10 Helpful Tips to Follow When Switching Web Hosts

You’ve made your decision to move from your website from your current web host to a new web host. The following tips will help you make the transition easier and make you aware of some potential pitfalls to avoid.

1) Make sure the new web hosting plan you’ve chosen offers you the storage capabilities to handle all of your current website storage requirements. If your website is 50MB, you need to make sure your new hosting plan offers that much space, or more. If you’re not sure how much space your website is using, ask your current host. You can also usually find this information on your web hosting control panel.

2) How does your current web host determine what your storage amount is used for? Find out what your current and new host includes in your plan’s storage amount. Are your emails and log files counted towards your total storage, or just your web files?

3) What operating system does your current hosting plan use? Windows or Unix? Sometimes this can make no difference, in other cases it can make the difference between a working website and a broken website. If your site is currently on a Windows server and your website uses ASP scripting, you’ll find it difficult to make things work well on a Unix server, as ASP is a Windows based programming language. Find out ahead of time whether your current hosting plan is on a Unix or Windows server.

4) Does your site currently use FrontPage? Find out if your new host supports FrontPage. And make sure your new host supports the same version of FrontPage you currently use.

5) Find out if your new hosting plan offers you the same amount of bandwidth that your current host offers. You don’t want to be surprised by unexpected overage charges at the end of the month.

6) Does your new web hosting plan give you the same amount of email accounts, autoresponders and mail forwards that you currently use?

7) Does your site use a shopping cart that your current hosting plan provides? Can you move the cart to your new host? If not, does your new host have a suitable shopping cart replacement?

8) If you are using any scripts on your website, make sure that your new hosting plan supports all of your scripts. Find out in advance if you’ll need to make any modifications to your scripts to get them working on the new server.

9) Make sure to set up your existing email accounts on your new server before transferring your domain name to the new server. we see this overlooked quite often.

10) Do you know how to upload your website files to the new server? If you don’t, you’ll need to find out if your new web host will upload your files for you. Some hosts will do this at no charge, some will do it for a fee, yet other hosts won’t do it all because of liability issues.

Once all your files are uploaded to the new server, you’ll want to double check that the site looks and functions properly on the new server. Most hosts can provide a preview link for you to see how your site looks before the domain name is transferred over. If your host does not provide a method for you to preview your site, you can modify your hosts file to preview your site. The host file tells your computer where to go to look for sites that are listed in that file. This works with any version of Windows. The file name is the same, the location can change. Here’s how to modify your hosts file:

The file HOSTS should be in the c:windowssystem32driversetc You might only find a file named HOSTS.SAM (as in SAMPLE). That is OK; we can modify the HOSTS.SAM file as well and do a SAVE AS HOSTS.

In either case, double click on the HOSTS file to open it. You will be prompted by Windows to select an Application (Program) to use to VIEW the file.

Scroll the list and select Notepad. Click the OK button. The NOTEPAD program will now open, displaying the file HOSTS. You will see examples listed (The # symbol is used to comment out line or remarks.), the format is this. IP address (xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx SPACE name)

In the Save As Type field, select ALL FILES. (Ensure that no .SAM is shown after the filename HOSTS. Click SAVE. You may be warned that the file already exists; this is fine, click YES.

Close Notepad, by clicking on FILE, slide down to EXIT, and click.

Now when you open your web browser, or try to ping the site, your system will go to the IP address you typed in the HOSTS file.

Remember to undo this when finished testing or your machine will always want to go to that IP address whenever you want to go to that site.

After you’re satisfied that your site looks OK and functions ok, you can go to your registrar (the company where your domain name is registered) and modify the nameservers associated with your domain name to your new web host’s nameservers. If you don’t know your new host’s nameservers, ask them. Most hosts have that information listed somewhere on their website or in the email you first get after signing up for an account.

Once the dns modification is completed it’ll be 24-48 hours before you’ll see your site on the new server.

Most whois utilities will display the nameservers of the current host. Check your domain name and see if the nameservers you added are listed. If so, you have completed the website transfer to your new web host. Only after you’ve confirmed this is it OK to cancel your old web hosting account.

Web Hosting – Choose Affordable, Cheap Web Hosting

Web hosting offers you the opportunity to put your web site online, when you think about it; it’s the only way you can do it. No matter how large or small in content your web site happens to be it has to go onto a web server. A web server is simply a larger and much more powerful computer than your own. Your internet content simply sits on this server for people to access and view your information. The web servers are stored within data centers, all you are simply doing is renting some space on the server.

Why use a web hosting service:

Firstly it’s very affordable. Web hosting companies will look after and update all software required to maintain your site, they will also add all security patches making sure your content is safe from hackers/viruses and unwanted spam. Once you register your domain name (web site name) you have to have it hosted for the public to view your information. If you run into any difficulties you will have a full technical support team to help you out. To host your own will cost too much on hardware, bandwidth and ongoing software updates.

I hear of shared web hosting – What is it?

When shopping around for a web host company you will find that many are offering shared web hosting. Shared web hosting is simply a server that has a number of different web sites sitting on it simultaneously. You will be allocated a certain amount of disk space on the server and this may allow you to have a number of web sites hosted on the one server. Shared web hosting is a very secure service even though you could be sharing the server with many different companies. No other company will have access to your files. Many people think that using a shared service will make the web site act very slowly, this is totally incorrect, the information will be displayed and downloaded equally as fast as if it where on the server on it’s own. Web host companies offer shared hosting simply to use up all the space on the server, there is no benefit to you or them having empty hard disk space.

What makes a good web host site?

If you have developed a web site for business opportunity or to sell merchandise online you need reliability. Downtime costs you money so the less downtime you experience the better chance of making money. You need to compile a list of questions to ask the web host company when it comes to hosting your site. You need a guarantee response time if the unthinkable should happen and the site goes offline. You need 24 hour access to your files with 24 hour support if you intend selling products online, most of your sales could be made in the evening or night time so you have to have support for any issues that could arise. Statistics are also important; you need to know how many unique hits (people visiting your site) you are getting so you can see the trend of people just visiting to those who are buying. Some web host companies offer very substantial stats while others can be less informative, you should ask for a demonstration.

Word of mouth is a great way to hear as to who is a good host and a bad host. If you know somebody in a similar position to you, ask their opinion from their experience. There are plenty of good honest web host companies out there but like every market there are a few bad apples. Ask the questions and make sure you are confident with the replies before you join up.

Web Hosting – How To Choose The Right Provider For You

Thousands of companies, tens of thousands of different plans and only a few of them are really suitable for your web site and for your online needs.
This is what you are confronted with when choosing a web-hosting provider.

Nowadays being part of the informational revolution that the Internet has brought along, it is compulsory for a business and also for individuals. No need to explain here why having a web site out there on the World Wide Web is such a must, instead we’re only going to point out a few things related to choosing an adequate web host for your web site.
As complicated this entire business might seem, once you know what to look for, it’s really easier to find it.

Analyze your requirements and stick to them

When evaluating their needs in terms of space and bandwidth many inexperienced web owners often buy more than they will ever need. As this is unbelievably common, many web-hosting providers size their web servers taking this into account and actually over sell the space and bandwidth thinking that customers will never make full use of it. To avoid web hosts that result to just that or crowed their web servers to get an extra profit per customer, simply ask them their client per server ration. As a diligent buyer, you should do this with all the other companies you find interesting to do business with and are eligible to host your web site.

A web site is almost like a living creature. It grows. So try to leave some room for it, don’t just buy a web-hosting plan that will fit your needs just perfectly. Buy a little more so when the time comes to expand you would have the resources available. Think of the possibility that your initial bandwidth evaluation proves itself insufficient. You might find yourself in the position not to be able to use your web site because you have exceeded your bandwidth. So leave margin for error too.

Most web hosting plans come packed with features and some even offer pre-installed scripts and programs that might come handy for both knowledgeable and less knowledgeable web owners.

As you could consider any extra feature a plus, don’t forget to look for the things you actually need like the OS (Operating System) or the PHP support. You decide what you need, don’t let the provider talk you into something you don’t want or is less than you have expected.

Support – can you get enough of it?

Support is something you might overlook when you consider an offer that suits you in terms of space and bandwidth and is packed with all the other features you will ever going to need. It might be good to understand that the road to all those features goes through Support city. If the web-hosting provider is careless about the support he offers to his customers, any technical problem concerning your web site could be solved only after long hours of waiting and making plenty of irritating support calls.

To test the quality and the responsiveness of the support personnel, e-mail them some pre-sales questions. Is the response fact enough for you? Imagine that your web site is down and your company is just attending a congress… many clicks are expected, but is your web site online to get them? Is the response you are getting from the support team thorough or is it merely scratching the surface? Is the response easy to understand for you?

A provider concerned about the quality of his support, would make available as many as possible ways to communicate with its clients. So find out as much as you can about its online support staff, help desk, message boards etc.

Information on the reputation of a web-hosting provider is something you might find on forums or discussion boards. Any disgruntled customers there? Would you like to be one?

Reliability is another aspect of the problem. Ask for the uptime of the company’s web servers. Some hosts offer an uptime guarantee, usually 99.9% (100% is not a realistic figure in the computer world). The guarantee means that if your web site is not available 99.9% of the time, you will be refunded the money for that month or you will receive free web hosting for a month as compensation for your web site being unavailable.

Price

Well, true it’s paid web hosting and this means you have to pay for it. My advice would be don’t try too hard to find the cheapest possible web host. You will probably end-up wasting an incredible amount of time and is very likely that within two weeks after you have bought it, you will stumble upon a better deal. Apart from the irony of it and the loss of time, cheaper is not always better.

The other extreme, paying big money to get what you could have gotten for less is equally bad. At $50 for 200 MB of space with 2 GB of bandwidth you are definitely getting robbed, but the same service for $5 or $10 is a good deal.

The thin line between a profitable and, why not, enjoyable web presence and a nightmare with slow server response, unreachable support and irritating server downtime is drawn by you. By you choosing the web-hosting provider.
Choose carefully: there can be only one a few that will live up to their promises and deliver for you good quality web hosting.

Cheap Internet Hosting, Business Web Hosting – Choosing the Right Web Host Package

With literally hundreds of web hosting providers competing for your business, it may be confusing to find the one that’s right for your web site. A few key considerations can help you narrow down your choices to the most affordable and best options to meet your personal, professional or business web page needs.

What kind of web site are you planning?

Your personal web page has far different needs than your professional web page and that needs a different style of hosting than an eCommerce storefront. Most web hosting companies offer plans sized to fit any size of style of your site. Which plan you choose depends on what you intend to do on your web site.

Personal Web Page Hosting

There are dozens of free servers that will host your personal sites for free, and many of them offer most of the perks that you get with a paid web hosting account. If you want a personal web page without the ads, though, you can find web page hosting for as little as $4.95 a month with no advertising, and with support for things like PHP and mySQL. Many affordable web hosting packages will even register a domain name for you for free.

Professional Hosting

If you’re setting up a site for a professional firm, you’ll definitely want to opt for a web page hosting provider that offers excellent support, free or cheap domain name registration and a good web site builder with professional looking templates to make creating your web site easy. If you’re planning to take orders or any sort of customer information via your web site, you’ll also want a web hosting provider that offers you secure server access (SSL). Depending on the features you choose, you can pay $4.95-$29.95 a month.

Business/eCommerce Hosting

If your business site is more than informational sites about your business, your web hosting package should include eCommerce software like a shopping cart, a checkout, a payment system and SSL access. You’ll also need more space and bandwidth allowance than a typical personal site. You’ll find many affordable eCommerce web hosting packages starting at around $14.95 a month.

Enterprise Level Hosting

Do you need space for your business to collaborate on projects, store information for easy retrieval and to track orders, deliveries and work hours? You’ll want to find a hosting company that specializes in providing enterprise level hosting solutions to large businesses. Your web hosting account should include the highest level security access to keep your important information safe, 24/7 customer support and tools to make access easy for all your employees. Affordable enterprise level packages start at around $99 a month and range upwards from there depending on the amount of customization and use your web pages will get.

Web Hosting Strategy for Managing Multiple Websites

If you are making a comfortable living from the Internet and the Web or have a plan to achieve that goal, it’s likely that you are running more than ten websites. The websites are your virtual offices. You want to your sites to be up and running 365 days, 7 days a week and 24 hours a day. Managing multiple websites is a daunting task if running one website is a hobby.

Proposed Hosting Strategy for Managing Multiple Websites

The hosting strategy we propose is to host your multiple major websites with 3-4 different hosting companies, and open a reseller account with another hosting company for 1) small and new websites, 2) web development and 3) backup. Hosting with too many hosting companies will significantly increase the time and the difficulty of managing sites, and using a single hosting company isn’t a smart choice either.

Justification of the Hosting Strategy

Cost – Cost of the Web hosting isn’t an issue for running a single web site whether it costs $5 or $25 a month. The difference is only a few hundred dollars or less a year. It’s always nice and smart to get the most out of every single dollar in doing business. At least, a few hundred dollars difference wouldn’t make or break a business. If you run 10 or even 50 websites, the cost of Web hosting alone will define the success or failure of your online adventure. To cut the hosting cost, the option is to use a reseller hosting account to host as many small or new sites as you want for about $15 a month. You host one or 2 major websites with one hosting company. Shared hosting account costs under $10 a month, and dedicated server will cost $50 or more a month.

Uptime – If your bread-and-butter maker website is down for a few hours, you’ll lose hundreds of dollars and more. Even though most hosting companies promise 99.9% uptime, it’s not common to see a website down for a few hours. A site could be down for a half day or even more if a hosting company is doing a major update. The hosting company may do the update in a weekend or a major holiday, but that’s when many family-oriented and travel sites generate their revenues. If you could afford the loss of revenues, many websites owners can’t bear the psychological loss and pressure. Hosting your sites with a few hosting companies will reduce the risk of downtime.

Application Development – For simple web application, webmasters will do development on the same production hosting site. If your ecommerce applications are complex, doing development on the production site may bring down the live site especially if you’re in the process of changing configuration files or install customized applications. The option is setup a website on your reseller account for development and testing, and move the applications to production account on another server after the completion.

Backup – If you’re not happy with a hosting company, a hosting company is out of business, or the servers will be down for a day or two, you can easily temporarily or permanently switch from one hosting company to other since you’re familiar with the site managing tools already. If you have a backup or secondary copy running on another server, all you need for the switch is the transfer of the domain, which will take no more than a minute.

Shop Before You Buy

There’re too many hosting plans to choose from a large number of hosting companies – ASP Web Hosting, Budget Hosting, Dedicated Servers, eCommerce Hosting, FrontPage Web Hosting, Hosting With Templates, Managed Web Hosting, PHP Web Hosting, Reseller Hosting, Shared Hosting, Unix / Linux Hosting, Virtual Private Servers, Windows Hosting or Co-location Hosting. Compare the cost, hosting features, tracking records of hosting companies before making your commitment. Good luck with your online adventures.

Think It’s Hard To Find The Best Web Hosting Companies It’s Not If You Follow This Advice

It’s really not. In fact the best web hosting companies can be identified rather easily if you make time to absorb some basic information.

Building a Web Site

You can build a very basic web site with a simple word processing program such as Microsoft Word. Then after you’ve built your web site, you’ll need to find a way to publish it if you intend for it to be accessible on the World Wide Web. For this you’ll turn to a web hosting company.

A web host will provide you with the disk space, services,and tools you’ll need to publish your site on the Internet. While occasional technical problems are inevitable, competent web hosting companies will ensure your site is up and running 24 hours a day, 7 days a week so that anyone, anywhere in the world, can find your web site at any time of the day.

Many Hosting Choices

There are literally tens of thousands of web hosting companies to choose from so finding one of the very best web hosting companies can be challenging.

Prices range from free to hundreds of dollars a year for personal web hosting and small business web hosting all the way up to hundreds of dollars per month for ecommerce web hosting for large online businesses.

The best web hosting companies offer a wide variety of web hosting services all of which can be confusing if you’re new to web site hosting.

What You Need to Know

There are a number of basics you need to learn if you want to create a good website that is cost-effective, easy to manage, and provides a meaningful experience for your visitors. Some of these basics include:

  • How to decide whether free or paid web hosting is right for you
  • What is a web server and why does it matter to you?
  • How to select and register a great domain name
  • How to determine if you need shared or dedicated hosting
  • How to connect your domain to your web hosting provider
  • How to publish your web site
  • How to make use of free web templates and other authoring tools

Our nine-part Introduction to Web Hosting will help you make sense of all the available information and give you the confidence to find, evaluate, and select the best web hosting plan for your online business.