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Protecting Your Online Business: Preventing and Recovering From Attacks on Your Site

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Protecting Your Online Business: Preventing and Recovering From Attacks on Your Site


Now that you know how your online business can be attacked, it’s time to figure out ways that you can use to prevent them from happening. Many of these ideas are actually simple to implement, so any online business owner should take a look at them. No website can be made completely untouchable to dedicated groups of malicious individuals, however there are various ways that can be put forward to reduce the chance of an attack, as well as immediately stop the damage if one does happen.

  • Choose your hosting wisely

Your web host is where your site will be residing so it is extremely important that you choose one that takes security seriously. Avoid free and very cheap hosts, as they often tend to make compromises about security in order to achieve such cheap prices. Before selecting a web host, read some independent user reviews to see if that company has had any serious issues with hacking and security in the past and how they helped their users recover from damage and secure their site if an attack has occurred.

While this option may not be the best choice for everyone, using a VPS or dedicated hosting type instead of shared hosting offers much better security than a shared hosting server, where all websites are put together on one server, thus making it easier for malware to spread. If your business grows, investing in top quality hosting might be a good choice.

  • Maintain backups of your site

Having regular backups of the entire contents of your website is very important as this is what will help you recover should your site have been attacked. There are many web hosting companies which do daily backups of your site for you (or at least claim they do) or let you create a backup copy of your site and keep it on their servers. However, there are many hosting customers that have expressed dissatisfaction that when they needed them, the backups were not available or they had extreme difficulty getting their web host to restore their website to the way it was before. Therefore, it is always a good idea to maintain regular backups either locally, or on a remote backup server that is not run by your main web host.

Having a backup copy of your site is the only way that you can restore it back to how it was in case it is compromised, so it is not a step that you should skip, even though it may take a bit of time and effort. Remember, restoring a site from backup will require less energy and cause less down time than trying to rebuild a website that has lost all of its content from zero.

These are two main things that you can do to better protect your business, but of course they’re not the only actions you can take to increase your site’s security. Tomorrow we will look at more methods that you can use to ensure your site’s protection.

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Is Magento E-Commerce a Good Solution for Beginners?

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Is Magento E-Commerce a Good Solution for Beginners?


If you are building an e-commerce website, you basically have two options. The first one would be to simply build a static site and add payment buttons for a service such as PayPal. While this may be OK for some people, it is not the best solution, especially not when you are building any kind of serious e-commerce site. You therefore need to use a type of content management system that will allow you to do things such as add and remove products, put some products as “featured” on your home page, etc.

 

There are dozens of different e-commerce platforms available out there. Some are free, while some cost thousands of dollars. One free e-commerce platform that many people talk about is Magento. It is included in the automatic installers for many web hosts and is touted as the most advanced free e-commerce platform. But is it really the best choice for you? Especially if you are new to e-commerce?

 

Well, to be honest, it is not. The first thing that you need to know is that Magento is an enterprise class e-commerce solution. Powerful, yes. But it is also very complicated to use for new users. But what about support? Isn’t there a knowledge base or something? Well there are support forums that are provided for users of the software. The problem with them is that there is not much “support” going on there. Mostly users saying “Oh! Darn this doesn’t work” and others joining in with “Yeah! It doesn’t work for me too! Bummer”. Magento staff rarely answer any questions on the forum and there is a reason as to why: the software is free. The support isn’t. If you want support from them, well then you would need to pay for it.

 

There are also a few other issues with Magento. The first thing is that the admin panel is quite slow. Sometimes it takes up to one minute for a page to refresh after you have made a change. It is not my hosting or my server that is a problem, believe me. I have tried with a cloud server and a shared hosting account. Both have given the same results.

 

What about customizing it? Magento says that you can customize their software fully to fit your exact needs and make the site look and work just like you want. Well, this is not a lie. It IS possible. Just extremely hard. There are some templates provided with the software, but they will not work for everybody. You can download some free ones or pay for premium templates, but the issue is that many of them are buggy and have problems working. You can also modify the code, as it is open source software. But you better be an expert on the Zend Framework. Otherwise, expect to spend several months (that’s right, months) learning it before you can accomplish anything useful with it. Quite simply Magento is not the best solution for beginners… unless you just want to take the default template and add a few products for your e-commerce site.

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Money Making Ideas Consistent With Your Objectives

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Money Making Ideas Consistent With Your Objectives


There are a lot of people who want to earn some money on the internet. There are also plenty of guides, some free, some paid, which describe various ways to do so. The problem with these is that they often tend to take a “one size fits all” approach and make no difference between someone who just wants a few extra dollars to pay their bills or someone who wants to make a six figure income by building a complete online business.

Also, the issue is that these guides, courses and ebooks, while useful and interesting, tend to focus exclusively on one online money making activity, such as affiliate marketing, digital product creation or eBay selling. This, in itself, is not entirely a bad thing. After all, if someone wants to learn how to be a Power Seller on eBay and make thousands of dollars in sales each day, it would be much better for them to have a complete guide on the topic, rather than just reading a few pages in a more general money making ideas guide.

However, for those who do not yet know which specialty, or specialties of online money making they want to get into, this may not be the best choice. In that case, it would be much better for these people to read something that describes various ways to make money on the internet, so that they can choose which activities they would want to perform to earn.

Even though many individuals with no knowledge of online business wouldn’t know much about different money making activities, they typically know what their objectives are in terms of income. Some people only want to make a hundred or so dollars each month, while others want to make a thousand dollars each day.

There are basically three different categories of objectives in terms of income:

Micro online business: $0 to $500 a month.

This is for those who only want a few extra bucks at the end of the month, to do things like pay some bills, buy a few extra things that they want, etc. These people typically do not want to invest much time or money in their business and just want methods that will bring them a bit of cash without being too complex.

Part time online business: $500 to $2500 a month.

This is often used by people who want to supplement an existing income or those that are willing to put in a bit more effort in their online activities and spend about 15 to 30 hours a week on it. Some investments might be required, but they will usually be relatively small sums of money.

Full time online business: $2500 a month +

Here, things start getting serious. Those who have this objective need to know that they will essentially be building a complete online business and they must be willing to put in 30 or more hours per week into it, as well as make the necessary financial investments to get their business off the ground and to keep it growing.

We will keep exploring some money making ideas for each of these categories tomorrow.

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Paid Social Media Ads – Are They Good For Internet Marketers?

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Paid Social Media Ads – Are They Good For Internet Marketers?


Advertising on social media has been a topic that is widely discussed in internet marketing circles. Given the fact that social networks are receiving millions of visitors daily and have hundreds of millions of active users around the globe, it is no wonder that internet marketers are trying various ways to make profit from them. It is, of course, possible to create a page for your business on social networks and have people add you to their profiles. While it can be quite effective if you run a local business, such as a bar or restaurant, or otherwise provide a very unique and interesting product, this may not always be the best choice when trying to market something on social networks.

There is an alternative, however. Social networks such as Facebook and MySpace have an advertising platform in place where you can pay for ads on a cost per click (CPC) or cost per thousand impressions (CPM) basis. The way that these advertising networks operate are similar to the Google Adwords content network, but with a few differences. First, your ads are only distributed on pages in the respective social network’s site and not on third party sites. You also have the opportunity to include a small graphic next to your ad text.

One of the main things that makes buying social media advertising attractive to internet marketers is that you get the ability to targeted various groups of users with your ads. You are not limited to simply targeting people based on their location. You can choose things such as gender, age, relationship status and interests in order to better target your ads.

But one question remains and is subject to a lot of debate among internet marketers: is it really possible to make a profit when using paid social media advertising? Well the answer is yes. It actually HAS to be. You see, if no one was profiting from these ads, advertisers wouldn’t pay for them and social do networks would lose their source of funding.

The main consideration for an internet marketer using social media ads would be what type of offers you would be running. Remember that those visiting social networks are usually not currently on the lookout for things to buy. Check out the social networks for yourself and see what kinds of ads are being served on their pages. You will notice that most of them are offers that do not require the user to buy anything, such as ads for survey sites, dating sites, coupons, credit card applications, insurance quotes, etc. These are the types of offers that typically are the most successful when promoting via social networking ads. A good strategy would be to check out the ads that you get served with while browsing the site. Ads that stay there for longer than a week or so are usually the ones that are bringing in some profit for the advertisers.

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Writing Good Email Auto Responders for Your Newsletter

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Writing Good Email Auto Responders for Your Newsletter


Whether you are writing your emails to your clients or you are outsourcing your writing to a ghostwriter, the most important thing is to cater to the audience you have currently.

Not the audience you wish you had.

What is the difference? A lot actually. Some emails that I get from internet marketing folks or even from big box retailers usually do not pertain to me. Sure, maybe I am cynical and a harsh customer, but I expect a lot from people sending me emails, so when they disappoint I usually unsubscribe as soon as I get to the link to click it.

When you have potential clients and clients on your mailing list, you have a problem.

Why? Because one group already knows you and your kick-butt products you sell.

The other needs to be convinced that your products are their best choice if they are going to buy “x” online.

Understand the difference? Good! Then don’t have them on the same list as each other.

Set up two (or more) lists for clients. If you have an opt in for a free report, have that as a “potential clients” list.

Then, if you have people who have bought your product, put them on a brand new list that is “buyers” because you know a few special things about them. They A) bought your product, B) Have money to spend, and C) are interested in your niche/type of products. With this you can market specific messages to them, how to get the most out of your program or other complimentary programs (down the line) that will help them boast their productivity more, or what have you. These can be your own products or products from others that you are an affiliate for.

Another thing you need to be careful of with your email auto responders is to not send them to frequently. Send an email per week and always make sure you include an opt out button at the end. Don’t spam your followers, you should just be happy they signed up for your email list in the first place!

Stay human. Don’t try to get overly complex (unless your product is on nuclear research or something), and make sure you explain everything in your email, so there are no questions left for the user to try and dig up somewhere else, you will lose subscribers easily that way.

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