3. What is web hosting? Web hosting services explained

1. overview 2. domain name 3. website hosting 4. website design 5. website optimization 6. submission
7. ranking 8. directories 9. link building 10. pay per click 11. development 12. ecommerce

What you should look for in a Website Host. A website hosting package should include facilities to host both your website and its related email.

Make sure you have assessed all your potential requirements before committing yourself to a hosting company. As with most things related to the development of your website, there are a whole range of things to consider before making the decision.

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  • Web Host Country – Depending on your market, this could be the most important consideration, and often the most overlooked, when choosing a web host. The physical location of your host servers can have an impact on your business if your target market is in your own country. Google UK, for example offer the option of either a UK only or a world-wide search.  In a UK only search, Google then determines which sites to feature, based partly on the domain extension (.com/.co.uk etc) and also the physical location of the server. So although you may have a website called www.only-available-in-britain.co.uk, if your hosting company is based in Germany, Google may well see your site as being German, and it will not feature as prominently in a UK wide search.  It is therefore safer to choose a web host in the same country as you. Be aware that some web hosting companies who have a .co.uk extension themselves may still have servers abroad. In fact, a well known, cheap hosting company who has been advertising extensively in the UK actually has all its servers in Germany!
  • Server space – This used to be an issue, but these days most hosting packages will provide ample space for all your website needs. However, it is a good idea to choose a host who is able to offer you more space should you need it. Once again, this is something most hosting companies should easily be able to accommodate.
  • Bandwidth (the volume of traffic to your website) – All basic web hosting packages have enough bandwidth for most small business websites. However the cost of acquiring extra bandwidth should it be needed can vary enormously. We advise you to check this aspect out.
  • Support - Be sure technical support is available to you when you need it. Make sure it is support that works for you. We all know how frustrating it can be talking to someone who doesn’t share the same mother tongue and then talks in jargon and “techie-speak”. Often, technical support is only available via email, and waiting for a response can be frustrating.
  • Email Control Panel - Some people don’t think they need an email address associated with their website, but it is very important. Having a control panel to manage your email efficiently should be a part of the package.
    • Mailbox – Check how many email addresses you have available for you and your staff, and how easy it is to set them up.
    • Mail redirect – It may be important to be able to redirect email from one address to another, either temporarily or permanently. This also should be straightforward, and above all, quick to achieve.
    • Mailing List – A convenient way of emailing an entire batch of email addresses – staff list; subscribers’ list etc. Check how many mailing lists your package will allow.
    • Auto responder – An automatic response to an email sent to you. You may well have detailed product information or instructions for use that you don’t want to keep on your website. A simple email request to your auto responder will result in the right document being emailed back immediately!
    • Spam Filtering – Vital! You do not want to be inundated with spam, but you don’t want to filter out important email, so it is useful to control the level.
    • Anti-virus – Checking both incoming and outgoing email.
  • Tracking – You (or somebody!) will need to monitor how your website is functioning. Your web host should offer you the option to download and analyze your web logs in order to fine-tune your website to produce better results. This information should include:
    • Number of visitors to your site
    • The entry pages they used
    • Search engine keywords used to find you
    • Number of pages viewed
    • Amount of time spent on your site
  • Platform – The two best know platforms are Windows NT and UNIX (which include Linux). The most important aspect of this decision is the kind of applications you will be running.
  • Other Considerations – Depending on what your website needs to do for you, there may be other features required:
    • Does your website use software (Microsoft FrontPage) that uses non-standard features?
    • Does your site offer interactive functions (forms etc) or online credit card facilities/transactions?
    • Do your online credit card transactions need a secure server?
    • Does your website use specialist software (sometimes even different versions of the same software can be an issue)?

There is a lot to think about here, and these are all aspect of web hosting that need to be carefully considered, before making a hosting decision. If you are not 100% confident about what you need from web-hosting then it is best to ask for help. A good SEO company can advise you on which are the best options for you. In fact, unless you are well experienced, it is far better to seek the advice of an expert. It can save you a lot of grief later.

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The following are a number of testimonials from satisfied clients. We are really pleased to receive these testimonials, and proudly list them here.

Thanks for the website Ian.
As you stated, I have had a steady stream of enquiries since setting me up on the internet.
Morning Ian, just a short note to say 'thankyou' for the work on my website. Not only am I pleased with the way it looks, but I could not believe it when I got my first enquiry from it only a few days after its completion. All you said would happen has indeed happened.
Thank you very much for your kind help. It is really a good advice for my marketing plan.

Thanks and best regards,
Hi Ian Just a short note to tell you we have had a very good season, an excellent sales increase so we should be ok now the autumn is here and going very soon into Winter.. . . . . . . . .
Thanks Ian. The website has certainly increased our Bookings and we look forward to next year.
Best Wishes
I am not really interested in getting back in to PPC as it cost a lot of money last time for not a lot of return. We have been without it for over a year and what you are doing is still increasing visits and turnover on the site.
Sports Outlets
Just a quick note to say I’m very interested in maintaining the website you have completed a marvellous job of so far. We are already noticing a complete change and receiving a lot higher internet inquires.
Thanks Ian
Hello Ian, came across your website via a Google search and wanted to say how impressed I am! The marketing plan template arrived within seconds of my request - it is clear, tremendously helpful and has provided me with the structure I desperately lacked as I prepare to kick off my new business on 1st September! A really super service, am sure I will be in touch again over the coming weeks to discuss other elements of your offer.

Thanks and regards

....... I have also noticed the success of extra clicks! Business is also up by at least 15 percent from last year. Regards
Owner (Dry Cleaners)

I would just like to bring a ray of sunshine to your day (well it did for me).
Since we started to work with Ian Smith, our Adwords guru, our results have improved impressively. These figures are the average across the board, ..
Our Click through rate has gone from 1% to a very credible 4.5%
Our average cost per click has dropped from 87p to 63p (just remember some clicks are still £2+).
Our average position has gone from 5.4 to 4.6
So all in all a very good result and with further input we hope to do even better.
Interior Design Retailer