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Setting Up Your Web Site: Web Hosting

MerchantKit.com > Setup Web Site > Web Hosting

   
Web hosting companies store your web pages on their specially configured computers, making your web pages available to people browsing the Internet.

There are many web hosting companies offer a vast array of different features, including:
  • How much storage you are allowed for your site.

  • How much bandwidth (the amount of information transfered into and out of your site), you get per day/month.

  • What kinds of server scripts (programs that run on the web host's computers), they can support. The most common varieties of such scripts being ASP, CGI and PHP.

  • What kinds of database (to store information about your customers, your products, or required to run certain scripts), they can support.

  • Whether they support SSL ("Secure Sockets Layer") for securely transfering information such as credit card details over the Internet. Please note: You may not need this facility for some ways of accepting payments, but you generally will if using your own Merchant Account.
Most web hosts require that you design your web pages and then place them on their computers to make them accessible. If you don't want to do all that messing around with HTML, there are a few hosts that provide a simple online store builder. Hosts like these may not be quite as flexible as other hosting companies, but they do allow you to get something up and running quickly. One option would be to use them to build a web store quickly, and then build a separate more fully-featured site on a second domain name at another host.

You can find a free guide to choose a web host, as well as a listing of many web hosts at HostingCavern.com. Another site that you may find useful is WebHostingPicks.com, which allows you to search for web hosts by price, features, etc.


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