Whilst your entry on Facebook, Twitter and all the other social networking sites might be essential, having your own website is the mark of a true geek. That way, you can point all your social contacts back to your site so they can get the full lowdown of what you're all about.
Wanting a site is one thing, actually getting it is something else altogether. You've got to design it, develop it, find somewhere to put it and, above all else, pay for it.
Lunarpages might be the answer because it's a well-established web hosting business, which has been operating since 2000, with a good reputation and a range of services to meet most needs. Its parent company is Add2Net, which is based in Anaheim, California and runs a number of web-related brands.
There are data centres in San Diego and Riverside in California, Las Vegas in Nevada, plus a call centre in Anaheim. Although it's obviously US-based, the internet has no geographical boundaries and the company does have 160,000 customers and 100 staff located around the world.
They state the main emphasis is on service and reliability, with all technical support provided in-house. The company is reputed to be the world leader in website hosting and has won several awards for its efforts. These include being named Best Dedicated Host by HostCritique.com, Best Web Host 2006 by Top-8-Web-Hosting.com and receiving Web Host Magazine's highest level of recommendation.
Web packages are available for small, medium and large businesses as well as for individuals to run personal websites. This means you can set up your site with all the facilities you need but without having to pay for capacity you won't use. At the lower end, you can take on a package that has an included domain name and one email account, with enough storage for your needs. Packages then go right up to those with unlimited bandwidth and storage space, email forwarding, auto-responders and various other bells and whistles.
All versions come with spam protection and 24/7 support and there are usually a few incentives thrown in, such as Google AdWords credits, Facebook Ads credits and some online backup. Rates vary but the general rule seems to be that, the longer the contract, the lower the monthly fee which is standard across most webhosting companies.
If designing and developing your website is a daunting prospect, there are some web design packages available. These generally cover static, database driven and e-commerce websites, with each allowing custom design, style sheet, stock photos, one year's basic hosting and a domain name.
As expected, www.lunarpages.com is the main Lunarpage site and they also own common variants such as www.lunarpages.co.uk -- but keep an eye out as some website domain addresses, such as www.lunar-pages.com, are owned by other companies advertising similar services.
Support comes in a variety of forms, with online FAQs, video tutorials and a free phone number for UK, USA and Canadian customers. There are also forums, a wiki, a blog and a newsletter for additional information. At the last count, the company had over 2,500 servers and was adding five more each month to meet demand, so the business is still growing.
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