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Web hosting questions

5:51 pm on Jul 18, 2009 (gmt 0)

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I've never used hosting for a web site,so I have something to ask.Right now I use my own PC for hosting my web site,though I know that its possibly NOT the best solution.
1) Tell me, please, all the advantages of hosting vs using your own home PC as a server;
2) As per hosting...should I use same Co. for BOTH hosting the site AND registering the domain or should I use 2 different entities?
3) Geographic location of web server vs. location of site visitors...how crucial is that?
4) I use Joomla!...I spoke with a cust service rep of one of the major US-based web hosting Co.'s and he told me that they use scripts for installing Joomla and its a piece of cake...nothing to worry about etc. Is that so? and what exactly should I ask the hoster BEFORE I sign up for their service in regards to installing and running a Joomla site on their servers.Like maybe a version of Joomla ,ver. of Apache,Php,My Sql etc...?
7:39 pm on July 18, 2009 (gmt 0)

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WebmasterWorld Senior Member encyclo is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

joined:Aug 31, 2003
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The advantages of using professional hosting include the datacenter having multiple redundant connections to the backbone rather than relying on your single internet connection (which is a single point of failure). You should get better connection speeds too. Many ISPs (unless you have a business contract) disallow web hosting. Emails generated from a home-hosting site often are blocked as spam as the IP ranges are blacklisted.

Home-based hosting means you have more control over the hosting environment, although you lack the economies of scale of the professional datacenter. You are responsible for all the security and backup implementations. Many web publishers (including myself) would love to be able to host from home, but the reality of the situation makes professional hosting a better choice.

If you decide to go for a hosting package, you should avoid buying your hosting and domain from the same provider. Controlling your domain is paramount, you don't want it in the hands of your hosting company if you ever want to move the site to a new host.

Geographical location is important for ranking as well as performance (ping time). The former can be mitigated via the webmaster interfaces of the search engines (eg. Google Webmaster Tools). You have to balance geographical location against hosting costs, as local hosting can frequently cost more.

What questions to ask? Joomla can be installed on most popular hosting plans, some have "one-click" installation tools, which add convenience at the expense of flexibility. You should probably install it yourself. You should ask questions about their network, service levels, how many sites per server and what CPU limits are imposed (for shared hosting), and you should read every word of their terms of service and ask anything, however basic it may seem, that you don't understand in those terms.

12:22 am on July 20, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Thanks for a detailed and timely reply!
I don't have those issues you mentioned...My ISP doesn't care whatsoever what do I do with my Internet connection.
My IP range is not blacklisted and ,as a matter of fact, I made sure to be included in some whitelisting directories.
I also established reverse DNS for my mail server's IP (PTR Record) with my ISP.
I think I don't have a problem sending and receiving e-mails.
The major reason why I host my own site is that I also learn system administration (the web hosting part of it).
I don't have an issue to backup and implement security.
My Internet connection is fine.For a not busy website it's probably good enough (800 Kb/s-uplink),isn't it?
What do you think?
As per backbone part...if I understood you correctly, you were implying that professional hosters have a more direct connection to backbones and thus it enables faster speeds and access?
Ping time (latency), of course, varies based on a geography, but, lets say, a ping to a web site in my country is about is 20 ms (Israel) and ping to Germany is 90.Does 70 ms make a noticable difference you think?
Its less than 1/10th of 1 second :-)
And I did purchased my domain name separately...and I plan to continue this way even if I turn to hosters.
And what geography has to do with Google's ranking?
I don't think there're significant price differences when it comes to hosting, though I didn't make a research about it.Am I wrong?