Making Cash On The Web is a serious attempt to compile useful information about making money on the internet. It is a combination of things that I have learned myself, as well as information culled from other sources. It is NOT about get rich quick schemes, or wierd marketing programs. I am not going to sell you anything.
On the surface, it seems simple. You need a company to rent you space on their servers so that you can upload your website files.
But there are literally millions of web hosting services out there. And there are probably billions of different hosting plans.
To get started, you don’t need a particularly complex or expensive plan. But you probably are going to need a plan that provides some flexibility, and if you are relatively new to this, one that has good support services.
This means that the cheapest hosting isn’t always the best.
The two most obvious issues are disk (server) space and bandwidth.
Disk space is the amount of space allocated to you on the rented server. This is the limit to the number of files that you can store there.
Bandwidth is the amount of data that users can request in a given period of time, usually a month—although some very cheap hosts have daily limits. This is the equivalent of “minutes” on a cell phone or long distance deal. Once your readers have used up your bandwidth, your site either is shut down, or you end up paying a premium.
So how much space are you going to need?
I’d say that—assuming that you’re serious, and given room for growth— 500 - 1,000 megabytes is a good starting point. You don’t want to outgrow your space too soon. I found that, after creating my initial site, I found plenty of new features that I wanted to add. And each of those additional features demanded more server space. I soon ran out of space on my cheap host. Then I had to move my site. And that was a real pain.
Bandwidth is a more complicated issue, and depends upon a plethora of variables. The general formula is
size of webpage x number of visitors x days in a month
Of course, you won’t know the sizes of your pages until you have the site up and running, and the number of visitors will constantly be growing ... so this doesn’t tell you much.
For a basic website, it’s likely that 25 gigabytes will be more than enough. And this seems to be the starting point for many web hosts these days. But make sure that your host will allow you to upgrade your plan if you need more.
There also are a number of other features that you should consider. Read on about other features you should consider.
If you’re experienced at creating a web site, you probably won’t need a lot of support. Web-based control panel interfaces make managing accounts easy.
But if you’re reading this page, it’s likely that you don’t have a lot of experience.
When I first began creating websites for fun and profit, I spent a lot of time on the phone with technical support: what is this? how do I do that?
I am sure that they lost money on me.
If you’re at all unsure about this, I’d suggest that you look for a web host with live, toll-free 24/7 telephone support.
Many of the cheaper hosts offer live support during business hours; or only through email. Neither of these are ideal. Since you’re managing your site as a part time job, you’ll be doing most of your work after your working day, and on weekends. And that’s when you’ll need technical support.
You also need to worry about the level of service. Does the host guarantee 99% uptime? Is there a period of time when you can get out of your contract if you’re not satisfied? Does the host actually own the server space that you are renting, or are they a reseller who is, in turn, renting space on some else’s servers (this is bad).
Read the information on the web hosts’ sites carefully. Email them with questions and see how long they take to respond. This should tell you something, too.
Prices and features on web hosts change constantly, so it’s hard to name a “best” plan.
Any of the ones below are good choices. As of the current writing, they offer virtually everything you need: domain name registration, hosting, and 24/7 support. You just need to compare their current prices and features.
However, at this time, there is one that offers an additional feature that’s tailor made for the beginner: HostRocket.Com
HostRocket offers all that the others do, PLUS they will install a large number of web-hosting programs for you, including the software that I recommend you start with: WordPress.
You may be tempted to go with a free webhost, or with a site that offers you a free “blogging” account. Don’t. These are designed to generate cash for the host, not for you. If you’re going to make money, you’ve got to have total control over your site and content.
Your domain name is your identity on the internet. It serves two purposes: it is the address at which your site is found, and it is the means by which people remember you.
(Technically speaking, a domain name identifies one or more IP addresses. But you don’t really have to know anything about that.)
Given this, choosing and purchasing a domain name clearly is a critical part of making cash on the internet.
There are two general schools of thought on choosing a domain name.
The first says that you should choose a domain name that is “keyword rich.” That is, you should choose a name which is highly descriptive of the site’s content. If you were doing a site on collecting glass mushrooms, your site would be www dot glassmushroomlovers dot com.
The other school says that you should choose a name that is memorable, and brandable. “Yahoo” for example, says nothing about what the site contains, but is memorable. The same goes for “Google” and many others.
Of course, both of these are complicated by the fact that you have to choose a domain that is not already being used by someone else. This is difficult, because there more than 34 million names with the “dot com” extension alone. Domain names are bought and sold like a commodity between owners. There are companies whose entire business is speculating in domain names. Some really serious webmasters will invest thousands to purchase a domain name that they think they can leverage into a cash making machine.
I honestly think that at this time, you have to pick the best you can find. Frankly, all the REALLY good ones already are owned by someone else.
I’d suggest that you start by going to a domain registration service and hosting service like:
On any of these, you will find a box under “register a domain name” that allows you to type in trial names. It will tell you if that name already is taken, or if it is available. They also will suggest some alternatives.
When I was naming this site, I started out with NetCash, then makingmoney , then makingmoneyonthe net ... and so on. Eventually, I found out that makingcashontheweb was open.
Here’s another suggestion. If the topic you are writing about has some slang terms that other afficionados would recognize, try those. For example, golfers easily recognize the words mashie, niblick, and bogey. So those would be good terms for a golf site. They’re already taken, but you get the idea.
Once you’ve found a domain name you like, go on to this post on registering names.
Once you have found an appropriate and available domain name, you need to register it with a domain registrar. These are companies that have been officially licensed to handle this sort of work.
There currently are hundreds of such companies on the net. A few good ones are:
Prices on these things change constantly. It’s a low-margin business, and, I suspect, a loss-leader for some companies. At many of these, after you sign up for the domain name, you are bombarded with offers for other services: search engine submissions, extra email accounts, site statistics tracking and more. This is where they make their money. Ignore them all. You don’t need to pay for these things.
Before you settle on a registrar, though, there’s another thing to consider: It’s a lot easier if you register your domain at the same place where you decide to host your site. Any of those listed above also are a good choice for a web host.
But don’t make a decision yet. Go On To Web Hosting.