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Hosting your business online – Easy Guide for beginners

Introduction

Web hosting is the activity or service of providing storage space to individuals or organizations, for the websites that are accessible via World Wide Web. You might have heard different terms used to describe the process, such as: web hosting, website hosting, site hosting, blog hosting, self-hosting etc. They all mean the same thing. You have some server space where you store your website’s files and you have a complete control over it. For any website to be available online, it has to be stored on some server / computer that is connected to the Internet. That server where you store your website is your host. The host could be anywhere in the world but it has to have these simple things: Power, Internet connection, and Dedicated IP address.

Web hosting sound././s like something virtual and you are probably never going to visit one of the data centers to see what is going on behind the closed doors. We’ll look at each function of the web host in the analogy of opening and running a real business online. Just like when opening your new business, you will need: name, location, staff, and product. The same is true for starting a new website, you will need the following: name (domain name), location (web server), staff (you or webmaster), and product (website content). Just like when opening a business, you have to name it. When signing up for your hosting account you will have to decide on a name of your website, until then you won’t be able to start creating your site. If your website is your business, your hosting is a building where your business online is located. You can think of your host providers as your landlords.

They rent you a space, take care of the essentials, you pay them rent, but everything else is in your hands. In both cases, websites and businesses need personnel that will take care of the business, get the new products or information on the right place and keep it up-to-date. Even if you are not selling physical products on your website, you will still need to keep the content of your site updated. Getting new content on your website is the same as getting new supplies in the physical store. You need to stay current, fresh, and always stocked, or even the most faithful customers will eventually stop coming. Although you paid for hosting, filling out your website with the content is your responsibility, not your host’s. With four basic elements described you should be able to get your website up and running. However, there are a few more things that we need to mention and that might be needed to run your website successfully. These are the items: decor, office, key to get in, insurance, keep it updated, security, advertising. These same things are available for your website

Decor = the design of your site
Office = hosting account control panel
Keys = username and password
Insurance = backup system
Updating = tools to update content
Security = keeping your login info updated

What to expect from a web host?

As we already discussed, your host is your landlord. Hosting companies are responsible for the power, server space, internet connection, and making sure the server is available all the time. If one of those is malfunctioning, it is their obligation to repair it. If you are having problems with your website, it is your responsibility to take care of it. Usually, web host support will work with you to determine if the problem is on their side or yours. Your web host’s responsibility is to offer you support. Support can come in various shapes such as phone, online chat, email, community networking, FAQ base or something else. Some hosts offer more than one option, but there is a limited number of things that they can do for you. As always, you can get the most out of your support if you know where the problem exists. If the problem is with your website, most hosts will tell you to find someone to fix it. Some of them may refer you to someone. A few of them might have staff that will help you fix the problem, of course for some extra fee. It would be silly to think that every landlord can fix problems with every type of office, gallery or store, and it is the same with web hosts. There are a number of tools and languages that you can use to make your website and you can’t expect that everyone knows how to fix everything.

Your website is your responsibility

I’ve mentioned this several times, but it is worth repeating – your website is your responsibility. However, there can be thousands of ways to lose your data completely or partially and thus your website. Fire, flood, explosions or just bored hackers that decided to fiddle on the server, that your website is on, are just a few reasons things might go wrong. This is the part where we reinforce the idea and necessity of a good backup plan. Patching up a few missed details is much easier, than building your website from a scratch. When it comes to taking care of your site, a few rules should be applied. Backup your website is always a good idea in case things go wrong. Keep your username and password in safe place and not easy to guess, so hackers can’t get in. Keep the software that you will build your site on up to date.

What is a domain name?

A domain name, also called website address, is the name that people type in the browser to open a certain website.

For example, domain name for Facebook is facebook.com. It’s the name by which your website will be known online and the way people can find it. Getting the right domain name is very important. Just like the name of your business is one of the most recognizable parts of your brand identity in the real world, your domain name will be one of the most important parts of your online identity. It is the first thing that your customers will type in their browser to get to your website or discover it through search engines such as Google or Bing. If you choose to go with some free cloud server hosting or try one of the hosted website solutions very often you will see your website name will be in this form – yoursitename.hostedsitename.com. This means that you don’t have a unique name for your website; rather it’s located under a subdomain of the hosted solution provider. You let somebody else own your name and keeping your website name in this form doesn’t look very professional. It really comes down to how you want your website and business to be represented online. When it comes to choosing a domain name the possibilities are endless.

But there are few rules that we suggest you follow.

  • Choose “.com” first – 52% of all websites are “.com” domains
  • Pick a name that is unique – avoid naming your site similar to existing sites
  • Make it easy to type – you don’t want your visitors to incorrectly type in your name
  • Try to make it brandable – your domain name will be your brand
  • Shorter is better – instead of CyFutureServices.com go with CyFuture_s.com
  • Avoid trademark problems – do the search before you register the name
  • No numbers and hyphens – stay away from them at all costs
  • Marry your domain name – make sure that you love your domain name
  • Check social networks – always check social networks for the same name

You might want to protect intellectual property. Domains are relatively cheap; it’s a good idea to buy different extensions of that name. If you are buying .com get .net just in case and maybe .in if you are living in India. You also might find that a domain name you want is already taken, but not necessarily in use. These are usually referred to as premium domain names. They are domains registered by someone else and offered for sale. There’s no way of telling how much a domain is worth on the market. Most hosting companies also offer domain registration services. Some people keep their domain name with the registrar company, separate from the hosting account. I believe it’s easier to keep it all under your hosting account for the trouble-free management and maintenance. But whatever you do make sure your domain is registered under your name, not your friend or web designer who helped you. And if you choose to use separate domain registrar you have login details to the control panel of that registrar company.

Web Hosting

Your web server hosting plan / package, is a permission that specifies how you are going to use your online space. It does not matter what term you use, they mean the same thing. Very often, web hosting plan is bought together with the domain name, but they function independently, just like your business and your workspace. To make things clearer, if you think of your web host as your landlord, then paying for your web hosting plan is like paying your lease.

Domain name is a part of your business and you can move it any time you want, so you can look at renewing your domain name as renewing your business license. You need them both, and although very often you can take care of them both at the same time, they are two separate things. New webmasters who are trying to choose a web host often find that they are confronted with a plethora of web hosts that are offering a wide variety of packages. Some web hosts give you a choice of packages using Linux or Windows. As a newcomer you might wonder whether the operating system of the package matters, and whether you should choose a Linux or a Windows. What kind of web hosting plan you choose depends on what your website needs and what kind of technology your website relies on? Just like you would first choose a building, depending on your needs and then pay the rent, so you should decide on your hosting needs and then buy it. With this guide we will try to clear up the confusion that some people might have.

The OS you’re using is unrelated

Some people are concerned that if they use a system that is different from that of their web host, the two systems will not be “compatible”. This is a needless worry. Things that run on your web host have to be specially crafted for your website, and they won’t be run on your own computer. Perhaps you’re thinking to yourself, “I’m familiar with Windows (or Mac) systems, so it’ll be easier to get a Windows (or Mac) web hosting account”. The interface you are dealing with will be similar whichever operating system your web host offers. How easy or hard the  user interface depends on the company not the OS.

Criteria for choosing right OS

Now you know that the computer you use has nothing to do with your web hosting package. But why do you need to decide whether to go with a Windows or a Linux cloud hosting. The reason why you need to choose a system first is because hosts are also running on some sort of software. What you want to avoid is building a website or getting it built for you, buying a hosting plan and in the end finding out that those two are not compatible. Thus, your decision will be rather, on the basis of what your website needs. Basically, the question is, will your website rely on Windows-specific technologies like ASP, or .NET or Microsoft Access, or Microsoft SQL Server (MSSQL)? We’re not asking whether you need these technologies on your own computer, but whether your website will be coded using ASP or .NET. If you don’t understand any of this, chances are small that you’re going to use them. If someone is helping you to create a website you can ask them what technology they use, so you understand your hosting needs. At this point, some of you are probably shaking your heads. All you want is to create a simple website, or start a blog, or to sell something online. What’s up with all these web jargon anyway? For the person looking to just setup a blog, or sell things with a shopping cart, or just create a standard website like firstsiteguide.com, and don’t have any special requirements, in 99% of the cases you will find it easier to use a Linux based host. Note: The majority of free / open source and commercial software (WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, etc.) that most websites are made of today, be it small business, blog, or ecommerce site, build using a Linux based system. Likewise, the majority of tutorials on the web, especially those on configuring your web server, assume that your website is running on a Linux based system. To pick a good reliable host you will have to go through a number of questions and decide if it’s a good fit.

Below we will provide you with the list of some general and technical questions you should ask to check company’s legitimacy.

  • Can you trust the company and is it legit?
  • What kind of customer support do they offer?
  • What is the availability of the support?
  • Where is their customer support located?
  • Is their customer support outsourced?
  • What is the average uptime?
  • Where are the servers located?
  • Can you choose server location?
  • Do they offer any additional technical services and to what cost?
  • What kind of features do they offer?
  • What are their security measures?
  • What are their backup measures?
  • How do they upgrade their servers?
  • Do they have any software limitations?
  • Can you expand/reduce your hosting plan?
  • What do they offer under their “unlimited” plan?
  • Are they a hosting provider or just reselling?
  • What payment plans are available?
  • Are there any offers for new customers?
  • Do they offer a free trial period?
  • What are the renewal terms and fees?
  • What is their refund policy?
  • What are requirements for cancelling web hosting plan?
  • What is their privacy policy?
  • How do they manage personal data?
  • What are the terms for bandwidth and space?
  • How long has the web host been in business?
  • How many customers they serve?
  • What are current customer’s testimonials?

Web hosting server types

Hosting can be roughly separated in following categories: shared, VPS and dedicated servers. These options differ by the server space size and hardware packages, unlike previous Windows and Linux choices.

  • Shared server: On a shared server you share space with other users. It is the equivalent of doing your business at a farmer’s market, meaning that you have some restrictions and what you do may affect others and vice versa. However, it is cheaper than a dedicated server and everything you need for a small business website is included in the plan
  • Virtual private server: A “virtual private server” (VPS) is a hybrid of dedicated and shared servers, but you can also look at it as a higher class of shared server. It is equivalent of having your business in a mall. Unlike shared servers, where you share all of the resources, a VPS is divided into sections and each website resides within its assigned section. Each section is separated and they act independently of one another
  • Dedicated server: Dedicated servers are the easiest to explain. They are, as their name says, dedicated. It is a physical server that you do not share with anyone else and no one else has access to. You can host one or more websites; it is up to you. It is the equivalent of having your own business on your own piece of land. They are the most powerful option, you can do virtually anything, but also the most expensive option. Unlike the other options you will need to have some IT skills, or hire someone who has them, because everything you do with your website is up to you
  • Cloud Hosting: Cloud hosting essentially means that multiple servers are joined together to provide better and faster hosting performance. Having cloud hosting means that websites load faster and their workload is balanced. There is a small question of security for the most conscious users, because multiple websites share the same cloud. However, for the majority of users, the pros outweigh the cons
  • Collocated Hosting: Collocated hosting is similar to dedicated hosting, it literally means co-located hosting. It allows you to place your own server on the service provider’s location. It is the same as having a server in your own office, but located in a place specifically designed for servers
  • Managed Hosting: Managed hosting is almost the same as the dedicated hosting. You get your own server; the only difference is that you do not have full control over it. This way service providers prevent users from potentially changing configuration or modifying the server. But don’t worry, you can still manage all of your data
  • Reseller Hosting: Reseller hosting is where you (as a client) can become a web host yourself. What it means is that you buy a provider’s services and sell them (for a profit) to third party. This option can include any other type of hosting, but it requires that you have IT knowledge since you will become a host, meaning that you will have to solve all hosting problems
  • Clustered Hosting: Clustered hosting is where you have multiple servers that host the same content. That way even if one server needs a reboot or goes down, your site will still be online. This option is for sites with very high traffic

Grid hosting utilizes several server clusters that act like a grid and is composed of multiple nodes. That way multiple servers serve to one cluster or in this instance one site and different parts of the website can operate independently of each other. In the most cases a “shared server” hosting plan would be enough to run your small business website or blog. But it is always good to keep in mind what other options exist, in case your site starts to grow and you start getting thousands of visitors per month.

Evaluate the web hosting company and its services

Most web hosts that you will find offer different plans/packages to choose from. You also might be asking, “Can I trust a certain hosting company? What will happen with my website if it attracts a lot of visitors? Should I sign up for the biggest package right away? Etc.”. Let’s answer these questions and look at the most common questions you should have in mind when choosing a hosting plan.

Checking to see if the company is trustworthy

The most important thing you have to check is whether you can trust the company. A good reputation is paramount. The rule of thumb is to check the website of the service provider for general signs of trust such as physical address, phone number, general company information, and testimonials. Ask yourself “Would I trust and give this company your personal information?”.

The truth about web hosting review sites

Let’s talk about web hosting review and “top 10” sites. If you do your search for specific company reviews you will find many sites providing this information. As a newcomer you might find this info useful and decide to go with one or the other company based on the information found. But this is not always the case as many times the recommendations are fabricated by the website owner. These are sometimes based on the compensation he is getting from specific hosting providers, and not by actually displaying reviews from the real customers who are using the services. Simply put, you will see a lot of fake reviews and “top 10” lists, so be careful with that info.

What if my website grows?

Many newbies don’t want to agree with the fact that their new website will hardly have any traffic. I am not saying that you won’t be there one day; I simply say that it will take some time. If you are not some celebrity or planning to spend big money on advertising, I recommend you go with the basic shared plan. When your traffic exceeds your current site’s allocation, and you’re certain that this new traffic level is going to be permanent, simply upgrade to a higher package that meets your needs. Don’t rush to upgrade on the first hint of traffic, sometimes that burst of traffic is just where some popular website or blog notices your site and talks about it, sending some of their visitors to you. In other words, as long as your web host allows you to upgrade your packages without issue, you don’t have to worry about your site’s future expansion.

Read the terms and conditions

We all do it, check the box with the fine print that says ‚” Terms and Conditions” without ever opening it. Nobody has time to read these endless pages. Web hosts’ terms and conditions can be slightly different from one another but they all usually sum up to this: By reading this, you agree to our terms and conditions, where we listed an enormous number of things that we find illegal and/or unacceptable, and if we find you in any kind of violation of any of those, we will take actions and suspend and/or even delete your account without any upfront notice.” The good news is that usually this won’t happen.

Price and payment options

As in any industry, you can find extremely cheap and extremely expensive offers. The trick here is to make sure you get a web host that lets you upgrade or downgrade your web hosting package without any problems. If your web host requires you to pay an additional fee simply because you need to switch your shared hosting plan, I suggest you look for another host. Obviously if you upgrade to a new plan, you will have to pay some extra for the new package. I’m referring to some sort of penalty or transfer fee that is charged simply because you want to change from one plan to another.

Promos and up sells

If you read the Terms and Conditions for various offers, you will understand that this is just a promo price to get you in and after the first year with the company that rate will usually go up significantly. I’ve seen people caught by surprise when the renewal date comes so we want you to be aware of that. Also, with the low offers, watch for the up sells that company might offer to get more money out of you. Keep this in mind, search for the company that will suit your needs and don’t rush to buy the cheapest plan out there or even go with free option.

Technical support

Does the company’s technical support function 24 hours a day, 7 days a week? Note that I will not accept a host which does not have staff working on weekends or public holidays. You will be surprised at how often things go wrong at the most inconvenient of times. Incidentally, just because a host advertises that it has 24/7 support does not necessarily mean that it really has that kind of support. Test them out by emailing at midnight and on Saturday nights, Sunday mornings, etc. Check out how long they take to respond. Besides speed of responses, check to see if they are technically competent. You wouldn’t want to sign up with a host that is run by a bunch of salesmen who only know how to sell and not fix problems.

Unlimited is not always unlimited

Web hosts usually offer “unlimited” plans for your website. However, nothing is unlimited and it’s just a simple math formula where the host knows what the average customer uses. Two main things that you need to know here are: disk space and bandwidth. Hosts know that while one customer might be using more than average space and bandwidth of the server (basically being unprofitable to them) there are hundreds of customers that are using very little to none. Disk space is a space for your website and you can think of it as a size of your business place. You can get “unlimited” disk space because web hosts know that web pages are very small, 40-50 KB in average. 20 MB is more than enough for average websites. To put things in perspective, today you can buy fairly cheap external disk drive, and on one that is 1 TB in size you can store 500,000 average sites. Bandwidth is the amount of data that can be transferred from the web server your website is on to the browser of a person that is viewing your website. You can look at it like the number of customers that can go through your business space. Majority of websites use less than 2 GB of bandwidth a month. Those are the ones without uploads and/or downloads of software, audio or video material. If you do that, your consumption will probably be around 50 GB. Of course, here we do not take in account websites that are designed specifically for upload and download. There are many websites that are under-performing. By under-performing we mean websites that don’t use up too much server space and don’t get too many visitors. When you take that into account there is always some free space if somebody needs a bit more than average disk space or bandwidth.

Reliability and uptime

What is uptime? It is a measure of time that tells us how much a machine, in this case server, is available and working. The opposite of that is called downtime and it is a measure of time when the machine is not working. Any web host that offers below 99.9% uptime should not be considered. But why should you not ask for a 100% uptime? The reality is that every server needs a time to reboot and fix eventual hardware fails. 0.01% of downtime means that your server could be unavailable about eight and a half hours over the course of a year. If we take in account that servers should be rebooted every month for maintenance, and let’s say that reboot takes about a half an hour that leaves about four more hours. Maybe this does not sound terrible, but for some business websites each minute counts. The reality is that servers are pieces of hardware and, though quite reliable, need maintenance from time to time.

Location of the company and servers

If you don’t stay in the India, you have the option of hosting your site with some local provider. The advantage here is the ease of dealing with them (they are after all easily accessible by phone call or a visit), your familiarity with the local laws and easy recourse to those laws should it be necessary. It should be your choice if your target audience is local (e.g. a local fast food delivery service). On the other hand, hosting it in USA has the advantage of faster access for what is probably the largest number of your overseas visitors (particularly if you have an English-speaking audience). You also have a large number of hosting companies to choose from, and as a result, cheaper prices. The Internet is global and you can see everything on it no matter where the servers are located. For example, if a website has a French web address that does not mean that the website is actually on a server that is located in France. Although data is traveling at exceedingly high speed, there will always be a bigger time delay with a bigger geographical distance of a server and user’s computer. The best solution would be to locate your website on a server that is geographically closest to your audience, so do not forget to check where web host actually locates their servers.

Backup security

There can be huge difference between web hosts’ backup options. It is important to have a good backup plan, so the best option would be a host that performs daily backups. The worst option would be to go with a host that has no backup plan. Many web hosts offer backups for some additional fee, so check that out. If price seems reasonable then it is most definitely worth the cost. Remember, if your website goes down and you have no backup, there is no way you can get it back. To repeat once more: regular backups are a must!

Different hosting control panels

With hosting control panels, you do not manage content of your website, but you manage everything administrative that is associated with your web hosting plan. Inside a control panel you will find sections to manage email accounts, users, file management, security and different applications.

  • cPanel – the most popular and widely used, very customizable
  • Plesk – similar in functions to cPanel but with different layout
  • ISPConfig – open source, with the ability to manage multiple servers
  • OpenPanel – open source, very user friendly and easy to navigate SSL (secure server)
    SSL (secure server)

If you are planning on selling any goods or services through your website, you may want to see if the web host lets you set up SSL (a secure server). You may have seen this on other websites where their web address begins with an https://” instead of “http://”. Setting this up will normally involve additional charges or a higher priced package. At this point, the main thing to do is to check if they are available at all before you commit to the host. You will definitely need to have as SSL if you plan to collect credit card payments yourself. If you’re relying on a payment gateway instead, like PayPal, and are not otherwise collecting sensitive or private information from your customers, it’s possible that you don’t need this facility.

Programming languages and other features

If you are paying for a web hosting account, you want to make sure it supports multiple programming languages and other features. Some of the most common are: FTP, PHP, Perl, SSI, .htaccess, SSH, MySQL, Cron. If you are not planning to develop a custom website from scratch you probably won’t be dealing with many of these. However, if you are hiring a developer to help you with some of work, he might need some of these features.

Confusion between “Web Hosting” and “Web Platforms”

To add another important dimension to web hosting, we must talk about platforms or web tools. Sometimes, they are also called apps, applications, scripts, programs, widget, etc. but they all mean the same thing. “Web platforms” are the software that you install on your hosting account to build your website. The term “platform” usually refers to the script that makes a whole site, while the rest of the terms are used for smaller programs. A platform is the basic skeleton that will help you in designing your website. Essentially, it is a group of multiple files and one or two databases that work together. Like your domain name, your platform is not tied to your web host. If you change your location, you can take all of your stuff with you. This means if you change your server, you can take all your files and databases with you. The domain name, platforms, and host make your website available online, but you can change each one of them independently of one another any time you want. Ultimately, when designing and publishing your website, the user interface that you’ll be working with most is the tool that lets you design your website. If you get one that doesn’t work the way you’re accustomed to, then you’ll probably struggle to create your website. In other words, the “easy-to-use” aspect that newcomers are looking for lies not with your web host’s operating system, but with the tools that you choose to use to build your website.

What type of a website are you planning to build?

In order to pick the perfect tool to build your website, you first need to know what type of website you want. Keep in mind that you can create whatever you want. Maybe you need a portfolio or a blog website, or you just want to primarily sell your goods.

Creating a standard website or a blog

Creating an ecommerce website
WordPress PrestaShop
Joomla OsCommerce
Drupal OpenCart
Web builders Magento

What kind of website you need depends on what are you trying to do with it? For authors, an informational / blog hybrid is one of the most popular choices. If you are an individual, a portfolio / e-commerce with a hint of blog could be a way to go. If you are working on a project with a team, a directory / community hybrid can make things go smoothly. The possibilities are endless.

Building a website or blog

Once you have settled your domain name and web host, the next step is to build the website itself. The possibilities of creating a website are endless and it can be done from scratch using HTML and CSS or by using design tools and then apply it to the web. However, as a business owner you probably don’t have time to learn how to code. If you are hiring a web designer to do it for you, I recommend you still get familiar with it since you are going to manage it. The tool that you will be working with called CMS (Content Management System). It is a platform that will allow you to publish, edit, modify, organize, delete and maintain your content on your website from one central interface. Although essentially all of them do the same thing and have many similar features, it is up to you to choose which one suits you the best. Think of a CMS as a car. They will all take you from point A to point B, but you will choose the one that you feel most comfortable with. There are also web builders, tools that will allow you to build pages without any knowledge of coding. They are separated in two categories: Online proprietary tools which are provided by your web hosting company, or third-party apps that you can install. Offline builders sometimes require basic understanding of HTML and CSS. They work on a principle of creating a page offline on your computer and then publishing it to your host server.

Hosted website solutions

Hosted website solutions, both free and freemium, are something different and have nothing to do with getting a hosting account. In this case the hosting and most of its related functionalities are done by another company. You usually get the tools to create your website but are restricted to the functionality offered by that company. Another downside of the hosted solutions is that you can’t move your website anywhere else and it could be difficult to expand. If your goal is to make a personal website, perhaps you do not need more than the most basic option. Usually you will have an access and do everything from the online dashboard.

Branded / personalized email address

When it comes to personal and business correspondence, there are very few things that can compare to email. There are other means of video, sound and text exchange, but when it comes to everyday use of important and less important things, we all overuse and love/hate email. It almost completely filled in for the regular snail mail in the areas of personal and business correspondence and the only area that is safe is delivery of physical packages. The rest can be handled over the email. When it comes down to you owning a domain, a whole new world of possibilities opens. You may have hosted emails with your own email extension. For example, if your domain is mydomain.com your email address can be [email protected] Branding not only gives a boost to your professional image; it gives your customers confidence that you believe in your business and are here to stay. Even if you do not have a business site, personalized email extension gives you instant recognition and a certain amount of legitimacy.

Creating email address

You can create your email address in your web hosting control panel. With some web hosting plans, you can have more than one email address. This is useful if you have a need for multiple email addresses. It allows you to assign unique email addresses to each of your employees, family members or whomever you want to give it to. To create an email address, you need to determine: name of the email address, password and mailbox size. After you are finished creating an email address and want to use it, you have two options: webmail or email client.

Backing up your website

Once again, backups. There is no better failsafe for your website. It is best to do the backups daily, but let’s be honest, nobody has time for that. It is not enough to have a backup of your original site. Weekly or monthly full website backups are sufficient and easy to do. A backup may take a while, but after it is finished, if possible, make a copy on your backup drive or USB stick. It is never too soon to make a backup and there are never too many backup copies.

Control panels

A control panel, in web hosting, is a web-based interface provided by the hosting company that allows customers to manage their various hosted services in a single place. One of the widely used and well-known control panel is cPanel. There are also other alternatives that you could consider such as Plesk, ISPConfig, etc., depending on your needs.

Overview of cPanel

cPanel is one of the most widely used control panels for web hosting. It is easy to use, highly customizable and majority of the hosts are configured to serve its multiple layouts that are available. It comes with various pre-installed options, and from it you can manage email and FTP accounts, your add-on and subdomains, MySQL database, applications, security, and statistics. Everything that we’ve talked about in this guide you can find in cPanel. After installing and answering a few questions to customize your cPanel, you are ready to use it. It has an interface for website owners and server owners. Besides the already mentioned pre-installed options, you can add almost anything you want to. In the Web Host Manager part of the cPanel, you can do all things that are related to administrative server hosting. There you can add and manage your accounts, create hosting plans, reseller accounts, change security features, configure server, scale your hosting capabilities and much more. While it is easy and intuitive enough for beginners, cPanel is powerful enough to meet the needs of more advanced users.

Website security

Website security is a concern for many people. If you search the web for How to hack a website, you will literally get millions of hits. Taking the necessary precautions now with your website will help prevent a big headache later on in the event anything does happen to your website. While it is not possible to cover every security issue for every program and case, we’ll talk about the main areas you should focus on in order to prevent any problems.

Vulnerability in software you use

The security of your hosting account is very important. Having a totally secure system would be impractical, so there are few things that you should look after.

  • Limited access: At some point you will probably add another person that could use your account. Make sure that they are to be trusted and give them a unique username and password that are not easily deciphered. Limiting access means limiting possible entry points and restricting the user’s database privileges
  • Stable versions of the software: It is not advisable to immediately download the latest version of any software, because they may have bugs and flaws in them. They may be minor hiccups, but it is best to wait for patched-up version so you don’t have any problems. However, exceptions are security updates, you should update those immediately
  • Trusted sources: Choose only trusted themes, plugins and apps, meaning that they are certified and that you can identify who or what is behind its creation
  • Username and password: A strong password and username will help avoid much vulnerability

Transferring domains

The instructions to transfer a domain from one hosting company to another are different for each company. It is best to contact the new hosting company for their specific instructions. The same thing applies if you want to change your domain registrar, meaning that you want to change your domain name. If you are transferring hosts, be sure that you transfer and download all of your website files, because you do not want to leave something behind. As a precaution, it is wise to download all of your files to your computer or a backup drive. However, do not forget about password protected folders or hidden files because you will need those too. Also, this is a good time to get rid of unwanted things, like additional or unused email or FTP accounts or applications. Schedule your move when you have least traffic. It would not be wise to have your move during your busiest hours, because there will be some hiccups and delays until everything is set up. You probably want to warn your customers too. Before you make an actual move, make a checklist so you do not forget something. Usernames, passwords, all kinds of accounts, subdomains, databases, SSL certificates, applications are just a few to name. If you want to have the same website on your new host, you can’t forget anything!

If you are transferring registrars, the move is somewhat easy because it is usually less invasive. In short, you will have to obtain the authentication code from the old registrar and deliver it to the new registrar. Then the old registrar will ask you for the authentication and after you confirm it, it will release the authority to the new registrar. Then you will be notified when the transfer is complete. If you are using cPanel, you can do all of this in the “Domain Manager” section. However, there is one thing that you should be aware of. A domain transfer could take up to several days, so do not wait for the last day of your domain registration. If you do that, it could result in incomplete transfer before the registration expires, which could result in loss of the domain name registration and failure of the transfer.

Go4hosting is a leading web hosting solutions company. We are constantly innovating new ways to deliver on our mission: to empower people to fully harness the web. We provide comprehensive tools to all of our users throughout the world so anyone, novice or pro, can get on the web and thrive with our web hosting packages. For queries or consultation, please get in touch with us on go4hosting.in or email us on [email protected] Our team of subject matter experts will assist you achieve your targets in the most customized and optimal manner.

We are looking forward to working with you.

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