Always Be ParanoidRain or no rain, Naivasha is cold in the morning. Or could it have been just this Saturday morning? And the dew will make you think that it rained. Matter of fact, had we not been up late the previous night, we would have sworn that it had rained the whole night.

It was therefore with a conscious search of the little shreds of sunlight that peeped through the sky that we headed for breakfast at the Crayfish camp restaurant on Saturday morning. This craving for sunshine was however not to last because as soon as the morning sessions kicked off, our attention was drawn away from the cold, and from the playful sun that insisted on withholding its glare to the gems of knowledge that our facilitators had to offer.

Our first sessions of the day were two masterclasses that were running concurrently; Eugene Nyawara was taking up the ‘Web Development using CMS Platforms’ Masterclass while Tyrus Kamau was taking the ‘Digital security Explained’ Masterclass. I attended Eugene’s session.

Eugene started by explaining that a CMS (Content Management System) is a Computer application that allows publishing, editing and modification of content, as well as the organization, deletion and maintenance of a web page from a central place.

The most popular CMSs are WordPress, Joomla and Drupal.

So you thought that blogging simply entails getting a domain, finding a hosting company, writing spectacular content every other day and you’ve got it covered? You think that as long as you own your domain, have your uninterrupted flow of data bundle supply that allows you to post regularly on your blog, and since your hosting company knows its work, that you’re good and life is good and there is no reason to lose any sleep?

Sorry to burst your bubble, but it does not work quite like that. “You have to understand the technicalities that come with owning a domain”, Eugene said.

Eugene stressed the need to get the services of a good hosting company if you run a self-hosted domain. You need reliable hosting that will ensure that your blog does not experience downtime from time to time.

This masterclass happened in the wake of a local hosting company having major problems that affected their client’s websites and the fear of them experiencing major data loss was still looming in the air. It was therefore understandable why most of the participants who attended this session kept raising questions to do with hosting that Eugene graciously responded to.

There is always the fear that one might wake up one day to find all their online data gone. You need a hosting company whose server will not fail for a reason as basic as your blog getting a remarkable amount of traffic.

Eugene cautioned that it always helps to deal with a hosting company that has a face. This means that you should know where their offices are, who runs the company and know who to talk to should your website give you grief or in case you lose your data and need someone to hold accountable. He gave this as the one major advantage of using local hosting as opposed to international hosting.

However, and Eugene could not have put this more succinctly, no hosting service will give you 100% efficiency. So what do you do? “No matter how good your hosting services, it helps to be paranoid and back up your data just in case something unexpected happens. Always be paranoid”, he said

Connect with Eugene @UjoNyawara

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