Introduction and review of the popular softwares & Apps to support hosting service. This includes hosting control panel solutions, plugin & modules for different technical requirements

zPanel Hosting Control Panel Review


If we're working with a server for web service configurations, a powerful control panel will save time greatly and make the work more professional. However, since a good control panel is always costly solution and it's very complicate to configure a free product, sometimes we have to do everything manually. Today we're going to introduce one of the most simple and powerful free control panel software – zpanel

zPanel Introduction

ZPanel is an open sourced web hosting control panel that can be installed on Microsoft Windows and POSIX (Linux, UNIX and MacOSX) based servers or computers. With zPanel, people can quickly make a server/computer to fully fledged, easy to use and manage web hosting server.

zPanel Control Panel features

zPanel is completely equipted with open source projects such as Apache, Mysql, PHP and Filezilla/Proftpd etc. We can manage domain names, DNS, Email boxes, FTP accounts and Mysql Databases the same way in cpanel or other popular control panels. The latest release zpanelx(10.0.0) is designed with all up to date softwares.

Like all popular control panel solutions, zpanel gives out web API integration for production use purpose. we can customize the product by using various modules to fulfill our actual requirements. Got into problem or need further features? No worries, because the zpanel project is being joined by a large team all over the world, problem fixing or feature improvements can be handled very efficiently.

zPanel compared to other free control panel softwares

zPanel is one of the very few hosting control panel that is developed for both Linux & Windows server. From paid softwares, only Plesk/H-sphere have similar features. For people who like to manage both platforms efficiently without having to learn another software, zPanel is by far the best free choice.

There're many good free hosting control panels on the internet like ISPConfig, Kloxo. They are also very powerful for personal use purpose, however it's little hard for users to get them working as expected since not everybody is so familiar with command line.

The big advantage with zPanel is about the simple installation. No matter with windows or linux, there're just few clicks away to get zPanel running perfectly. Just check out this installation guide to see how simple it is. Unlike any other free control panel that requires complex configurations, zPanel is almost 100% automatic.

What would be the weakness? Yes, zPanel is powerful and user friendly enough but only works with apache web server. That means we can not host other programming languages like We can install on windows server but can't take the full advantage of the platform, this makes it hard to be installed on production windows hosting server because IIS would be standard web server for most cases. If they zPanel team could integrate it with IIS and other windows technologies like .net and sql server, it's not a long time for zPanel to be one of the best windows hosting control panel.

Who should use zPanel?

As long as you're good with LAMP you can take the advantage of zPanel. Especially when we deal with unmanaged vps servers, zpanel will help a lot for service configurations. If we're good at programming, we can install zPanel to productions server directly with integration to billing module and offer hosting services to people. zPanel is only limited by our imagination!

Top 10 Website Stress Testing Tools

top website stress testing tools

What kind of web hosting plan we need exactly? It's hard to tell without understanding the actual usage on the site. In order to get the genral stats, we can create numorous requests to the website and monitor how much resource it's using. How to test? Here we're going to introduce the top 10 website stress testing tools which will simplify the process.

Grinder Grinder is a JavaTM load testing framework that makes it easy to run a distributed test using many load injector machines. The Grinder has special support for HTTP that automatically handles cookie and connection management for test contexts. Users can write their own plug-ins to a documented interface.

Pylot –  Pylot is a free open source tool for testing performance and scalability of web services. It runs HTTP load tests, which are useful for capacity planning, benchmarking, analysis, and system tuning.

Pylot generates concurrent load (HTTP Requests), verifies server responses, and produces reports with metrics. Tests suites are executed and monitored from a GUI or shell/console.

Web Capacity Analysis Tool (WCAT)Web Capacity Analysis Tool (WCAT) is a lightweight HTTP load generation tool primarily designed to measure the performance of a web server within a controlled environment.  WCAT can simulate thousands of concurrent users making requests to a single web site or multiple web sites.  The WCAT engine uses a simple script to define the set of HTTP requests to be played back to the web server. Extensibility is provided through plug-in DLLs and a standard, simple API.

fwpttfwptt it's a Web application tester program for load testing web applications. It can record normal and ajax requests. I tested it on applications, but it should work with jsp, php or other.

JCrawler JCrawler is an open-source (under the CPL) Stress-Testing Tool for web-applications. It comes with the crawling/exploratory feature. You can give JCrawler a set of starting URLs and it will begin crawling from that point onwards, going through any URLs it can find on its way and generating load on the web application. The load parameters (hits/sec) are configurable.

Apache JMeter – The Apache JMeter™ desktop application is open source software, a 100% pure Java application designed to load test functional behavior and measure performance. It was originally designed for testing Web Applications but has since expanded to other test functions.

SiegeSiege is an http load testing and benchmarking utility. It was designed to let web developers measure their code under duress, to see how it will stand up to load on the internet. Siege supports basic authentication, cookies, HTTP and HTTPS protocols. It lets its user hit a web server with a configurable number of simulated web browsers. Those browsers place the server "under siege."

http_loadhttp_load runs multiple http fetches in parallel, to test the throughput of a web server. However unlike most such test clients, it runs in a single process, so it doesn't bog down the client machine. It can be configured to do https fetches as well.

Web PolygraphWeb Polygraph is a freely available performance testing tool for caching proxies, origin server accelerators, L4/7 switches, content filters, and other Web intermediaries. It's a standard web stress testing tool for many companies including Microsoft.

OpenSTAOpenSTA is a distributed software testing architecture designed around CORBA, it was originally developed to be commercial software by CYRANO. The current toolset has the capability of performing scripted HTTP and HTTPS heavy load tests with performance measurements from Win32 platforms.

If you have other good tools, feel free to post the names and share with us. Regards

JustCloud Review

justcloud review

Our whole lives are stored on our hard drives … so what happens when it crashes or gets stolen? When a hard drive fails, and the data isn't backed up, it's gone for good. And it's not a question of if your hard drive will fail, it's a question of when your hard drive will fail — it's only a matter of time.

Above is part of the newsletter from one of my hosting providers for Justcloud cloud storage service. If you're looking for quality and affordable backup plan, let's check out if the justcloud is good or not.

Justcloud introduction

Justcloud is division of Thejustdevelopit group(the mother company of Justhost). There're actually total of 3 brands about cloud computing with JDI, they're Zipcloud, Mypcbackup and Justcloud. The justcloud brand is absolutely the most popular one for the outstanding design and affordable service. As with all the other JDI Backup brands, JustCloud offers a complete online backup, file sharing and file syncing solution.

Why backup in cloud space?

Not sure you need cloud-based storage? These scary stats may make you change your mind:

  • All hard drives will crash in their lifetime
  • An estimated $400 million is lost in the U.S. annually due to poor data protection practices1
  • 57% of SMBs have no disaster recovery plan2
  • The U.S. Small Business Administration estimates that 25% of businesses do not reopen after a major data loss3
  • 70% of small businesses that experience a major data loss go out of business within a year4

So you see how important it is to keep a good backup of our data before you wish you did!

Justcloud Pros

The Justcloud is offering pretty nice solution for cloud backup. Here's short list about the spotlights

  • Up to 14 days FREE trial before you pay
  • Unlimited storage for only £4.95/mo
  • Sync multiple computers
  • Access Files anywhere via PC or mobile device
  • 100% compatible with Windows and MacOS
  • Encrypted and secure file transfer

If you think the price is still not acceptable, don't worry, they have offered 35% discount if you have navigated their website carefully. Just scroll to the bottom navigations and click the (Secret Link) then promotion is activated automatically!

JustCloud Cons

Indeed, there's very clear weakness with Justcloud. For example they don't show up what the service price is on website. Especially from some time ago their free trial storage has only 14MB, that means nothing can be backed up with this service. The good news is they changed to unlimited later and we can take the same advantages of paid service

How do we think about?

Well, that completely depends your requirements. The Justcloud will be good choice if you need efficient customer support and guaranteed service. If you just like to upload your files to online storage to share with people, then other free service plan such as Gdrive or Dropbox will work properly as well.

Best Vdeck Reseller Hosting

vdeck reseller hosting

What's Vdeck? If you're still not sure yet please visit our older posting Vdeck hosting page for explanation. If you have liked it and interested to be a vdeck reseller hosting provider, then you got the right place. I will guide you how to make the research and help evaluate if it's worthy of the doing.

Vdeck Reseller Hosting Advantages

Vdeck, well known for it's powerful management over both linux and windows hosting. It's by far the only popular hosting control panel solution that managed to do so. Another most outstanding feature with this software is clients be able to manage hosting products, domain registration, email and account billings under the same panel. We don't have to introduce into another customer management system like whmcs for web hosting business. Generally speaking, all essential features from other popular control panels are prepared in Vdeck.

Who offers vdeck reseller hosting?

Because Vdeck is the product of EIG group and it's only deployed to EIG hosting brands. If we want to be vdeck hosting reseller, we have to sign up with one of their hsoting websites like iPage, Fatcow etc. Till present, there're about 100 hosting brands under EIG company. If you're not sure what they are, you can refer to this Vdeck official page to get a short list The price of Vdeck reseller hosting program is as cheap as $49.95/yr. It's probably the most affordable reseller program from web hosting industry.

Vdeck Reseller Hosting Core features

Because the eig team offers vdeck reseller hosting program on each hosting website, the explanation and features are almost exactly the same. Here's quick view

  • Dramatic discounts on plans
  • Instant set-up on all plans
  • Discounted domain registrations
  • Discounts starting with the first resold account
  • Priority reseller support for fast answers
  • Powerful reseller console for comprehensive account management
  • Billing manager for each of your resold accounts
  • One-click login for easy account management

We will be able to customize the hosting control panel and setup our own brands in it such as logo, fonts,colors etc. Most features in Vdeck 4 are available in our own branded control panel. If we plan to do hosting business with an affordable solution, the Vdeck reseller hosting program would be quite worth a try.

What should we pay attention to?

Is it as simple as registration on those hosting websites? Absolutely not, before you get started please make sure you read the TOS, and especially the following!

  1. Customer Support — Unlike other popular reseller hosting programs on the web where we leave all technical support/billing etc to the actual hosting company, we have to manage both billing/tech support by our own via Vdeck reseller hosting. It works as we're managing our own hosting company except we don't have to touch the actual hardware stuff.
  2. Payment — At the moment, only credit card is accepted for vdeck reseller hosting, that means our clients will have to pay with credit card, no other options.
  3. Hosting Platform — We have to choose the correct provider for right hosting solutions. For example the iPage is 100% linux based service, if we register reseller program with them we can only create linux hosting plans. If we want to provider windows hosting as well, we need to sign with another service brand such as ipower.

Special Notice

Although we can generate all features from the actual vdeck control panel with the proper reseller program, the reseller based vdeck interface is not the same as what we're familiar with. I can say it's older version layout. Regardless of such difference, the vdeck reseller hosting program is a good deal because we'll learn how to manage clients and support etc, we'll get the valuable experience for web hosting business management. In case we'll finally launch our really self-branded service, this reseller program will help a lot.

Visit ipage for vdeck linux reseller program

Visit ipower for vdeck windows hosting packages

Advantages Of IIS Web Server Hosting

Advantages of iis web hosting

IIS(Internet Information Service) is one of the leading web server solutions. From the earliest version 1.0 to the current 7.5, the MS team always brings us big surprise with up to date technical supports. Recently, I upgraded my server to windows server 2008 R2 and configured the IIS with all available add-on products. I have to say, it's by far the most powerful system in my web experience. I would be more than happy to share my experience with this product.

What's new in IIS 7.5?

  • Built-in, brand new FTP server and WebDav support
  • Rich IIS configuration editor and scripts for automated configuration management
  • Windows PowerShell snap-in for IIS
  • Quality enhancements with lots of bug fixes
  • Config tracing so you can audit changes to the IIS configuration system
  • Application Warm-Up tech for best web performance

For the full list of IIS new features in 7.5, you can check out this Mai-lan's blog post:

Popular add-on products for IIS

IIS is great because the rich of great add-on products to meet your different web requirements. The add-on products are categorized by production and development sections. You can try out the most recent tech from development release and apply the most stable service on your live site from production category. Although the windows server is costly, all these add-on products are free to download on IIS official site! Here're few of the great products I have tried out.

  • Search Engine Optimization Toolkit -It helps us how to optimize our web site contents and structures for search engine friendly. Robots and sitemaps are supported.
  • Database Manager -If you think you have to install thrid party tools in order to manage a database well, you're out! IIS Database Manager provides the ability to connect to any database on the network. Microsoft SQL Server and MySQL are fully compatible! You can query and view database diagrams in IIS UI conveniently.
  • Web Deploy -A tool to simplify the web server migration/deployment. No matter if we want to synchronize a webserver or migrate from older IIS websites to new one, Web deploy  is working like a charm! It works with single website migration as well as entire server migration.
  • Web Platform Installer -The best one for end website users. The web platform installer is a gallery of the popular softwares installation. The IIS Web Platform Installer makes the process of software installation easy! just click search the wished name then click "Add" button and it will configure the software smartly on your iis server! It works for website software such as WordPress, Joomla, Drupal etc. It also works for server end software installation such as PHP, SQL Server and every products available as free.

There're many fantastic add-ons which is available at for free download. Just try and find out more surprise.

Actually, the biggest surprise in my experience is the increase of website performance. Unlike the old version server where I have to configure services very carefully and test out before applying to production server, The IIS 7.5 on server 2008 can be auto configured via the official team experience. The configuration is available from the web platform installer pack.

Best IIS Web Hosting Provider

IIS is the earliest web server and shares about half market on the planet. However, not too many hosting providers be able to offer reliable iis web hosting plans. A good iis hosting service must be affordable and reliable with easy management. Since 2006, arvixe has been our top recommendation for feature rich and affordable iis hosting plans. Starts from $5/mo, you can take advantages of unlimited storage and monthly data transfer as well as free domain name to put up website in quick time!

Visit arvixe for iis web hosting plans

Since from the first release of iis, it has brought us positive surprise for each upgrade. It's hard to say what kind of new surprise their team will bring us. However, since the industry is hot for cloud computing and server virtulization, the iis team will probably give more support in this business. Let's just wait for the coming news.

arvixe iis hosting