Getting The Most Out Of Your Web Hosting Service

For a customer of any type of business, it’s important to understand how to get the most out of the service that you have purchased.  In other words, you want to get more done with the features and tools you have at your disposal.  You want to make the best of whatever service you have and make sure that you’re not ignoring features and services that could be making your life a heck of a lot easier.  Below, we’ll look at some tools webmasters tend to forget about.

Non-Mainstream Server-Side Scripts:

PHP isn’t the only server side script in the world, and odds are your web hosting comes with more than just that.  Languages like Perl and Ruby on Rails can unlock ideas that you could have never thought possible.

Even .NET is starting to enter the world of server-side scripting.  If your web host comes with any of these features, we highly recommend checking them out.

Credit Card Acceptance:

How many customers do you think you’ve driven away because of your inability to simply bill a credit card?  Not everybody has a PayPal account, and that’s mainly because of the hassle they are to set up.  It’s becoming more and more trendy for web hosts to offer a free way to accept a payment via credit card.  If you run an online store or premium service that doesn’t have a way to accept a credit card transaction, it may almost be worth it to make the switch for that reason considering the added amount of customers that could do business with you.

Automatic Script Installation:

It’s not really all that difficult to install an application like WordPress, but if your host has a Fantastico-type installer program, be sure to check it out anyway.  It could stem some good ideas for more types of applications to include in your website, such as automatic (not to mention, free) shopping cart programs, content management systems you probably didn’t even know existed, and even applications to manage traffic & web 2.0-like communication.  Yes, you could do all this without an automated install process, but it makes the ability to demo different utilities a lot easier without having to download them and figure out how the heck they’re supposed to be installed.

Customer Support:

Many webmasters spend quite a lot of time on forums or “Googling” the problems they experience with their web host.  Most of them should be contacting their customer support hotlines instead.  Did you know that in 2010, it’s actually a rarity for a premium web host NOT to have free 24/7 phone support?  If your service doesn’t include this, then consider yourself being ripped off no matter how cheap the rate is.  If you do have it, then USE IT!  Most times you can get your problems solved automatically rather than spending hours trying to learn how to fix them yourself.

There’s a lot more features that webmasters tend to overlook, but these are the ones that we felt were the more important.  Remember, if you’re paying for it anyway, you might as well go ahead and check it out.  You may be pretty surprised as to what you’ll find.