Saturday, August 11, 2012

Web Hosting Strategy for Managing Multiple Websites

Web Hosting Strategy for Managing Multiple Websites

If you are making a comfortable living from the Internet and the Web or have a plan to achieve that goal, it's likely that you are running more than ten websites. The websites are your virtual offices. You want to your sites to be up and running 365 days, 7 days a week and 24 hours a day. Managing multiple websites is a daunting task if running one website is a hobby.

Proposed Hosting Strategy for Managing Multiple Websites

The hosting strategy we propose is to host your multiple major websites with 3-4 different hosting companies, and open a reseller account with another hosting company for 1) small and new websites, 2) web development and 3) backup. Hosting with too many hosting companies will significantly increase the time and the difficulty of managing sites, and using a single hosting company isn't a smart choice either.

Justification of the Hosting Strategy

Cost - Cost of the Web hosting isn't an issue for running a single web site whether it costs $5 or $25 a month. The difference is only a few hundred dollars or less a year. It's always nice and smart to get the most out of every single dollar in doing business. At least, a few hundred dollars difference wouldn't make or break a business. If you run 10 or even 50 websites, the cost of Web hosting alone will define the success or failure of your online adventure. To cut the hosting cost, the option is to use a reseller hosting account to host as many small or new sites as you want for about $15 a month. You host one or 2 major websites with one hosting company. Shared hosting account costs under $10 a month, and dedicated server will cost $50 or more a month.

Uptime - If your bread-and-butter maker website is down for a few hours, you'll lose hundreds of dollars and more. Even though most hosting companies promise 99.9% uptime, it's not common to see a website down for a few hours. A site could be down for a half day or even more if a hosting company is doing a major update. The hosting company may do the update in a weekend or a major holiday, but that's when many family-oriented and travel sites generate their revenues. If you could afford the loss of revenues, many websites owners can't bear the psychological loss and pressure. Hosting your sites with a few hosting companies will reduce the risk of downtime.

Application Development - For simple web application, webmasters will do development on the same production hosting site. If your ecommerce applications are complex, doing development on the production site may bring down the live site especially if you're in the process of changing configuration files or install customized applications. The option is setup a website on your reseller account for development and testing, and move the applications to production account on another server after the completion.

Backup - If you're not happy with a hosting company, a hosting company is out of business, or the servers will be down for a day or two, you can easily temporarily or permanently switch from one hosting company to other since you're familiar with the site managing tools already. If you have a backup or secondary copy running on another server, all you need for the switch is the transfer of the domain, which will take no more than a minute.

Shop Before You Buy

There're too many hosting plans to choose from a large number of hosting companies - ASP Web Hosting, Budget Hosting, Dedicated Servers, eCommerce Hosting, FrontPage Web Hosting, Hosting With Templates, Managed Web Hosting, PHP Web Hosting, Reseller Hosting, Shared Hosting, Unix / Linux Hosting, Virtual Private Servers, Windows Hosting or Co-location Hosting. Compare the cost, hosting features, tracking records of hosting companies before making your commitment. Good luck with your online adventures.< /p>

Friday, August 10, 2012

To Host Or Not to Host, That is the Question

To Host Or Not to Host, That is the Question

This is the scratchy head topic that all forward-thinking businesses deliberate on. It is a subject of great financial debate for companies, small to large and the decision to host or not to host can either save you money or pour much needed cash-flow from your IT budget straight down the drain. However, there is sound reasoning for the decision to use hosted solutions and we will discuss the pro's and con's so that you can make the right choice for your company, when the inevitable discussion arises over the boardroom table.

You may have seen lots of interesting offers about "cloud services" and "business virtualisation" but at the end of it all, there is no better word for hosted services than 'hosting'. Hosting is for ease of understanding, internet-accessible hardware. What I mean by this is that all of the hardware that would usually be sitting in your internal communication or server room is sitting in someone else's and you have a secure direct tunnel to these systems over your home or office internet connection.

There are many types of hosted solutions on the market such as, dedicated server hosting (individual servers that you have full control over), virtual private server hosting (multiple software-based servers spread over a single hardware server), managed hosting (services that are managed by your hosting company rather than you), unmanaged hosting (services that are managed by you with only light support from your hosting company), collocation hosting (your own hardware hosted in another company's data centre), but I am going to concentrate on a particular type of hosting that I would recommend for standard day-to-day business activity. This is managed web and email hosting.

So you're a small company with 5 to 20 staff members thinking about investing in some serious internal hardware and kitting out your office with business servers. Or, l et's say you're a medium sized company of 25 to 50 people with 4 to 5+ year old infrastructure acutely thinking it's time for an upgrade. Well, before you start running to your Financial Director or business partner asking to spend anything from £10,000 to £50,000 payable in one go, why not investigate the hosting route as you will not only reduce your immediate financial exposure dramatically, but you will also be investing in business protection, both monetarily speaking and systems-related.

Investing in managed web and email hosting is a very cost effective way of progressing the technology in your company. Your websites and emails are all stored on secure servers outside of your working environment, managed and supported by qualified technical support staff and you have a direct secure tunnel to these servers using your internet connection on your computers or even on your mobile phones. Immediately you have reduced the risk on your business and have se t in place reliable continuity elements. In a hosted environment the IT backbone of your company (and for the majority of companies these are your website and emails) resides on an external source and should an emergency occur internally such as an office fire, theft or terrorism, all of your core systems are protected and will remain operational. In addition to this, software/hardware upgrades, service packs, extra modules for your hosted hardware are all handled by your hosting company which enables you to use the latest technology without investing in any further personal time or money. Not to mention the most important part of hosting, a Network Uptime and Service Level Agreement and if you use one of the top hosting companies that provide this at a 100% level, you are guaranteed a 24/7/365 provision on the accessibility and security of your technology or more importantly, your business.

However, should you decide to host your core business solutions internally, yo u are not only putting all of your eggs in one basket, forced to lay out a tremendous amount of money that for small companies just is not practical in terms of cash-flow, but you also cannot guarantee to customers, investors, shareholders, partners, staff a 100% uptime and are utterly reliant on internal staff for support and additional third parties for countermeasures, all levying costs. Ultimately, should any emergency occur, your business will come to a standstill.

Therefore on security and continuous business activity alone, the financial burden and company exposure of using internal hardware completely outweighs the actual risk of not hosting your core business IT structure. So why isn't everyone using hosted solutions then?

People fear what they cannot see or touch and therefore using hosted services for some is a risk. Since they cannot control the source then it is deemed as being out of their control. However, this is a good thing as that contro l hinges on the hosting company and they are not only qualified to handle this for you but you pay them for this skilled level of cover. Another reason why companies do not want to use hosted solutions is because they would also be at the mercy of their internet connection. Hang on a minute, if the internet connection goes down at the office with internal business servers they will stop communicating with the outside world. So isn't that the same thing? The answer is 'yes' it is and in the event that your internet connection does go down, savvy companies would have already installed a backup ADSL line for example, which isn't that expensive in order to keep you afloat, or without this, there is simply no difference to the internet connection going down whether you have internally or externally hosted hardware.

There are two other reasons why companies prefer not to host and that is due to migration time and cost. Migration is always a cause for concern for companies be cause when migrating to hosted services, changes to the DNS Server (Domain Name System) of your domain are necessary. Your DNS is essentially the index for your domain which tells every other nameserver on the internet where your website is stored, how your emails are processed and to which IP address and so on. However, making a change to your DNS requires a process called propagation to occur which is the period when every nameserver refreshes their own directories to pull in any new settings. Nameservers refresh daily but at different times, so there will be occurrences during propagation when your website and emails will be inaccessible or people will report they receive bounce back messages when attempting to email. However, usually 24 to 48 hours after any DNS change, your website and emails are live to everyone on the internet and therefore it is always good practice to make changes on a Friday afternoon to allow propagation to occur during the weekend. You can put in provisions such as using a backup mx record (an entry in your DNS that points emails to a backup mail store in the event of a failure) that will store any emails during this time, as well as always keeping your website on the existing web server so that companies and customers are able to view your website either on the old or new server, dependent at which stage of propagation their nameservers are at. However you do have to allow for the propagation period and the possibility of your website and especially your emails to be down for a brief amount of time.

In terms of migrating and importing web directories and mailboxes to the hosted servers, this is straightforward and is usually handled efficiently by either the company you are purchasing the hosting solution through or a member of your internal IT Department. However, if your business simply cannot afford to be offline even for a single weekend and this will be more prominent in large to corporate companies, the n hosting is not for you and you will have to invest in costly internal infrastructure.

Lastly we have the cost implications of hosting. I have already mentioned the acquisition of internal hardware could be in excess of £50,000, but with hosted services, you do not incur high-end financial burdens. There are no one-off purchase costs where you have to consider raising capital or depreciation of hardware, you spread the cost over a period of time. For small companies, the annual total hosting cost would not even equal the full cost of an outright server purchase and for larger companies the cost of hosting is effectively a monthly payment plan, where both scenarios benefit from using servers at the forefront of technology, a dedicated technical support team, business continuity program and a service level agreement. Although you will not be able to position the hosting as a company asset, hosting is in itself an asset for your company in terms of the immediate lo w financial costs and high protection factor for the daily running of your business.

For these high mission critical systems, the hosting route provides for small and medium companies, an inexpensive, scalable, reliable and supported corporate infrastructure. For larger companies the cost of hosting your website and emails is similar to a standard monthly server support contract, which hosting provides as standard with their service level agreements. I would highly recommend any company, especially small and medium companies who cannot afford to invest in expensive internal hardware, a technical support team and business continuity planning, or need to have their core communication always on and always available, to seriously consider hosted services. We provide web and email hosting as part of our small and medium business solutions, so get in touch with us if you would like a clearer understanding on the benefits of hosting for your company.

To host or not to host, that is the question. I think the question is rather can your business afford not to host?

Thursday, August 9, 2012

A Beginner's Guide to Web Hosting

A Beginner's Guide to Web Hosting

What is web hosting? Whenever you visit a website, what you see on your web browser is essentially just a web page that is downloaded from the web server onto your web browser. In general, a web site is made up of many web pages. And a web page is basically composed of texts and graphic images. All these web pages need to be stored on the web servers so that online users can visit your website.

Therefore, if you plan to own a new website, you will need to host your website on a web server. When your website goes live on the web server, online users can then browse your website on the Internet. Company that provides the web servers to host your website is called web hosting providers.

A well-established web hosting provider sometimes hosts up to thousands of websites. For example, iPowerWeb is a popular web hosting company that hosts more than 300,000 websites. For that reason, a web hosting company nee d many web servers (essentially, these are computers) to 'store' the website. And all these web servers are connected to the Internet through high speed Internet connection and housed in a physical building called 'data center'. In order to guarantee all the web servers are safe, secure and fully operational all time, a data center is a physically secure 24/7 environment with fire protection, HVAC temperature control, virus detections, computer data backup, redundant power backup and complete disaster recovery capabilities.

What are the different types of web hosting?
There are different kinds of web hosting companies out there with different characteristics. The main types of web hosts can be organized into the following categories:

Shared Hosting

In shared hosting (also known as virtual web hosting), many websites are sharing the space on the same physical web servers. Depending on the web host, a physical web server can hosts a few hundred to even thousand of different websites at one time. You may wonder if a physical web server is shared by so many websites, will the performance of the web server deteriorate? In fact, web servers are usually equipped with high-end powerful computer, therefore it can support up to a certain number of websites without any problem. But when the web server is overloaded and exceeded the reasonable number of websites that it can support, then you will begin to experience a slower response from the web server.

However, a reputable and experience web hosting provider will consta ntly monitor the performance of the web server and will add new web servers when deem necessary without sacrificing the benefits of the website owners. Since a physical web server is shared (diskspace, computer processing power, bandwidth, memory) by many websites, the web hosting provider can therefore afford to offer a lower hosting price. For the same reason, websites on the shared hosting would have to accept slower server response time. Typically, shared hosting plans start at $5 - $20 per month.

Dedicated Hosting

In contrast to shared hosting, dedicated hosting assigned a specific web server to be used only by one customer. Since a dedicated web server is allocated to only a single customer, the customer has the option to host single/multiple web sites, modify the software configuration, handle greater site traffic and scale the bandwidth as necessary. Therefore, dedicated hosting commands a higher premium and typically starts at $50 per month and ca n range up to $200 - $500 per month. As a result, dedicated hosting is regularly used by high traffic and extremely important website.

Co-location hosting

In dedicated hosting, the web server belongs to the web hosting providers and customers only rent the web server during the hosting period. While in co-location hosting, the customer owns the web server hardware and only housed their web server within the web hosting provider's secure data center. In this way, the customer has full control over their web server and simultaneously benefit from the 24/7 server monitoring and maintenance provided by the secure data center. Depending on the monthly bandwidth and rack space required, typically co-location hosting range from $500 - $1000 per month.

Reseller hosting

In reseller hosting, a web hosting provider offers web server storage to third-party (i.e. reseller) at a discount price, who then resell the web server storage to their customers . Typically, resellers are web consultants including web designers, web developers, or system integration company who resell the web hosting as a add-on service to complement their other range of services. Commonly, resellers can receive up to 50 percent discount on the price of a hosting account from the web hosting provider. And resellers are allowed to decide its own pricing structure and even establish its own branding (in other words, reseller setup its web hosting company on the Internet and start selling web hosting plans under its brand).

To the reseller's customers, the reseller is the web host provider. In cases when technical problems such as server down and access problem arise, the resellers will have to correspond directly with the actual web host provider. Due to the communication process taken place between customer to reseller and from reseller to actual web host provider and back and forth, undoubtedly problems will take longer time to resolve. Unless you are running your own personal website or non-profit website and willing to take the risks of poor support from the reseller, reseller hosting is generally not a good option.

However, the web hosting market today is filled with resellers that sell lowest price web hosting plans. So, how do you tell between a genuine web hosting provider from a reseller? You don't judge by the availability of toll-free number alone because some web hosting providers even offer their resellers with their own toll-free number for co-branded technical support. When the reseller's customer calls the number for technical support, the web host uses the reseller's name so the customer thinks that the support is coming from the reseller directly. Likewise, don't be fooled by the professional designed website alone because it is extremely easy to create a professional looked business website nowadays.

In general, resellers can be distinguished from their hosting price and company infor mation. In most cases, a genuine web hosting provider has solid company information such as iPowerWeb.com where they publish its financial background, offices and data centers. In contrast, resellers usually do not have solid company background (here is just an example out of thousands out there). Moreover, the hosting price by resellers is generally below $5 per month. So, why settle for resellers when you can find genuine web hosting providers offering superb quality web hosting at the hosting price ranging between $7 - $10.

Therefore, you should not strive to find the cheap web hosting companies without first considering the quality of the service and support provided. Don't expect to find any top-level support if you choose to pay only $2 or $3 per months for your web hosting plan. On the other hand, by paying just slightly more for your hosting plan, you can now discover a list of low cost yet high quality web hosting plans to host your important website. Look at our high quality and cheap web hosting review and recommendation at http://www.lowest-price-web-hosting.com/top5.shtml

Getting Quality Affordable Ecommerce Hosting Solutions Realized

Getting Quality Affordable Ecommerce Hosting Solutions Realized

It is very important that you understand the difference between cheap and affordable web hosting solutions because they are vastly different. These two types of hosting are seemingly similar but offer two very different varieties of web hosting solutions. This is what can be expected when you acquire cheap web hosting services.

Typically this type of hosting service is rendered via a provider who is lacking the necessary experience and services to meet your requirements. This type of firm will most likely leave you wanting more from your hosting package and is therefore not a recommended hosting solution. This is due to lower levels of support and servers they may offer and this is unacceptable to most people in need of web hosting services. Your website deserves the best you can afford and cheap hosting misses that mark completely.

You could also plague yourself with such services as free web hosting, much like you can expect to get from Google as a host. This type of hosting will simply leave you starving for services and support, as well as site creation tools and software packages. You need the services of a hosting firm who can offer you top notch services at a fair and affordable price.

Affordable ecommerce hosting solutions are also getting easier to find these days, but it is an imperative you avoid free and cheap web hosts in this arena even more so than with blog sites. Avoiding free web hosts here is exponentially important to the success of your ecommerce business web site. Listed below are five easy tips to help you acquire the proper type of web host for your ecommerce website and get it up and running in no time flat.

The Top Five Tips For Quality Affordable Ecommerce Hosting

1. Employ the use of a top ten hosting list

The use of such a list is a valuable research tool for you to use when you seek ecomme rce hosting solutions. This will allow you to avoid hours of tedious and time consuming research because the work is already completed for you here. There are many of these lists available to you and they are intrinsic to helping you find a quality ecommerce host. Be sure that the top ten lists you are using are from a reputable source that offers a well-rounded and concise view of the web hosts therein.

2. Read web hosting reviews

Web hosting reviews can be a valuable resource when on the search for the best affordable ecommerce hosting solutions. These reviews will showcase the pricing, features and benefits of these web hosts as well as the types of hosting packages these firms have to offer. To help lighten your load one could greatly benefit from reading the HostMonster review, the JustHost review and the BlueHost review just to name a few.

They are three of the top web hosting firms out there today, and the firm you choose should at least stack up to what they have to offer. It is important you know and understand the requirements of your website before you look in to all the available features the firm you are looking at has to offer. Making a choice on a host is an important decision to make and hosting reviews can definitely be of assistance in this area.

3. Get enough speed

With a web site that offers shopping carts and catalogs it is important to have a high speed web host to maintain an enjoyable shopping experience for your visitors. So be sure you find a trust worthy reliable web host with fast and highly capable servers as well. Such hosting firms typically run a pretty tight ship as they say and offer well maintained web servers that can meet your speed requirements. Unlike firms with overloaded servers that offer you a lack luster web hosting experience to say the least.

4. Be sure you get enough server space

Server space is very important when it comes to hosting your web site and shou ld be closely scrutinized for this reason. You need to be sure that you have all the space you will need for the shopping cart and other associated data that comprises the bulk of your website. As well as having plenty of space for the images, audio video posts and the pages you intend to host. This is why it is so important to understand the requirements of your website when attempting to acquire hosting with the proper amount of space. If the web hosting package you choose is lacking the necessary server space, then you may face certain struggles when trying to get your web site up and running.

5. Take the customer support for a test drive

The best way to weed out the lesser web hosts is by testing their customer support before you go past this point and decide on a web hosting firm. The support team should be efficient, trust worthy and professional. If not you may want to look into a better host at this point. If in fact they are reliable, expeditious and fri endly then you may have found yourself a hosting firm with capable server banks and the ability to offer you many affordable options.

The Final Word on Affordable Ecommerce Hosting

You need to be sure the hosting firm you choose offers all of the things you need, at an affordable price without making any sacrifices when it comes to your website hosting requirements. Not every hosting firm has exactly what you need so that is what makes it so important to be sure of what you require from them before making any final decisions. One needs to be positive that they are making the right choice in their web host to insure a quality hosting experience.

It is highly advisable that one compare closely the rates and services of each hosting firm you find as suitable prior to making your final decision. This is the easiest way to insure you are getting the right web host for your website hosting needs, and not some second rate fly by night company without the means to meet space and bandwidth your requirements. And do not just lock it down right away, take the time to really weigh out your options here. This will insure that you are making the decision that is right for you without leaving you stuck with a sub-par service package.

With the proper data collected and researched it is easy to make the right choice for your needs. And do not forget the importance of reading and using top ten web hosts lists as well as taking a closer look at a website hosting review. This will help you to make the appropriate choice for you when it comes to affordable ecommerce hosting for your ecommerce website.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

How to Choose a Web Hosting Company?

How to Choose a Web Hosting Company?

Nowadays, anybody can afford to order a feature-packed web hosting plan for next to nothing; however, affordable price is not the only criterion which should be considered when purchasing web hosting services. In this article, I'll explain the basics of what you should look for in choosing a web hosting company, not just concentrating on the best price and features, but also on reliability and honesty. You're investing your money and effort into finding paying customers and you wouldn't like to lose them in order to save a few dollars per month on a web hosting service.

When looking for a web hosting company, it doesn't matter if this is just for the inception of a web or the move of an established site; you need to consider a large selection of criteria to determine which company to go with:

Customer support

Website hosting service isn't just storage or bandwidth. Based on personal exp erience and that of others, even a top-notch service is worthless without customer support. If you own a business website, your hosting provider needs to be there for you 24/7 and give you instant access to the technicians you need to solve your problem; otherwise, you may end up losing customers and money.

Downtime guarantee and service monitoring

Having a personal website go down is a minor inconvenience; having a business website go down is a serious matter. What amount of profit would you lose if your site had been down for a week? Long downtime may be very harmful to today's companies which spend large amounts of money on advertising their websites. Essentially, there are two rules regarding reliability that one should look at:

1. You should check if there is an uptime guarantee offered. A truly service-oriented provider will also give a money-back guarantee, offering a discount or free service as compensation for downtime. Any company wh ich avoids taking responsibility won't put much effort into the service.

2. I definitely wouldn't go with a company claiming 100% uptime, as there is no such thing as a server with 100% uptime. If anyone ever claims their server has a 100% uptime they are either lying or they don't perform the necessary upgrades that prevent a machine from being compromised.

Reputable web hosts will post statistics on their site: What is the frequency of interruption? How about the average percentage of downtime? If these aren't posted, ask; if the answer isn't forthcoming, that should be a warning sign. If you still go with a host which doesn't monitor servers, you'll have to do the monitoring yourself. I recommend http://www.siteuptime.com, as it's one of the best monitoring services available for free in the market today.

Backups

There is no host which is safe against different types of technical and programical failures, so make sure that the company runs scheduled backups. The other advice would be always having a backup of your website yourself, as you never know what might happen. cPanel, which is the most popular web hosting management software at this time, has a very comfortable backup-making tool. It allows you to backup files and databases quickly and easily, so backups are no longer a problem.

Acceptable use policy

Web hosts may have 200-300 or more clients per server; there is no exact number, as companies have different hardware and each hosted website has different resource usage. There always is a possibility that a few of those customers host illegal content. There are web hosts who have had their servers unplugged, resulting in their clients' websites going down. I'm sure you don't want to put your business at risk and have your website hosted on the same server together with illegal pornography and software sites, so check host's acceptable use policy to find out, if the host takes care of what's hosted on their servers.

Hosting your site on an uncared-for server will also result in a low speed. If somebody on the same server sends spam, the server's IP address will be blacklisted and you'll have serious problems as recipients stop receiving your emails. Use the "Spam database lookup" feature on http://www.DNSstuff.com to check if a web hosting company is blacklisted. Spam is being sent almost everywhere, so having one or two red records isn't that bad; but, if there are more, it may become a problem later on.

Unlimited bandwidth and web space

In web hosting industry, the adage "you get what you pay for" is almost universally applicable. Do not fall for hosts offering unlimited allowances, as there is no unlimited bandwidth, nor unlimited web space. Host's pay for each GB of bandwidth themselves. Hard drives also aren't free, so how can they say it's unlimited? They simply are performing false advertising in order to attract customers. The average website doesn't use more than 1GB of bandwidth per month; the customer is happy as he bought something "unlimited" and the host gets a new customer, which won't cost them any more than $1-2 USD per month. But imagine what would happen if I had a website, burning much more bandwidth than an average site does, and I signed up with a hosting company offering unlimited traffic? The host would simply suspend my account and tell me, that it was using too much bandwidth. There even are companies which offer unlimited bandwidth and have a statement on their terms of service, explaining that unlimited bandwidth means 40GB, for example.

Will you really own your domain name?

When you buy a domain name together with a website hosting package, make sure the host will register the domain name under your name. It usuall y should be written in their FAQ, but, if there is no such information, simply contact them. This will also give you an opportunity to check how fast their customer support team replies to inquiries. If the hosting company registers domains under someone else's name, you may have problems switching hosting providers later. If you were in such situation, you would have to file for a Uniform Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP), which costs much more than both domain name and web hosting service together.

Control Panel

For ease of maintenance, a feature called a Control Panel is a necessity; this tool will normally allow for regular maintenance, be it email mailbox additions/deletions, password resets, web additions, web count reports, statistics and so on. If the site is for any sort of business, this is an absolute must. The most popular web hosting management software currently available is cPanel. It's a next-generation web hosting control panel system that allows you to manage your domain through a web interface. The idea is to transfer as much of the control of managing your web site to you; you have the ability to manage all aspects of e-mail, files, backup, FTP, CGI scripts, and web site statistics.

Value-added services

Hosting companies offer different value-added services in order to set themselves apart from the competition. Of course, these are an advantage, but a common mistake customers make is choosing a host just because it offers many value-added services which won't be used anyway. Some of the really useful features are:

1. Auto-installer script - Auto-installers will save you time if you are going to install a forum, image gallery, content management system, etc. Installation procedures on an auto-installer script take seconds and can be performed by novices without the need of doing difficult tasks usually associated with installations.

2. Online website builder - It lets you design a website in a few minutes without having any creation software and knowledge. One very powerful website builder on the market is Site Studio; this editor allows for ease of use, full control of color schemes and themes, one-click publishing, and an array of templates to use.

The last tip

In this article, I've mentioned only a few warning signs which are worth considering. You should know yourself that price and allocations aren't as important as the quality of service; if the budget is absolutely limited, then the price can be a valid criterion, but otherwise it shouldn't receive much credence.

By going through this article and asking questions, you can narrow down the list of web hosts to the point where a good, sound decision can be easily made.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Web Hosting, Where to Start?

Web Hosting, Where to Start?

Web hosting is a necessity when starting your web presence, with out it you don't have a site, but finding high quality web hosting can be a daunting challenge, after all, do you need one gigabyte of bandwidth, web hosting with one IP, unlimited databases or a free domain name. What does this really mean and what should you be looking for when you try to find a suitable web hosting company.

Web hosting companies are extremely profitable if they are popular, they have high start-up costs, but over time their general overheads dramatically reduce (proportionally). This is evident if you think that they have to pay to get directly connected to the backbone in order to establish the fastest possible connection, they need secure fire resistance premises, equipment, support staff and much more.

Once established their costs per web hosting account reduce, if you go to a major web hosting company and order a web ho sting server, all they are really doing is adding a computer to their existing network, therefore splitting the overall costs. Then you pay approximately $150-$200 per month to keep that dedicated web hosting server.

Your web hosting requirements

You need to realistically establish what web hosting requirements you have for your site, do you really need 400 gigabytes of bandwidth (transfer) per month? Most sites are lucky to use 2 gigabytes per month from their web hosting account. Databases are another big issue, many web hosting companies change extra for databases, when in actual fact they don't cost anything to maintain as they reside on the same server. So before you proceed, you need to analyse what web hosting requirements you really have, look at the script requirements you have of any potential software products you plan to use on your web hosting account.

Another limitation a lot of web hosting companies impose is the amount of ma ilboxes you can have, many people start on the internet with the intention of offering their friends, family and staff email boxes as well as numerous emails for their site, for example webmaster@domain.com , support@domain.com , jobs@domain.com and contact@domain.com . The chances are you really don't need that many mail boxes and administering them can be a gruelling task.

You know your web hosting requirements, what next?

Your primary goal should be to visit web hosting information sites in order to obtain a list of potential web hosting companies. A great web hosting information resource is Web Hosting Village, they provide web hosting articles, news and information, and in fact the best place to start your sea rch for quality web hosting.

Creating a list of potential web hosting companies

Given that web hosting companies are profitable, they tend to advertise immensely across the internet. The more successful a web hosting company is the more they are willing to spend on web hosting related advertising. Therefore finding hosting companies via paid advertising, such as Googles Adsense, is generally a good idea as this a good step to take to establish how successful they have been.

Short listing

In order to short list your potential web hosting companies you need to visit each site and just quickly look around, if the design is poor or they don't offer adequate support, then the chances are this web hosting company is not for you. Whether you are new to the whole web hosting experience or an expert, there will eventually be a time when you need to contact your web hosting support. If they are non existent then you will really have a problem, so establishing their channels of communication and support should be one of your top priorities when selecting a web hosting company.

Inside information

Once you have a shortlist of several web hosting companies, you need to research them via forums and webmaster communities. Chances are if someone has had a bad experience or extremely good they will want to write about it somewhere on the internet.

Selection

You should now have a list of two to three potential web hosting companies who you are really impressed with, now you need to make the selection. The best way is to weigh up the features and price and be really realistic as to your requirements, we have all been in the situation where we have been over ambitious and bought something that is too advanced for us.

If you have a winning concept that will make you bigger than Yahoo or eBay, the chances are you still don't need a mega server whe n you start off, you just need something small and stable that will allow you to develop and promote your business. Once you have a good source of income you can upgrade your web hosting account with your current supplier and not experience any downtime whatsoever, so why pay for a mega web hosting account when you can get by with a $19.99 a month web hosting account and use the additional amount on marketing or development.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Dedicated Web Hosting : The Executive Summary

Dedicated Web Hosting : The Executive Summary

What is Dedicated Web Hosting?

Dedicated web hosting can alleviate the need to share hardware or software with any other sites or web pages. Webmasters are given the autonomy to decide on applications that are installed on the server to create specific configurations for their web needs, and have the ability to provide a secure environment for their site. As compared to a shared-server environment, dedicated web hosting offers a peace of mind that a site will be delivered in a reliable and secure manner.

There are major benefits of dedicated web hosting, as discussed below. However, the major disadvantage, cost, is quickly being overcome. Because of continual growth in the dedicated web hosting industry, the rates for dedicated server plans are rapidly declining. A competitive environment drives up the level of service and decreases cost. This reduction is powered by an increase in small an d medium-sized businesses gaining an online presence and the rapid proliferation of web hosting providers.

Advantages of Dedicated Web Hosting

Dedicated server hosting is favorable because of 2 major assets: control and reliability.

Since a dedicated web administrator has more control over a dedicated server, it tends to be more secure, compared to a shared web server. By knowing what exactly is installed on a dedicated server through full root access, a system administrator is able to confidently make decisions on the software and application updates necessary to maintain the dedicated web server and keep it running in its most optimal configuration.

Increased reliability is another major asset of dedicated server web hosting, as a server administrator has the self-sufficiency to optimize page loads by tweaking variables such as page load speed and general server resource allocation. This server reliability translates to customer satisfaction and an increase in the bottom line goals of a web site's presence.

DisAdvantages of Dedicated Web Hosting

While the benefits of dedicated web server hosting is apparent, the bottom line consideration, especially for business purposes is cost. Dedicated web hosting is significantly more expensive compared to shared or virtual web hosting, and until recently, could most commonly be quoted at several hundred dollars to several thousand dollars per month. Although cost may still be exorbitant, most businesses are able to justify the use of dedicated servers through a true web analysis to weigh the resources necessary to run applications and code.

Another drawback is the need to be able to monitor, install, upgrade and configure programs, add sites, deal with potential hacks, and troubleshoot systems. Therefore, the necessary system administration skills, if one does not possess them, may definitely inhibit the successful implementation of a web site hosted on a dedica ted web server.

Benefits:

The direct benefits of a dedicated web hosting plan surround the ability to totally administer a web server. The advantage to be able to effectively maintain a dedicated server lies in one's ability to control the variables associated with reliability and stability. In a dedicated environment, server overload, malicious scripts from other users, and too many installed applications are variables which can be controlled, as compared to this loss of management in shared server hosting.

Furthermore, a dedicated server allows one to only install applications or software that applies to the major hosting goal at hand. Conversely, shared web hosting has installed software that may or may not be related to the web hosting goals.

Reliance on the web host repair services and time delays of platform repairs can be minimized, as one may intervene and provide solutions to existing problems with dedicated web hosting. Having the option to add patches, upgrade software, or tweak performance is invaluable and allows the dedicated server administrator to work with 24 hour access to perform adjustments, corrections, or updates.

Lastly, speed of downloads can be determined through the amount of bandwidth that is dedicated to just your website. Statistically, visitors will quickly leave a site if the load time was long. Dedicated servers allow quick delivery of web pages, which increases the probability of keeping web site visitors on a site that may convert them to paying customers. Furthermore, quick loading pages enhance the company's image and may encourage existing customers to refer your web-based services to others.

What is the best application of a dedicated web hosting service provider?

Utility of a dedicated server environment is best suited to those with a working knowledge of server operating systems and those who don't mind troubleshooting problems which may arise.

Server admini strators must be able to apply kernel upgrades, service packs, and software patches, as well as provide ample security, monitor traffic, update server applications, balance server loads, and configure email, FTP, and DNS services.

* In exchange for competency in the above functions, the best uses for a dedicated web server environment would be: mission-critical sites requiring custom server management and software implementation.

* dedicated hosting resellers, web developers and designers who need greater flexibility, reliability and security for their clients

* backbones of corporate intranets

* robust and dependable servers for streaming media, online gaming, and e-mail or chat applications

* complex application sites with high traffic and secure information such as ecommerce, database, and multimedia sites.

* enterprise-level web sites
* Web sites which may have content restrictions if hosted elsewhere (e.g. adult targeted sites.)

How to decide:

Overall, the cost, security of data and equipment, bandwidth availability, the knowledge and integrity of the web-hosting provider, uptime, hardware maintenance, and any technical support offered by the dedicated web host are important deciding factors. Although your specific dedicated web hosting needs may be unique in a few ways, generally, one can make a decision on a dedicated web server provider by considering the following things:

Data Transfer Rates:

Data transfer will need to be determined based on the amount of information that will be downloaded, as well as the type of content a site will be sharing (general text vs. high resolution graphics and multimedia). A dedicated web host will generally have various packages that will allow one to choose the data transfer level, normally measured in "gigabytes per month". Higher levels of data transfer rates normally mean more cost, so utilization of the first few months to correlate data transfer rates and traffic patterns is key.

Platforms:

The two most common systems available are Windows based servers versus some flavor of UNIX (Linux and Solaris). Windows is historically more expensive, but is generally regarded as more user-friendly, especially with the ubiquitous presence of Windows-based pc's and administrators. Linux, on the other hand, is less expensive to install, but harder to maintain, as a steeper learning curve exists for those unfamiliar with it. Therefore, the operating system installed on a dedicated web server should depend on a couple of factors.

First, the platform should be conducive to the coding in which the website and necessary applications are developed. Next, since administration of the dedicated server will be done by the subscriber, the necessary skill base to support the platform must be in place. Commands and administration techniques are definitely platform-specific.

Monitoring:

Dedicated server monitoring works to prevent service interruptions. The web host will provide a service that can, at a pre-set frequency, check a website to see downtime.

Automation:

Although dedicated web servers may require a greater degree of skill, certain dedicated web hosting companies may offer software that will automate common procedures, thus lessening the high level knowledge necessary to maintain servers and implement new services.

Data Backup:

Some dedicated web hosting providers assist the web hosting subscriber with data backups. Finding a dedicated server provider who will assist in this process could alleviate the hassle of doing it yourself and can allow one to devote time to other things.

Scalability:

Dedicated web hosting providers should be able to account for major growth. Progressive expansion can be accounted for by asking a web hos t if modules of extra space, bandwidth, or better yet, larger packages can be purchased to allow easy transition to better hardware and software.

Service Level Agreements:

More dedicated web hosts are publishing their SLA's, which thoroughly documents what they will do in exchange for what the customer is responsible for. For instance, some dedicated server hosts are offering features such as: 100% uptime guarantees, unlimited live answer technical phone-based support, free upgrades of patches, hot-fixes, personal Dedicated Sales account managers, maintenance staff with spare parts for all server configurations, and more. A full understanding of the commitment that a dedicated web host is offering will help in a decision to utilize that service.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Want to Be Published? Apply for Hosting!

Want to Be Published? Apply for Hosting!

Have you ever imagined the power that a single web site has? Web sites are broadcasted to a global audience everyday, and this powerful communication tool makes a single individual reach so many people for so little time and money.

With the beginning of web hosting, practically anyone can now create his or her own web site. A simple web site costs very little to maintain and operate, and free web hosting is widely available from a host of providers. These web sites run on free hosting domains.

If I have an idea for a website, there are several things that I need to get started. I need to think of a unique domain name that I will use.

The domain name is a unique name which identifies one or more IP addresses (IP stands for Internet Protocol, which identifies computers and other devices on a network). For example, in the URL http://ww w.cnn.com, the domain name is cnn.com.

Let's say I choose mywebsite.com as my domain name. What I need to do next is to check the domain registry and make sure that mywebsite.com is not taken yet. Assuming that it is available, I will have to register the name so I can claim its ownership.

This is also called "reserving" or "parking" the domain name. Now for me to park the domain name, it has to be hosted or live on a particular server. Once it is registered, web hosting occurs.

Web hosting provides online systems for storing information such as images, videos, and other content that can be accessed through the web.

Web hosting companies provide individuals and organizations the space on their servers and the needed internet connectivity. These companies also provide space and internet connectivity for servers other than their own to be placed in their data centers.

The scope of web hosting is very diverse. File hosting (also called web page hosting) is the most basic service, wherein the files and web pages I created can be uploaded to the internet through a web interface called FTP or File Transfer Protocol.

The FTP is a type of software which is used as a standard for transferring files between computers with different operating systems. It can handle any file types without added processing, but sometimes requires long login procedures. This simple web hosting applies only to simple web pages such as personal web sites.

Complex sites, such as those maintained by big corporations require comprehensive systems which include database support and application platforms such as PHP, Java, and ASP.NET. These features can allow clients to install scripts for forums and content management.

Web hosting can be categorized into several types. These include: free hosting, image hosting, shared hosting, cluttered hosting, reseller hosting, dedicated hosting, and collocated hosting.

Free hosting is widely available in the internet, but is particularly limited if you will compare it to paid hosting. These services usually require their advertisements on your site, and have small disk space and traffic limits. But this service is very helpful and most people start their web pages through free hosting.

Image hosting, is another type of service which is usually free but requires registrations. They allow users to upload images on their servers.

Shared hosting occurs when a web site is placed on the same server that shares with several other sites. This service type has some restrictions, though, as to what exactly could be done. Another problem is when a site is down; it also brings the other web sites on the server down.

Clustered hosting, on the other hand is intended to get rid of problems which shared hosting can cause. This system allows customers with clustered security handling, and load balancing.

Reseller hosting is a service designed for u sers who want to become hosts themselves. A reseller gets a large amount of space and divides it to users on his/her account. With dedicated hosting, you can get your own server. There are no restrictions in terms of space and traffic, apart from the measures designed to maintain network integrity.

In colocated hosting, you can purchase a server and install at any host's data center. This type of service is usually chosen by users who have administration experience. It is also the most expensive since a user do not colocate many servers.

Web hosting offers a customer with many options. There are many providers offering this service for free or for a fee. The choice is basically that of the user, and this depends on the website which will be set up.

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