Find Web Developers
Find Web Developers

Mac Web Hosting – Is it Really the Holy Grail For Mac Users?

August 31st, 2018

Mac web hosting can be difficult to find these days, as are any products and services which would be fully and completely compatible with Macintosh computers. In the industry of web hosting, it seems that the vast majority of hosting providers require ActiveX controls and Internet Explorer v6, and these are things that are just not supported on a Mac. What’s further making options increasingly scarce for Mac users is the fact of Microsoft’s statement proclaiming that they’d no longer be developing any future versions of Internet Explorer for the Macintosh computer.

This can make the search for reliable hosting for your Mac an arduous task indeed. There are some out there which can cater to both systems, Mac and IBM, but are there any which are specifically designed solely for use with the Mac, even set up and run by Mac users themselves? Yes, but they seem to be very few. Those that cater to both systems aren’t necessarily unreliable to use for Mac web hosting, but you may find that there are some options or features that are unattainable for Mac users while the hosting company primarily focuses the benefits of their service upon those clients with IBM machines.

However, this isn’t always the case. Among those who offer web hosting for both Mac and IBM users, there are those whose server maintenance developers are primarily Mac users, and these hosting providers may also have a section of their support staff (Mac users themselves) which is focused solely upon the clients who use the Macintosh computer system for their web development and cater to these people’s needs. These providers of Mac web hosting also allow for many add-on features that Mac users may find very useful, and more often than not, it isn’t entirely unheard of to find some of them being made by other users of this same system who share them among the Mac user community.

If you are searching for reliable Mac web hosting companies, it would be a good idea to peruse the testimonials of those who use the Mac system to develop their websites on the host server. There may even be contact information either with an e-mail address or a link to their websites where you can find contact information from there. Inquire of these people as to the service that the host company provides. You might find the Mac web hosting service that you’ve been looking for.

Linux Server and Home Web Hosting

August 30th, 2018

If you are interested in web design or development you should have some local test place where you can check and debug websites. If you are doing this professionally you will probably invest in a real web server. But if you are doing this for fun or the reliability and speed is not a problem then you can have a simple solution with minimal investment–own Linux server. There are also some simple and effective solutions with applications like WampServer or EesyPHP. You can use them and have a good testing environment. However, having a dedicated Linux computer offers many opportunities for additional functions. In addition to this, a physical web server running Linux is a very close approximation of the real hosting environment. To install and use such server you need no special knowledge or skills. All you need is access to the internet and computer with web browser.

To set up a small but useful Linux server you need a computer. Your old computer that was replaced with a new fancy multi-core machine is a perfect candidate for this project. Linux operating system usually runs on any machine so you should not be concerned about the processor speed or the amount of RAM. If you are new to Linux you should learn some basic tips by browsing the web. There are many websites that provide step by step instructions on how to download and install Linux on any computer. The most important rule about solving any problem is to simply Google for it. Every problem you may encounter during installation or customization is somewhere already mentioned together with possible solutions or hints.

After you have a running Linux computer you should check if networking is working and if it boots without any errors. Then you need to install web server software. For this you will need at least Apache, MySQL and PHP. To upload files you will also need a FTP server software. To find out how to install applications you should again check web resources where you will find every step described in details. Before you can test your home hosting you should configure Apache for shared hosting and create few directories for your projects. This should be enough for basic web development.

Now you can put some files in the www folder and they should be visible in your browser. Simply enter the IP address of your Linux computer into the address bar of your browser and you should get your default website. You can add a line to your hosts file where you can associate a name with the IP address of the server. Then you will be able to access the server with this name.

An additional upgrade of the server can be some software to allow access from windows computers. For this purpose you can install a Samba file server which will allow you to access www or any other folder from the explorer in any Windows computer. With a Linux system running on your old computer you can get much more than just a testing environment for web development.

Building Effective Web Product Strategy

August 29th, 2018

As media companies struggle with their changing environment, they inevitably get bogged down on developing web product strategy. A flash of inspiration leads to intense research, the hiring of consultants and endless meetings with often very little to show for it. If legacy media companies are going to be successful in Digital Media, they will have to learn to change the way they think about strategy.

An effective web development effort looks something like this:

  1. Develop an internally consistent product insight based on various sources of market intelligence.
  2. Produce a working, clickable model exploiting the identified opportunity.
  3. Test internally and revise.
  4. Produce a development version of the product.
  5. Test internally and revise.
  6. Test externally and revise.
  7. Launch beta version and bug-fix.
  8. Marketing launch.
  9. Collect data in real time and continue usability testing.
  10. Repeat.

The above process highlights a major difference between web strategy and conventional strategy. In web strategy, you are constantly testing and revising which means that, to a certain extent, you are always getting something wrong that you have to go back to and correct. The beauty of the “new economy” is that you can do it relatively quickly and cheaply.

Unfortunately, most “old economy” companies have enormous problems adapting because they put enormous time, expense and effort into strategy, which usually ends up having serious problems and needs to be revised anyway. Most probably, this is because strategy is a high status, high paid function. Senior executives like to set the strategic direction because:

a. It is fun and intellectually rewarding

b. It reinforces their importance in the organization.

Even more problematic is the fact that media companies often outsource their web strategy to highly paid consultants, which makes the whole process slower, more expensive and more divorced from operational reality. The added expense is significant because it often creates a failure to scale the business to the opportunity, leading to unmanageable economics and irate CFO’s.

So here’s an outline of a more effective strategic process.

Truncated strategic process: You’re probably going to be wrong anyway, so do it quickly and cheaply!

Bring ideas from the bottom up: People who are closest to the data are most likely to achieve valuable insights. They can be approved and augmented from above to ensure that they are consistent with overall company strategy and resources.

Direct Traffic: A valuable function that senior management can and should perform is to ensure that everybody works together effectively. Inevitably, some important voices won’t be heard and some people will have to be reined in. A top manager can play a powerful role if they are seen to be an honest broker.

Start small and simple and then build in complexity: Developing in smaller iterations is faster, more economical and allows you to spot and correct problems more effectively and cheaply.

Flexible metrics: You will often find that a new product or feature is very effective at doing a job that you hadn’t thought of and not very good at performing the task for which it was intended. Rather than be disappointed, you should be happy that you’ve developed a product that is good at something (most aren’t).

One of the great things about Digital Media is that you are developing and changing all of the time, so you are always doing something new and exciting. Mistakes can be made, corrected and then improved upon. In order to be successful, this needs to be done cheaply and effectively, with a minimum of process. A minimum amount of process and approval from the top is essential if you’re going to innovate and implement as quickly as you need to.

If legacy media companies are going to learn how to build successful digital brands, they will have to stop trying to bring stone tablets down from Mount Olympus and learn how to pull their product strategy up from the masses quickly and cheaply.