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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.

Great Free Gift Idea ? How to Get Official Presidential Greetings for a Loved One Are you ready for the most official gift idea ever proposed? Do you know someone who enjoys collecting authentic autographs and memorabilia? Or perhaps you know someone who has a good sense of humor and enjoys a gag gift on those special occasions? If this is the case, you may be interested in a great free gift idea?procuring an official presidential greeting for a loved one. Here is the run-down on how you can get a hold of this awesome gift idea. Believe it or not, getting an official presidential greeting is easier than you might think. Did You Know that the White House Offers Free Greetings? It is true?the White house offers free greetings for those very special occasions. These free greetings are official and recognized by the White House and the Office of the President. However, you should know that there are numerous restrictions to procuring these free presidential greetings. Unfortunately, the White House is not currently able to fulfill all the requests for official presidential greetings at this time. However, if you are truly interested in landing a free and very official presidential greeting for a loved one, it is worth giving it a try. As the old saying goes, nothing ventured, nothing gained. How to Make Your Request for an Official Presidential Greeting How can you go about making an official request for an official presidential greeting? There are several ways you can request a presidential greeting directly from the White House. There are several ways to make your official request. There are three basic routes for requesting an official presidential greeting from the White House. You can make your official request for a presidential greeting through fax, by postal mail, or by filling out an online email form. Although no one method appears to be considerable more effective than any other, some successful recipients of an official presidential greeting swear that you are more likely to receive a response if you put in your official request through postal mail or fax. However, this may just be a hunch, because it seems that it may seem harder to ignore a written request rather than a virtual email request. As with anything important, you will want to make your request for an official presidential greeting way ahead of time. For instance, if you want to request an official presidential wedding greeting, you will want to make your request well ahead of time. What Kind of Official Presidential Greetings is You Allowed to Request? Although there is no set guideline about what kind of greetings you can request, there are many standard issue presidential greetings. These include birthday greetings, 50th wedding anniversary and higher, births, Bar Mitzvahs, Bat Mitzvahs, weddings, scouting awards and others. Official Guidelines for Requesting Your Greetings For the official guidelines on how to request official presidential greetings from the White House, check out the official White House website. There you will find the official guidelines on how to request greetings from the White House, as well as how to extend an official invitation to the White House. In general, here are some things to keep in mind. The White House will only send out official greetings to U.S. citizens. You must provide the following information: name of the honoree, address of the honoree, form of address, date of birth, birthday, wedding or anniversary, and the requestor's name and daytime phone number. Be aware that the numbers of requests you can make are limited on a per day basis. Requests for multiple institutional requests must be make by fax or mail on official letterhead. When can you expect your official presidential greeting? In general, greetings will be mailed in approximately 14 days prior to the event that is being recognized by the greeting.

Important Networking Follow-Ups: How to Get Those Job Leads Calling When you leave a networking event, you may be buzzing at the prospects offered by all of those new contacts you made, but soon, the cold reality sets in. How will you be able to convert those contacts you made over a glass of wine into valuable business opportunities for you? Successful networking is all in the follow-up. If you?re looking for a job, following up is all the more crucial. Without touching base after a networking event, you become just another face in the crowd of job hunting hopefuls. The first important rule for following-up with networking contacts is to lay the foundations for the follow-up during the initial meeting. At networking events, there can be a lot of empty promises thrown around. Use that first meeting to convey the message that you haven?t gotten caught up in ?networking fever? but instead that you are very serious about exploring the job opportunity that you?re discussing with your new contact. Ask the contact when would be a good time to follow-up with them, and then reiterate the information back to them at the end of your conversation: ?I look forward to speaking with you Friday at 2 p.m.? If they don?t give you a specific time, then suggest one to them. This rule holds true even if your contact is giving you a lead on a job not with them but with another contact of their own. Let them know you appreciate the information by saying, ?Thanks. I will plan on calling Mary on Monday afternoon at 1 p.m.? Not only will this convey your seriousness about the opportunity presented to you, but it may also get you some handy inside information, as the contact may reply, ?Oh, no, Mary will be out of town until Thursday ? call her then.? The next important rule to networking follow-ups is to follow up with EVERY lead a contact gives you. If a contact suggests that you call someone whom you know won?t really be able to help you in your job search, call him or her anyway. Otherwise, when your contact finds out you aren?t taking their advice, they may just decide not to give you any more the future and any business person can tell you that you never know from whom the most valuable lead will come some day. Keep the lines of communication open by giving any and all suggestions a whirl. Last but not least, do the actual following-up. Follow up with your contact exactly when you said you would, and in the exact manner you said you would (phone, email, letter, etc). If for some reason you can?t make contact at the arranged time, keep trying. If you haven?t made arrangements for a follow-up with a contact, then the rule of thumb is to follow-up with them as soon as possible after meeting them. Try to at least send an email or letter the next day saying what a pleasure it was to meet and that you look forward to talking more in the future, and then say in that note when you plan to follow-up with your contact by phone. Then, of course, stick to that new follow-up obligation. Even if the promises made by a contact while networking don?t pan out for you on the job front, don?t cross them off of your contact list. Keep them in the loop about your job search and your career goals. While they may not have been able to make if happen for you this time, you never know what they might be able to do for you in the future. Your most promising business contact may be someone you already know.

Quest of Becoming a Writer (becoming a writer) Finding ones? true calling is one of the hardest things in life. There are some people who believe that they are meant to sing, or dance, or even write. Like all things, becoming a writer is a process and there are many hurdles and even steps, potential writers must take in their quest of making their writing dream come true. It has been said that the art of writing is exploration of you, your own thoughts, your own motivations, and your own goals. However, there is much more to being a writer that just learning to be a good writer. Potential writers must realize that a career writer is one that recognizes writing as a profession and craft that can be turned into a career. The first step to becoming a writer is the most obvious, which is writing. If one is going to make writing their career then they must write first. There are many who believe that writers have no excuse not to write. A writer who does not want to write may be classified as someone who doesn?t want to be a writer. However, there are many people who don?t have the time to write, and in some cases it is best for potential writers to get jobs that make use of their writing skills. Most writers believe that to become a writer you must work as a fiction writer, but there are many jobs that offer the experience needed to become a professional writer. Although the creative process may not be the same as writing fiction, by acquiring a job that uses their writing skills, potential writers will be able to write more creatively and efficiently as fiction writers. Nonfiction writing jobs include, journalism, becoming a technical writer, becoming a technical editing, science writing, marketing communications, sales writing, resume writing, freelancing, and many more. There are many writers who don?t believe that they have to write or obtain a job in writing to become a great writer, but writing is the key to becoming a writer. Another key step for potential writers is to use logic to create the vision, and to achieve the desired goal. Before writing, it is important to think about what you want to write, instead of thinking of what can be gain from writing. It is typical for many writers to site personal gain as their reason for writing, instead of financial gain. There are some who believe that you can?t put a price on pursuing a dream. Becoming a writer also requires working long, and odd hours. A creative idea may strike at any moment, and it is advisable for writers to write and to expand their ideas, no matter what time of day it may be. Potential professional writers should also become comfortable with their place as a writer, and comfortable with their own creative process. If you are going to write, it is best to find a process that works best for you, and to use that process in all of your endeavors as a writer. Writers who have a steady process and who strive to become better and to write more will eventually achieve the success they want. Potential writers should also know that writers? block is not real, and many times writers cannot write, because they are lacking something and may need to fill a need in order to return to their comfortable place of writing. Becoming a writer is not easy and many writers may run away when they see all the hard work that is required. However, there are many who pursue their dreams and who become the writers they always wanted to be. So, while it may be easy to run away, it is always more rewarding to face a challenge and come out on the other end as the victor, and for many that means becoming a writer.