free hosting service
online businesses, you'd better not use free hosting service. Just
imagine if you are a customer who want to buy a product online, when
you find the online site is a free one like Geocities, what do you
feel? I'm sure you will not want to buy it, because you know there
is no guarantee, no quality, no security and there is probably only
one person sitting and fishing behind the business.
Redundancy and Speed should be your major concern
the Internet is made up of many "backbone" networks that
exchange data with each other very efficiently. But your host might
not connect to the backbone directly. It might have a connection to
a Internet service provider, which in turn connects to another ISP.
So there might be many hops between your host and backbone. The more
hops you have, the slower your network is.
No matter how excellent the equipment is, technology might fail occasionally.
One question to ask your host is: "Do you have multiple routers
and switches, standby servers, multiple backbones and UPS systems
to provide consistent access?".
Many smaller hosts use T1's to connect your site at a rate of 1.5Mbps.
Your best bet is to find a provider that uses a T3 (45 Mbps) line
connection, which is 28 times faster than the T1's.
the traffic of your site in advance
is also known as bandwidth or data transfer. It is the amount of data
transmitted or received monthly. You should estimate the traffic of
your site beforehand so that you can choose the hosting plan that
best suits you. Here is an example showing how to estimate your traffic:
let's say, you have a shareware to sell, the shareware size is 5MB,
and the download count is about 1000 (you can estimate the number
from the download count of other company's similar software). So your
monthly traffic should be at least 5MB x 1000 = 5GB.
much does it cost monthly?
may be able to get excellent service for as little as $30-$100 per
month from many small hosting sites. However, as your business grow,
you will need more and more support. Many large companies pay their
hosts as much as six figures per month.
autoresponders are quite useful
are very useful for e-business since you can automatically respond
your customers' emails with a standard professional message, like
"Thank you for ... We will be responding to your mail within
18 useful features for E-Commerce
with your host to see if they provide the following useful features:
Option sets up anonymous FTP to allow users to upload and download
files to and from your site.
this option, you can password-protect any directory you own. This
will prevent users from viewing the contents of a directory unless
they have permission. You can set any number of users using this feature.
Note that you cannot use this feature if you have Frontpage Extensions
installed. You would need to use Frontpage itself to perform this
URL allows you to set up a redirection so that user that type in one
URL will automatically be sent to another URL. Note that you cannot
use this feature if you have Frontpage Extensions installed. You would
need to use Frontpage itself to perform this function.
this option, you can verify that the counter program is installed
for your account. Also, you can find directions for setting up a counter
on one of your pages. Finally, after the counter has been installed
on your pages, you can set the value of the counter from here.
File Manager is a very great feature. It allows you to manipulate
all the files in your web site. You are able to create, delete, and
move your files. You can also upload files from your local PC to the
server in File Manager. Plus, you can edit the HTML in any of your
files from this option.
allows you to use a form to receive email from your users.
Mail Manager is where you can manage all aspects of your email accounts.
You can add, edit, and delete email accounts. You can also change
the password on any of your email accounts.
Options allows you to create and maintain your mailing lists.
Types allows you to set certain programs to be used for specific extensions.
For example, all files that end in .ram would be set to use Real Player
on the user's PC.
MS Frontpage option allows you to install Frontpage extensions - which
are necessary in order to use Frontpage with your site.
is a database engine that you can use with your web site. This feature
will allow you to create a new MySQL database, and manage it. You
will be able to add/edit/delete tables, fields, and values. You can
also run queries on the database if you need to.
this feature, you can set up your own virtual Name Servers, which
allows you to register your site using name servers with your own
feature will allow you to install and manage Search Engine on your
site. This Search Engine will allow your users to perform searches
on your web site.
up a shopping-cart system can be very complicated, so it's a good
idea to find a host that has a shopping-cart system available for
Site Statistics feature gives you access to your site's web statistics,
such as hits, transfers, etc.
option will allow you to set up your PGP key on the server. This allows
you to use PGP in your scripts or with PGPMail script. Normally you
need to have PGP installed on your local PC, and create a PGP key
pair before uploading the key to the server.
is simply the Formmail script, except that it encrypts the email via
PGP before it is sent to the client. Normally you have to upload your
PGP key before you can use this script.
If you need telnet access, it can only be done using SSH. Normally
your host have it set up to use RSA authentication. You will
need to create a key using your PC's SSH software, then use
this feature to upload the key to servers. Once it is uploaded,
you will be able to connect to servers using SSH.