Monthly Archives: July 2010

How to Choose the Right Configuration for Your Dedicated Server

The needs of modern servers are constantly changing. E-commerce and social media sites are adding so much resource-intensive content; servers need to constantly be upgraded with the newest, most efficient technology. Speed and reliability are some of the most vital features, especially for large internet corporations. Consequently, the brain of the server (the processor) must be fast and effective at transferring data.

Selecting the right processor can be intimidating and confusing with technology growing exponentially and the number of choices available. There are a few methods to choosing the right process for your dedicated server. By creating a checklist of your needs, you can ask the right questions to the technicians that can help you find the perfect fit. These questions for choosing the right process include:

  • Business size
  • Number of employees
  • Number of customers
  • Page views per year, week and on a peak day
  • Price range
  • Speed

The size of the business will help the data center technicians learn what processor you require. The larger the business, generally the greater number of employees. Consequently that will increase the amount of resources needed to support them all. Paying for more services than needed is a huge and costly mistake. These two pieces of information help to tailor the server configuration to support your organization.

The amount of customers you have also links directly to the server performance that’s required to run your site. It also greatly affects future server expansion. This relates directly to the number of page views per year, week and on a peak day. This is indicative of the bandwidth and data transfer requirements.

As with everything your price range will make a large difference in the server configuration. The more money you have to spend, the better the equipment, faster the speed and more reliable the configuration will be. Finally speed is a vital factor of overall performance. Make sure to forecast and anticipate random spikes in traffic so as to not lose customers due to a slow website.

With so many different options now available, it’s difficult to know the correct server configuration for your business needs. The more money you have, the better your configuration will be. The size of the business, number of employees and customers, page views and speed are all contributing factors to selecting the right configuration for your dedicated server.

Content Management Systems and Business Collaborations

Content management systems are robust server side web applications that facilitate the quick and easy management of web sites. However, many people overlook some of the benefits that content management systems have to offer. A good CMS can be used for many purposes, including but not limited to uploading, organizing, editing, and publishing content. Aside from the content management aspects of a CMS, there are also features that allow you to change the design of your site as well. Within the past few years a new type of content management system has been born; one that expands the boundaries of a conventional CMS and allows for business networking that is unprecedented.

Instant Collaborations

Some content management systems, such as Alfresco, let multiple people use the same interface simultaneously in order to work together on business projects. Traditionally, such software has been known as project management software, but as developers continue to expand open source content management systems, the line between project management and content management is being blurred.  With the ability to conduct instant collaborations with multiple workers lets business owners and project managers boost productivity and get more done in less time.

Setting Permissions

One of the most appealing aspects of a content management system pertaining to the management of projects and business collaborations is the ability to set restrictions, permissions and limitations for each user of the CMS. For example, you can create user accounts for each employee and assign a specific task to each persons. When your employees log in they will only be able to execute the functions that you have set in the preferences panel of your content management system. By setting permissions you have the ability to oversee and supervise the project efficiently by ensuring that no one is overstepping their boundaries.

Project Reports

During any project it is important to monitor the progress of your team’s actions. With a good content management system you can create a report of the actions that occurred during the last 24 hours in order to get a clear picture of what needs to be done. You can also receive traffic reports within the content management system, which is extremely helpful when your project involves increasing web site traffic. With the ability to monitor, regulate and control every task and duty performed by your employees, you’ll be able to keep every project operating smoothly, without unnecessary disagreements  or lack of productivity. You can even assign new tasks to people within the content management system as an administrator.

Conclusion

If you are serious about the success of your business, and the projects that are crucial to its success, then you may want to consider the aforementioned benefits of a modern content management system for your next endeavor. With proper organization and the right administrative tools you can accomplish almost anything in a timely and efficient manner. If you do not have access to the right resources, you may find project management to be one of the most difficult aspects of managing a business.

A look at Shared Web Hosting and eCommerce Websites

Running an online shop requires a great deal of knowledge and preparation. So much so that many people give up before achieving any real results. One of the first pit stops you’ll encounter when establishing your online business is the decision of which hosting plan would be suitable for your situation. Many people start with the cheapest web hosting plan in an effort to gauge their success before making a substantial investment in their online business. The problem with this method of progression is that it greatly hinders one’s potential for the very beginning. Instead of starting with an incompetent web hosting plan, and planning to upgrade after success is achieved, it makes more sense to start with a competent hosting plan and plan for success from the beginning. Nonetheless, if you’re determined to try your luck with a shared web hosting plan, then there are a few things you should know in regards to shared hosting and eCommerce.

SSL and Shared Hosting

An SSL certificate allows you to use SSL protection on your eCommerce site. Once you have SSL protection enabled on your site you can place a seal on your checkout page that let’s your customers know that you are utilizing SSL protocol. Many customers simply will not buy a product or service from you online without knowing that your site is protected via SSL. SSL is a file transfer protocol, and in order to use this secure file transfer protocol you absolutely need an SSL certificate. The problem with shared hosting is that you cannot have several SSL certificates with most shared hosting plans. This means you cannot have more than one secure eCommerce site on your shared hosting plan, even though the plan may advertise “unlimited domains”. In order to secure each online shop you would need a new hosting account for each site, which could become more costly than simply purchasing a dedicated or VPS hosting plan.

Shared Hosting and Dedicated IP Addresses

Another potential downfall to a shared hosting plans in regards to eCommerce is the fact that you are sharing an IP block with other webmasters. This means you have to worry about the actions of websites that you are not affiliated with, as there are some cases when entire blocks of IP addresses can be disabled for spamming and other illegitimate activity. In some cases you may even share an exact IP address with other websites. Even though your sites are not related to these sites in any way, there is a distinct possibility that your search engine ranking could be affected by the action of these sites, since you share an online identity with them. In the world of eCommerce, a lower search engine ranking equates to lower sales and less profit.

Limited Server Resources

Another aspect of shared hosting that makes it generally unsuitable for a successful eCommerce site is the overall lack of server resources. Since you will be sharing a server with other users, your site will not have access to as much bandwidth, disk space and other resources that contribute to the functionality of your site. This means your site’s visitors may have to deal with slow page loading, and you may even have to deal with site downtime.

Cloud VPS Enterprise Web Hosting

VPS (Virtual Private Server) web hosting is one of the most popular types of hosting available, with plans starting at prices only slightly higher than that of shared web hosting. However, there is a wide range of plans available, with costs ranging from $20 to more than $200, depending upon the plan capabilities and the hosting provider. In conventional VPS hosting a single web server is split up amongst dozens of webmasters, and each plan holder receives a set amount of server resources. However, there is another type of VPS hosting that is extremely powerful – cloud VPS hosting.

What is Cloud Hosting?

Cloud hosting is a term used to describe the practice of combining the resources of multiple web servers to create a single network in which server resources are allocated and distributed to sites as they are needed. In essence, this gives every web site on the network access to a seemingly unlimited amount of server resources at any given point in time, as they are not limited by the restrictions of a single web server. Cloud hosting is often used by large corporations such as Google, eBay and Amazon. Most advanced search engines like Bing and Yahoo also utilize cloud hosting to deliver lightning fast search results.

How Can I Use Cloud VPS Hosting?

If you own a large online business or dozens of web sites that need access to vast server resources then you may want to consider purchasing a cloud hosting plan. Cloud hosting provides the best possible performance in comparison to any other hosting plan. If you have a large corporate web site that needs to perform optimally at all times then you may want to consider the incredible benefits of VPS cloud hosting. It is important to make sure you are in need of such an extensive hosting solution before purchasing an expensive cloud hosting plan.

Do I Need Cloud Hosting?

If you have more than ten medium to large sized web sites then you may need cloud hosting. Likewise, if you have a single massive web site that contains hundreds of thousand of products, then cloud hosting can help every page load extremely fast, keeping your customers satisfied with minimal server downtime and optimal site performance. It is important to consider the price and capabilities of the cloud hosting plan before making the decision to purchase. If you are unsure about your hosting needs you may want to contact the service department of your current web hosting provider, or call the customer service center of a prospective cloud hosting provider to discuss your site needs. A qualified agent should be able to listen to your needs and recommend a suitable cloud VPS hosting plan that can accommodate your requirements.

Conclusion

With cloud hosting there are no limits to how well your site can perform. When you execute a web search with Google, you usually receive millions of results within less than a second. This incredible speed and efficiency is only made possible through cloud hosting. If you want to give your site visitors the best possible site browsing experience then you may need to consider the aforementioned benefits of cloud VPS enterprise hosting.

How to Publish a Website

There are hundreds of millions of websites across the internet from every corner of the earth. Hence the reason it’s called the World Wide Web. As technology progresses and websites are easier to build, even an individual with the lowest comprehension of computer knowledge can get one up and running in a short time.

Due to the technology currently available, the publishing of a website can be completed in only three steps. These include:

  • Create the website
  • Find a hosting plan
  • Upload the site

Depending on your skill level, a website can be created manually utilizing Dreamweaver or notepad. On the other hand, sites can be almost automatically created with numerous open source programs. The second method is the easiest and requires the least amount of programming.

One of the most popular methods of website creation is WordPress, a content management system. It was originally created to help create blogs, but this has been extended to any type of website including stores. There are thousands of user-created themes for your website. Additionally, plugins, widgets and other tools are available to the user for different tasks, most are free.

Another helpful content management system is Joomla which creates the site and manages the content. To use Joomla simply install it properly and that’s it! There are tools for site creation if you have the need.

Once the website is created, its time to find a hosting plan that fits your needs. Generally you don’t want to use a free service since the quality is usually not up to par. Since most web hosting companies are charging beans for service, it’s almost free. The most important aspects of choosing a web hosting provider are scalability, storage, bandwidth, CPU and cost.

Once you’ve found a web hosting provider, its time to upload the site. Find a free FTP (File Transfer Protocol) program and connect to your site through the IP address. Simply drag the files from your computer to their server and that’s basically it. Many web hosting providers can automatically install CMS’s like WordPress.

Creating a website has come a long way in a short amount of time. There is so much software available to create a website without any programming knowledge needed. With the addition of freeware and open source software, it’s also extremely inexpensive. As technology continues, this task will become even easier and almost everyone will have a website.