1. A stake in the ground – hosting your photography website: 1 & 1
Special offer: get up to a year of free hosting. Service costs $10.- a month
I have been using 1&1 internet hosting since June 2003. To be honest I signed up with them after I saw an ad in Wired magazine: 3 years free hosting. They’ve turned out to be an awesome company to be doing business with. The $10.- package includes 150 GB of webspace, unlimited monthly transfer volume, 2 included Domain names along with 100 subdomains and 1,200 2GB email accounts. That will last you for a while. They have terrific phone support with knowledgable people and short hold times.
My commercial photography website and this photography / technology blog are hosted through my 1and1 hosting package as are my email accounts. The design of the website is created with SiteGrinder to mimic the design of the PhotoShelter portion of my website. So when you go to my home page and see the options below – there are actually 3 different websites in one: search, lightbox, cart and client area are hosted by PhotoShelter along with all the functionality that they bring to my users experience, blog is hosted one 1&1, but is this blog that you are currently reading and the home page, about, contact and a few other pages are hosted on 1&1 and not the PhotoShelter predesign, since I wanted them to be able to do more that what PhotoShelter offered: the scroll on my home page is one example, the integration with SalesForce on my contact page is another.
The individual parts that make up my website are designed in a way that the user does not feel like he is visiting different sites (with the exception of my blog). My site is due for a redesign I want to move a few more pages away from PhotoShelter and onto 1&1 to be able to control content a little better.
Why don’t you let us know which internet hosting company you use and why you think they’re great – 1&1 is flexible, reliable and has great customer service (and pricing).