Before you sign up with a
hosting company you need to ask your self a few basic questions.
- How big will
your site be? How much space will you need? Can you upgrade
and get more space if you need it?
If you have a small
site with less than 15-20 pages with only a few graphic
files you could manage of 10 mgs of space. It could get
tight if you try to expand down the road. If you have
more than 20 pages and are adding sound files and graphics
you should get at least 25-50 mgs. If you are planning
an extensive shopping cart with images for each product
you would need over 50mgs.
- What will it's
purpose be? Personal Home page or Business Site?
If you are planning
on building a business site that includes the use of an
on-line data base be sure to find a provider that offers
advanced services such as CGI scripting, SQL, SSL, ASP
or Coldfusion and be sure that they allow the use of full
- Should you get
your own domain name or can you manage with sub-domain hosting?
Which does your chosen host offer?
A domain name is your
unique identity on the internet, it should be simple and
easy to remember and reflect you company name or services
if possible. Sub-domain hosting can give you a very long
file path string that you would need to include. For business
it is preferable to have your own domain name. Some domain
registrars also offer domain redirection services. These
can be quite helpful if you are using a free host company
or if you are planning on to "piggy-back" other
sites on one hosting account. They work by automatically
redirecting visitors to a predefined file on another host
server. This can be a very cost effective and handy feature.
- Will you have
a lot of graphics or will it be informational text?
Graphics and sound
files take up a lot of space on your server. Informational
sites do not require large amounts of space. If you are
planning on having graphics, do you have the images in
digital format? If not then we will need to scan in your
images for use on the internet. If you currently have
photos or product catalogs they can be mailed to us for
- Will you be
selling any products or services? If so, how will you collect
If you are planning
on selling services over the internet you need to find
out the best method of collecting payments for your type
of products or services. If you have a well established
company you will probably be able to get an internet merchant
account set up for you company with out any problems.
If you are a small start up company selling products or
services getting a merchant account set up could be difficult
and costly, in that case you should check out the no-merchant
- Will you want
email services? If so, how many will you need or want? Can
you upgrade to get more down the road?
Many hosting companies
offer Pop emails, the amounts vary form host to host.
You will need to configure your computers e-mail program.
Some companies offer a limited amount and will charge
you for additional emails, check the service offerings
if it is important for you to have multiple emails. Most
Free hosting providers do not offer full services in this
regard, however they many times offer web based email
systems which will allow you options to forward mail to
- How will you
up load up your site? What services does your host provide
Most traditional hosting
companies offer FTP uploading. This is the preferred method
of transferring files to the host servers. However, some
free or low cost host providers only offer "browser
uploading". This method can have a lot of draw backs
- Will you want
guest books and counters or other interactive scripting?
Should you use Java or CGI scripts?
There are several
forms of scripting that web sites can use for guestbooks,
form fields, counters and other add ons. Generally, Java
scripts do not require any additional files to be added
to you server and run independently through your browser
and there are a lot of interesting scripts that can be
added to you site. CGI scripts need to run off of your
server and the hosting provider needs to support CGI &
Pearl scripting. Many of the low cost providers may not
offer CGI scripting or limit you to a collection that
they have on file. If you absolute want and need CGI services
to run a particular script then check the hosting providers
services to make sure that they support CGI. CGI support
might be very necessary for certain shopping cart programs.
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information or a
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