12/17/09

A good webhosting company

I have been with the former webhosting company for the past 3 years and it have always been a breeze for me.  As a I.T geek, I have been able to resolve most of the issues from the client side on my account and thus I do not really have to depend on their support department until lately, the server crashed during a RAID backup and this is when, once again, I felt the need to backup my files frequently and web host.  The company, paused their monitoring site which claims that the server’s uptime is 99.5%.  When I checked the monitoring site during the downtime, I was surprised to see that the account has been paused.  This meant that during the server downtime, the monitoring is unable to capture and thus it provides end user with fake statistics, 99.5%!  This is really despicable and cunning!  There are ethics to follow in any kind of business and this is definitely morally evil!

The server was down for like 3 days (72 hours) and people were whining in their forum instead submitting technical support tickets because they were slow in replying or they gave fake replies such as ‘the server is up!’, ‘sorry but we do not face any issues on our side’, etc.  BULLSHIT.  I cant even login to my pop/smtp accounts!  As a normal user, I’m totally fine with the downtime; slap myself for getting a cheap webhost BUT my clients, I do not want to see them suffer along with me.  It is therefore time-critical for any website as they may lose potential customers in that moment!

So with all these taken into considerations, there is a need, for me to change my webhost despite been with them for the past 3years.  This downtime is uncalled for and should have been resolved in less than 24hours, if not 48hours, and this will be the only downtime for a year, then we can understand that.

So how to pick a good web host?

  • Check webhosting forum for reviews
  • Read the Terms and Conditions/Privacy/User Policy carefully
  • Google for other user reviews
  • Price, for the right amount of space and application you need
  • Check if they have 24/7 support on their main website and talk to their operator
  • Has CPanel or equivalent for easier managing
  • PHP/Apache/CGI etc.
  • Operating System: Win/Linux
  • Server Specifications
  • Sharing Load (amount of websites in a server)
  • Server location and datacenter

List is not arranged in order.  I hope you have found this article useful to you, in 1 way or another!

05/29/09

Why web developers cannot design

Im been forcing on my brains for the very little bits of juices for web design for the past few days and realised that web design is totally different from web development.  Being proficient in web programming doesn’t make me a pro web designer.  I’ve got 3 freelance projects on hand and I wld rather code php/mysql than html/css/psd.  Allow me to share this:

  1. PHP/MYSQL is straightforward.  If you don’t get the results from the database, just keep troubleshoot
  2. Its design-less.  I dont need to do color charts or layout design.  Its just the output.
  3. Javascript is a bonus, not a must (to me).  Some users might disable their javascript and cripple the functions, thus it will defeat my backend purpose (although the real-time update is really cool)

Now, as a part-time web designer:

  1. Colors are important.  It brings the users attention!
  2. Typography.  Font family, size and emphasis!
  3. Layout to place your contents and navigation.  It must be as user friendly and intuitive as possible!
  4. Navigations are crucial too.  They define the user’s experience.
  5. Pictures speak a thousand words.  Get the pictures right!
  6. Gradiency with web2.0!  Layout graphics tend to look more cooler in gradient.

Web developer usually dont look at the front-end side.  They don’t work much with graphics and layout and may not design as better as designers but at least they’re well-versed in codings!

This article is written as of my experience as a free-lance web designer in a cosmetic company.  Many web enthusiasts may disagree with what I had say but its really what I felt.  Time to get back to brainstorm for better designs!