Archive for April, 2009

Business Hosting Coupon

Monday, April 6th, 2009

Currently HostUpon is offering a 25% coupon on their Business Unlimited plan. You can take advantage of this by using the promotional code: biz25

The Business Unlimited plan at HostUpon comes with a dedicated IP address and a free one time submission to all the major search engines. The dedicated IP can be useful for many purposes and some say that it’s even better for SEO.

The Business unlimited plan is HostUpon’s most popular plan for small businesses who need an online presence and 24/7 professional support.

Keep an eye on the specials page each month and be sure to pass the coupons to your friends and family!

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What to look for in a Good Hosting Company?

Monday, April 6th, 2009

Finding cheap hosting is easy but does that host carry all the features you may need? Your hosting company should have all the options and features you need and be able to support them as well. Having hosting support 24/7 is crucial when you are paying for it. We have done some research and today’s post is going to give some insight on some basic and advanced options you should look for when choosing a new web hosting company.

Basic options:

Make sure the hosting company offers a large number of email accounts with your hosting. Some companies limit the number of accounts you can create however it’s best to make sure the hosting plan includes enough email accounts for you to grow.

Addon domains are a very popular feature to hosting accounts and they allow you to host additional domains on one hosting account. That means you can buy a simple hosting account and then have a totally different domain on the account and a website for that domain as well. This is a great feature however make sure your hosting provider offers addon domains!

Free Domains are getting more and more popular. When signing up with a new provider see if they will give you a free domain name if you sign up for their hosting plans. In most cases you have to pay for it each additional year however their are a few companies who give you a free domain for life meaning each year you renew with them your domain will be renewed for you as well.

Advanced Features:

Awstats is a great stats program is usually included however its best to make sure you have it or something similar to monitor your website statisitcs such as the number of visitors and hits. This is just nice to have handy when trying to advertise or just to see where your traffic comes from.

Site builders are very useful especially for novice hosting customers who need a website built but don’t want to spend thousands. Contact your potential new hosting company and ask them if they have a free site builder that allows you to make a website and make updates in the future as well.

POP3/IMAP email support is crucial if you want to use Microsoft Outlook or something similar to check your emails. Hosting companies usually have a webmail interface but using your own thrid party client is much easier so support for POP and IMAP is very important.

PHP 4 and PHP 5 are both good to have support for as they are some of the most widely used languages on the web.

Take a look at our top 10 hosting companies page and see which host suits you best and if you have any questions you can always contact us for hosting questions!

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How To Stop SPAM Email!

Monday, April 6th, 2009

Each day millions upon millions of Spam email is distributed to email addresses around the world. Spam email is unsolicited email that is flooding peoples mailboxes and causing end users headaches and corporations money.

The Problem:

SPAM email causes Hosting companies a lot of money as it slows their mail server down and also prompts users to contact their Hosting provider to find out a solution. For any Hosting company using cPanel, their is a built in service called Spam Assassin. The following is a list features from the Spam Assassin website:

Features

* Wide-spectrum: SpamAssassin uses a wide variety of local and network tests to identify spam signatures. This makes it harder for spammers to identify one aspect which they can craft their messages to work around.

* Free software: it is distributed under the same terms and conditions as other popular open-source software packages such as the Apache web server.

* Easy to extend: Anti-spam tests and configuration are stored in plain text, making it easy to configure and add new rules.

* Flexible: SpamAssassin encapsulates its logic in a well-designed, abstract API so it can be integrated anywhere in the email stream. The Mail::SpamAssassin classes can be used on a wide variety of email systems including procmail, sendmail, Postfix, qmail, and many others.

* Easy Configuration: SpamAssassin requires very little configuration; you do not need to continually update it with details of your mail accounts, mailing list memberships, etc. Once classified, site and user-specific policies can then be applied against spam. Policies can be applied on both mail servers and later using the user’s own mail user-agent application.

Spam Assassin is a good start to protecting your email account on your Hosting account however it is quite generic and will not completely stop Spam.

Here are some good tips on fighting spammers before they take advantage of your mail account:

1 – Create a dummy mail account that you use to fill out random forms and sign-up for mailing lists. These days almost every company will sell your information and this is the easiest way spammer gather legitimate email addresses.

2 – Contact your credit card company to remove you from any information being sold as credit card companies are known for selling information.

3 – When filling out contests, forms, warranty cards or anything else make sure you ALWAYS use a dummy email account.

4 – NEVER respond to Spam email. If you respond the spammer will be aware that your email account is active and thus your email address will be used more often. In most cases Spam is sent from random computers so no one will even read your response.

5 – The major credit bureaus sell some credit information to various companies. One phone call does it all for agencies Equifax, Trans Union, Experian and Innovis. Dial 1-888-5 OPT OUT (or 1-888-567-8688) 24 hours a day to remove yourself from this list.

6 – If you ever want to complain about Spam contact Spam Cop

7 – Secure your website especially if you use a mail form. Spam bots (fake computers or robots) will skim through your website for email addresses. If your site is not very secure you could be a target for them to hack your Hosting account and send Spam from it. Be careful and ALWAYS keep your website and scripts up to date.

8 – Never buy anything from a company who sends out Spam!

Spam email can be controlled as long as you are proactive and take initiative to secure your website and personal information. A few Hosting companies have great Spam services so check out the Top 10 list and you are sure to find a reliable hosting provider with good anti-spam protection.

Goodluck!

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This Account Has Been Suspended Notice on your website

Monday, April 6th, 2009

If you receive a notice on your website that says “This Account Has Been Suspended” it means one of the following:

Billing issue: Your account expired as your Hosting service was not renewed on time. The best thing to do is call or email your Hosting company and inquire about the billing suspension. In most cases Hosting providers can activate the account within 30 minutes or less after you have made your payment.

Hacked account: Your account may have been compromised through a script exploit that was detected by your hosting provider and due to illegal or inappropriate activity from the account, it was suspended. Hosting companies rarely contact a customer prior to suspension as the activity may occur at a time that may be unacceptable to contact customers and on a larger scale this issue is very common as mentioned in the previous blog post about security. If your provider notifies you that your account was hacked try to comply with their rules and protocols as getting upset will not resolve the issue. Try to be proactive for the future and take advice from your provider to rectify the issue.

Server Load: Your site may be consuming a vast amount of CPU usage/Server Load which is effecting other customers. Being on a Shared Hosting account has its cons and having a high performance website can result in high CPU usage. In most cases if your site was the actual cause of the problem your Hosting provider will require you to upgrade your service to either a VPS or Dedicated server or will notify you that they can no longer provider service. Server load refers to the amount of processes that are running on the server at a given time. The higher the rate the slower the server will be able to handle incoming requests. In general server load will depend upon several factors. RAM, and CPU speed. Contact your Hosting company and ask for advice or solutions to your high usage and they should be able to accommodate you.

The most common issues are billing and script exploits that can harm your website and hosting account. Your Hosting company can only do so much to protect you so make sure your scripts are up to date, your billing information is all accurate and current and you communicate any suspicious activity with your Hosting provider.

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Become a Hosting Reseller, start your own Hosting Company!

Monday, April 6th, 2009

What is Reseller Hosting?

Reseller hosting is a type of hosting where an existing company sells you a portion of space and an amount of bandwidth on a server in exchange for a monthly fee. This monthly fee is usually greater than that of standard hosting, but compensates for the increased amount of space, bandwidth, and the additional software licenses that sometimes have to be purchased for use on a reseller hosting account.

The alloted resources are then available to be distributed to other sites or customers for standard web hosting. Each individual website hosted off the reseller packaging usually receives their own control panel (such as cPanel or Plesk) for their use. Customers perceive absolutely no difference between a company using a reseller web hosting account and a host which leases their own server(s).

The Advantages of Reseller Hosting
The advantages of reseller hosting are numerous. While the bandwidth and space may be more expensive per unit than that purchased with a dedicated server, reseller accounts allow the space and bandwidth to be purchased in smaller ‘chunks’. That way smaller hosts aren’t wasting resources – and subsequently money. This allows new hosts to grow into a dedicated server instead of taking the large initial plunge with the much higher monthly fee. A start up host may now yield a small profit instead of a large loss month after month.

Besides this, many know the old sang ”stuff happens”. A hard drive might go bad on a server, an operating system might be corrupt, a cable might break…the list goes on and on. There are just simply things that could go wrong. With reseller hosting, the majority of the time someone else is responsible for the problem. While it may be little piece of mind if your customers experience some downtime, it is someone else’s server, and it won’t be your responsibility to install security updates to key software or replace hardware that has failed.

The Downside of Reseller Hosting
Reseller hosting offers fewer resources than a dedicated server, and thus may exceed resource constraints sooner than with a dedicated server. A reseller hosting account can only hold so many clients before the space and bandwidth are greater than any reseller package the hosting company can provide, and it becomes more economically feasible to upgrade to a dedicated server. This requires moving clients from the reseller account to the dedicated server, which could result in downtime. In addition to the moving and expansion issues, most reseller hosting accounts offer little in terms of customization. Reseller accounts are usually set in what software is installed on the box, and the versions available. An example would be a client asking for PHP 5, when the version that’s installed on the server hosting the reseller account is PHP 4. While some hosts may be happy to upgrade and accommodate, other hosts will not be able to upgrade as quickly.

What to Look for in a Reseller
Reseller accounts should be selected in much the same manner as standard hosting accounts. The first reason to not choose a host is if they offer “unlimited” space or bandwidth. There’s no such thing as either of these, and most hosts that offer this are selling beyond the resources they have.

Look carefully at the services and resources the reseller hosting account offers. Some will only allow a certain number of SQL databases, email accounts, domains hosted, and even a certain number of customers that are allowed to be hosted. Pay close attention to ensure that you receive the amount of resource you will need for your reseller business.

A Successful Reseller Host
Buying a reseller account will probably not make you instantly rich, instantly generate an income, or instantly known in the web hosting world. It takes a commitment to customer service, by delivering the best service possible. Research needs to be conducted on how to setup plans and pricing, how to ensure support requests are handled quickly, and how to get your company name out there. While a reseller account can get a company started, it takes simple, common business sense to keep it going. Good luck with your new venture.

Companies that offer great Reseller plans are:

HostUpon

HostGator

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What is the difference between shared, dedicated, and virtual private server hosting?

Monday, April 6th, 2009

Shared hosting is when your website is hosted on a web server along with other web sites, each having its own Internet domain name. Unless you require abnormally high amounts of bandwidth and disk space, shared hosting is probably the better option due to the lower cost compared to other options. All of the web hosting services reviewed on this site offer some type(s) of shared hosting plan.

Virtual Hosting is when your website is hosted on a server which is partitioned into multiple separate “virtual” servers. Each partition acts as its own web server and can therefore, be managed separately from other partitions on the same server.

Dedicated Hosting is when you basically rent the use of an entire server. This server is not shared by anybody. The hosting provider would still take care of supporting the server (hardware, operating system, backup facilities,etc.) however you would have full control over managing the server, setting up the web sites, and what can and can not be installed on the server.

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How To Choose Your Next Host?

Monday, April 6th, 2009

Most people I know have switched from at least one hosting company to another. Switching companies can be a headache but if you are not getting the service you require it is a must. Finding a new hosting company can be difficult and complicating as the market is very competative. The best way to find a good hosting company is to read reviews about the company and hear other peoples thoughts and feedback.

Make sure you call your new potential hosting provider and ask a few questions just to make sure a real person is available when you need them! Also check to see if the company has a Live Chat option so you can get support when you need it. Web Hosting companies may have an amazing site and price but you also want to confirm they have good staff running the show.

Web Hosting is a very competitive and fast paced industry with thousands of people looking for new hosting daily. Ask your friends, family and use review sites (like ours!) to get real reviews from real people who have used your potential hosting company.

Be smart and always do your research, there are just too many bad hosting stories out there!

Goodluck!

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