Ask me anything about web hosting !
Which provider should I use ?
-The answer is depended on various factors.
- Is downtime ok for you ? Can you tolerate your site being down for at least once, twice or more per day/week/month. Can you afford losing your contents (database, files, media)?
-If you answer Yes to the ALL questions above, then you can basically choose any provider.
-If you answer No to at least one of the questions, then read the section about Overselling vs Non Overselling
- Will the speed of the website be a issue ?
-Also see the section about Overselling vs Non Overselling
- What will be the content hosted on the account ?
-Generally the website content is the biggest deciding factor when choosing a web host. The content can determine how much processing time/resources you site require. For example, if your website is based on a CMS "Content Management System" (Wordpress, Joomla, Drupal, etc) with lots of media (pictures/videos) then the processing time/load time will increase dramatically once you reach a certain amount of visitors.
The reason for this is because these CMS are dynamic, whenever somebody visits your site the script will execute itself and provide the visitor with the latest content. So when you have visitors simultaneously loading your website, your CMS will execute itself for each of these visitors.
You could enable caching on these system to prevent repetitive load cycle for the same contents.
Conversely, if your website is .html (static website) based then simultaneous visitors is not a big issue. That is because your visitors will load the content (html,htm) pages directly off your web space. It does not require for the server to process(execute) any script to display the content.
Overselling vs Non Overselling
-This is an important concept that everybody NEEDS to know when deciding on a web host.
What is the definition of overselling?
-Overselling is when a web host "oversell" the resources on a server to more people than the server is capable of handling.
How does overselling impact me?
-The answer is simple. The more a web host oversell a server, the bigger impact it will be on your website. You can turn to this analogy.
Let say the total server resource = 100Units
and the number of customer = x
Basically, you would be dividing the 100 units / x # of customer on the server. As you can see, the more customer a server have on it, the lesser amount of resources you will have available to use for your website.
If overselling is this bad, then how can companies do it?
Simple, these hosting companies bank on the idea that not all customers on the server will be using the same resource at the same time or at all. So when this happens, customers will still resources left to use for the website.
This idea may sound an ideal way to share resources, but unfortunately this idea seldom works. Simply because the web host cannot dictate when a site will have customers. So when you have many customers on the same server fighting for the limited resource on a server. This will eventually lead to downtime for you. Because the less resource available means there will be higher load (longer processing time for PHP/ASP scripts), less bandwidth available (slower speed on the website), and quite possibly the server may run out of space very quickly.
SIMPLY PUT THERE IS NO UNLIMITED HARD DRIVE, NO UNLIMITED BANDWIDTH! DO NO GET FOOLED!
What are these resources you speak of?
- CPU cycle (determine by how powerful a CPU is)
- Amount of bandwidth available (determined by the port the server is on 10Mbps, 100Mbps, 1Gbps. The higher the more bandwidth is avaialble.)
- Space (Determined by the harddrive on the server)
- Memory (determine by the amount of RAM on the server)
-Some of the bigger hosts that oversell are: hostgator, dreamhost, hostmonster, bluehost, etc...
Basically to determine how you know a overselling is when you see a host offering you ridiculous hosting plans like.
500GB of space, 5TB of monthly transfer and they require you to pay a year/two years in advance.
So what happens when I try to use up the resource?
-The chances are these web host will suspend you account and force you to upgrade to a more expensive plan such as a VPS, dedicated server. !!REMEMBER TO READ THE TOS OF THE COMPANY!!
So is a non overselling host a lot better than a overselling one?
-The answer is up to you. If you value your site, then you should never consider an overselling host. Simply because you will NEVER be able to used up the advertised space/bandwidth available listed in your plan.
If your website is not important, then you can try your luck with a overselling host.
What's the main difference between a overselling host vs non overselling host?
The main obvious difference is with a non overselling host, you will have a lot more resource available for you to use. Less downtime and faster speed.
Just remember you get what you paid for.
Whats the difference between Linux hosting vs Windows Hosting
In terms of functionality, Linux hosting cannot run ASP scripts. Other than that both Linux and Windows functionality are identical.
Windows Hosting generally uses IIS. vs. Apache, LiteSpeed on Linux.
Which is better? Linux or Windows hosting?
Linux hosting generally is priced lower than Windows hosting due to Windows hosting require multiple layers of licensing (Windows OS, Control Panel, MSSQL, etc). Unless you absolutely NEED to run ASP, then I would suggest using Linux hosting.
My emails send from my web hosting account is always tagged as SPAM or are being bounced by the recipient email server. What gives?
-Generally, this happens when somebody else on the same server as you are sending out spam or the script they are using is outdated and it is being exploited to be used to send out spam.
When this happens, the shared IP of the server will get blocked by RBL, SBL, XBL, etc... Once the shared IP is blocked, then anything sending out from that shared IP will get blocked. It doesn't matter if it's a different domain. Once it is blocked, it is blocked.
Is there any website I could check to see if my server's IP is blocked?
http://mxtoolbox.com or http://www.spamhaus.org. To find the IP that is being used to send out emails, simply send out a email from the hosting server, then read the email HEADER.
Here is a sample header.
Code: Select all
Received: from ironport2-out.teksavvy.com ([184.108.40.206] helo=ironport2-out.pppoe.ca) by your.receving.server with esmtp (Exim 4.69) (envelope-from <firstname.lastname@example.org>) id 1Np2dw-0006HA-1F for email@example.com; Tue, 09 Mar 2010 11:50:54 -0500
How often should I backup my website?
Even if your website advertise that you plan includes backup service, you should still backup your website AS OFTEN AS POSSIBLE. I have read many stories that the backup from the web hosting failed.
REMEMBER! Backing up is the responsibility of the customer (YOU), not the web host's!
What control panel do you recommend using?
-For Linux, I use cPanel for most of my sites. Simply IMO cPanel is the easiest and the best control panel for linux. There is also DirectAdmin for linux as well, but the feature is not as good as cPanel IMO.
One important feature I recommend cPanel over DirectAdmin is the ability to easily restore your account to another host. This is not because DiretAdmin doesn't have this function, but because most hosts out there uses cPanel. So that means you have more choices whenever you want to switch host and not worry about migrating to another control panel system.
For Windows, most people uses Plesk. And that's really the only Windows hosting control panel out there that is worth mentioning. That is because the parent company of Plesk (Parallels aka Swsoft) bought out a lot of other Windows control panel.
What is the difference between shared hosting, semi-dedicated, VPS, Dedciated server?
Shared hosting- you shared the server resource as other people on the same server
Semi-dedicated- IMO, this is a scam run by overselling companies. Because their oversold servers are always maxed out. They will often FORCE customers to upgrade their regular hosting plan to this. Semi-dedicated plan exactly the same as regular hosting, there is nothing special about it. Resources are shared among other customers on the same server. However, most semi-dedicated plans limit the amount of customers allowed on each server.
VPS/VDS/PS (Virtual Private Server/Virtual Dedicated Server/Personal Server) - The concept is the same as a shared hosting. Each VPS is placed in a main node(server). Then resources are divided among the VPS'. The same concept still applies with shared hosting. However, VPS generally have more "dedicated" resources available for you to use than shared hosting.
Dedicated Server- The server is for you only. No other person (unless you allowed) is on the server.