Web Hosting Tips and Advice at Host Voice

How domain names are deleted

Ever wonder how a domain name gets deleted or “dropped”? The domain drop process is long and arduous and there are many steps involved. Here’s how the process works:

  • After a domain name expires it enters an on-hold period. The domain name owner is allowed to renew the domain at any point during this time frame. Depending on the registrar, the on-hold period can last anywhere between 1 and 45 days.
  • Next comes the grace period. The domain owner is still able to reclaim the domain during this time, but will usually pay a hefty recovery penalty or fee to do so. The grace period usually lasts 30 days, but again, this depends on the registrar.
  • After a domain name bows out of the grace period, the owner has no chance to re-register or re-acquire it. The domain is marked as pending deletion and will be available to the public for registration within 5 days.
  • The domain is now free to be registered by anyone through a domain name registrar.

So how do everyday people find deleted domain names, dropped domain names and expired domain names? By using a deleted domain search service such as DeletedDomains.com! Deleted Domains allows users to search through the latest lists of on-hold domains and deleted domains. The lists are updated daily and the site also provides an extensive search option and daily email alerts for domain keywords.

Memberships start at only $14.99/month, so try out a FREE deleted domain search and sign up for an account today!

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Green web hosting for the environment

These days, more and more web hosting companies are going “green”. That doesn’t mean these companies are experiencing motion sickness, but rather they are centering their hosting business around environmentally friendly operating policies. What types of changes are these companies making to improve the world of tomorrow? Some green web hosting companies are using renewable energy to promote environmental awareness. This is done in one of two ways:

  • The web host purchases Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) in order to offset part or all of the electricity usage from the full downloads used in their business.  This is a simple solution that doesn’t require drastic changes to the web hosts’ business infrastructure.
  • Wind, solar or geothermal energy is used to power and sustain the business operation. This can be an expensive option for a hosting company since full conversion environmentally friendly energy sources can cost a pretty penny. Plus, the full benefits of the conversion will not be realized for years due to the initial cost.

In addition to renewable energy sources, green hosting companies are making smaller changes that allow them to lessen their impact on the environment. These changes include allowing employees to work from home, switching to a paperless office, planting trees at their hosting customers’ request, and making donations to environmental non-profit groups. Web hosting companies are doing many wonderful things in an effort to go green. By choosing a green web hosting company, you’re doing your part in lessening our impact on the world.

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The importance of web analytics

So you’ve started a website and now have an abundance of traffic coming in. That’s great! But where are these people coming from? How are they finding your site? And most importantly, how are they behaving when they’re on your site? This is where the importance of web analytics comes into play.

Web analytics is the study of how your site’s visitors behave. This includes the tracking of important statistics such as unique vistis, pageviews, bounce rates and conversion rates. For many small sites, the last two statistics are not as important, but for large sites or online businesses, the last two play a key roll in optimizing your site’s performance.

There are two main web analytics technologies: server logfile analysis and page tagging.

Server logfile analysis involves the reading of log files on a server in order to collect analytics data. During the early days of the Internet, server logfile analysis only tracked the number of requests made by a visitor to the web server. This was commonly know as a “hit” and was logical since many sites only consisted of a single HTML file at the time. As more elements were added to web pages (images, multiple pages, etc.), server logfile analysis became impractical, as it would count every server request on one page as a “hit”.

These complications led to the creation of new web analytic metrics: pageviews and visits. A pageview was defined as a request to the web server for a single page while a visit was defined as a series of requests from a single person that ended after a certain time frame. Eventually, cookies were used to track unique user sessions due to the evolution of proxy and dynamic IP technologies, which made the old “visit” statistic fairly useless.

Some of the most popular software programs for tracking web analytics use the server logfile analysis method. These include Webalizer, Urchin, WebTrends and the open-source AWStats.

Page tagging involves the placement of code on a page in order to track analytics data. The earliest form of page tagging was the website counter. These visible, numeric counters eventually evolved into invisible snippets of JavaScript. The small JavaScript code would be placed on a page and send data back to an analytics program or company for analysis. Just like the server logfile analysis method, page tagging also involves assigning cookies to each user in order to determine unique visitors.

One of the most popular page tagging analytics programs is Google Analytics. The service is free to anyone with a Google account and is the standard in web analytics for any person or company on a tight budget.

So why should you worry about web analytics? So you can increase the performance of your website of course!

Why do people leave your site? A “bounce” is when a visitor leaves your website after only viewing one page. Many analytics programs have a statistic called bounce rate, which measures the percentage of people that commit a “bounce”. This metric allows you to see which pages on your site are performing poorly and then make improvements or adjustments to that page. This statistic is extremely important for e-commerce sites or sites that would like a visitor to commit a certain action.

How much time do people spend on your site? This is known as session duration and is important to know because it allows you to see what pages on your site have content that is compelling your visitors to stay. It will also let you know what pages need additional content added in order for visitors to stay on them longer.

What are people doing on your site? If your site has actionable items for visitors, such as filling out a form, purchasing a product or subscribing to a newsletter, you can track these actions through conversion tracking. By putting a small piece of code on each of your completion or thank you pages, you will be able to see what percentage of visitors actually committed each action. This knowledge will allow you to further improve your landing pages and content in order to get a better response from your visitors and increase conversions.

There are many other, albeit less important, web analytics statistics that you can track. The ones above are some of the most important and you should be vigilant in monitoring them no matter what analytics software you use.

Web analytics are an important part of any website. They will give you quantitative insight into the actions of your visitors and let you know where you can improve and refine the content of your site. There are many analytics solutions out there, so there’s no reason not to be actively tracking and studying these extremely valuable metrics.

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What is clustered hosting?

In a traditional web hosting environment, your site and its associated data will be located on one server in one location. This can cause problems if your server goes offline or the datacenter where your server is located burns down. So what’s the solution to this problem? Clustered hosting.

Clustered hosting offers a 100% uptime solution for sites that need it most. Instead of one server, your website depends on the resources of multiple servers. These servers are generally located in different physical areas. If one of them goes offline, the other servers in the cluster will pick up the load, assuring that your site stays online.

Clustered server hosting is also beneficial for extremely large, high traffic sites. Since multiple servers are handling the load balance, security and data resources, your site will run with greater efficiency than if it were on a single server.

This type of hosting is not for those on a budget. A clustered hosting solution is created specifically for a single site or network of sites and can be fairly expensive, depending on the amount of resources needed. Clustered hosting providers can give you a quote if you know what you need and will work with you in order to figure out the optimal solution at an affordable price if you’re not quite sure what kind of setup you’ll require.

If clustered hosting doesn’t sound like the right solution for you, look into dedicated server hosting or shared hosting.

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Avoid free web hosting companies

The best things in life may be free, but great web hosting service is not one of them.

You may have seen free hosting companies in your search for a new hosting provider. Generally, the emphasis is placed on the price you will pay (nothing) rather than the account features you will receive.

Nearly all free web hosting providers will give you a limited amount of storage space and bandwidth. They will also prevent the upload and storage of certain file types, such as MP3 and MPEG. There is also no uptime guarantee with your site and you will not be able to use you own domain name as the URL.

So how do free hosting companies stay afloat? One word: advertising.

In exchange for your free hosting account, you will have advertisments placed on your site. These advertisments support your free hosting provider and give them a source of income. The advertising is not very targeted and can also be intrusive on the browsing experience (pop up and pop-under ads).

While free hosting may be great if you just want to write a small blog, it is not ideal (or even logical) to use a free
hosting account to run an online business or feature rich website. You can find many web hosting providers who have affordable prices without sacrificing performance or reliability.

Looking for a hosting company? Get a free web hosting quote today!

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Basic Web Hosting Definitions

For newcomers to the world of web hosting, the vast amount of need-to-know information can be overwhelming. There are so many terms to know and understand. Here are a few defintions to increase your knowledge of web hosting and hosting technology.

Disk Space – The amount of hard drive space on the host server. This space is used to store all code, files, databases, images and videos for your site. You generally want to future-proof your site by getting a plan with larger amounts of disk space than you need.

Bandwidth – The amount of data that can be sent to or from the host’s server measured in bytes. This term is often used interchangeably with data transfer. Data, whether it be text, images, audio or video, is requested by visitors of your site and then transferred from the server your site is on. Many hosts have a limit in place for bandwidth, which is called ‘monthly data transfer’.

RAM – Random Access Memory, commonly known as RAM, is the amount of memory on the server that your site can use. If your site or service is very resource intensive, say a video site, you are going to want a large amount of RAM. A smaller site, say a personal blog, can get by on smaller amounts of RAM.

Now that you know these basic terms, why not request a web hosting quote! It’s fast, free and there is no obligation!

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Linux vs Windows hosting

Not sure if you need Linux web hosting or Windows web hosting? Both have respective upsides and drawbacks.

Linux based hosting is the most prominent form of hosting on the Internet. This is because many of the technologies that run on Linux hosting, as well as the operating system itself, are all open source. Linux based hosting has a very low cost because of these factors. In addition, Linux web hosting scales extremely well, so as your site grows it remains easy to manage. The only downside to Linux hosting is the lack of support for most Windows based applications and coding languages. This is where Windows hosting comes into play.

Windows hosting is based on the Windows operating system. It is known for support of various programming frameworks, including ASP.net and ColdFusion. Windows hosting can also support SQL server, which can be used to build a site around an online searchable database. Windows based hosting or servers are ideal for those who need easy compatability of Microsoft based technologies. The cost of Windows web hosting is generally higher than Linux based hosting due to licensing of various Windows enviroment technologies. There are few open source solutions for Windows hosting.

By now you know if you need a Linux or Windows based hosting solution. Host Voice has you covered with FREE hosting quote request forms for both Shared Linux Web Hosting and Shared Windows Web Hosting. Get a FREE hosting quote today and start building or transferring your web site!

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Content Management System basics

“Content is king”. This mantra is ubiquitous on the Web today. Websites that are built around great content tend to have more return visitors and a higher level of respect than sites that are not. But how do you easily organize and create the content of a website? By using a content management system!

A content management system, or CMS for short, is a piece of software that allows site owners to easily manage the Web contents of their site. Specifically, it allows users to create and edit content as well as control how the content is distributed.

CMS’ are targeted towards non-technical users. Most require no in-depth knowledge of mark-up or programming languages and are extremely easy to use. In addition, no software needs to be installed on the users computer, as using a CMS is done through a web browser.

Plugins and addons are another great feature of content management systems. These programs interact with the content management software to create another level of interactivity on a site. For example, a plugin can allow a site owner to extend SEO value of the site, deliver the latest breaking news headlines, or allow easy bookmarking of content on popular social media sites. There are thousands of plugins for each content management system out there, so imagination is the limit when it comes to thinking of possible web site extensions.

If you’re thinking about starting a blog or website, a content management system should be an integral part of your plans. Most web hosting companies will include one with your account, so there is no reason not to start using one today!

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Control panels for web hosting

Control Panels are a very important part of any web hosting package. They allow you to manage your site and account in many different ways. Control panels make operating a website simple and fun, even for the technically challenged.

Most control panels include the following site management tools:

  • File manager
  • Email configuration and access
  • Database management
  • Site statistics
  • FTP account administration
  • Server log access
  • Domain and subdomain management

Control panels also let you view the resource usage of your site and usually include summary information of
disk space usage and bandwidth usage. This is great info to have since you want to make sure you stay within
the limits of your hosting account’s resource allotment.

Most web hosting companies include a control panel with every hosting account, so you don’t have to worry about
finding one yourself. Also, some hosts give you a choice when it comes to what type of control panel you want
installed.

There are situations where a host will not provide control panel software. If you happen to be purchasing
an unmanaged dedicated server or unmanaged virtual private server you will have to install the control panel
yourself.

If you feel overwhelmed while staring at your web hosting account’s control panel, it’s ok. Most have
a help option or users manual that will explain everything you need to know and tell you how to use each
feature properly.

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Understanding uptime

Uptime is extremely important in the world of web hosting. It signifies the amount of time a web server is online and available during a certain time frame. When a server is online, your website is up and available for people to visit.

Some web hosting companies claim 100% uptime with their services. While this is technically possible given a small enough time frame, there is no way for a hosting company to be certain they will have 100% uptime for the duration of a server’s life.

The opposite of uptime is downtime. This is the amount of time a server is offline. Downtime can be attributed to server maintenance, technical failures at the datacenter of the hosting company, or to DDoS attacks on the hosting server.

Downtime is calculated by looking a the uptime claims of a web hosting company. For example, over the course of one year, a host that guarantees 99.9% up time will have 8 hours and 46 minutes of downtime. This can be calculated by taking the amount of hours in a year (8760) and multiplying it by the difference of 100% and the claimed amount of uptime (1.00 – .999 = .001).

When searching for web hosting, always be sure your potential host has an acceptable amount of uptime (99% or higher). This will not only keep you happy, but it will keep your visitors happy as well.

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