Let’s face it – we were all newbies once. There was a steep learning curve involved, having to learn some basic HTML, FTP, PHP and so on to get a decent website up and running. And of course, most newbie online marketers are skint!
So let’s say you have already experimented with website scripting and HTML. Then you find the basic plan has bandwidth limitations, and has no MySQL databases. You want to have a highly successful internet business, with lots of targeted traffic. A site with a discussion forum, autoresponders and email hosting built in. Also you want a content rich site with a content management system and a blog. For this sort of operation, you’ll need a hosting plan that offers PHP, at least 5 MySQL databases, website statistics software, scheduled task system (CRON), 10,000 MB bandwidth minimum, 50 email inboxes free templates and have 99% uptime minimum.
Now many of you reading this have limited technical ability and would be using a web designer to build and manage your website. Even if you don’t understand terms like PHP, java and so on, your designer will be the only one concerned anyway. Also, the other thing is using a Windows server rather than Linux that supports PHP. I prefer Linux because it’s the most popular, has a good online support base and most scripts are free.
Maybe you have built your first website, a simple sales letter type. You are going to need some sort of payment processing. The easiest and simplest way to integrate this into your website is by using PayPal. They provide free PHP scripts that can be installed on your site, such as shopping carts and automated checkout systems. However, for those of you not very technically minded, PayPal have a good facility on their site for creating simple payment buttons for single items, as well as recurring subscription payment buttons. You just enter your product name, price, currency, as well as the link to your product download page. Then PayPal will generate copy and paste code for your website.
So now you have your first site up and making some profits. Then the bandwidth consumption goes over your monthly limit, and the host starts charging you for the additional traffic. Also you decide to build more of these profit machines in the near future. There is no other option but to upgrade your hosting. But for your next website venture, you’ll need another domain name. Problem is that all general hosting plans only allow one domain name per account. Rather than take out a new account for each website, I suggest you purchase what is known as a Reseller package, which is a server hosted and maintained by the hosting provider. You can have as many accounts and domain names as you like, all for one monthly fee. This is the best option for the serious entrepreneur. Most allow unlimited bandwidth usage, as well as lots of scripts and tools that can be installed at the click of a button from the control panel. Not only that, you can even create your own hosting packages and sell them to other businesses and individuals.
I hope you have found this article interesting and informative. Remember, before signing up to any web hosting provider, check out their credentials and do some research on them first – do a Google search. There’s nothing worse than rolling out your first marketing campaign, only for your website to be down when the visitors arrive. Also customer services must be top notch and respond to any enquiries in good time. Again, check them out – enter their URL into Alexa.com and read reviews from previous customers. This way you can avoid the cowboys.
Thanks for reading and take care.
Neil Harland – Author