Providing a small business web hosting service is pretty popular lately. The basis behind this surge in popularity is simple. As the requirement of launching one on Internet has actually increased, and hence, people have no option but to abide by these necessities.

Nevertheless, if you are about to set up a site offering small business web hosting services, then, you ought to consider few important things before sincerely getting into this small business web hosting.

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Considering the fact that there is much competition in the realm of web hosting, you should always be prepared for sudden and abrupt changes in circumstances. The competition should be seen as a royal encounter, and if you want to succeed in this industry, you need something that will be associated with only you.

You should have several offers that will keep you a head above the others. A great option in helping you jump start into the industry is to observe a site which is already well established. Business and website hosting remain tangible if you keep them as priorities.

There are many popular sites that are available to help you know how to proceed with finding small business web hosting services, and you may find that a leader’s website is ranked as the best. You may determine to set up your site based on the information that you find on these sites, and they will at the very least serve as a specific point of reference.

Websites already in the business have increased their perceived status by meeting the already determined standards put in place by their competitors. Not a very hard act to follow! All you have to do is precisely the same thing, then you are competing in the web hosting business.

You can scrutinize as to what the tactics are and how they can be given to special users? You will discover that there are definite models upon which these particulars procedures are based, and hence, you should be aware of them to be able to fight with the big names in this industry.

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Are you considering setting up your online business or are you just not happy with your current provider?

As a business person, you are generally focussed on the core aspects of your business - what do you have to do to bring money through the door? You really don't want to be burdened with translating techo jargon to business speak.

Unfortunately, many web hosting companies are more than happy to quote statistics and tech specs at you without telling you what they really mean to your business. On top of all of that, the pricing for services varies greatly and, without knowing the right questions to ask, there is little chance of differentiating the offers and ensuring you're getting the best deal for your business.

Your online presence can be as effective as your bricks and mortar store front. If you don't have a bricks and mortar store front, then your online presence may be the best means for your customers to get in touch with you. A poor hosting provider may mean that your online presence is intermittent, slow or just not available for a percentage of the time. This would be like having a closed store front when your customers came to visit or not answering the phone - doesn't leave a good impression for the customer base. A good provider ensures that your online presence has high availability and great response times - leaving a much better impression for your customers.

This article is designed to help business owners decipher some of the technical jargon and work out what questions should be asked when choosing a hosting provider.

When embarking on setting up your online presence, be clear about the purpose of the site. Do you want it to be an "online brochure" or do you want to be able to process sales?

The requirements for a "brochureware" site and an "E-Commerce" site vary greatly, as does the price. Most hosting providers have a progression through their hosting accounts to allow customers to migrate from a "brochureware" site to and "E-Commerce" site.

The other questions to consider are:

1. How many domain names will you want to use for the site? It is not uncommon to register several domain names that all point to the same site. This is a way of protecting your brand and not allowing competitors to "steal away" your customers.

Examples of this are: yourbusiness.com.au, yourbusiness.com, yourbusiness.net.au, yourbusiness.net. Using any of these addresses will provide the same website - this is known as Domain Parking.

2. How many SQL databases can you have? SQL databases are used for Blogs, Content Management Systems and the like. The ability to have more databases, the better, even if you are running a BrochureWare site.

3. Does the server have scripting support? To run Blogs, Content Management Systems and the like, you will need the webserver to have scripting support (php etc). Most servers come standard with php support, but it is worthwhile confirming this.

4. Applications Vault. Fantastico is a great add-on that automates the installation of web applications to a website. There are more than 50 applications that have Fantastico scripts associated with them, including Web content management system, Blogs, Wikis, Photo sharing and Shopping Cart software. This will save a lot of time and money for any organisation.

5. Email accounts. Whilst you may initially think you only need one email address, the ability to have separate addresses for different functions is a major bonus. Again, the more email accounts the better.

6. The ability to "forward email domains". If you do decide to register multiple domains that point to the one site, you should also ensure that email to any of those domains is receivable. For example, your primary email address may sales@yourbusiness.com.au however, if a visitor tries to email sales@yourbusiness.com, without domain forwarding, the email will not be received. Email domain forwarding will divert email from one domain to the primary domain, thus making you more contactable.

7. SPAM filtering. There is nothing more annoying than receiving SPAM in your email inbox. You should check what level of email SPAM and virus filtering the webhosting company provides. Check how often the definitions for the filters are updated - some update monthly, others update hourly. Spam is generated minute by minute, a filter that is updated monthly will allow a lot more SPAM emails through than one that is updated hourly.

Is the SPAM filtering device separate to webserver, or is it a function of the webserver? If the SPAM filtering is performed on the webserver, this takes up valuable processing resources that should be used to present your website to visitors in a more timely fashion. A separate SPAM filtering device is preferable.

8. Web Mail. Is it possible to access your mail from anywhere on the web? Whilst it's fine to configure your desktop PC to download mail to your email client (like Outlook), there will be times that you are mobile and don't have access to your PC. In these cases, you should be able to use a web browser to access your mail box from Internet Cafe or a remote office.

9. Level of Support provided. What type of support does the hosting company provide? Is it business hours only or phone support only? Do they provide 24 hours a day, 7 days a week phone, email or Live Chat support? Does the hosting company actively monitor their services and rectify problems as they occur, or do they wait for a customer to call them? As a business, your online presence should be available 24 / 7 - if there is a problem, you want it dealt with quickly and effectively. If you need to talk to someone for assistance, you should be able to.

So, how does web hosting work?  How do people really "find' your website?

Web hosting is the means to storing all the information files that make up a website. Every page of every website needs to be stored as data files. How web hosting works is by storing these files in servers to be accessed by web browsers. Web hosting has become big business and can be confusing to people starting a website.

The first step is to select yourself a fancy domain name. Your domain will be the name of your new site so try and choose something on topic, shorter and to the point. You will register your domain name with the web hosting service provider that you choose so no one else can use your name.

How does web hosting work from here?

Now comes the technical part of everything works together and where you set the Domain Name Server information for your domain name. The DNS address uses your domain name and an IP address as the official "location" of your site. After all, all those files of data have to be stored somewhere, right? This address tells the internet browser where it's stored.

Your site is officially set up on your end, so now how does web hosting work when you people try to access your site?

When someone types your domain name into their web browser, the browser follows the DNS address connected with the domain name. The DNS address tells the browser the IP address of the web hosting service provider you subscribed to. The web browser then uses that information to find the server that is housing your site's data files. The data files are accessed and then displayed on the visitor's browser.

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For many people the thought of creating their own website can be a pretty scary proposition. Without some sort of guidance it can be quite overwhelming for someone has never done it before. Even choosing a website hosting company, something like BlueHost, is getting tougher and tougher because there are so many of them out there. Each hosting company has different packages, and customizable options to choose from. This along can boggle the mind. However, when setting up a website for the first time, or the thirtieth time, there are a few things to look for in a reputable hosting company.

1. Unlimited Options

In today's age of technological advances, hosting a site isn't as bid a deal as it use to be 10 years ago. It use to be an expensive ordeal to have a website. This could host hundreds, and even thousands, a month to keep it online. But, hosting companies today can offer unlimited hosting of your pages for a very inexpensive cost. Two big things to look for is storage and file transfer. Every time someone visits a page your are transferring files. If you have millions of visitors this can add up very quickly costing you a fortune in overages. Unlimited transfer of files is very important.

2. Free Domain Name

Most hosting companies, again like that of BlueHost, offer domain names with their starting packages. This means that when you set up your hosting account, and begin putting your website up, you can register a domain name for free. However, after the first year, there is a re-registration fee. Look for those companies that offer your first domain for free forever. This is a savings you can use to host another domain.

3. Multiple Sites With One Account

For someone who is an individual who is putting up a lot of different websites, or landing pages for different CPC opportunities, having to pay for each new hosting account would cost a fortune. Look for hosting companies that allow you unlimited number of websites hosted on your one account.

4. Free Installation Of Popular Applications

Hosting companies have come along way in what they offer in their basic, and starter packages. Websites are no longer static and there is a lot that web owners can do to involve people in their websites. Look for hosting companies that offer one click installation of popular applications like forums, blog platforms, calendars, and other interactive scripts and software. This is a huge help even for someone who knows how to install these things. You just click, set up a database, and it's done for you. A great example of a company that does this for you is BlueHost.

5. Low Cost

This should go without saying, but it a low cost hosting company that doesn't cost an arm and a leg to run your business. As stated, costs have come down, but there are still those companies that are much higher than other ones. When choosing your new host, look at the packages and what is offered. A basic package should contain unlimited storage, unlimited transfer of date, unlimited emails, unlimited domains and subdomains, free support, free shopping cart, and free ftp access.