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Web Hosting - Changing Web Hosts, Pitfalls and Planning At some point, nearly everyone finds it necessary to change web hosts. It may be just a migration to another server, or it may be changing web hosting companies entirely. Either way, the process is fraught with potential dangers. But there are ways to minimize the odds of problems and maximize your changes of a smooth migration. Plan, plan, plan. Make a very detailed list of everything that is on your current system. Review what is static and what changes frequently. Note any tailoring done to software and files. Be prepared to remake them if the systems aren't transferred properly or can't be restored. Keep careful track of all old and new names, IP addresses and other information needed to make the migration. Backup and Test Backup everything on your system yourself, whenever possible. Web hosting companies typically offer that as a service, but the staff and/or software are often less than par. Often backups appear to go well, but they're rarely tested by restoring to a spare server. When the time comes that they're needed, they sometimes don't work. Do a dry run, if you can. Restore the system to its new location and make any needed changes. If you have the host name and or IP address buried in files, make sure it gets changed. This is often true of databases. SQL Server on Windows, for example, picks up the host name during installation. Moving a single database, or even multiple ones, to a new server is straightforward using in-built utilities or commercial backup/restore software. But moving certain system-related information may require changing the host name stored inside the master database. Similar considerations apply to web servers and other components. Accept Some Downtime Be prepared for some downtime. Very few systems can be picked up, moved to another place, then brought online with zero downtime. Doing so is possible, in fact it's common. But in such scenarios high-powered professionals use state-of-the-art tools to make the transition seamless. Most staff at web hosting companies don't have the skills or the resources to pull it off. Prepare for Name Changes One aspect of moving to a new host can bedevil the most skilled professionals: changing domain names and or domain name/IP address combinations. When you type a URL into your browser, or click on one, that name is used because it's easier for people to remember. www.yahoo.com is a lot easier to remember than 209.131.36.158. Yet the name and or name/IP address combination can (and does) change. Still, specialized servers called DNS (Domain Name System) servers have to keep track of them. And there are a lot of them. There may be only two (rarely) or there may be a dozen or more DNS servers between your visitors' browsers/computers and your web host. Every system along the chain has to keep track of who is who. When a name/IP address changes, that pair has to be communicated to everyone along the chain, and that takes time. In the meantime, it's possible for one visitor to find you at the new place, while another will be pointing to the old one. Some amount of downtime will usually occur while everything gets back in sync. The Little Gotchas But even apart from name and IP address changes, there are a hundred little things that can, and often do, go wrong. That's not a disaster. It's just the normal hurdles that arise when changing something as complicated as a web site and the associated systems that underlie it. Gather Tools and Support Having an FTP program that you're familiar with will help facilitate the change. That will allow you to quickly move files from one place to the next to do your part to get the system ready to go or make repairs. Making the effort to get to know, and become friendly with, support staff at the new site can be a huge benefit. They may be more willing to address your problem before the dozen others they have to deal with at any given moment. Ok. On your mark. Get ready. Go.

Want a Favorite Product Free? Write the Manufacturer Are you ready to revel in all the freebies you can find? If you are a sucker for freebies, here are some easy tips for getting your hands on the best free samples out there. You will find that finding the right freebies is often as easy as picking up a pen or licking a stamp and putting it on an envelope. Should You Write Your Favorite Manufacturers to Receive Free Product Samples? Is there a special item or product that you love? Is there a shampoo you can't live without? Would you die if your favorite brand of toothpaste were discontinued? Fortunately, there are many ways to declare your allegiance to a specific brand or product, and get rewarded for it. If there is a product you simply cannot live without, go ahead and write the company. Write them a letter to let them know what a big fan you are. Companies appreciate positive customer feedback. Simply writing to your favorite company can get you on their free sample mailing list. In fact, go ahead and ask them for free samples. Most manufacturers and corporations are more than willing to oblige your request. Getting the Information You Need to Contact Your Favorite Manufacturer Where can you find the information you need in order to get free product samples? Luckily, finding this information is often quite simple. Most of the time, all you have to do is look at the back of the product label to find information. Always contact the customer service address. If no address is available or listed, call their toll-free customer service hotline. Ask the customer service rep about possible free samples. At the very least, you will probably be able to finagle a handful of valuable coupons to save money on your next buy. Getting Free Stuff From Your Favorite Manufacturers Online Did you know that there are plenty of places to get free samples and other freebies by checking online? The World Wide Web is a treasure trove of freebies. There are many websites that specialize in freebie offers. Think of these websites as the middleman to freebie paradise, as well as an easy way to save on stationary and stamps. What are some of these freebie sites? The freesite.com is a great site to find a variety of freebies, both virtual and beyond. To find the latest free stuff, turn to websites such as freeflys.com. This website's slogan is that "Cheap is good, but free is always better." Who can argue with that kind of logic. There are many other websites that can offer you a library of freebies. Here are some tips for sorting out the legitimate offers from the fake stuff. Don't Get Caught in a Freebie Scam Although there are plenty of great websites out there that offer real legitimate freebie offers, there are also many websites that prey on people seeking freebies. Here are some tips for filtering out the bad websites, and finding the best in legitimate freebie offers. First, do not accept freebies from websites that require too much personal information. Only give just enough information to get what you need. Avoid accepting freebies from websites that require you to sign up for a newsletter or email offers. These websites have been known to sell your email address to partners, thus causing your email inbox to become overwhelmed with offers and related spam. A good rule of thumb is that if you don't feel comfortable providing your personal data, you should not. Also, avoid websites that are too burdened with obtrusive pop-up or banner ads. Websites that rely too heavily on advertisements are more likely to sell your personal data.

Explaining How Credit Scores are Used in the Hiring Process You might be wondering why credit scores are used in hiring processes. While you may have never heard about it, it is actually a more common practice than you might think. Companies and institutions such as banks, universities, retail stores, financial institutions across the United States use credit scores to determine whether an applicant is good for the open position or not. Even though you might think that this is illegal, it is not. In general, it is a legal undertaking for companies to look at your credit score. This is yet another reason why you should make sure that your credit scores are good and up to date. So why would they be using your credit information in a hiring process? For some of these companies, employees will be exposed to a lot of money and have a financially responsible position. Your credit information can actually help them determine whether you are a financially responsible person or not. Companies think that if you cannot handle your own money, why you would be qualified to handle their money? On the one side, if you think about it, it is a very valid thought. On the other side, the credit history will not tell the company how you might have gotten all the debt. What if one of your family members is really badly sick or a similar situation? In this case, you have not been irresponsible with your money, but you saved a family members life. You might have been willing to take on all this debt and then work from there. Sometimes numbers are just not an accurate representation of your life. Companies that do use your credit are not only determining whether you can handle money, in some instances they use it as an indicator for your character. It will tell them if you are responsible with your money and finances you are a responsible person. A person that will not be tempted by money or certain situations in a workplace is a person they can securely trust with their funds, their tasks or their great projects. One thing is for sure, the company needs to let you know that they are going to check your credit history in their hiring process and they also need to let you know what they are checking for. The criteria they are looking is the criteria they have to tell you about before you give them the permission. Unless they tell you and have a signature of permission from you, they are not allowed to check and use your credit history. If they miss these above mentioned steps, you do have a case in you hands that you can bring to the court. In some instances, some of the people that were not told about the credit check and have been denied have had a good case in their hands. But as with so many things in life in the United States it pays off to have a good credit history and such a check will not ruin your career moves. Check your credit history every year since once a year the big credit companies do have to give you a free credit report. In the case that you find any wrong or dubious items on your account go ahead and dispute them. Oftentimes companies might just have put a claim against your account that is not really caused by you. Why do companies do that? Money has caused many bad things in the world and a company that wants their money back is going to run after any lead they have. Therefore disputing your case and putting your credit score back to normal can be an essential part in your application and hiring process with some companies.

Five Biggest Job Hunting Mistakes and How to Avoid Them Looking for a job can be a challenging experience. Between the resume writing and the interviews you can find yourself exhausted and ready to throw in the towel prematurely. Stay the course until you find the job you want. While you are on your job-hunting journey, here are five big mistakes to avoid when job hunting. Steering clear of these mistakes could make finding a job much easier. One of the biggest mistakes that people make when they are job hunting is not looking in enough places for jobs. There is a certain level of diligence you need to maintain when you are searching for a job. Look in newspapers, online and ask around. Of course, there are boundaries you should follow when looking for a job. First of all only apply and interview for jobs that you think you would take if you were offered the position. Do not apply for jobs that you are not qualified at all for or jobs that you do not have a clear understanding of. When applying for jobs, it is important to have a resume that is update and professional looking. If you are not a good resume writer, look at examples online or find a professional to do your resume for you. Employers will take one look at a messy or unprofessional resume and rule you out without ever meeting you. It is also important to be sure that you resume can be found online. There are plenty of job sites that allow users to post resumes. Some sites even allow multiple resumes to be posted. This is a great place for employers to locate your resume and contact you without you actually applying for the job. Lying on your resume can eliminate you from being a job candidate immediately. If you stretch the truth about your experience or the type of jobs you have had in the past, employers will think that you are a liar. If employers think you are a lair they will not feel confident about hiring you because you have already compromised your integrity. Tell the truth about your work and educational history. No matter what people may tell you, an honest inexperienced candidate is better than a lying experienced candidate. Have faith that you will be able to prove your worthiness for the position you are applying for without making up half-truths. Be sure that your contact information is correct and that you respond when you are contacted. No matter how busy you are, you need to check your e-mail and phone messages on a regular basis. If you do not respond to a call about a job this is a sign that you do not need employment that badly. Employers will move on to the next candidate if you are slow getting back to them. Candidates that are not prepared for their interviews are typically eliminated from the search before the interview is over. If you are late for an interview you have a big huge mark against you as soon as you walk in the door. Not being dressed in professional attire also will leave the interview with a very bad impression of you before you even speak. If you show up without a pen or copies of your resume you look like you are unfamiliar with the interview process. This, in turn, makes it quite possible that you are unfamiliar with other work place procedures. A good job hunt can land you the job of your dreams. When you are settled into your new job you will be thankful that you took the time to search for a job the right way.