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Re: Choosing a Web Host
From Patrick Rogers at on 7 April '00
replying to Re: Choosing a Web Host posted by Gabriella

If you want to start out small(very small!) and work your way up, then BigStep might work out.

The thing to remember is that a lot of users still don't trust the internet, and template sites (like those hosting with BigStep) still carry an aura of untrustworthiness. People are going to feel more comfortable going with a vendor who looks like they've invested a fair amount of money and effort into their store, it feels safer, and it's hard to get that feeling with a big "powered by banner" and cheap-looking templates to work with.

If you do go with BigStep, my advice would be to put additional effort into making sure the site looks professional, get friends to critique it (you can ask people at the deadlock bbs to check it out too), and invest in The Non-Designer's Web Book by Robin Williams and John Tollet, it's very useful for refining the look of web-sites, particulary for people with little or no graphic design training (like myself).

Give BigStep a try, but be willing to spend a little money and effort, once you've proved that your web-site can work.

Good Luck!

>Hi Patrick. Thank you for your lengthy response. Just to get you thinking on the right track, my idea for a site is really just a venue for a hobby of mine (jewelry making). Recently I've been looking at, where you can build a store/site for free (with shopping carts, I believe) and merchant accounts cost $14.95/mo through the end of this month. Have you heard anything about them?
>I haven't gone live, but I've played around with building a webpage (done at their site). This is pretty slow, as I don't have DSL. I have also looked at sites of other BigStep users and they don't seem to load either very slowly or very quickly. How can I tell how fast someone's servers are -- just by using them?
>Thanks again!
>I'm trying to do exactly the same thing as you. Don't go too cheap, it's not worth it. I was using Hurricane Electric (, and couldn't find an adequate shopping cart for cheap enough to run on their servers, so I jumped ship and went to a host called adgrafix ( What a mistake! Their servers are unbelievably slow. I still haven't gone live, and my index page can take 1-2 minutes to load on a normal day! On HE's servers they took 10-15 seconds tops, on BAD days!
>>With HE you can get quite a nice set-up for $9.95 a month, and there are some decent shopping carts for $200-$300 (Don't get shareware, it's too buggy to put your name on it). Although, the one I recommend is Make-a-Store ( Their cart cost $1,000, but it's a one time fee, and it's worth the investment. If I hadn't blown so much trying to get this other shopping cart to work, and had gone straight to Make-a-Store, I would have been live months ago.
>>But don't just listen to me. Write out what requirements you need, and rate a bunch of the shopping carts out there. If you don't mind delving into the technical aspect of it, you can also take a look at Dansie Cart. (I think it's, but I'm not sure)
>>Good Luck!
>>>I'd like to build a website, more specifically a web storefront. I already have a domain name and am trying to figure out what to do about webhosting. Since I am just starting out, and not wanting to invest a lot of money, at this point, I noticed that there are some free webhosts out there. You probably know that their users build their sites online using their software/program. My muli-question is: do those sites work, would it be a big mistake to go this route, where can I find our more about this?
>>>This site is great, but as you can tell, I'm far from ready for it!
>>>Thanks for your time.

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