10 things you didn’t know about your hosting site
You have finally decided your business or organization needs presence on the World Wide Web. You want an effective, attractive and compelling presentation that will drive traffic to your site. The problem is where do you turn? If you are a neophyte, the Internet is not the place to get lost. There is a lot of cyber-spin out there, with unspecified and nebulous promises that confuse even the most astute Web traveler.
So What Should I Know?
Beware of any hosting site that makes ridiculous claims. You will hear all kinds of promises, most of them using the word “unlimited.” The catch phrases today are unlimited bandwidth, unlimited space and unlimited transfer. Be advised, unlimited bandwidth always comes with a price. The word unlimited should also be a term that makes your hair stand on end. If it sounds too good to be true… it is.
Many considerations go into an effective web host. You need to do your homework and research the hosting company you are considering. Many make unreasonable claims and don’t follow through, or have the contract in such fine print or techno-speak, the average person doesn’t know they have been duped.
What Do Hosting Contracts Typically Offer?
You will be tempted and baited by all kinds of offers in various web-hosting contracts. Many of the companies will offer you unlimited web space… unlimited traffic… unlimited disk storage… and unlimited POP accounts. POP accounts, by the way are email boxes. Many experts recommend no more than 15 POP accounts, unless you an extremely large enterprise.
When considering a Web host, ask around. Talk to people who have used them. Talk to experts in the industry. Check with the Better Business Bureau and get ramped up on the latest technological terms. These terms will come back and bite you if you don’t know what they mean.
So What is Important?
Terminology is essential. Technology is more important. If you are trying to manage your own web page, you have to know what your web server will provide. Here are a number of items that are important:
- Does your web host provide good service and technical support when you need it? You will be working on your site and need that help from a competent IT person. Make sure that comes with the package.
- Do they provide FTP access? This allows you to upload your own pages as needed to an area that can accept large files. This a major time saver and necessary as you expand.
- How much do they charge for SSL access. This is necessary is you are accepting credit cards for services or products on your site. Don’t find out too little, too late that they do.
- Do they provide mysql hosting ? You need this for maintaining your databases for your website.
- Do they have Perl and PHP5 hosting access? These are open-source programming scripting languages that are the cyber-speak of today. If you want to do your own creations, without a standardized, basic framework… you need this to expand your web page designs.
- Bandwidth allotment? = Always make sure you web host offers at least 1 to 3GB per month for web traffic. Otherwise, you have gridlock… and no customers.
- Do they offer SSH, MySQL hosting, SSU crontabs and htaccess? These are terms that are inherent to Internet success. A good web host must provide you have these and several more.
- Do they have an SSL secure server? If you are selling products, this is necessary for a shopping cart feature. It is convenient for your customer and safe for everyone concerned. Remember, security and a Hacker-free zone!
- Do they offer a way to control you website by yourself? Your web host should provide a way for you to manage your website. That means adding, deleting and managing everything including email addresses, passwords and other pertinent data. This saves you money if you don’t have to farm it out to the web host.
- What server do they use? Open-source frameworks like Unix with the Apache server are usually cheaper. You need to find out what the web host uses. If you are using an ASP program, you will have to find a host who has a Windows (Microsoft) server. If not, you may find a better price with a Unix-based or open-source Web host. This is because you can configure your web page changes, without having to consult with web host technicians when you are on an open-source framework.
Do your homework. Do be afraid and remember, the only dumb question is the one not asked!