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Web Hosting - Managing Disk Space
Few things are less exciting than managing the disk space that always seems to be in too short a supply. But few things are more important to the health and well being of your site.
The most obvious aspect of managing disk space is the need to have enough. If you have only a few dozen web pages, that's not an issue. But as the amount of information (web pages, database content and more) grows, the quantity of free space goes down.
That's important for two reasons.
All permanent information on a computer is stored on hard drives. Temporary information is often stored in memory only. The two components are completely separate, though they are sometimes confused with one another. As the amount of free space on the hard drive decreases several effects occur.
Here's one way to picture them...
Imagine you had a table with a certain area and you lay out playing cards on the table. At first, you lay them out in order, the 2 at the side of the 3, then 4, and so on. But then you pick up one or two cards from the middle and discard them. Then you add some more cards. Pretty soon things look pretty random.
Now cover the cards with a big opaque sheet of paper.
You want the cards to appear in order when displayed to someone. A special robot could be designed to always pick up the cards from underneath the sheet in order. Or, it could slide a hole in the sheet over the cards to display them in the correct order (2, 3, 4, ...), no matter what order they are really in. That's similar to how the operating system always shows you information in a sensible way, even though it's actually stored randomly.
Why should you care?
Real files are stored in pieces scattered around the drive wherever there is space for them. The more free space there is, the quicker the operating system can find a place to store a new piece. That means, if you delete the junk you no longer need (and free up more space) the system actually runs quicker. It helps create space you might need, and allows the operating system to store files for you faster.
But there's a second effect.
As you delete old files or change them, the pieces get more and more scattered. It takes the 'robot' longer and longer to fetch or display the 'cards' in order. Existing files are fetched and put together 'on the fly' (say, when you request a graphical page or a list of names). But, it takes longer to put together the web page when there are more scattered pieces.
So, the other aspect of managing disk space is to keep the pieces of the files more or less in order. A utility that does that is called a 'de-fragger' or de-fragmentation program. You can request that a system administrator run it, or if you have the authority, you can run it yourself. That keeps the 'cards' in order and allows for quicker access to them.
So, managing disk space involves chiefly three things: (1) keeping enough space to store what you need to store, and also (2) keeping enough free space to make new file storage quick and (3) making old file retrieval fast by keeping things orderly.
When only a few files are involved the benefit isn't worth the effort. But as the number and size of the files grow, to thousands of files or several gigabytes of data, the effect becomes more noticeable. Keeping things organized then makes a significant difference in performance.
Much of this can be automated using utilities. Some will delete files in a certain folder older than a certain date. A de-fragger can be set to run automatically during times of light usage, or quietly in the background at all times. Discuss the options with your system administrator and help him or her do the job better by keeping your house in order. You'll benefit by having a better performing web site.
Copyright music free Getting Copyright Music Free can Pay the Artists There are few people that will allow you to use their copyright music free. If you've found a person or a business that is willing to allow this then either consider yourself extremely lucky or start searching for the very fine print. Most people feel a certain kindred or passion for the music they like and they aren't overly willing to part with it at all unless they feel it is their calling to share this music with the world. In those circumstances you will be amazed at how eager they are to share their "message". I however, worry more about those that are eager to share than I worry about those who say no rather quickly and without sending another thought your way. Call me crazy but I'm usually the first one to give my things away and to share when I don't really have that much to begin with. I believe in sacrifice and the need for giving to those who have less or those whose needs are somehow not being met. This makes me a prime candidate for those who would ask me to share my copyright music free. I'm afraid my answer to that question is almost always going to be a no of my own. That being said I've always held a special fondness for musicians. Perhaps it's those teen crushes from which I've never fully recovered-ahem-2 or 3 years later. The problem today is the people are downloading copyright music free online without regards to the fact that when they get it free, someone isn't getting paid for their talents, efforts, and hard work. There are alternatives that will allow you to download the music really cheaply or pay a subscription fee for a service that allows you to download all the music you want for one set amount each month. These services allow the talented writers and performers of this music that adds so much to our lives each and every day to get paid for their labor. Paying for the music in this manner also allows us to enjoy that music while cutting out the middlemen and markups we often pay when purchasing music at retail prices. You do not have to get copyright music free in order to enjoy a wonderful bargain and when you pay something for your music you are ensuring that these talented writers and performers will find it profitable to continue providing this music that entertains you so much. We all enjoy getting things for free or feeling as though we've gotten a terrific bargain. That is one reason that subscription services are so wildly popular. You pay one price for the privilege of downloading as much music as your hard drive and modem can handle each month. It's like paying one fee and enjoying copyright music free except that you are actually paying for the music you are getting in other ways. More importantly though, the artists, writers, and recording companies are getting a piece of the profit pie, which keeps them in business. After the recent problems involved with massive and illegal downloading of copyright music free, recording companies began putting their proverbial feet down and demanding that action be taken. The solutions have been quite clever and highly effective. Consumers were much more willing to pay a monthly subscription fee that amounted to the amount of money that one CD would cost in order to download unlimited music from their homes. Record companies are getting paid for work that has already been done without the need actually produce, deliver, transport, and market their new CDs. This is copyright music free in its best form for all involved.
Web Hosting - Why Backups Are Essential One thing most web site owners have little time for is... anything! Anything other than focusing on their site content and the business or service it supports and the information it provides, that is. That means that administration often suffers, as it frequently must. There's only so much time in the day. But the one thing that you should never let slide are backups. They are like insurance. You rarely need it (you hope), but when you do you need it very badly. Performing regular backups - and testing them - doesn't have to be a nightmare. A little bit of forethought and effort and they can be automated to a high degree. And, they should be tested from time to time. Even when a backup appears to have gone without a hitch, the only way to know whether it's of any value is to attempt to restore the information. If it can't be restored, the backup is worthless. Even when the web hosting company provides the service, there is still some planning involved for the site owner. Hosting companies often rely on one or both of two methods. They backup everything (called a full backup), then backup anything which has changed since the last full backup (called an incremental backup). Of special interest are any configuration files that have been tailored. If you've modified the default installation of a software package, you want to be able to recapture or reproduce those changes without starting from scratch. Network configuration files, modifications to basic HTML files, CSS style sheets and others fall into the same category. If you have XML files, databases, spreadsheets or other files that carry product or subscriber information - about items purchased, for example, or people who signed up for a newsletter - those should get special attention, too. That's the lifeblood of your business or service. Lose them and you must start over. That can break your site permanently. It should go without saying that all HTML and related web site files that comprise visible pages should be backed up regularly. It isn't necessary to record every trivial change, but you can tailor backup software to exclude files or folders. Usually they're so small it isn't worth the trouble. But in some cases those small changes can add up in scenarios where there are many thousands of them. Here again, the backups are worthless if they can't be used. Even if the hosting company charges for doing so, it's worthwhile to test once or twice a year at least to ensure the data can be restored. That's especially true of database backups, which often involve special software and routines. Database files have a special structure and the information is related in certain ways that require backups be done differently. Developing a backup strategy can be straightforward. Start simply and review your plan from time to time, modifying it as your site changes and grows. But don't neglect the subject entirely. The day will come when a hard drive fails, or you get hacked or attacked by a virus, or you accidentally delete something important. When that day comes, the few minutes or hours you spent developing and executing a backup plan will have saved you days or weeks of effort.