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CGI-BIN/ A very important component if you're planning on adding any sort of interactivity to your site like forms, shopping carts, etc. Usually comes as standard equipment, but I've seen some of cheaper hosts leave it out entirely.
EMAIL BOXES & POP 3 ALIASES/ One thing that's very important to me is ability to use different aliases with my domain name. For example, if your domain is ezineadauction.com, you may want to set up separate addresses to sort your mail like firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. They may all funnel into same mailbox, but you can set up filters at your end, making customer service a whole lot easier.
If you have a "wildcard" account, you can set up as many aliases as you like. If you have other employees who will need their own private box, check with web host to see how many boxes they will allow.
STATS/ Once you start getting traffic, you'll want to know where it's coming from and what pages of your site are being visited. Some web hosts will throw stats tracking in with their standard package or at least give you access to your log files, which you can then use with third party software to run reports on traffic your site is receiving.
1) If you want to use Frontpage: Do they have FP server extensions installed?
2) Do they offer autoresponders?
3) How about a secured server option for payment transactions?
4) Do they back up all websites in case of disaster?
5) Do they offer assistance in programming or design work if needed at an hourly rate?
6) Do they offer shopping cart software if you're going to be selling products?
7) Do any customized forms come standard with your account, like feedback or order forms?
8) Bandwidth- Be aware that bandwidth is how much data can be transferred in a month's time. This shouldn't be a concern unless you're getting a ton of traffic, but be aware that most hosts do have limitations on what they'll allow.
As you can see, there are many factors to take into account when choosing a web host. Your host is essentially spine of your site,so you want to make sure that one you choose is reliable and solid. Nothing can ruin a site faster than an unreliable host. I know; been there, done that.
If you'd like a list of possible hosts take a look at http://www.WebIspList.com. For a comparison of hosts pop over to http://www.HostCompare.com or to search for a host by features you need go to http://www.HostSearch.com
Remember, choosing a good host is essential to success and reliability of your online business. Do your homework and choose one that's right for you.
Merle http://www.EzineAdAuction.com "Where some of the BEST Deals in Ezine Advertising are Made" Buy & Sell Ezine Ads in a live auction setting! Publishers sell off your excess inventory and Buyers pick up some Fantastic bargains. Go now.