Tag Archives: Web hosting service

Choosing Colocation vs. Leasing Dedicated Servers

 

Amsterdam servercluster in its own rack

With many products and services, we have the choice to go between owning and renting. For some reason that is not true of paperclips or underwear; but it is true of houses, cars, and other large items. Servers are no exception. Because hosting can be expensive, there is a wide range of possibilities for website owners. These possibilities range from power and quality of equipment to financial relationships with equipment.

Two options for servers are colocating one or leasing one from a hosting company. The two options are more similar than they are different. In both cases, you have your own dedicated server. In both cases, you can take advantage of the datacenter expertise of the hosting service’s personnel and physical parameters (climate control, disaster recovery plans, etc.).

Deciding between these two options can be a little confusing, so let’s look at their differences to see what option might be best for you. We will look at three perspectives, from Webhostingfreaks.net, ITworld, and About Colocation. Keep in mind, a couple of these perspectives are very colocation-friendly. Colocation, though, is more complicated to set up and manage, simply because you are the owner of the equipment. You must pick out what to buy, and it is more of an investment.
Continue reading Choosing Colocation vs. Leasing Dedicated Servers

cPanel vs. Plesk vs. Bobby Lou’s CP Extraordinaire

 

Image representing cPanel Inc as depicted in C...

When you look into control panels, the first two options you will see with almost any hosting company are cPanel and Plesk. The third most successful control panel, Bobby Lou’s Internet Control Panel Extraordinaire, is popular in the cockfighting industry but not widely accepted by the general web administrative community.

Assuming you use cPanel or Plesk, either one will serve you well, but everyone wants the best solution out there. Let’s take a look at how each of the two control panels compares, and where one or the other has advantages or disadvantages. Extraordinaire will also be examined, just in case you want a solution tailored to underground rooster competitions.

To gain a sense of perspectives on cPanel and Plesk from across the web, we will look at articles by Worth Of Web, Tim Attwood for HostReview, and Claire Broadley for WhoIsHostingThis?. We will also interview Bobby Lou to better understand his niche CP. We will explore these differences in a three-part series.

Comparison: cPanel & Plesk

Let’s look at a basic rundown of how cPanel and Plesk are similar and different. In this post, we will specifically examine OS compatibility, interface usability, and cost.

Operating Systems

As a basic rule of thumb, Plesk tends to be more popular among those running Windows operating systems, while cPanel is more widely used on Linux systems. This breakdown, though, is primarily based on track records. cPanel is the old standard for those using Linux servers. Plesk, likewise, has long been the choice of Windows webmasters.

Plesk has a Linux-compatible version, and cPanel has its specific Windows brand, Enkompass. Enkompass, however, is not as widely used and is not “the real deal” as far as cPanel goes. Though there obviously is crossover between the two systems, there is a strong argument that expertise and focus for each of the two OSs is still sharply divided.

To look at our third option, Extraordinaire, Bobby Lou explained that his system is “designed to be incredibly glitchy on any operating system.” He said that the cockfighting community “loves challenges and doesn’t mind getting their hands dirty trying to figure out why Extraordinaire hates them so much.”

Interface

If you’re looking at both of these control panels for the first time, you will be more impressed with the intuitive and simple usability of Plesk, according to Worth of Web. cPanel, however, is easy to use for those who are familiar with it and have grown accustomed to its layout. For this reason, assumedly, cPanel has not made significant changes to its interface over time.

Plesk, then, is easier for a rookie to understand. The cPanel UI is favored by many veteran system administrators. Note that because cPanel has been used at such great length by the Linux community, and because that community is so tight-knit, finding answers online for any confusion is generally simple. Plesk, though, is more inviting from the outset.

When it comes to switching from one control panel to the other, Claire mentions that the UI is “one of the biggest sources of heartache” (because the design will look, of course, completely foreign initially). She also notes that many custom CPs are built off of cPanel, so understanding the basis of a custom platform may indicate that it is more recognizable than you first might think.

Tim also notes that if you’re using VPS hosting, the cPanel system is often considered easier to use: many people find choosing the task they want to complete or efficiently viewing data simpler than in Plesk. He credits Plesk with having a plenitude of features but a system whose management may seem “too technical” for a VPS environment.

Bobby Lou’s system is based on an intricate graphical framework composed of roosters. He said, “It’s a cockfighting grandmaster’s version of binary code. The black ones are zeros, and the red ones are ones.” Asked how long it takes to set up a typical website, Bobby Lou stated, “Come again?”

Cost of Subscription

Worth of Web notes that the cost will be better between cPanel and Plesk depending how long you intend to use either system. cPanel works on an annual basis, whereas Plesk has monthly subscriptions available. Claire comments that typically cPanel is more cost-effective because, generally speaking, websites will be online for at least a year, and cPanel is more affordable in those scenarios.

When it comes to VPS, both systems have accounts available specifically for that purpose. CPanel’s, again, is more affordable but is not broken down per month like the Plesk service is.

Claire also notes that the licenses for either one is typically included within a hosting package. However, dedicated and VPS environments sometimes require the customer to pay for control panel access in addition to the cost of the hosting package.

Extraordinaire uses a different model for payment. “We work on a bartering system,” said Bobby Lou. “We take roosters of course – but not sick ones – as well as pumpkins and electric crazy-making prods (ECP’s). We also take gallon jugs of moonshine and real Vermont maple syrup, the latter of which should also come with a stack of fresh pancakes.”

Conclusion & Continuation

As you can see, cPanel and Plesk are more similar than they are different. More than anything, it’s a question of what’s comfortable for you. Operating system, though, still is a major dividing line even though the two platforms work on both Windows and Linux. We will continue our discussion in Part 2 of this series.

Oh… Did you know that we offer both of these control panel options for our shared, dedicated, and VPS hosting customers? Yes, in fact, we do. Unfortunately, though, Bobby Lou has not yet convinced us to offer Extraordinaire.

By Kent Roberts

Web Hosting Search: Top VPS, Dedicated & Reseller Hosting … Plus Some Jokes

 

Image representing Web Hosting Search as depic...

As established previously in this three-part series on our awards, I asked everyone to forgive us for not being vocal enough about all the ways we’ve been honored since our founding in the 1640s (first high-tech company, globally). We’ve spoken previously about our awards for Best Dedicated Server Package and Best Colocation. Today, let’s discuss the Top Host honors we earned from Web Hosting Search in 2012, for Dedicated Servers, VPS Hosting, and Reseller Hosting.

Since we were recognized by WHS for three different services, we must be doing something right; and we believe much of our success is due to the quality of our support. For one thing, we are supported by the vitamins, minerals, bioflavonoids, and probiotic microorganisms we consume on a daily basis, via 100%-natural, whole-food, fermented multivitamins. Also, part of that support is what we provide to our customers. We’re available 24/7, and that’s been verified by Find My Host (one part of their extensive vetting process), among other organizations.

We are pleased to be among the top providers recognized by Web Hosting Search, but let’s take a look at how WHS conducts its reviews of companies. Looking at the ratings process will help give us a sense of exactly how incredible we are. We have lots of plaques on our wall, and it helps us to sometimes explain what they mean so we can remember ourselves. Then all of us can have actual knowledge to back up the claim, “Superb Internet is absolutely delightful.”

Additionally, finishing off a segment from the beginning of this series, we will go over some of the most highly anticipated and well-deserved awards in the history of everyman. The prizes we will outline have been instrumental in the multi-billion-dollar semi-private acknowledgment industry; some have even been feathers (real ostrich feathers) in the caps of dandies. The sixth everyday award follows:

Everyday Awards Spotlight #6: Gillian Barrymore

Ms. Barrymore popped her head out of the dirt in Glendive, Montana, to accept an award from her grandmother for Best Impersonation of a Prairie Dog. Barrymore’s grandmother, Carla, explained: “I’ve been training Gill for over 15 years in this rare art-form. Finally she’s ready to compete for Miss America.” Ms. Barrymore herself was unable for comment. She was busy eating grasshoppers and prairie plants.

How Web Hosting Search Rates Hosts

Let’s take a quick look at how WHS gauges the hosts, which in turn earns companies spots in its Top Lists. The organization describes its process as a “meticulous” effort to meet the needs of its users. The company’s experienced webmasters review hosts, and users do the same. The results of these reviews are one of the contributing factors for a company achieving Top Host status. Here are all the guidelines WHS uses in its analyses:

  1. Stats – a numerical performance analysis of the host
  2. Monitoring – continual checking of each company  to ensure high standards are maintained, such as uptime and functionality of the host’s systems
  3. Secret Shopping – Like Find My Host, WHS buys an account on each of the web hosts it assesses to gain a sense of the customer perspective
  4. Excellence – rather than focusing on size and scope, the ability to deliver high-quality service in each category is the ultimate concern
  5. Up-to-date Diversity – a review of the tools and hardware available through the hosting provider to determine how broad, numerous, and effective they are
  6. Support – through secret shopping, the quality of support is tested and determined, increasing or decreasing the overall rating
  7. Reliability – a determination of the uptime percentage of the host (Superb’s is 100% guaranteed via our SLA)
  8. Customer Perspective – in addition to checking out the hosts as a customer, WHS also pays close attention to any user comments and examines them prior to finalizing ratings
  9. You – the top priority of Web Hosting Search throughout its ratings is its effort to recommend “the best hosting possible.”

Everyday Awards Spotlight #7: Fred Thompson

Mr. Thompson was given an award by his youngest daughter (Lucille, age 5) for Getting Me a Present. As it turns out, Fred did not intend to get a present for Lucille. The teddy bear he brought home on Tuesday evening was given to him by his psychiatrist to help him work through a problem he was having with intimacy. He was supposed to talk to the bear whenever he wanted someone to understand his sometimes crippling social anxiety. Unfortunately, the bear looked like a gift to Lucille, so he gave it to her. Then Mr. Thompson went to his bedroom, sighed deeply, and took a long nap.

Conclusion

Thus ends this series on our awards. We reviewed those from Host Review (Dedicated Servers) and Find My Host (Colocation) previously, and today we looked at our Top Host rankings from Web Hosting Search (Dedicated Servers, VPS Hosting, and Reseller Hosting). Below are links to each of those services if interested. We want you, and we’re willing to show it. If you’re afraid of intimacy like Fred is, our support team can make you feel at home and advise you on how to protect a therapeutic bear from your children.

by Kent Roberts

Host Review: Best Dedicated Servers Award … Plus Some Jokes

 

How to Make a Website that's Awesome - PowerPo...

Everyone makes mistakes, and one of the worst mistakes we can make in life is to forget to gloat enough when we’re given an award or accolade. At Superb Internet, we confess that we have made that mistake repeatedly by only drawing minimal attention to our various prizes. Today, we hope to rectify that error by talking about an award we were recently given for best dedicated hosting worldwide. If that does not suffice, we will be forced to talk about our other awards too.

Superb Internet offers manifold options for hosting and server maintenance, from managed to VPS, from colocation to standard shared hosting. However, this award is specifically for our dedicated server expertise. It’s not surprising to us that we are winning an award for dedication, because we love our customers for richer and poorer, in sickness and in health, and all that other stuff we said to our wives that one day.

The award was given to us by Host Review for “Best Dedicated Server Package” in December as one of its annual awards, so we are the sitting holder of that title. Below, we will extrapolate on both the benefactor and recipient perspectives: why Host Review gave us the award, and why we think we are the top company in the world for that service. We will also contextualize the prize among our other accomplishments (might as well).

Additionally, we will look at some of the most exciting awards given over the years to everyday people, for achievements their friends and loved ones never before thought possible. The first such award is noted below:

Everyday Awards Spotlight #1: Derek Bukowski

At a poorly lit but well-attended awards ceremony in Conway, Arkansas, Derek Bukowski was presented an award by his wife Nancy for Picking Up Your Clothes. Specifically, the award was given for Most Improvement in that category. Nancy herself received the Best in Show prize, a further testament to her residential-organizational adroitness.

Host Review Perspective

According to Host Review, the “Best Dedicated Server Package” award is given out for “outstanding performance and value” in that area of business. Individual factors contributing to the comparison process of different hosting companies are the following:

  • cost of hosting packages
  • cutting-edge technology
  • record of uptime & reliability
  • general performance throughout the year.

Host Review was impressed particularly with the experience (16 years) and support team (winner of the Host Investigator Support Award) offered at Superb. They also were generally impressed with our lease-to-own program, allowing customers to gradually invest in dedicated server ownership.

Other elements that Host Review found compelling were our network (which they called “the very best… in the industry”), UX (user experience), and scope of available services. All in all, the award was given to acknowledge us as a “leader” (though we do sometimes like to follow, as when playing “follow the leader” with our children) in the hosting industry.

We like to think we are always getting better, and this award was in part a recognition of our improvement. We were the runner-up for the same prize in 2011.

Everyday Awards Spotlight #2: Maria Juárez

At a hotel in southern California, the Montage Laguna Beach, Maria Juárez won an award presented by her husband, serving as the chairman of a panel of extended family members and close friends. Juárez was elated to finally win the 2013 Remembering to Get the Kids Award. The award goes each year to the family member who most often remembers that the day care center down the street does not allow overnight stays.

Superb Internet Perspective

We are particularly pleased with this accomplishment because it is similar to the People’s Choice awards for entertainment. Often reviews and ratings are written and dispersed by industry professionals and expert third parties. In the case of Host Review, the awards are designated based on customer reviews. We are delighted to know that hosting clients themselves regard us so highly in the area of dedicated hosting.

When we received the honor, our Internet Marketing Manager, Richard Norwood, said that he believed we are now “finally hitting on all cylinders.” The specific factors that he highlighted are threefold:

  • outstanding technical support (all staff ITIL-certified)
  • helpful, customer-first sales department
  • creative promotions to enhance client satisfaction.

Specifically on that last bullet, Norwood mentioned our 16th Anniversary Special, allowing customers to get up to $1600 in cash gift cards in return for a $100 hosting purchase.

Everyday Awards Spotlight #3: Jim Mungin

In a restroom stall at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, Jim Mungin won a prize that he has been trying to score for years. As the recipient of the Greater Midwest Lewd Foot-Tapper Grand Prize, he has won a spot in the 2013 International Foot-Tapping Pageant to be held in Rio de Janeiro in October.

Award Context & Conclusion

As stated above, we have won, well, a host of other prizes over the years. Two highlights have been our top prizes for Best Hosting Company from both FindMyHost and DedicatedServerDir.com.

We are of course pleased anytime we get an award, and we like to think that it is a sign that all our diligence and concern for our customers is not going unnoticed. If you are looking for a dedicated server, try out one of our award-winning packages today. Also, congratulations to all the Everyday Awards winners for your consistency and drive, and especially your panache.

by Kent Roberts

Hosting Company Terms of Service (TOS), Part Three: Bandwidth & Utilization

 

front view of the cluster of Wikimedia servers...

Here it is, everyone … and, I know, the suspense has been maddening for all of us: Part Three, the final chapter in my series on web hosting terms of service (TOS). I will return to the conceptual admixture of Part One, capping off this trifecta with further thoughts not just on contracts, but on sentiments as well. As noted in that initial installment, the four places in which expectations are established between customer and client in hosting are in deals & offers, service level agreements (SLA’s), terms of service (TOS), and love letters sent by the company to its clients.

Let’s again briefly review what’s been covered to this point before moving forward:

  1. Introduction (company name, contact details, and an explanation of how parties will be identified in the document)
  2. Legal Compliance (an establishment of the notion that the company will not be held accountable for unlawful or rule-breaking behaviors by clients)
  3. Prohibited Usage (disallowance of adult content, plagiarism, software piracy, overages that infringe on others, interference with company tracking, etc.).

Today, we will move forward with additional provisions often included in the category of Prohibited Usage. Then we will move on to Bandwidth & Utilization. Again, these particular topics – both broad and specific – are not included in every hosting contract but allow an overview of stipulations and language you will typically see.

To create a distinction between the TOS and the love letter, the TOS is typically written in very specific legal language. The love letter your hosting company will send you is written in the language of the heart and sung in your best French accent (as all romantic literature should be), in a 3/4 time-signature, accompanied by maracas and sobbing.

Prohibited Usage (Continued)

As stated in Part Two, though prohibition is annoying for clients (no one wants to hear “no”), these guidelines are actually not all bad. Do you really want someone who is in the same hosting network that you are participating in hacking or high-malware industries such as pornography? If you answered maybe, well, that’s a better response than I get to most of my marriage proposal web hosting postcards: “Customer Survey: Will you marry me? (Check One.).”

The three standard sections left to cover are billing, mail, and customer support.

Billing

A hosting company will often specify that customers cannot use other people’s credit cards (what?!) or create a technological workaround to prevent the system from billing them correctly (double-what?!). Obviously, hosting companies like the purchase of their services to be an honest transaction. My love letters, similarly, are honest above all else. It’s with sincerity that I write, “I can’t stop thinking about your beautiful elbows.”

Mail

Typically provisions related to e-mail focus heavily on the prohibition of spam – technically called unsolicited commercial e-mail (UCE). Spam can be a difficult issue, because in some cases, companies send an initial e-mail asking for an “opt-in” from recipients. However, because people are so sick of unwanted e-mail, many will complain just based on the initial query e-mail.

Since mass-mailing is such a crucial part of online business, there are several things you can do to make sure you don’t become categorized as a spammer by your host:

  1. Implement double opt-in (good for marriage proposals as well).
  2. Include a note to recipients reminding them that they signed up for the list
  3. Make unsubscribing simple.

In addition to anti-spam provisions, the TOS may also state that mail will not remain on the hosting company’s servers longer than a specified time period, such as 90 days.

Support

Terms of service will also often include a section requiring that a client maintain a respectful, non-harassing relationship with the company’s support staff.

Bandwidth & Utilization

This section details what is allowable with regards to the following:

  • bandwidth – the “stream” through which your Internet traffic runs
  • utilization – usage of server storage and other resources.

 

Here are a couple of standard provisions:

Non-Transference & Reselling

Typically a hosting company will state that the client cannot use its space on the server to store materials that are unrelated to the specific website(s) listed in its account with the host. Additionally, the customer must use the company’s authorized reseller program if they want to resell the space allotted to them to other clients: it’s not okay to set up a system oneself to resell pieces of the hosting package. Similarly, I notify clients in my love letters that I am hooked and will no longer be reselling pieces of my heart to the highest bidders at Plenty of Fish (not the dating site – a fish market in Sacramento).

Hot-linking can be a problem regarding this provision. You might want to set up tools to prevent that. Generally speaking, you want anyone who is using images from your site to download the image and upload it to their own server rather than simply linking to the image on your site. Linking to your image may not be malicious, but it uses your bandwidth to populate the image on the Web; for that reason, it’s typically considered a form of “bandwidth theft.”

Conclusion

That’s it for our explanation of terms of service. This series has really been a small sampling of the types of content that is included in these documents. However, you should now have a reasonable understanding of the typical contents, tone, and scope of the web hosting TOS. Finally, let’s go to a baseball game. I want to ask you a question on the Jumbotron.

by Kent Roberts and Richard Norwood

Secure Website and Operating System Backups

A timely discovery in a cPanel Users forum has encouraged Web Hosting Platform Providers to tighten up security.

cPanel Addresses User Concerns of Transfer and Backup Restore System Security


cPanel Addresses User Concerns of Transfer and Backup Restore System Security | How to Grow Your Business Online | Scoop.it

From www.thewhir.com – Yesterday

cPanel Addresses User Concerns of Transfer and Backup Restore System Security. cPanel has addressed customer concerns around its security model used by the transfer and backup restore system in a forum post on Tuesday.

Juliana Payson‘s insight:

Incase you hadn’t thought about it, where do you restore your backups from? Users discovered a route for potential exploits since backups could be restored from unsecured sources. There are a round of various opportunities to back up your websites, some examples are listed below:

Best backup software for backing up server OS and DATA


Best backup software for backing up server OS and DATA | How to Grow Your Business Online | Scoop.it

From community.spiceworks.com – last week

Everyone! I have a custom built server that is located in my parents office. IT has 1 ( 500gb hard drive for the OS ) … | 28 replies

Computer Geek‘s questions:

1.) Can anyone suggest some good backup software to backup my server OS and DATA every night. I am planning to buy an external hard drive for that…

2.) In case anything goes wrong with the server OS ( which also has the domain). I can just restore an image maybe? So that it can run again as soon as possible?

3.) I want to set it to always backup every night or after office hours.

4.) What are my solutions to backup the domain without having to buy another server?

One thing that’s great about forums like this is not just the plethora of advice available, but also the fact that it comes from as many different perspectives, one of which may fall in line with your own goals. I like one person’s response who reminded us that a local backup strategy can protect you from a hardware fault in your system but it will not be protected from an outage which could take out both your primary data and your backup data. With the recent destructive nature presented in the news think fire, flood, power outages and such.

One way to protect against situations like these is to have alternate copies of your data elsewher,e typically  in the cloud or in a different physical web hosted location.

– Juliana