Hosting Features Explanations

What is hosting?

Once your web site has been built it needs to reside on a computer that maintains a constant connection to the Internet. We call this kind of computer a web server. This is because it serves up the web site information to Internet surfers who visit the site. The function of holding the web sites information and making it accessible to Internet visitors is called Hosting.

Domain - A domain is basically known as an address, or URL such as www.yourname.com, that links visitors to your web site. Each domain contains a set of records that pertain to the process of matching your domain to your web site. From there, information from the web site is retrieved from the server that the web site is hosted on and is sent to the visitor. For one to acquire a domain, they must purchase it through the domain registration organization known as InterNIC, a Network Solutions company. InterNIC is the organization that manages, registers, and bills for all domains. Companies and/or Organizations other than Educational or Governmental facilities must choose a domain extension with one of 3 suffixes: .com, .net, or .org. Educational and Government organizations, however, may purchase domains with the extensions consisting of: .edu or .gov.

Disk Space – This is the space on the servers’ hard drive that is allocated for your files and databases to be stored on.

How much disk space do you really need? Your web pages should not be larger than 50KB so typical sites with 50 pages plus graphics should use no more than 2-4 MB.

Extra space must be left for log files that contain information on site traffic, such as many pages (impressions) where shown, how many requests (hits) were made to the site, etc. These log files are very useful. As you can imagine, log files can become very large quickly. In order to maintain order with your logs, backup and delete old logs occasionally (depending on your traffic). If you require a database for your site then that also must be taken out of your disk space allocation.


Bandwidth - Bandwidth is the amount of traffic and content your site will deliver. When a visitor requests a page, you site will return your page along with graphics. This is bandwidth. A good analogy for bandwidth is that bandwidth is like water in a pipe. The amount of water flowing from a pipe is like bandwidth

.MySQL - SQL stands for Structured Query Language. SQL is a international standard in querying and retrieving information from databases. mySQL is essentially an SQL server - it responds to requests for information that are written in SQL. You can communicate with mySQL using a wide variety of programming languages (PHP being one of the most common). mySQL is Open Source software and generally free for use.

SSL Support - The Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) Protocol provides several layers of security available for all users of a web server equipped with SSL. All data coming from and going to an SSL equipped server is encrypted. This ensures that anyone who may be able to spy on the data transmission will not be able to understand the data. An SSL equipped server can also identify itself to anyone who visits it. This ensures that your clients can trust that they have indeed connected to the server they intended to reach.

When necessary, an SSL equipped server can also authenticate the clients that are connecting to it. This ensures that a person connecting to your server is not pretending to be someone to whom you have given restricted access. An SSL equipped server can also assure data integrity. This security measure prevents meddlers from intercepting a data transmission (which they cannot understand) and replacing it with a fake one they create. With this feature you can be confident that no one is able to intervene between the server and the client. It enables you to accept credit cards or other private information in a secure environment.

CGI Script Support - A CGI script is a program, mostly written in C or Perl (programming languages), which will work with other programs and your web page. HTML is static. CGI scripts give HTML the ability to interact with the visitor. An example of a CGI script would be one that takes information from a page, completed by a visitor, and inputs that information in a database.

Shopping Carts
- If you sell any products online, you will need a shopping cart system. A shopping cart system is a series of forms to help your visitors select and purchase your products with ease.

PHP support
- PHP is an open-source server-side scripting language for creating dynamic Web pages much like CGI scripts. PHP is today's fastest-growing technology for dynamic Web pages

Web Based Control Panel - A very useful feature to have in administering and customizing your site settings. With this tool you can change your sites settings like, e-mail address, sub-domains, site stats, password protected directories, etc. You have total control 24 hours a day, 7 days a week .The user interface that is so fully automated and simple to use that you'll have your website online and set-up the way you want it in no time.

Information on the Control Panel can be found at www.cpanel.net/docs/cp/

E-Mail Options


POP3 mail account - A POP mail account is where all your messages are sent and received from. If you are the only person maintaining the site, 1 POP mail account will do fine. However, lets say you are the webmaster and another person is for support. You would want to have 2 separate POP mail accounts.

E-mail alias - An e-mail alias allows you to create multiple e-mail addresses for a domain. e.g. support@yourdomain.com, sales@yourdomain.com, etc. E-mail aliases are sent to a specified mail account.

E-mail Forwarders
- E-mail forwarders allow you to forward e-mail messages from one e-mail address to another address. e.g. you could forward sales@yourdomain.com to yourname@hotmail.com.

E-mail autoresponders
(AKA autoreplys) are very useful. You can configure an autoresponder so when a message is sent to an e-mail address, a reply is automatically sent to the sender. A great use an autoresponder is to inform a sender you have received their message. This is automatic feedback to the sender.

Catchall e-mail account – A catch all e-mail account allows you to receive any mail pointed to your domain and re-directs it to your primary e-mail account, e.g. mail sent a@yourdomain.com and b@yourdomian.com will both be directed to me@yourdomain.com. This can save you time by only having to set up one e-mail account and allowing you to check all incoming e-mail from one place.

Web Mail – Web Mail allows you to access your e-mail through a browser without using an e-mail client. This means that your e-mail is accessible from any computer connected to the internet.

Spam Filter – A spam filtering program used to block unsolicited or unwanted e-mail. It scans e-mail and blocks them according to a set of pre-set rules (such as blocking all e-mail that contains the words “online pharmacy”).
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FrontPage Extensions
- Did you create your site with Microsoft FrontPage? FrontPage will work with any provider but then you will need to have FrontPage extensions installed in order for some advanced features of FrontPage. We run the latest FrontPage extensions.

FTP Accounts
- FTP stands for File Transfer Protocol. This is how you will upload your pages to their server. Like e-mail if one person is maintaining your site, one FTP account will do, the more people you need to be able to upload files the more FTP accounts you need. There are many FTP programs available. Go to our links section and this will point you to some of the best on offer.

Cron Jobs - Cron jobs allow you to automate repetitive tasks on the server that hosts your web site. This is a powerful tool that allows you to take a hands-free approach to repetitive tasks. For example, you could add a cron job that automatically copies a mySQL database to a separate location on your site as a backup.
Warning: You need to have a good knowledge of Linux commands before you can use cron jobs effectively.