Web Hosting

web hosting

Introduction to The Internet

To fully understand Web Hosting, we should start with a brief introduction of the Internet. So, what exactly is the internet or World Wide Web? You’ve heard the term Information Super Highway.

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Servers and Protocols

Well, the internet is really made of servers. Think of servers as a more elaborate form of your home PC.  A server has hardware (a physical computer) and software on top of it. And all these machines communicate between each other. To do this they use what are called protocols. For example, to see the website https://websitehostingstore.com, you’re using the https protocol. When you surf the web, you use the protocol http, https, or www. To send and receive email, you most likely use the SMTP, IMAP, or POP3 protocol. So, the internet or web is basically a bunch of machines running software that communicate between each other using protocols.



IP Address

The obvious question then is, with all of these millions of things using these protocols, exactly how do you find things on the web? Well, the answer has a real world explanation. In the real world every one has a home or business address. Likewise, on the internet, every thing also has an address. Every site site pretty much has what’s called an IP address. This gets us back to protocols. IP Address means Internet Protocol Address. An IP address is like your street address, your zip code, your town, and your state.

The Internet and Numbers

The internet is based on numbers. It’s really a series of 4 numbers separated by dots that recognize or identify a unique website. Even your personal desktop or laptop computer machine at home right now is using a unique IP address to say where you are at. If you’re old enough to remember when computers were in their infancy, there were these big  mainframe machines using punch cards with ones and zeroes. Well, so that we don’t have to remember these numbers, things have evolved.

Domain Names and Domain Name Server Resolution (DNS)

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Now, we map names. These easy to remember domain names are mapped to the IP addresses we mentioned earlier. The mapping of these domain names to IP addresses is called the DNS resolution process. Consequently, when you type in Google.com, you end up on the Google page. When you visit Google to find out something, you’re really visiting an IP somewhere on a server on the web.

Why do you need Web Hosting?

Whether you are an a beauty consultant, an affiliate marketer, a restaurant, an attorney,  or an upholsterer, you need a website in today’s world. You might get away without web hosting for a while. However, sooner or later,  you will see the benefits of having a website. When you reach that point and decide to have a website, you will need to host that website somewhere. That is what is meant by web hosting. You will need to put your website on the internet so other people can see it. At that point, your website will be on server. It will have an IP address. And anybody can go there and see it. You need web hosting for a website and email.

Introduction to Web Hosting

What is internet hosting? What is web hosting? It’s basically a piece of the internet. You can think of it as your condo or your house or whatever… depending on the size, your mansion on the internet. It’s basically a slice of a server, hardware and software and network that you have on the internet that anybody can come and see.

Types of Web Hosting

What are the different types of hosting? You have basically 3 types of web hosting – plus a 4th that is kind of new.

Shared Hosting

First is shared hosting. Most people start out here. Shared hosting is pretty much a server that is divided into 100 or sometimes even thousands of pieces and every customer has a little piece of that.

Usually, shared hosting accounts are pretty cheap. Hosting companies usually put hundreds or, sometimes, thousands of customers on a shared server. Most people exist for years on a shared server without any issues whatsoever. You have no interaction with the other users whose websites are stored there.  A risk can develop if one customer’s website overwhelms the the entire server. However, that is the exception, not the rule. When you establish you first website,  shared hosting is the best solution. Many users host several of their websites on shared servers. As you learn more about web hosting, or your business expands significantly and you’re making a lot of money, you may want to move up from shared hosting.

VPS or Virtual Private Server Hosting

The next type of hosting to consider would be a VPS or Virtual Private Server. A Virtual Private Server is divided a much smaller group of user – usually between 4 and 20 users. The separations between users are a lot stronger. It is very hard for one customer to bring down the entire server. But it is possible. Many users also host several of their websites on VPS servers.

Dedicated Server

Lastly, you have the dedicated server. A dedicated server is dedicated just to you. It is one server for you and your site or you and your multiple sites.

Cloud Hosting

The most recent web hosting solution is known as Cloud Hosting. Cloud hosting is similar to Cloud computing. Cloud hosting can combine any or all of the other three hosting solutions. The key difference is that the web hosting is not attached to one machine but multiple machines. With cloud hosting, many machines in different locations can provide, share, VPS or dedicated web hosting. So you have one more layer of virtualization to separate the software from the hardware. With cloud hosting, typically, when one server goes down, it doesn’t impact you that much because the software is still running on the other servers in different locations.

VPS or Dedicated Server?

VPS solutions are typically more for non-critical things. Because a high-end VPS can cost as much as a dedicated server, as an advanced user making a solid income from your website or websites, you might as well go for a dedicated server. The dedicated server is for you if you want no risk from other neighbors. The only thing that could happen to you is a network issue with your provider or a hardware failure. In that case, they just change the hardware and you’re back up and running. The more money you spend, the less risk you have. The less money you spend, the more risk you have.

Shared Hosting Most Common

On a shared hosting account, which is fine for 99% of the sites out there, you have more risk. If you have a website that’s making $20,000 a month and, around Christmas, developer Bob decides to do some php and he’s a beginner and does some errors in his coding, it could potentially impact the full server. It might take the hosting company a couple of weeks to figure that out, figure out who is doing that problem, creating that problem. Meanwhile, your site is impacted around Christmas, and you might be losing a lot of money every day.

Selecting the Right Hosting

So, if your site is making a lot of money, you definitely want to be on a dedicated server. The more money your site makes, the more you want to spend on your web hosting. So what are the selection criteria you have? On shared hosting, it’ll be disk space, the amount of space for your website, and the network traffic you could use every month.

Typically, you don’t have to worry about that. When you are beginning, most programs will be plenty enough for your disk space and your bandwidth. When you get into a dedicated server, your choice, your parameters will be the amount of RAM, or random access memory. Also, the power of your CPU is important here as well. By that we mean the power of the server, the number of instructions it can execute for a second, the disk configuration.

Features offered by Web Hosting Providers

Another criteria for selecting your hosting provider will be the features. So php, MySQL, whatever specificity of your website, if you have some, you want to validate those against the hosting provider. Most of them will support WordPress, Drupal. You might want to check but usually, they will list that.

Cpanel is a Must

One thing that can be crucial is using the standard control panel. The industry standard is known as cPanel. If you’re considering hosting your website with a provider and that provider doesn’t offer you cpanel for your shared hosting,  you should consider another hosting provider.  Cpanel is what allows you to run the back end of you web hosting. If you’ve had  a website hosted elsewhere, you ,most  likely, had cpanel. One of the main advantages of cpanel is that it is standard. So, if you decide to change your host, it is easy to export your site and import it into another host using cPanel.  Also, whatever company you choose, if they use cPanel, it’s the same interface to manage your backend. That means that you don’t have to learn a new interface each time you move to a new host. If someone tells you they have a control panel, it’s not necessarily cpanel. You should verify.

Personal Recommendation

Another important factor in selecting a hosting provider is recommendations. Do you have a friend? Do you know somebody who has hosted elsewhere? If you recommend a company that you use, that recommendation is way more valuable than an advertisement you see on TV or on their own website.

Managed Servers

Most times when you see managed server, it’s managed to a certain extent. You still need a webmaster or yourself to upgrade to a WordPress website or your Drupal website.

Problems Happen – It’s How they are Solved

Here are some final tips. If you see a company that’s not competent or you have to deal with the employee that’s not competent in that company, don’t waste your time. Get a different employee or move. As simple as that. There are plenty of good companies out there, plenty of people who are helpful out there. The other thing you should keep in mind is that in web hosting, as anything else, problems do happen. It doesn’t mean that it’s a bad company. You might have experienced hardware problems on your PC. Well, a hosting company runs hundreds, if not, thousands of PCs. So problems do happen. It’s how they handle the problem that makes a difference. If a company doesn’t really care about it, if they take forever, if they don’t realize how critical it is to you or your business, then you need to move on. That’s why it’s important, once you become a professional affiliate, to nearly always have some stuff hanging around there that you barely use – a dedicated server you’re playing with, you’re experimenting with. So if something happens, you can move out of there quick. I hope this helps and you’re understanding web hosting.

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web servers

Quick guide to Web Servers

It really is quite clear that some people are unsure about web servers and why you need them. In this review we’re going to take a look at different types of web servers and the pros and cons of different web servers. We’re also going to explore the setup of web servers and how to use them. These posts are intended to help beginners better understand more about websites and how they operate. Afterall. if you’re going to have a website, you should know something about how it works. First, let’s go over a little history for anybody who isn’t quite sure just what a web server is.

Browsers and Site Addresses

When you type an address into a browser (Google Chrome, Internet Explorer, Firefox, Microsoft Edge), that address tells your personal computer where you want to load a webpage from. It’s exactly like if you wished to search for a friend. You tell a taxi driver your friend’s address, and the taxi goes to your friend’s apartment building. When you reach your friend’s apartment building, then what? Your friend doesn’t just know you’re there, which means you use, and in this example, you talk with the doorman.

Tell the Web Servers Which Page to Load

You inform them you are there to see your friend, and so the doorman invites you in, and tells you your friend is upstairs or your friend is in the garden. In this example, the web server is like the knowledge the doorman has. When you go to the desk, the doorman should ask whom you’re visiting. This is a necessary security precaution to ensure that unauthorized persons are not let into the building. Like the doorman, the web server also knows that it needs to ask whom you are there to see. The web server also inspects to see whether they’re available. In the web server’s case, it needs to know which file you want to see, whether it’s the home page, a style sheet, a JavaScript file or anything else.

The web server checks whether the file, or friend, is available. If so, it gives you the information you wanted, which your computer then downloads, and displays as a web page. You can, of course, load web pages without running a webserver. Without the doorman, you might be able to find the individual person you’re looking for, but you don’t necessarily know where they live. You might find them wandering a corridor, for example.

Web Servers Know Which Files are Connected

This is especially important when you’re working with JSON (JavaScript Object Notation) in particular. You need to know that JSON files are actually intended to be connected to other files. If the browser doesn’t know that multiple files are all part of the one website, it’s likely to not load them properly to avoid things like cross-site scripting attacks. (Cross Scripting is a type of computer security vulnerability typically found in web applications. This type of attack allows someone with malicious intent to inject a code or script into a web page being viewed by someone else.) So now we know what a web server does, what web servers are available, and why should you use one instead of another?

Production and Development Web Servers

In general, web servers fall into 2 categories. The first one is production web servers,. They are the web servers that all websites on the internet are hosted on. Development web servers are used off-line during the development procedure for sites that will eventually be transferred onto creation servers when the web site goes live.

Debug Mode – Creating Websites Off-Line

Because development web servers are used if you are creating websites, you’ll get a great deal of opinions about the code you are writing. This is called debug mode. During this process you learn things used to make your site run better. Whenever your website is live though, you don’t want to spend your time with all of this opinions from your server. Problems must have been fixed through the development process. Therefore, debug mode is generally disabled on creation servers making them run quicker.

Three Main Web Servers

web servers

NGinx Web servers

Now, let’s examine some of the net servers out there. In the creation server world, there are three main different programs used as web servers: Apache, NGinx, and IIS. There are a couple of hundred, if not hundreds, of other creation servers. However, these three are the primary ones used right now, and they’re the ones mentioned in this review. NGinx was created from the bottom up to be super-fast when offering static webpages. That’s things such as html and JavaScript – things it can just share with your browser and just forget about.

PHP and Apache Web Servers

Apache, on the other hands continues to be quick, but it is a lot more about pre-processing web pages. If you write a PHP website, the PHP document never actually comes back to your browser. PHP means Hypertext Preprocessor. PHP is a widely-used open source, general-purpose scripting vocabulary that is particularly fitted to web development and can be inlayed into HTML. PHP is one of the easiest server-side dialects out there for web designers. A lot of sites are designed with WordPress, a CMS (content management system) constructed with PHP. The file is actually simply a group of instructions that your web server must follow to create a website. It really is that generated web-page which is given to your browser. The fact that Apache is better at doing all of these pre-processing jobs makes it slower than NGinx.

Microsoft’s IIS Web Servers

Microsoft’s IIS is similar to Apache, in that it’s more about pre-processing than NGinx. However, the real reason people use IIS is because it’s a Microsoft product. That means that if something goes wrong, you can call Microsoft, and they’ll help you fix it. The same is not true for Apache or NGinx.

In the developmental web server world, we also have apache, NGinx and IIS. However, the settings are tweaked to be more useful for designers. There are also a LOT more specialty web servers out there. However, in order not to make this review more complex, we’ll end it here.

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