The benefits of letting go

| April 04, 2012

I learned today about present-day web hosting services. Learned by researching them online.

Diane and I woke up this morning in New Mexico near the delivery we completed today. A crew of about 10 people was waiting for us when we arrived. It took them a while to do their thing but other than that the delivery went well. We drove next to the nearest Walmart to resupply the truck. That put us in Las Cruces, where we spent the day waiting for freight. Only one load offer was received and that load did not develop into a run.

That gave me time to research web hosting services and set up a new account with a new web host. You will often hear people talking about “the Cloud” in which websites like this one reside. In fact, there is no such cloud. Websites reside as data bits stored in large, powerful computers, called servers, located in buildings on the ground.

Diane and I have made numerous pickups and deliveries to computer server farms; massive facilities in which hundreds of servers are housed. They are impressive operations. Thousands of places like these are linked together worldwide to back each other up and download information to your computer, smart phone and other devices.

Web hosting companies either own these servers or rent capacity from other companies that do. When I say I set up a new web hosting account today, I mean that I hired a company that will give me space on a server to which I will upload my website files and from which they will be downloaded to you.

A number of companies will provide free web hosting services, but the catch usually is that advertising will be displayed on the web site you put up or data about your web site users will be captured and used in ways that you and your web site visitors may not know about.

I pay a company to host my web site to maintain control over such things and keep my site ad free. I am changing web hosts because my present one seems to be developing glitches more frequently and it is not optimized for the WordPress software that I will use in the near future to publish these pages.

This is a big Operation Streamline step for me. WordPress has been around for a long time but I am only now embracing it. For years I had the intention and desire to get good at web site development. I liked the idea of being my own webmaster and having full control over every aspect of my site. But that takes time and effort and it never got done at the level I envisioned. WordPress does the behind the scenes work for me, but to use it I must relinquish some control.

That’s OK— finally — but it took a long time for me to decide that it is more important to have a 21st century web site than it is to be in full control of the process that produces it.

A T-shirt I once saw for sale at an art fair says it all: “Everything I have ever let go of has claw marks all over it.”

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