Several sites will host Web sites for free to display ads

August 17, 1998|By Jim Coates | Jim Coates,CHICAGO TRIBUNE

I'm Web-connected via the Microsoft Network. Lately I've been toying with the idea of creating a personal/family Web page. I understand that I will need space on a server to store the page. I checked MSN and it appears that even though I pay $20 a month they don't offer that. What do I need to do, dump MSN and sign up with an ISP that will provide me with Web page space?

Also, I understand that the new IE 4.0 has an application for making simple Web pages. Would that be good enough or would you suggest something like MS FrontPage?

There is a wide variety of Web sites that will allow users to set up free personal Web pages as part of an advertising-supported scheme. The three most widely used of these free Web host sites are www.tripod.com, www.geocities. com and www.angelfire.com.

Typically you register and are given about 5 megabytes of space on the sponsor's server computers to store your Web content for access by all who use the Internet. You then use software like the slick Front Page Express built in to Windows 98 and Internet Explorer 4.0 to produce pages with graphics and hot links to other Web resources. You upload your pages, pictures, etc. to the server and wait for visitors to modem on by.

In my humble opinion these ad-based services are adequate for most of us who might want to flirt with a personal Web site, but if you're even remotely serious about hosting personal Web content you should get a dedicated Internet Service Provider or switch to America Online, which offers a very nice Web hosting service for its members who pay the same $20 you're sending off to Seattle for far lesser service in the Web-hosting department.

I just acquired a new computer that came with Win98 installed, and I was very disappointed to find out that it is not compatible with AOL 4.0 due to having different versions of Explorer 4.0. Is there any way around this?

You can go two ways to fix this really unfair situation - send the machine back to the manufacturer and demand a fixed one or buy a commercial copy of the Windows 98 upgrade, which includes the latest version of the Internet Explorer Web browser configured to be compatible with AOL 4.0.

Pub Date: 8/17/98

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