Want a cheap web host for a video blog? Read before you jump!

Paid hosting, you know, is much better than free hosting for blogs and websites. By that logic, if you want lots of videos on your blog or want to have a vblog or vlog outright, you MUST have a self-hosted blog with the facility to host a number of videos.

Add to that, the fact that videos
  • are difficult to edit (and professional editing tools and skills cost a ton),
  • come in different formats and not all open on all computers or mobile devices,
  • cannot be viewed when the computer or mobile phone does not support that format,
  • take a great deal of space (and web space is an expensive commodity),
  • can become unusable when new technology and formats are used by browsers (and converting individual videos and reloading them after a few years is a big job).
Now juxtapose this with the hosting realities:
  • Between the two major free blogging platforms, Blogger allows you to post videos free on your blog; Wordpress (free) does not allow that.
  • Web hosts charge for space (and videos take huge space).
  • Videos need big bandwidth for their playback by users (so, if many users visit your website and play the video, either the site will hang or the host will demand extra payment for more bandwidth).
But there is a ready-made solution from Google, and it is so simple!
video blogging

Host your videos on YouTube


If you have not published your videos on YouTube yet, let me tell you that it is as simple as sending an email. You need to have a Google account and the YouTube is all for you to use. You can upload  videos in many formats and sizes as standalone videos and can have playlists and channels that you can share with others. Each of these have their own URLs, so you can post them the way you post images. In addition, you can embed a video on the blog or any other website (not social networking accounts) so that it plays there itself.

In addition to giving you free space to host your videos, YouTube hosting gives you many other advantages:
  • You earn money when people visit your videos. 
  • You get comments and feedback.
  • You can link your blog and get traffic to the blog.
  • Make channels of videos and let people subscribe to these, getting you more traffic and income.
  • Download free music and sound effects for use in videos.
  • Get detailed analytics of your videos and channels.
  • You can even live stream events after some additional verification by Google.
  • The videos are secure and available 24x7.
  • And much more!
You will realize that his is an enormous facility and yet it does not consume space on your blog or website. So, if you want to open a vblog, have many videos on your blog, or have a website with numerous videos or something similar, think of YouTube first.

Laptop not recognizing headphones fixed

This post is not on blogging but helping bloggers, especially new and bloggers on YouTube whose laptop has stopped recognizing headphones. This may happen occasionally or all the time. Because I fixed it, thought to share it with the community.

Windows 10 comes with a Realtek audio driver pre-installed for managing the audio. But often it is not installed with all its wares and sometimes it misbehaves too. One frustrating thing that many users face is the laptop not recognizing headphones. And when the laptop does not recognize headphones or headsets, you try to change all types of settings but it does not help. It happens mostly on Windows 10 computers.

This is how you should approach it, and it will work perfectly. 

1. Go to Control Panel. Then click on the grid of dots to open all services. If Realtek audio manager is listed, you can change the audio output settings there. 

sound card - audio driver

2. The issue could be worse: Realtek audio manager missing issue. In that case you have to download Realtek HD audio manager. You need to download the driver pack. This is available on Realtek site, for both 32 bit and 64 bit computers. However, downloading the audio driver from Realtek site is a pain, because the connection is extremely slow, it breaks and the downloaded audio driver might not even work!

Here comes my experience handy. I tried Dell and Sony websites where too the Realtek audio driver is available. However, the download from OEMdrivers did wonders. It fixed the laptop not recognizing headphones issue in two ways: It started shifting to the inbuilt speaker or headphone when the headphone was inserted or removed. In addition, it started giving prompts when a new device or software (e.g. Whatsapp) wanted to use a sound device. 

Let me give the download link for Realtek HD audio driver/ manager. There are options for Windows 7, 10, 11 etc, and also 32 bit and 64 bit. 

Disclosure: I have no commercial affiliation whatsoever with OEMdrivers.  


Directory of Best Hindi Blogs 11th edition released: हिंदी के सर्वश्रेष्ठ ब्लॉग्स की डायरेक्टरी का 11वां संस्करण प्रस्तुत

हिंदी के सर्वश्रेष्ठ ब्लॉग्स (top Hindi blogs) की डायरेक्टरी का 11वां संस्करण आपके सामने है. हिंदी ब्लॉगों के संसार में जो नया पाया और जो चल रहा है, उसपर चर्चा कुछ समय बाद करेंगे. बस इतना कहना है कि इंटरनेट/ वेब पर सोशल नेटवर्किंग और वीडियो शेयरिंग के आधिपत्य के बावजूद जो लोग ब्लॉगिंग जैसे गंभीर और टिकाऊ माध्यम से खुद को अभिव्यक्त कर पा रहे हैं, वे प्रशंशा के पात्र हैं. 

संचार या इंटरनेट की टेक्नोलॉजी पर भी हिंदी में ब्लॉग लिखे जा रहे हैं, लेकिन वहां अभिव्यक्ति या ज्ञान का आदान-प्रदान नहीं, व्यवसाय मुख्य उद्देश्य है. हम टेक्नोलॉजी पर ऐसे ब्लॉगों को इस लिस्ट में सम्मिलित नहीं कर पाए जो पूरी तरह से व्यावसायिक हैं, हालाँकि ऐसे ब्लॉग धनार्जन की कसौटी पर इस डायरेक्टरी में सम्मिलित अधिकतर ब्लॉगों से ज़्यादा सफल हैं. 

जैसा कि आप जानते होंगे, इस डायरेक्टरी में पूर्णतः व्यावसायिक और फ़र्मों/ कंपनियों द्वारा चलाये जाने वाले ब्लॉग सम्मिलित नहीं किए जाते. ऐसे ब्लॉगरों के ब्लॉगों को भी सम्मिलित कर पाना मुश्किल हो जाता है जो अपना परिचय पूरी तरह से छिपा कर रखते हैं, क्योंकि यह पता नहीं होता  कि वो ब्लॉग किसी कंपनी द्वारा चलाये जा रहे हैं या व्यक्तियों या संस्थाओं द्वारा. 

हिंदी के बहुत सारे ब्लॉगों पर डिज़ाइन और रंगों का ध्यान नहीं रखा जाता. हमने डिज़ाइन को डायरेक्टरी में सम्मिलित करने का पैमाना नहीं रखा है लेकिन फूहड़ लगने वाले ब्लॉग तो "सर्वश्रेष्ठ" ब्लॉग कतई नहीं हो सकते, इसलिए ऐसे ब्लॉग भी डायरेक्टरी में जगह नहीं ले पाते चाहे वह कितने ही संसाधन-संपन्न क्यों न हों. 

यह पुरानी पोस्ट हिंदी ब्लॉगों में डिज़ाइन के बारे में टिप्स देती है: Web design in Hindi blogs: major problems हिंदी के ब्लॉगों के डिज़ाइन में बड़ी खामियां. संक्षेप में, अधिक दिखने वाली डिजाइन और वर्तनी आदि की खामियाँ इस तरह की होती हैं:

  • मात्राओं का गलत प्रयोग, विशेषकर गलत बिन्दु और ऊ की मात्रा.. 
  • अर्ध-विराम का गलत प्रयोग. (अर्ध-विराम शब्द के अंत में लगता है और उसके बाद एक स्पेस देना होता है, न कि अर्ध-विराम को अगले शब्द में जोड़ दिया जाए.)
  • अक्षरों को बहुत बड़ा या बहुत छोटा कर देना.
  • रंगों का बहुत अधिक प्रयोग। फूहड़ रंगों का प्रयोग। गलत रंगों का मेल.
  • पठन सामग्री के पीछे ऐसे रंग या चित्र लगा देना कि पढ़ना मुश्किल हो जाए.
  • बेहद लंबी लेबल या टैग लिस्ट (15-20 से ज्यादा लेबल बेमानी हो जाते हैं, साथ ही वे ब्लॉग को अक्षरों के कूड़ेदान में बदल देते हैं.)
  • बहुत लंबी ब्लॉग-लिस्ट (blogroll) तथा ब्लॉग-लिस्ट में ऐसे ब्लॉग भी सम्मिलित होना जो बंद हो गए हों.  
  • ब्लॉग के खत्म हो जाने के बाद पूंछ की तरह लटकता हुआ साइड-बार. (ऐसा अधिकतर तब होता है जब हम लंबी लेबल-लिस्ट या ब्लॉग-लिस्ट साइड-बार पर लगाते हैं.)
  • बहुत पतले कॉलम या साइड-बार, जिनमें सामग्री ठीक से नहीं आ पाती. 

आशा है, आपको डायरेक्टरी का यह संस्करण पसंद आएगा. अगर कोई अच्छा ब्लॉग छूट गया हो तो इस ईमेल पर सुझाएं: kp.nd.2008@gmail.com हम उसे परख कर डायरेक्टरी में जोड़ लेंगे. 

This post is to announce the 11th edition of the Directory of Best Hindi Blogs. It lists top Hindi blogs in 2021 selected for their quality of content, regularity, and commitment to blogging as a craft and a  medium of expression. 

As in the past, we have included quality blogs in Hindi that are being maintained by individuals or organizations but not those (i) maintained by business entities or (ii) fully commercialized. We could not include those blogs in the listing whose bloggers do not disclose their identity - whether they are an individual or an institution or a corporate entity.

A big majority of Hindi blogs do not care for colors and design. Though it is not a selection criterion, we could not take blogs with an extremely bad sense of design or colors. We shall come up with another post on other observations on the Hindi blogosphere. 

You will agree that despite the domination of social networking and video sharing platforms on the web, maintaining a traditional blog, that too for sharing knowledge and expressing oneself, is a task that needs commitment and passion. We appreciate Hindi bloggers who have withstood the onslaught of social media and have continued with the serious, stable and much more valuable medium of blogging.

Hope you like this listing of top Hindi blogs. If you find any good-quality blog that is missing here, please share that with us here: kp.nd.2008@gmail.com


Hindi me blogging

Related links:

Make a blog on Google Blogger गूगल ब्लॉगर में अपना ब्लॉग कैसे बनाएं

Hindi blogging: what is there? हिन्दी ब्लॉगिंग में है क्या ?

You will see the list of Best Hindi Blogs हिंदी के सर्वश्रेष्ठ ब्लॉगों की लिस्ट in a month!

Dear Hindi blogger friends,

Compilation of the 2021 edition of the Directory of Best Hindi Blogs is going on. If you have a good Hindi blog to suggest, do so now.

The directory will be released on September 1, 2021.

मित्रो,

हिंदी के सर्वश्रेष्ठ ब्लॉगों की डायरेक्टरी के 2021 संस्करण का संकलन शुरू हो चुका है. अगर आपको कोई उत्तम गुणवत्ता का ब्लॉग सुझाना हो तो शीघ्र करने का कष्ट करें
.
 
डायरेक्टरी 1 सितंबर 2021 को प्रकाशित होगी. 


top hindi blogs

What is HTTPS? How do HTTP and HTTPS protocols work?

If you are new to the world of managing a website or blog, words such as HTTP and HTTPS might confuse you. So, this article starts with the very basics such as "what is HTTPS". If you are already there on the scene for long but have ignored implementing HTTPS on your website or blog, you better brush up your knowledge and install HTTPS on your website without losing time.

For easy understanding, I have broken this article into sections. You can jump to a section by clicking on the link here:
     

WHAT IS HTTPS


HTTPS is a secure way of transmitting data between a website and a web browser.

The first expression in any web address or URL is http:// or https://. Even if the browser at times does not show this, it is there, hidden from our view.
 
Websites (static websites, portals, blogs, forums, social media entities are all different forms of websites) can be seen on the browsers of our devices because of a technical protocol (=a set of norms that are well established and which are followed by all) called Hypertext Transfer Protocol or HTTP.
 
When you want to open a website, you either type out its URL or click on a link to that website. Your web browser instantly checks the website's basic information. If it finds that the website is following HTTP protocol, it sends a request to the website server for data. After a technical handshake, the data is provided to your web browser and the website opens on your device.
 
After some years of existence with HTTP, it was found that hackers and criminals can exploit the communication between the visitor's browser and the website's server, thus getting entry into the server, stealing data, pushing malicious data, and so on. Spy agencies and government-owned surveillance tools can intercept the communication with even greater efficiency as they have very powerful tools.
 
Different ways were (and are constantly being) devised to check this exploitation. One of the most important ways for securing communication or data transfer on the web is the introduction of HTTPS, a protocol that is essentially HTTP and has an S (=secure) layer attached to it. Thus, the communication between the two computers has to pass through a sort of security gate where the gatekeeper (security layer) checks the ID of the message and the website.

If you need a more elaborate definition of HTTP, here is how Webopedia defines HTTPS:
HTTP is the underlying protocol used by the World Wide Web and this protocol defines how messages are formatted and transmitted, and what actions Web servers and browsers should take in response to various commands.



What is SSL?

HTTPS happens because of a piece of software (= security layer, security certidicate) that acts as gatekeeper for a domain/ website. The software is issued by a Certification Agency. We are discussing how to get a SSL certificate from a Certification Agency in a section below.

SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) is the most common security layer or certificate to secure a website from unwanted elements capturing the website's communication and data transfer. SSL is nothing but a certificate or a piece of software installed on the server where the website is located. TLS (Transport Layer Security) is a more recent certificate and it takes care of some vulnerabilities found in SSL. For the sake of uniformity, I will refer to both as SSL in this article.
 



How does HTTPS work?

When you enter a URL on your web browser, a communication is generated by your web server. It looks for the URL over the www through the internet, and when it finds the target server, it requests the server to pass on the information so that the website can be displayed in the web browser.  In case of HTTPS-enabled sites, this bit of request faces SSL or TLS software before further action takes place. The SSL certificate information gets passed on to the browser on which the URL was typed. The browser checks whether the certificate is trustworthy. After verification of the certificate, there is a 'handshake' between the web server and the browser - now all the data flow between the two ends during that session happens through encryption.

What follows from the above [highly simplified] discussion is that there is a security certificate at the gate of the website and there is a database of valid certificates in the browser (browsers keep updating their list of valid certificates). So, if the certificate is not valid or is corrupted, the browser will not open the website but issue a warning to the user that the website is not secure.
 
For some years now, browsers have been popping up a security warning, even if a non-HTTPS website is genuine and safe because the genuineness of the website does not guarantee that the communication between it and a web browser will be secure. When the security setting of a browser is set to maximum, such sites do not open at all.



Types of HTTPS

HTTPS prefix is a stamp that there is a SSL/ TLS certificate at the gate of the website. But it does not tell about the strength of the security the certificate provides. Certification Agencies (CAs) issue different types of certificates to cater to different levels of security. The higher level of security you demand, the costlier the certificate is.

Before issuing a certificate, the CA carries out certain security checks (=validations) for the website and the website owner, as follows:
  • When the CA only verifies the domain before issuing a certificate, it is called Domain-Control Validation (DV). As you would expect, this is the lowest level of security certificate. The CA, in this case, tells the web browser of the user: "I have checked the domain of this website. The domain is an actual domain and not a duplicate or fake or phishing domain. The data flow between this website and a web browser will be encrypted and secure." So, a domain can have this certificate even if it belongs to a criminal or fraudster.
  • In the next level of security check, the CA checks whether the organization or individual behind the website/ domain is genuine. This is called Organization Validation (OV).
  • When the website/ domain needs the strongest level of security, it would install Extended Validation (EV) certificate. In that case, the CA makes rigorous checks of the owner's identity. Only a highly trustworthy owner can get such a security certificate. Banks and other websites that deal with money and online transactions must have this level of security.
See the picture below. It shows how Google Chrome's address bar shows 4 different types of security levels (HTTP only and three HTTPS levels). The lower portion in each case is the small window that opens after clicking on the lock before the URL. (Other web browsers have more or less similar ways of depicting the level of HTTPS security.)

what is HTTPS

The first URL shown above belongs to a domain with HTTP, not HTTPS prefix. Look at the lock before the URL: it has been crossed. The second one has HTTPS certificate and therefore there is a lock preceding the URL, but some entities (e.g. images) on the website are not contained behind HTTPS security, so it gives a warning. The third URL is a common website with HTTPS security. The fourth one belongs to a bank's website. It has a lock as well as the name of the verified owner.

To make things clear again: if an HTTPS-enabled website has SSL/ TLS certificate with only domain validation, the domain can be trusted as genuine but its owner could himself be of doubtful credentials. So, sites with HTTPS certification of the first type could still be malicious. Moreover, criminals could use HTTPS-enabled websites, such as blogs, where third-party content is allowed. 

There could also be rogue or corrupted certificates getting issued or the same certificate getting used for a good and many bad sites. Some such cases have appeared in the press.

So, for confidential/ monetary transactions, you must be sure that the website uses a higher level of certification - seen with padlock. and company's name before the URL. Do not share confidential information such as credit card CVV on websites that do not have the top level security.

[Update: Starting with Google Chrome, browsers are likely to dispense with the padlock icon for HTTPS from 2022, as over 90 percent of websites now have HTTPS security.]



How to install SSL certificate on your website?

As explained above, for HTTPS security on your website, you need to get an SSL certificate. Most Certification Agencies give it at a price, and some have started giving the DV level of certificate free too.
 
An SSL certificate also comes bundled with expensive web hosting packages. On base level packages, even if they provide HTTPS free, it usually becomes a paid certificate when you renew the hosting plan.

For getting HTTPS, you have to apply for the certificate, and after some formalities and checks, the Certification Agency gives you the desired certificate. It involves installing the certificate on the web server where the website is hosted. On every web host platform, there is a straightforward procedure to install the certificate. 

The certificate needs to be renewed periodically.

LetsEncrypt is a fully-dependable FREE SSL certificate. For a normal website (on which you do not do monetary transactions or share confidential details), this basic certificate is good enough.

By the way, if your blog is on Wordpress, Blogger, Tumblr or Medium free blogging platform, you need not bother about HTTPS security. On Wordpress, etc it comes automatically while on Blogger, there is an option to go for HTTPS (Go to Settings> HTTPS Redirect).