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WEB HOSTING FAQ




• Why bother with a web site for my business?

Having a web site on the Internet is increasingly critical in today's market and broadens the scope of your business.  Today's consumers shop and compare a great deal more than they have in the past, and the Internet gives them a new and powerful way to do so.  Every day thousands of people log on to the World Wide Web - many of them looking to buy products and services like yours.  A website helps you reach new clients by tapping the online customer population, and you can make sure that your customers have all the information about your business that they need to make good purchasing decisions.  Consider these points:

Your website will be open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to answer questions about your business and offer customer service even when your business is closed at night and on weekends and holidays.

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• What is web hosting?

Web hosting involves setting up a computer with access to the Internet using fast connections, and storing the Web pages on that computer to be accessed by Internet users.  Such a computer is normally referred to as a Web server, or a web host.
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• What are the advantages of shared web hosting?

Most businesses cannot justify the costs of having a dedicated server, dedicated Internet connections and all the hardware that goes with it.  The initial outlay runs into several thousand dollars, and ongoing necessary maintenance costs are steep as well.

Web hosting companies enable such businesses to share the equipment necessary (and therefore the costs) to enable them to maintain an impressive Web presence at a fraction of the cost of setting it all up themselves.  Furthermore, businesses need not invest in in-house expertise and technical staff to deal with all the installation and troubleshooting associated with computer hardware and software.  Another, often-overlooked advantage is that serious web hosting companies upgrade their equipment and Internet connections as new technology emerges - this saves businesses the cost and trouble of having to write off obsolete equipment and also invest in replacements for it.
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• What is a web server?

When someone enters your Web address (URL) in their Web browser, it looks up the location of the computer associated with that domain name.  This 'host' computer then sends the files that make up that particular web page to the person's computer that requested it.  In other words, it's your server or host that makes your website available to the world.
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• What is a hosting account?

A domain, or hosting account, means having your own domain name (http://www.YourBizName.com) without having to install expensive server hardware and software.  With a hosting account, you utilize our server's storage space.  However, you are still professionally represented via your own personal Internet Web address domain name (YourBizName.com) and by your own personal email address domain name (You@YourBizName.com).
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• What would the costs be to set up my own Web in-house server?

Having your own complete setup for connecting to the Internet would require that you purchase a leased line or frame-relay circuit from your local common carrier from your office to an Internet Service Provider (ISP); purchase or lease a high speed CSU/DSU (a device similar to a MODEM) for your office and maybe a second CSU/DSU for your ISP, purchase or lease a high speed router (a networking device used for converting the signal you get from the CSU/DSU into something your server can use) for your office and, again, maybe for your ISP; purchase Internet bandwidth from your ISP; purchase an Internet server computer for your office configured with a good amount of memory, disk storage and a tape backup system purchase and install a server operating system (such as UNIX or Windows NT/2000) for the server; purchase, install and configure Web server software, electronic mail software and firewall software for the Internet server; purchase an uninterruptible power supply and possibly a backup generator.

Depending on the ISP, speed of the connection, equipment and software you buy, it may cost between US$5,000 to US$10,000 just to set up a server on the Internet, and between US$1,000 to US$20,000 a MONTH for ISP and common carrier charges.
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• Won't my website be slow if I don't have a dedicated server and connections?

No.  This will not be the case if you choose the right web hosting provider.  A serious web hosting provider will not allow websites that hog bandwidth to be sharing with other websites.  A serious provider will respond quickly to deal with possible problems and will take the necessary steps to anticipate others.  Unfortunately, finding a serious hosting provider is often a painful process involving a few disappointments and frustration along the way.  US-Webmasters.com has eliminated this uncertainty by ensuring that the web hosting service is fast, reliable and comes with responsive support.
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• How much does it cost me for US-Webmasters.com to host my web site?

Generally, a one-time server setup for your domain name is $25, and the server hosting is $15 per month on a six-month term or $10 per month on a one-year term.
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• Why is the price higher on a six-month term?

In order to take advantage of the $10.00/month rate, there is a minimum one-year term required to be paid in advance.  We are passing on to you our lower administrative costs for a one-year agreement.

You can choose to pay six-months in advance.  In that case, the monthly rate is slightly higher at $15.00 per month, which brings your total to $90.00 for the six-month period.  For specific pricing and payment terms, see the table on the Web Hosting Inquiry Form.
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• How long does it take to set up a new account?

New accounts are generally set up within 24 hours from the time we receive your order.  Once an account is setup, an activation notice will be sent to you via email including your user-ID, password.  You can then begin uploading files to your new website immediately.
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• How and when will you bill me?

You will receive a monthly notification via email with a due date and address to send your payment.
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• What is a domain name?

A domain name is a two-part Web address unique to your specific website, for example: YourBizName.com.  While the first part is who you are, the second part, "com", stands for commercial.  Once registered, you'll have your own unique Web address as well, for example, http://www.YourBizName.com/.  Your domain name cannot be taken by anyone else, and will make your Web address easier to remember and look up.
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• How do I get a domain name?

You can find out if the domain name you want is available here: Web Domains.  While you will still be responsible for making payment for the domain name ($15 annually), US-Webmasters.com can handle the registration process for you.

If you would like to register a domain name, please make a request using our Inquiry Form: click here or email us: Info@US-Webmasters.com), with your request.
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• Do you handle the domain registration process?

Yes.  We will process the domain on your behalf - to request either a new domain name registration or a domain name modification (transferring an existing domain to our servers).
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• Does the web hosting include registration of my domain name?

No, it is a separate payment.  We can register your domain name for you, but it is something that you pay for separately ($15 annually - similar to paying for your registration with your local Chamber of Commerce).  You will be billed directly for the domain name(s) you register.

Normally when you register a domain name, you need to specify the 'DNS' servers.  The Domain Name Servers are kind of like directory assistance for the computers on the Internet.  Whenever you make a request to view a site in your Internet browser, that site is 'looked up' in a DNS server, and directed to the corresponding 'IP' address.  IP (Internet Protocol) addresses are a string of numbers that specify a particular location on the Internet.
US-Webmasters.com's registration service will enable you to park the domain on our servers until you are ready to use it.
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• What are the specifications for a domain name?

While the total length of a domain name may be up to 63 characters, the only characters allowed are letters, digits, and the hyphen (dash).  A domain name cannot, however, begin or end with a dash.  The "www" which almost always comes before the domain name in a Web site address is not, in fact, part of the domain name.
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• What are my domain name options?

1.  We can host any domain name that you own.  This includes .com, .net, .org, etc., or any country code domain (e.g.: .au, .uk, .de, etc.).

2.  We will register your .com, .net, or .org domain name for you.

3.  The registry of the domain name you choose will be billed to you separately.
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• What does it cost to register a particular domain name?

$15 annually for .com, .net, or .org domains.
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• How do I know if a domain name has already been registered?

US-Webmasters.com will do a search to determine if the specific domain name you have selected is available.  There is no charge for this service.
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• Can I check domain name availability?

Yes.  You can find out if the domain name you want is available here: Domain Availability Check.  Also, when you complete our online hosting form, you can enter your domain choices in the order form and we will check if the domain name you have chosen is available and also offer alternatives.
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• How long does it take to register a domain name?

Once an available domain name is chosen and applied for, the confirmation is immediate but the processing takes about 48 hours before it is available to your designated servers.
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• How do I place an order for US-Webmasters.com to register my domain name?

You may make a request by filling out our Web Hosting Inquiry Form.
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• How long does it take before my domain name is active?

It usually takes about 48 hours before it is active.
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• Can I access my domain address with or without the "www"?

Yes, you will be able to access the domain address with or without the "www" in front of the domain name.  Example: http://www.YourBizName.com or http://YourBizName.com whichever you prefer.
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• Can I transfer an existing domain to your servers?

Yes, just be sure to specify that you are requesting a transfer and not a new domain.  You should keep the service with your current provider while waiting for completion of the transfer process.  All email and Web pages will still be accessed from your current site until the changeover is completed.

Upon completion of the transfer, there is a 72-hour 'propagation period' where visitors could go to either site.  At the end of the 72-hours you should contact your previous host to cancel your hosting service with them.  If you use this same provider for your Internet access you will not be able to access your domain site until they update their DNS servers.
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• Won't my site be down if I change my web hosting provider?

No, your site will not be down, not even for one second.  We upload your site to our servers and create all the necessary files and folders for you.  Once your old site is duplicated on our servers, the DNS record is updated, and this information propagates throughout the Internet.  During this 72 hour propagation period, some people will be viewing your site with the previous hosting company, and some will be viewing your site on the new server.  However, after about 72 hours, most everyone in the world will have access to your site on US-Webmasters.com's server and you will have switched over, not missing a minute of uptime.
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• But isn't changing web hosts a big hassle?

We've made your job easy.  Just sit back and relax!  We handle everything!  We download your site from your existing host, recreate your site on our server, and handle the DNS transfer.  We even make a back up of your existing site in the process.
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• Do you promote and submit my domain to the search engines?

Yes.  Besides hosting, we have a number of other services, like search engine submission.  We provide a basic submission procedure, as well as an advanced procedure.

Advanced search engine placement procedures take a bit of time, but we can usually get top 10-20 placement on many search engines - depending on the keywords.

This process usually takes about 10-15 hours, so be prepared to pay around $500-$1000 initially for this service.  The annual maintenance for changes and resubmissions to the search engines is billed at our hourly rate and is around $150 / year.

It's also important to understand whether we go the 'advanced' search engine placement or the 'standard' route, it usually takes 1-2 months before your site will start to appear in the search engines.
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• Can I know how many people are visiting my website, when and from where?

Yes!  Irrespective of which hosting option you choose, your Web server will generate log files that can be analyzed using off-the-shelf software designed for the purpose. You will have the choice of downloading the log files and running the reports yourself, or else we can take care of this for you and provide you with regular traffic statistics reports.

Depending on which software is used to analyze the log files, the following information can be derived:
  • the number of visitors to the website,
  • the most frequently visited pages,
  • the referring websites - this will show where the website traffic is originating from,
  • the countries visitors come from and in what quantities,
  • the days and times that are most popular for visits,
  • the most popular browsers that are used to view the website,
  • the most popular operating systems that are used by visitors who view the website
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• Do you offer POP email accounts?

Yes, a minimum of 5 POP email accounts come which each server plan.
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• What is an email alias?

This feature is simply email forwarding.  Forwarding means that any email sent to a specified mailbox will be automatically sent to another specified mail box.  It allows you to setup email accounts with US-Webmasters.com that will automatically forward email to your personal or business account.

For example, if your domain name is JoeAndKarensWidgets.com, then any of these email addresses would be directly forwarded on to your current email address:
Sales@JoeAndKarensWidgets.com
Info@JoeAndKarensWidgets.com
Joe@JoeAndKarensWidgets.com
Karen@JoeAndKarensWidgets.com
AnyName@JoeAndKarensWidgets.com

Email aliases don't have usernames and passwords; they just redirect mail sent to them to another email address that you specify.
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• What is an autoresponder?

Autoresponders are messages that are automatically sent to anyone who sends an email to a certain address.

For instance, if you are going to be out of your office for a week, you may want to set up an autoresponder.  If anyone contacts you via email, you would still receive their message in your POP3 account, but the sender would immediately receive a message back letting them know you are out of town and will contact them at a later date.

Another useful example for using an autoresponder would be to set up a marketing response to anyone interested in your company.  If someone sends an email requesting information to Sales@YourBizName.com, you may have an autoresponder that immediately sends a reply to your customer thanking them for their inquiry, and letting them know that you will be in touch with them shortly.
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• How do I transfer files to my web site?

Files must be transferred to the Web server via File Transport Protocol (FTP).  We recommend WS_FTP or CuteFTP.  Other FTP software can be found at Shareware.com.  Shareware.com is a source for the latest Internet applications with ratings and reviews to help you decide which application is best suited for your needs.  An FTP tutorial is also available for beginner users who may not be familiar with FTP.
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• Will I have unlimited access to update my pages?

You have unlimited access via FTP 24-hours a day, 7 days a week.  As such, you can create and maintain your Web pages on your own computer and upload files to your website at your leisure.
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• Do you support Microsoft Front Page extensions?

Yes, we support the FrontPage server extensions and the ability for you to publish and maintain your site using FrontPage.
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• Can I use FrontPage2000 to build and manage my website?

Yes, the FrontPage extensions we provide are compatible with all versions of FrontPage.
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• But what about my Microsoft ASP scripts?

Microsoft ASP scripts are not supported on our servers.  However, we do support scripts written in PHP.  PHP is a widely-used general-purpose scripting language that is especially suited for Web development and can be embedded into HTML.   It has the advantage of being open source software, and works well with MySQL, a high-quality DBMS for small to mid-sized databases.

We feel that PHP offers advantages which will add value to our clients' websites without the higher development costs of ASP, while supporting our concern for performance, server security, the security of our other customers and of course the security of your site.  If there are problems with your scripts, our technical support representatives are well versed in PHP and are available to help out.
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• How do I transfer to US-Webmasters.com?

All you have to do is place an order for the hosting package of your choice from our website.  Once you place an order for with us we can facilitate the transfer of your site to our server.  - Simply select 'transfer existing domain' on the online order form.

Once your account is set up, an email is sent to you which will include your login information, user name, and password.  You can begin uploading your files immediately.

Once your site has been uploaded, we can update the DNS server information with the Domain Name Registrar.  Once the DNS information has been updated, the propagation of this information takes up to 3 days to propagate throughout the Internet.

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• What are the costs involved in switching providers?

There is a one-time setup fee that covers: downloading all your website files from your existing host, backing up all files and then uploading them to our servers.  The fee also covers complete testing of all forms, links, navigational aids, etc., on your site before going "live" on our servers.
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• How long does the entire process take?

We can usually have your site up and running on our servers within 3-5 business days.
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• What happens to my e-mail?  Will I lose my e-mail address?

You will not lose your e-mail address.  If you currently use your company's website address as part of your e-mail, for example:

Your-Name@Your-Company.com: your e-mail will now be routed to our servers without interruption.  You will continue to get your e-mail, using all your existing company e-mail addresses just the way you always have.  YOU DO NOT HAVE TO CHANGE ANY EXISTING E-MAIL ADDRESSES!  This includes e-mail aliases such as Sales@Your-Company.com, Support@Your-Company.com, Info@Your-Company.com, etc.  Simply continue using your existing dial-up service.

If you are using a personal e-mail address, such as judy@aol.com, bob@earthlink.com, or bill@your-isp.com, you can keep those as well.
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• Do you offer tech support?

Yes.  We encourage our customers to send email to Support@US-Webmasters.com with questions or concerns about their website.  We are relatively quick to respond to support e-mail weekdays between 10 am and 6 pm CST.
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• What kind of support will you provide?

If you have a question or problem that has anything to do with your website, the Internet, our servers, or our services, we are here for you!  We provide all the start up configurations, all the necessary information exchange, and all the technical expertise.  We do our jobs quickly...and leave you free to do yours.  No more headaches!
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• What about backups of my website?

Part of the web hosting service includes backups, both on mirrored hard disks for safety and also offsite backups.  However, we recommend you also keep backups of your website on your local hard disk to make certain that you will not lose any updates that may be in progress.
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• How secure is e-business conducted on your server?

US-Webmasters.com ensures that data sent from your viewer's Internet browser will make it to our servers safely.  If someone should intercept the data in-between your viewers browser and our server, it will be encrypted and they won't be able to do anything with it.

We will provide you with a portion of your site protected by the Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) protocol.  This protocol allows users to put sensitive information (like credit card numbers) into a form and have it transmitted to your Web server without the risk of anyone being able to decrypt and use the data.  With access to our SSL server, the URL to access your secure pages will look something like this:
https://www.YourDomain.com/SecurePage.htm
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• How secure is my Web site?

We employ the standard method of safeguarding against any malicious entry to a website on our server.  This is done through the standard usernames and passwords that are assigned to each of our clients.  We assign passwords that are designed to be impossible to guess.  This makes them impervious to the standard password cracking programs.  Other security measures are also taken to ensure the security of your site.
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• How reliable is your service?

We have triple redundant connections to the Internet.  We have battery backups as well as on site generated electricity if necessary. We continually monitor the functioning of your site from multiple nodes on the Internet. We aim for your site to be up 99.9% of the time or better.

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• What other services do you offer?

In addition to basic web hosting, we can provide you with almost any service you need to get your site going.

  • We offer complete Web design.
  • We can also handle domain forwarding.  For example, any traffic to MyDomain.org or MyDomain.net can be forwarded to MyDomain.com.
  • We can also set your site up with multiple HTTP headers, password-protected directories and custom DNS entries.
  • If you need special email or database services we can do this too, as well a number of other services you won't find at most ISPs, (site design and programming, for example).
If you need a service that is not shown on this website, please contact us via our Inquiry Form or email us at: Info@US-Webmasters.com and let us know what you have in mind.
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• Do you offer dial-up Internet access?

No.  In order to access your website and send and receive e-mail, you will need a local Internet Service Provider.
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• Does US-Webmasters.com accept International orders?

Absolutely, we welcome potential clients from all over the world.  We can even host your non-US domain name extension.  To place an order click here to fill out our online order form.
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• How do I order a website hosting package?

You can order a website hosting package from our online order form.
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Hopefully, we have covered all your questions.  If you have any other questions, please contact us: Web Hosting Inquiry




Here are some websites that we have designed, consulted on, or hosted:

HunterTodd

Cruise Odysseys

TaxCheck

Branson Condo

Overland.com

Dr. Heller
Mental Well Being


The Original Digger

John Baker Jewelry

Optical Energy

Casa Caribe

Non-GMO
source.com


Central Iowa Delphi Users Group

JamCoach

Brezner Consulting

USW Start Page

San Luis Bay Inn

PayPhonesDirect

Twin Galaxies

Musical
Schwartz.com




"My husband and I own a small hotel near Cancun, Mexico and have had our website with US-Webmasters since September 1999.  The website is our only form of advertising and it keeps our hotel booked solid most of the year.  Site creation and hosting fees have been very reasonable for the quality work and reliable hosting.  Almost every guest comments on how much they liked the site, how easy it was to use and how easy to find.  We feel we have the best website around and have compared it to lots of other hotel websites.  US-Webmasters has also been pleasant and reliable to work with which is important to us doing business from a very long distance.

     -- Patti Davis, owner Casa Caribe, Puerto Morelos, Mexico



"Thanks for everything you are doing for us.  We really appreciate it.  When we first looked at our site, we were tickled pink.  We were extremely pleased with the quality of the site for the money we paid.  We are so happy we ran across you to help get our condo rental business going.  We know so little about computers it is scary--thanks for explaining things so clearly so we can understand them.

We have been showing off the site to all our friends and family.  A fellow condo owner was a bit jealous when he took a look.  A computer engineer friend of ours also was very impressed.  We seem to be getting good placement with the search engines already.  Thanks, US-Webmasters.  We've been very happy with the work you've done--you've really gone the extra mile for us--we love our website!."

     -- David and Nadine Bieker, Branson-Lodging.org



Info on Web Design:
Web Design FAQ  |   Ecommerce  |   Inquiry Form


Info on Web Hosting:
Web Hosting FAQ  |   Inquiry Form  |   Inexpensive Domain Names


Info on Marketing:
Copywriting  |   Publicity  |   Search Engines


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