Nov 30

Internet Security and Shared Hosting

Web sites exist in a world where the threat of attack is constant. Setting up web servers requires a great deal of technical knowledge, much of it having to do with updating and patching software, controlling access to services and setting permissions for directories. Such tasks are beyond the capabilities of most users. Shared hosting offers a means of getting online while being assured these concerns are met.

Shared hosting, a hosting arrangement where more than one site shares disc space on a server machine, allows site owners to avoid having to set up the server’s basic software and processes themselves. Obviously, this goes a long way towards relieving significant concerns about Internet security.

The servers on which shared hosting sites are stored are set up and maintained by the hosting company’s own personnel. While this does limit the customization options, it makes it much easier to get up and running fast, especially for businesses who haven’t their own IT staff.

On a dedicated server, the leaser is generally responsible for setting up their own security. If the leaser happens to have anything less than a professional level of understanding where server security is concerned, there are likely to be elements which are overlooked. When a company is looking for simple, fast and flexible hosting, shared hosting is a much more cost-effective and secure option than setting up one’s own server from scratch.

Almost all web hosting companies offer shared hosting packages.

Nov 30

How are Shared Hosting Sites Separated?

Sites that are hosted via a shared hosting program, though they physically reside on the same server, appear to be on different machines to the outside world. There are two main ways in which this is accomplished.

Some sites have separate IP addresses. For surfers, there is no appreciable difference between visiting sites hosted on separate servers and sites hosted on a shared server when those sites are located at different IP addresses. The sites are “unaware” of one another as are the users who visit them. The capability to provide this sort of site separation without the requirement of their being two separate machines is what makes web hosting affordable. Web hosting companies can host many small sites on one server, cutting their expenses and, thus, their customer’s prices.

Some sites are hosted at the same IP address and separated only by name. This is a fairly common arrangement for users that own several domain names and host them with the same company. The site’s domain name is assigned to the directory that holds that site’s files. When a user visits the IP address, the site name serves as the means by which the server decides which directory the user should be offered. This is usually set up by the web hosting company and, for the user, is only as complicated as uploading files to the appropriate directory.

Either way, sites on shared hosts appear to reside on different servers to outside users

Nov 30

Website Backup by Your Hosting Company

Website backup is an important service that every genuine hosting company provides. Inspite of all security measures, no one can take absolute guarantee that your website is always safe. What if the server crashes and the data are not recoverable? In this situation, what if your host does not have a backup and you end up losing your updated website.

To deal with such incidents, your host should be responsible for regular, timely and latest backups, even if you have to pay a few extra bucks.

Some hosting automation software provides automatic backup features that you can schedule. The frequency of backup depends on your business, the size and design of website, and whether the host provides backup every time you want. For example, a social networking site or an online shopping cart may need daily backup whereas a personal site does not.

Besides periodic backups that you have scheduled either manually or automated, you should always take back up whenever you update the site. It ensures that the latest copy is always available to you. You can ensure it by including backup in your checklist that you refer while updating your website.

Schedule your backups intelligently and document the schedule for reference. If possible, refer the reason for every backup and this document also help you if you change the host midway, for any reason.

Even if your host takes back up of your site, it is advisable to note down the location on server where the backup is always available.

Nov 30

Data Security and Shared Hosting

Because shared hosting has more disc space limitations than does dedicated hosting, keeping as little information as possible on the server is paramount. There is generally little room for storing data that isn’t actually used as part of the site. This means that every site file must be backed up locally and that one must be thorough in that endeavor.

You should have a “mirror” of the entire site on a local hard drive and any changes made to the live site should be made to these mirrored files. This means a directory where the files, structure and names are identical to those housed on the server. Should anything happen to either the server’s version or the local version, the surviving files can be transferred and restored to replace those which were lost.

Your working directories, where several versions of the site, extra pages, graphics and other media which aren’t currently used on the live site are held, should not be stored on the web server. These are oftentimes large and the web server potentially provides access to unauthorized users. Working files should be stored separately from the live version of the site and should only be transferred when they’re actually approved for usage on the site.

Remember that the only files that should ever be hosted on a server are those you wish the world to see. If your site creates text files when users fill out forms, download and delete these from the server to save space.

Nov 30

cPanel Hosting Advantages

There are many hosting automation software available in the market, for example cPanel, Sphera, Vdeck, H-Sphere and others. However, cPanel has been one of the most widely used software all across the world.

Website maintenance includes some common tasks such as setting up databases, email accounts, or monitoring web traffic and other reports. cPanel offers you a user-friendly interface that enables you to perform these tasks without needing any specific technical knowledge or training.

Besides, cPanel has Fantastico that provides you a distinct advantage as you can install programs and scripts with just a few clicks. The programs may be WordPress (for blogging) or phpBB (for hosting an online forum). For Linux based hosting, cPanel is not an expensive choice considering its usability and diverse set of features. Most of common tasks are available at few clicks of a button rather than following long list of commands.

A few more reasons for using cPanel are:

Easy to update login information such as password and other personal information

Track bandwidth and disk space usage, set alerts and notifications emails for timely reminders

Manage email accounts – add, edit, delete with advanced options such as forwarding emails to a single account

Site backup, directly from the server

Customizable spam filters

Advanced options such as adding a shopping cart, if your disk space allows you to.

cPanel has proved to be a secure, reliable, flexible and an easy to use automation software.

Nov 30

Cheap Web Hosting can be an Expensive Option

The unprecedented mushrooming of web hosting business has added to the competition and forcing many hosting service providers to slash their prices. Many such companies provide hosting at such a low price that you believe them and register yourself, without giving it a second thought. Sometimes, a hasty decision can prove to be an expensive one for saving a few bucks. Even though the claims made by a cheap hosting service provider can be genuine, you should take care of a few following points:

Many cheap hosting service providers do not use excellent quality hardware and software for servers and network. These support you well as a beginner but as your business grows and traffic on your site increases, more reliable and good quality resources are very important. For example, a server down message midway through a potential business deal can drastically affect your business.

Explore the website or brochures of your host to verify customer testimonials, user feedback and see if it can really fulfill the promises of disk space, connection speed and a tempting bandwidth. It can be an expensive choice if you start losing your business because of improper service, frequent server down issues, and low download speed, to save a few bucks.

You can also ask for a demo of any existing site hosted with the same company. Compare how this site can map with the requirements of your site.

Try to get your domain registered somewhere else even if a cheap hosting provider offers free registration. That would mean that your all business is not controlled by a single company.

Nov 28

Linux or Windows Hosting?

The Linux or Windows debate where web hosting is concerned is mainly applicable to technicians. For the end user, especially those on shared hosting arrangements, there will be little appreciable difference in the experience no matter which operating system is chosen.

Linux is an open source operating system which is a very popular option for servers. It offers excellent security, flexibility and can be obtained, legally, for no charge. Windows Server is Microsoft’s proprietary server software. It is also very popular, is compatible with all Microsoft technology and benefits from there being a large number of individuals who are specifically trained and certified in operating the software.

On a shared hosting account, the web host will usually allow the customer to choose one operating system or the other. For most users, this will mean nothing more than some of the directories having different names and slight differences in operation. Because most shared hosting plans are administered from pre-made web interfaces, the technical aspects generally won’t have much impact on the user.

For dedicated hosting, the differences are vast. A very experienced Windows technician may be completely lost on a Linux system and vice versa. Generally, decisions such as these are based on software compatibility. If a business uses server software that only runs on Windows, for instance, the choice is obvious. If the business, on the other hand, has an IT person who has vast experience with Apache server and Sendmail, Linux would be the best choice.

Nov 28

Choosing the right web host: its really all about reputation

When considering a web host, people hold price to be the number one determining factor. However price is not the most important thing, not by a long shot. When selecting a web host you want to think about reliability. You want to base your decision on dependability. The only way you can find out if a web host is reliable and dependable is by looking at its reputation. Here are some ways to find out about a web host’s reputation.

Ask your friends

If you have friends who use web hosts, ask them about the dependability of the host. Think about technical support. Try to get a feel for how user-friendly the web host is.

Read the company’s website and see how quickly it uploads

See what the website says about its service. Look for how long the company has been in business, and pay special attention to how fast the site uploads. If the site takes a long time to upload, that will tell you that the web host has slow uptime. If you choose this web host, your website will also take a long time to load.

Search online to find reviews

Go to a search engine and type in the name of the web host to see if there are any testimonials connected with the company. See if people applaud the web hosting service. See if some people think the service is a scam. Sometimes people will always have something negative to say about a company, so use your judgment carefully.

Many times word-of-mouth is the best advertising. If the site has been around a long time and a lot of people say good things about it, you should feel comfortable paying for the service.

Nov 28

Budget web Hosting

Budget web hosting is a cheap dedicated server hosting solution that is most suitable for small startup businesses, or for personal websites. A host who provides budget hosting offers limited features and therefore the cost is very low, sometimes as low as $5 to $10 per month.

A few scenarios where budget hosting can be a cost-effective solution are:

You have just launched your business and you cannot afford a good hosting package

Your business does not need any advanced features in the website and the objective if just to send across static information to users and customers

If your personal site has only static HTML pages and it does not require any user interaction or a database, it is likely to generate less traffic.

When you opt for budget hosting for whatever reasons, see what all features you need for your website. See the big picture and what your business may need in immediate future. Do some research on user reviews on budget hosting services of your host. Many a times, budget hosting begins with a minimum of one-year contract. In such cases, see if there is a clause of cancellation of services midway; else do not hurry up making a decision.

Some budget hosting companies provide server access for important tasks such as managing email accounts, updating site when required, and so on. See if your host asks for any additional charges for these features and if you can pay it. Clarify on all these critical points before proceeding any further with a budget hosting service provider.

Nov 28

Web Hosting Directories

 

Web hosting directories are like any other business directories where web hosting companies list their companies, their pricing, features, services, contact details and a link to their own websites. These are single and centralized important source of information where customers can find a host to meet their specific requirements.

Many web hosting directories contain ranking of different web hosts. Whether you take these ranking seriously depends on what kind of directory you refer. These directories are of two types – free and paid.

Good web hosting companies are generally subscribed to paid directories where they pay a certain fixed amount for placing their banner or other form of advertisement in the directory. Alternatively, they pay a commission every time a customer is referred to them by that directory.

Apart from paid directories, there are free listings where hosting companies list themselves free of cost. Experts say that paid directories can be manipulated as host can pay more to be listed above in the list.

Whether you refer a paid directory or a free directory, at least you get a good database of hosting companies with user reviews and ratings. A negative review may not necessarily mean that the web host services are not good. That is only a personal experience of a single customer. Similarly, a very good host may not have 100% positive reviews.

You can make your own judgment to shortlist a few companies and discuss your business requirements before making a final decision.