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e-Business Startup Tools: Web Hosting
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The cost of starting your new e-Business is dropping every day with the lower costs of web hosting, domain names and web development tools!  Web hosting and web site design often go hand-in-hand.  Many small business entrepreneurs need assistance in acquiring web hosting services as well as designing and maintaining their web sites.  Domain registration may also be provided by web hosts and developers as part of a complete deployment package.  An integrated solution may be the easiest way to go for many newcomers.  

Web Hosting at InMotion Hosting

If you don't have a merchant account to process credit cards, many web hosts may also package a merchant account as a service with a trusted partner.  Merchant Goldmine also provides an independent selection of merchant account providers as well as background information about the costs and precautions to be considered when applying for a merchant account from a bank or sales organization.

Several wholesalers listed here also provide technical assistance and tools to establish your own web site to sell their products.  Unless you're already adept at HTML coding, you should plan to pay for the technical assistance of ecommerce internet business solution providers.  To save time and money, you should investigate low cost web hosting offers and prepare by designing the layout of your storefront on paper prior to engaging the services of professional programmers. 

A good way to start is to surf the net to identify web sites that look appropriate as models for your site.  You will probably need to have a graphic designer prepare a logo for your web site, as well.  Remember that there's a lot of competition on the web for most product lines.  Once you get a visitor to stop by, the first impression will be critical.  

Animated graphics are hot on the web today, but keep your target audience in mind.  Animation and sound effects may appeal to specific market groups, but may otherwise be an unnecessary hindrance to others, since they inevitably slow down the browser loading process to some extent.  

Listed below are several e-commerce solution providers.  Several entry-level e-store solutions are offered at less than $10 a month for the basic package.  Some hosts offer a package that includes a merchant account for credit card processing along with the web hosting service.  Merchant accounts usually cost a minimum of $25-$35 a month in addition to discounts on your sales of 2% - 3% or more, depending on the risk level of your business.  If you need more flexibility than that provided by the basic or  template solutions, try to get quotes that itemize the costs of the work that you request.  Completion time commitments are important for your own planning as well.

Web Hosting

The larger the storage space and bandwidth, the higher the price.  Expect to pay $5-$10 per month for up to 100 MB of storage space.  Unless you have a very large web site with dozens of pages and many graphic files, you'll probably do well in this range.  A larger e-commerce web site with many purchasable items displayed as graphic files may require 200-300 MB of storage space.  

Various vendors package storage space, bandwidth and POP email addresses based on the quantities of each.  Some add extra features such as statistics programs, HTML tools, access to a database on the server, several domains hosted in the same deal, several sub-domains, and so on.  For example The Warrior Group offers 300 MB of storage space, 10 GB of bandwidth, unlimited email accounts, unlimited email aliases, statistics, control panel, MS Frontpage extensions, MYSQL database and other features for $24.95 a month.  Also included are three complete web sites that you can place on your own hosted domain and begin making money right away!  You can also earn a kickback of $10 per month for each person you refer to buy the same package.


For a full house of hosting and e-commerce services, you may wish to look at Perfect Presence.  Their low-end package costs $8.95 a month and includes 25 MG storage, 2 GB transfer, 1 POP email account, unlimited email forwarding, Microsoft FrontPage extensions and domain name registration.  No need to shop around for web development and a merchant account, since these services are also provided at competitive prices by Perfect Presence.

Starting at $13.96 a month, Web Site Source offers affordable hosting for FrontPage, Linux and more. All hosting plans equipped with Microsoft® FrontPage® 2002 server extensions. Sign up for one year and get 2 1/2 months FREE!  Click here to sell your products online!

Discount web hosting

Backbone Internet's support team is fast, friendly and efficient. Services include a complete and easy to use Control Panel as well as FrontPage 2000 extensions, FTP access, CGI directory, Web & POP Email, and site statistics with every web hosting plan.  Click here for Complete Web Site Hosting Solutions at Backbone Internet.

HostRocket.com allows you to manage every aspect of your domain through your own control panel. 15gb of bandwidth and 350mb of storage for only $9.95 provides plenty of room for you and a friend.  Economy package includes unlimited POP email accounts and unlimited email forwarding and autoresponding. 

HostWay.com offers an complete solution for hosting and promoting your web site.  Hosting services start at $13.95 a month which includes 200 MB storage, 2 GB traffic and 10 email accounts.

As you review the various offerings linked below, look for the features that are important to you.  If you expect to grow within a year or so, paying a few dollars a month more for extra space and bandwidth may be worthwhile in order to avoid having to look for another deal or move to a different host when you need to expand.  The larger packages usually give you better service and are less likely to have interruptions of service which may disconnect your customers from your e-store.

Domain Registration

Before you select your web host you'll need to secure your domain name or names.  You should know that several major search engines use the domain name in key word searches.  If you're in the photography business, for example, you may want a domain name like mikesotophotos.com, for example, assuming your name is Mike Soto (a fictitious name).

Page names are also used by search engines so the names of your pages should include one of the important key words for your business.  For example, a page that shows portraits may be named portraits01.  The URL for that page will be ...mikesotophotos.com/portraits.html.  That way, if someone types in the key words photos portraits, both your domain and web page may be selected.  By itself, however, a good domain name is not going to bring a lot of traffic to your web site.  Pick a name that says something about your business and that may be attractive or interesting to your target market group.  If you're promoting a brand name, you should incorporate the brand name in the domain name.

If you select a .COM domain, it might be prudent to also get the .NET domain for the same name.  For example, you may wish to establish a club or association for your business and host related pages on the .NET domain.

There is now a lot of good competition for domain registration services which has resulted in lowering the prices.  The original registration service by Network Solutions was priced at $35 a year.  There are several competitors today that offer the same service at rates that are as low as half the Network Solutions rate.  You can also save more money by purchasing the registration for two or more years in advance, which we strongly recommend.

Get Noticed with a $7.99 .Com/.CO from Go Daddy!

Create your own wedding website with a $7.99 .Com from GoDaddy.com!

Thousands of valuable domain names expire each week, and the competition for their registration is intense. NameWinner, a new service from ICANN accredited registrar Dotster, provides customers an easy, reliable, risk-free way of registering expiring domain names the INSTANT they expire!  Get the Domain Name you Really want!

One of the lower cost domain registration services is 000Domains.com.  Here you can register your own domain names with .com, .net, .org, .info, .biz or the new .US extensions for only $13.50 per year.

The domains you want for the price you want!



Web Development and Design

When looking for web development services you may be able to save money with carefully designed templates that allow you to quickly put your own web site together.  For example, SmarTech Laboratories, Inc. offers templates than can be downloaded for less than $20.  If more services are needed, SmarTech Laboratories, Inc. also offers custom programming, domain services and other related services.

One of the better shopping cart services you can integrate with you ecommerce web site is the SecureNetShop shopping cart.  Security, ease of use, reliability and quick setup are important features offered by this service.  When you realize that all of your transaction information will be handled and stored by this service, you need to have peace of mind in the company behind the product.

Web Hosting - Web Design - Domain Registration Solutions by Name:

Backbone Internet offers the best value hosting

200MB 10GB Web Hosting - $9.95/Month

Good rates for U.S. and Non-U.S.-based merchants

Do-It-Yourself Web Programming Books

These are text books used in many college and university computer science courses.  If you're the type that can pick up a text book and learn on your own, with the help of CD-Rom disks on several titles, then you can save a lot of money and time (in the long run) by coding your own HTML solutions.

Internet Security

Are you running a personal web server from your PC?  Are you running IIS or other web servers?  If so, you need to assure yourself that your PC is protected from intrusion.  One solution is a PGP Security system.


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Animated graphics are hot on the web today, but keep your target audience in mind. 







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