Support and Service - HTML

The kinds and types of services that hosting providers offer can vary immensely. The services you choose will have a direct impact on how much money you spend. For example, the following is a list of services you can choose from when selecting a dedicated hosting services provider:

  • CGI forms—A service that creates, for example, forms that mail results to you.
  • Design services—Some providers offer graphic and Web design services.
  • Real Server—A special server that is configured especially for multimedia streaming on the Real platform.
  • CGI Access—Simply means that a CGI directory is made available on a UNIX or Linux server so that you can create Perl-based executable scripts for more dynamic server-side pages.
  • NT servers or UNIX servers—You’ll want to make this basic choice because development on these platforms can be quite different when working with backend applications.
  • MS FrontPage—Some ISPs offer Microsoft FrontPage extensions, which are extensions installed on the Web host that are configured to communicate with Microsoft FrontPage markup.
  • Database support—Expect to add between 20 and 50 U.S. dollars for database support.
  • Chat and/or message board software—This option is configured by the hosting provider to allow the creation of chat sites or message board forums.
  • Credit card processing—Many host providers provide Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) credit card processing services.
  • Access traffic logs and traffic analysis reports—These are pretty basic and a must-have in any decent plan.
  • Unique DNS hosting, DNS parking—Can include the management of DNS subdomains so that you can, for example, have a main site named www.mysite.com and have a subdomain named where the checkout is handled by a host provider’s DNS configuration to resolve to your site.
  • E-mail auto responder, forwarding, POP SMTP processing, and list processing—You can take advantage of numerous e-mail processing services a host provider may offer. At the most basic level, a host provider should provide you with e-mail POP and SMTP accounts that resolve to your domain name (ed@mysite.com) and offer multiple mailboxes. Most providers now also provide List Processing services so you can distribute e-mail-based newsletters and other kinds of mass mailings (but a good host provider will prevent you from sending spam).
  • Shell telnet access—Telnet is a command-line (usually) utility that gives you access to your Web site’s configuration tables and allows you to edit your HTML files remotely.
  • Redundant Internet—Allows you to actually use more than one host provider in case one of the provider’s servers goes down.
  • Money-back guarantee and toll-free phone supportSelf-explanatory.
  • Daily site backups—Prevent you from losing data in case of a system crash.
  • Adult content allowed—Many service providers do not allow adult content, and if you’re compelled to go that route, it’s best to work with a provider that specializes in adult content.
  • 24-Hour Support—This is not necessarily a given with some of the cheaper plans, but you’ll find it handy when there’s an outage.
  • VPN SupportProvides support for Virtual Private Networks so that you can connect to another desktop from your own computer.

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