Web Hosting, Web Hosting UK, Dedicated Servers, Managed Hosting, Dedicated Server | CWCS
Bill Gates once said, “Like almost everyone who uses email, I receive a ton of spam every day. Much of it offers to help me get out of debt or get rich quick. It would be funny if it weren’t so exciting.”
All of us know when we see an offer too good to be true, but when it comes to the internet, we tend to believe it. When a new company offers us free web hosting, we don’t consider in what way we are paying for this. We all know we have to pay, but it doesn’t occur to us how we pay. Sometimes it’s easier to not consider the dangers of revealing the excessive amount of information we have to give to receive free web hosting or any other gift, or the wasted time we spend wading through spam letters because our name is on an immortalised list somewhere in the heart of the worldwide web.
Other times they offer us something for free in the hope we will purchase a product later. Often you will see this in anti-virus programs, scanning our computer for registry issues our previous defences didn’t find, but sometimes the product is simply no good at all. It may tell us it’s more than good enough, so we don’t bother looking for a reputable program.
At CWCS we give you the technical information you need to make the right decisions when you aim to employ dedicated server hosting. We explain the details and benefits of our web hosting services so you can independently verify them and ultimately believe in us.
There are numerous reasons to change your web hosting supplier, and if you do decide to do so it does tend to be a fairly straight forward procedure. Ensure you remember to prepare and plan before you cancel your existing package and that there is sufficient time overlap between your existingweb hosts account being removed and the new host account being created, then there is no reason why you can’t move hosts with absolutely no disruption of service.
The first stage is to make sure you have a full and up to date copy of your website files, databases, email settings and any SSL certificates you may have. Most hosts provide you with a function to retrieve and store these files. If you are not careful and lose these due to cancelling your existing account before you have made a backup, it can sometimes be impossible to retrieve them.
The second stage is to get an idea of the contract length or grace period for your cancellation so you know when is best to setup your new host. A week overlap between the two accounts should be an absolute minimum, usually a month is the ideal time. This will allow plenty of time to upload your backed up site to your new provider, and do the other necessary work to get the site live with the new hosts. Once uploaded you are ready for testing.
Most web hosts provide a preview facility to view your uploaded website before it is live on the internet, however if they don’t you can follow the guide that follows and this will allow you to accurately preview your site files to ensure they work correctly.
Finally, when you are satisfied that everything is setup correctly, you are ready to transfer the domain over. This process can take anything up to 72 hours plus any time your existing hosts take to process your transfer request, therefore usually allow at least a week for this process. Take a last backup of any files that might have changed and then swap the Domains Name Servers (if you manage the domain yourself or you have a designated domain manager you are sticking with) or initiate a registrar transfer/ IPS tag transfer of your domain to your new provider. Once the domain is transferred, request the new provider update the name servers if they haven’t automatically and allow 24 hours for the site to switch to the new host.
Often when small companies first venture onto the internet, they don’t expect to see that much business, and use the website merely as a sign of prestige. Placing their website address at the bottom of their business cards, or throwing a “Check out our website” at a passing enquirer is all they really use it for, and the design is often minimalistic and unsupported by an experienced web hosting company.
Increasingly, however, people are turning to the internet for specific details and quotes rather than ringing around aimlessly through the yellow pages. What your customers want is the information and language in order to contact you with more experience, before they actually talk to you. No one wants to look inexperienced and one of the major benefits of a website is to provide your client with the all of the appropriate jargon, so they can correctly describe what they want.
Your website may start off as a simple one page mini-site, but could grow into a larger brochure of your deals and services that contains many levels of technical information, or perhaps something larger still that allows the customer a specific query section, rough quotations and even order pages. For this, a dedicated server is recommended.
Knowing the requirements of your site means understanding about details such as uptime, disk space or bandwidth. It means finding the right website hosting service and deciding whether to go with a dedicated server. At CWCS we can help you through these issues to ensure you have the right setup for your business needs – now and in the future. You may feel you don’t need to worry about today, but your competition is already thinking about tomorrow.
FTP stands for File Transfer Protocol, it is one of the main standards for transferring files from or to one location and another. It retains files in their designated form as opposed to another form of transferring files one way (usually) called HTTP. For HTTP you download data from a server and then your browser software converts it into viewable content. With FTP you can transfer text files, movies, documents, audio files and indeed any other kind of file without opening or viewing it, you can then use your desired application to view the file on your own PC or allow others to download your files from a remote location or even view files via HTTP if you place them on a web server.
FTP’s principal use is in a web hosting environment and is for uploading website (html, php, asp… etc) files to an online web server where they will be stored for access by website visitors. FTP has become the standard process for this as it allows password protection and access to the files on the web hosting side restricting website administration to only those that need it. Administrators can view and edit all the files on the web server. Almost all Web Hosting Companies will provide FTP access to their customers who want to use this service. Usually the FTP is restricted so it is much faster to upload files then it is to download so as not to slow down the HTTP access for everyone visiting websites on the server.
FTP is not the only way to transfer files to your webhost either. Some hosts allow Microsoft Front Page publishing; however since Microsoft ceased support for this some time ago, the number of hosts who provide this service are diminishing. If you have your own dedicated server or virtual dedicated server, you can also use network drive mapping (SAMBA or NFS) to transfer files as well, however this can sometimes be less secure.
Windows servers are the most used system across the world, accounting for over 80% of all operating systems. So why are Windows dedicated servers so popular for website hosting?
1. Windows is tried and tested:
Microsoft is one of the biggest corporations in the world, with a huge burden of responsibility. If they don’t resolve a problem quickly, companies, banks and even governments could fail.
2. Windows works in a way we all understand:
As Windows is the most popular computer system by far, everyone knows it and understands it. We know how to install new features, or adjust settings. Children learn it from school and on their home PCs. We practice the techniques every time we turn our laptops on and play some music, or see what our friends are up to, or even play a game. Thus, a Windows dedicated server is likely to seem familiar and easy to use.
3. Everything is built to work on Windows:
Since Windows is the industry standard, all new software will be released first on Windows. So, the latest art packages, the newest drivers, the most recent updates, all companies releasing material for computers will look to their primary market first, Windows. Let’s not forget that Microsoft themselves produce a huge amount of new material just for their system, making Windows dedicated servers a popular choice.
Learning a new system can take a while, especially if you aren’t technical and don’t have the time to learn the intricacies of a new operating system. At CWCS we can help you choose the right website hosting system for you and your company.
OOP is widely used within the web hosting industry for developing web applications or any form of coding. Traditional methods are still widely used, although many developers are converting to the OOP way for a number of reasons.
When creating an object, it has it’s own unique identity and can be treated as it’s own instance with its own defined properties. This can help save a lot of time in circumstances when you need to create objects and manipulate them individually, OOP would be a more efficient than traditional methods.
Creating an object and manipulating it’s properties with the use of methods can be a more efficient way of utilising memory. Old methods of coding would use a number of functions throughout pages which could increase memory usage with bad coding practises.
Classes are generally easily identified, you can usually find a class and view all the methods associated with it. This could easily help identify problems and make global changes which will effect the entire site and objects created from the class.
Larger applications will benefit from the OOP style coding, if a number of developers are working on a project OOP will allow each person working on the application to easily understand each others code with fluent programming style.
OOP adds value to the security of applications, properties defined within a class cannot be accessed outside the class. This adds value to the security of applications.
There are different situations where OOP may not be considered necessary, it depends on what you are creating and if you choose to adopt this type of coding practise. For many developers, OOP has helped achieve the same results more effectively with many benefits.
There are many reasons why companies will pick a Linux dedicated server rather than a Windows server, and here are a few.
1. Linux systems have less chance of getting viruses:
All computer systems have viruses, and pirates enjoy maximising the damage they do, and gaining notoriety. Linux is less well known and is mostly used by web hosting servers rather than the general population.
2. Breaking away from monopolies:
One of the biggest criticisms of a Windows dedicated server is that having paid for the licensing to use its system, you then have to pay again and again year on year, at whatever price Microsoft chooses to charge you. For any business, tying in with one supplier can cause major problems, even with a multi-national supplier like Microsoft. Linux is Open Source software, meaning it is licence free. No extra costs. Just like Firefox and Thunderbird, the source material is open for everyone to see. So should any of the software creators fail and go bust, the code is out there already for someone else to pick up.
3. Lots of heads spot problems quickly:
It takes Microsoft about a month to update a new patch to cure a problem, but for Linux users it’s much quicker. This is because Microsoft’s team of thousands that have access to the code simply can’t compete with the millions of Linux operators, all with the source material.
At CWCS we have lots of information on the pros and cons to help you choose the right web hosting system for your company.
It’s easy to get caught up in the jargon of computing, such as managed hosting this and dedicated server that. Before you know where you are, you are lost in the minutia of bandwidth size or disk storage space. As a businessperson it’s always good to remind yourself as to what the aim of your system really is. You need a system that makes you money. Be it direct selling, or by providing information, your company has to benefit in some way.
So it’s difficult to concentrate sometimes when tech experts ask you if you want a Linux managed system, or a Windows managed system – or if they ask you whether you need a colocation hosting service to ensure your hardware system is safe and secure.
Make sure that when a potential customer comes onto your site, you have a clear and simple way to navigate from the front page, via straight forward information to the ‘call to action’ page. Make sure that your prospect feels safe and secure and confident in your products and services, and that they believe in you and your professionalism. Also make sure when they leave the site that they have found the experience simple and rewarding.
Web hosting is important. Ensuring your clients get to your website and are able to roam around in a secure environment is vital to any successful business. Talking to our team at CWCS will help you get through the jargon and ensure your customers feel confident.
Security is always a concern within the web hosting industry, you may rely on your website for business or are hosting a personal blog. Security is always an important consideration during the planning stages. You may ask yourself why we should keep websites secure and what risks are involved with a vulnerable website.
Hackers and people that misuse the internet are operating daily searching for vulnerabilities to exploit. They are everywhere and always looking for new methods to gain access to servers and deface websites. It’s important to always be one step ahead and apply all security updates, follow strict practises when coding, and generally be concerned for the security of your website.
What can you do?
Your web hosting provider may offer a service to harden your dedicated server/web hosting environment for you. Firewall devices should always be considered when running your own dedicated server, hardware firewalls are ideal to ensure ports are closed that don’t need to be left open. Ensure your server software is kept up-to-date including the operating system. If you are running a dedicated server or more than one dedicated server you may want to consider an intrusion detection system.
Following strict coding practises will not leave any vulnerable scripts left to be exploited and will hopefully fully lock down your website to unauthorised access. Always ensure you are using the correct permissions on directories, you shouldn’t ever have to leave a directory or file with full permissions open to all (777). With the correct ownership and group applied, any file which requires a specific user access can be set through the correct owner permissions and not giving everyone access. This is particularly important on a shared hosting environment as other users could potentially have unauthorised access.
It’s possible if your web scripts are not secure for anyone to easily delete all database data by entering commands through one of your forms. Or, if any user gained access to an email script they could abuse the system by sending out massive amount of email spam. These are two common examples of abuse that happens on the internet every single day.
Web hosting security is a major issue, and should never be overlooked. If you are unsure how to secure your websites, contact your web hosting provider for further information.
CWCS Managed Hosting
0845 203 1000
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There are many things that can go wrong in business, such as flooding, fire or strikes to name but a few potential problems. One of the benefits afforded to you as an e-business, or even just the internet arm of your firm, is that it should be free of some of these problems. If a fire starts in your shop or warehouse, then there should be no lost orders, and no clearing time as you sweep the debris. No-one will wonder if you are still in business, or question your business practices, because your website will still be there.
That is of course as long as your hardware is kept safe. Dedicated servers are sensitive pieces of equipment that can go up in smoke just as easily as the paperwork they are trying to replace. It doesn’t take too long for most companies to realise the problems with having the hardware in an unsafe environment, such as on the premises, or even lying about in the office.
A colocation hosting service puts your hardware in the hub of a safe, secure environment, far away from meddling hands, or disastrous accidents. Specially built data centres mean you are protected from damage at your workplace, and your dedicated server is looked after in its own purpose-built cooling centre.
Also, most colocation hosting services, such as ours at CWCS provide you with multiple high speed internet connections, protection from electrical surges, water detection and fire protection services, and feature high security access to ensure no-one is allowed in the facility without permission.