Hosting

What You Must Know About Your Web Hosting Service

Let’s face it, it’s no longer an option to have a website. You simply must. We consumers of services and products will take your business card, and maybe flip through your brochure, and perhaps even read a letter we receive in the snail mail, but we scan these things looking for your URL.

Business has become very personal these days, and we want to “get to know you” at length. When you have a website, we can reach “you” any time, and peruse your website at our leisure.

Personal or professional, you will be far more accessible via a website than any other method, and it’s expected. Your competition has a website and you need one too, whether you’re an entrepreneur, business owner, attorney, physician, dog walker, caterer, or artist.

How prevalent is it? I just returned from a vacation, and someone walked into my office for a meeting and said, “How was your cruise? Do you have pictures?” and pointed toward my computer! And yes, I had already mounted my vacation photos on my website so I could share them. I operate several websites, do them all myself, and use them both professionally and personally.

You probably know the basics about website construction. A quick rundown would include: Using a manageable program, such as FrontPage. Readable colors and font styles (don’t use a black blackground, for instance, with a font such as Beesknees ITC in gray (YIKES!). Make it user-friendly with good navigation. And have good content that changes and is dynamic. Good content attracts both search engines and visitors. Your goal is to get your visitor to come once and then bookmark your site for daily visits to see what’s new.

And now for the hard part. How do you choose a hosting service? If you amble into this territory naïve, you can make some costly mistakes in terms of both time and money.

Here are the things you must consider:

1. PRICE. This is a very competitive field, so take a look at several hosting sites before you take the plunge, but, as with anything else, don’t just go for the lowest price, go for the best value for the best price. Now here’s what value looks like in a web hosting program.

2. CUSTOMER SUPPORT. There’s nothing more frustrating than not being able to contact the host when you need help.

3. ABILITY TO ACCOMMODATE MS Frontpage, CGI/Perl, MySql and PHP. With MS Frontpage you can easily do your own website, saving you tons of money and the time and frustration of mastering one of the more complicated programs out there. To have a dynamic website, you have to have the new data entered timely, and the best way to do that is to do it yourself.

4. AUTORESPONDER. This is one thing you need to think ahead about, because you’re going to need it. The more successful you become, the more important it is. Find a host who offers unlimited autoresponders.

5. UPTIME. Be sure and find a web host that advertises 99% up time. It’s no use to have a website that’s down half the time.

6. SET UP FEE. Be sure and find out specifically if there’s a set up fee, because, no, you should not have to pay for this.

7. STORAGE SPACE AND BANDWIDTH. With a smaller site, you can probably get by with 50 MB storage space, and 500 MB bandwidth.

8. EMAIL. Does it offer unlimited email? The answer to this should also be “yes.

Keeping these things in mind, with good preparation and rudimentary computer skills you can construct a great website that accomplishes what you have in mind. Good luck!

Let’s face it, it’s no longer an option to have a website. You simply must. We consumers of services and products will take your business card, and maybe flip through your brochure, and perhaps even read a letter we receive in the snail mail, but we scan these things looking for your URL.

Business has become very personal these days, and we want to “get to know you” at length. When you have a website, we can reach “you” any time, and peruse your website at our leisure.

Personal or professional, you will be far more accessible via a website than any other method, and it’s expected. Your competition has a website and you need one too, whether you’re an entrepreneur, business owner, attorney, physician, dog walker, caterer, or artist.

How prevalent is it? I just returned from a vacation, and someone walked into my office for a meeting and said, “How was your cruise? Do you have pictures?” and pointed toward my computer! And yes, I had already mounted my vacation photos on my website so I could share them. I

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