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Web Hosting - Bandwidth and Server Load, What's That?
Two key performance metrics will impact every web site owner sooner or later: bandwidth and server load.
Bandwidth is the amount of network capacity available, and the term actually covers two different aspects. 'Bandwidth' can mean the measure of network capacity for web traffic back and forth at a given time. Or, it sometimes is used to mean the amount that is allowed for some interval, such as one month. Both are important.
As files are transferred, emails sent and received, and web pages accessed, network bandwidth is being used. If you want to send water through a pipe, you have to have a pipe. Those pipes can vary in size and the amount of water going through them at any time can also vary.
Total monthly bandwidth is a cap that hosting companies place on sites in order to share fairly a limited resource. Companies monitor sites in order to keep one site from accidentally or deliberately consuming all the network capacity. Similar considerations apply to instantaneous bandwidth, though companies usually have such large network 'pipes' that it's much less common for heavy use by one user to be a problem.
Server load is a more generic concept.
It often refers, in more technical discussions, solely to CPU utilization. The CPU (central processing unit) is the component in a computer that processes instructions from programs, ordering memory to be used a certain way, moving files from one place to the next and more.
Every function you perform consumes some CPU and its role is so central (hence the name) that it has come to be used as a synonym for the computer itself. People point to their case and say 'That is the CPU'. But, the computer actually has memory, disk drive(s) and several other features required in order to do its job.
Server load refers, in more general circumstances, to the amount of use of each of those other components in total.
Disk drives can be busy fetching files which they do in pieces, which are then assembled in memory and presented on the monitor, all controlled by instructions managed by the CPU.
Memory capacity is limited. It's often the case that not all programs can use as much as they need at the same time. Special operating system routines control who gets how much, when and for how long, sharing the total 'pool' among competing processes.
So, how 'loaded' the server is at any given time or over time is a matter of how heavily used any one, or all, of these components are.
Why should you care?
Because every web site owner will want to understand why a server becomes slow or unresponsive, and be able to optimize their use of it.
When you share a server with other sites, which is extremely common, the traffic other sites receive creates load on the server that can affect your site. There's a limited amount you can do to influence that situation. But if you're aware of it, you can request the company move you to a less heavily loaded server. Or, if the other site (which you generally have no visibility to) is misbehaving, it's possible to get them moved or banned.
But when you have a dedicated server, you have much more control over load issues. You can optimize your own site's HTML pages and programs, tune a database and carry out other activities that maximize throughput. Your users will see that as quicker page accesses and a more enjoyable user experience.
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.
Everywhere You Look There are Creative Writing Prompts (creative writing prompts) As glamorous as creative writing prompt sounds, it is nothing more than they start of an idea for your writings. A prompt could be virtually anything from a picture to a dream, whatever gives you that ?Oh that would be a great story? feeling is your prompt. Like a movie preview it gives you a taste of what is to come or a sample at a store that makes you want to buy the product. It could be a single word or a collaboration of words. Whatever it takes to get the story into your head and then onto the paper would be considered a creative writing prompt. The need of finding creative writing prompts often stems from having writers block. If coming up with your own prompts has become difficult don?t worry. There a literally millions of prompts out there. You just need to find the right ones for you. Take the Internet for example. Do a search for creative writing prompts. You now have pages and pages of story starter?s right at your fingertips. You have many options available while searching for prompts. From one or two words starters to a brief synopsis of an idea they are available to you. Some sites offer daily prompts. They will even email them to you. There are many books available with nothing but lists of prompts just waiting to be turned into great stories from your mind. There are a lot of writers that feel that using lists of prewritten prompts by someone else is cheating. They feel that all prompts used must be their own. But truth be told, there is not a creative writing prompt that has not been wrote about. It is the creation that comes after the prompt that makes the writing your own. The prompt is not what your creative writing is all about, but a springboard for your imagination. It is merely what opens the portal to your imagination, to your passion, and to your thoughts. Sitting at your computer and staring at the blank page will most likely give you a headache before a great idea. Go outside, close you eyes, and clear your mind. Listen to the sounds around you. What do you hear? Children?s laughter, neighbors chatting, or ever the birds chirping. Let those sounds drift away and your mind float. Slowly letting things come back into your mind, your last trip to the beach, your kids at the playground, your spouse cooking dinner any of these can be an idea jogger that gets the creative writing flowing. These thoughts alone could spark a hundred ideas just waiting to be words on your canvas. It also may help to keep a notebook with you at all times. That way whenever you have a great idea you can jot it down before it escapes you. Many writers only use creative writing prompts from outside sources. They are given to them by editors and publishers telling the writer what they want you to write about. Some writers work better this way being given the idea and running with it. Others prefer using their own. Creative writing prompts not only help initiate ideas, they also help spark your memory for you to write about your own past experiences and adventures. You can use them for writings on your website or blog. Whether you use outside sources for your inspiration or use your own it does not affect the integrity of the words that complete the idea. The story behind the prompt is the vision of your creative abilities, not the prompt itself.
The Options For Online Creative Writing Courses (online creative writing courses) Online courses are ever growing in popularity. Many consumers don?t have the patience, money, or time to attend regular college classes, so many of them has turned to the Internet as their means of education. The online course phenomenon is especially helpful for many writers, as more and more writers find it both convenient and helpful to take online creative writing courses. Online courses are also known as distance learning courses, because of course the student is not in the classroom, or even the school when the course is taken. These distance courses have been seen as one of the best ways for a busy writer to brush up on their skills or learn new ones. Taking creative writing courses gives writers many options, such as working at their own pace. Many writers are too busy to attend class and enjoy the freedom giving by online courses. The distance courses give students the freedom to work at their own pace while learning everything that is needed. Students also don?t have a set time for the courses, so they may choose when they want to learn. An online course gives the writer time to fulfil all of their other duties. Online creative writing courses are easy to find, and there are plenty of programs offered by online writing schools. Writers Weekly University is one online school that offers creative writing courses for the busy writer. The university offers e-mail courses for freelance writers and aspiring novelists. They offer courses such as The Art of the Press Release, Finish Your Novel in eight Weeks, and How to Write a Cookbook and Sell It. Published writers and editors usually teach the online courses offered by Writers Weekly University. The courses may be inexpensive, and typically range from $25 to $745, but the price is based on the length and complexity of the course. Writers? Village University is also a school that offers online creative writing courses. Writers? Village University is one of the most popular sources for online writing courses, and offers more than 250 courses. The courses offered by this university are paid for in a non-traditional way. There is no payment required for the actual courses taken, but instead a membership fee, which gives writers unlimited access to hundreds of online creative writing courses. The Writers? Village University is also one of the most inexpensive with a membership fee of $69 per year or $10.99 per month, which for many is less than the cost for Internet access. The university offers courses in fiction writing, comedy writing, literature, business writing, and poetry. However, the schools for writers don?t stop with the Writers? Village. There are many more online schools that offer writing courses to consumers. Writers Online Workshops is also an online writing university that offers writers the creative courses they want and need. This university is facilitated by Writer?s Digest, and the courses are said to be taught by the best writers. The creative writing courses at this university range from fiction writing to business writing to poetry to composition. The Writers Online Workshops are far more expensive than other online creative writing courses, and typically start at $200. The courses provided by this university also require textbooks, so students will feel as if they are attending a regular university. Online creative writing courses may not be for every writer, but they can help a writer improve their skills while obtaining some education in the field they love. The courses may not be foolproof, but they may be a great benefit to every writer who wants to take them and wants to learn more about writing.