Business Web Site Hosting and Automation

Business web site hosting plays a huge role in the automation of
your internet-based business. Business web site hosting plans
generally offer a lot of options that are not common to standard
web hosting services. In order for an internet business to be
automated, sometimes advanced web hosting features are necessary.
Advanced services offered through business web site hosting
programs may have extra costs associated with them, but the
availability of such options is necessary in many cases, even if
you intend to start with a small, simple website and gradually
automate your online business processes.

The most common processes to automate for the benefit of an
internet-based business are the sales and customer service
processes which can be incredibly time consuming. As an internet-
based business owner, you will find that the more tasks you can
automate, the better off you will be. Your time is much better
spent building your business than it is handling day to day
monotonous tasks. When reviewing and comparing business web site
hosting services, keep in mind not only the current, but also the
future automation needs of your business.

Sales processes are generally automated through the use of
various ecommerce solutions which enable customers to place
orders and to pay for them via the internet. Some common sales
automation tools that should be supported by your business web
site hosting company include the use of online catalogs,
electronic shopping carts and automatic payment processing
systems. The availability of email options such as setting up
auto-responders to send order confirmations and shipping
confirmations are also important features for business web site
hosting that have the potential of improving your customer
service while saving you time.

Automating confirmations helps to meet customer expectations
without taking time away from important matters that you need to
be concentrating on. Depending upon your shipping methods,
sending shipping confirmations can sometimes make it possible for
your customers to enjoy the benefits of tracking their own
packages rather than calling on your customer service
representatives to check the status of shipments.

The use of auto-responders as a follow-up marketing method, made
possible through some business web site hosting plans, is also a
great way to increase your sales. Whether email addresses are
collected from browsers or buyers, auto-responders can bet set up
to be sent to customers and prospects periodically which keeps
your business and your products or services fresh in their mind
while encouraging repeat business and referrals. Auto-responders
can also be used to answer commonly asked questions.

Some business web site hosting services charge a small fee for
each auto-responder that you send; however, some business web
site hosting packages allow you to send an unlimited number of
auto-responders without extra costs associated with them. When
reviewing and selecting a business web site hosting plan, this is
a feature to be taken into consideration.

Another thing to consider in regard to automating your sales
process is the options offered by a business web site hosting
service relating to scripts and software. For some sales
automation tools and website features, the business web hosting
that you select may need to support Real Audio, Real Video,
Shockwave, Java and other scripts and software. The required
support and compatibility between your business web site hosting
solution and your ecommerce solutions such as shopping cart
software, merchant account processing, and other real time
processing features should be considered.

Another feature of business web site hosting that may be
important to your business relates to various types of access
capabilities and fees associated with them. For instance, if you
share files with others via the internet or if your customers
need to have the capability of uploading information to you and
downloading information provided by you, FTP (file transfer
protocol) access is necessary to automate these processes. SSH
(secure shell) access may also be important to protect the
contents of files that are shared during the process of