5 Benefits of using a Dedicated Server

5 Benefits of using a Dedicated Server

Many companies with a hosting solutions have been in the industry for a while now especially today. Cheap priced shared hosting solutions, dedicated servers are definitely a hit on the market right now for growing businesses that needs these services. In that note, Here are 5 benefits of having you own dedicated server with hosting plan:

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  1. Reliability
    While shared hosting solutions are generally reliable, there are a ton more unknowns happening on the same box as your website at any given time. Due to the fact that many sites are being hosted using the same resources, a sudden surge of traffic or resource demand on one site can mean significant performance loss and costly outages or missed sales for your business. Dedicated server guarantees resources are always available to your site, allowing your business to remain unaffected by other websites hosted nearby.
  2. Root Access
    Having your own segregated server grants you heightened access privileges that otherwise wouldn’t be available to you.  Having your own dedicated server gives you the ability to make or break your setup anyway you want.
  3. Enhanced Support
    We believe strongly in giving 110% to our customers, which is why we offer a managed tier of service to all of our customers with dedicated hosting packages.
  4. Increased Performance
    Generally speaking, dedicated resources will mean a big boost to site and application performance over traditional shared hosting solutions. Granted there are always factors that influence this, not competing with the same resources from many other different sites during peak hours is going to always mean an instant win for your customers. If you go with a dedicated VPS, now you’ve got the power to scale on an as needed basis while leveraging the power of virtualization technology.
  5. Privacy
    Don’t let the guy next door open up major security flaws that could impact your business. Root access on your own dedicated server provides proper security, user roles, user groups, and file/folder permissions along with firewall rules are configured correctly, and as stringently as needed for your businesses specific needs. If you handle sensitive information, then you need added security that you simply cannot get on a shared hosting plan.

10 Tips Before You Buy a Domain Name

10 Tips Before You Buy a Domain Name

One of the most important decisions in establishing an online presence is choosing a domain name. Ignore the trends and fads of the day and choose a name that makes sense for your business or subject matter now and will still make sense 10 years from now. Here are 10 tips to help you make a good domain name purchase.

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1. Do your homework

A little bit of research can go a long way when buying a domain name. Check similar sites and check out your competitors’ to reassure the brand you’re getting is unique and cannot be copied by others easily.

2. Buy domains that are easy to type and remember

Even if you plan on optimizing the site for search engines, you still want a domain name that people can easily remember and type. Avoid odd spellings of words, multiple hyphens or other characters, numbers and so forth. Anyone hearing your name should know how to type it without you having to say things such as “the number 4” and “dash-dash.”

While you do want a short name, don’t go for something so cryptic that people have a hard time remembering it. Word of mouth is a powerful marketing tool and you want to make it easy for people to tell their friends about your site

3. Avoid slang terms

Try to avoid slang terms and instead pick a name that is going to be meaningful in a long period of time. This helps your name understood and remembered by non-native speakers. Whether or not you intend to do business internationally, this can help with your local audience as well.

4. Buy a domain that’s shorter rather than longer

The longer your domain name is, the harder it is for people to remember it and the more chance you have of someone misspelling one of the words. If you have a single word you really like that is not available, try adding an adjective or verb in front of it and seeing if those variations are available. Think of your domain name as part of your brand, and make sure it matches on how you want people to think of you.

5. Stick with .com if you can

Most people assume a domain name ends in .com so if you buy a domain name with one of the other extensions (.net, .info, .org, etc.), you’ll have some extra work to get people to remember that your site has a different extension. Don’t automatically assume you should only buy domains with .com, though. Many sites have done quite well with other extensions.

6. Don’t buy trademarked domains

If your purpose in buying a trademarked term as a websites name is to try to confuse people, you’re opening yourself up to having a complaint filed against you and having to give up the domain name. Even if you’re not trying to create confusion, you’re likely to face some legal challenges by buying trademarked terms in your domain name. In the U.S. , you can search for U.S. trademarks at www.uspto.gov and make sure no one owns a trademark on the name you are considering.

7. Don’t buy a domain name that’s too similar to an existing site

Even if the term isn’t trademarked, don’t buy domains that are just a variation of another domain name. This means avoiding plurals if the singular is taken, hyphenating a phrase , or adding “my” or some other preposition. Alternately, it is possible to buy these variations yourself and set them up so that if someone types one of the variations, they are redirected to your main site.

8. Hyphens’ a mixed bag

Using hyphens to separate words in a domain name makes it easier to read and makes it somewhat easier for search engines to recognize the individual words. However, people often forget about the hyphens when they type domain names. If you do use hyphens in your name, don’t buy a domain with more than three hyphens. It’s just too messy.

9. Avoid numbers

Avoid having numbers in your domain name whether the numbers is a digit (3) or a word (three). Be especially wary about using the number “0”  as people may see it as the letter “O.”

10. Check availability on social media sites

When you have a name picked out, go see if that word or phrase is available on social media sites like YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Google+, and Tumblr. Even if you don’t plan on using social media right away, you’ll want to have the option when you’re ready, and it’s easiest if you can use the same phrase on each site.

 

 

What is a Cheap Web Host?

What is a Cheap Web Host?

Every business—from sole-proprietorships to enterprises nowadays needs a website. But not everyone needs a full-blown e-commerce presence that can stand up to hundreds of simultaneous customers hitting your shopping cart, and not everyone can afford one, either. Cost is an important consideration when selecting a web host. But while it’s normal that you get what you pay for, it’s also true that every penny counts and that there are some great Web hosting deals that exist in the industry today.

First, let’s define Web hosts

In general. A Web host is a company with servers that you use to store and deliver files that make up a website. Large businesses spend hundreds of dollars each year on dedicated web hosting or virtual private server (VPS) hosting, but there are plenty of web hosts that are designed for very small businesses, too.

That’s exactly what the services collected here focus on—these are good, functional web hosting companies that will get your website online with the least amount of damage to your wallet. That’s something that we can all appreciate. But how cheap?

Pricing in our list of cheap web hosts is based on the regular monthly prices, with no discounts applied for the starter plans. If the host offers monthly plans, that’s the price we use, even though many of them work out to be cheaper on a per-month basis if you pay upfront for the annual plan. If you’re buying on price, you might not want to pay the full year up front, even if it means saving a bit on the back end. Some budgets really are that tight, and some projects may not last a year. Our cutoff for inclusion in this table is that a provider must charge $8 per month or less. Yes, that’s an arbitrary number. We chose $8 per month because that means you can have web hosting for less than $100 per year.

The Features You’ll Need

Setting up a website with your own domain is easy, and most importantly, it doesn’t have to be expensive. Do you need email, blogging software, email marketing, e-commerce, and file sharing?

Also worth highlighting is the service’s customer support. While it’s nice to have FAQs and forums, when it’s 3 a.m. and your website is inexplicably down, you want someone available right away. Look for 24/7 customer support.

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What Cheap Web Hosting Gets You

Having a Cheap Web Host excludes the powerful and relatively pricey dedicated and VPS hosting options. Instead, you’ll need to pick a Shared or managed WordPress hosting plan.

Shared hosting is a setup in which the hosting company runs multiple websites on a server along with your site. Don’t let the “shared” bit worry you, though, since you can’t peek into anyone else’s files and no one else can touch yours. The benefit? Sharing the server space translates to cheap prices for everyone. The downside? Neighboring sites that consume too many resources may cause your site to run at less than peak performance. They might even crash it from time to time.

Managed WordPress hosting services let you set up and run a WordPress blog with minimum fuss. If your business website’s primary function is to be a blog, then do your wallet a favor and don’t bother with shared hosting plans or other types of web hosting.

One thing we learned while reviewing web hosting services is that reading the fine print matters, especially if you are concerned about keeping prices low. Many web hosts have several tiers of service, with introductory features in starter packages and expanded offerings in higher-priced plans. Don’t get swayed by the big fonts touting the monthly fee: Make sure that a particular tier actually offers what you need.

Some hosts charge extra for the tools you might use to design your website. Other hosts require you to commit to a three-year hosting agreement in order to get that low per-month price. Or the price is an introductory one, and after a month, you will revert to a higher price. Until you know what features you need and how quickly you plan to grow, don’t commit to annual plans.

Uptime Is Important

The aforementioned features are valuable to the web hosting experience, but none match the importance of site uptime. If your site is down, clients or customers will be unable to find you or access your products or services. Every customer turned away is a potential sale lost and traffic not monetized.

We’ve recently added uptime monitoring to our review process, and the results show that most web hosts do an excellent job of keeping sites up and running. Even if they excel at all other facets of hosting, services with uptime issues can’t qualify as top services.

Good Cheap Web Hosting

Not all cheap web hosts are created equal. Some have data transfer allotment and storage caps. Other services limit what applications you can use. Some require you to upgrade to a higher tier just to get a particular feature.  If you’re a skilled coder, that might be fine. Which web host you select depends entirely on how you plan to use it—and your budget.

 

What is Cloud Hosting?

Over the past few years, web server technology much like everything else related to computers – has made incredible strides. Hosting companies have used all of these advances to create a new type of web server platform, typically called Cloud Hosting.

A good explanation is that cloud hosting is a scalable set of virtualized servers.

To help you unpack what that means, we’re going to focus on two of the terms in that definition: virtualized servers and scalability.

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The Benefits of Virtualized Servers  in Cloud Hosting

Cloud Hosting uses the concept of a “virtualized server.” This essentially means that you have space on a host server shared with other users, but it’s virtualization means that it runs autonomously from the other accounts on it.

The largest benefit of virtualization is that it’s flexible. Unlike a dedicated server whose resources cannot be increased without physically changing its components, a virtualized server can be given access to more and more resources on its host server.

This flexibility lets you start off with a small virtualized instance and gradually increase its power to meet your needs. Incremental growth like this means you’re only paying for what you need. Those with small needs pay only a small amount. Those with substantial needs (and its attendant success) pay more.

The Benefits of Scalability

Cloud Hosting is all about incremental growth and scalability. The flexibility of virtualization is one element of that, but the other is being able to add more and more servers easily.

When your network of servers needs to expand, you introduce greater degrees of complexity. This hosting is built to minimize these growing pains by providing tools to handle the most complex tasks of adding more resources to your network, including duplicating existing servers and handling the networking between them.

For proof of how scalable this hosting is, look at the size of companies using it. Everyone from sole proprietor app developers to internet behemoths like Netflix® use hosting – so, your business could be a good fit for it as well.

Cloud Hosting Warnings

Cloud Hosting is absolutely the most cost efficient way to manage server spaces because you’re paying for only what you need. It lets you take many small steps toward growth instead of gigantic leaps, waiting for your needs to catch up to your capacity.

But as absolutely amazing as cloud hosting is, there are still a few warnings with it:

This kind of Hosting still requires a lot of expertise. Platforms like these are typically maintained by seasoned administrators.

This Hosting is overkill for most simple websites

Only businesses that have an eye on growth benefit from cloud hosting’s flexibility and scalability.


Check out our Cloud Hosting Plans here:

 

What to Look for in a Shared Hosting Package?

Shared hosting is the most affordable way to get your website online.

However, whilst it’s cheaper than VPS, dedicated server and cloud hosting, that doesn’t mean you should accept bargain basement resources and features. Unfortunately, many people don’t fully understand what to look for when choosing a shared hosting package and can end up with very poor service. To help, we’ve put forward this straight forward guide to help you out.

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  • Linux and Windows

Many people often think that because they use Windows as an operating system for their home computers, that this is what they should use on for their websites for Shared Hosting. In reality, the vast majority of websites are run on Linux servers. If you are going to use software like WordPress, Magenta, Joomla, etc. to build your site, Linux is the option you should really go for.

Check the software program you intend to use before picking Linux or Windows. You won’t really have a choice; in most cases, the software will dictate the operating system you need.

  • How many websites do you want to have?

While most people only want to run one website, some people, such as online marketers, want to run several. If this is the case, be aware that some shared hosting packages set an upper limit on the number of websites you can host. This is often done through limiting the number of databases you can set up (you’ll need a separate database for each website).  At I-Map Websolutions for example, our Basic Plan lets you create 10 websites, however, for a few pounds more a month, our Advanced Plan lets you have unlimited sites.

  • How much storage space do you really need?

You’ll also need to have an idea of how much space you’ll need to store all your website’s software, files and images. Most websites don’t actually need that much space. Compared to software run on your computer, the programs needed for running websites are quite small and the size of the web pages are usually very small too. Often the biggest files you’ll need are images and videos.

If you want to run multiple websites or eCommerce sites with thousands of images, then you might need more storage space.

For small websites, 2GB of storage will be more than ample for your needs. However, packages offering up to 20GB are available, and these can easily cater for many websites and vast quantities of data.

Do be aware of companies that put restrictions on the number of files you can store. This can be a hidden way of limiting the space you use.

  • A host that stays online

Once your website is up and running, you don’t want a web host that keeps letting it go offline. It gives your site a bad reputation, loses visitors and can even cost you in lost sales. For that reason, look for a web host that can ensure your site will always be available. For shared hosting, you should make sure that a host offers uptime of 99.9% or more.

  • Go for great performance

While there are many factors that can determine the speed of your website (the number of plugins you use, the size of each page, etc.) one of the crucial factors is the type of web server your website is hosted on. Make sure your host uses the latest hardware that will give you all the computing resources your site will need to run its processes. This will help your site load quickly on your visitors’ computers and mobile devices.

A one second delay in loading can force customers to leave and reduce sales by 7%. So, it is important that you look carefully at what technology your host uses. At I-map websolutions, all our shared hosting is run on the latest, high-performance Dell Power Edge hardware – and we upgrade regularly.

  • Look for the Security Features

The last thing you want is your website to get hacked or infected. When looking for a shared hosting provider, you should choose one which offers you a range of security features that will keep your site protected. You need a host that can provide intrusion detection, firewalls, SSL certificates (for encrypting your customers’ payment information), email scanning, spam filtering and, in case the worst happens, remote backups so your site can be quickly restored.

  • Look for a Friendly user admin panel

Administering your website should be an easy and intuitive process and this is best done by having a control panel which has a user-friendly interface. When this occurs, things like installing a new website, updating software, adding extensions and taking care of your account, are simple and easy to do.

The most user-friendly control panel for shared hosting is cPanel which is used by many web hosts. However, you should also make sure that your web host is fully trained in using cPanel so that it can deal with any issues which may arise.

  • Additional features

In addition to the features mentioned above, a good web host will provide you with the following services on your shared hosting account: unlimited email accounts, using your websites domain name (e.g. me@mywebsite.com); 24/7 technical support via phone, email and live chat, so that you get expert help whenever you require it in a way that is convenient for you; and a no minimum contract length, so that you are not tied in should you decide to leave.

 

Conclusion:

A website can stand or fall depending on the quality of the hosting you choose, so it is important to choose wisely and consider the benefits and features of each package. Hopefully, this article will have shown you the key features you should look for when choosing shared hosting.


If you are looking for shared hosting that provides all the features recommended in this post, take a look at our best hosting plans below:

The 8 Steps of a Good Web Design

One common question we get every day is how to make a good Web Design even I don’t have any background at it. So these are the tips or steps that I’m going to teach to you so just read and learn.

These are the steps to make a good Web Design

  • Figure out what the focus of the website will be.
  • What specific features do you want in the website.
  • Create a list of sections for your website and give them a hierarchy of importance.
  • Write out your content and finalize it.
  • Find a style / look that meets your website’s and your industry’s requirements.
  • Build the website.
  • Evaluate the website and make the required changes / updates.
  • Go live – register a domain, find a host, upload the website.

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  1. Focus on the Focus of the website

This is the first thing you want to define clearly before any other step is taken without these you can’t proceed to other steps. You need to decide what the main purpose of the website is – what you want to focus on in terms of a subject.

It is important that you define this step as clearly as possible because a website’s focus has a major impact on the whole project this is the “foundation” of the site.

For examples:

A web store.                                              

Information hub for established clients.

Branding website.

E-commerce website

And many more.

  1. Know the website features

This builds off of the first step, where now you look at actual features that you need to implement. For example:

A shopping cart for an online store

A password protected section of the website

Again, the more you detail you input the better.

  1. Map out the major section of the website

With the first two steps completed, you’re ready to actually start mapping out the major sections of the website, drawing out quick diagrams of the website is a useful way of doing this.

A diagram can easily show the hierarchy of a website and how the various sections are related to each other.

  1. You must write the final content

This part is usually left to the end … then people wonder why they have to go back and rethink the structure of the site.

All websites are driven by content It is the content that makes a site effective and successful. As such, this part of the process is arguably the most important, so you need to pay attention for this.

  1. Look for the website and find a style

At this stage of the process, you are ready to start looking at the visual aspect of the site It’s called the design. You have a few options:

Hire a graphic designer  

Hire a web designer

Come up with your own design.

Buy yourself a website template and save time and money.

  1. Build the website

Yes, we both know it seems impossible but you can finally start building the actual site at this point!

With the above questions answered and steps completed, you’ll find the process of building the website (actually writing out the code) is much easier and you will have reduced the chance of having to go back and redo things.

  1. Evaluate the website, make a changes or updates

Once you’ve built the website, you should walk away from it for a day or two. This will allow you to come back and evaluate it with fresh eyes. It might also be a good idea to get someone who has not worked on the site, to take a look as well.

Here are some few things you should be looking for:

Clean easy to update design/structure.

Good usability in the Web Design.

Fast loading light pages.

Intelligent use of technology using Flash when it makes sense not because you want a ‘cool’ intro!

The websites ability to convey the meaning and message of the website quickly if not instantly.

  1. Go online Go Live

If you’ve passed steps 1 to 7, you know you’re ready to show the world the website. All that is left to do is go live:

Register a domain

Find a hosting company or make a hosting service

Upload the website.

 

If you follow these steps, and not let pressures from your clients (or anything else) sway you, you’ll find yourself working more quickly and under less stress, while delivering a better website or Web Design for your clients. So you’re not just the winner here everybody wins!

What is Email Hosting Services?

With the growth of free Email Hosting Services providers like Hotmail, Gmail and Yahoo! Mail, the entire Email Hosting Services industry had to reinvent itself.

The need to pay for email hosting services was reduced drastically and a majority of individual email customers migrated to one of the free email service providers. With time, Email Hosting was either integrated into the web hosting package or was offered as an add-on service by web hosting companies. However, email hosting cannot be wished away by businesses as of yet. It is as essential to serious businesses today as web hosting. This article tries to explain the importance of email hosting in the modern era of free email service providers.

Email Hosting Services is an Internet hosting service that operates email servers. What is Email Hosting Services based on websites? Email Hosting Services usually offer premium email as opposed to advertisement-supported free email or free web mail.

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What is email hosting?

Most web hosting companies today offer Email Hosting Services as well. It is a service provided by companies that own and manage email servers that facilitate the sending and receiving of emails. These servers are often configured differently from the web servers and are set up mainly with the email needs in mind. Not every organization is large enough to own and run its own email servers, making email hosting services a steadily growing need as more and more organizations around the world are looking at an active online presence.

Need for paid email hosting

With a plethora of free email service providers, why do you need to pay for email hosting? When you get an email ID from a free email service provider, your email ID would read as yourname@serviceprovider.com, where “service provider” is not your business domain name but the name of your free email service provider. For businesses, this can create a down-market, “cheap” impression and can hurt your brand. Another factor is security that can be managed and configured to your organization’s needs with email hosting.

Selecting an email hosting service

Almost every web hosting service provider today offers email hosting services. These services look the same on the surface, so how do you decide which email hosting service to choose? Is the cheapest email hosting service a compromise or the best option? Here are some of the factors you should consider while choosing your email hosting service provider

  • IMAP/POP and SMTP Access:Check the type of email access your service provider offers. IMAP and POP (or POP3) are protocols used to “read” or access emails, SMTP is the protocol used for “sending” email messages. Make sure that your email hosting service provider that allows you the flexibility to choose the protocols you need to configure your emails.

 

  • Exchange and Webmail: Although most do,not all email hosting service providers allow webmail access to your email. Even those who allow webmail access are not always set up to provide Exchange email that most enterprise clients need. Make sure that the email hosting service provider allows you webmail access and/or exchange email depending on your need. This will allow you to check and respond to email on the move, from public computers, even when you do not have your own computer, laptop, smartphone, or your regular means of accessing email available for whatever reason.

 

 

  • Filtering: Filtering allows you to organize your emails based on preset rules. This can be of great help when you receive a lot of emails and need to organize them as per your convenience. Make sure your email hosting service provider allows you to set up email filters that suit you.

 

  • Security: Security measures differ between different email hosting providers. The spam filtering, anti-virus check, firewall, etc., can make a difference between hassle-free email and constant problems. Evaluate and assess the security measures provided by your email hosting provider.

 

 

  • Auto-responders: The ability to set up auto-responders can automate most emails that you receive through your website. Whether you can set up auto-responders or not, how many auto responders you can set, etc., can be significant differentiators between email hosting service providers.

 

  • Other features: There are a number of other features that you can compare depending on your need. These could include the ability to set email aliases, setting up a catch-all email account, email forwarding, setting up of email distribution lists and email marketing features offered by the email hosting providers. Often businesses ignore this till the need for one of these services arises only to find out that the service provider either doesn’t support the need or offers it at an additional cost.

 

Cheap email hosting isn’t always bad at all

We normally associate anything cheap with “low value”. Many times, email hosting providers who service a large volume of clients are able to distribute their costs among their various clients. This can significantly bring down the email hosting cost. When looking at cheap email hosting providers, it is important to:

Look at the fine print to make sure there are no hidden costs

Compare the features, security levels and configuration of the service to make sure you get all that you need

Make sure that the cheap price is not a result of cutting corners, but a direct benefit of scale that you are getting

Finally, talk to I-map Websolutions about your email hosting needs. Not only email hosting services from I-map Websolutions are cheap, we also offer flexibility and will work with you in making sure you get the email hosting you need and you deserve for your business.

Tips To Choose the Best Website Hosting Company

A Website Hosting service is a kind of internet hosting service which allows individuals and organizations to make their website accessible through the World Wide Web.

Website Hosting is a simple method through which you can add your website over the net. Website Hosting Companies which provide this service provide the clients with servers with the help of which they can present information, files and bandwidth for the traffic that the website brings in. These services help people to place their ideas and products on the World Wide Web.

Today, there are a number of companies offering Web Hosting services and it is challenging to choose the best among them. Listed below are some tips you can consider while choosing a Website Hosting Company:

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Determine Website Hosting needs:

To choose the best Website Hosting Company, you need to know what you need. Listed below are some questions which you can ask yourself before choosing your service provider:

 

  • What type of website do you wish to build?
  • Do you need windows applications?
  • Does your website need any special software?
  • Do you require a special version of that software?
  • What type of web hosting service you need?

 

These are some basic questions which need to be answered in order to figure out the needs of your website. Once you get the answers, it will be easier for you to choose the right Web Hosting Company for your website.

All time operating host: It is important to have a 24/7 operating web host which operates on powerful server and good network connection. Make sure that you choose such a Website Hosting Company.

Add-on Domains: Domain names are affordable and people usually like to own more than one domain name. In order to host the domain names, you will require extra hosting space. For this, it is important to have a hosting account which allows adding of multiple domains. Good Website Hosting Companies allow 25 add-on domains in one account and more. Ensure that you choose a company which provides with this facility. I-map websolutions have it all.

Apart from the above listed points, it is important to check the return policy of the company. It is important to know how your hosting provider handles customer refunds so that you don’t have to lose much money in case anything goes wrong. There are some web hosting companies which charge meaninglessly when their users cancel the service. Ensure that you choose a company which provides with anytime money back guarantee.

Choosing us, I-Map Websolutions, Inc. as your Website Hosting Company is your best choice.

Check out our latest business website hosting plans here!
https://www.imapwebsolutions.com/business-web-email-hosting-philippines/

Content Management System

What is CMS or Content Management System?

 

“CMS” stands for “Content Management System.” A more descriptive term would be, “Website That Is Easy to Update and Manage” but that’s a little long.

The goad of a CMS is make managing websites a little fun and interactive. No matter which CMS is used, it is always a good thing to understand the basics on how they work

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Think About Content, Not “Pages”

When we “browse” the Internet, we generally think of ourselves as moving from “page” to “page”. Each time the screen reloads, we’re on a new “page.”

This analogy to books has some good points, but you’ll have to drop it if you want to wrap your head around making a website. Books and websites are incredibly different technologies.

In most books, almost everything on each page is unique. The only repeating elements are the header and the footer. Everything else is the content. “Writing a book” ultimately means assembling a single stream of words that will start on page 1 and end at the back cover.

A website has a header and footer too but think about all the other elements: menus, sidebars, article listings, more.

These elements are separate from the content. Imagine if you had to recreate the menu separately on every page!

Instead, a CMS lets you focus on making new content.

You write your article, you upload it to your site, and the CMS spits out a nice page: your article plus the menus, sidebars, and all the fixings.

Make Many Paths to Your Content

In books, each chunk of words basically appears once. Most of the time, you start at page 1 and read to the end. This is a good thing.

No website, or even eBook reader, can offer the chance for deep, sustained concentration you get when you hold a single physical book in your hands. That’s what books are good at.

With that goal in mind, most books don’t need to offer many paths to the same content. You have a table of contents, and sometimes an index. Maybe some cross-references. But most people are going to read the whole book, so these aren’t the focus.

Websites, however, usually feature articles or even shorter snippets of content that can be read in any order. A blog may be written in chronological order, but visitors will land on any random post.

So, it’s not enough to post your content. You need to offer many ways for visitors to find what they want. This can include:

  • listings of recent article titles, sometimes with teasersor blurbs introducing the article
  • categoryor tag listings
  • listings of similaror related articles
  • syndication: an RSS or Atom feed, for readers who use a feed aggregator
  • an archive by date, in case anyone’s feeling sequential
  • maybe even an automated

Every time you post, all of those things need to be updated. Can you imagine doing it by hand?

I’ve tried. It’s not pretty.

And here’s where a good CMS really shines.

You upload your new article, add a few tags, and the CMS handles the rest. Instantly, your new article appears on all those listings, and your RSS feed gets updated. Some CMSs even notify search engines about your new piece. All you have to do is post the article.

A Good CMS Makes Life Easy, But You Do Have to Learn a Little

I hope you have a sense of all the complex, tedious tasks a CMS tries to save you from doing. (And I haven’t even mentioned letting people leave comments.) A CMS is an astounding labor-saving device.

However, you do still have to learn a little in order to use one. If you’re managing it yourself, you may have to learn a few arcane rites to get it installed.

Many web hosts offer one-click installers. Eventually, though, you’ll want to make a copy of your site so you can test new designs and upgrades. You may have to learn the manual installation anyway.

You’ll have to learn about software upgrades. The developers keep adding improvements and fixing security holes in the code, so you need to keep your copy current. If you don’t, your site will eventually get defaced by some automated script.

A good CMS makes upgrades relatively easy, but you still need to do them. Sometimes, you need to test the upgrades on a private copy of your site first. And you have to be careful not to make any changes that would make future upgrades difficult.

Even if you pay a developer to handle these tasks on your website, you’ll still want to learn the particular strengths and quirks of your chosen CMS. This will make you more efficient and confident as you post and manage your content. Plus, the more you know about these features, the newer ideas you’ll get for your site. Invest some time in learning your CMS, and the payoff will be bigger than you think.

 

A Beginner’s Guide to Virtual Private Server

A Beginner’s Guide to Virtual Private Server

Ask most website owners about hosting and they’ll happily explain what shared, dedicated and cloud hosting is. But when it comes to virtual private servers, lots of them aren’t 100% sure what VPS are or what they’re best suited for. Some don’t even know that there is a VPS hosting option. So, to put everyone clearly in the picture, this article will give you a full introduction to VPS.

 

What is a Virtual Private Server?

A virtual private server (VPS), is a hosting solution that falls midway between shared hosting and a dedicated server. A VPS is created by using virtualization software to divide a physical server into several smaller, virtual ones, each with its own operating system and dedicated storage, RAM and CPU resources.

 

How is a VPS different to shared and dedicated server hosting?

Shared hosting is a bit like communal living; essentially, you lease part of the server and share the resources: CPU (processors), memory and disk space, bandwidth, etc. with the other users. This works well for most smaller websites as the speed, storage, bandwidth and reliability you need usually function without a problem. However, for businesses with bigger requirements, the resources available can be too limited.

There are some potential issues with shared hosting: if some of the other websites sharing the server hog resources it can impact on your site’s performance and if they leave themselves vulnerable to infections or hacks, this may compromise your own security.

If shared hosting can be likened to lots of people sharing a big house, VPS is the equivalent of dividing the big house into a number of smaller flats. Each VPS is a separate computing environment, isolated from the others, with its own dedicated resources. Being a separate entity with its own operating system means your data won’t be compromised by other customers’ vulnerabilities. It also means you can run any custom apps.

Continuing with the house analogy, having a dedicated server is the equivalent of owning the entire house. You have all the disk space and computing resources at your disposal and control over which operating system and hardware you want to use, however, this does make it the most expensive choice and is best suited for businesses that have larger processing and storage needs.

 

What are the benefits of VPS hosting?

Essentially, VPS hosting gives website owners the opportunity to have many of the features of a dedicated server but at a price that is much nearer the cost of shared hosting. For example, at eUKhost, you can have a VPS server for £12.99 (ex VAT)* per month. That’s only a few pounds more than our top spec, shared hosting solution but significantly less than our lowest priced dedicated server at £69.99 (ex VAT)* per month. (* Prices at time of publication.)

VPS also gives you the option for fully managed hosting, full administrative access, remote server access, and the ability to run custom software apps. In addition, you have much greater CPU, bandwidth, RAM and storage at your disposal than with shared hosting.

 

Who should consider using VPS?

With advances in virtualization and cloud computing, it looks increasingly likely that shared hosting is becoming yesterday’s entry level solution. For new companies starting up today, going straight for VPS is the much better option. For website owners that are still using shared hosting, there are signs you should look for that can tell you if it might be time to upgrade to VPS, these are:

  • A slow running website – an indication that you’re hitting your shared hosting resource limits.
  • Your website has started to have much greater traffic or has significant peaks that it struggles to cope with.
  • You store sensitive data and need to protect your customers’ information and comply with the Data Protection Act, etc.
  • You run an e-commerce site that stores card details or processes payments and needs to comply with Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI DSS).
  • Your company needs to run custom apps in order to operate its business.

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What to look for when choosing a VPS hosting package

Not all VPS hosting is the same and some hosts offer far better services and value for money than others. Below is a list of things you should look out for:

 

Fully managed hosting

Many businesses that use shared hosting don’t have the in-house technical expertise to manage a server and if this applies to you, you should look for a host that provides a fully managed service that maintains hardware, installs and updates your operating system, and monitors your server for problems so that it continues to operate at optimum levels.

 

24/7 Customer Support

If you have a problem on Friday night you don’t want to wait until Monday morning before you can speak to your hosting provider, for this reason, it is absolutely essential that your VPS host offers full 24/7 support, including technical support. A good host should have various channels through which you can communicate: phone, email, live chat, etc.

You should also check that your support can give advice on security and application performance.

 

Availability

You need a host that can guarantee your website will be online and won’t be hampered by reliability issues. Ideally, your host should offer uptime at 99.5% and above: if they can back this up with a service level agreement, even better.

 

High-performance hardware

Underpinning your entire operations is the hardware your VPS is hosted on. If you want a VPS that delivers enterprise-class performance, you need to ensure that your web host is investing in up-to-date technology such as super-fast SSD drives and, the latest Intel Xeon processors, high-speed DDR4 memory and high-performance RAID controllers.

 

Price

Whilst price is important when choosing a virtual private serverVPS hosting packaging, it should not be the determining factor. It’s far more important to consider the value for money that you get for the package you choose. For this reason, it is best to compare the different services on offer carefully and to make sure that you get everything you need not just for now but or your future needs.

 

Conclusion

Hopefully, this article will have given you a much clearer understanding of virtual private servers. You should now know:

  • what a VPS is and how one is created
  • the differences between shared, VPS and dedicated hosting
  • the benefits of VPS hosting
  • why and when you should consider switching to VPS
  • what to look for when choosing a VPS hosting package

Check our VPS Hosting Packages in the links below: