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Web Hosting - How To Select A Web Host
As with many purchases, our first impulse when selecting a web hosting company is to go with the cheapest. Hey, they're all alike, why pay more? Au contraire.
There are a number of objective criteria that separates one web hosting company from another and money is only one of them. And not the most important one. Selecting a company based on price alone is equivalent to selecting an auto mechanic on price alone. Sure, he may maintain or fix your car cheaper. But will the car spend all the time in the shop and none on the road?
The first consideration is 'horsepower'. Do they have the capacity to carry your load and deliver decent performance? Most hosting companies will advertise that they have huge bandwidth and hundreds of servers. They're usually telling the truth.
But there's a difference between existing capacity and usable capacity. If they also have thousands of sites with millions of visitors per day the available or free capacity will be much lower. A big pickup truck may be able to tow 5,000 lbs. But not if it's already carrying 4,999.
Be sure to ask about available capacity, and have the prospective company back it up with reliable numbers. If you can't interpret the information they provide, find someone to help you do so.
Next, and a very close second, is reliability. A lot of power is worthless if it's cut often. Outages are a normal part of business. Even Google and Microsoft go down from time to time. The difference is, it happens rarely and they have failover plans. That means, if their site/system does go down it's either up again in a flash, or you never see the outage because a backup system kicks in automatically and seamlessly.
Be sure to grill the company closely about their up time. They'll often tout 99.6%, or some such figure. But, like the on-time figures of the airlines, those numbers can be shaded by adjusting the definition of 'up time'. What matters to you is whether your visitors will be able to reach your site at any time of the day or night they might want to.
Find out what systems, both technical and human, they have in place to deal with failures of all sorts. Servers can go down, networks can fail, hard disks can become defective and lose data even when the other components continue to work fine. The result is YOUR site is unavailable, which is all that matters to you. The web hosting company should be able to deal with all of that and have you up again very quickly.
Last, but not least, is security. With the continuing prevalence of viruses and spam, you need to know that the web hosting company you select has an array of methods for dealing with them. That means a good technical plan and staff who are knowledgeable in dealing with those issues. The old saying: 'an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure' is more true here than anywhere else.
All these issues are central to finding a web hosting company that can deliver the services you need. After those criteria are satisfied by a number of candidates, then you can start narrowing them down by price.
Send Free Cyber Greetings to Friends and Family with These Popular Sites Are you looking for a fast, fun and easy way to stay in touch with family? If so, consider sending free cyber greetings to your best friends and family members by taking advantage of the services offered by many fine e-greeting card services. Here are some reasons why you should consider sending ecards, and where you can find the very best in electronic greetings. Why Should You Consider Electronic Greeting Cards? The traditionalists among us will complain the World Wide Web is quickly eating away at the last traces of decorum and good manners. They will suggest that there is no replacement for the thoughtful and handwritten stationary note. While it is true that there is no equivalent to the handwritten note, it does not mean that you should exclude electronic greeting cards from your social life. Electronic greeting cards can actually be quite helpful in establishing friendships, keeping in touch and sending out a last-minute greeting. In truth, electronic greeting cards may be the saving grace of the modern electronic age. Sending an electronic greeting card is just casual enough to keep you touch, and just formal enough to send a meaningful greeting to someone that you really care about. When it comes to keeping in touch with the people you love, you may want to send out a paper greeting card. However, for those occasions where the important occasion has slipped your mind, an electronic greeting card is an easy way to tell someone that you have not forgotten about him or her. More Reasons Why You Should Send Electronic Greeting Cards Besides being a very quick and easy way to stay in touch, electronic greeting cards are also a great way to help the environment. As more of us move towards an environmentally sustainable future, you may want to send your environmentally conscious friend or family member an electronic greeting card. This is a fun and simple way to save paper and resources. Digital Greeting Cards are Fun and Easy Free virtual postcards are an easy way to keep in touch with friends and family. How do these virtual postcard services work? Usually, you simply select the card that you want from an assortment of electronic designs. Many websites even allow you to select various features of your card. You can often choose your own image, music, background music and other special design features. Then, all you have to do is simply type in your own personalized greeting. Then simply type in your recipient's email address, and wait to hear back from them. Your recipient will either receive an email message with an in-text card greeting, or a link to view their virtual postcard. Where Can You Find the Web's Best Electronic Greeting Cards Services? Fortunately, email has allowed us to become closer to own another, and electronic greeting cards are an easy and fun way to stay in touch. There are many fine websites that allow you to send and receive electronic greeting cards for free. Here is just a brief sampling of the web's best free virtual greeting card services. These include FreeWebCards.com, AllFreeGreetingCards.com, Greetings Island, E-Greetingz.com, Virtual Gravy Greetings, Electronic-Greetings.com, AAAPostCards.com, Radio Cards, E-Cards-Greetings.com, and CyberKisses. What to Look for in a Virtual Greeting Card Service First, although many greeting card services offer paid services, there are still plenty of free greeting card services to choose from. If personalization is important to you, choose a greeting card service that offers a large selection of cards and that allows you to choose from a selection of fonts, colors, music and other template and personalization choices.
Five Ways to Find Free Stuff Are you crazy about web freebies? Do you love free stuff? Who doesn't love free stuff? Most people appreciate the occasional free sample in the mail, but there is a specific group of individuals?freebie hunters?that are dedicated to finding the very best in freebie offers. Fortunately for them, and all of us, the World Wide Web is a treasure trove of freebies, special offers and promotions. Coupons and free samples are just some of what you can get by becoming a dedicated freebies hunter. If you are new to the world of active freebie hunting, here are five ways you can go about finding more free stuff. 1. Getting a Hold of Free Samples. Free samples are the bread and butter of the dedicated freebie hunter. Who doesn't like free samples? Free stuff is good stuff. However, be forewarned that once you get into the world of free samples, it can be easy to get carried away. You may find that your mailbox can fast become flooded with free samples. If not your physical mailbox, your inbox can also become flooded with free coupon offers. Always read the fine print carefully when you are soliciting a free sample directly from a manufacturer. You may inadvertently be signing up for newsletters, promotions and ads. To find the best and latest free samples, visit the StartSampling.com website. StartSampling is an innovative company that allows you to sample new products from exciting companies. If you have a favorite company, you can head to their website and sign up directly for new product samples and discount coupons. For instance, if you are a fan of Crest brand toothpaste or Oil of Olay products, you can sign up with them directly for free samples and coupons. 2. Looking for Free Communications Tools? If you are looking for the best in free telecommunications tools, you are in luck. For those of you tired of being overcharged for faulty 4-1-1 telephone calls, there is now a free directory that you can turn to. Free directory assistance is now available to you at 1-800-FREE-411. This free directory assistance allows you to get most numbers that you need at absolutely no charge. However, you will have to listen to a short advertisement before you are allowed to find your number. For even more free telecommunications tools, check out this handy phone tool. The next time you are stuck in an unpleasant situation and need to escape, plan on using the popularitydialer.com. Simply set the time you need and you will receive a fake call that can pull you out of a less than desirable situation. 3. Finding Free Memory. Need more ways to stay on top of things? Are post-it notes just not cutting it? If you need a little more, you will find that memotome.com can be a great help. Memotome.com is a free scheduling tool that allows you to stay on top of events and dates. It is free to become a member and you even get access to free party and event planning tools. 4. Get Your Fill of Free Literature. Are you an avid reader? If so, you will find that paperbackswap.com is a reader's paradise. All you have to do is choose the book you want to read and request it. You should receive the book in the mail in a few short days. You can also list your own paperback books that you would like to get rid of. 5. Your Free Route to Financial Planning. If you are looking to become a financial planner, check out the very free planning tools that are available online. You can take advantage of free calculators that allow you to figure out your income and savings.