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Frequently Asked Hosting Questions



In an effort to better help all our many users, we make this FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) section available here.

You will find answers to some of the questions that we get the most often. If you need further support, contact us today.

We also encourage you to visit our free web hosting tech support forum since it is jammed packed with very valuable information related to hosting.



Question:
What is email authentication? What is it used for?

Answer:
Your answer on email authentication can be found here.


Question:
When can I expect being able to view my new website, provided I have all the necessary files ready to upload to your servers?

Answer:
Our tech support department begins setting up your new Avantex Web hosting account upon receipt of a payment confirmation sent to us from your credit card company. This process normally takes only about 2 to 3 minutes. In order for you to be able to see your website, the following five conditions must be met:

1 - Your Internet domain name ( www.yourcompany.com ) either has to be newly registered by Avantex, or transfered to our servers if it already exists. If you are getting a new domain name, this will normally take about 24 hours to resolve itself on our servers and to insure it is correctly registered into the Internet's DNS (Domain Name System). If you are transfering your domain name to our servers from a prior Web hosting company, this process will again take approximately 24 hours to resolve itself.

2 - DNS has to assign an IP address to your domain name. This is the normal process of converting a domain name into a series of numbers that only computers understand.

3 - Web server space in allocated to your account - This is where we assign disk space and setup your domain on Avantex's servers.

4 - FTP user names and passwords are setup - This gives you permissions to upload, maintain and perform your necessary updates on your website, without any limits, 24 hours a day.

5 - E-mail accounts - email administrative (admin) access is set up on our email servers. This will allow you to set up your own POP 3 account using any standard email program such as Outlook, Outlook Express or Eudora (or any other standard email client).

All the above steps take place within an hour of placing your order with us. You can start uploading your web pages, pictures, graphics and files as soon as you receive your "Avantex welcome letter" with all the necessary FTP information. Your site will be active as soon as you upload any index.htm or index.html file on our servers.

In fact, as soon as your account is completed and your domain name resolves to our servers, you will automatically see the usual 'Plesk Default Administrator Page' which our servers create dynamically, letting you know that all is OK on our side.


Question:
I'm using Frontpage to build and publish my website. Does that mean I need to be on any of your Windows hosting plans?

Answer:
No. All our Linux hosting plans (except the ones at $3.95 and $5.95 a month) will support Frontpage extensions. There is no need to be on our Windows hosting plan.


Question:
I have Windows XP on my computer, so do I signup for the Windows hosting then?

Answer:
No. The operating system on your pc or workstation has no effect when selecting a hosting plan for your site. All our Web servers are fully transparent to the user.


Question:
Does your Linux hosting plans support ASP or .NET pages?

Answer:
No. Running ASP pages or sites developed using Microsoft's .Net on Linux is very limited in its use and we don't recommend it. Therefore, we will only support ASP applications and .NET on our Windows plan only.


Question:
What is the difference between Unix/Linux and a Windows hosting plan?

Answer:
Unix/Linux supports CGI, Perl, PHP and MySQL natively. Windows will allow you to publish in ASP and .NET pages, and has support for MS SQL and MS Access databases. Both our Unix/Linux hosting plans, as well as our Windows hosting plans run on Pleskô and is the industry leader in server remote control software.

Unless you have a special need or specific request for running Microsoft applications like ASP or .Net, any of our standard Linux hosting plans are best for your website, and they even cost less than a comparable Windows plan.


Question:
I have never used Linux before so I don't know if I can manage my website with your Linux plans. Does this mean I have to pay an extra for a Windows plan?

Answer:
No. Any of our hosting plans, Linux included, do not require you to have any knowledge of that specific operating system. For the most part, our Web servers are fully transparent to the user.

Our Pleskô control panel will help you manage things like email creation, password modifications, creation of new users, FTP parameter modifications, and a few other things. If you know how to use a mouse and keyboard, you will be able to easily manage your website with our easy-to-use Plesk control panel.

(Important note: However, this does not mean that our control panel will create your website. You will still need to have knowledge of how to create and design your site, write it in HTML, upload it to our servers, using FTP, etc.


Question:
What are MIME types?

Answer:
MIME Types allows you to set certain programs to be used for specific extensions. In easier-to-understand terms, MIME Types help your web server to identify what type of file is being requested by your browsers. For instance, when the web server gets a request from a browser such as Internet Explorer or Netscape, for a file that ends in .html, the web server knows that it is an html document because that extension is stored in the MIME Types.

If the web server gets a request from a browser for a file that ends in .gif, the web server knows that it is an image because that too is stored in the MIME Types. This applies to every file, image, application, etc. that may be requested by a web browser. If the extension is not stored within the MIME Types, the web server will not recognize it and will not be able to assist the browser and that particular file type will not be viewable by the user.

MIME types are identified by the server by the following format:

subtype/type extension

For example, adding the following two MIME Types will allow users to view ipx images on your web pages:

application/x-ipscript .ips
application/x-ipix .ipx

Where "application" identifies the subtype, "x-ipscript" identifies the application, and .ips identifies the extension used for that application.


Question:
Can I use the MIME types feature if I'm using FrontPage?

Answer:
No. This feature is not available for FrontPage users. If any MIME types are needed, FrontPage users will have to add them using FrontPage or else your web files may not be accessible online.


Question:
Which is the best way to choose the right Web hosting plan that is just right for our needs? There seems to be so many different plans to choose from. Why are there so many?

Answer:
Avantex has many different types of hosting plans, simply because there are many different needs, from one website to another. Depending on the number and range of features that are designed into your website, you may or may not need all the features that some of our plans have to offer.

Our hosting plans start at a low $ 3.95 a month. Our sales staff have the experience and the tools to carefully evaluate with you which hosting plan would be best for your needs. Once you have made a selection of the hosting plan that meets your needs, the same day (or at a future date), you can order additional services, such as domain name redirections, higher disk space, extra email addresses, an SSL certificate, etc.

Avantex provides you with different Web hosting plans for various user levels and needs to choose from, and your choice should be based largely on the following three factors:

       Your needed disk space.
       Your data transfer requirements.
       Your website's general content (including graphics).

Your needed disk space refers to the actual amount of space (data storage) that your website or Web applications will actually occupy on our servers. Disk space is always measured in MB (Megabytes). Your data transfer requirements are also measured in MB and are generated every time someone visits a page (or downloads a file) on your site. It is therefore a cumulative statistic. Data transfer depends on the actual number of people that visit your site and the size of the files on your site that are being viewed. The more viewers, the higher the transfer. The more content on your site, the more transfer per viewer.


Question
If I choose to get a virtual server with Avantex, do I get root SSH (shell access) to my virtual server?

SSH or shell access cannot be obtained with any of Avantex virtual servers. In order to get such permissions, you need to choose a Linux dedicated server from Avantex. We offer dedicated servers in both the Linux as well as the Windows operating systems. Prices are available upon request.


Question:
We are in a real hurry and we want to get our site setup as soon as possible. How long does it take to have our site 'up and running'?

Answer:
A new Avantex account generally takes only a few minutes to setup. All orders placed between 8.30 AM to 5.30 PM EST on weekdays are processed the same day. Note however that it normally takes about 24 hours for a .com domain name to resolve to our servers, once it has been instructed to do so (the DNS transfer). Once your account is activated, you will automatically get a confirmation email from us, with your detailed account information and all necessary technical information for your new Web hosting plan.

Note: Avantex cannot activate your account until payment is received by credit card. All payments from our users are normally done through credit cards and represent the fastest and safest way to settle your account with us. Still, if you prefer paying for your hosting with a company (or personal) check, please contact us by email and our accounting department will indicate to you the right way to proceed.


Question:
When people are surfing the Web, how will people and prospective clients find our new website? What can we do to get some visibility?

Answer:
That is a very good question. You can submit your website to several search engines such as Google, MSN, AltaVista, etc. and also directories like Yahoo and the Open Directory Project (DMOZ), to help new and existing customers find your site. You can also help prospective customers find your site if you have your site optimized by a professional SEO (Search Engine Optimization) firm. If you need help in locating such a firm, please contact us by email and we will do our best to recommend you a few names that we know are good.

Depending on the exact model of SEO program that you choose, (in a perfect world), ideally it will place your website at the top of the search engine results pages, over and above your competitors. Marketing your online business through these and other tools will help you reach new prospects & customers and hopefully increase your business.


Question:
Exactly what kind of technical support does Avantex offer it's clients?

Answer:
Our email technical support is recognized to be the very best in the industry. Avantex has full-time dedicated tech support representatives on duty 24 hours a day. Once a trouble ticket (or trouble email) is received, we start working on it immediately in 95% of the time. Additionally, from all of the continental United States and from any Canadian province, you can easily reach our help desk by our toll free 1-800 number. Avantex technical support is always open for email or phone support from 6.30 AM to 11.00 PM EST, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.

As a rule, we always encourage all our customers in need of assistance to send us an email with questions or concerns about their websites or our various hosting plans, as email is still today the fastest way to answer any of your technical inquiries, and it also provides us and yourself with valid records of all communications, which a phone call can never do. At all times, email tech support is around-the-clock. Technical emergencies will be addressed first, and support issues are handled in the order they are received.


Question:
Is there any reason why I cannot see my website using my IP address? When will I be able to see it? Is this normal, since it's the first time I'm doing this?

Answer:
Unless you clearly and specifically request a unique, static IP address when you place your order with Avantex, we always make use of virtual Internet IP addresses for all our users. For that reason, until you transfer your domain name to our servers, you won't be able to see your website. (Please note that there is an extra fee for static and unique (permanent) IP addresses. Contact us for a quote).


Avantex deals mainly with the largest IT firms in the hosting industry.

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