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Hosting A Website
Site hosting is one of the most overlooked
aspects of developing your site. It will do
you no good to go through the cost and bother of putting together
a website if the host does not perform its job properly.
Hosting a site is a lot
more demanding than what it used to be.
Several mistakes that people make
in choosing a host:
1) Working with a host that is also your
site developer - You
can get a great deal this way and this may be the way that your
developer prefers to work. In most cases, you are probably okay, but when things go
wrong, they can REALLY go wrong:
a. Some developers work with outside hosts while others may host
the site themselves on their own web servers.
Unless your developer is a pretty big deal, this usually
means that your site is being hosted in a very unreliable fashion.
Hosting a website isnít terribly hard as long as things are
going right. But when
the power goes out, the server fails, or if the facility is broken
into and the servers are stolen, your site is down.
Many hosts will claim a 99% uptime ratio which sounds pretty
good until you do the math and realize that means they can be down
over 7 hours per month and still keep their agreement with you.
Seven hours may not seem like a long time, but that opens up
a very big potential that search engines wonít find your site
active. If that happens
several times in a row, you are likely to be removed from their
b. If your site developer goes out of business or itís a one
person operation and something happens to him, what happens to your
site. The only copies
of your website are in his possession and he is not available.
c. Though it should not happen this way and there are legal
recourses, what happens if you and your web developer have a falling
out. This happens more
than you would think. Again,
he owns all copies of your site, and even if you have a copy of your
site, it can take days or longer to get set up with a new host.
It can take longer if you donít even know that your site is
Most people do not check their own site daily or even weekly.
If several months go by with your site down, you are
effectively going to have to start from scratch with search engines.
2) Choosing a hosting/development package - Some hosts
like to tie people into high dollar hosting packages by coupling the
design with the hosting fee. No
charges are due for the development, but you will find yourself
paying $50 per month to have the site hosted when you can do it
elsewhere for $100 per year.
This attracts many people that are on short monthly budgets
as they donít have to come up with a design fee.
But after about a year or so, this is when the host really
starts to make their money and they keep on making it forever.
One of the trickiest parts of these contracts comes when your
contract is up and you want to move your site elsewhere.
In many of these cases, the website owner finds that he does
NOT own the website.
Always review contracts carefully. If it says that the
developer retains the right to his code, you arenít taking your
site anywhere else. You
are stuck between staying with him at his high monthly fees and
starting from scratch with a new developer and a new site.
3) Choosing a host simply on the basis of price - There
is a lot more to choosing a host than simply how much it will cost
you. Consider the
following when choosing a host:
a. What do they guarantee for uptime?
Your site has to be live or itís useless.
When your site is not available, customers not only wonít
find you, they may assume that you are out of business.
When your site is down, search engines cannot find you either
and they too may assume you are out of business.
b. How much space do they give you? Not just space, but space for your files.
Most hosts tell you in terms of how much data you can upload,
but a few will automatically reduce that by the amount of space for
their files that are necessary to run your site.
This is not a problem for most websites but if your site is
large, it could be a consideration.
c. Tape backups Ė Does the host regularly do back ups.
Servers can fail or be attacked by an outside party.
If the server does fail, tape backups mean that they can
quickly move your site to another server.
If there is no backup, this means that you will have to have
your site uploaded again.
d. Most important of all is the ability for you to contact your
host via phone. Most
reputable hosts are happy to provide this information on their
website. If their phone
number is not listed, the only way for you to contact them is via
their website, which can often mean that your request goes into a
queue and they will see it when they see it.
close to that above is the ability to contact them 24 hours per day.
Hosts that only keep regular business hours may not give you
any kind of support if your site goes down in the evening.
>> Website Development
>> Website Hosting