15Degrees-NORTH Blog

June 5, 2013

cPanel

I am sure you know already that day-to-day communication over the internet is possible only by efficient web hosting services. The simplest form can be found in web page and small-scale file hosting. Small scale file hosting involves file hosting over a standard protocol such as FTP or through a specialized interface such as a Web interface. These files need not be processed by the hosting service hence it is sent without prior processing. Most Internet service providers (ISPs) offer this service for free.

Web site hosting provided by individual users is generally free, advertisement-sponsored, and or inexpensive. An expensive form of Web hosting can be seen in Business web site hosting. Personal web pages generally require single page hosting where as a complex site employs a more comprehensive package that provides database support with an application development platform.

There exist a lot of tools to help users control and moderate their web hosting services. One such example is cPanel which is based on the UNIX platform. CPanel is a UNIX based control panel for web hosting services. It provides a graphical interface and automation tools which helps in the design process of hosting a web site.

cPanel aims in providing a quality and efficient web hosting service. With its 3 tier structure it provides functionality for administrators, resellers, and end-user website owners which help them control the various scenarios of website and server management through your web browser.

cPanel also provide command line and API (Application Programming Interface) based interfaces in addition to its popular GUI (Graphical User Interface) that provides third party software vendors , web hosting companies and web site developers and programmers to automate standard system administration processes.

cPanel is capable of working in different environments based on the needs of the developer. It is designed to function in one of two capabilities either as a dedicated server or virtual private server. It supports CentOS, Red Hat Linux, and FreeBSD.

cPanel also provides application and email based support to its developers. Application-based support includes Apache, PHP, MySQL, Postgres, Perl, and BIND (DNS). Email based support includes POP3, IMAP, SMTP services. cPanel is commonly accessed on port 2082, with an SSL-secured server operating on port 2083.

cPanel provides a myriad range of functionalities to its user but once installed, cPanel cannot be removed. The server it's installed on must be formatted, and the operating system reinstalled. Similarly, it should only be installed on a freshly installed operating system with minimal prior configuration.

We use cPanel fr all our hosting packages and once you get used to it you will understand why :)

Mark

February 15, 2013

Re Design

Hi All

The site is going through a major Re design to bring it inline with 2013. Some things might stop working occasionally as we perform this upgrade but we will try and keep any disruption to a minimum.

Mark

February 14, 2013

Search engine optimization or Pay-per-click?

As soon as one decides to venture into the murky world of internet marketing the first question that needs to be addressed is whether to focus solely on organic search engine optimization techniques or pay-per-click promotions (Google Adwords). Even though one would always prefer to harness the benefits of both the methods choosing one among the two can be a necessity because of initial budget constraints.

A lot of research has been performed to prove one better over the other. Organic search engines optimization has time and again been proved to offer several benefits over a pay-per-click campaign. Recent studies shows that people tend to click paid search links less than the unpaid ones. Users tend to ignore the sponsored links and directly hover over the organic list generated by the search engines. The main reason attributed to this is trust. People tend to trust organic result much more than the paid ones. Some searchers even find the paid links annoying as they take the top place in any search result. People feel that unpaid results are more relevant as they are placed higher because of their relevance to the context and not because they have paid to be there. Searchers find organic search results as non-biased and hence more valuable. Today searchers are aware of the distinction between the paid and unpaid results of search engines and they tend to consider the unpaid results more than the paid ones.

But if search engine optimization is so good why would anyone go for pay-per-click advertising. There are of course certain benefits associated with pay-per-click advertisement as well. Pay-per-click advertisements tend to produce results MUCH more quickly than standard search engine optimization but then organic search engine optimization is considered to produce result that last longer than the pay-per-click advertisements.

I view my sites in this way. When it' a new site you are going to have zero traffic from organc search for maybe up to 6 months! Start a PPC campaign and target your main keywords to generate some instant traffic. Of course monitor your budgets tightly on a monthly basis. This approach will get the traffic flowing. Now at the same time work hard on your organic SEO campaign, build your links and constantly add fresh content to build your site. After a time you will start to see FREE traffic from this work. Do a little bit everyday. Of course it's not free traffic LOL as you work damned hard for organic SEO traffic but you know what I mean. You DO NEED a monthly SEO and internet marketing budget so be serious about it!

I have written two courses on this subject but decided for 2013 to rewrite them both so watch this space for the new versions later this year.

Mark

January 14, 2013

Cloud Hosting- the new web hosting

So how is 2013 turning out for you so far? hey at least the world did nto end again eh :) Bonus.

Today I want to talk about my favorite subject Web Hosting or more specifically Cloud Hosting.

A cloud hosting service is basically like a common web hosting service, with the difference that a number of computers support the management of data. It is a distributed form of hosting, with decentralized servers, with the advantage that the load can be redistributed among other computers in case one of the hosting servers crashes unexpectedly. It essentially uses the concept of cloud computing, which is increasingly becoming a rage among the new generation of programmers. The exact location of the participating computers isn't required and cloud computing is perceived more of a service rather than a product.

The users access and store data through applications which are 'cloud' based, and are shared over the internet, using a web browser. The software or the programs aren't required to be installed in the user's computers and they can be stored in servers located remotely, thus creating a faster and hassle free computing experience. It provides empowerment of end users, giving them total control of the resources as compared to the earlier centralized server model. The user is the winner, ultimately as costs of web page hosting come down, due to lower requirement of hardware and distribution of costs among the participating hardware. Any file can be accessed from any computer, without that particular application being installed at the particular terminal. It results in a greater mobility of data, combined with increasing virtualization and device independence.

Clouds are of different kinds, depending on the cloud clients. They vary from private or public to hybrid or community clouds. But with great power comes great responsibility. Cloud hosting also suffers from the threat of some serious issues such as security and integrity of data, do you want all your valuable data stored across multiple servers that you know not where? It's a concern. It becomes a prerogative of the hosting company to ensure the privacy of the users, which is at times, a matter of concern. And then, there's the misuse of this great technology by hackers and other likeminded individuals. People with malicious intentions buy cloud resources and then create havoc among other clients by cracking their passwords and abusing their online privacy. Issues like these have been critically monitored continuously and we hope to have strong, impervious clouds in the coming future. But having said that, no one is denying the awesome benefits of cloud hosting. It is here to stay and like all innovations after some teething trouble will only get better.

For the normal small business owner at the moment I see little benefit. I prefer to know where my files are thanks and I like full control over my servers and what is on them.


Mark

January 4, 2013

End of the world

Or not as the case may be LOL. So another prophecy comes to pass and is awarded the major fail of 2012. Actually it wasn't a prohpecy just a calender coming to an end that got sort of twisted.

Human beings CANNOT predict the future period. Why people think they can never ceases to amaze me.

So happy new year and may 2013 fullfill all your dreams.


Mark

December 18, 2012

Web designing tools

Web designing is often considered as an art. A website is the first thing which a potential user encounters related to any product or service and it depends on the design of the site to turn that potential into reality or otherwise. There are different tools and software available on the internet and combined with rich doses of inspiration and innovation, web designers can go a long way using some of them.

Firebug is one of the most popular applications. This open source, in-browser web development tool for Firefox has many options such as on-the-fly HTML as well as CSS editing, a logging, analyzing and debugging Java console and a Document Object Model inspection application for quick verification of the elements, as well and their co-relations. It has become quite a rage, developing its own extensions like YSlow and FirePHP. Adobe Photoshop comes next in the popularity meter, for both Windows and Mac users. This graphic editor is useful for tweaking images, development of web graphics. What sets it apart is the wide array of tools and options this software has on offer. A designer can extend his imagination to the widest possible realm and Photoshop has the tool for his needs. Filters Brushes, Actions, Scripting and advanced features like Layer Comps and Revert are some of the most famous tools.

Another of Adobe's masterpieces is the Dreamweaver, available for both Windows and Mac. A complete package, it includes syntax highlighting, an excellent code hinting, an FTP client, project and workflow manager and lastly, the Live View which is used for previewing the codes. A shareware tool for Mac OS, Panic Coda is an alternative which reduces the amount of applications required for website development, such as FTP client, CSS editor, etc. It has a one window system using a tabbed layout for editing, file transfers, SVN, CSS, and a highlight called 'Books', which embeds searchable books on the website. The simplicity and efficiency of the design ensured it bagged the Best Mac OS User Experience by Apple in 2007.

Coming from the Adobe's stable, Adobe Fireworks is a useful vector graphics editor, available both for Windows and Mac users. Unlike Photoshop, this is developed specifically for web designing and makes the task of web layout prototyping and raster editing very easy. It has an option of 'slicing' the mock design to rapidly create prototypes and allows packaging of the design as a PDF file and optimization to make the entire process lightweight. This is of course, not an exhaustive list. Depending on one's style and preferences, the tools' choice can vary from person to person.

Mark

September 25, 2012

PHP Sauce

Of course its not a sauce but if you run a Linuz server you Do need it in abundance :)

PHP is a widely-used general-purpose scripting language that is especially suited for Web development and can be embedded into HTML. Web site developers use PHP based on their specific needs because HTML output requires a lot of commands to execute. Instead of this cumbersome activity we can use PHP instead. PHP pages contain HTML with embedded code that notifies the inclusion of the PHP script. The PHP code is enclosed in special start and end processing instructions that allow you to jump into and out of "PHP mode." There are various methods of PHP available from existing web hosting companies. PHP allows user to switch between methods.

The default method that runs your account is the ultra fast mod_php apache module. Web hosting companies provide mod_php built directly into the web server which help process your php pages inside the web server process itself. Now there's no need to create a new process for php.

PHP is also capable of providing control and security to developers. Web Hosts give you the option to run all or parts of your site with php as a CGI (Common Gateway Interface). Your scripts will still run fast but have the added protection and convenience of running as your user. You'll also have access to your own php.ini. They also give you the option of running php4 on part (or all) of your site. This is useful for running older scripts that are not compatible with php5. It is also helpful if you need to move a site that relies on php4 and cannot be updated to php5 compatibility.

Some web hosts provide custom php build features. Some customers may require highly specific needs for their php build. They are provided with tools to do their own build and then install the totally custom php binary to run the site.
It is very important the web host you choose fully understand the features and functionalities of php. Choose a company with experience in debugging problems. Look for companies that provide the following features:

Hosting with your own private php.ini
Php options inside of apache's .htaccess file
Fully configurable upload size, post size and memory size
Installations of non-standard PEAR (PHP Extension and Application Repository) modules on request

There are literally thousands of web hosts to choose from but choose the web host that best satisfy your needs whether its e-commerce or photography. Understanding your website requirements helps later when it grows into a phenomenon.

Thankfully if you host with us you have all the above features built into your hosting control panel :)


Mark

August 9, 2012

Architecture

Two important components of web designing are website architecture and search engine optimization (SEO). Web architecture, as the name suggests, is an overall approach to the design of the system and just like an architectural monument, it requires planning into functional, aesthetic as well as technical domains. The end result, as always, is user centric. Proper interaction of the website with the internet is kept in mind while designing the architecture. Semantic web and web 2.0 have dramatically changed the way web architecture is perceived, with more emphasis on the information's structural aspects.

The above mentioned two concepts have enabled sharing of unstructured data in a uniform manner, providing a common platform. Web architecture is often confused with web designing, but while web design is more of a practical task, which incorporates various other tasks including architecture, website architecture is more of an intellectual concept, which requires proper chain of thought before the actual design. It also includes coding to make the site faster and more attractive, resulting in an enhanced viewer experience.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is another integral component of the art of web designing. It is akin to what is known as 'advertizing' in financial terms. Essentially, it is required for any web page's success that more and more viewers visit the page and this is possible if the website is listed right among the top search results of any search engine. This is taken care of by SEO. It has to manage the web page in such a way that it shows up as among the most relevant results in almost all kinds of searches, be it news, local, image or academic search. Optimization for searches began in the early 90s, when the concept of cataloging by search engines came into practice. With growing market and competition, the urge to be listed the first as a search result became more, as the user's attention span and time availability reduced, leading to great technological advancements, than a single 'spider' search.

There are some useful methods under SEO. Indexing one's web page to the popular search engines such as Google, Yahoo or Bing is one of the most logical ones. These engines use 'crawlers' to find the relevant pages and the web pages, once indexed, need not be submitted again. Then, there is the concept of preventive crawling, where the webmasters can shield some part of the web page from getting indexed, which aren't desirable or relevant. Improving the visibility of a site by cross linking its pages to provide more links is a useful method. For image searches, image search optimization is also essential to ensure a page's visibility. This can be done normally through using high resolution images and providing relevant description about them, trying to match the keywords as close as possible.


Mark

July 17, 2012

Knit one Perl one

Perl is a high-level, general-purpose, interpreted, dynamic programming language. Practical Extraction and Reporting Language is a common acronym used for Perl is a general-purpose UNIX scripting language to make report processing easier. The latest version to be released is Perl 6.

Perl borrows a lot of its features from other popular programming languages including C, shell scripting (sh), AWK, and sed. Perl language is popular for it s powerful text processing capabilities. It also facilitates easy manipulation of text files. Perl is provided with an inbuilt parsing capability which made it a favorite for CGI scripting. Though CGI is its most popular use Perl is also used in the number of other areas ranging different fields of science. Perl is used for graphics programming, system administration, network programming, finance, bioinformatics, and other applications. Perl is sometimes referred to as the "duct tape that holds the Internet together", in reference to its ubiquity and perceived inelegance.

Perl is one of the most commonly used programming languages used online. From the point of view of a non-programmer, there is not much difference between Java, Perl or even PHP. Perl hosting is widely influenced by the already existing technologies like the C programming language and is quite popular on Linux and UNIX platforms.
There are various benefits to Perl programming. Some of which are given as follows:

It does not make use of system specific features
It can work on any platform and almost any operating system can support it.
Perl is known for its string processing feature, known to be extremely versatile, capable of being flawlessly integrated into the language.
Ease of use.
Powerful.

Apart from being versatile enough to work on all main computing platforms, Perl can be used for advanced level programming also. Perl is successfully used in system administration, programming of network and graphics, etc and can also be used in apps that need database access. Perl is also a good option when it comes to encryption of sensitive information such as online transactions, safe and secure login, etc. Because of such features Perl hosting has become a viable option. Perl hosting allows you to make use of CGI Perl scripts. You can also take advantage of the in-built Perl modules with Perl hosting.

Hosting companies that provide top-notch Perl hosting will make sure that the Perl scripts of the users is provided with optimized performance. Thus, the user will be able to make use of fast and reliable Perl hosting servers with Perl scripts.


Mark

June 9, 2012

Web Designing- an overview

The internet has done something which is not so visible or expected from any other kind of societal innovation ever made, perhaps after the invention of wheel-redefining our lives. It has spawned off a wide range of professions which have been able to affect millions and giving a fresh outlet for the ever increasing creativity and innovation of man. One among those arts is the art of web designing.

Web design is, broadly what the name suggests- the task of designing websites. It incorporates various disciplines which are used in this work of websites production, as well as their maintenance. Some of these various disciplines include web graphic design, interface design, user experience design, authoring and search engine optimization. Some designers perform each task by themselves and some work in groups, each member being assigned a particular task. It all boils down to designing the website to give it a proper expected front-end look, which we, as the website users will experience and interact with.

With the birth of internet in 1989, the evolution in web design was natural. In the starting years, a line-mode browser was enough to view text pages on the World Wide Web. With the creation of the Mosaic browser by Marc Andreessen and Eric Bina, graphical design including images and sounds was incorporated in web designing for the first time. The proceeding years saw a change, both in terms of rules governing ownership of the internet as well as in terms of the end product-the websites. Cascade style sheets, Dynamic HTML and Javascript are some of the notable technological revolutions in the domain of web design, which have made it what it is today.

The technology used in web designing depends on the stage of the production process it is being used for. Standardized mark up, either hand coded or WYSIWYG editing software generated are the tools used for creating websites. HTML, or HyperText Markup Language, is the platform of web designing, the language in which the codes are to be written. eXtensible HTML (or XHTML) is a widely popular tool with much stress on accuracy. The latest version, HTML5, supporting XML serialization is available now. For the users to edit the contents of an existing site, there's Content Management System, which doesn't require the user to have any knowledge of the complex HTML.
Web designing is complimented by the task of web development and the two -designer and developer- often work in tandem.

A designer should have a proper working knowledge of as many languages as possible, the common ones being HTML, CSS, Javascript, PHP and Flash and he performs the job of managing the visual aspect of the website, including the layouts, formatting etc.


Mark..

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