Browsing posts tagged "best web hosting"

VPS Servers – For more than just Web Hosting

April 16th, 2012 @ 9:30 am

When discussing servers and hosting we often immediately put it within the context of hosting websites, but a VPS hosting plan is actually flexible enough to do a whole lot more than that. A Virtual Private Server has much of the same functionality of a dedicated server without the need for extensive technical knowledge to setup and maintain it, making it an attractive option for webmasters, but also an obvious choice for other server-reliant activities.

VPN

A VPN or virtual private network allows you to use a VPS server like you would a desktop computer via an OS and GUI (such as Linux Ubuntu), essentially giving it unlimited functionality. One popular reason for implementing a VPN is the anonymity it provides when using the internet- in fact in many countries where the internet is heavily censored and monitored VPNs provide citizens with a way of accessing otherwise forbidden parts of the net safely. With the growing trend of politicians and corporations both in America and around the world wanting to force ISPs to monitor your web use and punish those who deter from their approved sites, getting a VPS server to browse anonymously seems like a very smart idea.

Game Servers

When gamers come together online to perpetually murder each other, they need to connect to a server that hosts the game and handles all the information being transmitted. This can easily be done using a VPS server- in fact chances are if you’ve played Counter Strike before you’ve probably played on someone else’s VPS server. Owning and operating your own server for your favorite online game can be a rewarding hobby for you and your friends to enjoy or a lucrative community building venture, it all depends on what you want out of it.

Backup and Disk Space

Since a VPS server can be used in much the same way as a home computer can, it makes sense that we are able to store files on the disk space that’s available to us. The cool thing about storing your files on your own server is that you can access them wherever you can connect to the internet, which makes it very convenient for sharing files amongst your friends or collaborating on a project with a group. This might also come in handy when you have big files that need to be transferred but don’t have a USB stick big enough to handle the job.

VoiP

While there are a myriad of VoiP (voice over IP) services out there, hosting your own can have plenty of benefits. Sure, you can pay to rent space on someone else’s server to use Ventrilo or TeamSpeak, but there’s much more security and reliability in owning your own setup – not to mention that there isn’t any arbitrary limits on how many clients/users can be chatting together, the only limit is the resources.

Other Stuff

VPS servers have loads of different functionality and can be used almost any way imaginable, chances are if you need to use a server for something then a VPS hosting plan should accommodate you. Keep in mind that things like proxies, IRC, and P2P/torrents/filesharing are technically possible but against the terms of service of many providers, so always double check before doing anything that might get you banned. Other than those few exceptions, VPS servers really are the Swiss army knife of the web and are capable of much more than just hosting web sites.

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Reseller Hosting – For Resellers or Webmasters?

March 26th, 2012 @ 5:39 pm

When internet marketing beginners first start to look around for a good hosting plan, chances are that they see someone offering reseller hosting. This can be a tad confusing for some because reseller plans enable users to sell hosting slots on their plan to clients, hence the name reseller. Because of this functionality, some assume that reseller hosting is meant only for users who intend on opening up a hosting service of their own, but this assumption is far from the truth and can lead to some bad decisions when it comes to choosing a host. Let’s take a look at reseller hosting and its various uses so you can determine if it’s the best choice for you.

Reseller hosting for resellers

Selling slots on your reseller plan to clients can be quite lucrative, but you need to know what people are looking for in a host and your presentation need to make your business seem very professional and trustworthy- no one wants hosting from a fly-by-night operation.

Reseller hosting allows you to completely customize the hosting plans that you want to sell- you can edit everything from prices to features. Your clients will have an experience very similar to that of any regular hosting provider, you can have them billed automatically and they will be able to access their H-sphere control panel- You will even be able to privately brand everything so that your clients don’t suspect you are reselling server space instead of offering your own.

This can be a great business plan for those willing to make a commitment to becoming a hosting reseller, but it’s not something that can be taken lightly or put on autopilot- Being a reseller requires lots of attention and some technical skills, not to mention the time you’ll be spending interacting with clients. The good news is that if you give it a shot and it isn’t for you, you can still use your reseller account to host your own websites.

Reseller hosting is a great idea for freelance web designers and programmers because it allows you to offer your client your own hosting service instead of referring them to another provider, which means you make residual income as you do work for more clients and before you know it you’re getting a respectable amount of monthly rebills.

Reseller hosting for webmasters

So why would a webmaster who doesn’t intend on reselling hosting slots choose a reseller plan instead of a VPS, shared, or dedicated server plan? The answer is that it’s one of the most cost-effective hosting plans considering the amount of resources and features you get, and it’s just as easy to host your own websites with a reseller account as it is with shared hosting as opposed to jumping through the technical hoops of running a dedicated server.

Reseller plans are also scalable and can be upgraded easily to accommodate more sites and traffic so you don’t have to worry about the headaches of transferring hosts if you need more resources. The features can also be quite helpful- the ability to create accounts and roles means that each of your sites can get its own H-Sphere control panel so you have more control of their settings.

Reseller hosting is a good idea whether you plan on becoming a reseller or not for a variety of reasons, it has the functionality and resources to handle almost anyone’s hosting needs for a very affordable price.

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Setting up and hosting a Forum – It’s Easier than you Think

March 12th, 2012 @ 11:20 am

Many people are intimidated by the idea of starting a web forum because it seems like a daunting task that requires a lot of attention and resources- and while it is a very big project to undertake the process of actually setting it up and hosting it is pretty simple. The real work begins when it comes time to populate your forum and turn it into a lively discussion board that drives traffic, but you’ll never make it to that stage if you don’t take the first step and learn how to set up and host a forum.

Choosing and installing forum software

Web scripts make it extremely easy to set up a functioning website, without them web development would be a nightmare. So, considering how easy it is to set up a blog using a foundation like WordPress, it should be just as simple to set up a forum using the right script.

However, not all forum templates are created equal. You should learn about their varying functionality and extendibility to see which one best suits your purposes before installing anything. The main contenders in the world of forums are Phpbb3, MyBB, bbPress, Simple Machines, and a few others. Most of these should be available from your QuickInstall or Fantastico menu depending on your hosting, but you can also download them from their official websites and install them yourself.

Here’s a quick overview of the two forum scripts usually recommended for beginners so you have a general idea of what they’re best for, make sure to do your own research and check out the features of each one.

phpBB3

PhpBB is an open source platform (like many forum packages) that’s been in development since 2000, it boasts one of the most complete feature sets of any forum software and it’s very flexible with a lot of room for customization. This emphasis on micro management can be a hurdle for beginners, but the streamlined GUI makes it easy to digest. The community is large and very active, they are more than happy to help people out with technical issues and they have created a cornucopia of different extensions and modifications. This is one of the most commonly used and reliable platforms and it’s suitable for almost every situation due to its extendibility.

MyBB

MyBB was once considered an outsider when it comes to forum software, but it’s proven itself to be one of the most intuitive and easy to use solutions around. It’s open source which is always a plus, there is a huge community behind it and the development team gives it a lot of love with frequent updates. One of the most attractive parts about it is the streamlined administration panel, everything is laid out in a way that makes sense and even a beginner can figure out how to manage their forum just by clicking around on their own. Don’t let its ease of use fool you, MyBB is very powerful and extendible and some of the largest boards on the net run it. The library of plugins and themes is mammoth and with version 2.0 on the horizon it shows no signs of slowing down.

Choosing a hosting plan

Forums are a different beast than the average website or blog, the content is created entirely by the users which means that interactivity is a big factor- it’s much more difficult for a server to load a page worth of dynamic forum posts than a regular static article, the information is coming from a variety of sources. The database will be much more complex because it needs to store everything about the users and what they’re doing, which means the more they interact with the site and each other the more power you need from your host.

A shared plan from one of the bargain hosts isn’t going to cut it, sure they claim to give you ‘unlimited’ resources in a lot of areas but that simply isn’t true- it’s called shared hosting for a reason and those resources are being allocated to other sites as well. It may be fine to start out with a shared plan for testing purposes, but once (if) you start getting traffic you will need to invest in either VPS hosting or reseller hosting at some point to handle the load if you haven’t already.

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What Are SSL Certificates and How Do I Use One?

January 30th, 2012 @ 10:22 am

While surfing the web you’re bound to have come across an SSL enabled page at some point and wondered what that meant. SSL encryption is usually encountered in areas where it’s important for the site to be secure and safe from unauthorized access like payment processing, inputting sensitive information, and anything else that you do on the Internet through a browser or application that is best kept from wandering eyes. SSL has become an essential feature for many web activities that require a secure connection and you may need to enable it on your own site depending on how your users interact with your server.

How does SSL work?

SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layer and it serves primarily as a mechanism to verify a web page’s identity using encrypted certificates and keys. It’s a basic transaction of information between your browser and a web server before sharing data that ensures that all information is encrypted until it reaches the server to be decrypted.

First, your browser or application will request that a web server identify itself before any information is transferred. The server will then send the browser a copy of its SSL certificate, which must be checked by the browser using a combination of private and public keys to verify that the owner of the page is who they say they are using the site’s domain and IP address. If the browser accepts all of this information and trusts the certificate, it will tell this to the server which will send back an acknowledgement and finally begin to transfer information under the protection of SSL encryption so that no third parties can interfere.

The process of verification works both ways – the server checks to see that the user on the other side of the secured channel is who they appear to be and vice-versa. When the SSL certificate is first sent to the browser, the public key is included. The browser will use this public key to encrypt information before sending it to the server, and the server will use it’s own private key to decrypt it. If the information is accessed by any third parties between the browser and server, they will receive encrypted information that is impossible to read without the server’s private key.

How do I get SSL for my site?

If you want to use SSL encryption on your own site to enable secure connections with your users, it’s not very complicated. Royalty Networks offers multiple types of SSL certificates. Just choose the appropriate package and follow the instructions. A basic SSL setup will cost less than $20.00 per year. You will need to provide information about you and your site, once things are setup a private key will be generated (be sure to make a copy of this and keep it safe).

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Secret Tips for Choosing the Best Web Hosting Service

April 13th, 2010 @ 11:12 am

You may be ready to take your business online, with your website waiting to go live. Now all you need is a hosting company which will provide you the spine for supporting your e-business endeavor. There are thousands of options and so, choosing the right one may be a really challenging task. However as you will find out soon, it is not difficult to get the best web host, if you are really thorough with the selection.

Whether you are looking for your first host or even perhaps in the process of finding a new host, you can make use of the following criteria for selection:

  • Which platform do you want to use? You have the choice to go for Windows hosting or Linux hosting, depending on the tech behind your website. There are several companies which offer both Linux and Windows hosting at competitive rates and you may take a look at their deals.
  • What are the features you are looking for? Once you have settled on a particular hosting platform, you need to decide the features you want from your web host. While the list of features on offer keeps growing everyday, you must consider key features such as disk space, bandwidth, backups, number of domains allowed, number and types of databases, email accounts and money back policies for downtime. This will help you trim your list of web hosts even further.
  • What is your budget? Needless to say, the host you choose must fit in your budget. But you should also calculate the total cost you have to incur over a longer period of time. This includes the opportunity cost of downtime and slow speeds. You should not be swayed by the lure of having to pay less upfront, because the hidden costs of bandwidth, set up and maintenance, can easily even it all up! A good web host should also allow you the freedom to switch between annual payment and monthly payment plans without any hassles.
  • Customer service: whether it is Linux hosting, Windows hosting or clustered hosting you opt for, there are bound to be glitches and tech issues, sooner or later. If you do not consider the quality of after sales services as a determinant, you may lose money later on. Settle for no less than 24×7 services all year round. It may not be bright scenario to find that your web host does not work on holidays after you have already sealed the deal. So beware! Go through user reviews of the web host you intend to select, to find out whether they actually deliver their promised level of customer service.
  • Reputation: you should know that most web hosts go out of business within a year! So, if you intend to select a host that has been there for less than a year, it may be an unwise gamble. The ones, who have stood firm in the face of stiff competition for several years, are probably better choices even if they charge you more.

So, select your web host keeping these factors in perspective and maybe you will make a good decision. There is really no, golden rule for web host selection and so, you are perhaps better off trying those hosts which offer clustered hosting, to lessen the operational risks just a bit.

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