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Hosting Types For Your Blog – Shared, VPS, The Cloud or Dedicated

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If you’re serious about running a blog, you need to get serious about your design, your content and your hosting. For the most part, people solely focus on their content when it comes to getting their blog off the ground but how the content is presented and whether or not the user can actually access your content in a timely manner is also of the utmost importance.

I won’t bother with going into the fundamentals of blog design during this article, but I will explain your hosting options as hosting is just one of the things where most people think any old account will do and that’s really not the case. If you want your blog to be successful, it needs to be hosted somewhere reputable and needs to have enough resources at its disposal to perform and serve content properly.

The last thing you want is to write an amazing article and have trouble serving it to the public. Below I’ll discuss the options available when it comes to hosting along with the pros and cons of each solution.

Web Hosting Services

Shared Hosting

This is the most common of all the hosting types out there. As the name suggests it means your blog will share resources with other websites hosted on the same physical server.

By resources I’m talking about CPU (processing power), disk space, memory (RAM) and bandwidth. While shared hosting is more than adequate for most low traffic blogs, it’s not advisable. Even if your blog is not using a particular high amount of resources, another website on the server could be and as a result of this the performance of your own site could be affected inadvertently.

Fortunately, most hosting providers actively monitor such figures and can often pick up on a particular site using a lot of resources, fairly quickly and address the issue. Shared hosting is the cheapest option out there when it comes to web hosting and there isn’t a great deal of room for scalability. But with that said, even the lowest shared hosting packages should have no issue in supporting a regular, personal, low traffic blog. Many hosting providers will also let you increase the specification of the package should you require more disk space or bandwidth so it is scalable to some extent but should be avoided if you’re sitting on a monster of a blog.

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A typical selection of packages will look like this with prices increasing based on how much you’re using in terms of resources or how many websites/blogs you’re looking to host. If you’re considering one of the higher end packages, with any host it may be worth making the jump to one of the higher end solutions such as cloud hosting or a VPS rather than just paying for a high-end shared package.

VPS (Virtual Private Server)

This is the closest you can come to a dedicated server without getting an actual physical machine. It acts/behaves the same as a dedicated server in that the resources at your disposal are your resources to use solely, they’re not shared across other sites like with shared hosting but you are limited to the physical resources of the machine. Most people use VPS solutions because shared hosting isn’t enough and price wise they provide a good middle ground between the cheaper shared packages and the higher end dedicated server solutions.

The VPS is software based which means it’s a piece of software that controls the resources you have available to you but you can fully customize the plan as if it was a real dedicated server. As the VPS is controlled via software it makes upgrading plans and packages a breeze as adding more disk space, more memory and more bandwidth is all just point and click from an admin perspective. It’s all completely virtual but again you’re limited by the resources of the physical machine.

VPS solutions are intended for those who want full server control, full command line access and full resources at their disposal. You will not need a VPS solution for a regular blog unless you simply wanted more resources than those of a traditional shared solution – but if it’s resources you’re after, VPS tend to be a bit old school you’d be much better off with a cloud solution as discussed below.

The Cloud

When it comes to resources and having them at your disposal, there is no better solution than the cloud or cloud hosting. Cloud computing is a recent advent in itself but cloud hosting is increasing in prominence due to its ability to provide virtually limitless resources to anyone who requests them. You can get a general idea of it here but I’ll give you a brief run down of what it is below.

Server and Web Site Speed

Cloud hosting (and cloud computing in general) relies on underlying computer-processing power than can be accessed if/when you need it. You are not limited to the physical specifications of a single computer such as a dedicated server or the software-imposed restrictions of a VPS. In short, cloud computing is shared computing power that is allocated and distributed wherever there is the need. In simple terms, imagine 20 web servers, all connected and sharing resources. At one end of the scale, you’ve got a website serving customers that only requires the resources of 1 machine but at the other end of the scale you’ve got a website that needs the resources of 19 machines. A cloud solution would support this perfectly as the resources are shared and distributed effectively based on who needs it most – and it’s all real-time. If the single machine website suddenly needed more resources, the shared-resources of the cloud would provide it. Now imagine this on a much bigger scale, thousands of web servers all in sync sharing resources based on whichever site needs it the most. That is the fundamental ideal of cloud hosting and cloud computing in general.

I recently had it described to me like the electricity in your home. You’re not limited to a fixed amount of power for your home specifically, nor are you limited to a fixed amount for your street. You can use as much electricity as you like (within reason) and your local power station will distribute as needed. This is how cloud hosting works, no limits, effectively take what you need. This is why it becomes a much more viable solution than working in the confines of a dedicated physical machine.

Dedicated Servers

A dedicated server is a dedicated, physical machine, which is solely tasked with running your blog (or whatever other sites you decide to put on it). It shared no resources with other third party owned websites and the performance/resources are limited to what is in the physical machine. It can be likened to your home, desktop computer – whatever spec it is that is the spec and there is no room for movement short of opening up the case and adding more hardware.

Blogging and Web Servers

Dedicated servers tend to be a drying breed unfortunately particularly with the advent of The Cloud which has unlimited resources at its disposal. If you had a choice to be confined to a strict machine spec or one which is truly unlimited in terms of performance, you can imagine what most people choose.

With that said, some people prefer the security of a dedicated server and if you require server side software, which isn’t provided by your average cloud provider then you may find a dedicated server is still a viable option. For the most part, they’re yours to do as you please with in terms of software and features so if you have a highly specific build, want full configuration of Apache and know your way around a Linux shell then you may just find it a better option.

So all in all, whatever the size of your blog, there are options out there. It’s just of upmost importance that you choose a solution that fits your requirements and traffic levels or you’ll end up paying for it.

My name is Foxy, and my job is to sniff out the good guest bloggers from the ones who aren't. This post was written by a contributing author to Blogging Tips. If you would like to learn more about becoming a writer (not one-time guest blogging) for BloggingTips.com, please contact us.

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Top Hosting Warning Signs To Watch Out [Infographic]

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essential pages blog should have

Picking the right web host for your business website is one of the most important website launch tasks. With the numerous hosting providers available in the market, you can easily pick a web host as per your needs and requirements. From Shared hosting to WordPress hosting to Dedicated servers, there are also several types of web hosting that you can choose from. However, the downside of having too many web hosts is difficulty in selecting a reliable hosting service provider. 

Thus, if you are looking to purchase a new web host, then here are the top hosting warning signs that you need to watch out. These warning signs are also an indication for website owners who are struggling with their existing hosting.

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  • Frequent Downtime

Downtime refers to the period during which the server is unavailable for use. If you are running a website that attracts a huge amount of traffic daily, frequent downtime can affect your site’s revenue. It can also affect your site’s credibility in the long run.

Thus, you must do your research and pick a web host that offers optimal uptime (99.9% is the industry standard). Frequent downtime is also a sign of an unreliable web host, in which case, you need to switch to another hosting provider post-haste.

  • Poor Customer Support

Having a robust customer support is a vital back-up for business owners just launching their website. Without proper support in place, you wouldn’t be able to resolve website issues quickly, which could impact the growth of your website. Also, a good web hosting provider offers multi-channel support via phone, email, and live chat. As such, check what support channels the hosting provider offers, before signing-up with them.

  • Inadequate Security Features

One of the top requirements for any website, especially eCommerce website, is powerful security features. With cyber-crimes rampant, the only way to protect your website and database from threats like malware, viruses, and spam is to have strong website security features in place.

If your hosting provider is not offering you adequate security, then shifting to a new host is the only option, which can prevent hacking attempts and other threats. Also, when choosing a new host, check out their security features list to understand what measures they undertake to protect websites, before purchasing a hosting package.

  • Lack of Essential Features

This includes cPanel, back-up facility, storage, advanced programming languages, among others. A cPanel makes your task of managing the website easy. Whereas, an efficient back-up facility ensures that you can get your site up and running in no time, in the event of website hack or server failure.

Adequate storage is important or else it could affect your site’s performance. Likewise, advanced programming languages ensures that you can easily scale your website, should the need arise in the future. So, if these features are not offered by a hosting provider, then you need to look elsewhere.

To sum up,

Web hosting is one of the building blocks of a successful website. When choosing a hosting service provider, ensure that you read reviews and customer testimonials before choosing one. Also, low/high price doesn’t always guarantee great features. Thus, make sure to do your research, and to learn more about hosting warning signs, go here.

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Domain Names & Hosting

Managed WordPress Hosting 101: What Site Owners Need to Know

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The first and crucial thing when establishing a website is a solid foundation for running it. Building a website maybe not that hard, especially if you have a WordPress website on your mind, but keeping a website safe and secure is a big obligation.

You can hire professional developers, but also you can take advantage of web hosting providers and choose the packages of the best hosting solution. Nowadays many web hosting companies offer different solutions for maintaining a website. For one price, you can get a whole hosting package that has everything suitable for your website, and the only thing you need to consider is: what exactly your website need?

There are a few different web hosting solutions: shared hosting, managed hosting, dedicated hosting, cloud hosting, etc. Choosing a compatible hosting depends on your website, so think about crucial things, or ask someone with more experience to help you. For example: if you have a small website with less traffic, the best option for you will be shared hosting. You’ll share the same disk space, memory, and power with other small websites on the server for an affordable price.

If you have a WordPress website, we have good news. With the bigger and bigger popularity of WordPress, many hosting providers offer a hosting package specially designed for WordPress websites. This kind of web hosting adds some convenient features designed for easier managing. Keep reading to discover all the benefits of managed hosting and how it can help you to run a flawless WordPress website.

 The Difference Between Managed and Unmanaged Web Hosting

The great difference between these two types of hosting is the quantity of responsibilities of hosting provider. Standard (unmanaged) hosting service means that you usually, optimize the website by yourself, keeping it up to date and making sure everything is ok. Managed hosting provider is specially designed for a WordPress website, and it’s much more customized for owners – the provider company will manage your hosting, not only ensuring server security and optimization. Your hosting provider will take care of many tasks that will make your job easier. It offers various services along with the server space so your website will run smoother, with your minimal involving and monitoring it. Hostinger provides hosting solutions for small or medium WordPress websites, so you could think about the offers. Before choosing a reliable hosting company read the reviews, inform yourself wisely – it can save you a lot of money and time.

Managed hosting isn’t so much a plan as it is a description of the services you’ll receive: in one package you’ll get everything you need customized for a WordPress website so you can focus on website content or something more interesting than a monitoring security and all that complicated tasks.

Here are some of the great advantages of managed hosting:

1.   Expert team support

The web hosting companies specialized in WordPress have more experience with typical problems and it will faster troubleshoot any bug. Technical problems can happen with any kind of website, and sometimes it can be really hard to solve it on your own, or to explain to your provider what’s happening. So, the best option is to have a reliable host with a personal support team with 24/7 availability, to answer all your questions and concerns. An expert WordPress technical support has the experience to solve any problem immediately. A highly skilled group of technicians will be there for you in case of any emergency: on email, on the phone, on live chat. Everywhere!

2.   Backup regularly

As you can assume, backups are your key to security and it’s very important continuous performing them. If you don’t have time to backup a website by yourself regularly, it’s important to find a web host who will do it for you. Some managed web hosting solutions offer daily backups, some of them weekly, and it’s important to decide how often you need copies. After your decision, try to find the option that fits what you want. With managed hosting provider offering backups as many as you want, your website will run smoother and you’ll be peaceful.

2.   Scalabity Whenever and Wherever

One of the most important things to look for when signing up for a managed WordPress hosting account, is to make sure they are not just focused on WP-powered sites, but that they also have the tools, solutions and options for scalability in place as well. This will be ideal for any site owners starting off with a brand new site and don’t have a lot of money to spend in the beginning for their hosting — however, when their site starts to pick up in traffic and revenue, the option is also there to upgrade to a better managed hosting plan.

3.   Keeping a website safe, not just solving a problem

With managed hosting service, the host team will supervise your WordPress website regularly and keeping monitoring of any suspicious activity. It is extremely important especially if you are a newbie in online business and haven’t experienced recognizing potential threats. The support team of the hosting provider maintain your website and work on preventing any of the potential threats. You must admit it’s perfect resolution: instead of requesting support after some issue, the technical team keeps everything safe all the time. 

In Summary…

If you have a high-traffic WordPress website, managed hosting will be the best solution for you. Experienced WordPress hosting provider with expert staff will give you the necessary support and make things easier. WordPress is giving endless possibilities for creativity, so don’t let complicated things interfere with your work. Good luck, and let managed hosting be with you!

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Protecting Your Online Business with Cloud Access Security Brokers

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No matter if you are a blogger just starting out, or have a full time business online, you need to make sure your site is up at all time ans that your data is also secure. This is something many individuals and brands think they have in place, until a new security leak and hack comes into play. One of the best ways to make sure your online business and customer data is safe, is to make sure you are hosting your site with a reliable solution. As ‘cloud computing’ also becomes more accessible and at cheaper prices, it’s yet another option for keeping your online brand and business safe at all times,

A cloud access security broker (CASB) assists with cloud-based security concerns. While you may have outstanding security measures in place both within your organization and with your cloud service provider, there is still a point of vulnerability between the two. A cloud access security broker helps you protect your data everywhere from the point of origination to its final storage place in the cloud. There are several options available for service providers in this area, so it’s important to know how to assess them and make a fair comparison across all your potential security brokers.

Data Security Measures

The primary purpose of a cloud access security broker is to enhance your data security as information moves between internal or external storage devices and the cloud. While the cloud itself may be safe and secure, the transmission of information can create a weak point where cybercriminals have the opportunity to snag sensitive data en route to its next destination.
When you’re comparing cloud access security brokers, you must assess the details of their security measures. How do they control access? What measures are in place to prevent data leakage? How do they handle encryption key management? Compare providers evenly at this point to see which offers the most comprehensive data security services.

Visibility

Enhanced visibility is one of the key services offered by cloud access security brokers. Your broker should monitor all content moving in and out of the cloud, performing regular security audits. It’s important that you, as the consumer, have access to data and security logs and regular reports. Your CASB should also provide helpful alerts that will draw your attention to any potential weaknesses and guide you toward the best solutions. Find out how much visibility a CASB provider offers and what form it comes in.

Threat Protection

How does your cloud access security provider handle threats? You will inevitably come across cybercriminals who are attempting to access your data. What measures are in place to analyze user and entity behavior and capture these criminals? How does your provider detect data theft, and what steps do they take to then block the criminal from accessing your information? Your CASB should not only protect you from potential threats but also aid in the investigation of suspicious activity.

Compliance

Discuss compliance requirements with your cloud access security broker. Are they knowledgeable about the latest requirements for legal compliance with data management within your industry? Do they have smart solutions to help you monitor and maintain compliance throughout the cloud? While compliance is an issue that will still ultimately fall on the shoulders of your company, a cloud access security broker should have the knowledge to assist you in this area, and they should always be on the alert for any compliance concerns that you need to be informed of.

Research your options carefully to make sure you’re working with a cloud access security broker that is well-equipped to assist with your industry-specific needs. The best option should suit both the size and scope of your company.

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