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Ask me anything about web hosting !

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[OP]
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Feb 10, 2007
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Ask me anything about web hosting !

Just thought to start a thread to help shed some light for people who are looking to start a website.

F.A.Q.

General Questions

Which provider should I use ?
-The answer is depended on various factors.
  1. 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
  2. Will the speed of the website be a issue ?
    -Also see the section about Overselling vs Non Overselling
  3. 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?
  1. CPU cycle (determine by how powerful a CPU is)
  2. Amount of bandwidth available (determined by the port the server is on 10Mbps, 100Mbps, 1Gbps. The higher the more bandwidth is avaialble.)
  3. Space (Determined by the harddrive on the server)
  4. Memory (determine by the amount of RAM on the server)
Who are some overselling hosts?
-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.

Technical F.A.Q.

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 ([206.248.154.183] helo=ironport2-out.pppoe.ca)
	by your.receving.server with esmtp (Exim 4.69)
	(envelope-from <support@teksavvy.com>)
	id 1Np2dw-0006HA-1F
	for email@youremail.com; Tue, 09 Mar 2010 11:50:54 -0500
In this example, the IP address is 206.248.154.183.

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.
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198 replies
[OP]
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What auto installer scripts are out there?
The most actively developed and supported is Softaculous. There are also Fantasico (but it is lacking these days) and Installatron

Why do I want an auto installer?
For the sake of installing scripts faster. Or if you don't want to rely on somebody to install a script for you. You can live without it if you are tech savvy enough.

What other tools can I use to troubleshoot my site?
http://iptools.com
http://intodns.com - DNS zone checking
http://who.is - WHOIS checking

Can I register my domain at company A and use my hosting with company B?
Absolutely, this is actually my preferred way of doing things since the hosting company cannot hold you hostage (the domain) in case of the relationship going sour.

How do I transfer (port out) my hosting to another company?
First make sure your new host and old host are using the same control panel (usually cpanel). If they are, then the move is easy.
  1. Genereate a full backup on your old host
  2. Contact your new host if they will migrate and restore your data for free
  3. Sign up with the new host and fordward them the backup file so they could restore
  4. Update the nameserver of the domain to the new host's
Other F.A.Q.

How long before will I be start making money on my site from advertisements?
-Ummmm depends, but I will say awhile. To make at least $1 USD per day with Google Adsense, you need at least 10 000 page impression. This feat. alone is very hard to accomplish.

Do you recommend paying semi-annually, annually, bi-annually in advance?
NO NO NO, NEVER prepay for web hosting services for such a long period. Quarterly is ok IMO. But monthly is what I would prefer. It simply gives you more power and leverage when consider switching host.

Do you have an opinion on those free host in the freebies section?
I never used any of them so I can't comment on it. But I would avoid the ones that always spam their thread to bump their own thread up. This shows me they are hurting for clients and business and want free advertisement.


Which host is worth using?
-I won't put out any names out there, I don't want to affiliate or advertise for companies. If you want to know what host I use, you can PM me.

Any other questions feel free to post here or PM.


Remember!
You get what you paid for!!
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Deal Addict
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Sep 27, 2008
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Adelaide
This may not relate exactly to web hosting but ive been looking at web hosting and I am wondering when would I need to use mySQL. Trying to look it up and i really don't know what you use it for. If I am making a pretty basic website that basically just has information that I want to put up, and maybe a blog and some images (using wordpress) would I even need mySQL? It seems like its used to make a database to store data, and as far as I know I wouldn't need something like this for my basic site?

Also any opinions on free hosting with buying a domain (eg http://www.doteasy.com/Services/WebHosting/Basic/) I only need my website for the summer basically and wouldn't expect high traffic.
[OP]
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BongoBong wrote:
Mar 24th, 2010 1:31 pm
This may not relate exactly to web hosting but ive been looking at web hosting and I am wondering when would I need to use mySQL. Trying to look it up and i really don't know what you use it for. If I am making a pretty basic website that basically just has information that I want to put up, and maybe a blog and some images (using wordpress) would I even need mySQL? It seems like its used to make a database to store data, and as far as I know I wouldn't need something like this for my basic site?

Also any opinions on free hosting with buying a domain (eg http://www.doteasy.com/Services/WebHosting/Basic/) I only need my website for the summer basically and wouldn't expect high traffic.
MySQL is a database application.

Basically if you want, you could store all the text up see on your website into a database (but that's overkill).

Wordpress uses a database as you suggested, because for wordpress the contents are dynamic. So every time the script loads it fetches the information from the database.

If you want a basic site (FULL HTML + IMAGES) then you don't need a database, as all your information is loaded from the html.

If you are just gonna use it for a short period, then free hosting is fine.
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[OP]
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fatestkid wrote:
Apr 24th, 2010 10:41 pm
what is the cheapest host? if I answered YES to the question 1
What kind of features do you want?
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Newbie
Mar 14, 2008
65 posts
Toronto (Yorkdale/Do…
I have similar questions.

1) Of all the possible permutations and combinations that I can choose from, what is/are the cheapest web hosts? So what that means is, if there are any possibilities in your answer, assume that I want to know what is the cheapest. e.g. If it depends on the features, pick the cheapest/least features. If it depends on how long I sign up for, pick the cheapest cost (maybe for a year or a month). Whenever there's a factor, pick the cheapest possibility. The bottom line is that I want to have some kind of real answer to give me an idea before I really get into this.

2) What/who is the cheapest host if I simply just want to redirect immediately, without ads, to my Google Sites page.
Sr. Member
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Aug 18, 2007
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The cheapest host is Dreamhost, if you sign up when they have a sale. It's $10 for the year.

If you just want to re-direct to a Google Sites page, you don't even need hosting. You can just buy a domain and set the CNAME data to the Google Sites page, IIRC.
Newbie
Feb 8, 2008
84 posts
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What would be the best host to be used as a bittorrent client or newsgroups? Would want it to be as fast as possible. Thanks!
[OP]
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dontkno wrote:
May 3rd, 2010 5:26 pm
What would be the best host to be used as a bittorrent client or newsgroups? Would want it to be as fast as possible. Thanks!

You would need a VPS for this.
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Deal Addict
Dec 17, 2001
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Ajax
Just thought to start a thread to help shed some light for people who are looking to start a website.

Overselling vs Non Overselling
-This is an important concept that everybody NEEDS to know when deciding on a web host.
I was watching this, and I'm sure this could be applied to hosting:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F5Ri_HhziI0
[OP]
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nick227 wrote:
Apr 19th, 2011 11:54 pm
10,000 impressions for $1 a day on Adsense? What are you talking about? My blog gets ~100-200 impressions per day and ~1-2 ad clicks and I make between $0.25-$3 a day from those clicks. One day I got 5000 impressions on a different site and $15 clicks and made $12

Your blog must be hitting all the high paying keywords.
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[OP]
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Kuurgen wrote:
Apr 19th, 2011 11:09 pm
I was watching this, and I'm sure this could be applied to hosting:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F5Ri_HhziI0

That's almost how every consumer technology is applied these days.

Cell phones, land lines, internet connection... etc
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Dec 26, 2008
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sexyj wrote:
Apr 20th, 2011 12:37 am
Your blog must be hitting all the high paying keywords.

It's just an iPhone blog, nothing special.
OLYMPIAKOS GATE 7

ΟΣΦΠ Misfits
[OP]
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nick227 wrote:
Apr 20th, 2011 7:43 am
It's just an iPhone blog, nothing special.

consider iphone is a hot keyword?
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