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What is a Server?

These days, the word "Server" gets used quite a bit, but what does the word server really mean?

You may have heard about web servers, print servers, mail servers, application servers, dedicated servers, hosted servers, and even cloud servers.  No need to get confused.  Let me explain what is a server and show you some examples.

A "server" is really nothing more than a computer that provides services or resources to others.  The computer that you're using right now could be considered a server, if perhaps, you're sharing your local files with others, or maybe using it to stream pictures or videos to your TV.

Bottom line is that any computer can be considered a server.  However, most people associate the word server with a computer that performs a specialized function and those functions can vary widely.

Let's look at some specialized types of servers:

Dedicated Servers – A dedicated server is a single server within a network of computers that is solely assigned to one user or company.  This provides the end-user with ultimate control over their hardware and software setups.  If these dedicated servers are managed through a web hosting company, they are usually called "managed dedicated servers".

Hosted Servers – Also known as Shared Servers, these types of servers usually have many different virtual partitions on them allowing many users to run off the same server at the same time.  Hosted servers cost less than dedicated servers because they are shared.  While they have less memory, disk space and speed than a fully dedicated server would, they can adequately serve as a good entry to mid-level server for those just starting out.

Cloud Servers – This is a new term, and according to some, the future of computers.  Companies like Google, Apple, and Microsoft are investing big-time in Cloud computing.  Think of the Cloud as an area where you can store your data (photos, musics, documents, whatever) that is usually hosted by a major company, like the ones mentioned above.  Ever hear of Google Documents?  That's a Cloud service.  Proponents of Cloud servers say that you'll have access to all your information from anywhere in the world.

Mail Servers – These servers act as an electronic post office for your e-mail.  Microsoft Exchange and Novell GroupWise are both examples of mail servers.

Application Servers – As the name implies, an application server is a server that is designed for, or dedicated to, running specific applications.  At it's most basic, an application server might be used to run just one application.

Print Servers – These specialized servers handle the printing needs of the department.  The computer allows other computers to communicate with one or more shared printers on the network.  Most print servers usually provide some form of queue management for stopping, starting and deleting jobs.

So, what is a server?  Well, essentially, any computer can be called a server.  It really comes down to how optimized and specialized the computer is to handle the assigned task.


Top Rated Web Hosting – HostGator

Top Rated Web Hosting – HostGator

If you're in the Internet Marketing field like I am, having a reliable web hosting provider is an absolute must! My income is based on the sales that I make online, and if my web hosting provider is down, I lose income.

That's why I choose HostGator as my web hosting provider.

HostGator is one of the world's top 10 largest web hosting companies with more than 4,000,000 hosted domains.  HostGator is not only extremely reliable, but they offer outstanding support.  Whether you're a newbie, or an experience veteran, knowing that you have someone to hold your hand during a crisis is very important.  The HostGator support team is fast, efficient and very professional.  All qualities that are needed by a good web hosting provider.

HostGator Plans

HostGator provides several different product packages based on your needs.  They offer Shared Web Hosting, VPS Web Hosting and Dedicated Server Web Hosting.  Think of these as beginner, intermediate, and advanced level web hosting plans.  Shared plans are the least expensive, but lack some of the server control that many advanced users may look for.  These people would choose either the VPS or Dedicated server environments.

Whether you're just starting out in Internet Marketing or are looking for a better web hosting provider, check out HostGator's Starter Plans.  These plans start at $4.95/month to $12.95/month (called Hatchling, Baby, and Business) and offer an incredible amount of functionality, space and bandwidth that should give you plenty of features to grow and expand your business presence on the web.

cPanel – HostGator's Web Hosting Control Panel

cPanel is the industry leader that offers a fully automated point-and-click hosting platform.  cPanel is very easy to use, and it allows you to easily add new domains to your server, setup email address, and most notably, setup 3rd party software via Fantastico.

As an Internet Marketer, I use WordPress for many of my sites.  Fantastico makes setting up WordPress on my new blogs painstakingly simple.  I can have a brand new WordPress site setup in about 2 minutes with the Fantastico tools.  They are truly amazing!

HostGator Support

HostGator's support is extremely good.  They offer 24/7 web hosting support that is very knowledgable and responsive.  I often just use the live chat feature on their website for my trouble tickets, but they also have phone support that is very good.  Their patient techs are there to work with you to solve your problem.  They aim to make you succeed.

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Conclusion

If you're looking for a reliable web hosting provider that has web hosting plans for all experience levels from beginner to advanced, look no further than HostGator.  While they are not the cheapest web hosting provider, their prices are extremely competitive for the functions and services offered.  The combination of services and support offered by HostGator make them the only web hosting provider you'll ever need.

Moms Making Money By Selling on eBay

Have you ever looked around your house and wondered if there was a way to get rid of some of the items you’ve accumulated over the years?  If you have children, finding extra, unused stuff is not that hard.  Turn those unused toys and clothes into a little extra cash by learning to sell them online with eBay.  If you’re a Stay-At-Home Mom, this is a perfect low stress work-at-home opportunity. 

As a parent, you know how quickly your child grows out of their clothes and changes their favorite toy on a daily basis.  If you’re like me, you even have some children’s clothes that haven’t been worn!  Why not turn your excess into a little extra cash?  It’s simple and it doesn’t require too much of your time to accomplish.  Selling on eBay is also a great way to learn some habits and techniques that can quickly be turned into a full-time home based business.  Clothes are just a start, there are plenty of other profitable items that can be sold online through eBay.

Thousands of people sell on eBay everyday and make a good living from it.  Since this is probably your first experience selling, start off small and focus on one idea.  Some of the best items Moms have for selling on eBay are clothes.  Take the time to go through your child’s out-grown clothes and make “packages” of related items that you can group together and sell.  Perhaps you have several articles of clothing left over from last Easter that would make a great little Easter outfit package for some child.  Be creative in designing your assortments.  Your originality is what will catch buyer’s eyes and make them view and hopefully purchase your products.

Understand that eBay does have policies on the types and condition of clothing that can be sold at auction.  Read through the policies so that you have a good understanding of what needs to be done before offering your goods for sale.  Much of the information is common sense, but you’d be surprised at what some people try to sell.

For tips and information on selling online, visit World Wide Brands for useful eBay selling strategies and marketing ideas.  Once you are comfortable with selling online, check out World Wide Brands wholesale directory called OneSource that gives you access to hundreds of legitimate distributors willing to dropship their products directly to your customers.

Remember, start off slow and learn the basics.  Trying to accomplish too much too fast will leave you feeling stressed and discourage you from completing your goals.

A Mom’s Dilemma: Finding Time To Work From Home

From the time the kids wake up in the morning to the time they go to bed, they want Mom!  Non-Stop!  But Mom has some good ideas on how to make some extra money by working from home.  How do you balance family and business?  Answer:  Carefully.

For those of you Moms that have babies or young toddlers not yet in school, time can be a very difficult task to manage, especially if the time is for you.  This juggling act between family and business will mean that you need to be very creative in your approach.  Below are three suggestions to try to help you organize your time so that you can try to get (or start) some of your business activities.

1.  Hire Your Kids!

That’s right, you read that correctly, hire your child.  I don’t mean that you are actually going to include him as an employee on your schedule C, do it as a game.  You need to find time, and if pretending that your son or daughter is an employee of your company doing small tasks will keep them occupied, then everyone wins.

Make them feel useful.  If you have a small work area and desk, give them one too!  Give them some crayons, markers, paper, etc. and ask them to draw some pictures for you to hang in your home office.  Tell them that every office needs decorations, and you are hiring them as little artists to customize your office space.  Most children love doing arts-and-crafts and best of all, their occupied and where you can watch them.  Be creative and come up with different projects throughout the week, and if you’re lucky, you’ll be able to get 30-60 minutes a day to catch-up on e-mails or phone calls.

2.  Nap Time Is Your Time

Most young children sleep about 1-2 hours-a-day as naps (if they’re younger and you’re lucky, maybe more).  Whatever time they give you, take it and make the most of it.  This time is great for important phone conversations where you don’t want to be interrupted every two seconds, or for composing important documents.  Web development and research can be done during this time too since they usually require longer work times.

If you’re a Stay at Home Mom, then you probably can’t be doing this everyday since you’ll have other normal day-to-day tasks to handle, but try to do it several days a week and keep to a schedule.  This way you’ll get into habits of doing certain projects on specific days which will help you gauge progress.

3.  Time Away From Mommy

Mommies need breaks from being Mommies so that they can spend time building their business.  Remember, you’re doing this for your family, so don’t feel that you’re being a bad Mom by taking a day (or at least a few hours) for yourself!  Every 2-3 weeks, try to get a day to yourself to work.

See if you can have a family member take your child(ren) for the day or for a few hours so that you can work on your business activities.  Grandparents and close relatives are good choices.  Also, consider swapping days with a relative or close friend who has children.  One week they’ll watch your children, and another week, you’ll watch theirs.  It may not be the best scenario, but it will at least give you the occasional time to get something done.

Remember, there are many ways to make time, but try to find a good balance between your family and your business.  Your children are your priority and they’re only young once.  Don’t get too carried away with running your business that you forget to enjoy those precious moments with your children.

5 Questions About Starting Your Home Business

So, you’re considering starting your own home based business, but are a little uneasy and nervous about taking your first steps.  Don’t panic.  We’re here to help answer your questions!  To try and help ease you into making a more informed decision, I’m going to write about some questions I think you might have about getting started.

1.  Do I have the time to run a business if I have children?

This is a tough question, and believe it or not, it’s the most important question you have to ask yourself.  As a stay at home mom or dad, your first priorities are the children.   If you decide to run a business, will you still have the time to devote to them?  If you know what type of business you want to participate in, you’ll have a better understanding of the time and resources needed.  This should help you make a more informed decision as to whether or not you will have time available to do your daily tasks with your children.

No matter what business opportunity you choose to do (and we’ll review many here on SimplyWebtastic.com), you will have to make some adjustments and sacrifices to your lifestyle.  Hopefully, you will be able to find a balance between life and work.  Remember, you’re going to be the boss!  You will need to learn to set your own schedules and stick to them.

Depending on the age of your children, you may be able to dedicate your time to the business while they’re in school.  If they’re still young (like mine), you’ll need to try and get them involved in your business.  Make some of the tasks you do for your business a game for them and maybe they’ll develop some good skills from it and hopefully, they’ll learn to respect what you are doing and give you the space and time to do what you need.

2.  Is it ok to run a business from my home (licenses & permits)?

I’m not a lawyer.  So this question is best left to a little research on the Internet.  You can easily visit your State’s online Business Regulations website and do a little research for home based businesses.  If you’re going to have people coming in-and-out of your home, you should definitely check for any zoning issues.  If you’re going to run an online business, you’re probably all set.  However, a little due diligence on your part is always best.

3.  Will I need additional education to run my home based business?

Again, that all depends on what you want to do.  You know what you’re capable of doing, but try asking friends and relatives if they think you have what it takes to do that line of work.  If you’re choosing an online business, there are plenty of resources available to bring you up to speed on the latest trends and technologies.  I will be setting up resource pages with links to various guides on HTML, web page designing, search engine optimization, and other topics that should help you build your business.

Remember, no one knows everything!  Trial and error is part of that learning experience.  Don’t be afraid to take a chance, especially if you’ve taken the time to educate yourself on what you want to do.  You’ll be amazed at the number of free online training seminars and tutorials that are available on the web.  Use any of your favorite search engines to search out the training you want.  Chances are you’ll find it.

4.  How much money do I need to get started with my business?

It will vary depending on what type of business you choose to enter.  I work primarily in starting online businesses, so I have more understanding of those costs and will try to give more detailed information in future articles.  Just remember to be realistic!  You’re looking to make extra money as a stay at home mom or dad.  You’re probably not in the position to drain your life savings to take a chance on an opportunity, so choose wisely and within your means.

Starting an online business is not very expensive.  Honestly, the biggest expense you’ll probably have, and it’s one I highly recommend, is to incorporate your business for legal and financial reasons.  Unfortunately, there is usually a yearly business renewal fee.  Mine is $500 per year.  Whether you choose to have a lawyer setup your business, or use an online service, ask others their opinion about whether or not you should separate your business from your personal assets.  I think you’ll see that most will say yes.

5.  Should I involve my family in this decision?

Absolutely!!!  As a stay at home mom or dad, you will definitely need the cooperation of all family members to make your dream a reality.  They all have to be willing to back you up in your decisions and willing to give you the time you need to meet your goals.  Talk to them and discuss the future benefits to the family.  Together you’re a team and as a team, the sky’s the limit.

I hope you found these questions and answers helpful.  Find more ways to Make Money Online at SimplyWebtastic.com.