BPubs Guide to Business Web Hosting Services:

The following is a brief guide to business website hosts, and offers a series of hosting categories arranged by cost/expense or those providing extra value via certain business services, such as e-commerce integration.

If you are looking to find a business web hosting company for a new or existing website, please consider supporting BPubs.com by reading our guide, reviewing the categories below, and purchasing through one of the links provided.

Thank-you for supporting BPubs.com!

BPubs Quick Guide to Business Hosting:

Selecting a webhost for your business can bring its own set of issues. Business owners tend to be less concerned with price, and more focused on features, uptime and service response. If your website is down, how quick is the response time? How fast can you talk to a real person, and not get hung up in VMail tree?

A business website is also a dynamic development environment. Getting the right tools into your developers hands can be essential. If the host has added new features to their accounts in the past, with any luck they'll be adding new features in the future. Watching the evolution of their hosting packages can tell a lot about how progressive the webhost is.

In no partiular order, keep an eye out for the following features:

Disk Space - 30, 100 or 1 GB+? It all depends on the size of your website, and what types of files you tend to keep on it. Businesses often have more PDF's, Video files and other file types that tend to rack up the size of your website.

Is the Domain Transferable? - Most web hosts will register the domain name for you. Make sure they put the ownership in your name, and watch that the terms of your agreement do not require you stick with them as a host. Make sure you can leave your host behind at any time if their services are not up to par.

CGI/PHP Access - CGI access for a small business website, large commerce site or even a service based company website is a must. If you want something as simple as a feedback form or contact form, you'll need CGI support.

FTP & Telnet/SSH Access - Simple hosts may offer little more than browser uploads. FTP access has become pretty standard, but Telnet/SSH (command line access) will also be required.

Stats / Referrer Logs - You can work around not having a Stats package by using one of the javascript enabled tag analysis products (ie. something like Hitbox Pro). If possible though, look for a built in stats package, and/or access to your log files. On a side note here, if you intend to ask for your log files make sure you get extra Disk Space (read above) as it may be counted against your disk space total.

OS Availability - Do you need Unix or Windows? If your website developer requires Frontpage extensions, you should know that before purchasing. :-) If your development environment requires SSI (Server Side Includes) or shell scripts of any source, don't get a Windows server.

Annual Billing Discounts - Do you get a 5% or 10% by purchasing a year's worth of hosting service at once? You may not need to know this the first year of operation, but with any success online you'll be asking for this type of discount when the second year comes around.

Ecommerce Features - If you're looking for ecommerce support, you'll want to know about Shopping Carts, Secured Servers (SSL), and encryption support (perhaps PGP to form mail back secure information). You can always get a standard website, and add on 3rd party support for ecommerce with merchant account services like 2CheckOut, but depending on scale, you may be looking at co-location and be required to build everything yourself.

Corporate Stability - Simply put, are they going to be around a year or two from now? It can't hurt to check out the "About Us" page for their corporate history prior to signing up.

Higher Cost But Reliable Web Hosts:

Yahoo! Web Hosting Reliable, affordable web hosting
from Yahoo!
Don't let expensive hosts eat your profits! 500MB of storage and 20GB of transfer for only $7.95

Small Business Focused Web Hosting:

Netfirms Web Hosting for Small Business Netfirms Web Hosting Join 1,000,000 customers with plans
as low as $4.95/mo, 24/7 LIVE customer service and fast, dependable servers.

Premade Business Web Templates / Low Tech Hosts:

NEW: Easy Website Builder
allows you to build your own
site in just 5 minutes. No
programming required.
Click Here to try it.

Merchant Accounts & Web Payments:

One of the easiest solutions to
selling on the web. 2Checkout
has been around for many
years, can be integrated
into most shopping carts,
and is inexpensive to set up.

Expense summary - $49
Setup Fee, $0.45 per Sale
& 5.5% of Sale Amount.

Free Web Hosting Services:

$0 Web Hosting Pay for the domain name
only ($25 per year), and get
free hosting for the YEAR.
Low traffic limits, and no
CGI access for the free
account, but a great
way to get a small business
website or product site up
in a hurry.

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