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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.
How to Succeed as a Writer in the World of Freelancing (freelancing) Many may view freelancing as a writer as an acquired taste. There are many things about freelance writing that may be deemed as undesirable for many writers, including the common low pay and high demands. However, most writers would consider the freelance writing field, and many enjoy the freedom of freelancing. Being a freelance writer involves writing as well as the marketing of oneself and one?s work. For freelancers, it is important to give careful attention to the business details of the writing world, such as quarterly taxes, and staying ahead of the changing trends of publishing. Freelance writers also have the job of writing according to the editor or publisher?s rules while staying true to their own style. Being a freelance writer may seem ideal to some writers, but in the world of freelance there is stiff competition and most writers receive a hundred rejections before receiving one letter accepting their work. Many freelancers don?t consider being a freelance writer as an easy job, but there are some steps that can help turn any person succeed as a freelance writer. First, it is important that the freelance writer is honest about the quality of their writing and the depth of their writing skills, as well as their knowledge of freelancing. Editors will not spend time with submissions that have many grammatical or spelling mistakes, so it is important to know your own limits, learn your weakness, and use your strengths when writing on a freelance basis. There are many freelance writers who consider themselves professionals, but who don?t have the proper training or degree in any field of writing. So, the next step to being a successful freelance writer is to take a writing course or attend a workshop. Learning techniques from an instructor can be very helpful to a freelance career, and may inspire some writers to move higher on the career ladder. Writers may benefit from receiving comments on the quality of their work from instructors and peers, and may benefit from the pressure of writing well on deadlines. Freelancing requires a certain amount of promotion of oneself, and writers must learn how to write query letters to editors well. For freelance writers, a query letter briefly proposes their idea for an article, gives their qualifications as a writer, and makes the editor believe that the idea is better than every other idea out there. Next, the freelance writer should use web sites for writers to improve their writing skills and to find freelance job opportunities. Many writing web sites have features that are very helpful to writers, and some even offer advice and lessons on how to become a freelance writer and how to maintain a freelancing career. Freelance writers may find it difficult to begin their career, but a simple starting point is the local newspaper or local magazines. It is usually best for a writer to contact the local paper or magazine and ask to submit an article ?on spec,? which means the editor may choose not to pay for the article but will be willing to read it. Typically this method works as a good introduction into the freelance process and world, and helps the writer learn the proper techniques for presenting work. Freelance writers should also work on many small points to improve their career, such as professional presentation. It is advisable for a writer to create a portfolio of clips that prove that they have experience as a writer. This may be difficult for inexperienced writers, but they can begin to build their portfolio by volunteering to write for community publications. Online communities also offer writers the opportunity to write and create material for their portfolio. Freelancing may not be desirable for all writers, but for many it is passion, and some believe the writing world cannot survive without freelancers.
Save the Earth and Get Free Stuff from Recycling with Freecycle Get ready to become more earth-conscious by freecycling. What is freecyling and how can it help the environment? As the name implies, the concept of freecycling is directly inspired by the idea of recycling. Freecycling is not only a great way to help protect the earth's natural resources and prevent the flooding of landfills, it is also a great and viable way to find goods and services that you really need. Thus, freecycling is a very practical approach to many of the problems that we face today. What is the Freecycle Network? Freecyling has found a home at freecylce.org. The Freecycle website is home to the Freecycle network. This network is made up of over 4,000 groups with a total member population of over four million people worldwide. The freecycle philosophy is spreading like wildfire as more and more people come to learn more about this exciting and environmentally friendly new exchange network. The Freecycle Network represents an entirely grassroots, nonprofit effort that allows people to get and give their stuff fro free in their own cities and towns. Freecycle allows all the good stuff that would normally end up in a landfill in the hands of someone who can really use it. A local volunteer who is in charge of coordinating the freecycling efforts and awareness in their own community moderates almost each local freecycle group. Membership to join the Freecycle Network is absolutely free and open to anyone with something to give, or get. In order to join the Freecycle Network today, simply find your local community by searching in the search box. The Ins and Outs of Freecycling for the Freecyling Newbie No freecycling is not a new, cutting edge sport?it is an easy way to manage one's owns possessions so that you leave a smaller footprint on the Earth. If you are new to freecycling, perhaps you could use a little guidance on how to get into the freecycling side of things. Here are some things you need to know before you get started in the exciting world of freecycling. Take the Right Kinds of Precautions When Freecycling One of the most important things you should do is to always make sure to freecycle safely. Freecycling often means coming into direct contact with seemingly perfect strangers. You should always maintain your safety and privacy when interacting with other members of your freecycling group. If you do not know someone well, avoid giving out your personal contact information right away. Whenever possible, try to make exchanges in a public setting or at least make sure that you are not alone with picking up or waiting for someone to pick up the item that is being freecycled. Tips and Hints for Using the Freecylce List What happens once you has signed up to become a part of your local freecycling group? Once you have successfully joined, you can use your local freecycling list to communicate with other members. You can post a message, read messages and send email to your local groups collective address. Most local freecycling groups use local yahoo groups to communicate. To send an email to the list, simply send an email to your local groups email address. If for some reason you wish to unsubscribe to your local freecyling group, you simply need to send an email to the unsubscribe address that is listed at the bottom of each email from your local freecycling group. For information on posting, replying or reading messages to your local yahoo group, visit your local group and become familiar with the delivery options. If you have any questions, contact your group's moderator directly.
Writing Tips for all Styles of Writing (writing tips) Most writing tips you will come across are usually geared towards certain writing topics. You can find fiction writing tips, short story tips, and poetry tips among the different ones. These tips are suitable for any style writer. Setting aside a time to write: You have to choose which is best for you. Some writers prefer having a set schedule. They schedule their days as if they are working a 9-5 job. Or some write in the fly and impulsively. Neither way is right or wrong. It is just a matter of choosing the one that fits your lifestyle and writing techniques. Know how to prevent writers block. It often helps keep your mind fresh and writers block at bay when you write about more that one topic at a time. This can keep the creative juices moving and the brain actively thinking about what the next lines are going to be. Writing about topics you know about or have a desire to know about also help the words continue to flow onto your canvas. Writing daily keeps your imagination open and always running. If the words start to become difficult to create, take a break and change the scenery before they are lost. It is easier to add to ideas already in your head than it is to try and start from scratch again. Another great writing tip is to keep a notebook and pen with you at all times. How frustrating it is when you have this fantastic idea but you forget what it is before you can find a pen and paper to write it down. Or you have a dream and wake up thinking that a great story could come of it and then in a flash it is gone. Set daily goals for yourself. Whether you are on a schedule or an impulsive writer setting daily goals will make sure you reach your intended outcome. Daily goals are usually much easier to obtain than weekly goals. If you do not have an education in writing but love to write it will help your career to learn writing basics. Understanding the different writing techniques and styles or basic grammar are imperative parts in a writers career. There are low cost and even free online course that will lead you in the right direction. Another helpful writing tip is to have a proofreader. This can be a family member, a colleague, or a friend. Every writer proofreads there on work over and over but a proofreader will often pick up things that we miss. The writer of a story knows what they want to say; therefore it is to miss an out of place word because you often read what you know it should say instead of what it really says. A proofreader will read the actual words and let you know whether they make sense or need changed. The research you do for an article needs to be accurate and update. A topic with information can be detrimental to your career. It shows lack of responsibility to find correct information. It shows apathetic writing abilities and reflects poorly on your character. The most important tip that you should know is to know what you are trying to achieve with your writing and knowing what its purpose it. By knowing this you will be able to keep focus on the point of your writing. Whether you are writing a story and try to keep reader enthralled with your characters or a late breaking news article by remember the purpose of your story will help you stay focused and on the right track.