Project #79709 - Principles Web Development



Congratulations! After a judicious round of user testing, Sunholm Solar has decided that the website you’ve created for them is ready to be deployed live on the Internet. There’s just one catch: Sunholm Solar doesn’t want to run its own Web server, and the company executives really don’t know what Web hosting company to use. Only a few days remain before the company’s planned market launch, so they need to find a Web hosting company fast.


(Review the Scenario Summaries in the You Decide assignments for Weeks 1, 2, and 5 for more information on Sunholm Solar.)




You are an independent Web developer who was hired by Sunholm Solar for the job of designing and building their new website. Now that the site itself is finished, the company has requested that you provide the additional service of recommending a Web hosting company for the site. You are meeting with Sunholm Solar executives to determine their hosting needs, after which you will prepare a memo with your recommendation.




Hugh Holben (President and CEO)


"Wow, we seem to always be calling these meetings on a rush basis. Thanks for being so responsive. We love the job you did with the website, and now we really need your help to make it go live on the Web right away. For that, I understand we need something called a Web hosting company. We certainly don’t want to get bogged down in running a server ourselves; we know a lot about solar power but not much about the Internet.


I did a little research myself. It seems like there are plenty of companies that provide this service, and they offer a lot of different features. I’m not sure which ones we really need. For example, it looks like we can get our content onto their servers in different ways. There’s something called FTP, but I don’t really know what that is. Remember, we’ll need to maintain and update the site after it’s launched, and as much as we like you, we don’t want to have to call you back for every little change. So make sure there’s an easy way for us to get our changes onto the site.”


Susan Dalton (VP of Marketing)


“One of my big concerns is how people are going to find the site? We’ll be doing some advertising featuring the URL, but we also want people to be able to find us using Google and other search engines. When anyone searches for “solar power”, we want our site to be at or near the top of the results; certainly on the first page. Is that something the hosting company can help us with?


I’m also thinking about what we might want to do in the future. Right now we’re not actually selling anything on the site, but down the road, who knows? We might branch out into selling accessories or upgrades online. It would be nice to have that option, but it’s not critical, and we wouldn’t be using it right away.”


Janet Mclane (CFO)


“Obviously, we need to keep the cost down. We’re a startup company and not making any money yet. And I wouldn’t want any bad surprises. As long as the cost is reasonable and predictable, I can budget for it. But if we get a lot of traffic to the website, is that going to bump up our costs, like going over my monthly minutes on my cell phone plan?”


Steve Garry (VP of Operations)


"Well, cost is important, but so is the level of service we get. We’re depending on the website to bring us customers, so if it goes down, no customers! We need something that’s reliable. And if there’s a problem, I have a feeling I’m going to be the one on the phone, so we need to be sure we get good customer support. Make sure you look into that. ”

Research five hosting companies and compare their

  • features (FTP vs. web upload, Site Builder, etc.);
  • prices;
  • service level (uptime, database support, PHP/ASP.NET support, throughput/bandwidth);
  • customer support;
  • ease of e-commerce integration; and
  • SEO support.

In a one- to two-page business memo to your client, compare and contrast the different hosting plans. Choose the best hosting business for your client, and explain your choice. You may include a chart, but be sure to describe your recommendations about which of these host plans has the characteristics required to best serve your client’s needs. Are there any plans that are comparable? Are there any that are unsuitable?



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Due By (Pacific Time) 08/22/2015 12:00 am
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