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Although I have started the personal artist blog recently. It was not an easy task for me to regain, strength after losing a fully functional 2 years old running blog to a hacking attack.

Hackers attacked my hosting server. The blog was gone, and sadly I couldn’t cope up with the loss, you will find some of the mistakes I made as you read. Hope you don’t repeat them if you are new to blogging. But this event made me curious about hackers. And I fell in love with the breed.

How about you visit your blog, and all you see is a message left for you saying you are hacked. It happened to me once. I visited my website one day and found that my WordPress site hosted on Hostgator was hacked. Everything was gone, and the hackers left a message with creepy background sound? They are called wolf hackers.

I was shocked and as one more of my blog hosted with Hostgator was hacked too. Waghya survived although.

I quickly posted the screenshot shown above to my FB friends. Many of my friends were surprised by hearing the new. My father was terrified too and commented to enquire in to matter if it is dangerous.

This is the same question I was asking myself. Is it serious? Why did they do that? Are they cruel? Are the terrorists? Are they Criminals?

And I dived into google and youtube to find more and more about hackers. And what I saw was astonishing. And I fell in love with the breed. They have added a lot to my knowledge about internet business and personal development. Talks by Keren Elazari and Misha Glenny on TED came out to be an essential resource to understand the allegory of the hacking premise.

It’s not the information that wants to be free. It’s us!

-Keren Elazari

Hackers are intelligent :

Mine was not the only blog that got hacked that day. There were many from Hostgator. There is nothing on the internet that is not hacked, even the internet companies that provide anti-hacking securities to government and big corporation database. There are only two possibilities, You have been hacked, or you don’t know it. These bunch of people win against hundreds of programmers. They are omnipresent.

Forge Disclosure:

Hacking attacks are mostly made for content distribution. Yes, you might think I am advocating to hack Facebook or Youtube to distribute your content. But that is not the fact. The point is their way of distribution is unique in its own way. It socks!!! And grab your immediate attention. And that is what they need attention. I would have never paid attention to what they have to if they would have mailed me. But Scriptkiddies, a hacking group hacked into twitter account of Fox news and tweeted about President Obama been assassinated in the white house. Or Samy Kamkar hacked into MySpace servers to auto add a follower to his account. MySpace had to shut down the website to fix the problem. Samy created a fastest speeding virus of all time. What purpose does this solve? Karen Elazani stated in her Ted talk that hackers operate as an immune system to the society. They find an error in the system and urge huge corporations to fix them. Making their product better. This the very basis of development, identify and rectify. If there are no problems in the system, there will be solutions. Everything will be so static and what we call a tech revolution will lose its speed. They gave me a sense that what I had online is too fragile, and I need to do something about it. I learned a lot about security and backing up a website back then. They are shaping the society we live in. The message given on my blog was necessary to reach to people. Syrian issues Refugees are trying to find shelter still has its ripples all over the world. It’s impossible to get Aylan Kurdi’s images out of mind.

Propose is freedom:

These people have a very complicated relationship with government, media and public. They are much time thanked by companies and government to find a problem in their products. But they are never paid as their way of seeing the problem is not considered legal. They don’t do it for money. Hackers hack because they stand for something that is important and needs attention. Their way of doing things might not be conventional, but their purpose is. We leave a world where we are continuously monitored. The government has there eye to market the votes, and Corporate have their eyes on them so that the can market us their products effectively. It is although fair at a certain point, and they are doing their jobs. But Time comes when they try to control things, and Ideologically driven hackers come into the rescue. For instance in the Egyptian government once blocked all over Egypt to restrict information going out of the country. Telecomix groups helped to bypass the censorship, and further they also installed 300 dial-up modems so that people could use the internet. They believe in freedom of Information.

Good Hackers and Bad Hackers:

There is nothing good or bad! It’s just how we look at it. , in this case, not every hacker get a chance to build a million dollar company like Samy. Research has shown that most of the hackers started hacking because they wanted to hack some game server. It explains itself that most of this hackers were genius Kids, who hacked out of curiosity to access what they are obsessed with. These successful hacking attempt landed them in jails, custodians. Thanks to people who forget to thank them. And exposure to the system that acts against there innocent crimes put them in the company of people that are into dark things. It’s like fire meeting kerosene situation. A kid at a young age who is “angry for nothing” get a purpose to be angry at something, THE SYSTEM. And evil people take advantages of them to employee online, credit card frauds. Misha Glenny conveys that most of the hacker he has met said that they would like on good purpose if given a chance. I wondered they might be a proper help content distribution.

Organized and still unanimous:

Be the hacker a robin hood who keep good intentions that are bad in the eyes of the social system or a villain hacker who hacks for personal gain. There is one thing that strikes as it occurs. These guys have a vast network. It is well organized and managed. They influence media in masses, and still, we don’t know who they are. It is like Rihanna releasing a song, and we don’t know who Rihanna is. Management and big guys have a lot to learn from this.
Hence next time if insecurity about hacker crosses your mind, be assured that if someone wants to hack you. They have already. You don’t know the purpose. And if you have already been hacked like me and you know it, I would appreciate if you could share your experience an thought beneath. In the comment box.

I have worked in film industry for more than 10 years. I had put in lots of efforts to create the website that got hack. It didn’t only featured my portfolio but also had some unique animation. But I learned a lot. And continue to build my new website in foot forward to gain momentum as the artist.

To be completely honest, I’m a skeptic when it comes to most ‘green’ initiatives. I was on the first ever Sustainability Committee for my college, and I saw how numbers can be easily skewed and statistics created to make a university seem more green. Once we found out that the energy credits that the university had been purchasing to offset carbon emissions weren’t even being used; they were funneling into somebody’s pocket in Africa who simply claimed to be planting trees.

But I’m getting off topic. Several Green Hosting Companies have been brought to my attention lately: GreenGeeks and Fatcow, most notably. GreenGeeks advertises itself as powered by ‘300% wind energy’ and Fatcow ‘100%.’

Interesting. To run servers requires a lot of electricity. Like a LOT. The servers have to be running 24/7. And they can never shut off. EVER. Or else your website will stop running. And that wouldn’t be good now, would it.

After doing some digging, I found an interview in which Trey Gardner, CEO of GreenGeeks, explains how their 300% wind energy pledge works:

The Bonneville Environmental Foundation estimates the amount of energy consumption based on known factors and allows us to purchase credits to have the energy consumed by our company put back into the grid having been produced by wind energy companies. Bonneville in turn pays the wind farms we pull energy from with the credits we have purchased. We purchase three times the amount of credits needed so in effect we pull 1x from the grid and put back into the grid 3x of energy having been produced by wind farms, effectively making us 300% green.

The Bonneville Environmental Foundation helps give back to wind farms across the northwest. You can find out more about their work here. So it sounds legit. I mean it’s not as if the data center is in a basement under a wind or solar farm, which would be awesome. But it’s refreshing to hear a CEO in this millions dollar industry of hosting at least be thinking environmentally. Nice job, Tray.

I dug a little to find out about Fatcow’s policy. Their website simply states:

Our offices and our data centers are all 100% powered by wind energy. You can be proud that the machines hosting your website and email are fully eco-friendly!

I’m quite honestly not sure what that means, so I emailed them. This statement makes it sound as though FatCow’s data center is right next to a wind farm. Not the case. They too, purchase wind credits. Seems a little misleading to me.

So in the end, if you are wanting to be an environmentally friendly purchaser, you should go with GreenGeeks. The CEO seems like an overall good guy, and the wording of their green policy isn’t misleading in any way.

Environmentally friendly purchasing is the way of the future, and if enough people start signing up for Green hosting, the market may become even riper, inspiring more businessmen to open up legitamately solar or wind powered data centers. This would be pretty cool. For now though, if you want to run your website in an environmentally friendly way, GreenGeeks is the hosting company for you.

Questions about GreenGeeks, or hosting in general? Feel free to comment.

I’ve been in the web hosting game for going on four years now. I use Bluehost to host a variety of websites I run, including author blogs for various independent publishers who have asked me to maintain their websites, my own personal blog, as well as a couple of niche sites that I developed for fun and profit.

There is one funny question I hear from people who are unhappy about dropping $4.95 per month for their web hosting. “What am I even paying for?” they ask. Shouldn’t the internet just be free!? It’s a free country!

Well…yes, the internet should certainly be free. But that doesn’t necesarily mean that you running a website should be free. It actually costs a TON of money to keep up a storage environment. So I wanted to take a post and talk a little bit about what you are actually PAYING for when you sign up to have a .com with a hosting company (I recommend and use Bluehost). After I delve into all of the components that Bluehost actually has to house in order to make your words appear on the internet…you’ll find that $4.95 is quite a bargain for all you’re getting!

What you would need to build your own storage

If you were to build your own hosting environment, you would need to buy a server. How much does one of these bad boys cost?

At LEAST $1,000. And we are talking one helluva super tiny server, one that will barely let you find anything on there.

Next you are gonna have to find an APC backup. One of these guys, while not as expensive as a server, is still going to cost you in the $30-40 range. Oh yea, you better make sure you have a generator in case you run of electricity.

Things starting to add up yet? Well I’m just getting started.

We’re going to need software to run on that server, which is pretty costly since we’ll have to license it from Microsoft. Now we have to make sure that server is backed up, preferably twice. Don’t forget virus protection! You don’t want someone hacking into your information do you? You’ll probably want a monitor display so you can view the software on your server, too.

Servers get hot. When those discs are spinning super fast, they tend to heat way way up, so you’ll need a top of the line cooling system to keep your server up. If your server heats up for even an hour, you’re going to risk hard drive failure.

These technical components don’t even take into account the shelving, the rent, and the specialized employees that you have to hire to keep all of these components up and running. All of this, and keep in mind if you are down for even 2 minutes, you are going to hear it from a bunch of your customers (Bluehost comes with a 99.9% uptime guarantee).

When you add in all of the other intangibles (discussed in my Bluehost vs Hostgator and Bluehost vs iPage posts) such as speed, customer service, free google adwords credits, among other things, that $4.95 price point is starting to sound damn good!

Like I’ve mentioned, Bluehost is the company that works for me. I’ve worked on mostly small time websites that won’t recieve upwards of 10,000 hits per day any time soon. Once they do, I might look at a more complex hosting solution like Rackspace. BUT there is a reason Bluehost is home to more than 1.9 million websites.

Like this post? Sharing is caring! And for more detailed advice on how to sign up for web hosting, check out my post how to start a blog.

Thanks and have a great day!

What is a SSL certificate?

SSL is an acronym for Secure Sockets Layer, a standard web technology that is used to secure information being transmitted to a server. SSL ensures that any information that is passed between a browser and server is encrypted, and cannot be deciphered should it be intercepted by a third party.

SSL certificates are usually sold by web hosting and domain registration companies. The certificates are usually required in e-commerce websites and other sites that require users to enter sensitive personal information such as credit card numbers, home addresses, emails among others. Web owners have to install SSL certificates in order to secure their users’ information.

Should I Install SSL In my Website?

Installing an SSL certificate on your website is optional. However, if you are likely to take any sensitive information from your customers, it is recommended that you install an SSL certificate. E-commerce sites, credit institutions, and private sections of a company’s website are examples where installing SSL is recommended. If you have a blog or website which you do not use to collect any sensitive information from your users, installing the certificates may not be crucial.

SSL and Online Payments

If you operate an online store, installing SSL is a definite must. With e-commerce sites, customers usually have to sign up at the website before the can purchase anything. Having an SSL certificate assures customers that the information that they are entering on your website is secured. Today, many people are used to shopping online and expect e-commerce sites to have SSL certificates. With the certificates, they are assured that the information they enter such as their credit card numbers is safe and will not be intercepted by prying third parties.
By installing SSL on your e-commerce website, your conversion rates will improve and this will increase your profits. Customers are quick to leave websites that do not guarantee their information is secured. Trust and security are major issues online. With the common horror stories of credit card theft online, no one is taking any chances. You do not want to lose sales by failing to install an SSL certificate.

Capitalize On The Branding of SSL Certificates Providers

Most of the companies that provide SSL certificates are well- known and have come to symbolize information security online. Brands like VeriSign, GeoTrust, Comodo and others have made a name for themselves over the years for securing customer data transmitted online. When you buy an SSL certificate, the SSL company will issue you with a seal to show that your website is secured using their SSL certificate. This immediately increases customers’ confidence when they are shopping or entering their information ,

What If I opt not to use SSL?

Using SSL is not mandatory. However, you have to weigh the sales consequences of not having an SSL certificate installed. Customers may leave your website when they realize you do not have the certificate. This may in turn make your website be considered a scammer site, something that will drastically hurt your conversions.

If you are a web-entrepreneur venturing out in the online world for the first time, you need to be careful with a few things. First and foremost is the domain name. Your domain name is your identity in the online world. If you intend to succeed without producing waiting for a decade you must get the domain name part right. The second most crucial factor determining your success is your web hosting. This is the place your website is going to live in.

Unless your idea as innovative as a light bulb, your choice of domain name and web hosting together is the single most important factors in success.

Therefore, this article discusses what should a new, first-time web entrepreneur do to maximize his chances of success. The title is a give-away, but we have analyzed and reasoned as-if our business is stake. We will indeed discuss why GoDaddy makes a great choice, but there is a caveat. Don’t expect extraordinary customer focus at lowest price. You always get only what you pay for. If you are careless you might get conned and not get what you paid for. But it is unlikely you will ever get more than what you pay for. At least don’t expect that from GoDaddy.

There are no free lunches, there aren’t any free web hosting providers either. Really.

Reason #1: GoDaddy is Cheapest

Web is a hyper-competitive marketplace. Thousands of new domain names are registered each day. And thousands fade into oblivion every day. Competing is such an overcrowded buyer’s market implies that success can never be guaranteed. Even if you have a slick design, innovative idea and unique content, success may still prove evasive. Therefore, smart web entrepreneurs test the waters before throwing in tons of money. It makes sense to start small on web. This applies even for people and organizations that have deep pockets.

So, your first website must consume least resources, be cheapest and yet be competitive enough to give your idea a fair chance. If you are wondering that it might just be impossible to achieve that check out the domain name and web hosting solutions at GoDaddy. GoDaddy offers huge discounts for first time registrations. If you succeed and your website demands more resources, you can always upgrade or move to a different web hosting provider. If you don’t, you can be happy that you minimized your sunk costs.

You save money with GoDaddy. Hunt for as long as you like, there is nothing out there cheaper than GoDaddy. Web hosting at $1/month is absolutely rock bottom.

Reason #2: Free Domain Name

GoDaddy gives you a free domain name with all their web hosting plans. Your free domain’s life is the same as that of your web hosting plan. You need to pay for domain renewal at the end of the specified period. This offer is a blessing for new websites. If your website succeeds you pay for the renewal or else just work on erasing bad memories. You never spent a dime on domain name anyway.

Reason #3: Integrated Services

GoDaddy is a big corporation with upstream and downstream integration. What this essentially means is that at GoDaddy you will find everything that you need to run a web business. Hold on. We are not recommending everything that GoDaddy offers. But it is always much simpler if your domain name registrar is also your web hosting provider. You would certainly save yourself a lot of headache that way. Since GoDaddy provides both these services under the same roof (and the fact that domain name is free) you can save yourself a lot of time by buying both from GoDaddy.

Reason #4: Reliability Factor due to GoDaddy’s Size

GoDaddy is a really old organization. You can read more about GoDaddy in our Godaddy Review. The bottom line is that they are the biggest domain name registrar and have been in business for a long time. Thus, it is unlikely that they are going to fly-by-night with your money and domain name. GoDaddy’s massive size ensures that you would not have such unpleasant experiences. It is tormenting to even think what a first time web entrepreneur would do if his hosting provider disappeared with the domain name.

Don’t get us wrong. Sometimes a small web hosting provider may work out to be better than giants. But that is most certainly not true for your website. You are much better off following the beaten path when you are new in the game.

Reason #5: Plenty of Online Help

GoDaddy has a massive repository of help documents. There are numerous forums and websites that are dedicated to the problems you might face in setting up your website with GoDaddy. Since GoDaddy has such a large number of customers, it is very very unlikely that you would stumble on a bug or an issue that hasn’t been noticed before. If you get stuck at some place, you can be sure that there are others who have been there and done that. A simple Google search is very likely to yield the answer to your question.

In the extremely unlikely event that you are not able to find a satisfactory solution to your problem you can call their 24 x 7 customer support. Don’t expect a royal treatment or immediate attention.

Reason #6: Uptime

One of the primary metrics for measuring the performance of web hosting provider is the uptime. Uptime is a measurement of how long the server hosting your website was dead. Uptime for servers is measured in minutes, hours and days but for web hosting providers is usually expressed as percentages. Nowadays 99.9% uptime has become a norm and GoDaddy meets that requirement. Uptime is such an important metric that it is impossible for any web hosting provider to differentiate on this feature.

Reason #7: Both Windows and Linux Options

If you go with GoDaddy, you can choose between Linux and Windows servers. Sometimes your technology stack demands a Windows hosting. At GoDaddy you can pick whatever suits you better. Though we must mention here that GoDaddy does not provide option of hosting Java stack.

Reason #8: Cloud Servers, Virtual Private Servers and Dedicated Servers

GoDaddy has excellent upgrade options when it comes to choosing servers for your web host. If you grow too big for shared hosting you can pay extra and buy VPS hosting. Absolutely nothing changes on your website. Your visitors will not see anything change. If you outgrow VPS hosting also, you can (party and) buy dedicated server hosting. GoDaddy also has free Cloud servers aimed at developers. Developers can develop and test websites on GoDaddy’s cloud for free before going live.

Reason #9: Unlimited Bandwidth

Bandwidth refers to the network capacity at your disposal. Your bandwidth determines how many people can visit your website, whether you will be handle to lots of high quality images on your website and what happens in the rare event that you have a traffic avalanche. GoDaddy offers you unlimited bandwidth with all there hosting plans. Though nothing is ever unlimited, it means that GoDaddy will make a best effort to handle an unsual traffic situation and will not charge you extra in any case. This is in sharp contrast to some of the other hosting providers which have differential charging plans based on the number of visitors.

Reason #10: One Click WordPress Install

In our humble opinion, this is one the most revolutionary to have taken place during the last decade. Now anyone can go live online in 10 minutes with a single click.

GoDaddy, like all other web hosting providers, has a single click install for popular CMS such as WordPress, Drupal and Joomla!

In fact it gets even simpler for WordPress. GoDaddy has a managed WordPress hosting plan that gives you a WordPress installation on a single click. The configuration steps and hence chances of errors are reduced.
Caveat Emptor

Though we have outlined above the reasons why GoDaddy is a great choice for hosting your first website, you should never throw caution to the wind. There are a few things you need to be always aware of –

Don’t expect world class technical support.
Never provide any information that can be used to make future purchases without your consent.
Don’t expect to scale to 100,000 unique visitors on a $1/month plan, no matter what hosting provider you go with.
Ensure that the domain you are buying is not toxic. The domain should not have had a bad history such as being part of spamming racket.
We HATE GoDaddy for their support of SOPA. Their advertising campaigns are tasteless. But this article focuses on pros and cons from the money angle and not social impact. They sure can save you money and prove ideal for your first website.

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Entrepreneurs are looking ways to save money and mostly use free web hosting, but it might not be the right decision at long run. It is essential you understand the difference between free and paid web hosting before you decide. In the recent years, people have used bloggers to show their expertise, contacted friends and made money online but there is a confusion that bothers many new bloggers, should I use free hosting or do I purchase paid one to have proper blog running? To solve this I prepared a detailed report of the strong points and shortcomings of these two hosting types helping you choose when you can try free hosting and when can try paid option.

Free Web Hosting

This one means you can enjoy hosting service (shared web hosting) to set up hosted blog site without paying. In this you can have your predetermined domain name, have control over it and install plugging and do anything with the webpage and content in it.
Free web hosting is a good option economically because you don’t need to spend any penny for hosting solution. Your domain name might be permitted for free by your web host. But before choosing it, kindly have the limitations listed below:-

• Limited Bandwidth
Allocation of disk space and monthly bandwidth is limited. Chances of growing your blog and expansion are minimal and limited for server resources are limited.

• Poor Server Uptime
The paid hosting may cause down time for you get what you pay, you can’t expect good uptime for paying nothing. In addition your large number of neighborhoods in the server and probability of negative affection due to their full operations and use are very high.

• No Technical Support
You wouldn’t get any expert level technical support during utilization of the free hosting. In case of such issues to get support from free hosting are limited and sometimes you might not get any.

• Hidden Charges
It is a secret fee behind free hosting, it might not payment for hosting service but starts charging hidden fee when you start to use the service such as back up fee for the databases, script set up fee, etc.

• Renewals
Free hosting is free but mostly this service will only last for a year of which you will have to renew your account of which it might be very expensive with a very high rate.

Paid Web Hosting

Paid web hosting all the benefits as compared to the free web hosting and one is guaranteed good features like speed for loading page, uptime track, better technical support and many more in comparison to free web hosting but in terms of cost effectiveness paid web hosting can’t be compared with free web hosting.

On doing further research on the reliable hosting reviews we realized price of blog hosting on market is $6-10$/mo which is very expensive and might be big budget for some people.

We might also have the web hosts which offers full managed web hosting which will charge customers $21/mo of which paying such a blog cost is not cost effective.
Most paid hosting will come with features like:-

• You will get different packages regarding disk space, SQL or mysql server databases.
• A lot of websites or databases are allowed and extra add-ons such as database backup, domain privacy, SSL certificate and dedicated IPs.
• Multiple domains and sites are allowed running under one cpanel.
• Some hosting companies offer discounted price when you are willing to buy hosting for more than a year, which is a big advantage of buying paid web hosting.

You need to know these key points when choosing a web hosting to run your blog or website. Changing the web hosting provider later when your blog is popular may cause your online reputation also.