Shopping Carts Take Your Business Online

Jul 28th, 2011

Many businesses start off as an internet business, or eventually move into the e-business market to take advantage of the power of the internet. You don't have to spend extra money to set up an on-line store, since we have many free shopping cart scripts you can install to your hosting account. Each of these scripts is included in the Install Popular Scripts tool in the Account Manager.

Whether you are only selling one item or service, or selling thousands of products with different variations, you can find an e-commerce shopping cart solution that fits your needs through one of our free scripts, or you can look into some of the paid options if you need something more robust or customized.

One of the most popular shopping carts is the osCommerce product. osCommerce is a free, open source on-line shop software. The default installation includes a large number of features that you can easily enable and configure. With osCommerce shopping cart you can add multiple products on your site, organize them in categories, set discounts and special promotions. osCommerce allows you to set your prices in different currencies and accept all popular payment methods: PayPal, credit cards, and checks. osCommerce also has a built-in shipping and tax function.

Another popular shopping cart is Magento. Magento is an open source e-commerce platform, which uses the newest technologies on the web. It offers professional features, flexibility and control over the look, content, and functionality of the on-line shop. With Magento you can establish an e-business with convenient product and catalog browser options, extended customer management, advanced analysis, reporting and marketing promotions tools, and much more. Magento has an intuitive administration interface, it is completely scalable and backed by an extensive support network.

PrestaShop is a professional e-commerce shopping cart software that you can install for free. It is scalable, modular, light and fast. PrestaShop has more than 265 features that you can customize, including unlimited categories, subcategories and products in your catalog, a robust customer system, customizable order statuses, built-in statistics and Search Engine Optimization. There is a growing community of PrestaShop users, who make the shopping cart better every day.

A very popular e-commerce solution is Zen Cart. Zen Cart truly is the art of e-commerce; free, user-friendly, open source shopping cart software. The e-commerce web site design program is being developed by a group of like-minded shop owners, programmers, designers, and consultants that think e-commerce web design could be and should be done differently. Some of the features included in Zen Cart are multiple customer modes, unlimited category depth, multiple sales and discounts, and multiple display modes.

OpenCart is an open source PHP-based on-line shopping cart system. OpenCart is a robust e-commerce solution for internet merchants with the ability to create their own on-line business and participate in e-commerce at a minimal cost. OpenCart is designed feature rich, easy to use, search engine friendly and with a visually appealing interface. OpenCart features unlimited categories, unlimited products, unlimited manufacturers, supports multiple currencies and languages, allows product reviews and ratings, and supports more than 20 payment gateways and 8 shipping methods.

Once you are ready to take your business to the internet and begin selling your product or service on-line, you will be happy to find a great selection of shopping cart solutions available to you. Find the one that best fits your needs and style, and get to selling!


DNS And How It Relates To Your Domain

Jul 22nd, 2011

In our continual effort to improve the user experience at Omnis Network, we’ve made dramatic improvements to our DNS Manager. These updates will allow you to have greater hands-on control over your domain names. We realize that some of our customers have not ever used their DNS Manager, so we would like to take this opportunity to explain what it is and its uses.

DNS stands for Domain Name System, and put simply the system translates your domain name into a numerical IP address for our web hosting servers to read. For example, the DNS would translate the domain www.example.com into the IP address 192.0.43.10. Your DNS is also involved with how your domains interact with many other types of systems in what are called DNS Records.

The most common DNS Records are the A Record and MX Record. The A Record, or Address Record, basically lists what IP address is associated with a specific domain. All of the required A Records associated with your website hosting account can be found in the Account Manager under the Hosted Domains tool by clicking the 'View/Edit' link next to your domain name. The MX Record, or Mail Exchange Record, is also commonly used to identify the service that your email is being served through. Some customers choose to host their website with us, but use an external email service.

When you purchase a hosting services work on our servers. Some people may find that they want to change some of those records to point to another server or service. This is where using the DNS Manager comes into play, and you can use one or more of our new tools to accomplish this.

In the Account Manager under the Domain Name System Manager (DNS) section, you can use the Domains tool to view all of the domains on your account. When you click the Info link next to a domain name, you will see more information about that domain.

The new Records Wizard is a simple tool that allows you to add common DNS records such as Google MX, set up a URL Forward, or add a subdomain to one of your domains. Some customers choose to host their website with us, but use an external email service. You can use this Records Wizard to quickly and easily change your mail records to use Google Apps, postini records, or any of the other commonly used mail services. You will find that simply answering the questions as they are presented to you through the Records Wizard will guide you through the process of changing your DNS Records efficiently.

Customers who are familiar with the technical aspects of DNS, and are comfortable making individual changes to DNS Records, can use the Records tool to manually edit, add, or remove DNS Records as they see fit. When you enter the Records tool and click the 'Next' link next to a domain, you will be presented with a list of all DNS Records associated with your domain that you can edit manually. You can also delete a record if you no longer need it, or click the 'Add New Record' link to add a completely new record that does not currently exist.

For instance, if you only wanted to change the A Records associated with your website, but nothing else, you would first acquire the IP address of the location where you want the domain to point to. You would then edit the @ and the www records to reflect that new IP address and click the Save Changes link at the top of the page. This would now cause people who type in your website name in the URL bar to go to the new IP address location instead of our servers. Likewise, if you wanted to host your email through another service, but keep your website and all other services through us, you would want to edit the A Records associated with email as well as the MX Record to reflect the information for the other service you are using for email.

The final tool is the Import Export tool which allows you to either import an existing Zone File for a domain to be used with your domain, or export the Zone File that is currently established for your domain. A DNS Zone File is a text file that describes a DNS zone, which is a subset of the hierarchical domain name structure of the DNS. The Zone File contains mappings between domain names and IP addresses and other resources, organized in the form of text representations of resource records.

Put simply, a Zone File is a text document used by the Domain Name System (DNS) to map computers, domain names, and various resources to the appropriate IP addresses. This mapping allows people to access resources and computers on the Internet using human-readable addresses.

Our new DNS Manager tool is a powerful tool that will allow you to have a deeper understanding of your domain and the records associated with your domain, as well as give you much more control over where your different domain services are pointing.


Direct Selling Online

Jul 14th, 2011

One way that you can beat the economic crisis is through Direct Selling via the internet. With the strength of social networking, you can create an empire of sales opportunities from home. If you are able to connect with a distributor or manufacturer, you are primed to succeed even in the toughest economic times.

There are many tools that you can take advantage of to become a powerhouse direct seller right now. Direct selling is the original social networking business, and with the advent of new online social networking websites, you are poised to make profit from home if you are able to tap into the plethora of resources available to you.

Social Networking websites like Facebook, Twitter, and the new Google+ have opened the doors to market your product quickly and easily, right to the doorstep of people you know, or maybe don't know, who need your product. And, with your ability to provide those products quickly and efficiently, at a lower cost to the customer than through a brick and mortar store, it is simple to convince your “friends” that you are an excellent source of quality products.

Once you have established a relationship with a distributor or manufacturer you can be passionate about, you can set up a simple website which lists your available products, and how people can purchase those products through you. You can either have people contact you directly to purchase the products, or you can install a quick and easy website shopping cart. Either way, keep it simple at first, making sure that you can provide, and deliver, the highest quality, most in demand products available to you.

Setting up a blog website related to your business can also be very helpful. You can always install a blog like WordPress directly through the Account Manager using our Install Popular Scripts tool. Make sure you keep your blog fresh and new, presenting yourself as an expert in your field. Once the public finds your blog and you have earned their respect, your suggestions and references can become powerful marketing tools for your business.

You will also want to use the many social networking websites frequently, but responsibly. Do not overburden people with fluff or sales pitches, or you may find yourself blocked or un-friended by even some of your closest real life friends. Keep people up to date, but don't turn your Facebook page into a Swap Meet. Twitter is great for quick, short blasts to let people know about important updates, changes, or news.

You will also find that becoming involved in other social networks as a contributor can lead to increased visibility of your business. You do not want to join another forum or discussion group and immediately start trying to sell people your products. However, if you establish yourself as a respected member of that new community, people will naturally learn more about you and that will lead them to your business. As you participate further in those communities, you can begin to make suggestions and recommendations that help people to find your business and save people time and money.

There are many other opportunities for you to succeed online in this economic crisis. I have seen many direct selling professionals thrive as they cater their business online through social networking to help cut out the middle man and deliver excellent products at reasonable prices to the public. Find yourself a good product you can get behind and give it a shot, you may find yourself sitting on top of a gold mine soon!


Wonderful World of Email

Jul 07th, 2011

Email Service is included with all hosting plans, and there are many features involved with email that you can utilize to stay connected. To manage your email accounts, you can log into the Account Manager and click on the Email Accounts tool. When you create an email account, you can configure it as an email account with a mailbox, as just a forwarding email address, or as both!

If you want to use your email account with Webmail or an email client such as Outlook or Thunderbird, you will need to set it up as either a POP3 or IMAP4 email account. When you configure your email account as a POP3 account, you will be pulling your emails off of the server into your email client, and a copy of the email message will not remain on the server. If you configure your email account as an IMAP4 account, you will be keeping your emails on the server, and when you check your email, you will be connecting to the server and reading the emails off of the server.

If you choose to create an email account as a Forwarding Only account, any emails sent to that email address will not land on our servers. They will only be forwarded on to the address you indicate as the recipient of the forward. You can set up your email account as a POP3/IMAP4 and Forwarding account if you want. This way, the emails will land on our server, and then a copy of that email will also be forwarded on to the address you indicate as the recipient of the forward.

You also have the option to add an Autoreply message to your email accounts. This will send an automatic reply message to anyone who emails this account. You can configure this Autoreply message to respond with any message you wish, and you can change this message as needed.

Webmail is a very handy tool for checking your email when you are on the go. You can check your email by visiting a website and logging into your email account there. This provides you with a direct connection to the server where you can read and send emails, and delete emails off of the server that you no longer need.

We also include a powerful spam prevention tool in the Account Manager called SpamAssassin. Within the SpamAssassin tool, you can adjust the Spam Rejection Level based on how tight or loose you want the spam control to effect each hosted domain on your hosting account. When you use this tool, it is important to recognize that 1 is the Highest level of spam rejection and may result in legitimate emails being rejected, and 14 is the Lowest level of spam rejection which may result in many spam emails being delivered.

SpamAssassin also allows you to add email addresses to a Whitelist or Blacklist for each hosted domain. When you add an address to the Whitelist, you are telling the server to deliver the email regardless of the spam rejection score it receives. On the other hand, if you add an email account to the Blacklist, you are telling the server to not deliver the email to your account under any circumstance.

Messages delivered to multiple recipients will use the default spam settings, so you cannot rely on the Whitelist or Blacklist if a message is sent to multiple recipients. Also, messages are still subject to server based checks which occur prior to the message being scanned by SpamAssassin, such as the SpamHaus blacklist and the Greylisting service.

Greylisting is a mechanism used by mail servers to filter out mail from “spam bots”. It utilizes the Simple Mail Transport Protocol's (SMTP) built in ability to handle temporary failures in mail delivery to force computers that are delivering mail to “prove” that they are mail servers and not simply a “spam bot”.

We hope that you find our many email features valuable and enjoy the many tools we have added for you to manage and maintain your email accounts.


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