5 Myths About Marketing Strategy For Web Hosts

Barbara Spagnola - Tuesday, October 17, 2017

The hosting industry is an incredibly competitive market. There are almost 50,000 companies in web hosting worldwide, and 10,000 in the USA alone. Gone are the days of a few big providers dominating the market – in recent years, several smaller hosting providers have used innovative marketing strategies to significantly improve their market share.

The rewards for doing so can be huge. Revenues for Cloud services alone are expected to grow to $95 Billion in the next 3 years. But with so much competition, how do you make your company stand out from other hosting providers?

Well, one thing is for sure, don’t believe these 5 myths:

                        1. I Can’t Afford Marketing

Trust me, you can. In such a competitive market, you can’t afford not to have marketing.

Bear in mind that marketing need not be expensive. HubSpot research has found that something as simple as blog update frequency can drive sales. Focus on quality rather than quantity – write a few genuinely engaging blog posts, rather than spamming every potential customer with dozens of marketing emails.

                        2. Social Media is Dead

Nowadays, it might seem that the efficacy of social media campaigns is getting less and less. However, this is largely because a lot of companies still aren’t using social media properly.

At its best, social media is a great way of building a relationship between your brand and your customers. Rather than paying for Facebook ads, why not engage directly with your customers by commenting when they mention your company, and responding to their questions? This is free, and a great way of securing repeat business.

                        3. My Competition Doesn’t Advertise

It’s definitely tempting to feel that since your large competitors are not marketing their company, you don’t  need to. Remember, though, that in these days of social media and targeted email campaigns, they might be doing a lot of marketing that is invisible to you.

The trick is standing out from the crowd. According to research done by Q3 internet, 53% of companies don’t have a particular reason why they chose one hosting provider over another. It seems that measures of speed, uptime, and reliability are not the selling points you thought they were – what matters is being seen by the most customers.

                        4. Content Marketing Is Too Expensive

Content marketing is definitely expensive, but you get what you pay for when it comes to effective marketing. Research done by SocialMediaB2B suggests that companies with blogs generate 67% more leads, on average, than those without.

Content marketing also helps to build a relationship between your customers and your brand, ensuring repeat sales. Doesn’t sound so expensive now, does it?

                        5. My Customers Know Where To Find Me

I hear this one all the time. The truth is that in this market, unless you are continuously generating new customers, you are going to be out-competed. Small businesses are getting more tech-savvy all the time, and unless you can convince your existing customers that you are still the best option for them, they will leave.

Why Is Web Design The Most Important Part Of Your Marketing?

Barbara Spagnola - Thursday, October 12, 2017

When first starting out, rarely do business owners grasp the importance of designing a good website right off the bat. Nowadays, without a substantial internet presence, a business might as well just not exist. This is due to the prevalence of social media and our increased reliance on Google searches and similar activities. With so much people spending hours upon hours online, it’s only natural that designing a good site helps reel all of those people in and, more importantly, gets them to stay and/or make a purchase. When thinking about good web design, people often make the mistake of only considering the visual and, while it does play a big part, it’s just the tip of the iceberg.

SEO

The first and obvious choice here is SEO or Search Engine Optimization. The main reason people choose to revamp their sites or simply build them in accordance to Google’s guidelines is to be perceived as SEO-compliant. This means that a site will fit as closely as possible to Google’s own mold of what a high-ranking site would look like and, as a result, pop up higher in relevant searches. This kind of presence generates organic traffic, meaning that the users come themselves when they’re actually searching for things relevant to your area of business, making them more susceptible to make a purchase due to the newfound sense of agency.

UX

As mentioned previously, this is the main thing people associate with good web design, as they should. User experience is a tremendously important factor that essentially deals with the users after SEO has reeled them in. A good UX can make or break a deal simply due to the convenience at which everything on the site is offered. Is it streamlined? Does it load fast? These are just some of the factors that need to be addressed to cater to anyone that ends up on our home page. We’ve all grown accustomed to fast load times and clear-cut sleek designs, there is no reason not to have our site follow suit. 

CRO

With so many factors that go into Conversion Rate Optimization, there are two main reasons that will have a lasting impact on a site: authority and simplicity. As stated above, a simplistic design is something we should all strive for, people tend to get lost and annoyed with too many things happening on the screen at once. A good design will ensure the right amount of elements for the site to be visually pleasing without swarming visitors. As for authority, this comes down to not having a site look like a stock template someone found on Tumblr. Rarely do people trust sites like these and they most-certainly wouldn’t feel safe spending their money there.

Analytics

Measuring analytics didn’t present much of a problem until web design got a bit clunkier. With so many sites’ parts staying on one singular URL, the difficulties of analyzing site data go through the roof. To combat this, it is best to use a simple yet effective method of designing a site, keeping future measurements in mind. This will help owners figure out what works and what doesn’t and actively work on their site to deliver the best experience possible for the best bang for their buck.

Brand consistency

Bringing your site to the next level helps establish and maintain your brand, anything from colors, logos, fonts or slogans will become more prominent and instill themselves in the minds of customers and passersby alike. Your site is essentially the face of your company in modern day marketing, making anything presented there stick. This can help associate your business with certain ideas or notions that you might present yourself with. Make no mistake, being associated with words like “trust” and “safety” can go a very long way.

Higher user retention

The trust of the matter is – people like pretty. Whatever the object in focus might be, if it’s visually and functionally appealing, we’re pretty much sold on it. A good design will keep people coming back for more as seen on the sites worked on by Bapple Freelance Web Design. This is precisely the whole point of marketing - keeping them coming back for more. With such an increased user retention, even if users are only buying, each visit is a step closer in the right direction – towards sealing the deal.

Tl;dr

The gist is – everyone needs a good web design. So many other aspects of a business hinge on the assurance that the site potential customers land on will be able to close the deal. With less and less people wanting to leave the house to actually buy something and drones starting to deliver orders directly to houses – soon, building a good online presence will be the only way of getting noticed. Take the time, do your research, invest in good web design and watch your business flourish. 

How Are Website Design Agencies Benefiting from Instagram Marketing?

Barbara Spagnola - Thursday, September 21, 2017

Instagram is the platform that welcomes all professions and passions with open arms. This platform is ideal for designers, photographers, and sellers since it is an image-heavy platform. You can directly showcase exactly what you are selling. Instagram is gradually becoming the hub for website designers. The new features including Instagram video and image gallery allow the users to display their work entirely.

Instagram for website designers

Some website design companies do better than the others on Instagram do. If you are a new brand starting out on Instagram, there are a few secrets you need to know. First, always include Instagram as a priority in your social media marketing strategy. Second, almost 300 million people use Instagram on a daily basis. There are over 700 million user profiles and over 100 million business profiles on Instagram. Therefore, you need to do something extra get new followers for Instagram. Something interesting and engaging is easier said than done.

Try new display software

Have you ever tried something like Canva? Maybe you have heard of Stencil, PicMonkey, Easel.ly and Pablo. These are image-editing sites that have the power to transform any mundane Instagram profile into something awesome. Some of them have free features, which you can use to create a robust social media marketing strategy. These allow you to create interesting stories that simply stand out. You can tweak with the colors and the background, insert your brand logo and choose new fonts to give your story the extra edge it needs.


Engage more users

Studies show that posts with geotagging engage 79% more users. It is a significant improvement over generic posts that do not indicate any location. It is a part of local marketing. If you are interested in attracting a local crowd, do not forget to use the right hashtags. It is critical for local website design companies, who help small and medium businesses by creating professional websites. 

Take the help of galleries to display your previous design work that involves companies whom you have already helped. Create your own business profile on Instagram and then move on with your marketing strategy. Sometimes, creating a marketing strategy for website design companies on Insta does not require a budget. It just needs oodles of creativity and smartness.

Videos get more users

Use the video sharing feature to share client testimonials and reviews. Show time-lapse of a project you have worked on. Provide interesting information about your company that sets you apart from other website designers. All in all, Instagram helps you tell your story. So why not add some quirk and stay ahead of the competition to grab the attention of the clients you really need.

Instagram’shashtag method allows all professionals to attract the right kind of attention. It is a natural filter, which keeps irrelevant crowds at bay. For website designers, designing the perfect Instagram profile should be a rookie job that takes less than a day.

Author Bio: Harris is a leading blog writer and content marketing professional with thousands of real Instagram followers for his postings.

Is your preferred Domain Name Unavailable? What to do next

Barbara Spagnola - Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Having an online presence requires a Domain Name; but what happens when your chosen name has been taken? Sadness, anxiety or both. Usually these are the feelings that accompany the discovery that your Domain Name is unavailable. Nonetheless, you don’t have to be anxious; sometimes, the best things come in ways we don’t expect.  Don’t give up, you can rest and take a walk but here are things to do in this circumstance. Once you have exhaled and you feel better, follow the tips outlined below.

1. Don’t Stress

There is an advice going viral that a domain name must have ‘.com’ so, everyone searching feels exceptionally unfulfilled without a ‘.com’ name. If this is the result of the unavailability, don’t stress, many websites without a ‘.com’ succeed and continue to do so. Were you suggested any alternatives? If so, you can choose from those provided or if not, keep reading.

 

2. Be Creative

 

Explore and be creative by choosing a totally different name from the one that you previously had. The TLD can be a .net or .org, just ensure the Domain Name itself doesn’t sound or look spammy. You can add an extra word or letter such as ‘a’ or ‘the’, to the chosen unavailable name, especially if it is a business name you already trade with; retaining such name will go a long way in spreading your brand. Whilst being creative is great, avoid the use of ‘misspelt word’ ‘numbers’ and ‘hyphens’ says Neil Patel Co-Founder of Kissmetrics, as they all give a negative appeal to your chosen name.

 

3. You can choose to retain the name

You can retain the name by simply playing around with it, turn the words around and think about a different language you love and choose the spelling in that language. For example, you wanted www.ebay.com, you could check what bay means in Spanish or Finnish, just a second or third language you wouldn’t mind learning. You may find out your joy returns and it may end up giving it a different sophisticated international feel. However, keep in mind that sometimes it is not the name that does the magic but the brand. For example if Google was Foogu.com and they developed it as much as they did Google, it will still become what it is today. Instead of Google.com, it will be Foogu.com, so, fix your mind on building your brand.

4. Create a List of Keywords

Whatever your site is going to be about, you can form keywords (not an Exact-Match)that depict the subject matter of your proposed website. You may be surprised that you will get a new name that strikes the chord of your previous chosen name from the keywords search. At the end of the day, when a web user wants to search for sites and blogs relating to his desired result, what is usually used are keywords, hence, you get the best of both worlds. A recommended site to use for this exercise is ‘Wordtracker’. Moreso, when choosing a Domain Name, you should think of its Search Engine Optimization.  Your competitors will clamor to be ranked high on search engines, so you want to focus on a Name that is SEO friendly. The closer your keywords are to your domain name the better for you because, without a purposeful SEO on your website, it will be an automatic result to pop up when searched for.

 

5. Social Media Compatibility

 

Do you know that, if you have a chosen Domain Name, but you are yet to search for its availability on Social Media sites, you may regret the registration after you discover that some other person is using the same name on their Social Media Platform(s). So, if you are yet to search on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, Snapchat and all other sites, you should do so as soon as possible. The unavailability may turn out to be a blessing in disguise as you wouldn’t want to be confused with another person after registering a name that’s already a brand to another. To this end, run a check on all Social Media Platforms before you make the final pick and settle on a Name. For this purpose, ‘Namechk’ is a great tool or you can search manually on each platform. Whatever name you choose, top domain name companies like Discount Domains and Go Daddy will make the registration process straightforward.

6. Look Inward

 

If all else fails, what about your name? It is less possible to have too many persons with your exact names and if there are, many people do not think about registering their names as a Domain Name. Suffice to say that, your name can represent the delivery of any product and service. This practice is common with Law Firms where you see names such as Steve, Michael and Robin so their Domain Name may be something like www.stevemichaelndrobin.co.uk. Where this is the case, they have a brand. Their names have given them that special tag, which, if they build it up and become one of the best Law Firms with excellent customer-centric services, no one really cares if the domain is their names, what they care about is the brand and quality of service provided. In a nutshell, registering your name will be your brand and also encapsulate all your companies. Think about it.

7. Consider an Expandable name

Generally, people make choices based on ‘the now’ and form Domain Names respectively but, what happens if your company wishes to diversify and have subsidiaries later on? Or, what will be the result when you are offered a partnership by a multinational firm and you want to include a keyword pointing to the result of the partnership into your Domain Name? If you already chose a Name that boxed in what your current business is about, you may end up registering a separate Domain Name for the same business line. Therefore, the advice here is, keep your name expandable, let it have a definite focus but not a closed one.

8. Marry your Final Choice

 

Funny isn’t it? But we can borrow an analogy from the institution of marriage. With marriage, people marry who they love, but over time, to have a successful home, you must love the person you married. The same logic is applicable here, decide that you will love the final result of your Domain Name journey, since, after all is said and done, what matters most is having a definite brand and a strong online presence. Make the decision and then make the decision right!

 

What is the Best Small Business Web Hosting Company for Your Business and How to Choose It?

Barbara Spagnola - Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Image Credit: Pixabay

Small businesses are finding it increasingly important to have high quality and fully functioning websites that can allow them to communicate with customers, and attract others towards their business. Even though web design and SEO play vital parts in this process, web hosting is another key element that a small business owner should not ignore. Choosing the right web host is vital if you want a site that runs smoothly and loads quickly on both web and mobile platforms.

Web Hosting Options

There are three major options associated with web hosting for small businesses. Are you wondering about what is the best small business web hosting company? There are many great companies in your area, but selecting the right hosting option is up to you – and it is a vitally important decision. The main options are:

  • Shared Hosting
  • VPS
  • Dedicated Hosting

With shared hosting, your website will be hosted on the same servers as a number of other sites. A VPS solution is similar, but there are far fewer sites on the same server resulting in better speeds and reliability. And with dedicated hosting, your site is the only one that is running on a single server. Naturally, the VPS and dedicated hosting options are more expensive, which means you will have to make a decision about whether the added price is worthwhile to your business.

Most Important Features

With the options out of the way, we can focus on what features mean you are getting a great hosting solution. Here are the main features that you must look for no matter what hosting option you select.

1. Reliability

The reason why companies are encouraged to go with major hosting providers is due to reliability. These companies have the infrastructure and staff to ensure that sites are always running – no matter what problems may present themselves.

2. Speed

Not only do search engines place huge importance on the loading speed of a website when determining site rankings, but users find it crucial too. For instance, if your website takes a minute to load during heavy load hours, a potential customer may turn away and try to find another solution to their needs. Ensure that speed times for your potential host are up to standard (these statistics are easy to find online).

3. Support and Security

A host that offers managed servers is key because managed servers ensure you are receiving adequate support from the site’s staff. If there is a cyber attack, or some other issue, you will want the host’s support staff on the case right away. Non-managed servers may run fine 90 percent of the time, but that 10 percent of potential downtime could cost you a ton of business.

4. Price

While features and reliability matter immensely, small businesses will also care a lot about price. You do not want to pay twice as much for an identical service that you can get elsewhere. That is why choosing the right web host is so crucial.

What Makes a Good Website

Barbara Spagnola - Thursday, June 29, 2017

Think of your website as a salesman that works 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and doesn’t take holidays off.


Do you want yours dressed in cheap clothes or a custom fitted suit?


So what makes a website great you might ask, here are the 5 keys to an awesome website.


1. A responsive design


First and foremost, having a responsive design is key. You want users to be able to quickly and easily navigate through your website to achieve their desired result. Ever since the “Mobilegeddon” back in 2015, every website needs a site that is user friendly on both desktop and mobile devices, which brings me to the next point…


2. A desktop version & a mobile version


All websites need to have 2 versions. A desktop version for people using computers, and a mobile version for people using tablets, smartphones and other mobile devices.


If you’ve ever accessed a website on your mobile device that isn’t mobile friendly, you’ll know exactly what I mean. Websites that aren’t designed for mobile devices are difficult to navigate and often trigger users to look elsewhere for whatever they’ve come to your site looking for.


3. An unforgettable domain name


Something that often times goes overlooked when creating a new website is the importance of a catchy domain name.


Think of the last 3 websites you visited; do you remember their domain name?


I’m willing to bet you remember them, and it’s no accident. The owners of the websites likely put hours into thinking of an unforgettable domain name so that users will remember where to find them. Take some time to search for available domains by using a domain name registrar. Picking your domain name isn’t something you should rush.


4. Easy to understand


Ease of use is a very important aspect to all websites. Simple sites that are easy to navigate and to understand will always do better at keeping users engaged than extravagant looking websites that overwhelm the user.


5. Awesome Content


In 2017, content is king. In my opinion, the most important factor to having a great website, is having awesome content that keeps users engaged and wanting more.


Websites that set their #1 focus on regularly providing users with top notch content, will nearly always be successful from my experience. When starting a website, focus on creating the best content in your niche and you will succeed.



What You Should Know About Running a Reseller Webhosting Business this 2017

Barbara Spagnola - Wednesday, April 26, 2017


If you are looking for an IT related business path to follow this 2017, becoming a web hosting reseller is one of your best bets. It is a business you can start from the ground up and also one you can take on if you already have a robust IT infrastructure in place.

The business is easy to set up and doesn’t need a massive cash injection to get it off the ground.  With reseller web hosting business, there are few logistics to navigate, and the returns can be highly rewarding.

How Reseller Web Hosting Business Works

The Internet has permeated all spheres of life and today; it is unthinkable for businesses and brands to be without web presence. From small sole proprietorships to multinational corporations, everyone needs a website to reach their target audience.  To build a website, web hosting is a must. This presents an opportunity to people looking to get on the reseller web hosting business train. Here is how the reseller web hosting business works:

1.    You purchase a reseller hosting package from a trusted hosting provider

2.    You sell the hosting packages in smaller units to your clients

3.    You can control bandwidth and disk space allotted to all account holders

4.    You can customise packages as you deem fit, to cater for different business owners with various needs.

“As a reseller web hosting businessman, you are a middleman for the main web hosting company,” says Brendan Wilde Marketing Manager at Umbrellar. “You are, however, allowed to run your business as you deem fit with your brands, labels, website and business front.  Unlike other reseller relationships, however, the web hosting company takes control of backend issues like security fixes, software updates and server maintenance. You only focus on growing your business.”

Important Considerations

If you are getting into the web hosting world for the first time, the path to reseller hosting can appear intimidating. It is easier for companies that are looking to use their current resources to generate additional revenue. An IT service providing company or web design group can easily incorporate web hosting reselling into their existing structure. All that is required is the addition of the web hosting reselling service to the brand name.

Regardless of your position, keep in mind the fact that reselling web hosting is competitive. Millions of websites are launched daily, but you still need to position your brand to win new business strategically.  To ensure success, here are some important points you should pay attention to.

Overall reputation of the hosting company

When you partner with an established brand with thousands of satisfied customers, you are already starting on a firm footing. Your clients will not face difficulties that will lead to loss of business for you in future. It is important to stick with only reputable providers as a negative reputation doesn’t just hurt the parent hosting provider; it also hurts your brand. Your brand is what clients see.

Research of Your Target Audience

This is another vital consideration as you start your new business. As is the case when setting up any other business, you need to work out your audience well ahead of time.  Are you gunning for individuals and SMEs or big established businesses or a mixture of both?  Your analysis will help you better craft a marketing plan and most importantly determine what kind of hosting packages you purchase from the parent web hosting company.

Customer service

Some people in this niche leave customer support to the parent provider. There is nothing wrong with this approach, but you will be better served setting up your customer service desk. The reduction in wait time for queries to be answered could be the difference between success and failure with your new business.

Marketing and Business Development

To ensure a steady stream of customers, you will need a robust marketing and promotion strategy across the platforms you are targeting.

Get to Know the Basics Before Creating a Successful Landing Page

Barbara Spagnola - Monday, February 13, 2017

Landing pages will greatly increase conversions for email marketing campaigns as they have the sole purpose of directing prospective customers as well as visitors to a tailor made landing page which has the effect of steering them automatically to a place where you want them to be.

Getting to know some landing page basics will go a long way in performing a successful online marketing campaign and it has the ability to make or break a business if done accordingly. There are some guidelines which one has to abide to in order to make sure that a business will get more successful and traffic as well as revenue will greatly increase in the long run.

Set A Common Goal And Stick To It

These pages should be regarded as another form of online marketing tools instead of considering it a tool on its own as it works in unison notwithstanding the cat that it functions somehow differently than more popular online marketing tools. They work together in perfect harmony to achieve the same goal and talking about goals, it should be as clear and specific as possible to make sure that customer expectations are met every single time they get redirected to where a business owner desires to.

Keep It Simple

Landing pages should always come in a simple and easy to read format by taking into account that if pages tend to be clunky and full of text they will not be entirely browsed through thus business owners will lose out the chance of informing potential customers about their services. These pages are aimed at specific goals and no other topic should even come close to being present on a landing page.

Staying in the same boat, your information about which services are being offered should be as clear and concise as possible. One has to directly assume that those who prospect the landing page already have the thought of purchasing something and one has to be prepared to skillfully guide them through the process in order to boost sales.

Remove Elements Which Help With Navigation Completely

After the hard work is completed and the landing page enjoys some traffic it will be a great shame if a navigation button were to be present. No one wants to be deterred from prospecting a product or service and then be tempted to click a button in order to go elsewhere. The only links which are supposed to be clickable and redirect the browser to another place should be decided by the business owner and it is strongly recommended that they redirect to other pages in such a way that they still benefit from that redirect.

Choosing the Right Domain Name for Your Website

Barbara Spagnola - Monday, December 05, 2016

Your domain name is like an online real estate, you have to choose it wisely. The goal is to make it suitable for your business, as well as easy to find and promote online. Before rushing to pick a domain name, ensure you put some thought and consideration into it.

What is a domain name?

A domain name is how your website is represented online. Regardless of the website you own, the unique address of the site is always yours for as long as its active. Your domain or URL (uniform resource locator) can be typed into a browser’s address bar to access your website.

A typical domain name structure is http://www.yourbusiness.com

“yourbusiness” is the second-level domain which you name according to your business or creativity, and the “.com” extension is the top-level domain (TLD) signifying the nature of the establishment.

If you already have an existing brand name, think carefully about how it can be incorporated into your domain name. Domain names have a strong impact on the web in terms of click-through rate. From search to social media results, referring links, brandability, offline advertising you want a domain name that gives your business a competitive edge over others.

Brendan Wilde of Umbrellar says, “Your domain name could make the difference in search ranking when a potential customer searches online for a service you offer”. Umbrellar’s domain name options can be accessed at https://www.umbrellar.nz/our-solutions/domain-names.

Consider the following points when choosing a domain name.

  1. Make it Unique

Pick something off the book no one is likely to imagine. If your domain name is too common, you run the risk of losing potential customers to a competitor using a close variation of your name. For example, if your website is named www.spicysteaks.com, you are likely to lose some customers to another site named www.spiceysteak.com or www.spicesteaks.com. 

A unique domain name stands you out of the crowd and creates your own space. It also prevents a possible conflict of domain names in future. There are ongoing court cases as a result of similar domain names between businesses.

  1. Make it easy to type

If you have to spell out your domain name each time you tell someone, it won’t work. Keep the name easy to remember.  A potential visitor should also find it easy to type into the address bar or search field. Why is simplicity important? You stand the chance of losing many prospective customers to competitors if they can’t type the correct spelling of your domain name.

This often means choosing a short domain name.  The fewer characters a domain name has, the easier it is to type and share. Another advantage is it shows up completely on Google search. A domain name with long characters will be compressed. Instead of thebestdaysofyourlifehotel.com, consider bestdayshotel.com.

  1. Make it pronounceable

Having a domain name that is easy to pronounce is a big plus. You may wonder why; it’s because of something scientists call “processing fluency”. A research has shown that there is a cognitive bias human-beings have towards things we can easily think about and say out. This includes pronounceability in our minds. If your website is easy to pronounce, people will have positive associations and remember the name when they need to visit your site.

A domain name that’s difficult to pronounce is soon forgotten. Depending on the language of the people you are targeting, consider how easy your selected domain name is to pronounce. Beware of such names as H2OforU.com

 

  1. Use the .com first

Webmasters have continued to talked about the bias to .com. It is seems retrogressive to keep mentioning the use of .com, especially now there are multiple Top Level Domain (TLD) options available. But the fact remains it’s still relevant today. The .com TLD is the most recognised and easily accessible brand outside the tech scene.

About 75% of all websites are .com domains, and even web crawlers still give priority to .com over other TLD extensions. For example, if your website is acme.net, the web crawler seeks acme.com before it goes to acme.net. When you have secured the .com, you can add other TLDs such as geographic and business sector extensions as secondary TLDs.

  1. Avoid numbers and hypens

Remember the importance of pronounceability? Consider these two domain names carsforyou.com and cars-4u.com. It is possible the owner of the latter will have to spell out his web address each time he tells someone about it. Even then, it’s not guaranteed they will remember at the point of search. The owner of the first domain name will likely draw most of the customers because his site is the default spelling.

While it’s true that a unique domain name is essential for web success, using hypens and numbers are not the right way to go about it. It’s difficult to remember every time where there’s a dash or which word is numerated.

  1. Make Your domain name intuitive

Give your domain a name that relates to what you do so customers can immediately tell the nature of your business. For example, carsforyou.com informs you the company has something to do with cars- whether it’s a sales or rental service. The advantage is the association customers make with your company. First, it’s easy to remember and it makes your domain name brandable.

Brandability is key to any business name, whether online or offline. Once your customers can tell at first glance what you do, half of your work is already done. On the web, this assists with keyword search. It helps your business if the word “car” is in your domain name and you sell cars. Search engines pull it up immediately someone searches for the same word.

  1. Avoid trying to make your name similar to another domain name

For whatever reason, it is highly unadvisable to ‘copy’ someone’s domain name and alter it a bit. Before you select any name, scour the online space for anything similar to avoid registering them. It is not only illegal to do this deliberately, it hurts both your businesses in the long run.

Say, Jemma, owner of jemmasyrup.com makes delicious pancake syrup which is popular among her customers. Then one day Wanda decides to start her own pancake syrup business and sets up jemasyrup.com. New customers looking to buy the original Jemma syrup mistakenly type in jemasyrup.com for Wanda’s less quality syrup. Wanda has robbed Jemma of genuine customers.

There are companies currently in court for typosquatting conflicts, and most times precedence is given to the first domain-registered business.

 

  1. Protect your brand and act fast!

You can protect you brand to avoid falling for the same mistake as Jemma. Purchase various TLD extensions and misspellings of your domain name to prevent unscrupulous individuals or competitors from “squatting” them.

Domain names sell quickly, especially when they are valuable. Fortunately, they are inexpensive and can be obtained. When you identify a domain name that satisfies all these criteria, lock it down by registering it immediately. Even when it seems like a name is taken, don’t lose hope, the owner might be willing to sell. Approach them for an offer.

Your domain name is your online identity. The efforts you make to protect aspects of your brand offline should be extended to the online space.

What You Should Know About Web Hosting and How the Right Plan Can Facilitate Your Online Business

Barbara Spagnola - Monday, December 05, 2016

Before we go into the main topic of web hosting, we must first understand how websites work. When you open a website, the following things happen:

  • As soon as you type a web address into the address bar of your browser, your computer’s browser sends a request to the website’s server. Depending on what you want to access- it could be a media file, document, web page or an application, the website address you type in makes this possible.
  • The web server for that website receives the request, searches its database and sends it back to your computer.
  • The webserver’s reply- if successfully accessed and sent- is displayed on your computer screen.

Running a website

To run a website, your computer must be connected to the internet. It must be able to receive request from other computers and execute the appropriate instructions. This is the main gist people refer to when talking about web servers.

Servers are large computers that store files required to keep a website up and running, including the applications that make those files accessible anytime there is a request.

You could choose to run the sever yourself, but it requires a lot of attention and maintenance, not to mention, the high costs. According to the experts at www.openhost.co.nz, this could be a bad idea, especially if you are a growing company with other business responsibilities unrelated to IT.

Or you could choose to hire a web hosting company for these services.

About Web Hosting Companies

Web hosting companies are specifically built to run the job of managing websites for different individuals and organisations. They have expensive computers, and have set them up to run websites. Their engineers make sure the servers are fast, efficient and responsive 24-hours all year round. They do this so you have more time to focus on core business obligations.

When you hire a host provider for your website, the site is hosted in a collection of computers with lots of data in a physical building. These buildings could be anywhere in the world. The size and appearance of a data centre depends on the type of or data centres web hosting company you use. For your website to run uninterrupted throughout the year, the data centre and servers must remain active.

Choosing a Web Hosting Company

Many people find it hard choosing a web hosting company, and for legitimate reasons too. Your web hosting provider is going to be your “business” partner as long as they manage your website. They are the ones you turn to when there is an internet downtime, when you need software updates or when there’s a data incident. It is only right you select a company that’s not only systems efficient, but a right fit for your business’ functions.

So how do you choose the right partner? Here are three major things to look out for:

 

  1. Server stability

Research each web hosting company through their third-party websites to determine how well they perform. You can check their ratings through the percentage of downtime. This is critical, a good hosting provider should have a downtime of not less than 99%. 99.99% is ideal for most companies. Even if your web hosting needs are for non-commercial purposes, excessive downtime will make it almost impossible to run. The time limit should be 40 minutes per month. If the downtime persists, you will have to find alternative companies with better uptime ratings at a reasonable price.

  1. Customer service

The next factor to consider is their customer service; identifying a provider that responds quickly and efficiently to website issues is important. For example, any scheduled server updates should be announced to clients, but some web hosting companies go ahead anyway, increasing chances of data risks for web based businesses.

Knowing their available hours for technical supports should help you make important decisions regarding cost, unless your run a business that needs full time availability, you can save money by opting out of a 24-hour tech-support plan. On the other hand, an e-commerce company needs round-the-clock services.

  1. Web applications

Check for availability of and quality of server applications each web hosting company offers. Even if you don’t need the software programs at the moment, having them available for future purposes is important. For example, a business owner may setup a web hosting account for affiliate marketing sales pages. But somewhere along the line, traffic dips, and he may decide to increase it by adding a blog for AdWords advertising. If the web hosting company supports and has WordPress or similar blog authority package, the can install it for free.

If the business owner hadn’t identified the availability of this option, he would have to seek another web hosting provider and it will cost more to set it up.

Selecting a suitable web hosting plan

Once you have identified the web hosting provider that matches your preferences, you will want to choose a suitable plan for your web functions. This will generally depend on

  • Your website’s future objectives (growth plan)
  • Website’s current needs
  • Cost
  • Efficiency

It is important to pick a hosting provider/plan that can grow with you- in size and functionality. The following plans are available to choose from;

  • Shared web hosting

This means your website is on a shared server with thousands of other websites. While this may be suitable for small websites without need for heavy traffic, it is susceptible to frequent downtime and is counter-productive to business services. However, it is cheap and easy to maintain. Most websites start off on shared hosting before advancing to other plans.

  • Reseller web hosting

This is mainly a shared hosting account with additional tools to help you resell your hosting space. Reseller packages often come with more technical control (through the Web Host Manager (WHM) cPanel), billing software to help you charge clients and other extra perquisites.

  • Cloud based web hosting

This is a somewhat new web hosting technology that allows several of separate servers work together so they act like one massive server. The idea behind it is, as server needs grow, the hosting company can add more service hardware to make an even larger grid. The advantage of this type of plan is its ability to accommodate lots of traffic easily.

  • Virtual private server (VPS)

VPS servers share a physical server but operates like many individual servers. A virtual private server is a starting step between shared hosting and getting your dedicated machine. Although each VPS shares physical resources, they are assigned a dedicated part of the computing resources.

  • Dedicated web server

Having a dedicated server means you are leasing one physical server from a hosting company. You have complete control (“root” permissions in Linux) if you want it. A dedicated service plan means you don’t have to worry about other websites on your network crashing the servers and disrupting business.

  • Colocation web hosting

Businesses that collocate, rent a rack space from a data centre. This mean you are bringing your own server hardware, and all the host provider offers is power, cooling, physical security and internet uplink services. You take responsibility for your own server software, data storage and backup procedures.

  • Managed WordPress hosting

As WordPress continues to become more popular as a web building platform, many web hosting servers now offer “Managed WordPress Hosting”. This is a service where your provider keeps your WordPress hosting current and protects your websites for threats specific to WordPress.

Whatever your website’s function(s), having a suitable web hosting provider and plan is essential to keep it running at maximum potential all times. It is necessary for both business success and online growth.