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What is CPanel?

fantasticocpanelCpanel is an easy to use interface for web maintenance. cPanel is the leading web hosting control panel available today. Even a user completely new to web hosting, can easily manage his/her own website. With the Cpanel hosting interface, you'll have complete control over your website. When looking for a hosting package, CPanel is also a good indicator of the reliability of the hosting provider. The most well-known, and reliable web hosts, would normally provide web hosting plans that are powered by cPanel control panel. cPanel hosting plans that are on the market, predominantly support PHP and MySQL, FrontPage, Fantastico and RVSkins.

With CPanel, you will have access to lots of useful stats, such as disk usage and space, bandwidth usage and sub domains, through cpanel. The current version of CPanel is CPanel 11, or CPanel X, which gives you full control of every aspect of your account. Hosting packages that come with CPanel, are a very cost effective solution, as they allow you to host multiple web sites under the same account.

Another very useful program-Fantastico, can be directly managed from the cPanel control panel. Essentially, what Cpanel does, is that it condenses the dozens of commands needed to complete one task, to a single mouse click. CPanel takes care of tedious and complicated tasks, such as a simple change to the content of your web page, password protecting portions of your web site, or deleting a table in one of your databases. All these can easily be done, just by some minor input from the end users. For webmasters that require assistance on web building, certain hosting companies would also provide cPanel control panel, that comes with a range of powerful online building tools. Customers can use these tools to create, configure, and launch their website.

featuring sideOther available control panels normally restrict your ability to manage your website to just the basic functions, like creating email addresses, managing files, and adding sub domain names. Cpanel provides much more than these basic tasks, allowing access to the more advanced functions, such as MIME types, cron jobs, OpenPGP keys, Apache handlers, addon domains, password protected directories, and a lot more. For the basic users, CPanel still provide the typical programs, such as to add, or remove email accounts, view website statistics, install different PHP / mySql scripts, get access to your online Web Mail, and more. Some other functions of CPanel are to create a POP or default email account, autoresponder, subdomain, and custom error pages. Users can also create a MySQL database PHPMyAdmin to manage databases, install FrontPage extensions, redirect a URL, redirect mail change, create an add-on domain, create a FTP account, and to password-protect a directory. All these vast arrays of programs would normally come with tutorials to assist users, especially newbies, to ensure that using CPanel would be easy.

In summary, CPanel is an integrated program that combines the requirements of basic, to advanced users, in one user-friendly interface. It definitely will save you a lot of time and hassle, in completing your tasks manually. The best fact is that it is directly linked to Fantastico, enabling users access to a multitude of programs that are extremely useful for managing websites.

Contact us at StormBiz if you need more information, or would like a free quotation

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What is SQL?

structured query languageWhat is SQL? SQL stands for Structured Query Language, and is the lingua franca in the database world. SQL is a standard, that is used by all database vendors, and programmers to define, extract, and access the information that is stored in databases. SQL began life as an IBM creation, but was standardized by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), and the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) as ANSI/ISO SQL in 1988. Since then, ANSI/ISO SQL standard continued to evolve. The ANSI-SQL group has since published three standards over the years:

  1. SQL89 (SQL1)
  2. SQL92 (SQL2)
  3. SQL99 (SQL3)

SQL is a query language. It is English-like and easy to use. However, although there are more than 90 SQL reserved words, most programmers seldom use more than the following handful of commands - SELECT, INSERT, UPDATE, DELETE, FROM, WHERE, HAVING, BETWEEN, LIKE, OR, AND, NOT, IN, ORDER, GROUP and BY.

For example, if you had a database table named "employees", and you wanted to retrieve all records where the employee has the last name "goodman", you would use the following SQL statement:

SELECT * FROM employees WHERE last name = 'goodman';

There are many different categories of SQL statements, but the basic ones, which all programmers should be familiar with, are the SQL statements that:

  1. Create tables, and manipulate their definitions
  2. Query the table data
  3. Manipulate the table data

sql imagesSQL is predominantly used by 2 types of users - programs and humans, (keying in the commands through a database client) - to pass instructions to databases. SQL commands can be keyed into a database client like the MySQL Query Browser, or the SQL Server Enterprise Manager, and executed to either return a result, or modify records in the database. SQL can also be used in conjunction with programming language, or scripting language like Microsoft Visual Basic, or PHP to communicate with the database.

Although SQL is a world standard, it is unfortunate that most database vendors have come up with different dialects, and variations. This is because every database vendor wants to differentiate their database products from the crowd. One good example is Microsoft SQL Server's TRANSACT-SQL. TRANSACT-SQL is a superset of SQL, and is designed for use only with Microsoft SQL Server. Although it does make programming much easier for software developers, it is not compliant with other databases like Oracle or MySQL - making TRANSACT-SQL programs non-database-portable. As such, although many of these features are powerful and robust, it is good practice to exercise caution, and limit your SQL use to be compliant with the ANSI/ISO SQL standards and ODBC-Compliant.

For more information, or to request a free quotation, please feel free to contact us.

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What is Web Analytics and How Does it Help a Website Owner?

analytical reportAnalytical Report"One of My clients was asking how to read an analytical report and what is this and what is that? From these questions, I thought about it, and have written a few notes about the analytical reports which would be beneficial for my clients, as well as the readers of this blog.


Web Analytics is a series of reports of quantitative indicators of the behaviour of the visitors of the website. It tracks the movement of a visitor and the reason of his/her visit. In other words, it provides a clear report of the performance of your website and the trends. From these reports and trends, the website owner creates and implements more effective programs to increase sales.

Web Analytics are based on:

1. Collection of visitor’s data from log files, and
2. by tagging each web page with Javascript.

A third web analytics method is a combination of the two, whereby more relevant data can be produced than what is possible with either of the two methods on their own.

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Why Free Web Hosting May Not Be A Bad Thing

free web hosting vs paid web hostingFree Web Hosting vs Paid Web HostingThere is paid web hosting and there is free web hosting. Most people tend to steer clear of free web hosting as they tend to believe that “there is no free lunch”. Free web hosting must have its catches?

Well, that really depends on your purposes and your position.

Why purpose?

If your web hosting is for your website which is for commercial purposes, such as an ecommerce web-store, you need absolute reliability and uptime. Every second of downtime is lost revenue. While some free web hosting providers guarantee uptime, you cannot hold it against them if their services do not meet expectations and cause your business to lose hundreds of dollars of revenue. Why? Because most free web hosts will have a clause in their terms that state that they do not guarantee uptime at all because they are a free service. Now, most free hosts will not even guarantee any uptime and those free web hosting services are provided on a best effort basis. You cannot risk hosting your crucial business website on such a free hosting plan.

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Is Free/Cheap Website Hosting Better?

You Get What You Pay ForYou Get What You Pay ForThe age old saying of "You get what you pay for" always stands true, especially when it comes to hosting company and design costs. There is no such thing as "FREE HOSTING"! you will pay for it in the end, and I will explain why!

Website hosting is a multi-million rand industry, and giving away hosting is not lucrative to any company. The only reasons that a hosting, or website design company would give you free hosting would be under the following conditions:

  1. The hosting company company has inflated it's prices to lure you in by giving you free hosting.
  2. The hosting company company gives you free hosting, but you will need to add banners to your website.
  3. The hosting company will offer x amount of months for free, if you sign a long term contract, or if you pay up front for 1 or 2 years.

The reason these companies give away free hosting, or charge very low costs for hosting your website, is solely because the advertising that goes on your website is where they turn a profit, and also the servers that your website will be hosted on will be highly overpopulated!

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