 100s of features including major storage capacity, bandwidth and online management using CPanel.
One very important feature that is a MUST with any webhost is support. You need to be able to get hold of then during a crisis. No excuses. The more support options they offer (chat, IM, email, phone, forums) the better. I would AVOID any host that only offers email support. Most good hosts these days have user forums which keeps up a level of transparency.
You can see what CPanel does in an online demo here:
CPanel has the advantage of coming bundled with (usually) Fantastico, the script auto installer. There's a list of what software is included here:
Fantastico basically is a killer feature giving you the ability to install things like Wordpress, Drupal and Joomla and stacks of others with a couple of clicks. No need to worry about configuring mySQL database or FTP.
I'd recommend buying your domain from Google too ($10 a year) as they come ready configured hooked up to Google apps (which includes your own branded GMail accounts).
I highly recommend too, Wordpress as its infinitely customizable with 100s of free templates and plug-ins.
For an example of what you can do with Wordpress (with the only cost being time and hosting) check out my blog at http://www.buzzsonic.com (see below).
So the DIY option I'd recommend simply because its NOT that daunting, its very cost effective, you'll keep your own data and you'll learn some new, very useful skills!