Monday, October 1, 2007

Top Podcast Hosting



Here are list of the best and selected podcast hosting I found on internet, some are free podcast hosting.

1.Hipcast/Audioblog
Audio video podcast start from $9.95/month, free trial for 7 days
2.BlastPodcast
Free podcast hosting, earn revenue from your podcast
3.Jellycast
Actually it is free podcast hosting but require $10 setup fee to avoid abuse from spammer.
4.Podcast FM
Has a free plan, and first month free for all plans, starting from £4.95/month
5.PodKive
Up to 120GB Storage Space for enterprise podcast solution
6.Podcast Ready
Best Free Podcast hosting. Podcast Ready makes finding, managing and delivering podcasts easier.
7.SwitchPod
Free 450MB podcast hosting and unmetered bandwidth
8.PodshowCreator
Complete Podcast hosting solutions from free to dedicated podcast hosting
9.Avmypodcast
Podcast hosting selected by Yamaha Musical Instruments
10. PodBean
Best Free Podcast Hosting with complete high-end features.
11.Godaddy
Big Hosting company made entry in podcast industry. Affordable with huge space hosting.
12.Ourmedia
Free community podcast hosting.
13.OdeoStudio
Create and publish podcast for free.
14.CreativeCommons Publisher
Tag your audio and video files with information about your license and upload to internet archive for free hosting
15.Podomatic
Free with 500MB storage and 15GB/month bandwidth

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Web Hosting Control Panel

Control Panel is a graphical web-based web-hosting control panel, designed to make administration of websites easy. Almost all of web hosting include this feature in their hosting plan.

Features in control panel included Domain Management, DNS Management, FTP/File Management, Database Management, E-mail management, Web Traffic statistic, SubDomain, Script Installation etc.
You can upload your files for your website from control panel file management. I Think it will simplify your job to upload your website files with control panel rather than with FTP.

There are a lot of web hosting control panel brand. From the famous one cPanel, SiteBuilder, Lxadmin, DirectAdmin, H-Sphere, ISPConfig, ISPManager, Plesk, HSPComplete, Webmin. Click on the name to try the demo.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Cheap Website Hosting PHP

I found a lot of PHP web hosting on internet, some cheap some highly expensive. After few research on hosting forums I collected some cheap high quality web hosting for PHP site. Here are the list of Good quality PHP website hosting :

1. ExclusiveHosting"Best Choice"
PHP and MySQL support web hosting. Price $2.95/month Free Setup
+ Free Domain Registration, Almost all features included in package.
- Paid Annually but you have 30 day money guarantee

2. HostMonster
PHP and MySQL support hosting. Price $4.95/month Free setup, Free Domain
+ Big Storage (300GB), Accept Multiple Domain (You won't wasted that big space :), 100 MySQL Database

3. WhipOrbit
PHP and MySQL support web hosting. Price $1.50/month Free setup
+ 3 MySQL Database, support almost all PHP hosting needs.
- Not included domain name

4. SiteFlip
PHP and MySQL support web hosting. Price $0.99/month Free setup
+ Unlimited MySQL database, Good upgrade option
- Domain not included, $8.8 domain registration annually

5. BigBlueHost
PHP and MySQL support web hosting. Price $3.95/month Free Setup
+ Unlimited MySQL, all features included, one month free if you paid annually.
- Not included domain name

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Introduction to Dedicated Servers

iPowerWeb

A dedicated server is a single computer on a web-hosting network that is leased or rented, and dedicated to just one customer. A service provider monitors the computer's hardware, network connectivity, and routing equipment, while the customer generally controls and maintains the server software. Dedicated servers are most often used by those who've outgrown typical hosting accounts and now require massive amounts of data space and bandwidth, those with mission critical web sites, web hosting companies, or those who have special needs. Dedicated servers are housed in data centers, where service providers can monitor them close-up and have hands-on access to them.

The primary advantage of using a dedicated server over a typical shared hosting account is the sheer amount of resources and control available to you, the customer. In many cases, the client is at liberty to install whatever software they desire, giving them greater flexibility and administrative options. Dedicated server clients do not share resources, as those with shared hosting plans do; but rather, are at liberty to use all the resources available to them.

Managed Servers vs. Unmanaged Servers

There are two types of dedicated servers available today: Managed Dedicated Servers and Unmanaged Dedicated Servers.

An Unmanaged Dedicated Server leaves nearly all the management duties of running a server in the purchaser's control. The customer in this case, updates software on their own, applies necessary patches, performs kernel compiles and operating system restores, installs software, and monitors security. With this type of dedicated server, the consumer is solely responsible for day-to-day operations and maintenance. The service provider, in turn, monitors the network, repairs hardware problems, and troubleshoots connectivity issues. Additionally, some service providers offer partial management of services, such as network monitoring, software upgrades and other services, but leave the general upkeep of the server in the hands of the client. An unmanaged dedicated server is best for someone with server management experience.

A Managed Dedicated Server is generally more proactively monitored and maintained on the part of the service provider. When renting or leasing a managed server, the service provider or host carries out the responsibility of software updates and patches, putting security measures in place, performing hardware replacements, and also monitoring the network and its connection for trouble. In other words, when utilizing a managed dedicated server, the host provider will perform both hardware and software operations. A managed dedication server solution works well for the customer with limited server management experience or limited time in being able to perform the duties necessary to keep a server running and online.

Technical Aspects In Choosing A Server

When choosing a dedicated server, there are several things to consider: Operating System, Hardware options, Space and bandwidth.

The Operating System of a server is similar to that on your own personal computer; once installed, the operating system enables one to perform tasks more simply. There are a bevy of server operating systems available today including Linux-based and Windows-based software. The operating system you choose should be directly relational to what operations your server will be performing, which types of software you'll need to install and also, what you're more comfortable with.

Hardware Options are also something to consider when choosing a dedicated server. You'll need to pick a processor that's up to the task, the amount of memory you wish installed, firewall options, and the size of the hard drive.

A certain amount of bandwidth is generally included when renting or leasing a dedicated server. Once you ascertained how much bandwidth you will require, you can adjust that limit with your service provider. The space you'll be given is generally directly relational to the size of your hard drive. Some hosts also give clients the choice of uplink port speed (usually 10Mbps/100Mbps).

Data Backup for Beginners

t's 10pm. Do you know where your data is?

Data. Small bits of information clustered together to make Word files, documents,pictures, MP3s, HTML etc. We work on our computers every single day never sparing a thought for all those millions of chunks of data spread all over our hard disks. The data is there and it does it's job.

Until of course the data is not there anymore.

72 hours ago I suffered from massive data loss. There were no hackers involved. No power surges or lightning strikes. Just wear and tear on my hard disk. 20 Gigabytes of business and personal information gone forever. Passwords, HTML files, ebooks all gone. I didn't lose any sleep though. Why? Simply because this was my secondary hard disk that was only used as a backup drive. All my critically important data is safely stored elsewhere.

Picture this scenario. You sit at your computer, turn it on and nothing. Dead. You've just lost everything you've worked on for the last 12 months. All your Adwords campaigns, website templates, ebooks, Excel files. Everything. How do you feel? How do you go about recovering?

70% of companies who suffer serious data loss go out of business within 12 months.

The truth is that most people never recover from losing all their data.

What can you do to prevent this happening to you? Backup.Backup. Backup. Use a backup system.

How do I backup my data?

You could use a zip drive, a CDR/DVD writer, a USB drive or an secure online storage service. Using any of the above is far better than using nothing at all and hoping for the best.

Data loss cost US businesses in excess of 18 billion dollars in 2003.

How often should I backup my data?

You should backup all important data on your PC at least once a week. An easy way to do this is to use a rotating backup system. Get 4 blank disks . Label these disks Week 1, Week 2, Week 3 and Week 4. At the start of the month make a fresh copy of all your critical data on the Week 1 disk and continue this process on Week 2, 3 and 4. Following this procedure ensures that no matter what happens your stored data will never be more than 1 week old and you'll also have 3 other copies of your data stored away that are less than a month old. Simple. Effective.

What software do I need?

Microsoft Windows has its own backup software included. Apple Mac users can take advantage of Apples Backup software and iDisk backup service.

How soon should I do this?

Now. Even using floppy disks start the process of backing up your data today. The sooner you start the safer your data is.

Human error and hardware failure account for 76% of all data loss.

The cost of recovering from a major hardware failure such as a hard disk crash can be massively reduced by keeping a backup of your data.

You're worked hard to build up your business. Don't throw all that hard work away by not taking the proper steps to safeguard your critical information.

How To Host Several Websites Under One Account

If you operate several websites, each with its own domain name, signing up of separate hosting accounts can be an expensive proposition. Even if your hosting company offers the add-on domain feature (which will allow you to add different domains to the same hosting account) you will be charged a monthly fee for each domain you add, sometimes costing almost the same as your full hosting fee.



The solution is to open a reseller account. Reseller accounts were created to allow web designers to offer hosting services to their customers, to create a one-stop-shop for all their web design and hosting needs. However, you don't need to be a reseller to buy a reseller hosting plan.

Reseller accounts are usually slightly more expensive than regular hosting accounts, but they will allow you to host different domain names without incurring in the add-on domain fees, making more efficient use of your space and bandwidth.

You want to choose a reseller account that offers:

# no limit to the number of domains you can add.
# the possibility of hosting your main website free, without using any of the space and bandwidth in your hosting plan. If you are a reseller, your main website will be your business website, and the space and bandwidth will be reserved for your customers. If you are not a reseller and just want to manage different websites, you can designate one of your domains as your main website (usually the largest and/or most popular, since you won't accrue any space or bandwidth for it).
# the possibility of upgrading to another plan without any penalties or fees.

To find out how much space and bandwidth you will need, first determine how many sites you are likely to host, how many pages each site may have, and how many visits will those sites most likely have. If you plan to host 10 sites with 20 pages each, at an average of 50KB per page and 100 page views per site per day, you will need 10MB of space (10 x 20 x 50KB) and 1.5GB of bandwidth per month (10 x 100 x 50KB x 30).

As far as pricing is concerned, there are reseller accounts costing as little as $10 / month up to several hundreds (or even thousands). It all depends on your requirements and the hosting company you choose, so shop around to get the best possible deal in terms of cost and reliability.

The Quick and Easy Guide to Choosing a Web Host

With thousands of website hosts out there, it can often be hard to choose the one that will work best for you. With a little bit of work, however, you can pick out the perfect host.

Focus on Your Needs
What is your website going to do? Do you need a lot of storage space and bandwidth? Or can you get by with just a little? Do you need email addresses @yourdomain.com? Or are you going to use a Yahoo! Mail account (or similar)? What about databases, and spam filters, and website builders?



Develop a list of all the features your site will use - this list will be your key to finding a website host that fits you. On this list, you also might want to include those things that you think your site will need in the not-too-distant future. While it's not as hard as it used to be, switching web hosts can still be pretty complicated.

What Kind of User Are You?
Next, you'll want to determine what kind of user you are. Are you new to the Internet? If so, 24/7 phone support may be best for you. If you're a power user, however, you can probably do just fine with a host that offers only email or ticket support. The more you know, the less you'll have to be in touch with your hosting company. Just make sure that there is indeed a way to get in touch with your hosting company if you need to. If you can't find any contact information on the host's site, this is a red flag and you should probably stay away.

You'll also want to make sure that you will receive a response from your host in a timely fashion - having to wait two or three days just to get an email back is ridiculous. Make sure that your host offers a response-time guarantee somewhere on its site, before you sign up with them. If you can't find it listed on their site, contact them and see how long it takes for them to respond. The ideal response time is a few hours - the absolute maximum amount of time it should take is a day.

Your Budget
How much can you afford to spend for your hosting account? As it is with buying anything else, you get what you pay for. That $1.95-a-month host may offer a really great value, but will they be there for you when you need them? Many of the ultra-low-priced website hosts are not turning a profit, and have not been in business very long - and probably won't be for much longer. To check and see how long your host has been around, enter their domain name here: www.networksolutions.com/whois/index.jhtml. The Registration Date field shows when the domain name was registered, so you can tell how long they've been around.

That's not to say that every low-priced host lacks. HostGator and Site5 both have many happy clients and offer prices around the $6.95-a-month price point. And you can find good website hosts that offer service for $3.95-a-month or $4.95-a-month. But I don't recommend going any lower than that. Judging by posts on online communities such as WebHostingTalk, going with a cheap host just does not pay.

Reliability
Another important thing to find out is the uptime of any of the hosts you're looking at. Many hosts have an uptime guarantee that is usually around 99.9%. One thing you need to be aware of, however, is that this uptime guarantee does not apply to attacks such as Distributed Denial-of-Service attacks, or to acts of God. What these uptime guarantees do cover are things like hardware failure and server operating system crashes. If you can't find specific uptime information on a host's website, call them or email them and see if they'll share this information with you - if they do not, move on to someone else.

Where to Look for a Host
Now that we've covered the basic points of what to look for in a web host, it's time to talk about where you go to find the perfect host for you. There are many sites available for this, such as WebHostDir.com, TheHostingNews.com , etc. You can also conduct a Google search for 'website host' or 'website host directory'. In addition, visit a forum such as WebHostingTalk to see what other folks are saying about different website hosts. Many users come to WebHostingTalk to post both positive and negative reviews of their hosts.

Conclusion
The main thing is to pick a web host that you are comfortable with and that works well for you. You'll know when you've found the one that's right for you - it will meet your website requirements, you'll feel comfortable with its support, you'll know you can afford it, you will have confirmed its reliability, and you'll know that its other clients are satisfied as well.

Ten Crucial Principles in Web Site Designing

Designing a website is not as easy as most people think it is , the concept that web site designing is relatively easy and you can do any thing with front page and dream weaver is unrealistic, you mustn't forget to follow the important basic steps.



Designing a website is a lot more than just knowing hypertext markup language or Ms Front Page. When it comes to your website, additional care and attention should be paid to every minute detail to make sure it performs optimally to serve its purpose. Here are ten crucial guidelines to observe to make sure your website performs well.

1 - Good Design or website theme/ template
Your website is the hub of your internet business enterprise; it is the virtual representation of your company whether your company exists physically or not. When you are doing business online, people cannot see you physically like they could if they were dealing with an offline company.

Hence, people do judge you by your covers. This is where a good design comes in. If your site is designed shabbily and looks like a five minute "quick fix", you are literally shouting to your visitors that you are not a professional person and you do not care about quality.

2 - Avoid Broken Links
If your website is full of broken links, it damages your web site credibility. broken links annoy visitors and look very unprofessional. But broken links to your site (called back links) can hurt you too. The time you spend building up "link popularity" is wasted.

3 - Avoid Irrelevant Contents
The content of your web site should be consistent. Although the World Wide Web has a lot of important non-textual, more graphical uses, most people who use it spend an overwhelming amount of their online time reading. So well written, well edited quality content are all important for the success of any website.

4 - Don't use Animated or still splash pages
Splash pages are the 1st page you see when you reach a website's home page. They commonly have a very beautiful image with words like "welcome" or "click here to enter".

As a matter of fact, they're simply that -- pretty vases with no real function. Do not let your visitors have a reason to click on the "back" button! Give them the value of your site up front without the splash page.

5 - Always provide simple / uncomplicated and clean website navigation
When you are designing a web page always keep in mind to offer a simple / uncomplicated and very straight forward website navigation menu so that even a newbie or a young child will know how to navigate to your website.

Never use complicated Flash based menus or multi-tiered dropdown menus. If your visitors do not know how to navigate, they'll leave your website, Don't confuse your visitors because confusion means "abandon ship"! And always make a site map for the website.

6 - Avoid Page Counters.
Of course you must be concerned about traffic of your Web site, but Page counters, especially offsite counters, do not tell you anything useful. The page counter is of limited use to the reader and you can get the same information from the website stats option in your hosting control panel.

7 - Don't use unreasonable banner and text links for affiliates
Never make your web site a link farm, especially the home page. One or in some cases two banner ads are more than enough for the home page. So Instead of putting dozens of banners and text links on a single page, provide more valuable content and weave relevant affiliate links into your content, let your visitors feel that they want to buy instead of being pushed to buy.

8 - Avoid Excessive Javascript and pop up ads on your site
Roll over or other javascripts is your choice and your taste, I do not believe they do much for the user experience. With excessive javascript google spider always finds it difficult to crawl the pages. About pop ups - I will only say it’s the most annoying invention since blink tag.

9 - Avoid using music / audio and Flash on your site
If everybody is using T1 Line or at least one mbps data transfer then feel free to make flash sites. It will not scare your visitors away but for 56 kbps try to avoid flash pages.

About Music - If your visitors are going to stay a long time at your website, reading your content, you'll need to make sure they are not annoyed by some audio looping on and on, on your web site. Unless your site itself is music related, do not make the user jump for the volume controls. They might be at home with someone asleep in the room. Or worse, at work.

If you live and die for music, let the default be without music and let the user choose to activate the music / audio.

10 - A Few small things to consider before publishing the web page.

a - A web page must load in 10 sec or max 20 sec for 56 kbps

b - A web page should have no more than 30 kb in text and 30 kb in graphics.

c - HEAD, TITLE and META exists and must be filled out properly.

d - I must add - keep your pets away from your website. A picture of your Dalmatian is all very good on your 360, my space or any other blogs, but it will not look good on your business website.

Are you searching for PHP web hosting?

Are you searching for PHP web hosting? If so, you probably have a website that calls for this type of hosting. But for some people, it can be more difficult than they thought to find a good PHP web hosting provider.

This is not always the case, but it is something that you should be prepared for. When it comes down to it, not all PHP web hosting companies are the same. You will find that some offer better response, more features, and much more. As you can imagine, you want to get set up with the host that is going to give you the best deal for your money.

So what should you look for when it comes to PHP web hosting? Although a lot of this has to do with what your website is calling for, there are some basic features that most webmasters do not want to overlook; not even if you are a newbie.


First off, take a look at what your PHP web hosting provider is offering in the way of disk space. You need to make sure that you get enough space to suit the type of website you are building. For most people, anywhere from 15 to 30 GB of disk space should do the job. But of course, this is solely up to you based on your needs.

Of course, bandwidth transfer is also important when shopping for PHP web hosting. You may be overdoing it with anything more than 500 GB, but you will never know until you actually have your site up and running.

When shopping for PHP web hosting you should also consider some of the smaller details as well. For instance, how many domains can you host on the same account? If you have more than one website, you may need to the ability to host them all in the same place.

You should now have a better idea of what to look for from a PHP web hosting provider.

Low Cost Web Hosting

If you are an individual who wants to show off your interests, special qualities, hobbies, e.t.c. to your friends or anybody outside; then it is the best idea to go for a low cost web hosting or even a free web hosting.

Even for small businesses, low cost web hosting would be the best option to get the maximum exposure for their company, their products and their services. As we all know web hosting is the must for any type of business whether it is small or big. But putting in huge amounts in web hosting for smaller or start up companies is not viable in the most cases and hence cheap web hosting is the great solution for this problem.

Also if it's your first website, a personal page or many other factors you may choose to go the lost cost web hosting route. In order to have a good website though, there are some things you need to be aware of and look for in a low cost web hosting provider. They are:

1. Storage:

Especially if you want images with your low cost web hosting solution, storage is important. Many low cost hosting services are free for the first 10mb and then start billing you in order to get more storage. Find a host that has at least 50mb of storage so that you don't risk running out. While 50 MB might not sound like a lot, many of the sites you visit each day likely aren't much larger then that in size. For starting out this is more then adequate space.

2. Advertisements

Being a low cost web hosting solution, the ISPs some how have to make money, so ads are expected. Lots of low cost web hosting solutions though go overboard with Popup and float-ins, as well as banner ads and plenty more. Try and find a low cost web hosting provider that has non obtrusive advertising. Generally the number of ads goes hand in hand with just how low the price is. So a Dollar a month web hosting or free hosting you can expect a lot of ads.

In short, you need to find a safe low cost web hosting solution that provides you with plenty of storage and no over the top advertising. This way you are ensured to have pleasant experience having your site with low cost web hosting. Also don't forget it's not just your experience but those of your visitors as well, if you're limited to what you can have on your site, or there are hundreds of ads flying at your visitors screen, you'll have a hard time stopping them from clicking the back button.

An Introduction to Domain Names

Simply put, a domain name is a "front" - they are word sequences users enter in their browser’s location bar to visit your site, but are not a Web site's true address.

Domain names are attached to DNS (Domain Naming System) servers, which are used to translate numeric addresses (known as IP, or Internet Protocol, addresses) into words. Each site you visit on the net has a numeric IP address behind its name, which represents the site's true address on the Internet.

Domain names are typically categorized by their extension, which is their identifying code. The three most popular types of Top Level Domains (TLDs), which are domains that are not
associated with a country, are:

.COM: Short for .commercial. Domain names with the .com extension are by far the most popular, and can be purchased by any individual or business. .

.NET: Short for .network, this domain extension was originally designed to be used by technical Web sites. However, domains using this extension can be registered by anyone.

.ORG: Short for .organization. Originally designated for non-profit firms and any other organizations that did not fit under the .com or .net extension, any individual or business may now register a .org domain name.

Country Level Domains

Domain names can also be assigned using country extensions. Each country has its own domain extension; Canada, for example, is .ca, while Japan has been assigned .jp. Most countries have specific rules surrounding exactly who can register domains using their extension and for what purpose; it’s therefore important to look before you leap.

Alternative Domain Names

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), the organization responsible for the administration of TLDs worldwide, recently approved several new extensions that are not specific to any country. These are:

* .areo
* .biz
* .coop
* .info
* .museum
* .name
* .pro


Each has been designed for a specific use, and is accompanied by certain restrictions. You can find more information about these TLDs here: http://www.icann.org/tlds/

Other Domain Extensions
In searching for your domain name, you may encounter Web sites offering extensions like .xxx, .free and .mp3. These are not true extensions endorsed by ICANN; rather, they rely on software solutions to guarantee their accessibility to users. Because ICANN has not approved any of these extensions, however, users that do not have the correct software cannot access sites using these names; therefore, they should be used for supplemental purposes only.

Although .com, .net and .org are typically the most visible and talked-about extensions, they are not the only ones available for use. From a functional perspective, country-level domains work just as well as any TLDs, and alternative extensions work just as well. Therefore, don’t necessarily settle for a mediocre TLD when you can get a better one using a different extension.

Choosing a Free Web Host for Your Business

What's On Offer - An Overview

You are running a business. Perhaps you want to test the waters before shelling out large sums of money to set up your commercial web-site. Or perhaps you simply want to save as much money as possible. Whatever the reason, you have probably at some stage seriously considered using a free web host. If so, then you this overview may go at least some of the way in helping you make your choice.*

All of the hosts surveyed below offer virtual domain hosting, email, and (approx) 20-40mb storage space, along with some version of online forms processing ability (eg through Frontpage extensions or cgi-scripts). Most require banner advertising be placed on users' web-sites, though they do also allow users to upgrade to banner-free hosting for a fee.

These, then, are the commonalties. Now to the differences. What sets these hosts apart, and why would you choose one over the other?

It really depends on your priorities….

If you are seeking support and the opportunity to network with others, your first choices would probably be hypermart.net or bizland.com

Hypermart.net is an "all rounder" [www.hypermart.net], which offers a very full range of site hosting features., including cgi and Frontpage support. It also has a wide range of free support facilities and web-tools.

Bizland.com [www.bizland.com], like hypermart.net, bills itself as a community as well as a web-host. Bizland also provides a free shopping cart.

If you hold a foreign (non-US) domain, then Netfirms (www.netfirms.com) should probably be your first point of call. Netfirms can host any country specific domain name.

If your priority is to set up an online shopping cart and merchant account, then look closely at freemerchant.com [www.freemerchant.com] , which specialises in providing shopping carts for small business merchants. Freemerchant.com also allows users to attach free shopping cart functionality to their existing web-sites. It does not require banner ads -- a big plus. On the other hand, the reliance on templates for developing sites can limit the ability to customise the design of one's site

All of the hosts we have mentioned so far are Unix-based. If you, on the other hand, prefer working in a Windows environment, then atfreeweb.com [www.atfreeweb.com] is seriously worth considering. Notable features include support of Active Server Pages and Frontpage extensions.

Free Hosting - What to Watch Out For

We have looked at some of the benefits of using a free host, and listed some of the important players in the free hosting market. In this part we will list of some of the major drawbacks of using a free host for your business.

1. Limited Support

Your free host's primary source of income will be their advertisers, and this is where their primary loyalty will lie -- not with the user. In addition to this, many free hosts have lots of users - after all, they need a big user base to support their advertising! So, whatever support services they do offer will probably be thinly spread. These two factors - primary focus on advertising revenue along with a large user base -- mean that you will probably get less support from them than you will get from a host for whom users are the primary revenue source.


2. Unreliability of Software and Servers

Servers may be slower due to the numbers of users hosted, or simply because top quality servers are not a high priority. Email may be unreliable. In such cases, you the user will often will have no rights or recourse.


3. "Fishooks" in the Terms

Many free hosts will limit your use of their servers in ways that could present problems, and in some cases will even terminate your account if it is not used. As an example, hypermart.net's terms state that:

"HyperMart-hosted Web sites are subject to removal if there is no activity (hits or edits) on the site for fifteen (15) days. HyperMart reserves the right to delete any site it deems unacceptable for any reason without prior notice. "

So if no-one visits your site, and you do not edit it, in a 15-day period, tough luck, your account will be removed! This will not do your business any good! And, of course, you have very few rights here - again, the primary loyalty of these free service providers will be the advertiser rather than you, the user.

So, study the host's terms of service closely!


4. Limitations on Use of Web-Space

Most free hosts require that a banner ad be placed at the top of each page on your web-site, and you will have little control over what type of ad is placed. The content of the banner ad may clash with the image your web-site is presenting; and, of course, if obtaining advertising funds of your own is a planned source of revenue, then obviously this banner be a problem for you!

Free hosts will often rule out certain types of trading altogether. For instance, if you plan to resell web-space, or host a banner exchange, you will not be able to use hypermart.net, as its terms of service rule out these uses of its servers. Similarly, if you plan on gaining a large part of your revenue from affiliate programs, or commissions gained from selling other merchants' products, then freemerchant.com is not for you, as it explicitly rules out creating links to affiliates.


In conclusion, if you are running a mission-critical site, free hosts are not the best places to go. (But, then, you probably knew that already!) However, if you are simply testing the waters or experimenting with a site to see whether your business idea works before fully committing to it, then by all means, try a free host - but keep your eyes open!


* Note: Because there is such a huge selection of hosts to choose from, I have been somewhat selective: reviewing only the better-known hosts, or those who can offer something unique which 'sets them apart from the crowd'.

Why Free Hosting Isn't Really Free

I want to yell at someone or give 'em a good poke in the nose for this! How could they do this to me? What gives them the right to blow off my best customers, to rob me of potential business and make my clients angry at me? How dare they do this!! I'm just fuming and ready to explode! Don't get too close to me right now!

Why I oughtta . . . what? Complain because a free service isn't available? Threaten to sue them for having troubles of their own? Why don't they have backup servers? Well, I guess it's possible that *I* could at least provide a secondary free service to cover my assets. Those clients that planned to spend an hour of their valuable time to chat with me in the first place. Maybe I should have prepared for the worst so I don't have to go apologize to everyone when the free chat services suddenly became unavailable.

OK, so maybe I ought to upgrade that chat room to the premium version, the one that costs a few bucks a month, the one without the advertising banners, the one with the customer service and support. The one that WORKS when I've invited over 3,000 people to come to a Grassroots Internet Marketing Forum and chat!

Maybe this will teach me that you can't rely on free services. What does it cost me to fail to deliver on my promises?

The web has got us all relying on free services to run businesses and expecting those freebies to be trouble free and convenient at all times. I upgraded from the free internet access when I tired of their glaring ads across my web pages. I upgraded from the free autoresponders when they stopped working during a major promotion launched via press releases and direct mail campaigns. *That* cost the good-will of my clients that didn't get responses from me as promised.

I will now upgrade to the paid version of the chat room with all the additional benefits of a paying customer, including the right to complain and lay blame and threaten the provider because they cost me potential new business and lost me those existing clients.

Take a look at the free services you use online and analyze them to see how a failure to perform would affect your bottom line.

How important are those free services you rely on? Are they risks to your business future? Note that 'Terms of Service' on the vast majority of free services online tell you outright that providers have no obligation to serve your needs if there are problems and that you have no recourse should your business fail because the FREE service has it's costs after all.

We all have a budget to work within to operate a site profitably but would it cost you more if that free web host went down than it would cost to pay for your web hosting? If your email doesn't get delivered because your free email account suffers from a system failure, would it hurt your sales or customer relations? If that online fax service stopped working when you were waiting for a big contract from a new client, would you be better off upgrading to the paid version of the service with more benefits?

We'll reschedule that chat, now that we've paid for it -- DOUBLE! Whatcha want fer free? GRRRRRRRR!!!

Top 10 Most Frequently Asked Questions on Domain Name Registration

Here are the top ten most frequently asked questions regarding on Internet domain name registration:

Q1. Which characters are allowed in Internet domain names?

A: For normal ASCII domain names, the letters a-z, the numbers 0-9, and one special character, the hyphen or dash "-". Note that domains cannot start or end with a hyphen. For the new tested IDNs (Internationalized Domain Names), the full range of Unicode characters are available. This allows nearly all of the languages on the planet to be represented within domain names, including Thai, Arabic, Lao, Hebrew, French, German etc.

Q2. How many characters can a Internet domain name have?

A: Generic domains (gTLDs) can have 63 characters in the second level, plus the top level domain, .com, .net etc.

Q3. How long can I register a Internet domain name for?

A: In most cases, you are allowed to register a Internet domain name for period of one to ten years. Longer periods are not currently allowed by the registry.

Q4. How long do Internet domain registrations take to make & process?

A: Typically ten minutes or so. Once you have chosen the name and paid the fee, most registration systems will register your name in near real-time.

Q5. Do I "own" a domain name I register?

A: Not really, it is more like a rental agreement. But importantly, you have the exclusive right to renew the agreement with the registry at the end of the initial registration period, so effectively you can keep the name as long as you want.

Q6. Why does my Internet domain name still show as unregistered in a WHOIS tool?

A: WHOIS tools are meant to show the nameserver / contact information for domain names held by a particular ICANN registrar. They are typical not updated in real-time and thus are not good indicators of current domain registration status.

Q7. How will I know if a Internet domain registration attempt has been successful?

A: WHOIS tool takes anything up to 48 hrs to be updated so can't be relied on. A better indicator is whether you receive a confirmation e-mail from the domain registrar. You could also try registering the name again. By doing so, the registrar will do a "live" availability check on the name, which will indicate to you whether the name has been registered or not. This is not the same as a WHOIS look-up.

Q8. How long do domain names take to be active after registration?

A: Approximately 24 - 48 hrs, though because nameservers work as a distributed network, it can take up to 72 hrs or more before your domain name is accessible to all Internet users worldwide.

Q9. Can I register a Internet domain for later use?

A: There is no problem in registering domain names first, and using them later on. In fact, it is estimated that among 80% to 90% of all domain names are "idle".

Q10. Can I get a refund if I make a mistake & register the wrong name?

A: Nearly all domain registrars operate a strict no refund policy. This is because they are charged a non-refundable fee by the registry to perform the registration.

What are the DNS records?

The DNS records contain various lists for specific domain name settings. A records are used to direct the web traffic of a website to another location, usually a remote server. They are stored in the form of IP addresses. The MX records affect the mail exchange of a domain name. They point the e-mail traffic to a concrete mail server, which handles the delivery of the messages.

Free Web Hosting Tips

Here are some tips to keep in mind as you look for a free web hosting account online.

1. Content Ownership – You might not own the space, but it is your content. That means that you should expect some sort of notice if the service is going offline so that you can make alternative arrangements or save your information to your computer.

2. Tools – Surprisingly many free web hosting accounts come with lots of tools that you can use to enhance your site. The larger the hosting provider or hosting community, the more tools you will have in your control panel.

3. Free domain names – Usually you are getting a subdomain or even a subfolder for your files. Typically free domain names only come with a paid hosting account. The reasons is that bandwidth is very expensive and no one wants to build up a free web hosting service unless they have access to cheap resources.

It is not surprising then that the free web hosting market is dominated by companies like Yahoo, Google, and Bravenet. They are large organizations who have figured out ways to balance paid services and free services without going broke.

4. Search engine optimization – Some free hosting communities are so large and so fluid that it takes some time get new pages into the major search engines. People abandon their pages at such a high rate that is hard to keep up with the live sites versus abandoned real estate.

Also, any page rank you get goes to the hosting provider and not to you that is one of the perks of having your own domain name.

5. Tracking – It always helps to know who is coming to your website and how they got there. You might have to search around for some type of free tracking service. This is very important if you plan to make money off your free web hosting account.

My picks
Bravenet, Yahoo Geocities and Blogger. I have used all three and I haven’t had the time lately to investigate other services. I will add to the list in the near future.

Is your web site hosting cost effective?

Choosing the right web hosting company is an important aspect in cutting your web hosting costs down. The web hosting industry, boosting several thousand web hosts, is still young and growing at a remarkable pace; hence finding the right host is not only difficult, but very time consuming; fortunately though it is worth the time and effort. There are a few things to keep in mind when exploring; when deciding to form a partnership with the host. Below are just a few things to consider, which directly attribute to final cost.

Bandwidth — Figure out approximately how much bandwidth (data transfer) your web site requires. As above, ensure you get more bandwidth than your site uses. For example, if your website uses 8GB bandwidth per month, then choose a plan, which offers at least 8 or 10GB bandwidth per month. This again will prevent 'spikes' of over usage, leading to higher extra costs. As a reference, an average web site should pay no more than $3 per GB for bandwidth usage.

Disk Space — Knowing how much web space your web site needs and compensating for a bit extra, for growth. For example, if your web site needs 200 MB of disk space, look for the plan which offers at least 250 to 300 MB of web space; this will prevent a large unexpected bill at the end of the month when high priced costs, charged by most web hosts for extra disk space usage, are added on to your bill. As a rule of thumb, an average web site should cost you no more than $1 per 10 MB

Add On — Ask the web host if they have "Add-ons" facilities for purchasing projected extra disk space or bandwidth. But, be careful, if your web site needs only 2 GB extra bandwidth, you may have to buy an extra package in blocks of 5GB bandwidth; in this case, look for the host which will allow you to purchase extra disk space and bandwidth allowance as per your needs, this is crucial to cost savings

Caution: Ensure that you know the over-usage allowance rules; you need to know what happens if your web site uses more disk space or bandwidth than you have been allocated. The web host who informs you of possible over-usage well in advance, allowing you to take measures to reduce or budget for extra usage, is 'worth their weight in gold'.

No. of Web Sites — If you have more than one web site, sign up an account with a web host who provides multiple domains hosted on one account; this will work out a lot cheaper than an account per website.

A good tip would be to ask your friends and colleagues if they want to host their websites with you on one account. For example at M6.net a person or persons with 4 websites can save roughly $20 per month by signing up an M6-2, multiple hosting account.

Databases and Scripting Support — Ensure that all the applications your web site uses (FrontPage, ASP pages, databases, cgi, PHP, etc.), are supported within the chosen account type. Find out if there are any extra fees for particular applications or associated database support. For example allot of hosts charge extra set-up fees to install FrontPage, which may be avoided by choosing another host offering the same features with no extra costs.

Mail Server — Emails are the lifeblood of your online business. Ensure that you get a sufficient number of email addresses with your own domain name (preferably unlimited); these are necessary for other email features like forwarders, and auto responders, etc. There is no need to pay an extra fee for use of a mail server as many hosts offer this service now for free, within the hosting plan.

Avoid Long Term Contracts — Many web hosts offer huge discounts on yearly or half yearly payments in advance, this may appear a good way to go, but note how long you are locked in. If possible avoid long-term contracts until you are sure about the services and reliability offered by that particular host. Paying on a monthly basis obviously has its benefits. If there are concerns with your service encouraging you to seek a new host elsewhere, you may lose out on many months of hosting fees when breaking a yearly or half-yearly contract; but, if the necessity arises, a loss of only a few days to close a troublesome account, is preferable.

Thinking ahead with reference to an established plan of action will help you avoid most surprises, and definitely help towards cutting costs, short term or long-term. Work out your growth rate and project future expansions. Keep a good record of past and present bandwidth and web space usage; this will help to project future needs.

Savings are mostly a matter of common sense, but in this industry of high technology most people forget this rule and try to look for the best, most efficient and most expensive technical programs and software to save them a buck or two. As in most businesses good cost effective groundwork is the best start to cutting costs.

Types of Web Hosting

First of all we must determine the meaning of the word “hosting”. So, what is hosting?
Hosting origins from the word “host” which has different meanings that are familiar to you. Hosting means providing place for your website on the web hosting company’s servers and makes it viewable in the Internet
and floating it.

Why can you once need hosting?

Imagine that you have created a website and now you are wondering how
your friends and acquaintances can see it. You place it in your personal computer, but then you come to know that it’s dangerous for your computer’s safety and needs permanent Internet connection. So it causes a lot of inconveniences for you. To avoid them there is web site hosting.

There are different kinds of web site hosting. Let’s have a good look at them:
1.Shared or virtual hosting
2.Dedicated hosting/ server, Co-location
3.VDS/VPS –Virtual Dedicated Server/Virtual Private Server

Before choosing some type of web hosting it’s necessary to consider the way you are going to use it.

Free Shared hosting

If you want to host some non-profit-making or your personal web site it’d be more profitable to use basic shared hosting for no fee. This type of web site hosting is a rather logical choice if you are a junior in web site building or if you want to try some new idea and don’t want to pay. But of course you don’t have to suppose it to grant your site the best conditions, such as proper bandwidth and disk space. Some other features can also be limited, I mean MySQL, PHP support. It often also provides poor web statistics.

Paid Shared hosting

Almost all small businesses, intermediate and large professional sites use shared hosting, ‘cause they don’t need the whole server’s space and besides the whole server costs much. With shared/virtual hosting such necessary features, as multiply e-mail, MySQl, PHP, are supported. The main disadvantage is decrease of your site’s security.

Dedicated hosting /Server

This type of hosting is the best choice for those, who need much storage and bandwidth, and are good in server administration. You’ll be able to use all necessary software, but if you don’t have enough knowledge to administrate your server it will be a little bit difficult for you.

Co-location

It’s a sub type of dedicated hosting and can be compared with your own house which was built specially for you, with your favorite furniture and all. It’s built on your hoster’s (ISP) ground. This service is implied to fulfill only your tasks and is designed for your needs alone. And it’s cost is correspondingly high.

VDS/ VPS

Virtual private server is a type of web site hosting that is based on dividing a physical server into several virtual ones. It costs less though gives same possibilities as Dedicated server. Now, when we’ve examined different types of hosting services, you can decide which type of hosting is the most suitable for you.

Tips for Choosing a Good Web Host

1. Starts with you. Determine your needs. Space, bandwidth and budget.
a) Space – Cover your needs and allow for expansion if needed.
b) Bandwidth- Same as above.
c) Budget – Set a realistic budget for yourself. How much are you willing to spend? Lowest price too highest. Being a little flexible on your price will give more hosting choices.

2. Follow some basic guidelines for even considering a hosting provider.
a) Does the host have phone number? At the very least a web host should provide you with a contact phone number. This doesn’t have to be a 24-hour a day number but your future host should be available during normal business hours in their respective time zone. A toll free shows a willingness to provide convenience for their customers.
b) Do they provide at least 24/7 Support Desk? Support is important, this is a must. You should have access to support 24 hours a day. Test the support desk. Choose anytime of the day or night and contact the support desk to test response times, ask any questions you might have. A response time under an hour is good; less than thirty minutes is considered excellent.
c) Take a good look at their web site. This sometimes can be over looked but I believe this says something very important about the hosting company. If they care about how they present themselves to the public, they are more apt to care about other things like service and maintaining a high reputation.
d) The hosting company should provide you with an Acceptable Use Policy, Terms of Service and a Privacy Policy as well. It is in your best interest that you read these policies and understand them before you pay for services.
e) Do they have an Uptime Guarantee? We won’t set a number on this but a hosting provider should be willing to disclose what their commitment to service is. A professional company will have this included in their Terms of Service.
f) Do they provide a Money Back Guarantee? Again, this should listed in their Terms of Service.
g) Payment Options – A host should provide their customers with more than one payment option. Credit cards and other payment option such as PayPal or something comparable.

3. Make a list of at least four to five possible hosting providers that fit your needs from the guidelines above and do some research.
a) Search these forums and others to see what type of information you can find on the host.
b) Compare features and price of the hosts on your list.
c) Contact the host either by phone, email or support desk and ask any questions you might have.
d) Check Testimonials – If the host has a list of testimonials if possible send an email to one of those customers and ask for their feedback on the host. Most people are happy to give a recommendation. This can also help determine if the testimonial real or a fabrication.
e) Finally you might want to consider doing a ping test if you can, check some customers web sites if listed, see how fast they load.
f) Make your choice, sign up and good luck.

There are so many hosting companies out there today, and the choices are close to endless. These guidelines are not fool proof in anyway but if you follow them you will have a better chance finding a host that you can trust in delivering quality service and save you from moving from host to host. In twelve years of buying web hosting and dedicated servers I have never once had a provider suddenly disappear on me in the middle of the night. Good luck and good hunting.

Budget hosting - Getting started guide

There is lots of space and bandwidth talks going on these days with hosting companies trying to surpass each other, customer running after space and bandwidth, seems more of a fashion than any one really knowing what he/she needs in this area, May be this needs to be discussed:-

How much Space you need:


Think of your web hosting account as a sub-directory (or folder) on your hard drive. To determine how much disk space you will need, In Microsoft windows simply open explorer or my computer and click on the folder that contains your web sites files. Create a new folder for your web site if you don't have one and then move all of files you plan to host on the web server into that folder. All you have to do now is right click on your folder to check the size of that folder and now, you know how much disk space you will use on the server. This entire site is around two megs.

How much monthly (bandwidth)Data Transfer do you need:


Try using the following formula to estimate your site's monthly data transfer.

[Average size of your web page(s) + any graphics included within] * [number of visitors you expect each day * number of pages each visitor will view] * [30 days in a month] = Total Monthly Data Transfer Usage.

For example: if we had a site with 30 pages averaging 8 KB each, 50 KB worth of images in each page, and 50 visitors each day who viewed an average of 4 pages, you would have the following formula:[8 KB + 50 KB] * [50 visitors * 4 pages] * [30] = 348,000 KB So we would be using 348,000 KB, or approximately 340 MB, of bandwidth each month. Well within the limitations of our hosting plans.

It's hard to generalize how much data transfer a site will use without looking at it specifically, but in most cases it is very rare for a personal or small business site to use more than one gigabyte (GB) of data transfer in a month. Starting with a data transfer limit of one gigabyte per month is probably appropriate for most new sites. If your average web page is 20Kb in size. 1 Gig of transfer allows for well over 50,000 hits per month at that size! If your average page size is smaller obviously more hits per month.

Introduction to FTP

FTP stands for File Transfer Protocol and is a standard application protocol that uses the Internet’s TCP/IP protocol to transfer files from one computer to another.

FTP is a very common process today. FTP is commonly used to transfer web pages from the creator’s computer to the server where the web site is situated. Also FTP is used to download programs and files to your computer from a server.

How do I use FTP?

To use FTP you will need to install FTP software on your computer. There are many freely available FTP programs on the Internet such as, FTP explorer (http://www.ftpx.com) and Smart FTP (http://www.smartftp.com).

How do I connect with FTP?

Follow the steps below to connect to a server, to upload files using FTP Explorer:

Open FTP Explorer.

Click on the connect button on the toolbar or select connect from the Tools menu.

In the Profile Name text, enter a name to give your FTP connection.

In the Host Address text box enter the address of the server you are connecting to (this can either be the DNS entry or the IP Address).

Enter the Port number that the server accepts FTP connections on (the default port for FTP is 21).

Tick the Use PASV option, if your computer is behind a firewall, which does not allow external FTP connections.

Tick the Use Firewall option if your computer is located behind a firewall.

Either enter a user name for the FTP login or tick the Anonymous option (the anonymous option will only work if the server is set up to allow anonymous FTP connections – if this is selected go to step 10).

Enter the user’s password in the Password text box.

In the Initial path text box, enter the path on the server, where you want your connection to start at – this is optional.

In the Attempts text box enter the number of times to try the FTP connection if fails, you will need to have at least 1 in this text box.

In the Download path you can specify the path on your computer where to save the files downloaded from the server – this is optional, you can specify this later if you like.

To establish the connection with the server click on the Connect button.

How do I upload files using FTP?

Once you have established your connection with the server the next step is to upload your files to the server. The following describes how to do this:

Go to the path on the server where you want to upload your files to.

In the Tools menu click on the Upload button.

Select the file or files that you want to upload (to select more than one file hold down the CTRL key).

NOTE: You can also upload files by dragging and dropping them to the directory/folder on the server.

Click on the Open button. Your file will now be uploaded to the server. (You will see this uploading process in the dialog box.)

How do I download files using FTP?

You can also use FTP to download files to your computer from a server. The following describes how to download a file.

Make sure you are connected to the server.

Go to the file that you want to download.

Right click on the file and select Download To..

Select the path on your computer where you want the file to be saved to.

The file will now be downloaded to your computer. (You will see this downloading process happening in the dialog box.)

How do I end my connection?

You can end the connection by simply clicking on the Disconnect button on the tool bar or by clicking on Disconnect from the Tools menu.

Changing Web Hosts? Step-By-Step Guide

Every webmaster cringes at the thought of moving hosts. Like moving your home it can be messy and sometimes problems arise. But if you follow these simple steps, your move will be less painful.

Backup Backup Backup

If you’ve been diligent with your backups, you’ve got a lot of insurance to fall back on yet always make the latest backup. If you haven’t, before you do anything else, do a backup now. Backup anything and everything you can and don’t forget your database if your site relies on it. Save at least 2 copies and store them separately. One for you to work with, and the other as an archive. Do not underestimate how easy it is to copy over these files as you make changes or simply mess it up.

If you’re moving to a host who has as different control panel, make a manual backup by downloading all your files because different control panels may not be able to restore the backups made by your old host. They also have different directory structures so your file trees will be in a mess. If you need to, make a small note file with notepad with memos for you to remember the old server configurations. This will help you as you make changes on your new host server and save the confusion moving back and forth between hosts. Remember to make the correct transfer type (ASCII or Binary) as you download. If your download is not right chances are you’ll have a tough time getting your site to work on the new host server.

If server logs are especially important, remember to backup those too. There is no good way of moving logs yet because different hosts may log statistics differently. So the best thing to do is to download it and use a log analyzer on your computer to make references to later on.

Gather Odds & Ends

1. A Good FTP program which you should have by now
2. Get your new host server’s DNS
3. It’s also helpful to have a script that tells you the server environments installed on your new host server for quick references.
4. Get the temporary URL on your new host so you can check your site before you make a DNS change.
5. If you have your host control the domain inform them not to change your DNS until you tell them to.
6. If you run scripts:
- Get a copy of the original installation guide and the script. Sometimes after moving the scripts just do not work right so you might need to install the script from scratch.
- Get a list of all the server paths such as Perl, Sendmail and home directory on your new server.
- If your script needs special server modules or programs ensure they are installed and where. Even though these might be covered before you ordered the account with the host but sometimes your host has removed it or haven’t installed it yet.

Inform Your Visitors

It is common and good practice to inform your visitors and customers of the server move. If you run a e-store, this helps assure your customers you have not fled with their money if there is any downtime. Also give an alternate email so you won’t lose emails in the transfer. You might also want to give periodic updates prior, during (if there is downtime) and after. If your site is large, doing this is helpful because your visitors can alert you whenever there is a part of the site not working.

Moving Day

Try to schedule the move at a time where there’s least traffic. Backup again just before you do the move so you’ll have the latest data. Start by first copying or creating your custom error pages onto the new host server. Put a small note in there about the move. You can always remove it later. Then upload the most visible parts of the site first i.e the main pages then move on to the less critical parts of the site. If you have a large site with many divisions you might want to split them across different days and instead move the least critical first. Just ensure you always do a backup before you do any moving. Use the temporary URL to check your site, visiting as many pages as you can.

Changing DNS

Once you’re satisfied, change your DNS over. This typically takes about 24-48 hours so you have time to make some minor changes if need be. You might want to also take this time to modify your old site’s error pages to inform your visitors of the move and give a new URL if there are URL changes. To help you determine if the DNS has resolved, make a small change on the new pages to differentiate between the old and the new.

Monitor

After you’ve moved and the DNS resolved, do not release the old account yet. Keep it as long as two weeks running concurrently. Go back and check the old servers for activity. Check your old email account and if you have a web based contact method on the old server check to see if any communication is left there. Once you’re comfortable all email and traffic is correctly directed to the new host server, you can cancel that account.

Web Hosting Guide for Beginner

First and foremost, for non-IT savvy, it might be a little tough for them to comprehend the meaning of web hosting. I believe if you search it on any search engine, of course there will be answer and explanation for them. But, how far do you really understand? Honestly, when I first get to know this term few years back, I had problem understanding myself. Then, I found one simple explanation that might be easy for people to understand. So, today, if anyone were to ask me what is "web hosting", i'd explain as follows...

Imagine you are homeless and you want to rent a room or buy a house. In order to get a shelter for yourself, you need a room. So, you imagine yourself as the website and the room as the hosting that you need to place yourself in. That means your website need a web hosting. Then, that's the time you start finding yourself a web hosting provider. Here, web hosting provider would be the house owner who rents you the room. So, in order for your website to be available and browsed by Internet users, you need to make sure your website is hosted in a web server provided by a web hosting provider.

So, when you finally understand what web hosting is, next will be the time to find out more about the different types of web hosting available. You have shared hosting, dedicated hosting, reseller hosting, VPS hosting, and colocation hosting. You name it, the Internet has it! So many to remember and differentiate..so, let's get the ball rolling with...

Shared Hosting
Shared hosting means that a web server has its resources shared by many other websites. Or you can put it as, in a house, there are many tenants. Usually small or normal e-commerce businesses will choose this type of hosting. Websites with high traffic might not be able to choose this type of hosting due to insufficient webspace.

Dedicated Hosting
Dedicated hosting refers to hosting in which you rent a server from your web hosting provider and will be placed at your web hosting provider's datacentre. They will provide software installation and connection to Internet. This will indicates that the website owner has control over the server as they don't share it with other websites. In short, dedicated hosting is where only 1 user hosted on the server machine and have a full privilege over the server to manage it by themself. The server machine will be still belongs to the web hosting provider.

Colocation Hosting
Well, this hosting has the features which are almost the same as dedicated hosting EXCEPT that you provide your own server and web hosting provider just help you to plug it into their datacentre. You need to install own software and hardwares. Everything is DIY.

Reseller Hosting
Reseller Hosting is a hosting where the account owner has the priviledge to allocate the webspace and bandwidth access and resell them to his clients. This shows that reseller hosts act like a middleman and is usually not responsible for any software or hardware intallation. They only buy webspace and resell to clients.

VPS Hosting
VPS stands for Virtual Private Server. It is almost the same as dedicated server. Hence, it's sometimes called Virtual Dedicated Server. Generally, it means that the account owner has the feeling as though his owns a dedicated server. In real sense, it's actually separating a physical server into several independent hosting spaces or VPS-es, each isolated from the other.This will allow you to create and manage multiple sites and domains and take full control of your VPS with root/administrator access which allows you to access the virtual hard disk, RAM and to reboot your private server independently from other VPS-es.

Domain Name
After we are done with the different types of hosting, there is something else which I want to touch on. It is none other than the "domain name". So, ever wonder what is domain name? Wow, sounds technical? Not really actually. Don't be scared. Last time, when I saw the words domain name, it freaked me out too. Now, when I got used to it, it's not that nerve-wracking after all. So, domain name is just the normal web address or url (Uniform Resource Locator) you type in the "address" area when you open a browser. Examples of domain name are "exabytes.com". You know? Just the normal web address. Well, since it's a web address, it's a unique name. Hence, there will be no other same domain name. In fact, domain name is actually corresponding with numeric IP address. So, every domain name will have its numeric IP address. For example, the IP address for exabytes.com is 72.18.131.206

When you see exabytes.com, ever wonder ".com" stands for what? It actually stands for commercial. Whenever you see .com, .org, .net or others which ends after the final dot or period (.) of a url, it is known as top-level domain. It actually tells you what kind of website it is, indirectly. And the commonly used domain name extension nowadays will be .org, .net, .com. However, there are a lot of new domain extension up for grab lately such as .aero, .info, .museum, and .name. Next in the list that I shall explain is, Country Level Domain Name. Examples of country level domain name is exabytes.com.my. It has ".my" as its country code top-level domain (ccTLD). .my here represents the country "Malaysia". Of course, different country will have different ccTLD. For example, .jp stands for Japan, .au for Australia, .ca for Canada.

There are more to learn in order to excel in web hosting industry. Hopefully this simple guide will help all those novice out there. There are other things you need to know as well. But, it will be in my next article. Cheers!

Here are some simple steps in choosing a host

1. Do your research here and on the internet to find a host that works for you.

2. Every host has had some problems, but that doesn't make them bad.

3. If you find a host that's too good to be true, it probably is. Just remember this, you get what you pay for.

4. There's no such thing as unlimited bandwidth and storage space, so don't waste your time with hosts that offer this.

5. Once you find a host ask questions to see if they fit your needs, and see how long it takes for them to respond.

6. Go with a host that has a 30 day money back gaurantee.

7. I have nothing agains't one year hosting payments up front, but if you're starting out it's better to pay monthly.

Changing to new host?No more worries

John's online business is expanding. His customers are increasing day by day. However, he feels very frustrated at the moment as he finds his website is 'down' about every 4th day. Whenever he calls up the support team of his web host, he gets the same old answer that his problem will be rectified soon. If the problems do persist it will surely hamper his business. He has been with his present hosting provider for the last year but now he feels he has to find a new web host as soon as possible because his present hosting package is also not able to meet up with his growing demands. This is not a one-off occurrence that has happened only to John, it happens with many people like him. Changing the web host might become a cumbersome task if John and other people like him don't know the correct procedure of doing it. So, let's have a look at the following easy and simple steps:

First of all, it's very important to have a backup of your website and everything related to it, like databases, scripts etc. It will be very helpful in case there is data loss because of any unforseen reason. Save at least 2 copies of everything and store them separately, so that you can work with one and the other one will function as a backup. You can take backup in various ways. One is by using software programs like a FTP program (e.g. Smart FTP http://www.smartftp.com/) for downloading data.

Now, the time is to look for a new web host that meets all your requirements and provides better technical services than your previous host. Since you have already been through the search procedure it won't take you much time to come across a reliable hosting company.

Once you have taken a new web-hosting plan and you are ready to upload your web pages, databases etc., check that you have received an IP number, FTP or FrontPage login, and password from your new hosting company. Now, upload all your files to the new server; you are just repeating the same procedure that you've done in the past when you uploaded your files for the very first time.

Only a few more steps more and you will be completely done. Before transferring your DNS servers over from your previous host to your new one, debug and test the new site from an individual IP number. Check that all the web pages exist, the links point to the right pages and that all your scripts are running. One important point which people always forget is their domain name expiration date. If you plan to move near the expiration date, it could cause you lots of problems. To be on the safe side, make sure that you have at least 3-4 weeks in hand before the domain name expires, or just renew it for another year.

To transfer domain name service to a new host identify registrar using "WHOis" lookup http://domreg-m6.net/domains/WHois.asp, verify registration of your domain name, identify the name server information for the host your are transferring to, and make changes in the DNS information at the registrar. During this DNS transition period new DNS information has to be propagated throughout the world's DNS servers. This propagation might take 2-4 days as an International root name server will firstly have to check all the various Domain registrars for updates, and then every ISP provider will update their DNS setting to show the new changes. Not only this, even Internet, i.e. Internet routers and caching engines have to update/clear its DNS cache as well. During this propagation period, you keep your old site running so that the visitors whose ISP provider haven't updated can still visit your website.

It's advisable that you don't cancel your old hosting service during the transition period, as you will need to check your mail from both the hosting providers, as some will direct e-mail to your old server whereas other Internet regions will send mail to your new server. After one or two weeks you can annul the account with your old host.

On the very first notion it sounds like a painful task to find a new web host and make all the necessary changes, but with the steps known, people like John will not find this procedure problematic. With so many automation software packages available, it has now become easier to switch over your web site from old host to new host. If both hosting providers have the same operation system platform, the procedure will become even simpler. But remember, the most important task in the whole host-changing scenario is to find a host that meets your requirements so that you don't have to go through this entire procedure again in the future.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Web Hosting Jargon

Bandwidth
This is the size of the “pipe” that runs between the client and the server, and along which all the data travels. The wider the pipe, the more data can fit through it. The size of the pipe is usually measured in megabytes or gigabytes per month. You can now see where the term broadband comes from—it means you have a big fat data pipe!

FTP
This is the method used for transferring files from the client to the server and vice versa—it’s very useful for getting your web site onto the server in the first place! FTP stands for File Transfer Protocol.

Domain Name
This is the “bubbleunder.com” part in the web address http://www.bubbleunder.com. You can buy the rights to use a domain name for a fixed period of time—usually 1 or 2 years at a time (it’s not yours to own forever). This is referred to as registering the domain.

Hosting
Hosting refers to the storage of your web site files on an Internet-connected server somewhere. This hosting service is entirely separate from the registering
of your domain name, although many hosting companies offer both services. Site owners
use web hosts to store the files for their site so that the site owners themselves don’t have to expose their own personal computers’ hard drives to potentially malicious web surfers who request the web site’s pages over the Internet. Oh, and it beats having to make sure that their own computers are constantly up and running for everyone to access!

What is Web Forwarding?

If you decide to take an ultra-low-cost approach to hosting by using web space offered by your ISP (or another free hosting service), your web site’s address will probably be something ugly (like the fictional http://www.freespaceforall.
net/users/~bubbleunder/ address I mentioned earlier). That’s hardly something that rolls off the tongue, is it?

What web forwarding allows you to do is register a sensible domain name and nothing else—there’s no hosting to be paid for—and to have that domain name point to the address at which your web pages are really hosted. You can then quite happily tell people that your web site is at an easy-to-remember address (e.g. www.bubbleunder.com), and when users enter this address in the browser’s address bar, your pages will be delivered successfully.

How to Select a Webhost that Fits Your Needs

Whether you're considering starting a website or you have one and want to possibly move it, this article can help you decide what the best webhost means to you.

To begin, every website is hosted on only 3 platforms: Unix, Windows NT, Macintosh

Very few sites are hosted on a MAC server, so the majority of webhosts use Unix or NT. For these reasons we will focus on only those 2 platforms.

Unix and NT both offer various options and have different abilities. Your choice of which platform to use depends on what applications you want your site to run and the amount of control you want to have over your site.


Unix
Unix is the oldest and one of the most widely used operating systems. It is the basis of the internet and most webservers originally ran on a version of Unix. Unix is know as a multitasking operating system which means that it can run many applications at the same time without them affecting each other. This is very important when you consider that hundreds of websites, running thousands of CGI scripts, all receiving thousands of hits could be running on one webserver.

Why Use It?:

It's reliable Ability to host many websites on the same machine. Almost all CGI scripts run better on Unix. Programming flexibility. Much more administrative control.

With Unix, webmasters can really tweak their websites (assuming they know what they are doing) to run at optimal levels. Developers can run CGI scripts and create applications specific to their needs.

Down Sides:

Is case sensitive. It is not an easy operating system to learn. Must use telnet or Ftp to make changes.

Windows NT
NT is a relative newcomer to the webhosting game but it is fast gaining a large share of the business. NT was built to integrate seamlessly with Microsoft's web authoring tool, Frontpage. As such, it is often the perfect solution for newcomers who do not want to learn HTML or CGI programming or deal with the day to day hassles of administering a webserver.

Up Sides:

Can use Microsoft Frontpage to publish your website as opposed to using Ftp or telnet. Can use Cold Fusion. Somewhat easier to administer (especially for the average webmaster). Is not case sensitive.

If you do not plan on learning the in's and out's of the web and administering your site, NT is probably your tool of choice.

Down Sides:

Provides poorer security than Unix. Because of the security issues, the hosting provider will usually institute tighter security measures. Cannot run all CGI scripts although this is changing.

Your needs as the webmaster and your visitors needs will determine the type of webhost and the platform you need.

Once you have done some more research into what platform you need, stop by an independent website like: http://www.tophosts.com and choose one of the top 25 hosts to fulfill your needs.

Some issues to consider while pondering which host to choose:

1.Uptime: This is probably the most critical piece of information you need to know to make an informed decision. How often a server goes down means lost business and lost sales and no one needs that. Our webhost is up 99.9% of the time as compared to the first one we had which was more like 25% of the time.|

2.Bandwidth Usage: Some hosts actually charge you for the amount of traffic you get once you pass a certain percentage. Why on earth would you want to be charged for that? Our webhost offers us unmetered traffic at no extra cost (this is what you should look for).

3.Server Space: Look for hosts that give 50-500 mg of space. As the technology changes sites will take up more space. You should try to get as much as you can right now even if you don't use it all.

4.CGI Access: This is critical. You need the ability to use CGI and especially custom CGI. If a host doesn't offer it, run screaming!

5.MSQL; Real Audio; Real Video; Cold Fusion: This is the future of the web and in particular web marketing. Make sure a host offers support for these applications even if you don't presently have a use for them.

You will be glad that you spent your time doing this research before you jump in and choose a host or switch to a host that provides you with nothing but problems. You deserve the best, go for it.

How To Pick The Best Web Hosting Company

There are a lot of Web Hosting Company. First you should choose Good and Reputable company, then you should Filter that to the Best. Here is the criteria to pick the best Web Hosting Company.

Back End/Network Operations Centers
This is where your accounts are actually housed. Sometimes a hosting provider will lease a part of a larger network and sometimes a hosting provider will develop their own. It is important to find out what kinds and how many fiber optic connections the NOC has. Make sure there is plenty of redundancy built in. Make sure the NOC is managed 24/7, even on holidays. Make sure there are fire suppression systems in place. Last but not least, ask about security. Make sure there are plenty of security measure in place.

Customer Service
Are they friendly? Do they answer their telephones? Are you put on hold and if so, for how long? If you have to leave a message, do they respond quickly? Does the rep on the other end know what they are talking about? Look at their network page and see if they have reports of down time or issue statements about problems.

Technical Support
How long does it take to get questions answered and tasks performed. Send a test support message and gauge the response times. See if they offer 800 toll free support.

Ticketing Systems
Do they have a ticketing system that tracks performance times. This is key. If a hosting company has this, they are serious about improving internally.

Domain Names
Do they offer domain name sales? This can help to consolidate your vendor costs. See about getting a discount on domains if you are buying in bulk on a monthly basis.

Branding You
Does the hosting provider offer branded support? As you grow, you will need to expand and see if the hosting provider will set you up with your own technician in your company name. Do they offer branded control panels and name servers? You need these tools to grow. Find out how easy it is to set these features up for your own account.

Scalable Discounts
If you are growing at a rapid rate, ask for better pricing and discounts. It is ok to ask. It's even better when you get it and will
reduce your overhead.

Financial Overview
Is that particular company in the red of black? Do they have a good cash flow? How fast is the host growing and can they handle the growth? What are they doing to grow and maintain the customer service level you expect. Are they near a buy out or planning

Choosing Web Hosting OS (Operating System)

First things you have to choose with web hosting plan is web hosting operating system. It could confusing to choose which is the best. Here is list of web hosting operating system and information about the performance.

Linux
Linux, a version of UNIX, is a very versatile platform that serves a number of functions well. It is particularly suitable for meeting your Internet requirements, such as mailing, streaming, Web serving, and fileserving. Linux is a very cost-effective choice it uses hardware efficiently, and allows for more web sites per server, thereby lowering the cost of hosting per account. Linux servers are compatible with certain Microsoft extensions and applications, for example, MS SQL (a database program) or Microsoft Front Page (a web authoring tool). Many engineers prefer the flexibility, security, and control of Linux servers. Linux is Open Source (free) software and a host of free programs are available to users of Linux.

Microsoft Windows NT/2000
Window's 2000 graphical user interface makes it user-friendly and provides a familiar interface for most IT teams to work with. It integrates well with other Microsoft applications and there are a wealth of commercial applications available for this platform. Particularly attractive is the integration with Microsoft Application Server (ASP) which allows the creation of dynamic web pages linked to SQL databases, and other Legacy back office systems.

Sun Solaris
Sun Solaris servers offer the highest level of resources and power - these are the most robust servers! Sun has a proven track record and is deployed in many large Fortune 500 corporations. It is a mature platform and there are a large number of applications and development tools available. Because of Sun's capacity and stability it is ideal for high-traffic functions, such as database servers, high-traffic Web servers and mission-critical servers.

Cobalt RaQ
The RaQ was designed for virtual (shared) hosting of multiple Web sites. It's simple administration makes it a great first Web server. Its flexible administration interface also allows you to share administration responsibilities among your staff.

FreeBSD
FreeBSD is a version of BSD that was designed for the X86 processor. FreeBSD is a very stable open source operating system, and a good alternative to Linux. It is an extremely well-integrated and tested system, and is inexpensive. There are a large number of free applications available for use with it

Basic Features to Choose

1. 24/7 reliable tech support
2. Your own domain name (www.yourname.com)
3. At least 10GB of monthly transfer (traffic)
4. A minimum of 20MB - 50MB of server space
5. Unlimited true POP email accounts - name@yourdomain.com
6. Unlimited email aliases
7. Email forwarding
8. Unlimited autoresponders
9. Your own unrestricted CGI-Bin
10. Access to SSL Encryption for secure transactions
11. MySQL Database
12. Perl
13. htaccess password protection
14. Server Side Includes (SSI) support
15. Design (and upload to) your site using Netscape or
other HTML editing software
16. Microsoft FrontPage Server Extensions for those
utilizing FrontPage
17. Unlimited free access to your server via FTP/Telnet
18. Easy access to your log files
19. Statistics on visits to your site
20. Referral Program

Most Basic Feature on Web Hosting Plan

Here's you should always look within the hosting plan :

Disk Space
Estimates your disk space, one html page usually +- 150 KB, 25MB Disk Space = 166 pages.

Bandwidth/Data Transfer
How to easily calculate bandwidth you need. First take size of all pages and images/multimedia in your web site. Let's say it 50MB then how many visitors to your web site? Maybe you estimate it would be 10000 visitors per month, then bandwidth you need for is 50 x 10000 = 500 000 MB = 500 GB Data Transfer/month. There're a lot of web hosting plan with unlimited bandwith package :).

Domain Name
If you don't have any domain name yet for your web site, you should see if web hosting package include domain name registration. Usually they include it in their plan. Average cost to register a domain name is between 8$ to 12$ per year.

E-mail Account
You need it as identity for your website, ex. you@yoursite.com, support@yoursite.com. You should see how many e-mail accounts provided for your web site. Additional features on e-mail account is E-mail Forwarding, E-mail Autoresponders, E-mail Aliases.

Control Panel
If you don't like FTP to upload your web sites, then you could upload it with control panel upload menu. It's easy and simple job to upload. Control panel is a web page to control your hosting account, add e-mail accounts, see statistics of your web site etc.

Database
Did you need database? If you're using built-in script/CMS like mambo, joomla, PHPNuke, Forums like VBulletin, phpBB, or shopping cart, etc. then you need database for your web site. How many database you need? for all scripts above usually you just need 1 database account. Another consideration is how many space is for your database. I found two kind of database space offered by web hosting company, first they include it in your web space (web space = web space + database space) other is they specify space for your database.

Monday, September 3, 2007

Ask Web Hosting Company Before You Buy

Before you actually buying web hosting plan you'll have question, is this web hosting I want to host my website? If you look around hosting company web site there are always not enough information. So asking them is better than going with hesitation. This example I made to ask hosting company support center by e-mail.

Dear {hosting company name},

I am interesting with web hosting solution offered in your web site. I have a site that need hosting, my site is forum web site based on PHP, One MySQL Database, and a lot of images. I found one of your hosting plan which is {name of hosting plan}
suit my needs. I just need to ask some question to make me sure choosing your hosting plan.

What payment options are available? What is the options for payment period?

Is there a trial period or money-back guarantee?

Is that price included setup fee?

Is there discount price for that plan?

What is the options to upgrade?

What is server specs for that plan?

Will I have my own IP address or is it shared?

What type of support do you offer? Email? Phone? Public? Hours? Limit? Average Response Time?

Will I have shell account?

What are control panel features to manage my web site?

How long will it take, from the time I submit my order, for me to have access to the site and begin developing?

etc.

Please feel free to explain anything you think I might have missed. Let me know of any reason you would be suitable or unsuited for my site.