FAQS

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Frequently Asked Questions

We've compiled a list of answers to common questions.

General

Web hosting is, more or less, an agreement between you and a web hosting service provider that you will pay a monthly lease to own and operate a portion of their massive web servers. These are computers that will house all of your data, and will allow others to get a good look at the content you so painstakingly create. Think of it as a storage unit with windows that other Internet users will drive by and take a peep through.

In order to operate a web site you absolutely need a web hosting account, as no site can just live on the Internet without a web server. Since web server usually costs thousands of dollars it is much more affordable to simply lease one from a web hosting provider. Web hosting services give you the opportunity to reach the world wide web without making a significant investment.

Before you begin your comparison journey, you have to decide what type of web hosting will fit your needs as a webmaster. Your basic choices are shared, reseller, VPS, and dedicated hosting.

If you are just starting out online and you don’t have a lot of websites, then you may want to begin comparing cheap shared hosting plans. If you want more freedom over your hosting account, then you may want to choose a more powerful VPS hosting plan instead. Finally, if you’re extremely serious about being successful online and you want the best of the best, then you should being comparing dedicated hosting plans.

The web hosting industry is extremely competitive, with almost 25 thousand web hosting providers competing for your business at any given point in time. To grab your attention, many of them will offer extremely low prices, while some will simply add more features and benefits to the plans. While price comparisons are generally simple to conduct in other industries, in web hosting, it can be quite confusing, considering all of the plan features that must be compared as well. Many people also fail to realize the differences in payment structure, as well as other pricing factors, such as fees and startup costs.

Web hosting pricing has become very confusing over the last several years, with many web hosting companies changing the way they advertise their plan pricing. It can be discouraging after purchasing a web hosting plan, only to find out that the monthly cost is much higher than was expected. Many web hosting companies are using deceptive marketing tactics to attract new customers without actually lowering the price. It is important to know the various aspects of web hosting pricing before comparing plans. When comparing plans it is best to consider the cost of all the features and the amount of features offered.

Before you pick a web hosting plan based on price, make sure you have a solid understanding of the pricing structure. Try to compare plans of equal value in order to conduct the most accurate and useful comparison possible.

The first thing you need to consider when comparing two similarly priced plans is the payment structure. Some plans require you to pay a year in advance, while others will let you pay on a monthly basis. This can be the biggest difference in regards to startup cost. Plan A may cost $7 per month; however, you may be required to pay one year in advance, which would make the startup cost about $84 (plus applicable fees).

On the other hand, Plan B may cost $15 per month, but without annual payments. In this example, even though Plan B costs twice as much per month, it would be possible to get started for a fraction of the cost without the obligation of a yearly contract.

It is important to note that the more you pay in advance, the lower your monthly rate will be. In other words, you may be able to get Plan A for $3/month instead of $7/month if you pay for it for three years in advance. The type of plan you purchase should depend entirely upon your preferences and your budget. If you are operating on a strict budget and you need to save money now, then you may want to consider a plan that does not require yearly payments. However, if you have a more liberal budget and you need to save money in the long term, then you may want to consider a plan with lower monthly payments under an annual contract.

In the web hosting industry, pricing is not always what it seems, especially for the novice webmaster. Make sure you investigate the true cost of prospective hosting plans before making any commitments.

Unexpected or hidden fees is an another pricing factor to consider when purchasing a hosting plan. The first fee to look for is the setup fee. Many hosting plans charge around $50 for a setup fee when you first purchase the plan. In some cases, the hosting company may offer a rebate on this setup fee; however, you should know that you will receive the money at a later date, and you will still need to pay the fee when purchasing the plan.

Another fee to look for is excessive usage fees. This is especially important when shopping for plans that claim to offer unlimited features. In reality, every web hosting plan has its limitations, so it is important to note what the monetary repercussions are for exceeding those limits. In some cases, you may be able to find a hosting plan that will only charge you for the amount of server resources you used over the limit, instead of charging you a set fee. In other cases, you may be required to upgrade or pay a fee for exceeding your limitations.

Domain transferring fees are also often overlooked. If you already have websites that you will be transferring to your new web hosting account, make sure you don’t have to pay any fees to do so.

If you need a cheap web hosting plan to get started with your online endeavor, then you may want to consider a shared hosting plan. Shared web hosting is the cheapest form of web hosting, with plans starting at less than ten dollars per month. In fact, it is possible to find a shared web hosting plan for only $3 per month in some cases.

Many shared web hosting plans offer unlimited features, such as unlimited bandwidth, unlimited disk space, and even the ability to host unlimited domains. Plans that have contracts for more than a year are usually cheaper on a monthly basis. If you are in need of a quick start in the hosting industry then you should purchase a cheap VPS or shared hosting account that allows monthly payments. Using shared hosting has its advantages and disadvantages, however it is always the most affordable solution, regardless of the situation.

However, it is important to note that many of these unlimited features are not exactly infinite. As in other industries, you’ll generally receive what you pay for.

Web servers are critical elements of the internet, as every web site needs one in order to function. Essentially, web servers are computers that are responsible for transmitting data from a web site to the site visitor’s computer. Without a web server your web site could not exist, because there would not be anywhere to store the data and send it to a visitors computer.

There is a variety of web servers available on the market, with each one designed to accommodate a different range of client needs. If you want your site to perform optimally, then you will need a capable web server. Make sure you become familiar with web servers and their uses before you proceed with your online endeavors.

Server uptime is a term used to describe the amount of time that a web server is fully functional and online. When a server crashes or goes offline, all of the web sites hosted on it are also rendered useless until it the problem is repaired. Thus, server uptime is direct indicator of the reliability and consistency of a web hosting provider.

Most web hosting providers have a seal posted on their web site that guarantees more than 99 percent uptime. While this may seem appealing, the truth is, most companies do not live up to this promise. If you have been experiencing frequent downtime then you may want to switch web hosting providers. Every time your site crashes you are potentially losing money. This is especially true if you are operating an eCommerce web site.

Most major web hosting providers have their own private datacenters, in which all of their web servers are stored. Datacenters are specially designed to accommodate the environmental needs of a web server. The temperature, humidity, dust content, lighting, cleanliness and security of the datacenter is meticulously upheld by on site staff that is responsible for keeping all of the web servers in perfect condition. The floors are air-cooled, all rooms are equipped with state-of-the-art fire extinguishing systems, and there is a 24 hour maintenance staff on duty 7 days out of every week.

Domain Names

Domain names are much like VIN number of a vehicle, there are no two that are exactly the same.

Domain names are the identity cards of the Internet, representing the face of each website. In basic terms, a domain name is simply the name of your web site. However, behind each domain name is a process that turns a local web address into a word or phrase that anyone can use to access your site from around the world. Domain name is a phrase or even just a word that people input in their browsers to be pointed directly to a specific web site.

Domain names actually originate as the IP address of your website, which is a number that appears in the following syntax – xx.xx.xxx.xx or 77.77.777.77. A domain name is perhaps one of the most important part of any website, because it is ultimately what the visitor will remember when they try to return to the site.

The ideal domain name is short, memorable and contains no dashes and/or numbers.

Domain names end with extensions called TLDs. The TLD is the letters that appear after the last dot in the domain name. For example, .com is a TLD. Fortunately there are a wide variety of TLDs available, and there are even geographically specific TLDs that specify the location of a web site. The cost of a domain name will usually depend upon the TLD.

Dot com domains are the most common, with .org, .net and .info following closely behind in terms of popularity.

Subdomains are actually extensions of a website that are primarily used to separate and categorize web site content. The address of the subdomain appears before the main domain name. For example – subdomain.example.com. It does not cost money to add a subdomain to your web site, and many web hosting providers allow the use of unlimited subdomains.

By creating a subdomain you are actually creating a separate web site within your site, which can be used as its own independent directory. When content is uploaded to the subdomain via FTP, a new FTP account should be created for the subdomain to facilitate quicker access to the site’s directories and files.

Parked domains are web sites that are not currently being utilized by the site owner. Parked domains often have advertisements on them that are related to the subject of the domain. For example, if you have a domain by the name of “carinsurance.com” then you could park it with advertisements on the page related to that niche or industry.

There are two ways a domain name is parked – either by a domain owner through a domain name registrar or by default. When you first purchase a domain name it is parked by the domain name registrar automatically. For example, if you were to purchase a domain name from GoDaddy, the domain would be parked by GoDaddy automatically, until you place content on the site.

IP addresses are used to uniquely identify a website or computer. Any device that is connected to the internet is automatically assigned an IP address. IP stands for Internet Protocol, which is simply the practice through which data is transmitted over the internet. When a computer or web server is connected to a network it is given an IP address that separates it from all other devices on the network. An IP address is a string of numbers separated by dots that appear in the following format – 161.28.31.91. If you are connected to the internet right now then you have an IP address assigned to you.

IP address are crucial to internet communication because they dictate where a request for information is sent to. For example, if a web site visitors your site and clicks on a button, information is sent from their IP address to your web server. In order to return the proper information the web server will need to know the IP address of your computer.

Domain Name System is responsible for the allocation of domain names and traffic direction based on URLs in the address bar of the web browser. The Domain Name System is the largest database in the world, containing information about every web site in existence. There are currently more than 350 million unique active domains on the Internet.

Web sites are identified by the IP address of their server and/or server partition. However, an IP address is a number, which is far more difficult to remember than a simple phrase. In order to convert the IP address of a web site into a memorable phrase that is the domain name, a DNS server is needed.

A name server is a web server assigned with the sole task of sending and receiving request pertaining to domain names and IP addresses. The job of the domain name server is to take a number like an IP address and turn it into a readable term that can be typed into a browser’s address bar, or vice versa.

Computers read Internet addresses much differently than humans. All computer language is in numbers and not letters. Therefore, in order for information to be transmitted from the nameserver to a user’s computer, the DNS has to transmit information pertaining to the address and meaning of the domain name. The domain name system is a basically the largest database in the world, receiving more requests than any other database.

The first thing you should do when you are ready is to select a domain registrar and then open an account with them. Once you have registered you will need to choose your domain name and make sure it is available. The registrar will be able to provide you with your login information so that you may use their interface to edit the name servers and other domain properties.

Your name servers will dictate what web site or server your domain name represents. Your hosting account contains the names of the name servers that you need to point your domain to. Simply log into the control panel of your web hosting account, and you can find your name server information, or just call your hosting company and ask them for it.

Domain name registrars are companies that have direct access to the registry of domain names. When you buy a domain name, you are actually purchasing it from a domain name registrar. A very well known domain registrar is GoDaddy, which has registered more domain names than any other company.

Domain name registrars host your domains by default, until the domain is are pointed towards another Name Server. Most domain name registrars sell domains for relatively the same price, with .com, .net and .org domains being sold for about ten dollars, and cheaper domains such as .info domains being sold for about one dollar. Most domain name registrars will offer a considerable discount for domain bundles.

Shared Hosting

Shared web hosting services are amongst the most popular types of web hosting, primarily because they are extremely affordable. Shared web hosting provides the plan holder with access to a small part of a web server that is used by hundreds of other web sites. These powerful web servers are split into partitions that are allocated to the web hosting customers. As a shared web hosting plan holder you have access to a set amount of server resources. However, if you need to exceed these limitations then resources are pulled from other partitions on the network to accommodate your needs. Although this process may sacrifices performance and page loading times, it gives you the ability to have unlimited plan features such as bandwidth and disk space.

Shared hosting is a very unique web hosting type that usually costs less than any other kind of web hosting plan. Many webmasters get their first bit of web hosting experience by purchasing and using a shared web shoring plan. Shared hosting is essentially a type of hosting configuration in which a single web server is used to power hundreds of web sites that are owned by different webmasters, hence the term “shared” hosting.

Web server configurations can have a great impact on the way web sites perform, especially when the site beings to grow and experience high levels of traffic. Even though shared web hosting is a less comprehensive service, it is enough to run a basic web site and receive internet training with. In fact, most experts recommend starting out with shared web hosting in order to learn in a comfortable and affordable hosting environment, before moving on to more advanced solutions. If you are planning on getting started as a webmaster then you may want to consider shared web hosting as your first web hosting plan.

Shared web servers are unique because they are split up into partitions that are assigned to each hosting account. A server partition is a section of a web server that is completely separate from the rest of the web server. Even though the partitions are completely separate, the server software configuration is the same across the entire web server. Server resources are distributed evenly amongst the server in the event of a partition overload. For example, if your web site is stressing the network’s resources and pushing its limitations, then another server partition may aid in the operation of your web sites by providing extra server resources.

If you are consistently overstepping the boundaries of your shared server partition then you will most likely be warned by the web hosting provider via email. Too much excessive use can result in suspension of service or a hosting upgrade. Many shared web hosting plans offer unlimited features, however there are very real limitations, especially when the server limitations are consistently overused.

Shared hosting also has many disadvantages. In fact, shared hosting has more disadvantage than any other kind of web hosting, simply because there are not as many server resources available to the webmaster. When web servers are shared by hundreds of web sites at the same time they begin to slow down. To uphold customer satisfaction web hosting providers have to keep strict restrictions in order to ensure optimal server functionality. In the process, many webmasters are limited in their ability to build comprehensive web sites.

Even though unexpected site crashes are a rare occurrence in the hosting industry, site downtime occurs regularly with shared hosting due to server maintenance. In order to keep hundreds of sites operating smoothly on a single web server, the hosting company has to perform administrative tasks to keep the servers clean and operating smoothly. When this happens, the servers are reset, and sites temporarily go offline for about 15 minutes to an hour. Such server resets only happen once every couple of weeks during the middle of the night; however, it can be a nuisance to site owners that have a lot of daily traffic at various times of the day, considering the global nature of the Internet.

If you need a comprehensive hosting plan that allows for expansion and fats site performance then you may want to consider another hosting type. Shared web hosting is ideal for new webmasters that need access to hosting for a minimal cost. If you have no experience and would like to start your own online business then shared web hosting may be perfect for you. If you are serious about the long term success of your online internet endeavors then you may want to examine other hosting options before selecting shared web hosting.

In general, shared web hosting is perfect for new webmasters that are just getting started with web hosting. If you need a cheap way to get your sites up and running, then shared web hosting may be perfect for you. However, if you plan on operating many websites, or one very busy website, then you may want to consider a more comprehensive hosting plan, such as a VPS or dedicated hosting plan.

Reseller Hosting

The basic concept is simple: you purchase web hosting services in bulk and receive a hefty discount. You can then resell these services for an even heftier profit.

The purpose of a reseller hosting plan is to provide the tools and resources needed for you to create your own web hosting business from scratch. As a reseller plan holder you will receive access to server resources that can be controlled and delegated by you unto your clients. You have complete control over the software configuration of server, as well as the allocation of server resources and the structure of hosting plans. You can create custom hosting plans using the reseller tools included in your hosting account. You have the ability to brand your hosting company and offer a custom control panel with your company’s logo within your client’s web hosting control panel. You can even rename the plans, customizing them according to any specifications you wish. You may also bundle the server resources with other web-based services.

If you want to profit from the incredibly lucrative web hosting industry then you may want to consider a reseller hosting plan. You can even sell your hosting company after you have made a decent profit with it!

Unlike other hosting plans, reseller hosting gives you the tools needed to create a hosting company with minimal effort. Most reseller plans come with comprehensive site building tools that allow you to set up a professional site that will solicit clients on autopilot. Every one of your clients gets their own control panel, and you can even brand the control panel and offer custom content management systems as well.

You also get an automated internal billing system that will let you invoice your clients automatically each month, making it extremely simple to keep track of business finances. To add to the authenticity of your hosting company, you’ll even receive private nameservers that make it appear as if you own your client’s web server. In fact, most reseller hosting providers will work with you to create the most authentic looking hosting company from scratch. You can even service clients from around the world, as most reseller hosting plans come with multilingual support that lets your clients choose which language they’d prefer for their control panel.

If you want to venture into the extremely profitable industry of web hosting then you should definitely consider one of the many comprehensive reseller hosting plans available. Surprisingly, some web hosting companies started as small hosting resellers, and after a few years of building a client base, gradually made enough money to invest in a private data center for their customers. As a hosting reseller you have the unique opportunity to build a professional web hosting company from the ground up with as little as $20 per month.

VPS Hosting

VPS web hosting is one of the most popular kinds of hosting available, most likely because it offers a perfect balance between affordability and professional functionality. VPS is an abbreviation for Virtual Private Server, which describes the web server configuration.

Web servers are powerful computers that serve information to web pages so that it can be accessed by visitors around the world. When a visitor views one of your web pages they are actually downloading content directly from your web server. A virtual private server is simply a section of a web server that is devoted solely to your web site. VPS hosting is a mixture of shared hosting (the most affordable kind of hosting) and dedicated hosting (the most powerful kind of web hosting).

Many people confuse shared hosting with VPS hosting because both types involve splitting a server into partitions for use amongst multiple hosting plans. However, unlike shared web hosting, VPS hosting does not place any restrictions or limitations on the kinds of software that can be used on the web server partition.

VPS hosting is perfect for small to medium sized businesses that need the functionality of a dedicated server without the additional cost or server maintenance responsibilities. If you have been using a shared hosting plan and you’re noticing decreased site performance and site downtime, then you may need to upgrade to a VPS hosting plan.

VPS hosting is perfect for people that need complete control over their server’s software configuration and control panel. With a shared hosting plan, you are forced to use the software configuration mandated by the hosting company. In contrast, VPS is comparable to having a private web server, except without the exuberant setup and maintenance costs.

VPS hosting is perfect for web sites that are expanding and are in need of something more powerful than a shared hosting plan. Most webmasters begin by using a shared web hosting plan due to its affordability and simplicity. However, after a few months sites begin to receive daily traffic and eventually the server burden is too much for a single shared hosting account. VPS hosting is the most flexible hosting type in the world, with a massive variety of plans currently on offer.

Some hosting companies have up to 10 VPS hosting plans available, ranging in price from $10 to $300! Thus, it is easy to see why sites of all sizes are using VPS hosting accounts to accommodate their web hosting needs.

The main benefit of VPS hosting is the expandability of the hosting plans. Instead of being confined to a particular set of server resources, you can expand your plan at any time in most cases. If you are not sure how much server resources you need to keep your sites operating optimally, then you may want to consider a powerful VPS plan, or a cloud VPS hosting plan.

VPS web hosting is surprisingly affordable in most cases, with prices starting just above the cost of shared web hosting. This affordability and expandability makes VPS web hosting perfect for novice webmasters and professional alike. Upgrading a VPS hosting plan is extremely simple, especially if you choose to stay with the same hosting provider.

In general, most VPS hosting providers offer a plethora of VPS plans that are scalable in size. Since a VPS is simply a designated partition from a web server, it is possible to adjust the size of that partition depending upon the needs of the web server. Thus, it is not uncommon to see several VPS hosting plans being offered by one hosting provider.

For example, some large hosting companies offer up to nine different levels of VPS hosting. Needless to say, with such a diverse plan selections, the prices can differ greatly. However, most companies offer plans ranging anywhere from $20 per month to $200 per month.

It is important to note that VPS hosting is very broad in its offerings – and price is usually not the primary factor when choosing a plan. Instead, try to focus on your needs as a webmaster.

Conventional VPS hosting is used to describe any VPS plan that does not operate in the cloud hosting environment. The capabilities and limitations of VPS cloud hosting and conventional VPS hosting are very different. Conventional VPS hosting has strict limitations that cannot be exceeded. These restrictions must be enforced by the web hosting provider in order to ensure quality web server performance.

Fortunately, the aforementioned limitations do not apply to VPS cloud hosting because the network is connected to various servers simultaneously. Instead, cloud hosting plans charge on a per-usage basis. In other words, you have access to unlimited server resources, and when you exceed the preset limits of your plan, you are billed for whatever additional resources your websites use. If you are unsure about the kind of traffic levels your site will receive and/or you are expecting serious traffic surges, you may want to consider VPS cloud hosting.

Cloud VPS hosting is much different than regular web hosting because it utilizes a network of web servers that work in unison to provide server resources to hundreds of web sites simultaneously. Although this sounds similar to VPS hosting it is every different, because there are no limits to the amount of resources that can be allocated to a particular web site at any given point in time. Some of the most powerful web sites on the internet use cloud hosting to transmit data, such as Google, Yahoo, Bing, Amazon, and other massive corporate sites. If you want the fastest possible web hosting for your site then you should consider cloud VPS hosting.

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