No DB CMS to Improve Web Server Performance

A Simple Flat File CMS Without a Database to Reduce Server Load

This article discusses reducing server load when running a Content Management System (CMS) to drive a website. The most popular CMSs, such as WordPress, Drupal, Joomla and DNN use a database (DB) to hold website content. One way of improving web server performance is to remove the database element. Why a flat file CMS vs database? Using a no DB CMS can reduce the memory footprint and code execution times for a page request. This can improve the performance of a web server under heavy load. A no DB CMS, also known as a flat file CMS, is particularly useful for limited resource web servers such as shared hosting plans or Virtual Private Servers (VPS). Continue reading

PHP on Windows Using WebMatrix Single Click Install

Running PHP to Test Websites on Windows PCs

PHP is a programming language that is popular for for adding powerful features to websites. What does PHP mean? PHP originally stood for Personal Home Page (after its inventor, Rasmus Lerdorf, wanted more features for his personal website), but now it stands for PHP Hypertext Preprocessor (creating a recursive acronym, which programmers like). PHP is easy to set-up and run on a Windows PC using the free Microsoft WebMatrix, an Integrated Development Environment (IDE) for building websites.

With the free WebMatrix package PHP on Windows is a single click install and allows website testing using IIS Express (the version of Microsoft Internet Information Server for Windows clients). This tutorial assumes that WebMatrix is installed and running on your Windows 7 or higher PC. If not see our article Develop a Website on Windows Using Microsoft WebMatrix to set it up and get a basic website going. Continue reading

We Made It Into The Icons of The Web, What’s Next

What Does It Take To Make The Top 0.1% of Web Sites?

Not much. But a lot more than what the other 99.9% of web sites achieve.

So there are about 861 million web sites in the world running on 265 million domains, all served up by 108 million hosts (see our article How Many Websites Are There In The World?). The Internet analytics company Alexa only tracks the top 1 million web sites and just lists the top 500. What does it take to get into the top 1 million, or the top 500, or even the top 10.

Icons of the Web

The Icons of the Web project by (the Nmap Security Scanner) used the Alexa rankings data. From the data Nmap generated a visual representation of the popularity of the world’s top web sites. This site managed to squeeze in, just. Somewhere around the point of the blue arrow shown in this picture.

The Nmap Icons of the Web Project

Notice how most of the top 1 million websites (including this site) are tiny little dots compared to the big, globally dominating websites. The relative popularity of the website is shown by the size of it’s icon (favicon). Getting into the top 1 million websites means you are in the top 0.1% of all the worlds websites. However, making a leap to the top of website charts would be a real success story.

What Are Your Site’s Aims?

What did it take for this site to make the top 0.1%. This site is about adding a valuable resource to the Internet. And looking at all the top sites that is what they all do. They are a resource for the people that visit them. Even if in some cases that resource is of a questionable nature!

When measuring web site success one metric is page views by real people. Our traffic levels are modest, about 10,000 page views per month. Drop below 8000 page views per month and you drop out of the top 1 million sites. To get to the top 500 list of websites the traffic needs to reach several million page views per month! A top 10 entry needs several 100 million pages views per month!

This site is not looking for a top 10 or top 500 place. However, a modest increase (double) in page views would send the site up several hundred thousand places in the rankings. How will that be achieved? By doing what all successful websites do. Providing good quality content and resources. If you are looking to run a successful web site or on line business remember that a fast website with quality resources, products and services will rise up the rankings. (If you want some help to achieve that get in touch,

This year this site will be moving to a new location to help increase page views and continue growing. More news on the move will come closer to the time. In the meantime hopefully you will find something useful within the current content, as well as or future articles, so why not add us to your list of favourites.

How Many Websites Are There In The World?

And How Many Websites Are Active?

The Internet is BIG! Very big. However it is dominated by just a few hundred organisations and their websites. So how big is the Internet?

(Note this post first appeared in January 2014 and was updated in January 2015.)

The size of the Internet can be measured in various ways, including totals such as how many websites are there, how many domains are registered, how many websites are being used, what are the most popular web sites, how much storage is required to hold all the web data, how much data is transmitted, etc., etc. The trouble is the Internet is so big that these totals and numbers change all the time. For this brief look at the size of the Internet the total number of active sites is examined. In other words you can type a unique domain name into your browser’s address bar and you will get a response.

So let us look at the latest update on the size of the Internet according to the Netcraft January 2015 Web Server Survey. How many websites are there? There are 876,812,666 websites (over 876 million web sites). This is a slight rise on the number of websites compared to last year. In the Netcraft January 2014 Web Server Survey there were 861,379,152 websites. It is interesting to note that in September 2014 the total number of websites exceeded 1 billion. The number of web sites reached 1,028,932,208 in October before falling back below 900 million. Has the world got enough web sites now?

Those of you that don’t fully understand the workings of the Internet may not realise that this number is just over three times larger than the number of registered domains. Why?

What is the Total Number of Domains in the World?

According to the Verisign Domain Name Industry Brief the total number of registered domain names is 284 million, an increase over the January 2014 figure of 265 million. So 284 million domains support over 876 million websites. But not all registered domains get used. Some are just registered so that no one else can register them. Some are registered and never used.

When this post was first written in January 2014 the ZMap project, a high speed open source network scanner, had scanned the entire Internet and estimated the total number of hosts at 108 million. Then it was likely that the 861 million websites were active on 108 million hosts. This is because a domain can be divided into sub-domains. For example a blogging website, such as Blogger, WordPress or Ghost, will let a user create a website that hangs of the main domain name, e.g.

The January 2015 Netcraft Survey reports just over 5 million (5,061,365) web facing computers. So 5 million computers run over 100 million hosts serving up 876 million web sites. Most of these sites are static and hardly change. Netcraft estimates that there are 177 million (177,127,427) active sites (those that get regular changes).

A Few Hundred Sites Dominate the Internet

Despite there being over 876 million websites only a few hundred dominate the Internet. Less than 1 million, or 0.1%, account for over 50% of web traffic. To get an idea on how much such a small percentage of the total websites dominate look at The Internet Map

The Internet Map shows relative web site sizes

or Icons of the Web.

Web site importance via Icons of the Web

The web site Alexa lists the top 500 websites.

Summary for How Many Websites Are There

As of January 2015:

  • There are 284 million registered domains…
  • on over 108 million hosts provided…
  • by 5 million computers serving…
  • over 876 million websites.

If you publish a web site it is very unlikely it will get noticed unless you are prepared to produce quality content, perform Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and spend on marketing. Or you may get lucky and be the next big thing, as all the top sites were once.

Home Wireless Network Configuration

WiFi Topology and WiFi Booster Options for Small Office/Home Office

This article gives an overview on the configuration options for a WiFi network at home or in an office. The basic network layout for an Internet connection is discussed and shown. The options to boost and extend the network to support areas with a poor WiFi signal are illustrated.

What is WiFi

The term WiFi is generally used today to describe a wireless connection from a device (laptop, tablet or phone) to the Internet. A network connection without cables is also called an untethered connection. What WiFi is doing is connecting a WiFi enabled device to an Access Point (AP). The AP is referred to as a hub, router, gateway or modem. In fact an AP is a box that combines what used to be several devices into one unit, these devices being a router, a modem, a network switch and wireless local area network (WLAN) interface. The AP then communicates over cable to the server (computer) of the Internet Service Provider (ISP) who provides the broadband (data) connection. For telephone lines the data connection is referred to as ADSL Broadband. Where ADSL (Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line) is the technology used to send high speed data over telephone lines originally designed for voice communications.

The ISP is usually the same company that provides you with a home telephone line, although the Internet broadband connection can be provided by a separate company. There is usually a saving in getting both the telephone line and broadband connection from the same supplier. The ISP server handles the link to the Internet (World Wide Web). The link from the ISP to your home is normally through either telephone cable, coaxial cable or fiber optic cable (fibre optic for UK readers), as well as combinations of those cables (e.g. for fiber connections often coaxial cable or telephone cable is used between the roadside cabinet and the home, unless fiber to the home is being provided).

The WiFi Name

WiFi Certified LogoThe WiFi term (original with a dash: Wi-Fi) was coined by the group of companies that came together to promote the wireless networking technology. It was intended to represent the phrase Wireless-Fidelity, similar to the term Hi-Fi (High-Fidelity) being used to refer to audio equipment. Look for the WiFi Certified logo when buying WiFi enable products.

Hub or Router or Gateway or Modem or Access Point

All of these terms can refer to the same box that is installed to connect your house to the Internet. The term hub or media hub or super hub is being used to describe this box to acknowledge the fact that the box combines several functions that used to be performed by different boxes in the past. The term Access Point (AP) also generally refers to any point that a wireless device can connect to a network, and not just the box that connects to the Internet. Therefore in this article we will use the term hub to refer to the box installed by the ISP (usually the phone company). Continue reading