What is Web Hosting?
Table of content
Chapter 1: What is web hosting
Most people tend to take websites and the way they function for granted. They just turn on their devices and simply click on their browser opening Google, Amazon or Yahoo.
But what is it exactly that we are doing when we access a website? Are you asking yourself as a user where you are on the Internet? And if the answer happens to be ‘’on a website’’ - then where is it located?
What is this chapter going to cover?
- What is a website?
- What are the different types of websites?
- Where is a website located?
- What is a hosting company?
What is a website?
Before being able to understand where a website is located it is a good idea to get a basic definition of it. We can roughly distinguish them in 3 separate types, although there is not a more rigid categorization and lots of commonalities exist between them:
- Static – The primary website type. Static websites are essentially an assembly of documents and pages which are located in a directory on the same public server. When you view a given static webpage your PC first has to download it as a file in order to be able to display it.
- Web aplication – The primary website type. Static websites are essentially an assembly of documents and pages which are located in a directory on the same public server. When you view a given static webpage your PC first has to download it as a file in order to be able to display it.
- Content management systems (CMS) – This is a hybrid type between the aforementioned two and most applications existing nowadays are defined by it. The web application technology is used in order for a process of assembling documents/files to be simulated. Imagine you are reading an online blog- most probably every post there is not an individual file. What the applications does is that it extracts the content of the post from the database and then send it to your browser like it is a standalone document. Then the web browser displays while for the user there is not any difference at all.
Here are the underlying processes behind accessing a website from your PC:
- Your PC`s web browser sends a request for opening a page, document or application to the server where your website is allocated. This request corresponds to the URL address input in the address bar of your browser.
- The server accepts the request and assembles all the necessary data for responding back. This can be a single standalone file, however it also can be a file which is part of a web application, or an assembled document from a single content management system (CMS).
- The web server responds to the request by providing content.
- Your web browser displays the received content.
Therefore, in order to manage a website with Internet visibility you first need your PC to have web access. Thus it will be able to accepts, process and respond user requests. The term ’website servers’ refers precisely to this: physical machines which store the necessary files for managing a website as well as the respective software which executes their delivery of those files to whoever requires receiving them.
It is theoretically possible to maintain a website on your PC, however practically speaking this is not such a good idea.
First you should know how to properly tune your home server so it can deliver content to the user, yet this can be a very troubling task. Moreover, your PC must have a constant secured connection to both electricity and the Internet.
However, even in case you manage to ensure all the proper settings and working infrastructure, you might encounter another problem. Your PC might have hard time dealing with multiple users at once i.e. simultaneous connections. Your PC with its Internet connectivity will reach their respective limits if several users try to load the same website at the same time, thus causing your page to stop working.
Instead, it is a way better option to buy your own server than trying to utilize your PC as one. After all a server is simply a bigger, faster and more powerful computer. Yet this options still have its disadvantages. Server machines are very costly, extremely complicated to use and require a reliable enough internet provider. And even if you manage to overcome these odds, subsequently you will have to provide constant service and maintenance for your server including updates, changes and errors you might encounter. Being a system administrator requires both a lot of technical knowledge and time. Also you will have to keep in mind that if you cannot handle a certain problem, you will not be able to benefit from the possibility of calling a hosting company and asking for consultancy.
Ultimately you can avoid investing the substantial time, effort and finances needed for running your own sever by using hosting services from a reliable and authoritative provider.
What is the role of web hosting companies?
Web hosting companies deal with the possible problems, which might occur during the maintenance of a website. They have ensured fast and secure Internet connection and have stored the big expensive machines in order for your business webpage to work easily and continuously. Your website occupies a part of a given company`s servers when you get a hosting plan from it. On these servers, you are able to locate and host the files and software required for the proper functioning of your website. In order to make everything easier for you, hosting companies provide you with tools for managing and maintaining your website.
It is important for you to understand that your website is ultimately located on a physical place. It exists on a real computer machine located in a real building. It depends on the hosting plan you have chosen from your provider, what the computing machine is like and where is the building at. For example, when using foreign-based hosting companies you are rarely aware of the location where your website is physically placed.
The website is an assembly of files located on a computer device. However a common user PC is not a good hosting choice in order for a website to function properly. Neither is the resolution to invest time and recourses in your own specialized server as it turns out to be way too expensive and complicated of an initiative.
Instead, web hosting companies offer fast and powerful servers in order for everyone who wants to run a website to be able to do so without necessarily having any advanced technical knowledge or possessing an expensive equipment.
Chapter 2: Types of hosting
Picking the most suitable hosting plan can be quite a confusing task due to the rich variety of services available. Hence, first you have to identify your project`s scale and its exact needs and only after that you should look for the most appropriate hosting plan to match them.
Below you will learn about:
- The differences between shared hosting, dedicated servers and virtual private servers (commonly referred to as simply VPS);
- What is cloud technology, cloud server and cloud hosting;
- What is managed hosting;
- What is the best way to determine the hosting plan you need?.
What is shared hosting
This is the most commonly used type of hosting service. The way shared hosting works is that several users share one physical resource which has access to the web. All users’ websites are stored on the same disc, processed by the same CPU and are provided by the same server. Therefore, shared hosting has the most convenient price in comparison with other hosting services. However, you have to keep in mind that all the websites of the respective accounts on the shared hosting server are operating with a fixed amount of common available resources.
Even though shared hosting servers are still way more big and powerful than PC`s and can easily host up to thousands of websites and pages. Yet, you have to take into consideration the possibility of your website becoming popular which will increase its traffic. You will need additional resources for such a setting and shared hosting will surely not be the appropriate choice.
As previously mentioned, whenever a user wants to access your website, every file first have to be processed by the web server. Complex web application or content management system (e.g. Wordpress) would require above-average CPU power in order to interact with databases, put content together within a page and to be able to operate other similar activities. A mere singular performance of the mentioned processes would happen instantly, however when they are multiplied by hundred or thousand fold there is a good possibility for the website to undergo ‘downtime’ or to take more time for loading than usual. Obviously this is not a desired scenario as it will greatly affect the function of your website (e.g. selling products online) and will also decrease your website`s rating when it comes to organic searching.
There is a good possibility for your popularized website to experience problems with loading or downtime if another website which is also generating big amounts of traffic is located on the same server where yours is. If you own such increasingly popular website, perhaps it will be a good idea for you to consider a hosting plan different from shared hosting.
Furthermore, shared hosting has other disadvantages such as the inability for the hosting environment to be customized. This is not an issue if e.g. you run and maintain a simple WordPress page. However, if you want to launch a more complex project such as a personalized application with more sophisticated structure, such inability for customization might occur to be a problem as you will not be able to install some necessary dependencies.
There is a risk for your website to be affected regardless of its security measures if some of the other websites on the shared server happens to have software deficiencies, thus making every website on the server vulnerable to bad-intended attacks. Similarly if a given website on the server uses its account to send spam emails (unwanted commercial messages) or to do other malicious activities then there is a possibility for your website`s IP to be blocked by spam filters and to appear in the black list. This can happen without you even be aware of it.
Shared hosting is suitable for small and growing business as well as start-ups, personal pages and blogs and other kinds of pages which would not require spectacular amounts of resources (and respectively investment) in general. What makes shared hosting even more convenient for websites of such scale is the fact that this type of service also comes with completely free full technical support. Once again, this way clients are not required to have any in-depth technical knowledge in order for their website function properly.
What is dedicated hosting
Dedicated hosting utilizes the whole physical server machine in comparison with shared hosting. Such service comes with numerous benefits, however it is also a bit more complicated to manage as well as comparatively more costly.
However, when you have full and direct access to the server where your website is allocated, you are able to install any software you might need. In addition, you can change your OS as well as programming language, as well as adjusting configurations and creating virtual machines within the limits of the physical one. Dedicated hosting is the go-to hosting solution when it comes to EPR-like applications, CRM systems or developing a specialized software as such activities require a higher degree of technical control.
Dedicated hosting`s key advantage over shared hosting is that it allows you using the entire server’ resources at your disposal. This significantly increases the website speed and performance.
When choosing dedicated hosting you can choose the server machine type and its resources such as hard disc space, RAM memory and number of cores. Every service provider determines various configurations you can choose from.
However it is the owner’s responsibility to deal with issues such as the maintenance of the server, software updates, and fixing any kinds of errors.
However, you will have to contact your provider in order for primary costs and new monthly fees to be consulted, in case you require a hardware update or would like to change a certain component within the machine. The replacement of components is a physical process which is performed by the hosting company.
What is VPS (Virtual Private Server)
In terms of structure and function, the VPS hosting can be placed between the virtualized cloud server hosting and the dedicated server hosting (i.e. a single account located on an entire physical server). With the VPS service you employ an entire server for your purposes with the only difference that the server is actually virtualized and not an entirely physical one. Similarly to Dedicated Hosting services, VPS allows for a complete access and control over the server environment, yet structure-wise the VPS is a single physical server clustered into several independent virtual machines. This can be a great advantage if you need to develop custom applications or use SaaS (software as a service).
With virtual servers you have greater access to the server’s resources in comparison with the shared hosting. In VPS environment usually very few of the employed virtual machines are located on the same physical server. However, regardless of their allocation all of virtual machines share the server’s resources. This way you are able to utilize greater portions of both the total computational power and permeability/connectivity (the amount of data you can physically send through the respective network, cable etc. more commonly referred to as bandwidth).
The VPS service also reduces potential risks of safety and security errors. It has its own IP address as well as a virtualization layer which means that you are protected from any problems that are not related to your website.
VPS hosting is a good solution for anyone with online projects too big for HostPulse’s standard hosting plan, yet not big enough to be allocated on the costly dedicated servers due to budged limitations.
What is cloud hosting
There is a risk with VPS servers of reaching their physical limits if your web page generates greater traffic or your applications are not optimized enough. In the end, the VPS is a physical machine and it has its limitations on how much memory can be used, what amounts of data can be stores and how many requests at a time it can handle.
Most websites do not reach this limit and both shared and VPS hosting services usually perform adequately enough to handle their needs. However, there are websites which regularly generate tens of thousands visits daily. Similarly there are websites which normally do not generate massive amounts of traffic, yet sometimes experience an unexpected peak of visits due to the exponential popularization of their content (more commonly known as ‘content going viral’).
In such cases it occurs the need for scalability option of the hosting source as such service is also known as Cloud hosting. The service is referred to with various terms such as cloud, cloud-based hosting, scalable cloud-based hosting, hosting with dedicated time or hosting on-demand.
So what exactly is cloud hosting? When you use cloud hosting it means that numerous computers are grouped together. Thus whenever an application is started, it utilizes the combined computational resource of them. Cloud hosting is a kind of virtualization that enables the ability to scale resources as they can be set in accordance with your momentary needs. Unlike VPS hosting, with Cloud hosing your virtual machine is not part of the several machines allocated on a single server, but instead it is part of thousands of devices sharing an enormous amount of computational power.
The scalability option enables you to easily change and set your resources when necessary without this process causing any downtime. They key advantage of this service is that you do not have to be concerned about serving hardware. You simply choose the hard disc space, RAM memory and computational power that will best suit your current needs.
This type of hosting service is suitable for websites with variable amounts of traffic especially for ones that experience periods of significant traffic increase. In order for every single website’s optimal performance to be assured, either extra computing power is added or the respective virtual machine is set accordingly within the system.
The main advantage of cloud hosting is that you are getting charged only for the resources which actually have been used and no more than this. This is a convenient solution for various online projects such as blogs which generate big traffic, mobile applications, news websites, e-commerce stores with temporary advertising campaigns, etc.
Some cloud hosting plans enable the opportunity for you to have multiple virtual servers assembled into single account. This might be just the perfect solution for you if you are looking for an environment which enables development and gradual growth. This service has the capacity to provide you with server suitable for development, testing and ultimately- executing your projects.
If you need to utilize the technical characteristics of a VPS or Dedicated hosting server, but you lack the technical knowledge to actually be an administrator of such servers, then you can choose the managed hosting service as your plan.
Managed hosting is a service which you choose and find suitable for you, however the hosting company is responsible for its management. This means that the hosting company must take care of the system’s maintenance, software updates, fixing any errors or conflicts when they appear, monitoring, etc.
This type of hosting service enables you to use VPS, Cloud or Dedicated server with both management and maintenance assistance provided by the hosting company. Again, you do not have to possess an in-depth knowledge about system administration.
Other types of managed hosting plans are used for the management of specific applications. For example, in the case of its usage for WordPress, its interaction with the app is limited to a single installation. The environment is configured in a way which delivers the finest ‘’request experience’’, yet you cannot do anything beyond this. This is a suitable choice if you manage a single application, however this tremendously limits your flexibility.
The standardized hosting plans cover most users’ requirements when it comes to technical parameters and resources. The variety of hosting plans is big enough to secure the needs of most businesses. They are able to configure differentiating in size and power computing power, connectivity and functionality parameters.
For businesses that entirely rely on their online presence to generate profit, complex online projects or big enterprises that generate huge traffic it is clear that very specific requirements come into play as far as web hosting is concerned. Moreover, heavy and personalized developments and applications demand for specific resources different from the ones that standardized hosting plans offer.
A convenient solution in such cases would be the so-called Docker hosting. Docker is an innovative open-end code technology. It is based on ‘’containing technology’’, which allows for easy development, deliverance and commissioning of the applications, regardless of the existing infrastructure. The lighten way of working enables you to utilize the maximum capacity available on your hardware. Docker hosting completely eliminates the environment as a factor, thus making you and your online project independent. Also the containing mechanism guarantees you that it will start working regardless of where you would like to initiate its working.
Cloud hosting is the right choice for most webpages of medium-to-great organizations, e-commerce stores, popular brands websites and blogs. Depending on the approximate size of the eventual increased traffic, the scalability service will effortlessly handle such fluctuations.
How to determine which hosting plan does your website need?
Shared hosting works well for personal blogs, small companies’ website and other businesses that do not rely exclusively on technology. On the other hand, it is not suitable for businesses that rely heavily on web-based incomes or companies with websites generating big amounts of traffic. If you are looking to do some proper software development, shared hosting would not be a good choice yet again.
Cloud hosting is the right choice for the most medium-to-great organizations, e-commerce stores or popular websites and blogs in general. It is a particularly good decision when it comes to variable traffic and you surely will need such a scalable solution that will be able to handle and process big and unexpected amounts of traffic. Cloud hosting is a must if you are about to launch your own e-commerce platform or if you are going to introduce the website of a popular brand.
Dedicated hosting solution is a good choice if you have technical competence in server administration and you are willing to launch an application without a virtualized layer.
VPS, Cloud or dedicated server can all be externally managed as well. You can also encounter variation of the aforementioned services such as managed VPS, managed cloud and managed dedicated server. Each of these services can be suitable for you if you want to take advantage of their technical parameters, yet you lack the necessary technical know-how to run them yourself.
Chapter 3: What do you get when you purchase web hosting?
Web hosting is a non-material product. You cannot actually see it or touch it. Web hosting as a service is sometimes neglected precisely because of its non-physical essence. It is perceived as a service which is not worthy paying. In addition there are cases in which people fail to grasp the differences between the various hosting services. However, these are all misconceptions.
Web hosting companies with cheaper prices look to capitalize exactly on such misconceptions. Their strategy is to convince you that you do not need to pay a lot in order to get quality services and that any extra payment for a better service is redundant. On the other hand, hosting companies with higher prices can also rely on the common lack of information on the subject. For example, they might try to sell you basic hosting plans with big discrepancies in the prices.
When choosing a suitable hosting plan for your online projects, you must always check what is included in the chosen service. Moreover, you have to research what are the additional necessary features that do not come with the plan of choice, however will be crucial to your online business. You have to take these additional features into considerations in order to calculate how much more capital you are going to need. Usually the pricing politics of ‘’cheaper’’ web hosting companies attract customers with their low prices, however you will have to pay about additional features and resources. Ultimately, the total you pay at the end significantly exceeds the initial amount you planned to invest.
The most important thing when choosing a web hosting service is to be informed. In order to be able to understand the various pricing schemes, it is good for you to be aware what exactly you are paying for and how exactly the hosting company utilizes your money. This way you will take advantage of your web hosting company to the fullest.
Despite not being visible to customers, one of the biggest expenses for web hosting companies is the physical equipment where all the data is stored. They are very fast and powerful machines, which store data, thus hosting your websites and applications.
One of the many things premium hosting providers do is using better and more expensive equipment. Faster equipment means faster websites as this is obviously good for the users of your website.
Since servers have to function from somewhere, an additional expense is the physical building where they are located. Data centers are huge buildings which shelter hundreds and even thousands of servers at a time.
It is mandatory for these buildings and the equipment they store to be cooled on regular basis in order for the servers within to function properly. Data centers use huge amounts of electricity too. In addition, data centers have to be located at a place where it is possible for fast internet with high connectivity to be accessed. Data centers vary in types and classes. The highest classes are Tier 3 and Tier 4 data centers. They guarantee almost none downtime for the equipment stored within them.
Web hosting uses predominantly open-code software, despite that the latter is not always like this. One of the most vivid examples to such an exception is the control panel platform used for the management of your web hosting account – cPanel. This is a patented software that has to be licensed and paid for. Yet, cPanel comes completely free for all our customers using shared hosting plans. This software enables you to manage your hosting account in a user-friendly environment without the need to possess any specific technical knowledge.
Most software for Windows hosting plans (ASP.Net) is patented and licenses have to be paid in order for you to use it. This is one of the main reasons why Windows hosting generally tends to be more costly than Linux hosting, even though it does not has the same parameters or embedded free extra features.
For this very reason we recommend you using Linux hosting. We advise you requesting Windows hosting plan only if you have the specific need for such a platform, which is rarely the case.
Web hosting companies are not to be mistaken with internet providers. Similarly to regular users, web hosting companies also have to pay for their internet connectivity. Thus, it can be said that they operate within an external network infrastructure.
However, the internet services used by web hosting companies are significantly more costly than the ones standardized for regular home or office users. This is a common sense since data centers need greater speed and enough connectivity. Both of these parameters are significantly boosted in comparison with speed and connectivity of the regular user’s service. Web hosting companies use internet services, which have to be able to ensure the proper working of tens of thousands of serves, thus enabling them to process millions requests at a time.
The availability of technical support is one of the most common requirements that users might have to the hosting company of their choice. Naturally, you would like to call your hosting provider and receive an immediate and adequate advice from them when a problem with your website occurs. Similarly, when you send an e-mail request to the company you would expect a timely reaction and support. In order for all this to take place your company of choice has to offer excellent technical support.
However, the technical support team is not limited merely to the technical specialists within the company. Instead, the company has to provide FAQ (frequently asked questions) data, a base of articles covering the most important things to know, detailed guides, phone support, e-mail support or ticket system.
When choosing a web hosting company, it is essential to check if it offers 24/7 technical support in order to serve their clients without any delay. This is vital for both the maintenance and normal functioning of all of your critical systems.
The inclusion of active support abroad is often associated with an added price to the hosting plan. Why so? The tech support team is consisted of qualified, technical staff ready to answer your questions, thus staying on the alert constantly. Yet, their training and activity are tied to greater expenses for the provider, hence the increased price of the hosting service.
With HostPulse you can always rely on the 24/7 technical support, alongside secured and fast web hosting, free daily backup, free cPanel for shared hosting, free CloudFlare technology integration, Tier 3 level of server security etc. HostPulse guarantees you to constantly provide you with the latest, quality-approved cutting edge technology when it comes to web hosting.
You benefit from the following services when choosing HostPulse:
- 24/7 technical support and quick professional reaction;
- E-mail support;
- Base of articles with detailed guides and available technical solutions to frequently occurring problems: https://www.hostpulse.net/help/;
- Tickey system;
- Help section with FAQ included: https://www.hostpulse.net/help/
- Constant server monitoring and instant reaction when detecting a problem.
All shared hosting users get free technical support that includes maintenance of the normal functioning of the servers- i.e. constant monitoring of the machines, instant reaction by technical staff, machine administration and assistance when a problem with your hosting occurs.
Unlike shared hosting, with Cloud, VPS or Dedicated server the client is the one that has to take care of the maintenance and management of his respective systems.
Yet, you can rely on additional paid services offered by us:
- Server monitoring;
- Hourly technical support;
- Subscription technical support;
- 24/7 cloud/dedicated server monitoring;
- Proactive Server Monitoring.
Tip: Do not look for the least costly option
It is a mistake to choose a hosting service based on the price. As previously mentioned the price misconception can go both ways- you choose the cheapest cause supposedly all services hardly differ, or you choose the most expensive cause it is supposed to be the best option.
However, neither of these is a good way to choose a truly good hosting plan for your needs.
Instead, a better way to choose is to think of what exactly you are going to need from your web hosting company, what type of web hosting you need and then compare several plans which all match your main requirements. Also you have to constantly research and read opinions and feedbacks about the selected hosting companies.
Once you narrow down the list with possible hosting providers and you have eliminated the companies with bad reputation or ones with unjustified overpricing, there will be only handful of hosting plans left having similar characteristics and prices.
In conclusion, high price does not always means high quality. There are numerous suitable-yet- not costly hosting companies. Premium web hosting services need better environment in order for them to function properly and ensure the best for their clients such as fast processors, better connectivity, lower downtime and better technical support. Hence they tend to be more costly. In every case, instead of make purchasing decisions entirely based on the cost, it is better to start the other way around. It is better to first identify what resources and characteristics you are going to need and subsequently find the hosting providers that offer matching services.
Chapter 4: Characteristics of Web hosting
It is important for the website to load as fast as possible. Visitors that want to access your web page but have to wait for longer time when it is loading, might be disappointed with the experience and there is a good possibility for then to not return again. Besides, Google takes into consideration the speed your webpage loads with and adds this factor in its integral algorithm when determining its overall rating. Thus slow-loading web page undermines your SEO optimization.
Various factors can influence the speed of your web site and just some of them are directly related to the hosting service. For example, with shared hosting it is not just the hardware that matters for the speed factor, but the overall usage of the system. A comparatively fast system that maintains 1000 heterogeneous web pages can still be slower than an average system which maintains a single website. Another main factor contributing to your website’s overall speed is your application’s optimization.
The specific factors that can increase the speed of your hosting are:
• SSD discs- Considerably faster than the standard HDD discs;
• Data centers location – the closer your data center is to the location of your users, the faster your web page will be loading.
• CDN (Content delivery network): CloudFlare is a similar type of service. It significantly increases your website’s speed by optimizing the loading processes of content, images and other resources directly related to the server’s speed.
• Keep in mind that your website has to not only load quickly, but also load on consistent basis.
Everything you do with your server will inevitably influence the speed of your website. You can optimize the code of your page, cut down the usage of various not up-to-date plugins, use relevant tools for cashing content as well as you should definitely implement CDN.
Connectivity is defined by the data amount that can physically can be transmitted through the respective network from your website to the end user for a given time period (usually monthly).
What standard hosting plan offers you as an ‘’unlimited traffic’’ should be sufficient if you own a personal blog or small to medium business’ website and you do not expect an unforeseen big traffic.
However when building big websites that are expected to generate huge traffic daily you have to pay extra in order to fulfill the mandatory requirement for additional bandwidth.
It is a good idea to analyze your traffic so you can determine what bandwidth you are going to need and hence the appropriate hosting plan. If you start an online project but you are uncertain about the expected traffic, you should plan your hosting plan and what its bandwidth includes.
In the end, the necessary bandwidth reduction for the normal functioning of your website depends on your activity - i.e. reducing redundant activities as well as the way you optimize your software.
Web hosting services often come with fixed parameters which you should not exceed. One such parameter is the space meant for storing all your data. Standard shared hosting plans offer more than enough disc space for a blog or a small business website for them to store their data.
With bigger projects you will need to store high resolution images, music and video files. For these purposes you will need bigger disc space than the standard ones, even though the files and content on the webpage itself does not require significant amounts of storage space.
You will surely need bigger disc storage when creating a website in which you plan to publish huge amounts of images or an e-commerce store with plenty of product images (e.g. several terabytes).
It is a common issue that when starting an online project you don`t know what the eventual needs of your website will be in the future. Therefore, you are not sure which will be the right hosting solution. For this reason it is important to keep in mind the scalability option when choosing a web hosting service.
It is important, e.g. if you start with shared hosting plan but your website experiences a significant increase in traffic switching to VPS hosting without any problems and breakdowns.
It is a good idea to consider the option of switching to VPS even if you have planned out your specific hosting plan. Moreover, you should compare prices of VPS and shared hosting and to determine whether it will not be more convenient switching to VPS as earlier as possible and thus to make the best out of your expenses. For this reason keep in mind that it is better to choose a hosting company which offers a big array of services and not just shared hosting plan.
You should also research another factor that can be crucial in the long term- the state of the technical equipment of the company
If you consider using PHP applications such as WordPress, Drupal, Joomla, Zen Cart and other similar software, then a suitable hosting plan in accordance with the needs of your platform will do wonderful job. There are available LAMP software packages as they are efficiently maintained as well/
You can make your life harder if you want to undertake a bit more wildcard projects such as creating an application with Ruby on Rails (programming language) or managing databases with programs such as MangoDB. Despite being popular among programmers, these are not suitable for shared hosting plan. However, innovative hosting companies offer good alternative solutions- Docker hosting.
Another good news is that on the big scale blogs and business websites are built with CMS platforms and the latter function very good on various shared hosting plans. However, technologies offer various alternatives for all unconventional and more demanding online projects.
Access/ Control panel
You can manage your account with your control panel which can be accessed in numerous various ways. HostPulse offers free cPanel for all shared hosting users.
Another way to access and manage your files is with FTP access.
Another way for access is SSH. It allows for encrypted data transmission to the server with the assistance of a command port. SSH is a good feature to have, regardless if you actually plan to use it or not.
In the control panel you can find software which is installed onto the server in order to automatize the installation processes of various scripts and useful applications. One such auto installer feature is Softaculous. You can install different applications such as Wordpress, Joomla, Magento phpBB and many others with just a single click when using Softaculous. In addition, this software has an in-built backup option.
Technical support (sometimes referred to as 24/7 support) is mandatory. You have to be certain that there is available staff which can help you when necessary. Even the most well maintained web pages experience unexpected situations and when such a scenario occurs the immediate intervention of competent technical staff is a must.
You have system administrators and technical support team which both guarantee for the normal functioning of your service.
CHAPTER 5: HOW DOES THE SERVER WORK?
It is crucial to understand how the server that hosts your website works. This will help you to not only grasp the method and dynamics behind the storage of your data but you will also understand how you use the purchased resources and what does the components of every hosting plan mean.
What are you going to learn in this chapter?
• What is an operating system (OS), web server, and database and programming languages?
• Which are the most popular operating systems, web servers and programming languages?
• What is the difference between a server and a web server?
• What is LAMP (LAMP stack)?
A server is simply a computer! It is not something too different from your PC or laptop. However servers are way more powerful machines as well as harder to administrate. Yet, in their essence they function the same way as the computers we use on everyday basis.
Apart from being comparatively more powerful, server machines also have better Internet connectivity in order for users to be able to access them at any time.
Operating system of the server
Operating system is the main interface between applications, users and the physical machine. You use OS daily to the point that you have taken it for given.
Your PC is equipped with Windows or Linux, if you have Max you use OSX. Your phone is using perhaps Android or iOS.
The server needs OS to function just as your home or office computer does. The most commonly used operating system for servers is Linux.
It is a well-known fact that Linux is not very user-friendly of a system. However, this fact does not have to bother you. Linux is the definitive standard for servers, despite not being the go-to operating system for home and office PCs. Furthermore, it is much easier to use when it comes to hosting administration than ASP.net/Windows is. Web hosting companies offer control panels and tools for management, as this way you do not have to possess any Linux knowledge in order for you to successfully administrate your web hosting.
Some hosting plans offer servers operating with Windows optimized for servers i.e. ASP.net. However, you should not get misled simply because you use Windows at home. This is not a reason to use it as an operating system for your server also. There is no real advantage of using Windows for both (personal usage and server).
You should use Windows for your server only if you really need to do so. Using Windows for servers might be acceptable if for example you need to use patent software such as .NET, ASP or Microsoft Silverlight (these will not run on Linux anyway).
Still Linux is the perfect server operating system for about anything else – WordPress. Drupal, Joomla, every application written on PHP as well as everything created with Ruby or Python.
HostPulse offers its shared hosting customers the option to choose between Linux and ASP.net/Windows hosting. Yet, please keep in mind that our ASP.net/Windows hosting service does not support e-mail services and eventually you will have to come up with alternative communication solutions such as cMailPro.
There is a common confusion when it comes to the usage of the terms ‘server’ and ‘web server’.
The ‘Server’ refers to the physical machine – the computer that stores the files of your website and your databases. The ‘Web server’ is a piece of software which is responsible for processing requests made through the Internet. It can be said that the web server is a server program.
How this process goes is that your first type a given URL in the address bar of your browser. Than this URL turns into request which is then transmitted onto the computer machine that hosts the website which you are looking for. Next up, this computer ‘reads it’, figures out what other applications are needed to be started or access to what files should be given and finally responds back to the browser. The answer that is most often sent back is that the page from the website you are looking for. Thus the web servers serves the role of a mediator between the Internet and the files on the (not web) server.
The most common web server is the open code program called Apache. You can find it in most hosting plans as well as in every HostPulse hosting plans. There are some other alternatives to Apache such as enginx. You can also use IIS (web server software) if you are using Windows as the OS of your server. HostPulse provides support for each Apache, nignx and IIS for all our shared hosting customers.
Apache should be the perfect solution as a web server program if the applications you want to manage do not have any specific needs.
Database management system (DBMS)
Most websites (yet not all) require a system for managing databases in order for them to be able to store any other sort of information as well. Such information might be blog posts, pages, product specifications, customer details and any other sort of content depending on the website.
The most commonly used database management system is MySQL. This is a very powerful software tool for managing complex relational databases.
MySQL is the go-to choice for managing the most widespread content management systems (CMS) such as WordPress, Drupal and Joomla. It also maintains numerous e-commerce platforms, website builders, newsletter systems as well as social media applications
There are other database management systems that are used for specific applications and you can encounter them if you are doing something more specific.
For example PostreSQL is also RDBMS (Relational database management system) which functions similarly to MySQL and is often used in combination with the Ruby on Rails programming language. Hence, you will have to purchase a hosting plan which is going to be capable of supporting such a Ruby on Rails-based framework/structure in case you need it.
HostPulse offers free MySQL and PostreSQL for all of its shared Linux hosting users. For all customers using Windows/ASP.net shared hosting, HostPulse offers MS SQL and MySQL database management systems.
Most (but again, not all) websites are dynamic is some way or another. Speaking database management systems, it becomes clear that there should be some software existing which purpose is to extract content from the database and send it to the web server. This is done by different applications such as e.g. content management systems (CMS).
Interactive websites with dynamic content are all computer programs that should written in programming language, regardless if it is a basic blog platform, complex CMS system, e-commerce store, project management system. You do not necessarily have to know this language in order to use the program, yet your web hosting server must ‘know’ it for your applications to function.
The most commonly used language about programming dynamic web applications is PHP. It is supported by most web hosting providers. However, you have to check if the web hosting company of your choice supports a certain programming language if you have to use or develop an application in a different programming language (e.g. Ruby or Python).
HostPulse supports PHP, Ruby, Python, CGI, ASP.NET AJAX Framework, Flash and others. You can get more familiar with all the programming languages that our servers support here.
LAMP / LAMP Stack
LAMP is an acronym standing for ‘’Linux, Apache, MySQL and PHP’’. As previously mentioned Linux is the most commonly used OS for web hosting, Apache is the mostly commonly used one for web server, MySQL is the standard for database management system and PHP is the go-to for applications. These 4 technologies often are referred to as ‘’LAMP Stack’’ or simply LAMP.
LAMP is essentially an assembly of software products with the purpose of covering everything needed for the proper functioning of every web application, website or any other project. HostPulse supports the whole LAMP pack as well as many other applications, free software and useful tools in order to improve your web hosting experience
Some applications require specific modules or plugins in order for then to fully function. The web server and the programming language are two features that demand the incorporation of extra elements within them.
For example your application will require the Apache.mod_rewrite module in case you want your application to have user-friendly URL (i.e. readable URL and not a computer-generated codes). In case your applications processes beyond-average amount of images you might need the GD Graphics Library module for PHP.
What do versions stand for?
All these tools have various versions throughout the year. For example: PHP 4.4 or PHP 5.2. Most web hosting providers use the latest version of a given technology, but they also offer support for older versions of the various script languages. HostPulse not only keeps all most used and newest versions of PHP, but we also aim to implement all the latest versions of script languages and all other modules, technologies and applications that would improve the web hosting experience for our customers.
A server is a computer (physical or virtual) that sustains websites. Series of interrelated software is located on this computer. These pieces of software collectively manage your website.
The following two elements are absolutely mandatory:
• Operating system
• Web Server
You will also need the following features if you will undertake a project beyond the complexity of a static website:
• Programming language
The go-to choice for the aforementioned 4 elements is the LAMP software assembly- Linux (operating system), Apache (web server), MySQL (database), PHP (programming language).
Chapter 6: WordPress hosting
WordPress is a good choice for first-time website owners. It is very user-friendly, especially to beginners. It is almost always integrated within the standard hosting plans and it provides a huge platform for self-teaching in creating and developing websites. WordPress is a very intuitive, flexible and powerful tool.
WordPress shared hosting
The better percentage of WordPress websites are hosted with shared hosting, as this hosting plan is optimized for its installation and launching. From a basic technical standpoint, this is a perfectly suitable hosting plan when it comes to settings and requirements.
As already mentioned shared hosting is not very appropriate choice for websites that generate bigger amounts of traffic. This is particularly relevant for dynamic content management systems. Every page view demands for a request to the database and the reading of at least one PHP script. This can exhaust the capacity of the shared hosting when your traffic reaches its peak, especially if your website contains lots of plugins or if it is lacking a well-developed design.
Therefore, shared hosting is appropriate for small to medium business websites, personal blogs and pages.
With HostPulse you have a convenient WordPress Management tool that can help you manage your WordPress installation - you can protect, optimize, and customize with a single click. You can find WordPress Management in your HostPulse cPanel where you can make changes to your settings and explore all its useful functionalities.
Scalable cloud for WordPress
The scalable cloud services are the best option for bigger and more complex WordPress websites that will surely have to handle great amounts of traffic. Not only it gives you more space and control over the hosting environment, but it will also increase the speed and bandwidth. Unlike shared hosting, with scalable cloud hosting service you do not have to be concerned about any limitations what so ever.
How to make the best out of WordPress
There are plenty of strategies that will improve the efficiency of your WordPress regardless of the hosting plan you use.
REGULARLY UPGRADE WORDPRESS AND ITS PLUGINS WITH THEIR LATEST UP-TO-DATE VERSIONS.
The most commonly encountered WordPress (WP) security problems occur when the platform and its respective plugins had not been updated. It is a common concern that an eventual update of WordPress would cause compatibility problems. However, it is actually the reluctance for actualization that causes the most trouble.
USE PLUGINS WITH BIG USER BASE AND THAT ARE ACTIVELY IN THE PROCESS OF DEVELOPMENT.
Plugins that are no longer supported or being developed cause a great deal of trouble when it comes to compatibility. It is just a matter of time before WordPress’s latest update to lead to some incompatibilities if a given software does not have up-to-date versions. This is all more possible if the plugins code is not written well which is a frequent scenario with the under-used and under-developed plugins.
The big user base guarantees that a given plugin will continue to be supported and further developed. Big user base assures that even if the original developer of the plugin quits the project, someone else will take up on it and will continue with making updates and adding new features. Even if a given plugin is not fixed, there is a good possibility for some of the users to have fixed it already and to have found another working alternative which is another advantage of big user bases.
REGULAR CODE AND DATABASE BACKUPS.
Most people do not bother to regularly back up their WordPress content or files. But you better be secured with backup copies as sometimes unexpected errors occur.
You can stop worrying when making updates if you generate an adequate and secured backup of both your files and content. You can always resort to your backups in case of a breakdown. WordPress also first reminds you of securing backup copies of your website before making any update.
You should check if your web hosting company offers automated backups with specialized software such as R1Soft-backup software in order to be even more secured.
DO NOT HOST YOUR OWN VIDEOS.
It is not a good idea to upload videos on WordPress simply because the platform enables it as an option. Video content occupy huge part of the disc storage space and permeability as thus you will quickly exhaust the capacities of your hosting plan. Video content demands for converting in various sizes and resolutions in order for them to play equally well on both various types of displays and through internet connections with differing quality. This is extra work and you should have enough disc space so you can store the video files.
YouTube channel is a good resolution if you want your video to have public access. You can easily copy the video’s code and embed it into your website.
However, you should most definitely resort to web hosting solutions such as Cloud hosting or VPS If video contents are an integral part of your business.
Chapter 7: Cloud Computing
What are you going to learn in this chapter?
• What is Cloud computing?
• What is IaaS, PaaS и SaaS?
• What does it mean to ‘’get on the cloud’’?
• What is cloud hosting?
What is cloud computing?
Cloud computing is a metaphor that aims to put in abstract terms the process of server virtualization of an equipment to numerous virtual machines. What is meant by this term is the idea for virtualized computing power operating on a clustered hardware organized in a way that enables the computing power to become a necessity similarly as water and electricity are. The idea is to use only as much as you actually need and respective to pay only for what you have used. Similarly to the electricity network or the irrigation system, you are not keen to know where does this computing power comes from as this is job of the cloud services provider.
The cloud is a scalable virtualization. That means it is a flexible one- the resources easily can be either increased or decreased. Cloud hosting allows for complete control over the service – you can both install any software and you can change the resources if necessary. The user does not have to deal with the hardware that is operating behind the cloud.
What is meant when we talk about the cloud?
The cloud has the following working structure: numerous servers clustered together in order for them to be able to work as one ultra-powerful computer. Afterwards virtual machines are allocated on this cluster. From a business standpoint, cloud can mean on one of the following:
• Infrastructure as a Service - IaaS. This happens if the company that owns the hardware can also provide the access to the virtual machines, virtualized discs and other essential computational resources.
• Platform as a Service — PaaS. With such cloud service company delivers a working system with embedded OS and web server onto a virtual machine and provides them to their clients for their computational needs. PaaS ensures programmers a safe environment for developing their applications and services onto an entirely internet-based platform as the provider had equipped it with all the necessary tools.
• Software as a Service — SaaS. In this case, the end user is enabled to user applications as well as a hosting platform where these applications are located. Dropbox, Google Apps and other web applications are examples for such kind of services.
Switching to Cloud hosting simply means to store your data and to manage your applications on a clustered equipment provided someone else. The Cloud infrastructure`s biggest advantage is that the data is hosted on a storage area network (SAN), which guarantees automatic migration of the data if a problem occurs.
HostPulse has Cisco UCS architecture implemented for the needs of its Cloud users. The state-of-the-art equipment provides opportunity for users to benefit from a virtually uninterrupted service with limitless resources ensured by the high-end CISCO UCS blade servers.
The Cloud problem as a metaphor
It is tempting to think that the cloud is some non-substantive computer resources base. However, such assumption is a far cry from the truth. The cloud infrastructure is consisted of physical machines with physical cables and working with physical discs.
The cloud and your business
You already have read about ‘’cloud computing’’ being the future on information technologies. Now you got to the point where you have to understand what exactly it is and what do you have to do in order to make the best out of it in your business. In other words, you have to grasp how to get on the ‘’cloud computing’’ trend flow.
Most web hosting companies are selling one kind of cloud hosting or another. This is usually a derivative of VPS hosting as the VPS itself is located on a cloud infrastructure and not directly on the server’s hardware.
Most shared hosting plans function this way. Tens and hundreds of users share common VPS plan, as the latter is one of the many allocated on a single trust of computer resources.
The main advantage of using cloud-based hosting is the opportunity to scale. The virtual machine located on the cloud server has no physical limitations unlike physical machine which has fixed disc space, RAM memory and CPU limitations. In case of an abrupt increase in the website visits or in case of the need for extra disc space, then these resources can be effortlessly added as this will not affect the normal functioning of your web page in anyway.
Most web hosting companies use cluster and virtualization technologies, therefore even the well-known VPS servers can be labeled as ‘’cloud-based’’ ones.
Chapter 8: E-mail, web mail and mail services
Apart from the successful deliverance of your website to the end users, another factor of uttermost importance for your business is the availability of a reliable e-mail service. You have plenty of options to fine-tune your own e-mail service for your company.
Nevertheless, first you have get familiar with what the e-mail service is and how it works in order for you to make the right choice.
E-mail and domain name
This is how an email address usually looks like as your probably already know:
All the text before the ‘’@’’ symbol is a local name and everything after it is the domain name of your website.
Unfortunately, it is a common practice for small businesses to rely on free email services that however are not connected to their own business domain. This is not a good idea because it does not look professional and can potentially damage the image of your brand. Thus you will have little to none added personalization value as well as little brand positioning on the market.
Using your personal e-mail for business purposes is another common mistake when managing your business communication .This can potentially lead to both legal and ethical problems due to the inevitable confusion between personal and professional communication. Another disadvantage of personal emails is that they cannot be deactivated, blocked or redirected to other address as well as managed by another user. On the other hand, all of these options are perfectly available when using a strictly business email. If you are using personal email for such purposes there is a potential risk for abuse as well as for ruined image and other financial losses for a company.
It might seem like an insignificant detail, yet your business email affects the perception attitude of your current as well as potential customers towards your business.
E-mail server and e-mail client
There are two preconditions in order for an email service to exist: email server and email client. It is a growing practice for the email client to be replaced with webmail, which in turn gives the user more freedom and independence with a specific physical device.
The email server is a piece of software that works on a single server (computer machine) and is constantly connected to the Internet. It receives and processes every email sent to it and sends back every email you require it to.
The email client is the application or the program that you use in order to view and manage your email. This can be an application on your phone which you see in the URL address bar of your web browser or it can a desktop application such as Microsoft Outlook. The client must check the email server for new messages and to store them in order for you to be able to read them. The client ensures interface for reading and writing messages. Moreover, it sends the outgoing messages to the email server from where they are redirected to their respective intended receivers.
Webmail is a web application that allows you to check your email through a browser regardless of the device you use or your physical location.
The email server and the email client are two different pieces of software that however communicate through standardized protocols – POP and IMAP. This means that you can choose either of both as they operate independently from one another.
Most email client can easily connect to almost every email server. In addition, most email clients can connects with numerous email servers and they can function with lots of email accounts simultaneously. This means that if e.g. you are using Outlook as an email client on your PC you can still set it up and use it to access your business mail.
E-mail protocols: POP and IMAP
The two main protocols that allow the reading on your mail are POP and IMAP. Yet, what do these protocols mean? This is a standardized method for transferring information from one place to another. More specifically, they allow for the information transferring of the email server to the email client and vice versa. Put in simple words, the email client and the email server are using a specific language to communication in order for you to be able to easily open and read every message.
POP stand for ‘Post Office Protocol’. You can often encounter it as ‘POP3’ since this is the third version of this protocol.
IMAP stands for ‘Internet Message Access Protocol.’’
Both IMAP and POP are standardized ways for moving the information contained in messages from the email server to the email client, however they differ greatly from one another.
POP is based on the ‘post office’ model. The way it works is that it delivers the messages to you, however it does not actually store the messages or any information about them. You should specifically set up your email client to store your messages on the server in order for you to prevent the loss of messages after you have opened/downloaded them.
On the other hand, IMAP allows for a high level of synchronization between the email server and the email client as it keeps yours online communication on the server and it can be accessed from numerous email clients from various devices.
You would most probably prefer using IMAP for the most time. This way you can receive details such as e.g. if a message has been opened and read or the draft contents as well as other information about your activity with the mails. This means that your entire email is constantly synchronized and even you can even access it from various devices such as laptop, phone, personal or professional computer.
You should check if the email server supports IMAP protocol when you are looking for a suitable hosting plan.
HostPulse supports IMAP and POP3 protocols for all its shared Linux hosting customers.
Ways to access your e-mail – e-mail client and web- based applications
You have several different ways to access your email if you happen to manage it with the email server of your hosting account. The traditional method is to use an email client program on your computer. Such a program can be Outlook, Apple Mail, email client on your phone or other similar program.
The webmail is another possibility that is offered by plenty of web hosting companies. The email client application works directly through your web browser and this way you can access your mail, read your messages and send messages using a single webmail page. If you want to access your email directly through a browser you can use your webmail client application. The most popular webmail client applications are Squirrel, MailRoundCube and Horde.
Setting up an e-mail client
Follow the links below if you would like to set up your email client:
• For Microsoft Outlook 2013
• For Mozilla Thunderbird
You should keep in mind that you have to set up the accounts you want to access with the email client when managing such an email client. In the settings menu of the program you can add various email accounts. It will be mandatory for every single one of them to have a name, a password, as well as a server and information about the respective protocol.
You can find this information in your web hosting control panel. It is located in the section that allows you to add new email addresses and passwords. Again, from this section you find all the information you might need in order to set up your accounts into a single email client
Setting up the automatic redirection of messages on your professional email to your personal email is another possibility that you might use. This is a common solution for bloggers and numerous small businesses. However, in this case if you would like to answer a received message, it will be sent from your personal and not your business mail address.
Another good alternative is using a professional email service such as cMailPro. This is a cutting edge unified communication solution. It eases, optimizes and increases the security of your online communications and your everyday business activities. In this case you will use the so-called autosource service that offers solutions to your communications problems and has various advantages. cMailPro allows for easier and faster managing of your obligations. It provides you with calendar, embedded chat as well as call option, Tasks menu, file manager and complete encryption of all your data. This innovative solution can be used directly with a browser and will greatly ease your everyday business activities.
Sending automated e-mails
If you often send emails for specific purposes (e.g. registration made, password recovery, invoices, receipts, order confirmations, subscription renewal etc.) usually this is not done through the email server.
This kind of messages are called transactional mails or automated mails. As the name suggests they are sent automatically from the code of your website/applications when a certain interaction between it and the users occur- such as a placed order, a payment etc.
If your email sends and receives too much mails (in the case of popular e-commerce stores), this is sustained by using the resources of your hosting account. In addition, some people use such kind of emails (applications emails) as a cost efficient way to send spam. In any case, a situation with overflowing amounts of sent and received emails can negatively affect your email wholesome email experience as well as your web hosting resources.
You should think of the possibility to autosource mails with a specialized premium service if you send lots of transactional emails that have to be efficiently delivered. Such services can be plugins added to your CMS, an ecommerce software or other mail alternatives.
Mail listings and marketing mail
There are well-established laws against spam messages and it is not a good idea for you trying to bypass or skip the law. In addition, because of the strong blocking spam solution that filter your mail it can be a tough task to execute this task by yourself. Moreover, it can lead to issues with the resources of your hosting plan and email service.
HostPulse has a very strict policy regarding send spam messages as we do not tolerate the usage of our services for such purposes. Nevertheless, you can get familiar with our ‘’HostPulse Newsletter’’ service. You can use it to send newsletters as this is a convenient solution of delivering important information to your customers and partners which had subscribed for it. You can read more about this service’s parameters and limitations here.
The best alternative to sending your newsletters is to use a specialized email service. We recommend you using email solutions such as Mail Chimp or Aweber for such purposes as they are perfectly accessible for all online users.
Businesses and organization should use domain-branded email addresses for their professional communication instead of personal email addresses on the popular web-based email clients.
The emails are sent and received through the Internet by using software application called email server. The user can read and send emails with an application called email client. You can freely choose what applications to use for your different mails/activities.
There are different possibilities when it comes to accessing your mail: installing applications on a computer device, using webmail client or using paid email client account. In addition, you can completely autosource the service with an email services provider while still using your own domain name.
cMaiPro is one such service. It not only serves the functions of an email client but also incorporates within it all communication channels as well as numerous additional functionalities.
You should also consider the automated (transactional) and ad emails that you are going to simultaneously send to lots of people. Automated (transactional) emails are automated messages that are sent from the code of your website as this related to its functionality.
Usually automated emails are not connected to your email server. Instead the code of your website sends them directly. You will not be concerned about this type of electronic messages for the better amount of time. They are automatically sent when certain interactions with your website occur. However, if you are sending properly huge amounts of these automated emails all the time, you should think of an autosource solution of this service using external transactional email provider.
Marketing emails such as newsletters that are sent to subscribers are targeted by very strict laws. They are also not tolerated by the terms and conditions of HostPulse’s shared hosting policy. Using email marketing services such as Mail Chimp or Aweber is a convenient solution for this very reason.
Tip: Use your full name (including first name and family name) for each email address you create.
Lots of organizations use peculiar models for ‘converting’ the names of their employees into email addresses. In some cases such converting processes do not lead to pleasant results.
It is a matter of time to have duplicating addresses if you are using first names only. There is no guarantee of avoiding duplication if you are using first name and the first letter of the family name only as well.
A better alternative is using the first letter of your first name and the whole family name for every employee. It is suitable for both small and medium companies, yet not for corporations with thousands of employees. In this case, you are not protected from duplicating emails as well as from peculiar email addresses such as d.rusev or m.rankov.
The best method is using the full first and last names of your employees separated by a full stop or dash when creating their email addresses.
For example: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
This way the possibility for errors, confusion and peculiar names is going to be reduced, even though the email addresses will be longer and more complicated to both memorize and write down. Nevertheless, practices from all around the world prove this to be the best alternative for big international companies with numerous employees. In such companies there is always a great possibility for duplicating names. Using full names also makes the internal corporate communication better, especially in cases when the company has several offices in various cities and countries.
Chapter 9: Additional services to look for from your hosting provider
It is crucial to secure your online business from all kinds of attacks. Good hosting companies invest in specialized tech equipment that guarantees the security of their customers. Radware Defense Pro is one such piece of equipment that guarantees up to 99.99% protection from network level DDoS attacks. It prevents the possibility of overflowing the connectivity channel as well as it prevents DDos attacks, login pages attacks, CDN and SSL-based flood attacks. This specialized hardware protects from both network attacks as well as application level attacks.
SSL certificates are highly recommended for websites that operate with sensitive data such as e-commerce stores, institutional websites and organizations. More generally, SSL certificates are a must for websites that operate with/collect important user as well as financial information. There are free SSL certificates available, however for the more serious online projects paid SSL certificate from a validated provider is the more credible option.
‘’Let`s Encrypt’’ is fully automatized and free certificate for data encryption. It is a convenient option particularly for start-ups that do not have to contain any sensitive data (at least initially). ‘’Let’s encrypt’’ is also a good solution for informative websites.
Single communication solution
The well-timed and right communications are crucial for the success of every business, especially when it comes to the online environment. For this very reason you should find a suitable solution that will fully secure the communication processes not only externally with customers and partners, but also internally with employees, departments and branches.
One such solution is provided by the cMailPro communication service. This cutting-edge communication resolution is fully integrated within the control panel of your hosting account. This unified service assembles all the necessary communication channels you and your company might need on a single platform – email, webmail, contacts, data storage, data sharing, calendar, chat and mobile synchronization are all equally easily accessible. With cMailPro you can manage your communication efficiently, quickly and securely.
Dedicated IP address
Dedicated IP address is a unique internet address that every individual hosting account has. Your IP address is shared with every other account located on the same server if you are using the shared hosting service. However, a dedicated IP address guarantees you that if an eventual attack happens against the shared hosting server, you will remain secured unlike the other accounts that share their IP address. A dedicated IP address is necessary when you want to equip your website with SSL certificate.
SSH is a network protocol for transmitting encrypted data. It is used for accessing and managing distant machines and it comes with high levels of authentication and security measures. The SSH is an additional optional feature for shared hosting plans. It has to first be installed from FTP client to your server in order for you to use it. SSH encrypts data every time it is sent from the network to the computer. Finally SSH automatically decrypts the data after the end user had received it.
Unique daily backup
The possibility for consistent daily backup is a must for every hosting plan. The R1Soft-backup is a specialized software for creating archived copies. Why would you need it? Your website have to be prepared for eventual unfortunate situations such as a security leak or accidentally deleted (yet important) files. Such software guarantees maximum security for your website. It also ensures the recovery of your website the moment you require the software to make backup copies for web files, emails and databases. It also has to be mentioned that the archived copies do not occupy any space on the hard disk, neither do they spend any CPU minutes.
You can easily view your backup files if you wish so. You have shortcut access to the software from the control panel and you can easily manage your backup files. Thus you can recover a file you lost or do any other operation.
Chapter 10: How do we know if we have chosen the right hosting provider
You have to carefully research and assess the quality of services hosting providers offer, as well as what additional services they have available. In this chapter we will outline the key advantages that a quality web hosting provider have to equip you with.
Guaranteed quality of service
Good web hosting companies have quality certificates which are in compliance with international standards, thus assuring that delivering a quality service is nothing short of a priority for the company. The international ISO 9001 certificate monitors and assures that the customer will get a quality final product.
It is mandatory that you have reliable 24/7 support that you can contact via various communication channels such as E-mail, phone or Online Helpdesk support. Shared hosting plans have free technical support available that includes provisioning of the server equipment as well as constant monitoring. However, this is rather the exception than being the standard. For the rest of hosting services such as VPS, cloud or dedicated server it is the client’s liability to maintain both the equipment and the infrastructure. In such cases additional payment shall be made if the client requires technical support. The prices of such services can vary as it depends on the type of service you would need.
Vast array of services
It is always a good sign when a web hosting company offers a great variety of services. This means that the company is looking to offer the most suitable solution for each and every of its customers according to their requirements and needs. The availability of services such as shared hosting (Linux, Windows, Java, Mail, DNS), Virtual private servers, dedicated servers, virtual private cloud-based servers, virtual data centers, colocation for personal communication equipment, Rack shelfs hiring and routes means that you can be sure about fulfilling the needs of your online projects whatever they might be.
There are plenty of web hosting providers, however only few of them are able to ensure the provision of their technical services. High-quality technical equipment guarantees the quality of the services. You should pay attention to what the servers are, how powerful they, what is their server equipment and where is it allocated. HostPulse is one of UK’s finest web hosting companies and we use server equipment from the most trusted hardware company in this sphere- Supermicro. The server equipment is built with the latest tech components from Intel, 3Com, Hitachi, Kingston, WD, multi-core processors i7, Xeon Quad as was as Blade systems (Supermicro SuperBlade), HardwareRaid 1&10, SCSI, SAS and HDD RAID EDITION. In addition, the whole equipment is triple-secured.