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Web Hosting - Is a Dedicated Server Worth What You Pay?
In reviewing web hosting plans, many web site owners are faced at some point with the decision of whether or not to pay for a dedicated server. A dedicated server is one which holds your site(s) exclusively. It's not shared with other sites. You then have the option to put one site or many on that piece of hardware.
But the decision is never easy. There are multiple considerations to take into account, far beyond just the higher dollar outlay that inevitably accompanies a dedicated server option.
Performance is (or should be) a prime consideration for the majority of site owners. Studies show that when a page doesn't load within about 10 seconds or less, almost everyone will give up and go elsewhere. The delay may be caused at any of a hundred different points in the chain between the server and the user. But often, it's the server itself.
In any case, it's important to eliminate the server as a possible bottleneck, since it's one of the few points over which the site owner can exercise some control.
That need for control extends further than just performance, however. Other aspects of the user experience can benefit or suffer from server behavior. Security is a prime example. With the continuing prevalence of spam and viruses, a server can easily get infected. Having only your site(s) on a single server makes that issue much easier to deal with.
With fewer sites on a server, there is less likelihood of getting infected in the first place. Also, since you will place a higher value on security than many others, it's easier to keep a dedicated server clean and your site well protected. You can use best practices in security to fortify your site. Having other sites on the server that you don't control raises the odds that your efforts are for nothing.
One way your efforts can get watered down is through IP address sharing. Less sophisticated hosting services will often assign a single IP address to a single server and multipe sites. That means your site is sharing the same IP address with other domains. That leaves you vulnerable in several ways.
Virus or spam attacks may target a particular IP address. If you have the same one as another site, one that is more likely to attract hostile intentions, you suffer for and with someone else.
In other cases an IP address range is assigned to the server, with each site receiving its own address from within that range. Though better than the one IP:server scenario, this still presents a vulnerability. Many attacks try a range of IP addresses, not just a single one.
But even legitimate sources can give you trouble when you share an IP address or a range. If another site engages in behavior that gets it banned, you can suffer the same fate if they ban the address or range. If the miscreant that shares your server/IP address or range is himself a spammer for example, and gets blacklisted, you can inadvertently be banned along with him. Using a dedicated server can overcome that problem.
There's a certain comfort level in knowing what is installed on the server you use, and knowing that you alone put it there. But a dedicated server option may require increased administration on your part. If you're not prepared to deal with that, you may have to pay still more to have your dedicated server managed by someone else.
All these factors have to be weighed carefully when considering a dedicated server plan.
Continuing Education Key to Being a Better Employee Employers now recognize the importance of continuing education for employees. Over the past few years, more and more employers have begun to offer tuition reimbursement and continuing education classes to their employees. While this was once thought of as an excessive expensive, it is now understood that continuing education benefits the company as much or more as it does the employee. The job market is becoming more and more competitive everyday. Only the best employees are getting jobs in certain sectors. That means that your skills need to be sharp in order for you to remain valuable to your company. This is where continuing education comes into play. No matter what type of job you have, just about all companies are investing in continuing education. The reasons why are simple. Even though the company may spend a good deal of money on continuing education for their employees, they see an even larger return. By having employees that are on the top of their game, the company will be more productive as a whole. Thus the company will make more money. With that in mind, it is very important that employees always take advantage of continuing education classes when they can. You will be able to stay on top of whatever new trends are coming up and possibly acquire skills that will allow you to move up in the company. By taking continuing education classes, you will become more productive. Studies have found that employees that continue to have their skills refreshed and renewed are more productive on the job. This is a perk for both employees and their employers. You will be able to finish more work in less time and with more understanding. Thus making your time at work easier. If you are not sold on the idea of continuing education, think of it this way. Your employer is paying for it. It is a perk of your job that you should take full advantage of. If you are working towards acquiring skills that will lead you to a promotion or an entirely new job, you are doing something to better yourself. And, it is costing you less, or nothing at all. The best companies to work for in the country have great training programs. This is no coincidence. These companies, which also make a ton of money spend thousands of dollars training their employees so that they can go out and make the company the most money possible. Less successful companies have begun to follow suit. No matter what type of job you have, there are continuing education programs that can help enhance your job experience. Continuing education is a great way to break out of a rut. If you are eager to change jobs or get a promotion, you will fair much better in the job market if you do some continuing education. Use whatever means your company offers to better yourself and become more marketable. The type of continuing education you choose depends on your career goals. It is always helpful to have an advanced degree in a certain field. If tuition reimbursement for graduate school is an option, take it. Having a Master?s or PHD will help you become an expert in your field of study. If your job has company continuing education, take them up on it., Even if a promotion is not exactly what you are looking for, being cross trained is always a good idea. Gain as much in the way of knowledge and skills as you can. When you move on to your next job those skills will look great on your resume.
Web Hosting - Redundancy and Failover Among the more useful innovations in computing, actually invented decades ago, are the twin ideas of redundancy and failover. These fancy words name very common sense concepts. When one computer (or part) fails, switch to another. Doing that seamlessly and quickly versus slowly with disruption defines one difference between good hosting and bad. Network redundancy is the most widely used example. The Internet is just that, an inter-connected set of networks. Between and within networks are paths that make possible page requests, file transfers and data movement from one spot (called a 'node') to the next. If you have two or more paths between a user's computer and the server, one becoming unavailable is not much of a problem. Closing one street is not so bad, if you can drive down another just as easily. Of course, there's the catch: 'just as easily'. When one path fails, the total load (the amount of data requested and by how many within what time frame) doesn't change. Now the same number of 'cars' are using fewer 'roads'. That can lead to traffic jams. A very different, but related, phenomenon occurs when there suddenly become more 'cars', as happens in a massively widespread virus attack, for example. Then, a large number of useless and destructive programs are running around flooding the network. Making the situation worse, at a certain point, parts of the networks may shut down to prevent further spread, producing more 'cars' on now-fewer 'roads'. A related form of redundancy and failover can be carried out with servers, which are in essence the 'end-nodes' of a network path. Servers can fail because of a hard drive failure, motherboard overheating, memory malfunction, operating system bug, web server software overload or any of a hundred other causes. Whatever the cause, when two or more servers are configured so that another can take up the slack from one that's failed, that is redundancy. That is more difficult to achieve than network redundancy, but it is still very common. Not as common as it should be, since many times a failed server is just re-booted or replaced or repaired with another piece of hardware. But, more sophisticated web hosting companies will have such redundancy in place. And that's one lesson for anyone considering which web hosting company may offer superior service over another (similarly priced) company. Look at which company can offer competent assistance when things fail, as they always do sooner or later. One company may have a habit of simply re-booting. Others may have redundant disk arrays. Hardware containing multiple disk drives to which the server has access allows for one or more drives to fail without bringing the system down. The failed drive is replaced and no one but the administrator is even aware there was a problem. Still other companies may have still more sophisticated systems in place. Failover servers that take up the load of a crashed computer, without the end-user seeing anything are possible. In fact, in better installations, they're the norm. When they're in place, the user has at most only to refresh his or her browser and, bingo, everything is fine. The more a web site owner knows about redundancy and failover, the better he or she can understand why things go wrong, and what options are available when they do. That knowledge can lead to better choices for a better web site experience.
The Many Sides of Writer Web Rings (writer web rings) Generally, a web ring is defined as a collection of Web Sites from the Internet that are joined together in a circular structure. Writer web rings are a great example of this collection of Web Sites. Web rings may be used to increase search engine rankings, and can be considered as search engine optimization techniques. It is common for many web rings to take advantage of this and find writers looking to improve their own rankings. There are many web rings available for seasoned writers and novices alike. Becoming a member of one of the many writing web rings is as simple as joining any other web rings with different themes. Web ring web sites each have a common navigation bar that contains links to the previous and next sites. Clicking the next or previous sites repeatedly will eventually take the surfer to the site original site of the web ring; this is the origin of the term web ring. Web rings are organized around certain themes, and of course the theme for writer web rings is writing. These web rings for writers typically have moderators who are responsible for deciding what pages to include in the web ring. The making of the web ring is the foundation for the group of people who will soon join. Writer web rings are readily available and are open for all potential writers and experienced writers to join. These web rings for writers are usually seen as an outlet for many writers, who are otherwise unable to find interesting ways to increase their experience in the writing world. Typically, these web rings for writers are designed specifically for certain groups. For example, there are many web rings designed specifically for women. The Accomplished Women Writers group is a group of women writers who help each other by providing tips and hints for getting published. The web ring also includes a site that teaches women how to manage a family, household, and writing career. The Aspiring Young Writers Ring is also a web ring, and is dedicated to helping young writers on their way to becoming professionals. The Author Ring is a web ring that was established for published authors if book-length fiction and nonfiction. Other writer web rings include Black Folks Who Write, which is open to African Americans who showcase their work on the internet; Freelance Webring for freelance writers; Internet Writers? Guild, which brings together authors of web-published literature and showcases their writing online; and Romance Readers and Writers, which is designed for writers who love all aspects of writing romance novels, and who enjoy reading romance novels. No matter the person, there is a writer web ring for almost every kind of writer, so no writer should feel discouraged if they feel their case is a unique one and there is no writer web ring to satisfy their artistic needs. Writer web rings are not a new concept, but there are many writers who don?t take advantage of their great services. A writer web ring can be used to help any writer expand their knowledge of writing techniques, of their own experience, level, and style of writing, can help them appreciate their writing as well as others, while teaching them about the business of writing, and helping them figure out the world of writing in general. These web rings are considered to be good things because a person can find many sites relating to their own writing all together without searching endlessly. Many may not see writer web rings as perfect, but they can be noted for their service they provide for many writers, and can be seen as a great tool for the writer.