Posts tagged ‘Downtime’

Why Free Web Hosting May not be a Bad Thing

There is paid web hosting and there is free web hosting. Most people tend to steer clear of free web hosting as they tend to believe that ?there is no free lunch?. Free web hosting must have its catches?

Well, that really depends on your purposes and your position.

Why purpose?

If your web hosting is for your website which is for commercial purposes, such as an ecommerce web-store, you need absolute reliability and uptime. Every second of downtime is lost revenue. While some free web hosting providers guarantee uptime, you cannot hold it against them if their services do not meet expectations and cause your business to lose hundreds of dollars of revenue. Why? Because most free web hosts will have a clause in their terms that state that they do not guarantee uptime at all because they are a free service. Now, most free hosts will not even guarantee any uptime and those free web hosting services are provided on a best effort basis. You cannot risk hosting your crucial business website on such a free hosting plan.

However, for most individuals who are experimenting with building websites, free web hosting is the ideal choice as there is no monetary commitment and no lost for both parties. Everyone deserves a chance to learn and what better way to learn than to do it? Free web hosting plans from free hosts are the ideal platform for aspiring webmasters to start their web-building careers. Of course these free hosts may require something in return: visiting sponsors, displaying ads on hosted pages, reading emails, and lately, participating in online communities of the free web-host. This last option may not be a bad thing as online communities allow the users to interact and learn from each other.

There is also a last category of users who just want free web hosting for a personal site which they do not find the need to be up all the time and do not see the need to pay for it and do not see the need to do anything for it. There are some free web hosts out there who offer free hosting for nothing ? just a simple sign up. Therefore, a clear purpose for using free web hosting is important. If the purpose is critical and there is no tolerance for problems, then free webhosting is not suitable. Other than that, free web hosting is not a bad thing.

Why position?

Web hosting plans are relatively affordable these days (some plans as low as $1 a month) that almost any working person can afford it for their websites. Therefore, paying for web hosting should not be a problem for those who have an income, or some savings to spend on developing their websites further. Also, any working adult should be able to afford using a Paypal account that most web hosts will accept as a form of payment. On the other hand, students and young people do not have much to spend, much less a Paypal or Credit Card with which to pay for hosting. For this group of people, free web hosting plans are the obvious alternatives if they wish to set up websites without paying anything for them.

To conclude, free web hosting may not be a bad thing for selected groups of people who have a specific purpose. For students and people looking to learn about developing websites, free web hosting is a good thing.

Written by: Dax Christopher.

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

Free Web Hosting Review

The biggest question when it comes to selecting a web host has always been which one is better between free web hosting and cheap web domain hosting.

The word FREE is always enticing but not to every body. If you are serious about making money with your website, it will be to your advantage to have your site independently hosted in a paid platform. Although free web hosting is quite popular but be mindful of the fact that the company that hosts your site free on the internet will not be accountable to you in any way. There have been cases of frequent downtime and slow connection in some of the free web hosting packages. The worst may be that the site you had labored to build and freely host may just crash and all the data you have in it will disappear without you having any means of retrieving them,.

Apart from the fact that you will not hold the company that offers you free web host liable for any eventuality to your site, it is vital for you to know that search engines do not give priority to such free web hosted sites as they are regarded them as sub domains. The search engines will start their crawling from the root of the main site and normally ?spiders out? through the links on the home page. This means that the possibility of having your free hosted site ?crawled? by the search engine robots is very minimal. This will be to your site?s utmost internet exposure.

If just having a ?little? bit of presence on the internet is your goal, then you may consider a free web host but if your idea is to make money from the internet, it is advisable to get a cheap web host. Cheap web hosts now start from less than $4 per month and this will afford you the independence to do what you desire with you site based on the limits of the host package you chose. This is a departure from the free web host where you do not have any influence on what happens to your site and the amount of space and bandwidth you will use.

If your budget is really low and you desire to have your site now, it is better you consider cheap web host instead of a free web host. With cheap web hosting plan, you have the option of upgrading to greater and more elaborate hosting package anytime you want. For instance, if you discover that the visitors to your cheaply hosted site is increasing, all you will do is just ask your web hosting company to give you more space and bandwidth. The money you will be required to pay for this kind of upgrade is usually small.

The above discussion is very important if you are currently considering free web host. We also forgot to mention that with most cheap web host, you have some nice applications that will help you to design and upload your website stress free. This is important here because some free web host companies are smart enough to use easy web design applications to lure you to their net. It is not too bad if the purpose of your site is for leisure but if it is for serious business, it pays more to register your domain and have your site hosted. This has been made very easy these days in the competitive world of hosting companies. The hosting company that will offer you cheap, quality and response hosting packages is just a click away. Give it a try today and you will notice it will be cheaper for you at the long run.

Finding the Best Web Hosting Service

Searching for a good web hosting company does not always come with pleasant experience especially if you are a newbie in the Internet world. The process of finding the best website to host your online needs can get into complications in some cases if you do not set your objectives and priorities right. Thus, it is crucial for one to clearly identify the priority of their criteria of a web hosting service.

1.Review your needs –
Small personnel site will have different requirements as compared to a huge corporation site. Therefore understand precisely what kind of web hosting service is one looking for is one of the key criteria to be locked down when it comes to web hosting service.

2.Reliability and speed –
As a general rule of thumb, a good hosting service should be always up and running for at least 99.5% of the time. And potentially an elevated up-time of at least 99.9 % will be required if you are supporting global operation, which runs 7/24 hours or if you are looking forward to expand your online business to manage potential increasing traffics which will bring in more sales and profits for you.

3.Data and disk space –
Make sure you obtain the required disk space for your site, with at least an additional 30% space in as backup during emergencies. It is never wrong to anticipate the future needs especially where today’s world where soeed is the focus for everything and everyone.

4.All time Technical support and customer service –
It is very important to make sure the hosting company had a well managed technical support which runs twenty four hours a day, seven days a week to support the web hosting clients. Their support will be inclusive of potential downtime of the website or server, patching and maintenance as well as any required upgrades in their services. Live chat will be a good option to be equipped with so that if any customers face any issues anytime, they can immediately call up a designated toll free number to escalate their issues and have someone to talk face to face.

5.Ease of use –
User friendliness is another key factor especially for new customers enrolling for the hosting services. If the control panel and features of the website are too hard to understand and hands on, then most likely new clients will leave within a short time frame, as they knew well that there are many other web Host Company out there with less complex features for simple navigation and easy to understand “menu and help site”.

6.The rate –
The rate / cost for the website service is probably one of the key considerations taken into account for most of the clients. However bear in mind that cost is not necessary the key when selecting for your web host. If a professional web hosting service and infrastructure is what you are looking for, then cost would not be in your considerations at all. Quality and professionalism should not by any chance be compensated by any free web service or low cost web service.

Getting yourself a good hosting web is never easy. It requires a lot of endurance, and necessary research to land yourself with one of the best web hosting service which will fulfill your needs in most of the areas. Looking out for web service reviews is another good way to get feedback from the actual users of the website itself.

?Free Ebook about Web Hosting Company and SEO

Guidelines and Merits About Reseller Web Hosting

What can be the best advantage of a web hosting reseller? It is that one can gain few additional bucks? collateral to web hosting. One can even make it as a full time source. Few of the web hosting resellers delivers a very good amount.

Selecting a correct Reseller web hosting:

It is not if one look for a web hosting reseller according to his/her requirement. One should search for a hosting reseller one whom one can rely upon, delivering excellent customer support. A good web hosting reseller provides all the necessary tools that are required for a successful website which helps in boosting one?s business.

What one would understand by the term Reseller web hosting?

A reseller will get a reseller hosting account through Reseller web hosting which later resell space and bandwidth to his/her own clients. This type of service demands a lump of space and bandwidth.

What the term Web Hosting Reseller denotes?

It refers to a person or a company that acts like an agent to resell the products and services related to hosting companies. Such a reseller can receive commissions and/or discounts from the respective web hosting Reseller Company. These resellers even get the right to build their own custom web reseller accounts for the purpose of re-sell the product to their respective customers.

One should know that to deal with a reseller web hosting company, he/she has to sacrifice some of the rights. One should need to ensure that he/she may not have to counter with the trouble of downtime. If this problem arises one may loose the link of crucial emails and/or sales coming through valuable clients.

If the quest ends on a right selection one can achieve heights in the reseller web hosting service sector. One can provide hosting service to the customers and conclude web site building at the same time. That?s the reason one should hunt for a web hosting company that puts the option of multiple hosting accounts along with their web hosting reseller services. After that, a web creator can involve in the hosting services of their client?s sites directly from their own respective reseller web hosting account.

One should verify carefully the recommendations of all clients as well as reference sites before finalizing a reseller web host. One can even ask from the users who are using the services of web reseller hosting companies.

Last but not the least; one should also look if all the important features and services are available that one can offer to attract his/her customers. Thus these all are necessary things which one should consider while selecting a quality web hosting reseller.