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Web Hosting

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What is Web Hosting?

A web hosting service provides a service that allows individuals and businesses
to post web pages to the internet. A web hosting service provider sells or for
free (with advertisements on the web page) is a business that provides the
servers and technologies to view web-sites on the internet.

Web hosting services are services that customers can utilize after they have
purchased monthly dial up or broadband services that allow them access to the
internet. Web hosting services use hosting and client architecture to load
content to the server so web pages and information can be viewed on the
internet in its original HTML format.

A web hosting company will offer clients access to a server that will provide
the clients' content to individuals on the World Wide Web after they make a URL
or domain name request. To view pages on the web, you must have a web browser,
such as Microsoft Internet Explorer or Netscape Navigator to request the web
page from the server after you have purchased internet access.

Web sites are pages that are stored on a computer called a server. The server
is a part of a network of computers on the internet or World Wide Web that
allows users of the internet to reach your site anywhere in the world at
anytime. The internet is open 24 hours, seven days a week around the clock.

Host computers are configured so that when your URL or domain name is typed in,
the address will use a pointer routine (look for the address from terminal to
terminal) until it reaches the computer that hosts your web-site. Then, if all
is okay, your web site should display itself on the users screen.

Hosting companies require that you buy your URL or domain name first before you
purchase hosting services. Most hosting companies have a package that will allow
you to buy the domain name and hosting at the same time.

Web Server Hosting Types

There are different types of hosting services that you can choose from
depending on what type of web development and web site that you want to host.

Dial-Up Access Hosting -- This is the most basic access/hosting service and
these providers also provides a web page for hosting your site. Dial-up access
hosting was the first hosting available and is still around. Most ISP's
specialize in just internet access and it's rare that you will see an ISP do
both. These companies make their money off of providing access to the Internet.

Development Hosting -- Web site developers are buying their own servers and
offering independent hosting services for their clients. This is called
development hosting in which they provide web development services along with a
host server located at their place of business. The consumer gets charged for
the development and the maintenance of the web-site.

Web-Hosting ISP's. -- These are companies that specialize in hosting business
web sites. There is no dial up access needed and site owners access their pages
via File Transfer Protocol (FTP). This is what the majority of small businesses
use to put their site information on the internet. Other services are also
included in the Web Hosting ISP package depending on their service plans.

These types of hosting plans are usually for corporations that need a lot of
bandwidth to run their web applications. These companies run T1 access lines
for big packets of internet data and have multiple connections to an internet
backbone. They have fully staffed data processing facilities and the prices are
substantial for using these types of services.

Corporate/Industrial Hosting -- Companies like Hewlett Packard, Dell or IBM,
run the server infrastructure for most of these host companies.

The SOHO business owner will usually need the Web-Hosting ISP services. It is
the middle ground between the basic and advanced services.

How to Pick a Hosting Provider

How do you choose a hosting provider when there are thousands of hosting
companies available online? It's like going through the yellow pages trying to
find burger restaurants. There are lots of them. Hopefully these tips will
steer you in the right direction.Important factors in selecting a web hosting
company include the percentage of server uptime. 98 to 99% uptime is the dream
standard for server uptime, 65% is unacceptable. The higher the downtime of a
server, the lower the potential for traffic at your web site. Another
consideration is how much space is provided for the files that will make up
your web site. How much bandwidth is in your package? Monthly bandwidth is the
amount of data transfer allowed for visitors to view and use your web site.

With today's changing trends in web hosting services, it is important to get as
much server space and bandwidth as you can. This will allow for necessary
updates and increased traffic to your site as it becomes more popular.

It is equally important when purchasing business web hosting that CGI access is
provided; along with features such as MySQL, Real Audio, Real Video, and Cold
Fusion (which some companies sell as an add on component). A crucial feature
necessary for doing ecommerce is SSL, or Secure Socket Layer. This encrypts all
order and credit card information until it reaches you. An SSL certificate can
be purchased from most web hosting providers. Displaying it on your ecommerce
web site verifies that your site transactions are safe and secure.

We've talked about this before in other articles. You will need a domain name
that reflects the nature of your business. For instance, a sports business
might have a URL that is www.coloradosports.com . To get your own unique domain
name, you must first check the availability of the name with a domain name
search, offered by domain registrars such as Network Solutions.

There are many service providers to choose from. If you do your homework,
you'll find some good deals that will fit your budget.

Picking a Type of Web Hosting Service

There are various types of web hosting services and it all depends on what you
want to accomplish in building your web-site for your business. You should look
at the different options which depend on these following factors:

Complexity of your web-site -- You may want to talk to a developer on the
complexity of your web-site, especially when it comes to graphics and database
administration. You may have to consult with an internet specialist on the type
of hosting that you need.

Some web hosting services are provided for free but you have to put up with ads
that are on the top or bottom of your web site and those ads might not be
conducive to the web site that you have developed. If you are going to get a
site with ads, then get a free web hosting package that matches with the online
ad that's already there.

Free hosting also has low bandwidth on the internet because of so many people
using the free service instead of the paid service. Basically, you also get a
free web email account with free hosting services.

Then there is hosting that you pay for that you have more control over when you
load and host your web site. You get POP mail access and can create as many
emails as you want to which depends on the type of account that you pay for.

Every company has special packages for each and every need. From personal to
business servers, even servers for special kinds of operating systems (UNIX,
Windows, Linux and Apple) the choices vary depending on what you want to do.

The prices depend on how much space you need on the server to load your
applications so you have to take into consideration what you want to put on the
server through your web-site.

Get the Best Web Hosting Plan

If and when you're interested in starting an online business, there are a lot
of things that you have to study first before you can rightfully expect a high
return on investment.

First, make sure that your company website has a user friendly interface which
basically means links are visible, easily located and properly labeled and that
the content provided in the website is complete, interesting, effective and
grammatically correct.

There's the matter of search engine optimization or SEO which requires you to
employ a number of strategies that your company website is heard and seen by
the right people. Common search engine optimization strategies would be keyword
listing, site code optimization and top search engine placement.

Optimize your plan by understanding web hosting. No matter how great your
website looks or how effective your SEO strategies are, if you don't have the
right web hosting plan, none of those would see the light of the day because
your web hosting plan simply prevents them from being properly uploaded and
viewed.

Web hosting is important to your plans if you want your website to have its own
niche in the Internet so do read carefully what we're about to teach you.

You have a couple of choices when it comes to web hosting -- you can get it for
free or you can spend for it. Naturally, it would be lovely if web hosting would
be free for all of us but understand that all the needs of your company website
must be met by the free web hosting plan if you want your future to look rosy.
These are key issues to address.

Are you willing to deal with advertisements that may take too much space or
would have an irritable effect on your readers? These ads are often required by
free web hosting plans because it's the only reason they can continue letting
people enjoy free web hosting.

Are you "cool" with low bandwidth access and minimal web space?

If you're not okay with the following facts I presented, then I suggest you go
with a web consultant and let them handle all of your work.

Free and Cheap -- Web Space Options for the Thrifty At Heart

There are some good deals on the internet concerning web space and hosting but
you have to look to find the best deals. You should also consider how long a
provider has been in business.

Finding free web space on the Internet is simple. All you have to do is use a
simple Web search (Google, AltaVista or Yahoo) and the results should bring
back options for free web space. There are many individuals and businesses
looking for a place to put their website without having to pay for the service.
These free services can provide anywhere from 5MB to 100Mb of online web space
for hosting your web site.

Free sites also come with some cool stuff, such as counters, guest books,
virtual domain names, tracking logs, blogs, copy and past scripts that are
usually Java code scripts and more. These additions are good for people that
have little or no knowledge into building a web site.

A free service provides benefits to all people and may sound like a good idea
but the goal is to do your research to see if the deals are viable or not. Free
services can also bring other unwanted things that you have to deal with when
you sign up for the service. Usually, you have to submit to advertising and
surveys by filling out a form before you can get your free service. Be sure
that you read the user agreements that come with the free services.

You can go on the cheap and don't want advertisements running on your site, you
can get a service similar to free hosting but you would have to pay a small fee
to keep your web page ad-free. Some of these providers will offer you a service
for $2.95 a month with 100MB of web space if that's all that you need, and you
can always upgrade your packages.

There's a lot of competition for your Web site hosting dollars, and you can
find some pretty good deals if you look hard enough.

Using Free Hosting Services

Free web hosting is the most basic web hosting service that you can obtain and
there are many free hosting companies that are available on the internet. Free
hosting services are usually financed by advertisements on web sites that are
hosted.

Free web hosting services are extremely limited. If you get a free hosting
service you will have ads on the top and the bottom of your web-site and
depending on what your web-site is all about, it may not fit at all but for
people starting out on the internet it may be the best option if you don't have
a lot of traffic or just a small site.

The type of web domain that you receive when you get a free web hosting is a
subdomain with the name that you pick (yourname.webhost.com) or a name in a
directory (yourname.webhost.com). For example, if the name of your free host is
freestanding.com, Then your web domain would be yourbusiness.freestanding.com.

As stated before, if you are a novice, this is the type of account that you
would probably want to get but there are some shortcomings to free web hosting
if you are looking for more options on the account.

First, many free hosting accounts do not support database management or what
you would call in simple terms, putting data structures on the free web host
side of their server. Databases are usually used for online data retrieval
routines. Many of these free web hosting sites do not support a common package
called mySQL which allows you to program queries into your web sites.

They also don't support multiple e-mail accounts. Most free web hosting service
only gives you one email account and it's usually a web based internet account.
The host does not include modules for Flash Programming, PHP and Dynamic
Hypertext Markup Language (DHMTL).

In summary, free web hosting is for novices who want an easy hosting option
without many bells and whistles.

Putting Your Web Site on the Internet

You need a web server to put your web site on the internet. Sometimes, owning
and maintaining a web server can cost money and it requires someone who knows
what they are doing to maintain the server and the web-site.

A web host can do this for you. They provide equipment and other technical
programs that are required to build a customer a web-site. These hosting
companies charge a monthly fee for the service of storing your web site and
allowing your web site to be seen on the internet. Within that fee, it allows
web-site visitor traffic to flow through their servers so people can view your
site on the internet.

The physical web server does not reside at the consumers home or business which
means that the web host services are designated as outsourced services. This
means that the hosting organization that you choose has the responsibility to
maintain your site structure, files and web pages.

Many web hosts provide excellent services that really assist individuals and
business owners. All the weight of maintaining the host servers and application
fall on the hosting company and not the individual and as a business owner, this
is great because there are so many technical routines that you have to do daily
to maintain a server.

When you pick a web host to handle your internet server needs, you achieve the
following:

- You streamline your internet costs getting the maximum from your hosting
  provider;

- Work with knowledgeable technicians;

- and pass IT control functions to the host so you won't have to worry about
  maintaining servers and other equipment.

You can self publish your site and use the web host to handle the technical
aspects of server management. The host that you choose will give you the
capability to load your own site to the server for updates and revisions to
your web page. Web hosting doesn't include developing your site (unless they
have a special development program) or the development of certain customized
programs. You can develop the programs (web-site or server side code) or have
someone do it for you.

Web hosting is offered in multiple formats based on cost and infrastructure.

What Is A Domain Name?

A domain is a name that identifies IP addresses on the internet. The domain
name Yahoo.com represents about fifteen (15) IP addresses. Domain names are
used to identify Web pages. For example, in the URL
http://www.gohome.com/index.html, the domain name is gohome.com.

You register a domain name by registering with a domain name services
registrar. The domain name industry is regulated and overseen by ICANN, which
is an organization responsible for providing standards and procedures for
certifying companies as domain name registrars.

Domain name registration has grown over the years. Network Solutions was the
first domain name registrar to ever provide such a service. That was over ten
years ago but today there are many accredited registrars. Only a domain name
registrar is permitted to access and modify the master database domains that
are on InterNIC servers. The fee is determined by the registrar as far as
getting a domain name and some registers have special domain name packages.

Do You Really Need a Domain Name?

You use a domain name to create an identity on the World Wide Web and domain
names can also be used for branding purposes, such as Wal-Mart, K-Mart, etc. In
picking a domain name, the title shouldn't stray far from what your company is
all about. This will allow you to market your web-site as a subsidiary of your
business and put your domain name on business cards and advertisements.

Once you select a domain name, you must register it with a domain name
registrar. This is a task you can do easily. Many ISPs offer a complete package
that includes hosting and the registering of the domain name for you. Fees
probably will include a one time set-up fee for all of the backend technical
work that needs to be accomplished. Then pay your service provider a monthly,
semi-annual or annual fee for Web site hosting services.

Many domain registrar services have competent online tools to help you get your
domain name and hosting site up and running.

Using Unmanaged Host Services

If you are a customer that wants total control of your web site administrative
functions then you might want to look at unmanaged web hosting services to give
you complete remote control administration over your server. The technical side
of the server can be controlled by a designated administrator that you pick to
handle your web information.

You have to have a technical person to install the server and manage the server
if you don't have the expertise because you as the customer will be responsible
for maintaining the server environment. That's why unmanaged servers are
recommended for individuals and businesses with server administration resources.

As far as developing applications and controlling the applications without
going through technical support personnel on the managed server side, these
types of servers are usually used when companies are developing real time
response systems on the internet, such as geographical, science, engineering
and multimedia/entertainment applications.

Unmanaged servers allow you to add extra hard disk space to increase your space
capacity and many computer companies sell physical servers that are configured
for unmanaged hosting applications. Companies like Dell and HP have software
programs that not only will run an office network but also handle web server
and development applications.

Small businesses that don't need a server on site and deal with administrative
web packages should go with the managed host packages that provide assistance
and administrative support. Managed applications will do just fine because of
the costs that are incurred with maintaining an unmanaged server. Unmanaged
servers need constant upgrades of software and hardware constantly which could
cost your small business a big chunk of change.

Unmanaged servers are expensive to maintain and run unless you are a small firm
that develops in house web applications. The best advice is to have a consultant
draw up an IT plan to see if you need this type of hosting service or not.

Using Subdomains -- Benefits and Drawbacks

Most businesses don't like to use subdomains because they feel like they give
them a disadvantage in many areas, such as having a prefix name before your
web-site, being ignored by bots and index spiders in search engines and all in
all, it just doesn't look right. So let's check our facts on subdomains.

A subdomain is substitute or second-level of a domain. A regular domain looks
as follows: www.jamesbrown.com. A sub domain looks like this:

http://bravenet.jamesbrown.com. Subdomains do not have www on the front of
them. All subs start with "http://subdomain/maindomain.com pattern of
identification.

Subdomains rank efficiently well. Search engine spiders and bots are not
prejudiced when it comes to the ranking of subdomains and regular domains. As
long as your site has the right SEO keywords and has been optimized, whether
you have a subdomain or regular domain name doesn't make a difference at all.

Let's pretend that you site has a lot of categories in it. If you were to
submit to a search engine, you could submit each subdomain as its own
individual category and still get a good ranking. Each subdomain would be
looked at by search engines as a new site with its own index or home page. You
may want to try creating subfolders on the subdomain to get around this so that
search engines can read the folder as one set of site information.

People worry about their subdomain getting banned if the main domain name is
banned. If the main domain is banned, it will have an effect on the subdomain.
You see this happen often in adult content sites that have violated certain
agreements that they have signed with a provider that does not want a domain
used for adult material.

Again, there is nothing wrong with using a subdomain. If you want to develop
each subdomain as its own entity, then by all means, do so. If not, get
yourself a main domain name and use that as a certified landing page.

Using MySQL in a Hosting Environment

MySQL is a heavy-duty database server. Used with various software languages,
most notably PHP, and part of the LAMP family (which is comprised of Linux,
Apache, MySQL, and PHP),

Whether it's a customer relations management list or medical records, any data
you have that needs storing, is stored on a database. You will need a database
management system to add, access, edit, and process data in your databases, and
MySQL is one of the best and most comprehensive packages on the market. MySQL
can also be used as a relational database management system, which means it can
store data in various tables that can communicate with one another rather than
all in one large "storeroom" of data.

You can run MySQL as a server in your local device or in a remote server. All
you need to access your MySQL databases and MySQL functionality is your server
name (such as the name server of your MySQL web hosting provider) or the
appropriate IP address. You can then input your various commands, most likely
using PHP scripts, to interact with your various databases. These commands are
written on programming scripts.

When choosing a MySQL web hosting provider, you'll want to consider some
additional factors beyond the standard uptime, backup/redundancy systems,
bandwidth, email, and bandwidth concerns.

* Databases: If you're seeking a MySQL web hosting provider, you're surely
planning on making databases a significant part of your web-presence. You
therefore need to find a MySQL hosting provider that offers you at least as
many data structures as you might need. A host that promotes itself as a MySQL
hosting provider must offer its clients with multiple websites at least five
databases.

* Interface: You'll be working with your databases intimately and frequently.
You'll want a MySQL hosting provider that's designed its admin interface with
the MySQL user in mind. If you have various staff-members involved in the
building and maintenance of your various tables and databases, you'll want to
be able to create multiple user I.D.'s to allow varying degrees of secure
access. CPanel is a good administrative dashboard to have for MySQL databases.

* CRON support: A cron helps you to run specific scripts for regular, routine
tasks to be run at periodic intervals. A MySQL hosting provider should allow
you to set up and manage crons from your admin control panel. These scripts are
also good for Preventive Maintenance routines.

* PHP Info: The most common script for MySQL databases is PHP. A MySQL hosting
provider with PHP extensions enabled is likely to be more frustrating than
useful to you. By checking into a prospective MySQL hosting provider's PHP
capabilities, you can ensure compatibility between your scripting language and
your database management, thus saving yourself tons of trouble and loads of
regrets later on.

Remember, if you are running MySQL databases; make sure that you get a host
that specializes in MySQL hosting.

Using Managed Dedicated Web Hosting

Managed dedicated web hosting is for an individual or company that wants
storage and bandwidth without the restrictions that you get by choosing a free
web hosting service. If you have a site which you want to have more bells and
whistles programmed into it, then managed dedicated hosting is the way to go.

Dedicated services give you more email addresses, sometimes up to 500
addresses. It also has storage to support basic database applications on the
server side of the web host. This allows for the development of applications
that enable you to store data on the server side also and have queries and
other types of program and programming scripts embedded into your web-site.

But the key to these kinds of servers are the bandwidth that's available to the
user. Monthly bandwidth can range from 500 to 1000GB for the user.

That's good for your basic SOHO business or home office because if you're
running a small audio or flash application or database on your site, this type
of hosting service should do just fine. Also, you can assign the other email
accounts to co-workers, family members or whoever you want to.

When you are running web applications over 1,000GB, that's when you should
consider steeping up your web hosting package. There are various types of web
plans based on the types of internet applications that you are developing for
your business. For example, if you are developing online streaming video
content for your site, then you might want to go past the 1000GB limit on your
account and get more bandwidth.

As a SOHO or company grows, the need for more bandwidth is paramount especially
if you have an intranet in your office or you have people accessing the back end
of your web-site to load data from various locations.

Dedicated web hosting is what the majority of individuals and small businesses
use until they start growing out of their bandwidth. They usually upgrade their
web hosting packages and buy more storage and bandwidth.

Using JSP as a Host Server

JSP Hosting Basics JSP Hosting is a Java hosting program that has many
similarities to Microsoft ASP. JSP hosting refers to the ability to run and
manage Java Server Pages. Even though Java Server Pages (JSP) is quite similar
to Microsoft's Active Server Pages (ASP) JSP does have slight differences in
the hosting environment.

Java Server Pages is a server-side language that uses simple tag-based codes
inserted into HTML and XML to produce dynamic and interactive web pages that
are platform independent, meaning that by all rights they should appear exactly
the same on every computer screen, regardless of the platform. This is the
result when your publish yoy JSP-coded website on a JSP-supported Java hosting
provider.

JSP allows web designers combine dynamically generated HTML in with their
standard, static HTML code. While most CGI programs require you to compose the
entire website in that one program, JSP allows you to compose the dynamic
aspects and the static aspects of your site separately.

Java Hosting which includes JSP support would be the logical choice of any web
designer wishing to eliminate the irritating need to repeat work they've
already done. Java hosting, and JSP hosting specifically, would also be an
efficient choice for those web designers working with a team.

One of the greatest aspects about JSP is that you don't need to learn Java to
use it and it's practically built into programs like Macromedia Dreamweaver MX.
JSP's use a variety of simple tags. The following are some of the most basic and
common ones: 

* Directives: (%@directive%) Instructions processed when the page is compiled 

* Hidden Comments: (--comment--) Document the page, not sent to the client 

* Declarations: (%!declaration%) Declare methods or variables with scope
  throughout the page. 

* Expressions: (%=expression%) A bit more complicated to explain, expressions 
  produce results which are then inserted into the output stream at the 
  appropriate place 

* Scriptlets: (%scriptlet%) A fragment of code that can access a declared 
  variable and execute it at a defined time. 

* Actions: (jsp:action) An XML-style tag that can perform any of a slew of
  functions

So if you are running JSP, remember that you need to have a host that provides
JSP runtime modules on the host side of your web server so that you can run the
appropriate scripts.




Using cPanel to Manage Your Host Files

CPanel is an easy user-interface site that lets you control your host account
environment. The main peculiarity of this operating system is that it so simple
to use that your below average computer user can't mess it up. It's got great
features embedded into its panel and some of the features are listed below.

Site Tools

There are such tools available for your use, which are Web Protect (.htaccess
editor), Custom error pages, Redirects, Ability to edit MIME types, Ability to
edit Apache handlers, Install/Uninstall FrontPage Extensions, Search engine
tool submitting and File Manager.

Email

The email program provides you with the possibility to add, remove, and change
passwords while managing email accounts. CPanel is also provided by Webmail for
the accounts, Auto responders, Forwarders, Mailing Lists, Spam filtering and
some more.

Backup

Backup allows you to create copies of account files and databases. The backup
menu also allows you to download any automatic backups that were downloaded by
your CPanel administrator.

Stats

Here are different tools to survey your site popularity and efficiency. Those
are Webalizer web stats, Webalizer FTP stats, Analog stats, AWStats, View
latest visitors, View bandwidth usage and View error log modules.

FTP

There is a module that controls FTP accounts (add, remove, change password for
its access), Anonymous FTP controls; Ability to change FTP login message and
Ability to kill FTP sessions.

Advanced Stuff

You have an ability to add or remove subdomains, Subdomain Redirects and its
Stats.

Advanced Tools

You are provided with tools of SSH access tools, Manage GPG keys and Cron jobs.

There are also Pre-Installed CGI Scripts. Those are Interchange Cart, Agora
Cart, Bulletin Board, Java Chat, HTML Chat, phpMyChat, CGI Wrapper (for
non-suexec installs), Random HTML generator, Advanced Guestbook, Counter
Generator, Java Clock Generator, Java Countdown Generator, Secure FormMail
clone, CGIEmail, Entropy Search, Entropy Banner. Network Tools are DNS Lookup
and Traceroute. Database Management tools includes Managing MySQL databases and
phpMyAdmin access.

For beginners, CPanel has a lot of options that are easy to use. CPanel works
with most of browsers, such as IE, Opera, Firefox and others.

The Nuts and Bolts of UNIX Hosting

UNIX hosting involves a machine configured on a UNIX platform which is a
multi-user computer operating system designed primarily for servers and
advanced users. UNIX provides the base operating system architecture for many
open source companies, such as Solaris (Sun Microsystems), Linux (GNU), and
others. In regards to web hosting, choosing the UNIX web hosting alternative
has its advantages and disadvantages.

UNIX has been around for years and it was the language of choice for midframe
computer users. Windows actually copied the UNIX file naming convention
technique when they created Microsoft Windows.

UNIX hosting is cheaper than Windows hosting. Because most web hosts use the
free version of UNIX (like Linux), they don't have to compensate for huge
overhead expenses which you have with any Windows Operating System. Savings is
passed to customers. In addition, those who use UNIX hosting usually get free
tools and applications that have been written primarily for the UNIX community.
Since UNIX hosting is an "open system", its source code is publicly available
for free from various web sites.

This allows web developers working for various companies and for different
purposes to add rapid development of applications quickly. As a result,
improvements come fast and problems are quickly resolved.

The main disadvantage of using UNIX hosting is that your provider may only
allow access to your account via Telnet or SSH. As are result, you must have a
strong working knowledge of UNIX commands in order to customize to your
requirements. You may find yourself spending a lot of time learning the basics
before you can enjoy the free advantages of UNIX hosting but learning the UNIX
language is not that hard at all.

When considering the UNIX operating system and UNIX hosting, you need to
consider your own technical abilities. Then take a look at the special features
offered by each system and hosting company in light of the available technology
and -- sometimes more importantly -- your budget.

The Mystery behind Domain Names

There are approximately 68 million .COM domains registered. That's a lot of
domain names out on the Internet that are either already taken or just parked
in some obsolete spot gathering dust and all kinds of age. The most common
names like loser.com. Jamesbrown.com are already taken by net investors who
resell the rights to the names. Can you imagine someone having www.elvis.com ?
He's just waiting on the highest bidder!

There are 900 possible combinations for two letter sequences. If you're looking
for "ET" then you just won't find it! Even allowing for digits, again every
single web address is taken. Of course, that's ignoring the fact that .COM
registrars now mandate a 3-character minimum length, so it wouldn't be an
option.

Many of the three-letter sequences are taken. Adding digits to a domain name
creates a number of garbage domain entries. If you're dying to acquire great
domains and unique domain names, they'll free up sometimes only to be auctioned
off through unique domain name sales.

The longer the domain name that you choose, the more that the possibilities are
that it could be available presuming that you're willing to accept an arbitrary
sequence of letters and/or digits. For example, most organizations have 4
letter acronyms (WQAM.com and AFTA.org so you may have a chance using over 4
letters to get the domain name that you want in acronym style!

Of course many of the registered domains are ever, visited, with a huge
percentage having nothing more than a "parked page" (users pay domain
registrars to put up ads for themselves on these type of parked pages). There
are so many combinations and back door tricks to domain name cataloging and
classification until the possibilities are endless.

The rule is to obtain a domain name that closely resembles who you are about
which gives you and identity and brand on the internet.

Templates for E-Commerce Web Hosting

Creating a professional website can be challenging. E-commerce web design is
really a complex animal. To cut development time, many web hosting companies
start offering web hosting templates or hosting with templates.

Whether you're looking for a simple web site or a functional e-commerce
website, the chances are that you may be able to find a few web templates from
your hosting company. A simple web template may cost under $20 dollars, but a
well-designed professional e-commerce website will cost a few hundreds or more
if not thousands. The cost of web templates is still cheap comparing to
custom-made e-commerce websites when Web designers charge anywhere from $20 to
$100 per hour. If you want to check out some templates, go to www.templates
box.com

Besides the requirements of standard web hosting plans, Web hosting templates
for e-commerce operations needs a shopping cart that supports online catalog
and online payment processing (here's a clue, pick Pay Pal). Web templates for
e-commerce often include common pages and navigations for online shopping --
searching or browsing products, adding items to shopping carts and making
payment. The web templates for e-commerce do not include or connect to any
specific shopping cart. It's up to the webmasters to add shopping cart to the
site.

The alternative e-commerce hosting to web templates is e-commerce turnkey
solution. EBay Stores, Yahoo! and GoDaddy.com are the most popular turn-key
e-commerce solutions for small businesses that want to setup online stores
easily. Different hosting plans may have different free structures. The cost of
each hosting plan often varies on transaction volume.

When comparing functionality, there're many questions to ask:

1) whether a shopping cart accepts online check or debit card.

2) Whether there's a limit on the number of products and categories that you
   can setup;

3) whether it automatically sends out an email notification once an order is
   placed at your web-site.

When looking at the cost of commerce operation, you'll need to ask questions
about

1) what's the basic monthly fee for transactions;

2) is there's a setup fee for a new online store;

3) how about handling taxes?;

4) how much it charges for each transaction.

Talk with your hosting service on e-commerce issues and discuss the best plan
to go with.

Switching to a New ISP Provider

What do you do when an ISP providers' level of service has decreased or the
provider has just closed shop? You don't panic; all you have to do is switch to
a new provider. If you know how these ISP services work, then switching over to
a new provider will not be as rough or bad as you think. All it takes is having
a contingency plan.

There are two components to internet ISP services which include the physical
network connection to your SOHO or small office and the connection to network
services so you can retrieve email or look at a web-site. Most SOHO businesses,
no matter how big or small, will have network integration. This is also called a
Wide Area Network. The connection through the network allows you to physically
connect to the internet to look at web pages, use instant messaging or manage
email accounts or use your email account.

This wide area network connects your computers to the internet. The services
that you get out of the network depend on your network configuration. Again,
the type of internet service you get should depend on what's available in your
area and how much bandwidth you need for business applications to be run or
developing server side applications for your hosting account.

Many people rely on their own mail server or Web-site on their network, while
many other business owners rely on their outside hosting providers.

You should also look at the types of access that you want. Should you consider
keeping the same kind of bandwidth, downgrade or upgrade according to company
needs? Right now, the hottest access going is DSL transmissions because it uses
existing phone wires or cable modem. Cable and Broadband similarities are the
same depending on what part of the country that you live in. Any choice that
you make is going to be driven by price and availability.

Paying For ISP Internet Access

Choosing ISP services can be real tricky and the rule of thumb is to pay for
those services that you only need. Instead of plunking down change for all the
bells and whistles. The typical small business web-site, four to seven pages,
could choose a virtual hosting service with multiple email addresses, cgi-bin
access and a T3 connection from the Internet for $19 to $27 per month.

Most small businesses pick the managed server hosting packages which could
range from $3.95 a month to $20 a month. As stated before, these hosting
packages have all the administrative support that you need and all you have to
worry about is the development of your web-site. You are given an FTP client to
load your site to the internet.

Socket Security Certificates cost extra for secure transactions of the
financial type through your web page and you expect to pay at least $40 to $80
per month. The setup fees can be expensive and cost as much as $55, and
sometimes more if you order special features. Large companies and high volume
web sites pay more for certain types of services.

Shop around and get the best deal for your business. You can get web hosting
through the internet from anywhere but you have to really study the ISP's and
see what they offer.

A big concern in choosing an ISP should be the response time in case a server
goes down. How does the server respond during high traffic times on the server?
You would have to ask the ISP representative what their percentage ranking is as
far as server downtime.

You can find some of these rankings on the internet by going to cnet.com or use
the Google search engine to rate the top ten ISP providers that have the best
percentage of what the industry calls, "up" time according to their servers.

Optimizing Your Site with SEO

Search Engine Optimization is a way to get directories and search engines to
give your web-site a better indexing position so that customers or anyone who
is looking for your web-site can see it. The higher you are in the search
engines and directories, the better chance you'll have doing business on the
internet.

Here are simple steps to optimize your web-site:

Step 1: Modify your web-site -- This step includes adding optimized content to
all pages in the website.

Step 2: Add tags -- Add or make changes to Meta tags, Title tags, H1 tags, H2
tags and alt tags for images, after keywords research.

Step 3: Link building A, Website statistics monitoring and conversion tracking
There are offline tools that you can use to optimize your web site and it all
involves your URL or your Web Domain name. I would put my web domain name on
business cards, stationery, have a sign on my car, use bumper stickers or have
tee shirts and coffee mugs made with the URL. I would do everything to advertise 
my web-site offline. This is called offline optimization of your web-site.

So web site optimization is both and online and offline deal. Online, you must
use keywords to attract customers and get good search engine rankings and
offline, you can advertise your URL to the public to get the to visit your web
site.

Linux Unix options for Small Businesses

Linux/Unix is an alternate type of system that provides hosting for small
businesses and companies that run Linux/Unix applications on their personal
computers and laptops. The Linux/Unix-based platform is stable platform in the
industry.

The Linux operating system was developed by Linus Torvalds as an alternative to
other operating systems. Most of its versions are free of costs. The most
popular Linux software is Red Hat and Mandrake.

Linux/Unix was only for professionals until a few years ago but the situation
has changed. Many 'small businesses have switched to the Linux/Unix platform
because of its open source architecture, meaning that users can structure the
system to do what they want it to do.

Web host providers are specializing in Linux/Unix servers and the demand for
this type of interface has grown by 40% over the last three years. A Unix-based
platform is one of the most reliable operating system that you can ever have. It
has a better up time than Microsoft Operating Systems and hosting programs in
Linux/Unix are more flexible. You actually can get ore from a Linux/Unix based
server than other servers on the market.

Linux/Unix supports a wide variety of application languages, more than any
other operating system. The most common applications of such kind include C,
C++, Shell, Perl, Tcl, Python, Java and PHP. Databases available for Unix are
mSQL and mySQL. The one you choose would depend on what you plan to do on the
web and the host that you choose to park your web site.

The Linux/Unix based system comes with its won web development module in some
versions of Red Hat Linux that make web site creation easy as 1-2-3. FTP
modules are built into the operating system to provide you with an alternative
way to load the web site to the Linux/Unix host.

Linux/Unix will become a major force in the future as more small to medium
businesses turn towards its hosting platform.

Identify With Your Domain Name

Use common sense when choosing a domain name because your domain name, or URL,
can have an impact in both the online and offline marketing of your web-site.
Long or difficult to spell domain names can make people ignore your web site
and it has to be pretty good for them to stick with it (for an example, go to
www.thedolphinsmakemecry.com website. Short domain names register better with
people's memory and are easy to remember.

Obtain a domain name that will help you in your marketing niche and strategy.
Like I stated before, you can use your business name as your URL. If your
business name is already taken by someone else then get a URL name close to
what you are doing. Purchasing a business name domain name isn't the only way
to go, and when a keyword domain name could do just fine.

If you plan on using the .net extension, you may want to wait on deciding your
name until after you have found an available domain name that is suitable to
your type of business. If you follow the steps below, you should be okay in
identifying your name brand to the internet community.

Structure Your Brand Name -- Put your domain name on your letterhead, business
card, printed materials; put it on your phone recording, the side of your car;
don't forget to include it with your email.

Keep it Short & Memorable -- Don't get a URL that uses all 26 letters of the
alphabet.

Secure a .com URL -- I strongly recommend purchasing a .com domain name as
opposed to a .net, .info, .biz or anything else. If your chosen domain name is
not available in a .com, keep looking until you find one that isn't taken.
There is nothing wrong with the other extensions but when you have a .com
extension, it sounds like you've been on the net a long time.

Remember, your domain name is an extension of your business and your brand of
product or service.

Domain Names and Search Engine Ranking

Does the length of your website's domain name registration affect search engine
optimization and results?

Should you renew your domain name for a long period of time? And if so, how
long is long enough? If you want to stay ahead of your competition, then you
might consider looking at the length of time your competitors have registered
their domain names. If your competitors have generally renewed their domain
names for one or two years, you might consider registering your domain name for
5 or 10 years. While putting off your domain name's expiration date might help
your search engine rankings, keep in mind that this may be only a small victory
when it comes to search engine rankings.

Its good business sense to register a domain for at least 10 years. You don't
want to deal with the process annual process of renewing them every year. It's
best to obtain the domain names that you want to keep for a while and renew
then on a 5 to 10 year plan.

If your domain name expires, there's a good chance that someone will register
your domain name immediately after it expires. If, for whatever reason, you
don't renew your domain name, someone watching a 'watch list' of expiring
domain names will try to capitalize on the online business that you've built
over the years. They know that there is potential website traffic they can have
simply by renewing your old domain name. By renewing your domain name for
several years, your domain name won't expire for a while, and it won't be
opened up to expired domain name buyers.

If you really want to stay ahead of the competition, you might consider
registering or renewing your domain name for 100 years. Currently, Network
Solutions (www.netsol.com) is the only registrar offering the 100 year option,
which costs $999.00. GoDaddy (www.godaddy.com), currently offers to renew or
register a domain name for 10 years, at a discount of $6.95 per year. Yes, you
can lose critical positioning in the search engines if you don't reregister
your domain name in time. You may have to start the SEO process all over again!

Do You Need A Lot Of Bandwidth?

Bandwidth measures the volume of data transmitted over an internet connection.
You have to know how much bandwidth you need while choosing hosting plans.

Be careful when someone claims they provide unlimited bandwidth or monthly
transfer. Anyone claiming "Unlimited Bandwidth" is simply lying. There's no
such thing as "Unlimited Bandwidth".

I've never seen any broadband company offering an internet connection as
"Unlimited Megabytes per Second." So, how could a web hosting company, which
normally doesn't even own its own access lines, claims to customers that it
will give them "Unlimited Bandwidth"?

Most of the time, high bandwidth sites on these "Unlimited" plans will be
disconnected, and no refund given. Normally, the web hosting company will say
that the site violated its Acceptable Use Policy or Terms of Service.

Whenever you visit a site promoting "Unlimited Bandwidth" as one of the account
features, be sure to visit the Acceptable Use Policy, or the Terms of Service.
Read the fine text about the so-called "Unlimited" disclaimer.

When you first look for web hosting services (those who state clearly bandwidth
offered), you have to make your best estimation and watch your usage carefully
in the first few months. Take these factors into consideration while estimating.

* How many users will access your web site?

* How many pages to be access?

* How big are the graphic and HTML files?

Large audio/video files, computer programs, and file downloads require more
bandwidth. Flash web sites use tons of bandwidth. Virtual Reality (VR) and
full-length three-dimensional audio/visual presentations require the most
bandwidth of all.

Though it is not accurate, but still gives you something to work with until
your site has been online for a while and actual traffic statistics have been
generated.

Don't fall for the unlimited bandwidth trap that some companies throw at you.

Developing Cold Fusion Hosting

Cold Fusion Hosting is all about databases, really. Cold Fusion, a software
suite brought to us by the fine folks at Macromedia, which allows
web-interactivity with databases. With Cold Fusion web hosting, you can now
query, update, index, and chart databases from any web browser.

Cold Fusion hosting adds versatility and interactivity to ecommerce sites. Cold
Fusion allows you to publish and then have automatically removed from your site
time-sensitive content, such as flight schedules or event calendars. It adds
functionality to creating and managing mailing lists and business reports. It
allows you to offer your visitors printable content and customized menus.

Anytime you see .cfm as the extension on a web page, as opposed to .htm or .asp
for example, you know you're dealing with Cold Fusion Markup Language (CFML).

Though cold fusion is built on the Java platform, CFML allows web developers
the benefits of Java without its inherent technical complexities. You need not
know Java scripting in order to use cold fusion. CFML is a tag-based language
quite similar to HTML and XML which makes it easy for anyone with even the most
basic knowledge of web scripting to learn.

Cold Fusion is a server-side language which means that any web pages using CFML
are read and interpreted by the Cold Fusion hosting company's server and
converted into an HTML page prior to being sent back to the user's browser.

Cold Fusion web hosting can be significantly more expensive than other forms of
web hosting, and should therefore only really be considered if its unique set of
tools are relevant for your site's intended uses. Cold Fusion hosting is usually
run on Windows 2000/NT/2003 operating systems, though you can also find support
for Cold Fusion hosting on Linux and Sun servers.

In addition to all the usual factors you must consider when choosing any web
host -- cost, disk space, bandwidth, uptime, scalability, support -- you now
also have to consider certain factors specific to cold fusion hosting,
including: potential tag restrictions, additional security concerns, whether
the cold fusion hosting company provides database support, and which version of
Cold Fusion they're using.

One type of tag restriction that is also a security concern is "high risk"
tags, such as those that can be used to find and erase selected files from a
server. For some larger businesses, this functionality is crucial to their
operation, though potentially detrimental if accessed by the wrong hands, in
which case a dedicated server is probably in order. Fortunately, cold fusion
hosting is offered on shared, virtual, and dedicated servers.

Cold Fusion is well worth considering if you'd like the functionality of the
Java platform with the facility of a comparatively autonomous and user-friendly
software system. Especially if your website is expected to generate an income,
you may find that the intimidating price tag, in the long run, turned out to be
a bargain.

Choosing Windows Web Hosting

Windows/ XP Web hosting provides web hosting on Windows operating system
platform. Microsoft Corporation provides host based software operating system
for servers. Windows XP web hosting programs are considered to be easy to cope
with, reliable and inexpensive.

The simplicity of the Windows XP operating system is what stands out with these
applications. Windows provides its users with friendly, familiar environment
that is easy to work with. Today as so much work has been done by developers
it's very easy to administrate your site with using Windows/ Server Side
operating system. The Windows/NT platform is also reliable. You also should
know that reliability of any platform, same as Windows/NT platform, depends
mainly on maintenance and technical knowledge.

Windows/XP platform is scalable and very cost-effective because at a relatively
low price you can set up a fully functional Internet server with Windows XP in a
matter of hours. The big question is what do you want your web-site to do?
Interactive websites usually rely on ASP (Active Server Pages which allow
scripts on a web page to be run on the server before the files are transmitted
to the client), PHP, or Perl (Practical Extraction and Reporting Language which
is a scripting language used for receive and process data stored on web page
forms).

And if you prefer ASP most of all Windows/ XP -- based web hosting is the
perfect choice for you. There are also some more only Windows available
applications such as Access, MS SQL, Windows Media and Virtual Basic scripts.
Windows XP offers benefits over other operating systems. Using these benefits
gives you an opportunity to be productive and publish your information on the
Internet rapidly developing your website or web application.

Windows XP server packages have great programs for individuals who are familiar
with MS Windows XP software. The server package for hosting even allows for
optimization of hard disk space and RAM which eliminates computer lock-ups
while loading web applications.

Beware of the Cyber Squatters

Your domain name could be stolen or given up to the evil entity known as the
Cyber squatters whose main mission is to steal your web identity and this is
how they do it. They could register YourDomainName.org, and do the same thing
with YourDomainName.biz, therefore contacting you and try to sell you those
names at advanced prices. If that doesn't work, then the following events could
happen.

They will allow your competitor to get a domain that sounds like yours, and
allow him to cause confusion or try to steal your hard-earned traffic, business
and clients.

Take these steps right now to halt the cyber squatters.

Have people go through you for authorization: Go through your domain name
registrar and fill in a form that locks in authorized entities of your claim of
other domain names. You can buy these names and keep them under your roof. It
will provide you information to include, such as contact information, who
should be contacted if someone wants to register your domain, the character
string you are claiming (this must be an EXACT match), description of your
current products/services, when you began using that domain name.

You have a small window to accomplish filling out an authorized entry form.
Check with your domain registrar for time frame windows in filling out an
authorized entry form Failure to enter a claim during a certain time frame
means the registering entities will not check to see if there is an equivalent
.com, .net or .org name. They will not check the IP Claim Service database.
Meaning, you could lose your .info or net-version of your domain name.

Don't let cyber squatters shake you down and ruin what you have built up on the
net. Get the rights and the authorization to similar or like names to your main
domain name!

Bandwidth Bandits

Files that are loaded to or from servers uses internet bandwidth to push files
along the network at various speeds. Every time you upload a file to your ISP,
surf the web or use an audio application, you are using bandwidth.

Bandwidth is a bunch of wires or fibers connecting servers to a network.
Depending on the grade of the wire it determines how much data is coming across
the network where your web-site is hosted. When someone attempts to get more
data than can be handled by the network, the whole network slows down.

ISP's can put a limitation on bandwidth at certain times during peak periods or
charge you a flat fee per month for bandwidth usage. If you go over the flat
fee, then they charge you extra for using extra bandwidth. Some ISP's will shut
down the transmissions until traffic is more stable on the network.

You can load most files (images, sound files, videos and flash scripts and
other programs) in your web site. This excludes, of course, banners and pop ups
and specific documents and images which are supposed to be loaded from a central
server.

Bandwidth bandits link to images and other files directly to some other server
instead of putting them on their local server. There are various reasons as to
why they do this but one reason is to get as much bandwidth as possible to show
their links and images. So they "steal" images or audio files each time the site
is initialized meaning that they steal the bandwidth.

There's certain ways that you can stop the person from stealing your bandwidth 
allocation. If they have an email, I would contact them personally or go through 
Network Solutions and do an IP lookup which will give you information on the 
person and who the site is registered to. You can always get in touch with the 
company that hosts their site too.

Bandwidth can be expensive and the last thing that you want is someone stealing
it.

Application Service Providers and Hosting

Application service providers (commonly referred to as ASP's) have quickly
sprouted onto the web hosting scene in effort to provide businesses with new
and innovative services. The term ASP should not be confused with Microsoft
Corporations software application.

The number of applications provided through the ASP model is growing.
Accordingly, there is a growing business of companies developing software for
the ASP marketplace. What sorts of applications are being developed? As
remotely-hosted applications can provide cost-effective access for businesses
to unique software, many of the applications are designed to be of occasional
use in terms of use. Others are geared towards using group connectivity
provided by through the Internet to provide an application that is flexible.

ASP's have created software programs to handle various business functions as
materials management, human resources, financial management, and e-commerce
transaction services.

The variety of solutions provided by ASP's is vast. Many ASP's are doing great
business in meeting operational needs of companies across different industries
and business functions. There are a number of technical and business issues
currently addressed by ASP's to develop and enhance system applications.

A major advantage for businesses in seeking ASP services is that they provide
an opportunity to reduce costs and increase efficiencies. Companies can have
access to a wider-range of software products with the possibility of paying
less than an outright purchase through usage charges. This allows businesses to
access applications that can service particular business needs so companies can
focus on their core operations. Furthermore, ASP's are developing new software
that can provide business solutions to operating issues not previously
addressed through PC-based software. ASP's also remove many of the technical
administrative and maintenance issues associated with software by providing
real-time upgrades, remote hosting, remote dial in customer support and overall
software management.

Web hosting companies are involved in the development of applications --
however, many of the hosting companies serve to provide network management and
serve the application remotely to users. In providing ASP-related services,
these companies are essentially AIP's (application infrastructure providers.)

For mainframe web hosting applications, ASP service providers are pioneering a
new way to host and maintain business applications.





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