Things to Consider When Choosing a Managed Hosting Provider

Are you interested in outsourcing your web hosting services? Do you require a dedicated server?

If the answer is “YES” to both of these questions, you may want to consider a managed hosting provider.

What is a managed hosting?

In a managed hosting environment, the hosting provider owns and is responsible for the data center, network, devices, operating system and application infrastructure components. The customer generally manages the applications infrastructure and maintains full control over the business process.

Whether you are looking for your first managed hosting provider or switching from an existing provider, making the selection can be an overwhelming task.

Each organization has unique requirements and the best provider for one may not be good for another.

For bloggers or individual websites – a cheap host with basic features is usually good enough. In contrast, you definitely need better reliability and technical support from a business web host.

Once you have taken the plunge and selected a provider, it can be very difficult to back out or make yet another change. This is why it is so important to make the selection carefully. Of course, it never hurts to ask friends and colleagues for recommendations, but this should only be a starting point.

Below are some things to consider when making your decision.

1. Scope of Services

To start, you should determine exactly which services you need and whether each managed hosting provider can support them.

Some providers may offer a variety of plans ranging from partial managed hosting to full managed hosting. It just depends on how much support you require and how much you are willing to pay.

Here are some standard services to consider:

  • Management of Windows or Linux environment
  • Application of security patches and upgrades
  • Management of the platform: hardware, networks, operating System, storage, database, domain name system, firewall, etc.
  • Clusters, redundancy and load balancers

Here are some additional services you might need:

  • Backups
  • Application support
  • Website security
  • Migration from the existing site (if applicable)

2. Service Levels

Response time and problem resolution are critical to any hosting service. You will want to review the capabilities of your prospective managed hosting provider to identify whether their service level is adequate to meet your needs. This is one area where you get what you pay for.

Small, less expensive providers may not have the resources to provide expert assistance 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Below are few questions to ask:

  • Are they available by phone, e-mail, chat, etc.?
  • Do they provide 24 hour support?
  • What is the average response time during the day, at night and on weekends?
  • How long does it typically take to resolve problems? Are expert resources available in the off hours to resolve difficult problems quickly?

You may even want to call the provider in the middle of the night to see how long it takes to get a response.

3. Uptime

You should determine the level of uptime that your business requires. Of course, everyone wants 100% uptime, but higher service levels may cost more. In particular, consider the cost of downtime to your organization.

Are you a retailer who will lose thousands of dollars per hour if your site is down during the holiday season?

No managed hosting provider can provide 100% uptime and you should be skeptical of any that claim that they do. Ask the hosting provider what their average uptime is and if they guarantee an uptime service level. If they cannot meet the guaranteed service level, how will you be compensated?

Fortunately, most managed hosting providers maintain well over 99% uptime. Netcraft tracks the performance of many providers and you may find the information at their site helpful: Netcraft.

4. Scalability and Traffic Spikes

The ability of your site to handle spikes in activity is dependent not only on the managed host provider, but also on how well your website is programmed.

Clearly, you should provide prospective managed hosting providers not only your average traffic levels, but also your peak levels. Ask them if they can accommodate the peak levels. If traffic spikes can be anticipated, how much lead time do they require in order to prepare?

Ask the provider how many visitors per month they currently handle.

  • How many websites are they hosting?
  • How many visitors does the average site have?

This should give you a good idea if they can handle the size of your business.

5. Applications & Languages

Make sure that the provider can support the applications and languages you intend to use.

These might include:

  • WordPress, Drupal, Joomla
  • Windows Server, Linux
  • PHP, .NET, Python, Ruby

It’s important to not only make sure they can accommodate the applications and languages that you use, but also the particular versions you are using.

Ask if their other customers are already using these same versions.

6. Server Control

If your developers will need full server control, be sure that the managed host provider offers it.

For example, some developers need Secure Shell Support (SSH) access to customize their environments. These are all details that you want to specify upfront to avoid nasty surprises late in the process.

7. Cost

In the end, the provider and plan that you select will represent a compromise between the service levels that you desire and the money you are willing to spend on a website.

Be sure that you understand exactly how much each plan costs. Which costs are part of the standard plan and which are a la carte? How much bandwidth is included? How much storage is included? How many domains can you host without additional charges?

Most hosting problems can be avoided by conducting a thorough review BEFORE selecting the provider.

If you do your homework and are clear about your requirements, you should have no problem finding a good managed host provider that meets your needs.

Good Luck!

Things to Know Before Buying A Web Host

Shopping for web hosting? Here’re the main 5 consideration points when you’re looking for the right web hosting: Hosting uptime, server load time, hosting features, pricing, and free domain offers.

Be sure to read on in case you’re about to start your website online, as I’ll be revealing each consideration points in detail.

1- Hosting Uptime

When choosing a host for your new (or old) website there are many things to consider. Your host is the one who is responsible for your website being online and being able to be accessed by users, and potential customers.

Seeing such, you will want to look at the uptime that the hosting company guarantees first. You really can’t take their word for it, however, but anything under 99% should be a red flag to you. In order to better check out the hosting company’s “real” uptime, try to visit a few of the sites that you know they host. They normally have links to them somewhere on their site.

Also, if the hosting company’s site is ever down for an extended period, say an hour or so, this should also be a red flag. Basically, you’ll want your site up and online as much as possible, so in order to make sure this happens, you’ll want to make sure that other websites that a hosting company is hosting are up. Try checking at different times during the day, too. If there is a routine time that sites are down, this will not be good for you, and it should be a sure sign that you shouldn’t be using that hosting company.

2- Server Load Time

Another thing you’ll want to check is load time.

This is just what it says, how fast your site will load. You can time how fast the hosting company’s site loads and how fast other sites it hosts load, and compare them with other hosting companies.

If you want a pretty accurate reading, you can try using the Fasterfox extension for Firefox . It gives you a time that the page took to load up to the thousandths place in seconds. This should be sufficient enough of a timer for your purposes.

TTFB = Good measurement of server response speed? Source: WHSR Kinsta Review.

3- Hosting Features

Features are always important as well. Some hosting companies offer loads and loads of features; more features than you’ll ever even think of using. Do you really need those FrontPage extensions? How about unlimited databases? No, all you’ll probably ever need is the latest PHP, and about 2-3 Email accounts, FTP accounts, and 2-3 databases.

Keep in mind that this is based on one website, so if you are looking to host, say ten, on one account, then obviously, you’ll want to multiply those numbers by 10. Another important feature to look for is regular backups.

This will save your site if something goes extremely wrong, which is rare, but it does happen, so it’s better to be safe rather than sorry.

4- Pricing

After you’ve examined everything you need, it’s time to look around for the best deal.

If you’re reviewing web hosting according to this article, you should have established a minimum amount for each of the features you want, including by now.

What’s next is to weed out the best deal. While the cheapest deal always is the most appealing, be very sure that you look beyond the first year of pricing, because some hosts like to trick you with cheap hosting for the first year, and then change the fee to the most expensive ever without you even noticing.

Sometimes (but not a must) the hosting companies with fees right in the middle work out for the best.

5- Free Domain?

Lastly but not least, if you’re hosting your website for the first time (meaning you do not own an existing domain), you should look for web hosting that offer free domain registration. Take BlueHost for example, they are offering lifetime free domain for customers.

What’s Your Horrible Story in Hosting?

Honestly, I think there’re way too many lousy web hosting around the market – most are overselling their bandwidth, over promised and underdelivered in hosting uptime, over-priced hosting plans, and dishonest merchants who disallow cancellation.

Almost everyone has their own version of horrible hosting story.

So remember – next time, before you click buy, ask your web host the questions stated above.

A2 Hosting Review

A2 is yet another website hosting company that offers unlimited everything for a fairly inexpensive price. But is there anything that sets A2 apart from the competition? Yes! And I’ve got the information you need to decide if this company is the best choice for hosting your website (if you are a developer, you will definitely want to check this out).

Read on…

Is A2 an “A1 Company”?

According to the Better Business Bureau, they are, indeed! The BBB gives A2 Hosting Inc. an A rating. One of the reasons for this excellent rating is a total of four customer complaints in the past three years. That’s right: four complaints. From what I’ve seen, many other hosting companies receive that many complaints from customers in a single month – or even week!

So…A2 must be doing something right. Although they haven’t been in business all that long, being founded in 2001 as Iniquinet before switching to A2 in 2003, this Ann Arbor, Michigan-based company has built their good reputation on superior speed, uptime and customer service.

Owned by a group of developers, A2 is eager to incorporate new technologies as soon as they are available. Along with providing a lot of developer tools to their customers, their adoption of cutting-edge technology makes A2 an excellent choice for someone who wants full control over their website functionality and design using the latest tools.

What’s Different About A2?

There are a couple things about web hosting service from A2 that really stand out: their SwiftServer platform and SSD hosting.

One thing A2 is known for is its fast speeds. One of the reasons they can claim your website will load faster on their servers is due to the SwiftServer platform, which includes high performance servers designed by the company’s developers.

SSD stands for Solid State Drive. That’s an option you can add to your account if you want your website’s pages to load up to 300 percent faster than files on a standard server hard drive.

Between SwiftServer and SSD, A2 provides some of the fastest speeds available in a shared hosting plan – or from a dedicated server.

All-Inclusive Shared Hosting Accounts

A2 provides just three shared hosting plans: Lite, Swift, and Turbo.

Swift and Turbo come with unlimited everything: storage, transfer, emails, domains, subdomains, parked domains and databases. They also include free backups and a anytime money back guarantee.

All accounts have access to all the popular applications, such as WordPress, Joomla and Drupal, along with a shopping cart for basic e-commerce (additional software and applications, such as a private SSL certificate and merchant account, available at an extra charge).

Also – their shared hosting accounts are easily managed via the popular cPanel control panel.

For developers, A2 Hosting includes the following:

  • PHP (5 & 7 versions)
  • Unlimited MySQL 5.5 databases
  • PostgreSQL 9.1
  • phpMyAdmin & phhpPgAdmin
  • SSH access
  • Ruby on Rails
  • Python
  • Ruby
  • PERL
  • Git, CVS, Subversion & Mercurial

A few things of note with A2’s shared hosting plans:

  1. Railgun Optimizer, which loads your site’s pages up to 143 times faster, is available as an add-on for the Prime account and included free with a Prime+SSD account
  2. Prime account customers get a choice of hosting their files on a U.S. or European server.
  3. A dedicated IP address costs an additional $3 per month.

Other Types of Accounts

Although shared hosting always seems to be the website hosting company’s bread and butter, A2 also offers reseller accounts, VPS and dedicated hosting. They will manage hosting for VPS and dedicated packages, too, if you don’t want the hassle of doing so.

All reseller accounts can host as many client sites as they wish. The difference between the three tiers of service, ranging from $9.89 to $26.39 per month, is in the storage space and data transfer limits. You have the option to add SSD to any reseller account for $5 per month extra.

Now – VPS accounts. A2 is really unique in that they allow a custom-designed server configuration. You get to choose how much disk space, CPU, bandwidth and memory you want and then select an operating system from 13 options. The nice thing is that you only pay for what you need – it’s not necessary to purchase a package with a huge amount of disk space, for instance, if that doesn’t suit your needs.

All VPS plans allow a single IP address and come with perpetual security, choice of server location (Iceland is a 100 percent “green” choice), root and SSH access, full network control and a SolusVM control panel (cPanel is not an option here).

If you want A2 to manage your VPS hosting account, you can choose from three different preconfigured packages with limited RAM, storage, data transfer, virtual CPUs and two dedicated IP addresses. Prices for managed VPS accounts range from $32.99 to $65.99 per month.

How about dedicated hosting? While you have to contact the company for pricing, there are two options: Flex Dedicated Server and Managed Flex Dedicated Server. Of course, the former option is great if you are comfortable with administering and developing your server from the command line using root access and a Linux OS. You also get to configure your server’s hardware the way you want it. Managed dedicated hosting uses a preconfigured server with cPanel.

Does A2 Uphold Their Promise of Excellent Customer Service?

Customer service is at the backbone of A2’s mission statement so I wondered if they really live up to expectations in regard to their 24/7/365 customer support promise. As far as I can tell, they do!

Service is provided via phone, fax, email, live chat or online ticket system. They also provide a Knowledgebase resource online.

That’s all pretty standard stuff – but when you start researching customer ratings and reviews on external sites, you will find one of the highest levels of satisfaction ever encountered! Technical support is provided within 24 hours and the ‘Guru Crew’ (as A2 refers to them) is knowledgeable, honest and helpful.

Is A2 Hosting Reliable?

A2 offers a 99.9 percent uptime guarantee.

In WHSR’s A2 Hosting review – test site is constantly scoring above 99.9 percent uptime.

I could find no complaints about website downtime. Sure, they have issues every now and then just like any other company, but their customers seem happy with the resolutions provided by A2 support.

Who Should Use A2 Hosting Services?

A2 web hosting – whether it’s shared, VPS, reseller or dedicated – is perfect for developers who want the ultimate level of control over their sites. I particularly like the fact that they allow you to configure your own servers (for VPS and dedicated hosting) and allow ample control.

But it’s also a good value for those who aren’t quite as comfortable with development and design of a website. Because their technical support and customer service departments are so highly rated, it’s easy to get the help you need.

A2 offers a “hassle-free money back guarantee” which you can request at any time. With a promise of getting all your money back (for monthly hosting fees less any add-ons, anyway), that should make anyone switching A2 confident they won’t be locked into a long-term contract if they become dissatisfied.

A2 Hosting Pros & Cons

As a recap, here is what I think are the best and worst features of A2:

Pros

  • Greater control over website design and configuration
  • Excellent BBB rating
  • Fast speed
  • Your choice of servers
  • Great customer service/support
  • Excellent reliability

Cons

  • Few affordable account options
  • Dedicated IP addresses cost extra

A2 offers mid-range priced hosting plans, excellent speed, great customer service and a good variety of customizable features, making them a great pick for any website owner, but especially developers and businesses.

Alternatives: SiteGround, InterServer, Altus Host, Name Cheap.

Green Factor – A Must Have Condition for Hosting?

When people look for web hosting services, they consider several parameters like hardware specifications of the server – storage space, processor speed, memory capacity, bandwidth, and so on.

There is however another important factor that needs to be considered, but often gets omitted from the list of requirements – that is – how environmental friendly the hosting service is?

When people think of performance, they only think in terms of computational performance. The ecological effects or green performance is never really thought about.

Do you know web hosting industry is estimated to be as polluting as the airline industry in near future?

According to Amenworld’s recent study of over 3,500 web servers, a single web server needlessly consumes 1,000 kWh on average, producing more than 630kg of CO2 annually. The figures are certainly shocking – it’s hard to believe hosting websites on the Internet can cause such damage to our earth.

Fortunately we are seeing more hosting companies taking up their responsibility in reducing the level of carbon dioxide emitted into the atmosphere by moving towards green energies.

My writer, Timothy Shim, has found a few web hosts that offer green hosting services at reasonable prices. His list of trustworthy green hosting services is published here.

How do hosting companies turn green?

No, not this green.

When we talk about “turning green” – we think “employing natural and renewable energy sources”.

So when we say “green hosting”, the logical conclusion is that the web hosting companies are using electricity that is generated from natural resources.

But that is NOT the case for 99% green hosting companies out there.

What green web hosting companies actually do is buying Renewable Energy Certificates (REC) or Carbon Offset Certificates (VER) to offset their power consumption to reach zero carbon footprint.

Green tag = Marketing Gimmick?

The idea of green web hosting is (largely) aimed

at convincing internet users that there are no negative effects on their natural environment.

Yes, theoretically, it does reduce your carbon footprint and perhaps make you feel better, that you have done some good for the earth.

My personal opinions, with no solid fact support, the environment impact of switching to a green hosting is relative small. There are other much better ways to make our earth a better place. Small acts, such as stop using straws (yes!) and carrying a tote to grocery shopping, are more effective.


Hence – I do not take in the ‘green factor’ when I am searching for a web host. If hosting companies I picked are buying green energy credits to offset your “dirty” power consumption – GREAT. But that’s not mandatory.

Instead I emphasize on server performance, features, price, and after sales support.

Then again, that’s me.

Should you factor ‘Green’ in the checklist when shopping for a web host? That’s 100%  to you! 😉

 

Why VPS Hosting?

 

  1. Separated hosting environment with its own operating system and predefined resources. Hence, unlike shared hosting, any activities conducted by your neighbor on will not affect your site performance.
  2. Host more domains at the same time.
  3. One step below dedicated hosting. Cheaper and less tech skills required.
  4. Software flexibility – install and use custom software.

More On Web Hosting

Web hosting = Domain name?

Web hosting shouldn’t be confused with domain name.

They are two different entities.

In layman’s term, a web host is like a house where the house owner can stores furniture (web contents) in it; whereas, a domain name is like the address of the house. Web hosting is the “storage space”; while a website domain name refers to the “location” of your website.

See this.

Subdomains, top level domains, and addon domains

Google.com is a domain name.

The extension ‘.com’ is known as Top Level Domain (TLD).

Some TLDs are opened and free to be registered by the publics. For instances: .com, .net, and .info. Some TLDs, on the other hand, are governed strictly by government or cyber regulations. For example .gov can be only used by government organization. Some country code TLDs, like .co.jp and .co.uk, can be only used by websites located in that particular country. But that’s not always the case. For instance, you can get a British Indian Ocean Territory domain (.io) easily with most registrars. Personally I live in Malaysia and own a number of .io domains.

Some TLDs are intended for certain special purpose, for example .org is intended for organizations’ website. Though it’s widely misused by personal websites.

Subdomain is the name in front of a domain name.

For example ‘mail.google.com’, the word ‘mail’ is a subdomain. Subdomain is often confused with an addon domain. An addon domain is the second, third, fourth… independent domain name added in a single hosting account; a subdomain, on the other hand, is a secondary domain appears in front of a domain name.

Addon domain requires the owner to renew its registration; while creating subdomains require no cost at all.

Types of web hosting

Web hosting comes in different forms and shapes that can be categorized into five major groups, namely: shared hosting, virtual private server hosting, dedicated hosting, reseller hosting, and the cluster hosting.

Shared Web Hosting

As the name refers, a shared hosting server is shared by multiple websites. Typically, websites on a shared hosting share the same server resources (such as CPU and RAM) and IP address.

Virtual Dedicated Hosting

A virtual dedicated hosting is also known as Virtual Private Server (VPS) hosting. Virtual dedicated hosting separates the server into several smaller independent servers. Each website hosted on VPS hosting will have its own isolated hosting environment (hence own root folder) and unique hosting features (such as firewalls and SSH access).

Dedicated Hosting

The entire server is used by only single website (or customer) in a dedicated hosting. A dedicated hosted website enjoys better flexibility and web security. Users get full control over the server including bandwidth allocation, server operating system, and other custom web server features.

Reseller Hosting

Reseller hosting services allow users to become a web host themselves. The server in reseller hosting is parted into smaller pieces (shared hosting) and can be sold to others.

Cluster Hosting

Cluster hosting is also known as cloud hosting. A cluster hosting is the perfect solution for websites that require massive amount of processing power (such as complex web applications or huge web traffics) as a cluster-hosted website has access to a number of connected servers’ resources.

Unix Hosting vs Windows Hosting

Unix hosting normally refers to web host running on Linux or FreeBSD operating system.

Windows hosting, on the other hand, runs on Windows OS like Windows Server 2003 or 2008.

There are both pros and cons running a website on Unix or Windows hosting – Unix OS is open-source software, thus it’s free and tested widely; Windows OS on the other hand is critical if you need to run Microsoft web applications (such as asp.net).

 

 

 

The Rationale Behind Extended Validation (EV) SSL Certificates

Trust is a perennial issue on the Internet – it has always been and (probably) will always be. But the reality is that today’s technology has made online business transactions more the norm rather than the exception.

From the end-user’s point of view, convenience against security presents a dilemma.

  • How do I know I’m looking at a legitimate website?
  • Is that really my bank’s website I’m looking at on my browser?
  • Is there real business behind the site that offers such insanely cheap price?
  • Those questions and other similar ones are common enough – and certainly valid.

From the perspective of the business owners on the other hand, such mistrust and ambivalence is bad for business. Understandably, everyone seeks guarantee and assurance when they do business online.

The Basics of SSL Certificate

Secure Sockets Layer or SSL was developed by Netscape in 1994. It’s a worldwide standard security technology which creates encrypted link to ensure all data that passes between the web server and the web browser remains confidential and secure. Millions of consumers recognize and associate the “padlock” displayed on the browser as the icon of trust on the website.

E-business providers protect their customers and guarantee that online transactions are kept safe and private through SSL protocol, which they can only use upon issuance of the required SSL certificate. This certificate, which is issued by the Certification Authorities or CA, provides the opportunity for e-Business website owners to demonstrate their trustworthiness; thus, leverage an increased level of trust among visitors and turn them into paying customers.

What the Customers See

URLs with an SSL connection use https instead of just http. The “s” at the end obviously stands for “secure”. When the customer clicks on the Padlock your SSL Certificate and company details are displayed.

Company details

SSL Certificates typically contain your domain name and company name; your address, inclusive of city, state and country; details of the Certification Authority responsible for the issuance of the Certificate; and the expiry date of the Certificate. Take note that only certificates issued by High Assurance Certification Authorities actually display company details; which is another assurance that customers may be looking for when making an online purchase.

Expiry date

When a browser connects to a secure site, it does three things: It retrieves the SSL Certificate and check that it has been issued by a Certification Authority that the browser trusts, that it is being used by the website for which it has been issued, and that it has not expired. Failing on any one of these checks causes a warning to be displayed to the end user. Some customers also get concerned when they see that the certificate is soon to expire. It is important therefore, to renew your certificate with ample time to spare before the actual expiration date. A smart alternative is to purchase a multi-year certificate to minimize set up costs; plus, your customer will find it reassuring that you will still be around in the years to come.

Why You Need SSL Certificates?

Face it; people never buy from salesmen they don’t trust.

Majority of consumers these days expect security to be an integral part of any online service they use; they require that details they provide on the Internet are kept private and confidential.

And, beginning in July 2018 with the release of Chrome 68, Chrome will mark all HTTP sites as “not secure”.

For most customers, the only time they will ever consider purchasing products or services online is when they are assured to full satisfaction that their detailed information is safe and secure. Thus, you need to allay consumer apprehensions by providing trust indicators. Just like the real world, it is natural need for people to feel confident before going down an unknown path. The SSL Certificate guarantees your customers that you take their security seriously and this gives them the confidence that you have eliminated the risk usually associated with online transactions.

The EV Certificate – Do you really need one?

Extended Validation or EV Certificate, which was introduced in 2007, is a significant update of the SSL Certificate validation process that introduced substantial changes to verification methods used in authenticating the identity of online businesses. It provides consumers with a higher trust level while online by identifying which websites are legitimate businesses with verifiable credentials. These new certificates are indicated when the address bar on a visitor’s browser turn green.

SSL Certificate Authorities are already performing thorough and meticulous checks to validate the legitimacy of businesses. However, various CAs currently using non EV certificates employ varied types and levels of authentication; sometimes creating online security vulnerabilities that are frequently exploited for fraud, identity theft and other Internet crimes.

In contrast, the validation process for EV Certificates requires all CAs to rigorously scrutinise each business, using a prescribed set of sources and methods, before certificates are issued. The new certificates oblige businesses to complete a comprehensive and methodical documentation and verification process of current business licenses and incorporation paperwork. The CAs has to verify the accuracy of the data through additional sources; which may include on-site visits to the business, in some cases. This is aimed at resolving the variations in validation process; thus enhance Internet security features.

To the end users, this means that e-Businesses that have EV SSL certificates are much more likely to be legitimate entities, compared to those that only have the standard SSL certificates, which can be obtained by anyone even without verification.

The bottom line

Extended Validation SSL certificates are the latest secure certificates that offer the highest level of outward security to end users on the market today. So if you ask if it is worth it to have an EV SSL Certificate, the answer is: Absolutely, YES!

Free Hosting: Myths vs Facts

Myth #1: Very limited data transfer and disk space with free web hosts

Fact: Free web hosts provide sufficient disk space and bandwidth in general. You’ll get 500 MB – 5 GB storage and 5 – 50 GB bandwidth with most free hosting providers.

The capacity is good enough for most individual blogs and small business websites for start. You can start free and look for a host in later stage.

Myth #2: Free web hosts don’t support anything besides HTML

Fact: Free web host nowadays do not limit their service for static HTML websites. In fact most free hosting providers support PHP, MySQL, CGI-BIN, SSI, ASP, and even email hosting features.

Myth #3: All free host comes with awful advertisements

Fact: Yes – back in early 2000 this is what many companies usually do – clutter clients’ websites with unwanted ads to justify the ‘free’ cost.

Not in 2018 anymore. Many free hosting providers are now offering free website hosting services without the banner ads.

In case you were looking – here are 15 free web hosts tested and reviewed by my friend Timothy. Have fun!

Pssst. Are you a student? Some companies offer free domains and hosting for students. Examplest here, here, and here.

What’s managed in managed dedicated hosting service?

There’s no clear guidelines nor industry standards set to define the management role of dedicated server providers.

However, in most cases the server hardware is owned by the dedicated hosting providers where in some cases, they will provide support for your operating system or applications. Thus for such kind of managed dedicated hosting, users get full control on the server via web based control panel on top of a team of technical personnel readily available to handle all server and network related functions and problems. These dedicated hosting is sometimes known as the ‘managed dedicated server’.

As per listed in Wikipedia, server management can include some or all of the following:

  • Operating system updates
  • Application updates
  • Server monitoring
  • Simple Network Management Protocol hardware monitoring
  • Application monitoring
  • Technical support
  • Firewall services
  • Antivirus updates
  • Security audits
  • DDoS protection and mitigation
  • Intrusion detection
  • Backups and restoration
  • Disaster recovery
  • DNS hosting service
  • Load balancing
  • Database administration
  • Performance tuning
  • Software installation and configuration
  • User management
  • Programming consultation

Dedicated hosting providers define their level of management based on the services they provide.

In comparison, fully managed could equal self managed from provider to provider.

InMotion Hosting: What you need to know as a customer

What types of service do InMotion Hosting offer?

InMotion offer Unix hosting in shared, semi-dedicated (VPS), and dedicated servers.

How can I pay InMotion Hosting as a customer?  

InMotion accept all sort of credit card payment (Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Discover), check, money order, but not PayPal and cash.

Do I get a free trial with InMotion Hosting?

Yes. InMotion offer a long 90-day money back guarantee on all shared hosting services; and 30-day money back trial period for VPS and Reseller hosting.

However, you’ll have to provide your credit card information and pay up front when you signup. If you are unhappy with their service and decide to cancel your account within the trial period, you can then ask for a refund.

Domain name registration fee is non-refundable. This means if you obtain a free domain from InMotion during signup; that registration fee will be deducted from your refund.

There will be no refunds upon completion of the 90th/30th day of subscription.

They good?

Excellent. Server stays online all the time and network speed is above average.

I ran three rounds of tests at WebPageTest and the average Time-to-First-Byte (TTFB) is below 500ms and rated A by the system. Details are published here in my InMotion Hosting review.

Can I upgrade my hosting plan with InMotion half way through my subscription?

Yes. You can always start small and upgrade your web host in later stage (when it’s necessary).

Bold Grid? InMotion Hosting?

BoldGrid is a WordPress-based site builder tool developed by InMotion Hosting. The tool comes free when you order InMotion Hosting.

Here’s a video tutorial on how to get started with InMotion’s BoldGrid.

After sales technical support?

Phone, email, and live chat support is available 24/7/365 at InMotion.

cPanel/Plesk?

cPanel.

Can I host adult websites at InMotion Hosting?

Nope, InMotion do not allow adult content (pornographic material), they do however, allow certain types of artistic material.

PHP 7? 

Yes. But it is not by default at this time of writing. Last time I check (~18 months ago), you need to contact support to initiate the update.

Special discount?

Students with a .edu email get 50% discount with InMotion Hosting.

Read more

Here – InMotion’s official FAQ section.