WordPress Hosting Applications

The first ever websites on the internet were just a group of documents with data that was displayed to the user as required. These documents were a part of the www folder of a file system. It was only after the introduction of scripting languages like JavaScript, PHP, ColdFusion, .NET etc. that the more dynamic and interactive websites were born. This also led to the development of web applications. Nowadays, almost every website – no matter how simple or small, has the backend of a database like MySQL and is programmed in languages like PHP 5, Ruby and Rails or Django.

Difference Between Website and Web Application

It is hard to make a clear distinction between websites and web applications. This is because there are many web applications that have dynamic functionality and hence behave like ‘apps’. While some others are only used for basic functions like creating and managing a website. Most websites today are created using web applications. Hence, a basic understanding of a web application is important for a web developer.

Most Commonly Used Web Applications

These are the most popular web applications being used today:

Web Applications For Blogging

Currently the popularity of blogging has increased immensely. Bloggers create their blog sites for various reasons. Some use them as a diary of personal experiences while some others blog about their careers or fields of interest. Big organizations also maintain blog pages to network with clients and for marketing purposes. Blogs generally display content i.e. blog posts in the reverse chronological order.
WordPress is one of the top rated blogging platforms. Along with that it is also a CMS or Content Management System. There are many other good CMS applications that have added functionality for e-commerce, design or website building.

CMS – Content Management Systems Web Applications

A CMS is nothing but a web application that stores content in a database and then presents it to the users as requested. There is an admin interface on the CMS that the website developer uses for adding or changing the content that is stored. There are different template choices available for the display of the content as requested by the visitor of the website.

Functionality can be added to most CMS applications using plugins. These applications handle many different kinds of content including blog posts, videos, music, events, dates etc.

The ideal CMS for a prospective user depends on many factors. The customization required and the skills/experience level of the user are some of those factors. WordPress is currently the #1 CMS application worldwide. Its benefits of simple setup, easy maintenance, hundreds of design options and affordability have brought it to this position. Drupal and Joomla! are the preferred applications for e-commerce related sites.

While big enterprises generally use the CMS application called Movable Type. Different CMS applications have their own special features. The users have to choose an application based on their requirements and interests.

Website Builders

With the help of web applications called website builders, even people with no real technical knowledge can create and maintain websites. Website builders generally use drag-and -drop techniques to create websites.

There are large number of templates available to use for the websites. Even the updating of websites and adding of new pages to it are simple tasks when performed using website builders. Different web hosts provide different website builders and each have their pros and cons.

Comparison with CMS: A website builder only builds websites. A CMS on the other hand has a lot more functionality. CMSs can be used to create blogs, forums, manage e-commerce stores and a lot more. As a result, they are not as easy to use as website builders.

e-Commerce Web Applications

e-Commerce web applications basically make it possible to create an entire online store. All business related activities like product display, inventory management, receiving/cancelling of orders, payment, shipping etc. are taken care of by e-Commerce applications. Shopify, Weebly and BigCommerce are examples of e-Commerce web applications.

Other Web Applications

The internet now offers a plethora of quality web applications for many different functions. You can create social media sites, auction websites, funding websites, instant messaging applications, educational sites and many others. Single page applications like SoundCloud, Gmail etc. are web applications in which the interface fits on a single page.

System Requirements For Web Applications

Just like other computer software, web applications also have certain system/technical requirements on the server that need to be met before the installation can be done. If these requirements are not met or only partially met, the application will not be able to run at all or have various issues while running.

Most minimum system requirements are software dependencies. The specific versions of the software required are also important.

Installation Of Web Applications

Majority of the most commonly used web applications are available free and open source. Also, the web hosting providers usually provide the clients with a one-click installation wizard for the web applications. Fantastico, SimpleScripts and Softaculous are some of the installation wizards. Most of the installation wizards have similar features with a few pros and cons each.

Originally Fantastico was number one in among the installation wizards. However, its multiple limitations put it lower on the list. Incompatibility with certain web servers, lack of customization and upgrade issues were some of those limitations.

Softaculous and SimpleScripts have now gained more popularity after Fantastico. Softaculous has a large collection of scripts with daily checks for upgrades, backups and restoration. SimpleScripts on the other hand has fewer scripts but provides support and upgrades for the most commonly used applications.

Mobile Web Applications

Mobile ‘apps’ are software applications that have been specially developed to run on mobile devices like smartphones and tablet computers. Many mobile applications come installed by default on a mobile device. These generally include mail, calendar, clock and other such basic applications.

The mobile applications that haven’t been pre-installed can be bought and downloaded from the app stores on the mobile devices. Google play and Apple Store are examples of app stores.

WordPress Hosting Applications FAQ

What is web hosting?
Web hosting is a service that allows you to store data that keeps the website running. Every website that can be found on the web has a host server. It is a process through which you rent space through a company which enables your website to be online. This means that your website will be published so that anyone from any corner of the world can visit the website on the web.

There are two ways of publishing your website. You can either pay a website hosting company or opt for free hosting. The only difference between the two is that if you pay for your website to be hosted online it will have no advertisements and you’ll have complete control of your website. If you opt for free hosting, then you will have pop-up and banner advertisements on your website.

What are web hosting applications and why do people use web hosting applications?
Web hosting application is applications that people use for web hosting. Examples of web hosting applications are WordPress and Drupal. Sometimes when you want to make a website for your small business, it is very difficult to decide how to do this. Therefore, people simply use web hosting applications for this purpose.

What is bandwidth? How much do I need?
Bandwidth is the total amount of data that your visitors can access or download from your website. Each time a user views your website, the data contained on your website is transferred to the user’s computer through their Internet connection.

Mainly video files, audio files, and images are leading in bandwidth as compared to text files. To elaborate, if you have a very demanding website in terms of bandwidth, like if you have lots of streaming audios or videos, then you will have a higher bandwidth requirement as compared to someone with a simple text only or few low-resolution images website.

There is some web hosting companies that offer unlimited bandwidth and there are some who offer restricted bandwidth for a month. If you reach the limit your website will automatically become unavailable until the beginning of next month or you will be charged per MB.

What is a domain name?
Every single website has a domain name. It is the actual name of the website. In order to obtain one, you need to purchase a domain name from a domain name registrar. A domain name can cost from a few dollars to hundreds of thousands of dollars per year, depending on its popularity.

Every domain name is actually a nickname for the IP (Internet Protocol) address. The IP address is a ten-digit number. Simply because it is difficult to memorize a ten-digit number in perfect order, domain names are appointed because they can be remembered easily by the users. For e.g. the most famous domain name is google.com, and its IP address is 173. 194. 79. 99. Now we leave it for you to decide which one is easy to remember?

Can I use JavaScript, Flash or Java Applets on my website?
These are client side features. This means that as long as the visitors have these features on their computers, they will be able to visit your website. Browsers like Netscape or Internet Explorer support these features.

What is SSS (Secure Sockets Layer)?
SSS is a procedure used by all web browsers, which enables us to communicate information securely online. It creates a safe path between two internet-connected computers or two machines that are on the same internal network. This is the most helpful tool used by all web browsers to securely connect to the server, keeping in mind the insecurity imminent on the Internet. You must have noticed the address displaying a padlock and a green bar in the web browser; these are the authentication mark showing SSS is working its magic.

How can I protect my website from hackers?
Unfortunately, you cannot protect your website from hackers without adding some level of protection. Certain web hosting companies offer that added protection and some don’t. Some web hosts provide with Site Lock Security, which works towards blocking the spammers and hackers. If you are using WordPress then your site is, in reality, more secure than many other websites, but it still is very important to install plugins in order to boost security.

How can I get the dedicated email account? (E.g. www.me@mywebsite.com)?
When you buy an account with a web host company, one of the many services you get is a certain number of dedicated email accounts for the domain hosted from that account. Few web host company offer one dedicated email account, few offer 20 email accounts and some offer unlimited email accounts. These email accounts are administered by a control panel, you can set up email accounts and change their passwords through that control panel.

How can I know how many people visited my website?
There are a number of third-party resources like Stat Counter or Google Analytics to find out how many people visited your site. Some web hosting companies provide with easy steps to incorporate these tools into the website, while some don’t offer any help at all.

It is very important for businesses to install some kind of traffic counting tool on almost every page of the website because this will help improve data to make further improvements in sales and marketing. For the personal website, traffic counting tool can be added out of curiosity because it is always fun to keep an eye on the numbers.

Should I backup my website? And how do I do that?
You should regularly back up your website. The control panel should have a backup function. With just one click you can save all your files if they are less than 500 MB. If they are more than 500 MB, then you can save the data in partitions. If you have doubts regarding the web host’s security, then set up an email forwarder and forward all your emails creating a duplicate copy in an email service like outlook or Gmail.

WordPress Hosting Application Resources