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Finding the Right Web Host

Finding the Right Web Host

Choosing the right Web Hosting service for your website can be a little bit confusing. There’s so many choices out there and many people aren’t exactly sure what they should be looking for.

Here’s a few things you should take into consideration when looking for a Web Host:

File Storage Space/ Disk Space

How much disk space do you need? That depends on how many files (pages) you plan to upload to your hosting space. If it’s a personal or ecommerce site (a site that sells products) with just a few pages and graphics, than 25 MB of disk space a month should be more than enough. If it’s a multi-page site such as an online shopping mall, then 2000 MB would be safe.

Storage space is specified in kilobytes KB, megabytes MB, or gigabytes GB, a megabyte is 1000 kilobytes and a gigabyte is 1000 megabytes.

Bandwidth / Traffic / Transfer

All words above are used interchangeably. It’s the amount of data that flows through your site, the amount of hits or how many people visit your site. If you’re expecting a few hundred hits a day then 10, 15 of 25 GB of Transfer should be enough. If you’re expecting hundreds of thousands of hits every month then you should get a hosting account with as much Bandwidth as possible.
Bandwidth is usually expressed in Gigabytes.

CGI

Common Gateway Interface, is a protocol script used to make your site dynamic. Flash banners, moving objects. With the right web design program or scripting knowledge and a host that offers CGI you can easily bring your site to life.

Front-page Extensions

Now-a-days more sites are offering Frontpage extensions. Microsoft Frontpage is a WYSIWYG (What you see is what you get) web design program that lets you easily create web pages while the software does all the coding behind the scenes. The great thing about using Frontpage and having a host with Frontpage extensions is once you design your web pages all you have to do is click one button that says “publish site” and all your pages go from your computer to your hosting space with one click.

Shared Hosting / Dedicated Servers

Shared hosting, or sometimes called basic hosting means that the web space that you rent will be shared on the same web server with other clients of the company you’ve purchased web space from. This is the most common.

If you purchase a Dedicated server it means your website will have it’s own unique server. This is the preferred choice for sites with a huge amount of traffic and many graphics that would take to long to load on a shared server.

Finding a Web Host can be confusing if you’re not sure what to look for. If you’re planning on having an average website with a few hundred hits or fewer a day, than shared hosting is the way to go.

Ecommerce Hosting For Your Online Business

When you plan to start an online business, you will need to find a reliable web host that meets your requirements. Searching for a reliable and cheap web host is not an easy task. But if you know what you are looking for, it makes your task simpler.

You can trust a cheap web host only if it meets your business requirements. The process of verification comprises of some common issues and some other issues specific to your business.

A major concern is the quality of support provided by the host. You could e-mail a cheap web hosting company a few times to get an estimate of the response time they provide.

You should also try to analyze the quality of the answers provided by them. Are the answers really in-depth or do they just cover the basic things? Make enquiry  about the various methods of support. Most web hosting companies offer online support personnel, message boards and help desks.

A web hosting company that provides the correct balance of substance and promptness would be an ideal solution for you.

Some key points to consider before choosing your web host:

1. Storage Space

It is an important parameter to begin your search for a reliable web host. You require at least 100 MB space for even a simple site. Most good web hosts offer a minimum of 1 GB space to their customers.

2. Bandwidth

It is another important part of the verification process. Most good web hosts offer 25 to 50 GB Bandwidth.

3. Support System

As discussed in the beginning of the article, it is the most important point to check.

4. Secure Servers

A secure server is an essential requirement if you are selling products/services online. Try to look for web hosting companies providing SSL encryption since this will guarantee security for all money transactions conducted on your site.

5. Private CGI-BIN

It is a good scheme to have a private CGI-BIN directory for the safety of your files. This is where you store your binary scripts and interactive programs including shopping carts and payment processing.

6. Web Log

This would help you a lot to keep track of various statistics for your business. These statistics aid you to develop new strategies to retain your present customers and attract new customers.

7. Operating System and Program Language Capabilities

All reputed web hosting companies allow front page on either a UNIX or Windows based system. Many web hosts provide both Windows and UNIX based hosting but the rates may differ.

8. Credibility

The web host should be reputed amongst its customer base.

9. Physical Location

Last, but not the least, the physical location of the servers is also an important consideration. Is the location prone to natural calamities or political insecurity?

A very practical and useful method to find a good web host is to discuss with people you know (vendors/business associates/friends) that have web sites. Enquire about their experiences with their current and past web hosting services.

Most of the cheap web hosting companies assure you of free technical support. However, a major concern with many of these companies is that you learn about their incapability when it is too late. The fact is that they simply fail to deliver their promises. Their cheap rates do not allow for the proper staffing needed to deliver the required customer support.

With a high quality and reputed web hosting company, you will pay a little more but the truth is, in business, you get what you pay for. So, if you are really serious about your business and also your time, consider web hosts starting at the top.

Virtual Hosting vs Dedicated Hosting

Why do some organizations choose to host their own Web site on their own managed servers, while others contract with a Webhosting company or purchase their ecommerce hosting services through an ISP (Internet service provider)?

While cost (including risk) and flexibility are often the two primary considerations when choosing how to host a website, understanding distinctions among Webhosting options and the pros and cons of each will help you pare down the list to something considerably more manageable, ensuring that you make the best decision.

Webhosting plans can be categorized broadly into two types: virtual server hosting and dedicated server hosting. Small to medium-sized businesses typically choose a virtual server plan where multiple ecommerce web sites are hosted on space within a single server. This service allows you to share a server with others, but your site is further protected or isolated with its own server resources including processor, memory, and disk storage. This arrangement works well for small sites that rely on dynamic generation of content from a backend database, small ecommerce sites, or for customers who wish to manage several separate web sites.

The reason that vendors can offer low-priced domain hosting for virtual private servers is because the customers look the same and require a set of web services that are essentially identical from site to site. Webhosting vendors who are able to package similar services across a huge volume of customers most effectively are generally the most successful since they can capture substantial economies of scale.

Dedicated hosting on the other hand is an option for mid- to large-sized businesses that require or desire the flexibility that comes with dedicated servers. While more expensive, this type of plan generally provides a higher level of security, support, and maintenance with a guaranteed level of availability. Offering this type of guarantee generally reflects a level of redundancy within the vendor’s data-center operations that severely decreases the chances of downtime or removes the risk all together. Depending on the vendor’s plan, flexibility means you can write and run your own custom scripts or applications and even use a content management system to manage the web site but not worry about managing the network, server hardware, or operating system.

The easiest decision will likely be whether you intend to host the site yourself or contract with a webhosting vendor. Scale is the primary decision-making factor. Going it alone takes money and the willingness to assume the activities and risk associated with managing the server hardware, software, and connectivity. For organizations that already have a dedicated IT staff and data center, hosting may be an affordable option. The IT department may, in turn, offer a shared server arrangement where organizational entities such as the organization’s library are provided space on the server. But for those who are unable to tap into existing resources or who are working for companies without IT resources, contracting with an external webhosting provider is the only cost-effective option.

Narrowing the choices down can be difficult since there are so many vendors from which to choose. The first step is to list your requirements for developing, managing, and offering a web site to your users. For very simple sites, the vendor may provide tools for creating and managing your site along with available services to extend your site’s offerings, such as online form capabilities. Alternatively, you can use your own HTML authoring tool and upload pages as needed.

Vendors try to make choosing plans as easy as possible by packaging most-requested services together into specific webhosting plans. Doing so allows customers to more easily select what they need; they also benefit from a cost structure that can be kept fairly low. Most plans require an upfront set-up fee along with a monthly fee covering the plan you choose and any additional services (extra e-mail boxes, additional storage, etc.) that you request.

Finally, choosing a webhosting vendor can be confusing due to the array of options. A winning approach includes developing your list of requirements along with a plan for current and future growth to allow you to substantially clarify how your needs map out against your domain hosting options.

Web Hosting Strategy for Managing Multiple Websites

If you are making a comfortable living from the Internet and the Web or have a plan to achieve that goal, it’s likely that you are running more than ten websites. The websites are your virtual offices. You want to your sites to be up and running 365 days, 7 days a week and 24 hours a day. Managing multiple websites is a daunting task if running one website is a hobby.


Proposed Hosting Strategy for Managing Multiple Websites

The hosting strategy we propose is to host your multiple major websites with 3-4 different hosting companies, and open a reseller account with another hosting company for 1) small and new websites, 2) web development and 3) backup. Hosting with too many hosting companies will significantly increase the time and the difficulty of managing sites, and using a single hosting company isn’t a smart choice either.

Justification of the Hosting Strategy

Cost – Cost of the Web hosting isn’t an issue for running a single web site whether it costs $5 or $25 a month. The difference is only a few hundred dollars or less a year. It’s always nice and smart to get the most out of every single dollar in doing business. At least, a few hundred dollars difference wouldn’t make or break a business. If you run 10 or even 50 websites, the cost of Web hosting alone will define the success or failure of your online adventure. To cut the hosting cost, the option is to use a reseller hosting account to host as many small or new sites as you want for about $15 a month. You host one or 2 major websites with one hosting company. Shared hosting account costs under $10 a month, and dedicated server will cost $50 or more a month.

Uptime – If your bread-and-butter maker website is down for a few hours, you’ll lose hundreds of dollars and more. Even though most hosting companies promise 99.9% uptime, it’s not common to see a website down for a few hours. A site could be down for a half day or even more if a hosting company is doing a major update. The hosting company may do the update in a weekend or a major holiday, but that’s when many family-oriented and travel sites generate their revenues. If you could afford the loss of revenues, many websites owners can’t bear the psychological loss and pressure. Hosting your sites with a few hosting companies will reduce the risk of downtime.

Application Development – For simple web application, webmasters will do development on the same production hosting site. If your ecommerce applications are complex, doing development on the production site may bring down the live site especially if you’re in the process of changing configuration files or install customized applications. The option is setup a website on your reseller account for development and testing, and move the applications to production account on another server after the completion.

Backup – If you’re not happy with a hosting company, a hosting company is out of business, or the servers will be down for a day or two, you can easily temporarily or permanently switch from one hosting company to other since you’re familiar with the site managing tools already. If you have a backup or secondary copy running on another server, all you need for the switch is the transfer of the domain, which will take no more than a minute.


Shop Before You Buy

There’re too many hosting plans to choose from a large number of hosting companies – ASP Web Hosting, Budget Hosting, Dedicated Servers, eCommerce Hosting, FrontPage Web Hosting, Hosting With Templates ( http://www.theserving.com ) , Managed Web Hosting, PHP Web Hosting, Reseller Hosting, Shared Hosting, Unix / Linux Hosting, Virtual Private Servers, Windows Hosting or Co-location Hosting. Compare the cost, hosting features, tracking records of hosting companies before making your commitment. Good luck with your online adventures.

Create Worry-Free Sales With Secure Shopping Cart Software

Succeeding in business can be a hassle and a headache without the right tools. This is especially true when dealing with ecommerce. Regardless of the market, service, or goods being offered, the one tool that is essential to the success of every online ecommerce business is a reliable ecommerce shopping cart.

The online shopping cart is your one stop container for placing and receiving orders online. A basic shopping cart will allow the customer to specify the quantity of the goods wanted, take the customer’s credit, billing, and shipping information, and actually allow the customer to place the order. However, a good shopping cart software solution will do all of this and so much more.

Many ecommerce shopping cart solutions offer customizable templates and design tools for your shopping cart and sometimes even your website. There are also several web hosting shopping cart solutions that will not only handle the order placement and transactions, but also handle the hosting needs of your website.

Other tools and features included in shopping cart software packages are affiliate system management programs, search engine optimization tools, and advanced shipping options. There are also several ecommerce providers that offer secure encrypted credit card processing along with other merchant account tools as a part of using their shopping cart solution for your ecommerce needs.

Almost all reputable shopping cart software providers also offer full telephone, email and live internet chat support in case any questions may arise after purchasing their service. All of this is done to allow you to focus on growing your online business. By automating the back-end of your website, you don’t have to worry about manually taking each order that comes in. Ecommerce shopping cart software handles all of this for you.

Make your online business profitable, secure, and reliable with an affordable shopping cart software solution. It is one of the best investments you can make in the operational aspect of your ecommerce venture.

Web Hosting Providers Rule The Web

It has been reported there are currently more than a staggering 50,000 web hosting providers all competing for the honor of hosting your website.

Every day dozens of new web hosting companies are launching and struggling to get your attention and your web hosting business.

Even though the web hosting industry is really quite young, it is certainly one of the most competitive and cut-throat industries on the web today. Yet the growth of this marketplace is assured for the foreseeable future.

Now each and every week it is estimated more than 50,000 websites are launched and need to be hosted somewhere online. This figure continues to grow and grow.

In fact the current monthly count for the number of searches at Yahoo for the term ‘web hosting’ is a whopping 2,149,851. That’s right, over 2 million!

Also just recently it was reported that the popularity of blogs was seeing tens of thousands of new blogs launched each and every day. While many of these are hosted freely, the more serious blogger each require an account with a reliable web hosting provider.

Of course every paid web hosting account usually requires at least one domain name registration. Here are some amazing domain name figures for you:

The registrar holding the largest number of domain names is said to be WildWestDomains. They may be better known to you as Godaddy. They currently hold over an estimated 5 million domain name registrations!

The registrar holding the second largest number of domain names is estimated to be Enom. The registrar holding the third largest number of domain names is estimated to be Network solutions.

Domain Name Registration Growth:

By far the most popular top level domain is the .com There are currently over an estimated 40 million of these registered.

The .com top level domain currently holds over an estimated 70 percent of the domain name marketplace.
The .net top level domain currently holds just over an estimated 10 percent of the domain name marketplace.

The good news for web hosting and domain name customers is that incredible deals have become available as competition increases among web hosting providers.

In fact the price of web hosting has plummeted to just under $10 per month for a quality service. Domain names that cost up to $35 just a few years ago can now be bought for as little as $4.99.

This is a winning situation for both the web hosting providers and their customers. The quality of service continues to grow. The new web hosting providers must impress their customers to compete with more established organizations.

There has never been a better time to find a web hosting provider and establish an internet presence of your own.

Expired domain registration still profitable?

After the dot com crash, expired domain names and expired domain name traffic have been a source of potential income. It is important to inexpensively obtain the automated tools required to track the thousands of domain name registration and abandoned websites that are removed from the domain registry and become available for purchase.

Expired domain registration and the expired domain name traffic associated with them have been only available to those who had an automated system and tools.

Now, automated tools and resources are available for identifying, appraising and even buying these domain names on autopilot.

Expired domain names are those that had previously been registered to another owner. These domain name registration are available to the open market because of non-payment of the domain name renewal fees. Such domain names are returned to the open market about forty-five days after the expiration date.

Many domain names even point to fully functioning websites while many are registered for speculation. These names are registered by speculators in the hope of obtaining a profit on the resale of the domain name.

Numerous other domain names are registered for website development, but do not appear online. In a number of these cases, the domain name owners do not follow through with respect to the website development and allow the domain registration to expire.

However, there are a number of expired domain names with fully functioning websites, receiving daily traffic from the search engines, links and banner ads. The expired domain names that get this daily traffic can earn revenues if these are redirected to another website or marketed with affiliate programs.

Earning Profit from Expired Domain Names & Expired Domain Name Traffic:

1. Buying for speculation – There is now a large and highly profitable market for reselling domain registration at present, and speculators are looking out for developing technologies and trends. Evolution is constantly taking place in technology and trends. There are markets, being watched closely right now, that are expected to grow exponentially within a short span of time. It should be a good idea to locate and register expiring domain registration that are related to new trends, technology and markets in order to earn substantial profits.

2. Buying expiring domain names and redirecting the targeted traffic – Targeted keyword domain names can help to get traffic from those simply typing in keyword rich domain names into the address bar and hitting the enter key.

3. Buying expired domain name registration and putting up generic websites – Using tools like easy website building software, third party payment processors, auto responders and other applications, even a novice could put generic websites online with keyword rich domain names that should appear in the search engine rankings. These websites can be built using expired domain names to drive traffic to them and the domain registration and the developed website could then be sold together with the domain name, as a value added commodity.

4. Buying expiring domain names of websites that are already online – A number of expiring domain names are, actually, already functioning websites. The owners of these websites either did not renew their domain registration for some reason or simply stopped operating the website. In fact, quite often, these websites already have traffic from links to other websites, search engine rankings and even directory listings.

5. Buying expired domain names and using them for marketing affiliate programs – Affiliate programs are a good way to acquire an online business without even having a product. Affiliate marketers redirect traffic from the affiliate website to the website of the actual product or service and charge a commission or a fee when any of the redirected traffic results in sales. Affiliate programs have become an automated turnkey solution for a number of entrepreneurs, especially novices.

One can locate and register expired domain names that closely target the market of the affiliate programs and then draw that targeted traffic into the website with expired keyword rich domain names with content that satisfies the informational needs. Then the users can be led onto the sales page of the product.

Web Hosting Basics

If you have decided you or your company is in need of a website, you will have to purchase web hosting services from a hosting company. There are many different web-hosting companies to choose from, and they can easily be found on the internet. If you do a quick search for them in any search engine, you will find that there are almost too many to count. Choosing the company that is right for you can be a harrowing experience, but there are really only a few basic things to consider.

The first factor to consider when choosing a web hosting company is how much space they will give you for your account. If you merely want a single page on the Internet with little or no graphics, you can get by with purchasing an account with the smallest amount of space available. However, if you are planning to create a full e-commerce site with multiple pages and order forms, you will need to make sure you have enough server space to support your entire operation.

Before you sign your web-hosting contract, you will first have to choose and purchase a domain name. Though many of the names you might want are already taken, you can often find one that suits your needs, especially if you get creative with it. For instance, if your business is called Cards For You and that domain name is already taken, you might consider choosing More Cards For You or Cards For You Today. The possibilities are endless, and with a little thought you will be able to think of a snappy domain name.

You can often purchase a domain name through your web hosting company, or you can purchase it through a private domain name retailer. These companies are very easy to find. Often times, if you type the domain name you want into a search engine, a domain name seller will pop up if the name is not already taken. You can purchase a domain name for a year at a time, or for several years, depending on how much you want to invest at the get-go.

Once you have a domain name, you will of course have to create a website to put on the Internet. There are many do-it-yourself web design programs that are fairly user friendly. Software like FrontPage makes web design a cut and paste, fill in the blank soft of affair. However, if you would like a more professional look, you can use programs like Dreamweaver or Image Ready to make your sites. There are always freelance web designers looking for work who are ready to take on your cause if you are not savvy enough to do it yourself.

Web hosting companies give passwords to allow you access your space on their servers. You can upload files and pages using their own interface programs, or you can utilize the upload tools built in to your web design program. Once you upload a page, it is important to make sure it looks correct on a variety of different web browsers. Because each browser interprets information differently, you may run into trouble if you build a site while only previewing it in Internet Explorer. There are often compatibility issues between Safari and Mozilla browsers that distort site tables and images.

However, once you work out the kinks and create an excellent site, all you have to do is pay your web hosting bills, and your site will be available for the whole world to see. Web hosting companies usually offer options regarding payment plans. You can pay for a year at a time, or you can monthly or quarterly to maintain your place on the World Wide Web.

Web Hosting & Web Development: Unravel the Technobabble and Create a Great Site

If you’ve ever browsed the World Wide Web and wondered how you could stake your claim on the Internet, like the millions of others that have done so already, then web hosting can provide you with the services to do just that. The Internet is a great way of sharing information and it is possible for you to take a portion of the web and make it your own. This article introduces the term “web hosting” and provides some useful tips for web development once you’ve obtained some web space.

What is the World Wide Web?
The “World Wide Web” is the network of computers from all over the world that communicate with each other using the HTTP protocol, a language that allows the transmission of web documents. Be careful as this term is not synonymous with the “Internet” because it is defined as a network of networks, where the computers communicate with protocols other than HTTP. The web is what you see on your Internet browser, the web pages complete with graphics, sound and other information. All this has got to come from somewhere, and this is where web hosting comes in.

Web Hosting
The information that you see from your web browser is contained in web pages. These web pages are kept on computers called web servers. Web hosting is about the storage of the web pages so that people can access them. It is possible to host your own websites yourself but the reasons stopping most people doing this is that there are issues to consider with having the right hardware and software to successfully host your web pages. Your web pages will take a certain amount of space, users will need to download each page to view them and your Internet connection needs to be fast to offer good performance to your viewers. Using specialized companies that offer web hosting capabilities on their web servers will take most of these worries away from you but you will need to choose wisely and weigh up the costs and your needs. In addition to having access to a web server, you will also need to register a domain name (for a cost) that uniquely identifies your website.

What Web Hosting Can Do For You
The most basic service that web hosting offers is that it exposes your web pages for others to see. The other services are: email capabilities that allow for email to be received and sent from your server; database capabilities that allow for large amounts of information to be updated and accessed on the web; and dynamic content which allows for users to interact with the web pages you’ve made.

Website Development
Poorly designed websites will most likely turn away users and harm the credibility of the information it contains. Thought should be put in on the way it looks and the way you intend your users to interact with the content. It is also recommended for more complex websites, a structured development process should be followed. Here is a guide to the logical steps of web development:
· Requirements Analysis: What is the purpose of the website? What content should it contain?
· Design: How should the pages be linked? What structure should they take? How should the pages interact with the user?
· Implementation: This step is the actual coding of the websites in accordance to the previous websites.
· Testing: Does the website do what it should?
· Maintenance: Is the information on the website up-to-date?

Some useful hints for web development below are taken from software quality aspects but they apply to the development of websites as well. They are described in terms of web development:

Reliability: Is the website reliable? Do faults allow for the system to continue running?
Robustness: How does the website respond to incorrect input?
Performance: How fast does the web page respond to user’s actions? Is it efficient in processing requests and inputs?
Usability: Is the website easy to navigate and understand?
Maintainability: Is the website easy to change? Can new functionality be added?
Portability: What software requirements does the website require? Will this limit the amount of potential users?
Understandability: How well do you understand the website you’ve developed?

When designing your website, keep these quality aspects in mind as they will help you develop pages worth visiting. How to choose the way to host your website is half of the problem, the other half is to create a website that people would want to visit and come back to. Knowledge of producing a good design can help you get the most out of your creations.

Having a domain name and web site gives your business the key to the door

Just like all things in life, the ways to run a business are rapidly changing and evolving. The potential involved with having a domain name/web site is staggering to say the least. A web site gives the consumer a ‘shop front’ that is not only open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, but is also situated right on their desktop. Instead of being locked into only the immediate area, the whole world’s marketplace becomes your sphere of interaction.

Customers can access information on all your products, no more salesperson with limited knowledge trying to explain something they know little about. No more waiting in lines for help, all people have access immediately.

The domain name of the website gives great freedom to the business process. Having your own name is like having an address, then infinite emails can be added to the name so different departments within the company can be reached without having to wait at reception. For example, sales@ Mary’s Plants.com will put the shopper in direct contact with Mary’s sales section.

As a business, the domain name adds professional authenticity, as your address is not affiliated with other companies. In the area of communication, the email system opens up many avenues. Instead of having to put clients on hold because of limited personnel, innumerable emails can arrive at once, even when there’s no one in the office. Then you can pick and choose which one’s to reply to first (the most urgent), while people browsing can wait till later. First come, first serve becomes obsolete as necessary customers automatically reach the front of the line.

Getting a website and domain name is an easy, simple, cost-effective process. You can register your name through web domain registrars like theserving.com for as low as $9.99 U.S. per year. That is definitely a very limited risk compared to opening a store, renting a location, and the thousands of dollars involved in overhead costs. How can this be true? A key to the door for anyone who wants to enter a mega-mall that is as big as the Earth. Let’s hope you’ve got something special to share and trade with the global community!