Archive for the ‘Windows Hosting’ Category

Reseller Hosting Plan

Tuesday, August 9th, 2011

A reseller web hosting plan is the ideal companion for a website designer that wishes to offer web hosting services alongside their initial product offerings, or those who wish to start their own web hosting businesses. As reseller web hosting is a form of shared web hosting, you can pick up reseller web hosting plans for a fairly low price meaning that if you do wish to start a web hosting company using a reseller web hosting plan then it will be fairly easy to make a quick profit. The only downside to using reseller web hosting is that the reliability of your web hosting account can’t always be guaranteed, but when you aren’t paying much for a web hosting plan it is important that you don’t come to expect too much of your chosen web hosting plan. Many web hosting companies are able to offer you the choice between Windows reseller hosting and Linux reseller hosting, allowing you to choose the platform that is most fitting to your needs with ease; however, you should note the price difference between Windows web hosting plans and Linux web hosting plans as this may affect your choice of platform. You should also review the different web hosting plans that are offered by different web hosting companies because different web hosting companies will be able to offer you additional features with their reseller hosting plans to enhance your web hosting experience; the additional extras will differ between web hosting companies so it is recommended that you have an idea of what is available.

Why should I choose a reseller hosting plan?

A reseller web hosting plan will be able to provide you with a number of different benefits if you find that it is the most suitable form of web hosting for your needs. Some of these benefits include:

  • Multiple client accounts – the main benefit of choosing a reseller web hosting plan is that if you are going to be hosting websites for other people, you can provide them with access to their own client control panel through which they will be able to manage their own website without the need for any assistance from yourself – most web hosting control panels that are able to offer reseller capabilities will include this function meaning that the client web hosting accounts created under your reseller hosting account will have complete isolation from one another and will allow you to assign each website its own resources to ensure that one of your web hosting accounts isn’t able to affect the operation of any of the others
  • Resource assignments – the resources provided with a reseller web hosting plan will far outweigh those that are offered with standard shared web hosting plans, making reseller hosting the best option for someone looking to host multiple websites under separate accounts – with a reseller web hosting account you will be able to apportion your resources amongst individual websites as you wish so that the resources provided to each website will reflect their demand – if you find that you eventually run out of resources with your reseller account then you can easily purchase additional disk space, bandwidth and other resources from your web hosting provider for use as you wish
  • Custom web hosting plans – most web hosting control panels will allow resellers to create custom web hosting plans based on the resources that they have available to use – when starting a web hosting business, it is important for you to be able to offer a range of web hosting plans to meet the needs of different businesses and individuals as well as the different price points that will affect these differentiating target audiences – once you have defined your custom web hosting plans you can then begin to provision web hosting accounts as you wish as you can create web hosting accounts that are going to be based on the same web hosting plan in bulk.

What are the disadvantages to using reseller web hosting plans?

There can be some disadvantages to using reseller web hosting plans, but the extent to which these will affect you is going to depend on what exactly you expect from your reseller web hosting account. Some of the possible disadvantages include:

  • Reliability – when you are using shared hosting it is important for you to never put too much weight on the uptime guarantee that has been provided to you by your web hosting provider because for the most part it is hard for web hosting companies to offer reliable shared web hosting services – when there are many websites hosted in a single hosting environment, it is almost impossible for web hosting companies to monitor the performance of each individual website meaning that sometimes one website may in fact use up more resources than it should be allowed to and this could cause issues with server performance
  • Security – as is the case with reliability, it is almost impossible for web hosting providers to guarantee the security of every individual website hosted in a shared web hosting environment because of the number of factors that could affect an individual website, including how well the website itself has been developed and coded – however, most web hosting companies will still take all the security measures they see as appropriate with their shared web hosting servers so that they can create the most secure web hosting environment possible given the circumstances.

In conclusion, a reseller web hosting plan is the ideal starting point for someone who wishes to start their own web hosting business or to host websites for others to any extent. Most web hosting providers are highly generous with the resources that they offer their reseller web hosting clients meaning that you needn’t worry about running out of disk space or bandwidth; even if you do run out of particular resources, you can easily purchase additional resources from your web hosting provider as you see fit so that you don’t have to upgrade your web hosting plan immediately.

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Exchange Server Hosting Service

Tuesday, August 9th, 2011

Microsoft Exchange server is an enterprise-class communication platform used by many businesses to simplify the way in which their employees communicate with each other as well as to encourage employees to manage themselves to a better degree. As Exchange Server is a Microsoft product, it is only capable of running on Windows servers, but a the same time this close tie between operating system and product allows Microsoft to deliver a more stable platform that will be capable of meeting the security needs that may represent a challenge for other email and collaboration platforms. The benefit to many businesses of using a platform such as Microsoft Exchange Server is that the data hosted on the platform is accessible from a number of different devices, allowing businesses to construct a central location for email, contact and calendar information; as well as using desktop clients, data hosted on Exchange servers can also be accessed through the Outlook Web Access web interface and a number of different mobile devices including iPhones and Blackberrys. Many businesses already running a Windows-based infrastructure are likely to be using Active Directory as a way of managing and authenticating users and so Exchange Server is able to tie in with this infrastructure seamlessly, allowing your users to use a single account to logon to Windows desktop computers and their Exchange environment. Even though Exchange Server hosting services may carry an additional premium when compared to using other collaboration platforms, Exchange Server is the only platform capable of offering you such a smooth service.

Benefits of Using Exchange Server Hosting

There are several different benefits to using Exchange Server hosting that you should be aware of, especially if you are considering any other collaboration and communication platform, as these could encourage you to use Exchange Server. Such benefits include:

  • Encourages communication – Exchange Server will encourage your employees to communicate with each other much more clearly using email as the system will provide your staff with a centralized point from which they can access their emails on any device – the issue with the communication structures in many businesses at the moment is that they are simply too basic and lack a number of different tools that would otherwise aim to enhance the experience and Exchange Server improves on many other collaboration platforms by providing you with a web interface as well as a system that you will be able to access on a number of different devices so that you are never far from your emails
  • Allows employees to manage their schedules – another major part of the Exchange platform is the calendar feature that is provided, allowing employees to manage themselves to a higher degree so that they can keep an eye on their appointments – as is the case with email account, Exchange Server calendars can be synced with a number of different devices and applications so that you can add a new appointment to your calendar whilst on the move, safe in the knowledge that the same appointment will be viewable in your calendar on your desktop computer when you return to the office
  • Integration into existing infrastructure – most businesses have an existing Windows IT infrastructure usually based around the Active Directory authentication system and Exchange Server can be integrated into your existing infrastructure with minimal work – the idea that employees can use a single username and password to access their emails and Windows desktop computer will simplify the management process for your IT department as it gives them one single platform to monitor the performance of – furthermore, it will mean that your staff will have fewer passwords to remember, thus reducing the chances them forgetting their login details – even though setting up a Windows infrastructure may be expensive, you can be sure that you will be provided with a secure and reliable infrastructure that will be more than capable of meeting your needs.

Disadvantages of Using Exchange Server Hosting

There can also be some disadvantages to using Exchange Server hosting services that you should be aware of, these could include:

  • Cost– the cost of implementing the Exchange Server platform when compared to other available options can be incredibly high which is why it may not be that appealing to smaller businesses that have smaller businesses and instead will be more suitable for larger companies – Microsoft sells commercial products meaning that you will need a license to use a majority of the premium applications sold by the company, including the Windows operating system – as a business, by choosing Windows as your infrastructure platform you are going to need to take on board the extra costs that are going to be associated with running your infrastructure than if you had chosen to use Linux servers as Linux is an open source platform
  • Windows-only compatibility – it is also important to take into consideration that Exchange Server is a Windows-only application meaning that if you are running an IT infrastructure that is based on any other platform, i.e. Linux, then you should consider a solution other than Exchange Server for your requirements – this means that for businesses which have never used Windows before, a significant investment in Windows servers is going to be required if they wish to make the most of Microsoft Exchange Server, on the other hand they could always choose a remotely hosted as this could be more cost effective and would take less time to setup.

In conclusion, an Exchange Server hosting service will allow you to provide your employees with a centralized communication tool that they can use to communicate with fellow employees and customers of your business. Although there are a number of alternatives available to Microsoft Exchange Server, no other platform is able to provide you with the accessibility features that are offered for a number of different devices; many employees are now on the move these days and use mobile devices such as Blackberrys and iPhones and in most cases will want to be able to access their emails.

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SSL Web Hosting Service

Tuesday, August 9th, 2011

Before entering their personal details into your website, your visitors are going to want to be sure that they can trust you with their details and that you are going to be able to offer a sufficient level of security to keep their details safe. SSL certificates are one way of providing a high level of security because they help to ensure that all data transferred between your website and client computers is encrypted, meaning that if hackers were to attempt to eavesdrop on a connection then the any data that they did gather would be useless to them. Any web hosting service will allow you to use an SSL certificate with your website, enabling you to create the secure environment that will suit your needs; even though you are going to need to purchase an additional dedicated IP address for use with your shared web hosting plan if you wish to use an SSL certificate, the additional cost is worth it and with a VPS server or a dedicated server you can use your existing dedicated IP addresses as you wish. SSL certificates are available at different price points depending on the strength of the encryption provided and the level of trust that there is in the organization providing the certificate signing; there are many value certificates that are offered by a large number of web hosting providers, but if you are running a busy website then you should consider choosing a stronger certificate that is signed by a more well-known company.

Why should I use an SSL certificate with my website?

There are many benefits to using an SSL certificate with your website and when they are so cheap to setup and configure for use with your web hosting account, there aren’t many reasons that you shouldn’t get one. Some of the benefits available include:

  • Customer trust – if you are going to be selling goods or services through your website then an SSL certificate is one way in which you will be able to obtain your customer’s trust because you will need this before they enter their personal details into your website – an SSL certificate will be visible in the web browser of any client computer that visits your website as it will be validated by the browser itself and then as long as your certificate is valid, this should be shown by the client’s browser – you may also wish to place a security seal on your website that shows that you are using an SSL certificate as part of your security measures – once customers have trust in your website, they will be more willing to purchase goods and services from you and to recommend your website to others
  • Extra layer of security – SSL certificates will provide an additional level of security for your web hosting environment on top of any server-side security measures that may already be in place – the benefit of using an SSL certificate is that it helps to guarantee the security of data transferred between your visitor’s computers and your website, something that isn’t always possible when using standard security techniques such as firewalls and anti-virus applications – furthermore, the purpose of your website will allow you to select the strength of the SSL certificate that you go for
  • Cheap to implement – depending on the strength of the certificate that you purchase, SSL certificates are fairly cheap and simple to implement and can also be used on a majority of web hosting accounts – the weakest certificates available aren’t recommended for the biggest businesses, but ca still be used to provide a good level of security for those who are on a tight budget – if you are using a VPS server or a dedicated server then it is going to be easy to setup your SSL certificate, but as a shared web hosting customer additional efforts will be required because you will need to contact your web hosting company to purchase a dedicated IP address for your website as well as for assistance with the installation process.

Are there any disadvantages to using SSL certificates?

There are a couple of disadvantages to using SSL certificates and if you don’t strictly require an SSL certificate then you may not wish to purchase one. A couple of the disadvantages include:

  • Cost – in order to receive a strong SSL certificate that can provide a good level of encryption for the data that it is meant to be protecting, you are going to need to pay a good amount of money – furthermore, some certificate signing authorities aren’t recognized by all web browsers meaning that you will have to pay an additional premium to be sure that your SSL certificate will be valid with all web browsers and that it won’t throw up any issues for anyone who tries to access the secure areas of your website
  • Certificate expiration – it is important to note that all SSL certificates expire eventually and the longer the expiration date you purchase for your certificate, the more expensive your SSL certificate is going to be – the shortest period that you can purchase an SSL certificate for is one year, but it is recommended that you purchase them for a long period of time as otherwise once the certificate that you are using has expired, you will have to purchase a new one and go through the time consuming installation process once again.

In conclusion, an SSL web hosting service will allow you to provide your website and visitors with a good level of security through the encryption of the data that will be provided. Even if you are a beginner then an SSL certificate represents an affordable option and will provide you with an improve security situation, just at a lower level; bigger businesses may wish to consider more expensive SSL certificates because they usually provide a stronger level of encryption. Furthermore, whatever the form of web hosting that you are using, you should be able to use an SSL certificate with your website.

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SQL Server Management Studio

Monday, August 1st, 2011

If you choose to use a Microsoft SQL Server database with your Windows web hosting plan then you will need a way to manage your database, which is where SQL Server Management Studio comes into play as this is the application provided by Microsoft to allow you to manage your SQL Server 2005 and 2008 databases effectively. SQL Server databases are very complex in their structure and so a sturdy application is required to allow you to make the most of all of the application’s features; as a server administrator SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS) will allow you to control the state of the database server as well as individual databases, but at a shared web hosting level you are going to be offered direct user access to your database meaning that you will only be permitted to perform operations in this area. The benefit of SSMS is that it can be used to manage databases locally and remotely so that you can swap between local test databases and remote databases that could potentially be the live backend databases for your website; this enables data to be transferred with ease when editing your database locally before upload it to the remote server. Although you are going to have to pay for Microsoft SQL Server if you wish to use a version that won’t limit your usage, SSMS is available for free and can also be used with the Express (free) editions of SQL Server 2005 and 2008.

What are the main features of SSMS?

SQL Server Management Studio is a product that can provide Windows server administrators with many benefits that will allow them to streamline the management process and save time when completing certain tasks. These features include:

  • Free edition – for those using Microsoft’s free database systems, in other words the Express editions, there is also an Express edition of SSMS available that will allow you to manage your database server fully without the need to pay a penny for any software – although the desktop application is only compatible with the Windows operating system, it does provide system administrators with a simplified method of managing servers without having to login to the server directly as this can be a time consuming process and isn’t the most secure method of management available – the Express edition will also allow those who are using Windows technologies to develop websites for the first time with a way of being able to sample more advance technologies without risking any money
  • Backwards compatibility – some larger companies that have been established for a long period of time may still be running database clusters that are using older versions of SQL Server, such as 2000, and SSMS is compatible with these older systems meaning that you can manage all of your database servers using a single application, rather than having to switch between SSMS and the older generations of management tools that were created – this makes SSMS even more popular with system administrators and will guarantee that larger businesses will continue to use Microsoft’s enterprise-level products for a long time to come
  • Works with Windows web hosting – SSMS can be used to manage your SQL Server databases across the range of Windows web hosting plans offered by Storm Internet, regardless of whether you have chosen Windows shared hosting or Windows dedicated hosting – this will provide you with a wider range of benefits from your Windows web hosting plan if you are able to have greater access to the management of your databases because it means that you will be able to add extended functionality to your dynamic web applications – furthermore, when using SSMS with a Windows dedicated server running SQL Server you will be able to manage more of your server remotely without the need to be continually logging into it via Remote Desktop.

What are the benefits of using a database server as opposed to a desktop database system?

There are many benefits to using a database server as opposed to a desktop database application, or in other words using Microsoft SQL Server as opposed to Microsoft Access in a live environment. These benefits include:

  • Scalability – SQL Server can provide you with a higher level of scalability than Microsoft Access, in turn allowing you to grow your website as you wish without having to worry about having the performance of your web application inhibited by the database application that you are using – most websites also suffer load spikes during peak times and so it is important for the database application that you are using to be able to cope with this so that your website doesn’t crash, Access won’t be able to cope with load spikes in most cases whereas SQL Server will be able to make efficient use of your server’s resources to counteract the load spikes
  • Security – the security provided by SQL Server is on a much higher level than that provided for the data stored in Microsoft Access databases, making SQL Server the ideal option for businesses that are going to be processing and handling the personal data of customers and visitors – SSMS will be able to aid you with the security of your databases by allowing you to setup strong passwords as well as allowing you to ensure that that encrypted content including passwords and email addresses can be stored in your database tables.

In conclusion, SQL Server Management Studio is a vital tool that will form part of the software collection of any seasoned SQL Server database developer. As a Windows web developer you are going to be using SSMS as part of the development process to create and manage the SQL Server database that you wish to use as the backend for your website; you may also be using SQL Server as the backend database platform for your internal corporate infrastructure, in which case you will also come into contact with SSMS as part of your daily management processes – in either case you will discover the power of the application and how it can benefit you.

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Access Hosting

Tuesday, July 26th, 2011

Microsoft Access is a desktop database system that has been developed by Microsoft with small businesses in mind and can be used to create and manage small-scale standalone databases as well as the database backend for small ASP websites. Not many comparisons can be drawn between Microsoft Access and its bigger brother SQL Server because both database systems are targeting two different markets; whereas SQL Server is aimed at larger businesses that store all of their mission critical data on database systems and require scalability to ensure that they never face stability issues, Microsoft Access is aimed at smaller businesses that aren’t going to have the need for a scalable database system and are only looking at using an Access database as part of a small implementation. As is the case with SQL Server databases, in order to make the most of your Access databases in a web hosting environment you will need to choose a Windows web hosting plan for your needs as Access databases can only function in a Windows environment; this can be a disadvantage to some extent because it means that you will have to pay out more for a web hosting plan that will suit your needs. For businesses that are looking to develop small-scale websites and web applications using ASP.NET then Microsoft Access will make the perfect database accompaniment as it will allow you to cut development times, but will allow you to create a final result that will function professionally and will be able to keep your data safe and secure.

What are the benefits of using Microsoft Access?

As Microsoft Access is a desktop database system it can have many benefits to offer to beginners before they move on to using more powerful systems such as Microsoft SQL Server; some of these benefits include:

  • Desktop system – the fact that Microsoft Access is a desktop database system makes it easier to use in some cases because you are able to manage databases locally without the need for a direct internet connection to a server because the file is the database, rather than the database being served through a server service – with Microsoft Access you can download a database from your web space and make the amendments to it that you see as being necessary and then upload the database to your web space again, allowing you to keep a back-up copy of your database on your desktop so in the event that the server that your website is hosted on crashes, you will be able to recover your database and data easily
  • Cheap to implement – compared to a Microsoft SQL Server-based system, Microsoft Access databases are fairly cheap to implement because you only have to pay for a single application that won’t provide you with any limitations – with Microsoft SQL Server you have to purchase a license for the high-end version in order to be able to make the most of the application without any limitations, however if you go for a lower end version then you may have certain limitations forced upon you – however, your license for Microsoft Access will only be usually valid for one computer meaning that if you wish to use multiple copies of the application or have it on different computers then it could become costly to implement
  • ASP.NET websites – Microsoft Access can be used in conjunction with ASP.NET to aid with the development of small-scale dynamic websites that require a database backend in which data can be stored – Access is only suitable for small-scale websites because it isn’t the most scalable database platform available and so larger websites would be put too much stress on an Access database and too many concurrent connections would make it impossible for the database and website to function together properly – however, when used together you will be able to develop very dynamic and functional web applications for a Windows hosting environment.

What are the disadvantages of using Microsoft Access?

Due to the limitations provided by using Microsoft Access, there can be some disadvantages to using the application that you should be aware of prior to choosing it. Some of the disadvantages that you may come across could include:

  • Windows-only – the fact that Access is developed by Microsoft means that Access databases can only be managed on Windows desktop computer and will only be fully functional on Windows web hosting servers – this will only be an issue for you if you are using a platform for either your web hosting or on the desktop other than Windows, for example many people choose to use Mac OSX as their desktop operating system for which Microsoft Access isn’t compatible, similarly Linux is a popular choice for web hosting and an Access database won’t open in a Linux hosting environment
  • Scalability – the fact that Microsoft Access serves databases directly from the file, it isn’t the most scalable database solution available and so larger businesses looking to use a scalable Microsoft database solution should review Microsoft SQL Server for their requirements – when looking to develop a scalable infrastructure for a website that will be able to cope with load spikes, it is important for you to consider your backend database application carefully because this is going to be put under much of the stress that comes from load spikes because of the continuous requests that will be made to pull information from any databases that are being hosted.

In conclusion, Access hosting is available from any web hosting company that is offering Windows web hosting services. Although Microsoft Access may not be the most scalable database platform available, it is recommended for smaller businesses that are looking to develop small, in-house web applications using ASP.NET as they can then easily manage their databases using a desktop application. Microsoft Access isn’t the best option for managing databases that are being used in a live web environment because once you have downloaded the database and made the changes you want, a newer copy of the database is likely to exist on the hosting server.

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SQL Server Hosting Plan

Tuesday, July 19th, 2011

For larger businesses that require a reliable database hosting platform that they can be sure will keep their data safe and secure, Microsoft SQL Server represents the best option possible because of the fact that the application is designed for use by enterprise-level users. As a Windows web hosting user you will also be able to appreciate the close level of integration that is possible between ASP.NET web applications and SQL Server databases, helping to ensure that any data pulled from your database by your ASP.NET website is done so securely as to ensure that the connection can’t be eavesdropped on by hackers and other malicious attackers. Microsoft SQL Server is only available for the Windows platform meaning that you will have to choose a Windows web hosting plan if you wish to have the facility to host SQL Server databases; most web hosting companies will be able to offer you a wide range of Windows hosting plans to choose from, with Windows shared hosting plans being available for those with simple requirements whilst those who wish to make the most of SQL Server hosting can opt for their own VPS server or dedicated server running Windows. Depending on your exact requirements, you may wish to check out the version of SQL Server that your web hosting plan will be provided with; although most web hosting companies have now upgraded to SQL Server 2008, there are still some web hosting providers using SQL Server 2005 for the purpose of lower-end Windows web hosting plans.

What should I look for in an SQL Server hosting plan?

There are several different features that you should consider in a Windows web hosting plan that you may be looking to use for the purposes of SQL Server database hosting, these features include:

  • Version of SQL Server being used – the version of Microsoft SQL Server being used is something that you should ask a web hosting provider before purchasing a Windows web hosting plan for the use of SQL Server hosting because different versions of Microsoft SQL Server offer different features and where possible, it is probably best for you to be using the most recent versions of software that is key to your website – most web hosting companies aim to use SQL Server 2008 which is the latest version of the software and by choosing a web hosting company that is able to offer the most up-to-date version, you can be sure that you will be awarded the best levels of reliability and security that are available for your databases – furthermore, it may also be important to review the specific edition of SQL Server that is being used as some web hosting companies choose to use the Express edition to save money under some circumstances and this can provide you with certain limitations, so you want to be sure that you will have access to a server running the Standard edition of the software at least
  • Disk space allowance – depending on the size of your website, you may also wish to review the amount of disk space that will be provided with your chosen Windows web hosting plan as the size of your SQL Server database will count towards your overall disk space usage – if your website is going to be expanding over time then it is important for you to consider a web hosting plan that will be able to cope with this growth over time or will allow you to purchase extra disk space as you require it because if you end up using up all of the disk space that you have available to you, this could cause issues with the functionality of your Windows web hosting plan
  • Support for ASP.NET – it is recommended that you ensure that any SQL Server hosting plan that you may be looking to choose will be able to provide you with ASP.NET support so that you are able to develop flexible Windows web applications around your Microsoft SQL Server databases – SQL Server databases can be integrated very closely with ASP.NET websites and will allow you to develop scalable and stable web applications that will be able to cope with high visitor loads and can be adapted with ease as you wish to add functionality to your website or web application.

Are there any disadvantages to using SQL Server hosting plans?

There may be some disadvantages to using SQL Server hosting plans, although this will depend on your exact requirements. Potential disadvantages that you could face include:

  • Expensive – for smaller businesses, the cost of using an SQL Server hosting plan when compared to a web hosting plan that would only be able to offer support for MySQL server isn’t justifiable, mainly because they will never have the complex requirements that would mean that they would be able to make the most of what SQL Server has to offer – where money is an issue MySQL Server is the best option available because it is an open source database server that is able to offer similar features to SQL Server, but at no cost
  • Windows-only support – as SQL Server is a Microsoft product, it is only available for the Windows platform, something that could be an issue for businesses that have invested heavily in Linux technologies but wish to have a taste of what Microsoft has to offer – as well as the added premium of using SQL Server because you have to purchase a license for the software, you will also be faced with the expense of a Windows operating system license.

In conclusion, Microsoft SQL Server is a highly reliable database server that can be deployed in pretty much any situation to provide you with a wide range of positive results. As well as providing you with a high level of security, which is important in this day and age when storing personal information of others and other confidential information online, SQL Server hosting plans can also offer you a number of other features that will allow you to make the most of the database platform.

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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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Why should I choose shared web hosting?

Thursday, May 26th, 2011

Shared web hosting plans are designed by web hosting companies to be the cheapest web hosting service that they offer and this is reflected in the specifications of shared web hosting plans as well as the features available when compared to higher-end forms of web hosting. As is the case with most forms of web hosting, you will be able to choose between Windows shared hosting and Linux shared hosting so that you are able to purchase a web hosting plan that suits your requirements sufficiently; it should be taken into consideration that Linux shared web hosting plans are often the cheapest available from most web hosting companies and represent excellent value for money if you are on a tight budget. For a beginner shared web hosting plans are often the best option because you will be provided with full support, enabling you to focus on the task in hand which is setting up your web hosting account without having to worry about the management of the server that you are hosted on, nor the more technical aspects of your web hosting account. The cost of shared web hosting plans also means that you can get started with shared web hosting and if you find that it isn’t the right web hosting package for you then you won’t lose out too much, or on the other hand you are provided with an easy upgrade path because with most web hosting providers it is fairly easy to upgrade shared web hosting plans so that you can eventually reach reseller level.

Benefits of Using Shared Web Hosting

There are many benefits that can be had from using shared web hosting and are the reasons that as a beginner, you should consider a shared web hosting plan over anything else that may be on offer. Such benefits include:

  • Low cost web hosting – a shared web hosting plan will be able to provide you with an affordable, low cost web hosting service as web hosting providers are able to fit more shared web hosting accounts on a single server than they are accounts of any type of web hosting, allowing them to pitch the price of your average shared web hosting plan much lower than the prices of other forms of web hosting – it is a good idea to remember that most shared web hosting plans are feature-rich meaning that even though you aren’t going to be paying much, you are going to be guaranteed good value for money
  • Managed hosting environment – one of the major attractions of shared web hosting for beginners is the fact that you will be hosted in a fully managed web hosting environment meaning that you won’t have to worry about managing the server that your web hosting account is hosted on because your web hosting provider will be responsible for this, as well as ensuring that all software packages are kept up to date and that the server remains secure – this will also enable you to contact your web hosting provider’s support team if you have an issue with your web hosting account that you wish to have fixed, but lack the skills to do this yourself
  • Premium features – most web hosting providers choose to include premium features with their shared web hosting plans that will allow their customers to develop websites that have extended functionality that wouldn’t be available through other web hosting providers – such premium features may include access to additional software components that you would otherwise have to buy, or simply may be extra control panel features that will enable you to do more with your website and shared web hosting account.

Disadvantages of Using Shared Web Hosting

There are also several disadvantages to using shared web hosting that you should be aware of prior to purchasing a shared web hosting plan, primarily because you may find that shared web hosting isn’t the right form of web hosting for you. Such disadvantages include:

  • Resource allocations – depending on what your exact requirements are, the resource allocations that are included with most shared web hosting plans may be too little for bigger businesses because they can be seen as being rather limiting when compared to what reseller web hosting packages and VPS servers can offer – however, this can be justified with the point that shared web hosting plans are aimed at beginners who won’t have demanding needs and that if the resources provided by a shared web hosting package don’t meet your requirements, you should consider a higher-end form of web hosting – however, if you are unable to afford a higher-end form of web hosting then some web hosting companies will allow you to design a web hosting plan that is tailored exactly to your requirements, allowing you to specify exactly how much disk space and bandwidth you require
  • Security – due to the number of websites that are hosted on your average shared web hosting server, it can be hard for web hosting companies to guarantee the security of individual shared web hosting accounts and so it is recommended that you don’t use a shared web hosting plan if you are going to be hosting information that can be seen as confidential because if a hacker gains access to the hosting server and steals that information, you could find yourself in trouble – it is recommended that you choose a VPS server or other form of dedicated web hosting if you wish to be guaranteed a high level of security.

In conclusion, you should choose shared web hosting because it provides excellent value for money for beginners. Many shared web hosting plans are feature-rich meaning that as a beginner, you will be able to create highly functional websites from the start and can then choose to upgrade your web hosting package as your needs change and increase. You will always have a choice between Windows shared hosting and Linux shared hosting, allowing you to use the scripting languages and development tools that best match your knowledge and experience.

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Windows Hosting Company

Monday, May 16th, 2011

Windows web hosting services are available to provide Windows web developers with a web hosting environment in which they can host their websites, whilst being able to benefit from the main features that the Windows operating system has to offer. Windows web hosting services usually set you back a bit more than most Linux web hosting plans, but for Windows web developer the extra cost can be justified through the features that are provided with a Windows web hosting plan that just aren’t available with any Linux web hosting plan. A Windows hosting company will be able to provide you with a more targeted web hosting solution that can be tailored to your specific requirements if necessary, as well a support that will allow you to get the most out of the Windows operating system through your own web applications. Windows is available on a multitude of web hosting services meaning that regardless of the level of web hosting you require, there should be a Windows web hosting plan available for you; Windows shared web hosting plans are available for those with smaller budgets, but for bigger businesses who require more scalable web hosting services there are Windows VPS servers and Windows dedicated servers available. Furthermore, with a Windows dedicated web hosting service you can choose from the different versions of the Windows server operating system as this will provide you with another opportunity to save money on the overall cost of your web hosting service.

What should I look for in a Windows web hosting company?

There are certain things you should look for in any web hosting company as these will guarantee that you are provided with a high quality web hosting service that will provide you with the features that you require. The main factors to consider in a web hosting company include:

  • Specialist Windows knowledge – it is important for any Windows hosting company to have intricate knowledge of the Windows operating system and how it functions so that they are able to deliver reliable Windows web hosting products that contain all of the features that you would expect of a Windows hosting package, plus more – all web hosting companies will have technical support staff of some sort on tap to help out customers if they need it and by choosing a specialist Windows hosting company, you can be sure that these members of staff will be highly trained in everything related to Windows web hosting and the Windows operating system, thus meaning that they will be able to provide you with the assistance and knowledge required to develop a web application that will make the most of the hosting environment
  • Reliable support – regardless of the form of web hosting you are looking to use or the operating system that you wish to be hosted on, you should always look for a web hosting company that will be able to offer you a high level of customer service – most web hosting companies employ 24×7 support teams meaning that if you have an issue with your Windows web hosting package, there should be someone available for you to speak to regardless of the day it is or the hour – furthermore, you can expect the support teams of Windows hosting companies to be able to provide you with the support that you need in order to get your Windows web application working on your Windows web hosting service – if you feel that the support offered by your web hosting provider isn’t up to the standard that you expect then it is important to consider that most web hosting companies will be willing to rectify this to retain your custom
  • Feature-rich Windows hosting packages – although most Windows web hosting companies will be able to provide you with the basic core features with any Windows web hosting plan, it is important for you to review the additional features that may be available with a web hosting service as these generally add value to a web hosting plan and will provide you with additional functionality that you can use to expand your Windows web applications – however, you will need to take into consideration that in some cases the additional features of a web hosting plan make increase its price.

Why should I consider a web hosting company that specialises in Windows web hosting?

Choosing a web hosting company that specialises in Windows web hosting will put you in a better position when it comes to receiving reliable and targeted support that will solve your problems in a fast and responsible manner. A Windows web hosting company is likely to be making use of specialist support staff who will be highly knowledgeable of the Windows platform, allowing them to provide customers with in-depth assistance that will ensure that you are provided with value for money with your web hosting plan.

A specialist Windows web hosting company is sure to be using the latest technologies, something that will be a massive benefit to Windows web developers who are looking to include the highest level of functionality with their Windows web applications to make them as interesting as possible. The issue with smaller web hosting companies is that they can sometimes lack the funds required to have all of the latest and greatest technologies in place, meaning that it is down to larger web hosting companies to offer new technologies first so that they can then set the standard.

In conclusion, although the web hosting services provided by a specialist Windows web hosting company may be more expensive than those offered by a generic web hosting provider, the extra cost is likely to be worth it in the long run as there are many benefits to be had from the support that you will be able to receive. You can also expect to be provided with a higher level of uptime when using a specialist Windows web hosting company as the servers of such companies are usually better managed, providing you with a stable hosting experience and a sustainable level of uptime.

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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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