There are few things as critical to your e-business success as having a reliable web hosting service ...
Here's How To Choose The Right Web Host To Guarantee Your Web site Stays Up And Running!
Whether your focus is affiliate marketing or any other online business, now more than ever ? as the Internet grows by leaps and bounds ? the choice of a reliable Web site hosting provider is absolutely critical.
Cheapest ... biggest ... smartest ... newest ... oldest ? with thousands of web site hosting companies vying for your attention, it's easy to get confused. And, heaven forbid, if you make the wrong choice, it could cost you dearly in time, effort and money. Transferring a site from one host to another host is nightmarish at best ? if it's even do-able. So ...
How do you pick the BEST host for your web site and online business needs -- the very first time out?
You can start by going through the following checklist:
[ ] What is the Initial Set-up Fee?
[ ] Is the cost of a domain name included?
[ ] How much bandwidth (data transfer) will you be allowed each month?
[ ] How much disk space (data storage) is provided?
[ ] What features are provided on the website control panel?
[ ] Are you provided with unlimited email accounts?
[ ] Do you get unlimited single and multiple sequential autoresponders?
[ ] What is the level of shopping cart compatibility?
[ ] Are website analysis tools provided?
[ ] Are tools provided for traffic analysis, tracking reports?
[ ] Are search engine submission tools provided? Ranking reports?
[ ] Do you have access to your own cgi-bin directory?
[ ] What web design tools are provided, as part of a complete web design capability?
[ ] Are web site design templates included?
[ ] Are there any ezine publication tools?
[ ] Is there a Spam check tool?
[ ] What kind of technical support is provided?
[ ] What security measures are in place? Offer your clients ease of mind with SSL (Secure Socket Layer) for selling from your site.
[ ] What is the speed of the web host's Internet connections?
[ ] Is there 24-7 customer service? How does the company rate on support?
[ ] What is the hosting cost per month?
Pricing, of course, is a key consideration in choosing a web host that's right for your needs. Just remember, as with everything else in life, you're going to get what you pay for. There are 3 general categories of web hosting providers readily available, ranging from $0 to $75 per month. (More expensive solutions are for really big companies and beyond the scope of this article). Let's take a look:
FREE Web Hosting
Tempting as it sounds, $0 cost hosting is best reserved for casual use ? for a hobby or other personal purpose not related to making money on the Internet. Among the disadvantages: Low bandwidth, poor technical and customer support, excessive downtime, slow connection times, poor or no search engine positioning.
One of the most significant compromises you face is that 99% of free web hosts put their own ads on the homepage of your site, detracting from your business. It comes across as unprofessional and can quickly drive your prospects away. Also ? extremely important for affiliate marketers ? many affiliate programs will not accept people who are hosted on a free web service!
The Search Engines may not accept rating your web site if it has a sub-domain name not as part of your own dot.com name, especially if the sub-domain is part of a free web host domain name.
If, for any reason, you're interested in going this route, do a search on Google. For example, search for "Free web hosting" and discover more that 1.5 million references. For this reason, I can not pick any favorites, being unable to verify how reputable they are. Good luck with your search. Compare features, over and over. It is the best way to narrow the field of candidates.
CHEAP Web Hosting
Low cost web hosting will work for you if your budget is limited and you don't want to spend money for larger disk space and other options that might not be necessary for you at the moment.
Most providers in this category charge from $3 to $10 a month. Many of them do not offer you a Control Panel and a number of other useful features like tracking, autoresponders, sub domains, etc.
If you don't need the storage space or extra features, cheap web hosting is a workable solution, especially if your needs are not for e-business.
For some examples... nah, forget it, I don't want to give you examples of what I don't really believe in.
PROFESSIONAL Web Hosting
When you're in it for the long haul, it really pays to think Pro.
As you continue to add content to your site, you will need more disk space. As your traffic increases, so does your need for more bandwidth. You'll want that sophisticated control panel with all the bells and whistles -- unlimited autoresponders, unlimited email addresses, unlimited sub domains, detailed website statistics, website promotional tools, topnotch support and so on.
Prices for top level hosting range from $20 to $49 a month or more. Granted, it's not free or cheap. But it's the BEST choice for running a successful online business. Time is money especially on the Internet, and you want a web host that has enough power to assure that your website will load fast.
And before you sign on the dotted line ...
Don't be shy about doing some double checking. Send some emails and see how quickly the company's customer service responds. Get feedback from several existing customers on how they find the service.
Due to the intense competition between web hosting companies, they are constantly adding more features and better tools to attract new customers. So take the time to do some comparing ? don't let anyone rush you. Make sure you sign-up with a reputable web host that can support you and accommodate all your needs as your web business expands.
And now, for examples of top rated professional web hosts that are ideal for affiliate marketing websites, read the reviews on my web site.
Now You know what to look for ... Best of luck with your selection and your business!
Fred Farah copyright 2004
Best Affiliate Products and Niche Market Strategies.
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