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Web Hosting; Make Them Work for You
There are two main types of host providers. They are called the have and the have-nots. Hosting companies are not just parking garages for your domains. They have many options and tools that you can utilize. Some host providers install and run them for you and others have nothing and you need to install them yourself.
Some of us are pretty technical others are not. But very few know everything there is to know. At one time or another we are going to come up against a problem that we just have no experience. There a few of options out there. You can only go for a host that offers all the bells and whistles. That gets you the easy way out but then you are paying a lot more for the stuff that matters, like bandwidth and how many domains you can have.
A better option is to go for the host that has a lot more for your money but you need to be a little technical. Even if your not, it's a good idea.
A good example would be the time I needed to edit my htaccess. I had two choices. Learn how to do this, or have the customer service from my host provider do it for me. They don't advertise, hey come waste my customer service time. But I have always, after a couple of email or a call asked them to just do it for me.
Remember, most servers are UNIX based and that means "Open Source". There is a lot of open source for free out there. Another example was when I needed to install awstat on our server. Awstat is a free open source program that needs to be installed for every domain you have. To do this you need to know shell scripting. I don't. Unfortunately neither did the customer service of my hosting company. All I did was go on the web and hire a technical guru to do it for me for $25.00.
Don't let a lot of the technical hurdles stop you. Look around for a good provider. Ask people you know who they would recommend. Remember, base your decisions on what your needs are, not on if you are technical enough.
Richard Amburn is the contributing writer for http://www.internethostingdepot.com a resource on the subject of Hosting Services.