For any webmaster, it’s extremely important that your current web host has the ability to accommodate the latest types of applications that are taking over the internet. Gone are the days where a couple kids with an HTML 101 book from high school could create some of the most complex and intuitive websites on the net. In a world where a site visitor expects a little more than just a “picture and a paragraph”, are you going to be ready to build and maintain a website to handle a community, or are you just going to be posting the same old boring articles up that you can find in 100 other different community?
One thing that you really need to think about is the above-mentioned “community”. Today’s visitor expects to be able to not only communicate and gather information from you or your company, but your other customers and visitors as well. Even if you run a website that doesn’t have a whole lot of popularity, communication between your customers is still essential. If a customer or client has never heard of you, that’s okay. But if they discover that nobody has ever heard of you or done business with you, then that’s a different story all together.
Think about this. When you’re shopping around, don’t you feel a little more comfortable when there are other cars in the parking lot and other customers around you? Nearly every town has a little section where there’s a bunch of gas stations or restaurants. Ever notice how all the people tend to congregate around business and leave the empty ones alone no matter what the prices or services seem to be like? The point is that if you don’t have a heavy traffic flow, take the steps necessary to increase it. But in the mean time, you want to make the visitors you do have as visible and as social as possible.
Sometimes it’s necessary to incorporate a rating system within your website, but what most webmasters don’t understand is that a simple 5 star system just doesn’t cut it anymore. People want to see reviews, they want to know who’s creating those reviews, and they want them to be as detailed as possible.
Now, reviews on a website… in the short run it doesn’t take a whole lot of advanced technology, scripting, or hosting features. All it really requires is a simple entry into a MySQL database and a small PHP script to output it to the page. But what about management? Automated spam tools are becoming more and more advanced lately and reviews are one of the biggest targets people go after. You want to make sure that you hosting company supports as many anti-spam techniques as possible in order to keep your website professional and orderly.
The good news is that many programming techniques can be easily incorporated to ensure that your website is as social and spam-free as possible. Languages like Perl and ASP.NET can do things simple PHP could never dream of. Advanced server monitoring allows you to watch who goes in and out of your website like a security camera. Some hosting companies will even alert you when they think that you’ve had a major spam or hack attempt, and assist you with stopping it, fixing it, and preventing it from happening again. It’s features like these that will advance those that keep up with the times and destroy those who don’t. Make sure that you’re making the right choice with your business.
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