What is web hosting

Съдържание

Chapter 1: What is web hosting

Most people never think about where a website is situated or even what is a website. They just turn their computer on, load a browser and open Google, Amazon or Yahoo.

But what do you do when you visit certain website? As a visitor, have you ever questioned yourself where you are? And if this is a website (place on the Web) then where is it located?

What are you going to learn in this chapter?

  • What is a website?
  • Which are the types of websites?
  • Where is a website located?
  • What is a hosting company?

What is a website

In order to understand where a website is located, it is good to know what exactly a website is. We can outline three types of websites, although a strict categorization does not exist and we can notice similarities between them.

Видове уебсайтове

  • Static websites – the first type of websites. Here each and every site is a sum of documents and pages located in a directory on a single public web server. When you load a webpage your computer downloads it as a file and then displays it to you.
  • Web application – Google, your web-based e-mail provider, Facebook and every online game on the Internet are all examples of web applications. Just like all the apps and programs on your smartphone, tablet or computer, all the files should be stored somewhere. Web applications are being situated on a public server just like files and documents. Your browser donwloads some of the files and uses them to display the content while a constant connection is being established between the computer and the web server. These files are dynamic and their information is automatically processed before its sending to the browser.
  • Content management system (CMS) – this is a hybrid between the other two versions of websites. Most web applications nowadays are of this type. The technology of web applications is used to simulate the gathering of files and documents. In case you are reading a blog, it is very likely that each blog post is not a single file but is a part of larger structure. The application extracts the content of the post from a database and sends it to your browser like a single document. Then the browser displays it to the user without any noticeable difference.

When you visit a website the following activities occur:

Браузър-уеб сървър комуникация

  1. The browser on your computer sends a request for the opening of a page, document or an application to the server where the website is stored. The main part of this request is the URL-address which you type in the address bar on the top of your browser.
  2. The web browser accepts the request and gathers everything needed as a response. It could be one single file, part of web application or a document from a content management system (CMS).
  3. The web server responds to the request with submission of the content.
  4. Your browser displays the content that has been sent as a response.

In order to manage a website you would like to show to users on the Internet, you need a computer connected to the Web that is capable of accepting and responding to requests. When you hear people talking about a server for their website they mean exactly this – real machines that store the files needed for managing a website, together with the software used to deliver these files to everyone who requests their reception.

While in theory, you can manage a website via your home computer, in practice, it is not a good idea at all.

At first, you should know how to set your home server properly, in order to easily deliver the content of the website to the end user. Have in mind that this might be tough to do. Moreover, this computer must be constantly plugged-in and connected to the Internet.

Even if your deal with all the settings and ensure working infrastructure you will come across another problem – your computer will not handle numerous user requests at a time (many simultaneous connections). If several people try to load your site, your machine and the connection will reach their limits and your webpage will stop working.

Собствен съръвр

A better option is to buy your own server instead of maintaining your website on your home device. Servers are just bigger and more powerful computers. This option has both its pros and cons. These machines are very expensive, they are not user-friendly, you need to deal with all their settings and your need to find an Internet provider that can ensure reliable and stable connection. Even if you cope with all these difficulties, you will end up with a bigger problem – your own server requers a follow up service and management – you became a system administrator of your own service. You will need to take care of new updates, changes and all mistakes and issues that can emerge.

In order to deal with this challenge successfully, you will need a lof ot technical knowledge and skills in system administration as well as time you should devote to the maintenance of the server. Moreover, have in mind that you will turn into a support person of your own site. In case of a problem you will not have the opportunity to call a technical support team that most hosting providers offer.

In the end, all the effort you will put into setting, servicing and maintaining of your own server and the projects on it will take a lot from your time and money which you can avoid by using hosting service by a reliable provider.

What is the job of web hosting companies?

Web hosting companies solve the problems you may come across when maintaining a website. They have ensured stable and fast connection to the Internet and have purchased these expensive machines set to ensure flawless and uninterrupted uptime for your business page. You only need to use their infrastructure in order to deliver your content to hundreds of Internet users simultaneously.

When you use a hosting plan you occupy part of the server space of the given hosting company. This gives you the freedom to place and host files and software necessary for your website on the server. In order to make it even easier for you, hosting companies offer additional tools for managing and maintaining your website with less effort and greater efficiency.

You must understand that when you use the services of a given hosting company, your website is not just “somewhere” on the Web. It is a sum of real existing computer files stored on a computer machine in a real location (building). It is the job of the hosting provider to determine how these buildings and machines look like. In case you use foreign hosting companies you hardly ever know where your website is located physically.

Conclusion

A website is the sum of files stored on a computer machine. An ordinary personal computer is not enough to ensure stable and flawless work of a given website. Investing time and money in your own web server is neither a good idea because of the high price you have to pay and the complex settings you have to deal with.

Web hosting companies offer fast and powerful server machines so that everybody who wants to manage an own website can place it on their servers without any special technical knowledge and the purchase of expensive equipment.

Chapter 2: Types of hosting

The great variety of offered services and opportunities might be confusing when searching for appropriate plan for your needs. That is why before purchasing a hosting plan you should have in mind your needs, the specifications of the plan and the project you would like to place on this hosting.

Видове хостинг

In the next few lines you are going to learn:

  • The difference between Shared hosting, dedicated servers and VPS (Virtual Private Server);
  • What is cloud, cloud server and cloud hosting;
  • What is Managed hosting;
  • How to choose the most appropriate hosting plan for your needs.

What is Shared hosting

Споделен хостинг

The most popular type of hosting is the shared one. When using shared hosting several users share one and the same physical server that is connected to the network. All sites of different users are stored on one and the same disc, are processed by one and the same CPU and are delivered again by one and the same web server. This is the reason for the shared hosting to be the most attractive service in terms of price. Have in mind that all sites in all accounts compete for one and the same shared resources of the server.

The servers that maintain shared hosting plans are much more powerful and bigger than the home personal computers and are capable of hosting thousands of websites and pages. Have in mind that when a given site becomes popular and needs additional resources shared hosting will not be appropriate solution anymore.

Each page load, image and file should be processed by the server after a request – when a user wants to load your site. In case you manage a complex web application or CMS (e.g. WordPress) they would requre more power than usual in order to communicate with the database, to gather content on the page and other actions. In case of a single occurrence of the mentioned activities, things happen right away. But when you multiply it by hundreds or thousands of users within few minutes it is very likely that the site will go down or load much slower than usual. We all know that page loading time is a critical factor for conversion rate and SEO ranking.

If a website with more visitors and higher traffic is placed on the same server as your website, it is very likely that this will result in problems with loading or access to the site. If you own such a popular site with high traffic level, you should consider switching to another type of hosting.

Shared hosting has other disadvantages as well – impossibility for personalization of the hosting environment, for example. In case you manage an ordinary WordPress page the setting of the environment may not be of great importance. But if you are trying to set up a more complex project like personalized application with complex structure, then this drawback might result in problems with the installation of the necessary components.

There is a risk that your website might be affected, no matter how protected it is, in case some of the other sites on the server become vulnerable to hacker and other type of attacks. The IP address is also shared with the other websites on the server. If one of the sites uses its account to send spam e-mails or similar activities then the IP address of your website might be blocked by spam filters and run into a black list. It is very likely that you do not understand when it has happened to you.

Shared hosting is suitable for the websites of small to medium-sized businesses, personal webpages and blogs, startups and other types of pages whose needs fit into the resources offered by shared hosting plus the affordable price. Shared hosting plans include free technical support which is an advantage because you don’t need any technical skills to use the service.

What is Dedicated server (Dedicated Hosting)

With Dedicated servers (Dedicated hosting) you have full control over the whole server, which is a physical machine, which provides a lot of advantages. They are e little more complex to manage and more expensive than shared hosting.

Наети сървъри

When you have full and direct access to the server where your webpage is located, you can install any type of software you need to make changes on your OS or programming language as well as configuration settings and creation of virtual machines in the physical one. For some applications like ERP or CRM systems for your company or specialized software development you will need exactly this type of control.

Key advantage of Dedicated hosting is the fact that you are the only one who disposes with the server resources, unlike with the shared hosting. This leads to significant improvement in the speed and the performance of your website.

With dedicated server you can determine and choose the manufacturer, the machine type and its resources – storage, RAM, cores number, etc. on your own.

The maintanence of the dedicated server, the software update, the error elimination in case of pfoblems and conflicts are all responsibilities of the person who rents the equipment.

With the dedicated server when you want to upgrade your machine or renew some of its components you need to get in touch with the provider of the service who has to prepare an offer for you and calculate the new fee. Company representatives deal with the actual replacement of the equipment and its components.

What is VPS (Virtual Private Server)

Somewhere between the cloud virtualization and the dedicated server (one account on one physical server) is the VPS hosting. Here you once again own a dedicated server but this time the machine is virtual, not physical. In this model one physical server is divided into several independent from one another virtual machines. VPS hosting provides full access and control over the environment just like with the dedicated servers. This is extremely useful when you develop custom applications or in the SaaS model (Software as a service).

With virtual servers you have much greater access to server resources compared to shared hosting. While different virtual machines are the only ones sharing the server resources, usually fewer of them are on a single physical server in a VPS environment. You can use much bigger part of the whole computing resource and bandwidth – the quantity of data that you can physically transmitt through the given network, cable, etc.

With the usage of VPS you can limit the security and protection problems. VPS services have its own IP address and virtualization layer which means you are isolated from any external problems to your site.

VPS is a service appropriate for everyone whose online projects could not fit onto a Standard hosting plan by ICN.Bg but are not huge enough to be hosted on a dedicated server or just have budget limitations.

What is cloud hosting

With dedicated and VPS servers there is a chance that you can reach their physical limits in case your page generates too much traffic or your application is not optimized enough. Here we are talking about a real machine with real limitations – memory, data volume and number of requests processed.

Cloud хостинг

Most websites do not reach this limit so shared hosting and VPS respond completely to their needs. But for some websites it is typical to have thousands of visits every day. Others that usually generate stable traffic experience unpredicted peaks in number of visitors due to the fact that their content has become popular and viral.

Here comes the need of scalable service called cloud or Cloud hosting. You can find it under various names and terms like cloud, cloud-based hosting, scalable cloud-based hosting, hosting upon request.

What is cloud hosting? Cloud means that high number of computers are grouped together and when an application is started it uses the combined computing resource. Cloud hosting is a type of virtualization in which the resources are scalable and could be adapted to the user necesities. With this type of hosting your virtual machine is not a part of several ones on the same server but is part of thousands of machines sharing a large volume of computing resource.

The elastic service allows you to easly change the resources when needed without any downtime for your website. A key advantage of the service is that you don’t need to maintain hardware. You only choose disc storage, RAM and computing power. You can change them anytime you want depending on your needs.

This type of service is suitable for websites generating various traffic volumes, especially unordinary ones. Additional resources are being added or the position of the virtual machine in the system is being re-organized so that every website could have optimal performance.

A key benefit from the cloud hosting is the fact that you only pay for the resources you have actually used. This is a good solution for various online projects – from blogs with high traffic, mobile applications, news websites, online stores running ad campaigns.

Some cloud plans allow for having numerous virtual servers in a single account. This is useful for people who need environment for the development and multi-stage operation, with a server for development, testing and realization of the projects.

Managed hosting

In case you need the technical specifications of a VPS or a dedicated server but you don’t have the necessary technical skills to administrate a server, then you can take advantage of the “Managed” hosting plan service.

управляем сървър

Managed hosting is when you rent a service suitable for you but the hosting company takes care for its management, support of the system, timely update of the software and resolution of emerging problems, conflicts, monitoring, etc.

With this type of service you rely on the capabilities of the VPS hosting, cloud or dedicated server with the help and support of the hosting company. In this case you don’t need to be aware of details about system administration.

Another type of managed hosting plans are related to the management of specific applications like WordPress, for example and the interaction with them is limited to one installation. The environment is configured in a way that ensures the best experience with one request but you cannot do anything more than that. This is an appropriate solution in case you manage one single application but significantly limits your flexibility.

Special hosting

Standard hosting plans cover the necessary requirements of a sufficient group of users in terms of technical parameters and resources. The variety of standard hosting plans offering different computing resource, bandwidth and functionality is great and covers the needs of most businesses, seeking for a service of this type. If you create a website for yourself, your blog or a small organization it is very unlikely that you will need a specific hosting environment.

When talking about businesses that completely rely on their website to generate revenue, develop complex online projects or big organizations generating large traffic volume then they would require specific parameters in their hosting plan. Moreover, complex personalized development and applications require specific resources that differ from standard hosting plans.

An appropriate solution in such case is the Docker hosting. Docker is an innovative technology that is open-source. It is created on the basis of container technology that allows easy development, delivery and release of applications no matter of the infrastructure. The simple way of work allows you to use the maximum capacity of your hardware. The Docker hosting makes you completely independent from the environment in which you develop your online project. The unification in containers guarantees that it will work exactly when you want to start it.

Cloud is the right choice for most webpages of medium-sized and large businesses, online stores and sites of popular brands and blogs. Depending on the relative size of the future traffic the scalable service will ensure smooth performance even in cases of high traffic volumes.

How to choose the most appropriate hosting plan

Сравнение на видове хостинг Характеристика на видовете хостинг

Shared hosting is suitable for personal blogs, sites of small and medium-sized companies and other non-technological businesses. It is not a good choice for businesses that rely mainly on revenue from their webpage or companies with high traffic to their site. For serious software developments shared hosting is not a good choice, either.

Cloud is the right choice for most medium and large organizations, online stores or popular sites and blogs. It is extremely suitable solution in case the traffic on your website is not constant and you sometimes need scalable solution that is capable of dealing with unpredicted traffic levels. When starting an online business or launching a website of a popular brand cloud hosting is the service you will need.

Dedicated servers are the best solution in case you have significant knowledge in server administration and ambition to launch an application without a virtualization layer.

VPS, cloud or dedicated server – they all could be managed, You can see them as managed VPS, managed cloud and managed server. Each of these services could be suitable for you in case you need their parameters but you don’t have the necessary skills and knowledge to manage them.

Chapter 3: What do you buy when you purchase web hosting services?

Web hosting is a non-material abstract service. You won’t be able to see it or touch it. That is why people often think that all hosting plans are the same and do not worth the money. However, this is not true.

Какво включва хостинга

Hosting companies offering minimal prices rely on your confusion to make you think that few dolars per month is enough to get quality service and support. On the other site, some companies again take advantage users’ confusion and put prices times higher than the service value.

When a person is choosing a hosting company for their online projects they should always check what the service includes, and what extras require additional payment. In most cases when you purchase a low-price hosting plan you will need to pay more money for additional resources on a later stage. In such cases you may end up with expenses much higher than the initial amount of money you have expected to spend.

In order to take maximum advantage from your hosting plan and to understand the different price plans you need to understand what exactly you are buying and how the company spends your money when you purchase a web hosting service. Such awareness will help you choose the right hosting plan for your business.

Servers

Although you won’t be able to see it, one of the highest expenses for the web hosting company is the physical equipment – the servers where all the data is stored. They are fast and powerful machines that host your websites, applications and data.

One of the many things that premium hosting companies do in order to improve their services is the usage of better and more expensive equipment. Faster machines mean faster websites which is good for your and the visitors of your website.

Data centres

Servers should be placed somewhere – the physical building which is their location. This is an additional expense for the company. Data centres are huge buildings that host hundreds, even thousands of servers at one and the same time.

These buildings and the equipment in them should be cooled, maintained and secured in order to ensure their stable and smooth work. Moreover, data centres use a lot of electricity and should have constant and reliable Internet connection. Data centres are classified in different types and classes. The highest class of data centres are Tier 3 and Tier 4 that can guarantee almost zero downtime of the equipment located in them.

Software

Although part of the softwares for web hosting are open-sourced, some of the most important ones are licenzed. As an example we can take the most popular control panel for managing hosting accounts – cPanel. This is a patented software that should be licenzed and paid for. For all clients of ours that use shared hosting cPanel is free to use. Thanks to it you can manage your hosting in a user-friendly environment without the need of specific technical knowledge.

In case you need a Windows hosting plan (ASP.Net) most of the software you need is patented and a license should be paid for its use. This is one of the major reasons Windows hosting to be more expensive than the Linux one or to have less features and free extras.

That is the reason we strongly recommend that you use Linux hosting whenever you have to chooce between Windows and Linux hosting plans.

Internet connectivity

Web hosting companies are not Internet service providers – they should pay for Internet connectivity the same way an office or a household run their activity through exterior network infrastructure.

Internet services they use cost much more than the money you pay for your office or household connection. This is because web hosting data centres need higher speed and enough connectivity times higher than the ones you use every day. Internet services that are used should ensure the smooth work of thousands servers with millions of requests at one and the same time.

Technical support

Reliable technical support is one of the main requirements that users have towards the hosting company chosen by them. In case of a problem with your site you would like to call your hosting provider and to receive a fast and adequate answer and solution. Moreover, when you would like to send an e-mail with a request to the company you would expect a timely reaction and support. In order to ensure this, the company should have excellent support level.

The support includes not only the team of technical experts but could be also in the shape of FAQ database, base of articles with the most important things you should know, detailed guides, telephone support, e-mail support and a ticket system.

When you choose a hosting company for your online projects you should always check whether the chosen hosting provider has a 24/7 support that can service the clients with no delay. This is very important for the maintenance and the smooth work of all critical systems of yours.

Unlike in Bulgaria where users take advantage of free technical support and quick response to ther questions, it requires an additional amount of money to receive an instant support 24/7 abroad. Why this is true? The technical support team includes qualified experts prepared for your questions and issues. They should always have the solution to your problem. The training and education of these experts require high investment by the hosting provider which may lead to higher price of the end service.

ICN.Bg is the biggest hosting company in Bulgaria and is a hosting partner of small and large businesses. Clients can always rely on 24/7 technical support, reliable, stable and fast web hosting, first-class hosting solutions, free daily backup and cPanel control panel for everyone on shared hosting, free integration of the CloudFlare technolofy, Tier 3 security of our servers, the newest hosting technologies and a guarantee for quality and reliability of the hosting services offered by us.

Using the services of ICN.Bg you can rely on:

  • 24/7 reliable technical support, quick response and profesionalism;
  • E-mail support;
  • Telephone support;
  • Article base with detailed guides, technical issues and their solutions on http://my.icnhelpdesk.net/;
  • Ticket system;
  • Help section with frequently asked questions on https://icn.bg/bg/help/
  • Constant server monitoring and pro-activity in case of risks of possible issues.

All clients of shared hosting get free technical support including maintenance of the servers – constant monitoring of the machines, timely reaction from the technical people, administration of the machines and support in case of emerging issue with your hosting plan.

While with shared hosting the server monitoring is done by us and is included in the service price, with other hosting services like Cloud, VPS or dedicated server the client takes care of servicing and managing their systems.

You can rely on the additional paid services we offer:

  • Server monitoring;
  • Hourly technical support;
  • Subscription-based technical support;
  • 24/7 monitoring of cloud / dedicated server;
  • Proactive Server Monitoring.

You can learn more about these additional services here.

Advice: Do not look for the lowest price

You can assume that all hosting plans are the same and buy the least expensive one. Or you may suppose that the most expensive service is the best one for your needs.

None of these methods is a good way to choose a reliable hosting plan that suits the needs of your business.

A better option for you is to think about what exactly you can get from your hosting company, what type of hosting you need and then to compare several plans that fit your most important requirements. Moreover, you have to always do a research on reviews and feedback on the hosting companies you have selected.

After you have narrowed down the number of possible providers that suit your needs and you have eliminated the companies with bad reputation and unreasonable prices, you will end up with just a few hosting plans with similar characteristics.

Conclusion

Price is not always a good indicator for quality. Many less expensive hosting providers offer reliable and quality services suitable for some businesses. However, premium hosting companies have to ensure fast processors, better connectivity, minimum downtime and higher level of technical support. All these require more expenditures to be made and that’s the reason for their higher price.

Instead of making a purchase based on the price only, do a research on which characteristics and resources you will benefit most and find the hosting providers that offer them.

Chapter 4: Web hosting characteristics

Speed

It is important that the website loads as fast as possible. If users have to wait a for a long time they may get disappointed and never come back on your site. Moreover, Google uses the page load time as a ranking factor so slow pages would result in worsened SEO for your site.

Different factors influence the speed of the website but only some of them are related to the hosting service. For example, with shared hosting it is not only the hardware that helps for quick request processing. Fast system that maintains 1000 different pages could be slower than a system with average speed maintaining only one website. A basic factor that influences the page load time is also the level to which your application is optimized.

The specific features that can improve the hosting speed are:

По-бърз хостинг

  • SSD discs – much faster than the standard HDD discs;
  • Data centers location – the closer the data centre to your users, the faster your page will load. For example, if the majority of your users live in Bulgaria you have to choose a hosting provider whose data centres are located in the same country.;
  • CDN or content-delivery networks. CloudFlare is a service of this type that significantly improves the speed of your site optimizing the content loading, pictures and other resources related to the server speed.;
  • Have in mind that the loading speed of your website should not only be fast but also needs to be constant.

Everything you do with the server will definately influence the speed of your website. Optimize the code of your pages, reduce the use of various plugins that are not updated, use relevant tools for content caching and implement CDN (content delivery network).

Bandwidth

Bandwidth is the amount of data that you can physically send through a given network, cable, etc. from your website to the end users for a given time period – usually 1 month.

If you maintain a personal blog or a website of small to medium-sized businesses and you don’t expect a dramatic increase in the traffic, what you have in the standard hosting plan as “unlimited traffic” will be absolutely enough for you.

When building big websites if you expect high traffic levels you need to request higher bandwith which you should additionally pay for.

Analyze your traffic so that you can estimate what bandwith you need included in your hosting plan. Otherwise, when you launch a new project and you are not sure about the traffic it will generate, you may accumulate unpredicted expenses.

In the end, the decrease of the bandwith you need for the smooth work of your site depends on your activity, the reduction of redundant operations and the optimization of your software.

Storage

Hosting services offered very often include strictly determined parameters which you should not exceed. Such a parameter is the storage where your files are being kept. Standard hosting plans offer sufficient storage capacity on which a blog or a small company website could store their data with no worries.

With bigger projects where you need to store images with high resolution, music and video files you will need more storage space. The files of the webpage and the conten won’t require a lot of space, though.

If you intend to build a website with high number of images or an online store with many product photos you will definately need large disc storage – a few TBs, for example.

Scalability

The problem with starting a new website or online project is the fact that in the beginning you don’t know what the specific needs will be in future so that you can choose the right hosting solution. That’s why it is extremely important when you look for a web hosting service to check whether it is possible to upgrade on a later stage.

For example, it is possible for you to start with a shared hosting plan but after a significant increase in traffic levels you can switch to VPS hosting without any problems.

Make sure that your hosting plan will be useful on the different stages of development of your website and traffic peaks and to offer upgrade opportunities. Even if you plan to use a given hosting plan for your site check out the options for switching to VPS and what the costs will be in this case. When you are looking for a good hosting company, choose one that offers greater variety of services than just shared hosting plans.

Research carefully the technical equipment of the company because this will definately make the difference for the quality of services offered.

Technology

If you intend to use PHP applications like WordPress, Drupal, Joomla, Magento, Zen Cart and other similar softwares, then a suitable hosting consistent with the needs of the platform would do a great job. You can find LAMP softwares packages available for this purpose.

You may have problems with more exotic projects, e.g. building an application of Ruby on Rails (programming language) or using MonGoDB (database). They are popular among programmers but are not suitable for shared hosting plans. However, some hosting companies will offer you suitable solutions like the Docker hosting.

The good news is that most blogs and business sites are built on CMS platforms that work smoothly on different shared hosting plans. For all non-standard online projects technologies can offer a variety of opportunities.

Access / Control panel

With the help of a control panel you can manage your hosting accouts. ICN.Bg offers free cPanel for all users of shared hosting.

Another way to access and manage your files is via FTP access.

SSH is a way to access your files that offers cryptation of the data transmitted to the server with the help of a command port which you’d better have even if you do not intend to use.

In the control panel you will find a software installed on the server that enables automated installation of different scripts and useful applications. Such type of auto installer is Softaculous. With its help you can install different applications like WordPress, Joomla, Magento, phpBB and many others with a single click only. The software has a backup option, as well.

Support

24/7 technical support is a must. You should make sure that you have technical experts available who can help you anytime. Even the most-optimized webpages sometimes need a technical support intervention. If you have this included in your hosting services you will definately experience less problems.

You can rely on system administrators and technical experts who can guarantee the smooth performance of your service.

Chapter 5: How does a server work?

It is essential to understand how the server hosting your website works. This will help you not only to understand how your data is being stored but how the resources you have bought are being used.

What you will learn in this chapter:

  • What is an operating system, web server, database and programming language?
  • Which are the most popular OS (operating systems), web servers, databases and programming languages?
  • What is the difference between a server and a web server?
  • What is LAMP (LAMP stack)?

The server

The server is just a computer. When we talk about hosting server we should mention that it is not very different from your personal computer or laptop. Servers, however, are much more powerful and difficult to administrate but in its essence and logics they are similar to the computers we are using every day.

In addition to being more powerful these machines have much faster connection to the Internet in order to allow users to access the server at any time.

Operatng system on the server

The operating system (OS) is the main interface between applications, users and the physical machine. You are using the OS every day without even thinking about it.

Your personal computer is with an operating system Windows, Linux or OSX. Your smartfone is probably using Android or iOS.

Just like your home or office computer, the server needs an operating system. The most popular one for servers is Linux.

In case you are unaware of Linux or you have heard of the difficulties that users have on their personal computers, don’t worry. While Linux is not so popular at home or in the office, it is an absolute standard for servers. Moreover, it is times easier for administration of your hosting than ASP.net/Windows. Web hosting companies offer control panels and tools for managing and installation so that you won’t need to know anything about Linux to be able to successfully deal with the administration of your web hosting.

Some hosting plans offer servers working on Windows operating system for servers – ASP.net. Don’t get confused. Even if you are using Windows at home this is not a reason to use it for server administration. There is no real reason for doing it at all.

The only reason you may want to use Windows for your server is only if you really need it when you try to launch patented software like .NET, ASP or Microsoft Silverlight which will not start under Linux, for example.

For everything else – WordPress, Drupal, Joomla, any application on PHP, everything on Ruby or Python – Linux is the best operating system.

ICN.Bg offers to its cliens Linux shared hosting due to the mentioned advantages in comparison with the Windows hosting.

The web server

You may get confused with the terms “server” and “web server”.

Уеб сървър

The server relates to the physical machine, the computer that stores the files of your website and database. The web server is the software responsible for processing of the requests through Internet. You can call it web server program or software.

When you type a URL in the address bar of your browser it turns into a request that goes to the computer where the website you search for is being hosted. The web server processes the request. It reads it, understands which applications should be used, which files to be accessed and then responds back to the browser. The response which is usually sent is a page from the website you are looking for. The web server software works like a mediator between the Internet and files on the server.

The most popular web server is an open-source program called Apache. You will find it in most hosting plans as well as in all of the ICN.Bg hosting plans. There are several alternatives one of which is nginx. In case you are using Windows OS for your server, you can use IIS – a web server software. Apache, nginx and IIS are web server software programs that ICN.Bg supports for all clients on shared hosting plans.

If the applications you want to manage do not have specific needs, Apache is the perfect choice for a web server program.

Database-management system

Most websites (but not all of them) require a system for database management in order to be able to store content and other information. Such could be blog posts, pages, product information, customer data and any other content depending on the type of website.

The most widely-used database management system is MySQL. This is one of the many powerful tools for managing complex relational databases.

MySQL is the most frequent choice for management of the popular CMS systems – WordPress, Drupal and Joomla. It is also compatible with many platforms for e-commerse, website builders, systems for sending newsletters and social media apps.

There are also other database systems that could be used with some applications and you can come across them in case you are developing a specific project.

For example, PostgreSQL is also a relational database management system whose functionality is similar to MySQL and is often used together with Ruby on Rails programming language. In case you need such a structure (framework based on Ruby on Rails) you will have to find out a hosting plan that supports it.

ICN.Bg offers for free MySQL and PostgreSQL for all clients on shared Linux hosting plan.

Scripting languages

Most websites (but not all of them) are dynamic in a certain way. Talking about the databases and the web server software it is clear that there should be a software that can extract content from the database and send it to the web server. This is performed by different applications like content management systems, for example.

No matter if it is an ordinary blog platform, complex CMS system, e-commerce website, a project-management system, a website with interactive functions and dynamic content, these are all computer programs and they should be written on a programming language. You don’t need to know this language in order to use the program but your web hosting server must “know” it so that you applications can work.

The most popular programming language for dynamic web applications is PHP and you will notice that most hosting providers support it. If you need to use or develop an application on other language (e.g. Ruby or Python) then you need to check if the chosen hosting provider supports it.

In addition to PHP, Ruby and Python, ICN.Bg supports the languages CGI, ASP.NET AJAX Framework, Flash and others. You can see all the languages that our servers support here.

LAMP / LAMP Stack

LAMP is an acronym of Linux, Apache, MySQL and PHP. Linux is the most popular web hosting operating system, Apache – the most popular web server, MySQL – the most popular database management system, and PHP – the most popular language for dynamic applications. These 4 technologies are frequently called “LAMP Stack”or LAMP.

LAMP is a sum of software products and is intended to offer everything necessary for the functioning of web applications, websites or other online projects. The hosting company ICN.Bg supports the whole LAMP package as well as many other applications, free softwares and useful tools that can ease and improve your hosting experience.

Modules

Some applications require specific modules and plugins in order to function smoothly. Two of the most popular applications that require additional elements are the web server and the programming language.

For example, if you want your application to have clear URLs (readable URLs, not computer-generated ones) your application will require Apache mod_rewrite module. If your application performs more work on the server related to image processing you may need GD Graphics Library for PHP.

What versions are

All these tools have different versions published during the years, e.g. PHP 4.4 and PHP 5.2. Most web hosting providers use the newest version of each technology that supports oldest versions of different scripting languages, as well. On its servers ICN.Bg supports the most popular and the newest versions of PHP and we always aim at integrating all the modules and additions necessary to make your web hosting experience.

Conclusion

The server is a computer (physical or virtual) that supports websites. On this computer are stored series of related softwares that manage your website.

Софтуер задвижващ хостинга

The following two elements are compulsory:

  • Operating system;
  • Web server.

In case you are doing something more than just serving static files, you will also need:

  • Database
  • Programming language

The most popular choice for these 4 elements is the LAMP package of software products – Linux (operating system), Apache (web server), MySQL (database) and PHP (programming language).

Always check whether your hosting provider supports the necessary technologies for smooth work of the applications you consider using.

Chapter 6: WordPress hosting

If you are building a website for the firts time WordPress is a great option. It is easy to use especially for beginners, it is usually integrated within standard hosting plans and offers large platform for self-teaching into the creation and development of websites. WordPress is extremely intuitive, flexible and powerful tool.

WordPress хостинг

WordPress shared hosting

High percentage of the WordPress sites are hosted on shared hosting whose plans are optimized for its installation and launch. From technical point of view the settings and requirements of shared hosting perfectly match the essence of WordPress.

Shared hosting is not the best choice for websites with high traffice volume. This is also true for dynamic CMS. Each page view requires a request to the database and interpretation of at least one or more PHP scripts. When there is a peak in the traffic this could use up the capacity of your shared hosting, especially if it contains too many plugins or does not have a well-developed design.

That is why shared hosting is suitable for small up to medium websites, personal blogs and pages.

Scalable cloud for Wordpress

For bigger and more complex websites on WordPress that have large traffic levels, scalable cloud services are the best choice. Owning more space and control over your hosting environment will be of great use for the speed and bandwidth of your site. With the scalable service it is not necessary to worry about any limitations that exist with shared hosting.

How to have the best possible WordPress

No matter if you are using shared hosting plan or the most expensive managed cloud hosting, there is a series of strategies that could improve the efficiency of your WordPress hosting plan.

Support the basic version of your WordPress and plugins that are installed and upgraded to the last possible version

Most security problems of WordPress happen to people who have not updated their WordPress and plugis to the latest versions. The main reason for people not to update regularly are their worries that they may have compatibility issues after that. However, more problems may actually come from the old version of the platform and its applications.

Use plugins that have large user database and are in active development process

Great contribution to the problems with compatibility come from plugins which are not supported anymore and are not in development process. If a given software is not launching new versions, it is a matter of time for it to become incompatible with the newer WordPress versions. This is very likely to happen with plugins that contain code which is not well-writen. Such plugins are not very widespread and developed.

The large user base guarantees that the plugin will stay in process of development and new-version-launch. Even if the developer decides to leave the project, the large customer base will be an opportunity for somebody else to take it and release updates with new features. Another advantage of the large user base us that even if a plugin is not fixed yet, it is very likely that some of the users have already found a solution or another working option.

Regular backup of the code and the database

A significant number of people do not do a regular backup of their WordPress content or files. Sometimes something gets wrong unexpectedly so it is always a good idea to have an archive backup copy.

If you generate proper and secure backup of your content and files you don’t need to worry when you decide to do upgrades. Even if something breaks you can always return to the backups. WordPress itself reminds you to do a backup copy of your site before any update to be made.

In order to reassure yourself that you have backup files check if the hosting company offers automatic backup in addition to their hosting plans with specialized software like R1Soft – backup software.

Do not host your own videos

WordPress will allow you to upload and embed videos but it is not recommended. Videos use large amount of the disk space and the bandwidth meaining that you will easily use up the resources provided by your hosting plan.

Videos require conversion in different formats and resolutions in order to work properly on the various screens and connection quality. This is additional resource usage and you need additional space to store them.

If you want your video to ne publicly avalable then a YouTube channel is a great option. You can easily copy the code of the video and integrate it on your website.

In case videos are major part of your business then you must turn to solutions like cloud hosting or VPS.

Chapter 7 — Cloud Computing

What you will learn in this chapter:

  • What is Cloud computing?
  • What is IaaS, PaaS и SaaS?
  • What does it mean to „get on the cloud“?
  • What is cloud hosting?

What is cloud computing?

Cloud computing is a metaphor trying to explain in an abstract way the server virtualization of an equipment towards numerous virtual machines. What the term describes is the idea for a virtualized computer power that works on a cluster of hardwares organized in a way that computing power becomes a necessity just like water ol electricity. The idea is that you can use as much as you need from it and pay only for this amount. The same way like you do with the watter and electricity supply networks you don’t take care of where the computing power comes from – this is the job of the cloud service provider.

Cloud is a type of virtualization that is scalable (elastic) – it is easy to increase or decrease the resources. Cloud hosting allows full control over the service – you can install any software and change the resources if needed. Here the user does not interact with the hardware that works behind the cloud.

What people mean by cloud?

The cloud looks this way: many servers are united in a cluster so that they can work as a single powerful computer. After that virtual machines are placed on this cluster.

From business point of view cloud could mean any of these:

  • Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS). This happens when the company owns the hardware – the sum of clustered servers – and can ensure access to virtual machines, virtual discs and other basic computing resources.
  • Platform as a Service (PaaS). With this type of cloud the service provider offers a working system with OS and a web server on a virtual machine and provides them to its cliens for their computing needs. PaaS ensures a stable environment for programmers to develop their applications and services on a platform that is completely online and towards which the provider has ensured the tools needed.
  • Software as a Service (SaaS) – In this case the end user is offered the use of an application that is hosted on the platform where it is located. Dropbox, Google Apps and other web applications are an example of such type of services.

Switching to Cloud hosting or working on a cloud means to store data and manage applications on somebody else’s cluster equipment. The biggest advantage of cloud infrastructure is that data are stored on a system for centralized storage (SAN) that guarantees automatic migration of data in case of a hardware problem.

ICN.Bg has integrated Cisco UCS architecture for the needs of its customers on its own Cloud infrastructure. The unique content provides opportunity for them to use a constant uninterrupted service with unlimited resource ensured by first-class CISCO UCS blade servers.

The problem with Cloud as a metaphor

It is easy to think about the cloud as an immaterial basa of computer resources. The problem is that this is far from the truth. The cloud infrastructure is composed of physical machines with physical cables and physical discs.

The cloud and your business

You have read about cloud computing being the future of information technologies. Now you have the task to understand what it is and what you should do in order to use its advantages in favor of your business. How to become part of this cloud computing trend?

Cloud hosting

Many web hosting companies sell some cloud hosting plans. This is usually a type of VPS hosting where the VPS is stored on one cloud infrastructure and not directly on the server hardware.

Most shared hosting plans work the same way with hundreds of users sharing one and the same VPS plan that is one of the many stored in one share of computer resources.

Advantage of the usage of cloud-based hosting services is the scalability. Unlike the machine which has disc storage, memory and CPU limitations, the virtual machine on the cloud server does not have physical limits. In case the traffic grows at once and additional space is needed then these resources are instantly added which will not influence the stable performance of your webpage.

Most hosting companies use clustering technologies and virtualization so and even VPS servers could be considered cloud-based ones.

Chapter 8: E-mail, Webmail and mail services

In addition to the successful delivery of your site content to the user, it is of great importance for your business online to have a reliable e-mail service. You have numerous opportunities to set your own e-mail service for your company.

In order to make the right choice you should be aware of what is the mail service and how exactly it works.

E-mail and domain names

You know that a given e-mail address looks the following way:

name@domain.com

Everything before @ is the local name and everything after this sign is the domain name of your website.

It is a very popular but a very bad tendency for small companies to have a business mail registered in popular free e-mail services that are not connected to the domain owned by the business. This is not a good idea at all because it does not look professional and worsens the brand image and the attitude of customer towards your services. It does not bring any personalization and brand positioning.

Another mistake that businesses often make is using personal e-mail for company needs in the process of business comunication. This could lead to legal and ethical problems because of the inevitable confusion of personal and professional communication. Moreover, email addresses managed by the organization could be blocked, forwarded to another address or taken by another user. With personal emails it is not possible for such type of internal control and there is a chance for abuse and damage on the image and risk of financial losses for the company.

It may look insignificat but in practice your business email influences a lot the attitude of your existing and potential customers towards your business.

E-mail server and e-mail client

In order to use an e-mail service you need two things: e-mail server and e-mail client. It becomes more and more common the e-mail client to be replaced by webmail that offers more freedom of the user who is not dependable on one single physical device.

The e-mail server is a piece of software that works on a server (computer machine) and constantly connects to the Internet. It receives and processes each e-mail that is being sent to it and sends each e-mail you want to send.

The e-mail client is the application, the program you use in order to view and manage your e-mail. This could be an application on your phone, something you check on a URL-address through your browse or desktop application like Microsoft Outlook. The client checks in the e-mail server for new messages and stores them so that you can read them. It ensures an interface for reading and writing messages. It sends the outgoing messages to the e-mail server which forwards them to the indeded recipients.

Webmail is a web application that allows you to check your e-mail through a browser regardless of the device you are using and your physical location.

E-mail servers and e-mail clients are two different softwares that communicate via standartized protocols – POP and IMAP. This means that you can choose the one you want because they are independent from each other.

Most e-mail clients can connect to almost every e-mail server properly. Morever, most e-mail clients could connect to numerous e-mail servers and work with many e-mail accounts at one and the same time. This means that if you are using Outlook as an e-mail client on your computer for your personal e-mail you can also set it to work with your business e-mail as well.

E-mail protocol: POP и IMAP

POP и  Imap

The two basic e-mail protocols for mail reading are POP and IMAP. But what exactly they do? This is a standartized way to transmit information from one place to another – from the e-mail server to you e-mail client and vice versa. Simply explained, the e-mail server and the e-mail client communicate with this language, so that you can properly open and read every message.

POP comes from “Post Office Protocol”. You will often see it written as “POP3” because the protocol is in its third version.

IMAP comes from “Internet Message Access Protocol”.

Both of them are ways to transmit information in the messages form e-mail server to e-mail client but they are completely different from each other.

POP is based on the “Post Office” model. The e-mail server delivers messages to you but does not store them or the information for them. What you need to do in order to prevent your e-mails from deleting after you download/open them you should set your e-mail client to keep them on the server.

IMAP provides high level of synchronization between the e-mail server and the e-mail client. It saves keeps your e-mail communication on the server and it cloud be accessed by numerous e-mail clients from different devices.

You would like to use the IMAP protocol most of the time because it would provide details like the status of the letter, whether it has been read, the content of drafts and other information for your interaction with the letters. This means that your e-mail is always synchronized even if you use numerous devices – laptop, smartphone, personal or professional computer.

When you are looking for an appropriate web hosting plan always check whether the one you have chosen supports IMAP on the e-mail server.

ICN.Bg supports the protocols IMAP and POP3 for all clients on shared Linux hosting plans.

Ways to acces your e-mail – e-mail clients and web-based applications

If you manage your mail via the e-mail server of your web hosting account you have several different opportunities with different ways to open it. The traditional method is to use an e-mail client program on your computer. This could be Outlook, Apple Mail, the e-mail client of your phone or another similar program.

Webmail is another opportunity offered by many hosting companies. The e-mail client application works straight through your browser and you can open your mail, read and send letters all through one single webmail page. If you want to access your mail through a browser you can use a webmail client application. The most popular ones are Squirrel, Mail.RoundCube and Horde.

Email client setup

You can find complete instructions how to set an e-mail client here:

  • For Microsoft Outlook 2013
  • For Mozilla Thunderbird

One of the main things you should have in mind when you manage your e-mail client are the setting of the accounts you want to open through the e-mail client. In the settings of the program you can add different e-mail accounts and each of them will need a name, password, server and information for the protocol that is being used.

The information you need to set up your accounts could be found in your web hosting control panel. It is where you can add new e-mail addresses and passwords – ther you will be able to find the whole information you need to set up your accounts in a single e-mail client.

Other opportunities

Another option you can use is to set up the messages from your business mail to be sent to your personal one. This is a common decision for bloggers and many small businesses. In this case, however, if you want to answer to an e-mail or forward it directly from this mail it will be sent from your personal instead of your business e-mail address.

A good option is to use a professional e-mail service like cMailPro – a high-tech unified communication solution that eases, optimizes and increases the security of your online communication in everyday business activities. In this case you will be using an outsource service that solves communication problems and offers great variety of useful functionalities. cMailPro allows for fast and easy management of your tasks with the help of a calendar function, the integrated chat and calls, tasks menu, file manager and the full criptation of your data. This innovative solution could be used directly through a browser and will ease your daily business activities.

Sending automatic e-mails

If you often send e-mails under certain circumstances (letters for registration confirmation, password restoration, invoices, receipts, order placed, subscription expriring, etc..) it usually happens through the e-mail server.

This type of messages are called “transaction e-mails” or “automatic e-mails” and are being sent automatically by the application/website code when certain interactions of the users occur – order placed, payment made, etc.

If the number of sent or received e-mails is too high (it usually happens with popular e-commerce sites) these e-mails start using a lot of your hosting account resources. As an addition some people use such type of mails (application e-mails) as a cheap way to send spam. In any of these situations too many sent or received messages and spam could reflect your e-mail service and the resources of your hosting plan.

If you are sending very important transaction e-mails that must be received it is good to consider outsourcing such e-mails to a specialized service for these purposes. They could be plugins added to your CMS or e-commerce software or other type of e-mail solutions.

Mailig lists and marketing email

Most shared hosting plans have specific terms of use that do not allow the use of your e-mail server for sending e-mails to many people at a time (spam).

Laws against unsolicited trade messages (spam) are very clear and it is not a good idea trying to violate them. In addition, due to the methods used to filter incoming mail, your attempts to deal with this task alone could lead to serious problems with the resources of your hosting plan and mail service.

ICN.Bg has a strict policy regarding the sending of unsolicited trade messages that does not tolerate the use of our servers for spam. You can learn more about the service “ICN.Bg NEWSLETTER” which allows you to send a newsletter with important information for your customers and partners subscribed for it. You can learn more about the service and its parameters and limitations here.

The best option for sending your newsletters is to use specialized e-mail service for sending newsletters. We advise you to use such complete e-mail solutions like Mail Chimp or Aweber which are accessible for all users online.

Conclusion

Businesses and organizations should use domain branded e-mail addresses for their professional communication instead of personal e-mail addresses in free and popular web-based e-mail clients.

E-mails are sent and received on the Internet via software application called e-mail server. Users can read an send e-mails from an application called e-mail client. The choice of an application you can use for each of them is independent and you can set almost every e-mail client with your e-mail server.

The opportunities for acces to youe e-mail include: installation of an application on a computer device, webmail client or the use of paid account as an e-mail client. You can also completely outsource the service to email service provider using your own domain name.

An example of such type of communication service is cMailPro which is not only an e-mail client but also includes all your communication channels and additional functionalities.

Another two issues related to your e-mail service are automatic (transactional) and advertisement e-mails that you want to send to numerous people at a time. Automatic mails are being sent by the code of your website and are not related to its functionality.

Very often they are not connected to your e-mail server but to the code of your website – e.g. they are being sent automatically in case of an order of a product or a payment. Most of the time you wouldn’t care of these types of electronic messages. They are sent automatically in case of certain interactions with your site. But if you are sending a realy huge quantity of them all the time, it is good to consider outsourcing this service to a specialised provider of transactional e-mail solutions.

Marketing e-mails like newsletters that are only sent to people who have subscribed for them are subject of strict laws and the terms of use of the shared hosting service by ICN.Bg. Therefore, the use of another specialised provider of these marketing services such as Mail Chimp or Aweber will be a better choice.

Advice: Use your full name and family name for every e-mail you use

Many organizations use interesting models for “translation”of the names of their employees in the e-mail address. In many cases this does not lead to anything positive.

If you are using only first names it is just a matter of time to hire somebody with the same name as your existing employee. If you are using only the first name and the first letter of the family name this is not a guarantee either.

A better option is to use the first letter of the name and the whole family name of the employee. This option is good for medium-sized companies but is not applicable for corporations with thousands of employees. Again you are not protected from e-mail duplication and suspicious e-mail addresses.

The best oprion is to use the full name and family name of your employees divided with a dot or dash.

For example: john.davidson@domain.com или peter-smith@domain.com

This way you can reduce the risks of efforts, confusions and funny abbreviations but you will significantly lengthen the e-mail addresses. However, best practices show that this option is the most preferred one by big international companies with many employees where it is very likely for e-mail addresses to duplicate. Using the full names of your employees eliminates the risk of internal confusion within the organization and provides additional personalization of the internal communication among employees, especially if the company has offices in different cities and countries.

Always be careful when using specific vocals and consonants in Bulgarian when translating the names of your employees.

We recommend the following replacement of letters when translating the names from cyrilic alphabet to the latin one:

Ж - zh
Й – y
Ц – ts
Ч – ch
Ш – sh
Щ – sht
Ъ – a
Ь – y
Ю – yu
Я – ya

Here are some examples of such e-mails:

kolyo.zhelyazkov@domain.com; shtilyan-tsekov@domain.com

Chapter 9: Additional services to look for in your hosting provider

Specialized equipment

Everyone who owns an online business should protect their business from all types of attacks. Quality hosting providers invest in special technical equipment that guarantee the safety of their clients. Radware Defense Pro is an equipment of such type that guarantees up to 99.99% protection form DDoS attacks on network level helping against overloading the connection channel, DDoS attacks to login pages, attacks behind CDN and SSL-based flood attacks. The specialized hardware protects from attacks on two levels – network and application level.

SSL sertificates

It is recommended that you use SSL certificates for sites that operate with sensitive data, for online stores, sites of big state agencies and organizations and for sites operating / gathering user and financial data. There are paid and free SSL certificates but for serious online projects you’d better use paid SSL from a proven provider.

Let’s Encrypt is a fully automated and free certificate for data cryptation. It is extremely suitable for startups that do not operate with sensitive information or for news websites.

Unified communication solution

The right and timely communications are vital for the success of every business, especially if it’s online. That’s why you should look for an appropriate solution that would secure the whole communication process with customers, partners, co-workers, branches, etc.

Solution of this type is offered by cMailPro. The high-tech communication solution is fully integrated in the control panel of your hosting account. The unified service includes all necessary functionalities in one – e-mail, webmail, contacts management, file storage and sharing, calendar, chat, mobile synchronization. With its help you can manage your communications fast, quickly and safe.

Dedicated IP address

The dedicated IP address is a unique internet address that each individual hosting account has. With shared hosting the IP address is shared with everyone whose account is placed on the given server. The dedicated IP address guarantees that in case of an attack on shared hosting you will stay safe unlike all the others who share an IP address. The dedicated IP address is necessary when you want to put an SSL certificate on the website.

SSH access

SSH is a network protocol for transmitting of encrypted data and is used for access and management of remote machines with high authentication and security level. The SSH access is an additional option in shared hosting plans. In order to gain acces to it you need to install it on your server via FTP client. Every time when data is sent from a computer to the network, SSH encrypts it automatically and after its receival by the end user it decrypts it automatically.

Unique daily backup

It is mandatory for every hosting plan to offer opportunities for daily backup. R1Soft – backup software is a specialized software for creation of archive copies. It is likely that there might be a security issue on the site or you may delete an important file by mistake. Such type of software guarantees maximum level of security and guarantees for recovery of the website at any moment you want. The software makes an automatic backup of web files, e-mails and databases. We should clarify that archive copies do not take any space on your disc and do not spend CPU minutes.

If you want to review your backup files you have a direct access to the software on the control panel and you can easily manage them, recover a file and operate with them.

Chapter 10: How to make sure in the right choice of hosting provider

When you are choosing a hosting provider you should carefuly research the quality of the service provided, as well as the additional services offered. We will show you the key advantages that a quality hosting service must ensure.

Guaranteed quality

The availability of a certificate for quality of the company offering hosting services is a secure sign that it takes care for the delivery of quality service according to international norms and standards. The international standard for quality ISO 9001 guarantees for the quality providing of products and services to the end user.

24/7 support

In order to make sure this could happen you can rely on a technical expert 24-hours a day online or on the phone. Shared hosting plans include free technical support that guarantees the stable performance of the server equipment and constant monitoring. With all other services – VPS, cloud, dedicated server, the client should take care of the equipment and the infrastructure on their own. If wanted, specialized technical support is offered and paid additionaly. Hourly technical support and server administration depend on your necessity and on the service you are using.

Wide range of services

The range of services offered by a hosting provider is a good sign for the expertise of the company that is looking for the best possible solution for every of its clients. Shared hosting, VPS, Dedicated Servers, Virtual Private cloud, Virtual Data centre, Collocation for own communication equipment, rental of Racks and infrastructure must all be among the offering of your hosting provider to make you trust them.

Hardware / Equipment

There are many hosting service providers but the ones that guarantee the performance of technical services are just a few. High-quality technical equipment is a guarantee for the service offered. Pay attention to the servers, how powerful they are, what is the server equipment and where it is located.

One of the best hosting companies in Bulgaria ICN.Bg owns servers of the most popular hardware company Supermicro. The server equipment is build with the newest components Intel, 3Com, Hitachi, Kingston, WD, multi-core processors i7, Xeon Quad as well as Blade systems (Supermicro Superblade), Hardware RAID 1&10, SCSI, SAS, HDD RAID EDITION. The whole equipments is triple-secured.