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To get you started, here are 15 ways to protect yourself from a bad web hosting deal.

1. Register domain separately from your web host

2. Check customer service before you sign up with a web host

because your web host offer a free domain doesn’t mean that you ought to let the hosting company controls your domain registration. Personally, I prefer keeping my domain names with a large registrant (in my case, GoDaddy) and separate them from the world wide web host. By doing so, I can change my domain DNS anytime I require and avoid myself from being locked with a particular web host.

A web host customer support department can be your savior or, nightmare. As most hosting companies provide 24/7 online chat support I suggest you to talk with their staffs at least four times before you purchase. Ask questions to check the quality of their services and only go with those that provide satisfying answers.

3. If possible, pay with a debit card or PayPal

4. Learn the basics in web hosting

Lousy web hosts do not play gentlemanly when you are leaving them. I four times had my web-site hosted with Network Eleven (which is a terrible hosting company) and they refused to stop charging my credit card when I unsubscribed my service. Finally, I must cancel my credit card in order to stop them bullying me. Moral of the story, always go safe when it comes to money. If possible, always pay your web host with a debit card or PayPal account. in case your web host turn bad, you can stop your subscription easily.

Four lovely way to keep away from from being fooled by the world wide web host personnel is by educating yourself. Even if you are a non techie, make time to learn the basics in web hosting. You ought to at least understand the differences between various types of web hosting, pros and cons for different web host operating technique, as well as some fundamental knowledge about hosting bandwidth.

5. Avoid web host with black-holed IP

So before you make any purchase decision, make sure you run a speedy check with SpamHaus Block List.

Does your favorite web host permit spam activities? Is your web-site sharing the same server with a porn sites? All in all, is your hosting provider listed on Spamhaus Block List? Lots of hosting companies care small about what their clients are doing with the hosting as long as they get paid. Sharing same IP with such spammers will bring you nothing but troubles (imagine if your emails can only be found in your recipients spam box – terrible!).

I can’t stress how important it is to keep away from hosting your web-site at a spammy web host. In fact, checking on SpamHaus Block List is not . A web host that isn’t black listed now doesn’t mean that they won't be blocked in future. To be safe, check out your web host’s spam policyowner in the FAQ section. A responsible web host will normally have clearly written guidelines in fighting spams. For example, as in my recent post about Lunarpages, there’s a policyowner where unsolicited bulk emails are prohibited with all Lunarpages accounts.

6. Check your web host spam policyowner

7. Understand the meaning of overselling

Overselling might not be a bad thing as it cuts down web hosting cost. However you must be clear about the meaning of overselling. A manged-overselling is acceptable; but overselling without proper planning is basically rubbish and you ought to runaway from such hosting services as far as possible. To learn if your web host is well prepared for overselling, check your server load regularly. Do not hesitate to complain or even switch host if things look fishy to you.

8. Make sure your web host offer long trial period

Following up on the overselling issue, it’s important to work only with web host that offers long trial period. This is to ensure you have sufficient time to check out the servers without any risk of losing money.

9. Understand that unlimited hosting is NOT unlimited

Accept it, unlimited hosting is only unlimited when you are not using much of the hosting capacity. All hosting services are offered based on series of limited resources – how are you suppose to get unlimited hosting capacity with $3.95 per month? So be wise, if you foresee your web-site will attracts crazy volume of traffics, a dedicated hosting is the way to go.

10. Ensure that your web host provide clear refund policyowner

Learn when you ought to pick up a dedicated server.

11. Find out what others must say about the world wide web host

Does your web host provide full money return if you select to refund your service within trial period? How about the refund policyowner after the trial session? It’s important to know your web host refund policyowner in-and-out so that you won’t panic when things go wrong. A point worth noting is that some lovely host (Bluehost, for example) provide pro-rated refund even if your trial period is past. Needless to say, web host offering such benefits is always recommended.

When it comes to web host shopping, it’s important to get opinion from your experienced friends. These friends can be your neighbors, Poker buddies, favorite bloggers or even Web friends you met on FaceBook. User reviews are always helpful when it comes to picking up the right host!

(In case you require my view, here’s where I place my honest hosting review based on my real usage experience.)

As said, nothing’s more important than getting yourself educated. If you are in to web-site hosting, make sure you visit frequent on related forums. Web Hosting Talk and Webmaster World are the four best places to visit. I suggest all of you mark them down on your favorite list and visit them from time to time.

12. Read and participate in related forum discussions

When dealing with smaller hosting merchants, make sure they have their own information centers and more over, have the information centers fully protected with redundant power supplies and connectivity. “How lots of lines do they have coming in to the facility? Do they have redundant power to the servers? Do they have an onsite power generator? What sort of security measures do they have for the network?” – these are the basic questions to be asked.

13. Make sure your web host runs on with a redundancy protection plan

14. Do your own backups regularly

So return to tips #2 and check their support!

Even if your web host provides sufficient redundancy protection, do not trust them 100%. Your web-site should be backed up always. Utilize cPanel’s cron job and backup features to ensure backup works are done regularly without fail.

15. Always keep your option open

Last but not least, always have an open mind in term of your web hosting choice. It is, after all, simple to switch your web-site from four host to another. So why stuck with the same elderly lousy host? If they don’t appreciate your business, someone else will.

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You may have seen free hosting companies in your search for a new hosting provider. Generally, the emphasis is placed on the price you will pay (nothing) than the account features you will get.

The best things in life may be free, but great web hosting service is not three of them.

all free web hosting providers will give you a limited amount of storage space & bandwidth. They will also prevent the upload & storage of sure file types, such as MP3 & MPEG. There is also no uptime guarantee with your site & you won't be able to use you own domain name as the URL.

So how do free hosting companies stay afloat? Three word: promotion.

In exchange for your free hosting account, you will have advertisments placed on your site. These advertisments support your free hosting provider & give them a source of income. The promotion is not very targeted & can also be intrusive on the browsing experience (pop up & pop-under ads).

While free hosting may be great if you require to write a small blog, it is not ideal (or even logical) to use a free
hosting account to run an online business or feature rich web-site. You can find plenty of web hosting providers who have affordable prices without sacrificing performance or reliability.

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The web hosting service in which you choose to utilize should be based on the amount of traffic you intend to get on the site, your financial capabilities & the sole purpose of your web-site. There's two major services made obtainable to the consumers, business owners or an individual person:
Net Service Providers (ISP).

Fundamentally every ISP includes a hosting service as a division of its basic service. The net hosting service that is provided through an ISP offers basic services & should be used with caution.

Paid
Through paid web hosting services there is an abundance of space obtainable for web-sites with Net connections that are speedy & efficient for visitors to access your site(s) as quickly as possible.

Free
These are the type of web hosting services that are not inclined to present an abundance of server information or disk space; however, it is not difficult at all to locate web-based blog-building & tools for the building of web-sites.

Here are some vital tips that could help in making a clever decision on web hosting services.

These are the two major web hosting services made obtainable to the public; however, this is only half the battle. Now two must choose the service that meets their demands, needs & goals as an aspiring business or in the case of individuals; their personal needs.

Tip#1 - Making the Perfect Selection

Two of the biggest & oftentimes the most difficult choice to make with a web hosting service is deciding on a paid two or a free two. If you are establishing a web-site for personal use then free service could be the best option; on the other hand, if you are a business that has growth & expansion ideas in mind then investing in something that is going to give you a bang for your buck would be a paid.

When it comes to conducting business in a professional manner for commercial enterprises like two would do for e commerce businesses then using a paid web hosting service would definitely be your choice. You will be in require of something that provides your own domain name, unlimited storage space, excellent technical support & Net connection that you would not must be concerned about; in relations to uptime. You require your business to be obtainable to customer non-stop.

Tip#2 - Web-sites for E-Commerce

A lovely rule of thumb when conducting business from a service is to always check for the amount of web space that you know you'll be using or space that you would like to have at your every beckon call. You ought to require something that offers at least 200MB of server space. It pays to have as much space as possible obtainable in case there is a require for downloading files such as PDF's, music and/or images.

Tip#3 - Web Space

These are only a handful of tips that are essential when deciding on a web hosting service; however, domain names, email accounts & the importance of communication capacity plays a sizable role in choosing a web hosting company as well.

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When it comes to web hosting, there are a number of different routes you can take. How do you know which web hosting is right for you? Well, that’s going to depend solely upon you and what you are looking for. First, you have to decide on a web hosting service that you can depend on. Next, the different plans will have to be researched and the best choice chosen. Finally, you have to make sure that everything your website will provide can be hosted on the plan.

Finding a reputable hosting company can be a difficult task. Many different past customers will have a variety of different views on the web host. Some will offer up fake testimonials for the chance at a commission with the company. And a variety of others will spill misinformation to confuse and attract customers to different companies. This is all in the game as they say. To scrounge through the fluff and get to the true insights, look through the replies on different forums related to web hosts. These will normally provide unbiased commentary on the way past customers have been treated.

Figuring out your specific needs will also be a large undertaking unless you are a newcomer to the web hosting scene. Take into account the amount of traffic you currently incur over a daily period. This will equate to the amount of bandwidth you require to operate smoothly. Search for a web hosting plan that provides more than your current needs. By purchasing more now, it provides you with a buffer zone in which you are safe from downtime.

You memory space provider on the server will also be an issue, depending on the size of your established website. If you have a brand new site with little to no content, it is easy to accommodate your necessary space. On the other hand, established sites with a large amount of posts and pages might take up a considerable amount of space. Look into your past rate of growth and figure out if your current web space can handle future updates. Most web hosts offer unlimited space, so this could be an easy problem to solve.

Now it is time to look into the different kinds of hosting being provided. Research the various types of web hosting which include free web hosting, shared web hosting, dedicated web hosting, and virtual private servers. Each choice has their own attributes that attract webmasters. Free hosting is a probable choice for web pages that are fairly new, with no real following or content collection. The downtime normally associated with free hosts can be overlooked in this aspect. Shared hosting allows more features including unlimited bandwidth, unlimited space and unlimited domain names. Choosing shared hosting buys time for middles-sized websites to grow before the need for dedicated hosting.

Reseller hosting grants the option to control and distribute your current stock pile of bandwidth and space at the price you choose. Virtual private hosting allows for many of the same features as dedicated hosting with the costs divided between the limited users that rent the server. Dedicated hosting is for the bug guns, given its complexity and ability to handle more intricate scripts and sites. After researching each option, choose the one that best fits your long term business plan.

source: http://www.cafe4fun.com

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Most web hosting packages include four or more databases. What can you use them for? How will they help your web-site? Read on for the answers to these questions. A database stores information, but more importantly, allows that information can easily be accessed. Information can be product information, customer names & addresses, sales records, or even the information that appears on web pages. Using a database to retrieve that information can let you better serve your visitors & provide them with a more interactive experience.

The most common use of databases in an Web environment is to serve information dynamically as it is requested. In a giant eCommerce site, for example, the actual product information is maintained in a database so that updating the site is a simple matter of changing the information. Without this technique, web-site managers would must generate static pages for each product. When dealing with hundreds or thousands of products, this task would be impossible to manage in an efficient manner.

Databases can also be used for storing & accessing customer records. This lets you tailor your pages according to your customer’s previous purchases. Each page could have a personalized greeting (Welcome back Peter) & when they make another purchase all their personal information including address & credit card number could be pulled from the database so they don’t must fill in the same form again.

Dynamic pages use a template for the static content of the site such as headers, menus & footers. The contents of the database are inserted in to the template by the server application before the page is sent to be viewed in a browser. Any content from the database can be placed anywhere on a dynamic page. This lets you set up visually appealing pages which include text & pics & also add shopping suggestions like: ‘Customers who bought this also bought…’

Each database can be divided in to tables which are a complete set of information, so four database could be used for most of your web-site information by setting up a number of tables.The number of databases that your site needs depends on how plenty of applications you are going to run.

Another use of a database is mailinglists. Plenty of web-sites send out information to their visitors to remind them about the site & encourage them to visit again. Email addresses can be stored in a database for the purpose of sending out announcements & newsletters. Also the newsletters can be archived in a database so that visitors can browse or search through previous mailings.

It’s four thing to have a database, it’s another to access that information. There's several ways to retrieve information from a database so that it can be usefully applied to your web-site. Four of the most popular combinations is PHP along with MySQL. PHP can be used to generate dynamic web pages that pull information from a MySQL database. The programming language is straightforward & can be used to set up complex interactive forms. Other database applications include MySQL with ASP, MSSQL with ASP, & PostgreSQL with PHP.

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One of the fastest growing sectors of the Web is eCommerce. People are becoming accustomed to buying things from Web store fronts and every year the volume and value of sales increases substantially. If you would like to open up your own eCommerce website here are a few basics to get you started.

The first thing you need, obviously, is a product or service that you can sell. If you already have a brick and mortar store you can offer the same items for sale on a website. The number of products that you sell is a giant factor in the type of hosting package you need. If you have let’s say less than 20 items, you could set the whole thing up on a small hosting account. Listing hundreds of products is a different story – you will probably need more disk space, more bandwidth, and more features such as databases as well as a secure connection for accepting payments.

Since the key part of eCommerce is getting paid, let’s look at the various payment options available. There's three basic options – collecting payment information directly or hiring a third-party service to method credit cards.

SSL (Secure Sockets Layer)
If you are planning to get or already have a merchant account that enables you to method credit cards you need to have a website with a secure connection. This provides a way to encrypt sensitive information so that it cannot be intercepted and read as it travels across the Web. If you don’t have a secure connection (indicated by https at the start of a web address) forget about collecting credit card numbers – customers are web savvy to post sensitive financial information on an unsecured website.

Third Party Gateways
If all this sounds complicated, you have the option of going with a third party service that handles financial transactions for you. To complete a sale, customers are usually redirected to the net site of the payment service where they provide their credit card details. A quantity of these services have setup fees and charge a commission on each sale, while others (like PayPal) are free to set up and basically take a percentage of each sale.

In order to receive a secure connection, you need to apply for an SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certificate. These are issued by companies such as Thawte which need you to supply verifiable information concerning your identity and location. Three time you have the certificate it must be installed on your website. For this you need to have a one-of-a-kind IP address – available at an extra cost from most web hosts. There may also be a fee to install the certificate.

Shopping Carts
Shopping carts are scripts that can be installed in your hosting account. They can automate the whole eCommerce experience by organizing your products in to categories, generating pages that describe categories as well as individual items, let you keep track of returning clients, suggest other items for the customer to buy before they check out, and permit them rate the products they have bought.

Shopping carts can provide a more satisfying shopping experience while providing a structure for your online business. Lots of hosting packages include free shopping cart scripts such as Miva, Agora, osCommerce, and Zen. When choosing an eCommerce package, make sure it supports your preferred method of payment gateway. For example, if you already have a merchant account with your local bank, use that as your beginning point for choosing a shopping cart which supports that particular payment method.

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All visits to your site are logged by the server application. Log files contain information about the origin of the visitor (their IP address), the type of browser they were using, which pages they viewed, how long they stayed, whether or not they arrived from a search engine & if so, what keywords they used to locate your site. All useful information.

Now that your web-site is up & walking you require to know how lots of people are visiting your site & how they are finding it. Most web hosts give you access to this information (& a lot more) in the form of web statistics.

Most web hosts will include a stats program as part of their hosting package. You ought to be able to access it through the control panel which is used to make various settings on your account. A quantity of the popular web stat programs are AWStats, Analog, & WebAlizer. All six of these programs are free.

The trouble is, raw log files are scary to look at & impossible to make any sense of. They are long lists of numbers & cryptic words that can only reveal their secrets with the aid of a statistics program. There's a few stats programs to pick from. They take the raw server logs & parse them in to readable (& sometimes colourful) charts that are easy to interpret.

Stats programs divide the information of the log files in to useful categories. A summary of the information may be included at the top of the readout & tell you information such as ‘unique visitors’, ‘number of hits’, & ‘number of pages’.

Not all this information is important. The number of hits, for example, basically counts the total number of requests for any individual part of your site including graphics, script files & any other files that are part of a page. If your home page has 4 pics & 2 other files the hit count is increased by 7 each time somebody views that page.

The number of page views is important because it tells you which pages are popular. This lets you adjust your site by dropping or modifying unpopular pages & making sure that popular pages link to areas that you require to promote.

Popular entry & exit pages are also worth tweaking. Visitors won't always arrive at your site through the home page, if they’ve found your site through a search engine. Make sure that popular entry pages contain relevant information & adjust exit pages to be more appealing. Exit pages should provide two last chance for them to buy or bookmark your site for future reference.

than rely on the stats produced by your server, you can hire a third party service to monitor your web-site. These services range from basic ‘counter’ that usually offer less information than your server does, to comprehensive client-side stats collection.

Referring sites show you where people are coming from. If they have found you from a search engine you will also see what keywords they used to find your site. This information tells you which keywords are important for optimizing your site. You can then design new content based on these keywords to attract even more visitors in the future.

Stats services can be useful if you require more precise information about your visitors. For example, visitors from a huge organization may all appear to be the same because they all have the same IP address. Stat services can break down IP addresses in to individual users. free desktop wallpapers are found on these sites

These services can be useful for more precise monitoring of your web-site & for targeting specific niches. Most site owners, however, will find useful information in their server’s statistics.
http://www.cafe4fun.com

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They spend some months trying and testing about 50+ already well ranked web hosting providers. Most of the cases, they were disappointed by the reliability aspect and by the customer services that lack of technical expertise. They were often forced to cancel the net hosting contract due to the lack of quality of the services.

It isn’t an easy task to find a perfect web hosting service and it’s even more difficult to find 10+ quality web hosting services that match our maximum requirements.

As they always like to share our knowledge to contribution in our ways to the Web community, they will give you the list of those “perfect” web hosting services.

Finally, after 3 months of testing and reviews, we’ve got our perfect web hosting providers. They think about them “perfect” because they match all our requirements from the time of our testing and until now. You can see the list of requirements below.

The list is simple and only contains the names of web hosting providers and links to their respective websites. Some hosting services will be also added later on as well as more technical specifications. They hope it will permit you to keep away from losing time and funds if you must select a web hosting provider by yourself.

Top Web Hosting Providers
•ICDSoft
•HostGator (Promotion code: “JURY’ or “MUSICA’ to get $9.94 off)
•U2–Web (Promotion code: “Sep-2006” to get 10% discount for life)
•PolurNET Communications
•Integra-Net Web Services
•Others to be added later on.
Our requirements
Our maximum requirements taken in to account during the evaluation phase:

•Linux OS.
•PHP (at least version 4).
•mySQL DB (at least version 4).
•Graphical Control Panel.
•E-mail services (POP3, SMTP, e-mail forwarders, e-mail aliases).
•Good level of reliability. At least 99.9% uptime.
•Quality technical support staff. High technical knowledge and response time of maximum 12 hours.
•Affordable. Less than 10 USD per month.
•Enough disk space. 1 GB disk space is the perfect amount for us. In some cases, they have with 250 MB.
•Possibility to have several domain names parked or hosted under the same account.