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Web hosting

You've got a lot of choices for hosting a website: what's best for you depends on the complexity of your site and the resources you have available.

Perhaps 95% of all web sites can be run on virtual servers, which allow hundreds of web sites to be hosted off a single computer. This is efficient and inexpensive, so it's the choice of many smaller sites (<50,000 hits per day) that don't have sophisticated interactive features. Costs start around $20 a month and virtual hosting is available from a variety sources such as Ithaca's own Lightlink.com to communications giants such as XO.

If you've got a fast internet connection at you location, you might consider hosting your web site on your own server -- this gives you complete control over your hardware and software. Although most system administration tasks can be done remotely, especially if you use Linux or UNIX, you can't beat the convenience of having physical access to your server.

Dedicated hosting and co-location are available from a number of providers such as Rackspace and Hurricane Electric. In both cases, your server is housed in an air conditioned data center and looked after by specialists. With dedicated hosting you rent a computer, whereas in co-location you own your own computer which is kept in the facility. Either way, you get the freedom to control the the software on your computer which is essential to running a sophisticated site. A major advantage is that most data centers have multiple connections to the internet for better speed and reliability that you could afford from your home or office. The most serious drawback is that your computer could be thousands of miles away under the care of strangers -- even the best customer service from data centers doesn't seem good enough when your site is down. You can find dedicated hosting and co-location services starting around $80/month, but depending on your needs and budget the cost can rapidly proceed into the stratosphere.

What we can do

If your site is small, we can provide virtual hosting on own server, which can be the easiest option. If your site is larger, we can help you choose the best hosting and help you find a provider. Few web sites need fancy hardware, but if your site does, we're familiar with high availability strategies such as RAID, clustering, and replication of database and web servers as well as backup strategies, firewalls and load-balancing systems and well as high volume mail servers based on Qmail.