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Web Hosting - Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions - F.A.Q.

What is "Web Hosting"?..

The term "web hosting" refers to the type of Internet hosting service that allows individuals and organizations to make their websites accessible via the World Wide Web. Web hosts are companies that provide space on a server owned or leased for use by clients, as well as providing reliable Internet connectivity, typically in a data center. Web hosts can also provide data center space and connectivity to the Internet for other servers located in their data center, called co-location, also known as Housing in Latin America or France.

What is a "Domain Name"?

A domain name is a sequence of letters and numbers which determine the address of your site.  This site's domain name is "selfnet.com".  You'll need to register a domain name before your web site becomes accessible at that address.  Please see our Domain Name Guide for all the details.

Which Web Servers Are Better - Virtual or Physical?

This has always been a point of interest and argument whether the performance of the virtual servers would place the virtual computing as a competent substitute compared to its physical server counterpart. Thus the performance trade-offs between the virtual servers and the physical servers are an issue worth investigating. This paper from European Scientific Journal focuses on this issue where the presentation has addressed on a number of experiments with physical server and virtual server to explore the performance efficiency between them in a comparative way.  In our opinion, a properly designed and configured Physical Server will always outperform similar VM and Cloud based machines.

What is "Shared Web Hosting"?

Shared (or virtual) web hosting is the most fitting way of hosting for 99% of web sites.  It means that a web hosting company will have one or more servers (computers constantly connected to the Internet that run a web server software such as Apache or IIS) that will be running multiple web sites (it will be shared).  Unless a web site is exceptionally busy or requires a lot of bandwidth, this is the least expensive way to get a real web site.  At SelfNet, you can still have your own IP address with virtual hosting and the site won't look any different to users.  Other options are dedicated, co-location, or doing it yourself web hosting.  In those options you have the whole computer to yourself and you can do things like install your own software.

Can I Keep My Domain Name if I Change Web Hosts?

Yes.  We recommend that you register your domain name with a separate accredited Registrar before getting a hosting plan (for example, SelfNET is an affiliate of Wild West Domains, an ICANN accredited Registrar).  Then, when you need to move to another host, you just need to point your domain's name servers to this new host.  If you registered your domain name with a host and now you want to move, you should find your registration records or contact this host and ask them how to control your domain name.  If you have a problem, you can usually see the name of the registrar by performing a "Whois" query on your domain name and contact them.

What Web Hosting Plan Do I Need?

That depends entirely on what your web site needs in terms of storage and functionality. Storage space is the amount of data you can put on your web site.  Available space is usually listed in megabytes (MB, millions of bytes).  Single letter takes up one byte.  HTML files are usually rather small (this file is about 25,000 bytes) but pictures and programs can get quite big.  Your scripts, emails and stats will also take up space on your host.Transfer is the amount of "stuff" that visitors to your site can download before you reach your monthly limit.  Transfer is usually listed in gigabytes (billions of bytes).  After the transfer limit is reached for the month, you will need to pay extra for additional transfer at higher rates.  For example, if an average visitor to your site views 3 HTML pages of 20 KB (thousands of bytes) each and 8 small embedded pictures of 10 KB each, and you get 500 visitors per day, you will require at least (3 * 20 + 8 * 10) * 500 * 30 = 2,100,000 KB = 2.1 GB of transfer per month. At SelfNET, all your transfers are UNLIMITED, you won't have to worry about paying for it.

Can I Use Java Applets, JavaScript and Flash Pages On My Site?

Yes.  Those are client-side technologies, so the host doesn't have to do anything to support or to enable them.  Any browser (such as Internet Explorer, Google Chrome or FireFox) that supports them is enough, so any host will do.  It doesn't matter whether Java or Flash are listed among the plan's features, they are supported by default.

What is "SMTP Authentication", why do I need it and how do I set it up?..

SMTP Authentication prevents unauthorized use of our mail system for relaying and distributing unsolicited mail messages or "SPAM". This is one of the industry-standard techniques used by most of responsible internet service providers. In short, it provides mechanism to identify users before accepting mail for delivery from them.  Most if not all modern E-mail programs support this feature. However, there are earlier versions of e-mail software that either do not support SMTP Authentication, or are incompatible with today's mail servers. Depending on the e-mail software program you use, please follow these instructions to enable SMTP authentication for sending mail.

What is "RAID"?

RAID, or Redundant Array of Independent Disks, is a method for storing data on multiple hard disks, then linking the disks so that the operating system on your server views them as a single entity. At SelfNET, we almost exclusively use RAID-5 for both SATA and SCSI hard drives in our Dedicated Servers.  Here is some information explaining the RAID options:

RAID-0: This type of RAID uses a method of data storage known as striping. The technology divides the data into pieces, and places each piece on a different drive. For instance, data piece A may be stored on Drive 1, while data piece B goes to Drive 2, C is on Drive 3, and so on. Because the data is divided, RAID-0 offers the top level of performance for disk IO. It is usually used for multimedia applications such as video editing and for situations where data loss is not as much a concern as is speed. RAID-0 does not actually provide redundancy and therefore all data is lost if one of the drives fails. We strongly recommend that daily backups are performed if you choose this RAID level.

RAID-1: This type of RAID uses a method of data storage known as mirroring. This refers to the fact that every piece of data is written to at least two disks. As a result, RAID-1 offers a high degree of data security, but has a slight performance decrease because it requires capturing all data on two disks.

RAID-5: This type of RAID is the most widely used because it offers a useful combination of protection and speed. It works by making enough of the data redundant so that even if a drive fails, it's still possible to recreate and retrieve the information. Offering the best performance with data protection, this solution is ideal for high performance databases and sites that require high disk throughput.

RAID-1 + Hot Spare: This type of RAID is useful in the event that one of your drives fail. RAID-1 + Hot Spare allows the drive to be replaced or rebuilt without powering down the system. The Hot Spare offers additional redundancy by ensuring that you have two good drives at all times

Who Is responsible for my Dedicated Server Hardware?

SelfNET guarantees the functioning of all dedicated server leased hardware components and will replace any failed component at no cost to the client. Hardware repair/replacement will begin immediately upon identification of a hardware problem. Hardware is defined as the Processor(s), RAM, Hard Disk(s), Motherboard, NIC Card, and other related hardware included under the server lease. The time required to repair/replace hardware does not include software re-installation and/or data recovery from backup tapes/disks (time frame depends on size of disk).

How can I update my account/billing information?

To make changes in your SelfNET account (i.e. credit card number and expiration date, contact information, etc.) please use our secure server connection -- please click here to access the secure server page.