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Web Hosting - Bandwidth and Server Load, What's That?
Two key performance metrics will impact every web site owner sooner or later: bandwidth and server load.
Bandwidth is the amount of network capacity available, and the term actually covers two different aspects. 'Bandwidth' can mean the measure of network capacity for web traffic back and forth at a given time. Or, it sometimes is used to mean the amount that is allowed for some interval, such as one month. Both are important.
As files are transferred, emails sent and received, and web pages accessed, network bandwidth is being used. If you want to send water through a pipe, you have to have a pipe. Those pipes can vary in size and the amount of water going through them at any time can also vary.
Total monthly bandwidth is a cap that hosting companies place on sites in order to share fairly a limited resource. Companies monitor sites in order to keep one site from accidentally or deliberately consuming all the network capacity. Similar considerations apply to instantaneous bandwidth, though companies usually have such large network 'pipes' that it's much less common for heavy use by one user to be a problem.
Server load is a more generic concept.
It often refers, in more technical discussions, solely to CPU utilization. The CPU (central processing unit) is the component in a computer that processes instructions from programs, ordering memory to be used a certain way, moving files from one place to the next and more.
Every function you perform consumes some CPU and its role is so central (hence the name) that it has come to be used as a synonym for the computer itself. People point to their case and say 'That is the CPU'. But, the computer actually has memory, disk drive(s) and several other features required in order to do its job.
Server load refers, in more general circumstances, to the amount of use of each of those other components in total.
Disk drives can be busy fetching files which they do in pieces, which are then assembled in memory and presented on the monitor, all controlled by instructions managed by the CPU.
Memory capacity is limited. It's often the case that not all programs can use as much as they need at the same time. Special operating system routines control who gets how much, when and for how long, sharing the total 'pool' among competing processes.
So, how 'loaded' the server is at any given time or over time is a matter of how heavily used any one, or all, of these components are.
Why should you care?
Because every web site owner will want to understand why a server becomes slow or unresponsive, and be able to optimize their use of it.
When you share a server with other sites, which is extremely common, the traffic other sites receive creates load on the server that can affect your site. There's a limited amount you can do to influence that situation. But if you're aware of it, you can request the company move you to a less heavily loaded server. Or, if the other site (which you generally have no visibility to) is misbehaving, it's possible to get them moved or banned.
But when you have a dedicated server, you have much more control over load issues. You can optimize your own site's HTML pages and programs, tune a database and carry out other activities that maximize throughput. Your users will see that as quicker page accesses and a more enjoyable user experience.
Web Hosting - When Changing Web Hosts Nearly everyone will want to change to a new web host at some point. It may involve just changing out old hardware for new. It usually means finding an entirely new web hosting company. When faced with that decision there are a number of issues to be considered. Swapping hardware and/or software is a fairly straightforward decision. There are two possible scenarios. Either you maintain your own hardware and software at a facility managed by others, or you are considering upgrading to newer (usually more expensive) systems maintained by others. In either case, it's simply a matter of estimating the cost and the short-term impact versus the long-term benefits. If the system(s) you currently use are short on capacity, sooner or later you'll be sufficiently motivated to make the change. Either the hardware will become unreliable or loaded to the point you'll be forced to migrate, or your needs will expand enough to justify the effort and expense of moving. Similar considerations apply to the scenario in which you rely on the web hosting company for everything, and want to find someone else to rely on. Regrettably, that's a very common situation. Many web hosting companies provide systems and staff that sooner or later fall below an acceptable level. Most people make the decision to change based on emotion. That's not entirely bad. Emotions incent you to take action. But you need to keep a cool head, too, in order to calculate your long-range self-interest. Bearing some minor inconveniences from time to time is usually worth the trade off. When it begins to affect your site to the point you're losing visitors, it's time to make a change. To get a more objective handle on when that point is reached, reach for some numbers. Maintain, or get from the hosting company, a factual report about availability and current usage. If the server is down so much, or so heavily loaded, that it drives your visitors away, it's time to take action. There are other less easily quantifiable but equally important factors, as well. You will at some point need to communicate with one or more persons who help maintain your site. Even if you do all your own server, database and web site maintenance, someone behind the scenes is helping to keep things running smoothly. That's called 'infrastructure'. If the road you drive on has potholes, it's not enough that you can fix your own car. In terms of network bandwidth and availability, server capacity, disk space, security and a whole array of other aspects, the web hosting company has to have competent people who care (and are allowed) to do the job well. When the company's people fall down - because of incompetence, lack of resources or absence of a culture of excellence - or for any other reason - your web site suffers. This issue more than any other is what drives people to seek another web hosting company. Even if you choose well at the outset, things can change. Management changes, staff changes and companies are taken over by other companies. Sometimes, it isn't simply a matter of swapping out an unreliable piece of hardware or software. When it's time to swap out people, you look for the same aspect: doing the job required.
You Can Find Free Deals and Discounts at Slick Deals Where can you go when you want to find the best deals on the net? Where can you turn to when you need quality advice before making a major purchase? How can you make sure that you never pay too much for something again? This is where slickdeals.net comes in. Slick Deals is a great website for finding what you are looking for, and making sure that you never pay too much again. Tips and Hints for Searching on Slick Deals Slick Deals is home to an advanced search engine that allows you to compare the prices of different items, both small and big ticket, and compare prices. This website allows you to make sure that you can always find the lowest price and never overpay again. Here are some hints and tips for searching for the best deals on Slick Deals. First, if at all possible, make sure that you have the SKU number on the item you are searching for on hand. Using the SKU number allows you to search for the right item at all times. The SKU number will vary in length and number-letter combination, depending on the kind of object or item you are shopping for. Avoid using parentheses when you are searching for something. Avoid using negation modifiers that will potentially exclude items from your search. You should also avoid hyphens in your search. This will tend to filter out more potential search hits, rather than pull up more potential choices. For the Latest Deals on Slick Deals, Check the Front Page When you are looking for the latest deals on Slick Deals, you will want to make sure that you check the front page. The default front page is also home to the newest deals. By defaults, you will only see deal titles when you first log onto the Slick Deals website. All of the deals on this front page are color-coded. You will find that ongoing deals are displayed in a bold blue tone. Expired deals are displayed in a gray color. To find out more about these front-page deals, simply click on the title. Then the deal will expand and you will be able to read more about the deal. Once you have read all the information you want, simply click on the title once again to close the window. To find out more about deals of the whole day, click on the day bar. When you click on the day bar, all the deals of the day will expand so you can read the details. Simply click the day bar once more to close the deals. How to Share Deals with Friends The Slick Deals website makes it easy for you to share deals with other interested parties. If you would like to share a deal that you find on Slick Deals, simply choose one of the following three methods. You can share a great deal with a friend by selecting the 'Tell a Friend' button that is available for each deal. Clicking on this link allows you to send a friend an email, informing them about the deal on Slick Deals. Another easy way to contact a friend or potentially interested friend is to send them an instant message using AOL Instant Messenger. Simply select the 'AIM' button for this option. Another easy way to send a copy of the deal to a friend is to send them a permalink using another form of communications. You can also leave your own opinion or review of the deal by selecting the Comments link. Slick Deals relies on user-driven content to establish a vibrant and informative website geared directly for consumers.
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.