Tag Archive | "Web Hosting"

Protecting Your Online Business: More Ways to Keep Your Site Safe

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Protecting Your Online Business: More Ways to Keep Your Site Safe


Choosing your web hosting wisely and maintaining backup copies of your website data are obviously two very effective ways of keeping your business safe online. But they’re far from the only things that you can do to protect your business. Here are some more tips on how to keep your website safe and your online business running.

  • Maintain secure passwords

This may seem like something really obvious, but many hacking attacks weren’t done by sophisticated methods, but rather through an attacker guessing the password to a hosting account or content management system admin panel. Choose a secure password that is a combination of letters and numbers. Also, never use the same password for your website than what you would use on other sites, such as forums and membership websites.

  • Familiarize yourself with security features

If you use a content management system such as WordPress or Drupal, be sure that you’re familiar with its security features. This applies to the main system as well as any plugins or themes that you use. Be sure to keep any software or scripts running on your website updated to the latest version, as software updates not only contain functionality improvements, but they can also contain patches which will block security vulnerabilities that have been discovered by the users. Of course if you notice any security issue with a piece of software you use on your site, be sure to report it to its creators so that it can be fixed as fast as possible.

  • Take action to prevent spam on your site

Most content management systems have built in tools which automatically detects spam and either deletes it or places it in pending status so that you can review any comments or posts manually to determine whether they’re legitimate. If you run a small site with a limited number of user generated content, you can also opt to have all posts moderated manually and approved by you. This may not be an option for a forum where users expect their posts to appear right away, but it can be good for blog comments or reviews, for example.

  • Keep an eye on all your sites

This means monitoring your sites every day to detect any changes that could have been made to it. Watch out for elements that could indicate an attack, such as a sudden increase in traffic, or many invalid login attempts. Also keep an eye on all your advertising and affiliate accounts. This can help you catch hijacking attempts of your affiliate links if you discover a sudden drop in sales or clicks coming from your website. While there are many systems in place to prevent intrusions, nothing beats having an actual human person keep an eye on the site, so that immediate action can be taken in case something is going wrong.

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Your Hosting Options: Which One To Go With

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Your Hosting Options: Which One To Go With


When you want a website, you obviously want a place to host it. Now there are hundreds of different web hosts out there, as well as different hosting options. Which one is the right one for you? Let’s examine them here:

  • Free Web Hosts

These webhosting companies will provide you with a free place to put your website on. You will be able to build a fully functional website and have it seen by anyone on the web. However, there are some limitations. Most free hosts put up ads in the form of banners, text ads or popups on your site, without you having any say on this. However, you can find some “bannerless” hosts that don’t put up any advertising. But they still impose some limitations on bandwidth and storage, so it is rare to find an unlimited bannerless free web host. Furthermore, their servers are not as reliable as commercial, paid hosts.

Recommended for: Hosting a family website, practicing your web design skills, hosting a site for a hobby, or for a very small business that you don’t expect to make much revenue from.

  • Shared Hosting

The most popular option in webhosting. When people talk about webhosts, they often mean a shared hosting plan. Why is it called “shared”? Well this is simply because your site will be hosted on a server that is also hosting many other websites and you will therefore be sharing the resources of the server with others. However, you will have full control over what you put on your site and the host will not put up any banners or advertising messages on it. You will also have access to some more advanced features that free hosts rarely offer like databases, scripts, web building tools, website templates, an advanced help system complete with tutorials and more.

The cost of shared hosting varies from $2 a month to $20 a month depending on the plan you chose as well as the company you are hosting your site with. Many companies will give you a heavily discounted price if you pay up front for 1, 2 or 3 years. While this is a good cost saving option, be careful as you will have paid up front for a long period of time. Therefore, make sure you research your host properly before signing up. Discussion forums, blogs and websites that deal with online business and webmaster issues are excellent sources of information for help in choosing a webhost.

Recommended for: General purpose internet marketing, affiliate sites, light e-commerce applications (selling digital goods or having an online store), websites of small businesses such as plumbing companies, photographers, etc.

But what if you need something more? What if you want to host a big e-commerce site and therefore will need increased security, reliability and the capability to run any software or script that you want? Tomorrow we will discuss dedicated servers and more advanced webhosting solutions that will be more appropriate for your needs.

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Is Dedicated Hosting the Right Choice for You?

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Is Dedicated Hosting the Right Choice for You?


If you are thinking of starting an e-commerce website, then one of the first things that you would think about would be getting a reliable web host where you can put your site on. Anyone who is going to run an online business will need a web host. Basically, you have two options: either get a shared hosting account or rent a dedicated server.

Someone who is serious about running a successful e-commerce website will often choose to host their site on a dedicated server rather than a shared account. Here are the advantages of using a dedicated server:

More resources just for you. A dedicated server is just that: a server that is entirely dedicated for your use. No other sites are hosted on it, so its entire bandwidth, CPU, disk space and RAM are for your use only. While you may think that you would do fine on a shared account at the beginning, once your site expands you may find that you actually need your own server as your website has gotten bigger.

Better security and reliability. This advantage is the result of the fact that, once again, your server is not shared with any other site. There has been numerous occasions where a site that is hosted on a shared server has been compromised and viruses and malware have been introduced, which have infected other sites on the server. When you use a dedicated server, you get access to security solutions such as anti virus tools, firewalls, etc.

Increased flexibility and more control. You get the choice as to whether you want to run a Windows or a Linux operating system on your server. Another great point is that you have complete control as to what applications, software and scripts you can run on your server. Many large e-commerce sites require the use of software which would not be supported on a shared account, but can be easily installed and used on a dedicated server.

Selecting a Web Host

In the world of web hosting, there are hundreds of different companies that you can choose from. While they may all look to provide the same services, you should know that not all web hosting companies are the same.

When you select a web host that offers dedicated server hosting, you will need to look far beyond the price in order to make the right decision. If you simply go with the company offering the cheapest price, you might end up getting the cheapest service. Many of the “rock bottom” priced servers are actually run by individuals located in third world countries, where connectivity and reliability are not all that great.

Do a search online for reviews of dedicated server hosting providers and see what these reviews say. Also, take a look around webmaster forums to find out which companies fellow webmasters are using and whether they are satisfied with the service. This will help you narrow down your search to companies that you would want to do business with.

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Start Your Own Web Marketing Agency – What Services To Provide

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Start Your Own Web Marketing Agency – What Services To Provide


Starting your own web marketing agency and acquiring clients who will pay you for your services is not as difficult as it seems like in the first place. You can start this with just a part-time, one man operation and then scale things up when business starts picking up later on. Now we’ve already covered the basics on what you need to get started in the previous post. It’s now time to actually put things into action and get going.

First thing you need to do is to build your website. Just a simple one will do, all you actually need is to describe the services that you are offering as well as give customers your contact information to get in touch. Putting in a simple contact form works well too.

Now some of you may be wondering here: what kind of services will you have to offer? The short answer would be everything needed for a business to maintain an online presence and make profit from it.

The first thing you would need to do is to offer basic web site creation. If you are experienced in building multimedia, flash websites, then you can offer that too. However, all that is really needed is the ability to create a functional website for a business that will showcase their products/services, give background information on their company, and allow customers to contact them. You can either opt to host it on your own hosting account (it’s better to use reseller hosting, so that the client can also log in and make changes to their site). Or you could have the client sign up for a web hosting plan with your affiliate link and manage their own site after that.

What you also have to offer is web promotion services. How will you make this happen? Easy. You will need to offer a combination of various ways to attract traffic to your client’s site. Here are some:

Classified ads

Very simple to do and practical. A lot of small, locally owned businesses use these sites to advertise online. All you would have to do is post ads on a regular basis for the client, based on their specifications.

Social networking

Here, you will create a social media page for your client. Again, nothing complicated. All you would need to do is create a page with information about what they do, their products, current promotions that they are running, etc.

SEO

Optimize your client’s website so that it gets a decent rank for relevant keywords. Depending on competition in the niche that they are in, this could vary in difficulty from easy to quite hard. Follow best practices for SEO, create and upload original articles to high traffic sites which have a link back to their site, etc.

Paid ads

You could also create a pay per click, or media buying campaign in order to attract traffic to your clients sites if you are experienced in this method of advertising. You will simply charge them a bit more than what you are spending on advertising to make profit.

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Get Your Website Up And Running On A Budget

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Get Your Website Up And Running On A Budget


It’s extremely important for every business to have an internet presence in today’s economy, and that means having a website up and running. If you don’t have a big budget, that doesn’t mean you’re out of luck, it just means you have to know how to spend the money you do have.

There are a few expenses you’re going to have to drop money on regardless of your budget, and your skill set. You’re going to need a domain name for your new website. Registering a domain name is a quick and easy process, and it will only cost you around $10 per year. Once you have a domain name, you’re going to need to invest in a web hosting package. Web hosting can cost anywhere between five dollars a month, to several hundred a month. When you’re first starting out, even if you’re anticipating a lot of attention for your website, it’s best to go with one of the cheaper packages. Chances are you won’t need the features and benefits provided with the more expensive packages in the beginning, so don’t spend money on them.

Once you have a domain name, and a place to host your site, it’s time to worry about actually getting your site up and running. There are three routes you can go here. You can either build the site yourself, pay a freelancer to build it, or pay a firm to build it. There are a lot of great options for building your own site. Blogging platforms like WordPress can be installed directly to your hosting account for free, and they make set up a snap. There are also a lot of software options available to make designing a site easy. If you already have Microsoft Office, you probably already have Microsoft Publisher. Publisher makes it fairly simple to create a nice looking website in a fairly short amount of time.

If you really feel like you can’t handle setting up the website yourself, then you’re going to have to pay someone. If you’re on a budget, you’re going to want to avoid design firms. Their prices reflect all  of the costs involved in running a large company. Freelancers, on the other hand, will generally be able to product a high quality site for you for hundreds, rather than thousands of dollars. Just be careful about who you hire. Either use a site like Elance to find a designer, or get references from them before hiring them to do the job.

Don’t be fooled into paying exorbitant amounts of money for a website. By being careful with your money, you can get your site up and running quickly no mater what your budget is.

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