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Web Hosting - Is a Dedicated Server Worth What You Pay?
In reviewing web hosting plans, many web site owners are faced at some point with the decision of whether or not to pay for a dedicated server. A dedicated server is one which holds your site(s) exclusively. It's not shared with other sites. You then have the option to put one site or many on that piece of hardware.
But the decision is never easy. There are multiple considerations to take into account, far beyond just the higher dollar outlay that inevitably accompanies a dedicated server option.
Performance is (or should be) a prime consideration for the majority of site owners. Studies show that when a page doesn't load within about 10 seconds or less, almost everyone will give up and go elsewhere. The delay may be caused at any of a hundred different points in the chain between the server and the user. But often, it's the server itself.
In any case, it's important to eliminate the server as a possible bottleneck, since it's one of the few points over which the site owner can exercise some control.
That need for control extends further than just performance, however. Other aspects of the user experience can benefit or suffer from server behavior. Security is a prime example. With the continuing prevalence of spam and viruses, a server can easily get infected. Having only your site(s) on a single server makes that issue much easier to deal with.
With fewer sites on a server, there is less likelihood of getting infected in the first place. Also, since you will place a higher value on security than many others, it's easier to keep a dedicated server clean and your site well protected. You can use best practices in security to fortify your site. Having other sites on the server that you don't control raises the odds that your efforts are for nothing.
One way your efforts can get watered down is through IP address sharing. Less sophisticated hosting services will often assign a single IP address to a single server and multipe sites. That means your site is sharing the same IP address with other domains. That leaves you vulnerable in several ways.
Virus or spam attacks may target a particular IP address. If you have the same one as another site, one that is more likely to attract hostile intentions, you suffer for and with someone else.
In other cases an IP address range is assigned to the server, with each site receiving its own address from within that range. Though better than the one IP:server scenario, this still presents a vulnerability. Many attacks try a range of IP addresses, not just a single one.
But even legitimate sources can give you trouble when you share an IP address or a range. If another site engages in behavior that gets it banned, you can suffer the same fate if they ban the address or range. If the miscreant that shares your server/IP address or range is himself a spammer for example, and gets blacklisted, you can inadvertently be banned along with him. Using a dedicated server can overcome that problem.
There's a certain comfort level in knowing what is installed on the server you use, and knowing that you alone put it there. But a dedicated server option may require increased administration on your part. If you're not prepared to deal with that, you may have to pay still more to have your dedicated server managed by someone else.
All these factors have to be weighed carefully when considering a dedicated server plan.
Communication Key to a Better Work Environment Everyone knows the story of A Christmas Carole. On Christmas Eve, poor Bob Cratchit, who is working late again, spends his day working up the courage to ask his boss, Mr. Scrooge, if he can have Christmas Day off from work to spend with his family. When he finally does get up the nerve to ask, Mr. Scrooge lets forth a tirade over lazy people using Christmas as an excuse to have a day a off from work. This fictional story unfortunately rings true for a lot of people who have to work up the courage to ask for things from their employers. An employee who has to feel about their employer the way Bob Cratchit felt about Mr. Scrooge is not a very happy and productive employee. To get the most of out of your workers, you have to create a much more hospitable working environment. To create a better working environment, keeping the lines of communication open is absolutely crucial. How does communication work in your office? Do you get the impression that everyone is walking around on eggshells around you? While this kind of fear from your employees may be good for your ego in some senses, it is really bad for your business. When your employees don?t feel like they can talk to you, you will lose control over what is going on with your business. You may be the boss, but your employees are the ones who are actually on the front lines. To know what is really going on out there, you need your employees to communicate honestly with you. If they feel that you are unapproachable, they will hide problems and concerns from you, and you won?t be able to act to fix them. You can?t expect to run your business with half of the information about what is actually going on, and so your business will suffer for your ?mean boss? routine. There are still other problems with creating an office environment in which your employees feel like you are unapproachable. In general, there will be a dark cloud over the office when you are around. The stress will keep employee morale low, and employees with low morale are employees with low productivity. Besides, who wants to work hard for someone they cannot approach or who doesn?t show they any respect? Shutting down those lines of communication will definitely affect your bottom line as employees ?phone it in? because they don?t feel invested in making your business a success. If you want a better working environment, you have to improve the lines of communication. If there has been a communication breakdown in the past, take the time to address it with your staff. If you staff is small, talk to them each one on one, letting them know that your door is always open and that you want more regular communication with them. If you have a larger staff, schedule a meeting to address the issue. Weekly office meetings are a great way to keep communication channels open and swap ideas in the office environment. If weekly meetings are not feasible, find some way of touching base with your staff on a regular basis, either through weekly emails or a weekly newsletter. Also, you should encourage your staff to communicate with each other. Sharing information among the staff is a great way to generate fresh ideas and fresh approaches to problems. If your office is suffering from a communication problem, make nipping it in the bud a priority. The pay off will be more productive workers and a whole lot less stress. Who knew work could actually be a pleasant place to be?
Three Important Tips to Land Better Job Prospects If you are not satisfied with your current job or the job prospects that you are running across, it is time to revise your search. Use these three tips to help find the type of job prospects you are looking for. First of all, before you start your job search, figure out exactly what it is that you are looking for. Going out into the world and searching for any type of job is the perfect way to end up with an array of job prospects you are unsatisfied with. Think about the reasons why you are ready to leave your current job. Consider what things you are looking for in a career that your current job is not giving you. Are you looking for make more money? If so, only apply for jobs that will increase your income. Are you tired of working long hours and weekends? Then do not apply for jobs that will keep you at the office after hours and during family time on the weekends. By defining what exactly it is that you want in a job, you will be able to weed out the jobs you do not want. Once you are able to concentrate on the select few that have the qualities you are looking for, you will be able to put froth the effort necessary to get those jobs. Another thing that many people do when they are looking for a job is underestimating their own skills. You do not want to apply for jobs that you have absolutely no skills or training for unless they offer training, of course, but you can apply for jobs that you have some of the skills to do. For instance, if you are apply for an office job where that you need to be able to maintain the company website and you are familiar with the components of designing and maintaining a website, but have not done it on a regular basis, apply. On your resume explain that you have a working knowledge of html and other website tools. That way the employer will understand that you are not an expert at the task but you are capable of beginning, and with some help, finishing the task. Never misrepresent your skills on a resume. Instead, be honest and place emphasis on the skills that you do have. Apply for jobs that you have some of the skills for only. If you get an interview, be ready to impress the interviewer by being totally prepared. Speak confidently and make eye contact. Confidence can take you a long way when it comes to the job hunt. Shoot for the stars! If you want better job prospects you will need to believe that you deserve a better job. That means you will need to have some faith in yourself and be willing to apply for higher-level jobs. The only way you are going to get better job prospects is if you apply for the better jobs. Do not be intimidated by job descriptions. If you read a list of responsibilities and you cannot perform all of them yet, apply for the job. There is a good chance that you will be asked if you can perform the specific tasks of the job when you get an interview. This is the time to explain what tasks you are capable of performing. Better job prospects are highly attainable. You just have to clearly define what it is you want from a job and believe that you deserve and will get that type of job. Believe in yourself and you are halfway there.