Posts tagged ‘Cheap Web’

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.

Disadvantages of Cheap Web Hosting

Monetary factor is one of the most important factors in it. Every user wants to have the web hosting service at the most reasonable price. The users who are new to the web hosting gets attracted on hearing free or discount web hosting and choose that hosting, but there are definitely some things they need to know about discount web hosting and free web hosting before choosing the web host for their website. Generally discount web hosting only suited the personal websites rather than business websites as their capabilities and reliability are not necessarily suited for the business users.

The most important thing for any of the business concern is time; this is also applicable in the case of Internet businesses and home-based businesses. In case of retail store, if any time they are not open for shoppers, then in result they are missing out on potential sales and related revenues. One of the most important advantage of internet business is that if one?s business is internet-based with an automated sales process, then his/her business can be open twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, three-hundred and sixty-five days a year.

Generally website of the business users plays the role of their shop and if website will remain shut down it means the shop is closed. Closed shop results in loss of sales. So it is necessary for an Internet business to have a reliable host providing maximum uptime say uptime of 99%.

The new comers certainly make some mistakes one of them is that they don?t the disadvantages of free or cheap web hosting and only after seeing the discounted price they choose one of them, they realize their mistake later on after loosing the effectiveness of their website which diminishes the website’s potential. Second major mistake is that the user does not take important things into consideration while selecting a web host. This is true that discount web hosting and free web hosting usually sounds good in the beginning but when one chooses any of it then their loopholes come into the picture, such as it is much more than cost to consider when choosing a web hosting service.

Many times in case of small business or of private website discount web hosting packages may be sufficient. The best way to make the right decision is to review the options and to compare the costs, benefits and potential problems. Following are some factors one should consider while choosing web hosts.

1. Speed: One should check the speed of the web hosting servers and the bandwidth provided through the hosting packages

2. Space: One should check in advance the space provided for various hosting packages

3. Control Panel: It is important to check in advance whether or not the web host provides a control panel for self-serve, web-based administration of one?s website

4. Server logs and reports: it is important to check in advance if the host is providing server logs and reports that helps one in managing his/her website and marketing efforts

5. Email: As emails are most crucial part in web business, one should check email services and email limitations.

6. Backup policies: It is important to check in advance the web host’s back-up policies and procedures.

7. Data retrieval policies: It is important to check the web host’s data retrieval policies and procedures in advance.

8. Uptime: It is another important feature, which needs attention of user. One should check the web host’s reliability in terms of uptime and relative downtime as it can affect business favorably or adversely.

9. Existence: user should check the web host’s longevity in the business of web hosting and their reputation.

10. Extra options: In addition to above user should check extra options like CGI, SSH and FTP access and compatibility or availability of various scripts and software.

A company that specializes in commercial web hosting for businesses provides maximum reliability, greater web space, speed, and also free or discount web-hosting services. Generally Internet service provider?s offers discount web hosting services to Internet service subscribers as a process for adding value to their standard services. Thus one should act prudently and take any decision accordingly as it is going to have effect straightly on his/her business.

Questions to Ask a Web Host

The web hosting industry has become increasingly competitive and there are a myriad of companies out there battling for your business – but some won’t definitely have you or your business interests in mind. Cheap web site hosting definitely doesn’t mean the best hosting and neither does signing up with the most expensive companies guarantee you the best service – it’s a

confusing world of solutions, smoke and mirrors.

Competition’s a great thing, but the frenzied levels of promotion has also forced a number of hosts to use questionable marketing tactics and a heavy load of activity-restricting fine print in their contracts. Many web-hosting companies don’t make profits by establishing a solid customer base, but rather by having a high turnover. The more customers they can have signing up and then dropping off, the more dollars they make.

Of course, not all hosting services take this attitude and there are some solid companies that respect and encourage their clients.

FINDING THE RIGHT HOST

Finding these gems amongst the rot is the challenge. Some webmasters have to change hosting services 3 or 4 times a year! The downtime involved prevents them doing what they do best, to maintain and develop their sites.

Regardless of how good a hosting service may claim to be or how they represent themselves, the only way you’ll get to understand what they are offering is to ask questions – and then to file the answers for comparison later on. Find out about what others are saying about them too; but bear in mind that if a hosting company has been around for a long time; they won’t have a 100% satisfaction record – it’s just not possible given the thousands, or perhaps hundreds of thousands of clients they’ve provided services to over the years. Approach the review process holistically.

Creating a template email to send out to hosting companies is the most time efficient way to cut through the hype and allow you to make apples to apples comparisons.

ASKING THE RIGHT QUESTIONS

But what questions should you ask a hosting service? A great deal depends on the type of web site you have. For the purposes of this exercise, we’ll use an example of a typical small site that may perhaps be receiving up to a few thousand visitors a day. Even if your site is only a hobby web site, or community based – you never know when things may change. It isn’t an uncommon situation for a well-designed and targeted site to grow from a few visitors a day to hundreds, or even thousands within a short space of time.

The first step in tracking down the best and most affordable web hosting company for your needs is to use your favorite search engine and visit web

hosts. Briefly look around the site to see if their offer seems interesting and their ideals and ethics in line with yours. Take a look at the company profile, if there isn’t one that details the company (rather than how good they claim to be), run like hell! The rest of your initial enquiries can be handled via their support system.

Be straightforward when you submit your questions to the hosting service, let them know that you are shopping around.

NOT ALL HOSTS ARE CREATED EQUAL

The criteria for the first cull is simple – if they don’t respond to your enquiry within 24 hours, delete them from your contenders list. The same goes if they just send you links to promo material without any personalized message text. To make it more interesting, send your email late on a Saturday night – wherever the hosting company is in the world, it will be the weekend.

The rationale behind the 24 hour deadline is this – if a web hosting company can’t respond with pre-sales questions within an acceptable time frame, it may be an indication of what their customer support is like. Also, many web hosts don’t see the “big picture” – which is a fatal mistake. You may be starting out small, but who knows how big you’ll become and how many other

people you will refer to their service? A forward thinking company recognizes this and reacts appropriately.

Don’t make it too hard on the hosting companies in your email to start off with, you can ask more detailed questions as you reduce the list of possibilities. The following is a template that you might like to use.

SAMPLE EMAIL TEMPLATE:

This example would be suitable for most personal and business start-ups for initial enquiries. These questions are not highly technical and any hosting service should be able to answer them confidently, competently and quickly.

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Dear Sales,

I am currently in the market for a good web hosting service with excellent customer support and you are among a number of hosting services I am reviewing. I have taken a quick look at what you have to offer on your web site, but with so many services offering so many different options -it can be pretty confusing. I would greatly appreciate you answering a few questions and your recommendations for a plan that would suit my purposes.

Here is a list of my basic current needs:

At least 500 meg of Hard Drive space (Note: change this to suit)

At least 2 gig of Bandwidth per month (Note: change this to suit. 2 gig is plenty for most to start out with)

At least 20 mailboxes (Note: change this to suit)

FrontPage 2002 Extensions (if you use it)

PHP 5 (even if you don’t need this initially)

Perl 5 (for running scripts)

2 MySQL (database capabilities – with so many popular applications needing MySQL databases, it’s best to get an account that has multiple db’s)

FTP access

Server logs access (for in-depth web site traffic studies later on)

Web site traffic monitoring reports

Easy to use admin interface

(Any other specific needs)

What would you recommend, bearing in mind that I’ll need plenty of room to grow. Please also send the URLs of the suggested package and upgrade options pages. (Many of your questions will be answered on these pages, links will save you from having to hunt around on their sites)

Questions:

1. Is there a setup fee?

(A setup fee is not necessarily a terrible thing, it just needs to be factored into your budget)

2. What is your uptime record?

(Look for at least 99.9% uptime over a month. )

3. Can I upgrade my plan at any time?

(A good hosting service will allow you to change your plan at any time)

4. What are your excess bandwidth charges?

(Although unlikely you will get excess traffic during start-up phase, it’s important to know how much you will be charged if you use over and above your quota for data transfer. Data transfer or “bandwidth” refers to the amount of data going in and out of your site e.g. publishing up information or requests from visitors for information including page views.)

5. How often will my site be backed up?

(In a number of cases, you’ll find that the cheaper the price, the less likely your site will be backed up on a regular basis)

6. Do you offer secure server and ecommerce capabilities (shopping carts etc.) included or as an upgrade?(You may not want this in the beginning, but it’s handy to have)

7. Do you offer an affiliate program or referrer bonuses?(If you settle with a host and you are happy with the service, no doubt you’ll tell others. Why not profit from that – it can subsidize the running of your site or even turn into a good earner for you!)

8. Is your free tech support available 7 days a week? (A VERY important point – many offer this but sometimes all you’ll get is a recorded or autoresponder message during weekends. Telephone support is not a necessity for most people – a good email or online ticket based support system can actually be better than the phone as it provides a record for both parties. Many helpdesk telephone support people have very little technical knowledge – they tend to rely on “wizards”.)

9. Why should I choose you over other hosts offering the same sorts of features and pricing?

Thank you for taking the time to answer these questions

Me.

These questions and points are just to get you started in the reviews process and will allow you to weed out many of the fly-by-nighters. It may seem like a lot to ask, but an experienced staffer should be able to complete the questions very quickly. Always be polite when posing questions as the answers will be provided by a human being with feelings as well. By asking questions in a courteous manner, you will get the relationship off to a good start.

When composing the email, skip a couple of lines between each question to encourage the person responding to put their remarks under the relevant question. This will give you a good record to refer back to in the future. Always respond to each response with a brief thank you note.

Author: John J. Ralph

website: http://www.thinkhost.com/?p=6268bb7d

Tips for Choosing Cheap Web Hosting Solutions

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Every company looking to post their website up on the Internet searches for that golden combination of reliable web hosting services and also cheap web hosting solutions. Some of the various types of web hosting services include dedicated web hosting, reseller web hosting, shared hosting, free web hosting, and collocation web hosting. Free web hosting service providers usually generate their revenue through advertisements on their hosted websites or charge a very nominal fee for allotting the web space.

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Dedicated web hosting services refers to the allotment of the entire server to a single website. This service is used primarily by large companies with widespread websites as well as sister sites. Due to their complexity, this form of hosting cannot be coined as a cheap web hosting service. However, shared web hosting solutions can be obtained at lower rates. Here, the same server is shared amongst many websites of different companies. But this form has its own drawbacks, like a slower speed and the fact that web information is more vulnerable to interference.

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When physical space for a web server is available, a collocation web service can be used. However, this hosting form is not used widely. The role of a web hosting service provider is to give access to the Internet at the required bandwidth.

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It is important to do extensive research in order to find the best web hosting at affordable prices that offer good quality for your money. Be sure to check out the kind and volume of web traffic they can provide you. Also compare the rates with your budget.

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1) Be aware of your web hosting needs:

Be clear on what your professional needs and expectations from your web hosting service provider are. This would make the selection of a web service provider an easier task. Take note that many types of web hosting forms are available, and are compatible with different operating systems like Linux and Windows.

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2) Price comparison:

There are hundreds of web hosting service providers who provide similar types of web hosting services but charge differently for the same service. Take ample time to compare the rates and services of these companies so that you get the best services at cheap prices.

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3) Go through other customers? reviews:

A good and reliable web hosting service provider will also have a section dedicated in showcasing their customers? reviews. Until you make use of their services, it is hard to gage what the results will be. But considering and reviewing the experiences of their other clients may help you in making the right decision.

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When you?ve considered all these points, you can be confident that your choice of a web hosting service will be a good one.

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Copyright ? 2008

Best Way To Find Cheap Web Hosting

Today’s economy is causing people to become worried. People today want to try to save money in every way that they can. A great way to try to save money is by choosing a cheap web hosting option. You can find a good web hosting provider that is also inexpensive. Many people have learned how to lower their monthly online business expenses by choosing a web hosting provider that fits both their needs and their budget.

With so many web hosting choices it can be hard to find one that you want to use. You need to compare the services and offerings that each company has to provide. There are often many similar providers and it can be hard to differentiate between them. New web hosting solutions are popping up almost daily. Price can be a determining factor when it comes to finding a web hosting service.

The first thing to do when you want to compare web hosting providers is to determine what your needs are. Look at the number of web pages you have and what specific features that you’ll need to run your online business. Additional extras to consider may be things such as special reporting features and website stats that will be helpful when you are expanding your business. Typically the more features that you need the more expensive your online web hosting services will be.

There are also online promotional deals that you can look for. It can be time consuming, however, since you’ll need to locate and visit various web hosting provider sites. Whatever the web hosting provider offers you need to look at the basic packages and deals that they have. Ideally you’ll get the best pricing when you purchase the exact features that you need. Sometimes you will see that features are bundled together and that can be confusing when you want to compare services.

You’ll want to find a web host that gives you exactly what you need for a price that you can afford. Keep in mind that you can often get the best prices on web host sites when you pay for a full year rather than paying a month at a time. Also, learn what the costs are if you want to upgrade your services or features along the way. This is important because you can start off with a bare bones service that will grow with you as your business grows.

It can be time-consuming and confusing to try to find web host providers and sort through them. Rather than taking the time and effort to do all that work you can find an online resource that has already done that work for you. Look for a web host review site that offers information and reviews on the best and least expensive web host options. You can easily compare the features and pricing to quickly learn more about the various providers. Best of all the hard work is already done. All the web hosts have already been reviewed and only the best ones are ranked at the top.