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What You Need From A Web Host When You Are Starting An Internet Business

Aug 17, 2007
You have racked your brain. After lots of hard work your website is ready. Now your web site needs a home. While building and designing your web site it sits on your computer, on the hard drive. You can test it, tweak it and see it there, but nobody else can!

For it to be visible on the World Wide Web it needs to be on a computer that is connected in technically fast, secure and stable ways onto the internet. That kind of computer is called a server, and a company that provides this service is called a Host the service is called hosting.

Choose the wrong host and you are in trouble!

The hosting company owns many servers that serve up web pages to the search engines or to whoever types your domain name into the address bar of their browser program or clicks on the link for your domain name.

It is crucial that your server is reliable and fully functioning nearly 100% of the time. Technical support for the server and for you the user is the single most expensive item for the host company. If they save money there the server may perform poorly or even crash and the customers are left with poor service and support

For the sake of saving a few measly dollars many intelligent webmasters / business owners make the mistake of using a cheap host. They even feel smart about this until they get burnt!

Hosting Tips for Beginners To Internet Business

1. No technology is perfect. There are likely to small problems affecting performance in all hosts. But you need a very high uptime. Most hosting companies will claim 99% or 99.9% uptime some will claim 100%.

2. Sufficient room for your web site. Files take up memory space on your drive before they are copied to the server. They take up server space once you have transferred them- enough space for us is probably 2 MB

3. Decent bandwidth-remember you want thousands of people to see your site. Each time your site is seen the server has to work. Practically speaking the bandwidth is a measurement of how many people can see your web pages. Some hosts claim Unlimited Bandwidth but really this is nonsense, such a claim is hype. A real number may be 2 GB per month

4. You want a company with sound finances. Lots of hosts go out of business by offering free or cheap hosting. You want a stable viable company that will be around as long as you will. Changing hosts is no joke; this is something you want to get right the first time (like marriage!)

5. You may not think that it is important in the beginning but you need a hosting plan which will allow you to host more than one website. At the beginning one website seems as daunting as a marathon race but after you have created your first website you will probably start getting ideas for your second website. Your hosting plan must allow you to grow!

6. I have left the most important requirement for a Newbie till last! It is support. We are Newbies. We are intelligent and hardworking, not dummies or idiots but we require proper support. Every Host will claim that their support is great-how would you find them saying that their support is rubbish? But if you look at the web sites of host companies you find different types of support

I list here the kinds of support provided with my comments:

Knowledge base fancy words for a few pages of other peoples questions. This is usually useless

Ticket System a way for a company to spend less on telephone support and provide you with slow, half baked answers

Instant Chat-not much different from the ticket system. The customer support person is handling many requests at the same time, how good do you think that makes the answers you get?

Telephone Support-now we are talking! Sorry about the pun! There are two types of Telephone support-General Customer Support-often about Billing, general questions-non technical stuff and Technical Support.

My strongest recommendation is for you to choose a host who provide Telephone Technical Support. Some do this only in Office hours. Check what time zone they are in and that this fits your hours.

Very very few provide 24/7 Telephone Technical Support.

Now it could easily be that a host that provides good Newbie friendly customer support falls down in other ways Choosing a host is difficult but we got to do it! Just think about how difficult it is to find and choose a good home for your family. If you can do that you can find a good home for your web sites too!

Make sure you phone them and see how they treat you!

Notice that I used the plural,"web sites".

Congratulations on starting your internet business and publishing your first web site but nobody makes a living from one web site. A real solid business will have second and third and more income streams, although you have to start with one website and focus on it until it works. This makes your decision about web hosting even more important. Using these hosting tips will give you solid support and help not just in starting your internet business but for years to come.
About the Author
Alex Newell taught Information Technology in a Community College in London, UK for many years and is now teaching Newbies to Internet Business how to shorten their learning curve to make a living online
Starting An Internet Business
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