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What's involved?

Discussion in 'Digital Marketing' started by Lawn-Scapes, Aug 8, 2002.

  1. Lawn-Scapes

    Lawn-Scapes LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,810

    Such as choosing sevices, fees, maintenance and what-not?

    I know I need a domain name.. Does it matter where I get one? I am thinking of using namesecure.com - $60 for 5 years. Sound good? It's $15 a year for email.. Do I want this or do I get one with the host? Also.. thinking of using .biz.. Thoughts?

    Choosing a host.. I'm really confused here :confused: They all look the same to me.. couple dollar difference. How much space and bandwidth would I need? Do they provide the email account(s) or just access?

    If I have a website designed for me... They can set it up on the host I chose.. right? Besides the initial design fee.. what other charges are there.. maintenance? How much in maintenance fees can I expect to pay? Will I be able to maintain my own site... add and remove text and pictures?

    Anything else I need to know?

  2. Lawn-Scapes

    Lawn-Scapes LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,810

  3. olkeith

    olkeith LawnSite Member
    Messages: 13


    Choosing a web host is a very tough task. All hosting company's are not equal. There are technical issues that are difficult to determine since you don't have a means of finding the answer and very few hosting companies will answer your questions directly, its like talking to a used car salesman.

    I host web sites, so my best advice to you is to find a local Internet Service Provider in your home town and go to their office. Talk to them, ask your questions and listen carefully to their answers. Ask for references, if they host web sites for other local businesses then you should be able to call them and ask about the ISP's service. Find a friend who is a computer nerd. Have your friend do some pings and traceroutes to the ISP's servers. The numbers will give you good information concerning how fast their servers are and who they are connected to...that is who their upstream provider is.

    Any good ISP will run their own Domain Name Servers (DNS). This is very important to you since DNS is the traffic cop so to speak and controls traffic to your web site. Your ISP should be able to make any changes to your DNS record right on the spot.

    I reccomend using an ISP who uses Unix servers or any other posix complient OS like Linux. Every major corporation in America uses some form of Unix for servers, especially Banks. I have over seven years of experience using Linux on multiple servers in our office with a 99.9% uptime.

    A local ISP will be a major advantage to you, they have an office you can visit and get help from time to time. They should be able to give you good advice and offer web design services. Don't be afraid to find your own web designer though, sometimes this can be your best bet. Often web designers get kickbacks for pushing you to an ISP they work with. Don't let anyone push you towards an ISP that you haven't checked out.

    Some ISP's are like scrubs in the Lawn Care business...they are not professionals and they don't have enough experience and technical savvy to provide reliable service. Shop Wisely!

    Emai me if I can be of further assistance.


    Good Luck
  4. heygrassman

    heygrassman LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 509

    For a first website, secure the website through the company that is going to host the domain. If you secure the domain then choose someone else to host it, you may save a few dollars, but you are constantly having to go to the domain registrant if a dns server changes, etc.. it can be a pain kinda like driving 10 miles down the road to save $.01 a gallon for gas.

    The local ISP is going to be more expensive. During the day, I sell high speed data to business all day long. Some of these local ISP's are down right scary. Some of these guys are offering Unix / Linux boxes and are having to outsource the admin on them because they do not know the product. No offense to Keith.

    Plantamerica.com does a nice job and it is real simple to set up and the tech support (with whom I worked with on behalf of FiveSeasonsLandscape) is pretty good. One of my commercial hsd customers (www.fiveseasonslandscape.com) uses them for their website and it is real nice and not too pricey considering. They will secure your domain, host it for you, and you can point and click your website into life. http://corp.plantamerica.com/cobrand/index.asp?c_id=tools

    Good Luck. Let me know if I can help as well..

  5. smburgess

    smburgess LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 467

    I've been using "iPowerweb" for about a year without a single problem. It cost me $166.00 for my domain name, two years of hosting, all the email accounts I want, 50gigs of space (my site only uses 4gig) and enough transfer that I don't need to worry about it.
  6. LSAdmin

    LSAdmin Web Developer Staff Member
    Messages: 233


    Steve: to what I could see on iPowerWeb's web site, they offer 200MB of space, not 50GB.

    Your statement about 50GB makes me think of something very important though: if the company's offer seems too good, or you think you've just got a fantastic deal, ask them if they are profitable, how many employees they have, etc. Most of the time they will either not be profitable (which means they could go bankrupt or close so you'd have to find a new host in a hurry or even lose data) or be a one-man show, with the guy doing his best but not being available all the time you need and not necessarily with the knowledge you need.

    It's tough to test knowledge when you don't know much about hosting yourself - if you want to make sure that you're choosing a good hosting company (as there are many good ones, but a bunch of bad ones too), ask your webmaster or a technical consultant to give you advice and to contact the hosts you've selected.

    I won't give you more advice, as I work for a hosting company and would probably promote that company even if I want to give you objective advice. The statements I made above are quite general, though, and I think you should consider them.


    Pierre-Luc Soucy
  7. heygrassman

    heygrassman LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 509

    The total monthly transfer rate is 50GB (bandwidth allocation)with a stroage capacity of 200 MB.

    As a LCO, how would you answer this question if asked by a customer?? I am not profitable right now because I am burying every penny I make back into equipment and tools for the day I am ready to go on my own. Should my customers not do business with me?? For the first 2-3 years of business most business do not show typically a "profit", this does not mean that they are not viable. fyi... in the press release section they projected a 2001Q4 profitability.. pretty bold to put that in writing for a private company.

    Looking for a hoster ask them for some websites that they host in order to gague the speed. The try and contact the website adminstrators of those sites at webmaster@{insertdomain}.com or info@{insertdomain}.com and ask they how they like the webhoster's tech support, response times, etc..

    Webhosting companies are bought and sold right now on a daily basis..if you have to switch down the road, yea it is a pain, but it is not the end of the world.

  8. LSAdmin

    LSAdmin Web Developer Staff Member
    Messages: 233

    To what I see on their site, they offer 20GB of transfer per month... anyway, just be aware that 50GB of HD space and 50GB of transfer are *much* different.

    I can difficultly make comments on their offerings since I have never tried them before - many hosts do not honour what they promise (especially big amounts of transfer such as 20GB), but if they do, then that's fine :).

    I'm not a LCO, I'm in the business of designing Web sites, programming, administrating servers, etc, and I'm here because I do the programming and some server admin stuff for LawnSite.

    Starting a hosting company shouldn't take that much; the one I work for was profitable after two months and I'm sure some others were even before.

    Many hosts, however, spent a lot of money on things they didn't need and are facing difficult financial situations right now. I could name a lot, but will only give you the example of Globix, which had a state-of-the-art datacenter, tens of millions of venture capital, and went bankrupt last year, because the money that came in wasn't sufficient to refund the VC they got.

    This doesn't mean that non-profitable companies are bad (if so almost no businesses could get started), but just beware and make sure they have good plans for their future and are well administered before hosting your site there.

    Good point.

    It always depends of the kind of site you have to move. I remember to have moved LawnSite.com at least four times since August 2000 and when the site has a big database and many programs running on it, it can be a pain. If you simply have a 5-page site that you publish by FTP or with FrontPage, then moving is not a big deal.

    Just my .02... Simply remember to beware and ask questions before ordering your hosting account.


    Note: a tutorial on how to find a Web host can be found at http://www.tamingthebeast.net/articles2/web-hosting-guide-1.htm if you're interested
  9. ProMo

    ProMo LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,468

    namesecure is what i use its excellent my total for webpage is 15 dollars per year it includes web forwarding so you can use a free site if you dont mind a banner ad thats what i was using until i transfered it to the free pages i get with my cable service it was on freeprohosting.com it includes url gripper so that when you are on my page from the domain link you dont see the actuall address of my free site to change just go to your namesecure account and change site address you are forwarding your domain to
    and it also includes email forwarding my email address is bogle@cfl.rr.com but anything@promolawn.com will forward to my real email account so if you send email to lawnsitefan@promolawn.com ill get it on my actual email account not a bad 15 dollar investment:dizzy:

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