Now it’s time to assemble the “toolkit” for putting your business site on the Web. Some you’ll need, no matter what type of site you build. Others apply specifically to e-commerce sites.
In this step, we tell you what they are, explain what they do and offer some resources to begin shopping for just the right set of tools to build your site and take it live to the biggest market in the world – the world itself!
We cover it in 4 parts:
- Web Hosting
- FTP: File Transfer Protocol
- Merchant Accounts
- Managing your Web Images
Now put on a work shirt, roll up your sleeves and get to it. By the time you finish this step, you’re going to know a lot more about the mechanics of getting your business site on the Web.
Unless you own or plan to invest in a server – a powerful computer that’s always online, and “big” enough to store all your Web site files, as well as the content and operations of your company’s network – you need to find and hire a reliable Web host.
Just like someone who accepts you into their home and tends to your needs, a Web host accepts your site into its computers, securely stores all of your files and data, and ensures that it will be available every day, around the clock, to you and your customers.
The host also handles most of your other technical needs, including up-to-date backups of your entire site; properly tuning the software; and giving you enough bandwidth to keep from slowing down your site’s functions, and how fast the pages load.
Because there are a whole lot of hosts, all trying to get your business, most keep their prices low, for any size business and budget.
Hosts commonly offer other necessary Web site services, either with all-in-one discount packages, or individual low-cost add-ons.
Just remember, you will be placing your entire Web site and all its functions in the host’s safekeeping, so don’t be tempted to use anything but a well-established outfit with a proven track record. There’s plenty of comparative information, user reviews and other critical material online to provide this confidence.
Some good starting points: