Category Archives: Web

Most Recommended Web Hosting Services

Having the right kind of hosting account for your website is crucial to the success and sustenance of your online business. Making the wrong choice could result in loss of traffic, and several other server mishaps which ultimately decrease the value and reputability of your eCommerce efforts. Poor server management and resource allocation can cause anything from slow page loads to server crashes, and even decreased search engine ranking. Without the right kind of hosting, it is nearly impossible to have your website or blog perform optimally, especially as you begin to receive more daily visitors and update your site with content. If you want to make your website as successful as possible, then you’ll need to have access to the right kind of webhost services.

Most Recommended Web Hosting Services

Below are some of our best and recommended web hosting services according to our own experience on web development:

HostGator

HostGator is a world leading provider of web hosting. Since 2002, company is privately owned and based in Houston, Texas. Since then, HostGator has grown from a small hosting company with just three servers into a world leading and industry recognized hosting provider with more than 12,000 servers under management. The over five million domains hosted by HostGator make up approximately 1% of the world’s Internet traffic. As a technology and product innovator, HostGator is able to provide its more than 400,000 customers with innovative products and services designed to complement their existing businesses. HostGator serves customers ranging from individual freelancers to Fortune 500 companies in more than 200 countries. The company is constantly working to improve and refine their service and support. HostGator has earned a great number of web hosting awards. Their customers range from large sized businesses down to personal bloggers and HostGator supports each of them with care and professionalism. If you are searching for a place to start or grow your own website, Hostgator is what you are looking for. Competitive pricing plans, countless accolades, best technology, and top-notch support are the reasons why go with HostGator. If not ready to settle you can try a month with HostGator just for a penny. All of HostGator’s shared and reseller servers are powered and cooled by wind power generated in state of Texas.

BlueHost

BlueHost has been has been providing quality hosting solutions to thousands of business and personal web sites since 1996. Today, BlueHost has become one of the most recognizable names in the web hosting industry with over 1,000,000 domain names hosted. BlueHost has become well known for providing some excellent features and benefits at the low cost. Their technical support is ranked as one of the best on the market. BlueHost has placed themselves among the leaders of the web hosting world by offering unlimited disk space and monthly transfer on top of package that includes a free domain and site builder. Their professional Web Hosting plan includes all the features you are looking for at the best possible price. Great customer service and excellent products is what really sets BlueHost apart from other web hosting companies. Let’s not forget their latest technologies that help businesses and individuals get high-powered service at a fraction of the cost. If you look around you might be able to find cheaper web hosting companies but with BlueHost you will get the best value for money. All of their packages are backed up by a 30-Day Money Back guarantee, so you can give BlueHost a try without losing a dime. At last, BlueHost is highly recommended and reliable when it comes in choosing a web host.

JustHost

JustHost are dedicated to providing their customers with the most reliable web hosting service possible at the best possible price. Only $3.50 per month! JustHost is number one when it comes to web hosting, and it’s no surprise that it has grown into one of the most recognizable brands today. When it comes to the extra features that you get when you sign up, JustHost is unbeatable. Each plan comes with unlimited monthly transfer (bandwidth) and unlimited disk space, and you can host as many domains as you like with a single account. There are many additional benefits, such as a fantastic site builder, Fantastico and Google advertising credits. JustHost focus heavily on customer service and the quality and level of technical support is top-notch. On top of this, the pricing and value for money is excellent, which make JustHost the number one choice for many people. Affordable price plans, secure servers, first class 24/7 technical support and a wide range of extra features make hosting your website with JustHost the logic choice. JustHost offers top quality product at great price. In terms of reliability, the load-balancing technology means that downtime is almost eliminated. The cpanel is easy to use and contains some great features which will keep all customers happy, whether they are new to web designing or an experienced professional. Customer support is excellent, and really sets the mark for other companies to aim for, and overall value for money is fantastic. By having unlimited amounts of bandwidth and disk space, you do not have to worry about changing your package every few months as your site expands. At last, JustHost offers 30-Day money back guarantee demonstrating the confidence in its products.

InMotion

Inmotion Hosting is one of the best web hosts around and is the most popular among businesses for a secure and reliable experience. Established in 2001, Inmotion Hosting can be considered a veteran in the web hosting industry. Backed by a team of experts with diverse technical backgrounds, Inmotion Hosting focuses on the latest technology to provide the best reliability for a smooth experience.

HostMonster

HostMonster has been providing reliable hosting solutions to thousands of businesses and individuals since 1996. Their web hosting plan helps businesses and individuals get high-powered service at an extremely affordable price with unlimited bandwidth, unlimited disk space and an unlimited number of add-on domains. All of the above makes your website ready to use as soon as you have signed up. HostMonster offers a great web hosting product that is second to none. Their web hosting is reliable and secure. When it comes to the control panel it is easy to use and contains some great features. Nevertheless, their customer support and value for money are some of the best in the industry. HostMonster makes customer satisfaction a big deal. Therefore, they offer a 24/7 technical support with average hold times less than 3 minutes. Choosing HostMonster as your web hosting company means you will be making a good decision.

Choosing a web host requires that you take an appraisal of your website, the technology used to create it, your web page elements and your future growth. You will also have to make room for emerging technologies and web trends. All of these scenarios require that you choose a web hosting provider with utmost care.

You will have to first compile all the above lists of hosts that meet your need and then sift them down to the one that best meets your need at the least price. In determining your ultimate choice, you are considering several factors, such as customer response time, reputation, server uptime guarantee, security and reliability. You are going to choose a host that will give you value for money and at the same time make you retain your hard won customers.

How to Benefit From Your Web Hosting

Choosing a good Web Hosting service should take priority when you set out on developing a website for your business. The task is not easy, considering that there are so many web hosting companies out there. Many companies tend to leave the task to their web designers to provide their own hosting or recommend a web host. Whatever the case may be there are a few facts you should consider before making a decision to ensure you get a reliable, secure and efficient web hosting service that is affordable and worthwhile.

If you are conscious about efficiency and reliability when it comes to providing services to your customers then you should consider reading through this article, as it is meant to give you basic insight into the most important facts you should look out for when purchasing a web hosting service.

There are many Web Hosting Companies in Kenya today and choosing the right company might be difficult but the following facts remain the same across the board.

1. Reliability

A reliable server means your website will be up and running at all times and you will be able to access and send emails to your customers without interruptions. However, since technology can only be reliable up to a certain extent you want to look out for the best managed servers in terms of up time, security and customer service. The best providers offer up to 99.9% uptime guarantee and a 24/7 support that ensures any issues you have are taken care of immediately. There are also server software that enables better management, monitoring and control. Some technologies such as CloudLinux enable better management of servers running on shared Linux servers and ensure that malicious programs that consume and interrupt server resources for other users on the same server are controlled.

2. Efficiency

Servers consume a lot of energy and the lesser the energy they consume the better for our environment and overall energy costs. Most certainly there are significant financial and social benefits for companies to undertake green initiatives and this can be accomplished by implementing energy efficient servers, better server architecture and power supply systems. If the Web Hosting Company has taken the initiatives to implement green technology the better.

3. Features

Web Hosting plans usually consist of a combination of features that make it easy and efficient to manage your website. This is the part where many web hosting companies differ as they want to provide different packages for a variety of target markets depending on needs. This enables you to make a choice based on your individual needs enabling you to pay for only what you need, but if you expect your business to grow and expect to have a lot of visitors on your website then it would be wise to choose an unlimited web hosting plan which is a popular and a fast growing trend. The most important web hosting features to consider before making your choice include:

3. a) Disk space

 Disk space is the amount of storage allocated to a website by a web hosting provider. The storage can be used to store HTML files, videos, photos and anything that is used by the website. Normally the disk space allocated is not only for the website but is also used for email storage, databases and web log files. The amount of storage required depends on the size of your website and volume of emails. If you’re not sure then consult your web designer or you can opt for Unlimited Web Hosting which is quite affordable and includes unlimited Bandwidth, Unlimited Databases and Unlimited Email accounts.

3. b) Bandwidth

Bandwidth refers to data or information transmission rates when communicating over certain media such as hosting server. Bandwidth allocated by a web hosting company refers to the amount of allowable data transfer per month for a website. When an online user visits your website, a webpage is transferred from the server to the user’s web browser. The higher the number of visitors to your website the more data is transferred to the website therefore, observe the bandwidth allocation as you compare the various packages offered by the web host.

3. c) Server Side Technology

Server side technology refers to the applications that execute on the server. These technologies include, ASP, JSP, CGI, PHP, SSI, which when executed will generate the HTML content dynamically. These applications provide flexibility to generate dynamic web content for various users using different browsers such as Firefox and Microsoft IE. Consult you provider and find out what scripts are included with your service.

3. d) Email Features

On shared web hosting every package makes provisions for a certain amount of email accounts, except for unlimited web hosting plans which allows unlimited email accounts. This can be quite useful for medium and large organizations that require a lot of email accounts for various employees. The system uses POP3 access where emails can be downloaded directly to your email processor such as MS Outlook. You can also access emails via the browser through the webmail application. Other emails features that should be included are email forwarding and auto responders.

3. e) Security

Web hosting security can be a real nightmare especially when you don’t know what is wrong and what you don’t know about your web hosting can really hurt your business especially for those who are running e-commerce websites. Shared hosting servers can be vulnerable to attacks by hackers who upload malware or other malicious programs or code onto a server. Once this content is uploaded then it becomes an imminent danger to other users whose data is hosted on the server. The malware can be used for anything from launching a DDOS (Distributed Denial of Service) attack, stealing credit card information to hijacking an entire hosting server. Web hosting companies implement a raft of measures to ensure that their security is up to par and data is regularly backed up to a remote server in the event that their servers are compromised. While it is the responsibility of web hosting company to provide the highest level of security on behalf of their clients it is the prudent for clients to ensure they take precautions to ensure they do not inadvertently misuse their accounts. Higher a professional web designer to make sure that your website is safe and secure for users and to avoid unnecessary interruptions.

4. Technical Support

Consider technical support before you sign up with a web hosting company because server interruptions may occur at anytime and if you provider is not available then this may result serious problems even loss of revenue for your business. Many companies offer 24/7/365 customer support through telephone and live chat from where you can speak directly to an agent. If the problem is serious then the problem can be escalated to technical support and the problem solved within a short period of time.

Usasi Media Ltd [http://usasimedia.co.ke/web-hosting/] is a web design company that provides interactive web design services that add value. We like to combine a good websites with reliable and secure web hosting services that will ensure productivity and value to your customers.

3 Types Of Web Application Architecture

Such terms as ”web app”, ”front-end architecture”, ”Web 2.0”, and ”HTML5 apps” have recently become trendy. Unfortunately these terms are often used in a misleading context which doesn’t consider the full specificity of implementation and usage of web app architecture. Today we’ll try to find out more about the types of web application architecture in the light of the latest web trends and key issues that matter to software owners.

We’ll outline 3 main types of web architecture and discuss their advantages and drawbacks for three points of view: software owner, software contractor (developer) and end user. There can be other types but they basically come down to these three as their subtypes.

First we’ll define a web application: it’s a client-server application – there is a browser (the client) and a web server. The logic of a web application is distributed among the server and the client, there’s a channel for information exchange, and the data is stored mainly on the server. Further details depend on the architecture: different ones distribute the logic in different ways. It can be placed on the server as well as on the client side.

It’s near to impossible to evaluate these completely different architectures impartially. But we’ll try to, using several criteria of evaluation:

User:
Responsiveness/Usability. Updates of data on pages, switching between pages (response time). Such qualities of user interface as richness and intuitiveness in use.
Linkability. Ability to save bookmarks and links to various sections of the website.
Offline work. Speaks for itself.

Developer:
Speed of development. Addition of new functional features, refactoring, parallelizing the development process between developers, layout designers, etc.
Performance. Maximum speed of response from the server with minimum consumption of computation power.
Scalability. Ability to increase computation power or disc space under increases in amounts of information and/or number of users. In case the allocated scalable system is used, one must provide data consistence, availability and partition tolerance (CAP theorem). It’s also worth noting that the case, when the number of features/screens of the client app is increased at the software owner’s request, depends on the framework and implementation rather than the type of web architecture.
Testability. Possibility and easiness of automated unit testing.

Software owner:
Functional extendability. Adding functionality within minimal time and budget.
SEO. Users must be able to find the application through any search engine.
Support. Expenses on app infrastructure – hardware, network infrastructure, maintenance staff.
Security. The software owner must be sure that both business data and information about users are kept secure. As the main security criterion we’ll consider the possibility of changes in functionality of app behavior on the client side, and all associated risks. Standard dangers are the same for the compared architectures. We do not consider security on the ‘server-client’ channel, because all these architectures are equally exposed to break-ins – this channel can be the same.
Conversion: site – mobile or desktop application. Possibility to publish the application on mobile markets or to make a desktop application out of it with minimal additional costs.

Some of these criteria might seem inaccurate, but the purpose of the article is not to show what’s good and what’s bad. It’s more of a detailed review that shows the possible options of choice.

Let’s outline three main types of web applications according to the roles performed by the server and the client browser.

Type 1: Server-side HTML

The most widespread architecture. The server generates HTML-content and sends it to the client as a full-fledged HTML-page. Sometimes this architecture is called ”Web 1.0”, since it was the first to appear and currently dominates the web.

Responsiveness/Usability: 1/5. The least optimal value among these architectures. It’s so because there is a great amount of data transferred between the server and the client. The user has to wait until the whole page reloads, responding to trivial actions, for example, when only a part of the page needs to be reloaded. UI templates on the client depend directly on the frameworks applied on the server. Due to the limitations of mobile internet and huge amounts of transferred data, this architecture is hardly applicable in the mobile segment. There are no means of sending instant data updates or changes in real time. If we consider the possibility of real-time updates via generation of ready chunks of content on the server side and updates of the client (through AJAX, WebSockets), plus design with partial changes of a page, we’ll go beyond this architecture.

Linkability: 5/5. The highest of the three, since it’s the easiest implementable. It’s due to the fact that by default one URL receives particular HTML-content on the server.

SEO: 5/5. Rather easily implemented, similarly to the previous criterion – the content is known beforehand.
Speed of development: 5/5. This is the oldest architecture, so it’s possible to choose any server language and framework for particular needs.

Scalability: 4/5. If we take a look at the generation of HTML, under the increasing load comes the moment when load balance will be needed. There’s a much more complicated situation with scaling databases, but this task is the same for these three architectures.

Performance: 3/5. Tightly bound to responsiveness and scalability in terms of traffic, speed etc. Performance is relatively low because a big amount of data must be transferred, containing HTML, design, and business data. Therefore it’s necessary to generate data for the whole page (not only for the changed business data), and all the accompanying information (such as design).

Testability: 4/5. The positive thing is that there’s no need in special tools, which support JavaScript interpretation, to test the front-end, and the content is static.

Security: 4/5. The application behavior logic is on the server side. However, data are transferred overtly, so a protected channel may be needed (which is basically a story of any architecture that concerns the server). All the security functionality is on the server side.

Conversion: site – mobile or desktop application: 0/5. In most cases it’s simply impossible. Rarely there’s an exception (more of exotics): for example, if the server is realized upon node.js, and there are no large databases; or if one utilizes third-party web services for data acquisition (however, it’s a more sophisticated variant of architecture). Thus one can wrap the application in node-webkit or analogous means.

Offline work: 2/5. Implemented with a manifest on the server, which is entered to HTML5 specifications. If the browser supports such a specification, all pages of the application will be cached: in case the connection is off, the user will see a cached page.

Type 2: JS generation widgets (AJAX)

Evolved architecture of the first type. The difference is that the page, which is displayed in the browser, consists of widgets (functionally independent units). Data are uploaded to these widgets through AJAX query from the server: either as a full-fledged chunk of HTML, or as JSON, and transforms (through JavaScript-templating/binding) into the content of the page. The option of uploading chunks of HTML excludes the necessity of using JavaScript-MV*-frameworks on the client side; in this case something simpler can be used – for example, jQuery. By lowering interactivity we boost the development speed and make functionality cheaper and more reliable.

The foremost advantage is that updates from the server arrive only for the part of the page requested by the client. It’s also good that widgets are separated functionally. A particular widget is in charge of a part of the page; changes in a part will not affect the whole page.

Responsiveness/Usability: 3/5. The volume of transferred data for a part of a page is smaller than for the whole page, that’s why responsiveness is higher. But since a page is a set of widgets, the applicable UI templates in a web application are limited by the chosen UI framework. Cold start (the first full loading) of such a page will take a little longer. The content, which is fully generated and cached on the server, can be instantly displayed on the client; here time is spent on getting the data for the widget and, as a rule, on templating. At the first visit the website will not be that quick to load, but further it will be much more pleasant in use, if compared to sites based on the architecture of the first type. Also it’s worth to mention the possibility of implementation of ”partial” loading (like it’s done on yahoo.com).

Linkability: 2/5. Here special tools and mechanisms are needed. As a rule, Hash-Bang mechanism is applied.
SEO: 2/5. There are special mechanisms for these tasks. For example, for promotion of websites based on this architecture it’s possible to predefine the list of promoted pages and make static URLs for them, without parameters and modificators.

Speed of development: 3/5. Not only does one need to know the server-side technologies, but also to use JavaScript frameworks on the client side. It’s also required to implement web services on the server side.

Performance: 4/5. The time and resources, spent on generation of HTML-content, are relatively minor if compared to the time spent by the app on retrieving data from the databases, and on their processing before templating. Use of the extended type of this architecture (when data are transferred as JSON) lowers the traffic between the client and the server, but adds an abstraction level to the application: retrieval from database -> data processing, serialization in JSON -> API: JSON -> parsing of JSON -> binding of data object on the client to HTML.

Scalability: 4/5. Same as for the first type of architecture.

Testability: 1/5. It’s required to test the server side, the client code, and the web service which returns the data to update widgets.

Security: 4/5. Part of the logic is shifted to the client JavaScript which can be modified by an intruder.

Conversion: site – mobile or desktop application: 0/5. Same as for the first type of architecture.

Offline work: 1/5. The manifest mechanism works in this case, but there’s a problem with updating or caching the data displayed on the widget. This functionality has to be implemented additionally: in the manifest can be indicated only names of the files which will be cached from the server. Correlation between the widget template file, cached in the manifest, and logic of page behavior requires extra labor efforts.

Type 3: Service-oriented single-page Web apps (Web 2.0, HTML5 apps)

Here we’d like to say that the term ”Web 2.0” isn’t quite correct here. One of peculiarities of Web 2.0 is the principle of involving users into filling and repeated adjustments of content. Basically the term ”Web 2.0” means projects and services which are actively developed and improved by users themselves: blogs, wikis, social networks. This means Web 2.0 isn’t bound to one technology or a set of technologies.

Let’s figure out the essence of this architecture. An HTML-page is downloaded from the server. This page is a container for JavaScript-code. This code adresses a particular web service and retrieves business data only. The data are used by JavaScript application, which generates the HTML-content of the page. This type of architecture is the evolution of the previous type, which actually is a self-sufficient and rather complex JavaScript application, where part of the functionality is shifted to the client side. To compare, the architecture of the second type cannot show a high number of interrelated and structured functions.

It’s also worth noting that nowadays rarely do appear JavaScript apps which work fully offline (with few exceptions, e.g. rad-js.com). This approach allows an easily made reverse conversion: publish an existing application on the web.

Responsiveness/Usability: 5/5. The volume of data transferred for updates, is minimal. That’s why responsiveness is at the highest level. UI is generated via JavaScript, it’s possible to implement any necessary variants. There is an issue with multithreading in JavaScript: in this particular case processing of big volumes of business data should be shifted to the web service.

Linkability: 1/5. One will need special tools and mechanisms, as well as frameworks which can use, for example, Hash-Bang mechanism.

SEO: 1/5. The hardest architecture to promote. If the whole app is promoted directly, there’s no problem: it’s possible to promote the application container. If it’s needed for a part of the application, a special mechanism will be needed for that purpose. Each more or less big search engine offers its own methods of standartization for this process.

Speed of development: 2/5. It’s required to develop a web service and apply more specialized JavaScript frameworks which build the app architecture. Since the architecture is relatively new, there aren’t many specialists who are able to create a high-quality site/system based on this approach. There aren’t many time-tested tools, frameworks and approaches.

Performance: 5/5. Under this architecture this criterion has the lowest influence from the server side. The server only has to give the JavaScript application to the browser. On the client side performance and browser type are of the biggest importance.

Scalability: 5/5. All the web logic is on the client side, there is no content generation on the server. When there’s an increase in the number of users, it’s required to scale only the web services that give the business data.

Testability: 3/5. It’s required to test web services and the client JavaScript code.

Security: 0/5. All the logic is shifted to the client JavaScript, which can be relatively easily modified by an intruder. For protected systems it’s required to develop a preventive architecture, which considers the peculiarities of open-source applications.

Conversion: site – mobile or desktop application: 5/5. A website becomes an application with the help of such platform as PhoneGap or similar ones.

Offline work: 5/5. This architecture is a full-fledged application; it’s possible to save separate data, as well as parts of the application using any storage (for example, localstorage). One more advantage is the possibility to switch data storage and management to the offline mode. To compare, the two aforementioned arhitectures are only partially functional in the offline. Here the missing data can be replaced with mocks, it’s possible to show alert windows or use data from the local storage, while synchronization may be left for later.

Thus we can see that there’s no perfect architecture – the optimal choice depends on tasks and priorities. If some criterion wasn’t mentioned here, it doesn’t mean it was ignored – it’s just the fact that for each particular software project every criterion has different importance. Each project must be discussed separately so the software owner will be able to make a choice. For every real project one of these criteria may be defining. It’s also possible to optimize the architecture of the app or implement a hybrid architecture which will perfectly meet the business requirements.

Web Design and Development Information

Web design usually involves many varied disciplines and skills in the maintenance and production of websites. The different parts that encompasses web designing include interface design, graphic design, authoring which includes proprietary software and standardized code, search engine optimization and user experience design. Although some designers may specialize in all the aspects of web design, most designers usually work in groups each individual tackling a different aspect of the process.

The term web design is mostly used to refer to the design process involving the front-end design of a site that includes writing mark up too. In the wider scope of website development, Web design is partially complex more than web engineering. This is because web designers are expected to have the technical Know-How in usability and to be at par with the current website accessibility guidelines if their work involves creating mark up too.

HTML and CSS in Web design

HyperText Markup Language commonly known as HTML, plays a big role in web design since it gives the content in the website, it’s meaning and structure by defining what the content is, for instance, paragraphs, images, headings and so on. Cascading Style Sheets or what is commonly referred to as CSS, is a display language used to enhance the appearance of the content in the site for example use of colors and fonts.

Both the languages CSS and HTML are used independently of each other and that should be maintained when dealing with web design. For instance in all your web related activities such as “Web Design and development, appearance, website, homepage, HTML” HTML should not be written in a CSS document vice versa. The general rule is that HTML should always be representing content while CSS should always represent how that content appears. For those who are the beginners of HTML, in some cases you might encounter strange and often-new terms but with time you are likely to become more conversant with all of them. However, the commonly used terms in HTML you should begin with include attributes, tags and elements.

New standards in HTML and CSS

To enhance “Web Design and development, appearance, website, homepage, HTML” the W3C recently released new standards of CSS the CSS3 and HTML the HTML5. Additionally the W3C released new JavaScript API’s. Although they are all new but they are all individual standards. While the new term HTML 5 solely refers to the latest version of the HTML and a number of the JavaScript API’s it is common to hear most people use it to refer to the whole lot of the new standard both the CSS3,the HTML 5 and JavaScript.

Technologies and Tools used in web design

Depending on the step of the production process, web designers use a wide range of varied tools in their work. Though the principles behind them remain the same, the tools and technologies are updated with time by the current software and standards. To create design prototypes or and images that are formatted on the web, web designers use raster and vector graphics. The main technology used in creating websites is the standardized mark up, which can be generated or handcooked using the WYSIWYG editing software. Furthermore, there is proprietary software that uses plug-ins to bypass the user’s browser versions. They are mostly WYSIWYG but with the choice of using the scripting language of the software. Search engine optimization strategies may also be applied to check the ranking at the search engine and suggest ways of improving it. Other tools used are the mark up validators and other tools used for testing accessibility and usability. This is to make sure that the website meets the website accessibity guideline.

Homepage design

Most Usability professionals and experts such as Kyle Soucy and Jakob Nielsen have on a number of times insisted on homepage design for any website success since the homepage is the most essential part of a website. However, in the early 2000’s it was discovered that a surging number of web traffic was inconsiderate to the homepage and was directly going to the contents of the pages via e-newsletters, RSS feeds and search engines.

Due to this, it is evident that homepages play a lesser important role in the success of any website. In the years 2012 and 2013 rotating banners and sliders, also known as carousels became a very popular component of web design on homepages. The carousels are used to display recent content in a specific space. However, while undertaking “Web Design and development, appearance, website, homepage, HTML” it should be noted that carousels often damage site’s usability and search engine optimization.

Web development

The term web development is used to refer to the work involved in coming up with a website for the World Wide Web. Development usually ranges from coming with simple single page sites using plain text to the complex web applications, social network services and electronic businesses. Tasks in web development include web design, client liaison and e-commerce development.

Web site appearance

The feel and look of your site is more essential than just displaying the information you want, but doing it in a way that it appeals and creates attention from your target audience information. Multiple factors should be taken into account when scaling out the appearance of your website. One of the major considerations is your intended audience. Look at their nationality, gender, age bracket, animations, colors, animations and graphics.

In summary, the idea here is to assist you develop a site that appeals and gets attention from the largest possible audience in all your work including web design and development.

Causes of Web Breaks in Web Offset Printing

In web offset printing, the reel of paper is unwound at very high speeds and the paper web is passed from the reel stand through the print unit to the folder. Along the web path, steel rollers are installed which stabilize the web by stretching it out to give it some tension. For the paper web to pass through its path at high speed and print correctly, it needs to be tight but should not break. In most modern web offset machines, photocell sensors are installed along the web path to ensure continuity of the web all through the duration of the printing process. These sensors give continuous feedback signal to the machine controls. When there is an interruption of the signal, the machine stops to avoid paper being pulled into the rollers and rotating cylinders causing damage to the machine.

During printing there are instances when the web breaks. This disrupts the printing process because the machine will come to a stop. Machine stoppages lead to high wastage and low efficiencies and productivity. With every start up, the initial prints have to be scrapped before a quality print is obtained. Quality will eventually be affected with speed fluctuations due to stoppages and start ups. To improve efficiency, minimize waste, improve quality and improve productivity, stoppages should be minimized as much as possible. Web breaks are one of the main causes of stoppages in web offset printing. The following are the 5 major causes of web breaks in web offset printing;

Reel defects

Some paper reels have manufacture’s defects such as out of roundness, poor winding, poor joints, foreign objects, glue inside or on the sides of the reel, loose reel core among others. In most cases, such defects will lead to web breaks during run. The reel may also have damages due to poor handling, storage or transport. Poor storage can also affect the condition of the reel either making it too dry or too moist affecting its performance on the press. Poor quality paper will also break when subjected to tension. Reel defects and paper quality are therefore major causes of web breaks in web offset printing.

Reel stand fault

Another major cause of web break in web offset printing is a fault condition on the reel stand. The reel stand is designed to apply just the correct tension on the reel as demanded by the pressman. Using pneumatic and electronic controls, the tension rollers apply tension on the reel and the web to make it stretch out from the reel stand all the way into the print unit and to the folder. A fault in the electronic or the pneumatic controls or in the calibration of the tension rollers will result in either too much tension or low tension. This will lead to a web break and the machine will stop. Due to a fault, the reel stand may not be able to change from one reel to another automatically leading to a web break. Therefore, the condition of the reel stand can be a cause of web breaks in web offset printing.

Poor tension controls

During press operation, the pressman adjusts web tension parameters according to press and paper conditions. Depending on his judgment, he may remotely increase or reduce paper tension at the main control console. On this console, the pressman is able to manipulate the paper tension at the reel stand, after the print unit or at the folder on a central screen at the touch of a button. If he increases or reduces the tension too much, the web will break and the machine will stop. Poor tension control is hence another major cause of web break in web offset printing.

Poor ink and water balance

Lithographic offset printing process relies on the principle that water and oil do not mix. In simple terms, the ink which is oil based and dampening solution which is water based, are applied onto the printing plate surface. Image areas of the plate are oleophilic and will attract the oily ink and repel the dampening solution while the non-image areas of the plate are hydrophilic and will attract the dampening solution and repel the oily ink. The balance between the dampening solution and ink applied is critical in getting a clean quality print output. If too much water is applied, the excess water will end up being absorbed by the paper. Water soaked paper will easily break under tension. Excessive use of water during printing is therefore major cause of web break in in web offset printing.

Poor splice pattern

Paper reels come in different sizes. Weights and diameters vary depending on paper mills. Different manufactures produce paper reels depending on client and market demands. Depending on the number of copies to be produced, many reels may be required. As one reel is consumed, the reel stand will have to change to a new reel automatically to avoid press stoppage. For this change to take place smoothly and at high speed, a splice pattern has to be made. The web from the expiring reel will be pasted to the new reel which will then continue to unwind and will be fed into the print unit for production. For this change over and pasting to be successful, the arrangement of the pattern has to be correct. The gum and the splice indicator have to be place at the right position. A pattern that is poorly made will end up in a web break because the pasting will not be accurate or strong to withstand the tension on the paper. Hence poor splice patterns are major causes of web breaks in web offset printing.

Choosing the Right Web Designer

Creating your web site can be a tricky process. Choosing the best web design company for your site is extremely important. Unless you run a web-based business, you probably do not have web design experience within your company. Building your web site will take time and a little homework!

To create a web site for your business, follow these 4 simple steps:

  1. Establish your goals
  2. Determine your budget
  3. Pick a web design company
  4. Pick a web hosting company

Establish Your Goals

Before you begin looking for company to help you design and build your web site, take the time to understand the goals of your web site. This will be extremely important to help set expectations with the web design company you choose.

In order to set your web site goals, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Why do you want a web site?
  • Are you selling something?
  • Do you have a catalog of products that changes on a regular basis?
  • Who is your target market?
  • Do you already have a brand?
  • What is your industry?
  • Who are your competitors?
  • Do they already have web sites? If so, what do they look like?
  • If you’re selling something, will you accept credit cards over the internet?
  • How soon do you want your web site?
  • What happens if you never create a web site for your business?

Take the time to answer each of the above questions and if you have time, write the answers down on a sheet of paper. These are the same questions most web design companies will ask you before they begin to create your site. If you have these questions answered up front, you will have some criteria for choosing the right web design company. For example, if you are a real estate agent, and want to publish listings on your web site, you should seek a web design company that knows about the real estate business and has created web pages for other real estate agents.

Determine Your Budget

How much do you want to spend on your web site. Web sites can cost you anywhere from $100 to $100,000 depending upon what you want it to do. Know your spending constraints before you begin negotiating with design companies. Whatever you do, do not tell a web design company what your budget is!! Always get pricing based on your needs, not you budget.

Pick a Web Design Company

Your choice of a web design company is a very important step. Take your time to investigate all of your options. Here are some important items to consider.

Design vs. Build

Depending upon the scope of your web site, you may need to choose two different companies. Building a web site is a highly technical process. Designing a web site is a highly creative process. Many advertising firms specialize in web site design which does not necessarily require any web development skills whatsoever. The process of creating a web site is similar to the process of building a new home. Before you ask a construction company to start building, you first seek out an architect who creates a blueprint of your house taking into account what you want (number of stories, square footage, etc.). Creating a detailed blueprint before construction begins can help you accurately estimate the final price. Without the blueprint, you may end up paying a lot of money for a house that does not fit your needs. Creating a web site is exactly the same except most web site “builders” also claim to be “designers”. The good news is that you can look at other sites a web design company has created (like looking at other homes that a home builder has made). Make sure you ask the web design company what their process is for designing a web site vs. building a web site. They should understand the difference between these two concepts. If they don’t, they’re probably builder that think they can also architect.

Evaluate Experience

Has the web design company created web sites similar to yours? Do they have relevant industry experience? As with any services company, choosing someone that has relevant experience. If you want to sell products through your web site and accept credit card payments, does the web design company you are considering have experience doing just that?

Review the Portfolio

A well established web design company will have a solid portfolio of web sites that they have created for other clients. Ask for links to other site the design company has created and review each one. Do you like what you see? Do the sites have a style that appeals to you? In addition to reviewing web sites, ask for customer references. Contact their clients and ask them about their experience with the web design company. Were they happy with the results? Did they get what they paid for? How much did they pay? Would they recommend them? How long did it take? What didn’t they like about the company? How responsive was the company when they had questions?

Compare Prices

Pricing for creating a web site can vary. Typically, web design companies will charge one of three ways:

  • Time and materials: price is variable based on the actual number of hours spent working on your site. For example, a web design company may charge you $75 per hour. If it takes 100 hours to create your web site, your price would end up being $7,500.
  • Fixed Price: some design companies will charge you a fixed fee based on a fixed set of requirements. If you outline your requirements very carefully, many web design companies will quote you a single price.
  • Component Pricing: some design companies will charge “by the page”. By creating a price based on the number of pages, you can control the cost by designing a specific number of pages. Buyer beware: some design companies will charge by the page but will have “special pricing” for components such as custom graphics, animated images, and the like.

The most important step in pricing is to make sure the potential design company outline all of the prices associated with the work and puts it all in writing. Never enter into a deal unless all of the costs are well understood up front. Also make sure that you understand what “done” means. Try and structure the payments such that a significant portion of the fees (20%) are not due until you “accept” the final web site. Include the agreed-upon dates in your contract and provisions for what will happen if these dates are not met.

Solicit bids from multiple web design companies and compare both the pricing models and the prices themselves.

There are thousands of web designers across the country and they should all fight feverously for your business! Be picky! If a web design company dismisses any of your questions regarding their design process, pricing, or client references, take your business elsewhere!

Web Hosting Guide for Beginners

So you’re looking to learn about web hosting and what it has to offer or you may not know much about web hosting? There is no shame in not knowing this information. Everyone has to start at the beginning at some point. On that note, lets begin learning about web hosting.

First off, what is web hosting and how does it work?

Web hosting is the business practice of providing space and bandwidth on a high-powered computer server that is connected to the Internet at very high speeds. Hosting companies maintain large networks of high-powered web server computers in a physical location known as a data center. These computer servers are connected to a very fast, and generally redundant, Internet connection. The data centers have primary and backup power, a fast connection to the Internet, and a security monitoring staff.

The web hosting companies provide a share of disk space and available bandwidth to a customer for a monthly fee. Once the customer is signed up, they can upload files to their personal space on the web server and the information is then viewable to anyone interested on the Internet. The monthly fee the web hosting company charges is much less than what it would cost to run a server out of your own home or data center. This is the reason these companies exist. They take care of all the hardware, software, and other technical needs for you.

Types of web hosting

There are many different types of web hosting offers, but the main three are shared, reseller, and dedicated. Each type of hosting is for a different purpose.

Shared Web Hosting

Shared web hosting is the most popular form of hosting. Shared hosting is a portion of disk space and bandwidth provided to you by the web hosting company on a high-powered server. There are many other web sites hosted on this server, and the hosting company is likely to have quite a few of these servers in a large data center. The resources of the server are shared by as many other websites as are allocated to that computer.

Shared web hosting is the best form of web hosting if you are looking for a great price and don’t have more than a couple thousand daily visitors to your site.

Reseller Web Hosting

Reseller web hosting is a popular, low-cost solution to starting your own web hosting business. There are two types of reseller hosting, private-label and a reseller of services.

The private-label is the best type of reseller plan because it allows you to retain full control over your customer’s websites. A private-label plan allows the reseller to keep the full monthly payment of the web-hosting customer, but the reseller must pay a monthly fee to the larger hosting company for the reseller space. The more hosting accounts a private-label reseller can sell, the higher the profit for them. Private-label hosting allows you to host many more websites than if you were using shared hosting for each. This is a great solution for someone who has many sites they need to host in one location to save money.

The reseller of services plans resell the regular web hosting plans of a larger web hosting company, but you get a discounted price for providing the customer and earn a monthly fee for as long as they remain a customer. This plan does not allow control over customer web sites and you only keep a portion of the potentially monthly revenue.

Dedicated Web Hosting

Dedicated web hosting is the most powerful and cost effective solution of hosting a busy web site without resorting to buying your own equipment and paying hundreds of dollars per month for a fast Internet connection. Dedicated hosting consists of single server with no one else hosting on that computer. This allows for the greatest of configuration options. Anyone who has a busy website will find dedicated hosting is the necessary choice.

Web Hosting Considerations

Wondering about all the other information listed in web hosting plans? In this section, I will explain the most important considerations in choosing a good web host.

Price

The price of web hosting services is one of the most important. There are many hosting companies out there with cheap hosting packages, but they may be lacking in other areas. Don’t let the price of a hosting package fool you. There are some hosting companies out there who have great prices and the other features are just as good. Price may be one of the most important decisions of a web hosting plan, but there is much more to consider in choosing a quality web host.

Disk Space / Storage Space

Disk space is the amount of physical storage space a web host gives to you to store your web files. Hosting companies these days have plans with disk space being measured mostly in terms of gigabytes, but some are still offering plans in the megabytes for storage space. Depending on your needs for file storage space, you may need more or less. Generally the more disk space offered, the better.

Bandwidth / Data Transfer

The amount of bandwidth available can make a big difference in choosing a quality hosting plan. In general, the more bandwidth a hosting company makes available to you, the better. This means you can support more traffic to your web site as your business grows. Be wary of web hosting companies that offer unlimited or unmetered bandwidth. While many of these are legitimate offers, there are some out there who are overselling their bandwidth in hopes the average user won’t use much.

Customer Support

In any business, it is very important to provide exception customer service. Web hosting is no exception to this. Many of the hosting companies are available all day and night in case you have a problem with your web site, but there are some who are just available specific hours of the day. If your web site goes down in the middle of the night when they’re not available, this means lost revenue for a business. You should make sure the web host you select is always available for support.

Money Back Guarantee

Most web hosting companies will provide a thirty-day money back guarantee. Some will provide one even long, but be wary of the ones who offer no money back guarantee. I would not purchase web hosting services from a company who does not offer at least a 30 day money back guarantee, unless they have proven themselves to be a leader in the industry and have an excellent reputation.

Operating System

An operating system is a piece of software that controls the interaction between the computer user and the physical hardware of the machine. A vast majority of all web sites on the Internet run on the Linux operation system. Linux is generally much more stable than Windows. Stability is critical in running a web site. For this reason, I prefer to host my web sites on the Linux operating system. Some sites have specific requirements that only the Windows operating system can satisfy, but there are always alternatives to those requirements.

Backup

A good web hosting company will have a regular schedule to backup the data on all the web servers. The more often the data is backed up, the better. At the very least, a web hosting company should backup web site files daily.

Control Panel

The control panel is the point of contact the web site administrator will have between the host server and their own machine connected via the Internet. It is essential to have a well organized and easy to use control panel interface. My favorite control panel is cPanel, which is one of the leading web hosting control panels out there today. Plesk is another good one, and many companies will create their own control panel for you to use. Most web hosting companies will provide a link to a demo of the control panel they use with their hosting plans. The control panel used is a matter of preference, but it should be user friendly.

Email

Email is essential part of communication on the Internet. Most web hosting companies out there will give you more email addresses and more space to hold email messages than you will ever need. What you need to watch out for is the companies that have decided to be a little strict on their email accounts and only offer a small number or a small amount of message space.

Uptime

Uptime is a term used to describe how often the average web site hosted by a company is available online. No company should be expected to provide an exact 100% uptime. This is impossible due to things such as hardware, software, and power failures. A vast majority of the companies are very good with uptime, and they guarantee it. It is still a good idea to be conscious of the uptimes posted by the company. If it is not at least 99.5%, it is probably not worth hosting with that company.

Statistics

As a webmaster, it is nice to know how many visitors you’ve had, where they came from, how long they stay on your site, and how much bandwidth they’ve used. This information is collected by the web server and is placed in a log file. A statistics software package can read this data and provide meaningful information to the webmaster. The information gathered from these logs can be very valuable in improved services to the viewers of the web site.

FTP

FTP stands for file transfer protocol. It is a way of quickly uploading or downloading many files to and from a web server. Most web hosting companies will allow their customers access to their web hosting accounts via FTP. FTP is very useful and is a great feature to have when paying for a web hosting account.

Scripting

Since the World Wide Web began, many scripting languages have been created and have evolved into the dynamic and interactive environment we enjoy today. A scripting language is a way of adding functionality to a web site, whether it be to calculate numbers or to load information from an external database. Scripting languages have made electronic commerce possible. Some of these languages include PHP, ASP, JSP, Coldfusion, VBscript, Javascript, and Perl. I won’t go into the details of these in this article for the sake of complexity. If you know how to use these languages, you should know what to look for in a web server for them.

Databases

A database is a place to store data that can be used in a large variety of ways. Databases are used on the Internet for applications such as shopping carts, message boards, and product catalogues. The more databases the web hosting provider allows you to create, the most applications you can deploy on your web server. Databases are used by the more advanced web master, but information is freely available online should you be interested.

Choosing the Right Web Business Model

Overview

There are a number of different ways that you can set up an internet business. Think about all the different types of web business models that you have seen online. There are catalogue sites, one-product sites, there are information sites, sites that sell information, sites that contain content for the purpose of generating advertising revenue, web sites that focus on selling a product unique to itself, web sites that sell other people’s products, and web sites that exist for the purpose of simply generating a mailing list that can be used to direct visitors to any one of the other web models.

When you first get started, you must decide which of the models will best suit your current skill level and type of product or service you choose to sell. It is advisable to start with only one web model and become quite good at it, rather than trying to create several web models at first.

Content Model

One internet business model that has achieved some success as of late is that of the content-based site. Based on the combined principles of search engine traffic and advertising, content based sites are designed to offer web surfers informative content and create advertising revenue when surfing visitors click specially designed web links that lead the visitors to the advertisers’ web site.

Single Product Model

One of the most common models for beginner and even many of the profitable internet marketers is that of the single product web site. Many of the profitable internet marketers, although they may currently have multiple products, still sell each product from its own web site, sort of as a stand-alone product or business. One advantage to having a single-product web site or business is that you can focus on becoming very good at selling that one product. With literally millions of people online buying things everyday, it is often easier to become extremely good at one type of product or to test and tweak one web site, than it is to do the same with many products or web sites simultaneously.

Multiple Product Model

Catalog Product Model

With a catalog web business model, you will have an assortment of related products that can easily be marketed from the same web site. An example would be that of a candle web site, where you would have a number of different candles for sale, and perhaps some related products like candle holders and lighters. Another example would be that of a pet supplies web site, where you would market a number of different pet supplies from one web site. These are all related items which complement each other in some way, and the assortment of the items would benefit, rather than detract from, the sales process.

If you are just getting started, you certainly want to avoid setting up a ‘garage sale’ type web site, where you sell a little bit of everything. The reason for this is that you will have a difficult time attracting the right kind of traffic to purchase your products. If indeed you have an interest in selling a wide variety of products that are generally unrelated, consider using someone else’s web site that already has traffic geared towards that type of selection of merchandise, like eBay.

Sales Funnel Model

A sales funnel model is one in which you have a series of web sites or web pages that sell a series of related items to the same individual. A sales funnel can be extremely profitable when managed correctly.

An example of a sales funnel would be a set of information products that have a related them. The beginning of the sales funnel might be a free item, and then once the visitor has chosen to purchase that free item, you would direct them to the next item in the sales funnel, perhaps a $10 or $20 product. Once they have purchased that product, they would next be directed to purchase an even larger, or a more in depth product that might be priced at $40 or $50. After that, there might be a $100 product, and even a $500 to $1500 product.

The advantage of using a sales funnel is that the lower priced items help the customer develop trust in the business or product offering. It is a small decision to accept a free item, and once the person has done that, then it will be easier for him to open up his wallet to purchase the $10 or $20 product. Once again, when the customer has purchased that product, and it fulfills all the expectation created by the sales letter or web page, then there is less resistance to purchasing larger product. And the same principle will hold true as you move up the price scale in the sales funnel.

Some of the most successful individual internet marketers have used this technique to create large fortunes and very successful web businesses. Just think about how fewer products you have to sell at $500 than at $10, to get to a certain income level. And the sales funnel allows you to slowly but surely build until you have created enough trust to sell the higher-ticket items.

List Based Model

The list based model is another popular web business model, especially for the information vendor. By building a list and marketing to the list, rather than sending web visitors directly to a sales page, you are able to repeatedly send traffic to those same web sites, and capitalize on the effectiveness of repeated exposures to build a strong business. For example, a website might normally have a 1% conversion rate, meaning that on average, for every 100 visitors that views the site, 1 of them purchases the product. If you were to put the visitors to that web site on a mailing list first, before showing them the web site, then you are able to send that visitor to the web page more than once, increasing the odds that he might purchase. In some cases, you might find that you can sell as many as 10% of the individuals on your list; if you had sent those subscribers directly to a web site rather than adding them to your list first, only 1% might have purchased.

The list based model can be used to ultimately create traffic to any of the web business models discussed here. The list simply serves as an intermediary step that allows you to ultimately squeeze more profit out of the same set of visitors.
Affiliate Marketing Model

The affiliate marketing model is one in which you send visitors to other people’s web sites and when they make a purchase, the other web company sends you a commission for referring the customer to their web page.

The affiliate model can be combined with just about any of the other models discussed, and is convenient because you do not need to create a product or even a web site to be able to send traffic to an affiliate web site.

The list building model is frequently used in conjunction with the affiliate marketing model, as the conversion rates on a visitor in a list is often much higher than the one-time conversion at the affiliate web site.

How the Models Can Work Together

Although the web models described here are the basic fundamental web models that currently produce the bulk of income online, these models can work together synergistically.

You can build a web site that markets a number of different affiliate products, or you can create your own product, and then market an affiliate product to your customers. In conjunction with just about any of the models, you can build a list to continually expose your web visitors to the selected web sites multiple times for additional profits. You can have a mix of affiliate products and your own products. You can have a catalogue-based web site that also sells a specialized unique product. You can have a catalogue-based web site that serves as an entry point for a sales funnel. With a little creativity, you can come up with a number of different combinations of web business models that can work together effectively.

However, considering the fact that you are probably just getting started online, it is advisable that you start with a simple business model and as your business grows, you can consider expanding it or integrating additional business models.

Web Hosting and Emerging Internet Law

With Internet-based intellectual property lawsuits on the rise, the question has become: how will Internet law keep up with the freedom of speech issues – and, to what degree will these laws affect the web hosting industry as a whole? The ramifications of some recent Internet litigation, and its impact on the web hosting industry are presented and examined below.

Patent Litigation

Recently, a Canadian firm has claimed infringement upon a patent it owns, with regard to Resource Description Framework (RDF), a software based upon Extensible Markup Language (XML). Using this technology, programmers can write software to access web resources, such as web page content, music files and digital photos. Vancouver-based UFIL Unified Data Technologies, holds U.S. patent 5,684,985, a ”’method and apparatus utilizing bond identifiers executed upon accessing of an endo-dynamic information node,” awarded in November 1997. According to the Patent Enforcement and Royalties Ltd. (PEARL)’s web site, as many as 45 companies may be infringing upon the patents. It is believed that the patent may also infringe on the RDF Site Summary standard (web content that’s written in something other than HTML). For example, RSS (originally developed by Netscape Communications, now owned by AOL Time Warner), allows web sites to exchange information and content.
The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), which evaluates and recommends standards for web technologies, has endorsed the RDF standard. PEARL has been engaged to work with UFIL, to enforce the claims, since 1999. According to information released by the W3C, Daniel Weitzner, Technology and Society Domain Leader, indicated that the Consortium had not been approached directly regarding the patent issue. Mr. Weitzner stated, ”We consider it to be quite important that fundamental technology specifications such as RDF should be able to be implemented on a royalty-free basis. If anything comes to our attention that suggests that’s not possible, we’ll pay attention to legitimate property rights out there, but at the same time, RDF was developed in the open by a very broad range of the web community.”Freedom of Speech Issues

An amicus brief was recently filed by Yahoo!, Inc., in its lawsuit against LaLigue contre le Racisme et l’ Antisemitisme, Case No. 01-17424 (9th Cir.). Later this year, a federal appellate court will decide whether or not French anti-discrimination law can restrict freedom of speech on U.S.-based web sites that are accessible in France.

In 2000, a Paris court ruled that the Yahoo! web site violated French law, due to the fact that its users offered certain Nazi artifacts for sale. In order to force compliance with the order, French plaintiffs must seek enforcement from a U.S. court. In response, Yahoo! sought a declaratory ruling and a federal district court held that enforcing the French order would violate the First Amendment. The matter is now on appeal. The Yahoo! case presents the question of whether the Internet should be governed by myriad local censorship laws from around the world. U.S. courts have held uniformly that the Internet should receive the highest degree of First Amendment protection. Web.com’s Patent and Intellectual Property with Web Hosting Company, Hostopia

In July, 2006, Atlanta-based web hosting, managed email, ecommerce, and online business applications giant, Web.com,
entered into a non-exclusive license agreement with web hosting firm, Hostopia.com Inc., granting Hostopia the rights to two of Web.com’s patents over five years, on a non-transferable basis. Web.com’s portfolio of 19 registered, and numerous pending, U.S. patents relates to several core technologies that are vital to the web hosting industry.
The licensed patents broadly cover methods for website building and web hosting control panels. According to the agreement, Hostopia will pay Web.com a royalty equal to 10% of their gross U.S. retail revenues for five years. In addition, the companies have entered a cross-license agreement in which Web.com was granted rights to thousands of HTML and FLASH website templates and a license to additional intellectual property in the future at no additional cost. The companies have also agreed to a mutual covenant not to sue for patent infringement.
Spokespersons for Web.com had this to say, concerning the licensing agreement with Hostopia:
”Web.com has a portfolio of 19 registered patents with several additional pending patents. Web.com’s patents touch on a number of key technologies that are vital to the web hosting and Software-as-a-Services industries. Web.com’s first patent license transaction was a milestone for the Company as it validated Web.com’s belief in the value of its patents. Hostopia paid Web.com an amount that was roughly equal to 10% of Hostopia’s U.S. retail revenues over five years. Web.com intends to use its patent rights as a means of extending its brand and its technology so as to create value for its shareholders and to protect its innovations.”
With regard to the legalities of Internet content, Web.com’s representative stated: ”Copyright Website owners and other authors (like bloggers, for example) own the content they create under general principles of copyright law. Copyright law grants the author of any “work” the exclusive right to copy and reproduce that work. Copyright law extends not only to the written word, but also to music, dramatic works (like plays and moves), art, sculpture any other forms of creative expression that are fixed in a tangible medium of expression. Conflicts easily arise on the web because web technology makes it so easy for web users to copy and download content, including music, video, pictures and text. While the author of an article may not object to a web user who links to a copy written article, the author will object if someone copies his article and re-publishes it as if it were a new article. Generally, web hosts are not responsible if one of their clients violates a copyright holder’s rights by illegally copying content onto the client’s website. The Digital Millennium Copyright Act creates a “safe harbor” from liability for web hosts that follow a specific process in responding to notices from copyright holders alleging copyright infringement from content on a client’s website. Among other requirements, the web host must suspend a client’s website after the host receives a formal notice that meets the statutory requirement. The host may resurrect the client’s site, however, if the client responds with a sworn statement denying any infringement so long as the client’s denial also satisfies the statute. So long as the host follows the specific requirements of the statute, the host is not liable even if a court ultimately determines that its client was violating another party’s copyright.”
As to content – trademark conflicts, Web.com’s spokesperson went on to reiterate: ”Involvement trademark disputes are more difficult for hosts to manage, however. Unlike copyright law — which protects the author of an original work — trademark law protects the brand name of a seller of goods or services. A potential copyright infringement is often easy to see if the infringing site blatantly copies words or images that are protected by copyright. Trademark infringement is trickier to spot, however, as a trademark right in most cases will only extend to the “scope of use” covered by the holder’s goods or services. For example if Company A sells “BrandName” widgets, it may have trademark rights to “BrandName”. But, Company A’s rights, in most cases, will not prevent Company B from using BrandName to sell goods or services that are different from those sold by Company A. The challenge for web hosts arises when a client website advertises BrandName goods or services but a third party claims trademark rights to “BrandName”. How can the host know if the third party’s rights are superior? How can the host tell if the client’s products are within the third party’s “scope of use.”

To avoid liability for participating in a client’s possible trademark infringement, savvy web hosts will develop processes to follow to respond to allegations of trademark infringement and to ensure that clients resolve those claims. Among other things, a savvy web host will make sure that its client agreement obligates the client to resolve those claims and indemnify the web host for any liability it might have for the client’s failure to do so.”
Web.com’s representative concluded, commenting on the issue of publication liability, stating that ”Another type of potential content problem for web hosts involves liability for defamation. Defamation is a cause of action (or potential lawsuit) that arises when a party publishes a false statement, knowing that it is false, and that publication injures another person. For example, if a client posted on its website the statement: “Company X’s products cause cancer” and if the client knew that statement were false, the client could be liable for defamation to Company X. If the client honestly believed the statement to be true, however, the client would generally not be liable. Defamation liability would make the web hosting industry impossible if it weren’t for the Communications Decency Act passed by Congress in the late 1990s. Under the Communications Decency Act (or “CDA”), web hosts and other “Internet service providers” are not liable for the publications (or statements) of their clients so long as they are not contributors to those statements.”

IBM v. Amazon.com 
Amazon.com is involved in patent litigation with IBM, in two separate lawsuits. Five patents are alleged to have been violated, as far as the 1980s, all regarding cataloging and data referencing, including alteration of online content. It has been reported in press releases issued by IBM, that ongoing negotiations since 2002 have failed, that hundreds of other companies have licensed the same patents, and that IBM has attempted to negotiate licensing deals with Amazon. Since Amazon.com is largely based upon web technologies and the ability to quickly process transactions over the Internet, it would seem that if it were a mere matter of licensing, they wouldn’t have any problem. It may be that they feel IBM’s patents are too broad, and cover technologies they developed themselves in-house.

Net Neutrality 
One of the most important freedom of speech aspect of the Internet, is that no one party owns or controls it. However, as telephone and digital companies continue to grow through mergers and acquisitions, Internet and related laws, and the concepts and issues that govern it, have come to the forefront, as a new and legitimate concern for all netizens.
Issues such as network (”net”) neutrality, have become contested areas of law in the United States. Internet giants, such as Google, eBay, and Amazon, fear that network owners will create a biased, two-tier Internet system, unfairly placing telco services first, in addition to the concern that network owners may seek to entirely censor or block content at their own discretion, creating partiality. The terms of the debate place neutralists (such as the Internet’s largest content providers), against free-marketeers (including Telcos) who argue against such regulation, deeming it to be counter-productive and even unconstitutional.

The fact remains, that exercising the rights associated with free speech and the Internet, places a high premium on the judgment and responsibility of those who use the it, both in the information they acquire and in the information they disseminate. In order for web hosting companies to survive, it is essential that consumers realize and understand, that when they obtain information through the Internet, web hosting companies cannot monitor, verify, warrant, or vouch for the accuracy and quality of the information that is available.
Therefore, some material posted to the Internet may be subject to patent and/or copyright infringement, deemed inappropriate for certain ages, or otherwise offensive. Because web hosting companies are not in a position to monitor or censor the Internet, they cannot accept any responsibility for the consequences that may result from potentially infringing, inaccurate, offensive, inappropriate, or otherwise illegal Internet communications.
While each user is expected to exercise common sense and good judgment in connection with the services it utilizes on the Internet, web hosting companies do have terms of service rules in place, to govern such things as spamming, and maintaining open SMTP relays. It is ultimately up to the users to exercise the best judgment possible, in relying on information obtained from the Internet. When users and/or consumers disseminate information through the Internet, they also must keep in mind that web hosting companies do not review, edit, censor, or take responsibility for any information its users, clients or subscribers may create. The very same liability as other authors for copyright infringement, defamation, and other harmful speech, apply to users on the Internet.
The outcome of recent Internet patent litigation will most certainly begin to set precedents

In many of the cases, the judge and/or jury is asked to make determinations as to deep issues of technological equivalence as to fast-advancing technology at a particular point in time, which can greatly affect how we continue to do business on the Internet, and the future laws that may result of such litigation.
Many patents, have implications far beyond the alleged infringement specified. A patent found valid by a jury acquires more than the normal status of ”presumption of validity,” in that it may be used against other parties. All future parties, whether or not they are a party to the lawsuit, are affected. Therefore, patent validity lawsuits have the power to impact much more than just the two parties involved, unlike other business litigation.

Given the fact that Internet law, as a whole, is still largely in unchartered territory, the question of what positive role government can play in a regulatory regime, remains to be seen. Coupled with the fear that new technology laws may allow governments or big business to oppress society, giving them the wherewithal to block freedom of speech rights, such as viewing published materials and other forms of censorship, the spectrum of views on Internet regulation can appear to be endless. The only thing we know for certain, is that the Internet is here to stay. As such, the core issues surrounding the essence and vastness of the Internet, such as of freedom of speech, net neutrality, patent and content infringement, will continue to be at the forefront. How Congress rules on the bills addressing net neutrality, the Communications, Consumer’s Choice, and Broadband Deployment Act in the Senate, and the Internet Freedom and Nondiscrimination Act in the House, will affect the way the public continues to utilize the Internet and ultimately, may determine the success or failure of online businesses and web hosting companies.

Susan S. Davis is a freelance feature writer and news editor for The Hosting News, Website Hosting Directory, and Cheap Hosting Directory. In addition, Ms. Davis has served as an editorial manager at Disney’s Go.com and regularly contributes to print and Internet publications concerning cultural issues.

Top 10 Web Hosting

If you’re just starting out in the world of the Internet and the world-wide-web, welcome to the fastest growing, most competitive and most exciting marketplace in the history of buying and selling. By definition, web hosting is a type of service that gives individuals and organizations the opportunity to make their own web site accessible via the world wide web. So, if you want to setup a web site on the Internet, you will need a web host. But after a quick search in Google, you will see that making the choice as to which type of web hosting you will need for your web site is no easy task.

Spend a little time searching the web and you’ll find a gazillion web hosting providers, review sites, data centers, collocation facilities, and even a company that offers domain name registration by a hunter of African elephants. They make it sound easy to build a profitable web business, but wake-up-call time: building a profitable, web-based business takes hard work, long hours and, most importantly, careful planning and selection of the right vendors. Sure, your neighbor brags about the dough she’s raking in on her maintenance-free web site, or your brother-in-law just bought a fancy car on his PPC earnings. People do earn money on the web, but it isn’t luck or good karma. It’s planning for success and if you’re just starting to think about taking the digital dive in to the world of the Internet, consider these questions and, oh yeah, develop the answers before you spend a penny on your vision.

Top 10 Web Hosting Trends:

Green web hosting – Green or Eco-friendly web site hosting is a contemporary addition to the field that involves a given provider attempting to prove that they do not have negative impacts on the environment. Many webmasters are moving their web sites to a green web hosting provider not only to reduce their carbon footprint, but also to prove to their visitors that their company values the environment and is respectful to it.

Cloud hosting – Cloud computing provides on-demand resources via a computer network and offers computation, software, data access, and storage services that do not require end-user knowledge of the physical location and configuration of the system that delivers the services. Parallels to this concept can be drawn with the electricity grid, where end-users consume power without needing to understand the component devices or infrastructure required to provide the service.

VPS hosting – VPS hosting or Virtual Private Server hosting refers to a virtual machine for use exclusively by an individual customer of the service. A virtual machine is a completely independent and isolated operating system installation within a normal operating system. VPS hosting allows customers who need a dedicated machine and root access but are not yet ready to pay the large investment required for a dedicated machine.

Carbon neutral hosting – Carbon neutral hosting refers to a service that has a net zero carbon footprint and allows webmasters the opportunity to achieve net zero carbon emissions resulting from the hosting of their online pages.

Wind powered hosting – Wind powered web hosting refers to web hosting services that use wind energy from wind turbines, for example, converted into electricity.

Solar powered web hosting – Solar powered refers to web hosting that is powered by radiant light and heat from the sun as opposed to traditional electricity.

Joomla hosting – Joomla is an increasingly popular open-source content management system for publishing content on the world wide web. Joomla easily integrates with themes and extensions that are available from third-party sources that make designing and developing a sophisticated yet aesthetically pleasing web site simple. There are numerous commercial extensions available from the official Joomla! Extension Directory and quite a bit more available from other sources. Many providers offer the installation of Joomla on their accounts for no additional charge, but be fore-warned that not many provider have adequate experience needed in order to provide support to clients who are developing their site with Joomla.

WordPress hosting – WordPress is an open-source blogging tool that is used by nearly thirteen percent of all web sites on the Internet. It is an easy to learn and use tool that makes setting up a web site simple due to its plug-in architecture and template system.

Drupal hosting – Drupal is an open-source content management system that provides web developers the tools needed to customize Drupal’s behavior and appearance. Drupal offers a futuristic programming interface for developers, and no programming skills are required for basic web site installation and administration, but it is more complex than Joomla and WordPress. Drupal powers nearly two percent of all web sites on the Internet. Drupal offers modules, themes, and associated configuration settings that prepare Drupal for custom operation for sophisticated web developers.

Reseller hosting – Reseller hosting refers to a provider that has purchased services with the intention of reselling them. Because of the multitude of resellers in the web hosting industry, it has become more difficult to differentiate a reseller from a web hosting provider that has their own dedicated servers. Reseller hosting has become increasingly popular as a means to generate income for web design firms.

Choosing a new web host for a redesign project

Many companies are re-designing their web site to remain competitive, to simplify the navigation and provide visitors with a more user-friendly experience. By redesigning a web site, companies have the opportunity to remain more competitive and stay current with new technology. And by offering a better web site – voila – simpler navigation, simpler search for a specific item may lead to increased sales or leads. Yep, even the most successful sites are constantly revising their look, the organization and the ease-of-use for site visitors.

Web site redesign tips

Your web site navigation should be simple, straightforward and 100% functional. Labels should be clearly understood by any site visitor. Assume no knowledge on the part of the people who visit your on-line business site. They may not have any knowledge of your business and you have only a few seconds to engage a visitor and create interest in your brand before the visitor can hit the back button and exit your site.

When designing your site, place yourself in the position of the first-time visitor and configure your site for that prospect. Hey, if it worked for Jeff Bezos (Amazon’s founder)…it should work for you.

Choosing a web hosting provider

When making this important decision, ask a lot of questions of your web host or prospective provider. Do you employ Energy Star equipment? Do you use power from carbon-neutral sources? How is the office powered? How are the servers cooled? How is old, outdated equipment disposed of? If you don’t like the answers you get, you won’t like working with that web host.

Further, a truly contemporary hosting service wants YOUR site visitors to recognize your commitment to a cleaner planet today and in the future so most offer an emblem you can display on your web site – an emblem that proudly proclaims that your site is hosted by a green corporate culture…a corporate culture that becomes YOUR corporate culture.