What operating system is best for your website?

One of the first things you will need to do in setting up your business on the Internet is to find a web host. The Web expands every day, and so do our choices. Just how do you find a web host to meet your business needs? There are literally tens of thousands, each one with a different focus and services designed for a specific segment of the market.

The operating system used by your hosting company may limit your flexibility as your company begins to grow. As you study your options, you might consider the following tips:

An operating system or “platform,” such as Microsoft’s Windows NT or DOS is the basic set of commands that tell your computer how to open applications and store files. In the early days of Internet activity, most servers operated on a UNIX platform, an extremely powerful and flexible system that requires considerable technical expertise to administrate. UNIX is still as popular as ever, but today you have a choice: Windows NT and UNIX variations such as Sun Microsystems Solaris, and Berkeley’s BSD.

Experts offer significantly different opinions as to which platform works best for web sites, we will however give a brief description and analysis of the different systems. In the end, the choice depends largely on your budget and what you want to do with your site.

Linux, a version of UNIX, is a very versatile platform that serves a number of functions well. It is particularly suitable for meeting your Internet requirements, such as mailing, streaming, Web serving, and fileserving. Linux is a very cost-effective choice it uses hardware efficiently, and allows for more web sites per server, thereby lowering the cost of hosting per account. Linux servers are compatible with certain Microsoft extensions and applications, for example, MS SQL (a database program) or Microsoft Front Page (a web authoring tool). Many engineers prefer the flexibility, security, and control of Linux servers. Linux is Open Source (free) software and a host of free programs are available to users of Linux.

Microsoft Windows NT/2000
Window’s 2000 graphical user interface makes it user-friendly and provides a familiar interface for most IT teams to work with. It integrates well with other Microsoft applications and there are a wealth of commercial applications available for this platform. Particularly attractive is the integration with Microsoft Application Server (ASP) which allows the creation of dynamic web pages linked to SQL databases, and other Legacy back office systems.

Sun Solaris
Sun Solaris servers offer the highest level of resources and power – these are the most robust servers! Sun has a proven track record and is deployed in many large Fortune 500 corporations. It is a mature platform and there are a large number of applications and development tools available. Because of Sun’s capacity and stability it is ideal for high-traffic functions, such as database servers, high-traffic Web servers and mission-critical servers.

Cobalt RaQ
The RaQ was designed for virtual (shared) hosting of multiple Web sites. It’s simple administration makes it a great first Web server. Its flexible administration interface also allows you to share administration responsibilities among your staff.

FreeBSD is a version of BSD that was designed for the X86 processor. FreeBSD is a very stable open source operating system, and a good alternative to Linux. It is an extremely well-integrated and tested system, and is inexpensive. There are a large number of free applications available for use with it

How do I choose? As your site grows in size and complexity, in all likelihood your needs will change and the capability and scalability of a particular platform will come into question. It’s best to anticipate this contingency and choose a web host that offers a variety of operating systems which are scalable and backs them up with technical expertise.

Finding the right ecommerce web hosting provider

Today a million companies will tell you how great a job they will do designing your website.

They’ll tell you they’ll make it look professional. Your site will use the most advanced web services available today. They might use java or flash, or some other technology that sounds very technical. They might even build a shopping cart for you.

Another million companies will tell you how great a job they will do hosting your website.

They’ll tell you they have great features. Your hosting account will support the most advanced technologies used today. They might support the java or flash, or other technologies used to develop your website. They might even provide a shopping cart with the hosting.

So what does a business owner really need to look for when choosing a company(s) to get started doing business online?

5 Important Tips for choosing the right ecommerce provider

Choose a complete provider–There are some out there. Many times business owners get stuck in the middle between the requirements of the website, and the hosting services needed to support it. The company you choose should be able to design your site and host it as well. If the design firm can’t host the site, think how difficult it may be to find a hosting company that will meet the requirements of the designed site. Selecting a firm that can provide you with both will save you time, frustration, and possibly even money. Some design firms offer discounts on packages when you choose to have them both host and design your site.

Look for examples–Ask the company you are considering doing business with if they can show you examples of similar sites they’ve previously designed and hosted . If the company has done a site for your type of industry or business previously, chances are they may be able to provide you with what you will need for your site.

Ask “What Else” you will need to get started–A website and hosting quote can be just that…A website and hosting quote. A quote doesn’t necessarily mean that your idea of what you want to accomplish is going to be what you get from your finished product. A good example of this occurs when a designing company can’t provide you with a payment gateway or merchant account in addition to your shopping cart. You may have a great looking store online that doesn’t take credit cards. Find out upfront if you will need to seek out other solutions in addition to what the company is doing for you.

Don’t be afraid to pay–In this day and age especially, the old adage “You Get What You Pay For” rings true. All those Do-It-Yourself tools and instant ecommerce sites aren’t going to get you where you want to be online. Professional services are always distinguishable on the Internet. Your Do-It-Yourself site…well…everyone who happens to visit your site will know you did it yourself.

Pay Attention to the conversation–Does the company you’re talking to answer the questions you asked? Do you get technical answers to business questions or vice versa? Or does the company actually pay attention to what you’re trying to do online and show you how they will accomplish it for you? If not, you’re talking to the wrong group of people. Step away, and try other companies until you get what you need.

Conducting business online doesn’t mean you have to shell out tremendous amounts of money to reap the benefits of the Internet. The Internet is geared towards helping those businesses with marketable products reach a much larger audience then they previously could achieve. As a business owner you want to receive the best service at the lowest possible price. If you don’t choose the right provider you can end up with the best price and the lowest possible service. So use these tips and choose wisely. Either way you’ll definitely see the results.

Checking for adequate file support

File Support
You would expect all web hosts to support the basic file types that are essential to the running of the most basic web site, after all, if a server doesn’t know how to deal with a HTML file and the images associated with it then it makes you wonder just how old it is! However, you cannot upload a file to a server and just expect it to work first time. Not all servers know what to do with different files, and may even mistakenly identify some of the more common file types if not set up correctly.

Problems may become apparent when you want to use any sort of files other than your typical HTML, JPEG and GIFs. Even something as simple as a Cascading Style Sheet can cause problems because the extension associated with it (.css) is confused for the lesser common mime type of Corel Slide Show.

File Extensions
How your server deals with various extensions will depend on the software it is running. On Windows systems, extensions are mapped to the application they are intended for, a file with an .pl extension is opened with the Perl Interpreter which then outputs the page dependant on the contents of the file. On a *nix system, the same .pl extension is not important, you would have to explicitly give the path to Perl in the first line of the script for the server to be able to know what program it should use to run the file.

When a server doesn’t know how to deal with a file it will do one of two things, try to open it as a plain text file, or try to download it. These default behaviors are usually undesirable, particularly if you want the file to be sent “as is” for your browser and it’s plug-ins to deal with. It also poses a possible security threat should anyone want to download a file (for example, one of your scripts) and see the paths and sometimes unencrypted passwords stored in them.

It is a good idea to test how your server deals with various file types before you go uploading anything with potentially sensitive content or source code. If the file types you want your server to support are not supported in the way that you would like, then it could simply be a case that the file extensions are not associated with the correct mime types. Depending on your host and server setup, you may be able to add your own mime types; which would even allow you to create your own file extensions and make people wonder just what sort of scripting language you are using!

Mime Types
It must be stressed that not all hosts will offer you the opportunity to add your own mime types and thus it is a good idea to make sure that the server supports all the file types you will be using.

If your host is running Apache, then you may be able to edit the Apache handlers and have files behave like something else entirely different. It is certainly possible to make an .html file parse server side includes by editing the handlers in this way. However, unless you need to parse all your files for includes, it is probably not worth it as this will cause all .html files to be parsed before sending to the browser, putting unnecessary strain on the server.

The basic features of a hosting plan

All hosting accounts offer a certain amount of disk space that you can use to store all your files. Exactly what is, and isn’t counted towards your disk space usage will vary from host to host; so make sure you check exactly what files you will need to allow for when deciding how much disk quota you will need.

It would be a good idea to have some sort of estimates on what you need for various tasks. How much space will you need for storing your email, web files, databases and log files? By breaking down your usage like this it will be much easier to work out how much space you should go for (once you know exactly what files are counted towards your disk quota).

All plans will certainly include all your web accessible files when calculating disk usage. Some hosts will also choose to include email and/or logs in the quota, which can make estimating your disk space requirements more difficult. While you may have a good idea of the disk space needed for your web files, your email and log file needs change constantly.

Should a host include all types of file storage in the quota, check to see if you can switch off your logs or exclude particular information. If the option is available it will save you a lot of disk space, particularly if you have a busy site. However, if you want to use any statistics package that is available with your hosting, you will need to allow some logging to take place.

If you enable your logs then it is also worth remembering that you might not be able to delete a log file from the server until the server has stopped writing to it. Daily logs are fairly manageable if you remember to log in and download and delete them regularly. Problems with monthly logs can arise if you underestimate your log space needs and you can’t delete the file until the end of the month; which could lead to an extra charge if you aren’t careful.

If your email settings and inboxes are included in your disk quota, it might be an idea to set the maximum size of each mailbox if it is possible. This will save you from storing too much mail on the server and inadvertently going over your limit.

Email Accounts
Email accounts are a common feature of hosting, particularly if you are hosting a domain. Some hosts will let you have control over your mail settings, putting restrictions on mail activities (for example the number of accounts or maximum size of mail boxes) on the server side. Other hosts will do all the set up for you, even though setting up of new mail accounts can be easier than you think with the right software support.

How you configure your email is a matter of personal preference, but there are essentially four main types of mail accounts; POP3, forwarding, aliases and autoresponders.

POP3 accounts are the traditional “inboxes”, you have space on a server to store your mail, allowing you to use an email program to log in and download your mail; each login and password combination usually equates to one account. This works a bit like an office inbox, the mail is left there until you do something with it; if it is full then your mail can’t be stored and bounces.
Forwarding mail accounts are useful if you want to send your mail to a service like SpamCop or other email filter before you receive it. Rather than store it on your mail server, it will redirect all mail to another single email address where it is dealt with appropriately. This kind of account is useful for redirecting your emails to a common POP3 box.
Aliases are names that can be used to identify different types of email account, redirecting them to POP3 mailboxes on the server or other addresses, where they are processed again if necessary. What happens to the emails will depend on whom they are being sent to. A catch all alias is often used to collect and deal with email sent to people or departments not recognised by your mail server.
Autoresponders are not an email account in their own right, however they do have their own email address and simply reply to anyone that emails them for information. They are useful if you want to send out pre-prepared information to people requesting it, as opposed to you replying to all the requests manually.
FTP Access
One other thing that is common amongst paid hosting accounts is FTP access. FTP programs allow you to upload files and to edit and delete your content on the server much more quickly than using a web-based interface. If you are hosting on a *nix system, you will also be able to change your file permission settings using FTP.

One of the better features I’ve seen offered with hosting, is the ability for you to create your own FTP accounts. This is great when you have someone helping out on the site or if you want to share your web space while keeping your user’s files separate from your own. How hosts go about this can vary.

Some hosts will let you act like a mini hosting company, where FTP accounts that you create takes them to a special users folder specifically for their files; keeping them from your main files. Other hosts will allow you to create FTP accounts that you can define exactly which folders they have access to, and exactly what they can (and can’t) do with them.

While having the ability to create multiple FTP accounts may seem trivial if you don’t intend to host other sites on your web space; it can be useful for allowing temporary or permanent access to anyone helping you with your site, without you ever needing to give out your own FTP account details. Now that is a feature worth having!

Web Hosts: Helping us navigate through this future techno-world

Computers, Internet, Web sites…what do they all mean? Hey, you’re probably not a technophobe, I mean you own a microwave right? Just push a few buttons and the food cooks itself-easy. Now, they tell you the best way to share information, have a business, and generally communicate in life, are on the Web. I don’t know about you but for me the Web conjures up visions of a giant spider whose sole intention is to turn me into a tasty appetizer. Computers scare me. People say they’re the tool of the future, but I find them to be quite alien, especially compared to my lawnmower! All the technical jargon associated with these machines, it’s like you have to have a university degree in Information Technology just to turn one on.

The key to solving the riddle is just to go back in time. Not easy?! Think about our ancestors, the prehistoric cave-dwelling hairy folk. How did they get the job done each day? Tools… Tools. A man had his stone axe to kill the wild beast; a woman had a basket to collect fruits and vegetables. Sounds a little sexist, but fortunately times have changed in a number of ways. In our modern society the main tool has become the computer and anyone can use it. In the old days a boy’s father would teach them how to throw the axe. These days Web Hosts exist to help people get acquainted with the Internet in much the same loving parental role. These companies provide knowledge and access to all the fundamental ways of taking part in using the space age super-tool. I’ve heard that having knowledge about something is half the battle of getting a job done. Having a Web Host is like meeting your mentor, the wizard who shows you the simple way to navigate through this new techno-world.

If you are a small business, a major company, or just an individual looking to spread a message to the rest of the world, the Internet or World Wide Web is your necessary gate of entry. Communication through Web Sites and Email systems is your means to partaking in the ‘new’ world. Whether you are searching for information, selling a product or idea, talking to friends, or just browsing through the ‘shop’ of life, Web Hosts are here to help you make the journey as enjoyable as possible. No more scratching your head in befuddlement, now there’s a star lighting the way through our fearful darkness.

Business Hosting Benefits

Just like all things in life, the ways to run a business are rapidly changing and evolving. The potential involved with having a domain name/web site is staggering to say the least. A web site gives the consumer a ‘shop front’ that is not only open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, but is also situated right on their desktop. Instead of being locked into only the immediate area, the whole world’s marketplace becomes your sphere of interaction.

Customers can access information on all your products, no more salesperson with limited knowledge trying to explain something they no little about. No more waiting in lines for help, all people have access immediately.

The domain name of the website gives great freedom to the business process. Having your own name is like having an address, then infinite emails can be added to the name so different departments within the company can be reached without having to wait at reception. For example, sales@ Mary’s Plants.com will put the shopper in direct contact with Mary’s sales section.

As a business, the domain name adds professional authenticity, as your address is not affiliated with other companies. In the area of communication, the email system opens up many avenues. Instead of having to put clients on hold because of limited personnel, innumerable emails can arrive at once, even when there’s no one in the office. Then you can pick and choose which one’s to reply to first (the most urgent), while people browsing can wait till later. First come, first serve becomes obsolete as necessary customers automatically reach the front of the line.

Getting a website and domain name is an easy, simple, cost-effective process. You can register your name through web domain registrars like DomReg-M6.Net for as low as $15.00 U.S. per year. That is definitely a very limited risk compared to opening a store, renting a location, and the thousands of dollars involved in overhead costs. How can this be true? A key to the door for anyone who wants to enter a mega-mall that is as big as the
Earth. Let’s hope you’ve got something special to share and trade with the global community!

How to choose a web hosting service

1. Support.
Is there really anybody there? Send them a question by email and see how long they take to respond. You want to know if they’ll be there when you need them. Some offer 24-hour support and a few will respond quickly. Speedy customer service is rare and indicates a superior service. I think that this is the single most important consideration. Also, check out the quality of their online documentation.

2. Server performance.
You want a server that is reliable and fast. There is a free tool available that allows you to evaluate this before making a decision! NetMechanic.com will measure the speed of access for all facets of access (network speed, DNS lookup, connect time, download time, and absence of timeouts). The “download time” statistic is the most important single item to compare. Collect your list of candidate hosting services and run side-by-side tests of all the candidates. Sample during peak and non-peak times for optimal comparison.

3. Are they familiar with the application you plan to use?
If you’re planning to use a particular application that requires special setup parameters (such as Online Merchant, a popular online store), make sure your potential host is familiar with the application. Otherwise you may find yourself spending a great deal of time trying to figure out how to configure it – perhaps never succeeding!

4. Traffic allowance.
Compare your traffic allowances. Some services give you a small limit on the amount of material that can be downloaded from your site each month and charge you large amounts when that limit is exceeded. Some offer huge traffic allowances (several thousand MB/month, where 1,000 MB = 1 GB) for the same price as others that limit you to a few hundred MB/month. Sure you probably need less than a hundred MB/month now, but why put yourself in a position where you have to move when your traffic takes off? Plan ahead and allow for growth.

5. Space.
How much space do you expect to eventually want for your web site? Planning ahead can save you lots of money later. If you expect to grow, look for a place that offers sites of 100 MB or more. Some services offer 500 MB sites for less money than others that offer only 30 MB.

6. Features.
Consider what features you want to simplify development of your web site.

-Do you want access to a cgi-bin so that you can install your own scripts? -Do you want many scripts pre-installed and pre- configured? -Do you want to be able to use Microsoft’s FrontPage? -Do you want autoresponders for email processing? -Do you want email aliases (automatic forwarding) so you don’t need to check email in more than one place?

7. Guarantee.
With so many hosting services to choose from, why not choose one that offers a guarantee? Services that offer a moneyback guarantee are confident that you’ll be delighted with their service.

8. Cost.
Look for hidden costs when comparing price.

-Do they expect you to pay for a long term in advance to get a good price? Choose one that doesn’t bait you with a low price that’s only available if you make a long-term commitment. -Will they handle the registration of your domain for free? -If you’re transferring an existing domain, will they submit the domain change to InterNIC for free?

Choosing an excellent service to host your web site doesn’t have to require luck. Knowing what to look for makes selection simple.

Tips On Shopping And Saving On Website Hosting

Having your own home on the internet is a great experience, whether you’re a small business owner or you just want a place to show off your latest pictures to your friends and family.

Nowadays, web hosting costs are very affordable and the prices keep going down. Years ago, people would pay hundreds of dollars a month for small web sites. Today that amount will allow you to run a large corporate business online, so things have definitely changed for the better.

As you look around online, you will see web sites that offer extremely low prices for their web hosting service, but remember this: you get what you pay for. It’s not that all of the really cheap web hosts are bad, but wouldn’t it be worth it to you if a few extra bucks a month gets you better service, security, and peace of mind?

Let’s take a look at a few things to consider when looking for your ideal web host. If a very cheap host can meet these criteria, you may have found yourself a fantastic deal!

Total Storage

Take a moment to consider how much web space you’ll actually need for your web site. Is this going to be a business web site or simply for personal use? If it’s for business, then you’re probably looking at more space. You may need to host lots of pictures or videos for customers to see and these can quickly eat up a good amount of web space. Will there be music on your site? Music files can take up a lot of space as well, so you need to determine what you’ll be hosting on your web site, in addition to your web pages, to see how much storage space you’ll need. Most host provide anywhere from 500 MG to 1 GB of more which is more than adequate for most (99% of) sites.

Data Transfer / Bandwidth

HJust what is bandwidth? It’s the amount of traffic that your web site is able to handle on a monthly basis. If you have a lot of pictures and videos on your site and a lot of people coming to your site to see them, that will eat up your bandwidth very quickly.

Not getting enough bandwidth is one of the biggest mistakes that new web site shoppers make! Start with at least one gigabyte and then see if you need more after you start receiving traffic to your web site.

Email “Aliases”

Make sure that your web host will allow you to have multiple email accounts for your domain name. Most web hosts will allow you to have hundreds of email accounts that you can use at your discretion. Also, be sure that they allow email forwarding and pop email access. This is really handy if you have a favorite email address that you like to use because you can forward any email addresses from your domain to another email address. It’s also very convenient in that you are able to keep all of your emails together.

Website Tools

Your web host should have an assortment of tools at your disposal that allow you to easily install blogs, forums, video applications, and even view traffic statistics all with the click of a few buttons. This will make your life much easier and save you a lot of time having to manage your site. If they don’t, then it’s time to move on to another web host that does!

Tech Support

If you’re new to running a web site and are pretty sure that you’ll have a lot of questions, this will be the most important aspect of web hosting for you. Make sure that they respond to all your questions, and reply in plain English, without technical mumbo-jumbo. Also, make sure they reply within a few hours, not days, because some problems just can’t wait. 24hrs a day, 7 days a week is important also. Be sure to read over their support policies and follow their guidelines because you’ll get better, faster service by doing so.

Web Host Ethics

Ethics may not be a word that you associate with your web hosting company, but it may be time for you to add this important aspect of online business practices to your criteria for who qualifies as a great web hosting company.
Most people think that you simply pay a web host to host your domain and web space and that’s the extent of the relationship, but there’s more to it than that. If anything, it’s the beginning of the relationship and as long as you’re paying for their services, there are certain ethics that a web hosting company should abide by to keep your business.

One are of ethics of a web host that you should look at is their commitment to up-time. Does your web host guarantee a certain amount of up time as a part of your web hosting package? How frequently do they have down time, and for what reasons? Do they schedule down time and let you know about it in advance? There’s nothing wrong with down time because it’s needed periodically to upgrade hardware and software, but does your web host give you fair warning?

When your site is down, you lose everything that site was designed for. You lose leads, income, and communication for everything connected to your site. Let’s say you’re trying to sell a product on your site on a specific day. You’ve set up traffic campaigns and you have subscribers on your mailing list. Then, out of the blue, with no warning whatsoever, your web host has your site down to perform maintenance and they never let you know about it? You’ve lost all of the momentum that you’ve spent days, weeks, even months building, all because your web host couldn’t take a few minutes to inform you of scheduled downtime.

Another aspect of web hosting ethics is server performance. In case you’re not aware, web hosting companies will put hundreds, if not thousands, of web sites on one server. How does this affect you? Well, you may not have a problem with that, but then one day you try to access your site and it takes forever for the home page to load. And you notice that you have the same problem with the rest of the pages on your site. Do you know what the problem is? Your web host has crammed too many web sites on one server and it’s more than the server can handle, causing your site to load slowly, if it loads at all.
Find out what kind of policy you web host has for how many websites are placed on one server. Talk to your web host about this issue and if you find that all of your web sites are on the same server, you can request that some of your sites be placed on different servers to help protect you from problems like this.

Clear, consistent, open communication is another ethical matter to consider with your web hosting provider. Does your web host contact you about anything that may affect your web site’s performance? Do they let you know about upgrades or maintenance? Does your web host inform you of any issues they have found with your web site or their servers? Do they let you know when you’re getting near your web space limits or bandwidth limits so that you can make the necessary adjustments?

Communication with support issues is another ethical issue to consider. If you send in a trouble ticket, does your web host let you know that they received your ticket and are working on it? Or do they leave you in support limbo and you don’t hear from them for several days? If they acknowledge your ticket, do they provide the help that you need for the issue? Or do they reply with a lot of nonsense that makes no sense to you?

The key here is to be treated with a respect that shows that the web host knows who pays their bills: you! When dealing with web hosts, remember that ethics is an important factor in whether or not you stay with the company or seek a web host that actually has ethics. Choose wisely and never settle for less.

Make sure you and your web host are a perfect fit

When was the last time you took a look at what you’re doing with your online activities? Do you feel that you’d like to do more but you’re not sure how? Do you think that you’re overextending yourself and you’d like to cut back?

Almost everyone’s online usage and needs are constantly changing, but seldom do we take a step back to assess our current situation, and then adjust accordingly. If you want to do more, then maybe it’s time to upgrade your web hosting needs and take your online activities to the next level. Or, if you’re spending money each month for web hosting that you’re not even using, then it may be time to downsize. You may also have several web hosting accounts in a variety of places and it may be more economical to consolidate these accounts with one company.

Regardless of your situation, there are web hosting services that will fit your needs and they’re only a few clicks away. Let’s take a brief look at what’s available and see what is a the best match for you.
There are three main categories for web hosts. They are free, budget, and full service. We’re going to look at each category and see how they differ. Once you’ve examined your own circumstances and know what kind of changes you’d like to make, you can find which of these types of web hosts are best suited to your current needs.

1. Free
If your online activities are more hobbies and fun than business, there are many free services that can more than fill that need for you. Places like Tripod, Google Pages, Blogger, WordPress, and MySpace are more than enough for personal interests or as a way to get your feet wet with experience. You don’t need to buy a domain name and they all provide free services for the beginner to try. If you want to start or increase your business activity online, then it’s time to upgrade to another type of hosting company.

2. Budget Hosts
If you’re on a shoestring budget but want to use a domain name, then budget is the way to go. When dealing with a budget web hosting provider, remember that you get what you pay for, and with a budget host you’ll get the basics. If you don’t need any type of secure ordering form or your business site is informational in nature, then a budget host will likely be all you need.

3. Full Service
It’s time to go with a full service web host when the primary source of your income is your online business. At this point you can greatly benefit from all of the features a full service host provides. To run a full time, online business you’ll need your web host to include such things as a shopping cart, secure ordering form, and administrative capabilities, not to mention all the plug-ins and extra that make it all run smoothly. You’ll also need reliable email servers and autoresponders to help build your business.

When you go with a full service host, make sure that you’re going to get 24 hour support from your web hosting provider. You should be getting all of your technical support questions answered in a few hours and not any longer than that. You’re paying more now so you should always get more.

Take a look at where you are with your online activities and where you’d like to be in the near future, then decide which type of service you should be using. If it’s just for personal use, then use some of the great free services that are available online. If you’re ready to go the next level, be prepared to pay for it and make sure you’re getting what you pay for.

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