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  #6  
Old 05-03-2009, 03:10 PM
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Default Hosting Email Services

Hosting services should include proper Email Accounts and Email Services.

Email Accounts

Hosting solutions should include email accounts for each person in your company.
Email addresses should appear something like this:
john@mycompany.com
john.doe@mycompany.com
jdoe@mycompany.com

POP Email

POP stands for Post Office Protocol. POP is a standard client/server protocol for sending and receiving email.


The emails are received and held on your internet server until you pick it up with a client email program, like Microsoft Outlook or Mozilla Thunderbird.

IMAP Email

IMAP stands for Internet Message Access Protocol. IMAP is another standard protocol for sending and receiving email.


The emails are received and held on your internet server until you pick it up with a client email program, like Microsoft Outlook or Mozilla Thunderbird.


IMAP represents an improvement over POP because email stored on an IMAP server can be manipulated from several computers (a computer at home, a workstation at the office, etc.) without having to transfer messages back and forth between computers. POP was designed to support email access on a single computer.

Web-based Email

Web-based email services enable you to access email via a web browser. You log into your email account via the Web to send and retrieve email. Being able to access your email from any browser anywhere in the world is a very attractive option.
Examples of web-based email services are Gmail, Yahoo! Mail, and Hotmail.

Email Forwarding

Email forwarding allows you to have multiple email personalities.


With email forwarding, you can setup aliases for other email accounts like
postmaster@mycompany.com should be forwarded to peter@mycompany.com
sales@mycompany.com should be forwarded to mary@mycompany.com

Mailing Lists

Some service providers offer mailing list capabilities. This is a valuable plus if you plan sending out email to a large number of users.
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  #7  
Old 05-03-2009, 03:11 PM
welcomewiki welcomewiki is offline
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Default Web Hosting Server Technologies

This section describes some of the most common hosting technologies.

Windows Hosting

Windows hosting means hosting of web services that runs on the Windows operating system.


You should choose Windows hosting if you plan to use ASP (Active Server Pages) as server scripting, or if you plan to use a database like Microsoft Access or Microsoft SQL Server. Windows hosting is also the best choice if you plan to develop your web site using Microsoft Front Page.

Unix Hosting

Unix hosting means hosting of web services that runs on the Unix operating system.



Unix was the first (original) web server operating system, and it is known for being reliable and stable. Often less expensive than Windows.

Linux Hosting

Linux hosting means hosting of web services that runs on the Linux operating system.



CGI

Web pages can be executed as CGI scripts. CGI scripts are executables that will execute on the server to produce dynamic and interactive web pages.


Most Internet service providers will offer some kind of CGI capabilities. Internet service providers will often offer preinstalled, ready to run, guest-books, page-counters, and chat-forums solutions written in CGI scripts.
The use of CGI is most common on Unix or Linux servers.

ASP - Active Server Pages

Active Server Pages is a server-side scripting technology developed by Microsoft.


With ASP you can create dynamic web pages by putting script code inside your HTML pages. The code is executed by the web server before the page is returned to the browser. Both Visual Basic and JavaScript can be used.



ASP is a standard component in Windows 95,98, 2000, and XP. It can be activated on all computers running Windows.
If you want to learn more about ASP, please visit our ASP tutorial.

PHP

PHP is an open-source software and is a powerful server-side scripting language for creating dynamic and interactive websites.


PHP is the widely-used, free, and efficient alternative to competitors such as Microsoft's ASP. PHP is perfectly suited for Web development and can be embedded directly into the HTML code.


The PHP syntax is very similar to Perl and C. PHP is often used together with Apache (web server) on various operating systems. It also supports ISAPI and can be used with Microsoft's IIS on Windows.


PHP supports many databases, such as MySQL, Informix, Oracle, Sybase, Solid, PostgreSQL, Generic ODBC, etc.
If you want to learn more about PHP, please visit our PHP tutorial.

JSP

JSP is a server-side technology much like ASP developed by Sun.


With JSP you can create dynamic web pages by putting Java code inside your HTML pages. The code is executed by the web server before the page is returned to the browser.


Since JSP uses Java, the technology is not restricted to any server-specific platform.

Cold Fusion

Cold Fusion is another server-side scripting language used to develop dynamic web pages.


Cold Fusion is developed by Macromedia.

Chili!Soft ASP

Microsoft's ASP technology runs only on Windows platforms.
However, Chili!Soft ASP is a software product that allows ASP to run on UNIX and some other platforms.

Microsoft FrontPage

FrontPage is a website design tool developed by Microsoft.


FrontPage allows users to develop a web site without any deep knowledge of web development.


Most Windows hosting solutions support FrontPage server extensions for users that use FrontPage to develop their web site.
If you plan to use FrontPage, you should look for a Windows hosting solution.

Adobe Dreamweaver

Dreamweaver is a website design tool owned by Adobe Systems.


Dreamweaver allows users to develop a web site without any deep knowledge of web development.


Dreamweaver has support for web technologies such as CSS, JavaScript, ASP.NET, ColdFusion, JavaServer Pages, and PHP.
Dreamweaver is available for both Mac and Windows operating systems.

Secure Server

A secure server can transmit data encrypted.


If you plan to do online credit card transactions, or other types of web communication that needs to be protected against unauthorized access, your web host must provide a secure server.
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  #8  
Old 05-03-2009, 03:12 PM
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Default Web Hosting Database Technologies

MS SQL Server or Oracle for high traffic database-driven web sites.
MySQL for low-cost database-access.
MS Access for low traffic web sites.

Web Databases

If your web site needs to update large quantities of information via the web, you will need a database to store your information.
There are many different database systems available for web hosting. The most common are MySQL, SQL Server, Oracle, and MS Access.

Using the SQL Language

SQL is the language for accessing databases.
If you want your web site to be able to store and retrieve data from a database, your web server should have access to a database-system that uses the SQL language.
If you want to learn more about SQL, please visit our SQL tutorial.

SQL Server

Microsoft's SQL Server is a popular database software for database-driven web sites with high traffic.
SQL Server is a very powerful, robust and full featured SQL database system.

Oracle

Oracle is also a popular database software for database-driven web sites with high traffic.
Oracle is a very powerful, robust and full featured SQL database system.

MySQL

MySQL is also a popular database software for web sites.
MySQL is a very powerful, robust and full featured SQL database system.
MySQL is an inexpensive alternative to the expensive Microsoft and Oracle solutions.

Access

When a web site requires only a simple database, Microsoft Access can be a solution.
Access is not well suited for very high-traffic, and not as powerful as MySQL, SQL Server, or Oracle.
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  #9  
Old 05-03-2009, 03:14 PM
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Default Web Hosting Types

Hosting can be FREE, SHARED or DEDICATED.

Free Hosting

Some service providers offer free web hosting.


Free web hosting is best suited for small sites with low traffic, like family sites or sites about hobbies. It is not recommended for high traffic or for real business. Technical support is often limited, and technical options are few.


Very often you cannot use your own domain name at a free site. You have to use a name provided by your host like http://www.wikinewforum.com This is hard to type, hard to remember, and not very professional.


Good: Bad:
Low cost. It's free. No domain names.
Good for family, hobby or personal sites. Few, limited, or no software options.
Free email is often an option. Limited security options.

Limited or no database support.

Limited technical support.


Shared (Virtual) Hosting

Shared hosting is very common, and very cost effective.


With shared hosting, your web site is hosted on a powerful server along with maybe 100 other web sites. On a shared host it is common that each web site have their own domain name.


Shared solutions often offer multiple software solutions like email, database, and many different editing options. Technical support tends to be good.


Good: Bad:
Low cost. Cost is shared with others. Reduced security due to many sites on one server.
Good for small business and average traffic. Restrictions on traffic volume.
Multiple software options. Restricted database support.
Own domain name. Restricted software support.
Good support


Dedicated Hosting

With dedicated hosting your web site is hosted on a dedicated server.
Dedicated hosting is the most expensive form of hosting. The solution is best suited for large web sites with high traffic, and web sites that use special software.



You should expect dedicated hosting to be very powerful and secure, with almost unlimited software solutions.


Good: Bad:
Good for large business. Expensive.
Good for high traffic. Requires higher s****s.
Multiple domain names.
Powerful email solutions.
Powerful database support.
Strong (unlimited) software support.


Collocated Hosting

Collocation means "co-location". It is a solution that lets you place (locate) your own web server on the premises (locations) of a service provider.


This is pretty much the same as running your own server in your own office, only that it is located at a place better designed for it.


Most likely a provider will have dedicated resources like high-security against fire and vandalism, regulated backup power, dedicated Internet connections and more.


Good: Bad:
High bandwidth. Expensive.
High up-time. Requires higher s****s.
High security. Harder to configure and debug.
Unlimited software options.


Your Checklist

Before you choose your web host, make sure that:
  • The hosting type suits your current needs
  • The hosting type is cost effective
  • Upgrading to a better server is a possible solution
  • If needed, upgrading to a dedicated server is possible
Before you sign up a contract with any hosting provider, surf some other web sites on their servers, and try to get a good feeling about their network speed. Also compare the other sites against yours, to see if it looks like you have the same needs. Contacting some of the other customers is also a valuable option.
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  #10  
Old 05-03-2009, 03:15 PM
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Default Web Hosting E-Commerce

If you are selling a product or a service, e-commerce might be a smart way to do business.

Internet Commerce

E-Commerce is about selling products or services over the Internet.


If you are selling a product or a service, e-commerce might be a smart way to do business. Over the Internet you can reach a large number of customers.

E-Commerce Systems

It is not a very good idea to build your own e-commerce system. Some (larger) companies might do it, but we will not recommend it if you run a smaller business. Building an e-commerce system is a complicated process, with the potential for a lot of errors.


You might buy a ready-to-use system and run it on your own server. Many systems are available on the market today, and most of them will cover your basic needs for order management and processing. But again, if you are not familiar with hosting your own web site, starting with an e-commerce site is not the right thing.


The best solution, in our opinion, is to find a hosting provider that offers an e-commerce solution.



Hosting Providers

E-commerce covers a very huge range of products. With different hosting providers you will find anything from very simple to very complex solutions.
Most providers will offer a simple and inexpensive solution that allow you to run your own "virtual store".

Your Checklist

  • How does it handle customers?
  • How does it handle product catalogs?
  • How does it handle orders?
  • How does it handle inventory?
  • How does it handle back orders?
  • How does it handle shipment?
  • How does it handle accounts?
  • How does it handle billing?
  • How does it handle payment?
  • How does it handle foreign currency?
  • How does it handle credit cards?
  • How does it handle taxes?
  • How does it handle security?
  • How does it handle integrity (encryption)?
Also check if the most time-consuming tasks are automated. Look for automated billing, invoice handling, accounting, and report generation.
Before you sign up a contract with any hosting provider, surf some other e-commerce sites on their servers. Find out how it works. Actually try some shopping and see if you get a good feeling. Also compare the other sites against yours, to see if it looks like you have the same needs. Contacting some of the other customers is also a valuable option.

Tax Issues

Taxes is a complex issue for most on-line stores. Especially VAT (Value Added Tax).


If you are selling on-line, you will most likely be in the export business.
Trading with different countries is easy, but tax issues might be tricky.

Exporting goods may not be the subject of VAT in your country, but often your customers will have to pay their local VAT when they pick up the goods.


In addition, there will be the issue of income tax for your shop, depending on how you report your income from sales.
Before starting an on-line store, be sure to consult your tax adviser.
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