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Andrew Broberg

How To Choose The Right Web Host To Boost Your Marketing Efforts

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Website owners have many reasons for creating a website and one of the most common ones is for marketing purposes. With a website, you will be able to increase brand awareness as customers will be able to find you. It is also through your website that you can showcase what you can offer to customers and why prospects should choose you. Once you create your website, you will be confronted by many decisions including the design and functionality, content and even search engine optimisation. Aside from these elements, business owner must also focus on actual hosting.

As you do your research and discover relevant information, there are other aspects of web hosting that you need to keep in mind. With that said, comparing apples with apples is essential.

Uptime and Security Guarantee

When it comes to selecting the right website host, you should find out what the hosting company’s uptime guarantee is. Customers do not like to experience an error message or blank screen every time they visit your website. Choose companies that can guarantee an uptime of at least 99%. Aside from uptime guarantee, you should also take security guarantee into consideration. With data breach and cyber attacks being a huge issue these days, businesses must add layers of protection to protect websites from being the next target. It is also imperative to protect customers’ information such as email addresses, credit card numbers and passwords.

Back Up For Site Content

You may encounter problems, which may result in deleting important data from your website. Whether it is caused by a hacking issue or a mistake from your end, having a hosting company that ensures your data is backed up should be your priority. Although the process can also be done without the web hosting company’s assistance, you may not have enough time at your disposal to handle the task on a daily basis.

Scalable Plan

As your business grows, the company you sign up for must also have the ability to scale with you. A hosting provider with different levels of service on offer enables you to upgrade over time. It will also be a huge help if you choose providers that will allow you to change plans without charging any exit or cancellation fees. There are companies that give you options to change up or down based on your needs. If you need more bandwidth, an upgrade should not cost you an arm and a leg.

Customer Support

Your website may not always be up and running and a reliable customer support that you can get a hold of 24 hours a day is essential. A customer representative who can get any problems sorted out quickly will prevent any issues, which may take place while you are having an ad run or send an email newsletter.

Why Domain Names Are Important

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For your website to have a unique identity, a domain name is essential. The domain name has to be unique to ensure that no two parties hold the same domain name as this can create a problem and will defeat the purpose of building your brand identity. Your domain name is not only your identity but your online business card as well. Unfortunately, there are people who do not give importance to their domain name without realising that doing so will also result in losing their whole online identity.

It is easy to lose your domain name if you do not understand how it works. Technically, a domain name is used for identifying and finding computers on the Internet. Since computers use Internet Protocol (IP) addresses, a series of numbers are used for identification purposes. Since there are many IP addresses out there, domain names are created to form an identity unique to each website. Without a domain name, your web address will be translated into IP numbers. Imagine the ordeal of remembering a series of numbers.

Choosing a domain name

A word or phrase is used as a domain name. When it comes to exploring some possible options, it is essential to think of catchy phrases or words that potential customers can easily remember and will bring traffic to the site. As much as possible, use a domain name that represents your website. For instance, if you are a web developer, your domain name should be relevant to the product and service you are offering.

Keeping your domain name short is also recommended. Stick to 5 to 20 characters so it is easy to remember. Aside from keeping it short, ensuring that domain names are spelled correctly will also help you to avoid brand problems.

How do you obtain a domain name?

You can get a domain name in two ways: 1.)register the domain name yourself; 2.)get your web host service provider to register the domain name for you.

If you prefer to register a domain name yourself, choosing a Registrar will be the first step. Choosing from hundreds of registrars can be tricky and some of them may even offer a low yearly fee. If you choose to have a web host register the domain name for you, the provider will have their own approved registrar. Since providers are doing this process many times, the essential information they need are already available. The process can save time and effort.

Why register?

Private registration is encouraged to keep unsolicited e-mails and phone calls at bay. Registering a domain without private registration will make your information accessible to the public and  you can become a likely target of companies sending unsolicited mails, e-mails and phone calls.

What Is Web Hosting Control Panel?

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Once you subscribe to a web hosting service, you will be introduced to the control panel, which is your webhosting account’s administration portion. What you can see here is the interface where all the aspects of your webhosting account can be found. This is where backend development happens as the control panel allows you to control all portions of your website.

Now that you have an idea what a control panel is, you may want to take a look at some of the control panel basics.

The control panel allows you to get a glimpse of the following:

a. Disk space usage
b. Hosting package
c. Bandwidth usage for the month
d. IP Address
e. Path to Sendmail
f. Version Identification
g. Quantity of:
-MySQL databbases
-FTP accounts
-Add on domains
-Email accounts
-Mailing lists
-Parked domains

The control panel also lets you manage your files or the actual content on your website. File management includes backing up your files. This is an important process especially when you decide to migrate to another web hosting service provider. This section also lets you create FTP accounts, which you can use for an FTP client. FTP accounts make it easier for you to upload and download documents to your website.

You can also create new folders or directories, create new files, change permissions, move, copy or delete files and folders.

The control panel gives you the option to administer email settings such as creating email addresses and setting quotas. You can also set up auto responders, mailing lists and forwarders. Some web host service providers may also provide additional features such as anti-spam tools that allow you to turn on or turn off a spam filter.

Since maintaining levels of security is also important in managing a website, the control panel gives you special permissions to protect directories so information is kept confidential. This section gives you the ability to create a username and a password so hackers and cyberattackers will not easily gain access  to sensitive information. You can even block a particular visitor if you deem their activity suspicious.

There are also other applications you can find in the control panel such as blogs, classified ad management, image galleries, polls, project management, site builders and many more. More advanced options are available and some of them may no longer be familiar to you such as network tools, frontpage extensions, domain management, PHP administration and other features.

 

What Is Included In Your Web Hosting Package?

150 150 Andrew Broberg

What do web hosting and Internet services have in common? They are both an intangible service as you cannot touch or see them. This is why it is possible for most web hosting packages to offer the same service features. There can even be cases when you are paying more than you are getting.

You can go for the cheapest web hosting services or the most expensive plans, but they do not guarantee uninterrupted and valuable service. Before you commit to buying web hosting plan, you need to be aware of the things included in your package. You can buy the most expensive package, and only get the cheapest service.

So what is really included in your package?

Servers

Although servers cannot be seen, you can spend a vast amount of money for the physical equipment intended for the servers. The equipment involves rack-mounted computers. If you choose premium web hosting companies, the equipment will be more advanced as they are faster. As a result, your website will also have faster loading times.

Data Centers

Aside from servers, data centers are also responsible for keeping your website up and running. Data centers are composed of high speed and high bandwidth internet access. The equipment must be maintained and guarded at all times.

Software

Web hosting companies use Open Source, but licensed and paid control panel is the most popular option. Some who have a very specific need for Windows hosting will also consider subscribing for a Windows hosting plan.

Internet Connection

Although Internet service and web hosting service are two different things, web hosting will only work with the help of internet connectivity. Web hosting data requires bandwidth and speed to function.

Support

You are not only paying for the web hosting package but the technical support as well. In fact, support is an important part of your web hosting package because if your web hosting service is not functioning properly, you can turn to customer support for help. Never choose a web hosting package without a support plan.

When searching for web hosting plans, avoid choosing the cheapest one. Cheap plans can have a negative impact on your website and there is no guarantee that you will get support when you need it. Choose web hosting plans that can provide you quality service. It is also important to remember that price alone is not an indicator of quality. If you want lower downtime, better connectivity and fast processor, you will need to choose premium web hosting service.

Are Free Web Hosting Services Good?

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Website development is vital to building strong online presence. While it is a huge expense, small business owners should not cut cost by choosing free services. As they say, “you get what you pay for.” Having said that, website issues cannot be properly addressed if you cheap out on hosting.

Reasons choosing a free host is a bad idea

If you want high quality web host service that keeps your website up and running, choosing companies that do not charge for their hosting service will not give you excellent results. Although you will be offered a free trial for the first month, you will eventually choose a paid subscription to access premium features.

Free hosting plans have security issues that can compromise your website. Low security level means your website will be vulnerable to cyberattacks. Your website can get deleted and your identity can be stolen.

There are also limitations that you need to put up with when choosing free web hosting. Using sub-domains is one of its limitations. You will also have to bear with limited space and bandwidth. With limited space, you are left with no choice but to exclude some file types. With too many restrictions, adding image or contact form will not be possible.

Paid web hosting service offers 24/7 customer support. If your website has encountered a problem, you can easily get access to support any time of the day.

Your website will also run slow if there are too many users on the same server. Since your website helps you convert leads into customers, not being able to access your website will lose your chances of converting leads.

Free hosting services have forced advertising, which can be distracting to users. These ads will pop up occasionally and it is impossible to remove them. The problem with forced ads is that they can cause website traffic. When your website is cluttered with unrelated banners, it will look unprofessional to users. You search engine rankings can suffer as well.

It is such a big risk if you are going to put your trust in free hosting service because it will mean that you give power to the company to control your website. The web hosting company will be the one to decide about your website’s presence. You cannot build great online reputation if your website’s credibility is in question. Potential customers will not take your business seriously because you have signed up for a free hosting service.

If your aim is to build your online business, think about choosing a reliable hosting service. Aside from unlimited hosting, you can also gain access to 24/7 customer support in case you have problems with your website.

What Are The Factors To Consider When Planning Your Website’s Content?

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Building a website is essential in creating online presence. It primarily involves technical processes such as coding and web designing. While the audience may see cool graphics and effects, the process behind every website’s aesthetic and visual appeal requires an expert with exceptional technical capability. While everyone can learn how to build a website, delivering the message you wish to convey needs quality content.

A website designer cannot force a design into the website without taking some factors into consideration. Before any programming can take place, planning a website’s content is the first step a business owner should take. When you plan your content, you will be able to have a better insight of what will happen. Planning enables you to choose the words, images and information that should be included in your website. You will also know the essential technical elements that will capture your audience’s interest.

Your audience plays an important role in the process of building a website. Ask yourself about the audience your website wants to target. Once you know your target audience, you will be able to know the design and mood for your website. Defining your content will not only target the right audience but also establish your brand’s identity.

Breaking down your content

When profiling your audience, you need to consider their interests and needs. You will be able to know the scope of your website this way. Spending a little more time on each section of your website will give you a better view of the kind of identity you want for your website.

The Importance of SiteMap

Building a website involves putting Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) strategies in place. SiteMaps are vital to your SEO strategy. It should be built before the site is completed. SiteMaps are the first file that Google looks for when it crawls a site. A SiteMap is the foundation of web design.

Visual Representation

A SiteMap is considered as your visual representation that dictates your site design and content. You can rearrange or review your website so it will be aligned to the mission and vision of your business. It is necessary to update your website from time to time so that it meets the demands of current website technology. Think about your content plan so you can finalise your website design. Once you finish the website, make it a point to produce regular content. A mobile-responsive website is also essential as most people are using their mobile devices to access the internet.

3 Common Problems That Can Kill Your Website

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Building a website enables you to connect with your customers. However, website design and maintenance is also important to maximise your website’s potential to generate opportunities. Ignoring professional web design results in losing potential customers and limiting web presence. As customers turn to their mobile devices to search or purchase products or services, a website that is not mobile responsive can drive away prospects. Web design ensures your website is optimised. You can also be sure that your website content is valuable. There are 3 common website problems that can hurt your business:

1. Lack of regular website backups

Experts encourage website owners to have backups as this can save you from potential damage in the event your website is hacked. Websites are vulnerable to hacking regardless of your level of security. Cyberattacks can create serious damage to your website. The damage can negatively affect your business as website will become unavailable until issues are resolved. When it comes to the rate of backups, it should be aligned with  how often your website content is updated. The rule of thumb is to back up your website on a regular basis.

2. Low quality web design

It is common for website owners to cut corners to avoid overspending on website creation. Little do they know that DIY website design does more harm than good. Your website sets your brand identity. If images, content and overall design do not match your objective, maintaining strong web presence will be a great challenge for you. Growing your level of credibility will also be another issue you will face if the design does not reflect the identity of your brand. If you are not a graphic designer, it is better to engage a professional service that will take care of your website.

3. Non-responsive website on mobile

Most consumers find it more convenient to use their mobile phones than their computers. Mobile devices make it easy for people to know what you are selling as information is available anytime, anywhere. If your website is not mobile-optimised, consumers will not hesitate to make a beeline for a better website they can do business with. Different screen sizes must be taken into consideration as this is essential in building a website. Check if your website displays correctly on mobile phones, tablets and desktop computers. Users are not the only ones who are pleased to come across a mobile responsive website, but Google as well. A responsive website is usable and easy to maintain. An excellent customer experience is one benefit of investing in mobile responsive design.

3 Mistakes To Avoid When Choosing A Domain Name

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The first step to making your presence known in the World Wide Web is by building a website. A lot of time and effort is put into web design and features, but selecting a domain name also requires serious attention. Your domain name is your website’s identity. People will know what you are selling by merely looking at your web address. When domain name creates confusion, it will be daunting to reach your target audience. Make sure you do not commit these 3 mistakes when choosing your domain name.

1. Choosing a domain name that is hard to spell.

Is your domain name easy to spell? If you tell a friend or a colleague your web address, will they be able to spell it correctly? When domains are difficult to spell or remember, the chance that people will visit your website is small.

2. Choosing a vague domain name.

The last thing you want to do is to mislead your audience with a domain that says something different. In choosing a domain, think about the message you wish to convey to people. If you are selling products and services, your domain should define what your business is all about. Even changing capitalisation can make a huge difference. Be wary of the domain you choose as it can make or break your business.

3. Choosing a domain name with a trademark problem.

Avoid using a domain name that has trademark issues. While it is unavoidable to come across a domain name that happens to be owned by another company, it does not deny the fact that the domain name violates laws on trademark registration. There are databases you can use to find out if your chosen domain name has been taken.

Sometimes keeping it simple works wonders. This is because you are making it easy for users to type in the name of your website. Although you may spend too much time thinking about creative domain names, people are more likely to misspell your name when they are not familiar with it. Numbers and hyphens must also be avoided.

Relevant domain names will also give users what they are asking for. If you have a food business, your domain name should boost your branding. Keyword abuse is also discouraged because it can be harmful to your website. Limit your website to two or three keywords and make sure that it reflects the content of your website. You may be surprised but search engines favor websites that use simple and original domain names.

 

The Best Practices For Choosing Your Domain Name

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A website helps you build a brand identity, but without a domain name, the identity you are trying to build will be non-existent. In choosing a domain name, there are things you need to take into consideration. While there might be some brilliant ideas going through your head, choosing a unique domain name is such a challenge. Following some best practices can help you find a domain name that suits your website.

Ensure keywords are part of your domain name

Keywords are essential to choosing a domain name. Aside from the fact that it helps you become more accessible to your target audience, it also helps bring more traffic to your website. It is important for people to know what your website is about. It will also be easier for you to target users.

Consider new domains

It is no surprise that good domain names are always selected. However, untouched domains also have potential. It is important to get creative in using new domains. When fusing creativity into domain selection, make sure that you keep your social presence in mind. Domain names must also be easy to be found online especially domain names for social sites.

Choose a domain name that is easy to access

While it cannot be denied that many websites use dashes, one thing you need to remember is that people like it when your website is easy to access. A good domain name must be kept short.

Keep privacy in mind

Aside from choosing a domain name that can target users, privacy is also important. Domain data must be kept private by having better security. It is also worth noting that better security may come with an additional cost. It is worth investing in domains that can address your privacy concerns. After all, it can turn into a long-term investment.

Think about other extensions

Extensions do not necessarily have to be a .com. You can also choose other domain extensions such as .net, .co, .site and many more. You can also do some research so you will know the extensions that suit your website.

Researching properly is one of the best practices to follow when you are choosing a domain name. While it may take time to find a good domain name, the positive result that it yields such as driving more traffic to the website and targeting the right audience are just some of the benefits you will reap in the end.

What Is A Domain Name:A Guide For Beginners

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Although a domain name is a basic thing, a beginner may not completely know what it is. When you build your first website, choosing a domain name is an essential process. It ensures proper set up before your website goes live. However, the domain selection process requires careful consideration.

Domain name in a nutshell

So what exactly is a domain name? A domain name is a web address you type into a web browser. As you click go or press enter, the web address will take you to the website. A domain name is similar to a fingerprint. It is unique and cannot be shared.

Websites and domain names are also separate things. Your domain name is your phone number while the website is your phone. Just like your phone number, you have the option to change your domain name any time. However, you can only connect the domain name to a single website at a time.

Paid vs Free Domain Names

For people who create websites for recreational purposes, free domain names are options to consider. With free domain names, a website will have a sub-domain. However, free domain names are not recommended for building a long-term business. This is because you do not own the sub-domains despite the fact that it is free to use. A sub-domain cannot be transferred should you decide to switch to another service provider. Since a sub-domain name is only an extension, creating your own unique branding will be a challenge.

Buying A Domain Name

When you buy a domain name, paying an annual fee is necessary so your domain name remains registered over a certain period of time. Once your registration expires and you fail to renew, you will also lose the domain name. This will result in making the domain name available for other users to register. Before your registration expires, the service provider will send you an email indicating the date of expiration. You will also be provided with an auto-renewal option.

Transferring A Domain Name

The best thing about domain names is that they are not exclusive to one location. If you decide to transfer your domain name, the service provider will not restrict you so long as you pay the annual fee. You will be provided with instructions on how to transfer the domain name.

One reason for domain name transfer is when you switch website builders. If you have purchased your domain name through a domain name registrar, all you have to do is to reconnect your domain name to your new website builder and cut the connection to the previous one.