Saturday, December 15, 2012

The new generic top level domains ( GTLD ), are they the new big thing?

 The new generic top level domains GTLDs and will they bring change in the Internet?

ICANN gets closer and closer to making the next change in the internet. They announced a few years ago their desire to create more GTLD‘s and now it seems they got things rolling. Earlier this year they started the application process and up to mid-June they had almost two thousand applications for new generic top level domains.

What are the new generic top level domains or GTLD‘s?

Up until now there were 22 top level domains (TLD) and people could register just second level domains in the TLD‘s infrastructure (in we could register only the example which is the second level domain). Now the ICANN has made it possible for almost everyone (with enough money and knowledge) to register its own TLD with a string he chooses (I can register .eatmyshorts). The thing is that whoever registers a new TLD is responsible for maintaining it up and operational.

What are the benefits of the new generic top level domains GTLD‘s?

The benefits for registering a new top level domain are many. First of all you instantly become a domain name registrar you can register as many as you want second level domains within you GTLD‘s infrastructure this means you can sell them to everyone who is interested at a price you choose. A quick look at the applications and I found a company that has applied for .blog TLD which means this company can sell Second level domains like to all bloggers and if they provide good service at reasonable price looks like they will have a blast.
The new GTLD‘s are designed to work in many languages which is also a big advantage for the regional business and brands and for governments or local administration, to make it easier for local users to navigate to the web using their native language.
If you are brand or corporation you can use GTLDs to boost customers confidence in you. A GTLD like .mybrand shows them that you are a serious brand and there is no chance of mistaking you with your competitors.  Also it provides a good mean to organize your company on the internet you can have second level domains for everything you need you can organize your products at products.mybrand or services at services.mybrand you can give even second level domains for your employees if you want.
The new GTLD‘s can be looked as an investment plan. And I am sure that many companies who are specialized in domain names registrations are looking for the next boom. A simple word registered as a GTLD‘s can provide huge profit if it becomes popular. It is a thing that really deserves a second look.

What are the disadvantages of registering a new GTLD?

First of all the application process is not easy. The approval for new GTLD can take up to a year or even more. The registrars must pass through several checks. They must prove that they are trustworthy as they will be given a piece of the Internet to maintain.
Second it requires a lot of knowledge and work to maintain the new GTLD‘s and their infrastructure.
Then comes the price to buy and maintain a new GTLD doesn’t come cheap. The application process itself costs about 180 000 USD or more as announced by ICANN. Which is sound statement if you don‘t know anything for the domain names system don’t waste your money or our time to apply.
When you are looking to buy new GTLD as an investment you should take into consideration the facts:
There are few keywords that can provide solid profit for domain registrars and there are several applicants for each of them.
The Internet was doing fine with 22 TLDs. Things might get a little crowded for the small players with almost  1500 new  GTLDs. This might drop the value of the domain names in SEO.

The bottom line is that no one knows how things will turn up with the implementation of the new GTLD for the Internet industry it will be a turning point. But for the brands and other communities this might be a great solution. 

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Domain Names Explained

What is a Domain Name?

Domain Name is a string of letters identifying a device, service or resource connected to the internet. The domain name is basically letter identification of an IP address of a device, server or web site in the global network.  Domain names are regulated by the rules and procedures of the Domain name system or DNS.
Domain Names serve so that easily memorable words or letters can be transferred to an IP address in the Internet. In this case we don‘t need to remember the numbers of the address but an easy word or phrase. Also when changing the physical address of the data (changing servers) domain names help us locate the resource without knowing the new numeric address. (The new address can be assigned to the domain name). In the end of 2010 the number of domain names in use reached almost 200 million.

Domain name syntax.

The domain name has several labels (parts) separated by dots (.) . In the most right position is the top level domains or TLDs (in the org is the TLD). In the beginning when the DNS was developed two major groups for Top level domains were created the first was the two letter code of each country and in addition a group of seven generic TLDs to be used by international organizations. 
The first seven generic domains were .gov[ernment], .edu[cation], .com[mercial], .mil[itary], .org[anisations], .net[work], and .int[ernational]. Due to fast growth of the Internet a necessity arise to increase the number of the top level domains. During 2009 there were 21 generic TLDs and 250 country code domains in use.

The TLD can be explained as the extension of a file as in myfile.xls you know that the file is used by Excel in the domain is used by a commercial organization. The Top Level Domains also show the reliability of the person who owns them for example a TLD .edu or .gov are given to educational and governing organizations only and customers know that the information published in this domains is highly credible (most of the cases). Also the right TLD may help you target the right audience to your site if you own an e-shop .com show that you are commercial organization if you are web developer then .net might be the right top level domain for you.
To the left of the TLD is the second level domain in the example is the second level domain it usually is an easy to remember word or phrase. It is the memorable part of the domain name structure usually it is a word or phrase which is connected with the content of the web site. If you sell whiskey to the Russians then a domain name might help you a lot. There are also third and lower level domains in the .co is the second level domain and example is the third level. This can virtually go forever until the lowest level domains.

Nowadays the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers(ICANN) regulates the top-level structure of the Internet domain name space. It gives rights to domain name registrars, which can register and assign domain names. The domain syntax is limited by a total length of 255 characters, some domain registries have even shorter limits. The shorter and simple domain names are easier to memorize.

Domain names may consist of several labels divided by dots. All the characters from a to z may be used and all the digits from 0 to 9 also the hyphen is permitted but it has to be surrounded by characters or digits (it cannot be the start or the end of the string). The characters used in the domain are case-insensitive is the same as EXAMPLE.COM.

It is a common practice for people to buy domain names and use them as real estates. As the few words in the high known top level domains run out very quickly some people buy these domains put some content on it and get visitors just due to the popularity of the word in the domain name. This practice is known as domain parking. In the parked domain you can show adds or put content and build high page-rank for it with SEO and then sell it for profit. For example during the war in Iraq a lot of people typed directly into their browsers the owner of the site peaked in traffic and made money from adds he was selling on his site.
Domain names are important, no matter if you are buying a name for a developing business or if you are buying and reselling domains for profit.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

VPS hosting, the step ahead.

Once your online project becomes of age and you start to gain a lot of traffic the shared hosting plans just doesn‘t do the thing anymore. A natural question pops up to the mind „What can I do?“ Well the obvious answer is simple - you should upgrade.
There are few options for you or your company to upgrade the shared hosting plan a Dedicated server which gives you entire server machine to yourself or a Virtual Private server or VPS which gives you an entire server machine but you have to share it with few more folks. Now who wants to share. Everyone wants a machine for himself, but the key is the price. While some of the cheapest dedicated servers come at a price around 100$ and the pro packages come at 300$ you can find high quality VPS hosting for 20$ for the basic packages and up to 80$ for the pro packages.

What is VPS hosting?

VPS are part of physical machine which is given to your needs. A virtual server acts like a dedicated server you are guaranteed the resources of a virtual machine and you are the only one who uses them. Of course the resources of the physical server are shared between other VPS users.  The key advantage of VPS is the freedom it gives you to interact with your server:

This allows you to run more complicated scripts and sites on the VPS server which is the main reason for buying dedicated servers. Also the VPS provides an extra level of security by the ability to install your own antivirus programs, firewall and SSL certificates.The traffic that a VPS hosting can maintain is much more than Shared hosting plan and allows more complicated actions to be performed in less time and by more users.The last advantage is the price, as mentioned above VPS is times cheaper than the dedicated server and provides excellent performance.
When you get a VPS hosting you can install your own software and applications on the server such as:

  • big table databases,
  • additional firewalls and antivirus,
  • additional ftp and http,
  • your own mail servers
  • additional software as Glassfish, JBoss,
  • frameworks and modules as ruby on rails

You can use the servers custom web admin panel or install your own.Also you can reboot your server any time. VPS is just like having dedicated server at lower costs.

Types of VPS hosting.

Windows based VPS hosting servers - a VPS hosting server system that operates on  Windows. It will allows the installation of software apps which require Windows to operate without a problem. If you install software that doesn’t work in windows you might expect some troubles. This is the reason they are not used as much as Linux based VPS.
Linux based VPS hosting servers - a VPS hosting server system that operates with Linux. This is the more popular option you can find, because it is more affordable to establish and handle and hence it is more wanted. Linux VPS hosting plans often provide  the LAMP plan (LAMP is an acronym for Linux-Apache-MySQL-PHP).
Depending on the management of the server there are two types of VPS hosting:
Unmanaged VPS hosting - the VPS provider provides just the server without any software and is up to the customer to install his own software. This is suitable for web masters with very good knowledge and provides freedom to use any software but usually the provider isn't responsible for the applications and does not provide tech support.
Managed VPS hosting - the VPS provider provides the server with installed software and is responsible for both. This is the most common plan because this way the provider provides full tech support on the physical server and on the software used.

Choosing a VPS hosting plan

Once you‘ve decided to upgrade the things to check are:
  • Dedicated CPU
  • Dedicated RAM
  • The monthly traffic allotment
  • Bandwidth (also known as the port speed)
  • The price of the plan.
Few years ago the only solutions for high demanding websites was to rent a dedicated servers. Now with the advancement of technology and the software applications improvement the VPS hosting provided alternative to dedicated servers which quickly became popular. VPS hosting is the most widely used hosting platform for websites with high or medium traffic and provides great performance at very reasonable price.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

SSL certificate, the protection for your data.

What is a SSL certificate

SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) is a cryptographic protocol serving to encrypt the connection between the hosting server that stores information and the web client (the browser of the visitor of the website). This encrypted connection provides secure access to personal and business information which should not be available to third parties. SSL is a technology already used by millions of websites through which they provide protection for online transactions with their customers.

How does SSL certificate work?

SSL certificate encryption
The  SSL certificate is installed on the hosting server of the website and  the complex mechanism of the SSL protocol remains in the background and is invisible to the client.  The client and the server establish communication with a procedure called Handshake. During this procedure the various means of establishing secure connection are selected.
The handshake is done as soon as the client browser connects with the server at which a SSL protocol is installed. Then the server provides several mathematical functions for encryption. The highest function supported by the client is chosen by the server and the client is informed about the function chosen. The server then sends its information as digital certificate which contains the details of the authority which has certified the server, the  name of the server and the public key used for the encryption. The user then gets to check the certificate‘s validation. In order to generate session keys used for each connection the web client uses the public key to encrypt a random number and sends the result back to the server. The server than can decipher the number using its own private key. Now both parties have created public and private keys used to secure the information transmitted between the client and the server. This ends the handshake and secures the connection from being exposed to other parties. If any of the steps shown above breaks the handshake is over and the connection will not be established.
This process is performed automatically by the browser and the client and is virtually undetectable by the user.
The encryption which allows the for the connection to be secured is a complicated mathematical process. Through this process all the information is coded and then decoded by the client and the server.  The level of SSL certificate encryption is characterized by the length of the key used by the SSL certificate in bits. The most common used SSL certificates are 40 bits, 56bits, 128 bits and 256 bits. The size of the key defines and the level of security a SSL certificate has. A well secured connection can be deciphered by a hacker equipped with the right tools for as long as million years :)

Types of SSL certificates

The SSL certificates are usually divided in three groups RegularSSL Certificates, Wildcard SSL certificates and EV SSL certificates. The regular certificates can be installed in one domain and secure the information received or transmitted through this domain or subdomain only. If you want to have encrypted secure connection over several subdomains you need Wildcard SSL Certificate. It can be used to secure multiple (as much as you have) subdomains on a single domain name.
The EV SSL certificate are issued to firms and companies which are legally presented. These certificates are used to build additional confidence in the company‘s customers.

A usual way to spot a SSL certificate secured domain is py the prefix „https:“ instead of the usual „http:“ in the web site‘s URL.

Valid SSL Certificate is a must if:
  • Your site is an online store and accepts credit card payments or other orders
  • Your site offers online services, subscribers has to go over signup process
  • Your site supports login to user accounts, containing private or secure details
  • Your site has any other type of transmitting client's data over the Internet
You may also check TSL

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Web Hosting, how to choose plan ?

How to Find Suitable Web Hosting?

Looking to start your own online business or web site? Do you want to get heard globally with your ideas and thoughts? The Internet provides the best way to make your ideas, work or business popular. Now you have to make your idea real and put it in the World Wide Web so everyone can see it. This is why you have to decide who will be your partner in this journey. If you are new to web hosting and don‘t really know what you’re looking for in a web hosting service supplier we can help with some initial information.

Shared Hosting

Most people don‘t need so much resources at the beginning of their online projects. The shared hosting is perfectly good solution for beginners and provides excellent performance at affordable price. Since the beginning will be slow (unless you are content guru and start with enormous traffic in which case you may skip this post ) our suggestion is why waste money go with the easiest solution and see how it goes. You can always upgrade your shared hosting plan later (just choose a provider that offers other hosting services on his servers)

How to search for providers

Check out web forums and web hosting review sites. Ask for help if you need it all the guys will be glad to help you. If you start small, than almost every hosting provider will suit your needs and the price will be affordable. Now days you can find perfectly good hosting for as much as 3-4$. The thing is to choose a company which is dedicated to its customers here are some features you should check in a provider

Disk Space- It is better to be unlimited, you never know what the future brings and you can find that the cost difference for this package can be as little as 2 $.
Data Transfer – look for unlimited for the same reason.
Network Uptime- look for the highest possible number 99% uptime means that 7,2 hours during the month your site might not be operational. You can find suitable hosting providers with 99,9% uptime guarantied which gives you approximately 43 minutes of network downtime during the month in the worst case scenario.
Domains and subdomains hosted – you can start with limited number but if you get the 2$ more plan you usually get the unlimited deal.

Web site management options
The hosting provider should have at least these options to help you manage your content:
  • Full DNS Management 
  • Full WHOIS Management 
  • Domain Lock Control 
  • EPP Key Control 
  • FTP Accounts – it is beter to find provider with unlimited FTP accounts 
  • Custom MX & A records 
  • CNAME Records 
  • Custom 404 pages 
  • Advanced Control Panel 
  • Web based file manager 
  • Password Protection 
  • SSH 

Email options 
If you are doing a small web site or small project then this options aren‘t as important but if you plan to go bigger is better to have them. Again the 2$ rule if you buy the full package most providers will give you full customer care

  • Email Accounts – the higher number or unlimited
  • Email Aliases – again the higher number or unlimited
  • Mailing Lists
  • E-mail Filters
  • Virus Protection
  • SPAM Protection
  • Webmail
  • SMTP Access
  • Autoresponder
  • Catch-All
  • Email Forwarding

Database and scripting options
The database and scritping option is the most important thing for the performance of your site you must check for the following and choose wisely:

  • MySQL(v.5) Databases – try to get as many as possible for the money you are prepared to pay .
  • MySQL Database Storage – again choose the bigest number possible.
  • phpMyAdmin
  • PostgreSQL Databases
  • Postgres Database Storage
  • phpPgAdmin
  • PHP 5
  • Custom php.ini
  • Perl, CGI 
there are many more, look for hosting provider with more options as they give you freedom of choice.

Check the security of the servers 
See how the servers are protected from all kinds of the disaster plus power loss. Do they have a fire and flood protection and self-powered generators to secure the work of the equipment during unexpected situations. 

Tools installer and CMS options 
You will need to make the work on your site as easy as possible check out the availability of the hosting provider to install various tools and content management systems. When your business grow you might need a lot of things as blogs, image galleries, forums and discussion boards and analytics tools etc., you must be sure that the provider can support them.

Technical Support: 

Get a host which can provide the full deal. You will need 24/7 tech support as things tend to go wrong (a wise man said). Any option that the provider offers for tech support is highly appreciated and will be used at some point. Get a provider with „Live chat“ – tech support and with good ticketing system. Also make sure all the online documentation is available to you.

Money-Back Guaranteed Period: 
This may not seem as important but can save you a lot of hustle. Get a provider with trial period. That way you can be sure that the company believes in the hosting service it is providing. A hosting provider with no money back period doesn‘t give the impression of company dedicated to its services.Those are the basic thing you should know when choosing web hosting provider for your site. I hope we have been useful and remember, choosing a hosting provider isn‘t the biggest deal in your life :) Have fun and enjoy the World Wide Web :)

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