Web Hosting Primer
The Internet offers unprecedented opportunity for ordinary people to earn extraordinary incomes on their own terms. Beyond figuring out how much time you can spend on your venture or what you will be offering, the key is your web host. If your web host is slow or your site doesn’t come up – you are out of business.
YOU CAN’T AFFORD TO DO BUSINESS WITH A BAD HOSTING COMPANY
Let’s start with the basics. Essentially your web host is your landlord; they are responsible for keeping your address (URL) live and fixing problems that arise. You don’t necessarily have to have your Internet access or dial up account company as your host (as a matter of fact, it is best that you don’t).
Your web host is your partner in a sense. I liken it to a mail order business and the postal service or a telemarketing organization and the telephone company. The major difference is that those types of companies mentioned might not have the choices we have. The Internet provides an amazing number of options and often people shop by price. Warning – you get what you pay for.
Connectivity for hosting companies isn’t cheap. Well let me just say, not for the companies with great connectivity. So really if you are working with a company that says it is going to save you $10.00 per month for 12 months, that adds up to $120.00 per year. Sounds like you are starting to save….but, let’s assume with the cheaper company, your site is down for just one day or 2/10ths of a percent. How much would you lose (in good will…in actual product sales…in favorable perception…) in one day? The better companies guarantee 98-99% up time and it is well worth paying for better service. Bottom line – don’t cut corners, set a budget for your hosting, this is essential for the success of your company.
WHAT DO YOU LOOK FOR? SERVICE IS CRITICAL.
Why? Service is critical because when you need help you typically need it now. One of the most frustrating things is a busy signal or eternal hold. This is easy to test. Call the company to find out if they answer their phone or how quickly they get back to you.
Security is important because you want your customers to feel good about purchasing at your site. You don’t want to spend your time in this area, marketing is much more important. Be sure your host is offering you a secure order form.
FAST CONNECTION TIMES.
Obviously the number of graphics you have on your page will determine to some degree how quickly it loads; however, check out a site hosted by the company you are interested in partnering with. If they won’t give you referrals, don’t give them your business. They should also be able to help you design your page for optimum load time. We are not a patient society. There are millions of web sites, so don’t force us to go elsewhere because your site isn’t ready when we are!
THE BACKBONE THE HOSTING COMPANY USES IS ESSENTIAL TO ITS FUNCTIONALITY.
May east and May west are the points where switches are made. Now keep in mind that this all happens in milliseconds; however, they do get tied up at times. It is kind of like Grand Central station for the east and west coast. If you are on UUNET’s connection via your host and need to get to a site on PSINET’s connection, you must transfer at may east or may west. Find a company that has relationships or proprietary technology that will bypass these steps and use the top 12 backbones to direct traffic. I know it all sounds a bit technical; however, when your host is set up properly there is no need to worry. Simply make it a point to ask how to avoid may east and may west in routing traffic.
The other consideration is the redundancy of the network. Your host should be able to switch you over to a backbone that is working should the one you are currently on go down.
EXTRA SERVICES THAT HELP YOU SUCCEED.
Your web host should be a reference for marketing tips, design services, advertising opportunities and affiliate networks. Remember when I said your hosting company is your partner? This is what I meant. When you find a hosting company that offers all of those things, you have found a partner.
Now you know the characteristics to look for in a web host!