Top 3 Products & Services
Dated: Aug. 13, 2004
Related CategoriesWeb Hosting
A Web site is a powerful tool that takes minimal expense to create and maintain, yet delivers immediate results that will positively impact your sales and profits. Building a presence on the Web enables you to efficiently reach and service new customers and prospects across the globe, generate more revenue, and enhance customer service.
From selling products online to generating leads, a Web site can act as a sales agent and spark-increased revenues. Web sites let you efficiently reach and serve new customers and prospects across the globe.
The Web is one of the most effective marketing tools available, and it allows you to explain your products and company in greater detail than an advertisement.
Web hosting is a combination of the hardware, software, connectivity, and services that "house" or "host" a Web site on secure servers located in a data center. By hosting its Web site, a business can affordably leverage the power of a high-speed network, around-the-clock expert support and security, and state-of-the-art technology. Now, small and medium size businesses are positioned to enter new markets via the Web.
At a good Web Hosting service, we see Web hosting as the engine for growing a small and medium size business. In mere minutes and with minimal capital investment, business can harness the power of the Internet and the Web to reach and service new customers across the globe, generate more revenue, increase efficiency, enhance customer service, and improve communications.
When your company decides to establish a Web presence, one of the most important decisions you will make is whether to outsource your Web site hosting or manage it internally. The majority of companies with Web sites today are leaving Web hosting to the experts, with the cost savings and lack of internal technical resources driving their decisions
Outsourcing to a full-service Web hosting provider delivers:
Significant savings on equipment, software and network:
- Access Expenses
- Secure Networks and Servers
- Scalable Hosting Plans to Accommodate Changing Needs
- Faster Time-To-Market
- Technical Expertise
- Professional, Proactive Site Maintenance and Management
Shared hosting is an economical and flexible Web solution that businesses often use to run an online presence. As the name implies, shared hosting means that a site shares a Web server, usually in a secure data center of a hosting service.
Small and medium size businesses - particularly those new to the Web - are fond of shared hosting solutions. This is because shared hosting is a quick, cost-effective, secure and reliable means to establishing a professional Web presence, and, it doesn't require advanced technical skills.
Within a matter of hours, a shared hosting customer can have a site up and running on the Web. Depending on the business needs, a shared solution ranges from simple, informational sites to those with e-commerce and streaming media. And when it's time, a business can easily upgrade to a managed dedicated server solution.
Managed Dedicated Hosting:
Managed dedicated hosting enables a business to lease one or more servers for its exclusive use. This solution gives customers an added level of control over their Web presence having to invest in purchasing a server and the secure environment.
Similar to shared hosting, the server is located in a hosting service provider's secure data center with 24x7 physical security and support and redundant Internet connections. In addition, businesses can customize servers to meet their performance needs, install customized software, and individualize settings for multimedia and e-commerce requirements - even host multiple Web sites on a single server. And they have the option of "root access" for full server control.
While the hosting service provider still handles the server maintenance, managed dedicated hosting requires an added level of customer involvement. Customers who select managed dedicated hosting require IT and server administration expertise to maintain the server.
Typically, a business new to the Web will start off with a shared solution and move to a managed dedicated solution as the business grows and as the customer becomes more familiar with the Web.
As a rule of thumb, small and medium business establishing an entry-level, basic Web presence are well served by a shared solution. A business that has specific software needs wants full control over their server or expects high traffic and bandwidth would benefit from a managed dedicated solution.
Web Platform (Server Operating System):
An important issue in the initial phase of launching a Web presence is Web platform selection. The Web platform is the foundation of a Web site. It drives software choices, the type and level of required technical expertise, administrative control, and site scalability as a business grows.
Linux and Windows-based platforms are two commonly used platforms for business Web sites. Both have their different options and strengths. It is important to assess which platform best meets the needs of your Web business and make an educated selection.
The story behind the development of Linux and Microsoft Windows platforms drive the key differences between the two operating systems. Linux was designed to integrate with large network systems. Alternatively, Windows-based platforms were developed to meet the needs of individual users and companies that require a less complex user experience.
Linux has evolved as a network-based operating system. It is considered a mature platform that is stable with many Internet-based applications. It requires advanced technical skills to successfully manage a Web site on a Linux platform.
Developed more recently by Microsoft, Windows-based platforms were developed to manage user-friendly software for the sharing of network-based resources. They have been widely adopted by users with minimal technical expertise because of their easy user interface and because many users are familiar with related Microsoft products and applications. The Windows-based platforms support the broad array of Microsoft applications and have enabled non-technical people to administer servers and run Web sites.
Steps to Prevent Problems with your Web Host:
- List your own company as the administrative and technical contact. When you register a domain name, you are taking a risk if you permit your ISP to list one of its own employees as the person who authorizes a transfer of the domain name to another host.
- Carefully read a Web host's acceptable use policy before you sign up. Clarify any gray areas. If you feel the policy is unfair or leaves room for excessive interpretation, negotiate changes. Otherwise, consider another hosting company.
- Identify a back-up hosting company. Choose a back-up host who can have you up and running in the shortest possible time. Make sure that this "second choice" will have no problems accommodating the software, codes, and CGI scripts used in your Web site.
- Maintain a mirror site with another host if the size of your operation justifies the cost.
- Maintain a checklist of steps to be taken if you need to switch to another host at short notice. Shifting to another host involves taking all the content, data, coding, and other software files and transferring them to a new computer. Depending on the complexity of your site, this can be a time-consuming and lengthy procedure, and it helps to begin the process early.
- Always maintain your own current back-up copy of your site. Never rely solely on your Web hosting company's promise of back up.
- Deal with any warning notices from your Web host immediately. Check to see whether your site violates the terms of your contract in any way. If you believe the warning has been sent by mistake, let the company know immediately.
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