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When establishing an online presence, one of the first things you need to do is search for a web host, a company that stores files on its servers. Most web hosts offer varied packages including personalized company email services; however, each package varies from host to host.
When deciding on a web hosting package, be sure you know your requirements, e.g. do you require dedicated servers or would your business run fine on shared servers? Shared servers are more affordable, but you might experience performance loss; dedicated servers will not have this issue, but are set at a higher price. A third option is a virtual server, which is halfway between the two; multiple domains can exist on a virtual server, but they function in a similar way as dedicated servers.
Another choice is the operating system your chosen server will run on. Linux-based servers are more popular and affordable. But if you need to run any applications that require Microsoft software, then the more expensive Windows-based server is a necessary investment.
Email hosting is, more often than not, provided within a web hosting package; however, some companies limit the number of addresses that can be assigned for each account, so be sure to consider the growth of your company as well as its current needs.
Email marketing software and support can also be provided and will vary from package to package but will usually provide similar basic functions. A ‘Live Chat’ option may also be worth considering for sites that deal with customer service and require immediate response.
• Consider having a shared server to reduce costs
• Linux-based servers are affordable and popular
• ‘Live Chat’ is a powerful tool to reach customers
Source: Nicholas Baker, Special to Classifieds
The writer is a freelancer