In part 1 of this series, we got started talking about what features you should look for in a good web hosting service. We looked at, how much disk space you might need, how much data transfer you should allow yourself per month, based on the type of business you run, we looked at how reliable your web hosting company is and how to find out if they are any good.
We also looked at web site speed and how to tell if your web site will load quickly with their services, we looked at setting up your own firstname.lastname@example.org pop3 email account, we talked about the functions of the control panel and what type of control panel software is best and we also talked about FTP access and Web FTP.
In this article we are going to talk about the more advanced functions any good web hosting service should offer. So let's get started!
Statistics are vital for any well run online business, especially a direct sales business. If you're selling a product or service it's always nice to know how many people come to your website and how many order your product or services. This way you can tell how many people per 100 order. This is something most direct marketers love to know.
Knowing your conversion rate is very important to your success and any good web hosting company should offer you a comprehensive website statistic service for free.
No worse feeling in the world then losing a whole bunch of files or even your complete website due to an error on your part or of the hosting company. Your web hosting company however should keep back ups of all your files. Please ask them about this service.
PHP and MYSQL are types of scripting languages especially designed for website development. PHP allows you to do anything that CGI scripting would allow plus a little bit more. Examples of this are collect data, receive cookies, and other things like that.
MYSQL is needed if you want to start your own blog with services like Wordpress. These functions should be free of charge with any hosting service.
While I don't use Microsofts Front Page web site editor, a lot of people still do. The problem with Front Page is not every web hosting server supports it, so if you're using Front Page, make sure you check whether or not Front Page Extensions are supported with your web hosting company.
I signed up for a web hosting company when I was first starting out online and it didn't allow you to check your web site email via your control panel and it was the most annoying experience ever. Owning an online business does mean you don't always have the chance to sit down and use a program like Eudora or Outlook express. If you are anything like me and travel around a bit, you know the value of being able to check your web site emails anytime you want, anywhere you want that has Internet access.
Make sure your web hosting service allows you to use webmail to check your emails. It should be in your control panel.
SMTP allows you to send your emails using programs like Eudora and Outlook express and saves you the hassle of having to log into your control panel every time you want to send your work emails at home.
If you've been online long enough, you know how annoying spam is. Especially if you are a busy person and you have a lot of important emails coming in. Nothing worse then deleting a legitimate message because you thought it was spam. Spam wastes time and you can't have that when running an online business. Make sure your web hosting service offers spam filters in their POP3 email service.
Most web hosting companies these days allow you to host more then one domain name with your account. This is great. Gone are the days when you needed multiple hosting accounts just because you had multiple domain names. This is especially evident these days with people creating a lot of sites for the purpose of making Adsense revenue with content sites.
People are putting up many sites a year and they need to be able to host all their domain names and websites on the one hosting account.
If you think this is something you will be doing, make sure you sign up for a hosting account that allows multiple domain names.
Always, always, always, ALWAYS try and use a hosting company that offers 24/7 customer support. The Internet is one big world these days and time zones come into play. Just because you are asleep doesn't mean one of your prospective customers is and if your website is down and you can't contact your web hosting provider to get the problem fixed, you miss out on a sale.
The web hosting business is getting very cut throat lately, which is great for the consumer as it's driven web hosting prices straight into the ground. While price shouldn't be you're only factor when choosing a web host, you should shop around for the best price available.
Here is one very big piece of advice though, low and no cost web hosting services are usually unreliable at best.
This article ends the series on choosing the perfect web host for your online business. I hope you've been able to use the information supplied to make the best decision for your online business.