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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.
Web Hosting - Email Issues When you build a web site, you often provide a means for users to communicate with you. One of the most common 'add-ons' to a web site is the addition of some kind of email access. Email is used to sign users up for newsletters, provide communication for administrative issues and a hundred other uses. But, as everyone sadly knows, email problems can occur. Virus infection is among the most common, though the situation is actually better today than in the past. Huge efforts, and some progress, has been made over the past 10 years to reduce the number and severity of virus attacks. Hackers haven't surrendered, far from it. But they're on the defensive like never before. Many of those viruses were (and are) spread through email, usually in the form of email attachments. That's the source of the now-common advice never to open an attachment from someone you don't know. Professionals will often extend that advice to suggest you never open an attachment that's unexpected, even if it's from someone you know. Well-meaning, but computer-challenged friends often accidentally forward virus infected emails. Spam has taken over the top spot for email annoyances. It's estimated by various different professional sources that 92-97% of all email sent today is spam. While the definition varies, spam is generally regarded as any unwanted commercial email sent by someone whom the recipient doesn't know or have a business relationship with. Spam clutters email inboxes, requires people to sift through to find valid messages, and often contains offensive messages in some form. But, it's a fact of life and isn't going away anytime soon. Even though laws are in place, thousands of spammers continue to risk fines or jail for the chance of making money from that small percentage who will open the unwanted email. Other forms of email problems are even more severe for many web site owners. When the mechanisms fail that they rely on to send and receive messages to and from their users, that's a problem. Dealing with those problems can range from sending an email or instant message to an administrator, to tracking down the right person to get your site removed from a blacklist. Email is the communications vehicle of choice for millions everyday. When the system burps, someone has to take time to do something about it. Often, that means relying on a person who is already overburdened with too many issues to resolve. So, besides pointing out some sad facts or complaining, what's the point? All of the above shows just one more area you should look at when selecting a web host or deciding whether to move to another. Just as with server or network administration, companies vary in their ability to deal with email-related issues. Some are responsive and super-competent. Others, are simply indifferent or worse. And many are in between. Email administration, like server maintenance or network management, is a professional specialty. Skill in one does not necessarily mean quality work in another. Finding a web hosting company and/or system that has few email problems, and solves them quickly when they occur, is an important task. Spend some time researching who provides superior support in email. You'll be happy you did.
Some Beginner Tips for Writing a Book (writing a book) Before you begin your book writing adventure, you must research your idea and see if it will fly. Who is going to read it? Who are you trying to appeal to with your words? You must have a general idea of who your intended audience will be. Check out other books. Is there a book already published that resembles your book? What will make your book unique from theirs? If there are similar books already out there, what is going to make your book different and make people want to buy it? If you are still reading, then it is safe to assume that you have your idea under control and are ready to more on in writing a book. Decide on a schedule that is best for you, one that you will be able to stick to. It will be very frustrating to you if have unrealistic expectations and then are unable to stick to them. Your schedule should begin before your research and carry through to the book being ready for publication. Make a detailed outline with the main plot, events leading to that plot, and explicit detail about the characters. By having more information about the character you will be able to become them as you are writing. By having background on them, even if it is irrelevant to the story, it may help while choosing their actions, dialogue, and feelings through out the book. An outline is also a good reference point to come back to double check your timelines and details. You may want to turn of you editing software for your first draft. While writing a book the first draft is when you begin meshing the plot, the characters, and everything together. Grammar, spelling, and punctuation can be fixed later. Remember books do not necessarily have to be written front to back. By writing different chapters or events it may be easier for you to come back and connect them later. Sometimes having the words on the paper and reading will make it easier to fill in the blanks. You are on a role and rough draft is finished. Now is the time to read it. When writing a book reading the rough draft will allow you to make sure that there are no errors in the timeline, that plots link with the characters, and that it all makes sense and flows together. Once you have accomplished that turn your editing software back on. It is time to fix your grammar, spelling, and punctuation mistakes. Now put you book aside. Let it sit for about two weeks or so before you pick it up again. This will give your mind time to be clear and fresh. Now read the book again. Does it still flow and make sense? Do you need to add something or change it? Now is the time. Choose someone to proofread your book for you. If at all possible you should hire a professional editor to do this. But if you cannot ask a colleague or maybe someone else you know with a writing or English background. While giving professional advice they will also be able to offer you and unbiased opinion. They will be able to see if there is a jump in the timeline you didn?t notice or if you had a character in the beginning and they just disappeared. The last thing to do while writing a book is creating the final draft. The final draft should be error free. This is your last chance to change anything before it goes to the publisher. Now is when all that time you spent writing a book comes together to make its trip to publication.
Reinventing Yourself Can Make a Difference in Landing a Better Job Are you stuck in a dead end job that isn?t getting you any closer to your goals? Did you wake up one morning to find yourself knee deep in a career you never wanted and one that is not making you happy? Many people feel this way ? it can be easy to ?fall into? a career that you think is temporary and then get so caught up in the day to day aspects of the job that never quite get out of it. If you find yourself in this kind of rut, the good news is that it is never too late to make a fresh start. No matter what your age is or what stage in your career you are at, you can always reinvent yourself to get closer to that perfect job. All you have to do is work up the courage to make the jump. The first step in giving yourself a career makeover is identifying exactly what you want to do. While it may be true that there is always time to reinvent yourself and start over, if you have to go through the process too many times, you are only wasting valuable time that could have been spent doing what you love. Don?t fall into yet another career that isn?t all that is it cracked up to be. Think about the things that you wanted to do when you first entered the working world. What was your dream job then? What career field was your passion? Is it still what you want to be doing today? Discover your dream, and then start building your goals around it. Once you know what you want to do, the time comes to start researching it. How do most people get started in the field? Will you need to start your own business, or are there companies out there already doing what you want to do? What kinds of entry level positions are available? Will you be able to do this in your town, or would moving to another city mean more opportunities for you? Before you make the leap, research your job options carefully. You may need to plan financially for the step you are about to take, so do your homework up front. Talking to other people in the field you want to enter is a great way to get actionable advice from people who have been there. When you know what kind of experience you will need to get started in the field of your dreams, think about the experience you have had in the past, and what you have done that matches up. This can mean either work related experience or things you have done as a hobby or class you have taken in school. Be creative here ? you may have experience you don?t even realize you have. For instance, if you want to open a bakery, and you are always in charge of the bake sale at your child?s school, this counts as experience. Comb through your history and pick out all of the things you have done that will give you a leg up in your new career. Last but not least, you have start creating a new image to present to the working world. Start over with a brand new resume, this time highlighting the experience you have this is relevant to your new career goals. Work on a great cover letter that explains your passion and why you want to switch fields. If you are starting your own business, work on building a website and creating a brand you can be proud of. The sooner you start living your new career, the sooner your dream job will fall into place.