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Cheap and Reliable PrestaShop v1.7.3.1 Hosting Provider

Cheap and Reliable PrestaShop v1.7.3.1 Hosting

Cheap Classic ASP Hosting RecommendationPrestaShop is an open source e-commerce solution that is used freely by more than 120,000 online stores worldwide. It comes with over 275 features being carefully developed in order to increase business owners’ sales with minimal efforts required. All the software features are absolutely free.

PrestaShop is free software as it’s specified in the GNU General Public License and officially started in August 2007 for small and medium-size businesses. The software, based on the Smartly template engine, nowadays is used by more than 100,000 shops all over the world.

PrestaShop has a good record and even was awarded the title of the Best Open Source E-Commerce Application in the Packt 2010 Open Source Awards and the Best Open Source Business Application in the 2011 Open Source Awards.

It supports various payment systems such as PayPal, Google Checkout, Payments Pro via API, Authorize.net and Skrill. It is used on Apache web server 1.3 or later, with PHP 5 or later and MySQL 5 running on it.

About 41 languages are available to different degrees, but only English and French have full support in all the versions. In the admin panel AJAX is used extensively in the software. Module blocks can be added easily to the online store to supply with extra functionality.

Think of managing a dynamic product list at the PrestaShop back-office: administrative interface helps you manage with one-click most complex inventory updates. PrestaShop has a one-page checkout, provides customers with a great number of options to view the chosen products, reliable shipping options along with control logistics ( fees, shipping restrictions, weight and many more) and the ability to attach custom messages. So you can see that PrestaShop will do its best to simplify and make more comfortable customers’ work. When speaking about defying taxes according to customer’s localization, PrestaShop has an advanced tracking system as well as customizable exchange rates. The customers can also choose the preferred currency.

Are you looking for Cheap PrestaShop v1.7.3.1 Hosting? Finding a high quality Cheap PrestaShop v1.7.3.1 Hosting provider is crucial for your web application. Your PrestaShop v1.7.3.1 application can only run smooth if it will be hosted on a server which can provide a higher up time & plenty of computing resources. There’re thousands of web hosting providers which offer asp.net hosting, but choosing Cheap PrestaShop v1.7.3.1 Hosting provider is a time consuming task. To make your buying decision easy we’ve concluded 3 Best yet Cheap PrestaShop v1.7.3.1 Hosting providers which are reliable and offer affordable PrestaShop v1.7.3.1 Hosting so that every one can afford it.

Cheap and Reliable PrestaShop v1.7.3.1 Hosting

 

logo-asphostportal1
discountservice-icon
logo-ukwindowshostaspnet
ASPHostPortal DiscountService.biz UKWindowsHostASP.NET
$1.00/month $2.00/month £3.00/month
Host 1 Site Host 1 Site Host 5 Sites
1 GB Disk Space 1 GB Disk Space 1 GB Disk Space
10 GB Bandwidth 10 GB Bandwidth 20 GB Bandwidth
Dedicated Application Pool Dedicated Application Pool Dedicated Application Pool
Support UTF-8 Domains Support UTF-8 Domains Support UTF-8 Domains
30-Days Money Back 30-Days Money Back 30-Days Money Back
Latest ASP.NET Latest ASP.NET Latest ASP.NET
Plesk Control Panel Plesk Control Panel Plesk Control Panel
Windows 2008/2012 Windows 2008/2012 Windows 2008/2012
SQL Server 2008/2012/2014 SQL Server 2008/2012/2014 SQL Server 2008/2012/2014
Latest MySql version Latest MySql version Latest MySql version

How to Choose Cheap and Reliable PrestaShop v1.7.3.1 Hosting?

Reliability and Speed of Access

Not only should the web host be reliable and fast, it should guarantee its uptime (the time when it is functional). Look for a minimum uptime of 99%. In fact, even 99% is actually too low — it really should be 99.5% or higher. The host should provide some sort of refund (eg prorated refund or discount) if it falls below that figure. Note though that guarantees are often hard to enforce from your end — especially if the host denies there was any downtime. However, without that guarantee, the web host will have little incentive to ensure that its servers are running all the time.

Data Transfer (Traffic/Bandwidth)

Data transfer (sometimes loosely referred to as “traffic” or “bandwidth”) is the amount of bytes transferred from your site to visitors when they browse your site.

Don’t believe any commercial web host that advertises “unlimited bandwidth”. The host has to pay for the bandwidth, and if you consume a lot of it, they will not silently bear your costs. Many high bandwidth websites have found this out the hard way when they suddenly receive an exorbitant bill for having “exceeded” the “unlimited bandwidth”. Always look for details on how much traffic the package allows. I personally always stay clear of any host that advertises “unlimited transfer”, even if the exact amount is specified somewhere else (sometimes buried in their policy statements). Usually you will find that they redefine “unlimited” to be limited in some way.

In addition, while bandwidth provided is something you should always check, do not be unduly swayed by promises of incredibly huge amounts of bandwidth. Chances are that your website will never be able to use that amount because it will hit other limits, namely resource limits.

To give you a rough idea of the typical traffic requirements of a website, most new sites that don’t provide video or music on their site use less than 3 GB of bandwidth per month. Your traffic requirements will grow over time, as your site becomes more well-known, so you will need to also check their policy when you exceed your data transfer limit: is there a published charge per GB over the allowed bandwidth? Is the charge made according to actual usage or are you expected to pre-pay for a potential overage? It is better not to go for hosts that expect you to prepay for overages, since it is very hard to forsee when your site will exceed its bandwidth and by how much.

Disk space

For the same reason as bandwidth, watch out also for those “unlimited disk space” schemes. Many new sites (that don’t host videos or music) need less than 20 MB of web space, so even if you are provided with a host that tempts you with 100 GB (or “unlimited space”), be aware that you are unlikely to use that space, so don’t let the 100 GB space be too big a factor in your consideration when comparing with other web hosts. The hosting company is also aware of that, which is why they feel free to offer you that as a means of enticing you to host there.

Technical support

Does its technical support function 24 hours a day, 7 days a week (often abbreviated 24/7), all year around? Note that I will not accept a host which does not have staff working on weekends or public holidays. You will be surprised at how often things go wrong at the most inconvenient of times. Incidentally, just because a host advertises that it has 24/7 support does not necessarily mean that it really has that kind of support. Test them out by emailing at midnight and on Saturday nights, Sunday mornings, etc. Check out how long they take to respond. Besides speed of responses, check to see if they are technically competent. You wouldn’t want to sign up with a host that is run by a bunch of salesmen who only know how to sell and not fix problems.

Email, Autoresponders, POP3, Mail Forwarding

If you have your own site, you will probably want to have email addresses at your own domain, like [email protected], etc. Does the host allow you to set up whatever email addresses you want on your domain, so that mail can be forwarded to your current email address, or placed into a mail box on your web hosting account itself? Can you set an email address to automatically reply to the sender with a preset message (called an autoresponder)? Can you retrieve your mail with your email software?

Control Panel

This is called various names by different hosts, but essentially, they all allow you to manage different aspects of your web account yourself. Typically, and at the very minimum, it should allow you to do things like add, delete, and manage your email addresses, and change passwords for your account. I will not sign up with a host where I have to go through their technical support each time I want to change a password or add/delete an email account. Such tasks are common maintenance chores that every webmaster performs time and time again, and it would be a great hassle if you had to wait for their technical support to make the changes for you.

Web Server and Operating System

Is the type of operating system and server important?

In general, most people will want to sign up for a web host offering a Unix-based system (like Linux, FreeBSD or OpenBSD) and running the Apache web server. Most web-based software assume your website is running on such a system, and you will usually experience fewer compatibility issues with it. There are also a lot of guides available on the Internet on configuring such systems, so finding help when you need it is easier as well.

In my opinion, the only time when you will want to use a Windows server is if you’re running Windows-specific programs, like ASP scripts. But even then, you’ll probably be better off looking for a PHP-equivalent, and using a Unix-based system.

Price

I was actually hesitant to list this, but I guess it’s futile not to. However, I would caution that while price is always a factor, you should realise (“realize” in US English) that you often get what you pay for, although it’s not necessarily true that the most expensive hosts are the best.

Monthly/Quarterly/Annual Payment Plans

Most web hosts allow you to select an annual payment plan that gives you a cheaper rate than if you were to pay monthly. My current personal preference is to pay monthly with all new web hosts until I’m assured of their reliability and honesty. Paying monthly allows me to switch web hosts quickly when I find that the current host does not meet my requirements: this way, I’m not tied down to a bad web host because I have prepaid for an entire year. I do this even if the new web host guarantees that they will refund the balance if I’m dissatisfied, since at the point I sign up, I have no assurance that they will honour their guarantee. Later (usually after a couple of years), when I’m satisfied with the host, I may change payment plans to the discounted annual plans.

Resellers?

Not all hosting companies own or lease their own web servers. Some of them are actually resellers for some other hosting company. The disadvantage of using a reseller is the possibility that you are dealing with people who don’t know much about the system they are selling and who take longer to help you (they have to transmit your technical support request to the actual hosting company for it to be acted upon). However, this also depends on both the reseller and the underlying hosting company. It is thus wise not to rule out all resellers; there are a number of reliable and fast ones who are actually quite good and cheap. In fact, a number of resellers sell the same packages cheaper than their original hosting company. If you find out that a particular company is a reseller, you will need to investigate both the reseller and the real hosting company.

International

If you don’t stay in the USA, you have the option of hosting your site with some local provider. The advantage here is the ease of dealing with them (they are after all easily accessible by phone call or a visit), your familiarity with the local laws and easy recourse to those laws should it be necessary. It should be your choice if your target audience is local (eg a local fast food delivery service). On the other hand, hosting it in USA has the advantage of faster access for what is probably the largest number of your overseas visitors (particularly if you have an English-speaking audience). You also have a large number of hosting companies to choose from, and as a result, cheaper prices too.

Anjali Punjab

Cheap Umbraco 7.7.7 Hosting Provider Recommendation

Cheap Umbraco 7.7.7 Hosting Provider Recommendation

Best SugarCRM 7.7 Hosting RecommendationUmbraco is a fully-featured open source content management system with the flexibility to run anything from small campaign or brochure sites right through to complex applications for Fortune 500’s and some of the largest media sites in the world.

Umbraco is easy to learn and use, making it perfect for web designers, developers and content creators alike.

Umbraco is strongly supported by both an active and welcoming community of users around the world, and backed up by a rock-solid commercial organization providing professional support and tools. Umbraco can be used in its free, open-source format with the additional option of professional tools and support if required.

Are you looking for Cheap Umbraco 7.7.7 Hosting? Finding a high quality Cheap Umbraco 7.7.7 Hosting provider is crucial for your web application. Your Umbraco 7.7.7 application can only run smooth if it will be hosted on a server which can provide a higher up time & plenty of computing resources. There’re thousands of web hosting providers which offer asp.net hosting, but choosing Cheap Umbraco 7.7.7 Hosting provider is a time consuming task. To make your buying decision easy we’ve concluded 3 Best yet Cheap Umbraco 7.7.7 Hosting providers which are reliable and offer affordable Umbraco 7.7.7 Hosting so that every one can afford it.

Cheap Umbraco 7.7.7 Hosting Recommendation

 

logo-asphostportal1
discountservice-icon
logo-ukwindowshostaspnet
ASPHostPortal DiscountService.biz UKWindowsHostASP.NET
$1.00/month $2.00/month £3.00/month
Host 1 Site Host 1 Site Host 5 Sites
1 GB Disk Space 1 GB Disk Space 1 GB Disk Space
10 GB Bandwidth 10 GB Bandwidth 20 GB Bandwidth
Dedicated Application Pool Dedicated Application Pool Dedicated Application Pool
Support UTF-8 Domains Support UTF-8 Domains Support UTF-8 Domains
30-Days Money Back 30-Days Money Back 30-Days Money Back
Latest ASP.NET Latest ASP.NET Latest ASP.NET
Plesk Control Panel Plesk Control Panel Plesk Control Panel
Windows 2008/2012 Windows 2008/2012 Windows 2008/2012
SQL Server 2008/2012/2014 SQL Server 2008/2012/2014 SQL Server 2008/2012/2014
Latest MySql version Latest MySql version Latest MySql version

How to Choose Cheap Umbraco 7.7.7 Hosting Recommendation

Reliability and Speed of Access

Not only should the web host be reliable and fast, it should guarantee its uptime (the time when it is functional). Look for a minimum uptime of 99%. In fact, even 99% is actually too low — it really should be 99.5% or higher. The host should provide some sort of refund (eg prorated refund or discount) if it falls below that figure. Note though that guarantees are often hard to enforce from your end — especially if the host denies there was any downtime. However, without that guarantee, the web host will have little incentive to ensure that its servers are running all the time.

Data Transfer (Traffic/Bandwidth)

Data transfer (sometimes loosely referred to as “traffic” or “bandwidth”) is the amount of bytes transferred from your site to visitors when they browse your site.

Don’t believe any commercial web host that advertises “unlimited bandwidth”. The host has to pay for the bandwidth, and if you consume a lot of it, they will not silently bear your costs. Many high bandwidth websites have found this out the hard way when they suddenly receive an exorbitant bill for having “exceeded” the “unlimited bandwidth”. Always look for details on how much traffic the package allows. I personally always stay clear of any host that advertises “unlimited transfer”, even if the exact amount is specified somewhere else (sometimes buried in their policy statements). Usually you will find that they redefine “unlimited” to be limited in some way.

In addition, while bandwidth provided is something you should always check, do not be unduly swayed by promises of incredibly huge amounts of bandwidth. Chances are that your website will never be able to use that amount because it will hit other limits, namely resource limits.

To give you a rough idea of the typical traffic requirements of a website, most new sites that don’t provide video or music on their site use less than 3 GB of bandwidth per month. Your traffic requirements will grow over time, as your site becomes more well-known, so you will need to also check their policy when you exceed your data transfer limit: is there a published charge per GB over the allowed bandwidth? Is the charge made according to actual usage or are you expected to pre-pay for a potential overage? It is better not to go for hosts that expect you to prepay for overages, since it is very hard to forsee when your site will exceed its bandwidth and by how much.

Disk space

For the same reason as bandwidth, watch out also for those “unlimited disk space” schemes. Many new sites (that don’t host videos or music) need less than 20 MB of web space, so even if you are provided with a host that tempts you with 100 GB (or “unlimited space”), be aware that you are unlikely to use that space, so don’t let the 100 GB space be too big a factor in your consideration when comparing with other web hosts. The hosting company is also aware of that, which is why they feel free to offer you that as a means of enticing you to host there.

Technical support

Does its technical support function 24 hours a day, 7 days a week (often abbreviated 24/7), all year around? Note that I will not accept a host which does not have staff working on weekends or public holidays. You will be surprised at how often things go wrong at the most inconvenient of times. Incidentally, just because a host advertises that it has 24/7 support does not necessarily mean that it really has that kind of support. Test them out by emailing at midnight and on Saturday nights, Sunday mornings, etc. Check out how long they take to respond. Besides speed of responses, check to see if they are technically competent. You wouldn’t want to sign up with a host that is run by a bunch of salesmen who only know how to sell and not fix problems.

Email, Autoresponders, POP3, Mail Forwarding

If you have your own site, you will probably want to have email addresses at your own domain, like [email protected], etc. Does the host allow you to set up whatever email addresses you want on your domain, so that mail can be forwarded to your current email address, or placed into a mail box on your web hosting account itself? Can you set an email address to automatically reply to the sender with a preset message (called an autoresponder)? Can you retrieve your mail with your email software?

Control Panel

This is called various names by different hosts, but essentially, they all allow you to manage different aspects of your web account yourself. Typically, and at the very minimum, it should allow you to do things like add, delete, and manage your email addresses, and change passwords for your account. I will not sign up with a host where I have to go through their technical support each time I want to change a password or add/delete an email account. Such tasks are common maintenance chores that every webmaster performs time and time again, and it would be a great hassle if you had to wait for their technical support to make the changes for you.

Web Server and Operating System

Is the type of operating system and server important?

In general, most people will want to sign up for a web host offering a Unix-based system (like Linux, FreeBSD or OpenBSD) and running the Apache web server. Most web-based software assume your website is running on such a system, and you will usually experience fewer compatibility issues with it. There are also a lot of guides available on the Internet on configuring such systems, so finding help when you need it is easier as well.

In my opinion, the only time when you will want to use a Windows server is if you’re running Windows-specific programs, like ASP scripts. But even then, you’ll probably be better off looking for a PHP-equivalent, and using a Unix-based system.

Price

I was actually hesitant to list this, but I guess it’s futile not to. However, I would caution that while price is always a factor, you should realise (“realize” in US English) that you often get what you pay for, although it’s not necessarily true that the most expensive hosts are the best.

Monthly/Quarterly/Annual Payment Plans

Most web hosts allow you to select an annual payment plan that gives you a cheaper rate than if you were to pay monthly. My current personal preference is to pay monthly with all new web hosts until I’m assured of their reliability and honesty. Paying monthly allows me to switch web hosts quickly when I find that the current host does not meet my requirements: this way, I’m not tied down to a bad web host because I have prepaid for an entire year. I do this even if the new web host guarantees that they will refund the balance if I’m dissatisfied, since at the point I sign up, I have no assurance that they will honour their guarantee. Later (usually after a couple of years), when I’m satisfied with the host, I may change payment plans to the discounted annual plans.

Resellers?

Not all hosting companies own or lease their own web servers. Some of them are actually resellers for some other hosting company. The disadvantage of using a reseller is the possibility that you are dealing with people who don’t know much about the system they are selling and who take longer to help you (they have to transmit your technical support request to the actual hosting company for it to be acted upon). However, this also depends on both the reseller and the underlying hosting company. It is thus wise not to rule out all resellers; there are a number of reliable and fast ones who are actually quite good and cheap. In fact, a number of resellers sell the same packages cheaper than their original hosting company. If you find out that a particular company is a reseller, you will need to investigate both the reseller and the real hosting company.

International

If you don’t stay in the USA, you have the option of hosting your site with some local provider. The advantage here is the ease of dealing with them (they are after all easily accessible by phone call or a visit), your familiarity with the local laws and easy recourse to those laws should it be necessary. It should be your choice if your target audience is local (eg a local fast food delivery service). On the other hand, hosting it in USA has the advantage of faster access for what is probably the largest number of your overseas visitors (particularly if you have an English-speaking audience). You also have a large number of hosting companies to choose from, and as a result, cheaper prices too.

Anjali Punjab

Cheap Drupal 8.2.2 Hosting Recommendation

Cheap Drupal 8.2.2 Hosting Recommendation

Best SugarCRM 7.7 Hosting RecommendationDrupal is a free community supported framework for creating, organizing, presenting and managing a website. It powers millions of websites and applications from all over the world. Drupal makes it easy for contributors to publish to websites and easy for developers to deploy new sites as well as add features to existing ones. Most commonly referred to as a content management system, or CMS, Drupal has much more to offer. Drupal installations include a set of modules called Core Components, which provide features such as user management, menu systems, and user contributed content. The Drupal open source community (one of the largest in the world) contributes and supports thousands of free flexible and robust modules and themes, which can be easily integrated into websites to offer powerful features such as multimedia, calendars, rating systems, and other social media tools. Drupal is also an application framework that can be used to build other aps. Drupal requires no programming skills yet the HTML code produced is accessible, cross browser compatible, and search engine friendly. Drupal is used for every type of site from personal blogs to highly trafficked enterprise level sites. 2% of all websites worldwide are built in Drupal including whitehouse.gov and many other high profile, highly visited sites.

What is Drupal Used for?

Drupal is a great choice for building all manner of websites from simple 1 page personal websites to enterprise level applications. It is particularly well suited to e-Learning systems, Community/social networking sites, and news publishing, where its powerful authoring and publishing features allow administrators to create, revise, and deploy content in a rapid and organized manner. User management, site reporting and statistics, ad management, community management, and other administrative functions utilize an intuitive and robust back-end user interface.

Are you looking for Cheap Drupal 8.2.2 Hosting? Finding a high quality Cheap Drupal 8.2.2 Hosting provider is crucial for your web application. Your Drupal 8.2.2 application can only run smooth if it will be hosted on a server which can provide a higher up time & plenty of computing resources. There’re thousands of web hosting providers which offer asp.net hosting, but choosing Cheap Drupal 8.2.2 Hosting provider is a time consuming task. To make your buying decision easy we’ve concluded 3 Best yet Cheap Drupal 8.2.2 Hosting providers which are reliable and offer affordable Drupal 8.2.2 Hosting so that every one can afford it.

Cheap Drupal 8.2.2 Hosting Recommendation

 

logo-asphostportal1
discountservice-icon
logo-ukwindowshostaspnet
ASPHostPortal DiscountService.biz UKWindowsHostASP.NET
$1.00/month $2.00/month £3.00/month
Host 1 Site Host 1 Site Host 5 Sites
1 GB Disk Space 1 GB Disk Space 1 GB Disk Space
10 GB Bandwidth 10 GB Bandwidth 20 GB Bandwidth
Dedicated Application Pool Dedicated Application Pool Dedicated Application Pool
Support UTF-8 Domains Support UTF-8 Domains Support UTF-8 Domains
30-Days Money Back 30-Days Money Back 30-Days Money Back
Latest ASP.NET Latest ASP.NET Latest ASP.NET
Plesk Control Panel Plesk Control Panel Plesk Control Panel
Windows 2008/2012 Windows 2008/2012 Windows 2008/2012
SQL Server 2008/2012/2014 SQL Server 2008/2012/2014 SQL Server 2008/2012/2014
Latest MySql version Latest MySql version Latest MySql version

How to Choose Cheap Drupal 8.2.2 Hosting Recommendation?

Reliability and Speed of Access

Not only should the web host be reliable and fast, it should guarantee its uptime (the time when it is functional). Look for a minimum uptime of 99%. In fact, even 99% is actually too low — it really should be 99.5% or higher. The host should provide some sort of refund (eg prorated refund or discount) if it falls below that figure. Note though that guarantees are often hard to enforce from your end — especially if the host denies there was any downtime. However, without that guarantee, the web host will have little incentive to ensure that its servers are running all the time.

Data Transfer (Traffic/Bandwidth)

Data transfer (sometimes loosely referred to as “traffic” or “bandwidth”) is the amount of bytes transferred from your site to visitors when they browse your site.

Don’t believe any commercial web host that advertises “unlimited bandwidth”. The host has to pay for the bandwidth, and if you consume a lot of it, they will not silently bear your costs. Many high bandwidth websites have found this out the hard way when they suddenly receive an exorbitant bill for having “exceeded” the “unlimited bandwidth”. Always look for details on how much traffic the package allows. I personally always stay clear of any host that advertises “unlimited transfer”, even if the exact amount is specified somewhere else (sometimes buried in their policy statements). Usually you will find that they redefine “unlimited” to be limited in some way.

In addition, while bandwidth provided is something you should always check, do not be unduly swayed by promises of incredibly huge amounts of bandwidth. Chances are that your website will never be able to use that amount because it will hit other limits, namely resource limits.

To give you a rough idea of the typical traffic requirements of a website, most new sites that don’t provide video or music on their site use less than 3 GB of bandwidth per month. Your traffic requirements will grow over time, as your site becomes more well-known, so you will need to also check their policy when you exceed your data transfer limit: is there a published charge per GB over the allowed bandwidth? Is the charge made according to actual usage or are you expected to pre-pay for a potential overage? It is better not to go for hosts that expect you to prepay for overages, since it is very hard to forsee when your site will exceed its bandwidth and by how much.

Disk space

For the same reason as bandwidth, watch out also for those “unlimited disk space” schemes. Many new sites (that don’t host videos or music) need less than 20 MB of web space, so even if you are provided with a host that tempts you with 100 GB (or “unlimited space”), be aware that you are unlikely to use that space, so don’t let the 100 GB space be too big a factor in your consideration when comparing with other web hosts. The hosting company is also aware of that, which is why they feel free to offer you that as a means of enticing you to host there.

Technical support

Does its technical support function 24 hours a day, 7 days a week (often abbreviated 24/7), all year around? Note that I will not accept a host which does not have staff working on weekends or public holidays. You will be surprised at how often things go wrong at the most inconvenient of times. Incidentally, just because a host advertises that it has 24/7 support does not necessarily mean that it really has that kind of support. Test them out by emailing at midnight and on Saturday nights, Sunday mornings, etc. Check out how long they take to respond. Besides speed of responses, check to see if they are technically competent. You wouldn’t want to sign up with a host that is run by a bunch of salesmen who only know how to sell and not fix problems.

Email, Autoresponders, POP3, Mail Forwarding

If you have your own site, you will probably want to have email addresses at your own domain, like [email protected], etc. Does the host allow you to set up whatever email addresses you want on your domain, so that mail can be forwarded to your current email address, or placed into a mail box on your web hosting account itself? Can you set an email address to automatically reply to the sender with a preset message (called an autoresponder)? Can you retrieve your mail with your email software?

Control Panel

This is called various names by different hosts, but essentially, they all allow you to manage different aspects of your web account yourself. Typically, and at the very minimum, it should allow you to do things like add, delete, and manage your email addresses, and change passwords for your account. I will not sign up with a host where I have to go through their technical support each time I want to change a password or add/delete an email account. Such tasks are common maintenance chores that every webmaster performs time and time again, and it would be a great hassle if you had to wait for their technical support to make the changes for you.

Web Server and Operating System

Is the type of operating system and server important?

In general, most people will want to sign up for a web host offering a Unix-based system (like Linux, FreeBSD or OpenBSD) and running the Apache web server. Most web-based software assume your website is running on such a system, and you will usually experience fewer compatibility issues with it. There are also a lot of guides available on the Internet on configuring such systems, so finding help when you need it is easier as well.

In my opinion, the only time when you will want to use a Windows server is if you’re running Windows-specific programs, like ASP scripts. But even then, you’ll probably be better off looking for a PHP-equivalent, and using a Unix-based system.

Price

I was actually hesitant to list this, but I guess it’s futile not to. However, I would caution that while price is always a factor, you should realise (“realize” in US English) that you often get what you pay for, although it’s not necessarily true that the most expensive hosts are the best.

Monthly/Quarterly/Annual Payment Plans

Most web hosts allow you to select an annual payment plan that gives you a cheaper rate than if you were to pay monthly. My current personal preference is to pay monthly with all new web hosts until I’m assured of their reliability and honesty. Paying monthly allows me to switch web hosts quickly when I find that the current host does not meet my requirements: this way, I’m not tied down to a bad web host because I have prepaid for an entire year. I do this even if the new web host guarantees that they will refund the balance if I’m dissatisfied, since at the point I sign up, I have no assurance that they will honour their guarantee. Later (usually after a couple of years), when I’m satisfied with the host, I may change payment plans to the discounted annual plans.

Resellers?

Not all hosting companies own or lease their own web servers. Some of them are actually resellers for some other hosting company. The disadvantage of using a reseller is the possibility that you are dealing with people who don’t know much about the system they are selling and who take longer to help you (they have to transmit your technical support request to the actual hosting company for it to be acted upon). However, this also depends on both the reseller and the underlying hosting company. It is thus wise not to rule out all resellers; there are a number of reliable and fast ones who are actually quite good and cheap. In fact, a number of resellers sell the same packages cheaper than their original hosting company. If you find out that a particular company is a reseller, you will need to investigate both the reseller and the real hosting company.

International

If you don’t stay in the USA, you have the option of hosting your site with some local provider. The advantage here is the ease of dealing with them (they are after all easily accessible by phone call or a visit), your familiarity with the local laws and easy recourse to those laws should it be necessary. It should be your choice if your target audience is local (eg a local fast food delivery service). On the other hand, hosting it in USA has the advantage of faster access for what is probably the largest number of your overseas visitors (particularly if you have an English-speaking audience). You also have a large number of hosting companies to choose from, and as a result, cheaper prices too.

Anjali Punjab
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