Safely going online with a website - ONLINE SAFETY
Safely Going Online With a Website
There is a dark side to cyberspace with companies who attempt to exploit your inexperience.
Avoid some of the pit falls of setting up your e-commerce or personal site online. Establishing an online presence includes getting a few facts together before rushing headlong into a unfavorable situation.
Companies will lure you in with freebies and super-low prices and then leave you struggling helplessly when you need assistance.
There are a few tips everyone should follow before going online and with an e-commerce or personal site.
Decide before hand what your objectives are. Ask yourself a few of these questions.
Questions to ask yourself:
Is my site going to be a long time investment or a short term investment?
Investment can mean your time or your time and money.
Do I need a secure hosting server?
Examples: Selling products, password protected areas for sharing personal information, gathering personal information.
What kind of experience do I have or need to maintain an online presence?
Knowledge Examples: html, php, scripts, flash, FrontPage, just fill in the online forms.
Is my domain name important to me?
Do you want to keep it for the long term or this is not an important issue?
Is customer service availability important to me?
Do you want to receive customer service via email only, via phone only, or via both email and phone?
If your website is a long term investment, make customer support a priority in your host providers credentials.
Regardless of your needs at the time always look for a company with secure hosting service.
If you do not know what html is, most likely you will need a site builder program.
If a hosting company does not provide a demo of their site builder software, then walk away. You do not want to pay money out and find out that their program does not fit your needs.
If you are in it for the long term your domain name should be very important to you. Make sure your domain name account is separate from your hosting account. Make sure you have control of your domain name via an admin panel. See domain name hostage article for more critical details.
If you just want a free site for the time being. Then I suggest Tripod, but even at tripod you need to be aware of certain rules. When upgrading to a paid site, DO NOT use the free domain name offer, your free domain name is owned by their company not you and you will be in a domain name hostage situation. Buy your domain name from a domain registering company and have it forward to your free site. This way you do have control of your chosen domain name.
Don't set up a long term e-commerce site on a free site... unless you read between the obligation and contract lines and they are acceptable to you.
Don't accept free domain name offers... EVER!!! NEVER!!
Don't assume it is really free!
Don't buy a site builder without trying it out first. If the company offers a short term package, consider trying it out first, to make sure it meets your needs and expectations.
Don't be fooled by the term free domain with website hosting. Again you are putting yourself in a domain name hostage situation.
If it is too good to believe, don't get involved.
Hard Luck Stories:
I paid to have a custom site built for me and now I do not know how to take care of it.
Work with companies that sell you products based on your needs and knowledge.
I signed up for a free site with a free domain and now I want to move to another hosting service and I found out I don't own my domain name.
Can't say this enough, Never accept Free domain name packages.
I bought a site builder and found out that I can't use my preferred payment gateway.
Always try out the demo. Make sure you have enough time to really try it out. If a demo is not offered, usually there is a reason.
I bought a custom site, built in frames, only to find out that it is not search engine friendly.
If your site is an e-commerce site, AVOID FAMES... see frames article.
I bought website services and I can even get a response to my technical questions.
Make sure your hosting provider or web designer offers both email and phone contacts.
I needed a database to run my software and I found out I have to pay more money to my host provider.
This is common acceptable practice, so make sure you read what is included in your hosting package. Or buy a package that includes msql.
My site disappeared and I had to start over.
Make sure your host provider creates backups... You still may loose some information between the backup scheduled times... but you will NOT have to start from scratch.
Do you have a hard luck story?
Let us know so that we can share it with others so they do not make the same mistakes.