HolHost.com Blog Server administrators blog

12Feb/13Off

What is Virtual Hosting?

Detailed guide explaining what virtual hosting is.

Virtual reseller hosting offers the looks of a company's own server however the technical aspects of area sharing. Through virtual hosting, a developer will secure area on a server and have shared access to the server's options. Hosting firms offer this service by maintaining massive|an outsized|an oversized} server and thereon large server they maintain variety of virtual internet hosts. The machine examines that "name" it's being known as by and so responds fittingly. Thus, guests to the location enter through the name of the developer and so cannot acknowledge that another company's server really, hosts the location.

Simply explicit  by Crowder and Crowder (2000), virtual servers area unit "nothing over directories on a tough drive. The internetmaster will create all of the directories appear like it were a completely practical web server". With a virtual internet host, you may have your own identity, however you may not be needed to keep up the instrumentation.

Virtual hosting packages area unit the foremost common on the net and provide an expert and well-established hunt for personal and tiny business websites. Financially, the typical virtual hosting account runs between $15 and $30 per month. Ample area and information measure for little businesses, multiple email accounts, cgi-bin access, and a T3 affiliation area unit common account options. further fees area unit usually needed for additional advanced options together with information software system or SSL (secure server) practicality.

15Apr/11Off

What is a domain name?

A domain name is a text form of a corresponding numeric I.P. address of a computer on the Internet. A domain name makes it easier for us humans to remember than the I.P. address which consists of four numbers separated by dots (periods). For instance, it is simpler to grasp and recall www.biotechdesk.com than the I.P. of the computer that hosts this web site.

A domain name also called the URL or a web address must be unique because it specifies the location of a web site on a particular computer. Domain names consist of a series of words separated by dots and can contain only alphabet, numbers and the hyphen. Characters like the underscore, exclamation mark, colon etc. are not allowed. Initially, domain names could only be fifteen characters long, however, now you can have up to 67 characters in a domain name.

The domain name information is stored on Name Servers. These systems not only store just the domain name and its corresponding I.P. address but also other details such as the registrant name, the contact information, registration date, expiry date etc.

Where to register domain names?

To be valid and usable on the web, domain names need to be registered. There are hundreds (if not thousands) of companies who will register a domain name for you. I booked my first domain through Network Solutions which is the first and still the most reputed domain name registrar. I had to shell out USD 35.000 per year for that domain name.

Now with intense competition, companies are now ready to offer domains for very low prices and even free if you purchase web hosting from them. The cost of domain names differ from company to company and also depend on the top-level domain (TDL). For example, at the time of writing, .co.in was a tad more expensive than the ubiquitous dot-com.

You can register a domain name in a few minutes but it will belong to you only after all name servers in the world have been updated which is usually to 24-72 hours (nowadays, the time has been cut short to 14-18 hours).

With the WHOIS service you can check the availability of a domain name. You can find this service on any reputed domain anmename registration company web site.

How to book a domain name

Do not be hasty when registering a domain name and I say this from experience! I mean look at the domain name of this site - www.webdevelopersnotes.com. I agree that the domain name describes the web site content accurately but will I book such a long name again? No Siree!

Unfortunately I cannot even think of changing this domain name because the web site has become quite popular and I'll lose most of my visitors and any advantage this site has on search engine rankings if I do so. Any way, in addition to the popular .com domain names, there are tens of others like .ws, .info, .name, .net, .biz, .cc, .tv, .mobi etc. There are also country specific domain names like .co.uk, .co.in, .me.uk, .in, .jp, .de...
Which domain is the best for you depends on the kind of web site you plan to develop.

Where to register domain names?

Register a domain name

15Apr/11Off

Web Hosting Guide for Beginners

First and foremost, for non-IT savvy, it might be a little tough for them to comprehend the meaning of web hosting. I believe if you search it on any search engine, of course there will be answer and explanation for them. But, how far do you really understand? Honestly, when I first get to know this term few years back, I had problem understanding myself. Then, I found one simple explanation that might be easy for people to understand. So, today, if anyone were to ask me what is "web hosting", i'd explain as follows...

Imagine you are homeless and you want to rent a room or buy a house. In order to get a shelter for yourself, you need a room. So, you imagine yourself as the website and the room as the hosting that you need to place yourself in. That means your website need a web hosting. Then, that's the time you start finding yourself a web hosting provider. Here, web hosting provider would be the house owner who rents you the room. So, in order for your website to be available and browsed by Internet users, you need to make sure your website is hosted in a web server provided by a web hosting provider.

So, when you finally understand what web hosting is, next will be the time to find out more about the different types of web hosting available. You have shared hosting, dedicated hosting, reseller hosting, VPS hosting, and colocation hosting. You name it, the Internet has it! So many to remember and differentiate..so, let's get the ball rolling with...

Shared Hosting
Shared hosting means that a web server has its resources shared by many other websites. Or you can put it as, in a house, there are many tenants. Usually small or normal e-commerce businesses will choose this type of hosting. Websites with high traffic might not be able to choose this type of hosting due to insufficient webspace.

Dedicated Hosting
Dedicated hosting refers to hosting in which you rent a server from your web hosting provider and will be placed at your web hosting provider's datacentre. They will provide software installation and connection to Internet. This will indicates that the website owner has control over the server as they don't share it with other websites. In short, dedicated hosting is where only 1 user hosted on the server machine and have a full privilege over the server to manage it by themself. The server machine will be still belongs to the web hosting provider.

Colocation Hosting
Well, this hosting has the features which are almost the same as dedicated hosting EXCEPT that you provide your own server and web hosting provider just help you to plug it into their datacentre. You need to install own software and hardwares. Everything is DIY.

Reseller Hosting
Reseller Hosting is a hosting where the account owner has the priviledge to allocate the webspace and bandwidth access and resell them to his clients. This shows that reseller hosts act like a middleman and is usually not responsible for any software or hardware intallation. They only buy webspace and resell to clients.

VPS Hosting
VPS stands for Virtual Private Server. It is almost the same as dedicated server. Hence, it's sometimes called Virtual Dedicated Server. Generally, it means that the account owner has the feeling as though his owns a dedicated server. In real sense, it's actually separating a physical server into several independent hosting spaces or VPS-es, each isolated from the other.This will allow you to create and manage multiple sites and domains and take full control of your VPS with root/administrator access which allows you to access the virtual hard disk, RAM and to reboot your private server independently from other VPS-es.

Domain Name
After we are done with the different types of hosting, there is something else which I want to touch on. It is none other than the "domain name". So, ever wonder what is domain name? Wow, sounds technical? Not really actually. Don't be scared. Last time, when I saw the words domain name, it freaked me out too. Now, when I got used to it, it's not that nerve-wracking after all. So, domain name is just the normal web address or url (Uniform Resource Locator) you type in the "address" area when you open a browser. Examples of domain name are "exabytes.com". You know? Just the normal web address. Well, since it's a web address, it's a unique name. Hence, there will be no other same domain name. In fact, domain name is actually corresponding with numeric IP address. So, every domain name will have its numeric IP address. For example, the IP address for exabytes.com is 72.18.131.206

When you see exabytes.com, ever wonder ".com" stands for what? It actually stands for commercial. Whenever you see .com, .org, .net or others which ends after the final dot or period (.) of a url, it is known as top-level domain. It actually tells you what kind of website it is, indirectly. And the commonly used domain name extension nowadays will be .org, .net, .com. However, there are a lot of new domain extension up for grab lately such as .aero, .info, .museum, and .name. Next in the list that I shall explain is, Country Level Domain Name. Examples of country level domain name is exabytes.com.my. It has ".my" as its country code top-level domain (ccTLD). .my here represents the country "Malaysia". Of course, different country will have different ccTLD. For example, .jp stands for Japan, .au for Australia, .ca for Canada.

There are more to learn in order to excel in web hosting industry. Hopefully this simple guide will help all those novice out there. There are other things you need to know as well. But, it will be in my next article.

13Apr/11Off

What’s the Difference Between Unix and Windows Web Hosting?

So you're finally ready to publish your finished website and you're searching through the myriad of web hosting plans and providers. You may have noticed that most hosting companies use Linux or Unix operating systems on their web servers. Microsoft Windows is less commonly offered as a choice.  So what's the difference?Most people are familiar with Microsoft Windows having used it at home, work, or at school.  It is very easy to use for novices and it doesn't require command-line knowledge. In Windows Home and advanced Server editions, you can simply point and click your way to a different folder using your mouse.  Unix and Linux are open-source - meaning that the operating system is free and the source code is well documented and easily distributed. There are no major differences between Unix and Linux.  Unix is much older and cannot run on x86-based personal computers (like the one you're using now). In contrast, Linux can run on both high-powered servers and x86-based computers.

Linux is available in many flavors, though most hosting companies use Red Hat Linux, or Mandrake Linux, which are proven workhorses able to handle hundreds of websites and millions of hits per day.  FreeBSD and OpenBSD are versions of Unix which are also available. While ease-of-use is very important for a home or work computer, it is generally not a big issue when working with a web server. After all, you are doing most of your website design offline on your own computer. Unless you have very advanced programming or operating system-specific modules, you will not notice the difference between Windows and Unix servers.

Both Linux/Unix and Windows can handle high traffic websites and add-ons such as chat rooms, email and website statistics with ease. The biggest differences are price and software compatibility. Because Windows must be purchased and licenses renewed continuously, Windows hosting plans are usually more expensive than Unix-based plans. Also Unix-based plans often come with free email, databases (MySQL), statistic, and community programs. While Windows plans come with Microsoft software (MS SQL, for example) that must be purchased by the hosting company.

Both Linux and Windows platforms can run popular programming languages such as php, perl, or java. If your website uses active server pages, then it will be less risky hosting it on a Windows server. Well it still may function on a Unix server, there may be small glitches that are not immediately apparent. Similarly, if you are using with Microsoft SQL databases, these databases will be supported by most Windows plans. However, Linux or Unix plans often include MySQL which would require that your databases be converted to this format in order to function properly. If you are currently using any Microsoft programming (especially active server pages) or third-party applications (MS SQL 2000), you may want to play it safe and choose a Windows hosting plan.

From the average web designer's standpoint, there isn't much difference between hosting on Linux/Unix or Windows web servers. However, before signing up for a hosting plan, ensure that all facets of your site's design, programming, databases and the like will work with that plan. If you are unsure, ask the company's sales or technical staff before you commit.

12Apr/11Off

What is web hosting?

The Internet offers opportunities for anyone motivated enough to start a business of their own or "try" something different, and the opportunities are almost endless. Have you ever dreamed of running your own web site, your own piece of the "dot com" pie? It all starts with a great idea, but to get a successful website up and running it needs a little effort. Anyone can create a revenue-generating website with time, energy, and the few dollars a month it takes to host it. And, like creating a brick-and-mortar business, creating a website can be as much about expressing personal development and providing the world with a service as it is about earning a living.

So, to do business online you must have a website. Why? There are many answers to this question. Some of the most important reasons to establish an Internet presence are:

1. Increased credibility. It's a proven fact that a professional, well-designed site has a good impact on the customer's confidence in your company. It shows that you are up-to-date and you care about your customers by offering them a convenient way to contact you and to learn about your products and services. Using the Internet to search for services and products is much easier and faster than searching by hand through the Yellow Pages.

2. A 24/7 International presence. Your website is available for your potential customers 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. With a website, you open yourself up to a world of opportunity in reaching people who might not otherwise find you. When your offices are closed you can be sure that your website is open to showcase your products and services and answer your customer's questions.

3. A powerful sales tool. Your customers will be able to reach your services and products in their own time. You can save money on printing costs for brochures, coupons, flyers, newsletters, and other mailings. Of course, a website doesn't exclude the traditional forms of marketing, but rather complements them.

But if you are here, chances are that you already have a website or considering having one, so let's proceed to the next step: hosting a website.

Hosting a website

A website is basically a set of files linked among them through a navigation system. More complex sites will have buttons, forms and extended functionality with a database to store emails, requests, products characteristics, etc. but in the end they come down to the same thing: a collection of files. So, hosting a website is the process of making those files available to the Internet users. To make the website available to the Internet users you need:

  • A computer connected to the Internet where the files will be stored;
  • A software called web server (for example Apache Web Server) that will "serve" the files to the visitors;
  • A way to make the visitors find your site.

Why can't you use your own computer to host your website? It has already an Internet connection and that Apache Server shouldn't be so hard to install. Well, it's not that simple. There are a few technical aspects to be considered. Hosting a website implies the following:

  1. Be Online. If you shut down your computer, your web server will also shut down, making the website inaccessible. If your computer's hardware or software fails and you need to change a component or restart it, the time until it's back up will count as downtime for your site.
  2. Have a dedicated IP address. If you are behind a router then you most likely don't have a "real" IP address so you have to forward the traffic. Also, your ISP (Internet Service Provider) might change the IP for your computer from time to time. More about this in the next article:  register a domain name.
  3. Resources. Hosting the website in a home server will use part of the hardware resources (disk space, memory, CPU power) and part of the total bandwidth that you pay for.
  4. The need for additional software. If a simple site needs only a web server running, more complex sites need additional software installed. For example, if you need a database you must install a SQL server (MySQL, Oracle, etc.), if you need functionality and forms processing, you need PHP, Perl, ASPx or other similar software installed.