ISP hosting is usually the first thing that people consider when putting up a Web site, probably because most ISPs give you space for a small Web site as part of their monthly service charge.  So, hey, if you’re paying for it, you might as well use it, right?

The “free” ISP-hosted Web site has one primary drawback: its URL or address.  The address for your Web site will usually contain the ISPs name, followed by your username, maybe followed by a directory name, and then maybe ending with “index.htm”

As an example, here is the home page address at one of my previous ISP-hosted sites:

Really says “This is Tim Higgins’ Web site!” doesn’t it?   Besides the fact that people know right away where your “home” is, this ISP-tied address is a big liability when you change ISPs.  This article describes why registering your own domain name is a very good thing to do, and I recommend it for anyone who is serious about establishing a professional web presence.

If you don’t want to register a domain name, you can still get a better address than one based on your ISP’s domain by using a dynamic DNS service.

“But wait!” you say. “My ISP will host my site with my own domain name!”  Yes, they will… for a price, and those prices vary widely, so shop around and compare features!

If you’d like to see the feature checklist that I used, go to this page.