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Recommended Host for Ajax
What is AJAX?
So what, exactly, would the average website owner use AJAX to create? Well, it's very useful when combined with a customer's login information to provide customized shipping information based on that customer's physical location. Or let's say your company has several real-world locations, and you provide an interactive map that allows site visitors to plot their course from home to your nearest retail store.
AJAX is what allows users to interact with the map and receive custom results without needing to refresh the entire page every time they click another part of the map or enter new information.
You can also use AJAX to serve multimedia content in a custom player, or pull information from a new user's social media profiles on Facebook or Twitter to create a new customer account on your site. The possibilities are limited only by your server resources (and your budget for the same).
Pros and cons of using AJAX
Like all tools in the developer’s arsenal, AJAX comes with its share of pros and cons.
We already listed a number of potential benefits – AJAX can improve the user experience by speeding up page rendering and improving response times. It can reduce server and network loads through better efficiency and resource utilisation, offer multibrowser support ‘out of the box’ and help in the development of platform- and architecture-agnostic web based applications.
However, the list trade-offs is just as extensive. If not properly optimised, an AJAX implementation can cause performance issues by creating a nearly constant interaction between the browser and server. It also requires internet access, which may be an issue in certain niches.
While AJAX provides developers with a greater level of freedom and a range of features for web-based applications, it is still relatively limited. AJAX’s local data storage and hardware interaction capabilities remain limited.
Dealing with multimedia rich content and real-time graphics is an issue, too. Therefore it often necessary to resort to other platforms to fill the gaps. For a long time Flash fulfilled this purpose, but the industry’s love affair with flash ended a few years ago.
Security may be another issue. Although there is nothing inherently insecure about AJAX, it is still affected with most security problems associated with web-based appse. Luckily AJAX has been around for years and the risks can be mitigated, but less experienced developers still need to exercise caution.
From an end-user perspective, AJAX can cause some navigation and accessibility issues. For example, AJAX navigation does not depend on changing the URL, thus rendering ‘back’ and ‘refresh’ browser commands useless. This problem is usually addressed by designers and AJAX friendly user interfaces.
Ajax Hosting Frequently Asked Questions
What exactly is Ajax used for?
Ajax is a group of technologies used in various combinations to create content rich websites and applications. It can use JSON, HTML, CSS and other standards to deliver a better user experience and more interactivity. Ajax can also be used to serve audio or video content, integrate with social networks and more.
Why is Ajax so popular?
How demanding is Ajax in terms of hosting?
It really depends on what you plan to do, and how you do it. If you fail to properly optimize Ajax sites, you could create a lot of performance issues. Basically, a poor Ajax implementation will use the asynchronous approach to creating too much interaction between the browser and server. However, if it's done right, you should have no problems.
Can Ajax reduce bandwidth usage?
Yes, a good Ajax implementation can significantly reduce the number of requests by using the browser to generate HTML. This also results in lower response times, improving user experience. This is especially true if you need to update only certain elements on the site.
Are there any compatibility issues I should be aware of?
Not really. Ajax relies on widely used standards and technologies. It used to have problems with some browsers in the past. Most of these issues have been ironed out over the years, so you shouldn't experience any compatibility issues on the client or server side.
Does Ajax cause problems for search engine rankings?
What are the most common hosting problems associated with Ajax?
It's hard to say — Ajax relies on a number of different standards and technologies. If any of these components starts to misbehave, you could be in trouble. Fortunately, most of them tend to run like clockwork and most hosts frequently update all Ajax-related components.
Is Ajax free?
Yes, Ajax is a web standard and is free. It's a collection of several web technologies which are free to use, such as HTML, CSS, XML and so on. Using Ajax should not cause any additional costs.
Is Ajax hard to learn?
Ajax can greatly increase application development because it can be used with a range of different technologies. The downside is that the learning curve for Ajax applications can be steep, depending on what you plan to use it for.
Since Ajax is handled by the client-side, won't this create potential security issues?
These risks can be mitigated, but client-side security is always a concern. It shares the same vulnerabilities associated with other web based apps. It's always a good idea to use experienced developers who keep track of the latest security updates.
What do I need to look out for when choosing an Ajax host?
This depends on your choice of various components which you will use in your projects. There is no simple answer, you just have to pick a host that caters to your specific needs and provides the latest versions of technologies used in Ajax development.
Can Ajax be used for complex websites rather than playful web apps?
Yes, Ajax serves as the backbone for many big services such as Google Maps, and vBulletin forums.