Browsing posts tagged "web hosting requirements"

Choosing Shared or VPS Hosting

February 6th, 2012 @ 10:30 am

A lot of newcomers to the world of website hosting are intimidated by the amount of choices presented when shopping around for the best solution, and they often make an uneducated decision that they later regret because they weren’t familiar with the needs of their website. Luckily, it’s easier than you probably think. To pick the right host for your situation, all it takes is a little evaluation and foresight to find out what your needs are.

Generally speaking, Shared plans are more suited for small personal sites that won’t get major traffic surges and don’t have complex requirements for custom scripts and applications. VPS (or Virtual Private Server) hosting is best for more advanced users that want to have total control over their virtual server and its features, it’s more suited for larger websites or networks where a dedicated server and IP is necessary.

However, there’s no way to know which one is best for your setup without first identifying the differences between them.

The differences between Shared and VPS Hosting

Each web hosting provider offers a slightly different set of features for their plans, but the following notable differences are true for almost every host.

Resources

Shared plans have your site hosted on a server that also hosts many sites for other users as well- hence the resources are ‘shared’ between all sites on the server. In order to regulate this setup the host imposes ‘soft’ limits to how many resources you can use at once so that the hardware isn’t overloaded. This is why shared hosting has a hard time with big traffic spikes and heavy resources usage, you aren’t the only site using the server hardware and the amount of resources available depends on those other sites.

VPS hosting plans offer the same resource configuration that a dedicated server would in that you are allocated a static amount of resources to work with and you don’t have to worry about sharing them with anyone.  This is inherently scalable and you can purchase a plan that’s suitable for a low-end email server or a high-traffic database application, but you have to know what your site is expected to use before you set it up.

Customizability

On a shared plan you are at the mercy of the provider as far as features and settings go, you’re usually given a control panel backend on a single Linux or Windows OS and that’s that. You usually don’t have certain services and technologies available that may be required for certain complex tasks.

On a VPS you get to decide everything, you can use any Operating System and install any services you want. This of course requires that you have knowledge of how a server works and know what you need and what you don’t, but if you do your research you can have everything you need setup without any limitations as far as software goes.

Security

The word ‘Private’ isn’t in the term VPS for nothing- a VPS setup is simply more secure than a shared one by default because no one else is using the same operating system instance as you and your file system is completely independent. As the administrator of the server you also have far more control over your security configuration, allowing you to set up firewalls and other security features that aren’t normally available for shared accounts.

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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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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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