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Re: The Cheapest? Isn't always the cheapest.
From P@t on 24 May '98
adding to The Cheapest? Isn't always the cheapest. posted by paul

Jesus Christ did you find this somewhere else and cut and paste it?
Or did you spend all night typing it up?

> Virtual Hosting. These days nearly every ISP offers what is called "virtual
> hosting" or a "virtual domain." This allows you to have your own domain name
> such as http://www.yourcompany.com rather than use your ISP's domain
> name with a subdirectory designating your site, such as
> http://www.isp.com/yourcompany/. You definitely want virtual hosting.
> Sometimes an ISP will offer something called a "vanity domain" such as
> http://yourcompany.isp.com. Don't bother. Pay $100 to register a real domain
> name, and consider that an investment in marketing your company on the
> Web.

There's also "Virtual Servers". Which are a
little more sophisticated than "Virtual
Hosting".
Check out http://www.virtualservers.com
or the better
http://www.bhcom.com (which also hosts http://www.internettrafficreport.com )

There's also more you can do if you
don't want to pay Internic for a domain.

Check out Monolith Coalition at http://www.ml.org
They provide top level domains like http://www.yourname.ml.com

Or look at there's about five other FREE domain services out there
if you're on a tight budget.
http://www.yahoo.com/Computers_and_Internet/Internet/Domain_Registration/Free_Name_Registration/

But, like uhh Paul says .com or .net
are still a better choice if you got the cash.


> Extra Features for Business

> Make sure you inquire about the availability of mailing list management
> programs such as Majordomo for newsletters, and autoresponders for
> automatic responses to e-mail messages sent to certain addresses. If you have
> software demos available for download, you'll want "anonymous FTP"
> capability. (This differs from FTP access to your Web pages which requires
> your username and password. Nearly all ISPs make that available.) Also
> make sure that your Web host ISP provides some sort of statistical data on
> visitors to your Web pages. Counters are not considered professional, and
> don't give nearly as much information. If you plan to take credit card
> information over the Web, you'll need to have SSL Security. If you plan to
> display databases on your Web site, be very careful to get an ISP whose
> operating system is compatible with the system you use to maintain the
> database.

Most of the features of a web host are listed on their site, just look and see what you need.

As for SSL alot of sites give you access to a secure server at no extra charge.
But, watch out unless you have $300 dollars for a Digital Certificate from
somebody like http://www.thawte.com/
the https://yourname.com wont work
or
if the hosting service gives you access to their certificate it will work
but an annoying window will pop warning you that the cert. doesn't
match the site. It'll still work, you just hit ok and move on, which
might scare off some customers.

The cheapest way is to find a host who'll put your secure server in
a dir under the domain. Such as http://www.olm.net.
Then you can charge people $100 bucks for a secure server, just like JIM. =]

Also, find a service that has CGIEMAIL for forms. It's much better
than Matt's FORMMAIL. Go to http://web.mit.edu/wwwdev/cgiemail/
for a list of isp's that got it.

> What Should You Expect to Pay?

> The best advice is to know the services you really need, and only pay for
> those. The typical six-page small business Web site with a single response
> form, for example, can find good virtual hosting with multiple e-mail aliases,
> cgi-bin access, and a T3 connection to the Internet for $18 to $25 per month.
> If you need SSL Security, expect to pay $35 to $75 per month. Setup fees
> are typically $50, though sometimes higher for special features. Prices will be
> higher in many localities. Large companies and high volume Web sites will pay
> much higher rates to get the services they need.

> But I am paying too much! you cry. Find out what you need and then shop
> around. When you discover a better deal, see if your current ISP will match it.
> (Life is more competitive these days when business customers can get Web
> hosting any place in the country.) And when comparing Web hosting prices
> with your local ISP's hosting rates, remember that you'll have to pay $20 per
> month for access anyway, so figure that into the equation.

> The most difficult thing to learn is how responsive the Web host ISP is to
> fixing problems which arise. How slow is the site during peak hours? Does the
> ISP host a very high volume site which slows everybody else down? This kind
> of information is difficult to find out except by asking some of the ISP's current
> customers.

> Like much shopping, referral is often the safest. And referrals to the best ISPs
> is what you pay your Web site developer to give you. Select your Web site
> developer before you select an ISP. But if you plan to shop on your own, at
> least you have a list of questions to ask, which can help steer you to the best
> service/price ratio possible.

If you're looking for the best check out
http://webhostlist.com for a monthly top 25
of web hosts w/ reviews and ratings.
And also some info on how to pick a host, alot like
Paul's post b4 this.

If your worried about a slow server try
http://www.netmechanic.com
it'll test the servers speed and tell
what server software they got (most likely
Apache)

Alright that's about it.


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