Who-Looks-for-HostingTips- by xextoys


									Finding the Web Hosting Co. That's Right for You
By Lee Creek

Whether you're a small business or a large corporation, if you're going to have a web site, you'll

have to have a web host. Lee Creek offers sage advice on how to find the host that's right for

you. At times, finding a good host for a web site is like discovering a fat guy appearing in an

advertisement for a fancy health club -- it never happens unless they need a "before" model

standing next to the well chiseled "after" guy. Sure, there are plenty of good web hosts out

there, I'm told, but it can be difficult to find one that is right for a user's particular purpose.

What may be an excellent choice for one user could be a major mistake for another. And that,

my friends, is the first factor to consider when searching for a web host. What exactly do you


Finding the perfect host should begin by analyzing what is needed for the web site. If a host

doesn't offer the services needed, then nothing else makes it worth bothering with, including

price. Knowing what you need can also eliminate wasted time looking at hosts that do not offer

services matching your needs. For individuals and some small businesses, the solution

sometimes is as simple as storing the web site on the space they got when they chose their

internet service provider. Those sites usually cost about $20 a month and come with a limited

amount of space or data transfer allowance. Frequently, however, that allowance is too little,

and/or the host may not offer other services that a small company may require, including e-

commerce or CGI-bin access or even customer service. Further, the ISP may also charge a

punishing fee for those who exceed their allotted storage and usage amounts. That is why it is

important to not only consider current needs but to allow for future growth. Another thing to

think about is the location of the hosting company. While brick and mortar businesses are

sometimes limited geographically, internet businesses have the world in reach at the touch of a

button. Thus, if you cannot get a good local company to meet your hosting needs, look around

for the company that best suits your needs and billfold, and don't worry about location.

However, you do want to make sure they have a toll-free number to use to contact them.

People are often lured by free web hosting sites, but that comes with a cost that is sometimes

too high. The dollars may be right, but users are forced to build their site with the hosting

company's online builder, costing time to make changes, more difficult, and often virtually

impossible to customize. Another factor with free web hosting is that it can require the user to

put up with ads or aggravating watermarks that appear on all the pages on their sites. To

eliminate that problem, users should choose hosting companies that allow 24/7 FTP access.

Changes that need to be made can be made as the user needs, and they can be customized to

the user's desires. Is the host reliable?
The next item to check out are the ISP's downtime history, for obvious reasons: If the server is

down, so is your web site. My current host site was great at first, but recently the server has

been down almost as much as my stock shares; thus, I am on the lookout for a good ISP (and

an even better stockbroker). It is very frustrating to pay for something you don't get, and how

many of us have gotten home from the local fast food restaurant only to discover the beef is

missing. That is probably the same feeling users have when they (or anyone else) cannot access

their web site or e-mail. When considering a host site, ask them what their uptime percentage

is, and it should be just under 100 percent. Any lower than that, you'd be better off posting

your web site at that fast food restaurant. Clearly, failure to stay up and running can be costly

to e-commerce businesses, but it is just as costly to companies that depend on the web for part

of their advertising and public identification. One way to get a true reading on a hosting

company's reliability is to check with some of its existing clients to determine what they think

about it. Any one of them can be an eye opener, so make sure you check with several to get a

real picture. Give your host a call - if you can!

Free telephone support from your web hosting company is critical. Why? If the server is down,

there goes your e-mail capabilities, too. I recently found a company of interest to me, but when

I asked them for their 24/7 telephone support number, they said they only offered e-mail

support. Perhaps they are expecting users to write letters to report their problems when the

server is down, but I'll never know because I immediately scratched them off my list. Some

companies may not have a toll-free number to call, but at least the support itself is free. Others

charge for the support, which means you pay that in addition to the cost of the telephone call.

Perhaps the best way to determine how reliable a web hosting company's support is, is to send

an e-mail to them on Saturday night. If you don't get a response until Monday, then you will

know that in the future that if problems occur early in the weekend, your site will probably stay

down until the work week begins on Monday. That could be quite costly. At this point, if your

ISP has not met the criteria discussed above, it may be time to be looking for another home for

your web site. Moving to another site can be a pain, but your domain registrar can usually be of

help, and so can the host you choose to replace the old one.

Top 10 Requirements for Choosing the Right Web Host

After you've selected a great domain name and you're ready to get started, the next step is

choosing the "right" web host for your business needs.

Your web site will be the very foundation of your Internet presence. Selecting the right web

hosting service is critical to your success. I am sure you have heard the old saying, "you get

what you pay for". This usually rings true on the internet, as well as in the real world.
Consider your choices:

1) Free Websites. A few megabytes of storage space, slow servers, usually no customer

support, can't use your own domain name, bogged down with their advertisements, are not

indexed by most search engines, and none of the features you'll need to make money.

2) Low Cost Web Hosting. Often unreliable, bare essentials, little or no real technical support,

lacking in features, not really for a serious online business.

3) The Right Choice. Lots of storage space, super fast servers, real people to speak with in case

of problems, all the features necessary to make big bucks. (your own cgi-bin for interactive

features, autoresponders, form mail, secure server, etc.)

If you are serious about your online business success, the choice is obvious. Why not use a web

hosting service that allows you to take full advantage of the Internet's capabilities. You will most

likely, not be able to compete and will be losing big money as a result. Here are the essential

features you should be looking for in a quality web hosting package:

1) Fast Servers - Quality hardware and redundant OC3 or T3 connections. How fast your web

pages load is directly proportional to your income. Don't let anyone tell you a server can be too


2) Domain Name Support & Registration Services - Your web host must allow the use of your

own domain name. They should offer free registration and work closely with Internic to get

things done fast.

3) No Bandwidth, No Access, or Hit Charges - There is absolutely no reason to use a web host

that charges for bandwidth, access, or hit fees. Unless you have an adult web site. The best

hosting services offer unlimited bandwidth with standard packages.

4) Unlimited CGI Access (FTP/Telenet) - You will need CGI scripts at some time or another.

Make sure that you have your own cgi-bin and the ability to upload any scripts you want. Never

use a web host that limits you to the their scripts only.

5) Unlimited Technical Support - A good web host should have live humans to speak with on the

phone. Insist on free, unlimited technical support via both email and telephone. You'll be glad

you did.
6) Control Panel or Web Based Administration - Most quality web hosts have some type of

interface that allows you to manage your server via the web. This is not necessary, but can be

very handy for many who don't consider themselves to be the technical type.

7) Secure Server - If you plan on selling anything directly from your web site, you'll need secure

server capabilities. The best offer low or no additional setup fees, and a low or no monthly fee

for SSL.

8) Email Services - Your web host should offer full email services. Including, POP mailboxes,

unlimited email aliases, and a generous supply autoresponders. Do not pay extra for these


9) No Minimum Contract - Don't ever sign a long term contract. It's not necessary. If something

should happen and you decide to switch hosts, being locked into a long term contract could be

very costly.

10) Money Back Guarantee - A quality web host offers a 30 day money back guarantee. You

should insist on it! It is the sign of a professional company that will stand behind it's service.

Don't make the common mistake of sacrificing quality and essential features just to save a

couple of dollars. The simple truth is that using an inferior web host will not save you money at

all. You will inevitably end up paying a lot more due to down time and lost profits.

Earl B. Hall is the publisher/editor of NetPower New-World Gazette and owner of NetPower

Publishing. Check out his FREE software, marketing books, web hosting services & more at

http://www.powerpub.com In a hurry? Get complete details by sending mailto:

info@powerpub.com You'll find tons of tips, tricks & tools for getting more unique visitors,

repeat traffic and maximizing income from your website!
Web Hosting - Why Pay?

By Michael McCarthy

If you're in the process of finding an appropriate host for your site, you'll probably ask yourself

"Why should I pay for hosting when I can get it for free?" The answer depends on the nature of

your site. A paid hosting plan is essential for some sites, while for others a free host might offer

all the facilities you need. But which should you choose?

Free Hosting Pitfalls

If you've been developing Web pages for over a year, then chances are that you're considering

the move to paid hosting, if you're not already on a paid plan. As an experienced coder and

designer, you're probably familiar with the frustrations involved with hosting your site on a free


1. Advertising Overload

Probably the first thing that comes to mind when you think of free hosting is the proliferation of

unwanted ads on all your pages. Unfortunately, many free hosts rely solely on these ads to earn

money, so very few offer services that are free of forced advertising. The end result? Visitors to

your site see a 468x60 pixel banner ad on the top of each of your pages. Or maybe they're hit

with a pop-up banner after each click-through. Whatever the case, these ads can severely

reduce the professionalism of well-designed pages.

2. More Downtime

Downtime plagues many free web hosts. The fact that their subscribers don't pay for services

means that many free hosts feel less than obligated when it comes to dependability. Free hosts

are rarely bothered if some of users are dissatisfied with the service - this small minority are of

little or no real benefit to the host anyway.

3. Poor Customer Support

The majority of free hosts don't have the funds to hire customer support teams. If you

experience problems, you can find yourself relying heavily on the host's Frequently Asked

Questions page - after all, the chances of receiving any live or email support can be almost non-


4. Limited Space

If your site is large, then you might find free web hosts quite limiting. Most free hosts only

provide customers with 5 to 10 MB of space, so you'll never be able to expand your site beyond

your allotted disk space without moving to a paid host.
5. Restricted Ad Revenues

Many free hosts don't allow you to sell advertising space on your site. This might be fine if

you're simply maintaining a personal homepage, but can severely impact on revenues for

business Websites. For these sites, a paid service may be the only viable hosting option.

6. No Secure Server Access If you plan on building an online store, you'll need a secure

server to enable secure online credit card processing. Most free hosts don't support secure web

servers, and, given customer fears about fraud, privacy and security, the lack of secure serving

can make it virtually impossible for an online store to survive on a free service.

7. File Type Restrictions

Many free web hosts don't support file extensions other than .html, which can be really limiting.

For example, if you build a large web site with the same navigation on each page, you might

use SSI, which gives you the ability to alter the navigation style on one page, and have that

same alteration automatically carried across all pages. SSI can save you a great deal of time

and frustration, but is produces files that end in .shtml. To cater for these files, you'll need an

SSI-enabled server, which can be almost impossible to find through a free host.

8. Long Domain Names

Paid hosts allow their customers to use their own domain names, while most free services

require you to take a subdomain off the host's name. In the case of Geocities, a typical URL

could resemble "http://www.geocities.com/Area51/ Shadowlands/ 2719/ Food/ pizza.htm."

Domains like this almost entirely prevent users from visiting your site from memory - they'll

need to bookmark your site, or be able to find it easily through a search engine or other linked

sites. Obviously, this can seriously affect the traffic your site receives. Free or Paid? It's up to


As you can see, in most cases, a paid web host provides a significantly better service than do

free hosts. Free Web hosting might be ideal for personal homepages and sites that don't rely on

online advertising or sales revenues. But for those in business, whether they're selling online, or

simply wish to present a professional Web presence, paid hosting is typically the only option

worth considering. Maybe the old saying's true: You do get what you pay for.
Avoid eCommerce Hosting Horror

By Adam Kling

There seems to be a lack of information on the subject of Web hosting. It amazes me, because

the Web host is literally the backbone of your site. If you get stuck with a shoddy host your site

won't appear on the Net. Your email won't come through. Your shopping cart won't function.

Without a dependable Web host... your online business would be out of business! So how do

you make heads or tails out of the bandwidth, megabytes, POP3s, FTPs and SSLs? Due to the

lack of information available, most site owners make one of two choices: they pick the least

expensive package, or they choose the one that offers the most features "just to be safe". Allow

me to define a few of the more common terms that you might hear in your search for the ideal

host. I'll also offer some guidelines to help you make a knowledgeable decision about exactly

which features you really need.

The Basics

Storage Space

This is the amount of space you lease on the host's server, and it's measured in megabytes. So

how much do you need for your site? Well, on most Websites, one page with limited graphics

and some text would take (on average) 5 kilobytes (Kb). If you have heavy graphics, photos,

etc. your pages might require up to 30 Kb. Multiply the number of pages by the number of

kilobytes to calculate a rough estimate of how much space your site currently needs. Also, don't

forget to account for space that will be used by other things you'll store on the server. eBooks

take up an enormous amount of space, as do Flash movies. They'll also be stored on the host's

server, and need to be included in your estimate. Try to anticipate what you're likely to add to

the site in the future, and include that in your total -- you'll want to allow some room for

growth. A quick tip: just look at the file index on your computer to see the size of each page,

ebook or Flash presentation.


When files are transferred from the host's server to the site visitor, they use up bandwidth.

When pages are clicked and displayed on the screen, when ebooks are downloaded, when

shopping carts are put to use, bandwidth comes into play. The more "active" your site is -- the

more there is for the site visitor to do -- the more bandwidth you'll need.

Email Accounts

There are two primary types of email that Web hosts offer. Web mail is email that can be

accessed online using your browser. You pull it up and view it just as you would any other

Website. POP3 email is that which can be used with email software (called an email client) such
as Outlook Express, Outlook, Eudora or Pegasus. Where you need to be careful is in determining

how you'll manage your email accounts, and what charges are involved with each alternative.

Some hosts offer a limited number of POP3 addresses and then charge you for additional ones.

Others may not offer a "control panel" for the maintenance of your email addresses, and might

charge you to process any changes you need to make.

The Extras

Now let's consider a few items that you'll probably have heard of, and see how they can help

you run an online business smoothly.


One additional service that will come in very handy is that of an autoresponder. This will allow

you to send an automatic message to people who email you. You will find this service useful

when you're on vacation, or when you want to reassure customers that their message has

gotten through, without having to make a personal reply to this effect every time you receive an


FTP and Front Page

FTP stands for File Transfer Protocol. This is the protocol used to upload your Website to the

host's server. Most Web design software includes an FTP application that incorporates

Dreamweaver and Go Live. Note that Microsoft's Front Page does not include FTP. It also has

some other special considerations that make it necessary for your host to specifically support

Front Page, if that's the softare you use -- check with your potential host for more details.

SSL (Secure Socket Layer)

This is the process that allows the secure, encrypted transfer of data. Some confuse this with

the acceptance of credit cards. Although most shopping carts and online merchant accounts use

SSL, it does NOT mean that your host includes a merchant account with your hosting package.

In addition to payment options, SSL can be used to collect sensitive data from your site visitors,

to ensure that your emails are not intercepted online, and to provide a sense of security for your


"There's More?!"

Yes! Choosing a Web host is a serious process. A few other questions to consider during this

decision-making time revolve around the function of your site.

    •    Are you going to offer purchases online? If so, you'll need a shopping cart.
    •   Are you going to provide an ezine or newsletter? If so, it would be beneficial to

        find a host that offers list servers. If not, you can find a free one (which will include

        advertisements) or you'll have to pay for this service from another provider.

    •   Do you want to track your site visitors? That would be very wise! Be sure to view

        the types of traffic statistics the host offers. Unfortunately, some don't provide very

        detailed information. At a minimum you'll want to see the referring URL (where the

        visitor came from), the number of hits per month and the pages on your site that are

        receiving the most views.

    •   Think you'll have questions from time to time? Then it would be an excellent idea

        to find a host that offers 24/7/365 tech support via chat or telephone.

And last, but certainly not least, be very sure to check out the "up time" and security of the

host. As I mentioned in the beginning of this article, if the host isn't dependable, your business

will be out of business! It's imperative that your host has measures in place in case of crashes

or outages. Likewise, you'll want a host that offers security for the information you'll be storing

on his/her server. Find out about firewalls and other security precautions they've taken.

Knowledge is power! Knowing what to look for can save you a lot of money, time and

aggravation. And it can keep your business IN business.
WebHosting Bandwidth - An Introduction

By Adam Eisner

When choosing a host, the amount of bandwidth you purchase can be crucial to the success of

your site. Generally speaking, the more bandwidth you have, the more traffic your site will be

able to handle at one time.

How much bandwidth do I need?

To determine how much bandwidth you'll need, you must first:

    •   estimate how big each page on your site is, and

    •   how many people are going to view it.

To do this, add up the size of every image on the page and the size of the page's HTML files.

Then multiply this figure by the number of views you expect for that page per month. For

example, if you had three 10k images on your page and a 2k HTML file, you would have 32k of

data on that page. Multiply that by your expected page views (let's say 100,000 per month),

and you get 3.2G of data to be transferred that month for that page. Now recalculate this

number for each page, and you'll know approximately how much bandwidth your entire site


How can I save bandwidth?

There are three key ways to optimize your bandwidth usage:

1. Keep your pages as small as possible.

This means tight HTML programming to reduce file size, and compacting your pictures and

graphics to reduce image size ( NetMechanic has a free, easy-to-use file compression utility).

Use the JPEG image format for your photos and the GIF format for graphics - their compression

abilities are second to none.

Dr. HTML's site has useful tools that will analyze your site's image sizes, transfer amounts, table

structure and more.

2. Use images that aren't stored on your site.

You can do this by replacing the file name in your <IMG SRC> tag with a URL that gives the

location of the image you want to use. Before doing this, however, make sure you have the

permission of the site you are linking to. Otherwise, you're stealing bandwidth, which is

considered pirating and is therefore illegal (for more information, see "How can I prevent

bandwidth theft?" below).
3. Use Cascading Style Sheets (CSS).

Another effective way to save bandwidth is to use CSS. Designed to reduce HTML file size, CSS

attribute values for any HTML element/command at the beginning of the document, rather than

repeating them throughout.

For more information on CSS and other resources related to bandwidth conservation, visit

Infohiway or the SitePoint CSS Tutorial.

How can I prevent bandwidth theft?

To use another site's images by linking to them through your <IMG SRC> tags without

permission is a form of double piracy: you're pirating both the site's image and its bandwidth.

As unethical as it may be, it's a reality many webmasters have to deal with on a daily basis.


The most basic method of preventing theft of your bandwidth is policing. Analyze search

engines, logs, and other sites to find out who's using your images (and your bandwidth) without

permission. Once you've identified the offenders, you can contact them and order them to stop

linking to your site (and if they try to feed you a story about everything on the Internet being in

the "public domain," don't buy it). Unfortunately, policing sites yourself is a time-consuming


Commercial Software

A more costly but time-efficient way to protect your bandwidth is to take advantage of the

software packages that are currently available. A standard log analysis program like WebTrends

can help track bandwidth thieves, as most software suites like this will identify the most popular

referrers and visitors to your site. Armed with that information, you can work backward to find

out if any sites are hitching a ride on your connection. Most Web hosts offer some sort of log

analysis program as a standard feature of their hosting package.

If you're looking for something a bit more automated, Artistscope offers a number of utilities

that can protect your images through encryption, secure Web hosting, and other methods.

Protection plans start as low as $US10 per 100 page views.

Or, for an extremely secure, high-end solution, Digimarc has developed patented digital

technology that embeds a "watermark" on all files, providing copyright protection and tracking

for your electronic property.
Where can I find out more?

For further details on bandwidth, take a look at Bandwidth.com, a site that matches users with
bandwidth providers. About.com recently launched a bandwidth-specific Web site that's chock-
full of bandwidth-related news and information. And be sure to visit MSN's message board
community, where you'll find an entire section dedicated to connectivity.

The many advantages of having your own domain name.

By Karl Heinz Resch ,owner of kresch.com

Easy to find

An URL with your name or the name of your company is easier to find or even can be guessed

correctly by your prospective visitors.

Easy to remember

Once your customers have found your Web site, it's much more likely that they will remember a

short URL than one that reads http://www.somehost.com/members/you/index.html.


You can switch to another Web space provider and take your URL with you. Without your own

domain name you would have to

    •   resubmit your pages to the search engines and directories

    •   find out who links to your site and inform them of your new address (hoping that they

        all change the links)

    •   eventually keep paying your previous hosting site for a while to redirect the visitors of

        your old pages to your new location.


A lot of Internet users tend to trust a company with their own domain a lot more than one

without. However, for others this is not relevant. What do you think of companies that can't

afford their own domain name or are hosted on a free server? Serious businesses need to have

their own domain name.

Easy to type

A short URL is easier to type in the browsers address field. It's also easier to add it to your SIG

file or to write it on your business cards and print it on your business letters.


Once you've registered your domain name, no one else can take your name and register it. Try

a Domain Name Query to find out if your desired domain name is still available.

The registration of a .com domain with InterNic only costs USD 35 for one year. The first two

years have to be prepaid.

More advantages

    •       You can have your own access-logs on your server and analyse them easier and faster.

    •       You can receive email at your domain name and have your own email addresses, like

            you@yourdomain.com or sales@yourdomain.com.

Domain Names... Setting The Record Straight

Search engine positioning is still a hot topic. Why? Because it can generate very targeted traffic,

with a little effort, at almost zero costs.

As new people flock to the internet and search engines constantly change the rules, how is a

person to keep up? Here is a new development that just might level the playing field for you, if

you got stuck with one of those short non-descript domain names like xyz.com.

For the past couple of weeks many experts have been taking advantage of a change in Domain

Name regulations that allows up to 67 characters in domain names. More than 3.4 million

domain names, all limited to 26 characters, have been registered since 1993. The rules have

changed again!

Why are longer domain names important and how does this affect me?

The reason you want keywords in the domain name is that many of the major search engines

often give better positioning to, domains with keywords in them.

Don't like the domain names with a hyphen? Here's an interesting discovery. The hyphen seems

to act as a delimiter, parsing each word separately and adding weight to your ranking. Example:


I did some searches and found that these long domain names are going fast, too. But, it's not

too late!

John Audette's I-Search Discussion List, included a new post by the search engine expert,

Webmaster T, who explained "Having a domain name with keywords in it is very important as it

seems almost all engines are parsing URLs. Not only is the domain name important but also the

directory and file names are definitely important." http://www.audettemedia.com/i-search
If you would like to do some research on these keyword stuffed domain names. You can

perform searches and park your domain

name for free at http://www.abcHosting.net/whois1.htm Also, try their keyword generator to

find other highly targeted keywords and phrases. It will also give you an idea of how often they

are used in a search. A very valuable free tool.

You'll also find software that will critique and generate keyword rich, highly targeted web pages

for you at http://www.powerpub.com/webposition/ available as a free shareware download.

Article by Earl B. Hall. Real folks are making big money online. Grab your share - drop by

http://www.powerpub.com now. NetPower Publishing has helped thousands of small and home

based businesses profit online. In a hurry? Subscribe to Earl's FREE weekly ezine -

The Reselling Arrangement

What a Reseller Does

A hosting reseller purchases hosting services from a provider, and then sells these services on

to their own customers for a profit.

This profit may take the form of a sales commission - for instance, 10% of all hosting services

sold goes to the reseller. In this case, the reseller acts as an agent for the hosting provider.

Alternatively, the reseller may purchase the services themselves at "wholesale" rates and then

sell them at higher, "retail" rates. In this case, the reseller adds value in some way to justify the

higher price. For instance, they may add web design services, or arrange to set up the web-site

and email so the customer does not need to do this themselves.

There are many types of reselling arrangements. Here are some of the most common:

    •   The "affiliate" arrangements, where the reseller places a link on their web-site (or in

        their email) to the host's web-site and is credited for all leads originating from that link.

        The reseller provides very little in terms of added services and support and is

        essentially sales agent for the provider. If you are more interested in making sales than

        in providing service or the technical side of hosting, this may be the option for you.

    •   The reseller sets up his own web-site to sell the hosting services and receives a

        commission for all sales brought to the host. An example of this may be a web-designer

        who resells hosting services as a 'sideline'.

    •   The reseller purchases the host's services wholesale and then sells them to his

        customers for a profit - often without letting his customers know that he's selling

        someone else's services. (This is sometimes referred to as reselling under a 'private

        label' - the reseller uses their own company's name rather than that of the hosting


Shared Versus Dedicated Servers

A reseller also has the choice of whether to resell shared hosting services or to rent a dedicated

server. Shared servers are less costly to rent than dedicated servers. They usually require a

lower level of technical skills too, because most of server administration is done by the host.

This is why shared servers are usually the best choice for entry-level web-sites or for small

businesses whose web-sites do not have high traffic levels. If you plan to resell to such

businesses, then you should probably be looking at reselling shared server space.
As for dedicated servers, you will need more technical skills to run a dedicated server and the

initial cost of rental will be higher. However, dedicated servers can offer the reseller a couple of

important advantages over shared hosting arrangements:

    •   Customised applications - With a dedicated server, you can provide customised

        applications for your customers. For instance, if one of your customers wants to run

        Oracle, but your host does not provide this as a standard application, then you will be

        able to install this yourself on a dedicated server. This 'customisability' can be

        particularly important if you are catering to customers who require specialised

        applications, or if you are catering to larger customers, who require a dedicated server

        to manage their traffic loads.

    •   Profit margins - Resellers who use dedicated servers will normally be doing much of the

        administration and servicing of customers themselves. As a result, profit margins will

        generally be higher. (Note: Dedicated servers usually require a higher monthly rental

        than shared servers, so will only be more profitable if your customer base is sufficiently

        large enough to cover the increased costs of renting the server. If you are just starting

        out, and expect to be servicing just a few, small customers while building your

        customer base, you may be better off using a shared arrangement to begin with.)
Choosing a Provider: for Those Who Starts Host Reselling

Once you have decided upon the type of reselling arrangement that best suits you, you will then

need to choose a suitable provider. Here is a checklist of factors to consider when choosing a


    •   Reliability - Your reputation as a reseller will hinge upon the reliability of your provider.

        If your customer's "mission-critical" site goes down and it needs to be dealt with

        urgently, for instance, you will not be well served by a provider whose policy is to

        respond only every 24 hours. Check your host out for reliability and speed of response

        to service requests.

    •   Credit for Sale - If you are acting as sales agent, you need to be sure your host has a

        reliable way of tracking and crediting all referrals to you. Would you prefer to be paid

        once for each sale, or would you prefer a residual commission arrangement, where you

        get paid at regular intervals so long as your customer keeps using the host's services?

        Would you prefer the host to bill your customers directly, or would you prefer to bill

        your customers yourself and thus obtain the higher profit margin that usually comes

        with this? These are just a couple of ways to decide how you would like to be paid.

    •   Scalability - If you are just starting out reselling hosting services, you may want to pay

        for only a few domains at a time, and provide a very basic range of applications.

        However, as your business grows, the number of sites you service will increase and you

        may also need to increase the range of applications you can provide your customers.

        Does your host provide a relatively hassle-free way to upgrade? For instance, could you

        move easily from a shared server arrangement to a dedicated server without needing to

        change hosts?

    •   Level of Service / Automation Required - At the one extreme, your host may provide all

        of the technical service, support and billing for your customers. Your main job is to refer

        the customers to the host and collect the referral fees. At the other extreme, you may

        run the server and bill your customers yourself. The basic guideline as regards service

        and support is that the more you provide, the greater the profit margin there will be for

        you. Many hosts provide automation to streamline administration or to make it easier

        and more accessible for those who are not technically inclined. For instance, a web-

        based control panel may be available to help you set up email and web-based services

        for your customers, so you do not need to know how the underlying operating system

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