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Choosing a web host

This can be a daunting task,as there are so many different options available these days. You can never guarantee you are going to make the right choice, but if you know what to look for and the right questions to ask, you are forewarned. Below is a sure fire list that will assist you in making an informed decision about your future partner in Internet Technology.

Phone Call Choice

Beware of:

A host that has too many sites on a single server. Three times the sites on one machine can mean a third of the price to you & maybe one third of the performance of your website.

 

Reseller Web Hosting Plans

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dotWindows 2003 Web Hosting
Plans support FrontPage extensions (needed if you going to use FrontPage to build your website).
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Company Information.

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dotUser Acceptance Policies
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Answers to common questions
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Domain Name services

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dotNew Zealand Domain names co.nz .net.nz .org.nz-Plus Others

Dedicated Servers

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website hosting dotVirtual Servers - mid way between shared and fully dedicated.

Resources

website hosts dotCurrency Converter
another dotSearch our website
another dotDomain name Whois Look up

Once you've got a list of hosting providers that appear to meet your requirements, visit all their websites.

  1. E-mail any questions you may have early in the morning of the business day. It is a test to see if anyone's home, and how well and how courteously the hosts you're interested in handle your inquiry. Any that don't respond by the end of the business day should be dropped from your list immediately ("auto-responders" do not count). Trust us on this one - although a provider may look “good on paper”, if they're so busy they can't get back to you by the end of their business day (make allowance for time-zones), there's no way they'll be able to give you adequate service, especially if you run into a serious problem. If you only get an answer in the evening or at night it's a good sign that the provider has a “day job” and is a part-timer, making it likely you'll hear back on a question only once in a 24-hour period.

  2. Make sure they offer what you require. Ask to see a demo of their website control panel. Ask for a free trial to test the service.
    Make sure they offer a 30 Day Money-Back Satisfaction Guarantee. If they are not confident enough in their product to offer this, simply look else where
  3. Check their User Acceptance Policy to ensure they don't allow spam or bulk e-mailing. If unsolicited junk mail goes from a server you subscribe to, the server and/or your website can be "banned" or "bombed" by recipients who object to this behaviour. Consequently, you could end up "off-line" or seriously "disabled" by a nasty virus!.

  4. Double-check that the host you're researching will allow the access you need to install and run any software that you require for your service.

  5. Do a "www.allwhois look up" or "who is" search on the host and find out how long they've had their websites (refer to the date the record was created). If it is less than one year, move on!

  6. Internet Service Providers that offer dial-up access, in addition to hosting services, are unlikely be specialised and so their service may not be able to provide you with adequate support. You should probably avoid them.

  7. Look for the name of the company's accountant or lawyer on the web site. This is usually a good indication of the company's credibility and legitimacy. You can also do a search on them at the Companies Office. You can also check any mortgages they may have while you are there and research information about the directors and other interested parties.

  8. Make sure there is a contact phone number on the site. Although generally e-mail is the best way to request support, may be times when an urgent enquiry has to be made. You could make a trial call - ask a few questions to see how helpful they are.

  9. Ask for a few references of others that are hosting with them. Generally if they have established business' on there servers, they must be providing adequate service to keep these customers happy.

  10. Your host must have a minimum of a T1 connection. So your site is delivered at top speed.

 

 


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