Hosting-The Silent Partner for Your E-Business

Written by Lisa Schmeckpeper

We have all been hearingrepparttar hype about online business--proponents declare that it'srepparttar 134454 way ofrepparttar 134455 future; detractors claim that it will never replace brick-and-mortar business...which is reality?

The truth falls somewhere inrepparttar 134456 middle: Online business will never replace brick-and-mortar, but an online presence will be integral torepparttar 134457 business model of any successful business. Already, e-commerce revenues are inrepparttar 134458 billions, and experiencing exponential growth. Any business that wishes to be competitive in this new marketplace--including your business--cannot ignorerepparttar 134459 power of e-commerce.

Many of you have taken that first step in putting your business online: You have done your research, identified your brand, and chosen and registered a domain name that speaks to your brand. That wasrepparttar 134460 easy part. If you haven't yet registered your domain name, don't fret! You can easily do it at:

After domain registration, what follows next may be one ofrepparttar 134461 most important decisions you make for your e-business...findingrepparttar 134462 right hosting company. This is as important torepparttar 134463 quality of your business as findingrepparttar 134464 right partner, and many people--even experienced webmasters-- findrepparttar 134465 experience daunting. I would like to share my hosting experience with you-perhaps it will make your decision-making process a little easier.


Reliability. Hosting isn't glamorous, but as you know, it isrepparttar 134466 backbone of your web-based business. That is why I refer to it asrepparttar 134467 "silent partner." A good hosting company is dependable, with a steady "up-time" track record. After all, what good is a web site if it's down? A good hosting company should operate likerepparttar 134468 electric company--every day you wake up, it's there, working. However, evenrepparttar 134469 most reliable companies need to periodically takerepparttar 134470 system down for maintenance. Your hosting company should inform its customers in advance, and perform that maintenance at off-peak hours--so as not to unduly burden your web business.

The next things to look for I callrepparttar 134471 "Four S's:" Service, Software, Support, and Space.


An extremely important (and often overlooked) factor is Service. Unfortunately, many hosting companies end their relationship with yourepparttar 134472 momentrepparttar 134473 server sale is made. This leaves unansweredrepparttar 134474 crucial question, "Okay, I've got a server--now what?" This is critical when you consider that some companies are so controlling that web masters are discouraged from customizing and/or managing sites for their clients! Other hosting companies give you space on a server, but nothing more--you have to configurerepparttar 134475 server and set up allrepparttar 134476 back-end functionality manually!

As you have probably done this before, I don't need to tell you what a time-consuming and laborious task this is. My best service experience has been with Virtualis. So much so that I've spentrepparttar 134477 last 2 years with them! If you have questions, they are on-call 24/7 to answer them--they even have discussion boards where fellow customers can offer advice and helpful tips. Good service means providing a community of resources throughoutrepparttar 134478 life of your e-business.


In addition to Service,repparttar 134479 ideal hosting solution also provides easy-to-use web management tools. This isrepparttar 134480 third "S:" Software. Although many companies offer some of these features, my choice forrepparttar 134481 hosting company withrepparttar 134482 best overall tool suite is Virtualis. They offer tools that are easy enough for a novice to quickly understand, and customizable enough for a web master to optimize. In my experience, one ofrepparttar 134483 incredibly useful tools isrepparttar 134484 Virtualis Email Manager.

The requested URL was not found on this server

Written by Lauri Harpf

"The requested URL /file.html was not found on this server. Apache/1.3.14 Server at Port 80".

Does that look familiar? If you've ever accidentally tried to access a page that doesn't exist, possibly by following an outdated link or by misspellingrepparttar name ofrepparttar 134453 page, you've probably seen something likerepparttar 134454 above appear on your screen. You might have attempted to correctrepparttar 134455 error by checkingrepparttar 134456 URL for mistakes, but it is even more likely that you just clicked "Back" and returned where you came from, never visitingrepparttar 134457 site again.

For a surfer, encountering a "404 page" is a nuisance. For a webmaster, they can be far more problematic, causing a reduction in traffic which in turn means losing a part ofrepparttar 134458 precious advertising revenues or salesrepparttar 134459 site's life depends on. You can minimizerepparttar 134460 amount of 404 errors by periodically checking your pages for broken links, but it is impossible to get completely rid of them. So, what can you do?

The solution - Custom 404 pages ===============================

The best way to avoid losing visitors to 404's is to replacerepparttar 134461 standard and unfriendly error message with a custom page. Fortunatelyrepparttar 134462 task is relatively simple and can be performed by anyone who owns a site that has its own domain name.

As different server softwares handle things in their own ways, there is no single method of creating a custom error page that works with every system. The following instructions can be applied by those who have sites hosted under Apache, which is a very widely used program. If you don't know what software your host is running, contact them and ask.

To startrepparttar 134463 process, use an FTP program such as CuteFTP to connect to your server. Search for a file named ".htaccess". Should you find it, downloadrepparttar 134464 file to your home computer for editing. Ifrepparttar 134465 file is not there, don't worry, you'll just have to create it yourself.

Grab a normal text editor and openrepparttar 134466 file, or if you don't have it, open up a blank file. Typerepparttar 134467 following intorepparttar 134468 first line ofrepparttar 134469 file:

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