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Web Hosting - Changing Web Hosts, Pitfalls and Planning At some point, nearly everyone finds it necessary to change web hosts. It may be just a migration to another server, or it may be changing web hosting companies entirely. Either way, the process is fraught with potential dangers. But there are ways to minimize the odds of problems and maximize your changes of a smooth migration. Plan, plan, plan. Make a very detailed list of everything that is on your current system. Review what is static and what changes frequently. Note any tailoring done to software and files. Be prepared to remake them if the systems aren't transferred properly or can't be restored. Keep careful track of all old and new names, IP addresses and other information needed to make the migration. Backup and Test Backup everything on your system yourself, whenever possible. Web hosting companies typically offer that as a service, but the staff and/or software are often less than par. Often backups appear to go well, but they're rarely tested by restoring to a spare server. When the time comes that they're needed, they sometimes don't work. Do a dry run, if you can. Restore the system to its new location and make any needed changes. If you have the host name and or IP address buried in files, make sure it gets changed. This is often true of databases. SQL Server on Windows, for example, picks up the host name during installation. Moving a single database, or even multiple ones, to a new server is straightforward using in-built utilities or commercial backup/restore software. But moving certain system-related information may require changing the host name stored inside the master database. Similar considerations apply to web servers and other components. Accept Some Downtime Be prepared for some downtime. Very few systems can be picked up, moved to another place, then brought online with zero downtime. Doing so is possible, in fact it's common. But in such scenarios high-powered professionals use state-of-the-art tools to make the transition seamless. Most staff at web hosting companies don't have the skills or the resources to pull it off. Prepare for Name Changes One aspect of moving to a new host can bedevil the most skilled professionals: changing domain names and or domain name/IP address combinations. When you type a URL into your browser, or click on one, that name is used because it's easier for people to remember. www.yahoo.com is a lot easier to remember than 209.131.36.158. Yet the name and or name/IP address combination can (and does) change. Still, specialized servers called DNS (Domain Name System) servers have to keep track of them. And there are a lot of them. There may be only two (rarely) or there may be a dozen or more DNS servers between your visitors' browsers/computers and your web host. Every system along the chain has to keep track of who is who. When a name/IP address changes, that pair has to be communicated to everyone along the chain, and that takes time. In the meantime, it's possible for one visitor to find you at the new place, while another will be pointing to the old one. Some amount of downtime will usually occur while everything gets back in sync. The Little Gotchas But even apart from name and IP address changes, there are a hundred little things that can, and often do, go wrong. That's not a disaster. It's just the normal hurdles that arise when changing something as complicated as a web site and the associated systems that underlie it. Gather Tools and Support Having an FTP program that you're familiar with will help facilitate the change. That will allow you to quickly move files from one place to the next to do your part to get the system ready to go or make repairs. Making the effort to get to know, and become friendly with, support staff at the new site can be a huge benefit. They may be more willing to address your problem before the dozen others they have to deal with at any given moment. Ok. On your mark. Get ready. Go.

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.

Check Volition.com for the Best Free Stuff Connections on the Web The web page itself states that it is ?the oldest free stuff site on the Internet?. In its design, it is very similar to very many of the free stuff pages on the web. Links and listings are used to guide free stuff and freebie seekers to their desired products. The site depends largely on visitors mailing in new links with freebies or suggesting new promotions. Similar to many other pages on the internet that offer free stuff, there is now guarantee and any offer that is accepted needs to be checked by the customer for validity. Internet fraud is a very real problem and especially in classified sections, internet fraud can trap many inexperienced and even experienced internet users. Volition offers one section, where users can sign up for movie prescreening tickets. These tickets are available for a list of participating cities for the newest movies on the market. Not any minor movies, the big Hollywood ones can be prescreened for free when signing up regularly for the ticket contest. The web page itself tries not to offer links and freebies that are commonly available on the Internet and tries this way to stand out form other free stuff online pages. The web page?s web master keeps the links up to date, but should a user experience any problems or find links that are not working any more it is important to let the web master of the page know. Only this way the page can stay up to date and as a good resource for anybody who is looking for free stuff. Another great section on volition is the section where users can find links to places that pay their visitors and signed up member?s money to participate in certain things. Users can get paid for participating in surveys, for e-mailing, for shopping, for Internet surfing and much more. Even if one is not really in need of money, these links are worth to be checked out, even just for fun. One great way to earn money is by shopping. Mystery shoppers are paid by big companies to do what most Americans like best, buy, buy and buy more products. To be able to check out this earning possibility the web page offers links and supportive advice from people that are just doing that. Classifieds are also part of the web page. This section offers products for sale. Anything from cars, to personal and regular buy/sell ads can be found in this section. Well worth checking out when somebody is looking to pay less on an item. For a whole different crowd, the web page also offers links for web design. Someone that is interested in having his or her own page can get started by visiting one of these useful links displayed on volition. These links offer anything from web design tutorials to free code and free gadgets for web pages. The links also direct users to places that offer free web space, where one can post the newly created homepage. Some people are more interested in advice form others or to interchange topics with others. For these people, volition offers a great variety of different forums with all kinds of topics. One big part gives advice and answers questions that are related to mystery shopping, other forums talk about games, entertainment and travel. Additionally the page offers links to interesting and fun pages. Pages that sell art supplies, pages that offer fun online games such as hangman and pages that offer other games and topics of interest. Whatever it is on might be seeking, it might be found on this free stuff online web site available to anyone.