Category: Web Site Basics

Windows Web Hosting Versus Linux

Lately I have had many inquiries about Windows Web Hosting, and since I only offer Linux based web hosting to my clients, I felt it necessary to point out a few things when it comes to web hosting and choosing the right host for your web site projects.

Your primary concerns when choosing a web host should be that a web host is reliable and meets the requirements for your web site. This may include having multiple databases, parked domains, or simply having a certain amount of bandwidth. If your site is dependant on Microsoft technologies such as ASP or using data from an Access database, then your hosting requirements can only be met by choosing a Windows web host. Although you may be able to run some of your site on another type of host, it is preferable to use a Windows host, since your site will perform better and there will be less conflicts than if you were to choose a Linux host.

One of the things you may notice about Windows Web Hosting is that there can sometimes be a price difference, with Windows hosting costing as much as double the price of a basic cPanel Linux host. While it is not clear if license costs are the driving force for higher prices, you should consider that the ease of use of Windows and the ability to utilize Microsoft-only technologies do add some cost to Windows web hosting. As a comparison consider Apple’s .Mac services which cost higher than standard web hosting, because Apple is primarily selling its services on ease of use. This is the same situation in the Windows hosting market. The ease of use and ability to run ASP driven sites will cost you extra.

In the Linux hosting market you give up the use of Microsoft technologies, but you get a very reliable and proven solution in Apache + MySQL + PHP. You may also find that Linux hosting packages are more diverse, ranging from small space and bandwidth allotments, to very large gigabyte accounts that even occasional webbloggers can afford. In addition to being less expensive, there are many scripts and third party solutions that are available. You may find more competitively priced packaged solutions than in the Windows market.

Perhaps the difference (other than price) between a Windows host and a Linux host is the technical one. While almost everyone is somewhat familiar with a Windows desktop, not everyone is familiar with Linux and it may take a while for a new webmaster to become comfortable with the differences. However all new webmasters will have to learn about web hosting in general, so this should not deter you in choosing a Linux host over a Windows host. You will find that almost any technical issue with Linux hosting can be resolved by researching it on Google and Yahoo. And if you hire someone to do your site’s maintenance, this may not be a concern at all.

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Finding Deleted Domains

Over the weekend, I set out to buy a new domain name for a project that I thought about doing last year. By this time I should have written up the content, but I of course put it off, and so I figured I would buy the domain and that would force me to write up content and work on the new site. By now, buying any two word domain with the .com tld is nearly impossible, so you really have to look through the deleted domains and hope you can catch a unique domain name that someone let expire. I ended up having to choose between a new three word combination domain and an expired two word domain that seemed perfect for what the new site will be talking about. The three word domain sounded great, but the two word domain fit better with what search engines would look for, so I ended up choosing the expired domain.

Domains For Sale

I did find a lot of domain names that were taken and which were for sale by their owners, but most of these domains had scrapper content and did not really have any initial value. Not willing to pay for a domain with a pagerank of 2 or less and having to deal with the mess of transfering ownership, I headed for WhoIs.net and started searching through their deleted domains section. Luckily for me, I did find a domain of value in there and all I had to do was go to my own domain registrar and add that domain name to my account. At the end of the day I had a new domain name that costs me my regular price! Before you consider purchasing a domain name from someone, look through the deleted domain lists. All though some registrars have services that help you do this, or have auctions for domain names, looking through WhoIS.net’s free search tool may end up being better and cost you nothing more than the price of a new domain name.

Buyer Beware

Hopefully my new domain will rank well in the next search engine updates and I will have a successful site in a few weeks. However not all deleted domains or current domains are bargains. If you never bought a domain name before, read Choosing Your Domain Name and consider reading through some of the articles on SitePoint.com. If you still have questions, contact us, and we will try to help you.

My new project is MovieComment.com, which is going to be a new blog site for all kinds of movie reviews.

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Terms Of Use & Splogs

I must admit that I totally forgot about this, last week, when I brought up the subject of splogs (sites that steal your content). There is a link on every page of WebKeyDesign.com that points to our Terms of Use policy. Under the Personal and Commercial Use section there is a statement that prohibits any other site from copying our content. However the statement did not mention RSS Feeds specifically. I have now changed the statement to read:

You may not modify, reformat, copy, display, distribute, transmit, publish, license, create derivative works from, transfer or sell any information, products or services obtained from the Services, except as permitted by these Terms of Use or under applicable laws. This restriction means, among other things, that you may not mirror on your own Web site, the home page, content pages, or RSS feeds of this Web site or any WebKeyDesign Site.

Though I am sure that this statement will not stop sploggers, it will at least make clear what WebKeyDesign.com’s policy is on content theft.

If you do not have a Terms of Use page on your site, you should seriously consider adding one. Most commercial sites have long and complicated terms, but for a personal site you probably can get by with a more simplified statement. The best plan is to consult a lawyer or someone who knows the law, but I know many webmasters end up using Google to piece together a decent Terms of Use page.

The main purpose of the Terms page is to protect your site from liability, and of course to protect your site’s content from theft. Most Terms pages you find are very restrictive, for example NBA.com, does not allow any other site to link to any internal page within its site. You must only link to the main page. Which is pretty ridiculous, but it is what NBA.com has for its linking policies.

Once you finish your Terms Of Use page make sure it is visible on all your site’s pages.

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