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I have our domain name registered but it is not hosted yet. I know who is going to design the site but am still working on more designs before giving her the green light. However, I am getting ready to have business cards and custom labels made for our shirts and obviously want the website name on them. What do I need to do to just have the website say that it is currently under construction and will be launching soon (or something similiar). Thanks in advance for any suggestions or input. EB
 

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EngBullDog,

I was in the same boat as you. I simply made a nice simple graphic with my logo that said "Coming Soon" and below that "July 2006".

I would advise against using the words Under Construction.
 

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Thanks to all of you for advise. Now on to hosting I guess, I know there are several older posts to go back and research so I will get to it. One more question though, I don't want to pay alot to host a site that isn't running yet and only says coming soon, etc. But eventually plan to have a quality site together and expect to pay for it. Is there anyway to kind of separate this or is it a flat fee once you sign up with a hosting company. Thanks again
 

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Is there anyway to kind of separate this or is it a flat fee once you sign up with a hosting company. Thanks again
Nope. Hosting is just hosting. You can use it in the meantime to upload files and test out your site design, but even if it's for a "coming soon" page, you'll still have to pay the "regular" hosting costs.

Some registrars allow you to create a "coming soon" type page without using a separate webhost, but I really think it would be best just to go ahead and signup for a regular hosting account and get yourself familiar with it while your site is being developed (unless you're thinking of being "under construction" for like a year or something).
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks Rodney, well I know you have been doing this for some time now and offer alot of advice on ecommerce site design, shopping carts, etc. Is there any one hosting company that you would recommend that stands out.
 

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If price isn't a concern and you want just great reliability, I'd go with pair.com. They are the only shared host that I've used (and still use) and would recommend without question.

Otherwise, I've heard lots of good things about lunarpages.com, but I've never used them.

As you've said, there are a lot more recommendations in the hosting recommendations threads of the past.

Maybe someone else has some other input as well :)
 

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Well I have been in contact with my site builder all day. She is my best friend's cousin and is a full-time programmer for the federal government in D.C., she also builds sites on the side and has a killer portfolio. I asked her about lunarpages.com and pair.com, she recommended lunar to me but we ended up deciding on verio.com for hosting. I haven't sealed the deal yet so if anyone has some negative history with them let me know ASAP (please, lol)

Here is a response from her.............maybe it will help somebody one day.

"I checked out the two hosting sites you mentioned and would go with LunarPages.com's Business Hosting plan if I were to choose between the two. Pair.com doesn't support ASP or JSP (only PHP/Perl) -- ASP and/or JSP are much better/faster. It also falls within your monthly budget for site hosting expense. The one I'd recommend would be Verio's Windows eStorefront Plan (ShopSite Manager Pro) (http://www.verio.com/windows-estorefront). It offers 20 gigs of disk space and 500 gigs of bandwidth, as opposed to 8 gigs of disk space and 500 gigs of bandwidth with Pair. Although the bandwidth is the same, the key is the storage space -- you're gonna need that if you're going to have a growing ecommerce site (with lots of t-shirt images, both thumbnails and larger). It also supports ASP.NET, which is the bomb (in my opinion). I've built shopping carts before with that, so I'll know the environment I'm working with. I also like the tech setup and support with live tech chat and 24/7/365 monitoring. That's the one I'd go with, but the decision is yours of course"

Thanks again for your responses and input, EB
 

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ASP and/or JSP are much better/faster
Actually, I think this is more of a "preference" choice rather than ASP/JSP being "Much better/faster".

Most of the great open source/free shopping carts (cubecart, oscommerce,zencart, etc) run on PHP/perl/cgi/mysql. I think most of the carts I've seen run on php/mysql.

ASP is a microsoft windows based programming solution. She will probably recommend that if that's what she's more familiar with.

If you decide "not" to use her to make your site, I think you'll have an easier time finding php/mysql programmers to work on your site than ASP/JSP. Php is also not too hard to pick up on when you need to edit something.

I use shopsite pro on one of my sites and it is very good shopping cart software. But that's available at pair as well as verio. Both hosts have been around and established for a long time.

Again, it's just a matter of preference really. But I personally would go with a php/mysql based solution rather than an ASP based one.

If you plan to always be totally "hands off" in the site development, then it probably doesn't matter too much as long as your site works :)
 

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By the way, you were talking about "temporary" hosting while you just have an under construction page and I happen to run across this free hosting offer from microsoft last night:

http://officelive.microsoft.com/officelivebasic.aspx

Looks like it is free hosting with a free domain name and some site builder tools (which could help with a quick under construction page). I haven't tested it out yet and read all the details, but it looks interesting...
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Rodney, thanks for the reply. It looks like verio has a starter package and a separate complete business package. I talked to them and am going to begin with the starter program and then upgrade when we build the site. I am actually pretty decent with computers and various programs. I imagine I will eventually want to get more involved, for now though I have been overwelmed with learning how to screen -print, burn screens, etc. Next is getting more familiar with the software graphics, and then I will look into becoming more familiar with website skills/creativity. Thanks again for your input and initial advise.
 

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It also might be nice to have a little script set up where people can add their e-mail addresses for newsletters, therefore even before you launch you have a small customer base. That way once you officially launch, you can e-mail everyone who has checked you out in the past and give them the opportunity to buy some of your designs.
 

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I use shopsite pro on one of my sites and it is very good shopping cart software. But that's available at pair as well as verio. Both hosts have been around and established for a long time.
Shopsite is wonderfull, but Verio is the worst host ever. do not use them, unless you want a nightmare. Their tech support is in Inda, and they dont know crap about their products. Their servers are slow.

Shopsite is the best shopping cart available in my opinion, but it is expensive. Its more geared for companies with alot of products, and complicated pricing systems though. Thats why it is so expensive, because of all the features it has. lexiconn.com is a good host, that supports shopsite well, and has fast servers.

I think that you would be fine with something like x-cart.com . Its a cheap program that doesnt have alot of features, but for a t-shirt company you dont need them.
 

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It offers 20 gigs of disk space and 500 gigs of bandwidth, as opposed to 8 gigs of disk space and 500 gigs of bandwidth with Pair. Although the bandwidth is the same, the key is the storage space -- you're gonna need that if you're going to have a growing ecommerce site (with lots of t-shirt images, both thumbnails and larger).
That sounds crazy to me. What kind of t-shirt site is going to feel the pain of a mere 8gb of storage? You could host a 90 minute video documentary on your company and still have plenty of room to spare (for storage... that could chew through your bandwidth pretty rapidly).
 

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Solmu said:
That sounds crazy to me. What kind of t-shirt site is going to feel the pain of a mere 8gb of storage? You could host a 90 minute video documentary on your company and still have plenty of room to spare (for storage... that could chew through your bandwidth pretty rapidly).
lol. that's a good point though. plus if you're optimizing your pics for the web, so that your pages don't take five weeks to load, they're even smaller in size.

I recently signed up with hostgator.com and although I have no real experience with their uptime yet (I'm planning to figure out cubecart this weekend) I was happy that I didn't have to drop $120 all at once or sign a contract to be locked in for a year. I'm just paying $10 a month, and I'm definitely cool with that right now with my limited funding issues. ;)

After the research I did, I decided that flexability is the key to web hosting... and we all know that indecision is the key to flexability.

:)
 
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