Costs here range from nothing, to around £250 per year depending on the quality and range of services you will need.
We do not undertake these services directly, but can easily arrange them for you as part of a package, or we will research the options and advise you who is the best for your needs.
An Internet Service Provider (ISP) will supply the software or settings for you to access the Internet yourself if you have your own computer. They also offer free or low cost webspace and email facilities.
Web hosts don't provide a dial-up connection but specialise in making your website available to the world with a high quality and fast internet connection. They cost more than ISP's.
Internet Service Providers
Recently, a number of "free" ISP services have become available. These are often paid for by either a fairly high minute by minute charge for technical support via the phone, or by the provider receiving a discount from the telephone company in respect of volume usage of the phone lines for internet access.
Free or low cost is the main advantage, but compromised speed of access to your website, and (usually) the lack of ability to use your own domain name are the main downsides.
Some people use these free services in conjunction with a web and email forwarding service to provide a low cost website of their own.
We offer this low cost route through our Local Domain scheme. It is suitable for smaller businesses or individuals, and ideal where the speed and reliability of access to your website is an important consideration, but not mission critical. If you commission a website from us, you may have the use of a Local Domain name within the overall cost of the project. If you want to use one without having us design your website, the cost is currently £12 per year.
There are several "intermediate" grade ISP's who make a small charge for their service and offer a slightly better quality than the free providers. Costs here range from around £90 to £150 per year for webspace suitable for a small to medium sized site. Here again, our Local Domain scheme may be used if you are unable to have your own domain name.
Web Hosting Services
Web hosting is suitable for larger websites, or those needing a more reliable and speedy response from their website. A reliable commercial webhost is also essential where you want commercial facilities like online response forms, e-commerce, auto-responders, database facilities, emailing lists and so on.
They also come with facilities to use your own domain name, and often in packages that include the cost of registering it as part of the deal. Lower cost commercial hosting options offer email forwarding (that is, anything addressed to your domain name is forwarded to your existing email address), whilst the standard options provide a range of email addresses as well.
Some limit the amount of "traffic" to your website, and there are many combinations of options to consider when choosing the right host for you. Typically prices range from around £120 per year to £250 per year, with additional costs for e-commerce, database connectivity and so on.
There are hundreds of Internet providers and web hosts to select from, with each offering a slightly different service. Cost is not the only, or our view, the main thing to consider. The more important issues are: reliability; the size (traffic handling capacity) of their permanent net connection, and the number of users per modem they allow if they offer dialup facilities.
All these factors affect the speed with which your site can be received by the user, which in turn strongly influences user perception of your site.
We are happy to help you choose the ISP most appropriate for your needs.