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Web Presence Comparison

There is a growing number of individuals, businesses and organizations that have their own real websites.  There are literally hundreds of successful websites every bit as professional looking as the best websites designed by corporate America.  The investment put into a website will probably provide a better return than the expense of more traditional print media marketing techniques.  For any individual, business, or organization that has had their own "real" website for more than a couple months it should be obvious that putting money into a "real" website is a very good investment.  Anybody that has their own website surely knows that the expense of having a website is more cost effective than many (if not most) of the "quasi-website" options being presented to less web-savvy individuals, businesses and organizations regardless of whether or not they are new to the Internet.

The comparison presented here is between four (4) different ways an individual, business or organization might establish their web presence.  These four (4) methods of establishing a web presence are as follows:
Type of Presence General Summary
Virtual Domain Paid Website Your own domain name plus a paid webhosting service for the website.
Virtual Domain Free Website Your own website with your own domain name hosted at a service providing free webspace.
Free Website
A subdomain website with a webhosting service providing free webspace.
Webpage Advertisement A single webpage displayed on someone else's website for a fee.
"Snake Oil" webhosting service* A webhosting service that charges extraordinary prices for very ordinary services.

In each of the selected web presence choices it is assumed that the individual, business, or organization elected to secure the services of a web designer for the initial web presence content.  In the case of the webpage advertisement option the design of the web content is usually bundled into the advertising fee.   It is also assumed that the web content for each of the three (3) multipage web presence options was created using Microsoft FrontPage, which many organizations select for their own websites because it is a web design tool that is both quite easy to learn and quite well suited to the task of website design and management.  Finally, it is assumed that each multipage website will contain separate sections as follows:

1) Main Menu;     
2) About;
3) FAQ;
4) Products/Services;
5) Links;

To save on display space in presenting the comparison each web presence type will be identified using a single letter as follows:

Type of Presence Identifier
Virtual Domain
Paid Website
Virtual Domain
Free Website
Free Website
Webpage Advertisement D
"Snake Oil"
Webhosting Service*

Now here is the comparison table showing the various features and costs for each of the web presence types:

Feature A B C D E
Domain Name
Check Check No No Perhaps
Domain Name
Registration Cost
(2 years)
(2 years)
N/A N/A US$99.95
(2 years)
Unique URL Check Check Check Perhaps Check
Total Webspace
or less
8 webpages
w/set format
Annual Cost
of Webspace
Initial Setup Charge US$25.00
POP3 Email Check Perhaps Perhaps No Perhaps
Email Forwarding Check No No No No
Custom Graphics Check Check Check No Check
Web Host
N/A Check Check Check No
Check Check Check No No
Easy To Add
Custom Links
Check Check Check No No
Easy To Modify Check Check Check No ?
Expandable Check Perhaps Perhaps No No
Additional Income
Check Check Check No Perhaps

As you can see, the monthly cost of a single advertising webpage can be only slightly less expensive than even your own virtual domain paid website. True, you will need to spend some time maintaining your website, but then that time may be time you would spend less productively on some other Internet related activity.   The important thing is that with your own website you can always point potential clients to the website location knowing that the content not only belongs to you but also can be totally controlled by you. With your own website you are able to join many different Affiliate Programs that will afford extra revenue from your web presence.

* -- Such services really exist.  URL not provided to protect your wallet!



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