Posts tagged ‘Website Content’

Web Hosts: The Basics


Before you start searching for a web host, you must familiarize yourself with the terminology used in this field. The following terms are also considered key factors in deciding the suitable hosting plan that meets your requirements. You can start learning what does each term mean and how does it affect your selection.

Web Host
A web host, also known as web server, is a computer connected to the internet. This computer is more powerful than normal PCs and is set up to serve up websites. Your website content will reside on this computer, which will give people who surf the internet a way to access your website.

Web hosts can be categorized into three main categories based on the price range and common features for each category:

1. Free Hosts: limited in space, bandwidth and other features. Suitable for personal websites or for temporary usage. Usually enforce pop-up, text or banner ads. They do not provide the best performance and/or reliability. They provide minimum or no customer support. If you register for a free host, your domain will be something like yourname.freehost.com or www.freehost.com/yourname.

2. Shared Hosts: most websites are using this type of hosting. Suitable for personal, small and medium businesses. Prices range from $1 to about $25 a month. Features also range from very limited space/bandwidth to semi-dedicated servers. Your website has its own top level domain (e.g. www.website-hostings.net) The number of websites on a server affects its performance and availability, more websites usually means less performance. Servers hosting less number of shared websites are more expensive, but more reliable. Some companies allow customers to host multiple websites with different domains under a single account.

3. Dedicated Hosts: A full server dedicated to a single customer. Usually used by large businesses and very active websites with thousands of daily visitors. The customer will have full control over the server, and can create as many websites as he likes. Customer can have his own hosting company run on a rented dedicated server. Prices depend on the specifications and services provided with the server, starting from about $100 up to about $800 dollars a month.

4. Colocated Hosts: very similar to dedicated hosts, but the customer owns the server hardware instead of renting it. The server will be housed in provider’s data center. Prices are a bit higher than dedicated servers.

5. Reseller Hosts: providers offer web server storage to customers, who then resell the web server storage to their customers. Providers usually offer resellers a discount price.

6. Other Hosts: there are few other types of hosts such as email hosts, media hosts, data hosts, etc but these are out of the scope of this article.

domain Name
http://www.website-hostings.net/ is an example of a

Basic Concepts of Web Hosts

The one who wants to enter in this web world and desires for a long time survival, then he/she should be familiar with each and every terminology used in this field. If user considers all the important factors before choosing a hosting plan then only he/she will be able to have a successful future in this world .User should not choose any of the plan, rather he/she should opt the best and most suitable one and this can only be made possible by fetching more and more informations and also by studying properly all the requirements. New comers should start from the basics .They should learn the meaning of each and every term used and also in addition those factors that can affect his/her selection.

Web Host

Web host refers to a computer connected to the internet. Web host can also be termed as ?web server?. The computer that is playing the role of the web server needs to be more powerful than normal PCs and the function of this web server is to serve up websites.

The website content of the user will remain will on this computer, so as the people who are surfing on the internet can get a way to access his/her website.

There can be three main categories in which the web host can be classified based on the economic factor and common features:

1. Free Hosts:

The users who are not professional but are making website only as a hobby then for them free hosting can be a good option. In free hosting space, bandwidth and other features provided are very limited. With free web hosting one can not only make his/her website successful but is also suitable for personal websites or for temporary usage. Generally free hosting enforces pop-up, text or banner ads. Reliability, best performance and customer support lacks in case of free hosting as well. When a user registers for a free host then the word free host gets added with the user?s domain name that gives an adverse effect in the eye of the visitors.

2. Shared Hosts:

The next type of the web hosting to be discussed is shared hosting. This hosting service is used by many of the web sites .This type of hosting service is Suitable for personal, small and medium businesses. This service can be used by paying $1 to $25 per month. The features provided by this service vary from very limited space/bandwidth to semi-dedicated servers. The users host their website by this type of hosting service and it has its own top level domain facility. No doubt that shared web hosting is quite better than free hosting but still it does not provide 100% satisfactory services. In case of shared hosting one server is shared by the number of websites so its performance and availability gets affected. More websites usually means less performance. If less number of websites are hosted by one server then it will be more expensive, but in this case there are more chances of reliability. There are many companies allowing customers to host multiple websites with different domains under a single account.

3. Dedicated Hosts:

The next type of hosting is dedicated hosting. This type of hosting is most reliable hosting. In this type of hosting a full server is dedicated to a single customer. Generally this type of hosting is used by large businesses, professionals and very active websites dealing with thousands of visitors daily. The customers having dedicated hosting can have their total control over the server as well as able to create as many websites as they like. Customers can run their own hosting company on a rented dedicated server. Payment module is mentioned according to specifications and services provided with the server, which varies from $100 up to about $800 dollars per month.

4. Collocated Hosts:

Now the other type of hosting service to be discussed is collocated hosting. This service is very much similar to dedicated hosting. The difference between collocated hosting and dedicated hosting is that in collocated hosting the customer owns the server hardware instead of renting it. In this service the server will be placed in provider?s data center. This service is more expensive than dedicated hosting.

5. Reseller Hosts:

In reseller hosting the providers offers web server storage to their customers, and resells the web server storage to them. Generally providers offer resellers a discount price.

6. Other Hosts:

Including the above type of hosts there are also many other hosts such as email hosts, media hosts, data hosts, etc but these hosts will not be discussed in this article.

domain Name

domain name is the name which shows the place where one?s website is located. The actual address of the website is a set of numbers. Each and every web server has its own unique address. domain name indicates the real addresses of every websites. One can easily remember the domain name of any of the website. Remembering domain name is easier than recalling the IP addresses.

Space / Storage

Space is one of the services provided by the web host. It plays a very important role in the website development. It happens many times that the customer requires more space but the host fails to provide it, so customer should be very careful while choosing the web host. Storage is the amount of web server?s disk space available for customer?s website files, images and databases. Space can be according to the requirement; it can be as small as 5MB in some free hosts and as big as 300GB for some dedicated servers. Earlier prices of the space were very high but prices reduced significantly during the last few years. The hosting plans offering 3GB of space for less than $10 a month can be easily available.

Bandwidth

Bandwidth can be defined as the amount of data transferred from web server to clients? internet browsers. When ever a person outlook a page the data is transmitted from the server to that person? PC. If any one is having audio, video and images in his/her website then the bandwidth consumed is more in comparison of the website having only text contents. The bandwidth available in free hosting can be as low as 100MB per month where as in some dedicated servers the bandwidth available is as high as 2000GB a month. The customers who don?t want to pay more for bandwidth can easily find hosting plans offering 75GB of monthly data transfer for less than $10.

Server Type

Generally server means the operating system than runs the web server. Some common types are Windows, Linux and UNIX. Server type refers the server side scripting and database types. The difference between Windows server and Linux/UNIX is that Windows runs ASP and ASP.NET with Access or SQL Server databases where as Linux/UNIX servers usually runs CGI, PHP or JSP with MySQL or Oracle databases. The other difference is that Windows servers are more expensive than Linux/UNIX servers.

Databases

As server type is discussed earlier also, we are able to know that there are different types of databases available. The mostly used is MySQL as it is open source GPL (free) software and can serve a lot of online applications? requirements such as forums, content management, mailing lists, etc. MySQL, rather its features are limited. MySQL is sufficient for small concern but it is not powerful for the complicated large business sites. Large business requires more powerful databases such as Oracle or SQL Server.

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Server Side Scripting

Usually the new comers prefer to use PHP as server side scripting. The reason behind this is that there are hundreds of open source (GPL) PHP scripts that are able to fulfill the webmaster?s requirements. However PHP also has some limitations in features required by advanced websites same as in the case of MySQL, due to this limitation some professional web developers prefer to use ASP.NET or JSP. Some other developers still prefer to use Cold Fusion, CGI, ASP or PERL.

Email

Now the next very important aspect to be talked about is Email. At present no one can move further in this computer world with having his/her Email account. The one who is planning to do any kind of activity through computer such as to run a business or to provide any kind of service, then the first thing he/she need to do is to open an Email account. There are many hosting plans that include the feature of having some email accounts with customer?s domain. The availability of number and size of email accounts totally depends on the hosting plan one opted. Generally this feature is not included in free hosting. Small plans provide only about 10 accounts where as big plans do not have the limited number. Usually those email accounts are web based and accessible through POP3 clients as well.

File Transfer Protocol (FTP)

The other service is FTP. File Transfer Protocol is a usual way of transferring files across the Internet. Most of the webmasters used to upload and download their websites contents through FTP. The process of uploading or downloading is performed by using FTP client software. Webmasters require FTP username and password so as to access their web server. There are any hosts who use to provide more than one FTP account to their customers as per their requirement. Rather FTP is unspecified; it is not advisable as per the security reasons.

Control Panel

Control panel is the service available by many of the web hosting companies to their customers. It is a web based application that helps in managing websites. Some important functions performed by the control panel are that it used to manage email accounts, providing statistics, managing FTP accounts, managing domains and sub-domains and managing databases. The control panel application that is mostly used by the user is cPanel. There are many companies who use to develop their own control panel application.

Uptime

Now after having all the services, the thing of concern which remains is how the user keeps his/her website uptime most of the time. If anyone is having a website with excellent features but it remains down most of the time it will be of no use, as when ever the visitors visit his/her website and found it down then later on they will think twice before visiting it. In result he/she will suffer the loss of visitors. Uptime is very important feature of web hosts and that is usually measured in percentage. If a server remains down near about 30 minutes a day will have an uptime percentage of about 99.98%, which is acceptable for most small to medium business websites. If any of the business website is not having at least this percentage of uptime then that website is not suitable for a business website. Mission critical sites cannot tolerate frequent outages, thus they may use web monitoring services to notify web administrators immediately when an outage happens.

Price

Finally the factor left is price. In this option also there is a great variability found like for example customer is having option to choose between the prices ranging from 0 to $1000 per month. For most personal, small and medium websites the total amount of cost involved is just $15 per month. Thus its not at all advisable for business website owners to select very cheap plans let say less than $5 because this price can lead to huge cost indirectly afterwards.

Features to Look For in a Web Hosting Package

web hosting Providers and Packages

What To Look For When Researching A Web Host and web hosting Package

In order for people to view (download) your website content on the internet you need a web hosting Provider, also known as a Hosting Company, to host (store and display or store and run) each website file that makes up your website content. A website file can typically be a HTML file, CSS file, PHP file, JavaScript file, Image file, Audio/Video file and so on.

Even though one HTML file for example is known as a web page, as can be one PHP file, collectively a group of website files (i.e. one HTML file, one CSS file and one Image file) are also known as a web page…..usually by the general public.

What Is A Website?

Behind the scenes a website is just a folder, on the web hosting provider’s computer (server), that is named after your domain name (i.e. websitecreationhelp.com). Within that domain name folder (also known as your Web Space root folder) will be a sub-folder called public_html. It is the content of that public_html sub-folder that the general public will view via their web browser (i.e. Internet Explorer), with your permission of course.

This is because even though your domain name points to (connects to) your Web Space root folder, the folder that was named after your domain name (i.e. websitecreationhelp.com), a web browser and more specifically a website address can only point to (view the content of) the public_html sub-folder…..in normal circumstances. In other words, typing your domain name into internet explorer will point you to the content (i.e. main web page) that is inside the public_html sub-folder. You will not see the content of the Web Space root folder.

Which web hosting Provider?

You will know which web hosting provider to use when you have looked at the prices of their web hosting Packages and the features that come with it (i.e. PHP Scripting and MySQL Database). A web hosting provider has two main jobs to do.

The first job is to maintain your Web Space (main folder), which has specific web hosting system files inside it as well as your public_html sub-folder, so that your public_html website content is viewable for everyone to see on the internet 24/7…..with your permission of course. This job also involves them looking after their own computers (servers) and making sure your website content is safe and secure.

The second job is to maintain your Control Panel (set of Tools) that comes with the web hosting package, so that you can create MySQL Databases, E-Mail Accounts and so on (depending on the features of the web hosting package).

Shop Around – Avoid FREE and Cheap ‘N’ Nasty

When looking for a Web Hosting Provider to host (display) your website on the internet, and more importantly when looking at the features inside their Web Hosting Packages, it pays to shop around. The old saying “If it’s too good to be true it probably is” should be in the front of your mind.

Dismiss the sales talk about features such as “Unlimited Bandwidth”, “Unlimited Web Space”, “100?s of FREE Templates” and “Website Builder” because these tend to be gimmicks – A company does not give for free unless they are taking from somewhere else and/or someone else. For example. “FREE Templates” that everyone else is using (so your website is not unique/bespoke to you). “A Website Builder” that supposedly does everything for you (so you get a useless/limited Control Panel).

Many “FREE Website Hosting” packages do not allow you to create a MySQL Database or use PHP Scripting for example. Other packages host (display) your website content for “FREE” with the condition that your web pages contain their selected advertisements. Some limit the features of the Control Panel, Bandwidth and so on. These tend to be hosting companies that advertise “FREE Website Builder” and “FREE Templates”.

In other words. They give you software that builds and publishes your website, catered for the Absolute Beginner, without you realising you should be getting a better control panel for example. There are plenty of free, and very affordable, templates and tools on the internet that can also build you a website in minutes. So do not pay for something like a Website Builder for the sake of a limited control panel.

Affordable – With Basic Features

A good Web Hosting Package should be affordable but definitely not “FREE”, and definitely not “Cheap ‘N’ Nasty”. Above all else it should contain YOUR basic requirements. So consider spending ?5 to ?10 a month on a standard web hosting package. This should get you the Basics. Ask yourself the following questions:

Do I need 10, 20, 40 or 80 Email Addresses?.

Am I going to need a Forum (Questions and Answers Board), Blog (Diary Articles), Guest Book and/or Media (Audio/Video) Gallery?…..that may need a MySQL Database and/or PHP Script. One thing to remember here is that these features can take time to create and may need ongoing management time too.

How much Website Space do I need?…..for my Web Pages (HTML Files – Text, Pictures, Audio and Video), Forum, Blog, Guest Book and so on.

How many Website Visitors am I expecting each month? The more visitors you get the more Bandwidth (Download Units) you will need.

Below I have explained the major features inside a standard Web Hosting Package, in order for you to answer the above questions and to give you a better idea of what features you should be looking to use. At the bottom of each description I have noted the standard you should be looking for when paying ?5 to ?10 a month. These are based on Quality web hosting providers (see Quality below).

The Control Panel

Although all web hosting packages have a web based Control Panel of some sort it is the control panel that is overlooked. A good control panel is the key to a good web hosting package and more importantly to an easier life in terms of managing your website. The more tools in a control panel the better.

A part from the features entitled Bandwidth, Web Space and Quality (below) all the other features mentioned below should be accessable through a control panel. The control panel itself is installed, and updated, by your web hosting provider. Many use the popular CPanel (cpanel.net) control panel.

Bandwidth (Monthly Data Transfer)

Bandwidth (also known as Monthly Data Transfer) is the amount of Data that can be downloaded from your public_html sub-folder, onto a customer’s computer via internet explorer for example, each month. It is measured in GigaBytes – A standard Web Hosting Package should allow you at least 2 GigaBytes of bandwidth per month. Bandwidth can also be contributed to uploading your files to your public_html sub-folder, which means Bandwidth is really your upload and download usage.

What does all this mean? It means if one customer downloads a 4MB Music File, for example, from your public_html sub-folder it will cost you 4MB in bandwidth. So if ten customers download the 4MB Music File, or one customer downloads the 4MB Music File ten times, either way it will cost you 40MB of bandwidth in total. However. It is not that simple because each web page viewed also costs bandwidth.

If you have a Music Product Web Page that consists of 1MB of Introduction Text and 1MB of Music Pictures for example it will cost you 2MB of bandwidth each time that Music Product Web Page is viewed (downloaded into one customer’s web browser, from your web space to their computer). Therefore, each time a customer views (downloads) the 2MB Music Product Web Page and then downloads the 4MB Music File it will cost you 6MB of bandwidth in total. Times that by ten customers and it would cost you 60MB of bandwidth in total.

5,000MB (5GB) of web space divided by 6MB (1 Music Product Web Page and 1 Music File) equals 833 possible customers. It is not that simple though. Why? Because not all 833 possible customers will download 1 Music Product Web Page and 1 Music File, especially if they have to buy the Music File.

Some might view (download) the Music Product Web Page more than once (i.e. read it more another day) while others might download the Music File more than once (download it for their family and friends), especially if it is free to download. So you might end up with customers who view the Music Product Web Page only but do not download the (Buy Now!) Music File and vice versa. Hence why selling something on the internet is not guaranteed – It costs bandwidth and money.

5 – 20 GigaBytes. 30 GigaBytes maximum…..before the package price changes to something even better.

Add-On domains

An Add-On domain is a normal domain name (i.e. software.com) that points to (connects to) a sub-folder within your main domain name’s public_html (website) folder. That sub-folder is normally named after your add-on domain name (i.e. software.com). So if your main domain name is computers.com and your add-on domain name is software.com your web hosting provider will create a new sub-folder called software.com inside the public_html folder of computers.com and then point/link (redirect) software.com to that new sub-folder called software.com.

This means that anyone typing software.com into their web browser will be taken to a sub-folder called software.com within the public_html folder of computers.com.

The advantages of an add-on domain name are that 1) It has its own folder which means it can be classed as a website within its own right and 2) It saves on buying two web spaces (two pure websites). However. The overall disadvantage of hosting two domain names (a main domain name and an add-on domain name) is that they share the same web space and bandwidth.

This has serious side-effects if you want to have video on one or both websites (domain names) because the web space and bandwidth might be shared unevenly, which means a customer might miss out on a download. For example. A free video download on software.com might take up the bandwidth for a buying customer on computers.com.

An Add-On Domain should only cost you the normal price of an extra domain name (i.e. ?5 a year).

1 – 3 Add-On Domains

Parked Domains

A Parked Domain is a normal domain name (i.e. software.com) that points/links (redirects) to your main domain name (i.e. computers.com) only – It has no web space folder or bandwidth of its own because it shares the same web space and bandwidth allocated to your main domain name.

A parked domain name is typically set up when you want a.co.uk and a.com for example to go to the same web space. So if you have computers.com as your main domain name and computers.co.uk as your parked domain name, visitors who type computers.co.uk into their web browser will be sent to the same web space that computers.com is using and therefore see the same website content (the same web pages, video and so on).

A Parked Domain should only cost you the normal price of an extra domain name (i.e. ?5 a year).

1 – 3 Parked Domains

FTP Accounts

Having a FTP (File Transfer Protocol) Account means you can use a web browser (i.e. Internet Explorer) or a FTP Program (i.e. FileZilla or AceFTP) to transfer your web pages, and so on, from your computer to your public_html sub-folder (website).

Depending on your web hosting package and its Control Panel you might be able to create additional Anonymous Log-In FTP Accounts or FTP Accounts with UserName and Password so that you can set up a FTP Account for your members for example – This is good if you intend to allow your members to upload content to your FTP Server (the File Transfer part of your web space). Most good web hosting packages offer at least one FTP Account for your own file transfers and those that do not usually offer a File Manager or Website Builder program that emulates a FTP Account.

4 FTP Accounts and upwards is adequate these days.

MySQL Databases

MySQL Databases are databases in their own right. You can set one up via your Control Panel or by using phpMyAdmin (if your Control Panel supports it). For example. You could have a database for your customers, business contacts, blog, forum and so on (if you know what you are doing). MySQL has many levels – Easy-ish Management via phpMyAdmin to Nightmare-ish Complex Programming.

MySQL is also closely associated with the PHP scripting (programming) language. Many Forums, Blogs, Guest Books and Mailing Lists for example use a PHP Script and at least one MySQL Database. Therefore, when choosing a web hosting package you need to consider that a Blog, Forum and Mailing List will require three MySQL Databases. If you are short on databases you can get around this problem by using one MySQL Database to create three separate Tables (Databases technically).

MySQL and PHP are a good team. PHP Scripts normally set up and/or initialize MySQL Databases for you. So do not be put off by MySQL.

10 MySQL Databases and upwards is adequate these days.

Web Space

Web Space is the actual storage space allocated for your entire website – Storage space for your Emails, FTP Storage Space, Forum, Blog, Mailing List, MySQL Databases, Guest Book, Media Gallery, Internal (Web Host) Files, Web Pages (HTML files – Graphics, Text, Music and Video) and so on.

If your website is going to sell an Offline Product, such as Shoes, you should be looking at web space in the region of 50-100 MegaBytes. This should be enough space to store a reasonably sized photo based catalogue on. And for a website selling an Online Product, such as Music, you should be looking at 100-500 MegaBytes of web space depending on the number of music files and their file size combined of course.

50 – 500MB Web Space

POP3 E-Mail Accounts

POP3 is the protocol (format) used to describe Incoming/Receiving E-Mail Accounts that can be incorporated into an E-Mail Client (program) such as Outlook Express, Windows Mail and Mozilla Thunderbird. In other words. You can read your website e-mails from within those programs using the POP3 protocol.

The number listed next to a POP3 Accounts description will be the maximum number of E-Mail Addresses (E-Mail Accounts) you can set up for your website. IMAP is another protocol.

The minimum number of POP3 E-Mail Accounts needed in todays climate should be at least four – sales@…, info@…, contact@… and support@… Not to mention any e-mail addresses you need for employees, family members and so on.

20 POP3 E-Mail Accounts and upwards is adequate these days.

Mailing Lists

A Mailing List allows you to create a list of e-mail addresses for your members, clients and so on. Once created you can then compose an e-mail and send it out to all those in the mailing list, in one go if your web hosting provider and ISP (Internet Service Provider) allows it. So if you needed to send out a “Special Offers” e-mail to 40 e-mail addresses for example it would be wise to create a mailing list for those 40 e-mail addresses first.

So why not just use an e-mail client such as Windows Live Mail or Mozilla Thunderbird to do the job for example? Well you could in theory but mailing list software is much more dedicated to your mailing list needs.

Due to people/companies spamming/junk mailing people these days some web hosting providers and/or ISPs do not allow a certain amount of e-mails to be sent in one go. So check with them first what their e-mail limits are because both might have different limits. Sending 40 e-mails should not be a problem though, especially if you use Authentication with your e-mail address. In other words, they should allow 40 e-mails to be sent because they know it is you.

1 – 4 Mailing Lists should be adequate for a standard business/website.

Shopping Cart

Having a proper Shopping Cart on your website allows you to accept/receive Debit/Credit Card information via email/website notification. By proper I mean it may have been installed/built using your Control Panel but has later had its PHP Script(s) programmed/tweaked by a programmer to blend in more with your website and/or your language. In other words. With a proper shopping cart (such as Agora) you are in control of the coding and credit card side of things but they require programming knowledge.

The opposite of a proper shopping cart is to build your own shopping cart web pages, in HTML/CSS code for example, and then attach a Payment Merchant’s buttons to them – BUY NOW, VIEW CART and so on. A Payment Merchant is a company, such as PayPal), that gives you the facility to carry out Online Bank Transactions (i.e. Withdrawals and Deposits) and create HTML buttons that, once clicked on, take care of the purchase/payment for you. So in some respects the proper shopping cart is not always the best approach.

A good Control Panel will have a Library Of Scripts inside it that allows you to install PHP Scripts/Programs such as a Guest Book, Forum, Blog, Shopping Cart and so on. Alternatively. You may be able to find a particular, updated, PHP Script/Program on the internet and install it yourself.

1 – 3 Shopping Carts

Standard Features

These features should be standard and a part of your Control Panel. If they are not listed in the web hosting package ask the web hosting provider if they are supported/included. If they are not, look for another web hosting provider.

Folder Password Protection – Allows you to create separate Folders in your web space, with a Title, UserName and Password which is good if you want to have a private area of your website for members or family only for example.

Perl / CGI Support – Besides PHP and MySQL Databases other programs are written in the Perl programming language which goes hand-in-hand with CGI. Basically, Shopping Carts and so on use Perl and CGI.

SSL Support – SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) is basically the Security PadLock you see on a web browser’s Address Bar edit box. When you are paying for something online the URL (website address) of the payment page changes from http: //whatever to https: //whatever and then a Security PadLock appears at the end of the Address Bar edit box (after the URL). So if you want a secure payments web page for your Shopping Cart for example you need to ask the web hosting provider to host your website on a SSL Server (Secure Computer), as it is standard practise to put newcomers on a non-SSL hosted server.

MIME Type support – To display Pictures, and play Audio/Video, from your website you need to make sure you have the MIME Types (File Formats) tool in your control panel. Although most of the common MIME Types will have been set up for you this tool will allow you to delete old MIME Types and add new MIME Types as you see fit.

Website Statistics – Your control panel should come with some sort of Website Statistics tool that allows you to analyse visitor data (Number of Visits, Web Browser used, Who is linking to your website, Keywords used to find your website and so on). AWStats is one of the better statistics tools.

Hot Link Protection – Allows you to stop people from linking to your files (i.e. images) and stealing your bandwidth. For example. If someone links to your image (i.e. computer.jpg) in order to display it on their website this is known has bandwidth theft. Why? Because people visit their website and see your image (computer.jpg), that had to be downloaded from your website using your bandwidth and not theirs. So they are stealing your bandwidth and your image really.

Quality

A Quality web hosting provider should have the following.

24/7 Support – A good web hosting provider will give Telephone and/or Email support 24 Hours A Day, Seven Days A Week. A sign of quality here is the response time. An answer within 20 – 40 Minutes is excellent.

Daily Backup – This means your web hosting provider will backup your website once a day, as opposed to weekly for example. This in turn means if their server crashes/freezes they can restore your previous day’s website. Saying this, you should always have a copy of your website files on your own computer, on a cd, on a flash drive and so on. If a programmer did your website ask them for the original codes (templates, web pages, images, etc).

Operate Own Servers – If a web hosting provider operates their own servers they will be in a better position to fix any, networking, problems (crashes/freezes).

99% Uptime – This means your website should be live on the internet 99% of the time, with only 1% risk of it not being live on the internet. Or put another way, your web hosting provider’s server should only crash/freeze 1% of the time. This ideally means your website should never be unavailable. And if it is, it should only be unavailable for a total of 3-4 days of the year and only unavailable for 1-3 hours in each of those days.

Established – Look for a web hosting provider that has good knowledge, experience and expertise of Networking and Programming. It is not good if they have a beautifully set up network but with no in-depth knowledge, experience and/or expertise of CGI, MySQL or PHP programming for example. In other words, you do not need a “Call Center” type of web hosting provider whereby you contact them and they go through the Standard-Procedures book before telling you “We cannot help you…..We cannot emulate/fix your problem”.

They should have an engineer around, or at least a book to hand, for example that can emulate general problems and/or fix general problems, within a reasonable length of time in order to back up their claims of 99% uptime. Or put another way. They should not flog you off with excuses when things go wrong and when they cannot fix your, general, problem. As an inexperienced website owner you might delete a folder/file one day that breaks some part of your blog for example. Having a good web hosting provider that can guide you towards fixing that blog is a sign of quality.

General Notes

Some control panel tools can be substituted by downloading/installing, updated, versions of them or by downloading/installing similar tools to them. For example. If your control panel comes with the Blog called WordPress 2.0.5 (old version) you could delete it from your website (making the control panel side redundant) and then download/install WordPress 2.9.2 (latest version at present time). The same applies to other tools.

You could replace your mailing list with phpList 2.10.10 for example. Although your web hosting provider may seem to give you a lot of control panel tools, a lot of them might be out-of-date by as much as a couple of years. It depends how good the web hosting provider is at updating control panel tools.

Is your Web Hosting Provider telling you everything about their Web Hosting Packages

Last week I was doing some research into CPanel Tools when that research then made me wonder about the size of each installed tool and whether or not their installation size was justified in terms of what their tool did.

I then turned my attention to a piece of software called eAccelerator, which is not a part of the CPanel Tools but a server-side (web hosting provider) piece of software, because it was taking up too much of my web space on my NetHosted web hosting package.

eAccelerator ? Too Much Web Space

eAccelerator itself is very small. Its job is to speed up the execution of PHP Scripts, amongst other things, by caching (storing) them in a compiled (ready-to-run) state; which is okay by me but not at the expense of 160MB of web space.

I have 250MB of web space and with 160MB of eAccelerator cache and files that only leaves me 90MB for my own website content. Naturally I removed eAccelerator, and I suggest you do the same if you do not use PHP Scripts that much.

One thing to note here is that I am currently using a Krystal Hosting web hosting package that does not have eAccelerator installed on it, but does have my Website Creation Help website content on its web space, whereby that server is just as fast as the NetHosted server with eAccelerator installed on it. It also has the Website Creation Help website content on its web space. Anyway, continuing with my research;

Ask A Question ? Talk To A Brick Wall

I then decided to ask NetHosted how many websites (web hosting accounts/web spaces) they put on each of their servers. I cannot reminder what made me think of this question, but it must have run along the lines that I felt they were wasting web space by installing eAccelerator onto my web space.

Anything like this I feel the web hosting providers should, to some degree, either state exactly what is installed on your web space prior to ordering/purchasing and/or consult with the client first. In this case installing eAccelerator may benefit me (because it would give speedier execution of blog pages, etc) and also help their server overheads (by using less resources for example), but that is only if I am going to install/use php scripts and so on in a heavy way (i.e. have many blog and forum pages, etc).

As you will see at the beginning of the post on the NetHosted community forum I started with a simple question, or at least what I thought was going to be a simple question, only to find I would come up against someone who cannot give a straight answer. I subsequently found out that this is standard practise.

Read this article all the way through to the end because it is towards the end where you find out the truth about customer service and more precisely, in this case study, what they are not telling you.

Query #1

Hi there,

Could you please tell me the average number of websites you host on one of your servers. Also, does it depend on the hosting plan what server a website is put on. Finally, does one hosting plan get better service of server in terms of security and maintenance.

I just wondered if one server has plenty of Basic Plan websites on it whereas another server has no many Premium Plan websites on it, with the Premium Plan website servers being more secure for example.

Could you please clarify these matters so that we know what the story is?

SarahP

I am sure you will agree that they are innocent, normal, questions to be asking; especially as I am asking the question under the forum General Support. Here is the reply.

Reply #1

Hi,

I’m afraid we can’t disclose this figure, it varies between servers depending on server power, disk space and utilisation, we actively balance this to keep all servers performing optimally.

No shared hosting plans get preference over any others in terms of security, maintenance or support.

Regards,

Darryl

I take on board the reply that each server’s resources (memory, cpu and hard drive usage for example) must be preserved by means of distributing websites (web hosting accounts/web spaces) evenly across their servers because one server might not have enough hard drive space remaining for example to accommodate a really large website; However, this still does not take away from the fact that a certain number of smaller websites will comfortably sit on one server, using that one servers resources only, and therefore they could of stated:

“We have 6 websites on server 1 with the sixth website using server 1 for its main website content only. Its add-on domain space had to be put on server 2?.

Anyway, to make sure I had not been misinterpreted I rephrased my question:

Query #2

What is the average minimum number of websites you currently have on one server? 20 websites? 50 websites? 200 websites? 500 websites? Surely you can give a number, between a certain range perhaps.

Reply #2

You are asking for a range that doesn’t exist! Each server is different and how many sites it can run therefore varies. There is no meaningful numerical answer to your question I’m afraid!

Thanks,

Andrew

Now I am getting somewhere! Even though the number of websites hosted on each server varies, there must still be a minimum?..right? All servers, which are only computers with hard drives at the end of the day, must have at least X Amount of websites hosted on them. Imagine buying a server and the seller says:

“It’s ?1,000, but the only catch is I don’t know the minimum number of websites that can fit on it”.

In reality the seller would say:

“?1,000. That’s cheap! You can store x amount of Basic Plans (web hosting accounts/web spaces) on that and x amount of Premium Plans, but even if you mix ?n’ match the plans you could still get x amount of them on the server”. And that is my point! Anyway, now I felt as though I was being flogged off and decided to change tact.

Query #3

Hi Andrew,

Are you telling me you cannot say to me now that; Yes!, we definitely have 20 websites running on each server or Yes, we definitely have 50 websites running on each server? I find that impossible.

If I have a large house with many various sized rooms inside it, I can tell you how many people are in a given room at a given time regardless if one person brings 10 guests into the room while another person brings 1 guest in.

If I have various sized boxes whereby some can accommodate 10 items whilst other can only accommodate 2 items, still I can tell you each box has at least 1 item inside it.

I hope I have made my point ;-)

So WHAT IS THE MINIMUM NUMBER OF WEBSITES ON EACH OF YOUR SERVERS NOW???????????????

SarahP

Jeez!! How frustrating! Let’s see the reply!

Reply #3

Sarah,

You’re just asking the same question you’ve asked twice before. We’ve given you the best answer we can.

A numerical answer makes no sense at all. Some sites use more resource than others, therefore we have no concept of a “minimum” numbers of sites per server and this therefore renders an “average” number of sites per server completely meaningless as I’ve explained before. You will gain no insight into our server performance, availability or any other metric if we say we average 1, 100 or 1000 sites per server.

Thanks,

Andrew

Notice that last line. Of course I will gain some metrics. I will know how many websites they are putting on a server, as a minimum/average, so that I can then compare those numbers with other web hosting providers.

Query #4

So let me get this straight. Computers calculate bank statements, do all sorts of wonderful maths, they produce statistics and so on using COUNTERS. And yet your system does not have a COUNTER or Excel files or whatever that takes note of each domain name, web space and so on that have been registered with nethosted?

SarahP

Reply #4

Sarah,

We of course keep track of all of the things you mention.

Andrew

Right, now we are getting somewhere.

Query #5

So if you have a Number for the number of hosting plans registered with nethosted for example surely you know where you have allocated those hosting plans (web spaces), on which servers, regardless of the resources they use.

You should therefore know you have an average number of web spaces allocated per server or some number of some sort whereby you could give me a number or range that would state; Yes we have at least 50 web spaces (hosting plans) on each server regardless of their size and resources usage. Correct? If so, what is that average number?

SarahP

Reply #5

Sarah,

Rephrasing and repeating your questions won’t change the answers already given by us earlier.

Thanks,

Andrew

Query #6

So you are not willing to say that you had x amount of hosting plan orders this year or month whereby you then allocated x amount of those hosting plans to the venus server, x amount to the earth server and so on? Not even a minimum number?

SarahP

At this point a customer replies, shedding some light on the matter.

Customer Garry ? Reply #1

Sarah I have been a web hosting in the past myself with my own servers etc? (sold it some years ago now)

Each client has different needs that can affect server performance, so it is very hard to say how many client will go on each server.

It ranges from type of site they run, how many visitors, there usage etc? so it is near impossible (if not impossible) to say how may clients will fit on

to a server.

I have been a client with NetHosted for some years now (on and off) and I can say they do NOT overload/oversell there servers, this is what matters to me.

Regards,

Garry

Reply #6

Sarah,

We don’t publish the number of new orders we receive and for the reasons Garry has stated, and as we’ve said previously, the concept of a “minimum” or

“average” number of sites per server is completely devoid of meaning when each site has a completely different impact on a server and the servers themselves

vary in specification.

Andrew

Response #1 To Customer Garry

Hi Garry,

Thank you for the clarification. That is really what I wanted to clarify from Andrew but in way of numbers because if he would of said; Yes, we average x

amount I could of compared this for example with other hosting sites/resellers/etc whereby I could of then said to myself, after weighing things up,

nethosted are good because they do not overload their servers, Joe Bloggs overloads slightly because of whatever reason but he makes up for this in other

areas and Shelia Smith does not overload etc etc.

I think the public have some right to some sort of numbers, so they know what an average would be. Anyway, that will have to wait for the politicians ears

Thanks again Garry

At this stage I am prepared to accept the above. After all, no one wants to get into a rift/spat with a web hosting provider (especially not with the one they are using) regardless of what is wrongly/rightly said in a querying session.

As a final query I just want to clarify the situation with regards to a web hosting plan’s web space storage, which I feel is a valid query to ask taking into account of what was said above; Meaning, I am asking a question I am sure others would want the answer to.

Query #7

Okay Andrew, your answer is appreciated. One last question. How would the public know whether or not a server was overloaded? Speed would obviously be one sign and Uptime another but how would the public know that their server is not going to be overloaded because their web space is not fixed allocated web space, its variable/dynamic, and therefore can be used by others. Take this scenario:

Person #1 has a 50gb hosting plan but only uploads 10gb of data.

Person #2 has a 100gb hosting plan but only uploads 20gb of data.

Do your servers allocated a fixed web space of 50gb for person #1 and a fixed allocated web space of 100gb for person #2 or will person #1 and #2 use 30gb between them of generally allocated web space? If general web space is used, what is to stop you from taking 10 more customers of say 100gb hosting plans (so 1,000gb in total) whereby you believe they would only use 1gb each. In other words, some companies take more orders than necessary because they believe they can alternate between people using their services in the day and people using their services in the night but then become stuck when those customers use their services day and night.

SarahP

Reply #7

Sarah,

If you order a plan with 1GB of space, you will be perfectly able to use that full 1GB of space there is no concern in this department.

I think when most people say “overloaded” they mean this in the sense that their site loads extremely slowly or often not at all. As you can see from the comments from our clients on this public forum this is not a problem we suffer from.

Your approach is quite direct, if you are looking to compare hosts in this manner it may not be overly effective. No host will declare their servers overloaded after all even if their clients may beg to differ!

Thanks,

Andrew

Query #8

Hi Andrew,

So how would you recommend I go around getting the answers then? I have to be direct, otherwise how else can I do it

SarahP

Reply #8

Sarah,

Read the host’s website, read testimonials, read reviews on the web ask the host questions. The usual way

Andrew

At this point I would be happy with the response overall, even though I do not agree with all of their replies, and end the conversation?..if it was not for Reply #8. Meaning, I do not think “The Usual Way” was beginner-friendly and more precisely I felt it was another flog-off. If the one querying (me in this case) knew what “The Usual Way” was they would not be asking that question in the first place. Also the query was how to get a direct answer from a web hosting provider and not to be told to go around the houses looking at, “fake”, reviews and so on. Hence why I will now be a little more direct (I’m sick of being flogged off)!

Query #9

Do you have any suggested review sites? as they all differ and may be bias in some way etc. Is there an established consumer website for example that deals with website reviews?

Also, do you submit to any of those review sites yourself or is that a no-no in the trade, to self-promote?

Which sites would you look at if you were not in the business?

Any recommended review sites would be appreciated.

Thanks

SarahP

Reply #9

Sarah,

Our testimonials section is the best place to find reviews of us.

Of course we don’t write reviews ourselves.

Andrew

Query #10

but what about outside review sites? don’t you know of any good ones you could recommend?

SarahP

At this point another customer comes in to reply.

Customer Z ? Reply #1

Sarah, what are you looking for? You seem to be asking some pretty odd questions for someone looking for hosting?

I’d Google for review sites and see what you find. At the end of the day you will need to make the decision. I’ve heard of some of the bigger/more well known Hosting providers overselling space because there is no other way in hell they can offer unlimited space. Just think about it.

I’ve been with Nethosted for over 4 years and have had no problems at all. Others have been for even longer.

http://community.nethosted.co.uk/testimonials-f5.html

Some hosting providers may do stupid things like promote themselves through review sites but the decent ones don’t need to. I originally found Nethosted by adslguide.org.uk

There is probably no point in Andrew suggesting a review site to look at or he’d be accused of showing you one that has favourable reviews.

I’m not sure, by the line of your questioning, whether you’re looking for hosting, writing a thesis, a competitor or a troll lol

The customer here thinks I may be suspect!! when in light of the above I do not blame them if it was not for the fact my original query was just that ? a bog standard query.

A troll by the way is basically someone who goes on a forum for example with the purpose of instigating/provoking a wanted reaction from their targeted questioning. A plotter in other words. In this case though it was not, and is not, my intention to plot, provoke or instigate ? A simple answer to a simple query is what was, and still is, wanted here. Nothing more, nothing less.

Query #11

I was just trying to gather whether there was a standard range or gauge that hosts in general go by, such as “We all allow upto a maximum of 1,000 plans on our servers, regardless of plan and resources, even though we can easily fit 2,000 plans on our servers, because we do not want to overload our servers”.

Andrew can only go by his word and some testimonials. Shame he couldn’t produce the just said as minimum and maximum numbers as I was requesting earlier in this post. Can no one give a straight simple honest answer anymore. Why cannot Andrew comit himself to say “we currently, definitely, have 1 plan on venus and could have up to 50,000 plans on it but as you can appreciate we cannot give an exact figure”. At least then I would know the range and gauge it against other hosts who I would ask the same questions to.

SarahP

Reply #11

Sarah,

It seems despite our best efforts that you still aren’t satisfied with the answers you’ve received from us and our customers. Perhaps therefore NetHosted

isn’t the best fit for your hosting needs.

Good luck with your search going on.

Thanks,

Andrew

Customer Z ? Reply #2

In all honestly why would any business give away their business model to someone who pops up on a forum.

To me the questions are meaningless. Why would it make any difference to what you buy? If you buy a package you go on what you are sold. I can understand if you were buying into one of these unlimited everything outfits but with Nethosted you know what the true limits are to the package you purchase.

Full marks to Andrew in his replies. If it had been my business I would have told someone, in no uncertain terms, where to go by now as the questions are just ridiculous lol

At this point I am purposely going to ignore the customer’s comments simply because I do not want things getting nasty, and also because this has now really become a conversation between web hosting provider (Andrew) and myself. Hence no response made to Customer Z about their comments. Anyway, things are about to get interesting!

Query #12

Hi Andrew,

I have just been talking to Carl at EUKHosts and he has told me within the first time of asking that eukhosts, quote:

We setup 150-200 hosting plans on the same shared server

What do you have to say to that Andrew?

SarahP

Reply #12

Good luck with your hosting account at EUKHost?

Honestly, you can’t draw any meaningful conclusions from knowing a number like this. It means nothing, this is what we’ve been saying all along!

Thanks,

Andrew

As you can see from Query #12, and will see more of later, is that I have been contacting many other web hosting providers for their views on this subject whilst communicating on this NetHosted forum; with some of the others giving honest replies.

Customer Z ? Reply #3

If it were me I’d say “well go with them then and stop wasting my time” lol

Again, I have chosen not to respond to Customer Z’s comments. Notice the childish sarcastic response of Reply #12 though. A professional web hosting provider, and more specifically its managing director (Andrew), should not reply in that way. More on this in the following query.

Query #13

A more specific reply from carl:

You should be able to run 250-300 accounts on the same server if the resources are enough for all the accounts

Anyway, never mind carl’s reply. I am more concerned about yours Andrew. Why are you taking the ATTITUDE of Good Luck, F*** OFF attitude, which I find offensive.

I am trying to conduct a serious review, assessment, of things. For example, Please explain what you mean by “Good Luck with?.etc”.

The way your answer comes across is arrogant. Do you not know how to explain things such as “If I were you sarah I would think about not going with so and so because of this or that reason” Instead you are treating me as though I am supposed to know something you know in the trade? Why is 150-200 unreasonable or whatever it is you are snearing at?

SarahP

As you can see; I am well p***ed off now!!

Reply #13

Sarah,

Please don’t read any malice into my comments as none is intended. I’m genuinely and sincerely wishing good luck to you with regards to your future hosting

arrangements which it would appear clear from your comments won’t be with us. If anything I would have hoped this would be interpreted as a “no hard

feelings” type of response to get from us as this is how it is intended.

Andrew

Hmmm!!!! From that reply, I don’t know about you, but where I come from “Good Luck?etc” in this context is classed as Sarcastic, Arrogant and Rude.

Query #14

I have just recieved this PLEASANT answer from hostingservers.co.uk:

Hi Sarah, If you’re asking if we overload our servers which results in clients getting slow, poor service, then no we don’t, we will put no more than 300 accounts on any one server.

What a shame Andrew could not answer this way.

SarahP

Reply #14

Sarah,

I can only reiterate my sentiments from earlier. If you are happier with the responses you are receiving from other hosts then surely they are a better

choice for you going on?

I wish you once more a sincere good luck with your future provider.

It is time to bring this thread to it’s conclusion.

Thanks,

Andrew

Hmmm!!!! Looks like Andrew is trying to escape the questioning, but I am having none of it! I can feel Andrew wants to close this thread, probably because two numbers have already been given (250 ? 300), so I have to avoid this in order to try and get an answer out of him in terms of numbers and averages, if I can?..

Query #15

So now you are wanting to close this thread, without even telling me what you see wrong with the numbers I have been given by others.

This is the whole point of this thread, to see what your numbers are. Even if I have to accept that you do not wish to disclose your numbers for whatever reasons, you should at least tell me what is unrealistic??? with the numbers I have been given.

Are they too high, too low or what? For example, if you say they are unrealistically high (too many hosting plans being put on the server) and that you would never put as many plans on a server I would then say “That’s great, nethosted are considerate with their servers etc” but as it it you have left me wondering if you work for the FBI or something. Anything to hide?

SarahP

Reply #15

Sarah,

We’ve been down this road before. We’ve given you our answer to this point. You aren’t happy with this answer clearly, but it is our answer. Repeating your question in slightly changed forms is not going to lead to a different response from us.

As I said earlier, it’s now time to draw this thread to a conclusion.

Thanks,

Andrew

Looks like Andrew is tiring! Well, it’s his own fault. If only he would of been honest enough to give a number or an average?.. Anyway, I decided to play with him a little at this point because I realised a few replies back that he was never going to give me a straight answer.

Query #16

Andrew, surely even you can say two words with regards to the numbers I have been given and they are not F*** OFF!!! Try “TOO LOW” or “TOO HIGH” I will make it easy for you, I will start you off “TOO??

SarahP

Reply #16

They are meaningless as far as we are concerned as I have now stated around four times in this thread.

You have to accept this as our answer, nothing further is going to be achieved by you repeating the question.

Andrew

It’s time to call it a day, because it was literally late that evening and I was tired, so I decided to keep it friendly.

Query #17

Okay Andrew, I will take that as your answer even though I do not 100% agree with it. And I may even try one of your hosting plans (don’t know if I will get any special treatment after this post! In fact, I take that back because probably everyone gets the same treatment right?). Anyway, I have not ruled out nethosted despite this thread conversation.

Thank you for your time Andrew. It was interesting!

SarahP

Reply #17

I am glad this has come to an amicable conclusion

Have a good evening and best of luck with whomever you decide to go with.

Thanks,

Andrew

Just as I am about to sign out, and Andrew is going to close the thread, Customer Z decides to reply.

Customer Z -Reply #5

You don’t get it do you Sarah. Try listening/reading the answers. Those 300 accounts could be streaming video for all you know and trying to quantify a number of accounts on a server in relation to service/performance is meaningless.

If you’re going to accept what some other host fobs you off with and what you want to hear then so be it. Andrew has tried to explain it and in a professional manner but you just don’t want to listen to the answers.

Andrew then closes the thread.

Reply #18

Hi,

I think this thread has now run it’s course with all viewpoints having been shared.

I am closing this temporarily to reflect this.

Thanks,

Andrew

Although Customer Z makes a valid point about the video streaming taking up valuable resources, which include video file storage, that still does not take away from the fact that each customer only pays for a set amount of resources (web space, bandwidth and so on) and therefore you should still be able to say as a web hosting provider how many websites are currently on each server. Let’s put it this way; If the tax man was after them whereby they had to declare each website on a server I am pretty sure they would give the tax man a number or average.

Unbeknown to the above thread, I also contacted many other web hosting providers privately via email, as well as on public forums, and this is what some of them said.

Hi Sarah,

Yes, the name of the server your account would go on is renee.hostservers.co.uk and if you check out that name on whois below you’ll see the server has only 158 sites on it:

domaintools.com/hostservers.co.uk">http://whois.domaintools.com/hostservers.co.uk

Kind Regards,

Fiona

I will keep this next one anonymous because this person was very honest and I feel, although they would not mind me sharing this info, they deserve privacy based on this being a private email; even though it was from a customer service of a web hosting provider.

I know what you mean about some host’s refusing too, we have had some customers in the past, cancel their accounts with us to go elsewhere, and we have often “probed” the new host just to make sure that our customer isn’t letting themselves in for a rough ride, and check their feedback, reviews and what-not, and have VERY often been flatly refused, and told “That is confidential information”, or the funniest one was “We can’t tell you because of data protection laws” It has been the case a few times that we have made alternative recommendations for customers wanting to go elsewhere, pointing them to companies that wont shaft them, it really is bonkers some of the shite these companies come out with, almost as if they forget who works for who sometimes? lol?

This next one gives a little more insight on the server side of things.

Our shared hosting runs in a clustered environment and so the number of accounts on each server is dymanic.

On our VPS accounts, our Community VPS accounts have around 60 users per node, Business about 40 users, Developer 25 users and the Enterprise has around 15.

If we can be of any further help with regard to this or any other matter, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Kind Regards

Greg

Webfusion

These next three replies are from the web hosting uk forum.

HARRY

That’s correct? We have customized internal setting which monitor memory consumption of each account hosted on our server, if any account is trying to load our server we send an notification and suspend the culprit moreover we send you email notification once you reach 80% of allotted server resources (diskspace, bandwidth) to your account and advice you to upgrade your hosting package to next higher level having more resources.

I am afraid? Webhost will never let you know the exact number of accounts hosted on a particular server also you should not bother about it as long as you get excellent hosting environment and server performance

It seems that you have already answered your question!! If I have a large house with many various sized rooms inside it, I can tell you how many people are in a given room at a given time regardless if one person brings 10 guests into the room while another person brings 1 guest into another room. Same is the case with shared server, there are different hosting packages varying in allotted server resources hence it’s very difficult to predict exact number of hosting accounts which can be setup on a specific server.

We never overload our server blindly creating hosting accounts to increase revenue rather we do monitor our shared servers for resource consumption and always keep around 30% FREE resources for offering you better hosting environment and excellent server performance.

FastHost. Basically they are ********!! Another web hosting provider unwilling to give a basic answer.

Sarah

Thank you for your enquiry.

I have attempted to contact you but couldn’t get through to you on the phone number provided.

Please give me call on my direct line : 44 1452 561 848 and I will advise accordingly.

I am in the office from 9am to 6pm, Monday through to Friday.

I look forward to hearing from you soon.

What has my phone number got to do with a bog standard question? They have my email address already. I am removed their signature just so as not to embarrass them! as an individual.

So as you can see from the above; Although it is true to say each web hosting account varies in the amount of resources it uses, it is also true to say (which has been clarified above) that at the end of the day each web hosting account has a fixed amount of resources allocated for it (i.e. a set amount of web space and bandwidth) and therefore you could give out some sort of minimum or average number for the amount of web hosting accounts that are on one server.

Remember. My original bog standard query came from after thoughts with regards to the wasting of web space with eAccelerator and therefore pondered what else the web hosting provider was not telling me about. In the above case I am glad I asked the questions I did, because it revealed a whole new light with regards to customer services and what different web hosting providers will tell you (flog you off with!).

I hope this article has opened your eyes and made you want to quiz your potential, or even current, web hosting provider before buying anything, more, from them.

Basic Concepts of Web Hosts

The one who wants to enter in this web world and desires for a long time survival, then he/she should be familiar with each and every terminology used in this field. If user considers all the important factors before choosing a hosting plan then only he/she will be able to have a successful future in this world .User should not choose any of the plan, rather he/she should opt the best and most suitable one and this can only be made possible by fetching more and more informations and also by studying properly all the requirements. New comers should start from the basics .They should learn the meaning of each and every term used and also in addition those factors that can affect his/her selection.

Web Host

Web host refers to a computer connected to the internet. Web host can also be termed as ?web server?. The computer that is playing the role of the web server needs to be more powerful than normal PCs and the function of this web server is to serve up websites.

The website content of the user will remain will on this computer, so as the people who are surfing on the internet can get a way to access his/her website.

There can be three main categories in which the web host can be classified based on the economic factor and common features:

1. Free Hosts:

The users who are not professional but are making website only as a hobby then for them free hosting can be a good option. In free hosting space, bandwidth and other features provided are very limited. With free web hosting one can not only make his/her website successful but is also suitable for personal websites or for temporary usage. Generally free hosting enforces pop-up, text or banner ads. Reliability, best performance and customer support lacks in case of free hosting as well. When a user registers for a free host then the word free host gets added with the user?s domain name that gives an adverse effect in the eye of the visitors.

2. Shared Hosts:

The next type of the web hosting to be discussed is shared hosting. This hosting service is used by many of the web sites .This type of hosting service is Suitable for personal, small and medium businesses. This service can be used by paying $1 to $25 per month. The features provided by this service vary from very limited space/bandwidth to semi-dedicated servers. The users host their website by this type of hosting service and it has its own top level domain facility. No doubt that shared web hosting is quite better than free hosting but still it does not provide 100% satisfactory services. In case of shared hosting one server is shared by the number of websites so its performance and availability gets affected. More websites usually means less performance. If less number of websites are hosted by one server then it will be more expensive, but in this case there are more chances of reliability. There are many companies allowing customers to host multiple websites with different domains under a single account.

3. Dedicated Hosts:

The next type of hosting is dedicated hosting. This type of hosting is most reliable hosting. In this type of hosting a full server is dedicated to a single customer. Generally this type of hosting is used by large businesses, professionals and very active websites dealing with thousands of visitors daily. The customers having dedicated hosting can have their total control over the server as well as able to create as many websites as they like. Customers can run their own hosting company on a rented dedicated server. Payment module is mentioned according to specifications and services provided with the server, which varies from $100 up to about $800 dollars per month.

4. Collocated Hosts:

Now the other type of hosting service to be discussed is collocated hosting. This service is very much similar to dedicated hosting. The difference between collocated hosting and dedicated hosting is that in collocated hosting the customer owns the server hardware instead of renting it. In this service the server will be placed in provider?s data center. This service is more expensive than dedicated hosting.

5. Reseller Hosts:

In reseller hosting the providers offers web server storage to their customers, and resells the web server storage to them. Generally providers offer resellers a discount price.

6. Other Hosts:

Including the above type of hosts there are also many other hosts such as email hosts, media hosts, data hosts, etc but these hosts will not be discussed in this article.

domain Name

domain name is the name which shows the place where one?s website is located. The actual address of the website is a set of numbers. Each and every web server has its own unique address. domain name indicates the real addresses of every websites. One can easily remember the domain name of any of the website. Remembering domain name is easier than recalling the IP addresses.

Space / Storage

Space is one of the services provided by the web host. It plays a very important role in the website development. It happens many times that the customer requires more space but the host fails to provide it, so customer should be very careful while choosing the web host. Storage is the amount of web server?s disk space available for customer?s website files, images and databases. Space can be according to the requirement; it can be as small as 5MB in some free hosts and as big as 300GB for some dedicated servers. Earlier prices of the space were very high but prices reduced significantly during the last few years. The hosting plans offering 3GB of space for less than $10 a month can be easily available.

Bandwidth

Bandwidth can be defined as the amount of data transferred from web server to clients? internet browsers. When ever a person outlook a page the data is transmitted from the server to that person? PC. If any one is having audio, video and images in his/her website then the bandwidth consumed is more in comparison of the website having only text contents. The bandwidth available in free hosting can be as low as 100MB per month where as in some dedicated servers the bandwidth available is as high as 2000GB a month. The customers who don?t want to pay more for bandwidth can easily find hosting plans offering 75GB of monthly data transfer for less than $10.

Server Type

Generally server means the operating system than runs the web server. Some common types are Windows, Linux and UNIX. Server type refers the server side scripting and database types. The difference between Windows server and Linux/UNIX is that Windows runs ASP and ASP.NET with Access or SQL Server databases where as Linux/UNIX servers usually runs CGI, PHP or JSP with MySQL or Oracle databases. The other difference is that Windows servers are more expensive than Linux/UNIX servers.

Databases

As server type is discussed earlier also, we are able to know that there are different types of databases available. The mostly used is MySQL as it is open source GPL (free) software and can serve a lot of online applications? requirements such as forums, content management, mailing lists, etc. MySQL, rather its features are limited. MySQL is sufficient for small concern but it is not powerful for the complicated large business sites. Large business requires more powerful databases such as Oracle or SQL Server.

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Server Side Scripting

Usually the new comers prefer to use PHP as server side scripting. The reason behind this is that there are hundreds of open source (GPL) PHP scripts that are able to fulfill the webmaster?s requirements. However PHP also has some limitations in features required by advanced websites same as in the case of MySQL, due to this limitation some professional web developers prefer to use ASP.NET or JSP. Some other developers still prefer to use Cold Fusion, CGI, ASP or PERL.

Email

Now the next very important aspect to be talked about is Email. At present no one can move further in this computer world with having his/her Email account. The one who is planning to do any kind of activity through computer such as to run a business or to provide any kind of service, then the first thing he/she need to do is to open an Email account. There are many hosting plans that include the feature of having some email accounts with customer?s domain. The availability of number and size of email accounts totally depends on the hosting plan one opted. Generally this feature is not included in free hosting. Small plans provide only about 10 accounts where as big plans do not have the limited number. Usually those email accounts are web based and accessible through POP3 clients as well.

File Transfer Protocol (FTP)

The other service is FTP. File Transfer Protocol is a usual way of transferring files across the Internet. Most of the webmasters used to upload and download their websites contents through FTP. The process of uploading or downloading is performed by using FTP client software. Webmasters require FTP username and password so as to access their web server. There are any hosts who use to provide more than one FTP account to their customers as per their requirement. Rather FTP is unspecified; it is not advisable as per the security reasons.

Control Panel

Control panel is the service available by many of the web hosting companies to their customers. It is a web based application that helps in managing websites. Some important functions performed by the control panel are that it used to manage email accounts, providing statistics, managing FTP accounts, managing domains and sub-domains and managing databases. The control panel application that is mostly used by the user is cPanel. There are many companies who use to develop their own control panel application.

Uptime

Now after having all the services, the thing of concern which remains is how the user keeps his/her website uptime most of the time. If anyone is having a website with excellent features but it remains down most of the time it will be of no use, as when ever the visitors visit his/her website and found it down then later on they will think twice before visiting it. In result he/she will suffer the loss of visitors. Uptime is very important feature of web hosts and that is usually measured in percentage. If a server remains down near about 30 minutes a day will have an uptime percentage of about 99.98%, which is acceptable for most small to medium business websites. If any of the business website is not having at least this percentage of uptime then that website is not suitable for a business website. Mission critical sites cannot tolerate frequent outages, thus they may use web monitoring services to notify web administrators immediately when an outage happens.

Price

Finally the factor left is price. In this option also there is a great variability found like for example customer is having option to choose between the prices ranging from 0 to $1000 per month. For most personal, small and medium websites the total amount of cost involved is just $15 per month. Thus its not at all advisable for business website owners to select very cheap plans let say less than $5 because this price can lead to huge cost indirectly afterwards.