Finding a good web hosting provider could mean success or failure to your online business.
How good is your current web hosting provider? Are you looking to register an Internet domain name and start your business presence on the web? Where do you start? Good question.
1) Let's start from the beginning. The very first step in finding and registering an Internet name is brainstorming for the perfect domain name and / or product.
Is the name you want already taken? Chances are this is a good possibility. Unless you hold the copyright on the name there is little chance you can get it inexpensively.
Can you name the website after your product? A lot of websites have the product name in the Internet domain name. A lot of drug companies are making up names that were not in our vocabulary before the products were introduced to the market.
Can you rename the company after the product? Would you want to? Renaming your company has it's pros and cons. If your company is relatively new it may not be as big of a problem than if your company has been established for a long period of time. You should note that there have been a good number of companies changing names with good success.
Brainstorm with keyword research tools, making sure you include the best possible keywords before you register your domain name.
There is also domain name generating software available online for this purpose also.
2) How are you going to publish your website? It is not as difficult as it may seem to be for the first time website owner. If you are not going to hire a website designer to construct the website for you, there are many options available for you. Dreamweaver and Microsoft Front Page are the leaders in website publishing software. If you do not want to invest the time or money in those products make sure that your web hosting provider has a site studio or website creator available for you to publish your site.
3) Picking the web hosting provider. Most important is that your provider has a good support system in place, if you need it or have any problems. If you are just starting off make sure that there is at least a 30 money back guarantee. You should have access to an online help area with commonly asked questions and videos. You should also be able to open a ticket for help in this area.
Does the hosting provider give you access to a control panel? Cheap website hosting does not always give you access to the guts of your website. This is the place where you are in control of everything.
Make sure hosting provider gives you a site manager where you are able to access and create sub domains, DNS records, FTP and Front page extensions. MySQL databases and php scripts that are built into the site. All you do is plug them in. Password protected areas, Contrab (scheduling certain applications), SSL certificates for Secure purchasing and SSH (is a unique management and operations module for operating secure services in a corporate infrastructure), which you probably will not need.
Does the hosting provider give you access to more than 1 email address? How many do you really need? 10? 100? How about auto responders? A one time auto response is a great time saving tool. How about spam protection, email forwarding and some mailing lists?
Traffic statistics are an important tool in marketing your website. Can you tell where your website traffic is coming from with your current web hosting provider?
How about some tools to help you improve your website and make it sticky. PHP scripts like Ad Management – phpAdsNew, phpList, Blog – WordPress. Classified Ads – Classifieds. Content Management-Drupal, Geeklog, Joomla, Moodle, Nucleus, Open Realty, WebSiteBaker, phpWebSite. Customer Support – Crafty Syntax Live Help, Help Center Live, OS Ticket, PHPTickets, Support Logic Helpdesk. Discussion Boards – YaBB SE, phpBB2. E-Commerce -CubeCart, OS Commerce. File Manipulation – Invision Power FM. Groupware Tools – DOTproject, PHProject. Image Galleries -4Images Gallery, Coppermine. Portal Systems – PHP Nuke. Server Management – phplinks. Web Hosting Tools – phpFormGenerator, phpcoin
Last but not least what kind of up time record does your hosting provider have? 100%? 95%? 90%? How can you track it? Internetseer.com provides this service for free. Submit your site to Jaydee.com and you will automatically be subscribed to this service.
4) Since 1999 I've had several websites online and have paid between $ 5 a month to $ 30 searching for the best deal possible for my money. I even traded a domain name for a year of web site hosting, that did not work out either. The problem with that web host provider was I only had 1 email address and no front page extensions. I have used Host 4 Profit and Third Sphere which are good hosting companies but a bit to pricey. Both were about $ 25 a month. I have tried Yahoo hosting and that did not give me the freedom and versatility I was looking for, for about $ 19 a month.