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Web Hosting - Free vs Paid Web Hosting Options
Everyone likes to get something for free. But as the existence of spam shows, free isn't always good. Sometimes, it's downright harmful. Deciding whether it's worth the cost to pay for hosting involves a number of complex considerations.
Hosting companies that offer free services obviously can't stay in business from the money they make from you, since there isn't any. So why do they offer free hosting and how do they make money? Why should you care, so long as you get yours? Because, in reality, there's a price of some kind for everything, even something that's free.
Free hosting may come from a company doing a promotion to attract business. They expect to demonstrate their value, then charge an existing customer base fees to make up for what they lost by the (short term) offer. It's in essence a form of advertising.
But free hosting is offered by lots of companies that are not dedicated to managing servers for websites. Google, Yahoo and thousands of others provide a modest amount of disk space and a domain name on a server for free. Users are free to do anything they like with it, though if the load becomes excessive you can be shut down.
That introduces one of the more obvious drawbacks to free hosting: resource limitations.
Typically free hosting offers a relatively small amount of space. That's often enough to host a few dozen pages. But an active site can quickly run out of room.
A more serious limitation is load.
Free hosting often places strict limitations on the allowed amount of bandwidth consumed. If you become a well-visited site, when users start banging away on the server, you can be asked to leave or simply be blocked for the rest of the month. Or, you may be permitted a certain quantity of total bandwidth use per month. Once it's reached, no one else can reach your site until the beginning of a new month.
At the same time, you will certainly be sharing equipment with thousands of other sites. Their load can affect your performance, prompting you to move. Migrating an established site brings with it a number of thorny issues that might be better avoided in the first place.
Free hosting has another potential downside: lack of support. When you pay for hosting you typically get, at least in theory, a certain level of support. Backups in case of disaster recovery from a hack or server failure, assistance in analyzing connection problems... the variety is endless. With free hosting you usually get none of that.
A company or site that offers free hosting will usually recover a disk or server that fails completely and you'll be back up when they do. But if only selected portions of the drive fail, or you lose a few files through a virus attack or accidental deletion, you have to rely on backups to recover. A free service will usually come with no such option.
That may not be a problem if you have a small site. You can make copies of everything at another location and simply recover the site yourself - if you have the discipline to keep it current and the skills to make and restore the copy.
Free hosting will typically come with a few email addresses, intended to be used for administration and other tasks. But if your needs grow beyond that, you'll need to seek another option. The email service also comes with minimal oversight. The server may be protected against spam attacks and provide virus scanning. But few free services will provide even minimal help with any issues that arise.
But the most serious limitation may have nothing to do with any technical issues. Free hosting services often require that your site's pages carry some form of advertising that pays the host, not you. That may be fine for you, or it may not. Individual circumstances vary.
On the other hand, if you're just starting out, a free hosting option can be a great way to learn needed skills and a few of the potential pitfalls. You can set up a site, learn how to maintain and improve it, and not care too much if it gets hacked. Freely hosted sites can be a great platform for learning the ropes.
Free services don't usually offer any of the features that an active, commercial site will need sooner or later. So if you plan to grow, it may be reasonable to get the free service for a while, knowing you'll have to migrate when you become popular. But in the long run, you get what you pay for and you may need to pay for what you want.
Self-Publishing and Other Options Online (how to get a book published online) There?s no question about it. There is more room for more types of writing on the internet. Many people know that getting a book published for the book store shelves is next to impossible. The competition is overwhelming. Most successful writers have already achieved fame and so are able to write book after book. The unknown, though still talented writers are shut out. Publishing books is expensive and time consuming. There are only so many readers in the world. To keep the ratios between writers and readers comfortable, less than one percent of would be writers actually get published. That is all changing now. The internet is big enough for everyone it seems. It offers many more, less expensive publishing opportunities. It also gives exposure to aspiring writers allowing them more chances to impress the hard copy publishers. So, the opportunities are there. Do you want to know how to get a book published online? Is Self-Publishing Cheating? Self-publishing is certainly not cheating. Depending on what your goals are of course, it may or may not be a direction you would like to take. In the hard copy world, self-publishing is cost prohibitive. Actually getting a book into print costs more money than a typically poor beginning writer can muster. That is the great thing about the internet. It?s free. You can either start up a free website of your own and post your novel, or pay a small monthly sum and attempt to sell your writing online. By paying for a website you will be allowed to sell a product from that site. If you can write well enough to catch someone?s attention, they may be willing to pay for a download of your book. That is how to get a book published online. Just do it yourself. You circumvent the normal book publishing costs and still get some exposure. You just may luck out and get the attention of someone who thinks you could make money off of your writing. If you?d really like to hurry up the process to getting your books in print, there is another route to go. Pay to Be Published Everything is cheaper when done ?en masse?. There are book publishers that reduce the cost of publishing by running the presses all of the time. If you?d like to know about another way of how to get a book published online, this is it. With publishing companies though, you don?t have to dream about getting your book on the shelves. The online self-publishing companies require a fee ? which will be much less than if you were to try to print yourself. They use your money to get your writing into print. You have the option of publishing your own book, or for a much smaller investment, to be included in an anthology. You won?t get as much exposure as from a big name publishing company, but it will be significant nonetheless. E-Book Publishers A third road to travel if you?re wondering how to get a book published online is that of e-books. They are another form of writing that can get you the practice and exposure that you need. Instead of writing on a topic of your choice though, e-book assignments are centered on topics that a typical person will search for online. They are normally informative and how-to books. They are usually short and to the point. E-book publishers are willing to pay experienced and capable writers to create book length, researched writing. How about adding that to your resume? Publishing a book online is easier than publishing in the world of hard copy. The end result is not as glorified, but it is a step towards success in the published realm. The more experience you can get writing, the better writer you will be. As the internet becomes more depended upon, you may find yourself on the frontline of the publishing movement.
Free Baby Stuff Requires a Visit to Babies Online Babies online is the page on the Internet when it comes to free stuff for the baby and new parent. The page offers any parent resources about the growing baby. Anything from personalized weekly calendars, over calculators to articles and information can be found on this web page. All the information offered on the page is freely available to anybody who signs up for their free membership. Under the top pages offered by babies online are pages that contain links to other free baby web sites, fun birthday facts, a weekly pregnancy calendar, due date calculator, baby?s first year, baby photo contest, baby names and meanings, baby freebies and a baby?s online blog. These pages are visited by the most users and are also most frequently used by members of the page. All these pages offer information around pregnancy and the infancy. Some of the pages offer advice on many of the questions that parents have in their first year of parent hood or before during pregnancy. The baby pages section of the website offers anybody to have an online birth announcement for the newborn, to read other peoples birth announcement and even to create or read other women?s pregnancy journals. Anyone can create his or her own and then sent links to all their friends to show off their little one over cyberspace. Not only does this save the writing and buying of all those birth announcement cards, it also saves the stamps and printed pictures that generally are included in birth announcements. The freebies page offers users links to free baby websites, links to free baby product samples, free pregnancy wristbands, free photo prints, free baby coupons and even freebie alerts. The free baby?s web site section lets parents create a web page that is completely centered on their new addition and give the new parents a chance to share their precious with all their friends and family. In the free baby product sample section a parent can find anything from free magazine subscriptions to those famous parenting magazines, to formula samples and children?s books. Due to the ten year anniversary of the page the web site offers pregnant mothers a free pregnancy bracelet. It is not only sleek and fancy, but is also there to alert any doctors or other personnel of the mother?s pregnancy status in any kind of situation, such as fainting, unconsciousness or an accident. A link to a related photo-processing place offers free photos for parents. Shipping as well as the prints is free to anyone that signs up to receive this offer. The online photo page offers any of the services a local photo store or photo lab might offer. Cards, picture prints, enlargements, photo gifts, calendars and more can be bought from this online site additionally to the free prints. On the online babies coupons and sample page users can find links to good deals, links to coupons and links to free samples. This part of the page is sure worth checking out. Some of the deals are for baby gear and baby food, while others also have links to places that offer deals on toddler?s and younger children?s clothing items. Even if it is just the beginning of pregnancy, checking out what is available online; especially on babies online can have great advantages. Some of the links offer new parents and parents to be many samples of different formulas, if this is going to be the choices to feed the baby, parents have a chance to try the different formulas and additionally get coupons for their favorite one. Not just the coupons, but also the free tools and journals on the web page make it worth to check it out. So go ahead and surf the web page to get up to date with newest baby information.
Web Hosting - Managing Disk Space Few things are less exciting than managing the disk space that always seems to be in too short a supply. But few things are more important to the health and well being of your site. The most obvious aspect of managing disk space is the need to have enough. If you have only a few dozen web pages, that's not an issue. But as the amount of information (web pages, database content and more) grows, the quantity of free space goes down. That's important for two reasons. All permanent information on a computer is stored on hard drives. Temporary information is often stored in memory only. The two components are completely separate, though they are sometimes confused with one another. As the amount of free space on the hard drive decreases several effects occur. Here's one way to picture them... Imagine you had a table with a certain area and you lay out playing cards on the table. At first, you lay them out in order, the 2 at the side of the 3, then 4, and so on. But then you pick up one or two cards from the middle and discard them. Then you add some more cards. Pretty soon things look pretty random. Now cover the cards with a big opaque sheet of paper. You want the cards to appear in order when displayed to someone. A special robot could be designed to always pick up the cards from underneath the sheet in order. Or, it could slide a hole in the sheet over the cards to display them in the correct order (2, 3, 4, ...), no matter what order they are really in. That's similar to how the operating system always shows you information in a sensible way, even though it's actually stored randomly. Why should you care? Real files are stored in pieces scattered around the drive wherever there is space for them. The more free space there is, the quicker the operating system can find a place to store a new piece. That means, if you delete the junk you no longer need (and free up more space) the system actually runs quicker. It helps create space you might need, and allows the operating system to store files for you faster. But there's a second effect. As you delete old files or change them, the pieces get more and more scattered. It takes the 'robot' longer and longer to fetch or display the 'cards' in order. Existing files are fetched and put together 'on the fly' (say, when you request a graphical page or a list of names). But, it takes longer to put together the web page when there are more scattered pieces. So, the other aspect of managing disk space is to keep the pieces of the files more or less in order. A utility that does that is called a 'de-fragger' or de-fragmentation program. You can request that a system administrator run it, or if you have the authority, you can run it yourself. That keeps the 'cards' in order and allows for quicker access to them. So, managing disk space involves chiefly three things: (1) keeping enough space to store what you need to store, and also (2) keeping enough free space to make new file storage quick and (3) making old file retrieval fast by keeping things orderly. When only a few files are involved the benefit isn't worth the effort. But as the number and size of the files grow, to thousands of files or several gigabytes of data, the effect becomes more noticeable. Keeping things organized then makes a significant difference in performance. Much of this can be automated using utilities. Some will delete files in a certain folder older than a certain date. A de-fragger can be set to run automatically during times of light usage, or quietly in the background at all times. Discuss the options with your system administrator and help him or her do the job better by keeping your house in order. You'll benefit by having a better performing web site.