Linux, cPanel, and PHP Hosting

It doesn’t matter what type of website you are setting up. Sooner or later, you must make a decision on the type of hosting platform that you would like to use. That means you will have to choose the type of server that you site will be hosted on (Windows or Linux), the control panel (Plesk, cPanel, HELM), and programming language. Let’s explore these options.

1) Type of server.

You can choose between a Windows machine, or a Linux machine. Windows has become more competitive in recent years with the release of a more user friendly control panel. The features have also been greatly improved. You will want to choose a Windows environment to work in if you are mainly using Windows related products, services, and programming languages. For instance, if your entire website is developed using ASP.NET, then you need to have a Windows server.

The other type of server that you can use is a Linux server. A Linux server has been known to be more robust and reliable. Since Linux is an open source OS, you can expect hosting to be more affordable. In fact, the OS is so powerful that almost anything can be done on Linux servers. This is an immensely powerful OS and is most suitable for programming languages like Perl or PHP.

2) Admin control panel.

Even for the same OS, there are several control panels available. Customers have been complaining for years due to a lack of user friendly control panels. However, the control panels have stabilized during the past couple of years. Today, HELM is the leading control panel for Windows, and cPanel is the leading control panel for Linux servers. Both control panels offer sophisticated features. You can use file managers to manage files, create databases, create email accounts, read emails online, and more.

3) Programming languages.

Your final buying decision depends a lot on your choice of programming language. Of course, the development environment has a lot to do with the developer’s background and experience. If PHP is the preferred language, then a Linux server with cPanel as the control panel would be the ideal combination. Although Windows support PHP, you still want to avoid using Windows to run a PHP powered site. That’s because there are still some features that you can’t really run on a Windows machine. For instance, you cannot create cron jobs on a Windows server, but you can do so easily on a Linux server. A cron job is an automated command that is issued to the machine at regular intervals. It can be created manually in cPanel, or using a script.

It appears that PHP is winning market share because the programming language is open source, easy to learn, and doesn’t require any complicated software. In other words, almost anyone can pick up and programming language. In fact, if you start hiring freelancers, you realize that many PHP programmers are self-taught. They just pick things up as they work on various projects on the Internet.

Consider the pros and cons carefully before signing up for a hosting account.

From Dark Days Into the Light Came a Really Useful Copyeditor’s and Proofreader’s Guide

My love of gathering similar things began in early childhood, when I collected my parents’ empty No. 6 cigarette packets. Piles of them grew under my bed – luckily my parents weren’t heavy smokers – until I got fed up with it and moved onto milk cartons and bus tickets. I had some strange behaviours as a child! Luckily, I seemed to grow out of that, and went on to University to study biochemistry and chemistry to PhD level, and eventually moved into a career in scientific & technical editing. Here, I was able to indulge my passion once more, especially when I became a freelance, having been made redundant one dark day in May, back in 1988, when jobs were previously plentiful and had suddenly become scarce.

Rewinding a bit to my PhD days, a similar love grew, out of sheer frustration, of getting references absolutely right, dotting every i and crossing every t, in authors’ names and addresses, and ensuring that every volume and page number was spot-on. This was borne of necessity, when, as a student, feverishly studying and trying to write my thesis, a dot or a slash out of place in reference terms could spell disaster! This was all because I found it so infuriating when some vital piece of information I needed to further my research work or thesis writing was missing, or inaccessible, due to a reference being incomplete or incorrectly typed.

After that, my obsessive compulsive disorder was heavily reinforced by joining the West African Examinations Council, copyediting and proofreading and even typesetting O and A level examination papers. I felt it very important work, ensuring that every exam question read unambiguously and that all information was present and correct.

After that, it was the Biochemical Journal that took me under their wing, where I rote learned the housestyle manual, which was no mean feat, as it was a foot thick! More lists were enthusiastically drawn up and checking of references doggedly undertaken, for fear of punishment by flogging or worse. (They were hard on new intakes in those days.)

Then came a slight interlude at the Institute of Marine Engineers where, although the work also carried the requirement for exquisite accuracy and attention to detail, it wasn’t quite so heavy on the style issues and so allowed some lighter undertakings, like desktop publishing and design. Mind you, having become firmly obsessive compulsive by then, I wasn’t easily put off, and tried to stamp my own style onto things, I can tell you! I wasn’t about to give it up that easily. Fortunately, I stayed there for quite a while and it almost cured me of my ailment, which carried over into my next job, which was more business and accountancy oriented, although under the guise of scientific editing. Not much time or call for such list making activities there. Then, one day, out of the blue, bam! I was made redundant! What a shocker that was… I thought I would never raise my head again and see the light of day, until, little by little, I discovered the delights of freelance editing from home.

There, I could give full reign to my fervent desire to compile lists of anything that moved, or stood still long enough on the page, and spend hours checking and rechecking those darned incorrect references to my heart’s content.

After a shaky start, as I tried out things like abstracting and indexing, I settled quite happily into copyediting and proofreading of various scientific books and journals, and didn’t really look back. Once I was fully ensconced in the freelance editing world, I found I had lists coming out of my ears, and the ones I had made were extremely useful. Hence I began to wonder whether anyone else would find them useful too.

These lists include:

Biochemical Book References

Journal abbreviations

Publishers’ locations

Biochemical and Equipment Companies

Biochemical Journal Housestyle

Common Binomia

Abbreviations

Terminology

And then I spread my wings a little more and branched out into medicine, copyediting and proofing a couple of titles, and compiling the following lists:

From the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery and the British Medical Journal:

Book references

Abbreviations

Terminology

Housestyle

Being a freelance editor myself, I found it made life so much easier that the lists were compiled from the actual Journal itself, rather than from the whole field of science or medicine. It really narrowed things down and saved a lot of time, making things easier and clearer.

It took the time and pain out of looking things up on the Web or in large dusty tomes.

Compiled over a career spanning 20 years, these guides are for copyeditors, proofreaders, editors, writers and journalists: and include lists of housestyle, abbreviations, and terminology used, equipment manufacturers, university addresses and book and commonly used journal references.

Extracts:

From the Biochemical Journal

Abbreviations:

(note subscripts do not show up in this article)

AdK, adenosine kinase

Ado, adenosine

AIP, autocamtide-2-related inhibitory peptide

ANT, adenine nucleotide translocator

AP, alkaline phosphatase

AP-1, activator protein-1

ARE, antioxidant response element

ATP, adenosine 5′-triphosphate

BCIP, 5-bromo-4-chloroindol-3-yl phosphate

BSA, bovine serum albumin

bZIP, basic region leucine zipper

C16:1, palmitoleic acid

C18:1, oleic acid

C18:2, linoleic acid

C20:4, arachidonic acid

[Ca2+]i, internal Ca2+ concentration

CaMKII, calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II

Housestyle:

En rules (note en rules do not show up in this article – you have to use your imagination!)

amino acids 1-124

backbone-side-chain …

Bi-Bi reaction mechanism

Cibacron Blue-agarose

20-22 °C

enzyme-substrate complex

excitation-contraction coupling

Figures 3A-3C

5-6-fold

Hewlett-Packard

KpnI-EcoRI

LdAdK-Ado adduct

Luria-Bertani medium

0.5-2 mg/ml

Michaelis-Menten equation

1-20 min

150-170 nM

nuclear-cytoplasmic shuttling

Italics:

(note roman subscripts usually)

A550

cis cytochrome c

de novo DH (enthalpy change)

DpnI

gloA G-6-P Ins(1,4,5)P3

in utero

in vivo

in vitro

Ka

Journalists might find the lists useful too, with book references galore, all individually checked and corrected.

Extract:

From the British Medical Journal

Book references

De Mets DL. Data and safety monitoring boards. In: Redmond CK, Colton T, eds. Biostatistics in clinical trials. New York: Wiley, 2001.

Putnam RD. Bowling alone: the collapse and revival of the American community. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2000.

Mental Health Foundation. Bright futures: promoting children and young people’s mental health. London: Mental Health Foundation, 1999.

Taylor MF. British household panel survey user manual volume A: introduction, technical report and appendices. Colchester: University of Essex, 1999.

US Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control. CDC WONDER. http://wonder.cdc.gov (accessed 30 January 2006).

House of Commons Health Committee. Child and adolescent mental health services. 4th Report. London: Stationery Office, 1997.

Scott S. Parenting programmes. In: Rutter M, Taylor E, eds. Child and adolescent psychiatry. 4th ed. Oxford: Blackwell Science, 2002.

Rutter M, Taylor E, eds. Child and adolescent psychiatry. 4th ed. London: Blackwell, 2002.

O’Hara M. Children and domestic violence. Highlight no 139. London: National Children’s Bureau, 1995.

Hogg C, Richman N, Rutter M. Emotional and behavior problems in childhood booklet.In: Sclare I, ed. Child psychology portfolio. Windsor: NFER Nelson, 1997.

Audit Commission. Children in mind: child and adolescent mental health services. London: Audit Commission, 1999.

Department of Health. Choosing health: making healthy choices easier. CM 6374. London: Stationery Office, 2004.

Patterson GR. Coercive family process. Eugene, OR: Castalia, 1982.

Hodges JR. Cognitive assessment for clinicians. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1994.

– – – – –

God bless neuroses and heavy science!

You might find them useful whatever field of science you are in.

If you don’t see what you’re looking for, let me know which Journals/subject area you’d like to see as a guide.

Happy editing and writing!

Freelance Scripts – An Experts Review of Paid, Custom and Free Scripts

If you need a script to run a business on the internet, you will notice there are a few choices. One is to make or have a script custom designed. The second is to pay for a pre-made script. And the third is to find a resource directory that offers free scripts to download.

Option 1: Custom Scripts

Designing your own script or having one made can be a good path to take if there is not a script currently out there that does what you need it to. But it can be long and confusing process if you don’t start out with some highly defined goals and coding experience. If you don’t know coding yourself, most probably you end up at the mercy of the coder for any future changes or security issues. This can become an expensive option.

Option 2: Free Scripts

Downloading a free script is another option for business owners. The price is right, so why not? Although free scripts are found everywhere and easy to set up and use, they have a couple of major problems.

Free scripts and free software downloads are one of the strongest attractions to business owners wanting a shortcut. Unfortunately, they are also one of the biggest security risks.

Spammers use free scripts to their advantage cleverly to extract data from your site. They can use emails captured from programs such as refer-a-friend to create lists and sell them to other spammers. This is a major violation of permission marketing and can result in major damage to your website from your server stopping your service to you hosting company deactivating your email privileges. Not to mention how your customer will feel after having their loyalty and trust abused.

Many business owners have reported problems with a free script. The most common complains occur when the customer server gets broken into because of a security issue with the free script. Once the hackers are in the server they can steal valuable data, delete the sites or do anything they like with them. This causes a lot of problems obviously and they unfortunately learned a hard and expensive lesson, that a free script is not always the best choice.

Option 3: Paid Scripts

Buying a pre-made script is another option that many business owners take. They have decided that the cost for the script is worth more than their time and frustration of trying to develop it themselves. Examples of pre-made scripts include the MySpace MSRS script or the LayeredPanel free hosting panel script. These scripts save the site owners a lot of time and get their business up very quickly. So anyone who wants to set up a free website hosting site only needs a script with control panel features such as those found in Layered Panel.

After a business owner has bought these scripts, he or she will notice they come with rather generic and basic templates. Those templates are the same design that many other script users have so the best combination is to get a unique custom template (also known as theme or skin) for your script to attract more customers. Complete custom designs are usually around $300-400 for the entire process (the design, the coding and the integration to the script). Another option is to buy a website skin or template that has been designed for that script. This isn’t as unique as having a custom script but is also less money (usually less than $100). If you are serious about making money with your business, buying a script that is well designed with no security issues and having a custom design for your website is always worth it in the end.