Web Hosting for Experts!
If you have followed the articles, we have covered web hosting for noobies, web hosting for novices, and now we have arrived at web hosting for pros!
If you fancy yourself a web hosting pro, or if you apire to become one, you need to know about some of the ‘expert level’ stuff that will help make you successful as a professional web host. This article is a mis-mash of several pro-level topics, so take what you can from it. Good luck!
Ruby on Rails, Python, PERL and PhP are all Web Programming Languages, which are also known as scripting languages. PhP (or Hypertext PreProcessor) is the most commonly used for web hosting, followed by Perl (which is the magic behind the programming when you see the phrase CGI or cgi-bin).
Which language is used to code web software doesn’t really matter, as long as your web host supports the language. In addition to PhP and Perl, these days most hosts are starting to offer support for Python and Ruby on Rails.
From a security perspective, poorly codeded websites can be a nightmare for any server administrator or website owner. There are numerous security flaws in PhP that a hacker can exploit, and those weaknesses are only multiplied when a PhP script is written badly. There are several very important things you should always remember when experimenting with web software.
First of all, you should only use scripts you have found online if you’ve read a lot about it and found people’s favorable opinions of the code. If you have development environment, test it out there first. You probably won’t uncover a security hole, but you will know quickly if the new code crashes your site. Anytime you upload or install code (or software, for that matter) to your hosting account, you’re giving the program free reign to do whatever it wants to do within your web space or possibly even the whole server. You should only install trusted code/software.
Second, you should always make sure that all your web-facing software is kept as up to date as possible. The second a software patch is released from the vendor, hackers begin to reverse-engineer the patch to see what exploit was fixed. They then target sites that have not yet installed the latest patch, and is thereby vulnerable to their newly found exploit.
Lastly, BACK THE F:\ UP!
Ok, I stole that line from a t-shirt, but it should be gospel. Back up your site. Back up your site often! Back up your site now. Go! I will wait ,GO! Did you back it up? Good boy. It is far easier to restore from an offline backup when something goes wrong (something always goes wrong), than it is to get your hosting company to do it for you (although it is important that they do).
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