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Web Hosting - Databases, What Are They and Do You Need One? 'Database' is one of the most commonly used terms that one encounters in web site design. Yet, what they really are and whether they're essential is often not clear to novices. A database is a collection of organized data, stored in files that have a specific structure. It's that organization and structure that allows for easy and rapid storage and retrieval. The need for a database generally only arises when you have a certain amount of information and that information needs to have some structure. If you have a half-dozen names and addresses to store, a database is usually overkill. If you have a blob of data with no relationships between any of the items in that blob, maintaining a database is usually more trouble than it's worth. Maintain a database? Yes, like other complex systems a database, to be effective, needs to be designed properly at the outset then kept 'tuned' for good performance. The alternative is to gradually allow the database to become more and more disorganized. That leads to difficulty in use, poor speed of retrieval and more frequent failures. With MySQL, Access or MS SQL Server, the three most common choices of database product for web sites today, setting up a database is relatively simple. Even those with limited technical skill can get one up and running just by following some simple instructions. But some thought should be given to how you want the information organized, and to maintaining the system during its lifetime. Suppose you have a set of names, addresses, email addresses, products purchased, date purchased and amount. If you have only a few dozen records it matters very little how these pieces are arranged and related. A database usually isn't even warranted in this scenario. Once you have several thousand or more records, it matters a lot. Speed, the ease of expanding the set of attributes (like adding, say, product category), and other issues come into play. Even those with little technical expertise, but a willingness to exert logical thought and invest some time, can build a very robust database. Think about how you would organize a set of data (called 'tables'). Should Name, Address, and Product be in the same table? Or should the personal information be stored in one table and any product information (product, price, ...) in another? Some experimentation may be needed to get it right, but the choices have an impact on how easy the tables are to maintain. It also affects the speed with which programs can fetch old data and store the new. Having a database also introduces new maintenance issues for the server administrator, since backups usually need to be done differently. Recovering a failed database is usually more complicated than simply re-copying files from yesterday. Ask your hosting company what tools and skills they have for dealing with any database system you consider. It's true that introducing a database creates more complexity and the need for additional thought and administrative effort. At a certain level, professional expertise will be needed. But clearly the advantages outweigh the costs in many cases. Companies large and small eventually use databases to store and organize data. At some point, you may be fortunate enough to be one of them.

Free Webhosting Resources for the Intrepid Net Newbie Web hosting is the new, big invention for anybody and anyone. Web hosting, having a web page on the Internet is not only a thing of big company and computer hobbyists anymore; it belongs to many parts of life nowadays. Whether it is a private page for family members and friends or open to everybody, many people aspire to have their own web page. Having an own web page can cost money and since money is something that everybody is short of nowadays, saving money and still having a own web page is the way to go. There are many resources on the Internet that can help one to a free web page. Some of the bigger web-hosting providers offer free limited size web pages to any private party. These pages are financed in several ways. One is through he bigger companies that pay for their pages and this service is such a small off spin that it can be fit in the budget. Another big way, the one that many free Internet and homepage providers offer is built in advertisement. The web page essentially has a header. In this header, different advertisements roll across. This way, the web hosting is paid by whoever is advertising on the web page. These wonderful free online web page providers also offer quick and easy software to create a web page. The days when one had to know how to program a web page in HTML is over. Hyper Text only needs to be known by serious web page designers who work to create the homepages of companies and sports giants. For the everyday homepage with a few links, using one of the built in software can create a few pictures, some text and some other fun gadgets. These programs are usually available on the main page of the web hosting provider and do not have to be downloaded. They run on the server. This software also come with easy getting started guides so that even the person who knows not much about web pages, but a little bit about the PC can create a web page. Web pages for the general public are getting more and more popular. Some companies that are looking for young and innovative employees will actually expect you to have an e-portfolio, a résumé or a good online web page. They judge by these e-portfolios. So when someone decides to tackle his or her first own web page it is important to think about the content first. One never knows who might actually be checking out the web page. Displaying Photos from old drinking parties might not be the best choice, while a résumé and work or private accomplishments might be the better choice. To find one of the free web hosting resource sites, anybody can just type free web pages or home pages or web hosting into anyone of the popular Internet search engine and a dozen different offers will pop up on the screen. By the way, if one does not want to use a provider that displays advertisement on the web page, a tech savvy person is able to use his or her own PC as a server if it is connected to the internet. There are programs out there, that will turn a PC into a Server and this web hosting resource is just as free as the online offers from big companies, but it has the advantage that it is free of any annoying advertisements. Whichever version is chosen, it is always important to be careful on the Internet. There are fraudulent pages, viruses and more that can take the fun out of web hosting and the first own web page. Always checking for the credentials of a web page is one safe way to stay clear of danger on the Internet.

Four Ways to Create a Better Work Environment and Increase Job Productivity What kind of environment do you think creates the most potential for job productivity – one in which everything is very regimented and the workers perform their work because they are afraid of “getting in trouble,” or one in which the workers are relaxed and allowed a great deal of freedom and flexibility? It is the great working conundrum – to get workers to do more, you have to let them work less. Further, you have to create a work environment in which work is not stressful. In fact, creating an environment in which work is even enjoyable and a pleasure gets the best results of all! If you want to get your employees to improve their job productivity and job performance, forget about cracking the whip. Instead, think about how you can make coming to work appealing for them, so they actually want to get things done for you! The first way to create a better work environment and increase job productivity comes down very much to your attitude and the way you treat your employees. Make sure you create an environment in which your workers can come to you and discuss work related problems they are having with you. The feedback you get from them will enable to make sure the office is working as efficiently as possible. Additionally, it will allow you to stay on top of everything that is happening in the office much easier – instead of employees trying to hide mistakes and problems from you, they will bring them to your attention and work on finding a solution. Above all else, creating a good relationship with your employees will keep the mood in the office positive – no one likes working for someone who doesn’t appreciate them or casts a black cloud over the office. You’ll get more out of your employees if they are happy when they are at work. The next thing you can do is consider “fun” options, like a dress down day once a week or a weekly office lunch get together. These kinds of shared activities increase the team building and the morale among the workers in your office. When everyone feels like he or she is a member of a team, they will be more likely to feel responsible to each other and perform better at their daily tasks. The third idea for creating a better office environment is related to the second, but has more to do with the actual office itself. Open plan offices are believed by experts to increase feelings of belonging and team membership among employees. Try to encourage shared workspaces and a healthy exchange of ideas between your employees at all times. Again, when employees feel like they are part of a team working together for a common goal, they will be more likely to make sure they are holding up their end of the bargain. Last but not least, make sure your employees are well rested and as stress free as possible. Allowing flex time hours in your office is a great way to give employees more control over their time; it gives them time to get rest when they need it or take a day off when they need to recharge. Encourage your employees to disconnect from the office when they are not at work instead of being constantly available, even after hours or when they are on vacation. An employee who actually gets some time off will be more productive when they return to the office. Likewise, make sure that the office has a break room that offers a real respite for employees during the day, and encourage employees to make use of it. Allowing your employees to get they breaks they will increase their ability to deliver for you when they return.

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.