Posts tagged ‘Databases’

Five Features You Need for Successful Web Hosting

So you need hosting for that great website you have planned. You did the obligatory Google search and found out there are a gazillion web hosting companies. They all are offering what you need (web hosting) and you found the price varies from free to sky’s the limit. You also found that there are a ton of features some of which you have no idea of what they are. So now what you thought was going to be an easy task has just turned into a semester of study at your local junior college. Well believe me I know what you’re going through. Through trail, error and mistake I have learned that not all web hosting is created equal. While there area ton of features and hosting plans offered by web hosting companies, there are five basics factors you will want to make sure you are getting when selecting your hosting provider.???

1. Databases
Be sure you are getting ample databases to support and expand your website. All blogging, forum, and Websites that use any form of dynamic data applications or capture user data require a database to function. Unfortunately, most shared hosting packages only offer one to five databases; this can limit your ability to expand and may not be enough to carry out the planned functions of your website. The minimum number of databases you should look for is ten. Granted you may not need that many but if you do they will be readily available without spending additional money to add on databases. Usually the higher priced hosing plans offer more databases but you should not have to opt for a more expensive plan to get 10 databases.

2. Multiple domains
web hosting companies usually limit the number of domains you can serve from your hosting plan. Some hosting plans, usually the lower cost or free plans, only allow one domain name per plan. If you are for sure you will only have one website then this will be of no consequence. However, if you plan on having multiple websites then you should look for a hosting plan that offers the ability to host multiple sites from a single hosting plan. A hosting plan that offers at least 5 domains is a minimum. You should be aware that the resources of your hosting server will be shared by all domains assigned to the web hosting plan. Make sure the plan you get provides ample disk space, bandwidth and databases to keep multiple sites up and running.????

3. Developer Support
Developer support is the litmus test for any Web host. You may be starting with a simple website but as time goes on many times you may want to add additional functionality or features to your site. Also when adding new websites to your hosting plan additional capabilities may be needed. This is where a hosting provider can easily make or break your plans. If your web hosting provider is limited on developer languages or web application offerings you may have to find a new hosting provider. This is something you do not want to do. Having multiple hosting accounts or hosting providers is a sure way for confusion and frustration. Most hosting companies offer various language support and misc. application support but why not get it all. Yes there are hosting providers that offer everything you will ever need and it doesn’t cost any more.
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No matter what hosting package you are considering, make sure you are getting the most support possible. Below is a list of the most popular website development items available:

??PHP
??MySQL
??Ruby on Rails
??Python
??CGI
??Perl
??Java
??ASP.net
??Coldfusion
??Frontpage Server Extensions
??Content Managment Tools
??eCommerce Solutions
??Project Management Tools
??Blogs
??Message Board/Forum Tools
??Photo Gallery Tools
??Admin Tools
??Misc. web-site add-ons

4. Customer support
Working late at night on that website, or perhaps on the weekend (Sunday Night)? Got a deadline to get a site up and running but just ran into a problem. Perhaps you just discovered you need an additional web app or database. It can be very frustrating and sometimes costly if you cannot get customer support from your hosting company when you need it (on your schedule). Always look for a web hosting service provider that provides 24×7 customer support. That is 24 hours a day 7 days a week and I don’t mean just Email support. Email support is important and should be part of the customer support package but what you really want is phone support. Many times problems or issues need to be discussed to reach a quick resolution, passing Emails around can takes days or sometimes weeks. Your number one tool for support should be the phone, make sure your web hosting company is awake and working when you are. You will want to make sure there is an on-line knowledgebase as well. Not only is a knowledgebase good for answeering questions, it is also very usefull for use as a learning tool.??

5. Server Uptime
Your website should be up and running 24×7. However things do happen in the real world that can sometimes cause a website to go down. In spite of real world problems, your web hosting provider should offer a 99.9% uptime guarantee. With today’s internet technology there are ways to insure websites stay functional virtually every minute of every day. Don’t settle for a hosting company that cannot guarantee your website is up and running around the clock.???

Web hosting is the backbone of the success of your website. While the content of your site is vitally important, any short coming in your web hosting service is sure to translate to failure at your site. The hosting company you start with is most likely the one you will stay with, so take the time to choose the right web hosting company from the start, you’ll be glad you did.?????

Web Hosting Guide: How to find the best web host for you – An Insiders Guide

Determining the best web hosting company for you is critical to your web site’s success. Whether it is for business, e-commerce, a fan site or just a hobby, the host you choose plays a large factor on how well you?ll fare in the online world. In such a flooded market with so many different hosting companies and packages out there, how do you know who to trust with your site? You want a reliable company that will make sure your site is always available, you want a support department that actually exists and can help you quickly, but of course it needs to be affordable and fit into your budget, especially if your web site isn?t intended to generate any income.

Knowing your requirements is the first step in finding the best host for you. Try to determine how much disk space your site is going to require, how your site will deliver its content such as static pages like HTML or dynamic automated content via scripts like wordpress or Joomla, and of course how many visitors you are expecting to visit monthly to gauge how much bandwidth you will need. If you already have a website, you should know most of this information, if you are just creating your website and have no idea, don?t sweat it. If you are just starting out chances are you will need less then 500MB of disk space, and 5,000-10,000MB (5-10GB) of bandwidth should be sufficient for a starter. It you plan on running a personal blog or a message board, make sure the package you choose has access to a database, it?s best to pick a host that allows you at least three databases. Most hosting companies have a small basic package that should work well for the time being. If you plan to mass market your website or run a business or ecommerce site you may have a higher bandwidth requirement.? Always check with potential web host?s to make sure you have growth potential. So if your website out grows your hosting package you can always move up to something with more room.

Next you are going to need to determine your budget. How much can you financially afford or are willing to spend on web hosting? Figure this out before you shop for a host, don?t let a host decide your budget for you. Remember, you want a reliable web host that gives your site good uptime but offers you support should you experience a problem. Running reliable and stable servers can be expensive and so can staffing a support department 24/7. So make sure you have a practical budget that takes this into account. Do not waste your hard earned money on hosts that offer you the world for a buck or two, it will only lead to heart ache. For a basic plan with 500MB ? 2,000MB storage space and 5,000MB ? 10,000MB bandwidth you should expect to pay around at minimum $6USD for a good host. However, hosts that sell their plans at this price are not necessarily a good host.

Do not be fooled by marketing gimmicks, flashy web sites or statements made on a web site! The biggest problem in the hosting industry today is the UNLIMITED sales pitch. No host worth their salt is going to offer you up unlimited everything. It?s not possible. Web servers are simply ?heavy-duty? computers that use RAM and Hard drives just like your home PC or laptop. When is the last time you bought a computer with an ?UNLIMITED? hard drive? As for bandwidth, sure, it could be unlimited, but only if you have unlimited money. Hosts that offer unlimited disk space and bandwidth generally ?oversell? their servers. This means they can pile hundreds of customers on one server. They sell the same storage space and bandwidth they sold you, to other customers as well. What they offer you is not dedicated only to you, but to everyone. If you try to start using that unlimited space and store 25GB of files or use that unlimited Bandwidth using over 200GB a month, you will soon find your site shut for ?abuse?. ?You see, a huge secret in the hosting rules is the TOS known as the terms of service. Some hosts will state unlimited on their sites and in the TOS they declare unlimited as 500MB or something similar. They may also limit you to what you can store on your site, saying you are only allowed to have html files. No images, videos, or anything. Sure you can upload these files and use them, but if you use that disk space and bandwidth they will shut you down and claim abuse because you uploaded files that were not allowed. Unlimited hosts have a lot of dirty tricks like this up their sleeves always stipulated in their TOS.

Look for a host that is upfront about your limits. For a personal website, small business or hobby site 1000MB (1GB) is plenty of disk space and you should be more then fine with 10,000MB (10GB) of bandwidth. As your site becomes more popular you will use more bandwidth and when the time comes you can upgrade your package to include more bandwidth. All hosts include a control panel where you can track your disk and bandwidth usage so you know what you are actually using.

Okay so we got your requirements, your budget and what hosts to look out for. Now it?s time to actually find your potential hosting company. You may have a web companies in mind, which is great. If not ask around with friends and family to see if they can recommend anyone or someone to avoid. Do a Google or yahoo search if you are up to it, you will find hundreds of thousands of potential web hosts. Generally in the top results on Google are ?Hosting review sites? they can provide you with helpful information in narrowing down hosts, but always take the reviews with a grain of salt. These sites are often paid to post certain kinds of reviews by the hosts themselves or they are linked to affiliate systems where they get paid if you sign up with a particular host. However you find your possible hosts is up to you.

Once you have a list of web hosts you are interested in, it?s time to research them and evaluate them. First make sure they offer a package that meets your budget. Then contact the hosting company, email the sales department or submit a sales ticket in their customer support panels this should be easy to find. Let them know you are a potential client, and you are interested in their services. Ask them any questions that may be on your mind, or to clarify what exactly their hosting packages include, ask about their uptime, response time to support tickets and so on. If all else fails simply ask them that if you out-grew your plan, if you could easily upgrade to a bigger one. Generally the answer should be yes, but what you are actually testing here is their response time. You want to see how long it takes for a host to respond to your inquiry. This is a good test to tell how fast their support could be. Also try to submit a support ticket, you should be able to email support@hostingcompaniesname.com or enter a support ticket via their website. Sometimes they will reply to sales tickets faster to get a new customer then reply to current customers needing support. So always check this out. When you submit a support ticket be honest and just say you are a potential client and wanted to test out the support response time. Try this at different times of the day and night to see if they truly offer ?round the clock support, this may be important should your site crash at 1AM.

Next do a Google search on them, enter the companies name and then add review to the end (example: hostingcompaniesname.com review) this should pull up at least a few reviews that should help you know what you are getting into with this company. Remember always take reviews with a grain of salt. Even very reputable companies will have a bad or negative review. Try to find as many reviews as you can.

Check out their guarantees, many hosting companies offer a 15, 30 or even 45 day satisfaction guarantee. This means you can try them out for that amount of time. If you don?t like them, you can get a full refund and find a new host! Always make sure to find and read the fine print on these offers to make sure there are no catches that could bilk you out of a refund should you not like their service. Also make a note to find out whether or not a host has an uptime guarantee, this will give you a rough guide on how much downtime you could expect from a hosting company, this means how often your site *may* be inaccessible. Industry standard is generally 99.9% this means your website *could* be down for as long as 45 minutes in a month. Be wary of hosts that say their uptime is 100% as it?s a fact of technology that something will at some point fail and need to be repaired or replaced. Avoid any host that offers a 95% uptime guarantee because 95% means your site could be down for as much as 30hours a month! This is not acceptable it today?s standards.

Look for additional or bonus features. Some hosting companies offer extra?s like a free website builder tool, one click script installation for many useful programs like bulletin boards, word press, and many other things. Keep an eye out for extra?s like $25 or $50 worth of free advertising credits on sites like Google?s adwords or facebook advertising.

See whether or not the company backups your website. Should their server fail or hard drive crash, your site is gone! If they have backups at least you know in an event of a disaster they will have a backup of your site for you. On this note, always make sure you backup your own website. I cannot stress enough on how important it is to backup your own website. Never rely on anyone else to do it for you. Some companies may claim they do this for you then when a disaster hits, they don?t have your backup and your site is gone. Or should you happen to wake up one to find your website and your host has disappear or gone out of business, you will have minimal downtime because you have your site backed up. This is a MUST for EVERY web site owner. Having the hosting company do it for you is only an added benefit and the third backup just in case.

If you follow these steps, use a little common sense and understand that no one can offer you unlimited anything, especially for a few bucks a month, you are well on your way to finding a good, solid host that will serve you well for years to come.


Don’t Use Luck as The Tool for Choosing the Right Web Hosting Service

The astronomical popularity of the internet and the development of millions of websites have created a huge demand for web hosting services. This demand for hosting services has led to thousands of web hosting companies being created to meet the demand. These companies offer a wide range of options in terms of price, features, disk space, customer support, and other aspects of web hosting. With so many options available, it is a major effort to determine which web hosting company offers the best hosting plan for your website. In order to choose a web hosting provider, there are a number of things to consider.

The first thing to consider is the feature set being offered. However before you spend any time feature shopping you need to have an idea of how much disk space you need for now and the future and how much traffic you expect to receive. You should also know if you need databases, how many and whether or not you will be building more websites in the future. These are difficult questions to answer especially if you are new to website development. To help make selecting a web hosting service plan easier the following is a rule of thumb guide that can lend some direction for making an educated choice.

Small websites (1 ? 5 pages) with low traffic volume, no need for a database and limited future expansion can use free and the cheapest hosting service.

Sites that have 6 ? 50 pages, use graphics/videos, a database or two, a few forms, with a moderate level of traffic should opt for the next higher level of hosting services. This generally ranges from $3.49 to $8.99 per month and is typically the most appropriate hosting plan for most sites. If you are planning on adding more websites in the future make sure the hosting plan will allow multiple domains.

Sites that have 6 ? 50 pages or more use lots of graphics/videos, lots of content, high level of user interaction, maybe offering lots of downloaded information with a high level of traffic, and plans to add more sites in the future, need to select a higher level of hosting. You will find this level of hosting will be in the range of $6.99 to $17.99 per month.??

For sites on the upper level of capabilities which include perhaps 100?s of pages with heavy use of graphics/videos, content, interactivity, high level of security, extreme level of traffic (lucky you), plans for future growth, need to select the highest level of hosting services. For sites like this, generally you need dedicated services. Pricing ranges from $14.99 to $99.00 per month.??

Once you figure out what level of hosting service you?ll need you can begin your shopping. The things that are of most importance are the amount disk space, bandwidth, databases, and domains you can get for current and future needs. In general you want to get the largest set of features you can. There is a broad range of features offered by the various hosting companies but you?ll find that individual hosting plans are similar from company to company. So what is the difference maker from one company to another?

Perhaps the most important factor and the difference maker for selecting a hosting provider is customer support. There are many things that you have to know when managing a website, such as the uploading of files, domain management, DNS setup, Email setup and other misc. web operations. A good hosting provider will be able to give you customer phone support anytime of the day or night, and can reply to emails in 1 or 4 hours. The customer support team should be knowledgeable and supportive enough to help solve any problem that you may encounter. A good thing to do is call customer support of a few hosting companies and ask a few questions. See what kind of response you get. Were they readily available? Could they answer your basic questions? Here?s a good question to ask: Will there be any penalties for either upgrading or downgrading hosting features?

Some web hosting providers offer a wide selection of free add-on applications to allow additional functionality to be quickly and easily added to your site. This is a distinct advantage as this factor alone can make a significant difference in your success. The question here is will the customer support staff help you install new applications?

One more consideration before selecting a hosting provider is to evaluate whether or not the hosting provider can offer everything you might need to run a website. Besides the basic hosting plan, does the company offer Dedicated Servers, Dedicated IP?s, SSL?s, eMail Accounts, domain Registration, Website Marketing Tools, Traffic Analysis Tools, eCommerce Support, Shopping Carts, Web Design Tools and Website Management Tools? You may never need these things but if you do it is far easier to integrate and manage these features if they are provided by one hosting provider.???

Once you have carefully considered the above mentioned factors, you will be ready to select a web hosting provider for your website. A good place to end your web hosting shopping is at the Web Hosting Goods Store.

CHOOSING A WEB HOST OR WEB HOSTING COMPANY

When the plan is clear it is time to choose what is going to be your domain name and to find a webhost. There are a lot of free options out there that lets you build a site on their domain for free, but this is not recommended. The only thing this is recommended for is to give your self a try at web site building at no cost. I would suggest trying it out for fun, but not spending a lot of time on doing it. That time you should rather use to build your business. No matter how you turn it, you will need an own domain name and a web host. When you are choosing your own domain name, try to find one that is including your main keyword. If you have the main keyword in the URL it will help the ranking for that keyword. This is unless you have a specific product, service, or company that you are marketing. Then the product name, service or company name would be the best.

Before Choosing a web hosting Company

There are so many web hosting services offered by web hosting provides like cPanel Webhosting, Linux Web Site Hosting, Yahoo web hosting, cheap internet hosing, business web hosting etc at very different prices So When you start shopping around for your next web hosting provider, there are certain criteria you will want to hone in on, namely: disk space, bandwidth, upload/download speeds, customer service and guarantees. One by one details is given below

Disk Space and Bandwidth

Disk space is the storage space your web hosting provider allows you for all the files that make up your website (from image galleries to databases to HTML and ASP docs, etc.). Bandwidth is the amount of data transfer your web hosting provider permits you in a given period (usually a month). It is disk space that determines how rich and elaborate your site can be. It is bandwidth that determines how much traffic you can accommodate.

Upload/Download Speeds

When someone visits your website online, how long will it take the page to load? The answer to this question alone — and the consistency with which
you and your web hosting provider maintain it — can be the singular point that makes or breaks your business. People have short attention spans made even shorter on the web. The longer you keep them waiting, the more likely they will stop waiting.

Customer Service

Is it 24/7 365? Is it all free or only certain services? Or is none of it free? Can you talk to a human being by toll-free telephone? In what areas? Does the web hosting provider use email query tickets or live chat or both? How extensive are their user guides, tutorials, and help docs? Do they use Flash or streaming audio/video or are all of their help
guides merely text based?

Guarantees

A Best web hosting provider will also usually offer some sort of uptime guarantee, meaning the percentage of the time your site is guaranteed to be live when a visitor tries to visit it. The best ones go from 99.95% to 99.9999%. As long as they have one in the 99% range, you can feel somewhat secure.

Upgrade/Downgrade Policies

Are they free? For how long (1year, life)? What if you discover you have chosen the wrong web hosting plan for your needs, or you outgrow your existing plan, or
you downsize? Don?t sign any contracts with any web hosting provider that locks you into one particular plan with no recourse should these situations arise. There is no need to have to pay exorbitant fees to get out of one plan and into another. Especially when a decent web hosting provider will allow you to change plans whenever you need to and for whatever reason.

Web Hosting, Defined

web hosting may be defined as renting space on a web server in its simplest form. One should keep in mind that a website is a collection of files linked together by HTML code to display text and graphics on a computer. However website is not complete here until and unless it is displayed on the net. To make it visible for the world it has to be housed on a computer somewhere that has access to the Internet. This is not possible by just a computer rather special device is required termed as web server. A web server may be defined as a computer set up with special software that allows it to receive requests from the internet for the website files it has stored on it and to send those files out over the internet so that the requesting computer can display them.

Web server in addition to making site visible performs several other functions as well like it provides the ability to create email addresses based on one?s domain name and even helps in sending and receiving emails with them. There are several types of software installed on the web server that allows one?s website to run programs, create and manage databases, display video, etc. One must note that almost any type of computer can function as a web server, but it’s the software that’s on it that makes it a server.

When one goes buying a web hosting, the monthly fees to be paid includes cost for maintenance and upgrading of the server’s hardware and software, the cost of keeping it online 24 hours a day, 7 days a week in a secure data center with a fast and powerful internet connection, and cost of professional proving these services. It is surprising to know that it is possible to turn one?s home or office computer into a web server if one really desires, but it is just not economical. Therefore it is better to outsource it. There are several kinds of web hosting available which are discussed below:

Kinds of web hosting:

Shared Hosting ? Through a shared server one can save a high amount. If one talks about the drawbacks then Spamming and blacklisting from different search engines are the key problems. Such problems arise due to the reason that several sites are assign to one particular IP address. One should demand for a separate IP address for his/her website (on additional monthly charges) to secure the user from such problems.

Dedicated Hosting ?Dedicated servers are best for big, highly trafficked websites, which will require large amounts of server resources to run. One of the downsides to shared hosting is that the server?s resources are divided across all the sites it?s hosting and answering page requests for. If you are in a dedicated environment you can better monitor your server resources. The downside is that dedicated servers will run you generally $50 per month or more. Shared hosting can be purchased for as little as 5$ a month. Most small or medium sized businesses will have neither the website size or bandwidth requirements to make dedicated servers cost effective.

Server Co-Location – If one wants to have full control over every aspect of his/her web server, he/she might very well choose to buy one and maintain it himself/herself if he/she is having sufficient knowledge. Still there are possibilities that one is not having enough resources to keep his/her server completely safe from power outages, roof leaks, thieves, unwary employees and other problems and in addition it is not possible for him/her to keep it on the internet on a fast, high-bandwidth connection through out. Thus he/she needs a data center to provide those services for him/her.

Co-location is the center providing facilities like physical security on rental, continuous electrical power and a fast, reliable Internet connection for a server that one owns. However, the data center is not responsible for any of the hardware or software maintenance of a co-located server, rather user his/her self. Thus it is a cheaper alternative to dedicated hosting if one is having the necessary expertise and time to run a web server by own.

There are several web hosts offering UNIX hosting and Windows hosting.

UNIX Hosting

There are several web servers in the world running mostly on UNIX. UNIX is an operating system originally developed for servers and networking. Till now many different versions of UNIX have been written by programmers around the world under the open-source protocol, which means that the code for the operating system is openly available so as to enable programmers to customize and make improvements when and where necessary. The two most popular forms of UNIX are Linux and BSD that comes in several varieties, like Red Hat Linux, Debian, SuSE, and FreeBSD. The best part of UNIX is most of above mentioned versions can be obtained free of cost, making UNIX hosting cheaper for a web host in comparison to other operating systems. Other plus points of UNIX are that UNIX hosting platforms are generally considered to be stable, secure, powerful and fast. That is the reason why most web programming applications can be performed by software that is available for a UNIX platform.

Windows Hosting

Another very popular operating system developed by Microsoft is Windows operating system, Windows Server 2003. Like every thing useful it is having price and can be obtained by purchasing a license, which in turn increases the cost of operation for the web host and usually results in higher hosting prices. This is considered a negative point as compared to UNIX. Plus points of Windows include it is mainly user friendly however it is generally considered to be less powerful and secure than UNIX for operating in a network environment. There are several scripting languages like ASP, ASP.NET, and Cold Fusion, which will only run on a Windows server, as will the Microsoft SQL Server and Microsoft Access database programs. Thus the above are some of the most popular scripts for certain web programming applications, and if one is thinking of using them while building his/her site, he/she will first definitely need to find a Windows host.

Before searching for a web host, it is essential to know some important terms used in hosting. They are discussed as under:

Storage or Disk space ?As one?s website is a collection of files being offered on the Internet for viewing, it is necessary for storing them somewhere for retrieval and take up space. For each and every web server there is a limited amount of hard disk memory, which is divided up and offered to hosting customers. Different package levels are there, so as to enable to pay more for more space and vice versa divide specifically that space up. If one?s website expands its space then the user needs to buy extra space from the web host.

Bandwidth or Data Transfer ?One of the crucial parts to verify is bandwidth. There are several sites, which loose their host due to excessive downloads causing budget going beyond their expectations. Occasionally, host even charges in hundreds of dollars for the additional bandwidth. One should confirm about this before dealing with any of the host. Usually, ideal-hosting providers deliver initial bandwidth of 25 to 50 GB to the users.

Uptime ?It is a universal truth that if one talks about perfect web servers then they are the one, which would be up, and running and offering web pages to the world round the clock, whole year. But, it is also true that web servers are mere computers, and like any other computer, they may fail or needs repairing or updating. Often web hosts gives 99% uptime guarantee, and if they fail they refund a certain portion of user?s money depending on the amount of excess downtime they experienced.

Traffic Statistics ? By traffic statistics we mean those programs that track visitors to one?s website. These programs are capable of telling how many times a user visited one site, how many visitors were unique and how many came back more than once, which pages were most popular, from where the visitors came to one?s site, what search terms they used in the search engines etc. In addition they offer several types of information which are useful for marketing one?s website to a target audience. There are several web hosts offering some sort of traffic statistics software with their hosting packages.

CGI Scripts ? There are several web hosts offering a variety of free CGI scripts with their packages. CGI Scripts are the things like hit counters, guest books, form mail programs, message boards, and other programs that enable one website to perform commonly desired functions. Most CGI scripts are written in common programming languages like Perl, PHP or ASP.

Thus one should take care and keep all the above points in mind while selecting a web host.