Saturday, July 25, 2009

Alexa adds user ratings and reviews
The company founded in April 1996 that has been providing "Free web traffic metrics, top sites lists, site demographics, hot urls, and more", have just launched a "User Reviews" section to there very informative site, letting users (and webmasters alike) rate and review the sites they own.. I mean visit.

Although you do need to be logged in before you are able to rate and review a website, you don't need to register an account with Alexa, you can simply "Connect with facebook"

Don't have a facebook account? Good on ya, neither do I :D

Jamesalexa review

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Upgrading hosting | Opinions wanted

A few years ago, I started my first site.
I got a basic windows hosting package to begin with, then a few months later upgraded to the next level hosting package (still windows) so I could host multiple domains in the one account.
This has been working fine so far, although there are a couple of things that concern me about this setup, I have not noticed any indexing problems so I have not worried to much about it.

The domain I used to build the first site on became the main domain for the account, and any other sites I need to add, are added to a sub folders in the main account, and domains are pointed to these folders.

This seems to work fine, but I have noticed that when I check server response codes in some online tools, the folder I have my "sub" sites set up in, shows in the content-location URL

EG: (scroll down for the server responses)

Result code: 200 (OK / OK)
Content-Length: 15478
Content-Type: text/html

Like I said, I am not sure if this has any sort of negative impact on a sites ranking/SERP's or not, and the only real way to test that it does would be to take a site out of the shared hosting environment and get it its own hosting and see if that makes any differance to its position in the SERP's. (SERP = Search Engine Results Page)

The reason I want to upgrade hosting is because one of my sites that is nested in one of the sub folders, has been steadily growing since I started it just over a year ago, it now receives 10x more traffic than the main site, so I think it's time to get this site its own hosting.
And that's where I need some advice.

The site does not use much bandwidth (around 20 gig a month) and is plain/static HTML, no database stuff, So I assume it does not need much server power to run it.
It does get quite a bit of traffic though, (From Analytics: Jun 1, 2009 - Jun 30, 2009 | 210,394 Visits | 1,551,874 Pageviews)

I have installed on the site, and I can see that there are between 90 and 190 people on the site at any given time with an average of around 115. These numbers are somewhat of a concern me.
I have only had to ring my host once since I got the account, and while I was on the phone to them, I asked a few questions and found out that even though I get 1.5TB of bandwidth per month for the account (which I will probably never need), I can only have 100 simultaneous connections/downloads at any given time on all sites in that account.

I was somewhat reassured by the guy I was speaking to when he said that once a page had been fully opened, the connection is dropped, so having a few hundred people viewing a site is usually no problem if they are viewing fast loading web pages (which mine are).
I am not sure how many users it will take before people start being cued up and the site starts slowing down.

Anyway, I have decided to get a virtual dedicated server for the site.

My options are.

1. Linux: CentOS (4 or 5)
2. Red Hat Fedora
3. Windows Server 2003 - Add $6.99

I want to be able to use .htaccess to do a 301 redirect from non www to www. So I guess that counts Windows out of the equation.

My options are 1. CentOS or 2. Red Hat Fedora.
From a bit of Googleing, I have found most people prefer CentOS for its stability, so I will probably go for that unless there are some good reasons to go for Fedora.
Any good reasons you know of?

Control panal:
1. Simple Control Panel Unlimited - $0.00
2. Plesk Control Panel 30 Domains - Add $4.99
3. Plesk Control Panel 100 Domains - Add $6.99
4. Plesk Control Panel Unlimited - Add $9.99
5. cPanel Unlimited - Add $9.99

I have no idea how plesk, cpanel and the simple control panel differ from each other or even what they do to make them worth the extra money, so any advice appreciated.

At the moment, with the windows hosting I have, I just log into my Godaddy account, and manage everything through there site (I guess this is the simple control panel), any files I need to upload, I do via FTP in windows explorer.
If adding cpanel or plesk will make life easier for me in the long run, then I may as well add it.
But as with choices, which one is better and why?

256MB Guaranteed, 1 GB Bursted
512MB Guaranteed, 2 GB Bursted - Add $14.99/mo

I don't think much ram is required at the moment or if there will be a noticeable differance if I upgrade to the 512mb guaranteed, but more may be required in the future as I add to the site, so I will probably just go for the 512mb straight of the bat.

So far, I have decided on...
Server: Virtual Dedicated Server
Bandwidth: 500GB
Hard Drive: 10GB
RAM: 512MB, 2 GB Bursted

Need advice on...
Operating System: CentOS or Red Hat Fedora
Control Panel: Simple Control Panel, Plesk or cpanel.

I would also like any advice on the best way to implement the changes, to try and reduce any chance of being de-indexed, penalized or a drop in SERP's

To try and avoid any downtime to the site, I will probably ring Godaddy and ask if I can setup the hosting and upload the sites files before I assign the domain to that hosting account. (if that's possible)

So, is there anything I am overlooking? Anything you would do different, add or recommend?

Once I implement the changes, if I notice any drastic changes to SERP's etc, or run in to any stumbling blocks, I will keep you all updated