Just a few days ago I talked to a friend about my different online ventures. He was amazed by the number of domain names I own (roughly 145 at this point). He asked me if I would have a website for each domain name I own. I actually declined and mentioned that I have roughly 60% of my domain names developed with their own website. Thinking about his overall reaction I think it is important to point out how easy it is to bring up your own website. [Read more…]
I just received notice from The Planet and from Softlayer that they are wrapping up the work on merging the 2 companies. On November 16th the merger will be completed and all products and services will be branded under the Softlayer brand name. This is an interesting development. Here is some information that I received from Softlayer/The Planet. [Read more…]
The answer for this question is easy: The answer is: “Yes” and “No”. Now that you are confused, let me explain this in a little more detail.
IX Hosting claims that with their offer of “FREE” unlimited domains this actually means the ability for you to host unlimited domains without any extra charges or fees on your IX Web Hosting account. This offer does not include the actual domain registration fee which is around $10 depending on where you register it these. Many people seem to get confused when they hear about unlimited domain web hosting and I agree – the verbage is often misleading. [Read more…]
With the growing popularity of streaming media (video, podcasts, etc.) on the Internet, there are many good reasons reasons why you to pick a web hosting provider that supports these new types of content. Visits to sites like Youtube and other streaming media sites has exploded over the years and Internet users are hungry for new content all the time. Some web hosts have not caught on to these trends and their web hosting packages and services are outdated. Therefore, if you are currently incorporating these rich media files into your web site, you may be limited by what your web host has to offer.
Your task: Find a web host that supports streaming media technology with its services
Although, some traditional web hosting services do support audio and video files via “progressive download” technology, this technology has a number of limitations. The biggest issue is that large file sizes for audio and video files translate into extremely long download times for the visitor. And as you know, Internet users will leave a website fast if the website or files load really slow. So, it is important that your web host supports streaming media. With streaming media applications, your audio and video files will start playing right away. There is no need to wait for a download to finish first.
Over the last 2 years some web hosts have paid attention to user needs and are offering unlimited web hosting. While “unlimited” is a little bit misleading, the main idea is that a moderate user will not have to worry about his website being limited by resources like disk or bandwidth. This is ideal if you want to host podcasts and videos on your website and stream them out to website visitors.
I can recommend the following 3 web hosts as they are a good choice for web hosting needs described above. They offer cheap web hosting, almost unlimited resource (keep in mind what I said earlier about “unlimited”), and these web hosts are reliable and well established. The list is in no particular order – no matter which cheap web host you pick, you should be just fine.
Blogging is fun, but once your output reaches a certain level those free blog web hosting services are just too limited. Maybe you even consider making money from your blog further down the road. You would not be the first one who quit the day job and worked from home for himself/herself afterwards with great success. As a blogger you eventually already know that WordPress is one of the best blogging platforms for you. And fortunately WordPress comes as an add-on script with many web hosting packages these days. You click a few buttons, provide some basic information and then WordPress gets installed without you needing to do anything. After that you upload a template and customize the layout and off you go ready write more postings.
WordPress works great in a shared web hosting environment which means you won’t have to pay more than a couple dollars per month to host WordPress on your domain and your own web hosting account. Often these web hosting accounts allow you to host more than one domain and so you could actually start your own network of websites if you wanted to. Back in 1999 I started with a personal website and then quickly added 2 or 3 domain names (it was expensive back then to do that, but it was worth it) and then it grew to what it is today. It’s amazing to see what opportunities the Internet has to offer. Blogging is often just the beginning.
Did you know that WordPress also works great as a content management system? You pick different templates and even give it a magazine or newspaper layout to look more professional. This very website where you are reading this article right this moment is powered by WordPress and sits on a shared web hosting account. Most people do not know how versatile Word Press can be used and how flexible it really is. By using so-called plugins you can expand the functionality easily. WordPress even turns into an ecommerce tool and again, all this can be done on shared web hosting.
When looking for cheap WordPress hosting, I recommend you look for a web host who offers cpanel hosting. Cpanel is a web hosting control panel that allows you to manage all aspects of your website. Cpanel comes with an add-on called Fantastico which is a collection of automated script installers. WordPress is one of these scripts and you will be up and running in no time. There is no need to manually download WordPress and to manually configure a MySQL database (I mean you, but why would you?). There are ton of web hosting companies out there that offer shared web hosting with Cpanel and Fantastico. I recommend Host Monster and Host Gator as your starting point. Both web hosts offer shared web hosting for low prices and WordPress runs great on their servers.
Cpanel is one of the most commonly used web hosting control panels these days. The company who develops cpanel puts a lot of thought into their product and has an established user base. However, Cpanel is not necessarily for everyone. It has a little bit of a learning curve and of course everyone has a different style of doing things. You can compare it to an automatic transmission and a manual transmission car. Both work and both get you where you need to go. And the same thing applies to cpanel and other web hosting control panels.
But what are alternatives to this web hosting control panel at all? While some people do not need a web hosting control panel at all and rather prefer to work via SSH (Secure Shell) on their web servers, others might not be that experienced in system administration. Commercial options to cpanel are Plesk and DirectAdmin. If you have a dedicated server you can also look at WebMin which is a free alternative that offers a lot of functioniality but is more geared towards system administrators and not webmasters. Some web hosts even have developed their own web hosting control panel to keep 100% control of their environment and to have a better hand at customizing the web hosting platform for their customers. IX Web Hosting is one of those companies that created their own control panel and seem to do a good job by looking at how many customers host domains with them and how long IX is actually around (over 10 years).
You can (and should) compare the different options to see which one you like best. As mentioned, they all do a fairly good job and make web hosting easier. But as mentioned, there is always a cpanel alternative. However, you might have to look around to find those web hosts as cpanel is a clear market leader. Find a web host with a money back guarantee in case Plesk or DirectAdmin are not a cpanel alternative you expected.
These are some of my favorite cpanel hosts if you prefer cpanel after all.
So, what do you think? Is Plesk or DirectAdmin really an alternative to cpanel?
What is Fantastico is a question I hear quite often. Fantastico is a web hosting related automation tool that is designed to make installing popular scripts extremely easy. Fantastico was developed allow non-technical people or folks new to the Internet to install popular blogging software, forum’s software, and many other scripts. Web Hosting support teams all over the place received inquiries repeatedly about helping a customer to install WordPress, phpBB, Joomla, or other scripts. Fantastico addressed these questions and the number of support tickets at many web hosting providers went down dramatically.
Why is Fantastico so successful? Fantastico is extremely easy to use. As example if you are trying to manually install WordPress blogging software you first have to obtain the software from WordPress.org. Then you have to create a MySQL database and a database user with appropriate permissions is needed, too. Then you need unzip the installation files and upload them to your server. You might be surprised how many people still use dial-up or are on the slowest cable Internet package or DSL package with minimal uploading speed. The entire process can take 15-30 minutes depending how savvy a web hosting client is. Fantastico cuts the time needed down to about 1.5 minutes. This is just one example, but you can imagine how this looks like for other scripts.
Now you need a web host who offers Fantastico. Fantastico usually comes in combination with the famous cPanel web control panel which allows a user to easily manage an entire domain and web hosting account. So, you want to be looking for a cpanel web host and Fantastico is usually included. Here is a short list of web hosting providers that offer cpanel Web Hosting where fantastico is included totally free of charge.
Pick any of these web hosts for cpanel hosting and you will be in good hands.
Last month I wrote about a new series of Dell servers that were now available at The Planet. The servers start at $99 which is dirt cheap considering how much you get in return. The new Dell Pentium G6950 servers are work horses with lots of processing power and The Planet has them at the introductory price of $99 per month available. This promo apparently is a great success (no wonder), however any introductory offer has to come to an end and so is this one.
The Planet is pulling the plug on the promo offer and the price is going up from $99 to $129. Sure, this is still very cheap – especially compared to many competitors, but if you are in the market for a great, brand name dedicated server – now is the time to make your move. The Planet offers great service and these servers are no exception. This offer expires soon, so check out the Planet for cheap dedicated web servers.
Click here to visit The Planet to get all the details and to lock in your rate.
About The Planet
The Planet dot com is a web hosting providers specialized in large data center environments to provide very affordable web servers to customers.
The old saying that goes like this “You get what you pay” in regards to quality of a products is partially true when it comes to web hosting. However, one main difference is the nature of how web hosting works at the lower end of the scale. Shared web hosting over the years has really reached the bottom end of where prices can go. Large web hosting providers have driven down prices dramatically, but do require a pre-payment of 12 months or more in return. New web hosting providers trying to compete with these companies have to go through a cut throat process to gain customers. The main difference I see here is that these newer web hosts do not require a pre-payment of 12 months or more – they offer lower prices on a month by month basis.
That’s where things get out of whack and that’s where cheap web hosting can put your website at risk. While the larger web hosts have enough cash flow to work things out, smaller web hosting providers do not. When things do not work out as they hope, they have to eventually shutdown business and take everything down with them. That is the situation you want to avoid. Cheap web hosting is a good deal if you do your homework upfront. You can save a lot of money by going with a cheap web host, but you have to pick a web host that is established and has a proven track record.
If you are able and willing to pre-pay going with a provider like JustHost or IX Web Hosting you easily cut your web hosting cost in half. You can bring your web hosting fees down to less than $4.00 per month without losing out on features, bandwidth, disk space, or support. However, you need to determine if your website is a good fit for one of those web hosts. Most personal or small business websites fit that category well. Websites of power users or larger business websites do not fit well.
The following list shows my current favorites for cheap web hosting (in no particular order).
Yesterday I wrote about how expensive a local web host can be when hosting your business website with such a company or a local web designer. Many small businesses use a local web designer to get an online presence and then are kind of held hostage by these web designers. While I support honest, local web designers there are some who take advantage of small business customers and charge an arm and a leg for web hosting without providing real value in return.
Yesterday I provided information on how to gain control of your domain name as a first step in the process of moving your business website to a different provider. Today I am going to show how to gain control of the files that actually make your website which is hosted under your domain name. Just taking control of your domain name is not enough as you would lose your website and your content unless you also gain control and physical ownership of your website.
I am assuming you are dealing with a web designer of some sort who is difficult to work with and makes it difficult to move away from him/her. You might have to get a little tricky to get copies of your website in those cases to avoid a situation where the web designer turns hostile and makes it impossible to move away without a major hassle. Any good web designer should respect your wish to use a cheaper web host. Anyway, how can you get a copy of your website? For one you need to determine if your website is just made out of static files or if there is an actual CMS (Content Management System) is used that also has a database backend. Your goal is to be able to upload everything to the new web host at one point and to have a working website.
One good way to ask for what makes your website is actually a valid business reason. Remember 9/11? When the towers of the World Trade Center went down many business were destroyed. Anyone who did not have an offsite copy of their data had lost all business records. 9/11 triggered a large wave of disaster recovery procedures where businesses realized how fast a fatal incident could wipe a business. As a result business started recording business procedures and stored them offsite with critical business data and backups of data. You can use the same reason to request a current copy of your website from your web designer. Explain that you are creating a disaster recovery plan which also includes the website and the web designer. What happens if the web designer gets hits by a bus tomorrow? How can you get your website? Properly explained it will be difficult for the web designer to deny you a copy of what you own anyway. Let’s take this a step further and use the same situation to have the web designer document your website at the same time. This will make it easier for your new webmaster or web designer to put all the bits and pieces together.
That’s it for today. In part III of this article I will provide detail f how to put all this together and how to move your website to a new webhost.