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Web Hosting - Sharing A Server Things To Think About You can often get a substantial discount off web hosting fees by sharing a server with other sites. Or, you may have multiple sites of your own on the same system. But, just as sharing a house can have benefits and drawbacks, so too with a server. The first consideration is availability. Shared servers get re-booted more often than stand alone systems. That can happen for multiple reasons. Another site's software may produce a problem or make a change that requires a re-boot. While that's less common on Unix-based systems than on Windows, it still happens. Be prepared for more scheduled and unplanned outages when you share a server. Load is the next, and more obvious, issue. A single pickup truck can only haul so much weight. If the truck is already half-loaded with someone else's rocks, it will not haul yours as easily. Most websites are fairly static. A reader hits a page, then spends some time skimming it before loading another. During that time, the server has capacity to satisfy other requests without affecting you. All the shared resources - CPU, memory, disks, network and other components - can easily handle multiple users (up to a point). But all servers have inherent capacity limitations. The component that processes software instructions (the CPU) can only do so much. Most large servers will have more than one (some as many as 16), but there are still limits to what they can do. The more requests they receive, the busier they are. At a certain point, your software request (such as accessing a website page) has to wait a bit. Memory on a server functions in a similar way. It's a shared resource on the server and there is only so much of it. As it gets used up, the system lets one process use some, then another, in turn. But sharing that resource causes delays. The more requests there are, the longer the delays. You may experience that as waiting for a page to appear in the browser or a file to download. Bottlenecks can appear in other places outside, but connected to, the server itself. Network components get shared among multiple users along with everything else. And, as with those others, the more requests there are (and the longer they tie them up) the longer the delays you notice. The only way to get an objective look at whether a server and the connected network have enough capacity is to measure and test. All systems are capable of reporting how much of what is being used. Most can compile that information into some form of statistical report. Reviewing that data allows for a rational assessment of how much capacity is being used and how much is still available. It also allows a knowledgeable person to make projections of how much more sharing is possible with what level of impact. Request that information and, if necessary, get help in interpreting it. Then you can make a cost-benefit decision based on fact.

Get the Scoop on Some Great Informative Parenting Freebies Being a parent can be hard and especially, when it is about money. So many things in life are very expensive and children often desire what they cannot have. Therefore families of average or below income have often trouble giving their children what is in or what other children have. Therefore any opportunity to get something for free in parenting hood is a great opportunity. Whether it is free advice, free literature or even free products, it is surely something that a parent can use. Where and how to find great parenting freebies? It is actually fairly easy to find parenting freebies, especially when one has access to the cyber world. The Internet is one of the greatest resources for information, products and advice. The Internet holds freebies for any stage in life, but the most for the infancy and toddler stage, as well as some resources for the young years of life before children grow into adulthood. Many of the resources that are available on the Internet are actually sponsored by different departments of the United States government. For example, the US Department of Health offers easy reader books for young children or a free CD for parents with information on the development of teenagers during their adolescents. For parents of toddlers, the Internet holds resources for free toddler magazine subscriptions, potty training success guides and guides to prevent childhood lead exposure. Many of the major issues in toddler live can be found online with advice, frequently asked questions sections, chats and forums to help parents. For later on in life, there are plenty if resources that will help parents with such things as saving for college, preventing teen pregnancy, preventing drug and alcohol abuse in the teenage years and preventing or talking about smoking with children. All the information that is available online is often also available for parents as kits that are mailed to their houses. Online pages offer forms that parents can fill to have material sent to their home mailing address. Books, CDs, DVDs, guides, and other informative material can be downloaded or requested by parents. Many parents do not know about these resources and struggle with these exact same problems that they could have help with. Some of the offers for young children, such as free music downloads for children, often include such music as classical music and therefore might make a good download for anybody who loves classical music. Even though these pages are geared at babies and toddler, it does not mean that other people cannot use this music for themselves. Other sources on the internet offer for example free descriptions to art projects, fee coloring pages that can be printed using any printer, free read along stories online and more. There are so many activities online, that parents can do with their children, or that can be used to educate children that sometimes it might be hard to choose with what to start. The Internet also offers parents the possibility to talk tot her parents and get connected without having to attend an actual meeting or playgroup. Whenever parents need advice, they can just log on to one of the many free parenting sites and ask questions. Of course answers are given by other parents and are more their thoughts and experiences rather than professional advice, but some of the pages sometimes offer advice from experts on topics and have special chat sessions for parents with these experts. Whatever kind of informative parenting freebie or product parents are looking for, the Internet might hold the answer to their questions. It often amazes parents what they can find just by typing their questions or search keywords into one of the Internet search engines. Literally hundred of answers and pages with free help might pop up and parents might have a hard time reading it all.

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.