Website Development Process Explained

A website is a piece of software, which is developed for users on the World Wide Web. Ergo, like any other software, it has to go through a rigorous process. Some of the common models for web development are:

  • System Development Life Cycle
  • Prototyping Model
  • Rapid Application Development Model
  • UML Based Development Model

However, in most models, the process goes through almost identical phases. In some models two phases may be clubbed together to make one process. In others, it may be divided between two processes.

Steps in Developing a Website

Every company follows standard methodologies, modeling tools, framework, and languages for developing a website. Here are the prime designing steps that any website must go through.

Stage # 1 – Information Gathering
The first phase in this process is information gathering. It is also the most important one, as any miscommunication at this stage, hampers the entire process completely. At this stage, understanding the company and its activities is necessary. It will also include understanding the goals, dreams, target audience, and content of the company. Asking a number of questions at this stage is very important.

Even a small doubt about the exact requirements must be cleared at this stage. This will make sure that there are no mistakes in the end product. Along with information, the exact requirements will also have to be understood. Using this gathered information and requirements, the website will be developed.

Stage # 2 – Requirement Analysis
After the required information has been gathered, the next phase in this process is requirement analysis. A complete analysis of how the developed system is going to help and replace the existing one is carried out at this stage. At the same time, analysis also has to be carried out to see how the website is going to be amalgamated with the current system. The target audience of the website also needs to be taken into consideration. In case it’s a new website, you need to analyze the requirements to get an exact idea of what the finished product should look like.

Stage # 3 – Planning
The analysis should be able to come up with a cost-effective system. At this stage, the requirement analysis team can seek help from web designers, developers, and testers. This will help them come up with a realistic plan to execute the project. The site map for the website should be prepared at this stage. The entire website may have to be divided into topics and sub-topics. The division will prove to be useful for sorting the data that needs to be put up on the website.

At the same time, a plan can be chalked out for navigation through the system. The planning should consistently take the end users into consideration. The interface should be made in such a way, that navigation between the different pages and sections of the website is easy. The plan needs to also take different forms, pop-ups, and flash, e-commerce applications, etc., into consideration and arrange for them accordingly.

Stage # 4 – Design
After planning, we come to the website design phase. In this phase, the logo of the company, colors, background, etc., to be used in the website are taken into consideration. More than one prototype of the entire design will have to be created. The prototypes are normally shown to the client. The client approves one of the many prototypes and then further work can be carried out on the chosen design.

This is a crucial phase in the portal development process. The prototype has to match the requirement and liking of the client. It is best to work in close coordination with the client at this stage, so that it does not result in a problematic situation. The developer team will take database requirements into consideration at this stage. The design of the database will be simultaneously finalized.

Stage # 5 – Development
After the design has been approved, the real development process starts. The process normally starts with the development of the home page. There are prototypes or templates created for the other pages. All the required elements on the website are implemented at this stage. The developers will also work on database development at this stage.

Stage # 6 – Content Writing
Content is an important part of the website. It has to be so written, that the customers are attracted to the product or services offered by the company. Content development can be assigned to professional content developers. Their objective will be to develop original, informative, and relevant content.

Stage # 7 – Testing
Like any software, the website also has to go through a software testing life cycle. The testing for websites is more rigorous. The procedure has to take into consideration, the multi-user system, along with server requirements, etc. Web browser testing is also carried out to ensure that the website does indeed work in all browsers. Both automated and manual testing procedures are carried out on the system. After all the in-house tests have been carried out, real time testing of the website begins.

Stage # 8 – Delivery
After the final approval of the website, it is delivered. Normally the web development services also offer domain name registration, along with web hosting services. You may want to look for low-cost web hosting to lower the cost of the project. The site is uploaded on a web server and the last test is carried out. The last test ensures that all the necessary files have been uploaded and the site is fully functional.

Stage # 9 – Maintenance and Updating
This is an important step in the entire process. It is important to keep the website updated with new features. For which the website may have to go through the entire cycle again. In case of any problem, measures have to be taken to remedy it at the earliest.

After the development process is over, measures will have to be taken to increase website traffic. Different measures will also have to be taken, so that the website is included in the web directories, which will help it gain better traffic and deliver clientele. Website submission to different search engines may also be considered, as it will help in increasing traffic. This concludes our analysis of the entire design process.

How to Search for a Word on a Web Page

It can get exhausting to search for a specific word on a web page, especially when you have no intention of reading the entire write up. What most people do not realize is, how easy it is to search for exact words and phrases on a page. If only you had known earlier, it could have saved you all that time and effort you wasted in your earlier searches. Well not to worry, all you need is a few key commands in order to get this simple job done!

Method 1

  • Highlight: The Google search engine has a support tool bar that gives you the ‘highlight’ option. Just click on the button and it will highlight all matching results for you. However, these options differ for Firefox and Internet Explorer.

For Internet Explorer: The first step is to click on the ‘wrench icon’ on the toolbar. Thereafter, go to the Tools tab, and either select or deselect the ‘Highlight’ check box. The final step is to click on the ‘Save’ button.

For Mozilla Firefox, the first step is to go to the Toolbar’s ‘wrench option’. Then go to the ‘Search’ tab, there you may either select or deselect the ‘Highlight’ option on the check box. Lastly click on the ‘Save’ option.

  • Word Find: Google also has the ‘Find word option’ wherein whichever word you type in the search box appears in the tool bar.

Method 2

  • The second method on how to search for a word on a website, is rather simpler. While using Firefox in order to search for the word you’re looking for on the web page, you need to press CTRL+F on your keyboard.
  • Thereafter, a small box will open on the bottom corner of your screen. Now, type the word or phrase you want highlighted throughout the web page. If the word exists on the web page, then that word will automatically get highlighted for you.
  • The highlights will occur as many times as the words repeat themselves on the page.
  • Thereby making it easier for you to just concentrate on specific lines or paragraphs.
  • For example, if the word you’re looking for is ‘health insurance plan’, press CLTR+F to open the search box. Then just type the phrase in the search box and all the sentences that include ‘health insurance plan’ will get highlighted for you.
  • If you are using Google Chrome then the search box will appear on the top corner of your web page once you type the CLTR+F command on your keyboard.
  • You can search for as many words and phrases on any web page through this method.

Method 3

If suppose the search box at the corner of your web page does not open, you have another choice which will activate the search box and help you search for the word you’re looking for.

  • Firstly you will need to go to the Edit tab on your toolbar.
  • Now click on the Find option.
  • Once you do that, the search box will open for you and you can type in the word or phrase you are searching for. If the word does not exist then Phrase not found will appear.

Using the aforementioned methods will make it faster for you to search for specific key words and make your research work faster and far more efficient.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Proxy Servers

Advantages of a proxy server
Proxy servers are intermediate servers that provide clients access to the information stored on other servers like the Internet. In case any client seeks information from a different server, it will connect to a proxy server which, in turn, collects data from the main server and sends it to the requesting server. Let us take a look at the benefits of having such an arrangement.

Advantages

Hidden IP Address

Whenever any computer connects to a website, its IP (Internet Protocol) address is read by the website. If the client server wants to keep its identity under wraps, it can use a proxy server. This way, as there is no direct connection between the computer and the destination server, the IP is hidden. Thus, the client gets all the information it needs, anonymously.

Reduction of Load

As there is an intermediary server to fetch and display data, there is an immense reduction of load on the remote server. As the proxy server (a.k.a. caching server) has all the information that is requested by the client in its database, it doesn’t have to connect to the remote server every time.

Control Over Services

With these servers, you can decide which services can be accessed by the user. You can choose the websites that can be connected from the main website and which cannot. If you create a proxy for an educational website, the user will be able to connect to this website via the proxy server. Similarly, if you don’t add a proxy for a particular website, the user will never land on that page.

Security

While you are surfing the Internet, there is a huge possibility that you may land on any one of the malware infected websites. When you visit such a website, the malware replicates itself onto your system. Likewise, certain websites are gateways for hackers, and visiting them would put all your personal data at stake, due to the risk of hacking. In case of proxy servers, as your system doesn’t directly talk to the websites, the administrator at the proxy end will be in a position to detect such threats, and not allow them to reach your system.

Speedy Internet Access

As mentioned earlier, the cache servers have most of your search results stored in its database. Thus, the next time you are looking for such information, the server returns the cached version of the website, instead of reconnecting to it. Thus, you experience faster Internet speeds in comparison to the non-proxy server setups.

Disadvantages

Though these servers provide some of the best features that make for an alluring user experience, they have certain shortcomings too.

Additional Investment

While large companies can afford to buy and use proxy servers, for a smaller firm it can be difficult to do so. Apart from installation, additional funds are required for maintenance and monitoring of the network.

Configuration

These servers are to be configured as per one’s needs. So, there is some coding that needs to be done so as to make the proxy server suit one’s requirements. Even if a single port is left open, it gives hackers a window to snoop onto your precious data.

Cache Data

Though caching of the data leads to faster Internet access, it is also true that the information displayed to the users is not the latest.

Proxy server settings are customized, and thus, its debugging can be a tedious task in case of any bugs. Having said that, the main reason behind using these servers is the secured access that it gives to its users.

Web Container Vs. Web Server

Though it started out as a pure information resource, freely accessible to people all over the globe, the world wide web has evolved to offer much more today. As opposed to the passive information repository it was before, now Internet offers many services ranging from online banking, social networking, email, e-shopping, video sharing, online auctions to multiplayer gaming and much more, which are all made possible due to the advances in web technologies.

All these services are enabled by web servers, which host the pages and handle all the client queries. Associated technologies like web containers are used to extend server functionality and provide additional services through usage of Java servlets. In this Buzzle article, I present a web container vs web server comparison which clarifies the differences between these two commonly used web technologies.

What is a Web Server?
The whole TCP/IP (Transmission Control Protocol / Internet Protocol) based Internet architecture is based on a ‘Client-Server’ model. Every time you type in a web site address in your browser, a query is sent to the web server, hosting the pages. All the web site resources (pages, images) and services are hosted on it, which are then served to the client web browsers, according to request. Through HTTP (Hypertext Transfer Protocol), a server communicates with client computers to facilitate the sharing of data and resources.

Of the different types of computer servers, these types have the most complicated software architecture and are usually run on high-end machines with great processing power, with 24×7 battery backup. Ergo, when one refers to a web server, it refers to the server software, as well as computer hardware. Microsoft’s Internet Information Services (IIS), Apache HTTP Server and nginx are some of the most commonly used web servers on the Internet.

What is a Web Container?
A web container (more commonly known as a servlet container) is an application implemented on web servers to makes the implementation of ‘Java Servlets’ and ‘Java Server Pages’ possible. A container creates a completely independent environment for running servlets and Java server pages for the purpose of offering dynamic content to website visitors. It is primarily designed to run Java coding on a web server. All web containers are JEE (Java Platform Enterprise Edition) compliant. The servlets are executed in the run time environment provided by the container through the use of JSP engine and servlet engines. One of the most popular web containers is Apache Tomcat. It is an open source software program developed by the Apache Software Foundation.

Difference Between Web Container and Web Server
A web container is purely devoted to running of servlets while a web server is involved in delivering web page data and resources, according to client requests. A web server runs several applications including a web container software. Therefore a web server is a super set, of which a web container is only a part. However, some modern web containers can function without the support of a web server and act as standalone servers, for providing dynamic content. With the help of web containers, a web server can offer applications running on the Java platform. The fact that modern web containers can be implemented independently, may have led to the confusion between the two technologies.

To conclude, a web container is an application run by a web server to provide added site functionality for a hosted website and is primarily an environment in which servlets are implemented. On the other hand, a web server is the ‘mother-ship’ of all technologies deployed by a web site which directly handles all the client requests for data and resources hosted by it. For more information on servlets and web containers, it’s suggested that you refer to Sun’s tutorial on the same topic.

SMTP Server

SMTP is an Internet standard for sending emails across Internet Protocol (IP) networks. It was in Request for Comments i.e. RFC 821 that SMTP was first defined and it was last updated by RFC 5321, which includes the extended SMTP (ESMTP) additions. It is a specified protocol which is used for outgoing mail transport and uses TCP port 25. To explain this in simpler words, a SMTP server, works like a router, as it receives outgoing mail messages from users and routes them to the intended recipients. It makes use of either the Simple Mail Transfer Protocol or Unix sendmail program. Often the mail messages have to pass through a number of servers to reach their destinations.

Settings

You can have SMTP service installed on your local machine by following the below mentioned steps.

  • Go to the ‘Start’ menu and go to ‘Control Panel’.
  • Then double click the ‘Add or Remove Programs’ option.
  • In the left pane, click the ‘Add/Remove Windows Components’ option.
  • In the ‘Components’ list, you will see ‘Application Server’. Click it, and then select ‘Details’.
  • In the sub-components of ‘Application Server’ list, select ‘Internet Information Services (IIS)’, and go to ‘Details’.
  • In the sub-components of Internet Information Services (IIS) list, check the ‘SMTP Service’ checkbox and then click OK.
  • Now click ‘Next’. Here you may be prompted for the Windows Server 2003 family CD or the network install path.
  • Provide the required details and then click ‘Finish’.

After you have installed this service, a default configuration is created. The message store is located in LocalDrive:\Inetpub\mailroot. While setting up this service for the first time, you may want to configure global settings for a virtual server as well as settings for individual components. Some of these commands include:

  • HELO / EHLO: This is a command which is used to identify the sender (client).
  • MAIL FROM: This is where the email (also e-mail) address of the sender is specified.
  • RCPT TO: Here the email address of the recipient is specified.
  • DATA: It is the actual data (body text, attachments etc).
  • RSET (RESET): This command specifies that the current mail transaction will not be carried forward and will be aborted.
  • VRFY (VERIFY): This command asks the receiver to confirm whether the argument identifies a user or a mailbox.
  • HELP: With this command the useful information is sent to the client.
  • QUIT: This command indicates that the server quits the session

How to Find Server Address

In case you are collecting email from your ISP, you can find this address from the existing settings by following steps.

  • Start ‘Outlook Express’, go to ‘Tools’ and select ‘Email Accounts’ and navigate to the next page.
  • In the new window that appears, select ‘View or change existing email accounts’ and click ‘Next’.
  • Now, select the name of your ISP account, and then click ‘Change’.
  • Under the heading ‘Server Information’, you will come across an entry for ‘Outgoing mail server (SMTP)’. Write down the entry in this box, which will usually appear in a format similar to: ‘mail.myisp.com.’. This is the address which you are looking for and you will need while configuring your domain name based email.

Free SMTP Server

These can be used to send email directly. Most of these programs do support email programs like Outlook Express and Eudora, but it is often seen that they work the best with Outlook Express. You will have to follow the instructions to set and test it, before you are able to communicate with people all around the world. You will have to make the relevant changes in the IIS as mentioned.

These servers are best when you are traveling or accessing the Internet from public places, or you have to send a bulk of emails. It will take care of security and privacy of the data that is being transmitted through your emails.

Web Servers Vs Application Servers

Before going to the comparison, let us understand what is a computer server in the first place. A server is a computing device which is responsible for providing various services to its clients. The nature of these services can be anything, like file transferring, resource sharing, etc. Client and server systems provide functions such as centralized access to information, data storage and other resources. So this is what a server does generally.

When you are trying to explore a web server, you have to consider what hyper text transfer protocol (HTTP) is and then proceed further. HTTP is an application level protocol used for presenting hypermedia information system. Basically, this protocol is used when there are many different types of media involved. Well, web servers are those real or virtual machines that are responsible for delivering content. Clients are those machines or web browsers that request for any such content (HTML pages). Primarily, clients request for the content, but in some cases they have to deliver it as well (while submitting information for creating email accounts, etc.).

An example: Consider that you wish to create an email account. First you type the web address of the email service provider in your browser. The terminal from which you are accessing the website is the client in this case. Once you enter the address, you will see that the URL is changed and now it is starting with “http://…”. This action is the indication that hypertext transfer protocol is being used. In a matter of seconds, you see that webpage of the email service provider are loaded onto your browser. This action indicates that the web server has provided content to the browser. And when you provide information to the website (for opening an account), you are basically sending information to the web server.

Security of Web Servers

  • Remove Unnecessary Services: It is the first thing that any administrator must do. Remove any unnecessary services so that any person with malicious intent does not take advantage of those services.
  • Remote Access: An administrator of the server must always try to login from a local terminal, so that any unauthorized access from outside can be restricted. Remote access as a policy should be completely denied (but this may not be a very practical solution).
  • Important Data on Separate Disk: It is a common experience that the data on the drive (same as that of OS) can be exploited by a hacker once he gains access to the root directory. Hence, this data should be placed in a separate disk drive.
  • Use Scanners: Scans for detecting viruses, malware and spamware must be performed regularly.

Advantages of Web Servers

  • Virtual Hosting: Used for hosting more than one domain name on the same computer.
  • Large File Support:They can even support files size in GBs.
  • Bandwidth Throttling: Using this method, they are able to serve many clients.

Application servers are basically those servers which support the dynamic content requests by different applications. They can be looked upon as a software framework, which do the job of efficient execution of procedures. Application servers are dedicated or designed for handling specific applications such as database management systems like Oracle or MySQL. If the complexity involved in such an application is very large, then all the resources maybe dedicated to it. But this is a rare case, an application server is designed to handle many applications.

An example: Many times, the information that a client requests for needs a lot of computations. These computations maybe beyond the capabilities of the client itself. So they have to be done on the server, and then the results are sent to client. An ATM is a real-life example for this. An ATM does not credit or deposit any money in any bank account. This task is within the domain of the centralized servers of a particular bank. An ATM basically sends the request for withdrawal or deposit of the amount, these actions are then performed by the application server of the bank.

Security of Application Servers

  • Permissions and Privileges: If needless privileges are assigned to the application software, then a hacker can exploit these services. This way, other tasks of the server could also be hampered.
  • Monitor and Audit the Server: This is a very important task, as a lot of malicious attempts on the server are discovered by means of audit by itself. Besides, continuous monitoring of the network can help thwart an ongoing security breach.
  • User Accounts: Disabling all the default accounts that were created while installing the operating system is of paramount importance. A hacker taking advantage of such negligence is simply unacceptable.
  • Unused Modules and Application Extensions: Again, all the needless things which might take up resources should be removed. This includes unused application modules and extensions.

Advantages of Application Servers

  • Centralized Configuration: Some changes (like changing a setting for everyone) takes place centrally.
  • Security: They are able to provide better security to the data, as most of the computation takes place at server side.
  • Performance: In a heavy usage environment, the client server model provides better security.

This article was an attempt to explain the differences between application servers and web servers. We can simply conclude that web servers are meant for handling webpages, whereas application servers are meant to handle web-based as well as desktop applications.

How to Build a Web Server

You may want to build your own server for a small business or if you wish to start your own website. To build a web server, you need a computer and the required software. Also, building one will save money to a great extent. It contains pages of your website in Hypertext Markup Language (HTML). The one you build should be connected to the Internet all the time, so that everybody on the Internet can access your website.

Requirements

The configuration of the computer used for building a web server must match the basic requirements. A random access memory (RAM) of 4GB or more is required. The RAM requirements increase as the number of clients of your website increases. For this, you must always track website visitors. A high speed Internet connection is also one of the basic requirements to keep it connected to the Internet. Along with this, you need to have a permanent IP address. Sometimes, many website owners face the problem of dynamic IP address. If the dynamic IP problem is not solved, the IP address of the website will keep on changing and the Internet user will not be able to connect to your web server. You must buy a permanent IP address from the Internet service provider, which is somewhat costly. The software required to develop and maintain the client-server interaction is called web server software. There are many software applications available, of which, some are specific to a particular operating system.

Instructions

Step I
The first step is to install the software. This software is responsible for finding the requested web page. After installing the software, configure it accordingly so that the search for web pages within the server is easy. When an Internet user types a URL, the software directs the user to the requested page on the Internet.

Step II
The domain name is assigned to the server. This is a convenient way so that it is easier to remember the IP address of the web server. You need to buy the name from a domain name provider and the domain name servers keep a track of the corresponding IP address of the websites. When the Internet user types your name in the web browser, the domain name server makes it easier to find the IP address of the requested website. To build a server, you need to configure the domain name server and the router. The router will transfer the request of the Internet user to the server.

Step III
The web server must be protected with an antivirus software to ensure protection against viruses and worms. If you do not protect it from the virus attacks, you may lose all the data of your website, which at times may be confidential.

The main advantage of owning a web server is to cut down on the charges required for hosting your website. Owning a website can also earn you extra money if you host various other websites. The only thing you need to do is to upgrade your computer to the configuration suitable for the extra load of other websites. For online gamers, building a web server is an interesting option.

Shared Hosting Vs. VPS

One of the best ways of reaching out to a global market is by advertising your products and services through a website. For a website to stay up 24×7, it has to be hosted on a web server. It is possible to set up your own web server, but it requires substantial maintenance work and advanced equipment to keep it running all the time. Instead, outsourcing the job of hosting web pages to companies which run professional web hosting services is a more cost-effective option. There are three prime options to choose from. You could go for a dedicated web server, which hosts your site exclusively or go for either one of shared hosting or VPS. The dedicated server option is mandatory for websites with high daily traffic, while the rest of the two options are ideal for small business web sites with low traffic.

Difference Between Shared and VPS Hosting

Both services are designed to keep your website up 24×7 and they differ substantially in the amount of control that a webmaster gets in hosting the website and other facilities.

Basic Difference
A shared hosting service manages multiple websites through the same server software. The resources of the server are divided to host every one of the websites. Each website may be provided with a separate hard drive volume, to host its web pages.

The user control is provided through software programs installed on the server like DirectAdmin, Plesk, cPanel, and InterWorx. Using these web-based control systems, the webmasters can upload and make changes to the content of their web pages. Most of the standard applications are made available to webmasters, but the entire job of server maintenance and software upgrades is handled by the hosting company.

If you need advanced software development for your website, shared web hosting is not the ideal choice. The operating system used is mostly Linux. A typical service will offer you plenty of hard drive space on the server, FTP, mySQL databases, and email. Such a service can also be run privately and is known as server colocation.

A VPS (virtual private server) service offers a separate operating system for every web site, along with dedicated RAM, which allows a webmaster to have complete control over site management and also provides the freedom to carry out advanced software development. So, even though your website shares the same machine with other websites, your own operating system is isolated. These services provide high bandwidth and the user is completely in charge of server administration. These are ideal for websites with moderate level traffic and plenty of online software features.

Security Comparison
When you analyze the security features of both services, it will be realized that VPS is more secure than shared hosting. If one website that is a part of the shared hosting program is hacked, all other websites shared on it are vulnerable to hacking attacks. On the other hand, since VPS services offer a separate operating system, they are more secure. So, if you are looking for a high level of security and expecting a high amount of traffic, VPS is a better choice.

Cost
Not surprisingly, VPS is costlier compared to shared hosting services as they offer dedicated RAM, more facilities, and a greater level of security. These services charge upwards of USD 30 per month to more than USD 100 per month for hosting your website. On the other hand, a shared hosting service has a starting cost around USD 7 per month, which may range up to USD 20 for greater number of facilities and bandwidth. Ergo, it has advantages when it comes to cost. If you are looking for low-cost web hosting, this is the hosting type you should go for.

For small websites with very limited traffic, shared hosting is the cheapest and most cost-effective option, but it provides very limited amount of control to the user. On the other hand, for websites with a greater amount of traffic load and more functionality, a VPS service is ideal. Analyze your web hosting requirements and your budget to decide which of the two services will be ideal for your website.

6 Popular Video Hosting Websites

Popular video hosting websites
The Internet is, perhaps, the most versatile entertainment system out there. It caters to every interest you can fathom, is (mostly) not bound by geographical borders, and seems like a never-ending source brimming with new content virtually every other second. Of late, the most popular form of entertainment is watching videos on the Internet. Unlike days of old, you no longer need to download every single video that you want to watch. Instead, you can choose to watch your favorite videos online at just the click of a button.

What is even better is the fact that these videos are highly compressed without affecting the quality of the content. This, in turn, would mean is that you no longer need to worry about running a huge Internet bill as you watch your favorite videos guilt-free. There seems to be an explosion of video hosting websites all over the Internet, and finding the best ones out of these can be quite an arduous task. Thankfully though, help is at hand. Here’s a list of video hosting websites that are the best out there.

Top Video Hosting Websites

YouTube
Think about watching videos online, and probably the first name that pops into your head is YouTube. According to statistics revealed by Google, over 6-billion hours of videos are watched each month on YouTube! The site has the biggest collection of videos that span across every genre imaginable. There are plenty of channels on the site that compile videos of different niches. You even have the option to watch videos in Full HD, and even 4K resolution if your screen supports it. There’s even support for 3D content via NVIDIA 3D Vision. Uploading videos is very simple task, and all you need is a Google account to log in. By default, users can upload videos up to 15 minutes long and up to 20 GB in size. You can apply to have the limit raised to up to 12 hours and over 20 GB.

Vimeo
Vimeo was the first video hosting site to support HD (720p) videos. The company boasts of more than 100 million unique visitors per month. Although the site has a huge variety of videos across all genres, it is best known for music videos. The site now supports Full HD video playback. With a PRO account, users can upload up to 50 GB of videos and can also upload commercial videos. Regular users can upload one HD video and up to 500 MB of regular videos per week.

MetaCafe
MetaCafe is one of the oldest video hosting sites around. The site claims to draw in more than 40 million unique visitors per month. Unlike the other sites, MetaCafe focuses on commercial videos. All videos are curated and are exclusive to the site. The site lets registered users upload HD videos up to 2 GB in size. The unique thing about the site is the Producer Reward system, which pays users USD 5 for every 1,000 views on your video (after the first 20,000 views).

Dailymotion
With over 116 million unique visitors, DailyMotion is amongst the most popular video-streaming sites out there. The site has a massive library of user-posted videos sorted by channels, user-created groups, and tags. Regular users have a cap of 4 GB for their videos, and a maximum length of 60 minutes. It even lets users upload multiple videos simultaneously. Businesses and official users do not have any limit put in place.

Vevo
Vevo is the place to find the latest high-quality music videos from two of the biggest record labels around, UMG and SME. The site does not offer uploading services to regular users. The site is not available worldwide, but has a dedicated channel on YouTube for most parts of the world.

HowCast
HowCast is a unique platform for budding filmmakers and animators to upload short how-to videos for the site. The site has a database of over 100,000 videos which span across 25 categories. A lot of big names like Playboy, Nestle, JetBlue, and the US Department of State are associated with the site. Amateur filmmakers get a share of the spoils (USD 50 and 50% of advertising revenue generated) once their videos register over 40,000 views.

While there are scores of other websites that offer video-streaming services, these are amongst the best and most trustworthy ones. So, grab yourself some popcorn, throw your feet up and enjoy the show. Cheers.

Shared Hosting Vs Dedicated Hosting

The Internet is a platform for every business to make its presence felt. In order to maintain a website, a web service provider needs to be contacted for hosting. You need to make a choice between shared and dedicated hosting. It would be impossible for a company to make this choice in haste, and it needs to consider many things before taking a final call.

What is Shared Hosting?

Also known as virtual hosting, it occurs when you dish out a monthly fee to a third-party service provider in order to use his equipment for your web server. The service provider handles everything ranging from backup and security to setting up the server and managing the bandwidth. The sole task of your company in this scenario will be to develop the content for your website.

In this type, you end up sharing the server where your website is placed, with many other websites. This has various pros and cons, but the biggest disadvantage is the fact that you end up sharing many resources. It is also possible that the traffic on your website would be affected by the traffic on other websites, hosted on the same server.

Features

Sharing the IP Address: Since you are sharing the server with other websites, you will obviously have the same IP address. If these websites happen to be blacklisted for spamming or some other illegal activity, you would also suffer the consequences for the same. To avoid such a scenario, you should choose your web host responsibly.

Greater Response Time : If there are two or more websites on the same server, it goes without saying that the response time for each individual website would be longer. This will make the visitors wait longer and they might not wish to visit your website again.

Server Crashes Often: In many cases, if the server host does not monitor the activities properly, the server will get overloaded and crash. This occurs more frequently in shared hosting vis-a-vis dedicated hosting. Choosing a web host that is reliable and well-known will help you avoid such a situation.

Cost-effective: The most important benefit is the cost factor. Since you are sharing the server with other websites, it is pretty economical. Also the maintenance and monitoring of the server is not your responsibility, so you do not have to divert resources towards it.

Hardware and Security: As with any web based activity, good security is essential. This is handled by the service provider and you need not worry about it. The web host also provides the required hardware, so you do not have to invest any resources there.

What is Dedicated Hosting?

As opposed to shared server hosting, dedicated hosting carries greater efficiency, provides more security, and entails lesser problems. Dedicated web hosting service is mostly used by big corporations and businesses that see a large amount of traffic. It simply means that your web server sits on its own box which is partly managed by the service provider. It is completely opposite to shared hosting, and means that the server is entirely dedicated to your needs and web traffic alone.

Features

Faster Response: Since the server is solely dedicated to your website alone, the response time will be much lesser as there are smaller lines that the visitors have to wait in. This helps to maintain the level of traffic on your website.

No Bandwidth Restrictions: On shared server hosting, each website has a limit of bandwidth and it cannot be crossed. This is not applicable as far as dedicated server hosting is concerned. The entire bandwidth available on the server lies at your disposal.

Greater Control: In this case, you are the boss. Nobody’s activities can harm the functioning of your website. You are free to install any application and you can also carry out script testing as regularly as you want. You’re given much more freedom, as running your website smoothly is entirely your own responsibility in this case.

Higher Cost: Since you are monitoring and regulating the server yourself, the costs incurred by you will be greater. You will have to invest more on hardware and security, and regularly carry out maintenance checks. As a result of all this, the price will go up and due to this very fact, dedicated server hosting is chosen only by big web-based companies, social networking sites, or large corporations.

Greater Security: As compared to shared hosting, you can achieve greater levels of security in dedicated hosting. Again, this stems from the fact that you are in control of the security measures and you can adopt whatever means you find appropriate and necessary. The web host will also provide you with backups in this case.

Final Choice

Now that the difference between shared and dedicated hosting is clear, the question is which is better. The truth of the matter is that you cannot say that one of these methods is better than the other. You can only decide which method is more suitable for your business needs. The size of your company will also help you determine if you should opt for either.