Content has become the driving force for today’s consumer-driven internet. Well-informed content allows you and your company to demonstrate expertise and draw users who can benefit from it. “Create content and attract customers” is a simple enough idea, but not so easy to execute. Many blog and website owners have it all together when it comes to web design, but struggle with the issue of coming up with content ideas. If this is you, then not to worry. Once you change your approach to developing content ideas, you’ll find yourself brimming with them.
For every brand online and offline today, telling captivating stories is an essential part of differentiating from competition. As competition for new online customers continues to intensify day after day, more and more business owners, management teams, and marketing directors are spending time thinking about how to effectively tell their brand stories online. In the following post, we’ll outline a few ways you can tell your brand story on your website in order to help prospective customers understand what makes your business, products, and services unique.
It’s that time of year again. You’ve made it through the summer, fall is winding down, the New Year is just around the corner, and you’re thinking about how to spruce up your website for 2014. If you’re a business owner and you’ve been searching for tips on how to improve your website in order to make more sales or increase foot traffic at your brick-and-mortar, look no further. In this article, we’re outlining the top 5 web design mistakes you might have made when you launched your site—and what you can do to fix them.
If you keep up on any websites or blogs that offer marketing and branding business advice, chances are you’ve probably seen the term “personal branding” mentioned in a handful of articles this year. Thanks to the huge amount of information available on the Internet today, consumers are spending more and more time doing their research on companies, brands, and products before making any purchasing decisions. Many also spend time doing research on the individuals associated with the companies they’re considering buying products and services from. For this reason, many CEOs, managers, salespeople, and other professionals within organizations have started developing their own personal brands online. In the post below, we’ll explain what a personal brand is, why you need to spend time managing your own, and how to get started.
Without a doubt, the popularity shift from print to online content has certainly changed the way people consume information. Ebook readership has skyrocketed in the past few years, while popular blogs like Mashable and engadget boast several million unique visitors each month. The digital format is certainly here to stay, so what does this mean for your content marketing efforts? Certain trends are influencing the way people read online, and websites that keep with the trends are likely to attract the largest audiences. Read the rest of this entry »
Since the launch of Facebook business pages in 2007, companies and brands have been working hard to use the site as a way to build closer relationships with their fans and customers. If your company isn’t on Facebook yet, it’s not too late to get started. The social networking site is at the height of its popularity with over 1 billion monthly users, and it’s a great time to get on board the Facebook train. Creating a page is simple, and the benefit can be quite significant. Read the rest of this entry »
Many people often confuse the similarities and differences surrounding both web hosting and cloud computing. In a tech savvy society, most people have familiarized themselves with the concept of web hosting companies and how they assist budding webmasters in making their websites available over the Internet. The web hosting company will permit the webmaster to store their web site files and data on their server, when a specific code is requested online the server will then forward the data over the World Wide Web.
There are several distinct differences between web hosting and cloud computing. In a clouded environment the hosting provider maintains greater control, but given the elasticity of a virtualized environment the server is much more capable of meeting rapid influxes in traffic than it would be in a regular hosting scenario. That elasticity amounts for one of the most advantageous benefits of a clustered hosting environment. Previously a rapid influx in traffic had the potential to crowd a server to the point of failure, making it a distinct possibility that the website would crash.
Cloud computing, or cluster hosting as it is more commonly being referred to enables a single server to be virtually divided into a multitude of individual virtual servers. Data or information stored on each clouded server can be backed up with greater CPU power than would have been available by conventional means.
Cluster hosting works by taking advantage of the virtually connected servers to meet the fluctuating demands of the websites housed on the server. Overcrowding is unlikely to become a problem in a clouded environment, since there is little chance that each website on the server will experience high traffic simultaneously.
Some of the most common problems associated with web hosting can be mitigated by electing to deploy a cluster hosting solution. Not only does it provide the confidence that comes with knowing that a website will receive optimal uptime and resiliency it also enables webmasters to take advantage of the power, space and security of the websites of their peers since everyone shares the process and features virtually – while still having their own personal server allocation.
For webmasters electing to host an e-commerce based website, selecting the most appropriate web hosting company is bound to prove daunting without a well thought out road map and some basic understanding of the complex requirements in the e-commerce hosting world.
Simply put, e-commerce web hosting refers to the ‘technology of storing and maintaining file for one or more websites dedicated to selling products or services online.; the webmasters of e-commerce websites often procure services from a web hosting company so that they may upload their website content to the hosts server. It is the responsibility of the chosen web hosting company to ensure that the server is in optimal condition and provides fast and continuous connectivity. In an e-commerce environment, webmasters demand security, flexibility and high quality of service from their chosen providers. Since e-commerce websites not only contain but also store sensitive and often confidential information security is of utmost concern.
The principle of e-commerce hosting can be broken down into two main elements; the site and the web hosting company. Web hosting companies provide servers that house storage space and aid in Internet connectivity. In the case of online businesses it is essential that the website receives optimum uptime availability in order for potential consumers to be able to purchase goods or services from the webmasters website.
Any web hosting company chosen to host an e-commerce website must be capable of supporting the tools and features necessary in business environments. The most notable web hosting companies will provide webmasters with software and tools necessary for supporting online transactions and payment processing. It is important to remember, however, that there are situations where the webmaster may be responsible for purchasing their own e-commerce software and the licenses required to use the product. The most common e-commerce hosting tools are items like shopping carts, business services, secure socket layers, transaction tools and marketing tools.
Prior to selecting a web hosting company to support a business based website, it is recommended that webmasters first determine how much storage they will require along with their estimate data transfer rate. Since the web hosting company will provide the physical location for the website, the webmaster must be entirely confident in the security measures provided on the server. Paying attention to reviews and case studies will provide a stable estimate into the capabilities of the web hosting company. It is essential that the web host provides a backup system so that the website’s information can be rapidly rerouted in the event of a critical failure. A solid disaster recovery plan should also be drafted and tested.
Disaster recovery and security measures are essential components of e-commerce hosting. Private information and financial records must be protected from unauthorized viewing. Secure socket layer encryption is beneficial and therefore web hosting companies providing this technology should be examined further. When selecting a web hosting company for an e-commerce website it is
There is something to be said about webmasters who view their chosen web hosting company as a limited business partner. For the majority of webmasters a website is, after all, a business. Every successful business begins with a business plan. Creating a solid business plan for a website should be viewed as an essential element to serve as a guideline for the project in its entirety. A successful website business plan will include the following criteria; the objective of the web hosting company; the websites targeted audience; the business methodology; and lastly the company’s profile and financial statement.
A business plan relies heavily upon its key objectives to measure its success. Clearly outlining these objectives will enable both the web hosting company and the webmaster to perceive a detailed analysis of the market strategies needed in order to remain competitive and successful in the business market. In addition, a solid understanding of the web hosting company’s main objectives allows potential webmasters to realize the differences between an established host and those that may be utilizing advertising tactics just to sway their business.
A distinct advantage of web hosting companies with a clearly outlined list of objectives comes from the complacency afforded to potential clients; they know from the beginning what to expect and what not to.
It is the responsibility of the webmaster to determine which target market group they wish to advertise their products or services to. The largest corporations have spent a great deal of time and money to conduct various market research studies, in hopes of determining what market areas will exhibit the greatest deal of interest.
The majority of the overall strategy and planning phase of a successful business plan will be outlined in the business methodology. The breadth and depth of a business methodology pertains mostly to the strategic plans to promote the products or services being offered by the web hosting company. It should be noted that web hosting business plans may vary greatly depending upon the nature of the website that the webmaster intends to produce.
Webmasters will also find information on how to correctly execute many significant factors pertaining to the actual web hosting service in the business methodology. These factors may include topics such as disk transfer speed, domain availability, FTP accounts, security and resiliency and so on. A common strategy amongst web hosting companies is to provide new consumers with a free trial of some of their most common features and services.
New webmasters must pay special attention to the company profile and financial statement of any web hosting company that they are considering service from. The company profile will provide information surrounding the location, reliability and experience of the web host. It will also provide a solid understanding of the fiscal capabilities and responsibilities of the web hosting company.
Every new website begins with an idea – an idea that can potentially become a challenge to construct without a little basic knowledge and understanding of how web hosting and web hosting companies actually work. The most essential element of any successful website is a reliable web hosting company, one of the most practices methods of sourcing for a reliable host is by frequenting web hosting review sites.
Webmaster must, however, be able to look past the bells and whistles of the most established web hosting companies and select a host that provides access to the quality tools and features that are actually needed for the website creation and maintenance. The most favorable web hosting tools that a reliable hosting company will offer include:
PHP web script
The majority of web hosting companies on the market offer PHP since it is the most popular website creation script.
Since every database needs access to unique script, it is essential that webmasters elect service from a web hosting company that provides SQL script hosting.
Additional Domain Names
It is ideal to contract services from a web hosting company that provides multiple domain names to web hosting accounts so that extra websites can be added as the site grows and expands. Experts recommended choosing a web host that will provide no less than 5 extra domain names on the same account to provide room for growth potential.
A Site Builder
Novice webmasters will find the peace of mind that comes with using a fully functional website creation tool. Site builder applications provide a great place to start while webmasters a familiarizing themselves with the world of web creation and site hosting.
CGI scripting is the PHP of the past. However, it is still a functional necessity in successful web hosting. Most web hosting companies offer CGI as their default script, and it is best to select as host that offers both CGI and PHP until CGI become obsolete.
Statistics and Monitoring Tools
Most well established web hosting companies will provide their client base with some form of metric and statistic monitoring tool. This will allow webmasters to track what viewers are accessing on their websites and where they are visiting from. Stat and metric monitoring tools are essential in website growth and retention as they allows webmasters to quickly identify elements that need improvement.