Why do I need a Commercial Web site?
If you have a business, you should have a Web site. A Web site can be used to provide information on your products and services, answers to frequently asked questions about your business, and it can even be set up to sell your products on-line to anyone in the world. In short, Web hosting is an inexpensive way to provide product and customer service information, as well as a great way to expand your sales territory.
How do I design my site?
There are web editing software packages available, like Microsoft FrontPage, that can be used to design Web sites. Many companies have someone on staff who is handy with software programs that can design a site using one of these programs, and other companies contract the work out to a Web designer. If your business does not have these programming resources available, then consider using our web-based editing tool, EZsite Web Builder. This handy tool is included free of charge with our EZ Starter and EZ Basic web hosting packages.
I am not sure what questions to ask. Where do I begin?
It is a good idea to think first about what you want to accomplish with your Web site, which will help you determine the best plan to fit your needs. For example, do you only want to display company and product information, or do you also want to sell your products on-line (ecommerce)? Do you expect to store a lot of data on the site, or only a few pages? Do you expect to have a lot of visitors, or just a few?
Which type of site should I get?
First, you should consider what the site will require in terms of disk space, data transfer and ecommerce functionality. We have six levels of Web Hosting available on Unix-based servers: EZ Starter, EZ Basic, Value Pro, Enhanced Pro, Premium Pro, and Corporate Pro. The EZ packages include EZsite Web Builder, a web editing tool that is designed to help you create professional-looking web sites without any knowledge of web programming. The Premium and Corporate Pro packages include shopping carts and ecommerce capabilities. For a complete listing of packages and features, please refer to the Feature Chart .
Can you host my site on an NT server?
Usually, NT is not required. If your site truly does require an NT environment, we can host the site on an NT server, but you will not have all of the features available with our Unix hosted sites, including the Web Control Panel. Call our sales office for more information on NT hosting.
Why is it required that some sites be hosted on NT?
It is usually based on the development environment the Web designer is using. Some development packages or features require that the site be hosted on NT. For example, if your designer is developing the site using Active Server Pages (ASP), then the site must be hosted on NT. However, it is important to note that NT is not required if you are simply using Microsoft FrontPage to develop your site, since FrontPage is supported on the Unix platform.
What is disk space, and how much do I need?
The disk space included with a Web Hosting Package determines how much information can be stored on the site. This information can be in the form of Web pages and other files, as well as email, since the email sent to a your domain is usually stored on the Web server (the exception being if you plan on directing your email to another mail server). How much space you need depends on the amount and type of content you place on the site and the amount of email stored and not yet deleted. You will have the ability to assign an independent storage quota for each email account through the Control Panel. This way you will know the total amount of disk space that might be used for email.
How many Web pages can I store in a particular amount of space?
It really depends on the type of content. Generally, an average Web page will be under 100 KBs in size (it takes 1,024 KBs to equal 1 MB). A page of text is only around 2 KBs, and most smaller pictures will be well under 100K. Therefore, you could estimate that the average size of a Web page is a tenth of a megabyte or less. If that is the case, then you could multiply the number of MBs in a plan by ten to get an estimate of the number of pages that can be stored on the server. For example, a plan that allows 250 MBs could hold 2,500 pages using this formula.
Of course, this is only an estimate, since we do not know how big your actual pages will be, or what additional content you will have on your site. If you have many large image files, video clips, sound files, or a software package available for download, you will be using more than the average amount of space. Remember, also, that some disk space may be used for incoming email storage.
What is Data Transfer, and how much do I need?
Data transfer is related to the number of page downloads that a Web site receives. Every time someone visits your Web site, the data is transferred from our server out to the Internet. Each Web hosting plan includes a specific amount of data transfer in the base price. Any number of visitors can go to the site, but if the amount of data transfer included in the plan is exceeded, there will be extra charges.
Just as we were able to estimate the number of pages that could be stored in a given amount of space, we can estimate the number of “page views” that a Web plan might support. If, as we estimated above, the average Web page is a tenth of a megabyte or less, then we can multiply the amount of data transfer by ten to get an estimate of the number of page views.
For example, if a plan includes 20 Gigabytes of data transfer per month (which is 20,000 MBs), it might then allow up to 200,000 page views in a month. However, like the amount of pages a site can hold, this is only a estimate. If the site contains larger image files, audio, video, etc., then each time one of those files is downloaded, it will count towards data transfer. For example, if there is a 2 MB video file on the site, each time that file is downloaded there will be 2 MBs of data transfer.
One other point to understand is that a page view is defined as the download of a single page, and does not equate to the number of visitors to a Web site. It is harder to estimate the number of visitors a Web site can support, since we cannot know how many pages an average visitor might download. The number of pages someone might download will depend on factors such as ease of navigation, the type of content, and how interesting your site is.
Unlike disk space, you have much less control over the amount of data transfer that you will have in a month. Factors that determine how much data transfer a site experiences include how well the site is publicized, and the type and amount of content available. The more popular your Web site, the more visitors you will get, and thus the more data transfer you will have. In addition, if other Web sites link to your site, that will drive additional traffic. However, in general, most small to medium business sites do not receive a large amount data transfer unless the site is entertainment oriented.
Can I use Microsoft FrontPage to develop my site?
Yes. We support FrontPage on either the Unix or NT platforms. On the NT platform, FrontPage extensions are turned on by default. On the Unix Pro platform, you have the ability to turn on or reset FrontPage extensions through the Control Panel. It is recommended that your site be placed on the Unix platform if your only special requirement is FrontPage, since you will have more features, and full use of the Web Control Panel.
Do you support ASP and PHP?
Yes. ASP, which stands for Active Server Pages, is only available on the NT platform. PHP is available on our Unix servers and provides similar functionality to ASP. In addition, some Web sites hosted on our Unix servers include PHP Nuke, a popular development environment for creating PHP content. Both PHP and ASP allow for dynamic content to be displayed on a Web site. If you need ASP installed for an NT site, you must request that at the time you order.
What type of Databases do you support?
If you need a database with your Web site, MYSQL is available on the Unix platform with the exception of the EZsite plans, and you will have the ability to set up and enable MYSQL through the Control Panel. If your require Microsoft Access, the site must be hosted on an NT server. We can also enable NT sites with Open Database Connectivity (ODBC), which will allow the site to work with databases that are ODBC compliant. In order to set up database access on NT, we will require the following information to complete the installation:
- Database file name
- The Data Source Name
- Path to the file
Is FTP enabled on all Web sites?
FTP is enabled on all Web sites hosted on Unix, and the Control Panel includes a handy FTP Manager. On the NT server, if you need FTP enabled instead of FrontPage extensions (or in addition to FrontPage extensions), then you will need to request that in the order.
Is Anonymous FTP available?
Most Commercial Web Hosting accounts include Anonymous FTP and you can access this feature through the Web Control Panel. This feature is used to economically transfer information to clients via the Internet. You can allow visitors to download information, programs, and documents anonymously. This allows the public to retrieve files located in the public (pub) directory of ftp.domainname.com. The Anonymous FTP feature also includes:
- Customizable greeting messages
- Automatic messages that display when FTP clients change directories
- Web security, where your other web data is inaccessible from the public directory
- Complete log of all file transfers
What about e-commerce capability?
There are several factors to consider when selling products and services via your website. See our eCommerce page for more information.
What if I have a Web site with another ISP and want to transfer it to your service?
You will let us know that the domain needs to be transferred, and we will take care of that. You should have a login and password to manage your domain at your current registrar, which you can provide to us. This is usually required to initiate a domain transfer. You should also verify that the administrative contact on your domain is correct. If not, this should be modified before the domain transfer is requested, since a confirmation email will be sent to the administrative contact, and that must be acknowledged before the transfer is approved.
Will there be any downtime on my site when it transfers to your service?
There does not need to be any downtime if handled properly. First, you should upload a copy of your Web files to our server before the domain transfer is confirmed, so that when the transfer does take place, the site will be accessible from our server. Also, because of the way Domain Name Service (DNS) works, you should leave a copy of your site up with the old provider for at least three days after the transfer is complete. While the domain transfer is propagating on the Internet, it may be a few hours to a few days where the site may be reached on either server when someone types your domain name. The bottom line is that you should have your new site up and ready on our server, including setting up any email accounts, before you approve the domain transfer.