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Online tax tips, counter space-saver, choosing an ISP.

When Louise Kursmark, owner of Best Impression in Cincinnati, decided to promote her resume preparation business on the Web, she used her desktop publishing skills to design the site herself. To make sure months of planning and design work didn't go to waste, Kursmark chose her Internet service provider (ISP) carefully.

Whether you design your own site or hire a professional, carefully interview prospective ISPs before uploading your site. Here are some questions to ask:

  • How much server space will I have? "It's important to check what your limits on graphics will be before you start designing your site," explains Kursmark.
  • How much access will I have to my site? If you plan to update your Web site regularly, you want an ISP that allows you enough access to make necessary changes.
  • What kind of technical support will I receive? When you're a small-business owner without a support staff, tech support becomes even more vital.
  • How does the ISP handle system failures? Backup systems should be in place so your site doesn't go down if the system fails.
  • Is forms hosting provided? This allows site visitors to use fill-in forms to communicate with you.
  • How long has the ISP been in business? You want an ISP that will stick around, so choose one that's been in business at least one or two years.

Donna Chambers is a freelance business writer and small-business owner. She can be reached at

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