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About Web Hosting
How to Select a Hosting Provider
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A Web hosting business begins with a collection of Web servers, powerful computers stored in secure and climate-controlled environments and permanently linked to the Internet through high-speed data lines. These computers store the Web pages that make up Web sites. You can send your Web pages to the host's server using a Web browser interface or a dial-in connection and FTP (File Transfer Protocol). As soon as your pages are installed on the server they become available to visitors and customers on the Internet - providing they have the correct address (www.your_domain_name.com). 

How do visitors reach my Web site? 
Choosing a Web Host 
Internet Service Providers (ISPs) vs. Internet Presence Providers (IPPs) 
Hosting Platforms 
Data Storage and Bandwidth 
T1, T3 and OC3 Lines: High-Speed Network Connections 
Internet Address Options 
Virtual Server Hosting 
Dedicated Server Hosting 
Co-Located Web Hosting 


How do visitors reach my Web site?
A Web host can help you through the easy process of registering an Internet address ("domain name"), or can even do it for you. A domain name generally looks something like www.your_business_name.com, but there are other suffixes available (.org and .edu, for example) and more two- and three-letter extensions will be added soon to meet the overwhelming demand.

When a visitor types your domain name into an Internet browser, it's sent to one of several servers on the Internet that store a master list of domain names. This server converts the name into its assigned IP address (e.g., 123.123.123.123), a number that functions exactly like a phone number - except that the customer's "call" is routed through a network of switches and fiber-optic cables optimized for data transfer. The master list server sends the request to a "Domain Name Server" (DNS) responsible for handling calls to this address. For example, a Web host's Domain Name Server stores the addresses of all the sites located at the host's facility (which could number in the thousands). When the host's DNS receives a call to an address it recognizes, it sends a positive acknowledgement to the master list server and, in turn, directs the call to the server that stores the Web site. 


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Selecting a Web Host
Choosing a Web hosting provider shouldn't be a haphazard decision - the host's expertise and reliability will be crucial to the success of your site. Each Web host specializes in supporting sites of a certain size or type, and you'll find a wide variety of services and options. As you shop for a Web hosting provider, be specific about what you'd like to accomplish on the Internet. Do you intend to launch a simple brochure Web site? Will you be interested in Ecommerce (storefront) options? Would you like to add community and chat applications? Take some time to browse through Web hosts' sites to find out what's available and which hosts are best suited to your needs. 
 

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Internet Service Providers (ISPs) vs. 
Internet Presence Providers (IPPs)

An ISP (Internet Service Provider) can be compared to a long-distance phone company, operating a network of data-transfer lines that connect you to the Internet. Although ISPs specialize in access, many offer packages that include hosting services for small- to medium-size sites. Their core business, however, is connectivity. As a result, those who choose an ISP for hosting often complain that their sites aren't given priority - and that the convenience of choosing one company to provide both hosting and access is offset by the lack of attention and technical support their sites receive. The Internet has become so complex, and the technologies involved so variable, that it's increasingly likely that a company striving to become a "jack of all trades" will in fact be "master of none." 

An IPP (Internet Presence Provider) like us is solely focused on providing space for your Web pages and supporting your site with technical expertise and upgrades as soon as they're available. While the majority of an ISP's technical support personnel are trained to sort out access problems and maintain banks of modems, a host's technicians focus on ensuring that your site will operate efficiently and be available to customers without interruption. At an IPP, 100% of the resources of the company are available to make sure your Web site is running at peak performance. 

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Hosting Platforms
A "platform" is shorthand for an operating system such as Microsoft's Windows NT or (once upon a time!) DOS - the basic set of commands that tell your computer how to open applications and store files. In the early days of Internet activity, most servers operated on a Unix platform, an extremely powerful and flexible system that requires considerable technical expertise. Unix is still as popular as ever, but today you have a choice: Microsoft's Windows NT and Unix variations such as Sun Microsystem's Solaris, Silicon Graphics' Irix, and Berkeley's BSD. Experts offer widely different opinions as to which platform works best for Web sites. In the end, the choice depends largely on what you want to do with your site. For example, if you'll be using Microsoft applications such as MS SQL (a database program) or Microsoft FrontPage (a Web authoring tool), you might be more comfortable operating your site on a Windows NT platform. On the other hand, many engineers prefer the flexibility, security, and control of Unix servers. 

As your site grows in size and complexity, in all likelihood you'll decide that a particular platform is desirable. It's best to anticipate this contingency and choose a Web host that offers multiple platforms and backs them up with technical expertise. We offer a wide variety of hosting packages on just about every leading platform - and we're always looking towards the future and the latest in server technology. When you host with a market leader like us, you can be sure that the best technology that becomes available will be available for your Web site. 

Browse through our hosting plans and services. 

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Data Storage and Bandwidth
Web hosts generally offer a selection of small business packages, from starter options to powerful plans for Ecommerce and corporate sites. Each plan offers a specified amount of data storage and data transfer (bandwidth). Data storage, the space your Web site will require on a server's hard drive, ranges from small sites with 5 megabytes of storage space to large business sites that require 250 MB or more. If you need more disk space, you can either upgrade to the next hosting plan or buy extra space by the megabyte. 

Data transfer, also called "bandwidth," refers to the amount of electronic data sent over the network each month in response to visitor's requests. This varies depending on the size of your Web pages and the number of visitors to your site. A 50 kilobyte home page that's viewed by 20,000 visitors each month will use one gigabyte of data transfer per month (50,000 bytes x 20,000 hits = 1 billion bytes, or one gigabyte). Bandwidth is meticulously calculated to the byte, so be sure to know your hosting company's overage charges and policies. It's best to estimate your expected bandwidth usage generously - but not over-optimistically! - and keep track of events and site promotions that could result in sudden increases in visitor traffic. 

We offer  virtual Web hosting packages tailored to your business

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T1, T3, and OC3 Lines: High-Speed Network Connections
Web hosting companies connect to the Internet through T1, T3, and, less frequently, OC (Optical Carrier) lines. Each line transmits data at a different rate, calculated in megabits per second (Mbps). OC3 lines, which carry information along the Internet "backbone," transfer data at 155 Mbps, more than three times as fast as a T3 line, which transfers data at 43 Mbps. In comparison, A T3 line can handle as much data per second as 30 T1 lines; and a T1 line, at a rate of 1.544 Mbps, transfers data 54 times faster than a 28.8 modem operating at 28,800 bits per second. 


In general, T1 lines aren't sufficient for a Web host's traffic volume - so the best hosting companies use redundant T3 lines to ensure that customers' sites remain responsive. But network capacity alone won't determine the responsiveness of your Web site. In addition to the speed of its network connections, a host should overprovision its lines and circuits so that it uses less than 50% of available bandwidth. Overburdened network connections will inevitably result in poor site performance - in fact, a lightly used T1 line will transfer data faster than an overused T3 connection. Be sure to ask hosting companies about network capacity and utilization to make sure that your site will benefit from the fast network connections they've advertised. 

Finally, Web hosts, as opposed to ISPs (Internet Service Providers), have high-speed lines connected to more than one Internet "backbone" provider. This is crucial to reliable Web site performance, since network service can be compromised by technical glitches and unexpected surges in traffic. The best Web hosts are able to direct traffic along the fastest routes and away from Internet "hotspots." In addition, a redundant network design will ensure that your site will remain available even if one network's service is interrupted. 

Read our recommendations for choosing a Web hosting provider. 

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Internet Address Options
There are three Internet address types: 

True Virtual (www.mycompany.com)
Non-Virtual (www.hostcompany.com/mycompany)
Semi-Virtual (www.mycompany.hostcompany.com) 

A true virtual domain name gives your site instant credibility. New customers have a good first impression, and returning visitors don't have to remember where your site is hosted in order to reach you. It's like having a direct phone number rather than an extension. 

"Non-virtual" and "semi-virtual" addresses are slightly less expensive and are often the only choices offered by an ISP. We offer only "true virtual" addresses, so your company site achieves the instant name recognition it needs. 


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Virtual Server Hosting
For small- to medium-size Web sites, the best choice is virtual server hosting. Your site is located on one of the Web host's servers - the equivalent of leasing office space. A certain portion of the building is yours, with your name on the door, and you can rely on the building manager (the Web host) for security, maintenance and facilities management. This is called "virtual" hosting because your home page has its own domain name (www.yourcompany.com), and appears to exist as a stand-alone server. It operates with the speed and efficiency of a Web host's connections without a subsidiary address (www.WebHost.com/yourbusiness) - and its location at the host's facility remains invisible to visitors. You gain the instant credibility of name recognition while investing only a fraction of the cost .


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Dedicated Server Hosting
If you're building a more complex corporate or Ecommerce site, you'll need more space - a web server dedicated to your business, the equivalent of an entire office building. The host is still responsible for site security, maintenance, and technical support, and you aren't saddled with the prohibitive costs of setting up your own server and Internet connection. 

Build a powerful business on the Web with our  dedicated servers. 

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Co-Located Web Hosting
With co-located web hosting, you buy your own server, configure it to your needs, and place it in a Web host's facility. You maintain control over every aspect of the server's hardware and software while taking advantage of the climate-controlled environment, firewall security, and high-speed Internet connections an excellent Web host like us will provide. 

Check out  the benefits of Co-locating with us. 

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