How to Choose a Reliable Web Hosting Company When you are an Internet Newbie

Reliable web hosting is vital for anyone attempting to earn money with a business website.

Choosing a host for your website is not easy when you are an Internet newbie and don’t really know bandwidth from Band-Aid. What selection criteria do you use? If you are a total newbie, about the only thing you will know how to compare is price but if you do a search for web hosting you will have ads coming at you for all prices from $10 per year to $25 per month. Should you go for the most expensive on the basis that you get what you pay for or should you go for the cheapest because saving money is a priority while you are getting your business running?

The first thing to rule out is free web hosting. There are many great free resources to be found on the Internet including excellent anti-virus and anti-spy ware software. Free hosting is fine if you have a hobby website but, if you are running a business online and wish to achieve credibility with visitors and search engines, free web hosting won’t do the job.

I discovered the hard way that cheap web hosting is not necessarily the bargain it might seem. When I started looking for hosting for a new website, I already had top class hosting that had come with my first website. There was an option to add on further domains for an extra $5 per month. That was cheap enough but I thought it would be a good idea to have my new website hosted completely separately (you know, the old eggs in one basket caution).

When I started checking around, there seemed to be millions of web hosts all offering what (to my untrained eye) seemed to be the same thing but at wildly varying prices, so I settled on a cheap hosting package. The cost was ?1 per month (which was about $1.70 in those days) and I certainly got what I paid for!

At first everything was fine: I paid up, they hosted my website. The trouble is, you don’t realise you have bought rubbish hosting until things start to go wrong.

The first sign that all was not well came a few months later when I was unable to locate my website. I raised a support ticket and waited. Four days later came the reply “everything seems ok now”. Four days of downtime without a sensible word from support made me feel more than a little uneasy.

Things seemed fine for a while after that but then another problem arose: when I tried to log into my control panel all I got was a message telling me the licence fee had not been paid. This time the reply to my support ticket was quicker, it only took two days. Unfortunately, however, it was completely unhelpful. The reply was “It seems to be a site-wide issue”. Was I supposed to feel better because the whole site was messed up and not just my bit? They must have got round to paying the licence fee because after a few more days, login was available again.

After that, I wanted to move to a new host but I had never moved a website before and assumed it would be really difficult and technically challenging (actually it is extremely simple). As a result of this fear my website remained where it was.

The crunch came when my domain name came up for renewal. In response to an email from the hosting company, I visited their website to make the required payment. Their PayPal link and credit card options did not work and there were several error messages showing on the pages I visited.

Emails to their support and billing departments went unanswered. My only means of arranging payment was via their website, so I kept trying. Each time I visited, there were more error messages, nothing worked and it began to look as if the site was actually melting bit by bit. It seemed the company had just packed up and left their website to self destruct.

Enquiries revealed that the only way I could renew my domain name ownership was through the hosting company because they had registered it on my behalf and they retained control of it. As they could not be contacted, there were only two options available. The first was to pay an agent a pretty hefty (and non-refundable) fee to try to contact the hosting company and negotiate the purchase the domain name from them. The second option was to lose the domain.

When you have to choose web hosting, the first thing to look for is quality of support. To keep prices low, the easiest way for the company to economise is to provide sub-standard support. Forget the offers of unlimited bandwidth, hundreds of email accounts, spam filters and other freebies. If support is non-existent, give the company a miss no matter how good their other terms might seem.

Good Quality

If you plan to own a new website, you will need to host your website on a web server. When your website goes live on the web server, online users can then browse your website on the Internet. Company that provides the web servers to host your website is called web hosting providers.

A web hosting provider will typically have a fast connection to the Internet housed in a physical building called ‘data center’ and they may host thousands of web sites on many servers. The web host essentially rents out space to you so that you can get your website up on the world wide web.

With a well-managed web host, you can free yourself from worrying the up-keep of complicated server technology and proper technical maintenance. That’s the whole purpose of the web hosting companies. You should leave the technical work to web hosting professional while you focus on your own internet business.

There are thousands of web hosting providers on the internet and how do you decide which one you should use? Sites like betahosts.com can help you by comparing all best hosting providers.

The features that web hosting companies are offering are getting quite standard nowadays. There are basic features that you’ll need in a web host. You can find out more here.

To give a web host a competitive edge over others, more attractive features are very necessary. You’ll find that many hosts are willing to give away free stuff that used to cost over $10 per month.

These are some of the advanced features that our top hosts are offering.

  • Web Buider Many of our top 10 hosts offer powerful web builder program called SiteStudio. SiteStudio allows you to make sites without any html, FTP and HTTP knowledge. You can also build site on the fly while at home, school or even at work. Hostgator’s SiteStudio has over 500 ready-made templates for you to choose from.

  • Ecommerce Enabled If you are selling products on your site, you need a merchant account. A shopping cart is a useful tool if you have more than 1 product in different categories. SSL(Secured Sockets Layer) is a must-have if you need to receive valuable information such as your customers’ credit card information. PowWeb, Hostgator and Lunarpages provide osCommerce shopping cart and shared SSL for your ecommerce needs.

  • Marketing Package Most marketing package including search engine submission software, keyword generator and link checker. Some hosting companies like iPower have established partnership with Yahoo! Search (previously known as Overture) and Google Adwords to offer you pay-per-click credit to jump start your business.

Popularity

The best marketing method is by far from word of mouth. If you sign up for a web host and are satisfied with the performance, most likely you’ll recommend to anyone who is looking for a good host. Big web hosting companies know about this concept so well that they would go all out to retain their existing customer. The more satisfied customers they have, the more popularity they’ll get. We take this as an important indicator of how good a host is. # There are a few factors that we judge the popularity of a particular web hosting provider.Number of existing customers. # The satisfaction level of their existing customers: We manage to get hold of their existing customers from the positive reviews they submitted through our host comment form, their comment in the 3rd party web hosting and inhouse forums and the customers’ comment found on other hosting directories. # The amount of pretigious hosting awards they won # Their sites Alexa traffic ranking

Netfirms top the popularity among our top 10 hosts. Network Reliability, Speed and Uptime Guarantee

In terms of reliability, we are looking at how redundant is the server, how often the companies backup the server and how well they handle emergency. “Redundant” means that if any of the Internet connections get interrupted, the alternate Internet connection will take over. PowWeb Load Balancing Technology is one of the best that we found to ensure your site is up 99.9% all the time.

Can You Make Money Selling Web Hosting?

There is a new fad in the web hosting market. Reseller hosting. Where individuals like you and I can become web hosts (sell web hosting) without having to buy all the infrastructure and do-hickeys that go along with setting up such a business.

Becoming a web hosting reseller for a web hosting company is becoming a very profitable past time for a lot of Internet marketers. Being able to earn a monthly on going income selling a service every webmaster needs with out huge setup costs is a hard business model to ignore.

So what exactly is reseller hosting and how can you get started?

Reseller hosting allows you to sell a web hosting companies services as your own. This is called private labelling. Basically they offer you a discount rate on their web hosting services and you sell it off as your own at any price you want.

Reseller hosting can start for as little as $20 a month. That means you can have a full featured web hosting business without any major start up costs.

The great thing about some companies offering reseller web hosting is that they do all the technical work for you as well. They provide around the clock support for you, they manage your servers and they can even bill your customers for you, so all you have to sell is focus on selling their products.

There is more to it but you can find out more about a web hosting companies reseller program by asking them directly. In this article, I want to focus on how to make money by selling web hosting.

So how can you make money selling web hosting? Here are my favorite methods.

1 – Create And Sell Businesses On Ebay

This is my favorite method of generating sales for my web hosting services. In a nut shell, what I do is I create turnkey businesses (businesses built just to be resold to other people) on Ebay and charge people a flat monthly fee to host the site they just brought on my web hosting service.

If you go to Ebay and have a look in the website/businesses for sale section, you will see people doing just this. It might look strange seeing a website sell for a few dollars. I never use to understand exactly how they made any money, then I realized, they were not making money from the sale of the business, but on the back end. They would create good clean website site, sell it on Ebay for a few dollars and then charge the buyer to host this site on their hosting service.

This is perfectly legal, as long as you tell them up front that they must continue to host their website on your web hosting services for a certain period of time.

You could easily sell 100 small websites a week on Ebay. On average, you could sell hosting for $10 a month. So every week, you could be making $1000 a week. But that’s not the best thing, since web hosting is paid monthly, you get paid monthly for as long as they stay with your web hosting service. This is as close as a steady pay check as you are going to get with Internet marketing.

You get paid every month whether or not you actually even work.

2 – Become A Dedicated Hosting Service Just For Blogs

Blogging is hot right now. Very hot. There are an estimated 40,000 new blogs started every day. EVERY DAY. Can you imagine that? Sure, most of them are hosted for free, but there are a lot of blogs and bloggers who want the control of having a domain name and their own web hosting for their blogs.

The great thing about blogs is that they take up very little disk space and transfer (bandwidth) allowance. You can host many, many blogs with very little resources and you can charge a good price for your services.

Another great thing about blogs and bloggers is that most successful bloggers have more then one blog. This is great because blogs take very little technical assistance on your part which means you can grow your business quicker and have more paying customers without the need for costly and time sapping technical support.

So how can you market your blogging web hosting service? Good question! Here’s an even better answer.

Forums! And not just forums about blogging. Any forum, any topic could be perfect for a blog, and there are a lot of people in forums looking for a way to express their interest in their hobby or passion.

You could easily position yourself as the service to go to for niche blogs. You could target forums that talk about any subject. Fishing, gardening, dog training, pie eating, you name it.

Posting in forums with helpful answers will no doubt bring you a lot of qualified business. Just make sure you answer with helpful posts and not just blatant plugs for your business.

The way to really make an impact with this type of service is to offer something no one else is doing. Maybe you could get an ebook written about the secrets to niche blogging and give that away with every hosting sale, or maybe you could give away free unique content that they could use every month on their blogs when they sign up for 6 or 12 months of hosting.

There are many ways to make money reselling hosting, and as you can tell, it is quite the lucrative business model.

To your success.

What to Ask For at Your Web Hosting Service

web hosting is the backbone of your online business and it is one of the most crucial services that ensures your online presence. There are thousands of web-hosting service providers and all of them claim to be the best. Therefore, it is a difficult process to identify the right web hosting service provider.

There are a few important questions that you must ask your web-hosting service provider before you sign up. Normally, the first question people ask is about the cost involved. Though it is an important factor that will help you make your decision, cost should not be treated as the primary factor. There are other crucial factors that need to be addressed.

You must first ask your web host about their average server uptime. Most of the hosting service providers advertise 99.9% uptime, but, in reality, it may not be so. There are a number of server related problems that can keep the visitors off from your website.

Second, you must ask your web host about the connection speed. You must have fast connections to give your website users an enhanced visitor experience. If the connections are slow, your website will take a long time to load and server connection will get disconnected before people can see your website, leading to annoying “The page cannot be displayed error.”

Third, you must know how much web space you get for the package you are signing up for. Most web hosts offer flexible packages. You should be able to advise your web host on the web space depending on the nature of your requirements. There are web hosting packages that range from 10mb or less to several GBs. The greater the space the greater the price.

Along with the allotted web space, you must also be clear about the data transfer bandwidth that is allowed for your package. If you anticipate high traffic, it is better to go with packages that have higher bandwidth capabilities.

The next question will be on the number of email addresses you can configure. There are many web hosting companies that offer unlimited email addresses. If you choose a lower end package, the number of email addresses may be limited to 5 or 10 or 25, depending on the web-hosting package you choose.

You must also be clear about the nature of the database tools that are available and the database types supported by your web-hosting service provider.

If your website is intended to sell your products online, it is important that you have a reliable shopping cart. Make sure you check with your web host whether you have any built-in shopping carts installed and the procedure to customize them to your specific need.

With the advent of the open source technology, web hosting service providers offer a number of free yet useful scripts for their customers bundled with the web hosting package. Check with your web host on the available free scripts, such as forums, blogs, chat support, web statistic tools, etc.

The control panel should be highly user friendly. Your list of questions to your web host must have a question about the control panel features.

Above all, the customer support capabilities of your web host and the turn-around time to resolve server related issues and other complaints is very crucial. To stand the competition, most web hosting service providers offer 24

Free or Paid Web Hosting?


It really depends on what your needs are and what you are trying to accomplish. There are advantages and disadvantages for both paid and free web hosting.



Free web hosting



Advantages:



– The most obvious benefit is that it’s free.


– You can use your free web space to practice programming. Not many, but some free web hosting plans support a programming language such as PHP, ASP, CGI/Perl, Coldfusion or JSP.


– A free web hosting plan is great for creating a small personal website.

Disadvantages:

– A bunch of free web hosts place their banner and text ads on your website.


– With a large number of free hosts, your website is placed in a sub-domain or a folder (www.yourwebsite.freehosting.com or www.freehosting.com/yourwebsite) which sometimes results in poor search engine rankings.


– Because they are offering free hosting, the majority of free web hosts can not afford to offer 24/7 or any support.


– Very few free web hosts offer a control panel with their plans.


– Another flaw with free web hosts is many don’t allow FTP access which is an obstacle if you have many files to upload.


– Free web hosting plans don’t offer much disk space or data transfer. This could be a problem if you have a lot of large files or if your website generates a lot of traffic.

Paid web hosting



Advantages:


– With paid hosting, you will now have any unwanted text or banner ads placed on your website.


– Your website will not be placed in a sub-domain or folder. You will have your own domain name (yourwebsite.com) which will not only result in better search engine rankings, it also looks more professional.


– Most paid web hosts offer 24/7 support.


– A lot of paid web hosting plans offer a control panel such as cPanel, Vdeck, Plesk or Ensim which offer features like web stats, the ability to password protect directories, and the ability to create web based email accounts.


– Most paid web hosts offer FTP access.
– The majority of paid web hosting plans support at least one programming language to offer you PHP web hosting, ASP web hosting, CGI web hosting, Coldfusion web hosting or JSP web hosting.


– With the more disk space and data transfer you get with paid hosting, you can add more files to your
website and it can handle more traffic.

Disadvantages:

– The only disadvantage here is that it’s not free.