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Your company web site hosting can make or break your online business...

By Rick Gelson

Choosing the right company web site hosting service is one of the most important decisions you will make for your online business venture. If you do everything else right but select poor company web site hosting, the cost to your business could be fatal.

Unfortunately, horror stories are all too common about company web site hosting services within the web hosting industry. .

Downtime, poor service, poor connections, not enough bandwidth, and slow loading pages that cause your visitors to exit before the page opens, are much too common among many company web site hosting services.

How your company web site hosting provider is connected to the Internet and their available bandwidth, will determine how much your business can grow. Make certain your company web site hosting provider is able to meet your business needs for the future.

Generally, when it comes to company web site hosting, you get what you pay for. Most online marketers, from our experience, are not using company web site hosting providers that allows them to take full advantage of the Internet. This is costing them a lot of money.

The main features to look for in a company web site hosting service are:

Fast servers. How fast your pages load directly impacts your income online. The faster your pages load the more likely your visitor will stick around long enough to at least begin reading your copy. Redundant T3 connections with quality hardware are a good start. OC3's and OC12's are the fastest connections currently possible. Finding a company web site hosting provider with OC lines should be a priority. They are found only in direct connections with multiple backbones.

Full domain support and registration services are important. Your hosting service must allow you to use your own domain name.

Full e-mail services are also important. These should include POP mailboxes, unlimited e-mail aliases, e-mail forwarding, and unlimited autoresponders. Your hosting provider should not cost extra.

Secure server capability (SSL) is important if you plan to sell anything directly from your web site. If you're serious about secure payments for your customers do not use a shared secured socket layer. You will need to purchase your own SSL from Verisign, Thawte, or GeoTrust. Your web host should install this at no additional cost.

 

 



Unrestricted CGI access is a necessity for many online businesses. The ability to upload CGI scripts into your own cgi-bin any time you want can be very important. Telnet and FTP access are important features that can save you time in debugging CGI scripts and uploading files. Some may offer FTP access but not Telnet. Finding a web host that offers both is the best solution.

Cron jobs allow automation of behind the scene type activities and can be important in Internet marketing activities.

Web based administration of your server through an easy to use online interface is greatly needed for most users. If you are not a techie this is absolutely necessary.

Access to raw server logs of your site is also necessary to best analyze your web traffic. Don't use any web host that can't provide this.

Unlimited no cost customer support should be required. Your company web site hosting service should be able to respond to you within 24 hours with a solution. Hopefully their response time will be very fast. You should test the web hosting provider's response time by sending an email with a question. If they respond within 24 hours, you may have a winner. If not, keep looking. You should also be notified very quickly that your request has been received and that the support staff will contact you as soon as possible.

Many choose a poor host based solely on the cost. Sacrificing quality and important features to save a little money actually will usually cost you a lot more in lost profits and wasted marketing efforts.

Pinching pennies is not a good thing when it comes to choosing the right web host.

And finally, don't use a web hosting service that doesn't offer a guarantee. The minimum guarantee should be 30 days. The longer the better. If the provider is as good as they claim to be, let them back it up with a great risk-free offer.

About the Author: Rick Gelson is an internet ecommerce consultant working at vavio.com ,a web design company.

 

 
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