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    Frequently Asked Questions

    How to pick domain names?

    Trying to figure out the best domain name for your new website is one of the more difficult tasks when establishing a new online presence. You don’t want to change domain names often — it’s bad for branding and bad for SEO — so whatever you diecide is going to have to work well for a good long time.

    If you are an organization with a primarily offline presence, the best thing is usually to pick a domain name that is a easy-to-remember version of your real-world name. That might be your full business name, or a common, conversational shortening.

    If you serve a particular geographical area, it can be helpful to include the name of your city or town in the domain name. This is especially useful if your name is somewhat common. For example — there are a lot of churches named “St. John’s” and a lot of private schools named “Excelsior Academy.” Since schools and churches both serve local communities, it’s a good idea to distinguish these with domain names like stjohnsfortworth.org or excelsiorwilkesbarre.academy.

    How to search within a domain name?

    If you’re trying to find something on a site, and the site’s own on-page search isn’t working great — here’s a little trick that works in Google, Bing, DuckDuckGo, and many other search engines:

    Type site:example.com in front of your search terms. The search engine will only show you results from the domain name you enter after the site: command.

    Can I get root access?

    No, root access is not available on any of our shared hosting plans. If you require root access with your hosting, we would recommend you purchase a cloud or dedicated server.

    What is Linux Web Hosting?

    Linux is an operating system. It’s known in term of stability. Linux is popular because there are many free versions. It consumes less resources than Windows operating system. Most popular web hosting control panel, cPanel, runs on Linux. WordPress and other PHP web applications also run well on Linux.

    Your servers run Linux, so what are the advantages of using Linux?

    In terms of web hosting, Linux supporters will tell you that Linux offers a lower cost of development than Windows because most Linux hosting plans are cheaper than Windows hosting plans. Why? Because most web hosts use a free version of Linux (like Linux or FreeBSD) so they don’t have to pay thousands of dollars to buy the operating system and associated tools to run the server or pay to upgrade their licenses every few years. Microsoft will tell you that the reverse is true however with the time and energy you spend supporting yourself offsetting any cost gains in the free OS.

    Linux is an open source operating system so anyone who wants to look at the code and change it is free to do so. This means that when a problem is found such as a security flaw, anyone with the skills can fix it and send out the patch. With Microsoft, you have to wait for the company to fix it and you can’t be sure just exactly what they’ve done to fix the problem since they don’t let you look under the hood. The ability to have total control over what you are doing and its reputation for stability and security are a large part of what makes Linux such a popular choice. Linux is also features a command-line interface which doesn’t waste a lot of system resources. Thus, with 32 or 64 MB of RAM a Linux machine can still run multiple programs with perfect stability.

    The UNIX/Linux community is very supportive. Think about your favorite sport and then imagine the team with the most rabid, loyal fans. Linux users are pretty similar except that if you show up at the game cheering for Microsoft ‘flame’ you (post nasty messages on their forums about you) instead of beating you up in the parking lot. On the flip side, if you are new to Linux you will generally be cheered on and encouraged as a new member of the family. Just make sure you read the instructions or try to find easily accessible information you need yourself before asking. This is a big point of etiquette among the open source folk.

    What are the disadvantages of Linux?

    There is no clicking “Next, Next, OK, Finish” in Linux. Windows became popular by creating a graphical user interface that is easy to use. It is very much orientated towards ease of use. While a Linux fan will tell you this is a Linux advantage because the Microsoft way allows you to do a lot of things when you may not know the consequences of your actions, it can be intimidating staring at a blinking cursor on the command line not knowing what to do next. i.e. you will have to educate yourself a bit to use Linux.

    Linux is less popular and there is less software available. While Linux tools and applications are often free, there are less of them out there. Microsoft is a giant corporation with thousands of developers constantly working on creating new products or improving different aspects of the Redmond software empire while Linux enjoys less prolific software production.   However we have installed Cpanel, to give you a windows-type experience.

    What is hosting?

    In our context, “hosting” refers to providing the hardware and software platform on top of which customers can deploy web sites and web-based applications.  Web hosting is the technology that puts your website online. It is one of the three essential components of establishing your Web presence: a domain name (Web address), a website and a Web host. Your domain name tells people where to find you, your website is viewed by your visitors, and hosting makes your site part of the Internet. Quite simply, the definition of Web hosting is an online storage service for any content displayed or accessed through your website. Common examples of stored information include images, video, or design templates.

    How do I know which Web hosting package is best for me?

    In order to choose a hosting package that will fit your needs, begin by thinking about the goals of your business. The biggest differentiators between hosting packages are the size of disk space, monthly data transfer, number of emailboxes and tools such as open source applications and programming languages. After you determine how you plan to use your site and the amount of traffic you expect on your site, you’ll be able to identify which package is best for your business.

    • Essential Hosting package is designed for small business owners who want a simple online presence. Websites with this package might include basic content with limited multimedia and blog usage. Interaction with customers occurs mainly through easy forms or a simple blog.
    • Professional Hosting package is designed for small- to medium- sized businesses whose websites contain sizable dynamic content, such as numerous multimedia files. Interaction with customers occurs through complex forms, robust blogs and frequent site visits.
    • Premium Hosting package is designed for small- to medium- sized businesses that want to manage multiple large, high-traffic websites on a single platform. These websites would include multimedia files and various dynamic interactions with customers.

    What is the cloud? What is cloud computing?

    The cloud is a wildly inaccurate metaphor, a marketing buzzword, and a legitimate approach to web hosting.

    Web infrastructure providers have access to vast amounts of computing power — nearly countless stacks of server hardware and storage, connected together to form amorphous computer networks that can act as a giant supercomputers, and which can be then partitioned off into virtual computers of highly variable size and configuration.

    This is “the cloud.” It’s a wildly inaccurate metaphor because there is nothing cloudy about it. It isn’t a weightless mist of computer ability — it is stacks and stacks of very real computers, in gigantic air-conditioned rooms, connected together with copper cables and fiber optics.

    The cloud is also a marketing buzzword. Web hosting companies like to use it to cover over the fact that they are just renting their computing power from another provider — often from one you could rent from yourself for less money. Software companies sell software as a service (SaaS) subscriptions on top of “cloud based” infrastructure because it’s cheaper for them, but they market this fact as if it seriously makes a difference to you, the end user.

    All that being said, cloud computing is a completely legitimate approach to web site and web application hosting.

    If you are building a new web application, or a for profit web site, and you need it to be able to scale up to handle large amounts of traffic, the most economical solution is probably to use cloud hosting. Because your site or app is being host on a virtual machine, running on top of a variable pool of computing power, cloud hosting makes it easier to increase or decrease the amount of available power as needed. This can keep your site running no matter what kind of traffic you experience, and can help keep your expenses down by allowing you to only pay for what you use, and only use what you actually need.

    Since Master Control Hosting a a managed hosting solution, then what is managed hosting?

    Managed hosting is a type of web hosting service with a high level of customized support and management.  Managed hosting takes a number of different forms, so it’s hard to make generalizations about it. But it usually involves some kind of active support for your installed applications, security monitoring, automated backups, software upgrades, and server configuration tweaks.  Some managed hosting providers have specialized services for one or another specific applications, such as WordPress or Durpal. These providers have usually designed their server setup and support structure around the app, so they are able to provide a high level of satisfaction to a very set of users.

    Do I need managed hosting?

    That depends. Are you tech-savvy?  The average website owner does, and these users can really benefit having a team help them along the way, by helping set upi server, and even set up the website base.  If you are a medium-to-large business that runs depends on a web-based application, but you don’t have an in-house System Admin, you probably would do well to have a managed hosting provider to help ensure a high level of uptime. This pretty much is the case with any kind of mission critical server.   Additionally, highly trafficked content websites or blog networks can usually see both an increase in performance and a decrease in administrative hassle by switching to Managed hosting.

    Is my website secure?

    Probably not.  Unless you have actively thought about your sites security (or are using a managed hosting provider that thinks about it for you), you likely have at least a few potential security holes.  Here are a handful of basic security precautions you should be taking with any website:

    • Use a strong password for your hosting account, FTP accounts, email accounts, and any other accounts associated with your website.
    • Do not use the same password for all your different accounts.
    • Do not email your password or store it in plain text anywhere.
    • Restrict FTP and SSH access to your IP address.
    • Enable two-factor authentication on your hosting plan and your domain name registrar.
    • Keep all of your software and plugins up to date.
    • Back up your data regularly.
    • Use a CDN that provides DDOS protection.
    • Enable HTTPS on your site by getting an SSL certificate.

    Since WordPress is the most popular content management system, here some WordPress-specific security tips:

    • Do not use the default “admin” as your administrator user name
    • Install the Bad Behavior and Akismet plugins to combat spam
    • change your user nickname, so that your login name isn’t publicly visible in posts and URLs
    • Limit login attempts

    How to protect customer data on website?

    • Use mature, Open Source software
    • Install an SSL security certificate
    • Force HTTPS for all connections (this requires a security certificate)
    • Use trusted payment processors
    • Follow all of the security precautions listed above.

    What is a security certificate?

    To understand a security certificate, you first have to understand Public Key encryption.  Public Key encryption works like this: there are two “keys” — a key is a very long string of seemingly random data that is used as a value in an encryption formula. One key is Private, known only to one party (in this case, the website owner). The private key has a “matching” Public key, which is published and available for anyone to use.

    A message can be encrypted using the Public Key, and it can only be decrypted with the Private Key. This way you can send sensitive data securly, and only the one who is supposed to get it will be able to decrypt it.

    The other interesting thing is that you can encrypt data with the Private key, and only the Public key will be able to decrypt it. This may seem meaningless — if the Public key is Public, then anyone can read the message. That’s true, but this accomplishes something more important: it verifies that the message was in fact sent by the party who who says they sent it — only the owner of the Private Key could encrypt the data this way. (This is called “signing.”)

    When you use HTTPS, you are communicating with a website via a series of encrypted messages. Your messages are sent encrypted via the Public Key (ensuring only the website gets your data) and responses from the web server are sent signed by the Private Key (ensuring that they are authentic).

    So what does the SSL certificate have to do with this?  Once you are certain that the Public Key you are using belongs to the website that you are visiting, and that the website is trustworthy, the rest of the process is secure. But the Public Key doesn’t guarantee identity by itself — a malicious agent could create a fake Public Key and send it to site visitors, and intercept data between site and visitor.

    You need some way of verifying that the Public Key is the right one, that it authentically identifies the correct party.  This is what an SSL Certificate does — it certifies the identity of the Public Key.

    So how to get a security certificate?

    You buy one from an SSL certificate provider, like us. Most hosting companies partner with an SSL certificate vendor, and make it easy to buy one.

    Do I need SSL?

    You need an SSL certificate if you are handling any sensitive customer data. eCommerce sites, which usually handle credit card payments, definitely need an SSL certificate. A site that allows for personal or private communication — email, messaging, file storage — needs a certificate.

    Even if you don’t have a specific requirement for an SSL security certificate, you may want to get one anyway. A number of organizations have recognized that HTTPS promotes safer browsing generally. Google agrees with this, and actually provides an SEO benefit to sites that use HTTPS as an incentive to encourage more sites to adopt it.

    What security is needed for credit card transactions?

    Credit Card transactions should always be run over SSL (HTTPS). Credit card numbers should only be stored in a highly secure, encrypted datastore (which usually means — not the application you are building currently, but with a mature, well-regarded payment processor).

    What kind of support do I need from a hosting company?

    That depends on your own needs and preferences. We recommend that you do not get hosting unless it has 24/7 phone support.

    99% of the time, nothing goes wrong. But when something does go wrong, it will always be at the most inconvenient time. It is best to have phone support which is available to you anytime.

    What is the most important feature of a hosting company?

    This is a matter of opinion, but it is our opinion that the most important feature of a hosting company is support.  If you have the support to get it done, then you can do most of the rest.  That is why we are a Managed Hosting Solution.

    The reason is that, from a technical standpoint, most hosting providers are the same. They almost all use the same software, they almost all use one of a small handful of hardware configurations. Many of them are housed in the same data centers, or rent their equipment from the same providers.

    Price is a distinguishing factor — but not a huge one most of the time. You get what you pay for.  The thing that sets different hosts apart from each other is the level of support they offer — how much, how good it is, and when it is available.  Support can make the difference between a terrible experience with a hosting company and a great one. It can mean the difference between a minor inconvenience and business-destroying disaster.  Get a hosting plan with a good customer service and support plan.

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