The Basics of Website Hosting and the Options Available

Website hosting is a form of Internet hosting service, which enables people and businesses to make their own Web page or website accessible through the Internet. It is provided by companies that may lease a space on their server and offer Internet connectivity via their data center.

Furthermore, website hosting services may also offer Internet connectivity and data center space for other company’s servers to be placed in their data center. This is referred as colocation.

The basics of hosting services include small-scale file hosting as well as Web page hosting, where a Web interface or a File Transfer Protocol (FTP) is used for the uploading of files. These are sent to the Internet with little changes or even without modifications at all. This particular service can be offered to you by some Internet service providers (ISPs).

You may also get website hosting services from other providers, who can offer both business website hosting and personal website hosting. Business web hosting, in particular, is more costly compared to a personal web hosting, which can be free or more affordable and is sometimes run by advertising.

If you wish to simply resort to a single webpage hosting, you may still benefit from it particularly if you are running a personal website. However, if you want to expand your website into something more complex, then you might need a more complete package, which already includes application development platforms, such as ASP.NET, Ruby on Rails, ColdFusion, Java and PHP, as well as database support.

A more comprehensive hosting service provides your consumers to install scripts for applications, such as content management and forums. In addition, if you are running your business via the World Wide Web, then you might also want to include a Security Socket Layer (SSL) onto your website.

A hosting service may also offer a control panel or an interface so that scripts can be installed and the Web server can be managed as well as include important features such as e-mail.

Hosting Uptime

The web server uptime is the amount of time that the hosting service is accessible through the World Wide Web. Though almost all web hosting providers declare that their goal is to have an uptime 99.9% most of the time (this can reach more or less 45 minutes of downtime each month), there are still unforeseen circumstances when the server is deliberately restarted because of planned hosting environment maintenance.

In addition, there are times when an unplanned maintenance is performed leading to the break of the providers initial uptime assurance. You do not need to worry though since most hosting services bind accessibility and uptime into their Service Level Agreement (SLA), which may offer decreased rates or refunds once the web hosting promise is broken.

Web Hosting Services on the Internet

Internet service providers are not the only ones who need to have a constant uptime of website hosting services because there are also many big companies that require a computer to be constantly connected to the Internet just so they could send files like emails and other important documents to other websites.

Furthermore, these companies may also utilize the computer to become their very own website hosting provider, allowing them to supply pertinent information about their services and products to potential clients, who may want to order online.

Home Server – This is commonly a solo device that is usually situated in a personal office and can provide web hosting to more than one website using a consumer-grade broadband connection. Home servers can be comprised of old personal computers or customized devices. There are Internet service providers, however, that try to block home servers. Hence, you must create an account with a reliable and dynamic DNS service.
Virtual Dedicated Server – This separates server resources into virtual servers, wherein resources may be apportioned in such a way that the primary hardware is not completely directed. This web hosting allows you to have your own access of your virtual space, yet you are accountable for patching and maintaining the server.
Free Website Hosting Service – This may only feature a limited number of services compared to the completeness of a paid website hosting. It is usually sustained by advertisements.
Dedicated Web Hosting Service – This is the type, which allows you to get your very own server, and provides you the ability to control this, yet you do not own the Web server at all.
Shared Web Hosting Service – Your website is put on the same server along with hundreds or even thousands of other websites. It is possible that you share CPU, RAM and other types of server resources.
Colocation Web Hosting Service – This is just like the dedicated hosting service, only that it is the most expensive and powerful because you get to own the collocation server.
Clustered Hosting – This provides numerous servers to perform web hosting for the same content for an improved resource usage. It is ideally recommended for making an accessible web hosting solution or a high-availability dedicated web hosting. It may divide database hosting form web serving ability.
Reseller Web Hosting – This enables you to become a web host yourself. You could operate, for single domains, under any type of web hosting, basing on whom they are associated with as a web hosting provider.
Cloud Hosting – This is one of the latest types of web hosting program that enables you to experience a steadfast, accessible and dominant web hosting depending on the utility billing and the clustered load-balanced servers.
Grid Hosting – This distributed web hosting is comprised of numerous nodes and a server cluster that operates similar to a grid.
Managed Hosting Service – Though this allows you to obtain your very own Web server, you do not have the authority to take complete control over because the web hosting provider can only assure the service quality if it does not permit you to change the server and eventually make possible configuration problems. The good thing is you are permitted to handle your data through remote management tools like File Transfer Protocol. You do not own the website hosting server, yet it may be leased to you.

10 Questions Answered For Choosing a Web Host

When setting up a website and shopping around for a web host, you may find all the technical terminology a bit confusing. In reality, it isn’t really that complicated. By understanding a few basics about web hosting and web hosting service providers, you can easily select a web host that is best for you. Some of the questions you need to ask pertain to your business and others related to the web hosting industry. Here’s a quick run-down of 10 basic questions you need answered before choosing a web host.

1. What Is a Web Host?

A web host is a service provider that manages a number of different websites on a particular server. They provide the platform on which your website is located. Many web hosts will have a number of different hosting packages available. They may have shared or dedicated hosting facilities as different options. The type of hosting package that you choose will largely depend on your hosting requirements.

2. Where Is Your Business and Where Are You Going?

If you have a start-up business, keeping costs low is a major priority. However, if you see your business growing rapidly in the future, you will need to keep in mind how this may affect things such as your website and web hosting package. There are many good entry-level basic web hosting packages. These are usually on shared servers and have a limit on the bandwidth available. If your business grows rapidly, you may find that you need to expand your website and enlarge your hosting package. Not all web hosts have migration or upgrade facilities and this can make it a tedious task to upgrade your web hosting package. Your best option is to choose a web hosting that has the capacity to grow with your business.

3. What Level of Technical Expertise Do You Have?

Often business owners have a limited understanding of web hosting and web design. If this is the case, you want to sign up with a web hosting provider that has a wealth of technical knowledge and expertise that you can draw on. Ideally, if your budget allows, you will want to go for a web host that offers a managed hosting service. This means that they will take care of all the web server maintenance and security ensuring that you have maximum up-time on your website.

4. Are Free Hosting Packages Worthwhile?

While there are some good free hosting companies out there, you need to think carefully about signing up for one. Generally, these hosting packages are free because the hosting providers sell advertising space on the websites they host. This means that you may not entirely be able to control the content on your website. In addition, free hosting packages generally have limited support services and can seldom be upgraded to other packages.

5. What’s the Difference Between Shared and Dedicated Hosting?

Dedicated hosting means that your website is allocated its own unique server. This means that you have a greater level of control over your website and generally improved hosting efficiency. You can also ensure higher security levels on your server and have more flexibility in the way you manage your website; however, this comes at a premium. Generally dedicated servers are quite expensive which is why the option of shared servers became available. A shared server hosts several different websites. Generally, the capacity of each is limited and because there are different site owners accessing the server, you have lower levels of security.

6. What Is an E-commerce Website?

An e-commerce website is basically an online shop. It requires specialized hosting and web design to ensure it functions properly. The web host you choose should be knowledgeable about hosting e-commerce sites and be able to provide you with technical support.

7. What Is a Marketing or Corporate Website?

A standard commercial or marketing-type website is less complicated than an e-commerce website. This type of website is a shop window for your business as it showcases who you are and what your business is about. While you may not sell products on the website, it still requires that you choose a reliable web hosting service provider.

8. What Makes a Web Host Reliable?

One of the most important considerations is the level and efficiency of the technical support provided. No systems are flawless so when things go wrong, you need to be able to fix the problems as quickly as possible. A good hosting provider will have technical experts available on their support desk who can assist you with any problems. The stability of the server is another important consideration. A well-maintained and managed server should seldom go down and this is what you want from a web host — a website that is accessible 24/7.

9. What About Website Security?

A good web host should provide a level of security on the server. However, as the owner of a website, it is important to maintain a good level of security on your website as well. This may include having anti-spyware, anti-virus and anti-tracking software installed in your system. It is important to keep it constantly updated to keep your system protected.

10. Where Do You Find a Good Web Host?

Your web designer will probably have a hosting provider that they have an established relationship with. It is a good idea to follow their recommendations. Alternatively, you can ask colleagues and business associates which company they use. Lastly, you can search online. However, if you do this, be careful to read the industry reviews of the web host to ensure they are reputable.

Finding the Right Host For Your Web Site Or Blog

With the proliferation of the Internet, there are so many web hosts to choose from that it would be impossible to shop even a significant percentage of them. However, finding the right web host can be critical to the success of your business, especially if your business is predominantly online. Hosting packages can start as low as $4.95 per month for shared environments (I’ll explain later). On the other end of the spectrum, established companies often budget thousands of dollars each month to web servers and related costs. The type of hosting your business needs and the corresponding amount you’ll pay for that level of service depend upon what you are hoping to accomplish with your web site(s). Here are a few tips and scenarios that will help you choose the web hosting platform that suits your needs.

“Free” Hosting Accounts

Visit any of the thousands of the Blogspot.com blogs that post Google AdSense or other affiliate ads, and you can see that there are many people who make at least some portion of their income by taking advantage of the free hosting accounts offered by blog hosts. Setting up a blog-formatted website is simple and straight-forward. All you need is an email address and an idea. Because most of these free hosting accounts run on high performance web servers, it’s a rare case that your blog account and blog site would be down. However, if you are trying to present yourself as a legitimate company, a serious web site with your own domain name and custom web site are essential.

Shared Hosting

If your web site is on a shared hosting plan, it sits on a web server that likely services anywhere from a few web sites to hundreds of them. The biggest advantage of a shared web hosting plan is obviously the low cost. Shared hosting plans are good for entrepreneurs who are prototyping their ideas to see if they can get them off the ground. When my first internet business was young, I wanted to keep my costs down so that the significant investment was my time. I chose a shared hosting plan that cost me less than $10.00 per month. As the business grew and it became more critical to keep the site up constantly, we outgrew the shared hosting environment, and our host allowed us (as most gracious web hosts do) to transition to one of their Virtual Private Server accounts.

Because most users of shared hosting accounts aren’t a skilled at administrating web hosting environments, most of the technical details (configuring the web server, etc.) are handled by the web host’s employees. This simpler arrangement can be beneficial to people who don’t want to get bogged down in the details of configuring email accounts and databases and Apache web server files.

The main drawback for shared hosting plans is that they are typically not as reliable as other plans. There is no way to tell (in most cases) what other web sites are sharing your server. If you have the misfortune of being neighbors with an image download site that has tons of visitors, your web site is very likely to experience slow load times and periods where it’s inaccessible. It can be frustrating to operate an online store and consistently know that your customers cannot even find you. The downtime can even affect your search engine rankings. If the Googlebot comes to crawl your site only to find that it’s unresponsive, you’re likely to get dropped in the search rankings. In my experience, the technical support available to shared hosting plans drops a few levels from the attention given to plans that cost more. If your web site is relatively new and doesn’t get a ton of traffic, this scenario may be okay for you. However, if you cannot afford to have downtime, be prepared to pay more for hosting.

Virtual Private Server

A Virtual Private Server (VPS) is an upgrade to shared hosting. It typically costs about $40-$60 per month. VPS accounts give users greater access to the nuts and bolts web server account. Often VPS accounts allow lower-level functionality such as the ability to use an ssh program to connect to a Linux VPS. VPS accounts typically have quicker and better response from the web host’s technical support than shared plans. The selling point of VPS accounts is that they don’t openly share all the resources (memory, CPU, bandwidth, etc.) that shared accounts do. However, with a VPS setup, your web site is still sitting on the same computer as other web sites over which you have no control, so there can still be periods of slow response times and downtime.

Dedicated Server

Getting a dedicated server is like buying your own home and setting it up the way you want it. When you purchase a dedicated server plan, you are essentially renting a computer in your web hosts data center. Dedicated servers give you a lot more control of your web site’s resources. You can set up Apache the way you prefer it, and you can install extensions per your requirements. With the low-level access comes responsibility, though. Letting a novice mosey around on your dedicated server account could result in the destruction of one or more web sites being hosted there just by running a simple command from the black box. If you think your web site(s) merits a dedicated server, make sure you’ve got someone capable of managing the setup.

What host?

The types of web hosting accounts mentioned above are pretty standard in the web hosting world. Despite the similarities between the types of accounts, there are often significant differences among hosting providers. Before I settled on the host I use now (HostGator.com), I had to date and dump at least three other hosting companies. Here are some things to look out for when considering who you should choose to host your site.

Reputation

It’s worth spending time checking the ratings on the host you are considering. Nowadays it’s very easy to get the dirt on most companies. There are several web host review sites online. Reading the experiences of those who have used the host’s service can serve to settle your mind about committing or provide helpful warnings about the company you are considering. One thing to remember when reading reviews is that the source of a review can often be a competitor trying to sabotage a host’s reputation, or on the other hand, nothing keeps a web hosting company from funneling employees to review sites to pat their backs in public. Try to find objective reviews that list facts and details when checking out a potential host.

Technical Support

Before choosing a host, it’s probably a good idea to speak with their technical support to find out if they know what they’re doing. Even though I have a pretty extensive background in web hosting related technologies, I still find myself needing to lean on technical support from time to time. I’ve used many hosting companies whose technical support seem to be guessing, or who are simply reading scripts when they’re asked technical questions. Before you commit to a hosting provider, it might help to ask some pertinent questions of the technical support staff, almost as if you’re interviewing an IT employee. After all, that’s essentially what they’ll become. Most worthwhile hosting providers have an online chat tool that allows you to easily access their highest level support people.

Hopefully you’ve learned some things from this explanation of web hosting. Good luck with your web site and your business.

Web Host Beginner – What You Should Know About Shared and Dedicated Hosting

When it comes to picking a hosting for your website, there is always a general confusion especially for newbie. “How come there are so many different type of hosting like shared hosting, dedicated hosting, reseller hosting and etc?”, the newbie asks. Well, those are different products serving different needs of websites. The next question pops up, “what are my needs?”

Generally, when you want to host your website, it is going to be either shared or dedicated hosting. 95% of the people decide within these 2.

Share Hosting
Shared hosting is shared among other users. A web host provider will divide a big piece of hosting into smaller partition and will allocate the storage to each user. There might be up to hundreds of website sharing the same resources. Besides, there is only one internet connection linking all the different partitions to the internet. That means all websites hosted under that same big piece of hosting share the same IP address.

The biggest advantage of shared hosting is their price. Since the hosting service is shared among users, the cost follows too. Therefore it can be very cheap, as cheap as $2 per year. Also, it is meant for user-friendly where most of the settings are made default and managed by real veterans. Shared hosting is perfect for beginner.

Although shared hosting sounds great with low pricing and big resources it has disadvantages too. Websites hosted under the same hosting will impact each others. If a website exceeds the usage of the allocated resources other website will be affected; in term of SEO aspect, your site will be affected if your website is hosted together with banned sites; and etc. However, these disadvantages can be easily solved by you picking up a responsible host.

Dedicated Hosting
When you subscribe to dedicated hosting, a dedicated and independent server computer with be purposely set up for you. You own the total space and resources. You have flexibility to do anything with the hosting. The actual benefits you get from it are numerous, including dedicated IP, dedicated bandwidth, dedicated computing power and etc. These are things really important for a huge website.

However, with more flexibility, that means user will need to make more decisions in deciding how the hosting should be. More technical knowledge will be needed to maintain the hosting. Although the staff from a web host company is willing to help but most of the actual work has to be done by you. Also in term of pricing, as opposed to the shared hosting, dedicated hosting is expensive. The price can go up to a few hundred per month.

In conclusion, you need to understand what your needs are. You should go for shared hosting if you have a small to medium size website; you should go for dedicated hosting if you have a huge size website. However, the price for dedicated hosting is not easily bearable for new website. Therefore I suggest them to go with shared hosting first and upgrade to dedicated hosting along the way. Hints: Get a shared hosting provider that allows upgrade.

A Beginner’s Guide to Choosing a Good Web Host

Think of the Internet. What’s in it? Websites, websites and more websites. And what runs them? Most of the time, its hosting companies. Similar to the Internet, hosting companies have come a long way. In the 90’s, there were a few hosting companies on the Internet, and you would pay a lot for domain registrations and hosting-related services. You could pay $9.99 a month for 15MB of disk space and 1.5GB of bandwidth. But that was in the 90’s.

Today, there are millions of hosting companies out there. For $6.95/mo, you can get 5GB of space with 250GB of transfer. The hosting industry has grown – and become cheaper. However, choosing a hosting company has gotten much harder than it was in the 90s. You ask helplessly, “Which host should I choose?”
In this article, I will tell you how to choose a good web hosting company.

Part 1: What do you need?
One man’s meat is another man’s poison. This statement is true when it comes to web hosting. What works for someone else might not work for you.

All of us have different needs. Some of us need 500MB space, some need 1GB, and some need 15GB of space.
Before choosing a web hosting company, it is important to know your needs. Do you need PHP? Do you need PERL? Do you need MySQL? Or is your website just a simple HTML/CSS website? Consider what you need, and your budget. Think over this for a while. Only then can you make a good choice that meets your needs.

Part 2: Looking out for standards
In today’s hosting industry, standards have become higher. Look out for the higher standards. Hosts nowadays offer 99.9% uptime guarantee, some form of technical support (not necessarily 24×7) and automatic payment processing. Many hosts also offer a money-back guarantee (15 to 60 days), or a free trial.

Today’s web hosts should offer something along the lines of the mentioned standard features that I have written about. When researching for web hosts, it is important to make sure that they meet the standards for web hosts. They might offer slightly less, for example instead of 99.9% uptime they might offer 99.7% or 99.8%. Choose wisely. Steer clear of hosts which don’t meet standards, if you want a good experience.

Part 3: Smelling a rat
When choosing web hosts, it is important that you know how to smell a rat. You know you’ve smelt a rat when you come across offers like “unlimited web space”, “unlimited bandwidth”, or very large amounts of space and bandwidth for low prices (for example: offering 1TB of space and 5TB of bandwidth for $5.95/mo).

Hosts which offer these are generally unreliable (though there are exceptions – very few however). This practice is called overselling. Overselling refers to selling more than the provider can handle. When a client falls for an “unlimited space” offer, and really uploads a lot of files, the hosting provider cannot afford to continue to add hard drives just to serve that particular client. In most cases, the client’s account is suspended. In some cases, the account might be deleted.

Another way of saying that unlimited offers don’t work is that there are no unlimited hard drives, and it will never happen. Unlimited bandwidth is impossible unless the host is their own ISP, and even that would cost them a lot of money, and is simply not practical.

Part 4: Do your homework
You know what you need. You know what the standards are of today’s hosting industry. You know how to smell a rat. Now, its time to do your homework.

Research is the key here. Go to directories, and look at hosting companies. Pick a few, then read their customer reviews. This is a good way to tell if the host is good or not.

Steer clear of a host with mostly negative reviews. Some hosts might yield false impressions – the owners of the hosting companies write positive reviews of the host in the directories. Although this does not happen very often, it does happen sometimes – and when it does, it might not be so easy to tell.

When doing research, you should take into account a few factors: uptime, speed, honesty, support and reliability. These factors are essential for good service, and all hosts should have them.

Once you’ve decided on a particular hosts, take your research even further. Google is your friend. Google (host name) reviews for more customer reviews. If the host has mostly positive reviews, then you have a green light.

Part 5: Settling down
You’ve chosen the host. This is your (almost) final decision. You’ve decided the host is for you, and that its time to settle down. But before you settle down, there are a few final steps to take before you push the “Pay Now” button in PayPal.

Why do hosts tell you to read their Terms of Service? It is because their restrictions and rules are all laid out there. So spend some time and read it. Make sure you know what you can do and what you can’t. Make sure that your doubts are all clarified. If you still have doubts, ask the hosting provider.

Once all your doubts are clarified, ask yourself once more whether this is the hosting provider for you. Then make your decision. If yes, go ahead and press “Pay Now”. If no, go back to step 4 until you find your perfect host.

Now that you know the host that is perfect for you, go ahead and press the “Pay Now” button.

Is Your Web Host Your Friend? 8 Ways to Find Out

Your Web Hosting Provider Is Your Online Partner.

The web hosting company you choose to store your web site and provide access to the world wide web SHOULD be your friend – your business partner. In fact, your web host SHOULD put your interests first. After all, if your web business soars to success, your web host shares in that success with a stable client base.

If you’re hitting a home run with your URL, you aren’t going anywhere. You’ll stick with the host, the keywords, the site architecture – you won’t want to change. You’re a web success so don’t rock the boat.

Ah, but how do you know if your web host is truly your friend or just a service provider that charges your business credit card every three months. It’s not always easy to tell, but you can tell a lot by looking around a little before you sign up.

1. How long has the hosting company been around?

Look for a long history of web-based success. Look for a company that’s been delivering hosting services for more than 10 years and has management in place to handle an expanding client base efficiently.

A provider that looks after its clients sticks around and a company management with years of experience knows how to treat clients. They even know how to help clients achieve web success – something good for the client and good for the host – a win-win.

And good management knows that.

2. Does the web host kick you to more expensive pricing tier to get more disk space?

You rent disk space from your provider. Most hosts have pricing tiers based on the amount of disk space you take up on the server ( a server is nothing more than a big ol’ hard drive that has a bunch of web sites stored on it) and what “features” you’re willing to pay for.

Some hosts think it’s unfair to force you to pay more for space and features that you don’t need or intend to use. So, many top hosts have created a system that allows you to grow at your own pace without paying for a few more gigabytes that you won’t use, even though you’re paying an extra $50 a year for that dead zone.

Instead, buy space a gig at a time. And when it IS time to move up big time, you move to the next tier and actually save money. A good web host knows what’s good for web site owners, and these hosts customize their services to suit you, not the other way around.

So grow fast. Grow slow. A good provider will work with you every step of the way. The less-friendly providers don’t do this. You want more disk space, you move up to the next pricing tier, whether you need all that extra space or not. In other words, you’re wasting cash and when you’ve got a “penny jar” budget, every penny counts.

3. Does your web host offer free SSL security?

If you’re selling products or services, or if you’re collecting sensitive customer data (like credit card numbers) you need a secure web site – one that sends and receives data that’s encrypted so hackers can’t steal it and use it to buy and sell stolen stuff bought on the web.

A web host that DOESN’T much care about the success of your business will make you obtain your own SSL certification to create a secure web site capable of taking and keeping secure sensitive client data. And that costs money.

On the other hand, a web host that’s rooting for your success helps you achieve that success by letting you piggyback on their SSL certification. Your server is secure so your site is secure, thanks to a friendly web host and a pro-active partner in your success.

4. Does your web host require you to sign a long-term contract?

That tells you something right there. These companies want to lock you in for three months, six months, a year, knowing that you might not hit that home run. Even so, you’ll be paying those hosting fees for the full term of the contract.

If your web host is your friend – a partner that delivers value – there’s no need for a long-term contract. No need for any contract at all. Buy your server space and your features a month at a time. As you grow, you can add more space. Or, if you move on to something else, a client centric host isn’t going to FORCE you to keep paying for services you no longer need.

What kind of friend is that?

5. Real People Helping Real People

If you’re just starting out in the web world and launching your first e-venture, wouldn’t it be nice to have someone you could call with questions? Someone with endless patience? Someone who recognizes that your web success is the basis of the web host’s success?

And you want access to that friend, or a friendly, helpful sub, 24/7. You want someone to explain how to install a blog or to walk you through installing a secure checkout – one-step-at-a-time, even if it takes all night. (it won’t.)

A provider that wants to be friends offers that level of service for as little as seven bucks a month! Web hosts that are less “friendly” limit access to certain hours, they make you pay for the call and some don’t even have telephone customer or tech support. If you have a question or problem, you have to drop the web hosting company an e-mail and they’ll get back to you as soon as possible. In the meantime, your web site isn’t getting built and your waiting for a long-distance email response from tech support – and guaranteed, 50% of the time the email answer doesn’t solve the problem.

Do a little research before you register your web site domain name and sign a long-term contract. Any new venture is a risk so work with a company that puts you first, answers questions (even the really stupid ones), provides downloadable guides to help you build and manage a quality web site.

Is your provider your friend? Well, not if they nickel-and-dime you to death. Not if they sell your email address to every “blue pill” pharmacy west of Beijing. Not if they lock you into a contract for a year.

With friends like these, who needs enemies?

6. Everything You Need

A good friend will give you what you need to achieve your objectives.

Some web hosts rent you some disk space and leave the rest up to you. Other, friendlier web hosts, provide a tool box that’s filled with free apps and services:

web site building software
1000s of customizable site templates so (1) you don’t have to know diddly about programming and (2) because these templates are customizable, they don’t look like cookie cutter web sites
free shopping cart and checkout
free payment gateways
free blog modules, forum mods and bulletin boards so you create the exact web site to suit the needs of your visitors and your needs.
security and a ton of it. A friendly web host wants to protect your sensitive client data as much as you do
100% up time because when your server is down your business is down. Not very friendly.

7. Would a good friend leave you high and dry?

There are lots of web hosts from which to choose. Some are host resellers who buy disk space at wholesale and sell it at retail. So you don’t REALLY know who’s hosting your site.

Some of these less-than-best-friends are in the business of collecting client data and splitting for the coast. You log on to your site one morning and it’s gone. For good.

In the middle of the night, while you were sleeping, your friendly web host closed up shop took down the server and now has all of your client data that they can sell on hacker sites.

Happens all the time. A quality host is here today, here tomorrow and here for years to come. Now that’s a good friend.

8. Does your friendly web host put you first in all things?

This is a question of corporate culture. There are web hosts who are in it for the short term (see #7) and web hosts who recognize that your success is the basis for the web hosting company’s success so you always come first.

These web hosts deliver quality services, 100% uptime, a toll-free number and a human to help you with questions. These hosts provide all the tools you need to build a web site and the human touch – a person to walk you through the process – even if it takes hours (it never does when you have knowledgeable techies and customer support personnel who are empowered by company management to fix things so you’re happy.)

It starts at the top with a client-centric view of business growth – your business growth and the business growth of the hosting service. It’s built into the corporate culture. It’s simply the way the web host does business.

So, before you start your on-line businesses, do the research, the legwork, the heavy lifting to find a web host that’s going to be your friend and partner in the week, months and years ahead.

Those companies are out there. In fact, you’re on a friendly, green web hosting site right now. So look around at Green Host It. You’ll quickly discover that everything we do is about YOUR success. Why?

Client Care and Corporate Culture: How Does Your Web Host Treat You?

Web Based Business – Your Web Hosting Provider

You’re thinking about taking that leap of faith and building a web-based business, joining the other 125 million entrepreneurs that populate today’s web. So you talk to some friends, you do a little research on site designers and maybe you even call one.

Baby steps. No need to jump in head first, right? Right. But at some point, you’re going to go shopping for a web host. Now, whether you’re a total noobie at this HTML stuff, or you just want to migrate your existing site to a host that puts you first, choosing the right host ain’t all that easy.

There are thousands of them. Then there are re-sellers who rent a big chunk of disk space at wholesale and sell it, bit by byte at retail. You don’t have a clue who these re-sellers are, but you can be sure of one thing. They’re in it for the money. Client care may be totally non-existent. And you may not know it until it’s too late. Your site designer has built your site on a host server, location unknown. Heck, it could be server in some college dorm room for all you know. So, host resellers should be crossed off the list before you even start shopping around.

So, what do you look for? Client care. You want it built into the corporate culture of the web host. You want every person who works at the hosting company to have your best interests at heart – from the cleaning crew to the high-tech geeks who keep those racks of servers up and running – 100% of the time.

The question then becomes, how do you recognize a host that emphasizes client care? Well, there are a couple of “tells” that’ll tip you off. Note them as you shop for your web host, comparing low costs, lots of features, customer specials, hand-holding and infinite patience. That’s a host you want on your team. And indeed, your web host IS a member of your on-line business team.

So here are a few things to look for before you sign on the dotted line and get locked into a 12-month contract that sinks under the weight of its own legalese boilerplate.

1. Check the web site.

If the website text is all about the web host, that web host ain’t all about you. You don’t want to read a bunch of features. All quality hosts provide the same features so who cares.

Instead, read the site text to see what it has to say about you – the client. What steps does the host make to help you on your digital road to success? Can you call a rep any time, day or night? And will that rep pour herself a strong cup of coffee and spend two hours explaining how to install a secure checkout?

Read all about it on the web site. Is the focus on the host, or is it on you? Client care is all about you. And if client care is a core principle of the web host, you come first – even if that rep has to slam down four cups of Kona to get your shopping cart functioning as it should.

2. How many ways can you get help?

Oh, this is a definite “tell” when it comes to how a host company treats its clients.

Some hosts only allow you to contact them by email. That’s not good when your site has disappeared from web radar. You want to get your site back on line like NOW, man!

The more ways you can contact your web host, or better still, the more ways they can contact you, shows the importance of client care as part of the corporate culture of your web host.

At the very least, you want a toll-free telephone number.

You want access to the right person when you need it – even at 3:00 AM and you can’t sleep and you have a question and need an answer – NOW. A toll-free number is very comforting, especially for noobs with a list of questions that’s longer than that week’s shopping list.

Some web hosts will call you, avoiding that annoying “Please hold, your call is important to us” time. Yeah, well if it’s so important, why have I been waiting 20 minutes to talk to a rep?

Some web hosts offer a call back feature so you aren’t stuck on the phone “waiting for the next available representative.” Click the “Call Me” link, enter your telephone number and you’ll get a call back – usually within minutes.

Good tip: Write down your questions so you can get the answers you need ASAP. A good rep is a caring rep but he’s not a mind reader so know what needs to be addressed.

3. How many times do you hear from your web host?

Most of us get an auto-responder every month or three months. It’s the receipt showing the charges that the host just made to your credit card.

That’s about it. Think about it. When do you hear from your web host? If you’re like most site owners, it’s only when you owe them money: they’ve made a charge or, heaven forbid, your credit card has expired and your site will be removed unless payment is made within the next 15 minutes! Not the kind of web host you want.

Look for helpful tips, a newsletter, a series of suggestions in your inbox. (Be sure to white list your web host if it sends out regular industry updates so this cutting edge info doesn’t end up in the spam box.)

A good web host is totally pro-active and engaged in the success of your business. It costs 10 times as much to acquire a new client than it does to keep an existing client and you better believe that web hosting CEOs know this. They want to keep you happy. Heck, you may even get a holiday greeting card!

4. Are you talking to a human?

Press 1 for tech support. Press 2 for billing questions. Press three for design support. It’s the scourge of modern corporate communications – especially when it comes to tech support.

And there’s nothing more frustrating than finally getting a techie when, in fact, you want to change your credit card number. “Ohhhh, you need to talk to someone in billing. Let me transfer you.” (Reset the timer for another 20 minute wait. Put the phone on speaker and hope no clients call while you’re waiting for something as simple as changing your billing information.)

So, is there a clear distinction listed on the contact us page? A tech support number? A billing and accounts number? A hand-holder number who will walk you through the installation of a blog to your new site, or help you plan a seamless site migration, complete with a d-base the size of refrigerator box!

A single, toll-free number is a good start but you want alternatives to ensure you’ve got the right person on the telephone.

Also, if you aren’t getting the satisfaction you want from rep A, ask to speak to a supervisor. Still no satisfaction? Work your way up to the ladder, even if it means talking to the CEO. NOW you’ll see some action if client care is core to the corporate culture.

5. How long has the web host been in business?

A great indicator of how well hosts treat their clients. We tend to stay with those who treat us well. We tend to dump the dogs. So, look for a company with at least 10 years in hosting business web sites.

It says a lot about the quality of client care.

One final note. If you don’t know thing 1 about building a web site, go with the host that provides a lot of tools – plug-in modules, free shopping carts, multiple layers of security – all of the features you need to turn that digital vision in to web-based reality.

If client care isn’t a core value of the web host, you want out. No contracts. That works for the benefit of the host, NOT the business owners who reside on the host servers. Look for a money-back guarantee, lots of telephone, email and chat features, a bag of site building tools and a human who answers the phone, slurps down a double shot latte and helps you position that vid-clip in just the right place.

Remember, your web success contributes to the success of the web host and smart host owners recognize this. They cultivate it by providing every thing and every one you need to build and launch a successful site.

The client-centric host keeps you up-to date ( you hear from them for YOUR benefit) and, if necessary, you can actually talk to a C-level exec to get your problem fixed or your questions answered.

Picking the Right Web Host: 10 Important Questions To Ask Your Web Hosting Provider

Choosing a Web Hosting Provider

Choosing a web host isn’t hard, though sifting through the good and not-so-good options can be a head-twisting experience – especially if you’re taking the plunge and building a web site or blog for the first time.

For example, FREE web hosting companies place ads on YOUR web site. That’s how they make their money, and you’ve got no idea what ads will appear on your site. So, if you’re a medical doctor looking to build trust among site visitors, an ad for a “weekend” dating service isn’t going to make you shine. Avoid free hosts.

That means it’s going to cost you something every month. You may have to pay a sign-up fee, a maintenance fee, and a bunch of other fees that nibble away at your margins. No, choosing a web host isn’t rocket science but you should at least know what questions to ask.

Here they are.

1. How do I ask questions?

Whoa, good question right off the bat. You can’t ask questions of a web host if there’s no contact information, no help desk, no tech support. Some hosts manage client care via email and when your web site has disappeared and you’re wondering about that 404 error message appearing on your computer screen, an e-mail response 28 hours after you e-mailed the host means you’re effectively invisible for 28 hours.

And if your site is spidered when it’s off line, you’ll get slammed. SEOs (search engine optimizers) point to “Lack of accessibility to the site” as the number one negative ranking factor among search engines. Google isn’t going to send visitors to an inaccessible site so you need a quick fix quick.

Make sure the web host displays a variety of means of contact – especially a toll-free telephone number. E-mails are fine for billing questions and other matters that aren’t time sensitive. A down web site needs fixing now. You want that toll-free number 24/7/365.

2. Where is customer care and tech support located.

Start here during your “interview” with prospective hosts. (See #1. If no telephone number is provided, you can’t ask questions 2-10 so move on.)

First, you want customer care and tech support based in the U.S. A lot of web hosting companies outsource this task so you’re talking to someone 12 time zones away trying to “figure out” where you web site went.

Tech support should be right down the hall from the server room so when a problem arises, someone can fix it fast.

3. What do I get with my web site?

You should get everything you need to build whatever kind of website you want and whatever kind of website is in the budget. Your web host should provide web site templates for beginners (use them if you’re just starting out) to simple integration of a blog, a checkout, and the ability to hand code the site with a blank-slate option.

No tool kit, no bag of goodies, keep looking.

4. How much experience do you have?

Look for a company that has a long lineage on the web. Experience in handling a large client base, dozens of servers and running a collaborative business with clients. A college kid can rent server space and become a hosting reseller. So you think you’re working with Bob’s Hosting Company, when in fact, you site’s on a server in the earthquake zone of the Philippines.

Oh, and when Bob graduates, he can just unplug his laptop and move on to greener pastures, leaving you trying to figure out where you web business went to.

5. What kind of server side security do you use?

Look for hard-wired fire walls, firewall software, anti-spyware and anti-virus protection on the server side. A reputable host has multiple layers of security so ask about security redundancy. Your host’s rep will be proud to explain, assuming you’re talking to a quality hosting company.

6. What happens when my web-business grows?

Well, for one thing, you start making money. But you may want to expand. Look for a flexible host with a flexible plan that allows you to expand incrementally as you add more products, more services, archives and other site features.

7. What if I hate it?

The W3 isn’t for everyone, though there are more than 122 million web sites and 6,000 new launches every day. But you may find that it’s too complicated, too unproductive or just too something.

Quality hosts don’t want to lock you in to some long-term contract. They don’t want unhappy clients, they want happy clients. So, a quality web host will offer a 30-day trial period so you can take your new web site out for a test drive. BTW, using templates, building and maintaining a web site is pretty automated and, therefore, simple and it doesn’t take a lot of time.

But if a web site isn’t your cup of tea, look for a host that offers a 30-day, money-back guarantee.

8. Can I register my domain through you?

Any hosting company is equipped to register a domain name – your URL or web address. But, if you register your domain with host B and then choose host A, you have to redirect your domain or migrate it to the new host. You get the idea.

Register your domain name with the hosting company that will rent you that disk space each month. Simplifies life on the web.

9. What can I learn from the host’s web site?

A lot, if you read between the lines.

The web site identifies the hosts “brand” – its corporate culture. Some use funny logos and radical type fonts, targeting a “younger” demographic. Other hosts have a more professional appearance and take the time to explain its corporate values, i.e. commitment to client satisfaction, tech support, fair prices and good value. If you’re serious about your web site, go with a host that is serious about hosting.

Everything from the company logo to the site text language defines the company brand. Which would you choose? The wild techno-geek or the clean design and quality information provided by a host with a different take on its own corporate culture.

10. Does the host employ green technology?

The web grows exponentially, expanding from business novelty to business necessity in just a few years. From the spare-room entrepreneur to multi-national conglomerates, a web presence is almost a requirement.

That means more energy consumption, expanded infrastructure and a lot of out-dated servers, loaded with toxins, ending up in our landfills, and it’s a problem that will only expand.

Green hosting isn’t some passing fad or some 60s hippie thing. It’s the future of hosting. It has to be. So, look for a host that employs wind power to generate the juice to run the servers to host the web site – yours.

Look for water-cooled servers that use recycled water instead of energy gobbling blowers to cool off those racks of servers, one of which is where your website resides.

Green hosting also makes a statement about your company’s corporate culture and your concern for the future of the planet. That’s a good thing. Seeing the “green” logo on your site’s home page is a trust builder and a brand builder, as well.

See, that wasn’t so hard. Pick up the phone (assuming there’s a telephone contact option) and start asking questions. The fact is, your web host is your on-line partner.

Linux Reseller Hosting Vs Windows Reseller Hosting

Within the last few years, the dynamic forces of websites have changed drastically due to the introduction of web hosting services. Web hosting services come with different types of features and you can choose from various options depending on your requirement. Windows Re-seller Hosting and Linux Re-seller Hosting are the primary two services that have become quite popular. Though these may seem similar to some extent, there are small differences that you can find.

In today’s world, the internet is one of the best resources that you can utilize. Thus, many people opt for running their online businesses and earn a huge amount of money through different activities that on the internet. Some of these people are choosing re-seller hosting business as well. You can start a hosting business without much technical knowledge. Most of the parent companies offer huge bandwidth but the end users often don’t need that much bandwidth. Here come the re-seller hosts who work as a bridge between the customers and the parent company. They buy a huge amount of bandwidth at a time and distribute it among the customers as per their needs.

There are quite a number of web hosting organisations that encourage the business of reselling hosting so that these companies can grow their businesses along with the reseller hosting company. Generally, the parent hosting company has a technical team that can handle any technical difficulties with expertise. Therefore, the hosting doesn’t have any significant role in the operating associated with hosting. Many of you who are planning to select re-seller hosting services often get confused to choose from Windows Hosting and Linux Hosting because of the lack of technical knowledge.

Many users have been using Linux hosting for many years. On the other hand, many users who are true to Windows hosting have been using the service for long enough. The reason behind the satisfied customers is the uptime of both the hosting services. Both of Windows Hosting and Linux Hosting offer 99.9% uptime. Therefore, you can be sure that your website will be running 24×7.

The operating system that Windows Hosting and Linux Hosting use is the primary difference between the two of the hosting services. You must be careful about the operating system as you invest in resell hosting system services. Let’s understand the difference so that you can make the decision based on the importance of the operating systems.

Operating system of both Windows Reseller Hosting and Linux Reseller Hosting:

The operating system of a server is by no means different from the one that you have on your computer. You have to make a choice between Windows OS and Linux OS. Some of you may be aware of the difference and those of you can make a choice depending on the requirements. However, if you don’t have any clear idea about what web hosting is and how it works, the information will help you. Some of the differences between Windows Resell Hosting plans and Linux Resell Hosting plans are described below:

Customization:

The most basic difference between the two types of hosting plans is the options for customization. Though both the plans offer customization, the features offered by Linux is more flexible than that of Windows. Generally, the developers or admins prefer Linux Re-seller Hosting over Windows Re-seller Hosting. On the contrary, if you don’t want to be the admin or if you aren’t a developer, you can easily go for Windows Reseller Hosting plan.

Stability:

If you are concerned about the stability of your re-seller hosting plans, you can absolutely be stress-free as both Windows Reseller Hosting and Linux Reseller Hosting offer stability. Though Linux is more stable in comparison to Windows as it’s an open-source platform, Windows also provides stability to a great extent. Linux has an ability to adapt to any environment and you can update and develop the reseller hosting plan based on your prerequisites.

Applications:

While using any reseller hosting plans, you must want to use different applications. Now, Windows Reselling Hosting and Linux Reselling Hosting offers distinct features while installing different applications. As Linux is an open-source platform, you get to enjoy many more features in comparison to Windows, which is a closed source platform. However, if you don’t require more applications, you can always go for Windows. Basically, it depends on the needs of the customers which service plan they should choose.

Besides, you must keep in mind that the applications should be compatible with your installer operating system. Some applications may perform well when installed on Linux but the same may fail to run on Windows or vice versa.

Security:

If you are about to invest in re-seller hosting service, you may want the plans to provide you utmost security. Between Windows Hosting and Linux Hosting, Linux offers better security given to the fact that it is an open-source platform. On the other hand, though Windows is secure, it is more prone to getting attacked by viruses and malware.

Cost-efficiency:

If you are determined about investing in hosting services, you can choose any of the Windows Reseller Hosting and Linux Reseller Hosting Plans. Both of these plans are cost-effective. However, you must remember that you may need to expend a little more for Windows as the operating system and the features aren’t free. On the contrary, Linux gives you the opportunity to use the operating system without any cost. You have to pay only for the features, which reduces the cost to the minimum.

Configuration:

Configuration is a vital part of installing re-seller hosting as the configuration of the system can activate and deactivate the installed applications. If you are concerned about the complexity of the configuration, you can go for Windows Reseller Hosting services as it is less complicated than Linux Reseller Hosting service. Besides, it takes only a few minutes to configure Windows, whereas, it may take hours if you try to configure Linux.

As you can see that both Windows Reseller Hosting and Linux Reseller Hosting have some pros and cons. You can choose either of the services based on your requirements.

Comparative Study Between CDN, Cloud and Common Website Hosting

CDN Service

Content Delivery Network, in short, called as CDN. In CDN system, servers get installed in different data centers throughout the internet. In simple words, CDN service depends on multiple data centers. It gives reach to your client via the nearest node. CDN service increases the speed of the website in a great way.

Cloud Hosting

On the other hand, synchronized communication system connects many numbers of servers and forms the basis of cloud hosting. Multiple servers support website data and hence any single server goes down might not affect your site connectivity.

Connection between Cloud and CDN regarding their performance

CDN service delivers static contents for your web from the nearest node. CDN opted only for storage and not for web services. Upon receiving a web request, CDN will communicate with the database and the source server. You can access files from the nearest network. Hence website performances solely rely on the web server at the source.

But, the scalability feature of Cloud hosting enables you to add or delete resources on the move. The performance of the cloud gets number one ranking as many types of the equipment support the functioning. Easy to troubleshoot any problem. Users have complete control over usage data. Pay by use option helps you to plan accordingly.

CDN service does not decide on the performance. Cloud performance directly depends on its hosting services.

Which is reliable, CDN or Cloud?

Conventional shared hosting sites prefer CDN Service. Whenever shared server goes down, you suffer losses too. Ask me how? The availability of shared server resource for hosting remains restricted, and many sites get hosted using the same space. You cannot rely on CDN for hosting video or audio files on the server.

Regarding reliability, Cloud hosting comes to the top. Cloud hosting service providers hold complete access to both networking and hardware. They build up services in real time. Again the scalability feature of cloud crafts the whole thing achievable. Rely on cloud hosting services even while using heavy traffic web applications.

Cost

Now coming to the cost factor, let me tell you the reality.

CDN service offers inexpensive services. Even Cloudfare gives you a free service. But, the technology used does not cost more for the CDN service providers to charge you more.

Unlike, Cloud hosting services provides you a stand-alone solution for all your web hosting needs. I am sure you will not deny agreeing the fact that it cost more for its features. Still, pay and use feature helps you to pay for your usage. You can track your usage and pay. Transparent service.

My thoughts and your decision

OK, you have got a hold of CDN and cloud hosting. It gives a clear picture that the cloud stands better than CDN for an advanced solution but the cost.

If you have huge traffic in your web applications, then choose the cloud wisely. To provide the best service from multiple locations for your simple website go with CDN.

One more option has emerged with the advancement in technology. Wondering what? Yes, several cloud hosting services get connected to multiple data centers through CDN.

CDN Vs Common Hosting

In this section let me compare standard website hosting services with CDN and help you further.

Web hosting contributes to host your website on a server. It allows clients to access the same on the internet. CDN speeds up the access to the resources on your site.

Conventional web hosting delivers the complete content to the user. But when the content spreads across the globe, the user must wait for the data retrieval from the web server. It takes time, based on the location of the web server. But, CDN retrieves your content from anywhere in the world through their local servers and deliver quickly.

A single server used on regular web hosting services. CDN means servers present globally and delivers your content from different host servers.

Summing up, standard hosting has become outmoded due to the increase in internet traffic. CDN Services offers quick and prompt content delivery.

Cloud Vs Common Web Hosting

I am sure by now you got some idea. Let me pen down my last piece of thought stating the difference between the cloud and general hosting services.

Traditional Hosting

Conventional hosting appears in two different forms, shared and dedicated. The concept behind dedicated hosting revolves around this way; the client makes payment for the entire resource and buys the server/s from the service provider. The client manages a devoted storage space with CPU and RAM. The client gets the authority to control the server storage.

Shared hosting, as the name implies the customer pays for storage space for a single server. Other websites may share that server. Shared hosting seems to reduce the financial burden on the client.

Needless to convey the drawback including spikes in traffic, performance issues due to shared servers, security breaches, etc. When the dependency goes on a single server, simple issues might put the server down across sites.

Cloud Hosting

The load gets balanced across a group of different servers in cloud hosting. The data gets mapped across servers and hence even if one server goes down the functioning of the site remains the same and not gets affected as the other server provides the data. Cloud hosting stands tall due to its elasticity and resilience.

Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS), offered as a package by the cloud hosting service providers. They take care of the entire maintenance task. Just pay for the resource you utilize.

No need to spend on the infrastructure. The client just needs to pay for the resource they consume. Cloud hosting scalability surpasses all other hosting services.

If you look at traffic, cost, technology, services and infrastructure just go for cloud hosting. Cost may not be as good as the regular hosting but worth the advancement. The pay for use feature still keeps an account of your cost.

But, if you know your site’s traffic, looking for convenience, and very particular about price, then select shared hosting. You can always purchase an additional server for storage space.