Hosting WSS 3.0
Many SharePoint hosting plans for Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 hosting include at no cost SharePoint templates that are instantly available for business situations, for example, such as Case Management for Agencies. These SharePoint hosting templates capture common functionalities, roles, and requirements of specific business processes or sets of tasks in groups and organizations. They can be applied to common business tasks, such as managing a help desk or expense reimbursement, to easily creating useful web-based applications. You can get basic Microsoft SharePoint hosting for as little as $8.95/month for unlimited users and with that package forty free SharePoint hosting templates for business that were developed by Microsoft.
The Case Management for Government Agencies application template, typically included at no cost with Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 hosting, helps agencies track the status of open cases. Using this hosted SharePoint template, case administrators have the option to designate a case as open or closed, upload supporting documents for a specific case, and assign a case to the case manager responsible for the case. The SharePoint hosting template also provides user specific screens that show cases and tasks ascribed by the user. In a single location, tasks can be created for each individual cases and supporting documents can be uploaded to help case managers maintain to do items and related information.
The SharePoint hosting templates are usually available instantly at no cost when one signs up for a basic SharePoint hosting plan. One can select site and workspace templates when setting up a new hosted SharePoint site via the Create page. The default templates that are included with SharePoint WSS 3.0 are arranged under two tabs in the Template Section area of the new SharePoint Site. The templates can be modified and saved under a different name. Thus, useful hosted SharePoint applications for your organization are available for use in less than half an hour.
Making a mistake with your business domain hosting can come back to kick you. Big time.
A few years ago, I learned this the hard way.
I had been paying about $120 a year for my business web hosting service, where I kept several of my own and my clients' sites. Everything was fine -- good service, good uptime, good speed -- it was just that I was cheap, so I went for one of those low cost web site hosting plans that sell for $10 a year on eBay.
And, for a while, it was good. Everything seemed just fine, similar to my more expensive hosting.
Until one day when I went to open one of my websites, and it wasn't there. Nor was the next one. Nor the next one. Worst of all, my clients' sites were all down as well.
Emails to customer service were not answered for a few hours. Then, getting more desperate, I called. No answer.
After a day of this, I started transferring my clients' sites to my old host. Except one of them, a small startup company, had their email network all integrated into my cheap web site hosting service ... and we needed the hosting company to "release" a few things so we would have access to it. Without it, my client had no email. And was not happy about it.
After several days, still no response from the cheap host.
In the end, I never heard anything from this company. I assume they went under, without even a courtesy email to that effect. We were finally able to nab my client's email accounts back, but it took several days.
What did I learn from this?
Getting the lowest price does not mean getting the best deal.
For business web site hosting there are a number of important things to look for, all necessary for an effective web presence:
- Up-Time - This is how long your web site is actually online, and viewable. You'd be amazed at the number of times your site can be down, without you even knowing. It seems almost every host claims "99% Uptime," but unless it is an ethical provider, it just isn't true.
- Speed - Web site travelers are an impatient lot, they simply will not wait while your web site loads. While there are certain things you can do on your website to keep things moving along, if your host is causing the slow down there is nothing you can about it except say, "asta lavista."
- Security - A good host will offer you viable security measures for both your information and site, and, if you're interacting with your visitors, their personal information.
- Band Width, Band Width Transfer - This is basically how much information is moving through your site ... if too limited, you will not be able to deal with all the traffic coming to your site.
- Number Of Sites Hosted - If you plan to host more than one site, it is possible to get hosting that includes "unlimited" number of sub or add-on domains, which basically allows you to host as many different sites as you'd like.
- Customer Service - This is, obviously, of great importance. If something should go wrong, or you need to learn how to do something, or something is not working right, you have to have quick and understandable support (preferably in the language you speak!).