A comprehensive web hosting beginner guide

Different types of website hosting services are offering structured features and benefits for different types of businesses and websites. Therefore, your choice of a preferred hosting option mainly depends on your specific needs such as the size and type of business among other factors. Therefore, you must understand the features, benefits and shortcoming of each type of hosting in order to choose the best option for your needs. Here are few types of hosting services available:

  1. Shared hosting

In this type of hosting, the dedicated server resources are usually shared with multiple users. As a result, users may face various shortcomings which include a smaller processing capacity, security risks and fewer support options. The main advantage of this option is its affordable price especially for smaller needs.

  1. Dedicated server

Dedicated web hosting is where an entire server is dedicated to just one user without being shared in any way. This is a good alternative for websites with high volumes of traffic and also for business sites that require increased server performance, full control and high levels of security. Therefore, when running on a dedicated server you are responsible for vandalism, maintenance issues and security.

  1. Virtual private server (VPS)

In this type of hosting, users share one server that acts like multiple and separate servers. Even though users in a VPS setting share the same hardware resources, each user is allocated a different portion of computing resources. This is a good way of avoiding the inconvenience of having hosting neighbors compromise your security or even bring down your site. The pricing of VPS depends on the RAM and CPU you get.

  1. Cloud hosting

This is a relatively new technology that utilizes multiple sources in order to provide better performance and capability. Customers are completely separate from each other and each cloud hosting customer has a unique IP address which is not offered by regular hosting services. On the other hand, cloud infrastructure includes failover which makes it more reliable. Therefore, in case the server where your site is hosted fails, it can be instantly restarted on another server. Cloud hoisting reduces the costs associated with paying IT staff, buying hardware and it also allows small businesses keep up with customer demands by utilizing advanced IT resources without breaking the bank.

  1. Clustered hosting

Clustered hosting services offer various redundant servers that can take over in case some servers go off-line. Although this option can be quite expensive, it might be a great choice for websites that have high traffic and global customers. Since this option is highly scalable, it offers high availability for various website applications. One server can be shut down easily and conveniently for maintenance while assigning its entire load to other servers. The costs are high primarily because the option increases infrastructure that needs monitoring and managing. A cluster is usually assembled from several clod servers, dedicated servers or a combination of the two. Therefore, clustered hosting offers a very robust hosting solution.

  1. Reseller hosting

This hosting service targets webmasters or anyone else who wants to resell hosting services. Reseller hosting is also a viable option for people who run multiple websites because it makes it easier and more convenient to manage several websites under the same control panel.

When choosing a web hosting service provider, there are various factors that should be taken into consideration. These include;

  1. Speed of access and reliability: Besides ensuring that the web host is fast and reliable, they should also offer a guaranteed uptime of at least 99%.
  2. Bandwidth (Traffic/data transfer): This refers to the amount of bytes that can be transferred from your website to visitors when they are browsing your site. Your bandwidth requirement depends on the number visiting your site per month.
  3. Disk space: Always ensure that you get enough storage space for all the content you intend to put up on your site including videos, images, infographics and text based content. This ensures that your site functions smoothly and effectively. Your storage requirement is primarily determined by the type of content on your website.
  4. Dedicated IP: If you are using shared hosting services, you are probably sharing your IP will all the users hosted on the same server. However, a dedicated IP is yours exclusively and you are in control of who uses it.
  5. SSL (Secure Server): A secure server is necessary for people who sell goods and services via their websites and collect credit card payments. However setting this up involves a higher priced package or additional charges. Such website addresses begin with “https://” rather than “http://”
  6. Multiple domain hosting: This is a very important feature for people who want to sell web space or intend to have several domains and/or sub domains hosted on the same account. Therefore, you should check whether your hosting provider offers multiple domain hosting and how much they charge for it.
  7. Technical support: Does your hosting provider offer security 12/7? You can test this by emailing or calling them and check how long it takes for them to respond. You want a provider that will fix problems in a timely manner.
  8. Control panel: This feature allows you to manage various aspects of your account all by yourself. At the minimum, the control panel should allow you to change passwords and manage email addresses without going through the technical support.

Understanding what various types of web hosting services have to offer will help you make a sound decision by choosing a package that fully addresses your unique hosting needs.

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The secret to turn traffic into sales

While having targeted visitors coming to your website is important, even more important is converting them into sales. Increasing web traffic is typically an expensive and time consuming task. You need to among others provide quality content, use keywords effectively and build quality back links. As such, you want to make sure that you’re converting each & every visitor to your site. Well, this obviously requires some work but the good thing is that it’s possible. Here are a few tactics you can use.

  1. Target high paying keywords.

At its most basic, high paying keywords refer to keywords that typically cost significant amounts of money to purchase but often result in more traffic and conversions. The increased traffic promises more sales if you get the other elements right. To get the most out of high paying keywords, you should investigate what your competitors are using and see what can work for you. You should also use variations and attributes, steer clear of competitive keywords and test different keywords.

  1. Better content.

It’s the high time you start posting high quality content as frequently as you can. By doing so, you’ll not only keep viewers for longer on your site but you will also please the search engines. Make sure the content is absolutely unique, interesting and valuable. Purpose to consistently generate useful stuff that sparks genuine interest amongst your potential customers. At the same time, try to find a balance in what you post so that it educates and also markets you.

  1. Better website design.

To convert your high traffic into sales, it’s important for your web design to be top notch. This simply means taking care of all the aspects that play a crucial role for your website. As a rule of thumb, your pages should not only be loading faster, but also be easy to navigate. No one wants to wait for a slow page to load. They might skip to another one or leave your website altogether. Other aspects you should pay attention to include use of colors, white space, navigation bars, titles and headers. Above all, make sure your site looks professional and attractive. The first impression is very important.

  1. Revised ads positions.

When used properly, ads have been proven to be effective in increasing traffic and in turn conversions. People searching for your targeted keywords/keyword phrases will see them near the top on the search results pages and could click on them. But it’s also wise to play around with their positioning from time to time! Even if the ads are providing the expected profitability, you should try to land in higher positions especially if you still have a budget to spare. This will ensure you get as much traffic as possible.

  1. Call to action (CTA).

If you’re serious about making more sales, then you need to have an effective call to action on your website. Very few websites, if any, generate a good amount of sales or leads without a strong CTA. The reason is that visitors need to be convinced, enticed, engaged and directed through a conversion path. Here are a few steps to help you create a good call to action:

  • Think of why you do what you do,
  • Try out different offers,
  • Decide where to place it on your website.

Your CTA should ideally be short and precise. It should also be simple and easy to notice when one is on your business website.

  1. Newsletter and subscription.

Email newsletters are some of the most powerful tools for turning visitors into customers. This is because they tend to address the two key aspects of conversion – engaging the audience with useful information and keeping your business at the back of their mind. When writing a newsletter, be sure to include a personal introduction about you and your business. Remember to offer high value content and show consistency as well.

Build a mailing list these days is pretty easy and there are several ways you can do. One is via subscription option where your viewers will sign up with their emails to receive updates and other information.

  1. Coupon code for discount.

Can you offer your customers a 5 percent discount? This tactic can be effective for both first-time and repeat buyers on your website. New visitors will be attracted to make their first purchase while regular ones will always be on the lookout for your next offers. There’s nothing as good as knowing that you can get an item you want at a lesser price. While still at it, make sure that your viewers know you’re offering the coupon code the moment they come to your website. You should also make it as easy as possible for them to grab and use it.

Turning your visitors into sales is not as difficult as it may seem. By keeping in mind a couple of things, you can be able to realize more sales, conversions and, ultimately, revenue.

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Learn all about Google indexing of your website

Hello there readers! You are here because you want all about Google indexing for your website. To start of, we would like to explain the meaning of web indexing. According to definition provided by Google, ‘web indexing or Internet indexing refers to various methods for indexing contents of a website or of the Internet as a whole.’

  1. What is web spider?

Next you need to know the what is known as a web spider or web crawler. No we are not referring to our friendly neighborhood hero, Spiderman. (We wish he could help you with this.) A web crawler is an Internet bot (bot is short of robot) which browses the www (world wide web) for the sole purpose of indexing.

  1. What is Google webmaster tools?

Then, you will be learning on how to use Google webmaster tool to submit your site or page. We want to explain why you should use Google webmaster tool in addition to the Google Analytics. The first reason is because it generates various data that will help you launch a great SEO (Search Engine Optimization) campaign. These two works hand in hand if you want to increase more profits for your company. Analytics tells you who is coming to your website as well as what they are reading. This is valuable because from here, you are able to cater to this group of people and know what topic will increase traffic for your site. Webmaster helps you to view your site as Google does, thus pointing out problems that need to be resolve with the crawl, code or links.

  1. Thing you need to know.

Five things that you need to pay attention while using the Google webmaster tool are search queries, traffic patterns, keyword insights, authorship statistics and site speed metrics. The first section which is the search queries shows current and average keyword rankings and the CTR (Click through rate) for each keyword. If you want to find out the changes, click the “With Change” to see how your SEO campaign is going on. Besides that, the traffic patterns well you guessed it, tells you the amount of people ‘stuck’ at that. But for this case, it is totally different from those traffic jams. It provides the average position for individual pages on your site, including blog posts. From here, you can see which content is the best and which one is the worst. A suggestion for you is if you notice that top topics are those that are widely disputed or are striking, you should provide more of those.

  1. Identify the best keyword to use.

Try to use the widely searched keywords to grab the attention of new clients. You can do this by making use of the keyword insights. Look at the contents that are viewed the most or least to attract even more customers by using this tool. The more relevant the keywords are to the content, the better traffic you will receive. An advantage of using Google webmaster tool is it’s ability to show you data that goes beyond your site. You can find the authorship statistics when you toggle to the Labs section. It serves as a guide so that you can produce similar topics that will no doubt be well received.

  1. Boost your website performance.

The last one is the site speed metrics. It is very important as we love pages or websites that load fast. Think about this way, if you are really excited and you want to buy something from a particular website, would you remain there if the page takes forever to load? The answer is no. Therefore, this helps you to determine your website’s loading speed. Anything below 500 milliseconds is acceptable. If it is more, it will make the client restless and impatient. Other than that, if you want to promote your service or product in a particular place, you should be able to do so by applying what you learn so far. In a nutshell, make use of Google webmaster tool.

  1. Submit your sitemap.

The steps in submitting your sitemap by Google webmaster tool are pretty straight forward. On your webmaster homepage select your site. Then in the left sidebar, click site configuration and Sitemaps. After that, click the add/test Sitemap button in the top right corner. Enter /system/feeds/sitemap into the text box that appears. Lastly, click submit Sitemap.

  1. Submit all website versions.

Moving on, you can submit all versions of your websites whether it is a www or a non-www version. If you choose to want to submit both types then you must register for both versions with wmt (word meaning test). www is usually treated as an optional add on since it is possible for example.com and www.example.com to have different owners. It is simple and takes 30 seconds to this. If both forms are on the same server and you’ve got a redirect in place, it saves your time so you do not need to upload a fresh verification file. After 30 seconds, you may want to check on it to make sure it isn’t picking up links by itself as well as the information or content of your site remains the same. We hope you are now well equipped with the skills that you need to do Google indexing for your website.

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A guide on how to use Instagram for business

Social media networks have proven to be fast and highly efficient engagement tools for businesses. On the other hand, individuals can also use social media channels to stay in touch with friends and family. However, unlike other social media networks, Instagram is entirely photo and video centric. Therefore, users post photos and short video clips (maximum of 15 seconds) and not text based updates like on Facebook and Twitter. One of the main unique features of Instagram is that all images and video clips posted are primarily in form of square Polaroid images. Besides inspiring creativity especially when combined with the photo filters, this also gives Instagram an exceptional streamlined look.

Practices and tips for using Instagram for personal and business brands:

  1. Connect to other social networks.

After signing up for your Instagram account via Facebook or email, you should also brand your Instagram page by simply choosing a username that is consistent with your social media accounts. Moreover, you should add your logo or profile photo, website URL and bio.

Instagram allows you to connect to your other accounts such as Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Flickr, and Foursquare. By integrating Instagram with other social media accounts, you can easily share the content you desire simultaneously across multiple social media channels. Therefore, your followers on these social media networks will see that you have and account on Instagram and it’s highly likely that they will follow you there. Adding a few networks to where your images and videos are posted raises your general visibility and you can easily get new followers. This is also an effective way of increasing engagement on Instagram.

  1. Share a wide variety of content.

Visual content gets great response especially on social media. In order to have an impact on Instagram, it is vital to use a wide variety of visual content and combine it with different elements of your life and business. Besides the products or services your business offers, your updates should also reflect other aspects of your business such as people, industry and location. You can compile a list of the aspects that make up your business and brand in order to design an initial plan for all the types of videos and images you can post. This can include;

  • Products and services you have released
  • Sneak peeks (teases) of new products and/or services
  • Clients
  • Office tour and location
  • Events you have hosted or attended in the past
  • Fans and employees

It is important to combine formal elements with fun office activities or piece of trivia. For instance, besides posting client images, marketers can also share photos and videos of your team actively interacting with customers. It is also vital to test different times when posting your content in order to see the specific times you get the most engagement.

  1. Use hash tags.

It is essential to accompany all your photos with the relevant hash tags (The hash tags should be related to the content of your update). The hash tags will make it easier for web users to search for content on various platforms including Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. Therefore, hash tags are another great way of getting your updates noticed especially when you are cross posting. The most popular search items are trends, locations and subjects.

For instance, local businesses can hash tag their respective cities (#Austin or # Los Angles), product and services can hash tag niche types (#Shoes, #Makeup or #Surgeon) and Websites and Experts can hash tag their respective industries (#Travel or #fitness). This is a very effective way of reaching new communities and increasing your engagement.

  1. Engage your followers and community.

You can encourage readers to post their own videos or photos with call to action that are related to your business. This will help you develop a strong following that can connect with your brand effectively. Moreover, you can increase engagement by posting pictures with questions or simply asking readers to tag you in their posts and you can respond with a good reply.

Instagram photo contests have gained immense popularity as a fun way of developing the community by simply engaging with more readers in order to get feedback and grow your followers. Therefore, you must keep abreast on things that are interesting and relevant to your followers in order to understand what they are saying and post photos that will keep them interested.

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Top advantages of hosting your own blog

Most people start their blogging journey using BlogSpot, Free Blogger or free version of WordPress. These free blogging platforms are all easy to use and a good place to start with. But at some point of time, you’ll realize that there are number of limitations – you miss key functionalities and attributes and also you’re required to abide by strict TOCs of the platforms such as constraints on the choice of applications and third party plug-ins you can use. You’ll also understand that the blogging community is huge and you’re simply finding it hard to stand out in the crowd. The ideal solution to all these challenges is hosting your blog on your own. Let’s have a look at some more advantages of self-hosted blogs.

  1. Complete control

A self-hosted blog offers you total control over each and every component of your blog – there is no restriction on the number of web pages you can create, the length of your blog posts or the topics you can write on. Flexibility is the key in self-hosted blogs, as you can upload any number of files, alter any code, and arrange any folder the way you like. Also, you don’t need to bother about blog hosting space, bandwidth limitations, etc.

  1. SEO friendly

By hosting a blog on your own, you’ll be able to further optimize it to be search engine friendly. Self-hosted blogs tend to get more links as other blogs and site owners are more likely to trust them, meaning it’s simpler for you to boost your rankings in the search engine results. You can control your blog’s external and internal links, deploy your choice of SEO plug-ins and software, focus on enhancing page-speed and enjoy the ultimate benefit of additional visitors to your blog.

  1. Design freedom

Don’t hold back due to the functionality and styling limitations with a free blogging platform. By going self-hosted, you’ve a bigger collection of unique themes and attractive templates to pick from, you may also have one designed professionally to set your blog above the rest. You can also choose one that suits your requirements and incorporate into your blog to give it a personalized look. Just like SEO plugins, there are various plugins readily available for several purposes like social-sharing plug ins, e-commerce plugins, gallery extensions, author-bio plugins, etc.

  1. Make money

Generally most of the free blogging platforms don’t let you to display advertisements either by Google or other advertisers which means that you can’t make any revenue out of your blog and all the efforts that you’ve put in to get your blog on top will likely be lost. But, blog hosting enables you to rent ad space to anyone you like, with all the revenue going right into your pocket. You can also sell your very own products by integrating a shopping cart for more profit.

  1. Customized domain name

To simply put – Your blog is your brand. Instead of ‘yourblog.blogspot.com’, which could be the mark of a novice blogger, you can have your own and unique web address without any WordPress or BlogSpot extensions. Besides this being a lot more professional, it’s easier for you visitors to recollect your blog name. Having your own blog implies that you can start to build-up the authority – something that prospective advertisers see as a beneficial thing.

  1. Access to coding and scripts

This is a little technical but is of great advantage. In self hosted blogs, you can actually gain access to the code section of the blog to perform any alterations such as designing sidebars, slider, header, footer, etc. As your blog evolves and you get a growing number of targeted traffic, you may want to add in other applications like dynamic forms, community forums or an e-store. Or perhaps you may prefer to include a little style with attractive AJAX features. This is simply not feasible with free web hosted solutions.

Overall, the most important advantage of going self-hosted is that your blog is exclusively on your hands. However you should be very careful before choosing a blog hosting provider. Consider many factors like accessibility, reliability, disk space capacity, backup, uptime guarantee, technical support, security and last but not least price before making a choice on a hosting provider for your blog. Happy Blogging.

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