Web Hosting, All the Myths, The truths and suggestions
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Web Hosting Technologies
This section describes some of the most common hosting technologies.
Windows hosting means hosting of web services that runs on the Windows operating system.
You should choose Windows hosting if you plan to use ASP (Active Server Pages) as server scripting, or if you plan to use a database like Microsoft Access or Microsoft SQL Server. Windows hosting is also the best choice if you plan to develop your web site using Microsoft Expression Web.
Unix hosting means hosting of web services that runs on the Unix operating system.
Unix was the first (original) web server operating system, and it is known for being reliable and stable. Often less expensive than Windows.
Linux hosting means hosting of web services that runs on the Linux operating system.
CGI scripts are executable’ s that will execute on the server to produce dynamic and interactive web pages.
Most ISPs offer some kind of CGI capabilities. ISPs often offer pre-installed, ready to run, guest-books, page-counters, and chat-forums solutions in CGI.
CGI is most common on Unix or Linux servers.
ASP – Active Server Pages
ASP is a server-side scripting technology developed by Microsoft.
ASP is a standard component in Windows 95,98, 2000, and XP. It can be activated on all computers running Windows.
PHP is the widely-used, free, and efficient alternative to competitors such as Microsoft’s ASP.
PHP is perfectly suited for Web development, and can be embedded directly into the HTML code.
The PHP syntax is very similar to Perl and C.
PHP is often used together with Apache (web server) on various operating systems. It also supports ISAPI and can be used with Microsoft’s IIS on Windows.
PHP supports many databases, such as MySQL, Informix, Oracle, Sybase, Solid, PostgreSQL, Generic ODBC, etc.
JSP is a server-side technology much like ASP, developed by Sun.
With JSP you can create dynamic web pages by putting Java code inside your HTML pages. The code is executed by the web server before the page is returned to the browser.
Since JSP uses Java, the technology is not restricted to any server-specific platform.
Cold Fusion is another server-side scripting language used to develop dynamic web pages.
Cold Fusion is developed by Adobe.
Microsoft’s ASP technology runs only on Windows platforms.
However, Chili!Soft ASP is a software product that allows ASP to run on UNIX and some other platforms.
Microsoft Expression Web
Expression Web is a website design tool developed by Microsoft.
Expression Web allows users to develop a web site without any deep knowledge of web development.
If you plan to use Expression Web, you should look for a Windows hosting solution.
Dreamweaver is a website design tool owned by Adobe Systems.
Dreamweaver allow users to develop a web site without any deep knowledge of web development.
Dreamweaver is available for both Mac and Windows operating systems.
A secure server can transmit data encrypted.
If you plan to do online credit card transactions, or other types of web communication that needs to be protected against unauthorized access, your ISP must provide a secure server.
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Web Hosting Types
Hosting can be FREE, SHARED or DEDICATED.
Some ISPs offer free web hosting. Most of these FREE ! sites do offer upgrades once you have established a site, this is the problem often @ a cost higher than it would have cost from a non free site. Some free sites also post there own Advertising and revenue from these ads subsequently becomes theirs realistically derived from your hard work.
Free web hosting is best suited for small sites with low traffic, like personal sites. It is not recommended for high traffic or for real business. Technical support is often limited, and technical options are few.
Very often you cannot use your own domain name at a free site. You have to use a name provided by your host like http://www.freesite.com/users/~yoursite.htm. This is hard to type, hard to remember, and not very professional.
|Low cost. It’s free.||No domain names.|
|Good for family, hobby or personal sites.||Few, limited, or no software options.|
|Free email is often an option.||Limited security options.|
|Limited or no database support.|
|Limited technical support.|
Shared (Virtual) Hosting
Shared hosting is very cost effective.
With shared hosting, your web site gets its own domain name, and is hosted on a powerful server along with maybe 100 other web sites.
Shared solutions often offer multiple software solutions like e-mail, database, and different editing options. Technical support tends to be good.
|Low cost. Cost is shared with others.||Reduced security due to many sites on one server.|
|Good for small business and average traffic.||Restrictions on traffic volume.|
|Multiple software options.||Restricted database support.|
|Own domain name.||Restricted software support.|
With dedicated hosting, your web site is hosted on a dedicated server.
Dedicated hosting is the most expensive option. This option is best suited for large web sites with high traffic, and web sites that use special software.
You should expect dedicated hosting to be very powerful and secure, with almost unlimited software solutions.
|Good for large business.||Expensive.|
|Good for high traffic.||Requires higher skills.|
|Multiple domain names.|
|Powerful email solutions.|
|Powerful database support.|
|Strong (unlimited) software support.|
Collocation means “co-location”. Collocated hosting lets you place your own web server on the premises (locations) of a service provider.
This is pretty much the same as running your own server in your own office, only that it is located at a place better designed for it.
Most likely an ISP will have dedicated resources like high-security against fire and vandalism, regulated backup power, dedicated Internet connections and more.
|High up-time.||Requires higher skills.|
|High security.||Harder to configure and debug.|
|Unlimited software options.|
Before you choose your web host, make sure that:
- The hosting type suits your needs
- The hosting type is cost effective
- Upgrading to a better server is possible
- If needed, upgrading to a dedicated server is possible
Before you sign up with an ISP, surf some other web sites on their servers, and try to get a good feeling about their network speed. Also compare the other sites against yours, to see if it looks like you have the same needs. Contacting some of the other customers is also a valuable option.
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Web Hosting Introduction
How does the Internet work? How can I have my own Web Site?
What is a Web Host? What is an Internet Service Provider?
What is the World Wide Web?
- The Web is a network of computers all over the world that are interconnected by DNS (Dynamic Name Server).
- All the computers in the Web can communicate with each other.
- All the computers use a communication protocol called HTTP, and HTTPS:
How does the WWW work?
- Web information is stored in documents called web pages.
- Web pages are files stored on computers called web servers.
- Computers reading the web pages are called web clients.
- Web clients view the pages with a program called a web browser.
- Popular browsers are Internet Explorer and Firefox, Others like Opera and Google Chrome also Work Well
How does a Browser Fetch a Web Page?
- A browser fetches a page from a web server by a request.
- A request is a standard HTTP request containing a page address.
- An address may look like this: http://www.example.com/default.htm.
How does a Browser Display a Web Page?
- All web pages contain instructions for display.
- The browser displays the page by reading these instructions.
- The most common display instructions are called HTML tags.
- HTML tags look like this <p>This is a paragraph.</p>.
What is a Web Server?
- The collection of all your web pages is called your web site.
- To let others view your web pages, you must publish your web site.
- To publish your work, you must copy your site to a web server.
- Your own PC can act as a web server if it is permanently connected to a network and has a dedicated DNS
- Most common connection is to use an Internet Service Provider (ISP).
What is an Internet Service Provider?
- ISP stands for Internet Service Provider.
- An ISP provides Internet Services.
- A common Internet service also hosts web hosting.
- Web hosting means storing your web site on a public server.
- Web hosting normally includes email services.
- Web hosting often includes domain name registration.
- If you want other people to view your web site, you must copy your site to a public server.
Even if you can use your own PC as a web server, it is more common to let an Internet Service Provider (ISP) host your site.
Included in a Web hosting solution you can expect to find domain name registration and standard email services.
You can read more about domain name registration, email and other services in the next chapters of this tutorial.
THIS POST IS SUPPOSED TO ELIMINATE THE JARGON AND MAKE THE www AND HOSTING UNDERSTANDABLE IN LAY MAN’S TERMS