Why you should not use free web hosting

Posted: Sunday March 4th

When looking for free or paid web hosting provider, you need to base your decision on the nature of your site. Paid web hosting is a must for some sites since it offers more space and many necessary features. Free web hosting is usually advertisement supported and has limited functionality. Both will host your site, but you need to choose which option is the best fit for you. Do you really want “Free Web Hosting”? If you have been designing or developing web pages for awhile chances are you are starting to consider moving to a paid host if you haven’t already made this wise decision. Free web hosts are free, but chances are they have left you frustrated. Some of the frustrations you can expect to experience from a free host, is:

Domain Name? “yourfreewebhost.com/blah/blahblah/yoursite/”
Does the URL above sound like something you would remember? Free web hosts require you to use a sub domain or give you a folder, somewhere on their server. Sub domains and folders are not meant for landing pages and are often much harder to remember. Paid web hosts allow you to use your own domain names and often times include it with their service offerings.

Banner Ads, Pop-up Ads, and Ads in your Dreams! Many free hosts rely solely on ads to make money. Your site may have many unwanted ads on each of your pages. These ads can reduce how well your page is perceived and often prevent visitors from returning to your website! More Downtime than Uptime? Many free hosts have a lot of downtime. Their subscribers are not paying for service so many hosts do not feel obligated when it comes to dependability. Keep in mind, these hosts are running on a tight budget so they have to cut costs and many times this is with their support staff. If there are dissatisfied users, the web host is rarely bothered by that fact. Remember the old saying, beggars can’t be choosers? The World of Limitations, Where to Begin? Disk space, data transfer, speed, file types, ect… Basically, in order to stay profitable, the free web host is hoping you use extremely minimal system resources and still get a reasonable amount of traffic to support their ad revenue. Most everything is extremely limited. What happens if you exceed what they expect? You will be halted or your site will be taken offline without notice if they choose.

Customer Support? Anyone There? If you experience problems with you web hosting you will most likely have to rely on the FAQs and Questions/Answers page. Most free web hosting sites do not have the money to hire customer support teams to answer live questions or emails. Once again, if they do offer this service, they normally could care less about resolving your issue or your satisfaction.

Zero Advertising Revenue. There is only room for a one advertiser with a free provider and it’s not you! If you are looking to sell advertisement on your webpage, free web hosting is the way to go. Many free hosts do not allow you to sell advertising on your webpage.

Web Hosting Reality. Paid web hosting has become so incredibly low priced that it is amazing free web hosting companies still exist. Face it, free items are normally too good to be true. Save yourself from the frustrations and limitations that included with free hosting and try a paid host. Most include trials and even free domain name registration…

Advantages of Linux Hosting over Windows Hosting

Posted: Sunday March 4th

Linux and Microsoft Windows are two different operating systems. Windows is a well-known household name and does not require much introduction. Linux is a new version of the Unix operating system. Both these operating systems make excellent environments for web hosting. However, there are some differences between them.

To help you decide whether Linux or Windows hosting is better for you, we look at the following elements:


Linux is known as an “open source” operating system. i.e. there is no licensing fees to pay. Therefore, compared to Windows, Linux is very cheap. Starting with Windows XP, Microsoft has begun enforcing software activation. This means that a single copy of Windows can only be installed on one computer. With Linux, once you own a copy, you are free to install it as many times as you wish on any number of computers.


Linux is reputed to be very stable and reliable. This means that a Linux server is much less likely to crash than a Windows server. Subsequently, a Linux server will mean more ‘up time’ for your website.


Linux has many more years of experience than Windows in hosting.


There is no real difference in speed between Linux and Windows, but Linux is slightly faster in processing basic web pages.


Windows support ASP (Active Server Pages), a Microsoft programming/scripting language, which allows you to build dynamically database-driven web pages by connecting to a Microsoft database such as SQL Server or Access. Linux does not support ASP nor Microsoft databases, but uses MySQL database instead.

If you use Microsoft Frontpage to create your website, it doesn’t mean that you have to choose Windows hosting. All Linux accounts come free with Frontpage extensions, which allow you to upload your Frontpage website to your web space on a Linux server.


There are many CGI programs available on the Internet. The majority of these are Perl scripts and have been developed on Linux / Unix web servers. So they tend to install more smoothly and operate more reliably on a Linux server. Moreover, many Perl scripts are downloadable from the Internet free of charge.

To summarise, most users find that Linux hosting is easier to use, more reliable, provides free, open source software and is much cheaper than Windows hosting. So unless you particularly need to use Windows specific features such as ASP and an Access database, it is probably a better choice to choose Linux over Windows.

How Do You Know When Your Website is Hacked?

Posted: Tuesday February 21st

Hacked websites pose a threat to readers on your website, but most hackers gain access to a site to simply cloak backlinks to a third-party website. Cloaking is a trick used to show one set of data to a search engine bot such as Googlebot, and another set of data to readers. This type of hack shows backlinks to search engines while the website owner is completely unaware that his site has been hacked. Here are some tips to find out if your website is hacked.

Google Diagnostics

Google has a bot that crawls a website to find out if malicious content is hosted on the site. When your site is hacked and flagged by the Google diagnostic system, users receive a red warning in their browsers telling them not to open the website. This warning stems from the diagnostic report found on Google’s domain when the bot finds malicious content on your website. To find out if your site has been flagged, navigate to “google.com/safebrowsing/diagnostic?site=yoursite.com” where “yoursite.com” is your website domain. This diagnostic report tells you if Google has found malware on your website, the type of malware, and if the site is listed as “suspicious.”

Spoof the Google User-Agent and View Your Website Code

The “user-agent” is the property sent to a website server when you access a domain. The user-agent is typically the browser you use to open a website. For bots, the user-agent is set to a value that identifies the bot. Website tools such as web-sniffer.net or Rex Swain’s HTTP Viewer allow you to see a website when a specified user-agent is sent.
Using one of these tools, open your website to view the website code. Look for any links that point to online pharmacies or sites that you did not ever include in your website content. Typically, hacked websites have links back to online pharmacies, porn sites or other hacked sites.

Google Your Site Using the “Site” Operator

Since websites are typically hacked with links to online pharmacies, you can use the Google search engine to search for content that would not normally be on your site. For instance, type “viagra site:yoursite.com” in the search text box. If pages are found in the search engine, you are probably hacked. If you don’t see the keywords when opening the page in your browser, use the user-agent spoofing tools to view the site’s code.

Preventing Your Site from Being Hacked

Even if you haven’t found malware on your site, you should always take precautions to avoid being hacked in the future. First, make sure your passwords are secure and you have the latest virus definition files on your computer. For WordPress site owners, stay up-to-date with the latest WordPress version.

Going Green with Environmentally Friendly Web Hosting

Posted: Tuesday December 20th

When the Internet first started gaining popularity there were few who could possibly have guessed how massive the scope of the World Wide Web would become. In the 21st century millions of individuals access the internet from their home, and businesses both large and small now operate their own website for the purposes of marketing and sales. As the size of the Internet has grown, so has the carbon footprint involved in keeping all those websites up and running 24/7.

Behind every business and personal website there are a number of services being provided that negatively impact the environment in one way or another. Large buildings play host to servers that run millions of websites. These buildings use a lot of energy to not only power servers, fire suppression systems, and security mechanisms, but also use a lot of energy to power the systems that keep servers cool. Companies that provide web hosting services also have office locations that have the same needs and leave their own negative impacts on the environment in the form of emissions, trash, and other waste.

Just because the Internet is a massive technological industry, doesn’t mean there aren’t things that can be done to reduce its carbon footprint. Green web hosting practices are gaining popularity for their focus on providing all the necessary web services individuals and businesses are looking for, while conducting business in a manner that is more respectful of the planet.

The greatest focus for most green web hosting companies is to negate or even counteract their businesses impact on the local power grid and the environment. Web hosting requires a great deal of energy use, so green web hosts work hard to ensure they are using environmentally friendly energy sources. Most green web hosts operate under one of the following models:
- Solar/Wind power: Companies seek to derive as much of their energy as possible from solar, wind, and other renewable sources. Many achieve 100% renewable energy use.
- Carbon neutral: Companies that can’t access renewable energy sources in their area will devote resources to purchasing renewable energy certificates that put energy back into the power grid from renewable sources such as wind and solar power.
- Tree planting initiatives. Many green web hosts, even those who already use renewable energy, partake in tree planting initiatives that give back to the environment.

While reducing energy use, or encouraging the use of renewable sources, is the primary goal of green web hosting businesses it is not the only way they ensure their operations are environmentally friendly. Behind every web hosting business is an office location with physical employees leaving a footprint on the environment in one way, shape, or form.

Some companies will stop at simply using renewable energy sources or neutralizing their impact on a local power grid. Other green web hosts believe in further reducing their impact. Those green web hosts with the greatest level of dedication to the environment adopt some of the following tactics in their office spaces:
- Electronic correspondence over paper. A special emphasis is placed upon using little or no paper, reducing waste in the process.
- Telecommuting. Businesses will encourage staff that can effectively work from home to do so, saving emissions from their vehicle and using less energy in the office with fewer employees physically present.
- Carpool. The most dedicated companies will encourage their employees to carpool to work as often as possible, further reducing their businesses impact on the environment.

Not every green web host takes their business practices to such extremes when it comes to saving the environment. Regardless, all green web hosting services have a commitment to reducing the massive energy needs of their business and work to promote the use of renewable energy sources.

Lastly, don’t be fooled by their devotion to green energy sources. Green web hosting companies don’t provide a lesser product in order to work within the confines of sometimes lesser renewable energy sources. Green web hosts all work to provide their customers with the type of quality product they would expect from any web hosting company.