Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Hosting the Website

After you get your website named and built, and before you share it with the world, you need to find a “host” for the website. This is a service that many computer service companies provide, so that you will need to find one that best meets your needs—that is unless you are big enough to want to own and operate computer servers yourself. If you want to learn more about hosting, a good place to start are the Wikipedia article on hosting at and the articles on hosting found at http://www.hosting-review.com/hosting-articles/hosting-articles.shtml .

In our case we once again turned to our known local providers—Scott Livingood and Delaware.net. While you can have this service provided from almost anywhere—one of the intriguing features on the Internet is that it is not location bound—you may, like us, prefer knowing the company and people with which you are working. It is especially useful to know the name and telephone number of someone you can call if you have problems.

You should shop around to make sure that you are paying a reasonable amount for this service. Hosting should not be a big expense for a small Internet retailer (several hundred dollars a year)—but you definitely need reliability. There will be service interruptions occasionally—and these are costly since you can not sell anything if customers can not access your website. And it is a hassle to change a host if the company you are using provides poor service or goes out of business. So you should consider both cost and reliability when you select your host. (Company size, length of time in business, existing client base, reputation, etc. are things to consider.) And you should insist that you are notified immediately any time there is an interruptions in service—either planned (for maintenance) or due to unexpected problems with the computer server.

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