Technical Hosting Questions

Technical frequently asked questions/answers.

Hosting FAQs

Web Hosting

How do I know which server type/hosting to use?

This is fairly simple. If you need to program in the languages of ASP or or need to use MS SQL databases for any reason, you must go with Windows. In Windows Platforms, Windows Server 2003 is sufficient for most needs, although Windows does offer a newer operating system.

If you are not dealing with either of these languages and/or databases, then you go with Linux based hosting services. Linux is the most widely used server platform in the world and is perfect for hosting most websites.

What is Bandwidth and Disk Space?

Bandwidth is the amount of data that a server needs transfer in or out. When you visit a webpage, that web page is delivered to your computer from a web server. Every time a web server sends data in the form of a web page or otherwise, this is considered bandwidth. Websites with more data and higher amounts of visitors or traffic, typically use more bandwidth.

Disk space is the amount of data that a servers needs to store and serve up. Images and other media are typically the files that make up the majority of the disk space used by a typical website.

Cloud Hosting

What is cloud hosting?

Cloud based hosting is on-demand hosting. If a host such as Innovation Simple is cloud based, the benefit is that they can scale up or down to meet client demands on the fly. Scaling is typically difficult in a hosting environment. Once a server is overloaded, a very painful migration typically takes place to accomodate for great needs. With cloud based technology, that is no longer the case.

Who should use cloud based hosting

Any business that envisions greater need for resources in the future should be interested in finding a cloud based hosting environment. All small business can benefit from cloud based hosting.

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SSL Certificates

What is an SSL Certificate?

The Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) protocol has become the universal standard for authenticating websites and for encrypting communications between consumers and Web servers. SSL is built into all major browsers and Web servers. SSL Certificates provide consumers with peace of mind in that a reputable digital certificate company has validated the authenticity of the online company and secured relevant information.

How SSL works
Image courtesy of eNom Inc.

What is SSL / CA / CSR / SGC?

SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layer. It is an encryption layer that encodes information that is exchanged between a client and a server, protecting the transmission of sensitive and private data.

CA stands for Certificate Authority. A CA is the company issuing the certificate that does all of the verification involved and provides the certificate to the purchaser.

CSR stands Certificate Signing Request. A CSR is a special key generated by a web server using that server’s unique private key. The CSR is then sent to the CA, which is then used to generate the final certificate.

“Server Gated Cryptography” (“SGC”) was developed for legacy computers and browsers that only support 40 or 56-bit SSL encryption to “step up” to 128-bit SSL encryption. Without an SGC certificate, Web browsers and operating systems that do not support 128-bit strong encryption will receive only 40- or 56-bit encryption.

How does SSL work?

An SSL certificate is a file installed on the web server that a web site is running on. This file is composed of two segments. The first is the public key, which encrypts data. The second is the private key, which decrypts data. When a client, such as a web browser, connects to an SSL secured server a unique session is created using these two keys. All data transmitted during this session is protected, and cannot be decrypted by any party other than that specific client and the server.

Why do I need an SSL certificate for my site?

If your site sends or receives sensitive information, including accepting payment information, account information, or if your site includes a log-on feature, then your site should be secured with a certificate. Other applications of SSL Certificates include sites that utilize an API, database, and email.

I changed web servers, and my certificate no longer works. Can I get the certificate reissued?

Yes. On your new web server, generate a new CSR for your certificate. For most CAs, you can contact them directly with the new CSR and they will provide you with a new certificate. Please see our knowledge base for specific details.

Do SSL certificates work in all web browsers?

SSL Certificates are compatible with 99.9% of all browsers, including all major web browsers.

How many domain names does a certificate secure?

The SBS certificates support the domain name and the “www” record. For GeoTrust and Verisign, you can only secure one domain name per certificate. Wildcard certificates are an exception. A wildcard certificate will secure the root domain, and all sub-domains associated with that domain.

Why choose EV?

Give your customers the confidence to make their purchases online with EV SSL Certificates. Extended Validation triggers the display of the green address bar in high-security browsers.

Customers Gain Confidence with the Green Address Bar

Extended Validation SSL gives Web site visitors an easy and reliable way to establish trust online. Only SSL Certificates with Extended Validation (EV) will trigger high security Web browsers to display a green address bar with the name of the organization that owns the SSL Certificate and the name of the Certificate Authority that issued it. The green bar shows site visitors that the transaction is encrypted and the organization has been authenticated according to the most rigorous industry standard. For better online performance and added customer confidence, choose Secure Site with EV SSL Certificates. (SSL Security and Extended Validation.)

What is the difference between a quick validation certificate and higher assurance certificates?

Higher assurance certificates such as Organization Validation and Extended Validation require the certificate authority (the company issuing the certificate, such as GeoTrust or VeriSign) to verify the purchaser’s business and their authority to purchase a certificate on behalf of that company. Domain Validation certificates only verify the domain ownership of the purchaser, and thus have much faster turnaround times since none of the additional information needs to be verified.

What benefit is there to purchasing a higher assurance certificate?

Low assurance certificates that perform domain only verification only encrypt the connection. Higher assurance certificates perform the same encryption, with the addition of the peace of mind for your visitors knowing that the certificate authority has already validated your site as belonging to a legitimate business.

What does the green address bar do?

The green address bar is a quick and intuitive way to ensure visitors to your site that your business is legitimate and safe. The green bar is only available with Extended Validation (EV) Certificates. Major web browsers, including Internet Explorer and Mozilla Firefox, have integrated anti-phishing protection so that known phishing sites will display a red address bar, whereas sites secured with an EV SSL will display a green address bar letting visitors know that your business is good to go! Studies have shown a strong, positive impact for businesses that adopt EV SSL for more information, contact our Sales Department.

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