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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.
Web Hosting - Look Before You Leap Companies that offer Internet-connected servers that provide space and bandwidth for a domain, for one or more web sites, are called Web Hosts. Large companies have private networks that allow them to host domains on their own equipment and IP address range. But for the majority of those who want an Internet presence, a 'rented' web host is a necessity. There are a wide variety of hosting plans available. Some are free, others charge up to a $100 or more per month. Some provide nothing but a tiny amount of disk space and minimal network bandwidth. The web site owner is on his or her own for any thing else. Others offer a range of services, including server and email administration, backups, web site design assistance, troubleshooting and many others. In the world of web hosting, you may often find yourself sharing a server with anywhere from one to a thousand or more other web sites. That allows the web hosting company to keep equipment and staff expenses lower. Many web sites are simple and low-volume enough that the arrangement works fine. When you or one or more of the others grow, it may be helpful to consider a dedicated server. A dedicated server, as the name suggests, hosts only your domain. You can put one web site on it, or as many as you wish. You control the access. You may also, as an option, take over much of the server administration yourself. That may save you money on support costs, but cost you considerable time. If you don't have the expertise, you can end up costing yourself much more than you save. In order to carry out those administrative functions yourself, even if you hire help, it's desirable to have some technical knowledge under your belt. Some of that knowledge will be useful, even for day-to-day tasks apart from dealing with emergencies. FTP, email administration, backup methods and other technical areas are among the more common areas you'll need to be at least somewhat familiar with. When your web site grows to a certain size and level of complexity, you'll begin to find it worthwhile to look at implementing a database. But that brings with it a still higher level of ability, both technical and logistical or creative. Implementing a database can be relatively simple. Designing one that provides what you want, with decent performance and maintenance that doesn't become a nightmare, will take some careful thought. Not everyone has the temperament for that type of work, especially those who prefer graphical design, content creation or development, and the many other web site tasks that are part of every implementation. There are other, more low level administrative matters. Managing disk space, maintaining domain names, dealing with registration and changes, and a number of other 'utilitarian' tasks are also not everyone's cup of tea. Some understanding of how DNS works, as well as the design of the Internet itself, are helpful. That provides a good context for understanding the role of some of those tasks. When you begin to seek out a web host to implement a web site, consider all these factors and look in the mirror. What kind of web hosting you should pursue is determined by a combination of who you are and what's being offered. Look before you leap.
Do and Don?ts of the Interview Process No one likes job interviews. From the moment you schedule the interview you are under a microscope. Your potential employers waiting for you to make the move that make you stand out or eliminates you from being a candidate for the job. This necessary dance that just about everyone, has to go through can be mastered. Learn the key things to do to become a high-ranking candidate for a job. First of all, before you go to the interview be prepared. Having copies of your resume and pens are only half the battle. Where exactly is the office located? Do not leave the location or the interview site up to chance. The only way to know exactly where your interview is and how much travel time you should allow is to go there. Even if you are interviewing out of town, find out how long the drive is to the interview. Nothing disqualifies you, in most cases, faster than being late for your interview. Before you are sitting across from the interviewer, accumulate some knowledge about the company. Knowing about the position is not enough. Everyone that interviews will have read the advertisement for the position. You need to be armed with information about the company. Have they won any service awards? Are they ranked as one of the best companies in America to work for? Find out and impress the interviewer. Another way to impress the interviewer is to have intelligent, thoughtful questions to ask. Ask about productivity, benefits or training procedures. Show that you have done your homework and are truly extend about the position. Be attentive and bring the interviewer as much information as possible about yourself. If you have a portfolio or reference letters, be sure you take them to the interview. Also be prepared with complete work history and information as well as past residency information. Be ready to answer a few probing questions. Why do you want the job you have applied for? What makes this a good time for a job or career change? Have some intelligent answers for these questions. Interviews will know if you are nervous. No matter how badly you need the job, do not appear desperate. Show that you believe in yourself and are confident about your ability to do the job. Speak in terms of when you get the job opposed to it. While this is a bold move it is a way to reinforce the idea of you being chosen for the job. This is a trick for both you and the interviewer. No matter how true this may be, never tell the interviewer that you ?really need a job?. If this is what you tell the interviewer they will think that you are willing to take any job. Also, never talk negatively about your current boss or co-workers. Give as objective view as possible if you are asked about your current job relationship. Inquire about the next interviewing steps. This will not only show the interviewer that you are interested in the position it will also give you some time to prepare if you are called for the next interviewing step. Be sure to keep a notebook in your car so you can jot down notes immediately after you leave the interview. This is the best way to keep track of important facts about the position. In a day or so, mail a thank you card to your interviewer. This could be the added interest they are waiting to see from you in order to eliminate the other candidates.