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Web Hosting - Domain Name Changes and How They Affect You
New domain names are registered all the time, and ones previously registered expired. Sometimes that's the result of simple neglect. The owner of the name chose not to renew his or her ownership, so the name became available for someone else to use. In rare cases, a highly original mind managed to think of a new one. In the other common scenarios, someone chose to just let it go or sell it.
When you choose to change your domain name, there are actually two separate steps involved: releasing the old name, and adopting the new one. But, just as the postal system can have difficulty forwarding your letters when you change your personal name, changing your domain name brings certain difficulties.
One of the most prominent is the fact that any name change requires a change to thousands of DNS Servers around the globe. DNS (Domain Name System) is the set of software/hardware components that allows domain names to map to IP addresses. IP addresses are what are actually used 'under the covers' when one computer communicates with another.
Note that there isn't always a 1:1 correspondence between a name and an IP address. One IP address can serve multiple domain names and one domain name can have multiple IP addresses. For the sake of simplicity, we'll stick to the common case here.
DNS servers around the world maintain internal databases that match the name to an IP address. Not all servers have all pairs of names/addresses. A series of complex routines allows a request to be forwarded when the particular DNS server doesn't have a needed record. When you acquire a domain name that used to be associated with a given IP address, the odds of you acquiring the same IP address are extremely low.
In the unlikely case, for example, that you acquired the domain name yahoo.com, you would almost certainly not get the IP address that was matched with it (unless you bought the Yahoo! company). So, as a result of the change, the name/IP address pair is no longer what it was.
A similar circumstance exists when you retain your IP address, but want to change the domain name associated with it. In either case, the pairing has changed.
The catch is this: when the change takes place, those DNS databases are not all updated instantaneously around the world.
Even apart from the limited speed with which computers and networks operate, (and neglecting the human factor if/when the change is made manually to more than one server) the reason is something called caching.
In order to communicate efficiently, DNS servers are designed to assume that changes will be relatively rare. Just as with the postal system, you don't move your address or change your name every minute. Since that's true, in general, the name/IP address pair is cached. A cache is a set of stored information that is reused so that fresh information doesn't have to be communicated with every request for a web page or data.
A chain of DNS servers pass requests to the last known address. There is usually more than one system between your computer and the server you want to communicate with. Most of the time, that's your current name/address. When you change the name, that pair is no longer valid. In order to propagate the new name/address pair (so the terminology goes), that cache has to be refreshed.
Something similar happens when you establish an entirely new name. That name is first associated with an IP address and that pair has to be communicated to DNS servers around the world in order for you to be able to reach any one of them at random.
But DNS servers don't do that until they are requested to do so by your action of asking for information from a remote server. Because of that, but chiefly because of caching, it can take quite a while for the new pair to become known around the Internet. Caches can expire and get refreshed in a few minutes or a few hours. It varies.
That time can be as short as an hour or less, if the path between your computer and the web server is very simple and only one DNS server needs to be updated. Or, it can take up to 48 hours or more. Though the 'official' range is often given by registrars as 24-48 hours, the average is closer to about six hours. But that's an average. The actual time in any given case can (and does) vary widely.
In the meantime, a number of effects can occur. The most obvious is that, since the name/IP address pair can't be resolved properly, you don't reach the server you want. Your browser points to the old one (in the rare case it's still accessible by that name and address), or it simply reports there's no such name at that address.
So, when registering a new name or buying an old one, you should establish the site, but not advertise it for at least a couple of days. Better to wait to get visitors than to turn them off by being 'not at home' when they call.
Examine the Interior of Publishing Companies (publishing companies) The publishing company can be seen as the backbone of the writing world. Written words seemingly would not have been able to be seen without publishing companies. The publishing company provides a great service to society by publishing and displaying the work of authors. The existence of publishers is obvious, but the interior of the publishing world and its companies is unknown by many people. Publishing is known as an apprenticeship industry, which means that most of the knowledge needed by a publishing professional will be learned with hands-on experience on the job. Generally, information that is learned in one department of a company is useful throughout the publishing house, which gives professionals the opportunity to move between departments. There are many levels to a publishing company and they all have different functions. The administrative level is the first level of any company, and has many responsibilities in the functioning publishing companies. The administrative department is responsible for managing daily operations for publishing executives and management. This responsibility involves interaction with all of the employees from all of the departments, as well as interaction with authors and agents. The administrative employees are required to manage the calendar, maintain organized files, screen/prioritize mail, draft correspondence, make travel arrangements and prepare itineraries, process expense reports, take minutes at meetings and prepare reports. A position as an administrative employee allows a person to have a high-level of understanding of a publishing company, while being visible to executives. Advertising is another division of publishing companies. Most publishing companies have in-house advertising agencies that purchase media space and create and design advertisements. In a publishing company, the advertising department works closely with the marketing directors, editors, and publishers of titles to create an advertising plan that will promote sales of an individual book. Every advertising plan requires research and negotiation to provide the best venues and the most cost-effective methods of advertisement. These employees also work closely with graphic designers, commercial sales representatives, printing presses, and internal staff to facilitate the run of advertisements. The editorial department of a publishing house is one of the most important departments. This department acquires, negotiates, develops, and edits book projects for publication. The daily activities of editorial employees include preparing acquisitions for transmittal to the production department, developing and maintaining relationships with authors, booksellers, and agents, performing general administrative duties, participating in editorial, design and marketing meetings, and reading and evaluating submissions by writing reader?s reports. The editorial department must work closely with all departments. Another division of publishing companies is the marketing department. The marketing department has the responsibility of creating, preparing, and establishing marketing strategies and policies for each title by coordinating the efforts of the publicity, promotion, advertising, online, and sales departments. The marketing department is responsible for preparing all sales presentation materials, audio recordings, fact sheet collation, and promotions, creating and producing additional account-specific presentation materials, researching and establishing relations with new markets, and planning and maintaining sales and marketing schedules. The publisher?s office is also an important department for many publishing companies. The publishers oversee the life cycle of a title from acquisition to production, and onto the sales force. Publishers are responsible for making executive decisions for all titles within assigned imprints while staying within any cost restraints. This department is also responsible for sponsoring book projects, strategies, and initiatives for the publishing company. The subsidiary rights and permissions department is also one of the most important divisions of a publishing company. This department finds additional sources of profit for a given title, including serials, book clubs, and paperback, audio and e-book rights. The daily activities for the subsidiary department include writing submission letters, sending manuscripts, proposals, and books to foreign publishers and agents, coordinating co-productions with other publishers, working with book clubs and sales for special editions, and maintaining relationships with other publishing companies. Publishing companies have many divisions, including, sales, purchasing, publicity, promotion, production, managing editorial, legal contracts Internet development, information technology, human resources, finance, art and design, and audio.
Web Hosting - Managing Disk Space Few things are less exciting than managing the disk space that always seems to be in too short a supply. But few things are more important to the health and well being of your site. The most obvious aspect of managing disk space is the need to have enough. If you have only a few dozen web pages, that's not an issue. But as the amount of information (web pages, database content and more) grows, the quantity of free space goes down. That's important for two reasons. All permanent information on a computer is stored on hard drives. Temporary information is often stored in memory only. The two components are completely separate, though they are sometimes confused with one another. As the amount of free space on the hard drive decreases several effects occur. Here's one way to picture them... Imagine you had a table with a certain area and you lay out playing cards on the table. At first, you lay them out in order, the 2 at the side of the 3, then 4, and so on. But then you pick up one or two cards from the middle and discard them. Then you add some more cards. Pretty soon things look pretty random. Now cover the cards with a big opaque sheet of paper. You want the cards to appear in order when displayed to someone. A special robot could be designed to always pick up the cards from underneath the sheet in order. Or, it could slide a hole in the sheet over the cards to display them in the correct order (2, 3, 4, ...), no matter what order they are really in. That's similar to how the operating system always shows you information in a sensible way, even though it's actually stored randomly. Why should you care? Real files are stored in pieces scattered around the drive wherever there is space for them. The more free space there is, the quicker the operating system can find a place to store a new piece. That means, if you delete the junk you no longer need (and free up more space) the system actually runs quicker. It helps create space you might need, and allows the operating system to store files for you faster. But there's a second effect. As you delete old files or change them, the pieces get more and more scattered. It takes the 'robot' longer and longer to fetch or display the 'cards' in order. Existing files are fetched and put together 'on the fly' (say, when you request a graphical page or a list of names). But, it takes longer to put together the web page when there are more scattered pieces. So, the other aspect of managing disk space is to keep the pieces of the files more or less in order. A utility that does that is called a 'de-fragger' or de-fragmentation program. You can request that a system administrator run it, or if you have the authority, you can run it yourself. That keeps the 'cards' in order and allows for quicker access to them. So, managing disk space involves chiefly three things: (1) keeping enough space to store what you need to store, and also (2) keeping enough free space to make new file storage quick and (3) making old file retrieval fast by keeping things orderly. When only a few files are involved the benefit isn't worth the effort. But as the number and size of the files grow, to thousands of files or several gigabytes of data, the effect becomes more noticeable. Keeping things organized then makes a significant difference in performance. Much of this can be automated using utilities. Some will delete files in a certain folder older than a certain date. A de-fragger can be set to run automatically during times of light usage, or quietly in the background at all times. Discuss the options with your system administrator and help him or her do the job better by keeping your house in order. You'll benefit by having a better performing web site.