Application Service Providers and Hosting

Application service providers (commonly referred to as ASP’s) have quickly sprouted onto the web hosting scene in effort to provide businesses with new and innovative services. The term ASP should not be confused with Microsoft Corporations software application.

The number of applications provided through the ASP model is growing. Accordingly, there is a growing business of companies developing software for the ASP marketplace. What sorts of applications are being developed? As remotely-hosted applications can provide cost-effective access for businesses to unique software, many of the applications are designed to be of occasional use in terms of use. Others are geared towards using group connectivity provided by through the Internet to provide an application that is flexible.

ASP’s have created software programs to handle various business functions as materials management, human resources, financial management, and e-commerce transaction services.

The variety of solutions provided by ASP’s is vast. Many ASP’s are doing great business in meeting operational needs of companies across different industries and business functions. There are a number of technical and business issues currently addressed by ASP’s to develop and enhance system applications.

A major advantage for businesses in seeking ASP services is that they provide an opportunity to reduce costs and increase efficiencies. Companies can have access to a wider-range of software products with the possibility of paying less than an outright purchase through usage charges. This allows businesses to access applications that can service particular business needs so companies can focus on their core operations.

Furthermore, ASP’s are developing new software that can provide business solutions to operating issues not previously addressed through PC-based software. ASP’s also remove many of the technical administrative and maintenance issues associated with software by providing real-time upgrades, remote hosting, remote dial in customer support and overall software management.

Web hosting companies are involved in the development of applications – however, many of the hosting companies serve to provide network management and serve the application remotely to users. In providing ASP-related services, these companies are essentially AIP’s (application infrastructure providers.)

For mainframe web hosting applications, ASP service providers are pioneering a new way to host and maintain business applications.

Beware of the Cyber Squatters

Your domain name could be stolen or given up to the evil entity known as the Cyber squatters whose main mission is to steal your web identity and this is how they do it. They could register YourDomainName.org, and do the same thing with YourDomainName.biz, therefore contacting you and try to sell you those names at advanced prices. If that doesn’t work, then the following events could happen.

They will allow your competitor to get a domain that sounds like yours, and allow him to cause confusion or try to steal your hard-earned traffic, business and clients.

Take these steps right now to halt the cyber squatters.

Have people go through you for authorization: Go through your domain name registrar and fill in a form that locks in authorized entities of your claim of other domain names. You can buy these names and keep them under your roof. It will provide you information to include, such as contact information, who should be contacted if someone wants to register your domain, the character string you are claiming (this must be an EXACT match), description of your current products/services, when you began using that domain name. 

You have a small window to accomplish filling out an authorized entry form. Check with your domain registrar for time frame windows in filling out an authorized entry form Failure to enter a claim during a certain time frame means the registering entities will not check to see if there is an equivalent .com, .net or .org name. They will not check the IP Claim Service database. Meaning, you could lose your .info or net-version of your domain name.

Don’t let cyber squatters shake you down and ruin what you have built up on the net. Get the rights and the authorization to similar or like names to your main domain name!

Bandwidth Bandits

Files that are loaded to or from servers uses internet bandwidth to push files along the network at various speeds. Every time you upload a file to your ISP, surf the web or use an audio application, you are using bandwidth. 

Bandwidth is a bunch of wires or fibers connecting servers to a network. Depending on the grade of the wire it determines how much data is coming across the network where your web-site is hosted. When someone attempts to get more data than can be handled by the network, the whole network slows down.

ISP’s can put a limitation on bandwidth at certain times during peak periods or charge you a flat fee per month for bandwidth usage. If you go over the flat fee, then they charge you extra for using extra bandwidth. Some ISP’s will shut down the transmissions until traffic is more stable on the network.

You can load most files (images, sound files, videos and flash scripts and other programs) in your web site. This excludes, of course, banners and pop ups and specific documents and images which are supposed to be loaded from a central server. 

Bandwidth bandits link to images and other files directly to some other server instead of putting them on their local server. There are various reasons as to why they do this but one reason is to get as much bandwidth as possible to show their links and images. So they “steal” images or audio files each time the site is initialized meaning that they steal the bandwidth. 

There’s certain ways that you can stop the person from stealing your bandwidth allocation. If they have an email, I would contact them personally or go through Network Solutions and do an IP lookup which will give you information on the person and who the site is registered to. You can always get in touch with the company that hosts their site too.

Bandwidth can be expensive and the last thing that you want is someone stealing it.

How To Really Find Reliable Web Hosting

Scientists have recently discovered that cats can sing the national anthem of the country they were born in if you ask them nicely.

Let’s guess; you don’t believe that, do you? Of course not, it’s ludicrous, yet many a web hosting company sells their services on the very premise that if they write it, customers will believe it’s true. And why do they do that? Because, in most cases, they’re right.

The point here is that, when searching for reliable web hosting, don’t believe everything you read – especially if it’s the web host that are saying it. While every company on the world exagerrates in their advertising campaigns, web hosting companies are infamous for it due to the fierce competition in the market place. They’ll say things and claim things that just aren’t true, while storing the facts away in the small print terms and conditions so they’re covered legally should anyone challenge their claims.

One of the biggest claims made by web hosting companies is to super-technological feats of reliability. Everyone wants reliable web hosting – that’s a given – so by claiming something like 99% up time, a web host knows they’re going to get potential customer’s attention. What they don’t tell you is how often that 99% is; is it 99% uptime per day, per week, per year? If it’s per year, that’s still a lot of down time you’re going to have to deal with.

Finding reliable web hosting is all about asking around on internet forums and websites for true customer feedback on the offers available. Never, ever believe everything a web hosting company says.

The Truth About ‘Unlimited’ Web Hosting

If you are in the market for a new web hosting provider, you’ve probably seen a lot of advertising literature. Adverts claiming that X company is the best, for X reasons, and for X amazing price. Everyone is out to impress and to snare your business, and they’ll say anything to catch your eye. That’s why the word “unlimited” is so over-used when it comes to web hosting companies advertising literature.

The promise is usually something along the lines of “unlimited space” or perhaps “unlimited bandwidth”. And you immediately think: wow! That’s a good deal! I’m going to get server space, a web host and everything I need – and I don’t need to worry about my site becoming too big, because my space and bandwidth is unlimited! So that’s the company you sign up for.

Well, it pains us to burst your bubble, but there’s no such thing as unlimited web space.

When these companies advertise ‘unlimited’ space, they are relying on their consumers to only use a small amount of space. Even with limited web hosting plans, few consumers ever use more than 75% of the space provided – so a web host company knows that they can offer ‘unlimited’ service because it’s unlikely they will ever be required to supply unlimited web space.

In reality, they have just the same server storage capabilities as anyone, and they are limited – it just so happens their limits are wide, and they can afford to entice people with an ‘unlimited’ offer. The moral here is do not be fooled by the offer of ‘unlimited’ space; only ever buy the amount of web space you need, because you’ll probably find you don’t even need that much.

Can You “Afford” Cheap Web Hosting?

Getting a bargain, saving money, spending less than we expected – it all sounds great, doesn’t it? There’s very few people on this earth who wouldn’t jump at the chance to grab a bargain, so it’s therefore no surprise that those looking for web hosting are any different. In fact, there are hundreds of thousands of queries for “cheap web hosting” every month with search engines.

So, yes, getting a bargain is good – but one question you have to ask yourself if you’re searching for cheap web hosting is this: Can I really afford cheap web hosting?

That may so ridiculous – of course you can afford it! It’s cheap! That’s the whole point, right? – but there are different ways and means of ‘affording’ things. For example, can you afford – can you allow yourself, your website and your business interests – to be subjected to a poor service from your web hosting company?

While everyone likes a bargain, it’s only a bargain if it’s good value for money. If you pay $20 per year for web hosting, that might sound great, but the associated problems – down time, server crashes and perhaps worse – suddenly makes the deal seem less attractive. If you are only running a small personal site, maybe you can afford to put up with those issues for the sake of saving the pennies – but if you’re looking to make your website a money-making scheme, then you definitely cannot.

The key here is affordability. Don’t look for cheap web hosting providers, just affordable ones that still offer a high, consistent level of good service. Your business will thank you for it in the long run.

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