Tag Archives: web hosting

3 Mistakes to Avoid While Choosing a Web Host

Choosing a web host is the first vital step you’ll take toward having your own website. Your web host will provide space on the Internet for your site so that the whole world can view it. But, choosing a web host is not as easy as it may seem.

There are a few mistakes to avoid while choosing your host. I’d like to share these with you below, and explain why it’s important to avoid these mistakes at all costs – especially if you wish to start an online business.

3 Mistakes to Avoid

1. Free Web Space – Remember seeing all those ads that mention “free web space”? Please avoid participating in these services. In most cases, the reason it’s free is because the company will place advertisements for other websites all over your web page. This defeats the entire purpose of having “your own” web business.

Why should you have to give your potential customers away? Shouldn’t you be able to keep the visitors that you have paid to receive through your own ad campaigns?

With “free web space” sites, you’ll give away more business than it would cost you to get your own domain and hosting service. It’s not worth it.

2. Limited hosting – Avoid hosting packages that will not allow you to add order forms, statistics, or multiple email accounts to your website. These are necessary tools for any webmaster who desires to open an online business.

It’s best to choose a hosting service that offers many options such as:

— Multiple POP Email Accounts — Dedicated Hosting — Secure Servers — Web Usage Statistics — Web Space Allocation (you can get how much web space you’ll need) — URL Redirection — Autoresponders

These are just a few “necessary” services to look for when choosing a web host for your new website.

3. Low Cost Hosting – Watch out for very low cost hosting packages (i.e. $2.50 per month). They usually require something in return, which can take away profits from your online business.

I must admit that it does sound appealing to sign up for free or very low cost hosting, but count the costs before signing up…

– Each time an advertisement banner is placed on your website, it’s designed to get your visitor to click out of your website and go some place else. Most free or low cost web hosting services place these banners at the very top of your web page – giving the visitor an opportunity to click out of your site before getting to the first words of your presentation.

– One complaint that comes to mind about a free hosting service was that the company’s server became overcrowded and the customer could not get their website to come up 50% of the time. When this happens, your business is closed – and you have no control over this situation.

One final point about hosting before closing. If you get your own domain name, and your own hosting, your visitors will have more confidence in your site, and will be more willing to buy your products or services.

Search for a web host that offers fabulous service, affordable rates, and everything you’ll need for your online business. You’ll be glad you did!

Resellers Panel

General Overview

resellerpanelResellers Panel is the first program on the Internet, which offers completely free reseller hosting solutions. With its network of over 9,400 web hosting resellers, Resellers Panel ranks among the top players in the reseller hosting segment. Just over a year ago, the concept of “free reseller hosting” was something completely unknown and sounded more like a good wish than something that you could really put to work. In spite of the past year, Resellers Panel still does not have a serious competitor in the free reseller hosting segment. There is just one more company in this segment called Bulix Reseller. Bulix Reseller is a comparatively small company with just over 300 web hosting resellers.

Resellers Panel is currently one of the two programs on the Internet, which allows you to start your own web hosting service with 24/7 customer support without the need any web hosting software, dedicated or co-located servers, special knowledge of administration or programming, complex settings of credit card processors, web design knowledge and even without knowledge of HTML. Furthermore, your hosting customers will not even notice that you are not a web hosting company. The anonymity of web hosting resellers is guaranteed and adequately protected. According to the latest information directly from Resellers Panel, the new version of the program, which is still under development, will have many new features compared to the currently offered program. Continue reading

Finding that Host that Offers the Most

Whether you already have a website or are thinking of setting up shop online, sooner or later you’ll have to deal with the issue of web hosting. Although it may seem like a “no brainer,” there are actually many factors you’ll need to consider before making this important decision. Your first inclination may be to look only at the cost, thinking “cheaper is better.” However, that old saying “you get what you pay for,”is especially true in this situation. Here are some of the more important points you’ll want to look at when considering your next host.

UNIX/ NT/ The two most popular hosting platforms to choose from are UNIX and NT. UNIX is by far the favorite, as it was the only choice way back in the early days of the Internet. It is easy to configure, great for setting your own file permissions and the platform for most of the free scripts available for download. It is flexible, reliable and supports scripting languages like Perl and PHP3.

NT is Microsoft’s baby. One problem that I have found with NT servers is a lack of readily available scripts that work on this platform. Also, (unlike UNIX) many NT users need assistance from their Web Host Administrators to set file permissions. NT supports MS applications such as ASP, Access, FP and scripting languages such as Perl, Cold Fusion and ASP.

TECH SUPPORT/ When you need help you’ll want to make sure you can get it. Some web hosts offer phone support or even live chat. Make sure they have good tech support in place as there’s nothing more annoying than needing assistance with your site and not being able to get it.

SET UP FEE/ MONTHLY FEE/ Some hosts charge an initial set up fee to get your site set up and running on their server. Make sure you check on this when comparing prices. I’ve seen monthly fees ranging from 9.99 to 39.99, depending on the plan and services offered. My advice to you would be to look past the cheapest and most expensive ends of the scale and go with a mid-range pricing plan to be on the safe side. You should be able to pick up a reliable web host for 20 to 25.00 per month.

HARD DRIVE/ SPACE/ How much space they’re willing to give you is important if you’re going to compare apples to apples. You need to keep in mind the size of your site when deciding how much space you really need. Generally, 20 to 30 MB is plenty for a small site. You might want to ask if you can pay for more space should your site ever outgrow its present state.

FTP ACCESS/ TELNET ACCESS/ Even if you plan on using Frontpage to manage your site, you’ll still need to have FTP access. It is usually standard, but it never hurts to ask. Make sure you keep your user name and password in a safe place. You’ll use FTP to set file permissions and to upload your files to the web server.

Telnet can be very useful for troubleshooting CGI scripts and changing server configurations. There are some servers that will not grant telnet access.

CGI-BIN/ A very important component if you’re planning on adding any sort of interactivity to your site like forms, shopping carts, etc. Usually comes as standard equipment, but I’ve seen some of the cheaper hosts leave it out entirely.

EMAIL BOXES & POP 3 ALIASES/ One thing that’s very important to me is the ability to use different aliases with my domain name. For example, if your domain is ezineadauction.com, you may want to set up separate addresses to sort your mail like service@ezineadauction.com or support@ezineadauction.com. They may all funnel into the same mailbox, but you can set up filters at your end, making customer service a whole lot easier.

If you have a “wildcard” account, you can set up as many aliases as you like. If you have other employees who will need their own private box, check with the web host to see how many boxes they will allow.

STATS/ Once you start getting traffic, you’ll want to know where it’s coming from and what pages of your site are being visited. Some web hosts will throw stats tracking in with their standard package or at least give you access to your log files, which you can then use with third party software to run reports on the traffic your site is receiving.

MISCELLANEOUS THOUGHTS/:

1) If you want to use Frontpage: Do they have the FP server extensions installed?
2) Do they offer autoresponders?
3) How about a secured server option for payment transactions?
4) Do they back up all websites in case of disaster?
5) Do they offer assistance in programming or design work if needed at an hourly rate?
6) Do they offer shopping cart software if you’re going to be selling products?
7) Do any customized forms come standard with your account, like feedback or order forms?
8) Bandwidth- Be aware that bandwidth is how much data can be transferred in a month’s time. This shouldn’t be a concern unless you’re getting a ton of traffic, but be aware that most hosts do have limitations on what they’ll allow.

As you can see, there are many factors to take into account when choosing a web host. Your host is essentially the spine of your site,so you want to make sure that the one you choose is reliable and solid. Nothing can ruin a site faster than an unreliable host. I know; been there, done that.

Remember, choosing a good host is essential to the success and reliability of your online business. Do your homework and choose the one that’s right for you.

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.

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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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.