How to Choose a Web HostWritten by Matt Smith
Choosing a web hosting company to host your website isnít easy these days. There are literally thousands of web hosting companies to choose from, each offering different combinations of web space, bandwidth, extras (such as databases, asp, php, cgi, free scripts), and customer support. Some companies lure customers with extremely low prices on physical assets like space and bandwidth. In return, however, most customers of these extremely low-priced companies get poor Ė if any Ė customer and technical support. In hosting business, as with everything else, you usually get what you pay for.
So how do you determine web hosting company thatís right for your website? Having been in hosting business for several years, Iíve often had friends and acquaintances ask me, in so many words, this very question. I always suggest that they first sit down and simply write out what they think their website (whether for a company or personal) will need. Do they need a database? If so, what kind of database do they want, MySQL or something else? Likewise, do they need support for PHP, CGI, ASP, or some other programming language? If you have certain scripts youíd like to use on your website, these questions can be very important. Also think about exactly how much space your website is going to need Ė not necessarily right now, but perhaps five years down road after youíve expanded a bit. The same thing goes for bandwidth, or transfer. You want to secure enough space and bandwidth now so that you do not have to switch hosts, or pay a premium for extra services, in future.
On topic of bandwidth and storage space, there is an important financial lesson Iíd like to impart. Although you want to make sure you have enough of both for foreseeable future, you donít want to pay for lots and lots of bandwidth and storage space, month after month, that you will never actually use. For instance, there are many hosting companies out there who are now offering 5+ GB of space and perhaps 100 GB of bandwidth from $7 - $10 a month. This may seem like a pretty good deal. However, if you are only going to use perhaps 100 MB of space, and 10 GB of transfer, then you are wasting money! You can find a nice 500MB / 20GB plan for under $5 per month. This is where planning really comes into play; know how much space and bandwidth you will need before you go looking for a host.
Choosing Your Web Hosting Reseller SoftwareWritten by Lois S.
As a web host reseller, one of your most important business decisions is your choice of web hosting control panel software. The web hosting software you use will save or cost you time, money, and frustration.
What reseller control panel features will reduce your workload? What hosting software programs are integrated with reseller control panel or work with it? What website control panel features will your clients like?
In this article, we’ve compared four quality web hosting reseller software programs:
All of these reseller control panels come with control panels for your clients. They all have numerous features — advanced email management, web statistics, pre-installed scripts, multi-language support, and more. They all work on Linux platforms, while H-Sphere and Plesk also work with Windows. According to cPanel website, a Windows version of cPanel is in development.
Other features that set these control panels apart are their degree of automation, number of features and ease of use for end user, and features and ease of use for you, reseller.
When you become an Alabanza reseller, you don’t just have a reseller account — you lease a dedicated server from Alabanza. Alabanza owns control panel <em>and</em> server, and you resell directly for Alabanza. If you lease a dedicated Alabanza server, you can create your own reseller accounts. However, only you can set up hosting plans; resellers below you will be limited to hosting plans that you create.
Alabanza offers resellers a high degree of automation with its Domain System Manager (DSM), which can significantly reduce overhead and time spent on routine tasks:
- Account creation
- Billing and invoice management
- Credit card processing
- Domain registration
- Email notifications
- Ordering fraud protection
Even novices can sell hosting with this level of automation.
DSM also integrates with bulkregister.com for domain name registration. It does not easily integrate with other domain registrars, though.
A key Alabanza feature that resellers can offer their clients is Xpress Product Suite, which provides web development and email management tools. The Xpress Product Suite includes SiteXpress, a website-building program that features over 300 templates and requires no web design skills.
For resellers and end users, cPanel is known for its ease of use and range of features. cPanel’s collection of over 50 pre-installed scripts and Fantastico auto installer help clients set up their sites with little web development knowledge.
A basic cPanel reseller account comes with two separate programs for resellers to manage their business:
- WHM (Web Host Manager) is used to create accounts and packages, add and suspend sites, modify passwords, view bandwidth usage, park domains, install SSL certificates, and perform other administrative functions.
- From reseller’s cPanel control panel, a drop-down menu takes reseller to control panels for each of sites on reseller account, including reseller’s site.