Selecting a Hosting Service
A Web hosting service is the online world’s equivalent of a landlord. Just as the owner of a building gives you office space or room for a storefront where you can hang your shingle, a hosting service provides you with space online where you can set up shop.
If your server is down, or if it’s running slowly, a crawler might have a difficult time crawling the site. If so, it’s likely to give up and move on to another site. In some cases, your web host might ban a search engine from crawling your site because other clients have complained or because the crawler is creating problems with the hosting services provided. Any of these problems will cause your site ranking to drop.
What to look for in a Web host
For larger Web site implementations, the team should obtain the advice of consultants or other firms that rate service providers (ISPs, ASPs, and CSPs), such as HostCompare.com and Keynote Systems. The most important factors to evaluate when selecting a hosting service include:
- Bandwidth and server scalability
- Backup and disaster recovery
Along with providing lots of space for your HTML, image, and other files. Web hosting services offer a variety of related services, including some or all the following:
E-mail addresses: You’re likely to be able to get several e-mail addresses for your own or your family members’ personal use. Besides that, many Web hosts give you special e-mail addresses called auto-responders. These are e-mail addresses, such as email@example.com, that you can set up to automatically return a text message or a file to anyone looking for information.
Domain names: give customers the option of obtaining a short domain name, such as www.mycompany.com. But some Web hosts simplify the process by providing domain-name registration in their flat monthly rates.
Web page software: Some hosting services include Web page authoring/ editing software, such as Microsoft FrontPage. Some Web hosting services even offer Web page forms that you can fill out online in order to create your own online shopping catalog.
Site statistics: Virtually all Web hosting services also provide you with site statistics that give you an idea (perhaps not a precisely accurate count, but a good estimate) of how many visitors you have received.
Shopping and electronic commerce features: If you plan to give your customers the ability to order and purchase your goods or services online by using their credit cards, be sure to look for a Web host that provides you with secure commerce options. A secure server is a computer that can encrypt sensitive data (such as credit card numbers) that the customer sends to your site.
Multimedia/CGI scripts: One big thing that sets Web hosting services apart from other hosts is the ability to serve complex and memoryintensive content, such as RealAudio sound files or RealVideo video clips.
Automatic data backups: Some hosting services automatically back up your Web site data to protect you against data loss an especially useful feature because disaster recovery is important.
Shopping cart software: If part of your reason for going online is to sell specific items, look for a Web host that can streamline the process for you.
When you outsourcing, no matter what security guarantees the service provider offers, the company should monitor the security of the electronic commerce operation through its own personnel or by hiring a security consulting firm.
Because the company’s information on customers, products, pricing, and other data will be placed in the hands of the service provider, the vendor’s security policies and practices are very important.