Should You Replace Your Server or Move to the Cloud?

Sep 02nd, 2016

So your web server has gotten old. It’s getting a little bit slower every day, or maybe it’s just finally given up altogether and crashed. Now you’re left with a big question. Should you replace your server or move to the cloud? It’s a big question, and it can seem there’s no easy answer. After all, the cloud can give you greater flexibility in your company and can even cut back on your IT costs, right? So maybe it’s something you should consider. But wait. Before you do, you need to consider the actual costs of the cloud.

It’s true. If you want to move to the cloud, you can find a company that will move your accounting, CRM, databases, and other existing applications to the cloud for you, and some might even be able to manage them for you. And when you first look at moving to the cloud, the initial cost might not seem like that much – especially when you compare it with buying a whole new server. But, the initial costs aren’t what you’re going to be paying when everyone in your company needs to be accessing the code.

In order to actually move your existing infrastructure to the cloud, the cost is approximately $100 a month per user. So if you’re the only one using your server, moving to the cloud might seem like a good option – but it will still get fairly pricey in the long run. However, if you have a company that employs even just 10 people, and those people will need to access the cloud on a regular basis, you’ll be paying $1000 a month just for them to do that. Simple math tells you that that adds up to $12,000 a year, and that’s just for your hosting costs. For that amount, you could buy several servers.

Cloud web hosting can certainly be convenient, especially for companies that have offices and staff in different regions or countries. But in the end, for companies with more than just a few staff members, the cost simply isn’t worth it. And that’s why most small businesses today opt for simply purchasing a new server rather than move to the cloud.

Truthfully though, there are many other reasons to stay with a dedicated server rather than move to the cloud. The performance on dedicated servers is usually much better than what you’ll find on the cloud, and it’s much easier to find bottlenecks on a server, whereas cloud services can often obscure problems involving hardware and network problems. While cost is typically the first reason small business owners give for replacing their server rather than move to the cloud, they have many other reasons to replace their server. And now you do, too!

Pros and Cons of Using One Web Host for Multiple Domains

Aug 01st, 2016

If you’re going to be running multiple websites, you’ve probably already considered using one web host for all of your domains. But wait. Why would you want to run more than one website? Mostly because websites are a bit addictive and once you get one, it’s not long before you’re thinking about the next one. And large businesses, especially those with offices in different locations, will often have different websites for those different locations. So, when running those different domains, should you use the same web host for all of them?

The short answer is “yes” as typically, the pros vastly outweigh the cons. Using one web host to run multiple domains can be much cheaper than using a different host for every site; and it also gives you just one control panel to deal with, and that control panel gives you access to all of your sites. If you find a great web host, you’ll also know that you’ll also be getting the same great quality and service across all of your websites.

So does using one host for multiple domains have any cons? Just a couple, and most of those can be avoided.

The first one obviously, is that if any one of your websites crash, all of them will. So if your web host experiences a problem or downtime, no one will be able to get to your sites – including you. Likewise, if one of your websites is experiencing a lot of traffic, the resources reserved for all of your websites might be directed towards just that one, slowing down your other sites.

But traffic and web hosts aren’t the only things that can slow or shut down your site. Malicious code can also wreak havoc on any website, and if all of your domains are with the same host, it can destroy a lot of work in a lot of different places. To protect your sites against this, security measures such as FreeBSD or containers (Linux) can be installed.

While keeping all of your sites connected can be a much cheaper option and make things much easier, that connection can also bring all your sites down at the same time. To keep that from happening, it’s best to keep the individual sites as isolated as possible to prevent one from affecting the other. Then you can just sit back and enjoy all the benefits and convenience of using one web host for multiple domains.

Out with the Old, In with the New: How to Correctly Move a Website

Jul 05th, 2016

Sometimes you want to change your website domain. Maybe you’re unhappy with your host and want to move to someone else, or maybe you just want a domain name of your very own. Whatever the reason, at some time in the future you might want to move your website and when that day comes, you want to do it properly. The biggest mistake website owners make when it comes time to move their website? They shut down their old site and just start uploading to the new one. This causes several problems which in the end will only frustrate you and your visitors.

If you simply take down your old site, you’ve effectively lost all of the hard work you’ve put into getting Google and other search engines to recognize your site. And while those search engines will eventually find the new site, it’s not going to happen overnight and having an old site to redirect to the new will help speed along that process.

By simply taking down the old site, you’re also losing any links to that site that appear on other pages. This will result in broken links on those pages and that will frustrate everybody – readers, owners of other websites, and you, because you’ll lose traffic that was directed right to your site.

So how do you solve those problems? No, you don’t have to continue to run two separate sites. Well, at least not forever.

You do need to keep the old site around for a little while, if only so that you can place permanent redirects on every page. A permanent redirect is a link that will automatically redirect visitors from the old page to the new once you have moved your site. You’ve most likely seen these on other websites. They typically come in the form of a message that says, “You are being automatically redirected to the website www.newwebsite.com. Click here or copy and paste the address if you are not redirected in 5 seconds.”

Remember that any page that’s on your old site can still be found by Google, and may still be searched for by users. Because of this, it does no good to simply place a permanent redirect on your home page only, because now only that home page will be redirected to the new site. Visitors that have made their way to your site via a link on another page may still be left with an error message, and Google is no longer seeing any new content on your website.

Configuring the pages to include permanent redirects involves using meta elements in your HTML, and it can become a bit complicated. If you’re unsure of how to do it, ask your web host or an IT consultant that might even be able to complete the process for you.

You should keep your old site up and running for a little while after you’ve already moved in, but there are a couple of ways you can tell when it’s ready to be taken down. The first is to search different search engines for your company name. When you’re no longer seeing the address of the old site in the search results, Google is no longer picking it up anyway and enough time should have passed that visitors are already aware of the change in address.

Also remember to start tracking traffic to the new site right away, using web server log analysis. This will tell you when visitors are starting to find the new site and how many are visiting every day or month. When that starts to reach the numbers your old site once did, it’s safe to take the old site down.

How to Create a Dynamite Domain Name

Jun 04th, 2016

The name of your website is as important as the name you carry around with you in the world every day. It’s your online identity; it tells people who you are. And, on the great worldwide web, it might even tell visitors whether or not they want to visit at all. So, how do you choose a dynamite domain name? Follow these four principles.

Make it relevant

Just like your actual name represents you, your domain name has to represent your website. Therefore, it should tell people who you are as soon as they hear or see it. By keeping your domain name relevant, you’re also making it easy for visitors to remember it. So if you’re running a recipe site, robsrecipes.com might be a good idea, or bestsouthernrecipes.com. Both of these examples are relevant to the content of the website.

Of course, if you’re running a website for a business, it’s natural to want the domain name to match the business name, but this isn’t always possible. Even though you might be the only one with that business name in the area, the online world is global and someone may have already snatched that one up. When that’s the case, tacking your location onto the end can make it unique, and still all about your business.

Keep it short

There’s no actual limit on the length of your domain name, but in general it should be kept short, no matter than one to three words. This just makes it easier to remember, easier to say, and even easier to promote!

Make it memorable

So haven’t we been talking about all the different ways you can make your domain name memorable? And about how you can do it by keeping it short and relevant? That’s true, but there are other ways to keep it memorable, too. Make sure the domain address isn’t spelled incorrectly, or simply in an odd way, and try not to use dashes or hyphens in it.

Keep it in line with your brand

This is different than keeping it relevant and it’s also different than possibly using your business’ name. Your domain name needs to have the same tone that your website has. It is going to be the first thing people hear about your site, after all. So if you have a fun and fresh site, try to choose a name that’s the same. If your site is going to be more formal and professional, you probably won’t to choose a silly or quirky name.

There’s a lot that goes into choosing a domain name – that’s why so many website owners spend so much time thinking about it before taking the plunge. Start with these four tips and you’ll end up with a domain name that’s dynamite!

How Does Web Hosting Affect SEO?

May 03rd, 2016

Search engine optimization. If you have a website of any kind or size, it’s a term you’ve certainly heard. Typically what comes to mind when one thinks about search engine optimization, or SEO, is researching and properly using keywords, linking them strategically, and incorporating tags and descriptions. So, what does a web host have to do with any of that?

While website owners certainly have a lot of control over the SEO on their website, web hosts also have some control over it. This is because in addition SEO tactics that you incorporate into the content, Google also looks for other SEO strategies such as website speed, availability, and security. And those are components that are only available through a web host.

You have some control over the loading speed of your website, and you can keep it loading as quickly as possible by optimizing code and images. However, if your web host simply takes too long to load, then none of the measures you’ve taken will matter. When looking for websites to direct visitors to, Google will look at how long those websites take to load and send the most traffic to those that don’t keep people waiting.

Google won’t like it if your website takes forever to load, and it also won’t like it if your website is consistently down; and this is something only your web host can control. If their servers are constantly shutting down and inhabiting access to your website, the search engines won’t rank it well.

Just like you can take measures to help with the loading time of your website, you can also secure your website with privacy settings within the control panel and virus protection and firewall software. However, if you’re the only one taking these security measures and your web host isn’t as secure, it’s like locking your bedroom door but keeping the rest of your house open.

But how does security affect your SEO?

It doesn’t really, until your website becomes hacked or worse, spreads malware or viruses to other computers or servers. If you’re hacked and your site gets shut down, the website’s ranking will drop, and if your website is responsible for spreading a virus, Google will certainly look on that negatively.

These are just a few ways a web host can affect any website’s SEO efforts, but they’re very important. SEO web hosting isn’t necessarily a specialty type of web hosting, but there are some web hosts that claim to be experts in SEO or SEO-focused and these can be great options if SEO is especially important to you. To find a web host that can help with the SEO for your website, simply call around to different hosts and ask them how they can help, and what SEO measures they take. In a day when websites are becoming more competitive than ever, SEO is one easy way to increase page ranking and get your website in front of the eyes of many more visitors.
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