Top 10 Web Hosting Trends

If you’re just starting out in the world of the Internet and the world-wide-web, welcome to the fastest growing, most competitive and most exciting marketplace in the history of buying and selling. By definition, web hosting is a type of service that gives individuals and organizations the opportunity to make their own web site accessible via the world wide web. So, if you want to setup a web site on the Internet, you will need a web host. But after a quick search in Google, you will see that making the choice as to which type of web hosting you will need for your web site is no easy task.

Spend a little time searching the web and you’ll find a gazillion web hosting providers, review sites, data centers, collocation facilities, and even a company that offers domain name registration by a hunter of African elephants. They make it sound easy to build a profitable web business, but wake-up-call time: building a profitable, web-based business takes hard work, long hours and, most importantly, careful planning and selection of the right vendors. Sure, your neighbor brags about the dough she’s raking in on her maintenance-free web site, or your brother-in-law just bought a fancy car on his PPC earnings. People do earn money on the web, but it isn’t luck or good karma. It’s planning for success and if you’re just starting to think about taking the digital dive in to the world of the Internet, consider these questions and, oh yeah, develop the answers before you spend a penny on your vision.

Top 10 Web Hosting Trends:

  1. Green web hosting – Green or Eco-friendly web site hosting is a contemporary addition to the field that involves a given provider attempting to prove that they do not have negative impacts on the environment. Many webmasters are moving their web sites to a green web hosting provider not only to reduce their carbon footprint, but also to prove to their visitors that their company values the environment and is respectful to it.
  2. Cloud hosting – Cloud computing provides on-demand resources via a computer network and offers computation, software, data access, and storage services that do not require end-user knowledge of the physical location and configuration of the system that delivers the services. Parallels to this concept can be drawn with the electricity grid, where end-users consume power without needing to understand the component devices or infrastructure required to provide the service.
  3. VPS hosting – VPS hosting or Virtual Private Server hosting refers to a virtual machine for use exclusively by an individual customer of the service. A virtual machine is a completely independent and isolated operating system installation within a normal operating system. VPS hosting allows customers who need a dedicated machine and root access but are not yet ready to pay the large investment required for a dedicated machine.
  4. Carbon neutral hosting – Carbon neutral hosting refers to a service that has a net zero carbon footprint and allows webmasters the opportunity to achieve net zero carbon emissions resulting from the hosting of their online pages.
  5. Wind powered hosting – Wind powered web hosting refers to web hosting services that use wind energy from wind turbines, for example, converted into electricity.
  6. Solar powered web hosting – Solar powered refers to web hosting that is powered by radiant light and heat from the sun as opposed to traditional electricity.
  7. Joomla hosting – Joomla is an increasingly popular open-source content management system for publishing content on the world wide web. Joomla easily integrates with themes and extensions that are available from third-party sources that make designing and developing a sophisticated yet aesthetically pleasing web site simple. There are numerous commercial extensions available from the official Joomla! Extension Directory and quite a bit more available from other sources. Many providers offer the installation of Joomla on their accounts for no additional charge, but be fore-warned that not many provider have adequate experience needed in order to provide support to clients who are developing their site with Joomla.
  8. WordPress hosting – WordPress is an open-source blogging tool that is used by nearly thirteen percent of all web sites on the Internet. It is an easy to learn and use tool that makes setting up a web site simple due to its plug-in architecture and template system.
  9. Drupal hosting – Drupal is an open-source content management system that provides web developers the tools needed to customize Drupal’s behavior and appearance. Drupal offers a futuristic programming interface for developers, and no programming skills are required for basic web site installation and administration, but it is more complex than Joomla and WordPress. Drupal powers nearly two percent of all web sites on the Internet. Drupal offers modules, themes, and associated configuration settings that prepare Drupal for custom operation for sophisticated web developers.
  10. Reseller hosting – Reseller hosting refers to a provider that has purchased services with the intention of reselling them. Because of the multitude of resellers in the web hosting industry, it has become more difficult to differentiate a reseller from a web hosting provider that has their own dedicated servers. Reseller hosting has become increasingly popular as a means to generate income for web design firms.

Choosing a new web host for a redesign project

Many companies are re-designing their web site to remain competitive, to simplify the navigation and provide visitors with a more user-friendly experience. By redesigning a web site, companies have the opportunity to remain more competitive and stay current with new technology. And by offering a better web site – voila – simpler navigation, simpler search for a specific item may lead to increased sales or leads. Yep, even the most successful sites are constantly revising their look, the organization and the ease-of-use for site visitors.

Web site redesign tips

Your web site navigation should be simple, straightforward and 100% functional. Labels should be clearly understood by any site visitor. Assume no knowledge on the part of the people who visit your on-line business site. They may not have any knowledge of your business and you have only a few seconds to engage a visitor and create interest in your brand before the visitor can hit the back button and exit your site.

When designing your site, place yourself in the position of the first-time visitor and configure your site for that prospect. Hey, if it worked for Jeff Bezos (Amazon’s founder)…it should work for you.

Choosing a web hosting provider

When making this important decision, ask a lot of questions of your web host or prospective provider. Do you employ Energy Star equipment? Do you use power from carbon-neutral sources? How is the office powered? How are the servers cooled? How is old, outdated equipment disposed of? If you don’t like the answers you get, you won’t like working with that web host.

Further, a truly contemporary hosting service wants YOUR site visitors to recognize your commitment to a cleaner planet today and in the future so most offer an emblem you can display on your web site – an emblem that proudly proclaims that your site is hosted by a green corporate culture…a corporate culture that becomes YOUR corporate culture.

So go green and tell prospects all about yourself. It’s the future of web hosting today. It’s the future of our planet. Today.

Picking the Right Web Hosting Company When You Don’t Know Jack

Let’s set the scene: You’ve been dabbling around with free blogging sites, lenses, hubs, and your own space for some time now, but lately you’ve been entertaining the idea of taking your online presence in a different direction, expanding it and maybe even monetizing it.

Those free sites have you over a barrel with respect to their strict terms of service, severe monetization restrictions and someone else’s idea of what makes a good layout. They can also suspend or terminate your account without warning and there goes all your hard work. Perhaps you know of someone who had it happen to them.

Time for Professional Web Hosting

Shopping for web hosting doesn’t have to be hard, but it’s important to compare the various offerings from a good cross-section of hosting providers and then pick a suitable plan at a decent price. We’ll be discussing shared hosting running Linux, the most affordable type of web hosting. We’ll sort through the fluff and get down to just the “must-have” basics. For the most part, everything else is just icing on the cake.

Ease of Use

Web hosting is a complex thing, but luckily skilled technicians take care of all the geeky stuff in the background. That should leave you with an easy-to-use interface, also called a control panel, for managing your web hosting account.

– My #1 recommendation is cPanel, the leader in web hosting control panels. Everything is neatly organized in logical categories and it’s got a great software installer called Fantastico.

– My #2 recommendation is vDeck only because its newly updated interface is more user-friendly. Its software installer is called InstallCentral.

Free Domain Name

Should you take advantage of free domain name offers? Buyer beware. Some are free for the life of your hosting account and others are only free for the first year. In either case, if you cancel your account or the name comes up for renewal, you’ll have to pay a fee that’s 2-3 times the going rate. If you accept the free domain offer, you will not own the name, the web host will. You will also have to pay extra for privacy protection. My best advice is to not let a free domain name offer become a deciding point in selecting a plan. Instead, register your names at a registrar where you’ll have complete control of all settings, including privacy protection for your personal information.

Multiple Domains

Most top web hosting companies allow to you host unlimited domains on a single account. These additional domains are called add-on domains. If they only allow a single domain or even a handful of domains, find a different host. You may only need one domain now, but if you catch the bug and want to explore affiliate marking or have other projects you’d like to pursue, you’ll need multiple domain capability so you don’t have to pay for more hosting.

Bandwidth

More appropriately called data transfer, it’s the amount of data travelling both to and from your overall hosting account and it’s usually metered by the month. So how much do you need? Think of it in terms of file sizes being uploaded to and fetched from the server. It includes web pages, images,.pdfs, videos, emails, music, requests from the databases and more. However big they are, that’s how much data is being transferred. Play it safe and go with unlimited (unmetered) bandwidth (data transfer) so your visitors don’t get the dreaded “Bandwidth exceeded” page instead of your site.

Site Builders

I have yet to see a hosting provider that doesn’t have some type of site builder found in the control panel, but be forewarned, you might be locking yourself into something that you can’t easily escape from should you choose to build your site with one. If you change your mind, there will be no way to migrate it into something else except to copy and paste the text from your pages. If you ever switch hosting companies, the new host may not have the same site building software so a backup will be useless in a transfer. Plus, the template selection usually consists of boxy layouts in gaudy colors in hopes that you’ll upgrade to a professional design. My advice is to not be romanced by “free site builders”. However, all hope is not lost…

Site Builders, Part Deux

WordPress is a free blogging platform and it’s become the absolute easiest way to deploy and maintain a site. It’s not just for blogging, anymore. You can run an entire business in it. WordPress is free and it’s easily installed via your control panel, but make no mistake, it’s not the stripped down version found at WordPress.com. This is the “big boy” version, what’s referred to as the self-hosted version of WordPress.

Two of WordPress’ most powerful features are themes and plugins. There are literally tens of thousands of free and paid themes to be found online that can be uploaded to your site and changing themes is a snap. Plugins extend and expand the power of WordPress to perform custom tasks not found in an off-the-shelf installation and most of them are free. It’s like Clark Kent putting on the Superman suit.

I highly recommend building your sites with WordPress. Besides, the search engines, love WordPress. Most of the top web hosting companies have WordPress available in the control panel with 1-click installation, but if you find a company that doesn’t, skip it and move on. Yes, you can install it yourself, but no web host is worth the effort if you have to roll your own.

MySQL Databases

Each installation of WordPress requires one database installation. So if you’re going to have 20 websites all running WordPress, you’ll need 20 MySQL databases. If the plan you’re looking at has an unreasonably low limit on databases, skip it.

CRON Jobs

CRON (short for chronograph) is often over-looked and just when you need it, you may not see it in your control panel because it’s not available on some shared hosting accounts. It’s a time-based job scheduler for setting up scripts to be run in the background at a particular time. As an example, it could be some type of nightly process you want to run during non-peak hours, or a month-end process that ages accounts. Most people will never use it, but I don’t want you to over look it.

Email Accounts

Most plans come with unlimited email accounts. You’ll at least want one account per domain, but more if you have customer service, an ordering process, tech support, payments, personal emails for staff, or just want to keep certain correspondence separate from others. It’s also a great time to break away from your ISP email or free email services and have a more professional email address that will follow you every where, even when you change ISPs. Unlimited is good.

Money-Back Guarantee

Most providers offer a 30 or 45 day money-back guarantee, but you won’t get back any setup fees or domain name purchases. That’s just standard, so expect it. The money you get back will be for hosting fees only. Some companies now offer an Anytime Guarantee. It’s by far the best way to go. They’ll prorate the unused hosting fees regardless of how much time is left on your plan. Definitely look for it.

Green Web Hosting

Green hosting isn’t a must, but I’ll mention it. Web hosting companies keep their servers in data centers and these centers use enormous amounts of electricity, 25% of which is used for air conditioning to cool the computer equipment. So how do they go green? By using energy efficient equipment and powering their operations with renewable energy such as wind or solar in the form of purchased of carbon offsets. Most companies purchase 100% of their power usage in offsets, but I’ve seen as high as 300%. Some also participate in global tree planting programs, have rigorous recycling programs in the office and encourage telecommuting for remote employees. I urge you to purchase hosting from a green provider, especially since it usually doesn’t cost any more.

Price

You should have no problem finding the perfect yearly plan for around $5-6/month, even cheaper if you purchase a longer term. It all depends on how much you want to spend up front. If you go with a long term, make sure they have an anytime money back guarantee so you can at least get part of your money back should you decide to leave.

Renewal Fees

Check how much it’s going to cost to renew when your term is up. Some hosting companies will run special offers for a discount up-front, but charge you full price at renewal time. Yet, there are some that keep your plan renewing at the same price you initially paid for it. When in doubt, submit a pre-sales question and ask them. Or you can go to the order form and see the plan selection for yourself. It should say something like “$4.95/month billed every 24 months”. And always be on the lookout for *’s on the order form. Scroll down to the bottom of the page to see what they mean.

Better Business Bureau Rating

The BBB rates businesses much like school grades from an A+ to an F. Companies don’t need to be a BBB member in order to get a rating, but if they aren’t members and they do have a rating, you can pretty much bet the farm that it’s going to be a D or F rating because people are complaining about them, not applauding them. Look for the BBB logo on the host’s site.

In Summary

Look for these features:

– cPanel control panel

– 1-Click WordPress install

– Unlimited domains (add-ons)

– Unlimited bandwidth (data transfer)

– Unlimited email accounts

– Unlimited MySQL databases

– Anytime money-back guarantee

– BBB rating of B or higher

– Stable, non-increasing renewal fee

– Green web hosting (optional)

– CRON jobs (optional)

Ignore these features:

– Free domain name offers

– Free site builders

Use WordPress Cloning To Move Web Hosts, Sell A Business In A Box, Or Sell Your Entire Site

When you’re talking about cloning a site or backing it up or restoring it, it sounds kind of boring but it’s actually a very exciting once you imagine the possibilities. You can move your site from one host to another so that someone’s business in a box or sell your site for a quick buck.

What does it mean to move your site from one host to another? It means that maybe you have the same website, the same.com domain name but you’re moving from one provider to another. Maybe one is cheaper. Maybe one provides you with more space or it’s faster or better services.

If you back up your WordPress site and then move to a new web host and restore that WordPress site, you have an exact copy of it now. What’s great is that you might be moving your site from one web host to another or someone may be paying you even $100 or several hundred dollars to do the moving for them and all it takes is backing up your site, going to somewhere new and restoring it in the new location.

A great opportunity for WordPress users is this thing called a developer’s license. What this means is that you pay a little bit extra to plugin owners to theme developers for a developer’s license which means that you can use their theme and plugin on your site. You can’t sell that theme or plugin but you can set it up on someone else’s new site.

What if you bought a $300 theme? If you bought several $100 premium plugins and configured WordPress in an exact way that got people to read it, looks great and made sales then someone could pay you something like $100 or $500 for you to not sell them the plugin or the theme but to set it up to install it on this additional new site. You’re not selling any kind of content, not doing any kind of resell rights, you’re simply setting up your exact WordPress configuration in this way that the developer’s license allows you to. This is a business in a box.

Finally, something I’ve been saying more and more of is if someone is selling a site, the site on a domain name with a.com name alone is not going to make a lot of money. If you just say, “I’ve got this web address for sale, that’s not all of the money.” But if that property has been developed, if it contains subscribers, traffic and content now that site can sell for a lot more especially if you can show that the site makes a certain amount of monthly income.

You could offer someone on a site such as SitePoint or Flippa, I will sell you this site with the blog, with all the content. I will move the site and I will no longer have a copy but I will also install it for you and all it takes is you sell the site and you back it up, go to their new site and restore and now the site has been moved over for them.