Topic 8 - Web Management & Maintenance

Maintaining Your Site

  • Visitors will come back to your web site regularly if you constantly refresh it with interesting or exciting information.
  • Check for the broken link.
  • Daily, weekly or monthly maintenance to perform.
  • Continually testing under new browsers.
  • Upgrading HTML or script code to modern standards
  • Running a web statistic.
  • Performing various server-related activities such as upgrading software.
  • Running backups for web.
  • You may want to include some type of form that users can fill out to give you their opinions.


Managing Web Server

  • Server must be continually monitored for availability, performance and security.
  • Checking availability might be simply a matter of utilizing a tool to "ping" the server every few minutes by sending it a small data packet to if it is alive.
  • More sophisticated server monitoring actually requests a page on a site, and may even look for some key phrase or element to make sure that the page is completely formed.
  • Utilize a monitoring tool or service to ensure that your site is constantly available to users.
  • The responsiveness of the server should also be carefully monitored.
  • Make sure that the load on a server is carefully monitored as well.


Web Server

  • There are two basic choices for publishing your HTML documents on the Internet.
  • One way involves having a dedicated connection to the Internet and running your own server.
  • The other approach involves renting space or bandwidth from an outside vendor to place your server or pages outside your organization.
  • Web server outsourcing comes into two: shared or virtual hosting and colocation.
  • The primary operation of a web server is to copy the many files making up a web page from disk to network as fast as possible for numerous simultaneous users.
  • A secondary mission is to run programs for numerous individuals and deliver their results as fast as possible.


Selecting a web server

  • Price and performance are the basic issues for choosing a web server.
  • You need to understand what kind of activity to expect and what type of data you will serve.
  • Then you need to set a budget for your server.
  • A personal web server might use freeware or shareware and run on a low-cost personal computer such as a PC or Macintosh.
  • A large corporate system might use a powerful UNIX workstation running commercial-grade web server software.
  • One of the main considerations for a web server will be the operating system used.
Operating Systems






  • Tend to run on fast hardware such as UltraSparc and Alpha systems.
  • Very flexible
  • High-end applications are available
  • Can be complicated to use and difficult to maintain
  • Labor costs may be high
  • Buy-in costs for hardware and software are relatively high

Windows NT







  • Can run on both high- and low -end systems, from Intel to Alpha systems
  • Relatively robust
  • Fairly easy to administer and may have lower maintenance costs
  • Numerous high-end applications being ported to this operating system
  • May require more high-end hardware for adequate performance
  • May not be as flexible or robust as UNIX for some Internet-related tasks


Windows 95/98







  • Easy to run
  • Low equipment and labor costs
  • Inexpensive web server and development software





  • Not as robust as Windows NT or UNIX; prone to crashes
  • May require a fast system for adequate performance
  • Not as much server software ported to Windows 95/98 as to Windows NT
  • Not as flexible as UNIX or Windows NT







  • Easy to run
  • Fairly low equipment and labor costs
  • Inexpensive software




  • Operating system architecture's inhibiting of performance
  • Relatively little web software available
  • Not as flexible as windows NT or UNIX
  • Not robust and prone to crashes like Windows 95/98


Web Server Software

  • Apache
    • A descendant of NCSA's httpd server, Apache is probably the most popular web server on the Internet, at least as far as public web sites are concerned.
    • Apache's popularity stems from the fact that it is free and fast.
    • It is also very powerful supporting features like HTTP 1.1, extended server-side includes (SSIs), module architecture similar to NSAPI/ISAPI, and numerous free modules that perform functions such as server-based Perl interpretation.
    • Apache is not a commercial package.
    • Apache is mainly for UNIX.


  • Microsoft Internet Information Services
    • IIS is Microsoft's server for Windows NT.
    • One very important aspect of IIS is that it is very tightly integrated with the Windows NT environment.
    • ISS is freely bundled with the operating system.


  • IPlanet: Servers Formerly Known as Netscape
    • iPlanet the new software concern born of the Sun-Netscape alliance formed after the merger between Netscape and AOL, has a larger number of web servers.
    • Can run on most major variants of UNIX as well as Windows NT.
    • The servers are well developed and also very developer friendly and powerful, with support for database and directory services, content management, HTTP 1.1, and a variety of other features.
    • It is also a cross-platform server.


  • WebSite
    • A very easy-to-use web server for Windows 95/98 and Windows NT, O'Reilly's WebSite is one of the few robust web servers available for Windows 95/98.
    • WebSite is considered one of the easiest servers to install and administer.


  • WebStar
    • The most popular web server for the Macintosh was originally based on MacHTTPD.
    • WebStar integrates well with the Macintosh.
    • It supports AppleScript and other Macintosh-specific tools.


  • Lotus Domino
    • Domino is an example of the collision between traditional web serving and messaging and groupware.
    • Domino runs on Windows NT, variants of UNIX, and even large IBM systems such as AS/400s, and is often used in corporate intranet and extranet environments where workflow and integration with messaging and backend system may be more important than raw web serving performance.



Web Hosting

  • Web hosting involves using the shared server facilities of a hosting vendor.
  • This means that the site will share web server resources and bandwidth with other hosted sites.
  • Sharing can be problematic - server responsiveness may be significantly affected because of other hosted web sites.
  • Many customers are wary of sharing a server with others, because security often cannot be guaranteed on these shared systems.
  • Hosting is still relatively inexpensive.
  • Many Internet Service Providers (ISP) and specialized hosting companies offer professional-quality shared web-hosting services.
  • The other web server outsourcing option is often called colocation. This describes the use of a dedicated server, often owned by the organization purchasing the service.
  • Colocation provides a greater degree of autonomy than shared web services.
  • The colocated machine typically only shares physical facilities, and possibly network bandwidth, with other customers.
  • Colocation is generally more expensive than hosting.
  • Many of the large ISPs offer colocation services as well as specialized data center providers.




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