Every website needs a place to call home.  This home is called your web host.   Your web host provides data center space for your site and allows it to be accessible to others via the web. The scope of web hosting services varies.  Storage or server space, speed, traffic and bandwidth are some of the factors to consider when deciding on a web host.

Your first consideration is space. When you upload your website, you are actually uploading all of your files to a server that is always connected to the internet. This requires enough memory to store all of your files. When someone goes to your website, their computer reads the files from the server, and that’s how your website appears on their computer screen. Most personal websites and small business websites use shared hosting. Small hosting plans usually give you a limit on the amount of memory or storage space your website can take up. Shared hosting tends to be less expensive because everyone is using the same server and the cost of buying and maintaining the hardware is shared among all users. The other kind of hosting is dedicated hosting, which is where your website has its very own server. This kind of hosting is more expensive because provides you with your own space which means more room and often more speed too.  Dedicated hosting is best for large businesses, large websites or anyone who needs to run a company database on the server. Regardless of which kind of hosting you have, it is important to ensure that you have plenty of space for your needs.

Another important consideration is the amount of traffic or bandwidth your website is allotted. Every time someone visits your website, the files on the server must be downloaded to their computer. That’s how they see your page on their screen. In order to do that, the server must send a copy of the files across the internet. Most small and medium-sized hosting plans set a limit on how much traffic or bandwidth you get per month, that is, how much information can be transferred to your visitors. For this reason, it is important to have an estimate of how much traffic you think your website will be getting. Personal websites and very small company websites may not get an overload of traffic.  But some e-commerce websites, company websites with blogs, and other types of sites that will grow with time should plan ahead for spikes in traffic to be sure that service is not interrupted.

Regardless of what kind of site you have, the best way to ensure all of your hosting needs are met is to research your options and understand what to look for.

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Last year, the data center/server business was negatively affected by four natural disasters which demonstrated how fragile the IT supply chain can be. These disasters include:

  • Flooding — Thailand, home to a large part of the world’s hard drive manufacturing industry, suffered major floods in 2011 which inundated up to one-third of the capacity of those manufacturing sites, leading to increased costs of computer desktops, servers and other equipment such as storage peripherals.
  • Typhoon – In Hong Kong back in September, the region was damaged by Typhoon Nesat. However, the disaster only impacted airfreight shipments of technology products for only a mere few days versus producing a true disaster.
  • Tornado — In Joplin, Mo. in May, the area was affected by a tornado which tore out a huge section of the city and disrupted company operations throughout the city.
  • Earthquake – In March of last year, a 9.0 earthquake and tsunami struck Japan which led to disruptions to the world’s semiconductor supply chain for months after the disaster.

 

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With the release of the new iPad, Apple is once again redefining the tablet experience and pushing the boundaries of how we use the Internet. That is why it is time for business owners to evaluate how their brand’s web presence caters to tablet users.

There are a number of ways a business can make its brand excel in the tablet revolution.

Prepare Your Site for High Definition

Similar to the way broadcasters were forced to make adjustments as a result of high-definition technology, the new iPad is expected to force businesses to make websites high-def friendly. On the new iPad, your website is likely not going to look the same as it did on previous tablets.

The original and second-generation iPads both have a screen resolution of 1024 x 768. The new iPad’s screen resolution is double that, rolling out at a whopping 2048 x 1536.

The new iPad will feature images that are crisper and sharper than ever before, making them pop off the screen. Although existing apps will be updated automatically in response, if a developer takes a little time, they can create earth-shattering results.

As a result, there needs to be a greater emphasis on high-quality imagery, colors and overall attention to design details.

 Prepare Your Site for Voice and Gesture Controls

Voice and gesture controlled interactions are rapidly becoming a reality.

The new iPad does not include Siri, but it does include a voice dictation feature, signaling that voice and gesture enabled websites are one day going to be part of the web experience.

Siri currently works with a few of the iPhone’s built-in apps, but when Apple opens Siri up to third-party developers, the possibilities will be endless. Develoeprs will have the opportunity to create Siri-friendly apps.

To prepare, business owners need to focus on key customers and their most important tasks while considering how their current apps can be improved through voice-controlled interactions.

Prepare Your Site for a Tablet Revolution

With the explosive growth of tablets and mobile devices, people are accessing the web on an increasing array of devices. Consumers now expect their favorite websites to work equally well on their desktop, smartphone and tablet.

Creating separate sites for every possible device can be expensive and difficult to manage, which is why website owners should use responsive web design, which utilizes one set of code to display content effectively across various devices.

A responsive design responds to a user’s behavior and environment based on screen size, platform and orientation. Depending on the device, the website will switch to accommodate for resolution, image size and scripting abilities.

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