Browsing posts tagged "linux hosting"

What’s the Difference Between Linux and Windows Servers?

January 12th, 2012 @ 8:06 am

Most people that purchase hosting accounts never understand the difference between Linux or Windows servers. For them, all they need and want to know is that hosting plans with Windows servers are more expensive and when feature lists between two hosting plans look similar, they choose Linux servers solely based on price. This decision is supported 99 out of 100 times if they seek technical advice because most technical support groups and website coder prefer Linux hosting over Windows hosting.

In spite of the adage, “you get what you pay for”, the fact is that in this case, the Linux hosting accounts are the better choice even though they are less expensive. Linux hosting is far more popular than Windows hosting and the Linux hosting works better with the ways in which most websites are programmed and coded. Websites themselves require a server that has within its programming structure certain functions that the code of the website calls upon in order for the site to operate and deliver a particular user experience. Linux hosting provides this structure readily and website design code more often than not expects the server to support Linux included functions. In fact, Windows servers will oftentimes have to emulate a Linux server in order to allow many websites to operate properly.

The only times that a person should choose Windows hosting over Linux hosting is when they have a website that has been designed with specific Windows based code that calls upon the server to contain specific Windows hosting based applications. For example, you must use Windows hosting if your website is coded to use any of the following:

  • Classic ASP or ASP.NET Programming
  • MS Access
  • Microsoft SQL Server
  • C#, Silverlight, MVC

While this is not an all inclusive list, it does contain the most common website coded applications that require Windows hosting. Unless a website’s code specifically requires Windows hosting, it is advisable for everyone, to choose a Linux server.

As mentioned earlier, in many cases a Windows server is called upon to emulate a Linux server in order to host a site. Some may think that this is the best case scenario, mistakenly thinking that the Windows system would then be able to handle both Linux and Windows coded sites. This is a mistake because not all Linux functions can be effectively emulated with Windows hosting without reducing overall performance of the server and as a result affecting the user experience. There are also some specific Linux functions that are coded into many types of websites that Windows hosting cannot emulate.

Therefore it is not a matter of getting full functionality with Windows hosting being able to support both systems whereas Linux hosting cannot. When choosing a hosting plan, the best choice is Linux hosting unless the specific site requires Windows applications. This is the only way to maximize overall server performance, site performance, and end user experience.

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Proper Server Setup Equals Maximum SEO Potential

December 8th, 2011 @ 8:00 am

If Google has said it once they have said it a million times, having properly coded websites and properly configured servers are critical to maximizing SEO results. This is important because Google has taken the position that a site that is valued by the owner should be properly coded, and it certainly should have the basics of proper server setup. Just as page speed and proper markup gives a site an SEO bonus, so does a properly configured server that is hosting that website. This is why we have experts on staff that ensure all of our servers all properly configured, this way we know we are doing our part in enhancing your SEO.

The problem is that in a recent article by Conversation Marketing and highlighted by SEO Moz, Conversation Marketing found that only 69% of servers they tested were properly configured for some of the most basic of server functions. In fact I in a recent study of a hosting provider that advertises itself as a “boutique” hosting provider in order to justify their extra costs, it turned out that they too are far from perfect, even when testing the simplest of functions.

For example, when testing the homepage for any site the server should respond with a server response code of 200, which means everything is OK. But one site that was checked on the expensive hosting provider’s server delivered a 302 code. This is not acceptable because a 302 tells the browser that the page has been temporarily moved, but it will be back in the future, yet the page that was tested was actually present. The server should have responded with a 200 for everything is OK, or at worst a 301 which indicates a permanent redirect. A 302 is simply indicative of bad configuration.

When a non-existent page was requested at the same hosting company, it returned a 302 code. This does not make any logical sense and yet that is the code the server responded with. The server should have sent a 404 code indicating that the page does not and never did exist. This means that whenever a search engine tries to visit that site using a broken link, the search engine will think something is supposed to be there, but is not. That indicates to the search engine that there is a broken link or error on the site. On the other hand, if the server had returned a 404 error, at least the search engine would know that the error was in the originating link, not in the destination website.

All of this may sound trivial to the average SEO. But the fact is that when your competition has their sites coded properly and their servers configured properly, they have a distinct advantage over anyone that is delivering errors and incorrect codes to the search engines every time they visit the site. This is why our company has always employed experts in information technology, we know how important it is to the client to have their hosting provider always ensuring maximum up time and consistent correct server configuration.

Take the time to use our hosting service; we know how to properly configure a server. This is important for SEO and it is also important for overall server security. This concern over improper server configuration also reaches beyond the impact on SEO. Just think, if your current web host does not know how to configure the basics correctly, how are they going to maintain security on their servers should they come under attack from a hacker or other malicious software?

Our experts are exactly that, they are experts in maintaining the integrity of the server. What this means to you is that not only do you get proper configuration for SEO benefits, but you also get experts ensuring the integrity of you site, your information, and the information of your customers.

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Estimating Your Web Hosting Requirements

September 21st, 2011 @ 10:03 am

Once you have decided to start your website you may be looking for a web host to help you get things in motion. While you definitely need to choose the right platform, there are some other things you also need to consider. When you have taken your pick from Windows hosting and Linux hosting, you must look for a host who provides you the right space and bandwidth for running your website. Only after taking care of these basic but essential needs, should you take care of the more advanced requirements such as scripting and database management.

Space is as important for web hosting, as it is in real life. The space provided by your web host is the hard disk space where you store data on the web server. Each web host provides you hard disk space, dependent on your package and of course the size and capacity of their server. This usually ranges from 500 MB and upwards to 10 GB.

The amount of space you need is obviously determined by your website. Websites are usually composed of text (in the form of HTML files), images (jpegs or gifs), flash animations and even videos. While a text rich site may not consume much space, flash animations and videos take up a lot of hard disk space. Even images, if they are high-resolution, can eat up a lot of space. So, you may want to calculate the amount of space your website will use.

A quick tip here: do not create an unnecessarily bulky website. You might think that a good website is all about big bright images, but it is not so. A good website for all users (even those who do not have broadband internet) is one which loads quickly. Try to keep your website size under 50 kb so that it takes no more than 4-5 seconds to load. Even if you have a large amount of space for web hosting, it does not mean that you have to use it all up!

Whether you use Windows hosting or Linux hosting, the key is to have a high amount of bandwidth at your disposal. Bandwidth is the amount of data your web hosting company allows you to transfer every month. It includes all uploads and downloads, no matter what protocol you use.

The bandwidth charges you pay are usually calculated after taking into account the total number of visitors to your site. So, if you have a 50kb website visited by 20000 people a month, your bandwidth usage is calculated as 20000 x 50 Kb, which works out to 1000 MB or about 1 GB. Therefore, if you have a high traffic website, you need a lot of bandwidth to ensure your site stays online.

When you launch your website, you may not have too many visitors so you do not require an unnecessarily huge bandwidth plan at the start. You only end up paying more!

For starters, 10-20 GB bandwidth should be more than enough to start Go ahead and take care of these basic hosting needs for laying the foundation of a successful website. Good luck!

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How Can Clustered Hosting Help You?

May 4th, 2010 @ 6:01 pm

Whether you use Windows hosting or Linux hosting for your website, downtime is surely one of your mains concerns. If it’s not, you should wake up and smell the coffee immediately! People should be able to visit your website throughout the day, all the week and all year round. So, any gap in this expected availability of your website, means loss for your online business. Moreover when a person finds that your website is down, she is highly unlikely to try again, given that there are thousands of other sites which are selling the same thing as you. So, the losses keep mounting and this is why you may consider clustered hosting as a possible solution.

There are many web hosting companies which will offer you 99.9% uptime, but have you ever wondered why they cannot guarantee you 100%? This is because, servers can and will go down occasionally, and even the best web host cannot guarantee perpetual uptime. Hosts are well aware of this and so, they have devised clustered hosting as a possible alternative to single-server hosting.

The problem with traditional hosting is that all the elements of your website are managed by one server. So, it has to handle website control panels, email servers and also file transfer protocol. This is obviously quite taxing for the server, which has to handle not only your website but hundreds of others as well. Moreover, when there is traffic surge, or a huge increase in the number of people trying to access websites on a server, there is an even greater load on it. This is why you find that your website is unavailable sometimes.

Clustered hosting aims to put this issue to bed. The burden of running several websites is spread across several servers. It works in the same way as, the multiple engines on a commercial plane. If one fails the others do the job and complete the journey safely. So, even if your website runs a heavy database, it can work smoothly and not affect the working of other sites being managed by the same host. High end websites can often hamper the running of other websites, in conventional single server setups.

One more way in which clustered hosting helps is your website is by handling traffic spikes smoothly. When a large amount of available bandwidth is used up due to the number of simultaneous hits on your website, it can easily go down, but clustered hosting ensures that nothing like this happens. So, you can be sure that even when you are running a once in a lifetime sale, the website will be running smoothly!

Website maintenance also becomes less intrusive when a clustered hosting system is being used. This is because; it is no longer necessary to take the site offline for upgrades and rebooting. Your site remains online on a server, while the maintenance jobs are rolled out across other servers.

If you are looking for a new web host or perhaps are looking to switch web hosts, maybe you can go for a company which offers clustered hosting. This is a really smart hosting solution and surely worth a try!

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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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