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Web Hosting - Unix vs Windows-Based Hosting, Which Is Better? An operating system functions largely out of sight, or at least is supposed to. It doesn't matter to non-geeks how a file gets stored, or how memory is used, or how simultaneous processes share the limited resources available on a computer. These are among the basic functions of any operating system. Yet, you can find very passionate supporters - who offer very detailed lists of pros and cons - for every operating system. Why? Because, though the low-level functions of an operating system do their work out of sight, there are many other features that rise to visibility. Sometimes, they do so when they're not supposed to. Weighing the pros and cons objectively could consume a book. But to select a web host operating system, a manageable level of considerations apply. They can be weighed even by those who don't know a processor queue from a pool cue. Learning Curves For most web site owners, administering the site/server is just overhead. It's not something they take pleasure in doing and they have plenty of other things to worry about. Many wouldn't know how and have no interest in learning (rightly so, given their priorities). Consequently, ease of administration is paramount for such people. Whether a Unix-based site (usually Linux these days) is easier to administer than Windows depends on your current skill set and the type of tools and level of access the web hosting company provides. But in general Linux is more difficult to install and maintain than Windows and the learning curve is steeper. FTP and Control Panels Often, you don't have to care. For many, the operating system is fairly transparent. FTP file transfers to get a new web page up to a Windows server are very much like they are to a Linux-based site. The user/administrator simply doesn't see what's behind the curtain. Many companies provide other utilities that completely mask any awareness of the operating system underneath. When that's the case, the web site owner has no reason to care, until or unless they need or want to go 'inside the black box'. Performance Performance issues can be relevant in selecting which operating system host type to choose. But for the most part, that aspect is outside the web site owner's control. Overall performance can be good or bad on either system, depending on many factors that the publisher will rarely see. The issue is a wash, as far as tipping the scales is concerned. What is more likely to be seen by a web site owner, at some point in their (and their site's) development is the database product that can be used to store information. Databases Microsoft SQL Server is relatively simple to use, yet extremely powerful and can deliver great performance. But it doesn't run on Linux. At least, not without special software to emulate Windows, which usually kills performance. On the other hand, with a bit of time invested, MySQL isn't significantly more difficult to learn than MS SQL Server and there are many free installations. Cost may well outweigh other considerations for most on this issue. Programming Languages Last, but not least, there are differences in programming languages that can be (or at least typically are) used on Windows vs Unix. If you have programmers who are skilled in Visual Basic, ASP and other Microsoft technologies, then a Windows-based host will be your preferred choice. For Perl and PHP programmers, Linux is the more common platform of choice. No single factor can push you to one versus the other operating system. And, in the long run, it isn't the primary consideration, unless you just enjoy playing with operating systems.

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.

Being Effective in Your Persuasive Writing (persuasive writing) The goal of persuasive writing is to have the ability to influence or change a persons mind with your words. You encounter these in your normal everyday life. Whether it is a politician trying to convince you to vote for them, a commercial for a company that wants you to buy there product, or from your children trying to explain the reason why they should be allowed to go to that concert, persuasion is all around. You may even use the power of persuasion on yourself, like deciding why or why not you should eat that last piece of pizza or if you really need to buy another white shirt even though it is a really good deal. Everyday you have to decide on whether one choice is better than another and why. To succeed in your persuasive writing venture you need to follow a few simple rules. You must have focus. Decide on what position you are trying to persuade. Are you for or against the topic your writing about? Choose a side and stick with it. Arguing both sides of the fence will be detrimental to your persuasion. There are three techniques that you will need to use to have convincing persuasive writing. Now you need to provide facts and evidence to support your writing. Statistics and examples are used to provide the reason people should choose you position and believe your writings. You can also include facts and evidence that demonstrate why the opposition is wrong. This should be eased into. Remember you are trying to persuade and convince them on why you position is better not offend or alienate them. This is called the logos technique of persuasion writing. Another persuasive writing technique is ethos. This is where you have to prove yourself to be a creditable person. To be able to make your readers believe that they should have confidence in what you are telling them. The best way to prove your credibility is to provide true and undisputable facts, be articulate, and explain why you are capable of proving this information to them. Pathos is the third technique you will use in your writing. This will appeal to the emotions of the readers. This can be the most important technique but also the most critical. It must be used with caution or you can just as easily turn the readers against you as you could bring them with you. Appealing to your readers emotions can be tricky. This must be done subtly To work this effectively you must have the ability to make the reader feel your emotions, the joy, the pain, the hurt whatever the case maybe. You need to pin point your target audience and write to appeal to them. What sounds interesting and persuasive to a teenager most likely will not work with a middle age woman. Whether you are targeting men or women will make a difference in you writings. Identify with your target audience. An example of this would be “only the cool kids will be wearing product XYZ” or “we know as a respectable home owner you will want to…..” By identifying with the intended audience it pulls them into what you are writing and how or why it pertains to them. Persuasive writings can be a challenge. You have to objective and opened minded to other positions of the topic at hand even though sometimes you don’t want too. Remembering you goal is just to persuade them why yours is better. This does not necessarily mean that the opposition is bad or wrong, just that yours is a superior choice.