Web Hosting Service - What you Need to Know to Change Web Hosting Providers

When service at your web hosting company is lacking, or your web site grows in traffic so much that you outgrow your current account, you may find yourself needing to change hosting providers. It can be scary to think about everything you need to do. Here are some things you should keep in mind that will help make the transition to the new host much easier.

1. Backup all of your files and databases

Before you decide to transfer anything over, you need to create a backup of every file and database you have on the current hosting provider's server. FTP into your current hosting account and copy all of the files from your public_html directory into a directory on your local hard drive that you'll find easy to remember later.

As for the database, backup methods will vary according to the database vendor, the control panel being used by the host if any, and the operating system of the server. Most providers provide a backup utility that allows you to save a copy of the contents of all of your database tables. If there isn't a simple backup utility available, you will need to export the contents of your database in a comma delimited file or the standard file format for the particular database you use. Most backup utilities will convert the database into one long SQL file that is then easy for any compatible database engine to reconstruct.

2. Transfering to the new server

Make sure that your website is functioning properly at the new location before you change the DNS information of your domain name. While it may not be possible to fully navigate the site without the domain name pointing to it, you can still point to some individual pages to be sure they will come up. For this though, you'll need to use the IP address of your hosting account along with your username if you have a shared IP address. On a Cpanel server, you would enter and your main website will come up. You can use this address until the DNS information from the domain propagates throughout the web.

3. Tidy up the loose ends

Upload the backup file of your databases or execute the SQL file you generated in the backup. This should restore your database back to what it was on the old server. Change the nameserver information for your domain name. This is almost always found with the registrar that you registered your domain with or with your old web hosting provider. They almost always assign you a username and password that allows you to log into an account that allows you to change the nameservers. If you don't have a control panel, then simply email the company that registered your domain for you and ask them to change the nameservers to the new servers. Within 24 to 48 hours, your website will be served from the new server and not the old one. Once you can confirm this, it is safe to ask the old web hosting company to delete and discontinue your old account.

CHMOD - Undertanding File Permissions on a Unix-Based Server

The basic command for changing file permissions in unix based operating systems is the 'chmod' command. This command is executed with a set of parameters after it. With most FTP clients, you can simply select the filename you want to change the permissions of, right click, and choose the chmod command.

There are three main groups of permissions when dealing with the chmod command. The three groups are yourself or owner, your unix group, and everyone else. A typical chmod command would look like this - 'chmod 755' This allows you to add, remove or rename files as well as read or edit a file. It also specifies that your unix group and everyone else can only read and edit the file in question. They can't add, delete, or rename the file.

How the numbers in the chmod command work

There are three types of permissions that can be given to a file. They are read, write, and execute. The read permission is assigned a value of 4, the write permission is assigned a value of 2 and the execute permission is assigned a value of 1. So when a chmod command specified the digit 7 as the first number, it means that all three types of permissions are to be assigned to it. If a party is assigned a value of '0' then it means it has no rights whatsoever to a file. '6' tells the server that the user can read and write to the file but can't execute it. I think you get the idea.

Common permissions to set

Most of your html files will do fine with a permission of 644. Most script files will need a permission of 755. Any configuration files in a script package will often need a file permission of 777. Be very careful about assigning a file permission of '777' for everyone. With this permission, it means that anyone who gains access to your server will be able to add, remove, rename, read or edit the file. It is always a good idea with security in mind to assign the least amount of permissions necessary to get the job done.

An FTP client can keep things simple

Most people on shared servers will not have access to a command line to be able to use the chmod command. For most people, changing file permissions will be done through an FTP client. To do this, right click on the file you want to alter, and choose the chmod command. You will usually get a popup that will show nine checkboxes. The will be arranged in three rows. On the left you will usually see Read, Write, and Execute for the row headings. You can accomplish the same thing as typing in the numbers above by clicking on one, two or three boxes for each party. Once you're done, you click the apply or ok button and the file permissions will be changed.

If you keep in mind that you need to always go with the most restrictive file permissions possible that still allows your files to execute, and that there are three parties to define permissions for, you'll do fine. The three parties again are the owner, group, and everyone else.

Finding a Reliable Host

Finding reliable hosting for your business opportunity is no small task. Actually, it can be a full-time undertaking!

This is because most hosting companies focus on the higher end corporate market and overlook the fast-growing small office/home office (SOHO) sector. It is possible, however, if you clarify needs, gather recommendations, create a list of potential hosts and ask questions....lots of them.

Clarify your needs: how much disk space and bandwidth is necessary? Will you need CGI or database capacities? What operating system will you require? Will your site change dramatically down the pike, and are you searching only for yourself or for customers?

Be wary of web hosting directories since many are owned by web hosts. You should obtain feedback from those with sites and glean webmaster newsgroup postings.

In creating a list, include those recommended the most and complained about the least, and determine which hosts offer specific services best suited to your need(s) and which fits your price range.

Always ask questions, i.e.: technical questions to gauge their knowledge and accuracy; find out whether they are committed to their customers or their bank account and subject them to an honesty test...offer them the opportunity to upsell you needlessly.

If you fall into the SOHO category, you may feel more comfortable with a smaller hosting company who better understands your needs and situation. Please be sure you can add domains to a core plan and resell services, and ensure that they offer a knowledge base.

You should also watch for signs of rudeness, impatience and unresponsiveness and make sure they are flexible. A downed site costs you visitors and sales and gives you only another headache in your life of an Internet marketer.

Great Web Hosting - What to Look For!

Web hosting can best be described as a modern-daymarriage: none of this till death do us part stuff, it'smore like I'll stick around as long as your uptime is 100%,you answer my frantic queries instantly, and you charge meless than a decent latte at Starbucks. What follows is afew tips to help make the relationship less rocky andpossibly prosperous!

First of all, we all need to take a little responsibilityand at least figure out what we think we need from a webhost up front. This isn't always as easy as you mightimagine. You don't always know your exact needs ahead oftime, and sometimes these things are difficult to forsee.Your site may become hugely popular, requiring morebandwidth or storage than previously thought. You maydecide to have data feeds hosted on your site, which willgobble up resources. On online store can do the same. Oneway I've found myself in the position of having to changeweb hosts is when a technology you want to use or implementon your site isn't supported by your host. This will (anddid!)prompt a move.

Ask friends and associates who they use. While their needsmay be somewhat different than yours, basic issues such assupport and uptime will be evident, as will cutomnersatisfaction. Check out several of the web hostingdirectories, as they maintain a wealth of currentinformation regarding the specifics you're interested in.Come armed with a list of things you're looking for andnarrow your choices down using this.

Make sure you can grow with this new host. Not only in thesize of your current sites, but also number of domains andsubdomains you can host there. If you're anything like me, Iwant to be able to get the most bang for my hosting buck!

In short, due your homework, check them out, do your part inknowing as specifically as possible what you're after, andmake your choice. This could be the beginning of a beautifulfriendship!

Free or Paid Web Hosting?

Just finished your first website? So it's the time to look for some hosting and make a choise. Your first qustion probably will be whether to choose free or paid hosting service. Let's have a look at some advantages and disadvantages of these solutions.

Free web hosting:

  • (+) It's for free. You don't need to pay for domain name.
  • (-) Your URL will be something like username.freehost.com or freehost.com/username. As I noticed above, the advantage is that you don't need to pay for domain. But note that if you move your website to another provider in the future you can loose some or all your traffic (there are some solutions how to solve this problem but it is not the point of this article).
  • (-) Your provider will probably include ads to your pages - usually 1 or 2 banners, sometimes popup windows. If you plan to use banner exchange on your site read carefully their Terms and conditions. Some free hosts doesn't allow it.
  • (-) Free hosts usually allow lower bandwith then paid hosts and a lot of them don't offer futures like PHP and MySQL.
  • (-) A lot of free hosts change their Terms and conditions during some time. If your free host offers hosting wihtout ads now, don't be surprised when banner or popup appears on your site in the future.
  • (-) Sometimes happens that free hosts cancel their free service and longer offer paid hosting only. In this case you have only 2 choises - pay them or loose your website.

Paid web hosting:

  • (+) You can host your own domain. If you decide to change the web hosting provider in the future, you easily transfer the domain to the new provider and don't loose your traffic.
  • (+) Most paid hosts offer 24/7 support via email or live chat and some of them provide toll-free phone support.
  • (+) You can expect better uptime then on free host. Some paid hosts offer uptime guarantee.
  • (+) Paid hosts usually offer enough disk space and bandwith. Futures like PHP and MySQL are standard. Even if you are not programmer you can download plenty of free PHP scripts from internet.
  • (-) Paid hosting coast money :o)

Before you make the decision if choose free or paid host you should answer this question: How big ambitions do I have with my website? If you are starting small personal page for your friends consist of a few *.html files then free host will be sufficient. In case you plan to run serious business website, need PHP, database and don't want ads on the site I recommend to look for quality paid host.

Windows Hosting versus Linux Hosting - Which is right for you?

There are literally hundreds of thousands of web hosting companies out there. Many of these companies offer both Windows hosting and Linux hosting plans. Windows plans usually cost more because of the license costs imposed by Microsoft. Knowing this, how can you know when you need Windows hosting and when Linux hosting will work just as well or better? Keep reading to find out.

Windows operating systems are found on something like 95% of all personal computers in the world. With such a total dominance, Microsoft Windows is top of mind to most new people looking for web hosting.

In the web server world though, Windows based servers are behind less than 20% of all websites on the internet. This is according to the latest web server survey from securityspace.com. By choosing a Linux hosting plan, you will find yourself in good company.

When do you have to use Windows Hosting?

1. .NET technologies including ASP.net are not available on Linux platforms. If you have a website built with Microsoft .NET technologies you will have to choose a Windows hosting plan. In fact, if you need ASP without .NET features, most Linux hosting plans do not offer support for it.

2. Access Databases are only available with a Windows hosting plan. Access runs on a Microsoft Windows platform and cannot run on a Linux Operating system.

3. MSSQL is an enterprise class database put out by Microsoft. If you need an enterprise class database there are some alternatives that run on a Linux platform but if you need Microsoft's MSSQL database, a Windows hosting plan will have to be your choice.

4. If you are using Microsoft's Sharepoint services like some of the Sharepoint features found in Frontpage 2003, a Windows Hosting plan is your only choice.

What is the advantage to choosing Linux Hosting?

All the major services you need to run an enterprise class website are available on Linux based systems for free. Linux, Apache, MySQL and PHP are being used together to provide the infrastructure behind some of the most traffic intensive sites on the internet.

PHP runs better on a Linux server than on a Windows server. Having said that, unless you are putting a heavy load on your PHP scripts, this will not be noticable.

In general, Linux hosting plans are at least 20% cheaper than Windows hosting plans. If you don't need any of the features mentioned above, Linux hosting is a fine choice for your needs.

For Microsoft specific technologies, Windows hosting plans are usually your best bet. For everthing else, Linux hosting plans will usually do quite well. With the cost savings usually found with Linux hosting plans, Linux hosting is usually the right choice for you.

Website Sitebuilders: Easy to use Website builders Come with a Price

Professional web designers don't come cheap. A good web designer can easily charge you $1000 or more for a five page website. This high cost leads many people to tackle web design for themselves. How hard can it be? Get yourself an HTML editor, throw up a website and voila! Your website is live right? Wrong! There is a lot of knowledge you need to develop before you can get your self made website onto the internet.

What is a Sitebuilder?

More and more web hosting companies today offer Sitebuilder software that takes care of all the technical details to getting your website up and live on the internet. They allow a novice to choose a built in template, select some colors, throw in some pictures, and add some text. Once these steps are done, all the novice has to do is publish their website to the internet. All the hard stuff is taken care of by the Sitebuilder software. So what's the catch?

Next to Impossible to Move your Website to Another Company.

Most Sitebuilders in use by web hosting companies today are designed to make it as difficult as possible for their users to transfer their website away. Most, if not all the fancy features like counters, navigation, templates, etc... are built into the Sitebuilder and won't work unless you have an active account with that particular company. If you want to take your website elsewhere, you will have to build your website again from scratch.

Cookie cutter approach tends to look amateurish

Sitebuilders in generally lack the flexibility to allow the website creator to create a website any way they like. Most Sitebuilders out there will lock you into doing things in one way – their way. This leads to websites that can look like they were just thrown together and therefore look unprofessional.

Little ability to handle traffic growth.

Most Sitebuilders come with enough storage space and monthly data transfer to meet the average website's needs. If your website traffic truly takes off though, chances are, your Sitebuilder company will cut you off. Most hosting companies bank on the fact that 99% of it's clients will use relatively little resources. If your website starts to use too many server resources, most companies will pull the plug on your website. If your website is built with their Sitebuilder, you'll be out of luck and in the unenviable position of needing to rebuild your website right when a ton of traffic is hitting a dead page. Not pretty.

Sitebuilder or traditional web hosting account – which is for you?

If you have never put together a website before, and you have no desire to dive into the technical details of putting your website online, a Sitebuilder is probably your best fit. For maximum long term flexibility and growth potential, learning how to get your website live on a traditional web hosting account is well worth the effort. You will end up paying less, you won't be locked into one company, and you will be able to grow your website as traffic demands it.

Reseller Hosting Explained

Reseller Defined:

The term Reseller according to the dictionary means to sell again i.e. to sell a product or service to the public or to an end user, especially as an authorized dealer, while making sure that you make a profit on the sale.

Reseller Hosting

Reseller hosting is no different either, a reseller buys a Web hosting package from a hosting company and tries to sell it independently. The profit for the reseller lies in either the discount or in the commission s/he gets from selling an account.

For example: The reseller might purchase a package whose features are valued at $100 for $90. So, the reseller stands to make a $10 profit on selling the package to customers. Normally as the customers increase, so does the profit margin for the reseller.

Or, you can get some money by earning commissions from a hosting company. This happens when you refer potential customers to the hosting company. If the customer signs up with the company then you earn a small recurring commission until the customer uses the services.

Most web hosting companies try to outsource their services to resellers as it helps them to extend their business reach without the cost of marketing and sales and also helps them to concentrate on the business side of things.

What can be resold

As a reseller you can decide what kinds of services you can sell.You can provide shared, dedicated or co-location web hosting or merchant accounts, store fronts etc.

If you go with hosting then it might be useful to offer some other hosting related services like domain names, search engines etc.

Of course, if you have problems selling these value added services in the beginning then you can sell them later.

The cost and resources involved

The cost of becoming a reseller and the equipment and people required in order to be successful depends on many factors.

If you just plan to earn commission by referring people to the hosting company by using the Internet, then you do not have to put up a lot of money, all you need is an Internet ready PC and an Internet connection.

For a small start-up not a lot of money and resources are required. You can purchase a good reseller package from a hosting company by paying them some money upfront. All that is needed is a decent computer that can manage the accounts of customers and a good Internet connection.

It is advisable to start small if you are very new to the concept of web hosting and reselling. Then you can expand as you go on and start getting more and more customers in which case offering domain registration is also a very good way to make profits.

If you have the money and the experience then you can go as far as buying all the server equipment required, in which case you will also be responsible for all the server maintenance costs.

The other option could be leasing a server as this will be cheaper than buying the server, but here as well you are responsible for all the maintenance and running costs of the server.

In the above two cases you also need to make sure that you have multiple connections with the hosting company so there are no complications in case a connection goes down.


The best thing about being a reseller is that you do not require a lot of upfront investment.

There is no need to have a lot of technical knowledge. Account management and Internet skills are all that is required. However, it would be really handy if you have some sales and marketing experience so you can interact with your customers better.

The hosting company generally provides and maintains all the hardware and software.

You do not need to hire a lot of IT staff to provide support. Providing basic support and leaving the more technical issues to the parent company support staff can be easily achieved.


Support can sometimes be delayed, as you are dependent on the parent company to handle the technical aspects. If there is a delay from their side then you along with your customer are affected.

Sometimes customers leave you if they find out that you are a reseller and not a real hosting company.

Tips for marketing yourself

If you are starting out on a small scale then visiting message boards and posting your services there is a good idea. A lot of potential clientele with relatively small hosting needs also frequent message boards and outline their desired services.

Having contests is a great idea for bringing awareness and interest about your services.

Online ad campaigns, signatures, and text links are very helpful techniques.

Once you have gotten a bigger budget then you can go for Google ad words or PPC search engines.

The best strategy is to try out various combinations of these approaches and work out the best one for your needs.

Web Hosting: 4 Factors in Choosing a Hosting Company

When choosing a web hosting company there are a whole lot of different factors that should go into your decision making process. One of the biggest factors should be:

1) Phone support. Email support is nice, but email occasionally falls in between the virtual cracks. Getting someone on the phone when your site goes down can take a lot of mystery out of the entire process. A lot of the bigger web hosting companies offer toll free support and weekend hours to boot. Phone support is a great benefit for any web hosting client.

2)Another factor to use in deciding whether to use a particular web hosting company is their history. How long has this company been in business? Web hosting companies that have been in existence for less than a year might not be the best choice. A hosting company with a proven track record and a ton of happy clients is certainly a good sign and might work well for you.

3)How about the company's software? This varies widely between web hosting companies. I am rather fond of Cpanel merely because I am used to it, understand where the buttons are and what the features do. It's much easier to stick with something you know than switching to a new User Interface. Some web hosts offer Frontpage features and others don't. Another specific area you might want to research are the statistics programs. What sort of web statistics software is included with your web hosting account? Is Awstats included? This is one area you definitely want to heavily research before signing up.

4)Fees. I'd rather pay a little more to get all the features than fight it out with a sub par web hosting company who I can't reach if my site goes down. I've found decent web hosting for as cheap as $4 per month but generally pay around $15 per month if I want all the bells and whistles that I'll need to host a larger site. A lot of people worry about hosting fees, but I've had the experience that I generally get what I pay for. Finally, I'd look carefully at the web hosting company's refund policy. Most offer a full refund if you aren't happy with your service. If you are paying for a full year of web hosting up front, you might want to examine the company's refund policy in detail.

The 14 Point Web Hosting Checklist

How To Select A Web Hosting Company

When starting out, it is easy to overlook some of the most important factors when selecting a web host while paying too much attention on great features which you may not need at the start.

For example, most new webmasters judge a web host by the amount of disk space they offer. The thinking is generally, the more the better. There are many other factors to take into consideration. Each factor can be weighed up according to the features each specific web hosting company offers. Each company may also offer several different plans. The features from plan to plan may also differ.

Don't rush

Some deals may look good at first but if one feature that is important according to your needs is missing, then that deal may not be so good in your opinion. This does not cast a value judgment on any particular web host. The deal in and of itself may be good for me for example but not for you. So do your research and compare different companies and plans until you weigh up all the factors that are important to *your* needs.

What factors do I weigh up?

Tech Support - I don't know about you, but I like the feeling of knowing that support is available when I need it. Test different companies before you sign up by sending them an email with a question or two. If they respond quickly, this is a good sign.

Uptime - The more uptime they guarantee, the better. 99% uptime is the minimum acceptable standard. I look for 99% plus guaranteed uptime.

Disk Space - Decide how much disk space you will require. A web page with one logo does not take up much web space at all. Calculate how big your web site is in relation to the disk space alloted.

Bandwidth - This factor is usually overlooked until the bandwidth limit is reached. If you go over your alloted bandwidth, you will get a hefty bill. If you are running a site with lots of downloads, or a site with lots of images such at a photo post site, your bandwidth will be a lot higher than a site with mainly text.

CGI Bin - This is now standard with good hosting companies. If you do not have access to your own CGI Bin, you cannot install scripts and programs.

Perl - If you do not have Perl, you cannot run Perl Programs. Many good scripts that you buy or get for free are written in Perl. In my opinion, it would be a limitation not to have the latest version of Perl installed.

SSL - If you intend to accept credit cards orders directly from your website, you will need Secure Socket Layer included in your plan. This is one of those easily overlooked features. You might sign up for a plan that looks attractive for whatever reason, then down the track, you might discover that you need this feature. If it is not included in your plan, you might be gob-smacked if the extra monthly charge is $10.00. To use this feature you need a merchant account. There is no need to make this a priority if you have no merchant account because you can use a third party credit card processor.

SSI - Server Side Includes are great if you want to spend minimal time updating your site. Here's how it works. My site contains SSI's. The left and right nav menus and the little search engine in the left nav menu are "included" with an SSI command in the master page template. If I need to update one of the nav links, there is no need to edit all the pages that contain the menus. I just edit one file which contains the menu HTML and upload it to my site. It's awsome.

MySQL - What scripts are you going to run? Some programs require a MySQL database to run. I had this problem with a particular web host. They wanted to charge me $10.00 per month for a MySQL database. WOW. I just took out a new plan with another hosting company for under 10 bucks a month and 5 MySQL Databases are included in the price. Say no more.

PHP - Many new scripts and programs require PHP support. Again, this feature can be a $10 extra but most good hosts offer it standard. Imagine if you do not have PHP support but the latest new free Toplist, Blogging script or Shopping Cart requires PHP. Again, this feature is almost standard these days.

CubeCart is an example of a free Shopping Cart Script that requires PHP and MySQL: http://www.cubecart.com/site/home/

Domain Name - What's the point in buying web space if you cannot point your own domain name to the site? Some companies will help you register a domain name but you should compare prices and learn how to register your domain yourself. This way you are in control of your domain name if you ever change hosts.

FTP Access - Unlimited and unrestricted FTP access to your site is essential. You will need an FTP program to transfer files.

Control Panel - Not all control panels are the same. Some are easier to use than others. Some control panels the learning curve is steep while others are easy. If you select a plan where you cannot preview your control panel before you buy, you can always use the 30 day money back guarantee to get out if you are not happy. If they are not offering a working demo of the control panel, maybe they are not proud of it. In my experience, I have always been disappointed with the quality of the control panel when a demo was not available.

Statistics Program - A good stats program is handy if you want to keep an eye on how many visitors you are getting, where they are coming from, referrers, top entry and exit pages and so on. Some companies offer excellent stats programs as standard while others offer basic stats but you have to pay extra for advanced statistics. If you find a good hosting deal but the stats program is a bit basic, why not email the company and ask if they can install AWStats before you sign up.