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South African
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    faq on hosting

Web Hosting Services - Frequently Asked Questions

What's wrong with using my ISP's free web space ?
What's the cheapest hosting price, and what do you get ?
Standard hosting ?   What's that cost and what does it include ?
Can I maintain my own site remotely ?
What are the pros and cons of having my own domain name ?
I already have my own domain name. Can you take it over ?

  What's wrong with using my ISP's free web space ?  

The cheapest option for hosting is obviously to use your free personal webspace from your service provider. You're not supposed to put commercial pages there but it seems a pretty common practice. For a low traffic site the drawbacks wouldn't be too severe. But be aware that you'll have no forms support, statistical analysis or support for CGI scripts. Search engine spiders may be repelled by "robots.txt" barriers that the ISP installs. Virtual server support and IP pointing is unavailable which means that you cannot point your own domain name to this webspace and therefore will be stuck with a long unwieldly URL made up from your username that to all the world looks like a freebie deal. This is probably quite contrary to your objectives. You also have no guarantee that your URL (specifically the directory path designation) won't be changed by the ISP which will cause all search engines to lose your site.

  What's the cheapest hosting price, and what do you get ?  

What we call "Passive" webspace is rented out at R 180,00 per month plus vat. We do not give any support other than providing the technical information you require for your FTP and other connections. The web designer is expected to be reasonably competent and to have an understanding of bandwidth implications. No access to our CGI-bin scripts is given but we will give detailed quarterly server log analysis on request. You maintain the site (see "Can I maintain....." below) and our interaction is minimal.

  Standard hosting ?   What's that cost and what does it include ?  

"Full Service" webspace costs R285,00 per month plus vat.

The following services are provided;
  • Search engine registration with continued monitoring and optimising for specific keywords. This includes the International as well as South African engines and, if required, focus on the regional African directories.
  • CGI script access and support. This includes "formmail" scripts (such as completing booking or enquiry forms) and guestbooks.
  • Full server log analysis for your site. This is particularly important in respect of checking visit trends, search engine referrals and visitor behavior after site entry. For an example of this analysis see
    www.webpro.co.za/clients/afhash/sitestat.htm.
  • Minor content changes to existing pages. eg. Price updates, text corrections, deletions and short additions.
  • On-page counters.
  • No-charge telephonic support and advice in respect of general internet marketing issues.
  • Assistance and support for optimising graphics, HTML coding problems, site design and page structure.
  • Scanning services.
  • Website Owner's Newsletters to keep you abreast of new developments, technologies, and issues on the subject of internet marketing.
  • Access to our technical pages and other resources containing information of interest to website designers, owners and web entrepreneurs.
The following conditions would apply;
  • Provision of all the above services is subject to the concept of "reasonable use".
  • We do reserve the right to control the amount of downstream traffic and unreasonable use of bandwidth. Sites that provide large data files for downloading are discouraged as this slows the access for all websites, and our concern in monitoring the thruputs of others ensures quick delivery of your pages to your visitors.

  Can I maintain my own site remotely ?  

Sure you can! And this could be either a "Passive" site or a "Full Service" site.

For "Passive" sites we will advise you of the directory alias and you then FTP in and out.

For "Full Service" sites we will install a FTP client program on your own computer and guide you through the process of copying files up to and down from the server. You can keep a full copy of the site on your own machine and we will help you amend code so that the entire site will run with the correct directory referencing on your own remote machine. Only amended pages would be copied back up to the server.

These remote maintenance features make it possible for an American to control pages on our server which are largely viewed by Indian Ocean Island and Australasian visitors. Perhaps one of the more truly global businesses around.

What are the pros and cons of having my own domain name ?  

For a cost of R 585,00 (plus VAT) you can register and own your own domain name in the South African namespace of the Internet. Your URL, or "website address" if you prefer, would then be styled www.your-name.co.za instead of www.webpro.co.za/clients/your-name/

The advantages include;
  • A more professional image is projected. If you own your own domain name it conveys the message that you are taking the Internet venture seriously.
  • There is more chance of people remembering a simple root domain that a complicated sub-domain address. And there is also more chance that someone who can't find you by conventional search methods might be able to guess your address.
  • e-Mail can be aliased for any number of end-user names at your domain address and all that mail will be aliased tp your true e-mail address. So you could have mail sent to sales@your-name.co.za and to accounts@your-name.co.za and it all goes to your private dial-up mailbox at your-name@big-isp.co.za
    The perception (let's avoid the word illusion) of the size of your organisation would be "bigger".
  • You are not tied to a particular web hosting service as you would be if you were using a sub-domain. If you move your site's location your domain name does not change, but that is not the case if you use your own domain name.
  • Some search engines score the relevance of a keyword more significantly if it appears within the root section (as in the domain name) of the URL.
  • You also avoid the possibility of search engine rejections from those engines that are refusing sub-domain URLs.

The administrators of the Co.Za domain now charge an annual registration fee of R50,00 per annum.

And what will Webpro do for the domain name setup charge ..... ?

  • the registration with Uniform/ Posix uniform
  • the once-off registration payment to Posix
  • the lodging of registration paperwork
  • the mail header rewrites
  • the allocation on an IP address
  • the pointing on the Domain Name Servers
  • and the virtual domain setup on the Webpro server.

and what if I wanted a COM, ORG or NET domain ..... ?

Cost is R 390,00 (plus VAT) plus US$ 100,00 (about R500). There will also be an annual renewal fee of US$ 20,00 per year. The "international" domain names are more difficult to administer and aliasing of mail across the world increases the chances of mail problems. Our recommendation would be to not use these domain suffixes unless you particularly want to hide your physical location. You may also need to question whether your organisation would benefit from a more "global" feel given by the generic domain suffix.

  I already have my own domain name. Can you take it over ?  

We cannot give out free domains with hosting. There are associated charges. And a lot depends on who is the registered "Administration Contact" for the site. If it's Internet Africa, you're in luck. If they're a different friendly and helpful bunch, then you're also in luck. But they may not want to help if you're moving the hosting, and maybe they think they own your name, in which case you're fresh out of luck!

But first let's assume the 'Admin Contact" is a nice person who happily agrees to repointing your domain name on their DNS (Domain Name Server) to the new IP address we allocate to you. Then there's no extra charges. It takes a day or two while servers elsewhere refresh their caches and away we all go.

And if you own a domain name, but do not have an "Assigned Administrator" (which is what happens with .com domains purchased over the internet, then iAfrica will do the administration (and DNS maintenance) for you but there will be a once-off charge of around R400

If you do not own a domain name at all, then we can arrange the name and have iAfrica administer for R585+v. Also a once-off charge.

Not sure who is controlling your domain? Then click here to find out. This site is operated by Posix who look after the South African Internet Namespace
Your name should appear against 2 (a)(b)(c), that's the site owner.
The "Administrator" appears against 4 (a)(b)(c)(d)(e), that's the people who have to issue the repointing instructions, and they are the only ones that Posix will take instructions from.

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