Friday, August 29, 2008

Server Hosting Providers

Questions to ask when shopping around for web server hosting

Shopping for server hosting providers is difficult at best, and confusing at the least. It's even more of a challenge when you don't know what questions to ask the server hosting providers. Certain features are nice to have, while others can impact the credibility of your website, and ultimately, your business. The priority should always be on gathering the tools that your website needs to perform the tasks required of it. Examples of task-oriented questions to ask web server hosting providers are as follows:

"Do I have access to CGI scripts?" Ask potential web server hosting providers about Common Gateway Interface (CGI) access. CGI is a script function of web server hosting. It is used to transfer data from HTML to an application. Most business websites need to have the ability to generate text boxes and pull down menus that allow visitors to enter requested information. You might request information from visitors so that you can process a purchase, conduct customer service activity, or register new members. Access to CGI scripts requires the permission of the system operator that conducts the server hosting for your site. Since it is difficult to get this permission for unknown programs, you should consider going with a server hosting provider that offers CGI packages that have been pre-approved and pre-written.

"How many email aliases are included in my plan?" Most web server hosting companies give you a certain number of "aliases" you can use. Examples include:,, or You need these even if you are one guy working out of a basement office. Email aliases provide customers the perception that you are bigger or more established than you really are. This adds to your professional credibility.

"How much space do I receive and what does it include?" Your server hosting company will assign you a certain amount of space. 5 MB is a fair amount of space for many business websites. It will hold hundreds of files and graphics. However, all features may not be included in the assigned space. You could be charged extra for mail, system programs, and other elements of your website usage, so you’ll definitely want to find out exactly how much space your web server hosting company will give you.

In addition, ask about speed, uptime guarantees, and domain names. Make a detailed list of everything you want your site to do, and write a brief description of your proposed site. Then, check out our serving hosting provider reviews to point you in the right direction.

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