Various Aspects of Web Hosting

The popularity of Web Hosting companies has increased tremendously in recent times. More and more people have realized that the benefits of owning and operating a website are numerous. Without the aid of a hosting company, one cannot host a website.  Nowadays, there are several such hosting companies. While the services of some are free, others have to be bought. Shared hosting, reseller hosting and dedicated hosting are some of the most popular types of hosting services available today.

 

Shared hosting is a type of web hosting in which a single server is used to support multiple websites. The number of supported websites will depend on the provider. Some service providers have been known to host thousands of websites at a time. The sever computers are very powerful and ensure that the supported websites run smoothly. A major drawback of shared hosting is that the server can slow down, if the support limit is exceeded. This can cause the websites to crash. Features such as memory, disc space and bandwidth will be limited. However, the benefit is that most shared hosting services are quite cheap.

 

In reseller hosting, the server will be bought by a party at a reduced rate and resold to others at an even cheaper rate. Web designers, web developers and other such web consultants are the usual users of this type of hosting. Dedicated hosting is an expensive form of Web Hosting. In this type, the customer has exclusive use of the hosting service. Most affluent companies use this form of hosting, since they can customize features and enable businesses to scale up.

 

Several factors have to be considered before choosing a hosting service provider. Latency is an important aspect of web hosting. One should check the ping times of providers before making a selection. Uptime is yet another important aspect. If the uptime percentage is bad, then the website will lose out on customers due to slow service. According to various studies, the average customer will wait for approximately 8 seconds for a website to load, before going to a new site. The quality of the software offered by the provider should also be considered. Forums, blog softwares and content management systems are usually offered by the Web Hosting service. The server and PHP application versions of a good provider will be recent.

 

In order to provide quality content, most professional websites require quality SQL databases. This aspect should also be considered. A good cPanel can increase the maintenance and development of multiple websites. Processes such as creating email accounts and viewing visitor statistics can also be accelerated. Nowadays, a lot of people are budget conscious due to the fickle nature of the economy. Hosting service providers have realized this and offer services to suit a variety of budgets. It is always best to choose a reputed hosting service. This ensures that quality of service offered is superlative. The internet is the best place to find various such providers. A selection should be done based on the specific needs of the user.

A firewall which features packet filtering

Astaro Security Linux provides firewalling, VPNs, spam, virus, and surf protection in an all-in-one network security gateway. Its features include stateful packet inspection, deep packet filtering, application-level intrusion detection, content filtering, virus detection for email traffic (SMTP and POP3) and Web traffic (HTTP), whitelists and blacklists, IPSec and PPTP VPN tunneling, spam blocking, logging, and reporting.

 

The software is built on an embedded, especially hardened Linux distribution. The WebAdmin tool and Up2Date service make it easy to install, manage and update all six security applications. This version includes virus protection for HTTP, intrusion protection, L2PT VPN-support, ISP-uplink failover, spam protection for SMTP and POP3, SMP support, and stateful failover functionality in high availability installations.

 

Many small improvements were also made. This release improves speed, downloads, and stability of the HTTP Proxy and the QoS packet classification. It includes fixes for accounting not working properly, traffic on VLAN interfaces not being reported, SMTP messages, the spam header showing up in the email body, pattern Up2date not possible even with a valid license, IPS license being improperly checked, the POP3 proxy blocking all messages, the SNMP daemon consuming too much CPU, the authentication page possibly being blank, and PPTP assigning the same IP address to multiple clients.

PHP CMS and portal

PHPX is a Web portal system, blog, Content Management System (CMS), forum, and more. It is designed to allow everyone to be able to have feature-rich, interactive websites even if you do not know a bit of programming. Some key features include fully-integrated forums, downloads, an image gallery with slideshow and auto-thumbnailing, support ticket system, a GUI interface for Web page content management, news with topics and instances, and a whole lot more.

 

It allows you to fully customize the look of your site. A feature to change default menu when theme changes was added. The way that the updater uses current version was modified. A minor bug in the user module was fixed. Several bugfixes, more Xcode added, the news module is expanded to include comments, a FAQ module is added including comments, polls with comments are added, and more. The Image Gallery Module, custom homepages, Google Search, and a new comment system were introduced. A major security fix and over 50 other changes were made.

 

Minor bugfixes and major features, including shoutout, guestbook, improved news templating, and a lot of other miscellaneous changes. Minor bugfixes including expanding the forum look, cleaning up SQL queries, and MySQL 5.x compliance. Changes were made in the installation process to clean up the problems with versions 3.5.12 and 3.5.13. Bugs in the contact form image verification logic were fixed and the ability to delete a system page was removed.

Web hosting and blacklists

OK, let’s say I have a domain, example.com (no, that’s not my domain…I’m using it as an example!). I get an internet connection at home, via DSL or cable, from an ISP that has a good spam policy and stays out of blacklists. I set up email so that mail to whate…@example.com goes to one of the POP boxes my ISP provides. I use my ISP’s SMTP server for outgoing mail. Since my ISP has a good spam policy, all is well.

 

Now, suppose I decide that the web space or services that come with my DSL is not good enough (to small, no database access, etc), and I don’t want to have www.example.com point to my home machine, because my home machine is not reliable enough (no UPS, flakey power in winter, etc). So, the obvious solution is to find a hosting company, and stick www.example.com there. Email for the domain stays with my ISP and my home machine. Just the web stuff goes to the hosting company.

 

Question: suppose I pick a hosting company, and they turn out to not be as careful as one would like when it comes to keeping out spammers, and end up getting blacklisted. What effect does that have on web sites hosted there? It is possible to use SPEWS or other IP based blacklists in firewall configurations – ie. deny all traffic from that IP, or to just drop connections to web server ports, but I don’t know of anyone who is actually doing this.

Virtual Server Hosting

I’d like some recommendations on the type hosting services Rob mentions – where I buy space and can host client accouts/domains within that space. I’ve looked at a couple, but I’d like to hear some recommendations from the group, lest I make a big mistake. It’s call “reseller hosting” or “virtual server” hosting. Most hosting companies will offer this service to the developers.

 

Just look for those two phases on their sites and you will be able to make a qualified decision about what you need it for. I’m trying to be a little more specific than to look at reseller plans in general. At this time I’m not looking for plans that offer discounts for reselling standard accounts. I’d like to find some reputable plans that allow multiple domains pointing to subdirectories of a master account, preferably with SMTP service. (I’ve been looking at many host sites for this type plan, so I’m not just relying on this group to do my homework for me.)

 

If I can get some recommendations/guidance I’d sure ‘preciate it. Also consider that 1-2-3 E-Commerce and several other free services are included. Security, uptime and speed are important, too. Look at description of our system both the components and the external systems. It’s all there at an affordable rate.

Inputs required for web hosting

If someone is selling services that appear to be significantly more than the competition, then one should ask “what do I get extra for the cost”? If he truly wants filet mignon quality and is willing to pay, that would be on the level of “Yes sir. How high do you want me to jump?” ;) I just said his prices were reasonable if he is offering well above *mediocre* service. If someone wants “A #1, King of the Hill, Top of the Heap” service, that will cost extra.

 

If it weren’t for the binaries I have at the same host as my main website, 2 MB would be more than enough. The truth is if I literally wanted to save a few bucks a month, I could move those binaries to my free ISP webspace. My “problem” is that less than 2 MB of text files now gets so many hits, I have to worry about bandwidth. 2 MB of text files can add up if on some days 100+ unique users want them. With a site with small storage space and tons of hits, then worry about bandwidth. The more affording hosting that’s available, the better! You and far too many others are obsessed with price as being the most important feature in a web hosting provider.

 

This approach is ludicrous if you value your web site AT ALL. Find a few customers who appreciate your customer service, your procedures, hardware, backups, bandwidth connections etc, and price *IS* irrelevant. I’ve developed ecommerce sites with fully-functional complete self-serve administration panels. And some of my clients would rather pay me my premium rate to have me type their text in. Not everyone wants cheap. A lot of people–an increasing number, as people realize the implications of “cheap”–are willing to pay to have things done right, with assurance, with accountability, with support.

Information on NT Web Hosting

Anyone know of decent NT web hosts that support ASP, Access, SQL Server? In Canada or not, just looking for a reliable host at a decent price. Local would be nice but not critical. I see – as someone who is affiliated with a company that supplies linux based servers/hosting/lans, you may have a slight conflict of interest in bashing his request. Schooner, I suggest you (and anyone else out there) try to avoid getting your hosting (or IT supplies) from companies that have newsgroup trolls.

 

Have you tried local places like TwistedPair? I hear they may have NT hosting soon. Besides, windows servers do bite. Average uptime for windows? Hours to days. Average uptime for a unix or linux box? Weeks to months. Unless you really need a windows server for something, and there are reasons for them, then don’t use windows. Twisted Pair is a good company. Some smart people there. Yes there is a reason I need a Windows server and your uptime numbers are way off the mark so please keep this thread on track. I didn’t ask for a comparison of servers, just where I could get an NT/W2K based web server host.

Web authoring and management for others

I have built my a site that I publish on my own ISP webspace. But I will shortly start a webauthoring course using Dreamweaver and it will entail a practical build of a site for publication. What I have in mind is developing a site for a friends business. They already have their domain purchased but not in use. My question is, if I build their site, how do I actually upload it and look after the ongoing management of it ? I can only access my own ISP site. So how do you manage and up[load sites for third parties on a different ISP ?

 

Firstly, your friend needs to purchase some web hosting for his domain. Put simply, this is space on a server which will deliver the web pages to anyone who wants to see them. You then upload the files to this server. You do this by ftp (file transfer protocol). Dreamweaver has it’s own ftp application built in which will let you manage sites. Basically, you set up a site in Dreamweaver and then tell it where the uploaded site is situated.

 

You then enter various details (username, password – supplied to your mate with the hosting account), connect to the Internet and copy your files to the server space.Dreamweaver handles this. Or you can simply drag files back wards and forwards to and from the server. It’s harder to explain than to do.Think what we are coming down to here is I need to establish who provides webspace for my friend. I know they use blueyonder for email, but not sure if they have bought webspace for business separately.

Web forwarding and Search Engines Alternatives

I understand that if a website is created in “free webspace” and a domain uses forwarding, then search engines do not read the site – but only the blank forwarding page. Is there a way to program around this? or does hosting need to be changed? My ISP offers No web-forwarding Framed web-forwarding to a single page Non-framed web-forwarding to a single page Framed web-forwarding Non-framed web-forwarding plus change nameservers plus manage DNS It depends on the search engine.

 

The problem is that frames are used, typically without any option to include a element. The use of frames also cause a lot of other problems[1]. This is a little confusing without more to go on. Which is your isp? From the sound of things, you can take the option of non-framed web forwarding, so that if somebody types in ‘www.example.com’, they get redirected to your free webspace (and the other address appears in their browser location bar). This will go some way to alleviating your search engine problems, but it’s still not as good as proper hosting. In my experience, people don’t realise just how cheap web hosting can be. My advice would be to simply bite the bullet and pay for some proper hosting. If you are worried about search engines, then it sounds like you care enough to pay[2]. Also, be warned that there are lots of things you can do to screw up search engine placements, this is just one of many issues.

Suggestions for Domain Name Registering and Web Hosting

Registering a domain name in the uk can be quite cheap nowadays, but can anyone suggest someone who does web hosting as well at a reasonable price? Most of the ones I come across are over £200+£80 for Nominet fee. I looked at Cyberstrider but the pricing seems to be a bit confusing. The pricing structure is being reviewed and if you look at the price list now you will see it has been simplified. Basically, for web hosting you choose: 1) Domain Name and DNS services 2 Web Hosting And then just pay for your choices.Very sensible, web hosting is expensive in small volumes, especially when you consider the asymmetry of the traffic – you’re paying for two-way traffic, but it’s mostly only going one way.

 

An ISP can load the link better through more services. I suspect this balancing might be why I was offered free dialup with my co-located box. The dialup is more or less free for the ISP to provide, after they’ve bought an Ascend or whatever. I did wonder about writing a totally automated web hosting solution though. I reckoned I could offer ftp only web hosting, with php and mysql, and possibly perl, if I could sandbox the cgi-bin effectively, – and have the provisioning of the account totally automated. But you’ve still to be there to answer the phone. Make it email, and if they want to talk they can do so by appointment, phoning you at premium. That’s the price they pay for cheaper hosting but of (hopefully) high quality.

 

Support costs money, and many web design services are quite competent enough I think to be able to wait say a maximum of 24/48 hours for an answer. But if you tie yourself to a phone, you’re fu^H^H knackered :) I know from experience in selling software “on”-line. It’s one of the reasons for specialising in the first place – it’s the dial-up service that really requires the expensive support phone lines. Web-hosting just needs good connections!