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Guide to Website Hosting


Website hosting is the basic requirement of every small or large business that plans to establish its presence online. A website provides your business with the much required exposure to a vast audience at a very cheap rate. To understand what website hosting means, let us start by answering the following basic questions:

1. What is a Web site?

In general, a web site is a place on the Internet that can be used to display your ideas, products, services or anything you want the entire world to see. Your web site is only one area sector of a global network of computers, users and content that connect people around from around the world seamlessly 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. With a website, you will be able to have any information you choose presented to any and every user of the World Wide Web.

2. Why do I need a Web site?

A website is a necessity in today's society. Millions of new users are connecting to the Internet from any part of the world at any time. People use the Web to do almost everything, including banking, shopping, and researching. Not only is it quick, convenient and easy, but it is always a changing environment. Newly updated sites always appear and there are always new things to explore on the Internet because of its comprehensiveness. A website is like a phone number, it is the first place people look before they do business with your company. If they don't find you, they will then find your competitors. A website could present vital company information to the prospective client. Almost everyone can be a competitor now, whether you are a multi-million dollar company or a startup with a revolutionary idea, visitors will base their judgment on the design of your website. Thus, there are endless opportunities on the Internet.

3. What is a Domain Name?

A Domain Name is an address on the Internet. It is the name people will remember when they want to go to your website. Like an address of someone's physical business, a domain name allows you to easily visit his or her location on the Internet. The best domain names to select are those that are easy to memorize, simple, and great sounding. Great domain names help contribute to increased site visitors and return rates of visitors.

4. What can a Web site do for me?

A website is a presentation tool used by many people for a variety of useful tasks including:

  1. Providing support to your clients by providing online chat support or online documentation.
  2. Providing press releases about your company. The first place people usually expect that information (especially shareholders) would be from the company's website.
  3. Selling products online to people around the world at any time of day. This can help increase your name recognition, while at the same time increasing sales with low overhead.
  4. Receiving feedback and comments from your users. The easiest way for people to submit comments is through a website. No paper or postage is necessary.
  5. To teach people over the Internet. The Internet is a great educational tool, allowing students to retrieve the latest information on their subjects of study. Students can work at their own pace and attend classes at any time with ease.

Now that you have made a determination on why you need a web site, you must choose which hosting platform better fits the ultimate need of your web site.

Unix vs. Windows 2000

indiaaccess offers website hosting on two major platforms - Unix/Linux and Windows 2000. The most common asked question to our sales staff is "Do I need Windows or Unix?" The answer to that question solely depends on what your web site is meant to accomplish. There is no question that Windows 2000 has a far greater degree of expandability and adaptability in regards to important website components such databases or integration with your desktop PC components. However, those items come with a price - Windows is less stable than Unix and very little freeware or low cost software additions that you can add to your web site to increase its effectiveness such as: hit counters, guestbooks, voting scripts, quiz/survey forms, and web site form mailers. Unix has literally thousands of free software that you can download and install on your web site to spice up your content of the dynamic aspects of your site's content.

One of the biggest misconceptions is that you have to run UNIX on your own personal computer in order for you to host your site on UNIX platform. This is not true. Which operating system you run on your computer is irrelevant in making your decision. This means that if you are running Windows95, Windows XP or Windows 2000 on your computer, you can still choose UNIX and you will see no difference in its operational capabilities. The programs that you use to interface with your web site such as localized FTP clients all run on all Windows-versions and MAC-based personal computers.

The following chart is a quick snapshot and side-by-side comparison of the two operating systems (1 being the lowest rating and 4 being the highest)

UNIX Windows 2000
Reliability 4 3
Ease of use 4 2
Expandability/Scalability 3 3
Integration with other Microsoft software 1 4
Free/Open Source Software 4 1
Speed 4 3
Functionality 4 3
Price 4 2
Supported Features
Features UNIX Windows 2000

MS FrontPage 2000,2002

Web-Based Control System
Anonymous FTP
Web Site Graphical Statistics
Web-Based Email System
SQL 2000
Cold Fusion
ASP (active server pages)
MS Access
Visual Basic Scripts
Windows Media

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