Archive for June, 2010

Advantages of a Dedicated Server

Tuesday, June 22nd, 2010

A dedicated server is seen as the highest form of web hosting available and can offer businesses the best level of performance when compared to the other main forms of web hosting that are available. Most web hosting providers are able to offer you the choice between Windows dedicated server hosting and Linux dedicated server hosting to help guarantee variety; customization is something else that is offered during the order process so that you are able to create a dedicated server that will suit your requirements ideally, allowing you to ensure that you only pay for what you require and not resources that you aren’t going to use at all.

The main advantage of using a dedicated server over any other form of web hosting that is available has to be the higher level of security that can be provided by having your own dedicated web hosting environment. As you won’t have to share any portion of your server’s resources with anyone else, it will be fairly easy for you to create a secure web hosting environment as you will be fully aware of the security aspects that could affect your dedicated server. Furthermore you will be able to implement your own custom security measures allowing you to make your dedicated server as secure as you wish for it to be.

Reliability is another factor that a dedicated server will be able to meet most business’s requirements for since a dedicated server is seen as being one of the most reliable forms of web hosting available. The dedicated web hosting environment provided will allow you to keep a much closer eye on your use of server resources and as you won’t have to share those resources with anyone else, you can be sure that you will be able to make full use of them. Most businesses choose to use dedicated server hosting because they are looking to attain a higher level of uptime than what their existing web hosting service, usually something alone the lines of shared web hosting, is able to offer.

The dedicated web hosting environment that is provided by a dedicated server will allow you to create a web hosting environment suitable for your website as you will be able to install any applications of your choice on your dedicated server. If you have decided to go for a Windows dedicated server then you will have full Remote Desktop access to your server, whilst if you are using a Linux dedicated server then access will be provided via SSH. Both Remote Desktop and SSH will allow you to manage your server fully since you will have full root or administrator access. It is important for any access available over Remote Desktop or SSH to be secured properly to reduce the risk of any hackers using these to gain access to your dedicated server; if either Remote Desktop or SSH are compromised then the security of the entire server could be put at risk.

The fact that you won’t have to share your dedicated server with anyone else will allow you to make sure that you are able to make the most of your server and since you are going to be spending a lot of money on a dedicated server hosting service, being able to use it to its full potential is important. This will enhance both the security and reliability of your dedicated server as it means that you won’t have to worry about the security of other websites with regards to security of your server as a whole, and you also won’t have to worry about the performance of other websites affecting the performance of your own.

In conclusion, a dedicated server will be able to provide you with a wide variety of advantages that will allow you as a business to make the most of your web presence as the security provided will allow you to expand the features available on your website whilst the level of reliability on offer will allow you to accept visitors at all times. Although a dedicated server is the most expensive form of web hosting available, it is important for you to weigh up the cost against the advantages and your requirements.

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Advantages of Secure Web Hosting

Saturday, June 19th, 2010

A secure web hosting package will provide you with the web hosting environment that you require to host a website that may be processing or handling the personal data of your visitors, such as an online store. Although there are many measures that can be taken to help ensure that you keep your website secure, it is important for web hosting providers to have taken the necessary precautions to ensure that the rest of your web hosting account is secure which means protecting all email accounts and the rest of your web hosting account’s file system since there may be files located under your web space that aren’t publicly accessible via HTTP but may be accessible privately via FTP.

The main advantage of using a secure web hosting package is the fact that you won’t have to worry about hackers gaining access to any of the data that you choose to host with your web hosting provider. In some situations there may be files that you don’t want to be publicly accessible but still want to host under your web hosting account; you can be sure that these files will only be accessible to those who you grant access to as it is highly unlikely that hackers will be able to gain entry to a well secured server. The same can be said for the contents of any databases that you create under your web hosting account as databases in most cases contain sensitive information to some degree. If you store your email under your web hosting account then this could also be put at risk if a hacker compromises the server; however, with the safeguards of a secure web hosting environment you won’t have to worry about the contents of your email account becoming public.

Visitor confidence is something else that you will be able to gain by using a secure web hosting package as your visitors are more likely to enter their personal information into your website if you can guarantee them that this information will be stored and handled securely. Other ways in which you can increase the confidence that your visitors have in your website is to use an SSL certificate as this is something that will be noticeable to your visitors as it will be visible in their web browser; an SSL certificate is there to ensure that the data that is transferred between your website and your visitors’ computers is encrypted meaning that even if it is intercepted, it won’t be of any use to hackers or scammers.

A secure web hosting package will provide you with a platform from which you will be able to launch additional features to help expand what you are able to do with your website. A secure web hosting environment will be required if you wish to start an online store or carry out online transactions since you are going to be handling the personal information and credit card information of your visitors – both of these forms of information are highly sensitive and you could be in serious trouble if either fall into the wrong hands. However, your web scripting is going to need to be up to scratch as well since websites that have been poorly coded can also represent a security risk which is why many web hosting providers will have measures in place to help prevent the chances of any web based attacks, such as script and SQL injections, from being successful. Furthermore web hosting companies will also implement IP blocking software to ensure that if there are any IP addresses that constantly try to attack a server, these computers can be blocked.

In conclusion, the advantages of secure web hosting make the extra expense worth it for businesses that are looking to establish an online presence that will reassure their visitors about the security of their website. A secure website will always lead for a good company image and will mean that customers are going to be more willing to enter their personal details into the website concerned and will be more persuaded to purchase a business’s goods or services online. More or less every web hosting service available these days will be hosted on a secure server, although its easier to take security for granted with larger web hosting companies rather than the smaller ones because of the experience that the bigger players have to offer.

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Database Server

Saturday, June 19th, 2010

A database server is an application used to store data in an organized way using fields and columns; essentially a database server can be used for the hosting of multiple databases. There are different database servers available for different purposes with SQL databases being better suited to businesses that require a scalable database system that can cope well under high loads. Desktop database applications on the other hand should be used more for general data keeping; however, in some situations databases that have been created in this way can be used as the database backends for websites when used in conjunction with specific web scripting languages.

Database server hosting is an integral part of any web hosting service and even the most basic of shared web hosting packages will come with the ability to host some type of database. A basic Linux shared web hosting package will allow you to host at least one MySQL database whilst most Windows shared web hosting packages will allow for the hosting of Microsoft Access databases at a minimum. When it comes to using VPS server hosting or dedicated server hosting you will be provided with a variety of database servers to choose from that you can then install and configure as you see fit.

Microsoft SQL Server is the SQL database server created by Microsoft for use on Windows servers only and is used by larger businesses to help manage their internal database structure. As it is a commercial application you will be required to pay for Microsoft SQL Server, although there is an Express edition available for free. Microsoft SQL Server is able to provide users with a highly scalable database application that is capable of handling high loads with ease. Microsoft SQL Server can be deployed in a clustered environment, a feature that will benefit businesses that are looking to achieve the highest level of uptime possible from their database systems since reliability is key. If you are looking into developing web applications around Microsoft SQL Server databases then classic ASP and ASP.NET are the two scripting languages that you will want to consider as Microsoft SQL Server databases can be integrated into websites using either with ease.

MySQL Server is an open source SQL database server that is available for both Windows and Linux web hosting servers. As MySQL Server is an open source database server, you won’t have to pay a penny to use it whereas you will have to purchase a license for Microsoft SQL Server if you don’t use the Express edition. PHP is seen as the best accompaniment to MySQL databases as both can be seamlessly integrated to provide you with a dynamic website that will be able to perform a wide variety of functions based around your MySQL database. The management of MySQL databases is an easy task since there are many free desktop database management applications available, although one of the most popular ways to manage MySQL databases is to use the PHPMyAdmin application that is part of most web hosting control panels.

Desktop database applications are designed more for use by those who wish to do very basic data organization as the features provided are better suited for the desktop environment whilst the scalability of such applications is always questionable. Microsoft Access is probably the best known desktop database application available as it is part of the hugely popular Microsoft Office suite; although Microsoft Access databases can be used for a variety of uses on the desktop, like Microsoft SQL Server databases they can also be integrated into classic ASP and ASP.NET based websites. This will allow you to create small but dynamic websites.

In conclusion, when choosing a database server application for use in any environment you ought to first consider the web hosting platform that you are going to use. From there you can then consider the type of database system you would like to use – a fully-fledged database server or a simple desktop database application. It is important for you to make sure that you choose a database application that you will be able to manage properly to help ensure that your website runs smoothly; similarly you should also choose one that can provide you with the performance and reliability that you require.

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Clustered Web Hosting

Wednesday, June 16th, 2010

Clustered web hosting is a popular way of ensuring that a web hosting provider can offer web hosting services that can offer near 100% guaranteed uptime because a web hosting package will utilize several servers rather than a single server. Cloud hosting is also a form of clustered web hosting since it deploys the same principle of using a number of servers to provide users with a more reliable server. A server cluster is made up of several servers, each of which is dedicated to performing a unique role; for a single role, for example receiving email, there is likely to be several servers in place to deal with this as to ensure that if the primary server fails, there will be at least one other server available to take up this role.

Reliability is something that many businesses and individuals are now considering in a web hosting package prior to purchasing it as they are looking for something that will serve their websites to their visitors at all times without them having to worry about whether it is available or not. A web hosting service that is unavailable generally doesn’t represent good value for money as effectively you aren’t going to be receiving what you have paid for. In some situations reliability is a major issue because if a website is unavailable then it can mean lost revenue; this normally applies to online stores and websites that use adverts as a way of raising funds for the upkeep of the site.

A clustered web hosting service will also be able to provide you with a greater level of security as the contents of your web hosting account is going to be spread across multiple servers, each of which have been assigned a different purpose. If you are running an online store or carrying out other online operations that include the processing and handling of personal data to an extent then you may wish to consider a high security clustered web hosting service as if your users know that their data is being treated in a sensitive way then they are more likely to recommend your website to others. The number of servers used in a clustered web hosting environment helps to ensure that there is going to be multiple layers of security in place at all opportunities to help safeguard the data stored under your web hosting account.

The distributed nature of clustered web hosting services allows web hosting companies to offer web hosting services that have high resource assignments for a low cost. As there are going to be multiple servers in a cluster, web hosting companies are able to host a larger number of web hosting accounts per cluster than they would be able to fit on a single server meaning that clustered web hosting can provide higher returns in some situations. The low cost of most web hosting services these days means that finding a web hosting service capable of meting your requirements within your price bracket doesn’t have to be hard, and with clustered web hosting finding a web hosting package that suits your reliability requirements for your budget has been made even easier.

As a larger business you may find it beneficial to create your own cluster of dedicated servers that you can then use as per your requirements – it will provide you with the same experience as a clustered web hosting package, albeit with greater control and even greater levels of reliability and security. Any large web hosting provider should be able to provide you with the facilities to create your own server cluster, although it is going to be expensive and you will need to find a good reason so that you can justify this cost.

In conclusion, clustered web hosting is a good way of receiving 100% guaranteed uptime without investing in a more expensive web hosting service such as dedicated server hosting that even then won’t be able to provide you with such a guarantee. A clustered web hosting package will allow you to make the most of your online store, or if you are running an website that provides you with income through the means of advertising then you will be able to maximize the revenue that can be made here.

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Email Server

Wednesday, June 16th, 2010

An email server, also known as a mail exchanger, is responsible for handling the incoming and outgoing emails for a domain name so that the emails sent to addresses under the domain can be received and so that the owners of those email addresses are able to send out their own emails. Most web hosting packages come with a certain number of email accounts that you can create as per your wish – if you choose dedicated web hosting then you will be able to choose between having a mail server installed on your server or using your VPS server or dedicated server for other purposes.

A mail server is an application designed to deal with emails in all ways – there are many mail server applications available for Linux and Windows servers all designed for use with email, but with different purposes to an extent. Popular mail server applications for Linux servers include Sendmail and Zimbra; Zimbra is an open source collaboration system meaning that it encompasses a wide variety of features to assist with the management of emails – Sendmail on the other hand is a simple open source mail server designed to deal with incoming and outgoing emails only, it can however be integrated with other applications. Microsoft Exchange Server is a popular collaboration suite for Windows servers and is also able to offer a wider variety of features such as webmail servers, but for the simpler user there are free alternatives such as Microsoft POP3 Server, which is part of the Windows Server operating system.

Email is an important method of communication these days for both businesses and individuals. Businesses rely on email to allow them to communicate with their suppliers and customers as it offers them a constant method of contact that can be used whenever, wherever an internet connection is available. Individuals rely on email to allow them to contact businesses with enquiries, and similarly it is a good method of staying in contact with other people. It was thought that email would be a medium that would have been wiped out by Instant Messaging, but instead IM has been slowly dying whilst the use of email has been on the increase recently.

Email servers for domain names are found through the use of MX records, something that is setup for every domain that wishes to receive emails. In order for an email to be received, the server responsible for sending the email first does a DNS lookup on the destination domain name to find the email servers that responsible for the domain name, from there the sending server will then contact the destination server to enquire about the existence of the destination mailbox – if the mailbox exists then the destination server will then deliver the email to the inbox, if the mailbox doesn’t exist then the message will simply be bounced back to the sending account. There are also other checks that may be made by the recipient mail server such as seeing whether or not the sending server is on an RBL list and whether an SPF record has been defined for the sending domain.

A dedicated email server is always an option if you are a larger business that has to deal with a large email throughput – in such a situation a specialist storage arrangement may also be seen as beneficial. Dedicated email servers will be able to handle large amounts of email and of course the higher the specification of the server, the more emails your server will be able to handle daily. If you are looking to keep the emails that you send and receive then you may wish to consider setting up a storage cluster as well as this will allow you to keep a large archive of emails that have been sent and received. By using a storage cluster you will be able to add additional storage as you see fit.

In conclusion, an email server is an integral part of any web hosting package as it is required for the sending and receiving of emails. Although an email server application will be installed on a server with other services such as web servers and DNS servers in a shared hosting situation, if you are to use a VPS server or dedicated server then you are provided with the flexibility of being able to setup a dedicated email server if you see this as fitting for your requirements.

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Web Server

Wednesday, June 16th, 2010

A web server is the service application that is called upon to serve web pages to client computers that request them from a server. Typically a web server will run on server port 80, as this is the default port used by the HTTP protocol (hypertext transfer protocol). Web servers are available for Linux servers and Windows servers and most have been designed for general use meaning that they can be used for the serving of a wide variety of file types. Web servers are the main part of any web hosting package because they are what will serve the web pages and any other files that may be request over HTTP; without a web server, a web hosting package is essentially unusable.

When using a Linux server your first choice of web server will more than likely be Apache as this is an open source application that can be installed on any Linux server within the matter of a minute. If you are going to be using Windows server hosting then you may prefer to use IIS as this is an integral part of the Windows operating system meaning that it will provide you with a more flexible level of usability, or on the other hand you could always use Apache although the support offered would only be limited. Your choice of web server is something that you should take seriously as different web servers will be able to offer support for different things whilst your choice of platform will of course affect the web server that you choose.

Apache is the world’s most popular web server and has been established for a long time; this has allowed the developers to create a highly secure application that is capable of handling high loads. As Apache is an open source application, the core of it can be modified to suit your requirements on either Windows or Linux; this is ideal for larger businesses that may wish to factor in their own code to help Apache perform better or simply for those who wish to optimize Apache to use less system resources. The fact that Apache can be used on Windows or Linux servers allows developers to create their web applications around the same common base, regardless of the web hosting platform that they finally decide to use for the hosting of any web applications that they choose to develop further.

IIS is Microsoft’s flagship web server meaning that it is an application that will only work with the Windows operating system, as is evident with the fact that it is only available as an optional Windows feature. IIS should only really be considered when looking for a web server capable of support classic ASP or ASP.NET web pages as it is the only web server that will be able to process and serve such web paged and scripts. However, IIS will also support a wide variety of other web scripting languages such as PHP and Perl – other components critical to the running of dynamic websites such as database servers will run fine on Windows servers.

Your choice of web server is something that could affect the security of your server as if you are using a web server application that hasn’t been secured properly then you are leaving your server prone to web based attacks such as script injections and DDOS attacks on the web server port. However, the level to which your web pages and scripts have been coded will also affect how secure your web server is since if you have used poor coding then it will be fairly easy for hackers to compromise these scripts and in turn do damage to your web hosting server.

In conclusion, web server software is the application used to serve web pages to client machines when requested. In order to be able to host a website on a server you will need to have a web server application installed and running on port 80 so that a when a web browser requests a specific file from your server via HTTP, your server is then able to deliver that file to the client computer. Your choice of web server is likely to be dependent on the scripting languages that you are using for your website as well as the operating system platform.

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Advantages of Low Cost Web Hosting

Friday, June 11th, 2010

Low cost web hosting services are there to meet the requirements of those that require web hosting but don’t require large resource assignments that are offered by more substantial web hosting packages. Low cost web hosting is something that can be found easily if you browse enough web hosting providers looking for what you require; it is a good idea to consider that Linux web hosting services are generally the cheapest available therefore meaning that they can offer you the best value for money. However, if your requirements dictate that you need a Windows web hosting service then you should be prepared to pay a premium for a Windows web hosting package.

The main advantage of being able to use a low cost web hosting package is that you won’t be paying a great deal in order to setup a web presence meaning that you can easily spend your money on things that could be even more useful to your business. It is important to consider that cheap doesn’t have to mean nasty and low cost web hosting services that represent good value for money can be found – it’s more a case of selecting the right web hosting provider for your requirements when choosing a low cost web hosting service.

Low cost web hosting packages can represent good value for money if you select the right web hosting service for your requirements that will allow you to receive disk space and bandwidth assignments that meet your needs appropriately. It is recommended that you compare various web hosting providers that are able to offer you web hosting services that meet your requirements as it is the smaller features of web hosting services that may make a difference to how effective a web hosting service is in meeting your web hosting requirements.

A low cost web hosting package is unlikely to come with any restricting contact which will be of benefit to you since it will provide you with a way of cancelling your web hosting package if you find that it no longer meets your requirements. Having a 30-day rolling contract with a web hosting package is probably the best way to go since it means that you can cancel any time without having any penalties incurred as would be the case if you were to take out a web hosting service with a longer contract, i.e. a yearly (12 month) contract.

When searching for a web hosting service that is capable of hosting a small to medium sized website, a low cost web hosting package is probably the type of web hosting service that you will be considering primarily. A low cost web hosting package should be able to provide you with support for PHP based websites that use a MySQL database as generally most web hosting packages will come with at least one MySQL database – a web hosting package that isn’t able to offer you this can generally be regarded as not offering good value for money.

Linux tends to be the operating system of choice for web hosting companies that wish to offer low cost web hosting as it is open source, thus meaning that they won’t have to pay any fees to use it. Similarly most web hosting providers will also use US based servers to host customers on their cheapest web hosting services as US based server hosting services tend to be cheaper than UK server hosting services, allowing web hosting companies to offer you as the consumer the lowest price possible.

In conclusion, low cost web hosting packages can generally offer very good value for money, although this is reliant upon you choosing the correct web hosting provider for your requirements. Although a low cost web hosting service is going to be cheap, it is important that you don’t come to expect too much in terms of uptime and stability from your low cost web hosting package. All in all it’s about choosing the right web hosting service that will meet your requirements and being able to do this requires research and having a clear cut idea of what you expect of any web hosting package you are considering.

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Domain Name Hosting

Tuesday, June 1st, 2010

Domain names form the basis of most websites as they are the address that your visitors will type in to visit your website. Domain name registration services are offered by a large number of web hosting provider to supplement their domain name hosting services which will allow you to keep all the services that are related to the running of your website with a single web hosting company. Domain names can be registered based on a number of different principles including the TLD (Top Level Domain) that you wish to use as well as the actual domain name (this is the only part that you will be able to alter manually). Domains are by no means free and you will have to pay to register a domain name – prices will normally vary depending on the TLD that you use; domain names that use an important name and are under a popular TLD can go for big money as they can be very beneficial to those who are looking to make the most of SEO. When choosing a domain name you will want to be sure that the address that you choose to register will be easy to remember because the key idea is that visitors will constantly return to your website – something that is unlikely if they can’t remember your address.

In order for a domain to be effective you need to hook it up to a web hosting package of some sort so that you are able to setup email accounts, FTP accounts and more importantly, so that you can host a website under your domain name so that people have something to view when they type your domain name into their web browser. Web hosting providers will generally offer you the choice between Linux web hosting services and Windows web hosting services – both will be able to offer you the same core features, albeit hosted on different platforms using different applications.

Although you’re going to have to pay for a domain name, securing a name that is important to you could be the difference between getting your business known online and forgetting about building a sustainable web presence. In some situations business men will simply build up a portfolio of well-defined domain names that they can then sell on as they wish to those who would like to purchase them as by doing so they can make a profit. If you are only using web hosting for the first time then you may wish to consider a web hosting package that will provide you with a domain name for free to begin with.

In order for a domain name to even stand a chance of functioning correctly, you will need to point it to DNS name servers that will be responsible for hosting the DNS records that will then point requests to your domain name towards the correct servers. DNS records are key for the delivery of email and to allow people to view your website as when someone types your address into their web browser, the DNS servers will respond to that query with the IP address of the server that is hosting your website. Email servers will make similar queries when attempting to deliver email to your domain name, as they will ask the DNS servers for the IP address of the servers that responsible for managing your domain name’s email.

DNS hosting is a standard feature of most web hosting packages and will allow you to ensure that everything is setup and configured correctly – however, if you are wanting to take things a bit further then you can always use your own DNS servers if you have a VPS server or dedicated server as this will provide you with a greater level of flexibility. Other features standard to most web hosting packages that will allow you to make the most of any domain name include email hosting and website hosting. It is important for you to also focus on the other less clear aspects of any domain name web hosting package that you may be considering, such as disk space and bandwidth; these are the two measures that you should always keep an eye on as they are usually the main effectors of the price of web hosting services.

In conclusion, domain name hosting will allow you to make the most of any domain names that you choose to register since it will provide you with a way in which you can setup a website and email accounts under your domain name. Domain names and web hosting services cost money but in the long run you will be able to reap the benefits of having established your web presence as those wishing to find you online will be able to do so with ease.

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