Category Archives: General

How Can You Improve Your Mobile Website’s Performance?

Last year, Google revealed that mobile traffic had overtaken the number of desktop searches in 10 countries (including Japan and the US). This is testament to the massive advances in phone technology, with people now able to simply reach for their mobile devices to Google a question or research a local business.

All companies should ensure their website is optimized for smartphones – if not, you run the risk of frustrating potential customers and effectively chasing them away to your competitors. For maximum impact and user engagement, your site must offer high-quality performance and visuals on a screen of any size.

Google’s ‘Mobilegadden’ algorithm update was designed to target sites based on their mobile optimization – those that functioned to a high standard on non-desktop devices saw an increase in their rankings while those that didn’t saw their rankings drop.

A 2014 comScore report reveals that, of time spent accessing digital media in the States, 60 percent involved tablets and smartphones (an increase of 50 percent from the year before). Any company looking for ways to increase their rankings would do well to evaluate how well their website performs on mobile devices.

For web developers, there are various ways to boost a site’s mobile optimization, but dedicating time and energy to best practices will help to create a more effective, efficient, and competitive site.

Focus on Responsiveness and Flexibility in Your Existing Site

website responsiveness

Rather than building a new site solely for mobile use, implementing the most responsive design possible in your current site is the smarter, easier choice.

What does responsive design encompass?

  • The flexibility to adapt to each device, with a layout that adjusts to fit the user’s specific screen size
  • Without two separate sites, only one web address is needed for the domain’s different versions
  • A high rate of consistency to suit users across all of their devices and browsers, ensuring a real sense of familiarity and ongoing engagement
  • Redirects do not feature in the site’s coding

Alongside these benefits, less time is needed to maintain both sites – your business can focus its energies on one ‘umbrella’ domain instead of dividing resources. Whenever changes to design or function are implemented, these will register on all devices, eliminating the time-consuming task of tweaking two domains.

For these reasons, responsive design is a must for businesses of all sizes.

Building Content that Suits Screens of Different Dimensions

Without doubt, many of your current and potential customers will access your site on their mobile devices. As well as cultivating a responsive layout, you also need to consider the way in which content is arranged – when a domain’s text shrinks to fit a smaller screen, it becomes cramped and harder to read.

Again, you cannot allow any aspect of your site to cause frustration. You could be costing yourself money.

Your content should appear the same on all screens, no matter how big or small, no matter its orientation. When crafting content, pay attention to its arrangement – if you have huge blocks of text, will these be easy to read on a smartphone or tablet? For existing content, study it in-depth to identify the most important areas: Which parts can a user enjoy on a smaller screen most effectively, and why? Which sections can afford to be sacrificed?

Remember: a visitor to your site wants the essential information as soon as possible. Don’t make them hunt for it.

different screen sizes

Make Images as Responsive as Possible

On mobile-optimized domains, images must adjust to the user’s device as quickly as possible – waiting for media to load tests the patience of us all. Images can be made more responsive by:

  • Scaling images via coding will cause them to fit the user’s screen and stay securely within their containers, but this may still lead to some slow-down as the browser needs to download a bigger copy of the picture
  • Using a HTML markup gives designers the power to identify more than one source for images, which stops browsers from having to download bigger copies than necessary. Not all browsers accommodate this markup yet, but if available it should be implemented on all sites.

To help optimize your site’s images even further, pay attention to the size of files needed, as well as their resolution. While high-quality media is vital to users’ enjoyment, bombarding mobile browsers with more than they can handle causes slowdown and irritation.

Optimize Your Site for Touch Devices

As anyone who has struggled with clumsy touchscreen buttons on a mobile site will know, ending up on the wrong page because you selected a different CTA than you intended is a major irritation.

Your site should be easy to navigate by touch alone, scrolling and swiping as needed. If a user can’t find the page or information they need quickly, you may lose them altogether. Factor this in when optimizing your site for mobile devices:

  • Use buttons that are big and clear enough for easy interaction
  • Adjust our text’s size and layout – a font of 16x and line spaces of 1.5 are ideal for smaller screens
  • Avoid annoying customers with pop-up ads or messages. While these can easily be closed on a desktop, these are intrusive and frustrating on mobile devices as the ‘close’ icon is typically harder to spot and touch
  • Never use visual effects that translate poorly to smaller screens, such as hover effects

Feel the Need for Speed

need for speed

For mobile-optimized websites, speed is crucial.

The amount of HTTP requests it makes can affect load-times. Whenever a visitor lands on your domain, an HTTP request is processed, with the browser requesting the necessary files from the server.

The larger the number of files to be requested, the more load times will be affected. For sites depending on third parties, dropping the amount of HTTP requests isn’t easy, but finding a stable way to reduce them as much as possible should be a core goal for all websites. How? Reduce the size of files and the number of them overall, and minify the following elements: CSS files; javascript; and HTML.

This will make a noticeable difference to your site’s performance on mobile devices.

Routine Testing to Identify Strengths and Weaknesses

Regularly testing sites across desktop and mobile devices is essential to find elements that work well and others that don’t. The models and sizes of smartphones and tablets used will vary, and so just accessing a domain via one isn’t enough.

Monitoring your site’s performance after implementing changes is key to providing the most responsive performance. Navigation, speed, scannability, and quality of media should all be assessed to maintain the most engaging site.

At WebNet Hosting, we’re dedicated to providing our clients with the most reliable hosting services today. To discuss your site’s performance, give us a call.

Mobile Hardware Wars Heating Up With Amazon’s Newest Addition: Fire Phone

Hardware Wars Heating Up: Battles Rage in Court and Among Consumers Over Mobile Technology

Experts call Nokia?s 1996 communicator the first smartphone, a platform introduced a full decade before Apple?s revolutionary iPhone. Regardless of who showed up first, everyone?s rushing to get there now.

Fire On High?Amazon Joins the Smartphone Fray

Amazon's new FirePhone aims to capitalize on the web giant's massive content database.

Amazon’s new FirePhone aims to capitalize on the web giant’s massive content database.

Amazon just released its new Fire Phone, the latest competitor in a crowded market. While industry giants like Samsung and Apple may not feel the need to worry over it, many smaller hardware developers like HTC, Blackberry (they still exist?), and LG have every reason to be disturbed.

Coming to Work With the Right Tools: How Low Margins Turn Into High Sales

Unlike many other hardware startups, Amazon has a number of developments working in its favor:

— A Dedicated Library?Amazon offers access to one of the largest repositories of online content in the world, curated by a well-tracked, well-informed customer base. That means Amazon can offer more content for its devices right off the bat, an important consideration for any newcomer.

— A Motherlode of Consumer Data?celebrating their two-decade anniversary this month [July], Amazon possesses a truly vast database of consumer spending habits, data that will help the company target its newest product in the most effective fashion possible (they already offer almost every other smartphone option for purchase through their website?which means they can track which carriers, hardware and services are most popular).

— Pre-existing Software?Amazon already possesses a formidable collection of software, one that?s been honed overtime based on consumer feedback. A customized Android operating system, an apps marketplace and an e-commerce system that have stood the test of time all give Amazon the leg-up over a lot of their competition.

All that means is that Amazon is going to be spending pennies on the dollar for services many consumers count on as commonplace?that allows them to pass those savings on to the people who buy their phones.

The Garden Grows, Just Not Apples?From Innovator to Old School

Apple and Samsung have been locked in a legal battle over mobile patent rights since the inception of the first iPhone, and there seems to be no end in sight. Both companies have spent hundreds of millions dollars, in dozens of international court systems, literally to no avail?a stalemate not seen on this scale since, well, ever.

Yeah, it?s that serious. People aren?t dying, and fallow lands aren?t being razed in the name of a foreign king, but Apple and Samsung are wrestling for domination of the single largest slice of the consumer market in human history! These legal decisions directly affect over 12% of the world?s population?something no one could have seen coming when Steve Jobs trotted his first iPhone out of the purple dorm in 2007.

Ease of Access Means Profits in Excess: Why the Mobile Market is the Retail Holy Grail

I think the numbers speak for themselves here:

WEBNet MH Blog Infographic 1

 WEBNet MH Blog Infographic 2

As you can see, pretty much everyone is doing it. If retailers want to capture the attention of potential customers, they know that the most effective way to do it is through the screen on their smartphone?one of the many reasons Amazon has decided to join the competition with its new Fire Phone. Stay tuned in the coming months to see how the battle shakes out.

In 2013, global consumers brought the number of smartphones on the market to over 1 billion?and analysts suggest that the next billion may not be far behind.

PHONE PHOTO SOURCE

PHOTO SOURCE 2

PHOTO SOURCE 3

Shared Hosting vs VPS Hosting – Which one is for you?

In this post, we?ll discuss the main distinctions between two of the most popular hosting alternatives: Shared Hosting and Virtual Private Server (VPS) Hosting.

There are certain advantages to each type of hosting plan, but what?s best for you really depends on your specific situation and what you value most.

Do you want more control over your hosting environment??or do you want to sit back and coast?

Do you need more resources to preform at your best??or do you require minimal features and space to operate?

Are you concerned with budget first, and growth second??or are you expecting your site or network of sites to receive a boost in traffic and increased global accessibility in the near future?

These are all things to think about before you choose which hosting environment suits your needs.

What is Shared Hosting?

Shared servers are quite large and powerful because their main function is to be a communal space used by a number of different clients.

The number of accounts or sites on each server varies and really depends on how busy a server is or what kind of hardware it is supported by.

Each user on a shared server has access to a large store of basic reserves that are acquired on-demand as a user needs more space, RAM, bandwidth, or other resources of some kind.

What are the Benefits of a Shared Hosting Plan?

The greatest advantage of electing a shared hosting option is the cost. It is much cheaper to rent space on a shared server than it is to reserve a private section of a server to support your needs.

Shared hosting is a great option for those just starting out. It gives you just enough to work with to maintain a good web presence without you having to pay for extra resources that you may not need yet (or ever).

And the Downfalls?

As you may have gathered, sharing resources could become a problem if your site or another site starts to take up more space than originally needed.
When resources wear thin, your site experiences latency, downtime, increased bounce rates, and compromised traffic. If you have an e-commerce site this can really disturb your bottom line.

If you?re on a shared server and your site really takes off due to a current event, seasonal stimulus or increased media attention, you may be in for trouble if the server gets overloaded and can?t support your traffic and requirements. If you need room to grow in the near future, a VPS may be for you.

What is VPS Hosting?

A Virtual Private Server is much like it seems: Essentially, you have a ?private? server just for your needs alone. With a VPS plan you are given a piece of server real estate that is just accessible to you.

That means your resources are not shared, and you get sources for memory, hard drive, RAM, bandwidth, CPU, etc., all to yourself.

Why Choose a VPS?

When you have your very own resources, there are no worries about experiencing problems with uptime and speed due to overextended, thinly spread, shared resources. Dedicated resources mean more room for you to grow and less stress about crowded server conditions.

With a VPS, you?ll also have more control over how you run your website/s. A nice thing about VPS plans is that you can scale your resources as you go. That means if you?re selling Christmas decorations, you have the option of paying less out of season for reduced resources and scaling up to more as the holidays approach.

The Downfalls of a VPS

Aside from being a more expensive option, you should consider that acquiring a VPS for your individualized needs does not necessarily mean that you will have an ultra fast, souped-up, all-powerful server at your disposal.

Depending on your VPS plan, the total amount of your resources will not equal that of a large shared server; however, any reliable hosting company has a smart team of professionals that can assess your needs and get you the space, options and resources you need to succeed.

How to Know What Hosting Option Suits You

WebNet Hosting has a 24/7 support staff on hand to guide you when it comes to deciding what kind of server is best for your site.

Contact us today to discuss the specifics of your situation, and we?ll be happy to find the perfect hosting solution to take your online presence to the next level of speed, accessibility and support.

Amsterdam: A Fast-Evolving, Strategic Data Center Location

The Netherlands is known for tulips, windmills, and the coffee shops of Amsterdam?but the country?s latest claim to fame might surprise you: The Netherlands (and Amsterdam in particular) has surfaced as a highly desired data center location for international network connectivity.

Amsterdam data center

A Long-Standing Global Nucleus

Making free trade a priority early on, for centuries the Dutch market has functioned as a center for global trade and international collaboration and connectedness.

The nation’s stability in sectors of politics, energy consumption, employment, and national finances is the glue that continues to fortify the region as a solid base for international affairs. Additionally, the Netherlands offers a more favorable tax climate for companies, compared to that of other countries.

Humbly boasting one of the strongest economies in Europe to date, the Netherlands provides a safe environment for North American enterprises?both big and small?to house their headquarters and establish a global base of operations.

In the digital age, the Netherlands? reputation for global connectivity has transitioned to the vast network of the Internet.

Cloud providers, media firms and network operators are clamoring to take advantage of the tactical location by implementing servers and networks within data centers located in Amsterdam?as well as further throughout the country.

Calculated Data Center Placement: Why the Netherlands?

In addition to economic and political stability, the Netherlands has a robust, talented workforce supporting each and every operation within the country.

This strong foundation of multilingual, trained citizens has paved the groundwork for international corporations to develop high-functioning enterprises within the Netherlands: a country that welcomes business organizations of all origins and sizes.

Dynamic Infrastructure

To add to the talent that is supporting the country, the infrastructure of the Netherlands happens to be exceptional?and it extends far beyond roads, trains and aerospace.

The highly connected, intelligently designed telecommunications infrastructure present in the Netherlands makes it a top data center location for cloud providers, web hosting firms and network operators.

High Connectivity

It just so happens that the Netherlands is one of the most ?connected? countries on the planet. Here?s why:

Excellent Broadband Connection

Out of 15 global submarine cables, 11 are directly connected to the Netherlands.

Amsterdam Internet Exchange (AMS-IX)

The largest Internet convergence in the world is located in Amsterdam. The AMS-IX offers lightning-fast, extremely cheap, redundant connections to nearly 500 Internet-related companies.

International Colocation & Global Accessibility

The Netherlands holds multiple international entities in one, cohesive location, and its incomparable placement on the map means Dutch data centers provide hosting companies and their clients a fast, reliable global connection.

Reliable Energy

There?s no question that the Dutch energy market is leagues ahead of the rest of the world. With reliable wind power generating the region, Netherlands? data centers provide plenty of availability, electricity and cooling power to empower robust networks from all over the world.

The dependable energy supply in the Netherlands is amplified by the country?s very low rate of power outages. Data centers can rest safely in the country, without experiencing much disconnect or downtime, if any.

Furthermore, the country provides the space needed to house multiple data centers effectively, without the overcrowding that often happens in centers placed in bustling, overdeveloping cities worldwide.

Secure Data Storage

Unlike the United States and countless other countries, the Netherlands has more restrictions on governmental access to data.

The Dutch regulations for data storage mean that Netherlands? data centers are not necessarily vulnerable to the Telecommunications Act, which means wiretapping and security breaches are less likely.

WebNet Hosting: Taking Full Advantage of the Netherlands? Climate of Connectivity

The team at WebNet Hosting caught on to the advantages of securing Netherlands? data center locations early on.

With a network of servers already placed in Amsterdam, WebNet is now even offering Dedicated Servers, Cloud VPS Solutions and Reseller Hosting Plans with their highly connected, active data centers operating in the extremely connected, reliable European location.

With operations becoming more global, enterprises are looking for a well-placed, streamlined data center location to support their operations.

WebNet Hosting is no different:  Maintaining a solid mission to provide clients with the best strategies in Internet connectivity and uptime, secure data and global accessibility.

WebNet Hosting Offers Free Upgrades to SSDs and Dedicated Server Price Cuts

WebNet Hosting: Special Offers on Select Dedicated Servers

For a limited time only, WebNet Hosting is offering an exceptional deal on dedicated servers, along with a completely FREE upgrade to a solid-state drive (SSD).

Below this post you?ll find each a description of each server, as well as the incredible reduced prices for some of the most reliable servers on the market. In addition to the new, low prices?your server can be successfully setup in less than 90 minutes!

As if the price cuts on WebNet?s brand-new, SuperMicro dedicated servers isn?t enough, this limited-time-only offer also includes a completely FREE upgrade to an SSD. What?s so great about that? Well, pretty much everything!

Why is a Free SSD Upgrade Such a Great Deal?

SSDs are known for being higher-functioning, but way more expensive ways to store data. Compared to the less expensive HHD or hard disk drive, SSDs store your data on a stationary memory base rather than a moving drive with spinning mechanical components.

Basically, SSDs store data on a persistent basis using integrated circuits and memory devices that can retain data without using power. Maintaining data after power loss means your device is more secure and dependable, with all the additional capabilities that come with placement on an SSD.

To claim this deal on your new server you?ll need this coupon code:

COUPON CODE: WHTCOUPON

Which Dedicated Servers are Included in the Offer?

All the dedicated servers included in the exclusive coupon deal are placed on tier 3, military-grade datacenters located in Chicago and Amsterdam. That means your data has global accessibility.

In addition, WebNet Hosting benefits include 100% uptime, DDoS protection, 100Gbps network, free migrations from cPanel, software firewalls, R1Soft backup availability, and dynamic 24/7 expert support with a USA-based support staff.

If you?re looking for fully managed dedicated servers, the special offer still includes a price reduction for managed services! Check out your options for the dedicated server deal below, including Intel Core, Beasty E3, and dual/quad processors. Don?t forget about the FREE SSD upgrade!

Intel Core i3 540, 2×3.06GHz 4MB Cache

4GB DDR3 RAM 1333MHZ ECC
1 x 500GB SATA HDD
(Free Upgrade to 120GB SSD HDD)
10TB Bandwidth
3 Dedicated IP Addresses
$0 ? Setup Fee

Regular Price: $99/mo
Currently available @ $79.2/mo
Need Server Management?
Fully Managed available @ $135/mo

MORE INFO | ORDER NOW

Intel Core i5 760 4×2.8GHz 8MB Cache

4GB DDR3 RAM 1333MHZ ECC
1 x 500GB SATA HDD
(Free Upgrade to 120GB SSD HDD)
10TB Bandwidth
3 Dedicated IP Addresses
$0 ? Setup Fee

Regular Price: $149/mo
Currently available @ $119.2/mo
Need Server Management?
Fully Managed available @ $159.2/mo

MORE INFO | ORDER NOW

Intel Xeon E3-1230v2 4×3.3GHz Turbo 8MB Cache

8GB DDR3 RAM 1333MHZ
1 x 500GB SATA HDD
(Free Upgrade to 120GB SSD HDD)
30TB Bandwidth
3 Dedicated IP Addresses
$0 ? Setup Fee

Regular Price: $149/mo
Currently available @ $119.2/mo

Need Server Management?
Fully Managed available @ $159.2/mo

MORE INFO | ORDER NOW

Intel Dual Xeon E5504 8×2.0GHz

16GB DDR3 800MHz
1TB SATA (7200 RPM)
10TB Bandwidth
3 Dedicated IP Address
$0 ? Setup Fee

Regular Price: $249/mo
Currently available @ $199.2/mo

Need Server Management?
Fully Managed available @ $209.2/mo

MORE INFO | ORDER NOW

Intel Quad Xeon E5-4603 4×2.0GHz 10MB Cache

16GB DDR3 800MHz
1TB SATA (7200 RPM)
10TB Bandwidth
3 Dedicated IP Address
$0 ? Setup Fee

Regular Price: $849/mo
Currently available – Fully Managed @ $714.2/mo

MORE INFO | ORDER NOW

Server Upgrades and Add-Ons

– 1Gbps Upload Links Available

– Free Installation of FFmpeg, Red5, Wowza on Managed Servers

– Load Balancing – $99/mo

– Fully Managed Services at $50/mo

– R1Soft Idera Continuous Backups with MySQL Module

– Remote IPMI Reboots Available

– RAID 0, 1, 5, 10

– cPanel, Plesk, DirectAdmin Available

– Softaculous & Fantastico Available on each Server

– Additional IP?s Available at $2/month per IP

– Software Firewall Provided for FREE with cPanel

– Hardware Firewall Available

– Free Upgrade to SSD on Select Servers

Got Questions? Call us at 1-877-503-HOST(4678)

100% USA Based Technical Support Staff

Cloud Reseller Hosting: Gain Global Reach & Increased Profit Margin

WebNet Hosting now offers dynamic reseller hosting packages, with global accessibility, easy set-up and management, and documentation and support to help you manage and grow your reseller hosting plan.

Reseller hosting is a genius way to manage your site or network of sites, and you can even make some money!

Whether you have multiple sites, a very large site, or you’d like to start your very own hosting company, reseller hosting packages have many perks. This post will describe the advantages of taking on a reseller hosting plan, and it will explain what makes the Reseller Hosting Packages offered through WebNet Hosting a great choice compared to the competition.

cloud reseller hosting

Why Choose Reseller Hosting?

There are three main reasons unlimited cloud reseller hosting is such a good idea:

1. Advanced Features and More Control: 

Basic hosting plans can’t match the features offered through reseller hosting. With a more powerful, feature-rich control panel, you can really step it up when managing your site (or sites).

Furthermore, reseller hosting gives you the ability to manage your site on a multi-level scale, you can manage the details as well as the big picture. You’ll also have the ability to control disk space and limit or engage bandwidth.

2. Less Expense & More Income:

First of all, if you have multiple sites or a large site, a reseller hosting package will decrease your monthly cost, and you will be paying one overall fee rather than several. Why purchase separate hosting plans for all of your sites when you can allot space to each under one comprehensive plan?

Sure, you could purchase a dedicated server, but reseller hosting will give you the same effect without the higher price tag. If you have a number of sites up and running at once, it’s much cheaper to manage them with reseller hosting. That way you pay a low, flat fee monthly: Instead of paying $25-$30 a site per month (a high price once you multiply per site), you could host your multiple sites for half (or even less than half) the total cost.

Even better: you could be making money with a reseller hosting package! If you don’t use up all of your reseller hosting space, or if you have a web hosting company, selling the space left over on your plan will make you money. That way you get the space you need, and your site pays for itself!

3. Zero Maintenance:

As mentioned above, a reseller hosting package is much like having a dedicated server–but even better in some situations. If you purchase a dedicated server for your company, you’re the one who has to fret about server issues and complicated maintenance and prevention if something should go wrong. With reseller hosting, this isn’t a problem.

Your reseller hosting package guarantees you tech support from the experts. Leave all the problem-fixing to them, that alone will make you pleased that you went with a reseller hosting plan. Just make sure you seek out a plan from a trusted, highly trained web hosting company.

Advantages of WebNet’s Reseller Hosting Packages:

World-Class Technology

WebNet Hosting is committed to working with only top their bandwidth and connectivity providers across the globe. It’s the standard we set for all of our facilities and the high-level of technology located in those facilities.

Top-Level Hosting Features

With our reseller hosting packages, you have access to over 100 hosting features, which are made available with every single one of your accounts.

Multiple Locations

With a robust cloud server network and three dynamic data centers placed across the globe, accounts can be launched anywhere with maximum reach and uptime.

Customizable Servers

Feel free to customize your hosting packages to your discretion. Have the option to white label your control panel and much, much more.

99.99% Uptime & 24/7 Support

Most hosting companies will offer 24/7 support and “guaranteed uptime,” but is that support really reliable? The WebNet Hosting team never fails to provide clients with friendly, efficient, knowledgable support 24 hours a day, and our state-of-the-art system ensures 99.99% uptime. Stick with the experts on this one.

Cloud Atmosphere

Every account is hosted in a cloud environment with auto healing and on-demand, instant scalability when required.

Easy Account Management

With cPanel & WHM, you can manage all of your accounts with ease, and they’re all in one, central location.

Billing & WHMCS

WebNet’s reseller hosting packages include WHMCS with each account, so you have the ability to manage billing for all of your customers.

Choose Global Cloud Reseller Hosting by WebNet

WebNet Hosting has three levels of competitively priced reseller hosting packages with a number of amenities.

The Level 2 and 3 plans give you incredible, fast access to military grade data centers located across the globe. Strategic data center locations in Tokyo and Amsterdam, chosen for their reach, high-connectivity and reliability, give your reseller hosting packages the foundation to take your business to levels you’ve only dreamed about. Get started today.

Choosing Your DBMS: MySQL vs SQL Server

MySQL and Microsoft’s SQL Server are the most popular database management systems out there; both systems are used for storage and retrieval of back-end data, but some may argue that they each offer different amenities and advantages that should be evaluated before you choose the best option for your particular data management environment. Just to make this clear now: everything is relative. As with most things in life, what you choose should be based on your unique, specific needs. What’s good for you might not be the best choice for someone else.

mysql-vs-sql-server

So, with that said, this post will compare the overall features of each database management system so that you can decide what’s best for your situation. Also, keep in mind we are not comparing “apples to apples,” as they say. Although MySQL and Microsoft’s SQL Server are both considered database management systems, they were originally derived for certain purposes–and that shouldn’t be ignored.

A DBMS Post with a Purpose

After reading a few specifics about each DBMS, think of what you truly need in your data management. Are you a large scale enterprise with multiple avenues of robust needs? Are your data management requirements of a smaller scale–but in the market to grow? Do you value speed, speed, speed over streamlined compatibility and recovery? These are just some of the things to think about before you make your decision.

In this comparison of the MySQL vs. the Microsoft SQL Server, rather than arguing heavily for one DBMS over the other, we hope this post will lay out the basics, giving you some background information that should weigh in your decision. In the end, we’ll provide you with a table that lays out some of the generalized results of our DBMS evaluation.

MySQL

The most popular open-source SQL database management system, MySQL makes it possible for anyone to modify and use the management software once they download it on the Internet. Perhaps the greatest perk of this software is the fact that it’s open-source, and it’s free. Keep in mind that anyone has the option to get the free, easy-to-use community version of MySQL; however, if you opt for the Enterprise edition of MySQL you’ll receive more feature-rich options.

The main goal with the MySQL database management is speed and performance. As the software’s promotional material states, the database server is “very fast, reliable, scalable, and easy to use.” Of course, if it’s free to anyone and everyone, it would make sense that the DBMS is accessible to experienced individuals–as well as those that are new to database management. Make note that its ease-of-use leaves MySQL a bit susceptible to data corruption, however.

MySQL has a few famous clients that are supported by its robust abilities in data storing. Applications that use the MySQL database include: Joomla, WordPress, Drupal, phpBB, and more. The software is also employed for large data websites like Wikipedia and Google (not for searches, though). Also taking advantage of the MySQL speed and large storage capabilities: Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

Originally developed to handle large networks at a fast pace, MySQL now supports a wide range of APIs and standalone products. Pretty much any application could be supported by this popular, flexible software. Furthermore, a MySQL database can support a small set of applications, and it can grow to manage entire machines or clusters of machines in a network. Microsoft’s SQL Server also supports many applications and highly available clustered databases.

Microsoft SQL Server

One of the main benefits involved in choosing the Microsoft SQL Server database management system is its seamless compatibility with other Microsoft Windows and Office applications. You’ll also get the “Apple Principle” so you can control Mac OS and other applications. These features mean that in choosing the SQL Server, you’ll have a few extra tools and wizards: After all, it’s not completely free, so you do get some extra agency and neat add-ons. Overall, this makes everything converge and work together more smoothly.

Unlike MySQL, SQL Server is a closed, proprietary storage engine with a more restrictive Sybase-derived engine. SQL Server has some additional advantages that some may argue elevate it above MySQL. For one thing, MySQL does not wholly support foreign keys, which means on a relational database scale it falls short in comparison to Microsoft’s SQL Server.

SQL Server is geared with corporate and enterprise markets in mind. Its pros are widely known to be its feature completeness, functionality, and interfaces for administrative abilities and data modeling. However, its complexity means that performance is known to lack slightly when compared to MySQL (you know, regarding the speed thing). Because Microsoft SQL Server is more complex and feature rich (a great plus), the software sacrifices some disk space, memory and performance.

Where SQL Server lacks in speed it makes up in data recovery. SQL Server is very resistant to data corruption, unlike MySQL. The good news is no matter what DBMS you choose, both are just about even when it comes to security and scalability.

So, Who Wins?

As stated above, it really depends on the specifics. MySQL was originally built for speed, whereas SQL Server was built for complex management and recovery. This post could really go on and on, as there are many more discrepancies between these two popular database management systems that could be delved into (and some similarities too). After reading this, its highly recommended that you do some targeted research that takes into account the specifics of your needs.

For instance, do you want a DBMS that is more compatible with UNIX? If so, MySQL may be the DBMS for you. Or, do you want a feature rich DBMS that is a smooth partner with Windows OS? In that case, maybe you should think about Microsoft’s SQL Server.

To help you out a bit, we’ll end this post with a rundown on some basic comparison traits between the two popular data management systems. Here’s who wins under some basic categories:

Ease of Use: MySQL

Feature Richness: Microsoft SQL Server

Cost: MySQL

Recovery: Microsoft SQL Server

Security & Scalability: TIE

Performance (Speed): MySQL

Hope this post helps get you started in choosing the best DBMS for your situation. Let us know about your thoughts and experiences with each server management tool in the comments below.

DDoS Attacks: An Overview

DDoS stands for Distributed Denial of Service. DDoS attacks are just a bit different than the more commonly known DoS attacks. Usually, a DDoS attack is launched from a multitude of machines (usually PC?s) which have been infected with a virus or Trojan that takes over as a ?bot herder.?

The bot herder incorporates the machines into a single collective, which the attacking entity commands to attack certain predetermined targets. Attacks zap resources, take up bandwidth and force websites into inoperative states.

The target being attacked goes offline in an instant, and is not reinstituted until the attack stops or the victim of the attack buys a DDoS mitigation solution. Many times the DDoS mitigation solution is not as effective as some might hope?not to mention it?s quite expensive.

Why DDoS Attacks Occur

Tools known as booters or Low Orbit Ion Cannons (LOIC) make it easy for the layman to maliciously take any target offline, for nearly any reason. These attacks are becoming increasingly more common, and there are many reasons an attacker might target a certain site. Some include:

– Competition with the victims target market or product

– An ideological dispute or disagreement with the content on a site

– Extortion

– Repressing free speech (common in international cases)

– Personal agendas

– And more

LOICs are most commonly installed through malware provided by someone collaborating in the DDoS attack on a predetermined target. Communication of the hackers and attackers occurs through social chatting sites in order to relay the intended targets and eventually carry out the attack.

DDos-attacks

The Big Problem with DDoS Attacks

Since a DDoS attack floods the victim with many different sources of traffic, there is no way to block an IP address and solve the problem. There are just too many points of origin for anyone to distinguish where the attack is coming from.

Furthermore, since the first attacks occurred in the late ?90s, DDoS attacks have seen an increase in size, frequency and complexity.

Over the years, groups have been formed to tackle the security and prevention issues related to DDoS attacks. What was once more simple is now a little harder to mitigate.

Today DDoS attacks are larger in scale and more complicated; however, it is possible to combat attacks with very intelligent systems, highly capable networks and organic capabilities (smart DDoS mitigation appliances). Very few providers have the skill and tools to successfully and effectively defend customers against DDoS attacks, and with today?s attacks a humanized approach is also valid.

Solving the DDoS Problem: An Investigative Approach

The most common method of DDoS mitigation is a predesigned filter that detects the attack and resolves to rid the system of it. The problem with this method is that each DDoS attack in today?s world has a unique fingerprint, and therefore a unique solution to be mitigated. Efforts to thwart and dissolve DDoS attacks must always be updated and changed based on initial investigation of the special characteristics of a specific attack situation.

Providers must look for a solution through analyzing each detail of a DDoS occurrence by conducting network behavior analysis and other modes of investigative, analytical trials.

The Solution: Human Efforts & Machine Support

A common flaw in many DDoS solution approaches is the belief that certain hardware firewalls can themselves mitigate attacks. Although these devices have anti-DDoS characteristics, they should not be relied on to prevent an attack on their own. Firewalls just aren?t intelligent enough to detect the details of an attack on their own since there is no predefined prescription for a solution to an attack.

DDoS solutions have to have a collaborative approach between human and machine, after all that?s what you?re really battling with in regards to what and who sets out to attack a victim.

Human Behavior Analysis is just as important to detecting, deconstructing and deterring a DDoS attack as Network Behavior Analysis, and a with-it, qualified provider can supply both while mitigating, preventing and solving DDoS threats.

14 Things to do – A Complete WebSite Launch Checklist

We?ve compiled some essential checks and balances that you should conduct before fully launching your site. Each pointer here will help streamline your website, giving you a professional look and a credible web presence.

In no particular order, here?s the website launch checklist for what to do before your site goes live:

PROOFREAD

Check for spelling, spacing and grammar errors. The key to proofreading is rereading. Read through the text on your site multiple times, and have someone else read through it too. Try and find yourself a friend that?s an English major, writer, editor, or talented wordsmith. They?ll help you get the text in line. Also, don?t forget to make your text web-friendly. Break up big paragraphs, include bulleted list, infographics, and stats for your readers.

TITLES AND META DATA

It?s best to get your SEO going from the get-go. Make sure your page titles are implemented and optimized properly. Make sure there is a title for every page that relates to the page?s content. Including some description tags is also helpful and more professional than not including them. Here are some examples of both title tags and descriptions:

<title> Managed Dedicated Servers | Fully Managed Dedicated Hosting </title>

<meta name=”description” content=”Our Managed Dedicated Servers come fully managed with root access, free IPMI Remote Reboot, hosted in a Tier 4 data center with 24/7 Technical Support.” />

 Search Result

CHECK YOUR LINKS

First of all, ensure that your logo links back to the home page. Make sure to click on all the links available in your site to make sure they work properly. Also, make sure to do this often so that you?re not linking to a dead or outdated page. Make sure your links stand out as links on the page, make them a different color, bold, or underline them. Just don?t underline or color text that is not a link because your users will get confused.

HAVE A USEFUL 404 PAGE

Defensive design is helpful in pleasing your users and making sure they explore your site fully. If a user goes to a page that doesn?t exist, your 404 page will come up. Make sure you provide a useful 404 page that navigates them back to the homepage or to another relevant area of the site.

BACK UP YOUR SITE

When your website runs off of a database, you need a backup strategy. Consult an expert to find out what?s best for your specific situation, or if you?re one of the millions of WordPress website creators, install WordPress Database Backup.

OPTIMIZE

You?ll be continuously optimizing after you launch; however, it?s a good idea to do a little optimization before your site goes live. This can include any of the following:

– Compressing Javascript

– Compressing CSS files

– Reducing HTTP requests

– Using CSS sprites

– Optimizing images for web

– And more

INSTALL ANALYTICS

You?ve got to be able to measure the stats of your site, so installing some sort of analytics will help you see how your site performs and what your conversion rates are like. Start tracking from day one. Track visits, unique visits, your bounce rate, goal completions, browser statistics, and any other useful data. Also, check out your organic search traffic terms to see what people are searching to find your site. Google Analytics is free and very useful.

google analytics

VALIDATE YOUR SITE

Although it?s not detrimental if your site does not validate, it?s a good idea to know why it doesn?t validate so that you can fix any bad code or broken links.

CHECK FUNCTIONALITY

Test all of your forms for functional processing. If you have a contact form, fill it out and give it a test. Pretend to buy something from your online store too. Go into your site as if you are a user and you?ll be surprised what you pick up on.

CROSS-BROWSER CHECKING

Computer screens are like T.V. screens, everyone?s picture comes in differently. Certain colors on one computer or browser will look completely different on another. Do some cross-browser checking to see what your site looks like in different mediums. You might find something you want to change, or you might even see that a graphic is out of place on a certain browser.

all browsers

FAVICON

The favicon is what helps brand the window in which your website is open in. It is saved with the bookmark and users can easily pick up on a page?s identity from your website. Certain browsers will pick up your favicon if you save it in your root directory (as favicon.ico). To be safe, include the following in your head:

<link rel="icon" type="image/x-icon" href="/favicon.ico" />

RSS LINKING

If your site has a newsreel or a blog, have an RSS feed that people can subscribe to. Your target market should be able to easily find your RSS feed, just put a small RSS icon in the browser address bar. Put this code between yourtags:

<link rel=”alternate” type=”application/rss+xml” title=”Site or RSS title” href=”link-to-feed” />

SITEMAP

Sitemaps allow major search engines to index your website. Add a sitemap.xml file to your root directory. The file helps direct crawlers to all the pages you have. When you upload it to your root directory, make sure its location is www.mysite.com/sitemap.xml.

WordPress has a plug-in that automatically updates your sitemap when you add new pages and write new posts.

SET-UP AND PRINT STYLE SHEET

When users print from your site, they want to see just the main content without wasting ink on all of those extra design elements. Create a print-specific style sheet to provide them with a streamlined version. In order to point to a specific CSS style sheet that computers automatically use when a page is printed, include the following code between yourtags:

<link rel=”stylesheet” type=”text/css” href=”print.css” media=”print” />

CONCLUSION

These checks are essential to getting a professional, well-organized (and well-optimized) website going. Before you launch your site, make sure to follow through with the steps above to make sure it?s functioning at it?s fullest.

Managed Dedicated Servers: The Best Value for Your Business

A lot of people ask what managed hosting all about. Once you have decided that you need a dedicated server for your business, but you don’t want to put in the money and resources in managing the hardware and OS 24/7, then you are in need of some serious server management. That is exactly what managed dedicated server hosting is all about.

Managed Hosting

With Managed hosting, you leave the job of server management with the experts and the best in the industry. Managed hosting companies have the tools, people, experience, knowledge, and other necessary resources to monitor the servers 24/7 and solve any issue if it arises.

The experts will take care of the critical Windows and Linux patches, so you don’t have to worry about it. Any replacement of the hardware, if necessary, can be handled by the experts in under an hour of time. Server management should not be your headache to deal with while running your business, the experts will work on your behalf to make sure your business is functioning properly 24x7x365.

SERVICE CO-LOCATION UNMANAGED HOSTING MANAGED HOSTING
Configure & Manage Servers, Storage, Security & Network Devices Extra Dollars No Yes
Monitor Your Environment and Respond 24x7x365 Extra Dollars Extra Dollars Yes
System Administration & Troubleshooting Extra Dollars Extra Dollars Yes
Patch Your Operating System Extra Dollars No Yes
Managed Data Backup and Retention Extra Dollars Extra Dollars Yes
Maintain Network Uptime and Provide Guarantee Yes Yes Yes
Hardware Replacement Guarantee Yes Yes Yes
Respond to Configuration Issues Quickly & Correctly Extra Dollars Extra Dollars Yes
Respond to Data Center and Network Issues Quickly Yes Yes Yes

Staffing Benefits

Managed Hosting companies have many experts on-site to handle any issues related to servers, security devices, network, storage, or backups. The companies have system admins, network architects, DBA’s, and other technical support staff to help you and resolve any problem that may arise. As a business owner you can relax, and you don’t need to hire people and train them for server management–that means less expenditure on your end.

SERVICE CO-LOCATION UNMANAGED HOSTING MANAGED HOSTING
Dedicated a Support Team for You No No Yes
Pay, Train and Retain Hard-to-Find Technical Experts Extra Dollars Extra Dollars Yes
Plan & Manage Your Infrastructure for Growth Extra Dollars Extra Dollars Yes
Take Care of Non-revenue Generating IT Activities Extra Dollars Extra Dollars Yes

Expense Control

Hosting companies purchase everything from the hardware to the data center locale to the network. Basically, all you are in charge of is renting what you need from a provider. Your infrastructure will always be kept up and running because the provider has all the resources available to you. Usually a good provider will also replace troubled components at no cost to you. If you were on your own–you’d have to make up the difference. Furthermore, technology is always progressing, don’t make an investment now that you’ll regret later. Let the provider upgrade and change your plan, so you’re not left with a big bill in the end.

SERVICE CO-LOCATION UNMANAGED HOSTING MANAGED HOSTING
Fund Upfront IT Infrastructure Expenditures No Yes Yes
Maintain On-demand Hardware Inventory Extra Dollars Yes Yes
Pay for Hardware Repair & Replacement Extra Dollars Yes Yes
Upgrade Depreciating Technology with Latest & Greatest Extra Dollars Yes Yes

Infrastructure

With Managed Hosting, your severs are kept in a highly secure, scalable and redundant data center. Our worldwide hosting network keeps your site up with high-quality bandwidth and redundancy. Our connections are yours to take advantage of once you sign up for a managed hosting plan. Another plus: you don’t have to deal with the hardware, we do that for you.

SERVICE CO-LOCATION UNMANAGED HOSTING MANAGED HOSTING
Build/Lease World-class Data Center Space Extra Dollars No Yes
Deliver a Highly Available Global Network Extra Dollars Yes Yes
Manage Multiple Vendor Relationships Extra Dollars Yes Yes
Manage the Entire Hardware Lifecycle Extra Dollars Yes Yes

Conclusion

From an expense point of view, managed hosting seems like the best solution for a business. For the few additional dollars that you spent on server management, you can be confident that your servers is in safe hands of the people that know their job. You can also save loads of money since you don’t have to build a staff that can handle the demands of your site and network.