How to Transfer Your Web Site to Another Host Without Losing It

You want to change web hosts because you have found a less expensive solution for your web site. You are not happy with the services your host is providing. The response time for technical support is too slow. You make the decision to change web hosts.

Now you are faced with the daunting task of switching web hosts without losing the files and beautiful design of your web site. How do you achieve this? Here are the steps you need to take:

1. Make a complete copy of your web site . Use your favorite FTP utility (I use SmartFTP.com), to download all files to your computer from your web host. Don’t assume you already have all the files on your computer – you may have added some scripts from the Net that are on your server but not on your computer.

If you are using Dreamweaver, use the GET command to copy all your files.

If you are using Frontpage, use the import feature to make a complete copy of the old web site.

2. Choose your new Web Host. Choose a new Web Host that meets the needs of your web site .

3. Transfer your domain name Contact the domain name registrar (place where you registered your domain name) and change the Domain Name Server (DNS) or Name Server information to your new hosts DNS information.

Your site is going to experience a downtime while your DNS record is being changed and propagated through the world’s WHOIS servers. It will take about 24-72 hours for the process to be completed.

Maintain any existing services set up on your old domain name such as email forwarding, web pointing and website hosting until the transfer is complete to ensure continuity of your service.

You can check the progress of your domain name transfer by using a Domain Name Search facility such as Whois.net. You should see the details change from your previous Host to your New Host when the transfer is complete.

4. Upload all files to your new Web Host. When you are sure your domain name has been transferred, upload the files to your new Web Host.

Dreamweaver – define your site first, and then use the PUT command to transfer all your files and html pages. This will ensure that your whole web will remain intact with the transfer.

FrontPage – create a new Web from the site files you have imported from your old host, then publish them to the new host. Make sure your new host has Front Page extensions installed. This process will transfer your complete site to your new Host.

5. Transferring web pages to the New Host. Dreamweaver or FrontPage editors make it very easy to transfer html web pages. They keep most, if not all your web site intact for the transfer (as explained above).

Another way to transfer your web pages is to copy the source code by right clicking on the page as you see it when you visit the site and select ‘view/source’. It will come up on Notepad. Select ‘file/save as’ and save to a place of your choice as an HTML file. To do this, at the bottom of the box just before you save it, it will say ‘.txt’. Change the drop menu to ‘all files’ and then change the ‘.txt’ at the end of the name you’re saving it as to ‘.html’, then save it. You will then have a complete page ready to load to wherever you want. If you have images though, you’ll have to save them separately.

6. Amending your web site . Sometimes your web site may not look exactly the same as on your last Web Host. This is because the html code and/or files did not completely transfer. This may happen more often with the editors. FrontPage will do this more because it uses FrontPage extensions for publishing (extra files for easy publishing).

Make the necessary design changes to mirror the site you had previously hosted. You may have to eliminate or add some code to completely reflect your original site.

7. Testing your web site. Once the domain name and your web site files have been transferred, you should test that all services are working on the your new Host (i.e. email services, etc). If it’s working correctly, go ahead and cancel all your remaining services with your previous hosting service.

Transferring your web site to a new Host doesn’t have to be such a nerve-racking task, once you know the exact steps to take. Now you can enjoy the savings and services of a new home for your web site.

Searching around for a web hosting company?

The current count of web hosts yields just over a gazillion companies claiming to be number 1, offering the very best in what hosting can offer with prices that simply cannot be beat. Needless to say, it can take a trained eye this day and age to see through their gimmicks and get right down to whether this company has what you want. If you’re confused about what to choose, read on.

Before even beginning your search, analyze what your needs are. What features would you like your site to have? What Internet programming languages do you anticipate using? Be sure to take under consideration any feedback form features, database connectivity or any other site virtue that is simply too advanced for pure HTML. Would you like e-mail addresses? Do you have a domain name? How much traffic do you expect to receive? All these questions and more help in the final decision for that one glorious hosting company.

In the midst of your search, you’ll probably run across hosting services that offer ‘unlimited bandwidth’. This is simply not true. The term ‘bandwidth’ refers to the amount of information that is past between the hosting servers and the end user. Most hosting companies are connected to high-speed Internet backbones (UUNET, Sprint, AT&T, etc) which charge the hosting company based on their monthly bandwidth from customers. Needless to say, if you rack up upwards of 25Gigs of bandwidth a month, that lacks financial prosperity for your hosting company. Be sure to read the terms of service very carefully with each hosting company that you are considering, especially if they advertise ‘free’ or ‘unlimited’ site features.

A hosting company’s support services often goes untested, especially with beginners in the site design and hosting world. A skilled and prompt support staff should be one of the most important decision breakers in your mind. If you run into trouble getting a perl script to work, or perhaps your database permissions are not setup correctly on the hosting company’s side. You want those problems corrected, and fast. One way to test a service’s support staff is to simply send them an e-mail and see how long it takes for a response to be sent. Try to send an inquiry to support and sales and any other department you deem necessary. Ask support if they offer a web language that you like, or ask the sales department if they charge your credit card or hire another company to do it for them. If you receive a response the same day, you can probably rest assured you will receive timely help with any inquiries you have. They should not take more than one complete day to get back to you.

Perform research away from the company’s web site. Ask questions through e-mail lists and other mediums to try and get some feedback. If the company lists a testimonials section, look into contacting the authors of the testimonials and start asking questions. The more comments you have, the better understanding you’ll have on how that hosting service treats its customers.

Pay attention to how long they have been online. A well-established hosting company of many years will most likely yield the greatest chances of customer successes. Click on the about page if they have one and read it all; after all, you may very well be giving this company your credit card number.

Now, let’s get down to the nitty gritty: Does the service offer what you want? Although you may expect your site to remain fairly small, allow yourself some room to grow, represented in megabytes (Mbs). If you’re using 5Mbs, look for 10. If you’re using 20Mbs, look for 30 or 40. If you are a photographer and want to use your site as a portfolio, you better opt for a more powerful account with more space and bandwidth, as images take more of both. Depending on how many images you have and how popular your site is, look for at least 50Mbs of space and 5Gigs of bandwidth. However, a regular, average size site with mostly html pages should be fine with 15 or 20Mbs and 1 or 2gigs of bandwidth and paying no more than $15 a month, depending on other features.

If you have purchased your own domain name, be sure the hosting company supports them (most do), and be sure they give you at least 1 e-mail address (you@yourdomain.com). A lot of companies offer 10 or more custom pop e-mail accounts with unlimited forwarding address at little or no additional cost, which is a nice feature.

Let’s look at a few features and offerings you might find with a Windows and Linux based hosting services.

Linux

Cheaper than Windows in general

Should offer PHP and MySQL (at least and PHP)

May offer telnet accounts at little or no additional cost

Since the Linux operating system and all Linux based languages and databases are free to install and offer for the hosting company, prices are usually lower than Windows. Perl should be supported with sendmail support for any formmail scripts. SSI is nice, along with .htaccess. Linux is the choice of most budget web designers and is also much more secure than Windows. In general, more configuration options and advanced customizations are available with Linux based hosting services.

Windows

Usually more expensive than Linux

Should support ASP

Could support Cold Fusion, Access, SQL Server at an additional cost

Windows based servers are flat out expensive for the hosting company to purchase, so prices are usually a bit higher. Cold Fusion is fairly expensive and is purchased through Allaire, now merged with Macromedia. SQL Server is also purchased for a high price through Microsoft, while Access is almost free. Any important database work should be done through SQL Server. If you want the extra features through a Windows host, be prepared to pay extra. In case you are wondering, Stevesdomain.net rests on Linux based web servers.

The decision rests in your hands. If you are completely new to the design world and know next to nothing about hosting options and features, you may find a Linux based hosting service more to your liking, and for a lower price. If you are using Microsoft Access databases for the web, a Windows based hosting service with Access support would be required for you. Take your time when looking for a hosting company. Test their support services, gather comments from others and weigh your requirements to the company’s features and offerings. Remember to leave yourself some room to grow and expand.

A Meta Tag Adventure

If You Build It, They Will Not Come

Suppose your name is Woody and you want to promote your chainsaw dealership via the Internet. You build a web site that announces the products and services of Chainsaw Sales to the world. You design the site with the latest software tools and host it with the most powerful servers available. You work very hard and put a lot of time into this project. During the process, you learn a lot about how web sites work. Your employees notice that the job title on your business card now reads “Chief Web Developer” instead of “President.” You fancy yourself a technology artist. So proud are you of the new site that you offer the first ten visitors a free chainsaw valued at $1000. Such a site would receive thousands of hits from the timber cutting community, right?

You check the statistics a week after publishing the site and learn, to your disappointment, that it received a mere one hit! Only your mother-in-law who cut and pasted the link into her AOL browser managed to traverse your work of art. She now demands that you not only deliver her free chainsaw, but that you use it to clear a nasty grove of redwoods from her back yard. Family politics aside, you shouldn’t take it personally that no one came to the Internet grand opening of Chainsaw Sales, should you? Nah. Successful web artists only pity the competition. Besides, those missing visitors were probably just not aware that the greatest chainsaw dealership in the world made its web debut. But, how are people going to find your web site without you actually giving them the address? Doesn’t the Internet do that automatically?

You brew some coffee and perform a Yahoo search using the words “web” and “promote” and “increase traffic.” After a bit of reading you learn that you can promote your site to various search engines and that you can optimize the ranking by using something called “meta tags.” You read further. As best you can determine, meta tags announce the topic of your pages, describe their content, and provide other information useful for search engines in cataloguing pages. So, if your pages contain meta tags that accurately describe the site, you might get visitors who will buy some chainsaws. Visitors who search Looksmart.com for Chainsaw Sales should return results that yield a link to the page and an accurate description of what they will find there.

I’m an Artist, not a Programmer
As you research meta tags a bit further, you learn that they are actually part of the html code inside an html page. Thats a negative because the newly discovered right side of your brain shuns mathematics. Besides, you have been warned by your programmer friends of the mysterious missing time phenomenon that prevents coders from accounting for hours, even days of time. But youve come too far to let html stand in the way of your technology renaissance. Knowing html will help you create meta tags, but it’s not necessary.

After reviewing meta tags on other web sites, you surmise that they tend to occur in two forms: the META NAME and the HTTP-EQUIV varieties. The first tag below tells search engine spiders to come back after two weeks. The second tag tells spiders when the pages content expires so it knows when to revisit. Spiders are agents that gather content for search engine databases. Besides the words META NAME and HTTP-EQUIV, both tags are exactly alike in syntax. The only other difference is whats inside the quotation marks. The first item in quotes describes what the tag does, the second item in quotes is the variable or the part that you change to affect search engine placement.

<META NAME=”revisit-after” CONTENT=”2 Weeks”>
<META HTTP-EQUIV=”expires” CONTENT=”Fri, 04 Dec 2001 21:29:02 GMT”>

All meta tags should be placed between the <HEAD> and </HEAD> tags in your html source. The opening <HEAD> tag usually comes at the beginning of the source code after the opening <HTML> tag (normally the very first tag that appears).
<!–pagebreak–>
The Big Three

The more you research meta tags, the more tag types you discover, each with its own good intentions. After sifting through over a hundred or so, choosing the right tags for your web site becomes a confusing task. Even the tag names themselves can be daunting to the non-programmer. There are actually tags called Abstractand Pragma.However, three particular tags seem more common than the others: Title, Keywords, and Description.

The Title tag states the name of your page and perhaps a brief description. The title of your page should be enclosed between the opening and closing tags, <TITLE> and </TITLE> respectively. You can simply insert the name of your home page or company as in:

<TITLE>Chainsaw Sales</TITLE>
Or include the title with a short description as in:
<TITLE>Chainsaw Sales – a cut above saw dealer</TITLE>

The title text is not viewable by your visitors in the page itself, but shows up in the Windows task bar and in a browsers favorites or bookmarks. If you include a description in your title, it should not be longer than about five words or else the browsers favorites will truncate the title when bookmarked. Notice that the Title tag is a standard html tag and does not include META NAME and HTTP-EQUIV nor quotation marks.

The Keywords tag makes words that describe the content of your page available to search engines. Commas should separate the keywords. The most important words should appear first. You want to think very carefully about which words to use. Flaunting your vocabulary or using redundancy is usually not the best practice. Although search engines now place less emphasis on this tag than in previous years, Inktomi still uses the it. With some careful thought, you place these keywords in your Keywords meta tag:

<META NAME=”keywords” CONTENT=”Chainsaws, Tools, Trees, Cut, Saws, Blades, Axes, Hatchets, Wood Chippers, Repair, Rental, Timber Services, Logging, Logs, Lumber, Pulp, Timber, Pulpwood, Sawdust, Defoliation”>

With the Description tag, you want to take a minimalist approach, squeezing as much important information about your page as possible in the smallest amount of space. The page description should be less than 200 words. A reflection on the mission statement and business model of Chainsaw Sales yields the following Description meta tag:

<META NAME=”description” CONTENT=”Whether trees or prices, we love cutting for our customers. We have the finest, lowest priced chainsaws and timber cutting tools. Contact us for a free demonstration (please, no redwoods).”>

You are confident that most site rankings can be greatly improved by simply using the big three meta tags. You insert these tags into the source of your main page and publish it to the web. The tags appear together like this:

<TITLE>Chainsaw Sales – a cut above saw dealer</TITLE>

<META NAME=”keywords” CONTENT=”Chainsaws, Tools, Trees, Cut, Saws, Blades, Axes, Hatchets, Wood Chippers, Repair, Rental, Timber Services, Logging, Logs, Lumber, Pulp, Timber, Pulpwood, Sawdust, Defoliation, Deforestation, Ardennes”>

<META NAME=”description” CONTENT=”Whether trees or prices, we love cutting for our customers. We have the finest, lowest priced chainsaws and timber cutting tools. Contact us for a free demonstration (please, no redwoods).”>
<!–pagebreak–>
The Long Arm of Spammers

A few months go by after your meta tag coup. The ten chainsaws from the free giveaway have been shipped. Your traffic has increased greatly. Your mother-in-laws redwoods have been cleared. You have received numerous orders via the Internet. However, you notice that you are suddenly getting a hefty amount of spam in your inbox. Not that you dont already shovel your share of spam, but something seems different. This spam is not from the usual spammers, but from some unfamiliar sources, including some invitations of a particularly deviant sort.

After some investigating, you discover the culprit was the E-mail meta tag that you inserted into your web pages. You thought that the tag would be used by someone who needed to contact you for a business reason. However, it turns out that spammers (proliferators of unsolicited e-mail) have actually sent out their own spiders and gathered your e-mail address for unscrupulous marketing purposes! The solution is to remove your good e-mail address and replace it with an address that you filter or check once a month, your spam target address. Beware of the E-mail tag! An example is:

<LINK REV=”made” HREF=”myaddress@domain.com”>

Conclusion

There is much more to meta tag lore than discussed here. In the above adventure, Woody looks at the trees, not the forest. Each search engine employs different methods of gathering data for indexing. Meta tags are not a guarantee of high placement, but may help rankings with some search engines, especially when using the big three.

Many programs and free online meta tag generator tools make it easy to create meta tags without even looking at the html source. One such program is Metty Freeware Meta Tag Maker. After publishing your web pages, keep your eye on the way search engines are displaying and ranking them. Experiment with meta tags. You may learn something and you may discover yourself to be an artist.

Web Hosting: Pre-Sales Questions

Below is an example of a pre-sales email you may may use as a guide for writing your own. It includes just a sampling of some of the questions you may need answers to before choosing a host.

When you write your email MAKE SURE you do NOT ask questions that are already answered on the hosts web site! This can immediately make a host fear you will not read directions and become a tech support ‘nightmare’ To verify info posted on their site, state the question as such… “I see on your site it says… Is this still accurate?” The majority of hosts appreciate a domain owner that will try to find the answers themselves before taxing tech support. Remember the following are not questions to be asked but rather they are answers to be found. Also note the time you send the email and the time it is responded to.

Dear [Host Name],

I am investigating virtual web hosting solutions for a [insert description of organization or site here]. I imagine [or I have] a site that would require [insert short list of site details here. Example: heavy cgi or PHP number of emails etc, if you have an existing site insert URL]. I believe your [name] Package will work for our site and would like to ask a few questions just to be sure.
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Top 3 Things to Look for in a Web Hosting Company

1. Excellent Customer Support. Your hosting provider needs to be there for you 24/7 and give you instant access to the technicians you need to solve your problem. Ask them how long it takes for them to typically respond to a customer. A good test is to call them in the middle of the night to see if you can get to a live, level 3 support tech at 2 a.m. Rackspace doesn’t even use an automated attendant — a live person answers the phone 24/7. We’re known in the industry for our Fanatical Support which is our philosophy that drives responsiveness and value in everything we do for our customers.

2. A Rock Solid Infrastructure. Confirm that they offer a multihomed network powered by multiple bandwidth providers to ensure redundancy. Also, investigate your hoster’s Service Level Agreement to make sure it has “teeth” so you hoster will do what they promise. Rackspace offers a 100% guarantee on its network availability and has achieved 100% network uptime for the last 2 1/2 years.

3. Financial Stability. If you’re running mission critical operations, you can’t afford to be with a hosting company that may not be in business in a few months. What if they close down? It could be detrimental to your own business. Ask the hosting provider to show you proof of their financials and longevity of service. Rackspace has been profitable for 2 1/2 years and is net income positive. We’ve continued to grow through turbulent times and are committed to being here for our customers.

1. REAL Live Support – Call their tech support number NOT their sales number, and see if you can talk directly to a technician. Or go on their live chat and see if you are able to talk to a technician. How long did it take for you to get someone on the phone or live chat? That’s very important. Just because they say they offer live support, doesn’t mean they really have people there when you need them.

2. Guarantees – Money back guarantee, price freeze, uptime, and a guarantee of a refund on unused portions. There are so many hosting companies that don’t offer money back on unused months if you cancel early! If you sign up for 1 year, believe it or not, many hosting companies won’t give you ANY money back if you cancel 3 months later. A money back guarantee is important as is a prize freeze guarantee. But these days, look for the refund on unused hosting. Many companies don’t mention it because they don’t offer it.

3. Upgrade Path – If you see your business growing, and you might want more products/services in the future, then you will need an upgrade path. It is a real hassle changing hosting companies. Just getting lots of bandwidth and storage is not the answer. Many customers don’t use near the amount of bandwidth and storage that many hosting companies are offering. This is really just a marketing technique for a lot of hosting companies. Look for extra products that they offer. What about ecommerce? Do they offer the best ecommerce products, SPAM/Virus filtering, Marketing tools etc. Remember that these days hosting is not just about storage and bandwidth. It’s about a whole lot more. Don’t settle for just space on a box
.
Richard Stevenson, UK Public Relations Manager at 1&1 Internet Ltd ( www.1and1.com )

Finding a no-risk Internet partner

In the UK’s currently de-regulated marketplace, anyone can set themselves up as a web hosting or registration company. But how do you know they are not just operating from a shed or bedroom? More importantly, can they guarantee consistent levels of service.

This may sound obvious, but a good first step in checking out the background of a company is to look at their website. Does it look like a “bedroom project”, or does it appear to be designed by professionals? Are there support mechanisms, such as email and call-back response facilities on show? Although this is no guarantee of quality and service reliability, it can give you clues to likely quality of the service you are considering.

Next, ask your friends, colleagues and associates who have their own websites if they have used the service you are contemplating and how they found the company. It is also useful to seek feedback on the company you plan to use by putting their name into an Internet Search engine and seeing the responses that result. Focus on support services, ease of use, technology and, of course, price.

Considerations when choosing a Web Hosting service

Richard Stevenson, UK PR Manager for 1&1 says, “There is a great deal of variety in the charges that companies make for domain registration and hosting services. The quality of the service you will receive is key and the level of technical support and after-sales service is a very important consideration. Secondly, it’s all very well for companies to offer competitive rates, but you also need a set of software tools to develop your site. You should be sure to ask whether these will be provided free by your host, or will they be expensive extras? Finally, flexibility is important. One should check that you will not be tied into a contract which prevents you changing packages or companies”.

Top 3 considerations when choosing a Web Host

Do they offer a high degree of technical support and after-sales service?
What software, if any, does the company provide?
Are you tied into a contract which prevents you changing packages or companies?

Brenda Sigurdson, Vice President of Sales & Marketing at Compare Web Hosts ( www.comparewebhosts.com )

“In working with the industry the past 4 years and getting feedback from our users, here are the 3 most important things I think you need to look for when selecting a host provider and they should be in this order:

1. Management, Staff and Technical Support – do they offer live support?
2. Host Provider’s Reputation – how long have they been in business, are they reputable, how many clients and what kind of clients do they serve now?
3. Pricing – what is the value of the hosting package, is competitively priced?”

John Zdanowski co-founder of Affinity Internet, Inc. now CFO of Marketing and Application Service Provider HouseValues ( www.housevalues.com )

“Responsiveness, awesome software and interfaces, and a comprehensive feature set are my top three” said John Zdanowski co-founder of Affinity Internet, Inc. now CFO of Marketing and application service provider HouseValues, the fastest growing company in Washington State two years in a row.

About CPU Review

CPU Review is a web hosting directory and webmaster resource site providing articles on web hosting, interviews with hosting professionals, and showcases featuring hosting companies. ( www.cpureview.com )

Web hosting Benefits of a Dedicated Server

Hosting your web sites on your own dedicated server may seem a little expensive in comparison to shared web hosting, but the end result is more advantageous. Shared web hosting, no matter how well managed, cannot be 100% reliable and stable. However if you have your own dedicated server you can manage to avoid most of the variables affecting the reliability and stability of a server, commonly experienced by shared hosting accounts; variables such as: overload, bad codes and scripts from other users (especially beginners); and, too many applications and components uploaded, and so on.

On a dedicated server you will install only software and applications you want to use, while on a shared hosting server you will find a host of other software and applications installed for other users.
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Why a web site, and why web hosting?

Imagine having a filing system that could withstand a nuclear war. Hmm, I wouldn’t like to prove it, but in theory that is what the Internet could resist with its virtual existence. If you transfer files of information around the Internet, operating in virtual space, it would be difficult to lose that information if you had a mind not to.

Possessing a website has advantages for many varieties of users; serving a range of different purposes.

For example, Net presence is of enormous benefit to businesses of all shapes and sizes. Conventional filing systems, where everything is stored as a hard copy, are cumbersome, and space consuming. With a website, all existing documents can be transferred one way or another, to the Internet and neatly organized using ‘hyperlinks’ (virtual pathways) for quick, easy reference. You no longer need to waste your time digging through a mile high pile of paper to find what your looking for, with your own website all it takes is the click of a ‘mouse’.

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Are your Web Hosting costs too high?

Choosing the right host is an important aspect in lowering your web hosting costs. The web hosting industry, boasting several thousand web hosts, is still young and growing at a remarkable pace; hence finding the right host is not only difficult, but very time consuming; fortunately though it is worth the time and effort. There are a few things to keep in mind when exploring; when deciding to form a partnership with the host. Below are just a few things to consider, which directly attribute to final cost.

    Disk Space – Knowing how much web space your web site needs and compensating for a bit extra, for growth. For example, if your web site needs 200 MB of disk space, look for the plan which offers at least 250 to 300 MB of web space; this will prevent a large unexpected bill at the end of the month when high priced costs, charged by most web hosts for extra disk space usage, are added on to your bill. As a rule of thumb, an average web site should cost you no more than $1 per 10 MB

Bandwidth – Figure out how much bandwidth (data transfer) your web site uses. As above, ensure you get more bandwidth than your site uses. For example, if your website uses 8GB bandwidth per month, then choose a plan, which offers at least 8 or 10GB bandwidth per month. This again will prevent ‘spikes’ of over usage, leading to higher extra costs. As a reference, an average web site should pay no more than $3 per GB for bandwidth usage.

Block buying – Ask the web host if they have “block buying” facilities for purchasing projected extra disk space or bandwidth. But, be careful, if your web site needs only 2 GB extra bandwidth, you may have to buy an extra package in blocks of 5GB bandwidth; in this case, look for the host which will allow you to purchase extra disk space and bandwidth allowance as per your needs, this is crucial to cost savings

   Note: Ensure that you know the over-usage allowance rules; you need to know what happens if your web site uses more disk space or bandwidth than you have been allocated. The web host who informs you of possible over-usage well in advance, allowing you to take measures to reduce or budget for extra usage, is ‘worth their weight in gold’.

Number of web sites - if you have more than one web site, sign up an account with a web host who provides multiple domains hosted on one account; this will work out a lot cheaper than an account per website.

A good tip would be to ask your friends and colleagues if they want to host their websites with you on one account. For example at M6.net a person or persons with 4 websites can save roughly $20 per month by signing up an M6-2, multiple hosting account.

Applications and databases - Ensure that all the applications your web site uses (FrontPage, ASP pages, databases, cgi, PHP, etc.), are supported within the chosen account type. Find out if there are any extra fees for particular applications or associated database support. For example allot of hosts charge extra set-up fees to install FrontPage, which may be avoided by choosing another host offering the same features with no extra costs.

Mail Server - Emails are the lifeblood of your online business. Ensure that you get a sufficient number of email addresses with your own domain name (preferably unlimited); these are necessary for other email features like forwarders, and auto responders, etc. There is no need to pay an extra fee for use of a mail server as many hosts offer this service now for free, within the hosting plan.

Avoid long-term contracts - Many web hosts offer huge discounts on yearly or half yearly payments in advance, this may appear a good way to go, but note how long you are locked in. If possible avoid long-term contracts until you are sure about the services and reliability offered by that particular host. Paying on a monthly basis obviously has its benefits. If there are concerns with your service encouraging you to seek a new host elsewhere, you may lose out on many months of hosting fees when breaking a yearly or half-yearly contract; but, if the necessity arises, a loss of only a few days to close a troublesome account, is preferable.

Thinking ahead with reference to an established plan of action will help you avoid most surprises, and definitely help towards cutting costs, short term or long-term. Work out your growth rate and project future expansions. Keep a good record of past and present bandwidth and web space usage, this will help to project future needs.

Savings are mostly a matter of common sense, but in this industry of high technology most people forget this rule and try to look for the best, most efficient and most expensive technical programs and software to save them a buck or two. As in most businesses good cost effective groundwork is the best start to cutting costs.