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The purpose, function and components of web browsers?

Website Basics 02/09/2012

What is a web browser? According to Wikipedia, a web browser is a software program that allows you to browse, search, and receive various types of information such as: websites, videos and audio files, images, and other documents on the Web.

The Purpose of a Web Browser

Web browser’s main purpose is to display websites – images, graphics, text, videos, audios any other Medias – stored on the web server onto your PCs or laptop screen. Professional web designers and developers design Web sites in a way that they look and display consistently in almost every browsers. Browsers should display online Web pages in an organized fashion, allowing easier navigation and viewing.

Clients browsing the internet queries for specific results. Web browsers must be able to query pages on the Web server and serve them on the client’s browser window. In other words, Browsers read HTML documents, although they don’t display HTML tags – and display Web pages by interpreting tags inside those documents properly.

Functions of a Web Browser

The primary functions of a web browser are to retrieve or fetch information to the user, allow them to view it, and access information.

The user clicks on the Uniform Resource Locator (URL) into the browser – for example, http://www.gmail.com. The prefix, the Uniform Resource Identifier, used in the URL determines how the URL be inferred. Usually, URI starting with http: indicates a resource to be fetched over the Hypertext Transfer Protocol – HTTP. Other prefix include https: for HTTPS, ftp: for File Transfer Protocol, and file: for local files.

Once the resource has been located, the web browser should display it. HTML and its associated contents such as images, audios, and videos are displayed interpreting the formatting information such as CSS before it is passed to the rendering engine to display correctly on the browser.

Components of a Web Browser

If we look closer to each browser, all of them have these component common to them:

  1. Address Bar – Address bar is a wide box at the top of the browser window that span across almost third of the screen. Here, you type in web address, or URL to visit the target website.
  2. Title bar – At the very top of the browser window, Title bar displays the title of a Web page currently being viewed.
  3. Navigation Toolbar – Underneath the title bar, frequently used shortcut tools are placed in the Navigation toolbar. This is where you’ll see Back, Home, and Refresh buttons, among others.
  4. Workspace – The display window is the space where you are reading the content now.
  5. Scroll bars – Scroll down the bars using your mouse by clicking and pulling it down if they web page is longer than the screen space.
  6. Status Bar – A tiny box at the bottom of the browser window, Status bar displays important information – pages load status, URL of the Web address, etc.

Summary of the use of web browsers

Apart from Web pages, browsers are capable of generating any type of content that is the part of the HTML page. Almost every browser can render audio, video, images, and XML files and are equipped with Flash and PDF readers, and Java applets. Browsers also lets user download a files from the server and save it on your hard drive.

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What Does It Mean to Park a Domain Name?

Domain Names 30/08/2012

Shorter domains names are becoming more difficult to get. Some first timers usually wait until their website is designed and developed before buying and registering their chosen domain name. This mistake can cost you the domain name forever as the next time you check; the domain of your choice may be unavailable. It is not impossible to buy an unavailable domain name but you may have to pay a lot more money later on if you buy the domain name through the new owner. The effort and time required for acquiring an unavailable domain name is definitely not justified if you could have avoided all of it had you taken action on time and bought the domain name while it was available. But if you do not have a website to point your domain name to, what should you do? This is where domain name parking comes in. Domain name parking is a method devised by the registrars to overcome this difficulty.

Domain Name Parking Uncovered

The domain name registrar with which you register your domain name will allow you to point your domain name to a dummy page until you create your website and pit your domain name to your website. This is called domain name parking. Whenever a user types your domain name they will be redirected to this page. The page content depends on the registrar you are using but usually advertisement re displayed on such pages. You may wish to park a domain if you buy a lot of domain names together and want to work on them one by one. There are many reasons why people chose to park a domain but ultimately most plan to use the domain names sometime in the future.

If you park your domain name for just a short duration of time, domain name parking is a great solution but in case you wish to park your domain for a long term, you may want to find out exactly what kind of content is being displayed on the dummy page. If the domain name pertains to your brand you need to be especially careful as untrustworthy content and links displayed by your registrar may get associated with your brand name and they may harm your brand’s reputation. Moreover, your customers may get fooled into thinking that the ads are yours and may end up trusting them. Parking a domain for a long duration is not advisable in most cases. You should create a website as soon as you can and point your domain name there.

You can always get an account with a web host, create a blank page and point your website there. It isn’t very time consuming and will save you lot of trouble if you do not wish to develop the website for that particular domain name in the near future.
Domain Parking, however, is a great solution if you just need a temporary place for your domain name. Domain names disappear very fast and you should secure the one you want immediately if you don’t wish to lose it. So be proactive and register your domain name today. Forget about the website, you can always create that later.

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Subdirectory Vs.Sub-domain – Which one to use when?

Domain Names 29/08/2012

You have now reached a most crucial step while building your website. The decision to use a sub-directory or a sub-domain is a very important task. But before that you should know what a sub-directory and a sub-domain is.

Understanding Subdirectory and Subdomain

A subdirectory is a collection of other files and more subdirectories which is directly related to the main/root domain example.com. It is also referred to as folder. Subdirectories have addresses like www.example.com/subdirectory/. A subdomain, on the other hand, is a sub-website within your main website which maybe treated as a completely new website by search engines. You do not require a new registered domain name to created a sub-domain. The sub-domain is stored within the structure of the main domain. Subdomains have addresses like subdomain.example.com.

So what is the difference between a sub-domain and a sub-directory? A sub-domain can act like a complete website and run cgi scripts of its own. Further sub-directories can be created within sub-domains. Sub-domains are mini websites and you can customize and edit them just like a website.

Sub-categories: Why use them?

When you create a sub-category, you add content to the same website and a sub directory is usually only a few pages in size. All the information is stored on just one server. All your code can be found in one place, which is very convenient if you wish to change or edit something. Sub-directories are part of the website so they show up in all search results related to the website.

Sub-Domains: Why use them?

Sub-domains, as mentioned earlier, act like self sufficient websites of their own. If you wish to create completely different subject matter and do not wish the two websites to be related, you should consider using a sub-domain. In case you have a business and wish to brand several different niches, you can consider using a sub domain as that would suit your needs. All major sites like Google use sub-domains for categorizing their various sites. Using sub-domains is cost effective too as you would not have to create a whole new website. Sub-domains would work just as well and provide the same features.

Sub-Directories vs. Sub-Domains

Now you know the reasons why both Sub-domains and sub-directories are used, you need to select the one which suits your needs. There are two major criteria that you need to consider here:

  • Ease of Use: Sub-Domains are very difficult to understand and manage for new users. If you have absolutely no prior knowledge about website development and design, you should probably consider using sub-directories. Sub-Directories are same as sub folders and are fairly easy to manipulate. Even Newbies with no technical knowledge can easily use them. Moreover, it is very easy to handle codes in a sub-directory as it is all at one place.
  • SEO: Again Search Engine Optimization plays a very important role in the design of any website. There are millions of websites on the internet on any one topic and your website may get lost among the multitudes. The whole purpose of any website is to bring it to the people and unless you can do that just creating a website would be worthless. Most people these days, use search engines to search for any new information and it is statistically shown that almost 90 % people never look beyond the first page of search engines. If your site does not figure on the first page, the chances of getting traffic are very low. Both sub-directories as well as sub-domains have their own uses in search engine optimization. Depending on your needs you should select one of these.
  • Some search engines treat a sub-domain as a different website. So if you hope to gain traffic on the basis of your domain’s reputation you should go for sub-directories. But if you wish to launch an extensive internet marketing campaign and market each of your products differently, you should get sub-domains. You can submit each of your sub-domain as a different website which can then fetch traffic independently. Analyzing data and audience targeting also becomes very easy if you use sub-domains.

The decision is entirely yours but it is recommended for newcomers to start off with sub-directories and once they familiarize themselves with the intricacies of they can then start using sub-domains. Sub-directories work just as well but once you get into serious website development, sub-domains would be better suited for your needs.

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Can you change your Domain Registrar?

Domain Names 29/08/2012

For convenience, domain names are automatically renewed each time with the same domain registrar. However, there maybe some reason why you may want to move your domain name to another registrar. It is important to note that domain name registration is a legal process so it is always advisable to know everything about the domain name you have bought. A domain name is registered with a domain name registrar and an authority called the ICANN accredits these domain name registrars. When you register your domain name for a fee, make sure that your registrar is accredited by ICANN.

Changing registrars is very much possible and quite easy. If you are not satisfied with your current registrar for some reason and wish to transfer your domain name to a different registrar you can always do that whenever you want. The process is fairly easy even though different registrars handle transfers differently. In most cases, you just have to ask the registrar to transfer your domain name to the new one. You may have to fill up a form or send them a mail or fax.

Basically, your new registrar will have to send a transfer request to your old registrar, which can then accept or deny the transfer. In case the old registrar does not reply within five days, your transfer automatically gets approved. However, if you have outstanding renewal fee due, the registrar may not accept the transfer until you pay the renewal fee.

The whole process takes around 7-10 days. The domain name you wish to transfer must be at least 60 days old and there should not be any outstanding dues. You will also have to confirm the transfer mail that is sent to your admin email id. Once that is done, you are good to go.

It cannot be emphasized enough that it is ideal that you choose the best domain name registrar right from the start. Before buying a domain name, you need to ensure that your current registrar does not charge a fee for transfer of domain names. Moreso, do check that there is not any clause included in the terms and conditions, which you readily agreed , that states that the registrar does not support domain name transfer. These are all cheap money making gimmicks and you should stay on alert for such scams. Usually registrars accredited with ICANN refrain from such practices as they are against the ICANN policies.

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Do I own my domain name?

Domain Names 29/08/2012

Once you bought your domain name, you’re probably wondering if you actuallly own your domain name. Technically, you don’t. You only rent it. But for as long as you are paying the yearly fee which is usually around ten US dollars, you are the registered keeper of your domain name. However, you have the intellectualy property right for that domain name subject to the laws you live in.

Unless you are doing something illegal such as copyright infringement, the domain you have purchased is completely at your disposal. You can use it with whatever type of website you want. The domain name registrar only registers the name on your behalf. Do make sure you automate renewal of your subscription to avoid accidental expiration.

Can a Domain Name be cancelled?

Should you decide that you no longer need your domain name, you can cancel it. Different registrars have different procedures for cancelling the domain name. Mostly you’ll have to fill out a web based form and provide your identification details to cancel your subscription. Others may require you to send a notarized letter with the domain name and other details, for the domain name cancellation to take effect.

Domain names can be cancelled online, if your registrar provides the option. When you cancel your domain name, it disappears from the internet. Anyone who types your domain name will get an error message stating that the DNS look up failed or some other similar reply. Email Ids and websites associated with the domain name will not work anymore. You can reactivate your domain name within a grace period provided by the registrar which is usually 90 days. However, you may have to pay a reactivation fee for this procedure.

It is a common practice to just wait for the subscription to expire. Do make sure that your domain control panel is not set to renew the particular domain automatically.

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Will you choose to get a free domain name for your website?

Domain Names 29/08/2012

Most newcomers to web hosting and designing have encountered this question at least once: can I get a free domain name for my own website? The simple answer is yes, you can create a website without buying a domain name. Although you can, it is not always advisable. Before venturing into it further, you should at least know why most experts strongly advise you not to go for this very appealing option.

How do free domain names work and what exactly do they offer?

So basically when you have a free domain name, in truth, you do not have a domain name. Confused? It’s simple actually. Your web host will create a sub-domain (subdomain.example.com) within the root domain (example.com) and associate it with your website. The web host owns the domain and can add or delete as many sub-domains as is required by them.

The major benefit and the very apparent one is the financially viable part. You can cut the costs of buying a domain name and save money in the process. This makes getting a new website very inexpensive and hence, looks attractive to many people.

Free domain names – The truth

In your attempt to save a little money now, you may have to suffer drastic consequences later. Not buying a domain name may turn out to be very expensive in the long run. There are several things that you should and consider before even thinking of going for the so called less expensive option.

Web hosts are particularly notorious for closing down unexpectedly. Not just the new and small ones but web hosts associated with big names like Google and Yahoo have also closed down. And, when this happens your website will disappear forever. You have no option to retrieve it or transfer it somewhere else because ultimately your web host owned the site; you were just along for the ride which just got over with a very nasty surprise for you.

Goodbye visitors

And that’s not all. You lose all your visitors that grew to love your site and your loyal followers. It is not uncommon for websites to disappear after all. In case you were smart enough to have a back up of all your files, you can probably upload them to a new webhost but you won’t be able to regain your customers as your address would now be different. These people would never come to know that you have shifted your website to a new address and would just assume that it has closed down.

Moreover, all search engine links to your original website will now be reported as broken and it could take you ages to build up that kind of rank and visitors. All the publicizing and internet marketing you may have done will now be worthless. In fact you would have to start from scratch and if you have had a website previously you probably know how difficult it is to gain traffic in this age of cut throat competition.

But on the contrary if you own a domain name and your web host closes down, all you have to do is get a new web host, host your website with it and point your domain name to this new web host. Your visitors won’t even come to know of the change and the site will be the same as ever. It would also not affect search engine links and you will have uninterrupted stream of traffic.

Shall I use a free domain name?

This is a question no one can answer for you. I have tried to point out exactly what you stand to lose (and gain) if you do not buy a domain name. Now the ball is in your court. But personally I would recommend you to buy a domain name now and save a lot of unnecessary hassle later. Domain names aren’t all that expensive. They charge you around $10 per year which comes out to be even less than a dollar a month. Why try to be miserly about it when a little investment now can save time, money and effort in the long run. Even if you have created the website just for fun, it is not a lot of money to shell out when it guarantees a lot less trouble later on. Who knows when you might get serious about it and then there would be no use repenting later on.

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What to do with domain name after you bought it?

Domain Names 29/08/2012

Websites are online identities that define your personality online. Setting up a website can be a very difficult task if you are a newbie. There are millions of technicalities involved like buying the domain name, registering it, domain parking etc which may sound like French to someone who’s doing it for the first time. This article will help you with the things you need to do once you bought and registered a domain name.

Steps to take once you registered a domain name

You can learn how to point your domain name to your website without getting bothered with the technical details. So you have bought a domain name and do not know what to do with it next? A lot of people have trouble while integrating domain names with web hosts. The first thing you’ll need to do after registering your domain name will be to get a web host account. These are companies that let you host your website on their system for a fee so that it can be accessed by anyone anywhere online. Most commercial web hosts allow you to use your own domain name for your website. There are many web hosts available online and you can choose one depending on your needs.

Point your domain name to your website

Now you need to point your domain name to your website. For this the first thing you’ll need is a list of all the name servers used by your web host. Nameservers or DNS servers translate your domain name to the IP address where your website is hosted. When anyone types in your domain name, the name servers translate that to the IP address where the user is redirected. Do not worry if this does not exactly make sense to you. You just need the list of name servers. To find the name servers, you can either check the FAQ section of your web host or directly mail them asking for the required information. The information should also be present in the mail sent to you by the web host when you initially signed up for an account.

Now log in to your domain name registrar with the login name and password that you created when you registered your domain name. Now you need to look for an option that lets you set or change the name servers for your domain name. This is different for different registrars based on their design and interface. List all your domain names, check the ones whose nameservers you want to change and look for options to set or change the DNS servers or Name servers. Once you reach the required screen, you will be presented with a form to fill with options to fill your “Primary Nameserver”, “Secondary Nameserver etc.

A domain name should have at least two name servers associated with it. The number of Name Servers provided varies with the domain name registrar. While some registrars can provide as many as six name servers, the most commonly used are two only. You need to enter the nameservers you obtained from your web host into these fields. Do not worry if you have been provided with a greater or lesser number of nameservers than those required in the form. Just fill all the ones you have and ignore extra ones if there is no more space. Basically, two nameservers work just fine, the extras are provided so that you can always reach your website if one or more name server fails to work properly.

In case you have trouble locating the page where you need to enter the nameservers, check out the FAQ page of your registrar. Most registrars provide detailed instruction on pointing to a new website as this is a fairly basic step which has to be followed by almost everyone before they can set up their own website. And if you are still having trouble, the best option would be to ask the web host itself. Send them a mail and wait for a response. The reply may not be very prompt and you may have to wait for a while but you will eventually learn the entire procedure.

It is important to remember that once you set the nameservers, it may take around 24 to 48 hours for the change to take effect. Once it is fully propagated, you can see the results of your labor. Just type in your domain name and you will automatically get directed to your website. Congratulations the first step is over, and you can now move on to the actual designing and set up of your website.

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A generic .com or country code specific top level domain name

Domain Names 29/08/2012

Before going into technicalities, let us first see what a top level domain is. The most generic part of any domain name is a top level domain or a TLD. These are installed in the root zone and all other domain names end with a TLD like .com or .net. This is the most important part of a domain name and should be chosen with care.

Basically there are two kinds of top level domain names or TLDs – the generic top level domain names or gTLDs and the country Top level domain names or the ccTLDs. Both these top level domains serve their own purposes. The generic top level domains like .com, .net, .edu, .info etc are related to particular categories. There were originally eight generic top level domain names, the most popular of which is the .com. The ccTLDs or the country code top level domain names as is apparent in the name are country specific. Some examples are .uk for United Kingdom, .us for the United States, .in for India and so on.

Now the question arises which Top level domain should be used while buying a domain name. This is not a question that is easily answered. The top level domain you use depends on your needs and the kind of traffic you want. Top level domains basically tell the search engine what kind of content you have and affect search engine results. If you need good organic ranks, it is vital to select the top level domain with care. There are three things that should be considered while deciding a top level domain:

The location of your targeted audience

The location of your target market is the most crucial deciding factor. If you create a website about local news, people from other countries would probably not be interested. It would be ideal to use a country code top level domain. On the other hand, if your website is aimed globally, then a generic top level domain should be used.

The content and purpose
There is probably a Top level domain for every kind of content. If your site is about your organization, the top level domain could be .org or if it is about education the top level domain could be .edu. The choice is ultimately yours and you may decide to choose a top level domain completely different from your site’s purpose. The best universal top level domain is obviously .com.

SEO or Search Engine Optimization
In this age of cut throat competition in the virtual world, where every Tom, Dick and Harry with an internet connection has a website, gaining recognition is a very difficult task. The best way to gain an audience is through search engine optimization. Most people use search engines whenever they are looking for a website and if your website ranks on top of the page, the number of visitors’ o your site will increase tenfold. Since you need every advantage, you should also consider search engine optimization while getting a top level domain name. Mostly .com domain names rank higher in search engine results as compared to other extensions. Other top level domain names also have varying degrees of effect on search engine ranks. You can easily gain good organic rank if you select the right kind of top level domain name.

A generic domain such as .com or Country code specific top level domain – The Final Verdict

Now that you know the pros and cons of both you can make an informed decision. However, unless you are hosting a local website, it is good to get a .com extension. There are several reasons for this. It is the most popular domain names and the domain names with this top level domain name tend to rank higher on search engine results. Secondly, if someone just knows your brand name and not your URL, they’d be most likely to search for it with a .com extension. This greatly increases the chances of getting more traffic.

If you are willing to shell out a bit more money, you mau consider buying both the country specific as well as the .com top level domain. This will be a good branding strategy.

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What to do if domain name is unavailable?

Domain Names 29/08/2012

Did you just think of a domain name that you thought would be best suited for your website and then found out that it is already taken? Almost everyone has suffered this while looking for a domain name. Most common and intuitive domain names are already taken especially those with a dot com extension.

Since dot com is the most popular and memorable Top level domain name, most people try to get a dot com extension for their domain names. However, most of these are almost always unavailable and you may have to make do with some other domain name. But in case you have a brand and want the domain name very badly no matter the cost and effort, there are several ways to acquire an unavailable domain name.

There are various sites too that can help you acquire the domain name you want. If you do not wish to directly approach the owner, you can go through these web sites. Domain names are also available for auction and you can bid for the one you want. Even eBay has domain name auctions.

If you want the very same domain name, you should first run a Whois search and find out the owner of the domain. You can then directly approach the owner and find out if they’d be willing to sell the domain name to you. You may have to pay more than what you might have done had you gone through the usual channels but where your website is concerned, nothing is too expensive.

First you need a list of domain names. Setting your hopes on just one domain name hardly ever works and is very expensive.
Now find out if they are available and if they are not, find out the names and details of the owners. You must then persuade the owner to agree to sell the domain name. Most domain names can easily be categorized onto one of these categories:

  1. The business pages: These are owned by businesses and are fully functional. Getting one of these is a near impossible task. It can be acquired with a lot of hardwork and persuasion but it will be very expensive. Unless it is absolutely essential that you use this domain name, it is best that you choose a different domain name altogether.
  2. Lead Generation pages: These pages are mainly reserved for getting backlinks and for SEO purposes. These pages just contain links to other sites and are used for monetizing. These are almost always very easy to acquire.
  3. Under Construction pages: They are the pages that have been recently acquired and are being developed. Or had been partially  developed but is now neglected. You may be able to get these domains with a bit of persuasion and convincing.
  4. Dead pages: These pages could be dead because of a number of reasons and if you can contact the owner you may be able to buy them.

Now comes the actual buying. There are several registrars which provide anonymous services. Their sales representative will contact the concerned party and persuade them to sell the domain to you. If their price falls within the range you specified, you get the domain.

However, it is always better to contact the owner directly as you cannot trust other people to be as persuasive as you can be.
The next step is the valuation. Some domain name registrars even do this for you automatically. But if you are approaching the owner directly you need to first find out how much the domain name is worth. You can end up paying an outrageous sum if you do not do your research first.

If you fail to acquire your desired domain name despite eveything, all is not lost. You can try a slightly different spelling or add numbers to the name. Just be careful of copyright infringement as that is a serious issue. Even a slightly different name may violate copyrights and cause you a lot of trouble. Be original and try to improvise. You can also try other extensions like .biz, .net etc, which might be available. There are lots of possibilities but in most cases you will be able to acquire your desired domain name at an auction or through the owner.

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Choosing the best domain name registrar

Domain Names 29/08/2012

It can be quite difficult to choose which domain name registrar you should buy your domain name from. There are so many domain registrars to choose from. You must be able to weed out dodgy registrars and proactively avoid scams associated with purchasing domain names.

There are many unsavory practices that domain name registrars use to make more profit. The most popular of these is domain name front running. Have you ever searched for a domain name, find it available but when you tried to register it, it appears to be unavailable? If you have, you have been a victim of domain name front running. Some registrars show every domain name that has been searched through them as unavailable and then charge a higher price if you wish to acquire the same domain name. Moreover, you cannot register the domain name with any other registrar too because it is already taken up. You end up paying through your nose for a domain name that you could have easily acquired at the standard rate.

However, ICANN, the organization in charge of all domain name registrations, has made policies regarding these practices and the registrars found doing these are discredited. But you may become a victim before the ICANN takes any action so it is always better to be aware and look after your own interests.

Basically most domain name registrars offer the standard package so you need to know how to differentiate the good from the best. There are some basic criteria on which you can judge domain name registrars.

  • Cost: The price charged to you for a year for your domain may differ from registrar to registrar. You need to look for a domain name registrar that will register your domain name at a reasonable price and has no hidden costs involved. The approximate charges for most common domain name registrars are around ten dollars per year per domain.
  • Ease of use: The ideal registrar will have an easy to use interface with which you can easily execute all standard procedures like modifying, registering and transferring your domain name.
  • Customer Service: The customer service should be prompt and very active so that you do not encounter any difficulties during the registration process. A good customer service indicates that the registrar is serious about its work and it saves you a lot of time and money.
  • Transparency: The terms of agreement you have to accept should be clear and straightforward. Most people never read the terms and conditions and just blindly agree to follow them. There may be hidden clauses within the document that may cause you a lot of headache later on. For example they may charge a fee for transfer or include some extra money you have to pay. So make sure you verify all such details before mindlessly agreeing to the contract.
  • Additional Features: Who does not like freebies? Check whether your domain name registrar offers any value added services and compare them with those offered by other domain name registrars. Make sure you get maximum value for your money. Choose a domain name registrar that has the most to offer.

As a precaution, it is essential that you:

  • Do not disclose your domain name which you wish to buy on a forum or chat. This information may be used to make you pay a lot of money for the very same domain name.
  • Do not search for domain name availability on every domain name registrar. Select one and then buy it immediately through the registrar.

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Moving to a New Web Host Guide

Website Hosting 27/08/2012

It may become necessary to move your website from one host to another for so many reasons. As an analogy, moving host is like relocating yourself to a new house which at times can become a hectic task. Done in an organized and well-planned manner, relocating website to new host is pretty simple, copy from source and paste to the destination. This should make your site up and running with possibly no downtime.

Sometimes it can be an intimidating task to others in contrast to what it seems like a copy and paste job. The following steps will explore the necessary procedures in transferring your web files to a new host in a systematic approach:

  1. When finding a web host, you need to choose a web hosting plan that best suits your need. Make sure about the technological needs of your website such as server side scripting, databases, any preference of you web server or operating system. Study in between lines of their terms and condition and plan offered. Once satisfied make your statement, “I want to relocate my existing website”. Get ID, password of File Manager or FTP from your new host. Below explores what services to look for in new host:
  • Control panel: A good support and interactive control panel can make site administration from your end easier. Make sure they have a good one.
  • Email Services: A good host generally provides 20 or so email addresses (number varies from host to host and also according to the plan offered). Some of them also provide SMTP and Webmail services.
  • Technical Support: A 24/7 technical support with active phone line should be considered
  • Database Support:  if you website use database, make sure the new host supports those technologies as well.
  • Disk space: Inquire about disk space offered and always keep room for future storage upgrades of your website.
  • Bandwidth limits: Inquire about bandwidth limits under normal circumstances and heavy traffic and their provision for handling traffic spikes.
  • Resource usage limits: You will also need to read the fine print and ensure that you are aware of your web host’s resource usage limitations.
  • Scripting abilities: if site uses CGI, SSI, Servlet or any other technologies, make sure the new host supports it.
  • Performance:  Inquire about their server configuration and how fast they operate and if possible get a third party view on their claim.

Ok, what’s next?

  1. Use File Manager or FTP whichever offered by your old host to backup your existing site on your computer. If your site uses database, create backup of your data and preserve the  SQL scripts. Scripts may be required to recreate the schema on your new host.
  2. Upload your site content to the new hosting account. You shall be able to check that your site works as expected by surfing to the IP address. Use IP address into the browser instead of a domain name to check further the given IP address works. This should be done before transferring domain names.
  3. Create a database with the same name and the restore backed up data to the new database. This step is not required if your site does not use any database.
  4. Transfer your domain name and change the name servers over to your new hosting company. Name servers normally take one or two days to become active and once propagated new hosting company will start providing services to your website.
  5. Cancel your account with old hosting company

Dealing with not so Utopian world
It may not be wise to confide in to your old host regarding the transition before everything is settled. Otherwise your old host may create all sorts of problem such as terminating your account before you have taken the backup of your site. Your site moving out of their server is a business loss and human mind is too varied to predict how your old host is going to react. Best way to deal with the situation is to copy your site, upload to your new host, and test your pages and when you are satisfied only then tell your old host about your discontinuation. Also consider whether your nameserver is updated and database integrity is maintained.

Most interesting fact is that moving your website from one host to another is technically simple but other different facets to be considered are quite intimidating. People have variety of experience some are quite awful. However, a careful planning and cautious approach can allay most the problems leading to a smooth transition.

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List of web browsers and share of internet users per browser

Website Basics 26/08/2012

There are almost forty different Web browsers available in the market. However, in this article, we are only going to look at browsers that are being actively developed and maintained as well as support modern Web standards.  Although these browsers are different, they still support these features:

  1. Plug-ins and Java
  2. Tab browsing
  3. In-built search
  4. Favorites, bookmarking, and importing features
  5. Download managers
  6. Cookies
  7. Web page with HTML, SSL, CSS, and JavaScript

Most Popular Internet Browsers

Web browsers have made it easy to surf the net these days. There are wide varieties of free online Web browsers available to download and use:

1) Internet Explorer (IE)

We are very familiar with Internet Explorer, as it is a household name when it comes to Web browsing. It is a free web browser made popular by its manufacturer, Microsoft. It’s easy, fast, and almost every websites were made with IE in mind, meaning that they are compatible across different PCs and operating systems.

Over the years, we have seen few other popular browsers hitting in the market with awesome features, ease-of-use, runs smoothly on every different platform and also offers browsing on the internet.

Let’s explore the alternative browsers and dig deep to learn why they had garnered so much attention from their users.

2. Firefox

Firefox has been one of the best alternative browsers in the market today. Built for simplicity, extensibility, and security, Mozilla Firefox also comes along with its Thunderbird mail and news client, a perfect combination. Both are open-source applications.

While Mobile Firefox is also available for Android phones, Firefox Home is available for iPhone and iPad which allows you to sync your browser history, bookmarks, tabs, and other personal settings to your phone browser. It also has free plug-ins for SEO and analyzing codes and rid them of nasty bugs.

Features:  Web browsing, RSS feed, many extensions available for chat, private browsing, SEO purpose, and debugging.

3. Google Chrome

Dubbed as the fastest browser on the planet, Google Chrome allows many add-ons features for its users like readily visit Google stores, use various applications, and use their email system. Google broke down its Web browser’s complex structure to bare essential in a bid to focus on its performance by getting itself out of your way and let divert your attention to Web itself.

Like Safari, Chrome uses WebKit engine, a similar feat found on Web browsers on Android mobile phones.

Features: Malware, Phishing, Private Browsing, and Web Browsing. It imports passwords, history, and bookmarks from Firefox or Internet Explorer.

4. Safari

In 2003, suddenly Apple shocked the world when they announced the launch of Safari on their Mac OS X. It was so admired by Mac users that Microsoft had to stop producing Internet Explorer for Mac.

Safari is now the default browser for Mac and is compatible with most websites. It loads faster, rendering it an excellent alternative to other Web browsers. It has also been developed for Windows further reducing the number of IE users.

Features: Web, RSS, and Private Browsing. The browser imports bookmarks from other.

5. Opera

Since its original release in 1996, Opera have endured a heavy battle among other browsers by continuously innovating wealth of features. It now has a full-fledged Web suite with Web browser, email, news, chats, and RSS.

For mobile browsing, Opera mini is available. Opera Mini runs on low-end mobiles powered by Java applets, and then, also runs on Android and iOS. You can easily sync bookmarks between mobile phones and desktop using Opera Link.

Features: Web, RSS, Email, Chat, Sync, Widgets. The browser lets you import bookmarks from IE, Firefox, Safari, and Netscape. It also supports email applications, such as, Thunderbird, Netscape, Outlook Express, Eudora, and Apple Mail.

6. Mozilla SeaMonkey

SeaMonkey is based on the same source code as the former Mozilla Application Suite. It is an open source code and is lead by the SeaMonkey Council.

Features: Editor, Chat, Mail, and Web. It allows importing all settings – bookmarks – from Netscape 4.

7. K-Meleon – Window Browser

Using the same Mozilla core, years before even Mozilla Firefox was born; K-Meleon was developed to create a light Web browser for Windows. It strength lies in its customizability and speed.

Features: Web Browsing. Imports bookmarks from your current IE, Firefox, Netscape, or Opera.

8. Camino – Mac Browser

Designed to carry Mozilla’s technology into Mac OS X, and with a slogan ‘Mozilla power, Mac style’, Camino is a solution that seamlessly integrates in a way that even Firefox have not managed to do so.

Features: Web, bookmarking from IE, Firefox, Opera, Safari, iCab, and OmniWeb, etc.

9. Konqueror – Linux/Unix Browser

Konqueror, a highly customizable browser, is both a Web browser and a file manager. It gained popularity when Apple selected Konqueror as the basis for Safari. Running on GNOME and other desktop, Konqueror assimilates with other KDE applications – Kmail/Kontact for e-mail, Akregator for RSS.

Features: Web browsing, RSS, Email, and Bookmarks from IE, Opera, Netscape, and Mozilla.

Until now, we discussed about features of different Web browsers that runs on various platforms. Now, let us know about the usage share of the Web browsers.

Usage Share of Different Web Browsers

Web browsers usage statistics vary according to different geographic regions. For example, usage of Internet Explorer dominates in China, in Germany, however, Firefox is mostly used. In Belarus, most people use Opera, whereas in India, most of them use Google Chrome.

The following table also summarizes the latest usage of various Web browsers, as of July 2012.

Source Chrome IE Firefox Safari Opera Other
Stat Counter 33.81% 32.04% 23.73% 7.12% 1.72% 1.58%
Clicky 29.87% 35.77% 23.61% 9.18% 1.43% 0.13%
W3Counter 28.3% 28.6% 23.1% 13.3% 2.2% 4.5%
NetApplications 18.88% 53.93% 20.16% 4.93% 1.59% 0.51%
Wikimedia 33.83% 28.86% 23.88% 6.09% 3.73% 3.61%

In this article, we learnt about major Web browsers that are alternative to Internet Explorers, and also knew their key features – Web browsing, email, news, RSS, and bookmarking from other browsers. Finally, we also uncovered some statistics about the usage of these major browsers according to different regions and percentage of users.

Which Web browser do you prefer while browsing, sending email, and viewing RSS feeds for daily use, and why?

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How To Reach Your Website Audience

Website Basics 26/08/2012

Do you know that your target audience is looking for you? But they just don’t know how to find you. You need to make a conscious decision to make a path for them so that they can reach you. How do you create those bridge so both of you connect? Before anything else, you need to research who your target visitors are.

Target visitors are real people who have their common sets of needs and wants. In order to reach them, you need to actually understand them, and that means understanding their wants, needs, and expectations.

Know What Your Audience Want

So, if you’re about to build a website project, a preliminary round of knowing what they want will help you offer the right products and services for this targeted audience.

For example, let’s just say that you want to build a site on a popular niche – Mobile Phones.

Now for this niche, you’re obvious target audience would be mobile buyers, right? And then we create a website focused around people who wants to buy mobiles. Well, that’s a great keyword to target on there in the first place. There is definitely a goldmine there for you, but do you also realize there are tens of thousands, if not millions, of website competing for the same keyword?

So, it would be futile to build our website with only one keyword.

Another mistake that most of the people do is they think that search engines are mind readers. They actually think if they say one thing, they actually mean other. Let us clear a myth about search engine here first.

Search engines aren’t mind readers but they are just a program designed to perform a task – to crawl through websites and keep their databases and serve the most relevant content for people who are searching for them.

In order for them to find you, you need to help search engines to help connect with your audience. That means, while creating content, you need to make sure that create content around a targeted audience. That means you need to understanding who you are writing for.

Your target audience already knows what they are looking for and what they want. And it is important that “YOU” also know that before you can deliver what they are looking.

And that requires a bit of pre-planning from your part.

How to Reach Your Audience

So, how would you target this audience? In this article, we’ll discuss on various ways you could find what your target audience wants, needs, and expect from Mobile Phone niche. Are you ready? Let’s begin. J

1) Networking

In order to figure out what other people search for, you can actually network with people around you – your friends, family members, co-workers, and acquaintances. They could be the source. All you have to do is ask those questions. Questions about what they are looking for, what they might search for in the search engines, and what they would not, and so on.

2) Preliminary Research

Go visit a nearby local library or a book store and go over the industry trade papers, magazines that relate to your chosen topic. You need to go over them just to get ‘buzz’ about it. At this stage, you might also want to subscribe a lot of online websites that are forefront on the niche you’re on, especially of those content that keeps on changing.

3) Sign Up

Internet is all the vogue in the twenty-first century and it is sure to remain for a long time for sure. Within few seconds after you search, you’ll get tons of free membership sites, forums, and blogs that usually talk about the topic you’re involved.

Visiting these site, and more importantly, becoming their free members will enrich your knowledge of your target audience expectations. Browse around these discussion groups, especially of those who have lots of members, and be an active participant to keep abreast of the topics being discussed.

4) Keyword Suggestion Tools

Once you’ve figured out who your target audience is, and what they are looking for in the market, all that remains is to find out what keyword they use to search for those products and services. Most of the small online business starts a website without doing a proper keyword research. They usually target high competitive keywords and build their site around them, while totally discarding other keywords that are low in competition but also popular among your target audience.

One of the best ways to do that is to use free keyword suggestions tools – Google Adword Keyword Suggestion Tool and Wordtracker tool. Both are free and extremely helpful to figure out primary as well as long tail keywords that would be beneficial for your site, in terms of ranking at least.

In short, both these tools help you figure out popular keywords that you can use to target your audience.

Summary on Reaching Your Audience

In summary, remember three key points while building your website from scratch. First, do your homework. Don’t assume that what you’ll search for is also searched by your target audience. Second, connect with like-minded people in your own industry in order to truly figure out what is in vogue, and what’s not, so that you not only save your time and energy, but also properly target your audience. Lastly, write compelling content by proper keyword research using free tools such as Google Adword Keyword Research Tool and Wordtracker. That’s all you need to figure out what your audience wants, needs, and expect.

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How to research your target audience

Website Basics 25/08/2012

While trying to connect with people, most of the time, we end up connecting with the wrong people and, as a result, develop wrong websites. Most of the people out there waste hours of their time and money trying to develop site without knowing who their audiences are and what they want.

The reason is obvious. Most website owners and small business entrepreneurs only think about traffic quantity, and they totally forget to build quality traffic to their sites which could not only save their time, but also help them make more profits as a result. But don’t worry, in this article, we’ll show you exactly how you can limit your gambling with your time and energy and identify your target audience.

Who is Your Target Audience?

Two questions always seem to pop up while building a website. The first is how do we attract more website traffic to our site and the second is, what kind of sites should I build and focus on.

But first, we must understand that the traffic we are after are real people with their unique sets of wants and needs. Unless we understand who they are and what they want, success will be hard to come by. But once we understand their profile, then we we’ll be able to focus our efforts on what they are looking for, what their age groups are, and their buying patterns among others.

Why it’s Imperative to Understand the Profile of Your Target Audience?

Benefits of understanding the profile of your target audience are:

  1. They help you spend more time on creating content that will interest and target those audience
  2. Return of investment will be increased as the workload is reduced because we won’t be wasting our time on unnecessary topics, articles, and marketing campaigns. We know who our targets are, and we solely focus on them.
  3. When we focus on only our target audience, overtime, we’ll not only be able to build deep and meaningful relationships with them, but we’ll also be attracting people who actually care about our products and offers.
  4. As a result, we spend our time productively. J

The Need to Research Demographics

Knowing your target demographics is the single-most important thing to limit raw-guesswork while creating content and products for your site. Unless you know who your users are, you’ll be blind what they want. But once you understand your audience – who they are and what they want – you can then begin to build your website around it. Without this prior knowledge of your target audience, however, goals could be harder to realized, you’ll be wasting time, and all efforts will be gone in vain.

Researching about the profile of your demographics will help you understand

  1. The desires and interest these people will have
  2. Attitudes and beliefs they have
  3. The type of content these people will respond to
  4. The actions they’re likely to take
  5. Finally, which type of sites you spend most time on

Market Research

There are already wide number of market research tools that you could use, depending upon the topic of your site – Google Keyword Research Tools and Wordtracker are one of them. Although you won’t be able to find quality and detailed information using search engines alone, however, you can at least narrow down your audience.

It’s better to pay for these market reports if your site is large. But if you’re a small business entrepreneur just starting out, then you must begin with whatever tools and data you have in hand.

For an example, we’ll use a keyword ‘toy and games’ to determine the target audience and where to find them. With the help of this example, you can begin to use the demographics into practice on your own site.

Example of Keyword Demographic Research

Let’s just say we want to build a site about ‘toy and games’.

First, we’ll use the Google’s advanced search engine tool to find the market over a specific period of time and find as much information.

Once we’ve done the initial search, we’ll also research on other major sites that specialized on the same market. For this, we’ll use Google, and a quick search with the keyword, “toys and games” will bring us few results – TheToyShop.com, Wayfair.com and Chitag.com.

Then, we’ll actually use two free tools – Microsoft’s AdCenter Labs Keyword Forecast Tool and Quantcast – for demographic research and find out in detail about the types of people who often visit them.

In the Quantcast, type in the name of one of the sites discovered from our search result. For example, we’ll use “TheToyShop.com”. And the, click on the “demographics” tab. Note: Please make sure that the publisher has implemented Quantcast Measurement, otherwise, we won’t get the result.

And then, place the URL of the site on the Microsoft’s AdCenter Labs tool. Check the “URL” radio button.

Although the result is slightly different in both these tools in terms of age groups, however, you could still use them to calculate approximately the age and gender groups of the visitors that these websites receive.

From each of these tools, we’ll get a general view that “toys and games” are usually more popular with children and teenagers. With this data, we’ll know that as long as we spend more time on building quality relationships, using Social Medias, with children and teenagers than adult, women, and older people, we’ll be in profit and succeed down the line.

Demographic Research Summary

In order to understand our audience – who they are and what they want – we can actually utilize free services such as Quantcast, Google Advanced Research Tool, and Microsoft’s AdCenter Labs Tool, to find out who visits the types of sites we’re planning to build. For example, what their age are, where they are located, and what they are looking for, are just a few important data that is required if we really want to focus our efforts on these people and head our sites into long-term profit, rather than just doing raw-guesswork.

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How to Register Your Own Domain Name

Domain Names 23/08/2012

So you’ve finally decided you want to register (buy) a domain name. Registering it under your name gives you the right to keep and use your chosen domain name for a given period of time. It’s not a typical purchase where you buy something and you have full ownership of that item for life.

Steps in Buying a Domain Name

A domain name points to your website. It is like your online address through which people can reach your site. Some of the things you need to consider when you buy one are as follows:

1. Choose a Domain Name

Think of some names that you’d like to use for your website. Although this step sounds super easy, it can be a little challenging. It is absolutely important that you carefully choose the right domain name for your particular website project. Have a few back up names ready in case your preferred name is already taken.

2. Buy through a Domain Name Registrar

Companies that have been accredited by the ICANN to register domain names are known as domain name registrars. Just to confuse you:

  • Only a few domain name registration companies only offer just that – sell domain names
  • Other domain name registrars offer hosting services as well
  • Web hosting provided by web design & development companies can purchase a domain name on your behalf. Be sure it is registered under your name.
  • Major web hosting companies tend to be registrars as well. They will give you the option to purchase a domain name through them when you avail of a hosting plan.

3. Payment & Renewal Method

Most companies accept debit card, credit card or PayPal. Buying a domain name gives you the right to use it for a minimum of 1 to 2 years and then it expires. When it does, it becomes available again for anyone to buy. So be careful. I set mine to renew automatically to make sure that it doesn’t lapse. You can also extend your domain name registration for a period of 5 to 10 years or longer.

4. Ownership Details

During registration it is mandatory to provide your contact details. You need to ensure that you have entered the correct details as this is your proof of ownership. However, you can amend the details when you login to your registrars dashboard.

It is important to note that your details default as accessible to anyone. When you register, you can opt to make your information private.  If you’ve purchased one, you can request this as an add-on with your registrar. Always read the terms and conditions when availing of additional services such as registering through a proxy company.

5. Your Domain Name & Your Website

Your registered domain name is no good unless it is pointing to a name server that will host your website. For this to happen, you need to find a web hosting service that suits your need. Your domain name is already pointed to the web host’s primary and secondary name servers if you bought your domain name from them. All you need to do is install your website.

If you bought your domain name from a registrar only (unlikely), you need to change the name server details yourself. The same thing is true if you bought your domain name from a web host company but you want to move to a new hosting provider. Follow the steps below:

  • Find out your web host’s primary and secondary name servers
  • Login to your domain name registrar’s account
  • Go to your domain name management dashboard
  • Change your primary and secondary name server

Things to Consider when Buying

There are many domain name registrars available for you to choose from. Domain names are being bought and sold on a daily basis. For this reason, it is not uncommon for your first, second or third choice to be unavailable. You need to be creative.

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Must have basic computer skills when building Internet sites

Website Basics 23/08/2012

In previous articles, we talked about what you need to know and have in order to start a website. In this report, we’re going to list out few important basic computer and internet skills that you should have. In other words, you don’t need to be a computer or internet expert; you only require few fundamental skills.

It’s better if you gain some basic computer skills as nearly every field you get a job in, there is a good chance a computer will be involved. Having good computer skills not only make you look smarter, but it also increases your chances of getting a good job, eventually helping you do better in your career.

As technology seem to always change, keeping up with these computer skills will only help you better your career. It helps you stay on top of your game. But same goes when you don’t have them because most of the time, employers usually hire those people with basic computer skills because most of the work is done electronically these days.

Computer also acts like your virtual assistant, which basically has every application to help you organize daily tasks, schedule meetings, communicate with your colleagues, and upload content on your website.

With that said, let’s discuss what you’ll need to know to build basic computer and internet skills.

Basic Computer Skills You Should Have

Basic computer skills involve very simple tasks which, probably, don’t require much of your thinking. Once you know how to do it, and practice it several times, you will be doing almost most of the basic computer tasks without even thinking about it. Learning to use computer is just like learning to ride a bike. You become better as you get to use it regularly.

Here are few lists of simple skills to help you get started and which does not require much of your time.

  1. Turning your computer on and off, but once you know where to punch that power button; you don’t have to remind yourself over and over again.
  2. Mouse Clicking – right, left, and double clicks, especially if you use desktop computers. Using mouse help you locate and navigate faster.
  3. Familiarity using the Operating Systems. No matter which OS you’re using, you need to know how to explore it – navigating to different drives, searching for files, opening up softwares and so on
  4. Creating, deleting, and renaming files and folders is almost a repetitive thing you’ll be doing.
  5. Using the ‘drag and drop’ features. Using this skill you can just copy a file into different location or media without having to use the ‘cut and paste’ functions.
  6. Copying and pasting text, files, and folders
  7. Zipping and unzipping files before you send as attachments or upload them on your web site
  8. Using Word, Excel, and PowerPoint to create, print, and generate reports for your website or business.
  9. Opening up programs
  10. Install and uninstall a program(s)
  11. Using save and save as commands. Although there are the same, you can create an exact copy and save it to a different location using this feature.
  12. Browsing internet browsers – internet explorer, Firefox, and Google chrome. Learning to bookmark a web page so that you can visit back other time, saving web page to, printing a page, or start private browsing to protect your privacy.
  13. Using email softwares such as Outlook Express, Gmail, MSN to send and receive emails
  14. Using search engines for market, niche, and keyword research
  15. Opening up PDF files using Adobe readers
  16. Using Skype, MSN Chat, Yahoo Chat, or Gmail Talk for communication purpose.

If you are a self-starter, then you can become skilled at each of this task. All you need is an internet connection, and know how to search, navigate, click and follow the instructions shown in the tutorial websites.

Every year, these set of basic skills are becoming almost a requirements for every job you apply, lest they’re vital to conduct your online business (website). But this is just the tip of the iceberg. While basic computer skills are crucial for many day-to-day tasks, remember that as a website project manager, you still need more advanced skills. Skills such as setting up a website, creating articles, sending newsletters, publishing news and updates on your website.  A separate article discusses in detail the skills needed when you’re involved in building sites.

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14 Website Ideas to Help You Start Your Own Site

Website Basics 23/08/2012

When your mind roam a little-bit, ideas starts to pop up. Sometimes, it could be a friend who can help bounce ideas off for you. You should start thinking in a ‘Could that be an idea for a successful website?’ mindset.

Let’s discuss some of the ideas for you website so that you can implement them into your website. Ready?

1) Start with Your Hobbies and Interests

The website project becomes more enjoyable once you pinpoint things that interest you. A good point is to start from is to look at your own hobbies and interests for ideas for your web project. The reason is because you’ll more natural about them and more likely commit and write articles around them even when you don’t feel like. So, go and find a quiet and peaceful place, and imagine a typical day. Think about what you would enjoy reading and talking about?

2) Your Skills

Do you have some special skills that you want to share? What about the place you work in? What type of job you basically do? Are you interested in researching, or do you spend time reading blogs? If so, note down those sites you visits or other things that you naturally do.

3) Participate in Forums

You can also visit forums and internet chat-rooms. Look up for topics that are mostly discussed. Find problems that need solving. Search for the ‘“keyword” + forum’ to find what people really are looking for.

4) Subscribe to Email Lists

To get your creative juice flowing, subscribe to mailing list on your niche, or places you want are interested, or genuinely want to develop your skills on.

While on the discussion forum, look for what’s already discussed and which types of topics get a lot of response. For example, when I was starting out, I usually visited Infobarrel to learn about blogging, internet marketing, and basically on writing. Within few weeks, I was actually solving problem for others because I had learnt few skills on the website.

5) Consider Family, Friends, and Relatives

Ideas can be so close, and so obvious, that we often overlook them. Your neighbor, friends, or relatives could be a source of interesting information for your website. Do you know someone who is expert at something? Does your cousin know a lot about gadgets? Or your neighbor knows how to grow roses and so on …

You could interview them to get unique and useful facts for your website. Or you could also make a video showing them how to do it.

6) Read the Yellow Pages

Read yellow pages to find different industries that might interests you. For example, gardening, travel, real-estate, etc.

7) Read Newspapers

Get your inspirations from newspapers, magazines, and TV. Skim through sections that you normally would not read, and read both the ads as well as the news.

8) In Your House

Walk around your house. Just consider every item you use or see inside your  home – chairs, desk, laptops, cups, rugs, beds, wind-breakers, jewelry, soaps, toothbrush, body-spray, cologne, fans, cutlery, towels, pens, and so on.

To come up with ideas, search for keywords on keyword research tools such as Google Adword Keyword Suggestion Tool to find a list of additional relevant ideas for your site.

If you want to recommend a product, choose those products that you really care about.

9) Scan Magazines

Go to a local store and pick up a magazine that catches your attention. The website creation would be lot fun and easier when you find you already are familiar with the subject. Each successful magazine is carted towards a specific niche. Also, scan the cover titles and article headers for more ideas.

Above content ideas are basically useful to generate content for your website. Now once you’ve figured out which niche or ideas you want to focus, all you need is to use different tools and features to make your website take it to the next level. Here’s how.

10) Use Keyword Research Tools

Turn keyword research tools on its head. Instead of searching for very specific keyword phrases into Google Adword Keyword Suggestion Tools, use GENERAL, non-specific words. Try to include “tips”, “ideas”, and “problems”. Also search for “how”, “where”, and “find”.

11) Have a Gallery on Your Site

Gallery allows sharing your photos on your website that are easily accessible by people all around the world.

12) Blogs on Your Site

Alternative to forum, blogs are an excellent way to build interaction and communicate with your visitors. Like forums, blogs also have a commenting system – a place where people often post their after-thoughts on the topics discussed. This will help interaction among visitors and encourage for open channel of communication in the future.

13) Have a Forum on Your Site

Forums allow exchanging of information, ideas, and solve problems and exchange them among various people. They also help build more trust and credibility of your site as more and more visitors registers and participates in the discussion topics.

14) Sell Products or Services on Your Website

Once you’ve identified what type of products are profitable and how interested you seem to promote it, you can open a site that actually sells products or services, either your own or someone else’s. For the latter, you need to have an affiliate link so that if someone buys the product that you’re recommending, you also earn some commission out of each sale.

Ideas can come from anywhere, especially if your open your eyes and see around. You never know when that gem of an idea might hit you in the middle of your everyday drab life. Just open your boxes and drawers, and there they will be. J

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List of Resource Usage Limits on Web Hosting to Watch Out

Website Hosting 23/08/2012

The planning for web development starts with web hosting. One has to make a careful consideration of bandwidth, disk space offered by the web host, scrutinize the terms and condition of the provider, examine the plan for what suits the best to meet the present condition etc. Web hosting is a profitable business where each company tries to gain an upper-hand over their competitors. Often they come out with lots of promises such as ‘unlimited space’, ‘unlimited bandwidth’ etc. Customers should read in between such promises – that’s OK but one should actually watch out for resource usage limits.

Resource usage limits – What is it all about?

Static websites contain simple HTML pages. They have a simple operation – Browser request for pages and Server deliver them through HTTP protocol. This type of websites have nothing much to worry about resource usage limits unless the site is so popular that huge traffic created a bottleneck and browser sluggishly refreshes the pages. This rarely occurs. Today, the situation is different. Even the simplest websites are moving towards dynamic content with voluminous functionality and interactivity. The resources of these types of websites are generally assembled from variety of sources. Using database, web templates, web services etc have become a common phenomenon. A fair amount of processing and other technical intricacies is involved in serving the request of dynamic pages. Thus it is actually the resource usage limits determines the efficiency of the website rather than disk space or network bandwidth.
There are three most important resource usage needs to be considered in this regard

CPU Cycle Usage

Every web page, be it static or dynamic uses some amount of CPU processing cycle to deliver web pages to the client browser. Dynamic web pages are hungrier for CPU cycle than the static pages. The scripts used in the programming of dynamic web pages require a fair amount of CPU processing power for constructing a page. Sometime the whole page is reconstructed afresh before the delivery. This creates a tremendous pressure on the processing power of CPU. Also there are several websites hosted on a web server. Every website seeks a fair amount of its share of CPU cycles. If any website is heavily using CPU and the other websites waiting for it can become unresponsive or sluggish. This definitely affects the bandwidth or data transfer rate from server-side to the client-side.
There is a way out of this problem – a particular website may upgrade to purchase a dedicated server for the website. This would mean – one server serving for a single website in one machine. However such a plan is too expensive and suitable for only huge commercial use.

RAM – Memory Usage

Another limiting factor called memory usage or more specifically RAM usage. RAM is a temporary memory space to hold the executing programs. The site which have scripts or require huge data to execute can bottleneck the performance of the server. As a result web page refreshing at the client-side may come to a standstill. Web host though may specify the amount of disk space allotment yet give no hint to this limitation of how much RAM the site is allowed to use. Obviously, specifying such things is technically difficult but nonetheless it has its fair share of limiting bandwidth and thus effecting performance.

Database Usage

Every database has a limitation on number to connection accepted at any moment. Dynamic web sites heavily depend on the database for its dynamic content. When too many data connection request data simultaneously the bandwidth limitation of the database may not be able to serve every request efficiently hence get into a traffic bottleneck. This adversely affects the overall data transfer rate of the website.

Knowledge of Hosting Resource Usage Limits is Critical
Resource usage limits have both hardware and software implication aptly needs to be considered. Knowledge of these implication can help webmasters in the evaluation of web hosts. webmasters can now judge the in between lines of the high sounding words of web hosting provider and critically examine the terms and condition applied in the different plan of the provider. The judgment of web-pages whether it should be dynamic or static is crucial. The pages where static contents suffices need not unnecessarily be made dynamic. With more and more websites becoming dynamic resource usage limits needs to be considered actively for if they are ignored, performance of the website would degrade in the long run. Careful planning can limit the need of resources resulting in the increase of website performance as the popular saying goes -”waste not want not”

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Anatomy of a Website

Website Basics 22/08/2012

The first thing a reader sees stumbling upon a website is its appealing and navigable layout and design. It sounds simple. Think of meeting someone for the first time, Mr. Tall, Dark, and Handsome, or Ms. Slim, Fair, and Sexy. The first thing anyone would see is the physical appearance of the person. Sure, there’s a whole life story behind those faces but what catches the eyes first are the physical looks. Similarly, a webpage relies on its appearance and usability for readers to stay on the site. Outline here are ways to plan for achieving such a result–retaining viewers and allowing them to revisit.

1. Page Header

The local newspaper always has some sort of logo on top of their paper. Over the years, people develop that logo association with the company because the viewers have been looking at it over and over again for ages. In fact, games on logo quizzes are all the rage these days. The first step to keeping readers locked on the site is to have an attractive logo.

Website Logo

Any company or even the regular blogger needs a logo. These are normally found on the upper left part of the pages. Visit Yahoo, Avon, and MLB websites and one would find that, indeed, logos are usually placed there. They may vary–be as large as a banner-type image, either vertical or horizontal, or as small as an emblem. There are no definite rules on how big or small they could be but what works is whatever fits in the layout of the page.

Website Name and Tagline: Taking that first step in building a mark on the internet starts with figuring out a domain/site name that anyone would remember once it’s given or advertised. This may sound easy but coming up with names like Yahoo or Google doesn’t take a day to figure out. Not only that but it also includes a tagline of what the site’s all about. To create these, here are the 3S’ to follow:

  • Short: Domain names that are long (i.e. whatsyourfavoritehobby.com) will easily be forgotten especially when it’s spread by mouth. Having a shorter URL (uniform resource location) will make your name easier to remember and quicker to type. Tag lines can also be shortened for people to remember if it’s about this service, they’ll remember who to contact.
  • Simple: Adjectives as domain/site names are all well and good but using ones unfamiliar to other people (i.e. obstreperous) and ones that are unlikable (i.e. stinkybutt) should be avoided. Also, by using descriptions in the domain/site name would make it lengthy. It would be good to use descriptions on the tagline though.
  • Specific: One can have a really broad name with broad services but people won’t remember that. They prefer places that are specialized. Google specializes in their search engine. Some people still visit Yahoo for their email services. Not only must the service and product be unique but also the domain/site name and tagline. Being creative


Once the logo has been created, there is one more that needs to be made and it starts with a question: What’s that very small logo found near the browser’s address bar and how did it get there? If the logo has already been made, simply reduce its size to 16×16 pixels (and this works best if there’s only one letter or an image clearly visible even when reduced in size). Save the file as .ico. Place this file into the root directory of the site and modern browsers such as Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox should read the placed favicon and display it properly.

2. Navigation

Having GPS these days makes going around the park a simpler task. Today, it would be difficult to imagine what it’s like living without any GPS or some form of digital navigation tool. On a website, what undermines and makes it flourish at the same time are the ways people navigate around the site. Having links everywhere and nowhere can confuse the readers. Thus, it is important to manage all the hyperlinks present in all pages. Whether to use images or plain text or both will be an important decision. Here are some areas to focus on in building the navigation:

Main navigation area

This contains all major links that allow the reader to go from the main site to some pages on the website and back. This is actually the most vital part as readers would rely on its presence when other navigation features of the site are not present or get too confusing.

Secondary Navigation

Not everything can be placed on the main navigation area and many websites will and do have subpages that contain varying content from other pages. Secondary navigation can be introduced which pinpoints readers to navigate within the subpages even without the main navigation present to simplify matters. However, a link to the main page should be present in the secondary navigation.

Breadcrumb Navigation

This is very common in sites that sell a lot of merchandise subdivided into, for example, clothing, gardening, electronics…etc. and quite useful should a site have these categorization. Usually applied to e-commerce and product sites, this can also be useful for education sites categorizing their online lectures or notes. Simply put, the breadcrumb navigation is most successful in sites that classify its information, products, and services.

3. Main Content

No site would be complete without its content. Multiple pages are created in order to provide information in a more organized manner.

Page Title

It is important to remember each page must have its own page title for without it, readers and content writers themselves will have a hard time figuring out what that page is all about.

Page Description

A short page description would mean a lot to readers to have little patience to go through the whole thing and may prefer to read a shorter description of the entire article and should he be interested, he will continue reading the article.

Visual and/or Audio Visual

For most sites, no content is complete if there’s no graphic present. Whether moving or static images and/or audio-visual, it is almost always needed to cater for different types of visitors. While seeing and reading plain text may appeal to many bookworms, many casual internet users prefer something quicker and audio-visual will do the trick.

Now that content is figured out, there’s just one last thing to handle.

4. Page Footer

What many take for granted is the presence of a footer which is found at the bottom of any web page. This usually contains all the stuff nobody really reads (by nobody it’s almost all people) unless they would like to contact the owners as they have personal or legal inquiries. A page footer usually contains hyperlinks to the privacy policy which outlines how the site gathers information from its visitors, terms of service which informs the reader on how he can use the information and about the owner’s limits of responsibilities of the site, about page which describes what the site is all about, and contact information which contains email addresses and possibly local business addresses for the readers and customers to contact and visit.

Overall presentation

The whole presentation is the key. The way the images are placed along with its text, whether the photos are moving as a slideshow or just static, are important for the readers. But ultimately, the overall message must be delivered and it must satisfy what the reader/visitor is looking for. Creating web page after web page on a regular basis can be really difficult to maintain, luckily, there are content management systems available and simple installation is just a few clicks away.

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Branding vs. Keyword Rich Domain Names

Domain Names 22/08/2012

Website designing is a fairly involved process. The question that has perplexed generation of newbie designers is which is better Branding or Keyword Rich Domain names. This question has no easy answer. While both of them are relevant and effective both have some shortcomings. The aim with which you build the website and exactly what you hope to get out of your site decide which of the two options you should use – branding or keyword rich domain names. The choice ultimately is yours and depends on your requirements. But there are some technical aspects and results that may help you in making the choice. Let us look at the pros and cons of both Branding and Keyword rich domain names.

Using your Brand as your Domain Name
Domain name wise, branding refers to using your actual brand name as your website domain i.e. “thisismybrandname”.com. Some very successful examples of branding are Facebook for Facebook.com, Google for google.com and Yahoo for yahoo.com. Your Brand is your identity – the face you present to the world. It is how people recognize you, so it is only logical to use that as your domain name. It not only brings recognition but people can associate with you. Most of the large and successful enterprises are using branding for their domain names. It helps establish your brand and gain stability. With easy to remember and short domain names, users find it less cumbersome to look for your site and brand awareness will increase gradually. As the brand is your online identity a good website with your brand name will also help maintain the reliability of your brand.

However, Branding has its faults. Branding is not good for new businesses as they cannot gain a lot of traffic through it. Branding does not help in optimizing your site for search engines. If your business is new or your brand is not a particularly well known one, domain name branding will hardly be of great use to you in terms of driving search engine traffic.

Choosing A Keyword Rich Domain Name
Keyword rich domain names as the name suggests contain keywords in the domain name. This is a great way to build audience and get more traffic. Keyword rich domain names help increase your search engine rank organically by additional keyword hits. If you are trying to get attention for a keyword rather than a brand, keyword rich domain names are the ideal way. Search Engine Optimization is possible only through Keyword rich domain names.

But then again keyword rich domain names are not that great. They are too long and take a lot of time to type which is a major deterrent in getting more traffic. Keyword rich domain names also sound a lot like spam and do not inspire trust. Moreover there is no brand awareness at all and you cannot hope to eventually establish your brand. You may get traffic but there is no guarantee that it’ll last.

Time To Choose: Should I Use a Keyword Rich Domain Name or a Branded Domain?
So now that you know the pros and cons of both branding and keyword rich domains, it is now time for the decision. Earlier the emphasis was on keyword rich domain names. They get more traffic, rank better and are optimized for search engines. However, because of the unreliability of keyword rich domain names, Google and other major search engines are starting to pay more attention to branding. Keyword rich domain names are too cumbersome and people usually tend to be distrustful of long names. Keyword rich domain names no doubt are great for affiliate marketers or if you wish to target just a specific keyword and not maintain a brand. But if you are serious about your business and expect it to grow branding is the ultimate tool you’ll get as a long term traffic achieving tactic. Moreover Branding provides space for you to extend or grow your business. For example if you have a website for say selling books and you have a keyword rich domain name say, buygreatbooks.com then if you wish to extend your business to stationary or watches then the website would be of no use to you. On the other hand if you have a branded website domain, you can add as many new businesses as you wish and they would all be associated with your brand. Also, most customers like a personal touch while buying things. Branded domain names inspire trust and help build the brand name over time. Establishing a brand might be a bit difficult at first but the long term benefits of branding more than make up for any small inconveniences you may encounter in the beginning.

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Choosing When to Use Static or Dynamic Pages

Website Basics 22/08/2012

Ideas pop in the mind and most of the time, they’re brilliant! When it’s time to put them on the web however, that’s when unusual problems arise. Should a website be up-to-date with all the latest information? Who will put in those updates? Will readers help out or will the website owners do it themselves?

Companies in this age have websites where consumers can view products and services they offer so consumers could compare to other competitors and eventually end up deciding what the consumers prefer. These companies put out fresh news and even promos to guarantee the return visits of their customers. Bidding sites and online stores have to put in new deals daily if they want to stay ahead of the game. Companies and individuals who aren’t as tech-savvy as the rest will find themselves wondering why profits, visitors, and customers aren’t coming as fast as they would have hoped despite their online presence. Their lack of knowledge, understanding, and application on the internet as a whole could be THE factor but an important one is to keep the site updated with new stuff and offers.

In building a website, there are two things to consider — a static site for pages that doesn’t require future updating or a dynamic site for sites that require frequent content updates and when readers are greatly involved. Each has its own functions and advantages.

When Creating Content>
A website wouldn’t be a website without anything in it. That includes articles, pictures, sound clips, and videos. What follows is how these play into dynamic/static sites.

  • Dynamic: In creating content, having a dynamic site would take too much time for just one writer. Being dynamic allows the users to create a plethora of content such as news and information, tips and tricks, DIY-project guides, and events. These can be done by the owners of the site and if they allow, the readers themselves can also support the site by creating new content for other fellow readers. A dynamic site brings interaction and creates a community that would sustain the viewership of the site to a longer extent. All of these sounds great but this need quite a bit of work as it includes moderation of comments and views, photos, and videos.
  • Static: When these heavy-lifting ideas are not needed and only a short display of the location of the shop, a list of products and services, and contact information are required, a static site is best where the owners do not have to update the site that often or even none at all. A static site can contain all the information needed by the readers to know about what the site’s all about. If it’s about butterflies, a static page needs to be filled with information including intricate details about their life cycles and behaviors. No extra work is needed especially in editing as it has now become more of a reference site. User-generated information may come in handy but it is superfluous if all facts have been laid out. Do a static site if it’s all about putting out information that doesn’t change often like phone numbers and addresses of the business.

When Designing a Site
Designing the website itself with all the pictures, hyperlinks, tables, and integration with other social media like Facebook can be daunting for anyone without any experience in being a graphics artist. Moderating what people say stuff about products, services, other peoples’ reviews, opinions, and articles where they use these social media sites alone takes effort especially if you’re just one person.

  • Dynamic: Having a dynamic site will push to implement social features so it would be easier to let friends know there’s an ongoing sale on lettuce plants at half-price! It allows others to share and even like your site itself via Twitter, Facebook, and Google Plus. The challenge now lies in how user-generated information, along with content, can be presented in a way that doesn’t look cluttered to anyone especially ones that just visited the site. In short, there could be a lot of content but will it be navigable by users?
  • Static: A static site can actually integrate these social features but it may just be like the only tree on a hill. Talk to it all you want. It may even return the favor by giving its shade during the day but it doesn’t really respond the way people would expect it to. There exists a lack of interaction of the owner to its readers.

A personal preference is to build a dynamic site in the form of a blog. Readers would see frequently updated posts on the blog ensuring when they revisit, they’d have a better probability of seeing something new. Having pages which are static (or called static pages that doesn’t really need much updating) like an about page, mission and vision page, favorite-food page, and an old photo collection page wouldn’t require any update giving the user a stable sense of what the goals of the sites are. In the end, it all boils down to how the site will be designed – dynamic, static, or both.

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What is a Dynamic Website & When to Use it?

Website Basics 22/08/2012

In a world where everything is connected online, one would feel out of touch in a place without any connection to some form of social media. Facebook, Twitter–these have revolutionized the way websites are created and navigated. Users can instantly ‘like’ posts or ‘retweet’ other peoples’ tweets. It can go even deeper by retweeting what has been retweeted. All these being connected to other external websites sounds crazy and impossible! But all these define the current standards of what a dynamic site should be.

A dynamic page varies quite a bit from what a static page appears to be. On static pages, viewers can’t interact with what the owners have posted directly on the website. In a dynamic page, users have the capability to interact with other users who either share their opinions or disagree with the rest thus creating an atmosphere of constant exchange and transformation of information which anyone can access. In a nutshell, dynamic pages and websites are outcomes of collaborations with the online community.

In what situations, should dynamic pages be used? Listed below are some ideas in utilizing dynamic pages:

Putting up-to-date information
When a site needs to follow the current trends and has to update itself for its users to see them, a dynamic site would play the best role. Having the latest international & local news, celebrity gossips, sports rumors, and technology speculations can make the difference between having the first 50,000 eager audiences on the site or having just 10% of them instead in last place because of some other competitor who does it much faster. By integrating social networks, one can improve delivery of news even if the user-generated data can be a bit off from the actual. This is where a moderator comes into play to ensure content that is submitted to the website are clean and accurate. No one really wants to see news made up (unless it’s intentional for parody’s sake).

Increased compatibility
In the past (probably before year 2000), setting up a dynamic website was a pain. Everything was done manually because people had to shift from the idea of having a static site to a more dynamic one. Now, however, computers are compatible in viewing these dynamic pages and not just on desktop computers but now include tablets, smartphones, and even the new Smart TVs. Why watch a boring static page on a huge 42″ LED Smart TV when it’s much more interesting to watch a dynamic one?

Increased accessibility
When it comes to communicating with the website owners, nothing comes quite as fast as having a dynamic website. Some sites today are integrating Twitter and have customer service representatives answering inquisitive Tweets sent by their customers. Gone are the days of typing emails (which wasn’t too long ago) asking for service problems, current promos, and latest news and advisories. Users can also see recently updated photos and videos on the site using Flickr, YouTube, and Facebook relating to products, goods, and services they may be interested in at the same time see other user feedback on those things. No more writing down the address of the actual and physical location of the store. Simply click and it gets shipped.

Ease of navigation (for the current generation?)
Let’s face it. The modern users of the internet are the young ones and they have grown accustomed to pressing on a menu and have sub-items drop down from it. Simply clicking on a text that is colored blue and is underlined may not be enough for them visually. Now, website owners will have to implement layouts familiar to the younger audiences at the same time not alienating the ‘older’ ones.

Snappy and hassle-free installation
How do you not alienate the so-called “older generation” especially with the way navigation is designed on a website? Today, online software are available which allow web owners to install wordpress blogs, forums, e-commerce sites, and many more with just a few clicks instantly creating that familiarity of what the ‘older’ and the ‘younger’ generation are already currently using. There is no need to know even the basic HTML coding and manually code them onto Notepad when software like these is around for use. One can focus more on layout and making the pages aesthetically pleasing for the readers.

Plug-ins, add-ons, widgets galore
Many users are familiar with what are called plug-ins. These work like the plug-ins on the browsers and add features to an already rich-filled browsing experience. For instance, download managers activate once the users click on, for example, .pdf files and may accelerate the download speed. The Firefox browser has several add-ons. For example, Flashblock blocks those animated advertisements found on many sites today. In the same way, having a dynamic site allows the owner to integrate widgets like the Twitter widget where if the owner posts on his/her Twitter account, it can reflect immediately to his/her dynamic web page. Recently uploaded photos on Flickr can be viewed instantly on Flickr and most importantly, on the dynamic page.

As beautiful a design does a dynamic page bring to the website, it does require quite a bit of work if it is to be done right particularly in moderation of comments but this amount of work is minute compared to the amount of rewards one gets from having built a dynamic site from the ground up.

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Static Website – What is it and When to Use it?

Website Basics 22/08/2012

Delivering content and showing off services are some main goals of having an online presence via website–be it a blog, forum, or even classified ads and this can be achieved quickly by setting up a static site. But first, what is a static site and what are the features that make them so easily deployable?

Think of a static page as an aged tree in the forest. Each time someone passes by, he always sees the same tree and it doesn’t change much in his lifetime. All its traits, looks, markings carved by other people, and location shall be remembered not only by the passerby but also other adventurers who wander about the forest. A static site is somewhat similar–once it’s set up and published in the internet, people who do visit will use and remember it as a reference. They would know what’s in it even if a lot of time has passed by. This isn’t an inherent disadvantage as most of us rely on the accuracy of information provided and do not expect any changes at all. A dynamic site, on the other hand, differs where information could keep changing every second because of its user-generated content. It would be like the ever-shifting winds in the forest–can be unreliable and unpredictable without anything guiding it.

So, how are static web pages used? Listed below are general ideas on when to utilize static pages:

  1. Posting important information– It becomes an impulse to publish something once receiving the domain hosting and domain name. All that’s important at the time would be to publish the name, contact information, and maybe a little “About Us” info. This is perfectly normal when starting out and using a static page. If there’s a fixed set of items on sale by the owner, say an agricultural online farm that supplies local supermarkets and restaurants with seeds, having it constantly visible on the website would be a huge plus.
  2.  Compatibility and portability – Slides used in presentations are usually   compatible to view on other computers particularly when public speakers bring along their presentation in a forum. That compatibility comes in handy when one has a static page. Reliance on the internet isn’t as needed as one would on a dynamic site (i.e. getting latest tweets on trending topics) and information can be stored (or a more technical term, cached) on the computer and can easily be saved and retrieved by the user. Anyone can carry their own static sites and pages including their portfolio of old photos via their personal flash drives, hard disks, and even on their emails.
  3.  No fuss, no mess on having, maintaining, and using PHP, MySQL… what? – Some features found on a dynamic site will require the web site owners to install various software, most of them open-source, for features to work in the site. Having a WordPress blog, for example, would require creating a database (i.e. MySQL) where all the posts and users would go. For someone who isn’t into setting up a complex framework even if some software offer a single-click installation, having a static page is better suited as it doesn’t require an offline and online installation of scripting languages (i.e. PHP) for it to work. On the other hand, one does need to develop some skills in HTML and HTML5 just like how one needs to learn how to put photos in a document.
  4.  Increased focus on web design – Many websites that are dynamic do have a unique and attractive interface which improves user-experience. What makes it great is if navigation is top-notch. In creating static web pages, owners can get that extra focus on showing off their pages’ looks to attract more visitors where they wouldn’t get in building a dynamic one with user-made knowledge.
  5. Become the go-to website – When static pages are established and indexed by search engines, it would be very easy for the readers to find the site. What makes it even better is if the information found on that page isn’t amended as often. The readers would treat the pages as a reference site prompting them to return when they need to remember the information or need to share new information with their friends. The static site has now become the source of data.

There are limitless reasons to use static web pages and many more unspecified here but this should give a clearer understanding of why and when to use such tool. In a nutshell, one can use static web pages to:

  • Post information that do not change often over time such as requirements, local addresses, phone numbers, and email addresses.
  • Publish a completed portfolio (example: it a photo album, list of published works).
  • Provide users in viewing your site even when it’s offline which can be saved in a flash drive or local hard drive.
  • Show off company logo, theme, or anything that improves the over-all look of the site.
  • Become the source of information

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Linux vs Windows Hosting

Website Hosting 22/08/2012

The first thing one has to do while looking for web hosting provider is the choice of Operating System(OS) on which the server will run. In the past the choice of Windows as the platform for running web server was due to its wide popularity and user friendliness. Linux was not meant for the novice and the software support on it was also minimal especially due to its low GUI support for configuration in which Windows particularly excelled. The situation has changed now. In fact, Linux now has become a mainstream operating system among desktop PC dwellers from novice to the expert. The choice of using Windows or Linux as the platform for Web Hosting is now a mere choice or taste with not much of a technological difference.

However there are certain issues which need to be considered. Let’s try to draw an analogy between them on the following points.

Accessing Server: Both Linux and Windows offers (File Transfer Protocol) FTP access to your files. This protocol helps webmasters to upload/download and add/modify web pages in the server in much the same way you manipulate files in your PC. Linux additionally provides telnet and ssh packages to do the same. Windows also provide telnet features but hosting administrator of this platform seldom uses it for the purpose. Telnet and SSH are way to manipulate files in the web server through command line interfaces.

Supported Technologies: Both the platform support multitude of technologies such as PHP, MySQL, JSP, PostgreSQL, JavaScript, and HTML. CGI and Perl are more typically found in Linux but Windows also support it. ASP and SQL Server are typical for Windows platform. Actually this support of technologies more concerns the web developers and once web hosting is completed at the end of the day client accesses the web page through a browser it least matters on which platform the server is on.

Databases: Dynamic Website heavily depends on databases and the two most popular databases are MySQL and Access. MySQL can be found in both the platform; however Access is limited to Windows platform only.

Security: Security is a very important concern and arguably Linux servers are less prone to vulnerabilities. Some people think it is rather a fiction than a fact. Both are equally prone to security loopholes,  virus infections and malicious attacks. Although some may argue otherwise, Windows operating appears to be more vulnerable to such threats moreso than a Linux operating software. But whichever the hosting of choice you have it is important that the Web Host and/or server administrators haveprovisions for ensuring security regardless of the Operating Software used.

Expenses: Linux is a free and open source while Windows is a proprietary software. Web hosting companies can use Linux free of charge but Windows has to be brought by the web hosting companies. This does not necessarily mean web hosting is very expensive in case of Windows platform. Prices are almost same with the cost of hosting in the windows platform are generally at the higher side. However this difference depends from host to host.

Downtime: The reputation of Linux of its low downtime precedes Windows. Architecturally Linux is more robust and suffer minimal crashes. Some tasks that require a reboot in Windows can be done on Linux without rebooting the system. Windows architecture recently has improved a lot and time will decide whether it can compete with Linux in this arena but at present Linux is the clear winner.

Choosing between Linux and Windows Server
Unless there is a specific reason to choose proprietary Windows package over Linux, the choice between web host under Windows platform or Linux platform is of personal taste or bias. Web developed with Microsoft technologies such as .NET, SQL Server prefer Windows platform where as Open Source Technology users generally prefer Linux Platform. Each platform has its own merits and demerit, but may not be so much different from an end users standpoint . Bottom line is, it is recommended to find what platform hosting server provides and go with the same without much worrying about the underlying Operating System.

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Is there Really a Free Web Hosting Plan?

Website Hosting 20/08/2012

It is a proposition where one can spend the whole summer debating on what free actually signify. Free web hosting is not actually free, at least not in the way Internet operates today. May be you are paying every other way possible than hard cash. How can a web host provide free hosting when one has to pay for servers, bandwidth, staff etc? There must be a catch. Let’s explore what could be the reason behind such a proposition.

Why companies provide free web hosting?
Many new web hosting companies start their business providing free services to the customers. It is a typical marketing technique to invite customers to the company. One advantage of this is that more and more people will know about them by word of mouth, as it is the best advertisement form one can seek for. People surging for something free get to know about the company as well. Company then can tell about their variety of services and plan offered. Sometime company provides services for free with the prospect that they may establish business relation in the long run. Thus minimum free services can bring a situation where a company can sell their most in cash. A simple analogy – distribute free toothbrush to everyone, and sale toothpaste. Apart from these other reasons may be charity, providing free web hosting for some social cause etc. Another similar phenomenon is that most people use free email account and later when need arises many of them converted to a paid one to enjoy greater benefits and services. None the less this free concept implicitly or explicitly benefits not only the company but also the customer as well.

Earning through advertisement
Most free web host implant advertising elements in your website. If you are using free web hosting, you have no choice but to accept that. This is done to raise fund covering cost associated with the services offered to you. This advertisement comes in the form of a banner, frame or display a pop-up window. Some may prefer banner some pop-up. What advertising form would be imposed depends on the scheme of the Web master. For instance, advertisement applied in the blogger by ad sense in different blogs generates revenue not only for the company but also for the blog owner as well. This policy has triple advantage. First for the company whose advertisement gets viewed, second the host company earning revenue, third the blog owner who gets the motivation to increase traffic of their web page.

Classic example of a free web host
Companies like WordPress offer free blog hosting with software services to create a customized personal blog. This also generates money for the provider. WordPress uses advertisement and other paid features to recoup their cost and make a profit for the company. Also they have a provision for premium sites for users which on the other hand is a paid service. Google offer cloud hosting services and generally use advertisement to incur their cost. This is similar to TV channel network where advertiser pays the bill. A full featured web hosting with personalized domain name actually does not exists. What if you run your own server? In that case you would still have to pay the bill for power and network usage.

So what is the use of free sites when it is not free?
Well, the question is what cause you want a site to be hosted and what features do you want. If the reason is that you want a personal site to showcase your opinion, a simple blog will suffice where your identity combined with the company’s domain name such as yourname.wordpress.com. Many of the important features to customize your site would be locked. You have to remain satisfied with whatever they serve free and agree to the terms and condition imposed strictly. This type of sites are not useful for commercial purpose because:

  • Identity in the domain name have to be associated with the company.
  • Restricted features.
  • If content does not agree with the company’s terms is either removed or at their mercy.
  • Webmaster host advertisement without any consent from your end.
  • Size is restricted and sometime bandwidth too is restricted or at their mercy.
  • Arguably, there is a question of reliability and possibly security.

However, even with all the pros and cons free hosting may serve a good purpose. If you can use the service without much concern about losing data, unreliable connectivity free hosting may be ideal way to start with which later can easily be converted into full blown website and obtain all benefits through paid service.

Thus it is clear that something which is apparently looks free is actually not so free, money flows this way or the other. And you are also part of generating such revenue. However who gets the most of it that depends on the scheme applied.

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Unlimited Web Hosting Uncovered

Website Hosting 20/08/2012

The jargon ‘unlimited’ does not usually mean unlimited disk space or bandwidth though the particular word often claims to be in web hosting lingo. Rather it is an interesting way to entice customer. This is a typical marketing technique with a psychological effect of tempting customers ‘give me more’ philosophy.

Demystifying the jargon: ‘unlimited disk space’

When a web host uses the term ‘unlimited’ to specify a disk space or bandwidth to data transfer rate, the word itself is used in different connotation then found in the English dictionary. What does this actually mean?

  • Does it mean that you can add as much content as you want? For this host provider have to spare unlimited amount of money to buy unlimited hard disk.
  • Does it mean the unlimited space allotment is unrestricted and you are able to use it for any purpose you may like such as use it as a backup for your personal or office computer.

When you go through the terms and condition of any provider it may actually say that space allotment is only for the website. Had the specification been ‘unrestricted disk space’ rather than ‘unlimited disk space’ the connotation had been clearer. You may then use the space for any purpose you like.

The bottom line is that unlimited disk space is a strategy to lure customers into a trap which once unveiled provider usually say unlimited means you can have as much space as you want but you rarely need that much of space. Now this may be true for static web content, what if the site is dynamic and there is a huge ever increasing repository of data. Customer should read in between the line to see the real picture. Moreover there is no such thing as unlimited in computer world. Every size is limited from single bit to terabyte. The claim seems more logical when it says ‘disk space unlimited by restriction’ or ‘unrestricted disk space’. Such a condition is useful for customer for they may have a limited but unrestricted disk space and use the space for any purpose one likes.

Demystifying the jargon: ‘unlimited bandwidth’

Bandwidth is used in terms of rate at which data is transferred with a shared web host. Since the site hosted often is shared with many other sites in the same server who also share the same bandwidth pipe, the site performance is definitely degraded. To draw an analogy, the rate at which the water flowing out of the channels is affected if the water flows from a single pipeline or if it has several output channel. The situation worsens if one of the channels is having a heavy flow.

Assume a situation where your site is hosted in a web server who also hosts many other sites. Now, one of the site is experiencing heavy traffic may be due to its popularity or it has provision for downloading file through FTP or HTTP request. This site will squeeze out or steal bandwidth from the server because server would be busy serving the requesting for this particular site. Other sites including yours would starve to get the attention of the server and whatever request coming out of the browser for your site falls flat with messages like – request time out or 404 pages not found. Though there is way out of this by using dedicated server, this is expensive and will not be suitable for every website. Now ask yourself what unlimited bandwidth plan you have opted for. This is probably most common phenomenon we all face every day. Thus it brings out another very pertinent question. Does bandwidth suffers only due to heavy traffic? The answer is no. Bandwidth is also a side-effect of resource usage limits. What does this mean? Well, everything done in computer needs some sort of processing, some memory and of course if the site is dynamic then database play a very crucial role there. I have written about this at length in another article Resource Usage Limits on Web Hosting – What to watch out for? Bottom line is you should prepare yourself and make an approximate calculation of how much bandwidth you require and go for that amount rather than circling into the vortex of unlimited bandwidth.

Here is thumb rule to calculate required bandwidth of your website:
Total bandwidth required = number of visits per day x page views per visit x average size of the page x a month
For example,
Number of visits per day = 300
Page views per visit = 10
Average size of the page = 60 KB
A month = 30 days
Therefore, Total bandwidth required = 300 * 10 * 60 * 30 = 5400000 KB = 5273 MB = 5.14 GB
1 GB = 1024 MB
1MB = 1024 KB

Though it may seen to be a respite to have a static web content, on the pressure of heavy traffic especially if the site is popular, even performance of the static web site can degrade. Thus the claim of unlimited should be well understood by the client and the web host provider should be more honest and specific in their deliverance of such connotation.

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Step 2: Find a Web Hosting Company

Website Hosting 19/08/2012

You’ve now picked the right domain name for your planned website project. But in order for your website to become online, it needs to be hosted on a server. Finding a good web hosting company that suits your need is the second step in making your first website online.

There are a lot of factors to consider. There are pointers to remember. And there are mistakes that can be avoided.

6 Things to Look for when Choosing a Web Host Provider

There are numerous criteria that you can use when finding the right hosting provider for your website. I have listed the things that I look for below. I hope it helps.

1. Hosting Plans

Look for their various hosting plans. Do they have more than one? Can you easily upgrade from one plan to another as your visitors (traffic) grows? Do they have a specific plan for a specific software that you want to use?  Choose a web host that meets all your requirements.

I started my website on a shared hosting plan. Unless you’re starting big with an awful lot of money to spend on advertising, a shared hosting plan should be enough at the start. You can always upgrade as your site grows..

2. Pricing

Compare the prices for similar plans. Don’t go too cheap or too expensive. A web host that meets all the highest quality may cost more than the cheaper ones . However, that’s not always the case.

Do they offer a money-back guarantee after a trial period of 30 days or so? Don’t let yourself be dragged by this especially when the company is asking an annual upfront payment. There might be times when you will be dissatisfied of the services of the web host more than the necessary. And you will have no guarantee that you’re getting what you deserve.

3. Features

A web host that advertises “unlimited bandwidth”, “unlimited disk space”, “100% uptime”, and the likes are just schemes that you should be wary of. They will cost much in the long run and you will eventually find that they actually offer fewer services for you and your website.

Does it provide full security against spammers? Do they have an excellent and effective technical support for newbies like you? Do they provide the basic components such as the FTP, the bandwidth, the PHP, MySQL, Auto responders, SSI, Multiple Domain Hosting, .htaccess, the secure server, the control panel, and the likes? If it’s a yes to all, then it is the right web host to choose.

Always consider the amount of disk space and bandwidth the server offers. Will it supply the needed space of your website? In the long run, and if, say, you needed to expand; can it still accommodate your needs? This is one of the most technical things you should consider when choosing a web host so choose wisely.

4. Datacentre Location

If your website will cater for visitors of a specific country then it is best to host your website on a server based in that country. It also helps for various reasons. In theory, the closer the server is the quicker your webpages will be delivered. You will also expect them to be compliant in your country’s rules and regulations when it comes to hosting your website.

5. Speed & Reliability

Always choose reliability over anything that is offered cheap. There are ways to test if you are being scammed or you’re getting the real deal.

Testing for the speed of your web host can be assessed by clicking the start button. Hit run then type the text “command”. Hit enter. Then afterwards you can enter the text “ping domainnameofhost.com”.

The objective of this is to look for the average ping. When the number is low like 80 and below, that is actually a good sign because it often means that your website will be loaded faster.

This is ideal especially for websites that generate profit. It’s important that the web hosting service you use will make your website available 99.9% of the time. The saying you only get what you paid for applies here. If you choose a cheaply priced server, there’s a huge risk that the uptime may not even meet the 99.9% uptime average.

6. Customer Service & Technical Support

Don’t underestimate the importance of support. Particularly useful if you’re not confident in dealing with servers and server related issues. Do they offer 24/7/365 days support? Does it come free? Is this through online chat, forum or online helpdesk? Do they offer phone support? Is it a free phone number and not a premium one?

7. Reviews & Testimonials

Scan web hosting company reviews. Browsing various hosting review blogs, forums and chatrooms, assess the credibility of each web hosting company. It will also help if someone you know can recommend a hosting company for you based on their experience.

The Right Web Hosting For You: in a nutshell

There are so many web hosting companies that you can choose from.  you have to:

  1. Look at the hosting plans they offer
  2. Compare the price for a similar plan
  3. Review the added features they provide like the 1-Click installation of a ready-made script
  4. Consider the location of the hosting server
  5. The speed and reliability of their service
  6. Check the customer service and technical support available
  7. Look at the reviews and testimonials for that company

Generally speaking, you will never know what the hosting provider is like until you’ve tried it yourself. However, by considering some of the criteria that I used in selecting a web host, it will help you narrow down your choices.

There will be disappointing downtimes and there will be mind-blowing uptimes. This is basically because the industry concerning the Internet is very dynamic and subjected to inevitable flaws and unexpected excellent results. Just be prepared to undergo different series of unexpected changes concerning your website.

Before you start looking for a web hosting company, you must first have or do the two things mentioned below:

  • Knowledge is power.This statement basically applies to everything in life. When you are looking for the perfect web hosting company, you should first get down to the basic questions, such as “what is web hosting?” or “how does it work?” and “what is involved?”
  • Know what you want. Are you building a website for personal use with only ten to a hundred visitors a day? Or are you making a website to generate income? If you want a personal website and only expect minimum traffic, then free web hosting plan may suit your hosting needs. If  it is for business use and you expect heavy traffic, you will need to put money on the table.  There are different types of web hosting plans to choose from.

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Step 1: Choose a Domain Name

Domain Names 19/08/2012

You’ve now decided you want to start your own website. The first step you must do is choose a domain name that perfectly suits your web project. It will be the “online address” of your site. By typing your “online address”, visitors will be able to access your website.

Your chosen name must be easy to remember. And, ideally, should give some idea of what your website is all about.

5 Tips in Choosing a Great Domain Name

You should choose a domain name that is unique. It should describe what you offer.  It must be simple, short and catchy to make it memorable. You must also avoid numbers and special characters – like a hyphen, if possible.

Additionally, it must not be confused for another brand. Copyright infringement is a no-no. Let me discuss this in more details below:

1. Choose the Perfect Brand Name

Branding  is powerful. It is your identity online or offline. Your website’s logo should display your brand name. It must also be consistent on all your website pages.

All things being equal, any website can become popular. However, good branding will make you stand out from the rest.

One great example of a brand is amazon. The word itself does not denote anything close to online shopping but it has become a popular online shopping brand: amazon.com.

If your brand name is “Zebra”, then you must buy the exact name like, zebra.com. When choosing a domain name, it must be an exact match followed by the “dot extension” (aka top level domain – more on this on my next tip). You may confuse some people if you’ve chosen a slightly different domain name like zebra123.com.

2. Select the Right Top Level Domain (TLD)?

Top-level domain (TLD) refers to the last part of a domain name. It is the extension of the name that you have selected immediately preceded by a dot sign.

TLDs”s are mainly classified into two categories:

  • Generic TLD’s – .com, .org and .net
  • Country-specific TLD’s – .uk, .us, .ca, .au and .eu

If your website is purely catering to a specific country, it may be beneficial to use a country specific TLD.  A good example is when your online business caters to UK based customers only. If  you sell and deliver flowers within the UK, it maybe good that you secure and use the .co.uk extension. Some people may prefer to buy flowers from a .co.uk website as it gives them the impression that it is a local shop.

3. Own the .com extension as well

Before anything else, I want to let you know that I’m a big supporter of .com, so I am somewhat bias. In my second tip, I cited the benefit of using the .co.uk tld. While the .co.uk tld is very common, there is still a percentage of users who may add the generic .com tld after your brand name. If you don’t own the .com version of your domain name, you risk losing those visitors. Once your site becomes popular, someone else might buy  .com version of your website. This will direct your potential visitors to their site.

Of course you can always take them to court for passing off, copyright infringement and so on. However, this will take time and will cost you money while still losing visitors in the process. That is why it may be wise for you to have the .com tld as well.

Some sites will buy a country specific tld where they are based but still opt to use the .com tld. What they do is 301 redirect it to the active domain name.

Here is a classic example:

While the first domain takes you exactly to that particular domain name, the .co.uk domain redirects you to the .com site. This is not actually uncommon.

3. Buy a Domain Name that Describes What You Offer

With so many purchased domain names, finding one that is still available can be difficult. It may help to pick a domain name with an added keyword before or after your brand name.

You basically use a “keyword” that tells what type of product or service you’re providing as part of your domain name. And then add a unique name before or after the keyword.

A good example to cite is if your business sells pizza. Use the “keyword” pizza in the domain name and then add the word mama immediately after – pizzamama.com. Alternatively, if your shop is called Luke’s Pizza, you can add the name lukes before the keyword – lukespizza.com. Make sure your domain name does not cause any confusion such as misspellings.

4. Pick the Shortest and Simplest Name Possible

Sure you have to keep a unique domain name. But it doesn’t always mean that you will try using highfalutin terms or the longest words in the dictionary to be different.

Additionally, avoid hyphens and numbers if possible. It is much harder to type domain names with numbers and special characters. Would you prefer web-design-peeps.com over webdesignpeeps.com. com? Of course not. The one without the hyphens is much eaiser to type. It also looks more natural.

5. Avoid Copyright Infringement

Avoid having domain names that sound like your competitors. Let’s say your direct competitor’s brand is apple. The website’s domain name is apple.com that sells computers, phone and other tech gadgets. You don’t want to call your domain name – apple123.com. Don’t open yourself to litigation. Domain name copyright infringement could potentially destroy your website or your company so make sure.

If you believe that you’re not using trademarked name, then you’re good to go. Bear in mind that for generic keywords, any added name before or after the keyword can be easily copied by competitors. This may potentially confuse visitors. Without strong branding strategies, it may direct your customers towards your competitors site. So be unique!

You’ve Now Chosen a Good Domain Name – What’s Next?

It is important to bear in mind that it is highly unlikely that your first choice is still available. Don’t be disappointed. It happened to me as well. You need to be creative when considering an alternative name. If a unique name comes into your head, it may be wise to secure it fairly soon. The race for having a unique domain name has become extremely tough.  The saying “don’t wait for tomorrow what you can do for today” still applies on choosing a domain name for your website.

You need to make a list of possible domain names for your website project. And then, find a good web hosting company where you can register your name and host your site.

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Do you really need a Website?

Website Basics 19/08/2012

The US and UK economies are mostly driven by the success of small businesses. Unfortunately, some of these businesses don’t have a website at all as they don’t see a need for a website. Can you remember the last time you used yellow pages or other kind of commercial phone books? Almost all of us have them, and at times they can be convenient, if you know what to look for. They might even have gems of listings, but if you look at the ease of access of the internet these days, you will find very few people wanting to use print books while searching for products and services.

Year on year, people are increasingly searching for products and services online. With the increasing popularity of smartphones and tablet computers as well as the presence of wifi zones and 3G/4G services mean they can access the internet anywhere and anytime. It’s understandable that small business owners are often busy – attending meetings, looking after their offline business and that they don’t have time or the financial wherewithal to invest their time and money to build a good website. That’s a HUGE mistake!

So, Who Needs a Website?

Websites can be used for personal, commercial, government organization and non-profit organizatiions. Studies have shown that businesses and organization without a website are often perceived as old-fashioned, less than professional, or worst yet, unable to afford one. Websites help portray the vision, mission, and goals of the company in a compelling way. They are your avenue to the world. However, it is important to consider that almost 98% of them often judge whether or not to do business with your company based on your website. Most of their decisions are based on the image you are trying to portray to them. Build and design it right and it will help build your business. Showcase a poorly designed website and it will do your business more harm than good. Projecting the right image is EVERYTHING, when it comes to website.

Website Myths Revealed

Then again, people also have really bad pre-conceived notions or myths of using the web technologies because they think: –

1) There’s no one to look after their website. Well, this may be genuine concern – having a website that’s never updated is worse than having no website at all. But nowadays, every website comes along with a user-friendly content management system (CMS) that allows easy-to-use environment from where you can update your website contents, create pages, and everything else. It’s so easy to use that even your 11 year old boy can use it overnight.

2) It will cost thousands, or even ten thousands of dollars to create a website. I don’t buy it. You can build a professional looking, fully-functional website in a range of $1,000 to $10,000 and still help you drive lot of traffic to your site. The investment only grows as there are more pages on your site, but they’ll ultimately also bring you as much traffic and profits for your site as well.

3) Why would I need on when my competition don’t have one? Or most importantly, ‘I am not into technology, and so don’t need a website.’ Well, if you’re sure about this, then you’re probably heading for an early retirement or extinction.

4) Can I get away with a simple website? Internet being such an interactive medium (with ability to engage customers with sounds and animations) a website with a brochure design – simple home page, about us, prices, contact us pages – really look boring and not engaging at all.

5) The SEO is hard to figure out. Search engine optimization is the method of using relevant keywords across different part of your web page – headers, title, description, and content – to help search engines to better rank and index your site on their database. SEO need not be hard and its simply obvious until you know what you’re looking for. There is free plug-ins, ‘all in one SEO pack’ – for example, that lets you optimize your web pages on your site and help you better rank for your keywords. This means more traffic to your site. And traffic ultimately equals to more money for you.

So what are the Benefits of Having a Website?

It’s a known fact that a well-thought out and professionally designed website that are regularly maintain can:

  • Promote your products and services
  • Inform and educate your customers
  • Improve your company’s brand, and as a result build yourself as an authority figure in your area.
  • The website allows you to communicate with your clients anytime and from anywhere, saving you time and money.
  • You can send newsletters about recent updates, news, product and services offers to your list of clients, and as a result increase more sales, and make more money.

It is the most important marketing investment that you can make. There’s no other marketing medium as effective and efficient than a website as the value it provides are limitless.

So, if you’re a small business and you still don’t have a great looking website, then you are totally missing out an opportunity to be there when some potential new customer look for your products and services. They are continually looking for your products. The question is will they find you? Don’t be left out.

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Different Types of Web Hosting Plans

Website Hosting 19/08/2012

Knowing about the different types of web hosting plans available is essential for someone who wants to put up his or her own website. This article can be beneficial for those who already have a live website if you plan to upgrade your hosting plan. If you’re one of the two, then this article is a must read.

A web hosting company basically gives space for all the files that are in your website, whether they are plain text or graphics/media of any size. It distributes it to the web for all the people who access your site via an internet. A particular web hosting plan will contribute and benefit to specific types of products or services that a website offers. The chosen hosting plan as well as the cost involve must be appropriate to the type of website project you have. The plans are enlisted below.

Free Hosting
This plan is absolutely free, meaning you will not have to pay for any monthly or annual fees to avail of the features and services it offers. However, this is not the ideal package if you want your website to be taken seriously. This is because it offers less services compared to the services offered by paid web hosting plans.

Shared Hosting
This is the most commonly used web hosting plan for new sites. It is also the most economical as well with only $5- $10 a month subscription. Basically, the concept of shared hosting is that everything related to running a website such as the CPU, the OS, RAM, the disk space, apps, and the others are shared. Your website is basically enlisted and included in the main server along with the other 100 or 1, 000 websites and that all have to share the same resources. A starting out blog is perfect for this type of web hosting. However, as time flies by and you’re getting more visitors on your website, and your website need more resources, then this is not the ideal web hosting plan on the list.

Reseller Hosting
If you own multiple websites and it has been very hard for you to control them all at once OR if you’re wanting to be the web host looking to sell a web hosting service, then this is the right web hosting package for you. It has more technical control than the other web hosting plans mentioned above including billing software for your clients, and discounts on all the other monthly and annual fees you need to pay for your web hosting expenses. A reseller hosting package can cost you £30 a month.

VPS Hosting
This is also known as Virtual Private Server. If you’re interested in expanding your website to cater to more possible clients and distribute more files to the World Wide Web, minus the extensive sharing of resources with other 100 to 1,000 websites, this type of plan is ideal. It is also suggested for serious, advanced, and savvy users. Yes VPS is still in the shared hosting environment. The difference lies in the fact that VPS uses virtual technology that creates a wall that bonds multiple accounts into one unit. It features a firewall, more personalized email and hosting settings, and your very own IP address. The cost of using a VPS web hosting plan starts from £30 a month.

Cloud Hosting
The reason why it is called “cloud” is because of the massive network of computers it can use. This is the latest in the hosting plan arena. It’s more powerful, reliable, and cheaper compared to VPS and dedicated hosting. The reason why it has a more reliable technology compared to others is because when hardware is damaged for any reason, the other computers that are inside the “cloud” can very well adapt and cover the damage so as not to affect the operation of the website. It is cheaper compared to others for the reason that it only charges the owner of the website according to the resources used, not on a flat rate. Other than that, it is decentralized, meaning no man-made or any natural disaster can affect the website. This plan, however, is just for the corporate giants. The cost of the cloud hosting web package starts from £10 a month, depending on the size of the RAM.

Dedicated Server
If you want to take on the system admin role and would not like to share with other websites, you can rent a full server from any web hosting company. This way you can fully access all the features included in the web hosting plan by yourself. This is ideal for heavy trafficked websites that run businesses and transactions. With a dedicated server, you can have full access on all the software for your website’s OS, you can be assured that you will be able to provide high-powered video and audio streaming to visitors, you will get a supreme form of security against threats, you’ll get a software that cleverly sorts and arranges all your emails according to your preferences, and so many more. A dedicated server may cost $100 and above every month.

As your website gains more popularity, it will gain heavy traffic from visitors compared to the time when it was newly launched. The heavier the traffic is, we can say in theory, the greater your lead and potential customers. As it grows big, you will need a more reliable web hosting plan that is reliable and efficient.

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How Much Does a Website Cost?

Website Basics 31/07/2012

Setting up a website can be done not only by big corporate companies but also by individuals who want to use it for personal use or about to start their own businesses. You need to invest some time and money in order to put up a website. It is essential that you identify all of the costs involved in order to set aside the money needed in advance.

The price for setting up a website may vary. It depends on a lot of different factors. These factors may include the following: the company of the web designing team, the number of the website’s pages, the style or design of the website, flash and multimedia content, and so many more. If you have been wanting to put up a website that would feature your products or services locally, nationally or to the world, it would be important that you consider even the slightest details. This is because the slightest detail may cause you an extra hundred dollar that in the end you would not be able to afford.

Historical Price of Building a Website

Back in the 90’s, the cost of putting up a website ranges from $4,000 to $12,000, depending on the complexity. Fortunately these days, with the influx of individuals who are adept and experts in the area of computer programming and web design, the cost of putting up a website finally receded. Because of these people, a website can be launched for under a thousand dollars. However, this will vary entirely on the complexity of your website project.

The cost related to designing, developing, and building a Web site has changed overtime and depends upon various features, components, functionalities, and its design – number of pages, style of design, copywriting, SEO, flash or multimedia, database, e-commerce functionality, and CMS.

For an example, the following chart gives you an idea on how much it cost to build a website.

Located in a small city, a small business (fewer than 20 employees) wanted a professional Web site design having 15-20 pages, a domain name, web hosting, an email, and a pleasing design.

Timeline Cost
1995 – 1997 5,000 to 12,000
1998 – 2000 6,000 to 10,000
2000 – 2004 2,500 to 4,500
2004 – 2009 2,000 to 7,500
2010 – 2012 2,500 to 8,500


Website Project Cost: The Breakdown

A website contains different components that you have to pay for. It would be beneficial for you to know what these components are. Below are the most important things you must take into consideration so you would know how much it would cost you to put up your website.

Design & Development
An outstanding website should contain a logo, maximum graphical complexity, page- specific CSS/XHTML production, and customized icons aside from the current CMS platform that you also have to avail. If you want your website to look cooler and unique from the others, you should be prepared to pay for the price. A price compatible to the uniqueness you are looking for ranges from $1,800 to $3,000. This may come hefty for you, but it is actually inexpensive compared to companies who do web designing for big corporations. Yes you would save more if you hire one person to do the task. It is actually more beneficial on your part because the web designing that that person will do is basically the same web designing that web designing companies do for the big names. The slicing/coding/development side of it follows which is an additinal cost depending on the complexity of the project.

Domain Name
It is the Identification Card or the name of your website. It is what people will call it. It is how people will know about it. It is inarguably the most important component of a website. As a beginner, it is important that you know that you shouldn’t launch your website without  choosing a good domain name. The average cost for a good domain name is $10 a year.

Web Hosting
This is the technology responsible for putting your website on the virtual map of the online world, or simply put, in the Internet world, which is the World Wide Web or WWW. Without it, your website and all that it offers is invisible and good as nothing. A web hosting should be paid for every month. Depending on the type of web hosting plan, the average price of a good starter web hosting service is $10 a month.

Website Maintenance
A business website needs to be dynamic in dealing with its customers. Excellent website maintenance makes this possible. It is probably the most expensive website component that you should be willing to pay. The average cost of good website maintenance is $1000 a year.

In conclusion, the price for your planned website really varies to how you would want it to look like or to be received by the online community. You just have to make sure that you know every single detail your website should contain so that you wouldn’t have to be surprised by the price that you have to pay.

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Different Types of Website Projects

Website Basics 15/07/2012

There are different types of websites depending on its purpose. Some websites simply provide the business information, some sites purchase, or sell products, and some sites allow users to connect with themselves. Therefore, it is very important to select a correct format to create a website.
Continue reading …

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