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Saturday, May 31, 2008

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Glossary Of Web Hosting Terms

Mon, 24 Mar 2008 14:53:47 +0000

Having recently launched the free ebook "An Absolute Beginners Guide To Web Hosting " I decided that it would be useful to include a glossary of hosting terms for those readers unfamiliar with some of the industry terminology. There follows a run down of some of the most commonly used phrases together with a brief translation of each.

1) Web Host

A web host or web server is basically a computer connected to the Internet. The function of this computer is to serve up websites to internet users and is more powerful than a regular PC. These servers contain all the data stored by website owners that is required for their website(s) to be displayed online to the world at large.

There are various types of web hosting services available to serve varying needs.

a) Free Hosts - Generally speaking, free web hosting is a solution usually suited only to those who intend to set up a non commercial web site or perhaps to blog as a hobby. Usually, free hosting services offer only limited storage space and bandwidth. Free hosts often make their money by placing ads of various types on customer’s websites - these may include banners, pop-ups and text advertising, over which the user has no control. There are however some exceptions to this and in recent times more free hosting offers have been introduced with far better features.

Reliability, best performance and customer support can be lacking in the case of free hosting as well. Although customers of free hosts can usually use their own domain name if they have one, others will be given a subdomain name that includes the name of the host (for example which, for business or professional use does not carry the weight of your own domain.

b) Shared Hosting - Probably the most common option, hosting a huge number of sites across the internet. Shared hosting is popular due to cost and is most suited to personal users and small to medium business sites. Prices will vary widely and users can expect to pay from as little as a couple of dollars per month through to $40 per month depending on the features and level of the service.

With shared hosting, each server is shared among an indeterminate number of customers. Each website owner has a share of the storage space and the resources of the server. The higher the number of users allocated to a server, the lower the cost, but also the less resources available to each individual. The more expensive companies are less likely to overcrowd their servers resulting in improved performance and availability of their customer’s websites.

With a shared hosting plan, customers are usually able to host more than one domain name under a single account plus subdomains and parked domains but in all cases the allowances will differ. Whatever features are offered, all will be subject to the limits placed on the account in terms of space and resources per month.

c) Dedicated Hosts - As the name suggests, a server is dedicated to a single customer. Dedicated hosting is the choice of larger and higher traffic sites that need more resources than a shared host can provide. Customers rent and have total control over the server and can configure it to suit their purposes.

Their are varying service levels with dedicated hosting. A customer can opt to have a managed solution - in other words, the hosting company’s technical team will set up and maintain certain aspects on the customer’s behalf, or you can choose to manage the server yourself. As most webmasters are not hardware experts, a managed dedicated server is usually the best option. Costs for a dedicated server are naturally much higher than a shared service and can run into hundreds of dollars per month. Once again a lot depends on the level of service and support you expect or need.

The term co-located hosting refers to an arrangement whereby the customer purchases the server hardware outright and the hardware is then located at the hosting provider’s data center. Naturally the cost of co-located hosting is higher because the customer has to shoulder the cost of the hardware and it’s upkeep and repair.

d) VPS or Virtual Private Server Hosts - VPS (also called virtual dedicated servers) are an option for those who are looking for more than shared hosting but either cannot afford or justify their own dedicated server. In very basic terms, VPS are servers that do not interface directly with the hardware on which they run and they cannot interface directly with each other. The server is therefore ‘virtual’ and ‘private’ in the sense that it is independent of actual hardware and cannot interact with its file system or processes. VPS pricing varies greatly and is again dependent on the provider and the resources/services on offer, but normally prices should be expected to be higher than a shared host but lower than a dedicated service.

Other Hosting Services

Reseller hosting is a commonly offered service and basically means that a customer of a hosting company buys space on the hosting company’s servers and resell it to their own customers. Resellers will set their own prices and features of the hosting plans they decide to resell. The reseller consequently deals with his customers and their queries and complaints, although sometimes reseller plans are offered by companies who will take care of customer care themselves. A reseller is effectively a ‘middle man’ and his responsibilities will vary according to the company or companies with which he works.

Domain Name

A domain name is the permanent address of a website on the internet. The actual address of a website is a set of numbers and every web server has its own unique address. To remember these numbers would be virtually impossible and the domain name is an easily recognizable translation for human beings. Domain names are available with various suffixes such as .com or .net and each is unique. Buying and registering a domain name is a simple process and there are hundreds of places where customers can obtain the name of their choice. Prices vary from free into thousands of dollars but customers can usually register a domain for less than $20. There is an annual fee for owning a domain, and you can choose to register it for anything from a 12 months and up.

Space / Storage

The amount of storage space available on the server for your website - all it’s files, images and databases. Just like the storage space available on the hard drive of your own computer if you like. How much you will need depends on a whole range of things but nowadays most hosting companies offer more than adequate storage on shared servers for most users.

Bandwidth / Data Transfer

Bandwidth is the term used for the amount of data transferred from a web server to client’s s computer. Whenever a person views a web page, the data is transmitted from the server to that person’ PC. Websites containing audio, video and image files or one offering lots of downloadable content consume more bandwidth than a simple text based site. The bandwidth available to customers will again vary tremendously from host to host and service level to service level.

Just because a shared host claims to offer huge bandwidth allowances does not necessarily make it so as other limits on the account such a CPU (central processor unit) resources will also come into play.

Users who exceed their bandwidth for a given month are sometimes charged for the excess or simply find their website(s) taken offline until the end of the month. Neither is something you really want to happen for obvious reasons.

Server Type

This relates to the operating system than runs the web server. Common OS types include Windows, Linux and UNIX. This has no bearing on the OS of your own PC. The server type will also affect the server side scripting (see below) and database types. The difference between Windows server and Linux/UNIX is that Windows runs ASP and ASP.NET with Access or SQL Server databases where as Linux/UNIX servers usually runs CGI, PHP or JSP with MySQL or Oracle databases. The other difference is that Windows servers are more expensive than Linux/UNIX servers - Linux is an open source OS (in other words it’s free software) whereas Windows is a commercial application that you are doubtless familiar with if you are a PC user. Linux is probably more common because of this, but either will be satisfactory for most webmaster’s needs.

Server Side Scripting

PHP is the preferred server side scripting today because there are hundreds of open source or GPL PHP scripts available for webmasters to use. Many hosts include a collection of such scripts that can be quickly and easily be installed. However PHP does have its limitations and features required by some advanced websites as does the use of MySQL and some professional web developers still prefer to use ASP.NET or JSP while some prefer Cold Fusion, CGI, ASP or PERL.


There are various different types of databases available. The most commonly used is MySQL as it is open source GPL (free) software and can serve a lot of online applications’ requirements such as forums, blogs, content management, mailing lists, etc. Again however, it has its limitations and whilst normally sufficient for for smaller concerns it might not be powerful enough to cope with complicated large business sites. More powerful requirements are served better by databases such as Oracle or SQL Server.


Most people are familiar with email of course but in relation to hosting it is worth a quick explanation. Most paid hosting accounts will include email accounts accounts with the customer’s domain. The number and size of email accounts totally depends on the individual hosting plan. Generally this feature is not included in free hosting but there are some exceptions. Small plans provide as little as 10 accounts whereas some will place no limit on the number available to you. Usually these email accounts are web based and also accessible through POP3 clients. Having your own dot com email address is a must for those doing business online - far more professional than using a personal or free email account which can often be detrimental to the perception of your business.

File Transfer Protocol (FTP)

File Transfer Protocol is the common way of transferring files across the Internet. Most webmasters use FTP to upload and download their website’s contents. The process of uploading or downloading is performed by using FTP client software and there are many free programs available. An FTP username and password will be provided to hosting customers to enable them to access their web server. Some hosts provide more than one FTP account to their customers according to their requirements.

Uptime / Downtime

There is little point in having a website if it is constantly unavailable for visitors. Downtime (periods of unavailability) need to be kept to a minimum as they can be very costly in terms of lost opportunities and business. Most hosts will claim uptime as a percentage such as 99.9% and anything less is not desirable for a small or medium business. Nobody can truly guarantee 100% because hardware can never be relied on 100% but a host who offers guarantees as well as compensation for downtime is important. Mission critical sites cannot tolerate frequent outages and may use web monitoring services to notify hosts immediately a site goes down. Monitoring software is readily available for those who wish to keep a close eye on downtime.

Control Panel

The control panel is the web based interface used to administer all aspects of your websites and is fully explained in our free hosting ebook . It is where users manage things such as email accounts, statistics, FTP accounts, domains and sub-domains and databases. Some hosting companies use their own control panel and others will use third party applications such as cPanel, the most common Linux control panel in use today.

I hope this glossary, although not exhaustive, will be useful to newcomers and potential new hosting customers and clears up some of the terminology most commonly used.


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The Benefits of a Free Domain

Mon, 31 Mar 2008 11:52:23 +0000
James Rowe, Managing Director of Web Go, an Australian Web Hosting company, describes the results experienced after offering free domain names to web hosting customers.

Download the Web Hosting Show, Episode 147!
Running Time: 14 minutes | File Size: 6.29 MB

Announcing Magento One-Click Installer

Fri, 18 Apr 2008 23:22:20 +0000
Magento Containers now comes with a one-click installer for Magento. You can install Magento, with or without store sample data, in minutes by accessing your site’s control panel.

best web host reviews Items For Viewing

1 and 1 hosting has been around for a number of years, like most reputable
hosting companies they offer a large selection of hosting plans to fit most
webmasters / company needs. The domain was first registered in the
late summer of 1997, they have been doing business since I have been online
(about the same year).

While the prices are very competitive at 1 and 1 their customer service seams to
be lacking, many costumers have posted issues about poor customer service
(something that is very important when evaluating hosting companies). The
importance of good customer services becomes painfully clear when problems
arise. This is 1and1 biggest down fall and the reason for the sub par hosting
grade here on Cheap Hosting Reviews.Net

Services Offered:

As mentioned offers a wide selection of hosting plans and packages as
well as virtual private server, dedicated servers and click and go eCommerce
hosting options (they call these plans eshops). Where shines is their
uptime which steams from a robust set of data centers that have been built �from
the ground up using advanced technology�.

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