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Yahoo domain renewal has gone mad

By: Mike on May 25, 2008 @ 3:04 amNo Comments

Beginning on July 1, 2008, Yahoo!'s annual domain renewal price increases to $34.95 per year.

IPOWER Offers RatePoint Management Tools

By: Business Wire on February 24, 2008 @ 10:21 amNo Comments

IPOWER Offers New Customer Feedback and Online Reputation Management Tools

RatePoint is among the first value-add tools to be integrated into IPOWER hosting plans for 2008

PHOENIX--(BUSINESS WIRE)--IPOWER, Inc., a leading provider of online services and hosting, today announced the integration of RatePoint, a comprehensive customer feedback and online reputation management platform, into all of its hosting plans.

RatePoint provides small- and medium-sized business with a method of soliciting customer feedback and posting customer ratings on their Web sites. It is now included in every hosting plan that IPOWER offers and is just the first of many new and innovative solutions IPOWER will be rolling out to its customers in 2008.

“We realize our customers need us to be problem solvers—not just a hosting provider,” explained IPOWER CEO Thomas Gorny. “In response to that, we’re going to be integrating more tools that help customers save time, money and worry. RatePoint is one of the first, and it addresses an issue that plagues many small businesses—consumer trust.

“Many consumers are hesitant to buy online from smaller companies, simply because they don’t recognize the name or have any idea about a company’s reputation. RatePoint provides a platform for providing feedback, generating approval ratings and settling disputes. That kind of unbiased, third-party information gives businesses credibility and consumers peace of mind.”

RatePoint allows businesses to manage their online reputation by easily capturing and publishing consumer reviews and feedback directly from their Web sites through the RatePoint site seal. RatePoint verifies actual consumer ratings for authenticity, and businesses then have an opportunity to respond to feedback and publish those reviews online. In addition, a robust suite of tools, including surveys, coupons, e-mails and other communication and marketing tools, plus a Web-based management interface, make it easy for businesses to connect with customers, increase sales and improve consumer confidence. Yahoo

Top Ten Reasons to Choose a Web Hosting

By: D. David Dugan on February 8, 2008 @ 5:51 amNo Comments

Choosing a web hosting provider is different for everyone. Every website has a specific set of needs and you have to find a web host that provides the needs that are specific to your website.

However, there are certain things to look for when choosing a web-hosting service. In this article I will give you the ten most common things people should be looking for. These are not necessarily in the order of priority, because as I said every website has different needs and your priorities might not be the same as the next website owner.

1. Tech Support: Tech support in any business venture is always important. As a website owner though, the tech support that your web-hosting service provides is going to be crucial to your business. If your website is offline or not working properly it will cost you sales.

If you have been buying traffic to your website and it goes offline, you are still being charged for all of those visits to your website, which they never saw. The money you are spending on your ad campaign, AdWords program or other traffic sources is going right down the drain. You cannot afford to choose a web host that does not respond quickly when you have a problem.

2. Feedback Forums: A web host that provides a forum, message board, or chat room to discuss hosting issues or to get help in is more likely to get a user to use their web-hosting services. The reason behind this is people feel more comfortable with a web host that gives a personal touch and one that cares enough to provide a higher level of service.

3. Room to Grow: If your web-hosting service only offers one package, it’s a bad sign in most cases. What happens as your web business grows and so do your web hosting needs? If they offer upgrades to dedicated servers, larger storage and bandwidth plans, and a lot of other options, then you can feel confident choosing them as your web hosting provider. You don’t plan to stay small and your web host shouldn’t plan for you to stay small either.

4. Storage Space: This is usually only an issue with websites that will be offering users a lot of downloads such as music or software. The average website can get by with about 10 megabytes of storage, but again you want room to grow, plus you can actually use your storage to back up files from your computer. Don’t backup secure documents there, but a lot of your files can be backed up online. You have storage so use it. The more storage space they offer, the better.

5. Bandwidth or Transfer: This is the size of every file visitors to your website download automatically to their computers each time they visit. The average webpage is around 30k and then you add the graphics and other files that are displayed to the user and you get your bandwidth or transfer usage. The average website can get by on less than 10 gigabytes of bandwidth per month. However if you are offering downloads like software, music, and movies, or you are going to be driving a lot of traffic to your website, you may want to choose a plan that offers you more bandwidth. Make sure your webhosting provider has options that give you room to grow here as well.

6. Easy to use Control Panel: Cpanel is one of the most popular control panels for web hosts to offer, but there are others. Ask what type of control panel your web host is offering to provide you with. Again, this need is different for everyone and this is based on your level of expertise. Some advanced users would rather not have or don’t care about control panels because they know how to configure everything in the server by themselves. Less advanced users need to be sure they pick a web hosting service that provides an easier interface so they can feel comfortable making the alterations they need to their website.

7. FrontPage extensions: A lot of people that do not know HTML still use FrontPage or other programs to design their websites with. If you use FrontPage, you need to make sure your web host is set up for FrontPage extensions.

8. Type of Servers: An example of this is websites that will be built using the .NET framework or ASP. For your website you will need to make sure your web host has a windows based server. Most web hosting providers are on Linux or Apache and ASP websites will not function on them. A better choice is to stay away from building a website that requires a windows server in the first place.

9. Added Features: Instant Install is a feature offered by most web hosts these days even if they call it another name. It’s an automated process for installing databases and database driven features you can add to your website like photo galleries, forums, blogs, content management systems, calendars, guestbooks, and more. It’s just as easy to choose a web-hosting provider that gives you these features in case you need them as it is to choose one that doesn’t. Again, room to grow is important.

10. Is your web host a good neighborhood: This one is a little more difficult to explain and find out about but it is important. Some search engines punish websites who are in a bad neighborhood. They do this by banning websites that come from a particular set of IP addresses due to previous problems with websites on those IP addresses. You need to see samples of other websites that are hosted by your web hosting service. If a lot of them are warez websites, porn websites, file sharing websites, or other websites whose activities do not seem to savory, then you may be looking at a bad neighborhood and may want to find another web host.

That’s my top 10 tips for choosing a web hosting service. I hope you find these tips helpful when you look for where to host your next website!

Windows vs. Linux Hosting Services

By: Vince Barnes on February 7, 2008 @ 12:58 pmNo Comments

What are your considerations concerning
the Operating System your potential hosting service uses?

If you happen to be running your own server system, you would not have to consider what operating system to use for hosting your websites. That decision would already have been made. Part of that decision making process may, however, have involved consideration of the features that would be available to you for your websites. Other considerations may have involved other system features as well as cost, ease and convenience. Those aspects which concern your websites are the same operating system considerations to be born in mind when selecting a hosting service for your sites. Here we take a look at some of those details to help you with that decision making process.

The vast majority of hosting services being offered today are based either on Windows or Linux. There are a few other Unix variants in use in hosting companies, but for the most part the features offered to the guest website are so similar that they can be thought of as the same. For the purposes of this discussion, "Unix" systems will be lumped together and a Linux model will be considered. There may also be hosting services based on another operating system altogether, but these are few and far between. For those systems, you would have to compare their feature sets to those discussed here.

Second to the operating system, the most important influence on the features that will be available to you will be the Web Server system in use. On Linux systems, the Web Server offered is almost always the Apache server. On Windows it's the Internet Information Server (now "Service"), IIS. Apache is also available for Windows systems, but is not very frequently used by hosting companies using the Windows platform. Again, there are other Web Servers in use but the great majority of hosting companies use one of these two.

Features In Common - HTML, JavaScript

No matter which platform you select for hosting your site, there are some things that are common to all. All web servers are (or certainly should be!) configured to support HTML files and JavaScript. It is also reasonable to expect that every system offering hosting services these days also has an outgoing mail server (SMTP Server) set up and available to you. The lack of this could be a problem for you.

FrontPage and the FrontPage Extensions

While their name suggests that are for enabling the use of FrontPage, the extension in fact provide a set of capabilities that is utilized by a wider range of software. FrontPage itself is a very useful web development tool. especially for someone with a less intimate knowledge of the actual codes used in website creation, but the server extensions also provide a number of utility functions that the website can take advantage of and they provide for a "post" method that allows a program (such as FrontPage or Visual Studio, among others) to "Open" the live site for updates in situ. These extensions, which can be a very important feature for you, can be installed on either a Windows or a Linux server.

Uploads - FTP and Telnet

If you are not doing live "in situ" updates via the extensions, nor using the FrontPage style HTTP import and export, then you will need a means to upload your pages and other website files to the server after you complete them. The most common way to accomplish this is via the "File Transfer Protocol" (FTP). From the System Administrator's perspective, there are differences in the ease of setting up FTP for individual users that tend to make it more commonly available of Unix servers than it is on Windows. If FTP is important to you, you will want to check specifically for this feature.

While Telnet access can be provided on a Windows server, it almost never is. Far more common on Unix servers (which is where it originated) it is, however, quite rapidly disappearing from them too because of security considerations. Telnet is useful to you if you are familiar with the Unix or Linux command line utilities and commands and wish to use them for controlling or manipulating your files. Almost everything you do with your site through a Telnet session can be accomplished by other means, which means that the availability of this feature may not be of particular importance to you.

CGI - Shell Scripts and PERL

The "Common Gateway Interface" (CGI) provides a means to connect or link from a web page to a program written in a scripting language that runs on the server. Some people refer to a "CGI Script" when what they actually mean is a Shell Script accessed via the CGI. Shell scripts are files containing a series of commands to be executed by the Unix Shell. They are therefore a feature of a Unix or Linux system. Other types of scripts accessed via the CGI include PERL scripts. PERL is readily available for either Unix/Linux or Windows. It is included by default is almost every Linux distribution and is an add-on to Windows. As a very powerful and popular scripting language, it is available on most hosting service systems. It is something that you will want to check, however.

Server Side Scripting - PHP, ASP,

There are many other type of Server Side scripting and/or interfaces, including PHP, ASP and PHP, as an easy to learn, but very powerful scripting language has gained a great deal of popularity. It is readily available for both Unix/Linux and Windows systems, but is still more commonly deployed on Linux. Most hosting companies these days will have made PHP available on their systems no matter which platform they have chosen. It is still, however, something you will w3ant to check on if you have any plans to use it.

How to select the Right web Hosting

By: Salik on November 13, 2007 @ 11:09 amNo Comments

Selecting the right web hosting company is the most important and very easy task, if you know what information to look for and where to find it. I will explain you list of things you should look for when choosing a hosting company. These days there is a lot of competition between Web Hosting companies, finding a top web hosting is easier than ever. Majority of web hosting companies offer money back guarantee for 30 to 90 days, giving you the freedom to cancel the service if not satisfied.

Hosting reliability and uptime: The minimum server uptime should be 99% and up. Otherwise, it will be disaster for your website and you will end up losing business and traffic. There are many web monitoring companies who monitor these web sites and release performance data to public. After establishing a web site you should sign up with one of these companies, they send you an email right away to inform you when your site is down.

24/7 Technical Support: Look for company that provides 24/7 toll free support because sometimes you might not have long distance phone access which in a way can be additional cost to your hosting plan. You never know when you will run into a problem and need to contact technical support right away to resolve the issue with your website. Email support is nice option to have but sometimes it takes hours and even days to get an answer to resolve your problem. Another support option available is “live chat.”

Bandwidth and Disk Space: It’s important to choose the right amount of bandwidth and disk space when buying a hosting plan. Usage of Band width depends on many factors such as average daily visitors, average page views, average page size, average daily file downloads, average file size etc. Normally web hosting companies offer bandwidth in GB/month. Approximately 1GB is sufficient for medium size website. Standard disk space offered by hosting companies is 3000mb, which is good enough for small to medium size website unless you are planning to use lots of graphics and videos on your site.

Control Panel: control panels help you to manage your website such as installing scripts and other services such as an email. There are many types of control panels available from host to host. Some of the famous ones are Vdeck, CPanel, Fantastico, Helm and Plesk. Many Web Hosting companies have demos setup on their site or they can direct you to a demo site where you can learn more about the control panel before buying a hosting plan. Try to find the one that is easy to use and has the functionality that you need. For newbie’s I recommend a Vdeck control panel because it’s simple and very easy to use.

Software and Scripts: Before selecting a hosting company make sure to see if the right applications, software and scripts are being offered. Such software scripts and database include database server software, scripting software, and operating system. Most hosting providers provide Linux-based web hosting which offers a wide range of different software. A typical configuration for a Linux server is the LAMP platform: Linux, Apache, MySQL, and PHP/Perl/Python. UNIX and Windows are also popular for hosting platform.

Price: As I have mentioned earlier, there is a lot of competition among companies, many basic shared hosting planes are available from $4.95- $11 a month. Many web hosting companies provide free domain for life with basic plans. Cheap shared plan is not always the best option, some hosting companies host way too many web sites on sever, which results in more down time and slow website.

Hopefully, by keeping above in consideration will help you find the right hosting company.

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