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Which web host can handle Magento, and has an easy-to-use admin area?

Building an e-commerce website is a big investment. Not only do you have to concern yourself with the technical aspects of hosting, but also have to deal with the business side of it as well. Therefore, it is vital to the success of your site that you have a good e-commerce system in place. Magento is one of the most highly acclaimed and popular e-commerce applications on the market.

Magento is more robust than some of the smaller open source shopping carts and therefore requires a little more power out of a website. Some shared hosting customers may have trouble, especially if the website generates a lot of traffic. Because of this, you might want to consider using at least a virtual private server (VPS) to host your Magento installation.

Magento administration

The first thing you should look for when deciding which host to use for your Magento deployment is the system requirements for Magento. For example, it requires PHP 5.2. Therefore, hosts that still do not have PHP5 should not even be on your list. Other small requirements, such as having safe mode off and a memory limit of at least 256 MB are important and should play a factor in your decision.

Since you are mostly concerned with e-commerce and would rather not spend a great deal of time setting up a website and installing applications, you should look for a web host that can install Magento for you. WebHostingBuzz offers 1-click installers supplied by Softaculous that make it a breeze to get Magento up and running.

Starting an e-commerce site does not have to be a laborious experience. If you choose the right host and plan out your deployment just as you would with any major business decision, you can be successful.


Where do startups host their apps?

It would be convenient if there were a cookie-cutter solution that you could apply to any web startup business. Unfortunately, it is not quite so easy. The type of hosting service you need for your startup largely depends on the nature of the business, as well as your short-term and long-term goals.

If you are starting with a very small budget, you can still get quality shared hosting and have no problems hosting your web applications. On the other hand, if your goals are pretty high and you have a good amount of capital to spend on hosting, you may look for a more scalable solution involving a VPS (virtual private server), dedicated server, or cloud hosting solution.

Laptop and mobile phone

The next issue you should consider is the type of app you want to host. Type in this case could refer to many things: programming language, functionality, design specifications, and even licensing (free, open source, commercial, etc.) For example, if you know from the start that you will be developing with Microsoft Visual Studio and need an ASP.NET platform, it would make no sense to sign up for Linux hosting. On the other hand, if you are used to developing in a LAMP stack (Linux, Apache, MySQL and PHP) environment, you should find a host that can meet your requirements.

If you do not plan to develop your apps at all and need something that is easy to install and manage, you might look for a host that offers easy 1-click script installers or even completely managed hosting. If you already have a proprietary app vendor in mind, you should check with your host to make sure they can support the applications you want to use.

By choosing your hosting provider carefully and considering all of the factors that will form the fabric of your startup, you can get off to a great start and be on your way to success.


What’s the best tool for automatically handling service restarts on Linux systems?

Before diving into any discussion about Linux servers, it is important to first properly define the topic of discussion. For our purposes, a “service” is a daemon, a program that starts when the system boots and remains in the memory, running in the background. It is not a normal practice to restart these services without a good reason, but there are situations that warrant periodic restarts.

There are a few situations when you might want a tool that can automatically restart a daemon running on your dedicated server or VPS:

  • You want it to detect crashes and automatically bring the service back up
  • Daily restarts as a method of flushing out the system
  • Detect errors, such as memory leaks and restart to remedy them 

Linux terminal displaying services

Regardless of the reason, the ultimate goal is the same. You want the server to restart a service without any human intervention. The following tools may be able to help you achieve that goal:

  • daemontools – This is a no frills, no thrills tool that you can use to monitor daemons and automatically restart them if one of them goes down. It may not be the most user-friendly tool, but it gets the job done.
  • Upstart – The Ubuntu project called Upstart can handle services and is meant as a full replacement for /sbin/init. If you are OK with that, you can also tell it to respawn services that die unexpectedly.
  • Supervisor – Unlike upstart, it is not meant to replace init, and unlike daemontools, it is not limited to daemons. You can use supervisor to monitor and control any process. It is simple and uses a command-line or web-based interface.

There are many other tools out there that can manage your daemons. You should first determine what your needs actually are and then evaluate each of these tools based on those needs. Find one that is easy for you to use and that also provides you with the control you need to manage your services.


What is the best server monitoring software to use?

When you are a system administrator, responsible for maintaining a dedicated server or VPS, you come to learn that your server is constantly under the threat of attack. It may be from malware, denial of service (DoS), brute force attacks, SQL injection, cross-site scripting (XSS), botnets, phishing schemes, or any number of other nefarious cyber crimes.

To make matters even more complicated, your server may unknowingly be under attack from within. A simple glitch in a piece of code, a faulty installation of software, a troublesome network connection, or just the accumulation of corrupted data can lead to problems.

CAT6 cables in Gigabit switch

The best way to avoid problems, whether from security breaches or from network errors, is to monitor your server closely. All server operating systems and software provide log files and other regular information about their status and any problems or errors they encounter, but to really analyze that information and stay abreast on any developments, you need server monitoring software.

It is difficult to say which monitoring system is the best, as they each have their own unique feature set and benefits. What we can provide you with, however, is a list.

Free and Open Source Monitoring Software

This software is free to use, distribute, and modify, giving you the ultimate flexibility.

Nagios – Nagios can monitor your operating system, applications, services, network protocols, infrastructure components, and just about everything else you have. This is great if you need an all-in-one solution.

Ganglia – Ganglia is ideal for monitoring robust systems like clusters and grids. It uses advanced technologies for its monitoring, such as “XML for data representation, XDR for compact, portable data transport, and RRDtool for data storage and visualization”.

Cacti – This free network monitoring software leverages RRDtool to graph network installations and provide you with valuable information.

Commercial Monitoring Software

This software is proprietary and costs money, but when it comes to protecting your server, it might be worth it.

Zenoss – Zenoss provides real-time network monitoring on a wide variety of devices, including virtual ones. It can monitor on even the largest networks with 10,000 or more devices.

Orion Network Performance Monitor – When you need to monitor and also diagnose problems with your network or data center, Solarwinds Orion provides real-time dashboards allowing you to visually track your network.

Server Density – Server Density is an online service that provides monitoring of server load time, disk monitoring, website status, and the aggregation of various server data. Most importantly, it sends alerts when there is a problem to your mobile devices, such as iPhone or Android phones.

As you can see, there are plenty of options for server monitoring, and these just begin to scratch the surface. These tools are primarily designed to show you trouble spots so that you can deal with them before they get out of hand, but you can also use them to help fine tune your server and network for optimum performance.


What’s the best service for a low end VPS?

Before you even get to this question, there are a few other questions you should ask first. How critical are the websites and/or applications you want to host on your VPS (virtual private server)? What features do you need? Are you willing to sacrifice some of those features in exchange for less expensive hosting?

A low-end VPS is a great way to get a server with root (administrative) access without paying a fortune to do it. If you simply cannot afford the cost of a typical VPS hosting package, it may be your only option. Nevertheless, there are plenty of reasons why you should prefer a reasonably-priced VPS plan from a more reliable host over a low-end deal from a host that may not offer the best service.

Sale sign, 50 percent off

One of the most important things VPS users often need is scalability. As your websites grow, they will need more RAM, more CPU power, more disk space, and more bandwidth. A reputable host will offer you a VPS package that is expandable and also leave the option for you to upgrade to a full dedicated server.

You should also make sure you understand what you are paying for when you sign up for low-end VPS service. They manage to be less expensive by offering less RAM, less dedicated CPU power, and often significantly fewer features.

Another important aspect to consider is service. You should not choose a web host simply because it has bargain basement prices. Instead, investigate carefully, and find a host that offers good customer service for a reasonable price. Ask current and former customers what they think of the host.

Ultimately, a VPS can be a powerful tool to add your arsenal, but you should not get your expectations too high with an unreliable low-end VPS. If you just need a test server or something for a small project, it might be enough, but if you are planning to deploy long-term serious websites, you need a stable VPS hosting package.


Who offers the fastest LAMP hosting?

LAMP is a common technology acronym that stands for the software combination of Linux, Apache, MySQL, and PHP. Most web applications can run on a variety of operating systems, web servers, and database servers, but this combination of free and open source tools has become enormously popular for its security, flexibility, and scalability.

The web hosting company that offers the fastest LAMP hosting would probably have a difficult time proving it. Furthermore, speed is only part of the equation for good performance. What you really need to consider is how you want to deploy your LAMP web applications and how to evaluate the reliability of web hosting providers.

Linux, Apache, MySQL, and PHP logos

Deployment is very important because it could have a serious impact on performance. When you deploy on a shared hosting account, it is with the understanding that you will be sharing the server with other users. Under a small to medium load of website traffic, that should not be a problem. For higher traffic or for a web application that is resource-intensive, you should consider going with a VPS or dedicated server.

You cannot judge web host reliability by the statistics a host gives you. On paper, it may be extremely fast, but actual performance will depend on how the host manages accounts and how it treats customers. For those answers, you will need to investigate. Read independent reviews, ask current users, and find websites that you know are already hosted on the prospective host’s servers.

Finding the best LAMP host can be tricky, just as tricky as finding hosting for just about anything else. What you need most is a host that offers server-quality hardware and a proven track record of delivering performance to customers.


Are there any self-hosted versions of image capture sharing services like CloudApp and Droplr?

One of the many benefits of having your own web hosting account is that you do not have to depend on cloud services for all of your web needs. In some cases, it may be more beneficial to host your own. The easiest way to do this is to find a free script that offers the same or similar features as the cloud app you would otherwise use.


OwnCloud login screen

CloudApp and Droplr are cloud services that provide cloud hosting for images and other files. You can also use them to share these files with other users. The following are some possible alternatives:

  • OwnCloud – This free and open source project allows you to store images, documents, contacts, calendars, and more. You can share files with others, create users with various privileges, and even stream music. OwnCloud requires only PHP and either MySQL or SQLite, making it ideal for shared hosting users.
  • SparkleShare – SparkleShare focuses on collaboration, allowing users easy access to files within their projects. It relies on Git collaboration technology and requires a server that has Git running. This makes it ideal for dedicated server or VPS users who want some type of collaborative development environment. It is also free and open source.
  • AcidRain – Another free and open source file storage option, AcidRain provides the server and client software for syncing. It even keeps a history of your syncs and changes to any files. AcidRain relies on the Mecurial version control system, and therefore, requires a server that has it installed.

The above apps are just a few possibilities for cloud storage, syncing, and sharing that you can run on your own website or server. With shared hosting, virtual private servers, or dedicated servers from WebHostingBuzz, you can install the apps you need to get the job done.


In which situations is Cloud Hosting a better option than Dedicated Servers or Virtual Servers?

In order to answer this question, it is important to have a working definition of cloud hosting. This is because the physical cloud server may not be noticeably different from a dedicated server. What makes them different is the way in which they are deployed and managed.

Even on a managed dedicated server, the customer is still required to develop or purchase his own web applications. In the cloud, the hosting provider will additionally offer software and/or the platform as a service, which the customer pays for on a subscription basis.

Data center with servers

The major advantage of cloud hosting is that it is essentially hands off in every aspect. You are free to focus on using your cloud applications, while the hosting provider maintains, updates, and keeps them secure. The major disadvantage to this setup is that you often do not have the freedom and flexibility to customize your hosting the way you might want it.

With a dedicated server or VPS (virtual private server), you are the administrator, and you have full control. Even with a managed server, you can often still have the final say on what software gets installed and how your server is managed.

Basically, cloud hosting is better when you want to make use of web applications offered by a hosting provider and are not concerned with hosting and developing your own. If you can live with those restrictions and are willing to pay for the service, it may be a better option for you.


What are the security downsides to hosting static third-party content on a subdomain?

Anytime you host content uploaded by a third party, you run the risk of exposing your server to malicious files or even to hackers who exploit weaknesses in a user’s account. One possible way to avoid this situation is to host the third-party content on an entirely separate server. The question is: are there any downsides to this form of content hosting?

The answer can be somewhat complicated. First, it is important to note that simply using a subdomain (such as dave.davessite.tld) does not provide any security by itself, unless the subdomain points to a separate server, separate hosting account, separate VPS, or a content delivery network (CDN). Second, the type of file matters. Scripts, for example, could still potentially cause harm to your primary server even if hosted on the secondary one. True static content, such as images and videos, may be significantly safer.

Using a Content Delivery Network 

Since hosting files on a separate server can be costly and require is own additional maintenance, many website owners may explore the possibility of using a CDN. A content delivery network is a service that specializes in hosting content, especially static content, and distributing it across a global network of servers. In addition to the security benefits, it is potentially faster, more reliable because of the redundancy, and reduces bandwidth costs.

Subdomain Setup

One way to make your content appear as though it is still hosted on your site is to use a subdomain. You can easily setup a subdomain in a hosting control panel, such as cPanel, by editing the DNS for your domain. WebHostingBuzz provides this functionality for all hosting accounts.


The benefits of Virtual Private Servers (VPS Hosting)

VPS Hosting has been a core product of ours for some time now. In this blog post, we look at some of the features it offers and the benefits of a VPS over a reseller hosting plan.

First, let’s look at the difference in architecture between a regular shared/reseller web hosting server and a VPS node.

shared server versus virtual private server

The image above shows a simplified version of the differences. A normal web server will have accounts created on a local hard drive, directly accessing the CPU/Processor and Memory resources. While this is fine under normal circumstances, it can mean that any one account on the server can use more than it’s fair share of available server resources. Good server administrators like us track and have safeguards to prevent excessive usage but occasionally, some accounts can slip through the net. This can result in a slow down on the server and in rare cases, the entire server can overload and become unreachable. In these instances, a reboot is required.

On a VPS node, a virtualization layer is added between the software and the hardware. With WebHostingBuzz, this virtualization layer is provided by either Xen or OpenVZ. The virtualization layer takes all of the hardware resources and allocates these to individual virtual private servers with no direct access to the server resources themselves.

This offers several benefits:

  • No one account can use / steal an unfair amount of server resources
  • No one account can cause the server to crash or overload
  • The virtualization layer provides a root login for each VPS or virtual private server. This means that each one can be considered a mini dedicated server
  • You can create and sell your own reseller hosting with a VPS
  • There are a few important things to note when choosing a VPS.

    1. A VPS is like a mini dedicated server, giving you full root access. If you choose an unmanaged VPS, you are responsible for the security and software updates on the VPS itself. If you choose a managed VPS or addon management plan, we look after these for you.

    2. Each VPS is allocated fixed resources by the virtualization layer. If you use all of these resources, the VPS can slow down and website performance will degrade. This is easily fixed by upgrading to the next level of VPS that we offer.

    3. cPanel control panel costs an additional $8 per month with a VPS but you get the added benefit of being able to create your own reseller accounts. Your resellers get their own WebHostManager login, just like you would have with a reseller account.