Omnis Network Blog 2013-10-28T13:02:33-07:00 Omnis Network tag:omnis.com,2014:http://www.omnis.com/blog/feed.php Copyright (c) 2014, Omnis Network, LLC VPS, Dedicated Servers, and Colocation. Which is right for me? tag:omnis.com,2014:http://www.omnis.com/blog/2013/10/28/vps,-dedicated-servers,-and-colocation.--which-is-right-for-me? 2013-10-28T13:02:33-07:00 Virtual Private Servers are machines partitioned to allow multiple concurrent instances- though not typically as much as shared hosting. This means that you can have a number of users on the same server, all with their own resources and software. The only limits to a Virtual Private Server are the hardware, the additional load, and security limitations established by the administrators. Dedicated Servers are more user-involved. They are physical machines in data centers managed by a staff of admins to maintain your server integrity against hardware failure, loss of data, as well as general upkeep. It’s the workhorse of web hosting. More user-intensive than Virtual Private Servers, Dedicated Servers allow you the freedom of having complete control of your website's hosting environment; users should be aware that there is a learning curve. And then there are Colocation Centers- It's the simplest of the three. You buy a server, manage all of the software and hardware, so it's similar to having a Dedicated Server. You're in charge of everything; but you rent space inside someone else’s data center, and the data center supplies all the power, security, and bandwidth for your server. Not sure which is a good fit for you? If you have spent some time with a website, and you have it pretty much handled, but need more elbow space, as well as specific features not offered with a shared hosting account, but still want someone else to do the heavy lifting (you're busy running a business and fighting intergalactic criminals, we understand), then a Virtual Private Server would be something for you to consider. Are you looking for more horsepower than a Virtual Private Server, but don't want to have to go out and buy your own server? Dedicated Servers may be in your future. You manage everything, but don't have to worry about physically doing anything. However, if you want more of a hands-on approach, then you should consider Colocation. It's similar to having a Dedicated server, but instead of only using what we select, you literally hand-pick every component yourself, along with your server's software and settings. In some cases, you can even select your own ISP (our speeds are blazing fast, by the way) if you want. Virtual Private Servers, Dedicated Servers, and Colocation Centers, for all their differences, have one thing in common: logistics. They employ the same basic principles in regards to, security, cooling, and power. For those not in the know, you can't just lock a few hundred servers in a closet and walk away. You have to restrict access to the location to prevent unauthorized personnel from presenting a threat to the servers, monitor their temperature so their hardware doesn't fail (they can push out a LOT of heat), and ensuring that there are reliable power sources as well as redundant power in the event of a local power grid failure. If you're considering upgrading from shared hosting, or if you want more options and control of your website, then you should start considering Virtual Private Servers, Dedicated Servers, and Colocation Centers.]]> Infographics can get People to Your Site! tag:omnis.com,2014:http://www.omnis.com/blog/2013/09/17/infographics-can-get-people-to-your-site! 2013-09-17T12:54:50-07:00 You want great content that will convey your message to your readers. But you also don’t want that message to be boring, so how do you do it? The answer lies within an infographic. Infographics are just that – very large graphics that contain a ton of information. That information can be in the form of hard statistics, general information points, or comparison charts within the graphic itself. Of course these are just a few examples and really, any type of information that you think would be useful and pass on a lot of information to your readers. But why do they work so well? One of the biggest reasons infographics work so well is because Internet readers today don’t want to sort through a lot of text to get the information they need. Truth be told, while the World Wide Web is the information highway, there’s too much out there for readers to want to sort through today. A lot of them are tired of reading pages and pages of tiny print, and just want to get the info they need in a very short amount of time. Infographics allow them to do that, and allow them to look at something fun and different at the same time. Another, perhaps even bigger way infographics can get people to your site is when you use them to submit to press release publications. These publishers of press releases know how valuable infographics are, and so they’re happy to publish a press release of yours talking about the infographic you have up on your website or blog. That press release, while still all text, can be very short and to the point. All it has to say is that you have an infographic on the site, what the infographic covers, and where people can find it. That press release will then be published online in multiple places where thousands of people can find it; but they’ll only be directed to one place – your website or blog. Infographics are really the best thing to happen to any website, and they’re fairly new which means that not everyone is using them just yet, and you can set your website apart by creating one for your site. Give your readers what they want without having to sort through tons of text and talk before they can get it. Provide them with an infographic full of information, and reap the benefits of having many continual visitors to your website. Getting Visitors to Your Blog isn’t Easy; here’s how to do it! tag:omnis.com,2014:http://www.omnis.com/blog/2013/07/16/getting-visitors-to-your-blog-isn’t-easy;-here’s-how-to-do-it!- 2013-07-16T12:53:57-07:00 When you’re looking to get more visitors to your blog, there’s only one thing you need to focus on – the content. Content is not only what will attract people to your blog, but it’s what will keep them there once they land on it. And even if you think you’ve got the best content that can be found on the web right now, you might be surprised to find out that you’re making some big mistakes. Here’s how to get even more visitors to your blog, and how to write content that will keep them there. Use Sub-Headings or Bullet Points No one wants to look at pages and pages of text. The chances are that, whatever the theme of your blog is, your readers want to be able to scan the page for the points they’re looking for and move on (hopefully to another one of your great posts.) For this reason, get rid of all that heavy text and organize your thoughts by using sub-headings, bullet points, or both. Your readers will easily be able to scan through the content, and they’ll be more appreciative of it too. Have Interesting Headlines Sometimes you want to get straight to the point, and that’s okay; but it doesn’t mean that your headline has to be boring. If it is, readers might not bother to continue on to the content to find out just how great it is. Still make sure that the headline clearly states what the post is about, but inject some personality into it to make it a little more user-friendly and a little less boring. If it’s a really great headline you’re using, that alone could be enough to get people to check out your blog. Comment, Comment, Comment No, you don’t want to comment on your blog (unless of course, you’re replying to a comment from a user.) But you do want to check out other blogs on similar subjects and respond to their posts with intelligent, helpful comments. Maybe you have a finance blog and find someone else’s post about happenings in the stock market, and notice that they left out a vital piece of information. Make a comment and include that info. You’ll establish yourself as an authority, and other readers of that blog will take notice and might go to the real expert’s blog – yours. Guest Post Commenting on the posts of others is a great way to get your name out there, but what if those users could actually see your writing on the blogs of others? It’s possible, when you become a guest blogger for other sites. Contact the webmasters of those blogs and ask if you’d be able to write a guest post for them. You’ll be able to reach more readers, and they’ll get a link on your website that will also bring readers to their blog. There are many ways to get visitors to your blog, and some of them don’t even involve working on your actual blog. But that’s sort of the point. You need to be able to get creative with it and find ways to send people straight to your blog, or bring them over from other blogs that they’re visiting. How to Blog Better for you Website tag:omnis.com,2014:http://www.omnis.com/blog/2013/05/21/how-to-blog-better-for-you-website 2013-05-21T12:52:25-07:00 Blogging can be a great way to increase content for your website. Maybe you don’t have a blog yet and are thinking of starting one up. Or maybe you do already have a blog, but you’re just not getting the traffic yet to justify spending your time (and your money) on it. So how do you make a better blog than what’s already out there? Or how do you, as a blogger, blog better? By following these tips. Have a Purpose Even when you’re writing a personal blog about your daily life and activities, you should never go into a blog post not knowing what you want to write about. The blog in general should always have a very specific purpose, and each blog post should support that purpose. To do this, write yourself a mission statement that may or may not be posted onto the actual blog itself. Then when it comes time to write any blog post, check back with that mission statement and ensure that the post will support your mission statement and that the two make sense together. Consistency is Key We would all love it if we could just blog whenever we felt like it. But truth be told, unless running your blog is all you do, you won’t feel like it very often (and maybe not even then.) Because of that, you need to make sure you’re blogging every day or at least every other day – whether you want to or not. To help you do this, set aside a large portion of time to write several blog posts, publish one of them when you’re done, and then save the others as drafts. Depending on the software you’re using, you can either post-date them to publish automatically on specific days, or you can simply go into your blog and hit “Publish” when it’s time to get a new blog post up. Make it Interesting to Look At Sure, content may be king, but your readers will only get to that content if they like the first impression they get from your blog; and they get that from the design. Make sure, firstly, that the design of your blog conveys the type of business you’re trying to promote on your blog, and that visitors will get the concept as soon as they land on it. Then make sure the design is not stuffed with anything and everything you could find. This means cleaning up photos by putting them into a photo gallery, and that you don’t have large banners or tons of ads that will distract your visitors, and detract from the overall appearance. Have great Content With your design exactly the way you want it, you can then start to focus on your content. This means more than just getting it up on a regular basis, and making sure it keeps in theme with the idea of your blog. It also means being creative with your topics, and also being timely with your topics. After all, if you’re running a sports website you don’t want to recap a game an entire week after it happened. To help you with this, set up Google Alerts that will come right to your email and keep you in the loop about what’s happening; or visit blogs on similar topics and check the comments section. There you can see what people most want to know about, and then write content that will help them out with it. Blogging better can seem like a difficult thing to do when you’re just starting out, or when it seems as though you’ve tried everything and just can’t seem to get visitors to your site. Use these tips and find just how much they can help you achieve your blogging goals! Why Proper Keyword Research is Key tag:omnis.com,2014:http://www.omnis.com/blog/2013/04/09/why-proper-keyword-research-is-key 2013-04-09T12:51:15-07:00 If you’re simply publishing pages to your website or posts to your blog and not going any further than that, the chances are good that you’re not getting huge amounts of traffic to that content. Until now. Because after reading this post, you’ll realize the importance of using the proper keywords to help not only bring in traffic, but to bring in the right kind of traffic that will be noticed by even more visitors. So how do you perform proper keyword research? You have two main choices: you can either do it for free, or you can purchase a Google AdWords campaign that will do it for you. The Google AdWords Way If you don’t mind spending a few bucks on finding the best keywords for your website or your blog, then Google AdWords is the best way to do it. To start you have to set up a Google AdWords account, which involves using a Google or Gmail email address. Once your account is set up you can then log into your account and use the Keyword Tool you’ll find located in there. Within this tool you can type in any keywords that you’d like to know more about. For example, if you’re running an e-commerce site that sells baby products, you might want to learn more about the keywords “baby products,” “baby diapers,” “baby toys,” and “baby sleepers,” along with the many others you’re undoubtedly thinking about. Once you’ve submitted these, Google will almost always suggest a better term, and you should use their suggestions. They are after all, the biggest search engine you’re trying to get results from, so it doesn’t hurt to see what they have to offer. Look over the suggestions and think about which keywords would most easily fit within your blog posts, remembering that you want the flow of keywords to be natural so they don’t seem like they’ve just been stuffed in there. You will be penalized for that by the search engines if they think that’s what’s happening. For those that you think would be a good fit, then check those off so Google AdWords can give you further results on them. Those results will tell you how often people search for them (both globally and locally) and if many people have purchased those keywords (which is actually more relevant for writing ads than it is for writing content.) Remember that the keywords that are most often used or most often purchased aren’t necessarily the best keywords for you. Those keywords will also have the most competition, for both ads and search engine rankings, and so higher results could mean that you have to work even harder to get your site noticed. To ensure that you’re using the best ones, set up a test ad that will cost a few dollars, but will also tell you just how effective those keywords are. You can then use these for online ads, as well as your content. The Free Way This way is much simpler and it’s free, but it might not give you the detailed results you’re looking for. Simply type different keywords into Google and hit “Enter” after typing each one. Once the results have generated, look along the sides and the top of the page. Are there a lot of ads located here? If so, the chances are good that you’ve hit on a keyword that a lot of people search for and are using, which means there’s a good chance it will give you those good conversion rates you’re looking for. The way you research your keywords is up to you. But remember that you have to be doing at least some kind of research on these highly important words if you want your blog to be able to compete among the rest. DNS and Reverse DNS (rDNS) tag:omnis.com,2014:http://www.omnis.com/blog/2013/03/13/dns-and-reverse-dns-(rdns) 2013-03-13T13:01:20-07:00 website hosting account, you have more than likely heard the term DNS. DNS stands for Domain Name System. This system is used to direct and translate domain names into their numerical values which are known as IP addresses. For instance when you type in www.google.com the DNS servers translate that to 74.125.239.97 and then start looking for Google. A very good comparison you could make for DNS is that it is the phone book of the internet, meaning it is a directory of names. There are many ways you can use and manipulate DNS, most of which are available to you within your web host control panel. When you create a domain normally you will be given an IP address for it. This IP address represents the website or the server the website is located on, depending on if you are hosting your domain on a shared hosting platform or a dedicated server. These DNS records are kept locally on the name servers of the host. Understanding that DNS defines where your website is located is essential to knowing how to control multiple domains and pointing them to the same website even. For instance, you buy the domain with a .com, .net, and .org extension and you wish to point them all to the .com address. You will do this with your DNS records. DNS also controls other things besides websites since it identifies devices by IP address so even e-mail servers which leads to why you need reverse DNS. Reverse DNS is generally used for email services, it does the exact same thing as DNS except in reverse. Basically, when a DNS request gets to a name server it will do a reverse DNS look up which takes the IP address and then finds the domain name. The reasons for using reverse DNS is because it is a security feature as well as protecting against spammers. It is a simple test to make sure any communicating DNS server has set up their servers correctly. It helps prevent spam because most mail servers will do a reverse DNS look up and then if it fails they place it on a greylist. Greylisting means that if it is a legitimate email they will simply need to resend the email and it should go through to the correct email. Using DNS and rDNS is essential to making the internet work and is constantly happening all of the time throughout the world! ]]> Google Fiber tag:omnis.com,2014:http://www.omnis.com/blog/2013/02/13/google-fiber 2013-02-13T14:25:15-07:00 Chances are, if you exist in the 21st century, you’ve heard of, and used Google, and have at the very least, a working knowledge of what they do. However, there is a possibility that you don’t know that one of the myriad services that Google provides is internet service. Google Fiber was initially announced in 2010, and more than a thousand communities applied for a chance to be the first to be granted the boon of reasonably-priced, incredibly fast broadband service. In 2011, Kansas City, Kansas was the first to get on the Google train, and from then on, it’s been on like Donkey Kong. For the time being, only Kansas and Utah have any cities with firehoses attached to their routers, but just how fast is it? Well, the United States currently averages around 20 Mbps (Megabits per second). If that doesn’t sound impressive, it’s because it isn’t. The United States is roughly ranked #32 worldwide. The top three are Luxembourg with 49.90 Mbps, Singapore at 52.62, and Hong Kong at a nitrous-fueled 63.42. Now, as fast as the world’s fastest broadband is, what Google is offering is almost 16 times that! What’s that mean for you? Well, if you’re in Utah or Kansas (Texas is next on the list), then you’re one of the lucky chosen few. If you’re not, then don’t fret. Google isn’t the only game in town, and even if the incumbent providers aren’t able to match speeds exactly, many providers are currently, or intend to increase their speeds to stay competitive. Now, having a connection as fast as this available is leaving a lot of consumers, providers, and even governments scratching their heads, as there aren’t currently any practical uses for such ridiculous bandwidth, though it’s not dissuading communities from signing up to get out from under sluggish and overpriced internet service providers. One such ISP has actually gone on record saying that American customers don’t need gigabit speeds, and another was nice enough to tell us that we didn’t want it anyway. Thanks, guys. More pragmatic ISP’s are looking into dropping their prices, increasing their speeds and trying to keep the rumbling smoke monster that is Google from gobbling up all of their business. One way to look at it could be future-proofing against new and more intensive means to use the Internet, or it could just be a case of broadband consumers finally getting what they pay for. Just, really, really fast. How Popular Are Your Scripts? tag:omnis.com,2014:http://www.omnis.com/blog/2013/01/09/how-popular-are-your-scripts? 2013-01-09T08:52:19-07:00 web hosting account has hundreds of files, but do you really want to manage them by hand every time you need to make an update? Are you making the most of your website hosting account? This is a great time to take advantage of some popular scripts. Scripts are software packages that perform specific tasks. They allow you to get more bang for your buck by maximizing your website’s potential. Scripts are as tiny as those hit counters that were so popular in the 1990’s, to massive content management systems that grant you control of all of the information in your website. The best part is that you can simply use the Install Popular Scripts tool to quickly and easily add one of these convenient scripts, so you don’t need to be a computer science major- you just click on what you want. Most times, you’re granted access to upgrade them whenever necessary. Of course you’re wondering about what should be available, and the scripts available for use on hosting accounts are as varied and numerous as there are websites to run them on, so let’s go over a few. One of the best aspects of having a website is that it can generate revenue for you with minimal interaction from you. There’s not much better than easy money, but there’s nothing worse than having to set up your own shopping cart. Well, you’re in luck, because Oscommerce and Tomatocart are only two of the time-and-frustration saving tools available to you. Most of the hard work is done, now all you have to do is fill those cupcake orders. Social networking is a phrase that you hear daily. It’s not just a meaningless buzzword that gets tossed around- it’s a proven method to drive visitors to your website, and keep them coming back. One of the most painless ways to do that is with a forum like Bbpress or Phpbb. You manage the conversations, or even assign moderators to do the work for you. Then just sit back, and watch your site get busy! Want to share your brilliance with the world? Flex your writing muscles with a blog. Installing blog software like Serendipity or WordPress into your hosting account allows you to have an ongoing conversation with your readers. Update as often as you need, change up the entire appearance, look, and feel on a whim. You are in complete control, and able to bring your words to life with freedom that you can’t get anywhere else. In short: your website may be good as it is right now, but if you aren’t running scripts on your hosting account, you aren’t getting every bit of your money’s worth. ]]> Password Security tag:omnis.com,2014:http://www.omnis.com/blog/2012/12/12/password-security 2012-12-12T13:54:35-07:00 web hosting account.” “I’m just testy. My blood sugar is really low, and I’ve been trying to hack this guy’s account for like three weeks.” “It’s been running that long? “Yeah, man. The other hosting accounts had passwords like “qwerty12345,” or “password,” and stuff. No characters, no spaces, no changes in capitals.” “Like Boise?” “You make that joke every time” “So what is the problem?” “I don’t know. Web hosting accounts aren’t typically this hard to crack. Most people don’t anticipate a really high threat of intrusion, so they use passwords that are related to their website, or the same password that they use for their bank accounts, social media and whatever.“ “I do that, so what?” “Are you kidding me? If you tell me that you have all of your passwords on a sticky note on your monitor, I am going to scream.” “I’ll, uh… be right back.” Meanwhile, at Gracie’s Puppy Emporium... “Gracie, what’s the password for the hosting account?” “Here, Dad. I’ll show you again.” “Why does it have to be so complicated? I remember when I could just use your birthday. What was wrong with that?” “We got hacked, some guys took our website down for a week without us knowing, our customers got viruses, we lost a ton of business, and we even lost our Google pagerank- which took a bunch of time and work to get. Oh, and my birthday isn’t May 4th, it’s April 5th.” “It’s correct in Europe.” “Which would mean that in some Scandinavian country, your present wouldn’t have been a month late, but we live in Boise.” “Okay, I get it. But why does it have to be so complex? It could just be a weird name, right?” “Dad, these guys aren’t manually going through lists of passwords to get into hosting accounts.. They have banks of hundreds, thousands of commonly used passwords. Sequential numbers like 12345 and real names aren’t going to cut it. You would have to use a combination of both that wouldn’t exist anywhere. There are key generators that spit out passwords like that.” “Why does it matter to them? What do they get out of breaking into someone’s web hosting account?” “Well, best case scenario is they just delete the website, and upload an image to annoy the user. What’s more common is they upload a bunch of malicious code to the hosting account and use that to send a bunch of spam or even programs that are used to steal the data from anyone who visits the site. Remember when we had to get a new card for the shop?” “Oh. Right. So if my er, friend had to change his password, what would he need to keep in mind?” “Well Dad, your ‘friend’ would want to use a combination of upper and lower-case letters, numbers, symbols, spaces when possible, and to not use sequential numbers or common words.” “Anything else?” “Yeah, the software these guys use gets more sophisticated all the time. It’s important to change it all the time, every six months at the latest. “ “Seems like a lot of work.” “If you look at it that way, maybe, Dad. It’s really just another investment, but one that only costs you if you don’t do it.” “Ah. I feel like you’re getting me back for not getting you a pony. “No, making you work in my pet shop is for not getting me a pony. The password thing is serious.” “Every six months?” “I do it every three. Now let’s get some ice cream.” ]]> Okay, So What is Colocation? tag:omnis.com,2014:http://www.omnis.com/blog/2012/11/14/okay,-so-what-is-colocation? 2012-11-14T14:26:47-07:00 colocation locations are data centers that provide secure physical space, internet connectivity, and staff to maintain and run your server. This means if you don’t have the time or space to run your own server, a colocation facility can do it for you. They are equipped to maintain the correct temperature, power levels, and security for you. This frees you up to manage your actual server, by letting someone else deal with the brunt of the logistics. Once you buy your server, which unlike typical website hosting, is completely to your standards (as you hand-pick the components, software, and settings yourself), you decide if you want to use the data center’s dedicated internet service, or if you want, opt to get your own. Then, you take your server(s) to the colocation facility, and they rack it all for you. Step four: Profit! Not sure if it would be a good fit? Imagine you’re in a law office with branch offices. The only space you have for your server is essentially a closet. Sure, it’s out of the way, but you are running a server for three other locations, and they use it 24 hours a day. The constant load on the server means that you have to be careful with cooling, because like most businesses that shut down even partially over the weekend, the air conditioning goes off. That risks data loss or corruption, or even hardware failure. Your server has to run constantly and smoothly, and that requires at least one admin on hand at all times to watch for failures, and make hot swaps, perform updates, etc. Another concern is power. Most office buildings don’t have dedicated independent power sources in the event of a local power failure, so if that one office is on an unreliable grid, the other three offices are dead in the water. The same goes for internet connectivity. That office may have access to their building’s internet service, but the only way to ensure that they are going to get anything resembling operational speeds, they are going to need a dedicated trunk for their server, which do not come cheap. Could a business operate like this? With an army of quotation marks, yes, they could “operate,” but it’s expensive, tedious, and unsustainable. What’s that? Do I have a solution? But of course. If they used colocation for their hosting needs, they wouldn’t have to worry about the cooling costs, as the data center is chilly to say the least. The temperature and humidity are digitally monitored at all times. The internet service? You can stop paying for that expensive trunk, and just use the colo center’s tier one internet. Oh, and you can stop worrying about power issues, too. Colocation centers have redundant power to ensure that even if the local grid goes down, your server doesn’t. You don’t even need to worry about whether other servers are crowding your space. You can request to have yours sequestered to give you room to grow. Something you shouldn’t have trouble doing with all that money you’re saving. ]]> Red, White, and You: Meet Your Presidential Candidates tag:omnis.com,2014:http://www.omnis.com/blog/2012/09/05/red,-white,-and-you:-meet-your-presidential-candidates 2012-09-05T12:02:33-07:00 viral. It must be election season. Welcome to the 2012 presidential campaign, where an untimely remark can be costly and speeches are peppered with thinly-veiled quips at the opposition. Whether you're boldly blue or relentlessly red, this runoff is sure to be one heck of a show. Let's discuss the players, shall we? To my left we have former Massachusetts governor and Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney. His campaign slogan, "America's Comeback Team", underscores his promise to help the country recover from its economic slump and "get America back to work." In 1984 Romney co-founded Bain Capital, one of the world's leading management and financial services companies. The company proved profitable for Romney and has contributed to his considerable net worth. Opponents of Romney use his financial status and privileged background—including a father in politics and an Ivy League education—as indicators of his inability to relate to the common man. Romney has refused to release more than two years of his tax returns, prompting many to wonder if he's hiding something. He officially accepted the Republican nomination on August 30 at the Republican National Convention in Tampa, FL. The broadcast made headlines when supporter and actor Clint Eastwood took the stage with an empty chair and feigned conversation with the president. Which brings me to my right, where we have current president and Democratic nominee Barack Obama. He argues that, contrary to what Romney states, the economy has actually improved since his term began, with roughly 4.5 million new jobs created. Obama's campaign slogan, "Forward", assures the public that he will continue to restore our country's economy and push it to new heights. Obama's biggest supporters are blacks, women, and the younger population—not surprising considering his background. Obama was raised by his mother and grandparents. During speeches he emphasizes his tight-knit family structure, despite coming from a single-parent household. In 1996 he was elected to the Illinois Senate and became a US senator in 2005. His progress up the political ladder culminated with his presidential election in 2008, making him the first black person to ever hold the office. Because of his relatively young age—he was 47 when he became president—Obama does well relating to a younger demographic. He and his family are huge fans of pop star Beyonce; he even invited her to perform at his inauguration ball. Additionally, his campaign makes good use of social media to help promote his platform, including Twitter updates to over 19 million followers. Following Eastwood's performance during the RNC, Obama's reelection team tweeted a picture of Obama seated in his presidential chair with the caption "this seat's taken." Ouch. Now you're all caught up. Next time we'll discuss the vice-presidential nominees and what they bring to the table. Until then, I offer you a bit of advice and my personal slogan: Stay Informed. ]]> Power of Pictures tag:omnis.com,2014:http://www.omnis.com/blog/2012/04/12/power-of-pictures 2012-04-12T13:08:48-07:00 website hosting account by showing the world your awesome pictures. If you have a blog website about food, and you describe every quality of a meal in the utmost detail, you will still leave the reader disappointed if you do not include some captivating pictures of the food itself. A great picture will allow your website visitor to connect your words with the picture, almost as if they are sitting at the table with you, enjoying your fantastic meal. There are many websites out there that revolve around family, and the stories you tell on your website are probably very enjoyable. But let's be honest, grandparents really just want to see pictures of their grandchildren! By taking fun pictures and including them in your stories, you allow family from around the world to feel as if they are there in the backyard enjoying the day with you, or on a fantastic family vacation in the passenger seat. Have you ever been to an e-commerce website to find only a description of the product being sold, but no picture? That would be very awkward, and difficult to trust. If you plan to sell items on a website, you better believe you need pictures of your products! Taking high definition photos from different angles and allowing your visitors to virtually hold the product in their hands is a key method of building trust in customers who purchase products online. You will definitely want to take some great photos, and use a photo editing program to compress and touch up your photos, and then get them online on your website! A picture really tells a thousand words, so let your pictures tell your story online now. ]]> Love is Online tag:omnis.com,2014:http://www.omnis.com/blog/2012/02/16/love-is-online 2012-02-16T10:27:25-07:00 website hosting account to succeed in love, and perhaps have even more success online than in real life? More and more people are finding it easier to pronounce their love and feelings virtually without the awkwardness of eye to eye contact. One of the most successful examples of using the internet for love is the creation, and success, of the many dating websites that are now flourishing all over the world. The two big dating sites, match.com and eharmony.com, both had to start somewhere. A person with a dream of creating a website that will allow lonely singles to meet people who they could connect with on more levels than just what you see at the bar started out with just a simple website. Perhaps you consider yourself to be an expert on love, so you start your own advice website. Writing a blog about love and what it takes to succeed could quickly land you on the Oprah or Dr. Phil show! Allowing guests to discuss what is working and what isn't working on your website could be a recipe for a successful online love experience. Setting up a WordPress blog, or a Joomla social networking website, is your first step to facilitating love on the internet. Everyone had to start somewhere, so take your passion and your idea online, and launch the next big romance website now! ]]> Politics and the Internet tag:omnis.com,2014:http://www.omnis.com/blog/2012/01/10/politics-and-the-internet 2012-01-10T12:37:40-07:00 website hosting account to participate in the coming elections? If you have a blog that garners enough visitors, you could be selling political campaign ads, or even get yourself media credentials for campaign events. In the end, the freedom to voice your opinion via your website is powerful, so don't keep quite...speak up now! ]]> Web Stats - What Does It Mean? tag:omnis.com,2014:http://www.omnis.com/blog/2012/01/03/web-stats---what-does-it-mean? 2012-01-03T14:41:55-07:00 website hosting accounts, then visit your custom stats page to see what is going on when people head to your website. We use Webalizer stats tracker to output the details of your website activity, and the stats page is generally updated every morning for the previous day. When you visit your stats page, you will see an overview of each months statistics. If you click an individual month, you will get more detailed information about that specific month. Within the monthly view, there are many stats recorded and displayed, some of which may be confusing. Here, we will break down the individual stats displayed so you can better understand what they mean. The first stat is HITS which is any request made to the server that is logged. These requests can be for anything, including html pages, graphics images, audio files, CGI scripts, etc. Each valid line in the server log is counted as a hit. This number represents the total number of requests that were made to the server during the specified report period. The second stat listed is the FILES stat. Some requests made to the server require that the server then send something back to the requesting client, such as an html page or graphic image. When this happens, it is considered a 'file' and the files total is incremented. The relationship between 'hits' and 'files' can be thought of as 'incoming requests' and 'outgoing responses'. The next stat listed is the PAGES stat. Generally, any html or php document, or anything that generates an html document, would be considered a page. This does not include the other items that go into a document, such as graphic images, audio clips, etc. This number represents the number of 'pages' requested only, and does not include the other features that are in the page. This stat is sometimes referred to as 'Pageviews' in other stats reporters. Each request made to the server comes from a unique SITE, which can be referenced by a name or IP address. The 'sites' number shows how many unique IP addresses made requests to the server during the reporting time period. This does not mean the number of unique individual users (real people) that visited, which is impossible to determine using just logs. Whenever a request is made to the server from a gien IP address, or website, the amount of time since a previous request by the address is calculated. If the time difference is greater than a pre-configured 'visit timeout' value, or has never made a request before, it is considered a 'new visit' and the VISITS stat total is incremented both for the site, and the IP address. The KBytes, or kilobytes, value shows the amount of data, in KB, that was sent out by the server during the specified reporting period. This value is generated directly from the log file and is a fairly accurate representation of the amount of outgoing traffic the server had. The Top Entry and Exit tables give a rough estimate of what URL's are used to enter your site, and what the last pages viewed are. Because of some limitations, this number should be considered a rough estimate, and will give a good indication of the overall trend in where users come into, and exit, your website. The REFERRERS stat is much harder to analyze than a typical URL. What is contained in the referrer field of your log files varies depending on many factors, such as what site did the referral, what type of system it comes from, and how the actual referral was generated. This is a reflection of how a user got to your website, which may have been from a bookmark in their browser, they may simply type your websites URL into their browser, they could have clicked on a link on some remote web page, or they may have found your website from one of the many search engines and site indexes found on the web. The SEARCH STRING stat is a good indication of what users were searching for when they found your website. The Webalizer will do a minimal analysis on referrer strings that it finds, looking for well known search string patterns. Being able to read and understand the stats reported about your website will help you to know what is working, and what needs help. ]]> PHP and MySQL tag:omnis.com,2014:http://www.omnis.com/blog/2011/12/02/php-and-mysql 2011-12-02T11:47:10-07:00 dynamic web pages that interact with your visitors. You can create useful and well formatted web pages with HTML, but with the addition of PHP and MySQL you can collect data from your users, create specific content on the fly, and do many other things that simple HTML alone cannot do. You can use PHP right inside your already existing HTML content, or put HTML tags right inside your PHP coding. PHP and MySQL complement each other to do what neither can do alone. PHP can collect data, and MySQL can in turn store the information. PHP can create dynamic calculations, and MySQL can provide it with the variables it uses. PHP can create a shopping cart for your web store, but MySQL can keep the data in a format PHP can use to create receipts on demand, show current order status, or even suggest other related products. Although PHP and MySQL can each be used independently, when you put them together it opens up countless possibilities for your site. It is becoming more and more necessary to deliver dynamic content to keep up with the demands of web surfers and their desire to have information instantly delivered to them online. WordPress is one of the most popular PHP scripts available today, and it allows people with little to no coding knowledge to put up a professional website in minutes. However, if you took the time to identify exactly what you wanted from your blog website, and put in the effort to learn the PHP code necessary to accomplish those results, you could create your own script without all of the extra, unnecessary features included in the WordPress package. Many open source scripts are filled with endless possibilities for your website. But what happens if you never use 90% of those features? The space those features occupy on the server is wasted, and your website has to comb through it all to determine which features to load and which to ignore when someone visits your website. By taking the initiative to learn the PHP code required to design a website with only the features you require, and then designing efficient MySQL queries that will populate your website quickly with only the information necessary, you could have a screaming fast website with excellent dynamic content. ]]> MySQL Maintenance tag:omnis.com,2014:http://www.omnis.com/blog/2011/11/10/mysql-maintenance 2011-11-10T13:57:38-07:00 website hosting account are running appropriately. Lets use our auto parts warehouse as an example again. Once you have filled your warehouse with all the parts you need, and properly organized your parts in rows that are easily navigated, you cannot simply leave the warehouse alone forever. As time goes by, you have to do some cleanup and re-organizing. As you add new products, move existing products, or discontinue unnecessary products, you need to make changes to your organization structure to reflect these changes and keep your warehouse organized and easy to navigate. Likewise, as you continuously add new data to your database, move or change existing data in your database, or remove data completely from your database, you will need to perform maintenance on your MySQL database to keep it organized properly. If you make a lot of changes to your database, but you do not routinely perform maintenance on it, your website queries will begin to slow down, and potentially come to an abrupt halt. There are four commonly used maintenance tools, which can be found in phpMyAdmin or you can run them yourself. These tools are used periodically to make sure your MySQL database is functioning properly, and efficiently. There are two tools you would use to essentially make sure that your database is not broken. It is possible for your database to be corrupted, and you may experience failed queries or errors on your website as a result. To ensure that your database's structure and content does not have any problems, you would use the Check Table tool. The Check Table tool will perform an integrity check on the table structure and its contents. If there are any problems with the structure or the contents, it will report the errors letting your know that there is a problem. If the Check Table process reports an error, you will then want to use the Repair Table tool. The Repair Table tool corrects problems in a table that has become corrupted. This tool does have limited use, and sometimes doing a full restore from a backup is better. The other two maintenance tools you should be using periodically are used to ensure that your tables are running smoothly, and performing their duties the best they possibly can. The first of these tools you would want to use is the Analyze Table tool. This tool updates statistics about the distribution of index key values. This information is used by the optimizer to generate execution plans for queries. After you have run the Analyze Table tool, you will want to use the Optimize Table tool. This tool re-organizes a table so that its contents can be accessed more efficiently. The Optimize Table tool will clean up a table by defragmenting it. This reclaims unused space resulting from deletes and updates, and coalescing records that have become split and stored non-contiguously. Optimize Table also sorts the index pages if they are out of order and updates the index statistics. For advanced MySQL users, you can also use the Explain statement to gain more information about a MySQL query to determine if it is efficient. Running a MySQL query with EXPLAIN before it will display information from the optimizer about the query execution plan. MySQL will “explain” how it would process the statement, including information about how tables are joined and in which order. With the help of EXPLAIN, you can see where you should add indexes to tables so that the statement executes faster by using indexes to find rows. You can also use EXPLAIN to check whether the optimizer joins the tables in optimal order. If you take the time to perform routine maintenance periodically, you can ensure that your MySQL databases are configured efficiently, your queries are operating at top speed, and your web site is performing fantastically. Make sure you keep the warehouse clean and organized, and you will save yourself from the headache of trying to resurrect a dead website. ]]> MySQL Optimization tag:omnis.com,2014:http://www.omnis.com/blog/2011/10/28/mysql-optimization 2011-10-28T11:18:55-07:00 website hosting account more efficient. A database is a large collection of data, similar to a warehouse full of goods. How well you organize those goods in the warehouse determines how quickly you can find an individual item when you need it. Consider your database an auto parts warehouse. If someone came into the warehouse and told you they needed a spark plug, how easy would it be for you to find that spark plug if you had no organization in your warehouse? You would have to walk up and down each aisle looking in each box to see if that box contained spark plugs. This could take forever! A MySQL database puts your data into tables that are easy to navigate. This would equate to putting your auto parts into specific aisles in your warehouse. Now, you would know which aisle your spark plugs were in, so you would only have to look into each box in one aisle until you found those spark plugs. This is much better than having to go through the entire warehouse, but still could take some time since there may be thousands of items in one table that you still have to sift through to find specific data. Optimizing your MySQL database is the best, most efficient way to improve the performance of your website. Instead of just connecting your website to a database, and letting your queries wander around your database aimlessly looking for specific data, you can create indexes that guide your queries directly to the proper location of the requested data. Now you can walk directly through that auto parts warehouse to the aisle with the spark plugs, and know exactly where on that aisle the box of spark plugs is. Indexes are created on a per column basis. If you have a table with the columns: name, address, telephoneNumber, and birthdate and want to create an index to speed up how long it takes to find birthdate values in your queries, then you would need to create an index for birthdate. When you create this index, MySQL will build a lookup index where birthdate specific queries can be run quickly. It is not necessary to create an index for every column, but any column which is queried frequently could benefit from an index. Creating indexes for your tables is crucial for your database, it allows it to perform faster and more efficiently than it would normally. If you use well written queries with efficiently indexed tables, you will find that your websites load incredibly fast compared to poorly written queries with no indexes. When you get started working on your website, take the time to analyze each table you create before you launch, just to make sure it is optimized and ready for action. You may not realize that certain columns are going to be utilized quite as much as you expected, so it is also important that you revisit your databases on a regular basis to determine which tables and columns are working efficiently, and which ones have slowed you down. In our next blog entry, we will discuss MySQL database maintenance in greater depth. ]]> Introduction to MySQL tag:omnis.com,2014:http://www.omnis.com/blog/2011/10/14/introduction-to-mysql 2011-10-14T12:12:16-07:00 MySQL is the most popular Open Source SQL database management system, which is why it is used on our website hosting servers. MySQL is developed, distributed, and supported by Oracle Corporation. MySQL is a database management system. A database is a structured collection of data. It may be anything from a simple shopping list to a picture gallery or the vast amounts of information in a corporate network. To add, access, and process the data stored in a database, you need a database management system such as MySQL. MySQL is a relational database management system. A relational database stores data in separate tables rather than putting all the data in one big storeroom. This adds speed and flexibility. The SQL part of “MySQL” stands for “Structured Query Language.” SQL is the most common standardized language used to access databases. Since computers are very good at handling large amounts of data, database management systems play a central role in many script based websites. Most of the free scripts we include in the Install Popular Scripts tool rely on MySQL, including WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, phpBB, and many more. MySQL is the most popular choice of databases for use in web applications, and is a central component of the widely used LAMP web application software stack. LAMP is an acronym for “Linux, Apache, MySQL, Perl/PHP/Python”. MySQL is used in some of the most frequently visited web sites on the internet, including Flickr, YouTube, Wikipedia, Google, and Facebook. Since MySQL is a relational database management system, it does not provide a built in GUI tool to administer MySQL databases or manage data contained within those databases. You can use command-line tools if you are an expert in the field, but we provide a web based tool to manage your MySQL databases in the Account Manager. PhpMyAdmin is a PHP based interface that allows Linux hosting customers to manage their databases through a web based interface. Understanding MySQL and how it allows you to develop fast, efficient websites using scripts is very important to a successful website application. We will dive deeper into MySQL in the coming weeks to examine proper optimization of MySQL databases and tables, as well as how to perform timely maintenance on your MySQL databases to keep everything running smoothly. ]]> Inspiration Outside The Box tag:omnis.com,2014:http://www.omnis.com/blog/2011/10/07/inspiration-outside-the-box 2011-10-07T13:12:53-07:00 website hosting account, you could probably see increased traffic if you were sharing this video right now, simply because it is so popular. Some of Steve Jobs' catch phrases are being posted all over the internet. His inspiration is sparking quite a storm from people who honestly had no idea who he was just a few days ago. The simple statement “Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.” has become a mantra of young up and comers who look to expand outside the box. As you begin each day, each project, each new job, each new relationship, it is important that you stay hungry and stay foolish. Think outside the box, instead of just going with the flow. Make sure that you are truly happy with your performance, and not just doing what you are told without any emotions. Being hungry means always searching for more, reaching for higher standards, striving for more difficult goals. Staying foolish does not mean just goofing off all the time. Stay foolish in that inspirational connotation so that you never accept the status quo. I am sure many people thought Steve Jobs was foolish to try competing with IBM and the PC. But he threw caution to the wind, and foolishly developed a winning product. As Steve Jobs moved forward with his plethora of innovations, he allowed his foolishness to expand and explore the realm of impossible. What was once outside the box, quickly became the normal standard. Ipods, Iphones, Ipads all are considered the most popular brands in their fields now. Perhaps you can think outside the box with your website project, and develop something that people find foolish at first, but quickly discover they can't live without! ]]> Online Discussions - Take It To The Forums tag:omnis.com,2014:http://www.omnis.com/blog/2011/09/30/online-discussions---take-it-to-the-forums 2011-09-30T10:01:32-07:00 Forum on your website. An Internet Forum, or message board, is an online discussion site where people can hold conversations in the form of posted messages. There are several popular forum scripts that can be installed into your website hosting account through our Install Popular Scripts tool in the Account Manager. These scripts allow you to host a forum on your website without having to code the forum pages yourself. By using our Install Popular Scripts tool to install a forum script, we will create and configure the code and the database for you, and all you will need to do is add your personal flare! PunBB is a fast and lightweight PHP-powered discussion board. It is released under the GNU General Public License. Its primary goals are to be faster, smaller and less graphically intensive as compared to other discussion boards. PunBB has fewer features than many other discussion boards, but is generally faster and outputs smaller, semantically correct XHTML-compliant pages. Another popular Forum script is BbPress. BbPress is plain and simple forum software, plain and simple. It's easy to use, easy to administrate, fast and clean. But don't let its simplicity deceive you; underneath the gleam it's got some powerful features and is highly customizable. A unique Forum script is Phorum, which was the original PHP and MySQL based Open Source forum software started in 1998. Phorum is a little different from the other web based message boards out there. It was designed to meet different needs of different web sites while not sacrificing performance or features. Phorum prides itself in offering its users freedom, which means having the ability to make your message board do what you want it to do. PhpBB has become the most widely used Open Source forum solution since it was created in 2000. Like is predecessors, phpBB 3.0 Olympus has an easy to use administration panel and a user friendly installation process, which allows you to have a forum set up in minutes. With a large and highly customizable set of key features coupled with a standards compliant interface, phpBB will grow with, and compliment your website. With millions of installations worldwide, it is no wonder phpBB is one of the most popular ways to create and support a community. Simple Machines Forum – SMF in short – is a free, professional grade software package that allows you to set up your own online community within minutes. Its powerful custom made template engine puts you in full control of the lay-out of your message board and with its unique SSI – or Server Side Includes – function you can let your forum and your website interact with each other. SMF is written in the popular language PHP and uses a MySQL database. It is designed to provide you with all the features you need from a bulletin board while having an absolute minimal impact on the resources of the server. When you are ready to get started with your online discussion, you will find that adding a Forum to your website is the perfect solution. Determine which forum script fits your needs, give it your own personal style, and get started! ]]> Put Your Excellence Online tag:omnis.com,2014:http://www.omnis.com/blog/2011/09/15/put-your-excellence-online 2011-09-15T13:39:00-07:00 website hosting account that can help you to excel at everything you put online. Your performance needs to match your passion at all times, and you cannot allow yourself to fall into a pit of negativity. By always doing your best, no matter what you are doing, no matter who is watching or not watching, you ensure that the results will always be exceptionally good. Your constant attention to detail and quality will always produce high quality, well received results. You will quickly be associated with great leaders and entrepreneurs as you prove that your excellence is a habit. When excellence becomes a habit, it becomes an involuntary behavior that is regularly followed. Your excellent performance is so deeply ingrained within your core that you could not fathom under performing. Your actions have meaning, each and every action is done with such passion that it sparks the next action which progressively powers your performance into a locomotive barreling down the track. You are unstoppable, reaching new heights of inspiration and dedication which is reflected in the end result. If you are a negative person, or find yourself simply not caring about much at all, you should stop and analyze each step you take. If you allow your indifference to influence your performance, your end result will be insignificant, and thus you will be known as insignificant. Instead, put some passion into your actions and light a fire in yourself along the way. Allow your bad habits to melt away and your new excellent habits to take hold of your being. As you excel in your life, your excellent results will define you. When excellence becomes a habit, everything you touch turns to gold! ]]> Building A Sports Related Website tag:omnis.com,2014:http://www.omnis.com/blog/2011/09/08/building-a-sports-related-website 2011-09-08T09:56:16-07:00 website hosting account and find a fancy sports theme, or perhaps even find a theme relating to your favorite team, and then start blogging about whatever you feel strongly about. You could do weekly write-ups of the previous week's game, the upcoming games, and everything in between. Connecting your sports website to your social networking websites is also very popular. Using Twitter or Facebook to post small, frequent comments about your team and sport interests is a fun way to participate in active dialogues about your favorite team. Some of the analysts covering the NFL lockout became the hottest trend setters on Twitter this past summer. If you have valuable information and keep your blog updated with relevant information that people enjoy reading, you can quickly find your website on the front page of search engines if you do proper search engine optimization. Fan pages are also a very fun and profitable website to build and maintain. A lot of leagues and teams have fan page packages you can download and use to make your website look like it is an official team page. When you get a lot of people following your page because you keep it fresh and new, you can begin to sell advertisements because your website is valuable. Maybe you are an up and coming sports reporter and you want to get your foot in the door with a big time sports company like ESPN. You can start your own sports news website and do a good job of reporting the sports news as it happens. This could be your resume as you begin to look for work as a reporter, so make sure it shines. There are a lot of ways you can participate in sports through your website, so find a league, a team, a player...something you are passionate about and start building your website! ]]> Inspiration leads to Innovation tag:omnis.com,2014:http://www.omnis.com/blog/2011/08/26/inspiration-leads-to-innovation 2011-08-26T11:01:00-07:00 website, sometimes you take for granted the simple methods of stimulation that can spark a wonderful idea.  Don’t over-think yourself into a rut, but instead allow yourself to drift into a powerful state of creativity by changing the way you participate in daily activities. One of the most important tools you can utilize is carrying a small notebook with you everywhere you go.  When life slaps you in the face with that Next Big Idea, you don’t want to wait until you get home to write it down and start to develop it…you need to get it down on paper RIGHT NOW! Even if the idea seems silly or irrelevant, just write it down and you can expand on it later.  Some of the best ideas are formed out of the smallest, most insignificant day dreams. You would be surprised how many daily, boring activities you can change up to ignite that creative process you are struggling with.  Don’t just cruise through life not paying attention, allow your life to fuel your excitement. For example, exercise can often times be painful and annoying…you just can’t wait until it’s over and you spend the whole time arguing with yourself over why the heck you are even doing this.  But imagine if you drive that negativity out and dive deep into your body to start getting in touch with the growth and power of your workout.  Visualizing your muscles growing and expanding, unwanted fat melting off your body as your energy increases and your body goes into hardcore mode, you can now allow your mind to fire up those creative powers and launch into an awesome new idea. Another time you may drift off into nothingness is when you are driving.  Even the worst traffic can be channeled into fuel for your dynamic process.  When others are rushing and raging, slow down and take yourself out of the negative and enjoy the positive.  Take a look around and find the pleasant surroundings you normally miss as you push through the maze of cars.  You can even take a different route, experiencing a whole new world of inspiration from your new environment. When you are talking to people and they start to complain, do you ever just tune them out?  Sometimes it is hard to listen to someone who is very negative, and you just wish they would stop.  However, maybe their complaining can spark your mental revolution!  Maybe it’s time for you to come up with a solution to their problem, or even better, an idea that will silence all the whining of the world?  Start asking more questions, dig a lot deeper than just the surface of the complaint, and really find out what makes this person angry.  Once you have the root of that evil in your hand, you can start to dissect what the exact opposite would be, and build on that idea to develop the root of AWESOME! Don’t neglect your daily toils and tribulations, convert them into high-powered, efficient fuel for your idea producing engine…your days will be much better, and your ideas will flourish. ]]> SiteBuilder Helps Create Excellent Websites tag:omnis.com,2014:http://www.omnis.com/blog/2011/08/19/sitebuilder-helps-create-excellent-websites 2011-08-19T09:23:47-07:00 SiteBuilder service, you can have a new professional looking website online within minutes! Sitebuilder is a template based web development tool included free with all website hosting accounts. When you enable SiteBuilder, the first step you will take is selecting the template you like the most. You can select from over 450 templates, so you are sure to find one that fits your needs. Each template has been designed by a professional web designer. All you have to do is add your content into the text fields of your template, and update your website. Your template will automatically format your text and photographs so that your site looks fantastic. You can even upload your own logo, create forms, and add a guestbook. You can also create an Adobe Flash introduction using SiteBuilder and add a dynamic element to your website, upload your photographs using the Photo Album tool, and add a secure shopping cart to your website to sell your products immediately. In addition to the free SiteBuilder tool, you can upgrade to one of our more robust SiteBuilder plans if you want a bigger and better website. The SiteBuilder Pro package allows you to create up to 40 pages and features over 700 templates! You can customize the Footer and Banner of your website. It also features a Welcome Page, Photo Album, Flash Intro Animations, Form Creation Tool, and Guestbook Creation Tool. If you are looking to take your business to the web to sell your products, you will find the SiteBuilder E-Commerce package very helpful. You can develop an online store in no time, with no website coding experience at all. The SiteBuilder E-Commerce package allows you to create up to 70 pages and features over 700 templates. It also features a Shopping Cart, Blogging Tools, Online Image Editing Tool, Photo Album, Flash Introduction Animations, Form Creation Tool, and Guestbook Creation Tool. You can also customize your Footer and Banner, as well as your own Welcome Page. If you are looking to get started on the internet, but have no website coding experience, give our SiteBuilder tool a try. You will be surprised how quickly and easily you can have a professional looking website up and running! ]]> Put Your Photos Online tag:omnis.com,2014:http://www.omnis.com/blog/2011/08/11/put-your-photos-online 2011-08-11T10:39:20-07:00 Gallery to display your photos. We have many popular gallery scripts available for you to install to your hosting account through our Install Popular Scripts tool. Gallery scripts allow you to upload, organize, and display your pictures in a smooth, simple format. Most galleries can be customized to the exact specifications you need for whatever your project may be. There are many gallery scripts and software programs out there, some of which you may have to pay for if you want the truly robust options. But we have plenty of fantastic, free options for you to use with your website hosting service. One of the most popular gallery scripts is Gallery. Gallery is the next generation of open source photo sharing web applications. Gallery gives you an intuitive way to blend photo management seamlessly into your own website whether you're running a small personal site or a large community site. Hundreds of thousands of people and organizations are using Gallery to create personalized photo albums on their websites. Another popular gallery script is Coppermine. Coppermine is a multi-purpose fully featured and integrated web picture gallery script written in PHP using the GD or ImageMagick image library with a MySQL backend. Coppermine allows users to upload pictures through ftp or through the web interface. It also stores picture information in a database, allowing you to manage your albums better. Fourimages is a powerful web-based image gallery management system. It features a comment system, user registration and management, password protected administration area with browser-based upload and HTML templates for page layout and design. By using the integrated template system, the design and layout can be customized easily. Fourimages is also multilingual, allowing you to add an external language file that can be used for translation in other languages. Pixelpost is an open-source, standards-compliant, multilingual, fully extensible photoblog application for the web. Pixelpost features a comprehensive admin panel, extensive template tags, and many addons to extend your photoblog. Zenphoto is a standalone gallery CMS that just makes sense and doesn't try to do everything and your dishes. Zenphoto is more than just a gallery for your images, it also features multimedia support for audio and video and is even capable of running your entire portfolio website including a news section and custom pages. Once you choose the perfect Gallery software for your needs, you will have a lot of fun creating albums full of your photos for the world to see. If you are an artist, you can also set up a professional portfolio to use as your resume. Whatever you do, have fun with and let the world see your wonderful photos! ]]> Keep Your Contact Information Safe tag:omnis.com,2014:http://www.omnis.com/blog/2011/08/05/keep-your-contact-information-safe 2011-08-05T10:22:13-07:00 website hosting company and domain name registrar takes many steps to ensure that your private information remains private. First, you can rest assured that any information you enter into the Account Manager will remain private. Your name, phone number, email address, any information you provide, will always remain private, and no one will ever be given any of this information. It is also extremely important that you keep your contact information up to date in the User Information and Contact Information sections of the Account Manager. We send out notices occasionally about your service, renewals, or problems. If you haven't updated your contact information to your current information, you may not receive those notices. Please make sure you always update your contact information if anything changes, we would hate to see you miss out on something important! Keeping the correct contact information updated for your Domain Contacts is also very important. Information about who is responsible for domain names is publicly available to allow rapid resolution of technical problems and to permit enforcement of consumer protection, trademark, and other laws. This information is available to the public on a “Whois” site. For people who do not want their personal information to be made available to the public, we offer a wonderful service called Domain Privacy Protection. By purchasing Domain Privacy Protection, you license a third party company to accept responsibility for the contact information. Your contact information will be replaced by our privacy protection company's information, shielding you from unwanted spam and identity theft. You can enable Domain Privacy Protection in the Account Manager under the Domain Name Registration Management section if your domain is registered through us. If your domain is not registered through us, we highly recommend that you transfer your domain to us so that you can utilize this important service to protect you and your personal information. If you take the appropriate steps to keep your contact information up to date through our system, we will ensure that you are notified of any upcoming renewals or relevant updates. By utilizing our Domain Privacy Protection service, we will ensure that your personal information is safe and secure. ]]> Shopping Carts Take Your Business Online tag:omnis.com,2014:http://www.omnis.com/blog/2011/07/28/shopping-carts-take-your-business-online 2011-07-28T13:36:11-07:00 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 tag:omnis.com,2014:http://www.omnis.com/blog/2011/07/22/dns-and-how-it-relates-to-your-domain 2011-07-22T11:14:34-07:00 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 tag:omnis.com,2014:http://www.omnis.com/blog/2011/07/14/direct-selling-online 2011-07-14T11:29:22-07:00 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 tag:omnis.com,2014:http://www.omnis.com/blog/2011/07/07/wonderful-world-of-email 2011-07-07T11:27:58-07:00 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. ]]> New Features - More Power tag:omnis.com,2014:http://www.omnis.com/blog/2011/06/30/new-features---more-power 2011-06-30T14:51:49-07:00 Mail Manager. This feature is an external manager of email account settings, which will allow each individual email account holder to manage their own email account settings. Previously, only the user account administrator could manage things like email account passwords, auto-replies, and forwarding addresses. Now, each email account can be configured to allow for password changes, auto-reply configuration, and forwarding address additions. We have also added a new Cron Tool in the Account Manager for customers to manage their own Cron Jobs. For advanced users, this tool allows you to manually add a Cron Job to the server in real time, so when you update or add a an entry, it will be added to the server immediately. Cron Jobs can run at a minimum of once every 15 minutes. There are 2 types of crons that may be added, a ”command” based cron and a ”web” based cron. The command type requires the user enter in all of the details of the cron entry manually. The web type is a simple interface that lets the user browse to a file on their site that will be executed via HTTP as if someone went to the link in their web browser at the requested interval. A very popular addition has been the new Secure Shell access tool. SSH is a network protocol that allows data to be exchanged using a secure channel, adding an additional level of security when connecting to the server. You can find the Secure Shell tool in the Account Manager under the Website Settings section. SSH is for advanced users who wish to have command line access to their web hosting accounts to make changes directly on the server. Another new feature is the ability for an email account that is only configured as a forwarding account to have a password associated with it for the purpose of sending email through our servers with SMTP Authentication. This password is optional for forwarding only accounts, and can be added when creating a new email account or through the View/Edit link in the Email Management tool in the Account Manager. As part of our Invoicing system, we are now offering PDF Invoices in the Account Manager. There is an Invoices link in the Account Manager under the General Information section. Only invoices after April 25, 2011 are available in PDF format. Full contact information for both the company and the customer are included in these new invoices. We hope that you find our new features useful and allow you to have even more power and control over your website hosting service. Let us know if you can think of any other changes or additional features that would be useful. ]]> Keep Your Website Safe And Secure tag:omnis.com,2014:http://www.omnis.com/blog/2011/06/23/keep-your-website-safe-and-secure 2011-06-23T14:44:40-07:00 You work hard to design, publish, and maintain your websites. The last thing you want to do is let someone else ruin all of your hard work. There are people out there who are looking for vulnerable websites that they can hack and then utilize to do their illegal activities. These people are called hackers, and we want to help protect you from them. There are many ways for a hacker to gain access to your website, but there are a few very common methods that can be prevented very easily. Hopefully, if you are resilient and always stay one step ahead of them, you will never have the unpleasant experience of having your website hacked by one of these unruly characters. The first, most common way to have your website hacked is by activating a virus on your own computer that you use to access your website through the Account Manager or through FTP. This can happen through a multitude of methods, but most commonly it is done through clicking a link in an email that launches a virus, or by visiting an infected website and clicking a link there that executes a virus on your computer. Once a virus is on your computer, you are usually sending all of your sensitive login information to a hacker through a Keylogger. The hacker then uses that login information to access your hosting account or ftp account to deface your website. The easiest way to defend from this type of attack is to always run a trusted anti-virus software on any computer you use to access your account. A good anti-virus software will alert you before you even click a virus, and if you do happen to download or launch a virus, it will be intercepted and removed promptly. You can also run regularly scheduled anti-virus scans of your full computer to make sure your computer is always clean and free from malicious software. If you think you may have been hacked, step one is to run an anti-virus scan on any computer you may have used to log into your account so that you can remove those pesky Keyloggers before you start changing your login information. You never want to change your login information until AFTER you have cleaned your computer of any malicious software, otherwise you are just sending your new password to the hacker when you change it. The second most common method of having your website hacked is through outdated scripts installed on your website. Most free, open-source scripts are updated regularly to fix security breeches. If you do not keep your installed versions up to date, you become an easy target for hackers. Many scripts have a built in update mechanism that you can use to check for updates, and then do an automatic upgrade once a new release is found. If you do not keep your scripts up to date, hackers may find your website and discover that you are using an old script that is accessible through injection. They will inject code into your script that grants them access to all of your websites on your hosting account, and then go to work on all of them. Again, you can prevent this by always keeping your installed scripts up to date using the latest versions of each script from the script developer website. So remember, in order to keep your website from getting hacked, always run a trusted anti-virus software on any computer you use to log into or manage your website hosting account or FTP account, and always keep your installed scripts up to date with the most recent, secure versions from the script developer website. HTML Editors - How Do You Code? tag:omnis.com,2014:http://www.omnis.com/blog/2011/06/16/html-editors---how-do-you-code? 2011-06-16T10:28:24-07:00 HTML Editor. There wasn't anything fancy, or productive, about Notepad, it was just a blank slate that allowed you to enter line after line of code. When you hit a snag, the process of tracking down your errors was a nightmare. Lucky for you, there is a plethora of constructive HTML editors for you to choose from when you are ready to start developing your website. There are two flavors of HTML Editors for you to choose from: HTML Text Editors and “What You See Is What You Get” (WYSIWYG) Editors. Depending on how comfortable you are with coding, you may find either type beneficial. The “What You See Is What You Get” HTML editors are very easy to use, and you simply place items on a page how you want them to show up on the website. The editor itself converts your creation into a coded file for you, so you never have to worry about the actual HTML code. WYSIWYG editors are very popular with novice web developers who have no previous coding experience. HTML Text Editors require that you know HTML code. You are given a blank slate to write your code on, but most of these editors have built in tracking to help you with your coding and identify errors or mistakes. HTML Text Editors also give you more control over your website if you have advanced HTML coding knowledge, since you can alter things at the root level to change how it will appear on the website. There really isn't a “correct” way of coding a website, so choose whichever editor you are comfortable with and go to town! There are many options for both flavors of editors for you to choose from, including many that must be purchased as well as some quality free options. There are even some options that include both the WYSIWYG and Text Editor options combined in one software package. One of the most popular and well known editors is Adobe Dreamweaver which is a very robust platform that includes both the WYSIWYG and Text Editor options built in. Dreamweaver includes a CSS panel which will apply different styles as you adjust screen dimensions, code hinting and design view rendering support, as well as advanced Jquery interactive code hinting. For Macintosh users, a very popular option is RapidWeaver which makes it ridiculously easy to create stunning website on your Mac. RapidWeaver allows you to simply choose the pages you need for your project, select a theme – customizing it using the included variations – and add your content. There is also a very passionate community of developers that collaborate on projects, addons, and themes. A very powerful and FREE HTML Text Editor is Komodo Edit which allows you to edit more than just HTML, it can be used to code with Perl, Python, PHP, and Javascript as well. There is a much more robust paid version Komodo IDE as well. Komodo Edit is a convenient project system with easy local and remote file browsing and friendly HTML and CSS autocomplete features. There are many more options for you to choose from, so do some research to determine which HTML Editor offers the best tools for your style of development and dive in! ]]> E3 Expo And Your New Gaming Website! tag:omnis.com,2014:http://www.omnis.com/blog/2011/06/09/e3-expo-and-your-new-gaming-website! 2011-06-09T13:37:13-07:00 E3 Electronic Entertainment Expo has provided quite a bit of information about the future of gaming this week. If you were lucky enough to attend, you may have even experienced some of that future yourself! For the rest of the world who could not attend, you are in luck...the internet can connect you to a plethora of information, experiences, and insider tips that even E3 visitors may have missed. One thing I found surprising was how many press passes were issued to people who really had nothing more than a fan site or blog site related to an upcoming game. I saw several interviews where an average Joe who did nothing more than collect information about an upcoming game and post that information along with his impressions on a simple website was interviewing a lead developer or writer for a major gaming company. It's pretty amazing to see how far we have come in the gaming world over time, and the internet is now an important factor in many gaming experiences. Most games now have some form of online connection, and some are completely online such as MMORPGs and the like. The internet is connecting people all around the world in video games that are slowly taking up more and more of our social time. Beyond the simple fact that online gaming is a strong trend, the websites related to gaming are quickly becoming some of the most visited URLs on the internet. Websites like ign.com and gamespot.com offer news, reviews, previews and more for all of the games you might be interested in. So what is stopping you from becoming the next big gaming website? Most of these sites really started out as a simple blog site discussing games. Any person who plays and reviews games, does some research and previews upcoming games, and collects newsworthy information and presents it in a well written blog entry, can suddenly find themselves interviewing the lead developer of their favorite video game at a gaming convention. If you have a passion for gaming, you need to start your own website and get to work on connecting your website to the gaming community. You can set your website up with a WordPress blog and do weekly write ups about what you are playing, what you wish you were playing, and what you won't be playing anymore. If you are publishing entertaining and relevant information, people will enjoy reading your articles. Next, you need to drive people to your website. Start working on your SEO (Search Engine Optimization) techniques so that when people do a google search for game reviews, your website will show up on the first page. Start joining other gaming communities and participating in the discussions there, always including your website in your signature. Once people identify that you really know what you are talking about, they will start visiting your website for more information. Once you have the traffic, you can start placing advertisements for high profile companies on your website to make more money! You can even become an official spokesperson for certain gaming companies if you are doing a fantastic job. The opportunities really are endless, so get your website set up and start writing about things you are passionate about...don't wait until tomorrow, do it today! ]]> Drupal: Beyond The Basics - Themes tag:omnis.com,2014:http://www.omnis.com/blog/2011/05/19/drupal:--beyond-the-basics---themes 2011-05-19T14:09:47-07:00 THEME. Drupal requires more advanced coding knowledge when it comes to customizing as opposed to the simple theme processes in other common scripts like WordPress and Joomla. If you are not comfortable with coding, you may find Drupal a bit intimidating, but really it just takes some practice and planning to get you on the right track. There are several options for customizing your Drupal site, ranging from simple to advanced. Once you have a theme, you will want to upload it to the server into your /sites/all/themes directory. From within the Drupal admin panel, you can see all of the themes you have uploaded to the server. You can enable or disable individual themes, and then set one of the themes as the default theme. Whichever theme is set as the default theme will be the one that is used when visitors view your website. If you are a beginner, you will want to find a completed theme that fits your needs and install it. You can find many themes through the Drupal Themes Site which allows you to search or browse the many themes that have been uploaded to their database by the community. You can also purchase professionally designed themes from developers if you wish to. Once you have uploaded a theme, you can then use the administration interface to modify some of the aspects like the colors, visible features, and other basic information. These changes do not require you to know any coding, you simply add, change, or remove things through the administration interface and refresh your page! For intermediate users, you may want to consider taking an existing theme and tweaking it to better fit your needs. If you have CSS design knowledge, you can edit the code of the existing CSS files so that they mold into the theme you really want. Uploading your new versions of the CSS files to replace the theme's CSS files will cause your new layout to be visible when your visitors view your website. If you want to claim a new theme as your own, you only need to change the .info file to reflect your own unique theme name. You can also make your own unique sub-theme of an existing theme. This only requires you to create a directory for your sub-theme and put a .info file in that directory which contains a line in it that points to the “parent” theme. If you are an advanced designer and wish to create your own theme, you can start from scratch and build an entire theme to your own specifications. You can create your own template files which contain HTML or PHP code that generates pages the way that you like. If you do choose to design your own theme, you should share your work by contributing it to the Drupal community so that people just starting out can utilize your theme in their own site. No matter how you do it, you will want to spend some time drawing out exactly how you want your website to look, and then look for themes that fulfill your needs. It is difficult with Drupal to start with a theme and then try to build your website around the theme. Once you have a master plan for your website, you will find basic themes that you can customize along the way to provide your website with all the glitz and attention it deserves! ]]> Introduction to Drupal - Powerful Content Management System tag:omnis.com,2014:http://www.omnis.com/blog/2011/05/11/introduction-to-drupal---powerful-content-management-system 2011-05-11T10:55:03-07:00 Drupal is one of the most advanced, feature rich Content Management Systems available today. Drupal is a free, open source software package that allows anyone to easily publish, manage and organize a wide variety of content on a website. You can use Drupal to build everything from personal blogs to enterprise applications. There are thousands of add-on modules and designs that let you build any site you can imagine. Drupal is very flexible and is constantly being improved by hundreds of thousands of passionate people from all over the world through the Drupal community network. By using Drupal, you can build internal or external-facing websites in a matter of hours, with no custom programming knowledge necessary. You can manage your content with an easy-to-use web interface. Drupal's flexibility handles countless content types including video, text, blog, podcasts, and polls with robust user management and menu handling. We have a convenient installer in the Account Manager that will allow you to install Drupal with just a few quick clicks. You can log into the Account Manager and click the Install Popular Scripts link under the Website Marketing and Design section, then click Install Packages to view all of the popular scripts that can be installed. Once you have read over the Package Description and you are ready to install Drupal, click the Install link to begin. You will want to read the installation information and the important notice on the next screen, and once you are done click the Continue button. On the Drupal Installation page, you will only need to fill out a few quick items relevant to your installation. In the Installation Directory field, you will enter the name of the directory you wish to install Drupal to. If you want to install it to the root of your website, you will leave the box blank. If you want to install it to a subdirectory, simply enter the directory name like /drupal and it will install it there. Next you will want to set your Admin Username to something you will remember, and note your admin password as well. Please keep this information safe and don't forget it, since it is unique to your installation. You will then want to provide the email address of your site administrator in the Admin Email field. Make sure that this email address is valid, since it will be used for any communications through your Drupal website. You will then need to read and agree to the Agreement and then click the Install button to begin the pre-configured installation of Drupal to your hosted website. Once your Drupal installation is complete, you can log in at the URL where you installed it to begin your design adventures! ]]> SEO - Search Engine Optimization and You! tag:omnis.com,2014:http://www.omnis.com/blog/2011/05/04/seo---search-engine-optimization-and-you! 2011-05-04T13:05:54-07:00 Search Engine Optimization, commonly referred to as SEO, is the art of optimizing your site to increase its rankings in common search engines like Google, Yahoo, or Bing. The higher your ranking in search engines, the more visitors you will receive to your web site. The art of Search Engine Optimization is very complex, and there are so many factors to consider in the process that we cannot list them all. Hopefully we can cover the basics to get you started with Search Engine Optimization, and you can build on it from there. The most important part of Search Engine Optimization is your content. You will want to make sure you always have fresh, unique content that is linkworthy on your web site if you wish to remain successful in the search engine world. In order to best optimize your web site, be prepared to update your site at least twice per week with new, unique content. Just because the content you posted is awesome, does not mean you can sit back and let that one post garner you rankings forever. The second key to Search Engine Optimization is choosing relevant keywords and building your posts around those crucial keywords. Be careful not to build your site around keywords that nobody searches. Think like a person who is interested in your topic, and do the research into the keywords that would be relevant to your topic. Don't limit yourself to just one word either, use keyword phrases that are descriptive to best capture visitors. One helpful tool for improving your Search Engine Optimization is creating a sitemap. A well organized sitemap gives the search engine spiders a way to quickly and more efficiently scan and index all of your content. We have a convenient tool in the Account Manager that will assist you with creating a Google Site Map. Once you log into the Account Manager, look under the Website Marketing and Design section for the Google Site Maps tool. A powerful tool used to enhance your Search Engine Optimization is building quality backlinks. The number of backlinks your web site has is one indication of the popularity or importance of your web site. Basically, a backlink is a link from a completely separate web site linking to your site. The more times your web site is linked to from an external web site, the more important your site is going to appear to search engines. You want to make sure you create quality backlinks, and avoid irrelevant backlinks or excessive backlinks in a short period of time which may cause a web site ranking penalty. Finally, you will want to submit your web site to popular search engines so it can be crawled and indexed. You will at least want to submit your site to Google, Yahoo, and Bing to get started, since these are the most popular search engines. It takes time for your site to be crawled and indexed, but once you get into the system, you will want to take a proactive approach to keeping your site moving up the search rankings. Write fresh content at least two times a week, and make sure that the content is unique in its nature, and your site will be crawled and indexed frequently, improving your position in the search engine rankings. There is much more to do in order to improve your Search Engine Optimization, but this is a good basic plan of attack. Make sure you do the research, follow the guidelines, and soon your web site will be rocketing up the search engine rankings! See you on the first page!!! ]]> What Is Your Blog About? tag:omnis.com,2014:http://www.omnis.com/blog/2011/04/14/what-is-your-blog-about? 2011-04-14T13:09:38-07:00 One of the most popular things to do in the hosting world is to create a blog. A blog can be a separate part of your web site, or it can be the main focus of your web site. Blogs are usually written and maintained by an individual with regular entries of commentary, descriptions of events, or other material such as pictures or videos. Many blogs are interactive, allowing visitors to leave comments and have discussions regarding the blogs and it is this interactivity that distinguishes them from other static web sites. There are two primary types of blogs; The Personal Blog and The Organizational Blog. A Personal Blog is a blog hosted by one or more individuals, which discusses any topic the blogger feels relevant. These types of blogs are generally one persons opinion or impression of the blog topic, and the discussion revolves around whichever topic the blogger feels inclined to discuss on that particular day. The Organizational Blog is a blog created and maintained by a business, team, club, or some other form of organization. Many businesses will create a blog to keep customers informed, or use it as a marketing tool to announce new and improved products. Teams and clubs will use a blog as a central location for announcements about upcoming events or matches, and discussions about previous activities. So you want to start a blog of your own, but what should you be blogging about? The sky really is the limit here, but there are some good ideas to follow in order to keep your blog interesting. One really important factor is to blog about something you are actually interested in. You will have problems if you try to jump on the bandwagon of some popular topic that you have no knowledge of or interest in. Say, for example, the Los Angeles Lakers basketball team was very popular all of the sudden. You knew there were a lot of people who were actively discussing the Lakers and looking for web sites to read more about the Lakers. If you knew nothing about the Lakers, or basketball for that matter, choosing to do a blog focused on the Lakers would be a really bad idea. You may be able to list some facts and stats about the Lakers, but people will generally ignore your blog once they see that you really don't have an interest in the Lakers and are simply regurgitating facts they can find elsewhere. But what if no one else is interested in what I am interested in? Who cares! Writing a blog is about self expression, and growing your ideas into something bigger and more exciting than just a daydream. Let's say, for example, you are an aspiring fashion designer...but your job is just dressing mannequins for a local department store. You could start a blog where you discussed your ideas for how you would improve fashion and go from there. Maybe you could take pictures of the mannequins as you put each article of clothing on, and then do a blog discussing how and why each piece works together. Or, you could dress the mannequins in your own unique way, showing off your flare and take a picture. Then dress the mannequin the way the store wants it dressed and take a picture. Then in your blog you can discuss what you did different and why you think your version of the fashion is better! Good blogs can consist of just text, full of great ideas and topics that people would love to discuss. Or they can include pictures, videos, or sound files. A picture really is worth a thousand words. This is true when it comes to all topics, from artwork to science, sports to fine dining, Hollywood to Holland. You may not realize it, but there is probably many blogs out there for things like quantum physics and I am sure they include plenty of lavish diagrams and equations. Blogs about cooking probably have wonderful photos of exquisite food creations. The options here are endless! So think deeply about what you are passionate about, and start your own blog! Even if only one person is reading it, you are still connecting with the world and sharing your passion! Joomla! Extension Management tag:omnis.com,2014:http://www.omnis.com/blog/2011/03/24/joomla!--extension-management 2011-03-24T14:16:35-07:00 Joomla installed on the server and your web site is up and running, it is time to get fancy! Joomla presents you with a blank canvas that you can then fill with whatever you want. Joomla Extensions allow you to add all the extra bells and whistles to your web site to really make it shine! Joomla has a built in Extension Manager that will allow you to install an extension with just a few clicks. Once you have found an extension that fits your web site needs, download the extension zip file to your computer. You will then log into the Joomla admin page and click the Extension Manager icon. On this page you can Install, Update, and Manage your extensions. Under the Upload Package File section, click the Browse button and find the extension zip file on your computer, select the file by clicking it and then click the Open button. You will then click the Upload and Install button in the Extension Manager. In just a few moments, your extension is uploaded and installed, and all necessary adjustments will be automatically made to the web site code and the related database. You will then open the the related extension admin page to manage the features of the installed extension. It really is that simple! So what extensions should you install? Well, the possibilities really are endless. You can search for extensions through the Joomla home page, or you can google search for specific extensions if you have a specific need. One of the most popular Joomla extensions is Community Builder. If you are looking to develop a social network site, this is the tool for you! Community Builder has many plugins available including Profile Gallery, Profile Blog, Profile Guestbook, Profile Wall, Facebook Connect, Twitter Connect, Paid Subscriptions Membership Management, Donations Management, Shop, Captcha and many more. You will definitely want to check it out if you have any interest in developing your own social media site. If you are looking to develop an e-Commerce web site, you will be interested in the popular Joomla extension VirtueMart. This is a complete e-Commerce shopping cart solution for Jooma, used by thousands of store owners. It can be run in Store Mode or Catalog Mode. With its powerful Administration Tool you can handle an unlimited number of Categories, Products, Orders, Discounts, Shopper Groups and Customers. There are over 7,000 extensions available through the Joomla web site, so head over and look for the ones that solve all of your problems. Your Joomla site will be fantastic once you add the professional, easy to use extensions designed to make your life simple. ]]> Joomla! Content Management System tag:omnis.com,2014:http://www.omnis.com/blog/2011/03/10/joomla!--content-management-system 2011-03-10T12:36:55-07:00 Joomla! Joomla is a free, open-source content management system (CMS) and application framework. Anyone can develop a robust, feature-rich web site using the Joomla script, even if you have no coding experience. Joomla is also one of the included features in our Install Popular Scripts tool in the Account Manager. This will allow you to install the Joomla script automatically configured for your hosting account, without having to do any of the coding or database creation. To install the the Joomla script, please log into the Account Manager, click on the Install Popular Scripts link, then click the Install Packages link next to your desired domain name. You will find Joomla under the CMS section. If you hover over the Package Description link, you can view a description of the Joomla script. You can also click the Joomla's home page link to visit the script developer web site. When you are ready to install Joomla, simply click the Install link. On the next page, you will want to make sure you read all information about the installation and then click the Continue button. You will now enter some basic information in regards to your Joomla installation. In the Installation Directory: field, you will enter the directory you want the Joomla script to be installed in. If you want Joomla to be installed to the root of your domain, you will leave the box blank. If you want the script to be installed to a sub-directory, you will simply enter the name of the directory you have already created on the server, and it will then install it to that sub-directory. Please note that the directory you are installing this script to must be empty, so make sure there are no files uploaded to the server in the specified directory. In the Admin Username: field, you will enter your desired admin username. You will want to make note of the Admin Password: assigned to your installation. Please make sure you write down and keep this username and password combination in a safe, secure place. You will also need to enter a valid email address in the Admin Email: field. This email address will be used for all admin contact features, so please make sure that you have access to this email address. Once you have all of these fields filled out completely, check the Agreement: box and click the Install button. The Joomla script is now queued for installation and your copy of Joomla will be installed shortly. Once the installation is complete, you will need to login as the Administrator to configure your web site. On the administration page, you can manage the layout, modules, extensions, settings, and content of your new, professional looking web site. Have fun with it! ]]> Secure Shell Access (SSH) Now Available tag:omnis.com,2014:http://www.omnis.com/blog/2011/03/04/secure-shell-access-(ssh)-now-available 2011-03-04T15:19:04-07:00 Secure Shell Access (SSH) is now available for all Linux hosting customers! Secure Shell is a network protocol that allows data to be exchanged using a secure channel between two networked devices. SSH was designed as a replacement for Telnet and other insecure remote shells, which send information, notably passwords, in plaintext, rendering them susceptible to packet analysis. The encryption used by SSH is intended to provide confidentiality and integrity of data over an unsecured network, such as the internet. Secure Shell access is for advanced users who wish to have command line access to their web hosting accounts to make changes directly on the server. To enable SSH, you need to log into the Account Manager and click on the Secure Shell tool under the Website Settings section. You can then enable, or disable, Shell Access as well as define the Shell Interpreter, then click Update to finish the process. Please note that once you have enabled SSH, your account access information will be listed in the Secure Shell section in the Account Manager. You must use those settings if you wish to use SSH to access your web hosting accounts. ]]> WordPress: Advanced Features - Plugins tag:omnis.com,2014:http://www.omnis.com/blog/2011/02/24/wordpress:--advanced-features---plugins 2011-02-24T16:48:40-07:00 Plugins to your WordPress blog will not only make it look and work better, but will also keep it safe and secure. Plugins can extend WordPress to do almost anything you can imagine. To install a plugin to your WordPress site, you will first download the plugin, usually as a .zip file, extract the plugin and upload the named folder into the /wp-content/plugins directory on the server. Every plugin that you upload to the server will then be available to enable or manage through the WordPress admin page. So what should you install? Well, there are thousands of plugins available in so many flavors and colors, so you should do some searches for features that you think might fit your blog best. You can find many of the best plugins through the WordPress Community Plugin Page. They have a built in search feature that will allow you to browse the over 13,000 plugins that have been uploaded to the WordPress community. There are definitely some very popular plugins that you will want to check out. The most popular of which is the All In One SEO Pack. This plugin will automatically optimize your WordPress blog for Search Engines (Search Engine Optimization). Beginners or advanced users will find it very powerful, since it works out-of-the-box, or you can fine-tune everything to your specific needs. And if generating traffic to your blog is important, you will also want to look into the Google XML Sitemaps plugin. This plugin will generate a special XML sitemap which will help search engines like Google, Bing, Yahoo and Ask.com to better index your blog. With such a sitemap, it's much easier for the crawlers to see the complete structure of your site and retrieve it more efficiently. The plugin supports all kinds of WordPress generated pages as well as custom URLs. Additionally it notifies all major search engines every time you create a post about the new content. Another popular plugin is Akismet. This plugin is awesome for stopping those pesky spammers who love to fill your blog comments with their own ruthless advertisements. Akismet checks your comments against the Akismet web service to see if they look like spam or not and lets you review the spam it catches under your blog's “Comments” admin screen. A simple but flexible contact form plugin is Contact Form 7. This plugin can manage multiple contact forms, plus you can customize the form and the mail contents flexibly with simple markup. The form supports Ajax-powered submitting, CAPTCHA, Akismet spam filtering and so much more. If you want to include an image gallery, a good plugin is NextGEN Gallery. This plugin is a fully integrated Image Gallery plugin with a slideshow option. You can add custom templates for the galleries to match your WordPress theme and other effects. There are so many fun and interesting plugins that you really want to check out if you are serious about having a well developed WordPress blog, so head over to the WordPress homepage and start searching for plugins that will enhance your blog now! ]]> WordPress: Beyond the Basics - Themes tag:omnis.com,2014:http://www.omnis.com/blog/2011/02/17/wordpress:--beyond-the-basics---themes 2011-02-17T13:56:50-07:00 THEME. A custom theme will completely change the layout, colors, and features of your blog...and you don't even need to know any code to do it. First, you need to find a theme that you like. You can either look for a theme that reflects your own personal style and culture, or you can use a theme that directly relates to your common topics discussed in your blog. If you had a blog that was specifically discussing cars, you might want to install a theme that had pictures of cars. If you were discussing an assortment of topics and wanted to have your blog reflect your personal love of cats, you could install a theme that had lots of pictures of cats! So, where do you find these themes? You can search the huge list of themes available through the WordPress homepage at The WordPress Themes Page. There are over 1,000 themes available there, so go do some keyword searches for something you find relevant and see what comes up. Or you could even browse through all of the 'Most Popular' themes to see if anything catches your eye. You can also use Google to search for WordPress themes using your specific keywords to find plenty of other resources that offer free or paid WordPress themes that may spark your interest. Once you have found that perfect WordPress theme, you will want to download it to your computer. Most of these themes can be downloaded as a .zip file, which you can then extract into a folder on your computer. You will then upload that extracted folder onto the server into the /themes sub-directory under your /wp-content directory wherever you installed WordPress. For example, if you installed WordPress to the root directory, you would want to upload your new theme folder into the /primary/www/wp-content/themes directory. If you installed WordPress into a directory named blog, you would upload the new theme folder into the /primary/www/blog/wp-content/themes directory. Make sure you upload the actual extracted folder into the /themes directory, not just the files inside the folder. This will give you a list of directories in the /themes directory with the names of each theme you have installed. Once you have your theme uploaded to the server, you will log into your WordPress admin page, click the Appearance section, then click the Themes link. You will now see the Current Theme at the top, as well as a list of Available Themes. Any theme you have uploaded correctly to the server should be listed under the Available Themes To enable your new theme, click the Activate link. Just like that, you have a whole new stylish blog...now go find that special theme that screams CHECK ME OUT! ]]> Introducing WordPress - The Basics tag:omnis.com,2014:http://www.omnis.com/blog/2011/02/10/introducing-wordpress---the-basics 2011-02-10T17:11:52-07:00 Wordpress. Wordpress is a simple web software script that allows you to create beautiful web sites and blogs. We have a simple to use script installer within the Account Manager for Wordpress. With just a few clicks, you can have a pre-configured blog uploaded to your site in minutes. Blogging is so much fun, and honestly you can blog about just about anything these days! People love to read and discuss so many different topics, so no matter what you want to blog about, someone will find your site and enjoy what you have to offer. You have the option to install Wordpress manually by downloading the files from the Wordpress site and uploading those files following their instructions. Or, the simple solution is to use our Install Popular Scripts tool in the Account Manager. Once you log into the Account Manager, click on the Install Popular Scripts link under the Website Marketing and Design section. You will then click the Install Packages link next to the domain you wish to install Wordpress to. You can view a brief description of the software by hovering your mouse over the Package Description link, or you can visit the Wordpress developer web site by clicking the Wordpress' Home Page link. To install Wordpress, simply click the Install link! Once you are inside the Wordpress installation page, please take the time to read the Wordpress information as well as the Notice section which explains some important information about using our installers. Once you are comfortable with your selection of Wordpress, click the Continue button. Inside the Wordpress Installation page, you only have to enter a few quick items. The first item you need to select is the location of your Wordpress blog, which will go in the Installation Directory field. If you want your Wordpress installation to go into the root of your domain, you will leave the field blank. If you want it to go to a separate directory, you will enter that directory in the field. For example, if you want the blog to show up at domain.com/blog, you will enter /blog in the field. Please note that the directory you are installing to must be empty, so make sure there are no files in that directory before you begin this process. You can enter a unique Admin Username, and make note of the temporary admin password assigned to your Wordpress installation. You will then enter the email address for the Admin Email, check the box for the Agreement and click the Install button. Your Wordpress installation is now queued for installation, and will be configured and uploaded in no time. The beauty of this is that you do not have to fool with creating and managing MySQL databases or any of the code...the installer does all of that for you! Now get to blogging everyone! ]]> Secure Your Domain Name For Life tag:omnis.com,2014:http://www.omnis.com/blog/2011/02/02/secure-your-domain-name-for-life 2011-02-02T13:48:49-07:00 Domain Name Auto Renew. Domain Name Auto Renew is an option that may be enabled directly through the Account Manager. It automatically renews the registration of a domain name within two weeks of expiration. Auto Renew ensures that domain names remain registered with the same ownership. Auto Renew effectively secures domain name registrations for as long as the option is enabled. Allowing a domain name to expire allows it to be registered by someone else. Why risk losing ownership of a domain name? To enable Auto Renew on one or more domain names, please follow these Three Simple Steps: 1.Log in to the Account Manager 2.Click the Auto Renew option in the Domain Name Management section. 3.Select the checkbox next to the domain names to configure for Auto Renew, or click the Check All box to Auto Renew all of the displayed domains. Choose the credit card that will be billed for the Domain Name renewal, and click Update. The selected domain name(s) will now automatically renew. To turn this feature off, follow the steps outlined above and simply remove the check next to the domain names to remove Auto-renewal and click Update. Don't lose that awesome domain name! Keep your domains under your ownership for life! ]]> PHP 5.3 Now Available tag:omnis.com,2014:http://www.omnis.com/blog/2011/01/27/php-5.3-now-available 2011-01-27T16:25:34-07:00
  • Support for namespaces
  • Late static binding
  • Lambda Functions and Closures
  • Syntax additions: NOWDOC, ternary short cut "?:" and jump label (limited goto), __callStatic()
  • Under the hood performance improvements
  • Optional garbage collection for cyclic references
  • More consistent float rounding
  • Deprecation notices are now handled via E_DEPRECATED (part of E_ALL) instead of the E_STRICT error level
  • New bundled extensions: ext/phar, ext/intl, ext/fileinfo, ext/sqlite3, ext/enchant
  • Over 140 bug fixes and improvements to PHP, in particular to: ext/openssl, ext/spl and ext/date
  • PHP 5.3 also drops several extensions and unifies the usage of internal APIs. Users should be aware of the following known backwards compatibility breaks:
    • Parameter parsing API unification will cause some functions to behave more or less strict when it comes to type juggling
    For more information about PHP please visit the PHP web site at http://www.php.net ]]>
    How do I create a website? Part 4 - Final (Series) tag:omnis.com,2014:http://www.omnis.com/blog/2010/09/30/how-do-i-create-a-website?-part-4---final-(series) 2010-09-30T13:57:40-07:00 One of the most common questions we receive is, "How do I create a website?" This blog series is a response to that question. It is intended to be a simple and easy guide that will walk you through the entire process from start to finish.

    Today we'll go over the final, most challenging step in creating a website:

    Promoting Your Website

    You may have the most content-rich website in your field of business, but no one will ever know about your website if it isn't promoted. The buzzword for website advertising and promotion is "search engine optimization", usually referenced as "SEO".

    SEO

    The internet is saturated with theories on how to improve your search engine ranking. Hundreds of companies base their entire business on providing untrained website owners with tools and tricks. The fact is that automated tools, often available for free, may provide the same results.

    Keywords

    Saturate your content with relevant keywords. For example, say that you have a website promoting a particular brand of fishing products. Create a significant number of pages that are not blatant advertising. Instead, fill those pages with useful tips, fishing stories, tackle guides, and etc. Make sure you create an entire page on every relevant keyword that people may use to find your products and services in a search engine. When someone performs a Google search for "best tackle for trout" your page covering that topic will show up. It's a free method of target advertising with immediate benefits.

    Do not fill pages on your website with a list of keywords. Search engines will be able to tell that you're attempting to subvert their search results. Search engines will actually rank you lower for those keywords.

    Site Indexing

    Submit your site to the major search engines for indexing. Indexing is a process where search engines navigate your website using programs that gauge your content relevance, quality, and popularity based on inbound links. Submitting your site to be indexed ensures that your site will show up in search results. It also ensures that your newest content will always be included in searches.

    HTML Tags

    Most web designers, developers, and Content Management Systems (CMS) will create title and alt tags for you in your website's code. These tags are keywords that tell search engines what each content area, link, or image contains. A search engine can't see an image of a fishing pole, but it can see a tag that identifies a picture as "fishing pole".

    Don't Duplicate Content

    The menu structure of your website actually has an effect on your website's SEO. Don't place the same page under multiple menu areas. Search engines will see these links as duplicated content.

    Don't attempt to increase your website's ranking by using the same content on multiple pages.

    Create Local Listings for Your Business

    All of the major search engines allow you to enter your business' information in a local database for free. For example, Google Places allows you to add your business to Google Maps results.

    Paid Advertising

    Paid advertising is generally less effective than free advertising. The only advantage of paid advertising is the ability to specify targeted keywords.

    Google Adwords

    Google Adwords is possibly the simplest advertising service that allows targeted keyword marketing. It's relatively inexpensive at low volumes, and is simple enough to use for even the most basic of website owners. Omnis Network offers $50 of free Google Adwords credit with each hosting account.

    Individual Website Advertising

    Advertising on a single website is generally a poor idea. Your audience is limited to the visitors of that website. However, there are exceptions: if there is a non-commercial informative website that discusses the same topic as your website it may be a worthwhile advertising venue.


    Conclusion

    SEO is not a mysterious art. Content will always be the determining factor in the long-term success of a website. Be sure to read the past posts in our blog series for tips on selecting a domain name, choosing the right software for your website, and writing content that effectively promotes your website.

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    How do I create a website? Part 3 (Series) tag:omnis.com,2014:http://www.omnis.com/blog/2010/09/16/how-do-i-create-a-website?-part-3-(series) 2010-09-16T12:50:45-07:00 One of the most common questions we receive is, "How do I create a website?" This blog series is a response to that question. It is intended to be a simple and easy guide that will walk you through the entire process from start to finish.

    Today we'll cover the third step in the process of creating a website:

    Adding Content to Your Website

    It may seem obvious, but the success of your website is determined first and foremost by the content you present. The quality of content, relevance to the topic of your website, and frequency of updates will all play a large part in the visibility of your site on the web.

    Here's a basic list of do's and don'ts that will guide you through the process of creating your website's copy.

    Do: Use Proper Spelling and Grammar

    Search engines send what are known as spiders to crawl your website. The content of your website is then added to the search engine search results. This process is known as indexing.

    Words that are misspelled will be indexed by the search engines. That means that visitors who search for the term with the proper spelling and grammer will NOT see your website! Google now displays search results with grammar and spelling correction. Google will display search results indexed with the proper spelling even if you search for the misspelled term. Bad spelling and grammer will cause your website to suffer tremendously in search rankings.

    Do: Make Every Page Relevant

    Search engines determine site rankings based on the relevance of content. Each one of the pages on your site should be relevant to the rest of your site. For example, a website for a car salesman will not be helped by a page discussing your favorite clothing line.

    Do: Link to Websites on Similar Topics

    NOT to be confused with the practice known as trading links. Link to websites that relate to your own website. For example, if your company has multiple divisions, link to each division from each other division. The content of each website should be relevant to each other website. Search engines will notice that your website(s) are a good source of information on a topic and will rank your website higher.

    Do: Update Content Frequently

    New content means that people will visit your site more frequently. It also means that your website will be crawled by search engines more often. Company blogs are an easy way to add new content. You should also update your main home page as often as is practical. New promotions, products, services, and etc. should all be mentioned on the home page with relevant links to the product pages.

    Do: Create a Newsletter

    A newsletter will generate regular traffic to your website. Some guidelines for a newsletter: make sure that you use a double opt-in registration method, and provide an easy opt-out option in each newsletter. Fill your newsletter with content that is informative about your website's area of content. Do not use a newsletter as a means to promote your products.

    For example, let's say your company sells gardening supplies in California. The best way to gain traffic would be to fill your newsletter with gardening tips, personal gardening stories, best methods for different seeds, and etc. Provide plenty of links to your website, but keep advertising to a minimum.

    Don't: Create a Large List of Keywords in the Content Area

    Adding a list of keywords to your content does not help your search engine optimization (SEO) ranking: it hurts it. Search engines will see this list as filler and will actually rank your website lower for the keywords you have listed.

    Don't Hide Text or Keywords

    Hidden text and keywords do not help your SEO ranking. Hidden text is considered subversive by all of the major search engines. Search engines will completely remove your ranking for the keywords that you have hidden on a page. This will cause your website to drop off the search results completely.

    Don't Trade Links, Buy Links, etc.

    Long-term search rankings are based on quality of content and relevance of linked information. Links from poor quality content does not help your website's visibility; it hurts your website's ranking!

    Paying for links is a great way to ensure that your website will rank poorly in the long term.

    Don't Use Cheap Tricks

    In general, cheap tricks that you read about will not help your SEO ranking in the long term. Google, Bing, Yahoo, and the other search engine giants penalize websites that use tricks to increase visibility. By resorting to a quick and easy method you are ensuring that your website's visibiltiy will not be sustainable.

    ]]>
    How do I create a website? Part 2 (Series) tag:omnis.com,2014:http://www.omnis.com/blog/2010/09/07/how-do-i-create-a-website?-part-2-(series) 2010-09-07T14:45:35-07:00 Determine the Best Software For Your Project Not all website creation software is built equally, and each software package brings a different feature set to the table. It's important to decide what software your website will be built on before you begin creating content. Follow this guide to determine what your options are so that you can make an informed decision. There are two basic types of website authoring software: desktop publishing suites, and content management systems. Desktop publishing suites are software packages that you physically download to your local computer. Content management systems are software packages that you install on your hosting account and access in a web browser.

    Desktop Publishing Suites

    Publishing a website via software that you install on your personal computer is the most traditional and simple method of creating a website. The advantage of this type of software is that you can design your website on your local computer before putting it live on the web. These software suites are generally easier to use, but the trade-off is that they are not good for complex tasks such as e-Commerce. Here are a few recommended software suites: Dreamweaver CS5: Adobe Dreamweaver CS5 is by far the most widely-used web authoring software on the market. It's a feature-rich suite that includes a WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) design aspect, direct access to the raw code, templates, and more. Dreamweaver is a great product for experienced web designers who wish to automate repetitive tasks. It is not recommended for inexperienced website publishers. KompoZer and Sea Monkey: KompoZer and SeaMonkey are two open source web authoring suites that are widely used in the open source community. I list them together because they are both developed from the same source, the original Mozilla Suite. Both are good options for experienced web designers, but I would not recommend either to inexperienced users. SoftPress Freeway: Mac OS X only. Freeway is a WYSIWYG web design program that is extremely easy to use. SoftPress offers a less expensive version for light users called Freeway Express. Freeway is a great option for users of any experience level. Realmac Software's RapidWeaver: Mac OS X only. RapidWeaver is a web authoring program that relies on theme templates. Web designers from around the world create templates for RapidWeaver. There are a number of plugins available from third party developers that allow you to extend the functionality far past what is included in the default installation. RapidWeaver's one of the easiest tools for new users. It literally allows you to plug your content in and publish a working website.

    Content Management Systems

    Content Management Systems, usually referred to as CMS's, are software packages that you install on your hosting account. These software suites run on your web host's server. The advantage of this is that you can update and manage your website anywhere in the world. The disadvantage is that you must have an internet connection to work on your website. CMS's are the best option for anyone publishing a complex website. I'll break the most popular content management systems down by category.

    Blogs

    WordPress: WordPress is by far the most popular CMS and blogging tool. It's popular for a good reason: WordPress is one of the most customizable content management systems in existence. It's also extremely easy to use. It's so widely-established that a number of large companies use it including CNN, Yahoo, Lafayette College, MTV, and Smashing Magazine. Movable Type: Movable Type is one of the most established CMS's on the market. It offers both an open source version that is absolutely free, and a commercial version backed by Six Apart, an established web design, development, and creation firm. Movable Type has a higher learning curve for new users, but it often produces more professional results than its competitors. Noted users of Movable Type include the Washington Post, National Geographic, multiple NBC websites, and multiple NPR websites. Movable Type is the darling CMS of the media industry.

    All-Inclusive CMS

    Joomla: Joomla is the most popular web authoring CMS on the market. It's open source, and free to download. It's possible to build a website that does just about anything with Joomla. Extensions allow you to create a highly complex website. The same Joomla installation can support a large professional website, a multi-user blog, an internal file sharing tool, a large eCommerce store, and etc. The learning curve is at the medium level for new users. I recommend WordPress over Joomla for most users, but power users will love Joomla. Drupal: Drupal is the techie CMS. It's a complex, do-everything content management system with a high learning curve. Drupal is used as the back-end for corporate websites, college websites, and other multi-user projects. I do not recommend Drupal for most users. It is the perfect choice for web developers who love to code their own modules. Textpattern: I'm listing Textpattern as a CMS, but it is most frequently used as a blogging platform. It's hard to categorize CMS's such as Textpattern because it is capable of so much. TextPattern is at the mid-way point between WordPress and Drupal in terms of difficulty of use. It requires some understanding of code to use, but not at the level of Drupal. I recommend TextPattern to web designers and developers.

    eCommerce

    Many of the content management systems I have already mentioned include provisions for eCommerce. However, for an Amazon.com-style website you should use dedicated eCommerce software. Zen Cart: Zen Cart is the open source world's answer to a shopping cart CMS. It's not pretty, but it contains just about every feature you'll find in commercial software. Zen Cart is widely used. I tend not to recommend Zen Cart because of its legacy code and unattractive GUI (graphic user interface). Magento eCommerce: Magento is the latest and greatest shopping cart CMS. It has become popular because of its extensive feature set, and impressive GUI. Magento allows you to create a website that looks and feels like a professional web store in the same style as Amazon.com, Buy.com, and the other big names. The only disadvantage is that it tends to be a resource hog which means your website may load slowly for visitors. Caching extensions are highly recommended to combat the speed issue. PrestaShop: PrestaShop is another up-and-coming shopping cart CMS. It's designed for smaller e-shops that don't require the feature clutter of Magento and etc. PrestaShop is well-regarded because it's fast, and the GUI is attractive.

    Summary

    There are a plethora of content management systems and desktop publishing suites available on the market. I've covered the basics in this post. Use a CMS if you're creating a website that's a decent size, requires multiple contributors, and/or has any sort of interactive component such as a blog or shopping cart. Use a desktop publishing suite if you're designing a website that is relatively simple, has less than 100 individual pages, and doesn't require any visitor interaction. ]]>
    How do I create a website? (Series) tag:omnis.com,2014:http://www.omnis.com/blog/2010/08/24/how-do-i-create-a-website?-(series) 2010-08-24T10:40:05-07:00 Choosing a Domain Name. A domain name is the virtual address of your company on the web. It should be short, easy to remember, and as simple as possible. Domain names are words that end in a TLD. TLD stands for top level domain. The most common TLDs are .com, .net, and .org. There are also ccTLDs: domain names created specifically for a country. For example, the United States has .us, Mexico has .mx, and the United Kingdom has .co.uk. The general rule when choosing a TLD is to always register the .com version first. There's a few reasons for this:
    1. The vast majority of web users will assume your website ends in .com.
    2. The TLD .com can represent a personal OR a corporate entity.
    3. .com domain names have historically ranked higher in Google searches.
    4. Most browsers will add a .com extension when a visitor types a word into the address bar.
    ccTLDs are typically the worst option, with some exceptions. There is nothing wrong with ccTLDs, but many web users are not aware that they exist. Choosing a ccTLD as your presence on the web may limit your traffic. The only ccTLD that I recommend at this time is for clients located in the United Kingdom. The .co.uk ccTLD has strong enough recognition to be a good choice.

    How long should my domain name be?

    Choose a domain name that is as short as possible. For example, we use both omnis.com and omnisnetwork.com. omnis.com is visited by more than 95% of our clients because it is short and easy to remember. Avoid stringing large words together. A general rule is that it is best to keep your domain name under twelve letters.

    Should I include a dash in my domain name?

    Many of our clients add a dash to their domain name because the name they want to register is already taken. For example, we could register omnis-network.com instead of omnisnetwork.com. My advise is to avoid this practice. It will not hurt your Google search ranking, but it WILL drive traffic to the domain name that does not have the dash. When most people hear "Omnis Network dot com" they will type in omnisnetwork.com, not omnis-network.com. By adding a dash you may be sending customers to your competitor!

    Should I include conjunctions in my domain name?

    A conjunction is a word that connects two related words in a sentence. For example, in the sentence, "Jack and Jill went up the hill", the word "and" would be the conjunction. My rule is to avoid adding these to your domain name. jackandjill.com is easy to read, but "and" is both a conjunction AND a Google operative word. When people search for your website by writing "jack and jill" they are telling Google that they want to find a website that contains those two words. The top search result may not have anything to do with your website! This is an example of how your website's domain name can directly affect the way Google ranks your website.

    Should I purchase a domain name from an auction?

    The short answer is "no". The long answer is "maybe, but be careful". Most domain name auction services are not reputable. Stick with big names such as Sedo. In general, I would advise that you create an original domain name rather than attempting to acquire a domain name from an auction.

    I have decided on a domain name. How do I order it?

    Order your domain name through an ICANN accredited registrar. ICANN is the organization that regulates domain names. ICANN accreditation means that the company has paid a fee to the ICANN organization and agreed to follow the ICANN guidelines. Omnis Network is an ICANN accredited registrar. We offer domain name registration for the most popular TLDs and ccTLDs.]]>
    Behind the Scenes tag:omnis.com,2014:http://www.omnis.com/blog/2010/07/15/behind-the-scenes 2010-07-15T12:40:40-07:00
  • A new website. We've been working on a new design for our website that will make be significantly easier to navigate. Live chat, phone support, and our Knowledge Base and FAQ areas will be available so that you receive support even faster.
  • Video tutorials. We've created video tutorials for our control panel. These tutorials are now available to clients who are logged in to the account manager. We'll make them public as soon as the new site is up and running.
  • Expanded business plans. Omnis Network has served over 400,000 accounts since we first opened shop in 1999. That's a lot of satisfied clients. We've hosted mission critical business websites around the globe. We'll soon be offering our maximum reliability, failsafe business web hosting in affordable packages.
  • Keep an eye on our blog, Twitter feed, and Facebook page for more updates.]]>
    Cloud Hosting tag:omnis.com,2014:http://www.omnis.com/blog/2010/06/11/cloud-hosting 2010-06-11T17:02:08-07:00
  • High traffic on a single website does not affect other sites on the cloud. The load is shared across the entire cloud.
  • There is no single point of failure. All client websites remain online if a server in the cloud goes offline.
  • Speed is increased due to low loads.
  • High security due to the distribution of services.
  • The bottom line is that uptime is phenomenal with the load-balanced cloud. Client websites load fast, data is securely stored and transferred, and reliability is top-notch.]]>
    We've got something in the works. tag:omnis.com,2014:http://www.omnis.com/blog/2010/06/10/we've-got-something-in-the-works. 2010-06-10T21:47:31-07:00 www.omnis.com/blog to stay in the loop. In the mean time, here's a reward for our blog followers: Become a follower of Omnis Network on Twitter and email sales@omnis.com with your Twitter username to receive a 50% discount on your first year of hosting with a new account. This offer will last until Friday, June 18th.]]> Domain Name Privacy Protection tag:omnis.com,2014:http://www.omnis.com/blog/2010/05/15/domain-name-privacy-protection 2010-05-15T18:25:37-07:00 Part of our security initiative at Omnis Network is to provide services that protect the privacy of our clients. Domain name whois privacy protection is perhaps the easiest and most effective privacy service to implement. The service is highly recommended for all domain name buyers. Here's how it works: For $0.99 a month Omnis agrees to act as an agent to act on your behalf. Your personal information, normally on display via a public whois database, is replaced with our contact information. You retain ownership of your domain name. What does this mean in practical terms? In normal circumstances, your contact information is displayed in a public database: Administrative Contact: John Smith 123 Example Street Example, State 12345 Phone: 1-310-555-1234 Fax: 1-310-555-1234 Email: you@example.com The Omnis Network whois privacy protection service replaces your contact information with that of a generic agent: Administrative Contact: Guarded Services 3655 Torrance Blvd Suite 230 Torrance, CA 90503, US Phone: 1-310-316-1688 Email: example.com@guardedwhois.com For $0.99 per month this is a bargain. Follow our blog to learn more about the steps Omnis Network has taken to increase security and protect your privacy. Email Services tag:omnis.com,2014:http://www.omnis.com/blog/2010/05/11/email-services 2010-05-11T14:22:13-07:00 sales@omnis.com.]]> Welcome! tag:omnis.com,2014:http://www.omnis.com/blog/2010/05/10/welcome! 2010-05-10T14:27:05-07:00 Hello everyone, My name is Christopher and I work in the marketing department here at Omnis. I've created this blog to give you a personal look at the inner workings of our company. Each week I'll answer questions, post news updates about the projects we're working on, and describe services we're rolling out. To kick things off I'd like to give you a basic overview of our company: Omnis Network has been in the web hosting business since 1999. Our hosting technology has changed significantly over the years, but we've always focused on providing reliable, scalable web hosting for both personal and business sites. We've grown from a small office to a company that hosts more than 200,000 personal and business accounts. All of our employees work out of our office in Torrance, California. None of our support is outsourced. The same employees that answer your support tickets are the guys that are here to answer your calls. Omnis Network uses the latest technology, known as cloud hosting, to host all websites. All of our hosted sites are on the Omnis Cloud. Cloud hosting ensures that a single server failure has no effect on client websites. The adoption of cloud hosting technology has resulted in a near-flawless uptime record for both websites and email. I hope that this has given you a basic overview of our company. If you have any questions or comments please feel free to email me at sales@omnis.com