The Website Development Specialist


Overview  |  Decisions, Decisions  |  Specs & Features  |  Rates

Overview

The hosting of your website involves some of the most critical decisions you will make regarding your Internet presence. Speed of access, functionality and reliability are only a few of the important factors that make Hosting co-equal in importance to your site's Production and Promotion. Together, these three areas form the pillars of your website's stability and, by extension, its potential for success.

Space vs Need

A quick note regarding the manner in which TC Concepts determines its Internet hosting fees is appropriate. Most companies place a lot of emphasis on the amount of server space (MB) that they provide to their customers. We don't. Rather, we use a system based on several factors, including the number of pages (for non-domain accounts) and the need for certain technical features. We offer ample space and more is available if needed. But again, we do not emphasize this aspect.

One of the problems with per megabyte hosting fees is that they are significantly misleading. By and large, space is cheap. And while a lot of space looks good, it's usually impractical, because it's not in your best interest to use it. Large files that take up a lot of space on a server (the remote computer where your files reside), are in fact counter-productive -- they take longer to download. On the other hand, optimizing your files correctly (particularly your graphics) will automatically translate to smaller files, which means faster downloads and, by extension, fewer people canceling their visits.

So, while a lot of disk space may look impressive, it's often a smoke-screen for inferior service. We feel it is much more important to offer state-of-the-art high-speed servers, reliable backbone connections and rich standard features than to place a lot of weight on the amount of space being offered. Consider this: Our average client site is under a MB and all but a very few can fit on a single floppy disk! So, unless you have the need for a rather exhaustive site (say, 50 pages or more), you will probably never need more than a few megabytes of space.

All TC Concepts domain packages come with a minimum of 50 MB of space -- along with all of our other standard features -- and non-domain accounts are allowed an average of up to 500 KB per page! (which is ridiculously high). If more space is needed, it's always available at a very modest increase.

Incidentally, at TC Concepts, the hosting service we provide is what is technically referred to as *managed hosting*, which simply means that we provide a more personal and hands-on client service. In this capacity, we typically utilize a shared hosting framework. To learn more about other types of hosting packages, along with the advantages and disadvantages of each, be sure to check out Ian Mason's piece on Web Hosting Options. Understand that with each of these options you would still have the ability to arrange hosting management with TC Concepts. While researching your options, don't forget to read web hosting reviews sites, which give you unbiased reviews and accurate information. If you are not tech savvy, setting up a hosting account is easy. Go to Websitesetuptraining.com for a quick iPage tutorial.

Decisions, Decisions

A Unique Domain Name?

The first thing you need to decide is whether or not you will need to have your own unique domain name (i.e., www.yourname.com). And though several things can help you determine the answer, there is, unfortunately, no simple formula. You can begin by thinking ahead to the ways you will be promoting your site.

If all of the promotion for your site is going to be conducted online (via search engines, banner ads and other links), then it's possible you do not need to have your own unique domain name. This is because anyone coming to your site will merely be clicking on a link, usually in the form of a graphic or a title that is completely different (and potentially much shorter) than the actual address (URL) of your site. Even then, however, it may be beneficial to have your own domain.

If you plan on promoting your site through any traditional advertising means (particularly broadcast or display), then a unique domain name is likely to be beneficial. But it's still not definite. One of the main reasons for having your own domain name is to make it easy for others to remember your web address. And one of the problems with domain names these days is that most of the good short names are taken. Not all . . . but most. Therefore, it may be more memorable to be on an extension of someone else's domain (i.e., "www.greatlynx.com/widgets") than to have your own convoluted, albeit unique, domain (such as "www.best-widgets2000.com"). If, on the other hand, your company name is fairly unique, it may still be available.

Domain Name Availability

In a moment, you will see a link that you can use to go and check on the availability of any specific name. Just enter the name you want (without the "www") plus the extension (".com" for a commercial site, ".net" for a network, or ".org" for an organization). Here are a few examples:

widgets.com
widgetsonline.net
thewidgetgroup.org
Use whatever name seems appropriate for your needs. If it's taken, try some variation or change the extension. One word of caution, though: Be careful not to outsmart yourself. While you may not wish to appear blatantly commercial, it is an indisputable fact that the ".com" extension is the most popular, and thus the most memorable. In other words, unless you have a compelling reason to the contrary, you probably want the ".com" address . . . if it's available.

When you're done, you can simply close out the new window that opens, and you'll be back on this page. Check on a domain name's availability here.

Extension Sites

For those who do not need their own unique domain name, we offer what we call extension websites. Extension sites (such as "greatlynx.com/yourname") are perfectly appropriate in certain instances. With several domains to choose from, an extension site may provide the affordable option you're looking for and each comes with complete support. We also handle all technical and uploading services, unless the access option is selected.

Who's Doing What?

In connection, you should try to determine ahead of time what you intend to handle yourself. If you plan on doing everything personally, you will need full access to your site, including FTP for file transfers, Telnet for certain commands, etc. All domain accounts come with these features at no additional charge (for extension sites, you will need to select the appropriate options). If you are not planning to handle any of the production or technical work yourself and do not need to have personal access to the server, then that may be one more argument for going with an extension site as opposed to your own unique domain (provided you haven't ruled this out on other grounds).

This is also probably a pretty good place to mention that we don't typically do routine server backups. They are notoriously unreliable and generally require as much work (or more) in restoring than a complete re-install does. They also tend to become an incentive for laziness, which is never in your best interest. For those who are having TC Concepts handle all of the production work (updates, changes, modifications, etc.), rest assured that we keep a secure backup of your site's files along with records of each email account, so that, in the event of a server catastrophe, we will be able to bring everything back up-to-date quickly. For those who are doing their own updates, changes, etc., we highly encourage them to keep their own secure backups or, at the very least, let us know when changes have been made so that we can download the current files. For anything that is done through a web interface (database, calendar, etc.), we encourage you to download all of the installation and configuration files as well as any files that might change based on your interaction with the server. These will all reside in the root of your domain, so you will have full access to download them at will.

Specs & Features

Servers

Full Specs Coming Soon

Connection

Full Specs Coming Soon

Standard Domain Features

All domain accounts come with the following standard features:

Domain Options

  • Additional server space (per MB)
  • Additional POP Email Boxes
  • Additional Monthly Data Transfer (per GB)
  • Use of SSL server (for secure commerce transactions)

Standard Non-domain Features

The most basic non-domain sites come with the following standard features:

  • An Extension Site address (example: greatlynx.com/yourname)
  • One Free Email Alias (for forwarding email to an existing POP account)
  • Full TC Concepts Tech support during regular business hours
  • Discounts on Production Upgrades
  • Discounts on Promotion Options
  • TC Concepts Maintenance & Management

Non-domain Options

  • POP Email Accounts & Autoresponders
  • Additional Pages
  • FTP and Shell-Telnet Access (for uploading and manipulation of files)
  • Use of SSL server (for secure commerce transactions)

Rates

From a cost perspective, hosting is perhaps the least expensive area you will encounter during your website development process. At least as far as any lump sum payments are concerned. Unlike Production and Promotion, Hosting is based on a monthly fee established by the requirements of your site. In all of our hosting packages, TC Concepts requires only a six-month minimum contract. And though this, too, must be paid in advance, it will usually be much less than the other areas of your project. Finally, when it comes time for renewal of your website, it is likely that the only thing you will need to pay is another six months of hosting.

Domain Hosting

Base Rates

All hosting packages are based on the particular needs of the client, but typically run from $35 to $65 per month.

Other Costs

One-time Server Setup: $50
Domain Name Registration:$30/year
$50 for two years
$100 for five years

Options

  • Additional POP Email Accounts - Add $5/each/month
  • Additional Server Space - Add $2/MB/month
  • Additional Data Transfer - Add $2/GB/month
  • Additional Autoresponders - Add $5/each/month
  • Use of SSL Server - Add $10/month

Non-Domain Hosting

Base Rate

  Setup
No Charge
  Single Page
$25/month
  2-4 Pages
$40/month
  5-10 Pages
$50/month

Options

  • POP Email Accounts - Add $5/each/month
  • Autoresponders - Add $5/each/month
  • Additional Pages - Add $1/page/month
  • FTP and Shell-Telnet Access - Add $10/month
  • Use of SSL Server - Add $10/month


Domain Name Registration

TC Concepts is an accredited reseller throught the OpenSRS/Tucows Registrar. Which means that we can handle all of your domain name registration needs at very reasonable pricing. This includes ordering your domain name, setting up the contacts, assigning Name Servers and more. Our current rates are:

  • $30 / year
  • $50 for two years
  • $100 for five years

 


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TC Concepts
PO Box 3672
Conroe, TX 77305

Phone:  936-756-2292
Email:  info@tcconcepts.com


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