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Web Hosting - When Changing Web Hosts
Nearly everyone will want to change to a new web host at some point. It may involve just changing out old hardware for new. It usually means finding an entirely new web hosting company. When faced with that decision there are a number of issues to be considered.
Swapping hardware and/or software is a fairly straightforward decision. There are two possible scenarios. Either you maintain your own hardware and software at a facility managed by others, or you are considering upgrading to newer (usually more expensive) systems maintained by others.
In either case, it's simply a matter of estimating the cost and the short-term impact versus the long-term benefits. If the system(s) you currently use are short on capacity, sooner or later you'll be sufficiently motivated to make the change. Either the hardware will become unreliable or loaded to the point you'll be forced to migrate, or your needs will expand enough to justify the effort and expense of moving.
Similar considerations apply to the scenario in which you rely on the web hosting company for everything, and want to find someone else to rely on. Regrettably, that's a very common situation. Many web hosting companies provide systems and staff that sooner or later fall below an acceptable level.
Most people make the decision to change based on emotion. That's not entirely bad. Emotions incent you to take action. But you need to keep a cool head, too, in order to calculate your long-range self-interest. Bearing some minor inconveniences from time to time is usually worth the trade off. When it begins to affect your site to the point you're losing visitors, it's time to make a change.
To get a more objective handle on when that point is reached, reach for some numbers. Maintain, or get from the hosting company, a factual report about availability and current usage. If the server is down so much, or so heavily loaded, that it drives your visitors away, it's time to take action.
There are other less easily quantifiable but equally important factors, as well.
You will at some point need to communicate with one or more persons who help maintain your site. Even if you do all your own server, database and web site maintenance, someone behind the scenes is helping to keep things running smoothly. That's called 'infrastructure'. If the road you drive on has potholes, it's not enough that you can fix your own car.
In terms of network bandwidth and availability, server capacity, disk space, security and a whole array of other aspects, the web hosting company has to have competent people who care (and are allowed) to do the job well. When the company's people fall down - because of incompetence, lack of resources or absence of a culture of excellence - or for any other reason - your web site suffers. This issue more than any other is what drives people to seek another web hosting company.
Even if you choose well at the outset, things can change. Management changes, staff changes and companies are taken over by other companies. Sometimes, it isn't simply a matter of swapping out an unreliable piece of hardware or software. When it's time to swap out people, you look for the same aspect: doing the job required.
Web Hosting - Do It Yourself Administration, Things to Consider The choice of whether or not to try to administer your own web site brings with it a host, pun intended, of issues. For most web site owners, the primary focus is naturally on creating, maintaining and enhancing the site. That often is just part of managing an entire business, for which the web site is just the means to an end. That implies there will be little interest in or time left over for technical administration like database maintenance (tuning, space management, security, bug fixes), establishing and maintaining backups to ensure they're successful and usable, email administration, disk space management, applying operating system fixes for bugs and security, and other tasks. But cost is always a factor in any business. Paying for technical help can burden the budget of a new and struggling business. Consulting fees can range from a few dollars an hour to over $100. On the lower end, the poor skill level and quality of work will make it not worth even that small amount. On the higher end, you can quickly rack up expenses that will bust your business. Permanent employees are usually somewhere in the middle of that range when you add up salary, employment taxes and more. Often, server and/or web site administration can be paid for as part of the web hosting package. That cost is usually lower than independent contracting help, but those staff are usually tasked with maintaining dozens if not hundreds of servers and sites. They can, therefore, give very little individual attention to yours. Often, novice web site owners are intimidated by some of the technical requirements for server or site administration. But, as with anything, a little familiarity can show that the knowledge required is more modest than one might expect. Administration in many cases involves fairly elementary, and frequently repetitive, tasks. These can be learned easily. Using a test site or a free hosting service is a good way to practice and learn without risk or cost, other than time invested. Once that initial hurdle is jumped over, administration can be done quickly and some even find it interesting. It allows the site owner to exercise additional control over the total product, and there's satisfaction in being able to say 'I did that' even if you prefer not to do it forever. That real-life learning experience also allows the site owner to better judge any consultants or staff that are hired. It's much easier to judge if someone is providing you with an accurate assessment of a problem if you've solved it yourself. Any time-estimate they provide to fix it can also be better calculated if you've had to do it yourself. Every web site relies on a variety of factors, usually unseen, in order to continue to function properly. But the fact is that they misbehave from time to time. Deciding whether to tackle those problems yourself depends on your available time and skill set, and what it will require to get things back on track. In other words, it's a standard cost-benefit analysis that everyone has to undertake every day in life.
News is News All Over the World (writing newspaper articles) Writing newspaper articles is a fun and interesting line of work. Newspapers exist in big cities, small towns, within corporations and on college campuses. Newspapers are printed for special interest groups as well as for world and national news. There are free newspapers and papers that appear for sale on newsstands every day. With such a large variety of newspaper types printed, there are myriads of possible opportunities for writing newspaper articles. There are some basic rules to writing articles for any newspaper and there are also some specific aspects to know about each type. Writing Newspaper Articles In general, to write a newspaper article there are a few rules that apply across the board. First, the news has to be relevant. Because newspapers make up a genre of writing that is constantly refreshing itself, there is no room for common knowledge or historical pieces. The exception is if those kinds of writing serve to connect to a current issue or event. People who read newspapers want to know what?s happening now. For that reason, writing newspaper articles often involves relatively high pressure to get the latest news written each and every day. There are some low-pressure possibilities in writing newspaper articles though. The Infrequent Print Several newspapers are only printed weekly or even monthly. In small towns that must get their papers printed off-site, it is not feasible to create a paper each and every day. That means that there?s a week, every week, to get the news in and written. Another example of low pressure writing for newspapers is working for a free publication. Free newspapers are often geared to a special interest group. Since that group is not paying for its paper, they may only receive the interesting tidbits once a month. Writing for these kinds of newspapers becomes focused on creativity and niche writing because the current events will have already reached the audience through more frequent publications. The Daily News from Top to Bottom The most reliable and frequent publications are those of big, national newspapers. The staffs are very large and are able to print very clean copies of very full newspapers. By clean, that means without errors. Smaller papers are also printed daily, but they seem almost insignificant except to the people of the local community. They receive national news second hand and run very small staffs. Interestingly enough, none of these daily papers are really about the news. Of course that is where most of the effort lies and that is the reason that people buy the papers, but it is not the root of a newspaper. Writing newspaper articles is a job heavily dependent on the advertising industry. A newspaper will only be as large as there are ads to pay for it. Newspapers do not make their money at the newsstand. They pay the bills and the employees with money from advertisers. On Campus News Working for a university paper will not be representative in the area of newspaper advertising. While some businesses do pay for ads in university papers, the funding comes from the school. If for some reason there were no advertisers one day, the paper would still go out. University publications are much more focused on the development of the students than making a successful business. Most campus papers are free and are created by students. School is a great place to get started in writing newspaper articles. The environment is challenging, but nurturing at the same time. The deadlines and standards still exist, but the writer gets great encouragement and training through the work. After working for a college paper, it will be much easier to get a job with newspapers of the cities and towns. Writing newspaper articles can be a great job. There are so many opportunities to get into writing that it is hard to pass them up. Some jobs may be very difficult to get, but others will be steps towards increasing writing success.