Hosting Your Site
Your hosting provider will provide space in their webservers to display your web pages to your visitors. They will enable your site to be found when your domain name is typed into the browser or clicked from a hyperlink. There are a number of features you have to consider before selecting a hosting service provider.
The amount of space provided vary considerably between hosting companies. Your requirements will depend on the size of content you need to make available at your site. If you only have a single page website, your requirements are very low. If you have an archive of ebooks, reports, newsletter, MP3's, video files etc. plus software to run affiliate programs, database, mailing list etc., then your requirements are more demanding.
For a small site 10-20 MB is sufficient and will allow some extras for future expansion. If you have a big site, consider a space allocation of no less than 100 MB. In all cases, allow sufficient space for expansion within the next few years.
#2 WEB STATISTICS
Most hosting companies provide some form of web statistics so that you may monitor traffic to your site. Some are very basic whilst some are very comprehensive. The better ones have the features automatically installed and you can check your stats right away from the control panel. The cheap ones will refer you to a site where you can get a free plug in. You may have to install it yourself. Below, I have listed some free ones as well as some stats program with very comprehensive reports.
FREE - Free Web Stats, basic but free.
ONE TIME PURCHASE - Web Site Reporter, buy an install in CGI Bin. Comprehensive reports.
MONTHLY CHARGE - Web Trends Live, very comprehensive reports.
Scripts runs the interactive components of your web site such as forms, affiliate programs, click tracking, shopping carts etc. Most sites run CGI and Perl scripts but it would be safe to check first. If you are using Frontpage and Access, you will need to make sure that the server support Frontpage extension and ASP.
Bandwidth is the total amount of data requested from the webserver. Each time a visitor request for a page to be viewed, data equivalent to the page size is transmitted to the visitor's browser. Each time a download is initiated, data equivalent to the size of the download file is processed by the server. Most servers allocate a maximum bandwidth whilst some servers do not specify any limitations. If your maximum allowed bandwidth is 2GB per month and your ebook available for download is 200kb, then the maximum number of download is 10,000 times per month (assuming there is no other traffic).
Most hosting provider provides some sort of email facilities. Normally, this would provide you with an email for your domain name : email@example.com. The hosting provider may either provide you with a forwarding email, a web based email system or a POP3 email account.
With a forwarding email, any mail to that address will be forwarded to another email of your choice but there is no space allocated for storing of emails.
With a web-based email system, you may access your email by loging in to a website to read your mails, delete mails and compose new emails. An example of web based email is provided by Yahoo.
A POP3 email account is a "post box" space allocated to store emails. Emails are then retrieved from the "post box" using an email program such as Outlook or Eudora. When retrieved, these mails are downloaded into your computer as compared to a web based email where the mail is stored in the server.
#6 OTHER FEATURES
Some hosting provider will bundle many other features to make it an attractive overall package. These features may be purchased separately but sometimes it is bundled as part of the hosting package. This eliminates the hassle of working with different service providers in order to get everything to work correctly.
The down side of it is that you need to use whatever program is provided with the bundle. The features includes autoresponders, mailing lists servers, database management, web site builder, subdomains, secure server space and password protected pages.
Other services offered include submissions of your sites to search engines as well as ready made products to sell. Some sites even come with their own affiliate programs with vacations as a reward for performance.
I have listed several hosting service providers for the following categories :
#1 iREPUBLICS - 33MB, unspecified monthly bandwidth. 10 Web based email account with one autoresponder and forwarding email. CGI support. Does not support Front page extension. Requires cert. for signing. For companies, partnerships, societies, association etc. but not for individuals. Stats programs given but requires own installation. No frills but it's FREE.
#2 DOT EASY - 20MB, 1GB bandwidth, CGI scripts, Frontpage extensions, database cost extra, 10 web based emails. Email autoresponder. Suitable for small corporate websites, no frills but FREE.
NO ANNUAL OR MONTHLY FEES, ONE TIME PURCHASE
#1 FREE WEB HOSTING - 25MB space with 1 GB bandwidth. Can create subdomains, free SQL database, free shopping cart, site search engine, chat rooms, banner rotator, guest book and stats. Pop3 email with many features, SSL (secured server), password protection, SSI, own CGI bin, and audio video streaming support. More than adequate for most e-commerce site. One time set-up fee of US$49.95. Renewal of domain name at US$35 per annum.
Teraan.com Absolutely Free Web Hosting!! - 100MB LIFETIME Windows 2000 Hosting Plan $0/month! No Monthly Fee! Setup within 20 minutes! They serving over 30,000 members in the world!! Accept e-gold, stormpay, anypay and paypal. Accept All kind of sites.
#1 DOT SERVANT - From US$6 per month. 10MB space with 1GB bandwidth. Web stats,autoresponders, web based email, aliases and forwarding. Support Frontpage. Own CGI Bin, URL redirect. Suitable for small sites that needs Frontpage, own CGI bin and big bandwidth. More robust packages available.
#2 INTERNET WEB DESIGN - From US$7.99 per month. 50MB space with 1GB bandwidth. Unlimited subdomain, web based catch all email with unlimited aliases and forwarding. CGI and Frontpage support, web stats, unlimited autoresponders, mailing lists, email anti virus, secured server, shopping cart, guest book and forum systems, and SQL database.
#3 DYNAMIC - From US$9.99 per month. 10MB space with unlimited bandwidth. 10 pop email a/c, CGI bin, Support Frontpage and Access. Bonus packs of 5 softwares - autoresponder, form mail, traffic stats, community and guestbook. Free mail listserver and free SECURE server. Good for small sites that requires Frontpage and Access support and SECURED hosting for e-commerce. Control panel for easy control. More robust packages available.
#1 HOST4PROFIT - US$24.95 per month. Huge 300MB space with 10GB bandwidth. Unlimited autoresponders, mail lists, pop email accounts and email aliases. Web based email, comprehensive web stats, mail manager, control panel and password protected directories. CGI Bin, PHP4 and Perl. Support Front page extension, MySQL and Secure Server. Built in shopping cart and page counters. Submit your site to search engines as well has ready made products ready for sale. Has affiliate programs and an impressive archive of reports, articles and ebooks. Paid vacations as performance bonus. Phew ! The works. For those who wants the best, this is it. Highly recommended.
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