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Website Hosting


Things You Need To Know About Web Hosting

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Types of Web Hosting

 

1: Shared Hosting
  Your site resides in the same server as several other sites.

Pros: Low cost; little maintenance; better connection; higher reliability and security; professionally managed server
Cons: Less control; do not have full access to server; maximum potential for performance bottlenecks
 
2: Dedicated Hosting
  The Web host provides a server for your site alone.

Pros: More control; more software options; more configuration options; good connection.
Cons: Higher software and maintenance costs; requires technical expertise
 
3: Colocated Hosting
  A server you own is housed at the Web host's site.

Pros: Full control, which may include security; unobstructed access to Internet connection, climate control, and power backup.
Cons: Increased maintenance costs, possibly including security expertise; increased server and software costs; no easy access.
 
4: Do-it-yourself Hosting
  You maintain your own server and Internet connection at your site.

Pros: Full control; instant access to hardware and site; software and configuration flexibility.
Cons: Labor-intensive; requires technical expertise; high costs for equipment, direct Internet connection, and more.
Choosing The Right Web Hosting Plan

    If you are new to web hosting, choosing the right plan may seem confusing but it is relatively simple.

    Your decision will be based on 3 main criteria:

      1. Disk or web space
      2. Data transfer or "traffic"
      3. Type of content

    Disk/web space refers to the amount of space that your web site will occupy on our/your server. It is measured in megabytes (MB) as is traffic/data transfer since every time a visitor comes to your site and visits or downloads from your web site; they transfer the size of that page(s) or file over to their computer. Of course, the more visitors, the more data is transferred and the higher your traffic is therefore if your web site is going to get more visitors or transfer larger file/image sizes, you should select a plan that allows for this.

    Another factor that is pertinent to this decision is the type of content your web site is going to contain. If your site contains large graphical imagery, a database or sound files (.wav) then it is anticipated that you will require a more complex web hosting plan such as one of our Fully Virtual Pro accounts (either Unix or Windows 2000®).

    We recommend that unless you have previous experience or knowledge that your web site is going to require more complex functions such as those above, then one of our more basic account types may be adequate to initiate your web site.

    Then as time and visitor growth necessitates, you can upgrade your account type according to the particulars of those demands. Also you might want to add more features as required overtime.

    For a more in-depth comparison of our account types, check out our comprehensive
    Comparison Charts.

    Of course, if you have any unanswered questions about choosing the right account type for your needs, please contact
    our helpful Customer Service personnel phone 1-780-701-7282, 24x7 E-mail support@ITsGroup.org. We will be happy to assist you in getting the web-hosting plan that is perfect for your needs.

Deciding Between Unix and Windows 2000/NT® Web Hosting

    We recommend in most cases, your needs will be better satisfied by choosing one of our Unix Web Hosting Accounts.

    Some newcomers to hosting make the mistake of thinking that if they use Microsoft Windows on their own computer, Windows hosting will be better. This is not correct. Only for those extensively utilizing Microsoft Windows 2000/NT® specific applications such as MS Access, MS MSSQL, ASP, and VBScripts, do we suggest W2K hosting.

    The reasons are simple.

    Unix is definitely more reliable, more stable and more universally compatible with any operating system. This is due to the functionality and speed of the Unix operating platform. Without a doubt, Unix is far more stable than Windows in a shared-server, or multi-user environment. So if you are unsure and you do not think you will be using one of the above, we recommend a Unix account.

    On the other hand, if you know you will be using Microsoft applications mentioned above extensively, or you plan on developing extensively using FrontPage, especially FrontPage 2002®, are looking for E-commerce add-ons or will be using high-end databases/development, our
    Windows/NT Hosting Plans are the right choice for you.

    NOTE: FrontPage® 2002 web hosting is supported by both UNIX and Windows 2000/NT Web Hosting plans.

    To conclude, if you are looking for universal compatibility regardless of the operating system the end user has, the ability to run a much wider variety of custom scripts and programs than Windows 2000/NT, and offers easier, lower-cost set-up for advanced applications such as CGI scripts, databases, etc then the obvious choice must be one of our
    Unix web hosting accounts.

Is A Dedicated Server Right For You?

    Picture it. You build a web site, you host it at a web hosting company (preferably ITS Group Information Technology) and before you know it, you have a successful web presence. Suddenly you need more memory, more web space, more bandwidth and more features. You know you need a more comprehensive web hosting solution but do you upgrade your virtual account or do you go to a dedicated server - a server dedicated to your needs alone.

    First of all, read through the discussion on the
    Types of Web Hosting.

    While Virtual or shared hosting may have been or may be enough for your web site, you should keep in mind that you are sharing resources with others, much like living in an apartment building.

    On the other hand, dedicated hosting is like owning the house. Your web site will have complete usage of the server's resources therefore likely to be served faster versus sharing with a 100 plus sites on the shared server. This option could very well cost hundreds of dollars more per month over the virtual hosting but if your web site and traffic, not to mention your business requires it, then skimping on money should be your last concern.

    Unlike shared hosting, a Dedicated Server is where you lease the entire server from your web hosting company, in this case, ITS Group Information Technology, including the hardware and the operating system. The hardware, operating system, connectivity, redundancy, and monitoring costs are usually spread out over the duration of the service agreement. Typically, this includes connectivity to the Internet, redundancy measures, and monitoring.

    Dedicated servers are for larger, professional web sites which may require a great deal of traffic, use secure E-commerce applications, have sensitive content, application hosting, resellers offering shared hosting services to their customers and so forth. The Dedicated Server is provided by the web hosting company and "leased" to the customer (at ITS Group Information Technology we offer a "lease to own" program which is unique to ITS Group Information Technology alone).

    If your Internet business or application falls into one of the categories above, leasing a dedicated server from a web host can save you time and money in the long term, as well as reduce the risk involved with owning and maintaining the hardware yourself. You don't have to bear the upfront costs of purchasing the hardware yourself, plus the installation and Internet connectivity costs, plus the costs of continuous monitoring and hardware maintenance.

    Resellers and developers can benefit from a dedicated solution since the cost of adding new accounts/customers on a dedicated server is zero.

    Another important reason to choose a dedicated hosting solution is the need for large amounts of bandwidth or data transfer capacity. If you have a heavy traffic site, you will certainly require a large amount of bandwidth each month.

    Finally, and best of all, only your data is on the server. You are not sharing the memory, processor, or bandwidth with anyone else. Your server has it's own port to the Internet. It is there to serve you.

    Once you have decided that a Dedicated Server is the right choice, here are a few other considerations:

    1. Operating Systems:   The two most popular are Unix and Windows 2000/NT. There are others such as BSD and Solaris, however these are the two most prevalent choices. For more on this read "Deciding Between Unix and Windows 2000/NT". Usually the decision comes down to the scalability of Unix versus the standardization of Windows 2000/NT.
       
    2. Web Servers:   Here the most popular are Apache for Unix and IIS (Microsoft Internet Information Server) for Windows 2000/NT
       
    3. Programming and Databases:   For Unix, the two most popular are Perl and PHP. PHP is growing in popularity because it allows you to connect to a database, usually MySQL very easily. For Windows ASP is the language of choice, which can be used with MS Access or MS SQL database software.
       
    4. Hardware:  The choice is what speed, single or dual processors, RAM, how much hard drive, SCSI or IDE and most importantly, who pays for hardware maintenance. With ITS Group Information Technology you can get 2 hours of hardware support per month for $50. With most web hosting companies, hardware support ranges from $90-180 per hour and up.
       
    5. Data Backup and Security:  Without going into great detail, the choices are RAID (short for Redundant Array of Inexpensive Disks) using such methods as disk striping and disk mirroring (RAID level 1) to achieve redundancy, lower latency, higher bandwidth for reading and/or writing and most importantly recoverability from HD failures. On the other hand if you are looking for off-site storage, tape backups may be the right choice for you. For more on this checkout the additional services under our Dedicated Server options.

      No matter what type of back-up option, it is important as anyone who has ever had a HD fail and has lost all his or her data, can attest to.
       
    6. Bandwidth/Traffic:  How much is included and how much is additional traffic?

      Network Utilization:  It is very important to ask the web host about how much of their network is currently being utilized (at ITS Group Information Technology currently about 30%). Remember, a web hosting company may have a number of DS3s but if they are 95% utilized, there isn't much room for growth on those lines. The speed of the network will suffer because of congestion.
       
    7. Custom Configurations and other considerations:  A more technical question, but also very important, is whether your server is on a dedicated port, or on a shared port. A related question is whether the network you are connected into is based on a switch or a hub. Switched networks like that of ITS Group Information Technology's are higher performance, and offer more security.

      Then of course, there is the custom configurations, additional software, etc. You need to know how extra per hour much it costs and what is included or excluded. Whether or not the web host is even capable or willing to do the custom work (at times the web host will have to say that they cannot or will not support certain custom configurations).

Conclusion

While there is a lot to keep in mind when deciding on whether or not, a Dedicated Server is right for you, if you take the time to research the options and you have discussed them with our Dedicated Service Coordinator as required, you will find that it is all in what you know -- and need.

One final note. If you feel that you have outgrown shared hosting but are not quite ready for dedicated service, then why not check out our dedicated or co-location plans. You get increased flexibility, resources and power with our plans all at reasonable prices.

Go Back  If you have any questions: support@ITsGroup.org or Phone 1-780-701-7282.

 

 

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