What is Web Hosting?
   My ISP offers Web Hosting. Can I use their services?
   What amenities/features are important for a Web Host?
   Where do the Critternut Web Host computers reside?
   Why would I use Critternut when I can go directly to the host Critternut resells and thus "bypass the middle-man?"
   If Critternut does my web work, do I have to use Critternut as my Web Host?
   Can I use Critternut as my Web Host even if someone else does my web work?
   What system/software does Critternut use for Web Hosting?
   If I currently have a different Web Host, how do I switch to Critternut?
   How much does Critternut charge for Web Hosting?
   What technical support do I get for my monthly fee?
   Where can I find out more about my web hosting options?

 

1. What is Web Hosting?
Web sites reside on a computer which can be reached, via the internet, by other computers. This resident system should have special characteristics such as speed, reliability and good security. Though you could, with some degree of expertise, set your own computer up as a resident web host, most people just pay a specialized web hosting company a modest fee to use space on one of their systems. That company is then responsible for maintaining system security, reliability, etc.

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2. My ISP offers Web Hosting. Can I use their services?
It depends on your ISP. Some offer minimal space for free or a low cost, but often there are limitations. For example, they may not offer space to businesses (the space is reserved for individuals only), space may be too limited for your web site, you may have to allow advertising from other companies ("pop up" or "banner ads"), you may not be able to use your own domain name (such as "www.mycompany.com"), etc. In addition, ISPs are typically not dedicated web hosts and therefore may not be as concerned with security and reliability.

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3. What amenities/features are important for a Web Host?
In our experience, customer service and technical support are extremely important. If the web host goes down (which they sometimes do), you need to be able to get information quickly and you need to be able to get it fixed quickly. Other than that basic offering, here is what you should look for:

Reliability: This is an indicator of how often your web host is available (that is, can be reached by people from their computers). You should look for very high reliability. Most reputable web hosts will have redunancy built into their systems so if one computer goes down there is another which can automatically pick up the task.

Security: On-line stores (e-commerce sites) need to have credit card processing protected from unauthorized access. The way to deal with this is to have a secure server which has up-to-date protection from hackers and vandals.

Email: Web hosts generally provide email accounts. The number of accounts provided is often dependent upon the fee paid. In particular, you should have the ability to check your mail from either the web (i.e., any PC in any location, as long as the PC is connected to the internet) or your own email program.

FTP: In a nutshell, this is the ability to transfer new or changed files from your local computer to the web host. Having FTP allows you to have more control over your web site changes.

Shopping Cart: If you wish to have an on-line store, it is nice to have the web host provide an e-commerce solution with a shopping cart application. This shopping cart needs to reside on a secure server, so credit card numbers cannot be accessed by unauthorized parties.

Control Panel: This is a web-based application that allows you to change some of the attributes (such as email addresses) of your account.

Server type/server extensions: In general, a web host is either Windows based or Linux (Unix) based. If you wish to use FrontPage - a Microsoft product for developing and maintaining web sites - you probably want a Windows-based web host. Many web site authoring software can run on either Windows or Linux. In addition to web authoring support, you may need support for custom aplications, secure databases, etc. If you are unsure of what is needed along these lines, you should consult your web designer.

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4. Where do the Critternut Web Host computers reside?
Critternut does not own/maintain its own web host computers. We resell services and space from LFC Hosting, which is a company in Canada (www.lfchosting.com). We like the good technical support and friendly customer service this company provides. We also like the functions they offer.

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5. Why would I use Critternut when I can go directly to the host Critternut resells and thus "bypass the middle-man?"
Many times our customer wish to deal with one company for all their web needs. To meet this request, we at Critternut set up a reseller arrangement with LFC Hosting. This way, a customer can deal with Critternut for the web site and web host questions.

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6. If Critternut does my web work, do I have to use Critternut as my Web Host?
Our customers may use any web host provider they wish. Note also that our web host fee is basically the same as that offered directly by LFC Hosting, though we do charge a small mark-up for site administration.

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7. Can I use Critternut as my Web Host even if someone else does my web work?
Sorry, but we do not provide stand-alone hosting services. This is simply not cost efficient for our customers. If you would like for us to help you find an appropriate web host for your needs, we will be happy to do so, via a consulting arrangement.

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8. What system/software does Critternut use for Web Hosting?
We use a Windows-based server, with redundant computers. The server has been brought up to .NET standards, and includes a secure server and shopping cart functions. Database capabilities are also available.

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9. If I currently have a different Web Host, how do I switch to Critternut?
Our personnel can help Critternut web customers switch to our web host. To achieve this, your domain name (such as "www.mycompany.com"), which is registered with a domain registrar, needs to understand that the web host location should be changed. The mechanics of handling this changeover varies from one domain registrar to another and can be slightly confusing. Still, Critternut will take care of this changeover as part of the web host fee.

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10. How much does Critternut charge for Web Hosting?
The charge varies based upon the details from your site. However the general guidelines are:

Site Info Space* Email accounts FTP accounts Price per month
Web hosting, no database 20Mb 7 1 $20.00
Web hosting, with database 20Mb hosting + 25MB database disk space 7 1 $35.00

* Space shown is a typical size, not a mandatory limit

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11. What technical support do I get for my monthly fee?
The monthly web host fee includes email support and up to 2 hours of telephone support and simple sytem administration (email maintenance, FTP maintenance, etc.). Web site maintenance is not part of the web hosting monthly fee (unless otherwise arranged).

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12. Where can I find out more about my web hosting options?
There are a number of web-based sites which rate host providers. These can also point you to a provider who might best meet your needs. Here are some we hit on with a Google search (we do not endorse any of these; just trying to be helpful. You should do your own research).

Web Host Ratings
Web Host Magazine
RateWebHost.com
HostSearch
RateMyHost.com

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