Read these 14 Web Hosting Services Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Web Hosting tips and hundreds of other topics.
Finding an online payment solution when you are selling goods online is one of the most important decisions you can make when building your online business. Many individuals build their website and then find that their web host does not provide ecommerce hosting – which usually means their web hosting is not secure for financial transactions. Most good web hosts today do offer some type of ecommerce hosting whether it be osCommerce or Miva Merchant or a variety of other ecommerce solutions. Some ecommerce hosting providers charge extra for their shopping cart, or charge for each item you include in your online store so you should do some good research before committing to a specific provider.
One of the most important features of your ecommerce site will be your shopping cart. Most hosting companies that offer ecommerce hosting plans will supply you with at least one free shopping cart. It is a good idea to try out a demo of this cart before you purchase an ecommerce hosting plan to make sure that it is easy to use, and to administer. OpenSourceCMS.com is a great place to find a number of popular shopping cart demos that are almost fully functional.
If you find that you like one more than another, you can search for an ecommerce hosting plan that offers your favorite cart. While you can easily pay for a regular shopping cart and install it yourself, it is much easier and cheaper to find an ecommerce hosting company that provides you with the cart you want to work with.
There are so many shopping carts to choose from, so how do you know which one will work best for you? You need to do some research. Most e-commerce web hosting providers will offer a free shopping cart or online e-commerce solution for you. Miva Merchant and osCommerce are popular and work well for most businesses. Make sure you find an e-commerce web hosting solution which has a secure server so your customers can feel assured their information will be safe, otherwise you will lose a high percentage of consumers.
If you are a small business owner or have some items you want to sell online, but don't have a large budget to build an intensive web store, there are many ecommerce web hosting options. You can apply for a merchant account online through a wide variety of hosting providers. If you do not want a merchant account you can accept funds through PayPal which is one of the most used payment services online. Most ecommerce web hosting providers offer free shopping cart software which is generally easy to set up. Make sure you check and see if there are additional charges for every item you include in your store, or if it is an open shopping cart system.
It is vital when choosing an E commerce hosting provider that you find a reliable server. If you are doing business online and your customer can't find your site, they will move onto someone else very quickly and probably not return. Make sure the hosting provider you find has a guaranteed uptime of 99.9%. It is one of the most important aspect of finding a good e-commerce hosting solution.
Web design and good web design are two different things. Al most anyone can design a web site. You can have a site with flashing lights, neon text, large images, patterned background and cool sound effects, but that does not make your web site effective. The best web site design and hosting take into consideration the experience the end user will have when visiting the site. Is the site built so search engines can effectively find and index it? Will your customer be able to find what they need quickly? Will your visitors be distracted by long loading times? Will your visitor be able to place an order quickly and feel safe about doing so? Does your web site contain the keywords which customers search for online? Do you have enough content to be valuable? Is the text you have chosen easily read? Do background patterns distract from the content? Does your web host provide enough bandwidth and speed so you don't lose potential customers? If you are serious about your online business, do some research and hire the best web site design and hosting company that you can find.
Once you decide to set up your web site for online business, it is extremely important to find the right ecommerce web site hosting. Make certain your web host offers an ecommerce solution which will include a secure site for financial transactions. A regular web site does not have a secure server which makes it vulnerable for hackers. Ecommerce web site hosting providers specialize in providing not only security for your online business but also shopping cart software so you can add new inventory easily and sales tracking statistics which are vital to understanding your market.
There are many aspects to web hosting service that are important and depending on who you talk to, you'll find some services are higher priority than others. The most important thing is that you find a web hosting company that provides your highest priority whether you want quality customer service, cheap pricing, reliability, e-commerce software, or something else. Every company will have different needs, so itemize the things that you want in a web host then go through that list and rank them in importance. Your list will help in choosing a good web hosting service and will show you what is the most important web hosting service for you.
There are many questions you need to ask when searching for a web hosting provider. First, it is vital to find out how much down time to expect. Some web hosting providers offer free web hosting or inexpensive hosting options, however their service can be down quite often. Make sure you find a web hosting provider with 99.9 percent uptime. The best way to choose a web host is by referral. Find a company who loves their web hosting provider and it's a good bet you'll have a good experience too. Most web site developers will go through 4 or 5 web hosting providers before finding one which works for them.
Building a web site and building a good web site are very different. There are hundreds of thousands of web sites that were built but then cannot be found by search engines, or do not load properly in some web browsers, or are difficult to navigate. Some web pages have just large images that take a long time to load, so visitors leave before actually viewing the page. A good web design includes not only the look and feel of a web site, but also takes into account search engines, navigation, loading time and much more. It is worth spending a little more money to build your site the right way the first time. If you can find a web hosting company that provides good web design and hosting, and have the expertise to help you get higher rankings, it is worth the investment.
Have you ever purchased something, taken it home and then found out it didn't fit right? What did you do? You take it back to the store to get your money back. How would you feel if each time you took back the item and the doors were locked, the store was dark, and no one ever answered the phone? You'd probably be a little irritated, and end up counting the money spent as a loss. That is one thing with a small purchase, yet another completely different concern when it comes to your web hosting. Good web hosting customer service is vital. I repeat – vital! This is your business. This is the experience visitors will have when visiting your website. If you have a web hosting company who cannot help you resolve issues it takes your valuable time and if problems are not solved quickly, you are losing customers. Make sure you find a web hosting company with good customer service. Test them before signing up and see how long it takes for them to respond to a few simple questions. It is not worth settling for a web host who may cost a few dollars less each month, but not be there if you need them.
Finding a web hosting provider may seem a bit confusing at first with the number of them available on the Internet. The end result should be that you find one that makes you feel confident about having a website hosted with their business and are happy with the web hosting services that they will be providing. Use these quick tips about providers and services to get you started in the right direction.
If you are going to be designing and maintaining a website yourself sign up for a hosting provider that offers a web-based application for creating and making changes to the site unless you are handy with programming. Look for a large enough host, which is equipped to handle growth of your site as expansion may be needed in the future. For a secured site that can process credit cards research SSL or secure sockets layer.
Web hosting services should include free technical support everyday. A good web hosting provider will have automated backup programs and an excellent guaranteed uptime rating. Does their service offer a private domain, sub-domains or both? Watch out for web hosting sites that offer the world including lots of advertising on your website.
If you want to place your own advertising make sure this is allowable as part of the service. Check terms and conditions carefully with any potential web hosting provider you may sign with.
There are two standard managed hosting servers, Windows and Linux. They each provide different software and security. For instance, Windows has a firewall, IPS and HDC Advanced Security. Linux offers the IPS and HDC Advanced Security. The hardware for both systems tend to be the same for these managed hosting servers. The hardware is: AMD Athlon 64 3080, 2 GB RAM and 2 x 250GB hard drives.
It seems that there are so many choices today in cheap web hosting services. Should I use virtual hosting, dedicated hosting, managed hosting, collocated hosting? What does my web hosting company provide and what do I really need? When searching for a good cheap web hosting provider, you should consider your level of expertise, how much money you want to spend and the type of web site you want to create. Do you want a custom site with e-commerce? If so, your needs will be different than if you want to build a site showing photos of your new baby to family and friends. Other web hosting services to consider include search engine submission, web site templates, design services, free domain registration, web mail, maintenance, control panel software, preinstalled cgi scripts, site search and customer service.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|