Archive for the ‘Web Hosting’ Category

Windows Hosting Plan

Thursday, July 14th, 2011

A Windows hosting plan will provide you with a number of different features that aren’t available with Linux web hosting plans, primarily because the Windows operating system is a commercial operating system that offers a closed environment. Windows web hosting plans are ideal for the hosting of classic ASP and ASP.NET websites simply because the Windows platform is the only operating system capable of hosting these websites to a level that will enable you to make the most of them; furthermore, a majority of the backend applications that you are likely to be using to support your ASP website are likely to support the Windows operating system only, meaning that there will always be high demand for Windows hosting services. Microsoft is well known for producing high-quality, scalable server-side applications that are used by many large businesses and enterprises to power their corporate infrastructures; this enables web hosting providers to offer premium Windows hosting services with ease as their main target audience is going to be businesses as opposed to individuals. If you are a Windows web developer then you will be able to appreciate the importance of Windows VPS servers and Windows dedicated servers in providing dedicated web hosting environments; a dedicated Windows hosting environment will enable you to make the most of what ASP.NET has to offer, whilst using ASP as your scripting framework of choice will enable you to fully harness the power of the operating system along with any supporting applications that you choose to use.

What are the main technologies supported by Windows, but not by Linux?

There are several technologies that are unique to the Windows platform that are used by many large businesses as the core of their web infrastructure and as a Windows hosting customer, you can take advantage of these technologies to enhance your own web applications. These technologies include:

  • ASP.NET and AJAX – ASP.NET is one of the most advanced web scripting frameworks available, providing you with access to a number of different features and components that will enable you to make the most of the Windows operating system, allowing you to develop highly functional Windows web applications – ASP.NET is known for being scalable which is one of the most important features to consider in a scripting language when developing a fairly large website because this means that you will be able to serve your web application to a number of users, safe in the knowledge that your application is unlikely to fail – furthermore, the AJAX component of the ASP.NET framework will allow you to add additional AJAX functionality to your Windows web applications so that to end-users they appear to be sleek and well defined
  • Microsoft SQL Server – this is Microsoft’s enterprise-class database server that is used by many large organizations to power not only their website backends, but also their internal operations – Microsoft SQL Server has proven itself to be one of the most powerful database applications around and the fact that it is only supported by Windows means that there will always be a need for Windows hosting where large businesses are using this application – you can use SQL Server as the backend for your ASP.NET website with ease, safe in the knowledge that the seamless integration between the two will ensure that your data is as secure as possible when being accessed by your web application
  • Microsoft Access – for smaller implementations, a Microsoft Access database may be more than sufficient for the requirements of the web applications, but again this is a technology that is only supported by Windows servers – as is the case with SQL Server databases, Access databases can be seamlessly integrated into ASP.NET applications meaning that smaller web applications can be developed in half the time when using a less complex database structure – however, the only downside to using Microsoft Access as opposed to SQL Server is that the databases aren’t designed to be as scalable meaning that as the use of your application increases, you will need to port your Access database over to SQL Server at some point.

How can developing for Windows benefit me over developing for Linux?

Depending on the purpose that you are developing a web application for, there can be some benefits to choosing Windows over Linux when it comes to considering your hosting platform; these benefits include:

  • Secure platform – Windows is seen as being a more secure platform than Linux and indeed this is an important factor to consider if you are going to be hosting the personal information of visitors or customers – as well as standard anti-virus applications, there are also many other measures that can be taken to ensure that a Windows server remains secure and the fact that Windows is a commercial operating system means that if there are any security issues, you can be sure that Microsoft will be quick to release an update or patch to fix any issues that arise
  • Reliable platform – Windows is also seen as being a reliable platform, something that is important when developing web applications because you want to be sure that your intended audience will be able to access your website when they want to – most web hosting companies will aim to provide you with a highly reliable web hosting service these days and so in most cases you can be sure that your chosen Windows hosting plan will provide you with an acceptable level of uptime.

In conclusion, a Windows hosting plan will provide Windows web developers with the platform on which they can host the applications that they have crafted especially to make the most of the platform. Even though Windows is a commercial platform that will carry an additional premium over Linux web hosting plans, for users of Windows web hosting the extra charge is usually justifiable through the features that Windows is able to provide, but Linux is unable to. It is important to remember that you should only consider a Windows hosting plan if you have a specific need for Windows hosting, i.e. a need that can’t be met by Linux hosting plans.

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What are the most important features of dedicated hosting?

Sunday, May 29th, 2011

Dedicated web hosting services can provide you with many features that aren’t available on lower-end forms of web hosting and although these additional features are what make dedicated web hosting services slightly more expensive, they are the usually the reason for considering dedicated hosting over shared web hosting. Although VPS servers and dedicated servers offer the same core feature in terms of a dedicated web hosting environment, both have additional features and offer the dedicated web hosting in different ways which enable web hosting providers to offer both forms of hosting as dedicated web hosting that are pitched at different target audiences. As well as providing you with greater uptime, a dedicated web hosting service will also be able to provide you with a more secure web hosting experience because you will be the only one using your web hosting environment unless you wish to share it with anyone else intentionally. In addition to that, you will also be able to install the applications of your choice in a dedicated web hosting environment, allowing you to customize your dedicated web hosting service to meet your unique needs in every way; no other form of web hosting will allow you to do this and you can also benefit in some cases from web hosting companies that will allow you to choose the exact resource allocations that you receive.

Reliability

The reliability provided by a dedicated hosting service is probably the most important advantage that businesses stand to benefit from when investing in a VPS server or a dedicated server. As you will be the only one using your dedicated web hosting environment, you will have full access to the guaranteed resources that you are provided with and will be able to monitor the resource usage on your server so that you can sort out any stability issues before they compromise the reliability of your server hosting service. Uptime is important for most dedicated hosting customers because downtime can often mean lost revenue, in turn costing a business money and can also reduce the number of returning visitors.

One of the best ways to ensure a high level of reliability is to choose a dedicated hosting plan that can offer you an SLA (Service Level Agreement). An SLA will outline the level of uptime that you can come to expect from your web hosting service each month, but in reality all web hosting providers should aim to offer 100% uptime even though this will never be guaranteed. SLAs also offer compensation if the uptime provided is below the level set out in the SLA, although this will be dependent on the web hosting provider that you are purchasing your service form.

Security

The security provided by a dedicated hosting environment will benefit anyone who will be able to make the most of a dedicated hosting environment as a the isolation provided means that you won’t have to worry about others users on the same server as you causing problems with the use of unsecure websites or weak passwords. Whether you are using a VPS server or a dedicated server, you will have full control over who has access to your server meaning that you can prevent unauthorized access fairly easily. Furthermore, one of the main ways that hackers gain access to servers these days is through compromised web scripts; as you are going to be the only person using your server, it will be easy for you to check the code that your website has been developed with to ensure that no weak code has been used that could be used to potentially compromise your VPS server or dedicated server.

Dedicated Web Hosting Environment

The dedicated web hosting environment provided by a dedicated hosting service is likely to be the most important feature for most people and will be the reason that many choose to upgrade to a dedicated hosting service. A dedicated web hosting environment will provide you with isolation from other users and you will have your own guaranteed resources that you will be able to use as per your wish; if you opt for a dedicated server then the resources that you are provided with will be physical hardware resources, as opposed to VPS servers that simply use virtual resources from the hosting node.

Regardless of whether you choose to use a Windows server or a Linux server, you will be provided with a dedicated web hosting environment. Windows server users will be able to access their dedicated hosting environment via Remote Desktop, enabling to manage their server directly from the Windows GUI; for some users this may be seen as a simpler way of managing a server rather than using a command line interface. Linux servers users will be able to manage their servers using the command line based SSH interface, available with all Linux distributions.

In conclusion, reliability, security and the dedicated web hosting environment provided by a VPS server or dedicated server are the three most important features that a dedicated hosting service will be able to provide you with. Although shared web hosting services are generally of a good specification, they aren’t able to offer you the same level of independence that a VPS server or dedicated server can offer and won’t be able to beat a dedicated hosting service in the areas of reliability and security to any extent.

Although dedicated web hosting services are going to set you back more than shared web hosting plans, the cost of a VPS server or a dedicated server can be easily justified when you consider the important features that you will have available at your disposal. Furthermore, the level of support that you will be provided with when you choose a dedicated hosting service will enable you to make the most of the web hosting service that you have invested in, because at the end of the day you want to be sure that you are receiving good value for money from your web hosting service.

 

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Web Hosting Affiliate Schemes

Tuesday, May 24th, 2011

Many web hosting companies operate their own affiliate schemes as a way of promoting their business through other websites without having to put any work in directly, with the process only costing them once a sale has been made. The affiliate schemes offered will differ between web hosting companies because some web hosting providers are going to be using one particular payment structure whilst another web hosting provider may choose to deploy a completely different structure; furthermore, the amount paid per single sale is also going to be different. If you are experienced with web marketing then moving into create websites based around the idea of promoting web hosting companies will provide you with an opportunity to make the most of your skills whilst providing you with a fairly stable source of income. For web hosting companies, affiliate schemes can be an easy source of income that can be created with ease, although it is important for a web hosting provider to have a well-established customers base in order for its affiliate scheme to be of any use to the business overall. As a web hosting business you will find setting up your own affiliate scheme to be rather simple as there are many different applications to choose from, although affiliate schemes themselves take some level of promotion if they are to be successful.

Benefits of Web Hosting Affiliate Schemes

There are many benefits to be had from using web hosting affiliate schemes. If you are a customer of a web hosting company then it is recommended that you take advantage of the affiliate scheme that is on offer, as you will receive benefits such as:

  • Easy way of making money – if you take advantage of web hosting affiliate schemes in the right way and are able to generate a large number of sales using your affiliate link then you will be able to make a good amount of money through the commission that is paid on each sale that you make – different web hosting providers will have different payment structures with some offering a tiered system meaning that you will be paid a certain amount for the price bracket that a sale falls within, whilst another popular commission structure is one that pays commission that will be a certain percentage of the overall value of the sale – some companies may even opt for the simplistic structure of paying a single flat fee for every sale that is made, although this probably the least lucrative option for affiliates
  • Discounts on web hosting plans – as an affiliate, you are going to have access to special promotions and discount codes offered by the web hosting companies that you are an affiliate of before anyone else so that you are able to pass these special deals onto those who you think may wish to purchase a web hosting plan through your affiliate link – on the other hand, this can also be of benefit to you because it provides you with a way of saving money on your own web hosting plans if you choose to purchase your web hosting packages from a provider that you are an affiliate of
  • Web marketing – you can take advantage of the websites that you build to promote web hosting affiliate schemes to promote your own websites as well as the other affiliate websites that you create as it is important to create a network of interlinked affiliate promotion websites – if you market your affiliate websites correctly then you should be able drive a large amount of traffic to your websites, but it isn’t always guaranteed that these visitors will convert into sales.

What skills do I need to make the most of a web hosting affiliate scheme?

If you wish to make the most of web hosting affiliate schemes so that you are able to maximize the potential revenue that you can earn from such schemes, it is important for you to possess skills such as:

  • Web marketing/SEO – it is important for you to be well versed in web marketing and SEO so that you are able to carry out the marketing required so that your websites are able to gain a good level of exposure in search engines, allowing you to obtain high traffic streams – there are many different SEO techniques that you can take advantage of to ensure that your websites receive high rankings in search engines for the keywords that are related to the web hosting companies that you are aiming to promote – however, if you are only looking to promote your affiliate link to friends and colleagues then you won’t have to worry about web marketing and SEO as these are things that will only be needed when you are attempting to carry out internet promotion on a large scale
  • Web development – if you are going to be developing websites for a number of different affiliate schemes then it is important for you to have some basic knowledge around web development and web design so that you are able to create functional websites that contain accurate information and are kept up to date – if you have never developed a website before then there are certain solutions that you can use to your advantage, for example you could always choose to use a CMS system such as WordPress because this will provide you with a reliable base on which you can develop the content that you want.

In conclusion, web hosting affiliate schemes provide you as the customer with a chance of making money through promoting your web hosting company to your friends and colleagues. If you are an experienced web developer and SEO marketer then you can take it further by using your skills to market your affiliate scheme promotion website in the search engines because at the end of the day it will be important for you to drive in as much traffic as possible, organic traffic in particular as this is most likely to be converted into sales.

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Multiple Site Hosting

Thursday, May 19th, 2011

One of the best ways of saving money when you wish to host more than one website is to choose a web hosting plan that will provide you with the option for multiple site hosting because this will allow you to make the most of the resources that you have available at your disposal. Most shared web hosting plans provide you with the facility to host more than one website under your web hosting account meaning that you won’t have to spend a great deal of money in order to receive a web hosting plan that will provide you with the facility to make the most of all of the resources that you have available. Multiple website hosting will provide you with the opportunity to host multiple domains under a single web hosting plan, allowing you to consolidate all of your websites into a single manageable interface if you have websites hosted under different web hosting accounts with different web hosting providers. The best thing about multiple site hosting is that it isn’t platform specific; this will allow you to host multiple websites under a single web hosting plan on a Windows server or a Linux server, meaning that it should be pretty easy to find a web hosting plan that suits your needs, regardless of the languages that you use to develop your websites or the additional applications and services that you rely on to add functionality.

Benefits of Multiple Site Hosting

There are many benefits to be had from using multiple site hosting over a traditional web hosting packages that will provide you with the facility to only host a single website. The main benefits to be had include:

  • Save money – a web hosting plan that will allow you to host more than one website will provide you with an opportunity to save money because it means that if you ever need to host another website in future, you won’t need to purchase a new web hosting plan as you can simply add the domain on to your existing web hosting account, thus saving yourself money in the process – the same can be said if you are already in a position where you are using multiple web hosting plans for different websites as this will provide you with an opportunity to consolidate all of your web hosting plans into a single account, but in any circumstances it means that you will only be paying for a single web hosting account instead of multiple accounts
  • Streamlined management – if you decide to migrate all of your websites to be hosted under a single web hosting plan then you will instantly find that the management of your web hosting services has become much simpler because you will be able to manage all of your websites from a single control panel interface, rather than having to login to a different web hosting account every time you wish to make amendments to individual websites – furthermore, depending on the control panel that your web hosting provider has provided you with access to, you will also be able to carry out batch jobs meaning that you can achieve more at once
  • Makes the most of your resources – a web hosting plan that provides support for multiple websites will also allow you to make the most of the resources that are provided with your web hosting package because you will be able to distribute them amongst multiple websites rather than be stuck with using them for a single website that may not necessarily require large amounts of specific resources – this will allow you to make much better use of your resources and will mean that you can make the most of a web hosting package by exhausting what it has to offer you before needing an upgrade.

Disadvantages of Multiple Site Hosting

There can also be disadvantages to using multiple website hosting in some situations and for some although it can provide the right features, multiple website hosting may not always represent the best option available. The main disadvantages that you could face include:

  • Reseller hosting – if you are going to be hosting websites for others then a shared web hosting plan that can provide you with the multiple website hosting facility is no replacement for a reseller web hosting package – the difference between a reseller web hosting package and a multiple domain hosting plan is that a reseller web hosting package will allow you to create individual client accounts for the individual websites that you wish to host and will be able to base each web hosting account around the web hosting plans that you create yourself, based on the resources that your reseller web hosting plan is able to provide you with – furthermore, if your web hosting clients have their own client accounts then this will remove a certain level of stress from you because it means that you won’t have to worry about managing their accounts for them
  • Pricing – in some situations, the pricing of multiple domain web hosting plans can be slightly higher than web hosting plans that will only allow you to host a single website, although this will depend on the web hosting provider that you choose to use – in any situation it is recommended that you search around web hosting companies to ensure that you receive the best deal available and that you make the right choice when differentiating between what Windows and Linux web hosting plans have to offer.

In conclusion, multiple site hosting will allow you to save money in the long term if you wish to host more than one website as it will remove the need for multiple web hosting plans. Regardless of whether you require a Windows web hosting plan or a Linux web hosting plan, you should be able to find a web hosting company that can provide you with a suitable web hosting plan; however, the availability of certain features such as multiple website hosting will depend on the web hosting control panel that has been deployed by your chosen web hosting provider.

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Linux Hosting Company

Wednesday, May 18th, 2011

Linux is the most popular platform for use by web hosting companies as it is low cost and Linux servers are easy to maintain, providing web hosting companies with a win-win situation as they are able to offer highly profitable web hosting plans whilst reducing the amount of effort that will need to be put in to maintain the server. Linux shared hosting plans are often seen as the cheapest web hosting packages available because you are combining an open source operating system with the cheapest form of web hosting, the result of which will be web hosting services that pretty much anyone can afford, although the specifications of shared web hosting plans are only generally suitable for users with the most basic of needs. There are many different Linux distributions to choose from if you are looking into using Linux VPS server hosting or Linux dedicated server hosting, providing you with the opportunity to develop a completely custom web hosting service that will be able to meet your Linux hosting needs. The benefit of using a specialist Linux web hosting company is that they will be able to provide you with support that is tailored towards the operating system and if you face any issues with your Linux web hosting service then their technicians should be able to sort the issue in no time at all. As Linux is an open source operating system, it is offered by most web hosting providers meaning that there will be a large number of Linux hosting companies to choose from.

Benefits of Using the Linux Operating System

There are many benefits to using the Linux operating system in a web hosting environment, especially for consumers who are looking for low-cost web hosting services. The main benefits that are available from using Linux web hosting include:

  • Open source – as the Linux operating system is open source, it allows web hosting companies to offer low cost web hosting services without compromising the quality of the web hosting service provided – when compared to commercial platforms such as Windows, open source operating systems are able to provide the benefit of full access to the operating system source code meaning that modifications can be made to the core of the platform if required as some larger web hosting providers may choose to do this if they are looking to offer improved levels of security and a more stable platform than what other web hosting companies can provide
  • Reliability – when compared to Windows web hosting plans, Linux web hosting plans are seen as being more reliable and can provide customers with a worry-free web hosting experience – the issue that many web hosting companies are trying to overcome is downtime because this can be a major disadvantage to businesses that rely on their websites to provide them with a source of income, whether that be through advertising or sales of a product, because in such situations downtime can cost money – it is recommended that you choose a web hosting plan that can provide you with an uptime guarantee, simply so you know what to expect from your web hosting package
  • Security – the security of Linux web hosting servers is seen as being stronger than that of a Windows server because there are many different measures that can be taken to provide a high level of security to Linux hosting customers – as well as using software firewalls to improve the level of security surrounding a Linux web hosting server, hardware firewalls are also recommended as well as measures to prevent SQL injections that could potentially take place through hosted web pages that are using weak code.

Disadvantages of Using Linux Web Hosting

There can also be disadvantages to using the Linux platform under some circumstances, include but not limited to:

  • Management – the management of Linux servers can be seen as being an issue in some situations because you can only manage a Linux server through the command line over SSH meaning that you need to have some sort of basic knowledge as to how the Linux operating system functions so that you know what commands to use to complete certain tasks that will need to be done as part of maintaining your server – however, if you are inexperienced with server management then you can always consider using a fully managed Linux server hosting service as a way of having your needs met because this will take the responsibility of managing your Linux server away from you and will pass it on to an experienced support team who will do a professional job of it – if you do have experience with managing Linux servers then you can use this to your advantage by purchasing an unmanaged Linux server which you can then manage yourself, saving yourself money in the process
  • Hacker target – because Linux is so widely used by large businesses and web hosting providers alike, Linux servers are often one of the main targets for hackers that are looking to gain access to systems illegally to steal the data and other information held on them – this can be an issue for some because it means that more advanced security measures have to be taken to protect Linux web hosting servers and the data that they hold and this can cost web hosting companies both time and money to ensure that the task is completed to a high level.

In conclusion, there are many different Linux web hosting companies to choose from and because of this you should consider each company based on their own merits as opposed to what they are able to offer in terms of web hosting plans as there is likely to be little difference between the services provided by individual web hosting companies. For the most part you won’t need to be worrying about the Linux distribution that is being used unless you are using Linux dedicated web hosting and have highly specific requirements as this will provide you with an opportunity to select an OS that has been designed for a specific purpose.

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Installing DotNetNuke

Monday, April 25th, 2011

DotNetNuke is a content management system available for use on Windows web hosting services. DNN is based on ASP.NET and can be used with either a Microsoft Access or Microsoft SQL Server database, meaning that the application will only be fully functional when used in Windows web hosting environments. What makes DNN different from other CMS systems is that there is a community edition that can be used by anyone for free, but for businesses and larger websites who are looking to get more out of a CMS then there are also professional editions available that will come with additional features and will be accompanied by full support from the software vendor.

Downloading DotNetNuke

To download DNN, you should point your web browser towards www.dotnetnuke.com. From there you should select the “Download” button that is located at the top of the page.

Screen shot 2011 04 24 at 17.34.11 Installing DotNetNuke

You will then be presented with the following download and installation options:

  • Microsoft Web Platform Installer – if you are a server administrator and have access to your Windows VPS server or Windows dedicated server via Remote Desktop then the Web Platform installer will provide you with a simpler installation path
  • Install package – this is the more traditional method through which you will download the files required, upload them to your web server and then will run the web-based installation wizard
  • Source code package – if you wish to make changes to the core of the application, you should choose his package as you will be able to modify the source code of DNN as you wish.

For the purpose of this tutorial we are going to use the “install” package. Once you have clicked the “Install Package” button, you will be taken to an external download website where your download will begin automatically.

Screen shot 2011 04 24 at 17.38.07 300x170 Installing DotNetNuke

Once you have downloaded and uncompressed the files, you should be left with a directory structure similar to the one below.

Screen shot 2011 04 24 at 17.41.20 101x300 Installing DotNetNuke

Beginning the Installation Process

Prior to uploading the DotNetNuke files to your web space, you will need to setup a Microsoft SQL Server database that you can use with the application through your web hosting control panel. You will then need to correct the connection string in your web.config file so that the installation wizard is able to establish a connection to your database.

Screen shot 2011 04 24 at 18.23.49 300x18 Installing DotNetNuke

Once you have corrected the connection string and uploaded the contents of the download to your web space, you should setup the following permissions on your virtual directory:

  • IIS user – this user account should be granted read, write and modify permissions on the virtual directory that DotNetNuke is located in
  • ASP.NET network user – this user account should be granted full control over the virtual directory.

Once you have corrected the permissions, you should navigate to the directory that you have placed DNN in through your web browser. You should be presented with the following installation page:

Screen shot 2011 04 24 at 18.52.00 300x204 Installing DotNetNuke

There are three different installation options to choose from:

  • Custom – if you wish to customize your DNN installation then you should select this option as it will provide you with more options for the duration of the installation
  • Typical – if you want to use the “standard” configuration options used by a majority of users then this is the right choice for you
  • Auto – if you don’t want to muck around with the installations options and simply wish to install the application as quickly as possible then you should select this option.

For the purposes of this tutorial we will select the “Typical” option.

The wizard will then check that you have the correct permissions set on the directory that DNN is located in.

Screen shot 2011 04 24 at 18.54.50 300x192 Installing DotNetNuke

If you don’t have the correct permissions set, the installation wizard will provide you with instructions on how to solve this.

Next, you will need to setup the database connection so that the database can be populated with the relevant configuration information.

Screen shot 2011 04 24 at 19.42.29 300x272 Installing DotNetNuke

You will need to enter the following data:

  • File or database – you can choose to attach the existing database file, or if you wish to use a separate Microsoft SQL Server database then you will also be provided with this option
  • Server – this is the server on which your Microsoft SQL Server database is going to be hosted, usually the local server
  • Database – this is the name of the database that you wish to use
  • Database login credentials – you will also need to supply the username and password of the Microsoft SQL Server database user that you wish to use with the database.

Once you have completed the form, click “Next” and the database installation scripts will be run for you.

Screen shot 2011 04 24 at 19.45.14 300x211 Installing DotNetNuke

Once the database scripts have completed, you should click the “Next” button; you will then be taken to a page where you can setup the main admin user account for your website.

Screen shot 2011 04 24 at 20.00.27 300x231 Installing DotNetNuke

You will need to enter the following information to continue:

  • First name and last name – you should associate your own name with this account as you are likely to be the webmaster of the site
  • Username – you should set this to something applicable such as “host” or “admin”
  • Email address – it is important for you to associate an email address with this account in case you happen to forget your password.

You should also configure the SMTP server settings so that the application can send out emails.

It is now time to setup the main options for your DotNetNuke website, including the name of your site, so that you can begin to customize the installation.

Screen shot 2011 04 24 at 20.09.02 300x220 Installing DotNetNuke

It is recommended that you enter the following data to aid with the completion of the installation:

  • Full name – this is going to be associated with the admin account which will be used to manage the main website, unlike the super user account which is more important for the management of the technical aspects of the application
  • Username and password – these will also be associated with the admin account
  • Portal title – this is what you want the name of your website to be, for example it could be your business name if you are developing a business site
  • Template – if you are yet to develop your own design for DNN, you can choose to use a pre-built template.

Once you have completed the form and click “Next”, you should then proceed to click “Start Building Your New Site”. From there you will be taken to your new website.

Screen shot 2011 04 24 at 20.15.44 263x300 Installing DotNetNuke

In conclusion, DNN is a highly functional ASP.NET CMS that will provide Windows web developers with a reliable platform on which they can develop scalable websites that will be able to stand the test of time.

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Installing the Joomla CMS

Sunday, April 24th, 2011

Joomla is one of the most powerful content management systems available and as a standard installation will provide webmasters with an application through which they can manage their websites without having to constantly update multiple pages, but there is also the opportunity to expand the application through the use of third-party plugins. As Joomla is an open source application, you won’t have to pay a penny to use it meaning that it is ideal for big businesses as well as not-for-profit organizations. It is recommended that you combine Joomla with a low cost web hosting service such as a Linux shared web hosting plan as by doing this, you will be able to save yourself quite a bit of money.

Downloading Joomla

To download Joomla, you will first need to navigate to the Joomla website, which is located at www. Joomla.org; from there you will want to click the “Download” button.

Screen shot 2011 04 23 at 17.44.45 Installing the Joomla CMS

You will then be presented with different options depending on the version that you wish to use; unless you have a reason to use an older version, it is recommended that you choose the latest version to ensure that any security issues that have been raised with previous versions have been patched.

Screen shot 2011 04 23 at 17.49.12 300x185 Installing the Joomla CMS

To commence with the file download, simple click the “ZIP” text located next to the specific package that you wish to use. You can then simply save the file to your desktop.

The extracted root folder structure should be similar to the one below.

Screen shot 2011 04 23 at 17.58.24 146x300 Installing the Joomla CMS

Uploading the Joomla Files to Your Web Space

Once you have downloaded the Joomla files to your desktop and extracted the ZIP file, you will want to upload the uncompressed files to your web space so that you can commence with the installation of the application.

You will also need to setup a MySQL database through your web hosting control panel prior to running the installation wizard so that your Joomla installation will have a central location in which it can store all of its configuration data.

Once you have uploaded the contents to your web space, you should navigate to the folder that Joomla is contained in through your web browser. You will be directed to the page below.

Screen shot 2011 04 23 at 18.36.41 300x129 Installing the Joomla CMS

Once you have selected the language that you wish to use, click the “Next” button.

From there you will then be taken to a page that will carry out checks to ensure that your web hosting environment is capable of running Joomla properly.

Screen shot 2011 04 23 at 18.37.05 300x139 Installing the Joomla CMS

If any errors occur then the installation wizard will provide you with the instructions that will direct you on how to solve individual errors. If there are no errors then you should be able to click the “Next” button to continue with the installation.

You will then need to agree to the GNU license, which governs the use of certain open source applications and is applicable to the use of Joomla.

Screen shot 2011 04 23 at 18.37.17 300x167 Installing the Joomla CMS

Next, you will need to enter your MySQL database connection details so that Joomla can function properly.

Joomla installation database configuration Installing the Joomla CMS

You will be required to enter the following details:

  • Host name – this is the name or IP address of the server on which your Joomla database is going to be hosted
  • Username – you should configure a separate MySQL user account other than the root user to improve security
  • Password – all MySQL user accounts should be password protected as to ensure that hackers and other malicious attackers aren’t able to gain unauthorized entry.

After that and depending on the web hosting service that you are using, you may need to enter your FTP login details.

Screen shot 2011 04 23 at 18.38.00 300x128 Installing the Joomla CMS

You can simply skip this step by clicking the “Next” button if it doesn’t apply to you. If it does apply to you then you will need to enter the following details:

  • FTP username – this should be an FTP account that is separate from the main one that you use to upload your main content to your website and should be limited to the Joomla directory for added security
  • FTP root path – this is the root path to the location of where Joomla is installed in your web space.

You will then need to enter the main configuration details for your Joomla website as the connection to the database has now been established.

Screen shot 2011 04 23 at 18.38.23 300x182 Installing the Joomla CMS

To create a site that suits your needs, you should fill out the following information fields appropriately:

  • Site name – this should be the name of your company or related to the topic of the website that you wish to create
  • Your email – you should enter a valid email address as this will be used to reset the admin password if you happen to forget it
  • Admin username – your username doesn’t have to be “admin”, you can set it to be anything that you want
  • Sample data – you can even choose to install sample data, a practice that is recommended if you are a beginner, which will give you an idea on how Joomla works if you haven’t use the CMS before.

Once you have set out the main configuration to meet your needs, you can then proceed to use the application as you wish. It is recommended that you remove the installation folder so that no further amendments can be made to your configuration, except by yourself through the admin area.

Screen shot 2011 04 23 at 18.38.41 300x129 Installing the Joomla CMS

Once you have completed the configuration wizard, you will then be taken to the admin control panel, from which you will be able to configure the application further.

In conclusion, Joomla is a powerful CMS that can be used in a number of different scenarios to meet the requirements of big businesses and individuals who require a reliable framework on which they can develop stable websites capable of coping with high visitor loads without facing any issues. Although there are many open source CMS solutions available, Joomla is able to provide businesses with a custom solution that can be modified further through the use of a plugin framework that can be used to extend the functionality of the application, along with a styling framework that can be used to develop additional themes and designs to enable the application to fit in alongside existing websites.

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Using the WHM Control Panel

Monday, April 18th, 2011

WHM is available as part of the cPanel control panel suite and whereas cPanel is designed for client-side use, WHM is designed for use by resellers as it provides them with a separate interface through which they can manage their reseller web hosting account – it can also be used by server administrators for server management and management of the wider cPanel system as a whole. Using WHM is completely different to using cPanel because of the more advanced features that are offered, along with the fact that a completely different layout is used; for this reason it is important for you to fully investigate the separate features of WHM prior to using it for the first time so that you are fully aware of what you are doing.

Logging In

The login address for WHM and your account login details will be provided with your Welcome Email once you have purchased a Linux reseller hosting account from us. When you click the link, you should be taken to a login page similar to the one below:

Screen shot 2011 04 15 at 11.21.451 229x300 Using the WHM Control Panel

Once you have logged into WHM, you will be taken to the homepage, which will provide you with links to the main areas of the control panel and will allow you to manage your reseller hosting account effectively.

Screen shot 2011 04 15 at 13.48.321 300x114 Using the WHM Control Panel

Creating a New Web Hosting Plan

In order to be able to provision web hosting accounts in a quick and efficient manner, you should create web hosting plans that will provide each account with a template so that you can create multiple accounts with the same resource levels and feature sets.

To begin the process of creating a web hosting plan you will first want to select the “Packages” icon from the homepage.

Screen shot 2011 04 15 at 13.52.52 Using the WHM Control Panel

From there you should select the “Add a Package” icon.

Screen shot 2011 04 15 at 13.53.21 Using the WHM Control Panel

You will then be taken to a form that you will need to fill out with the relevant details in order to create a web hosting plan.

Screen shot 2011 04 15 at 13.55.27 186x300 Using the WHM Control Panel

You will need to enter the following details:

  • New Package Name – you should name your web hosting plans in series so that they go up in a particular order, with the most powerful web hosting plan being awarded the highest number or most recognisable name
  • Quota – this is the disk space quota that clients using this web hosting plan will have available to use – you should take into consideration the amount of disk space that you have available with your own reseller account as this will dictate how many web hosting accounts you will be able to host yourself
  • Bandwidth – similar to the disk quota allowance, you will need to consider the amount of bandwidth that you have assigned to your reseller hosting account prior to choosing how much to include with your own web hosting packages as this will limit the number of clients that you can host
  • Feature limits – you may wish to limit the number of accounts that your hosting clients are able to create using specific features, such as email accounts and FTP accounts, for specific reasons – with each web hosting plan you will be able to dictate such limits, but its important to note that if you have unlimited amounts of such features provided with your own web hosting plan then passing this on won’t affect the performance of your own reseller web hosting account.

Once you click the “Add” button, your web hosting plan should then be created for you.

Adding a New Client

Unless you have automated systems to do it for you, you will need to manually create each client account every time somebody purchases a new web hosting package through you. To begin with, you will need to click the “Account Functions” icon located on the homepage:

Screen shot 2011 04 15 at 14.10.48 Using the WHM Control Panel

From there you will want to select “Create a New Account”.

Screen shot 2011 04 15 at 14.11.18 Using the WHM Control Panel

You will then be taken to the account creation form that you will need to fill out in order to create a new web client account.

Screen shot 2011 04 15 at 15.10.57 289x300 Using the WHM Control Panel

You will need to enter the following details to facilitate the account creation process:

  • Domain – this is the domain name that your client wants to be associated with their web hosting account, this should be the primary domain that they are going to be hosting on their Linux web hosting account
  • Username – this will be automatically created for you using the domain name provided, although you can opt to use another username if you have your own accounting naming scheme
  • Password – all web hosting accounts should have a password applied to them to prevent any unauthorized access to the server
  • Email – it is important that every web hosting account has an email address associated with it to enable passwords to be reset if account holders forget their account login details
  • Package – if you have set up your own pre-defined web hosting plans that you can select to create a web hosting account using a particular plan
  • Mail routing settings – if you an account has specific email settings, for example if they are using an external email provider such as Google Apps, then you can change the role that the server has in providing the account with email services.

Once you click the “Create” button, your web hosting account will be created for you. It should be noted that your account limits will be shown on the right-hand side during the account creation process as this will aid you with calculating how many accounts you will be able to host under your reseller account.

In conclusion, WHM is one of the most powerful reseller web hosting control panels available and provides resellers with the features that they need to effectively manage their own web hosting clients within the confinements of their own resources. Although WHM may seem hard to use at first, once you get use to it you will be able to complete certain processes in no time at all; the facility to incorporate particular automation applications with WHM can reduce your reliance on having to complete some tasks manually, such as account creation, although these can cost extra to implement.

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Using the cPanel Control Panel

Monday, April 11th, 2011

The cPanel control panel is the most popular control panel application available for Linux web hosting as it has proven itself to be reliable and cost effective whilst retaining its relatively low price tag. Linux web hosting services are used by a majority of web hosting consumers which is why it is important for hosting companies to deploy a sturdy but easy to use control panel that can be used by even the most inexperienced of users; as well as powering most shared web hosting platforms, cPanel is also the control panel of choice for many VPS server and dedicated server hosting customers.

Creating an Email Account

Creating an email account using cPanel is a fairly simple procedure. To begin with, click the “Email Accounts” icon that is located under the “Mail” title on the homepage.

Screen shot 2011 04 08 at 14.44.51 Using the cPanel Control Panel

After that you will then be directed to a page that will contain the relevant form as well as a list of existing email accounts.

Screen shot 2011 04 08 at 14.46.02 300x195 Using the cPanel Control Panel

In order to create an email account you will need to fill in the following details:

  • Email – this is the name that you want to precede your domain name to form the email address, i.e. “example” would be translated to [email protected]
  • Password – you will need to password protect your email account to reduce the chances of hackers gaining access and viewing the contents
  • Mailbox quota – you may wish to put a limit on the amount of content that a single mailbox will be able to host because the disk usage of each email account will eat into your overall disk space usage.

Once you have clicked “Create Account” you should then receive a conformation message and your new email account will then appear in the list below.

Screen shot 2011 04 08 at 14.56.45 300x39 Using the cPanel Control Panel

Creating a MySQL Database

To begin with, click the “MySQL Databases” icon that is located under the “Databases” title on the homepage.

Screen shot 2011 04 08 at 15.00.32 Using the cPanel Control Panel

You will then be directed to a page that will provide you with a list of your existing MySQL databases and database users. To create a new MySQL database, you will need to fill out the form at the top of the page.

Screen shot 2011 04 08 at 15.04.12 292x300 Using the cPanel Control Panel

It is simply a case of typing in the name of your new database and clicking “Create Database”; it is important to note that the name of your database will be preceded by your cPanel account name.

If you wish to create a database user then you will need to enter the following details into the form:

  • Username – this, like your database name, will be preceded by your cPanel account name
  • Password – you should always apply a password to your MySQL database user accounts so that hackers aren’t able to view any of the data stored in your databases through the use of a compromised account.

Once you have created a database and a database user account, you will need to assign the user account to the database and will need to explicitly set the permissions that you wish for that account to have over the database concerned.

Screen shot 2011 04 08 at 15.10.18 Using the cPanel Control Panel

File Manager

The file manager in cPanel is one of its richest features and provides you with the ability to manage the files that you have hosted in your web space without the need to more complex options such as FTP.

To access the file manager, you will need to click the “File Manager” icon located under the “Files” title on the homepage.

Screen shot 2011 04 11 at 17.54.03 Using the cPanel Control Panel

After that, you will be provided with the option of where you want the File Manager to direct you towards. If you are going to be uploading documents to your publicly accessible web space then you will want to choose “Web Root”.

Screen shot 2011 04 11 at 17.56.10 300x227 Using the cPanel Control Panel

The File Manager will provide you with a multitude of basic options that you can use to manage the contents of your web hosting account’s disk space.

Screen shot 2011 04 11 at 17.58.43 300x105 Using the cPanel Control Panel

The File Manager will provide you with access to basic features such as:

  • Folder and file creation – if you need to create a new web page or folder on the move then you will be provided with an interface that will allow you to code files on the fly
  • Upload and download files – if you’re away from your main computer and require access to a file that is only stored in your web space then you can download it through the File Manager – this works both ways as it means that you can also upload files
  • Change permissions – every now and then you may need to tweak the permissions on certain files or folders in order to make your web pages and scripts function properly – this isn’t a big issue as cPanel provides you with the option to do this quickly and easily.

In conclusion, cPanel is one of the most feature-rich web hosting control panels available for the Linux platform and provides you with a multitude of options that you can use to effectively manage your Linux web hosting plan, regardless of whether you’re using Linux shared hosting or Linux dedicated hosting. The cPanel control panel is available for a low cost for dedicated web hosting services if you feel that you need a web based control panel to aid you with the management of your web hosting account; as a shared web hosting customer you should be able to expect cPanel access to be provided as standard with your Linux web hosting plan.

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Green Web Hosting

Tuesday, March 29th, 2011

Green web hosting is a new approach that many web hosting companies are taking with the way in which they are offering their services, providing businesses that are looking to cut down their carbon footprint with another way in which this can be achieved. Through a variety of different methods web hosting companies are able to reduce the carbon footprint of their web hosting services so that the use less energy without compromising the quality or the performance of the service that is being offered. Any web hosting company can take a few basic measures so that they can say that they offer green web hosting, but there are some specialist web hosting companies that go one step further and invest greatly in power generation technologies so that they are able to deliver a truly green web hosting experience to customers. Depending on how you go about it green web hosting may only be available at a premium, but most web hosting companies have now invested in power-saving equipment that uses less electricity whilst providing more power which will help to reduce their overall carbon footprint without having to increase the costs of their web hosting services.

What defines green web hosting?

Green web hosting is a type of web hosting that is defined by several different features that may differ between web hosting providers. These features consist of:

  • Power usage of equipment – the power usage of equipment can play a big factor in how green a web hosting company is because if they are using old and outdated equipment then this obviously wouldn’t have been manufactured to meet the current standards with regards to energy consumption – in order for a web hosting company to be able to provide green web hosting services, it is important for them to have invested in modern servers and networking equipment that are much more economical with the way in which they use energy and are able to provide a higher level of performance whilst using less energy – however, it is still going to be the case of the more powerful servers using up more energy than smaller, less powerful servers, but techniques can be applied to help stem the need for further servers such as the use of virtual machines
  • Where the energy comes from – one of the most important factors for web hosting companies to consider if they wish to promote green web hosting is where the energy that powers their servers and network equipment comes from because if it is provided by fossil fuel-powered power stations then this isn’t going to aid them with the promotion of green web hosting to any extent – many data centres are now adding wind turbines on their own sites as this will allow them to generate their any electricity, whilst any spare capacity can be sold back to the National Grid which will provide any data centre with the opportunity to generate an extra source of income whilst reducing their own electricity costs through the reduction in reliance on external power suppliers
  • Community involvement – some web hosting companies may choose to get involved with the local communities in which they are based with activities such as tree planting as these will allow the company to offset their carbon emissions to some extent by planting new trees that will be able to absorb the carbon dioxide produced by the web hosting provider’s activities – tree planting schemes can be costly and so for the most part web hosting providers don’t get involved to a great extent, but at the end of the day involvement in such schemes help to promote a positive company image and will aid them with the promotion of green web hosting services.

Are there any disadvantages to using green web hosting?

For individuals there can be some downsides to using green web hosting that need to be considered when weighing up the advantages of green web hosting. Such disadvantages may include:

  • Cost – because of the extra investment that takes place in more expensive technologies in order to allow web hosting companies to offer green web hosting services, the cost of green web hosting services can be more expensive than web hosting services that are hosted on older hardware appliances and less energy-efficient data centres and this can place green web hosting services outside the budgets of many smaller businesses that are simply looking to establish their web presence, as at this time it is generally larger businesses that are looking to develop their green presence in multiple ways as a method of improving their corporate image
  • Verifying green credentials – in some cases, particularly with smaller web hosting companies, it can be hard to verify the green credentials of the web hosting business because although some claim to be participating in tree planting schemes and using energy efficient hardware, verifying such claims can be very hard – however, most web hosting companies host their hardware in large data centres that usually put in efforts to offer green server hosting services meaning that if a web hosting company does claim to be using a data centre that offers green hosting then such claims are easier to verify than others.

In conclusion, green web hosting will allow businesses to reduce their carbon footprint which in-turn will allow them to improve their corporate image, especially to customers who are conscious of a business’s ethical and environmental policies. There are many different measures that web hosting companies can take to claim the green web hosting badge, but in order to offer carbon neutral web hosting services a web hosting provider will need to be actively engaged in community projects which involve growing trees and other environmentally tasks, whilst investment in modern servers and other hardware will need to take place to reduce a web hosting provider’s overall energy consumption. However, the investment will need to be passed on to the customer and so you may find that some green web hosting services carry an extra premium, this usually being with web hosting companies that specialize specifically in green web hosting.

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