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If You’re Thinking About Switching Your Web Hosting Company: Read This First

If You’re Thinking About Switching Your Web Hosting Company: Read This First

Business can be made or broken depending on the strength of their website, especially if they are an e-commerce site and so it’s essential that you make sure your website is hosted by professionals. Now, you may just have a WordPress site or be working with Go Daddy, but it’s always best to go with a dedicated hosting company that will respond to your needs. There are many smaller scale companies like bestwebhosting.co.uk, which are able to provide a better level of service than a much larger global enterprise. If you’re thinking about moving to a hosting company or switching companies, here are the things you will most definitely want to be looking for.

An Uptime Guarantee

Make sure that the company you are looking at can guarantee a high uptime percentage. If they can’t guarantee uptime, then your site risks crashing and not being accessible to paying customers, which is really not on and won’t help you buy that holiday home on the French Riviera. Many hosting companies – like bleach companies – can’t guarantee 100% uptime, for obvious reason, however many will state that you will have 99.99% of germs killed and uptime guaranteed.

Home Technical Support

Pretty much every company will have a form of technical support; however it’s not helpful when it’s a call centre in the middle of India, as you may not get the same level of customer service, or understanding that a technical support office in your home country will have. If you’re in the UK, make sure your company has a UK support line and the same for the US. Another crucial aspect of support lines is making sure they are open 24/7. Business has changed and many people will shop online at 3am and if there’s a problem with your site, you need to sort it or risk losing a customer.

Experience

This is mean, because I’m sure there are many great companies out there who are just starting out and need a break, but they aren’t the ones you want running your hosting, although they will likely be cheaper. Hosting sites takes experience, as a whole host of things can go wrong, and it takes an expert to find the cause of the issue and fix it before it becomes a catastrophic issue.

The Bonuses

Those three, for me, are the most important aspects of a web hosting company, however if they have some of the following, then that’s a big bonus.

30 Day Money Back Guarantee – Whether you’re buying a phone or a toaster, many companies offer a money back guarantee, and when you’re buying something ‘techy’ like web hosting, many people feel it shouldn’t be any different and so look out for this as you don’t want to be stuck with a hosting company you don’t like and won’t give you your money back.

Contracts – Another point about not being stuck with a company you don’t gel with. Some companies will get you to sign a contract and this is fairly normal behaviour, however it’s not always in the customers best interests, so look around for companies that don’t have contracts.

Business can be made or broken depending on the strength of their website, especially if they are an e-commerce site and so it’s essential that you make sure your website is hosted by professionals. Now, you may just have a WordPress site or be working with Go Daddy, but it’s always best to go with a dedicated hosting company that will respond to your needs. There are many smaller scale companies like bestwebhosting.co.uk, which are able to provide a better level of service than a much larger global enterprise. If you’re thinking about moving to a hosting company or switching companies, here are the things you will most definitely want to be looking for.

An Uptime Guarantee

Make sure that the company you are looking at can guarantee a high uptime percentage. If they can’t guarantee uptime, then your site risks crashing and not being accessible to paying customers, which is really not on and won’t help you buy that holiday home on the French Riviera. Many hosting companies – like bleach companies – can’t guarantee 100% uptime, for obvious reason, however many will state that you will have 99.99% of germs killed and uptime guaranteed.

Home Technical Support

Pretty much every company will have a form of technical support; however it’s not helpful when it’s a call centre in the middle of India, as you may not get the same level of customer service, or understanding that a technical support office in your home country will have. If you’re in the UK, make sure your company has a UK support line and the same for the US. Another crucial aspect of support lines is making sure they are open 24/7. Business has changed and many people will shop online at 3am and if there’s a problem with your site, you need to sort it or risk losing a customer.

Experience

This is mean, because I’m sure there are many great companies out there who are just starting out and need a break, but they aren’t the ones you want running your hosting, although they will likely be cheaper. Hosting sites takes experience, as a whole host of things can go wrong, and it takes an expert to find the cause of the issue and fix it before it becomes a catastrophic issue.

The Bonuses

Those three, for me, are the most important aspects of a web hosting company, however if they have some of the following, then that’s a big bonus.

30 Day Money Back Guarantee – Whether you’re buying a phone or a toaster, many companies offer a money back guarantee, and when you’re buying something ‘techy’ like web hosting, many people feel it shouldn’t be any different and so look out for this as you don’t want to be stuck with a hosting company you don’t like and won’t give you your money back.

Contracts – Another point about not being stuck with a company you don’t gel with. Some companies will get you to sign a contract and this is fairly normal behaviour, however it’s not always in the customers best interests, so look around for companies that don’t have contracts.

Code Igniter – Performance Comparison

PHP is a scripting language chocked with an extensive list of frameworks. PHP also allows the user to create their own exciting frameworks with added features and assuring better performance. In the past few years a lot of frameworks have evolved in this scripting language, but a few retained the heavy competition.

Code Igniter is a well-known framework in terms of performance and opted by most of the web development companies. It is a web based application framework which helps the users to develop their websites or web application within a short span of time rather than developing the application from the scratch. It will minimize the amount of code you need to build the application and improves the performance instead. This framework has different versions. Code igniter version 2 and the recent version 3, both were filled with rich features to build custom PHP applications hence it’s the choice of developers as well as web development companies.

This framework’s version 2 was released under the guardianship of Ellis lab and version 3 was released under the stewardship of BCIT (British Columbia institute of technology). When a current version is upgraded to the next level, users expect more added features.

Take a look at what has been upgraded in the recent version compared to the old version.

A user or developer will focus on the three major parts of a framework, its

  • Performance
  • Security
  • 3rd party integration.

Performance:

Performance is the utmost necessity in the present generation. If the framework is not performing well, developers automatically move on to the next framework.

A web development company’s goal is to make their website function well with quick search results. This is possible only if the code is optimised, this code has to fetch the records from database and deliver the exact search results.

While comparing performance in both the frameworks, version 2 had some performance issues, but certain improvements were accomplished in the framework version 3.

  • Count_all_results in query builder method is fixed, which don’t fail even when ORDER BY condition is used.
  • The library files have been improved by adding APC, Memcache library and it’s modified for few performance issues.
  • There are improvements made in database methods,The code csv_from_result () is optimised to get larger result sets and the command simple_query () is fixed for better database performance.

Security:

Security is a main concern in internet based applications, hence both developers and web development companies search for a secured framework and CMS to build their application.

Code igniter version 2 had security functions which protects it from different malware. Cross site scripting is a security vulnerability that is used by attackers. This framework used XSS filtering to protect the application from such issues. It had a bug with xss_clean () function which is not fixed by Elis lab, but the same bug was fixed in the next version code igniter 3 and it accomplished certain remarkable improvements in security.

  • Cross site scripting is avoided using the xss_clean()
  • Certain functions are added to avoid host header injections.
  • Functionality called CAPTCHA helper is added to use an operating system’s pseudorandom number generator.

3rd Party integration:

A website is complete only while bringing the third party integration with it. This may include calendar schedule, e-mail subscription or any of the social media accounts. These files may be in the format of XML, API or JSON.

This framework is flexible to add any number of third party integrations with 3rd party libraries. Both the versions support well, version 3 has some of the 3rd party libraries like Google earth, PEM and ICS calendar file. These functions make the website perform well.

Conclusion:

Code igniter is a good option in developing new and exciting web applications or web sites. Its performance sets a great expectation for web development companies to create well-functioning sites. Both the versions can be used in building an application, but the version 3 will benefit you better features and improved performance.



Source by Ceena Thomas

Why Hire a Web Design Agency for WordPress Sites?

As a professional it is important that you have a website that accurately describes either your business or yourself. With the help of a website design agency you can get a custom WordPress website that will set yourself apart from your competition. Your site will look clean, fresh, and it will be easy to navigate; even for people who don’t regularly use the internet. Plus, you won’t have to worry about dealing with the designing process yourself.

Taking Advantage of an Easy User Interface

One of the largest advantages that you’ll get when you work with WordPress experts is a website that is easy to use for all of your prospective customers. These professionals are aware of what your clients are looking for such as being able to read through information quickly, having effective photographs, and ensuring that the overall presentation of the site is effective. With an easy user interface, people who visit your website will be able to find the information that they want as quickly as possible.

Making Space for Content

The content that you put on your website is incredibly important as it gives prospective customers information about your offered products and services. When you hire a website design agency you’ll be able to make sure that you have enough space for relevant content. The designers that you work with will work with the space that they have in order to make sure that all of the content is spaced evenly and easy to read.

Getting Professional Design Experience

Above all, the best part of working with WordPress experts is that they can deliver professional content that you wouldn’t be able to create on your own. Most business owners don’t have the right amount of experience or enough time to design and manage their own sites, which is why they rely on the professionals. A custom WordPress website is something that will surely impress prospective customers and help you to improve your brand awareness.

Mastering WordPress

As one of the most popular programs that you can use for designing a website, WordPress is something that requires enough knowledge to use efficiently. There are a variety of plugins and other add-ons that you’d have to learn about without using a website design agency. Instead of focusing just on the designing aspect of the site and making sure that your content is visible, these professionals know the technical aspects of working with WordPress.



Source by Mike W Evans

Web Hosting – Basic Introduction to WordPress

WordPress is a CMS (Content Management System) for web hosting, that was initially designed as a blogging platform. Today WordPress can be deployed for a variety of different websites. WordPress is used for blogs, business sites, photography sites and more. Companies that use WordPress range from small businesses to large corporations.

There are two versions of WordPress, the hosted and the self-hosted version. In this case, we are referring to self-hosted WordPress sites. These sites reside on your host’s server, and not with WordPress.org. The main advantages of WordPress are that it is open source, and if you can dream it, someone probably already coded a plugin for it. There are almost no limits, to the functionality of a WordPress site.

In addition, there are no shortages of free and paid for templates. There is something for every taste or need. Some of the higher end templates are very complex and are beautifully designed. Free designs and plugins can be downloaded directly through WordPress. There are marketplaces for paid WordPress templates and plugins.

WordPress is known to be stable and reliable. It is also secure. Additional security plugins can be downloaded and installed. WordPress shines with its user-friendly backend. Editing and adding content is a breeze. Content can be pre-written and scheduled for later releases – A great way to prepare posts, and release them while gone.

WordPress is easy to learn. There are lots of books, tutorials and videos available. Many resources are free. In addition, there are many forums where a user can find answers, to almost any technical issue that can arise.

User settings allow the administrator to set different levels of permissions for users, which is especially handy for larger companies or websites. It is easy to find help and support for WordPress sites. It is probably the most used Content Management System out there.

Setting up Web Hosting with WordPress is no issue, most if not all hosting companies support WordPress. Most Web Hosts offer a simplified installation process in their backend. WordPress offers the user the option to manage multiple sites with multiple domains. This is a great alternative to multi-site hosting.

Search Engines love WordPress sites. There are many SEO (Search Engine Optimization) plugins available to improve the site’s search engine results.

A great feature that is often overlooked is that design templates can be changed. This gives the site owner the chance to update the sites looks down the road, without touching the existing content.

WordPress is definitely the top choice if it comes to content management systems for website hosting.



Source by Maxx Modack

WordPress – The Pros and Cons of Hosting Your Website on the WordPress Website

When starting out with your online business you probably want to set it up as cheaply as possible, and this includes the setting up of your website too. WordPress is often the platform of choice for those just starting out online, without the budget to hire someone to create a website for them, it offers the cheapest and most versatile option.

Setting up your first website in WordPress is a great idea for so many reasons. If you are unsure about which business you want to go into, setting up a WordPress site, whether it’s hosted or self-hosted, is a cheap way of making a mistake if you decide to change your mind and do something else, so there is little or no risk. You can get some WordPress experience through trial and error for very little cost that you can take with you to your next website or just perfect the website you already have.

For those with a very limited budget is can seem that hosting your website at WordPress.com is the best option, as there is no cash outlay, no real technical skills are required and being hosted on the WordPress site you would presume it would be very secure so no likelihood of anyone hacking into your website. However, there are some limitations with this method and to understand what they are you need to look further down the life of both your business and your website.

Although there are hundreds of free and paid WordPress templates available, you may want more flexibility on how that template looks. You may want to change the color scheme or change an image and customize the WordPress template more to your liking and for this you need access to the templates CSS (cascading style sheets) files. This is a paid upgrade option for those websites hosted at WordPress.com.

Many WordPress templates will come with a variety of options so that you can edit the template very easily from your WordPress dashboard. Just look out for these within the “add new template” option on your dashboard. To edit an image or a header and that option doesn’t appear in within the template dashboard, you need access to the images located in the hosting file, which you do not have access to. So just be aware of this.

Another thing you need to take into consideration is both your technical knowledge as well as the software you have available to actually edit your images. If you don’t have technical knowledge nor editing software then you should look for templates that you won’t want to edit in any way. This goes for self hosted WordPress websites too.

Also, if you want to offer free reports or audios to the visitors of your website, you will be unable to upload them to your WordPress site as you don’t have hosting access. Depending on how you see your website developing this may or may not affect your decision on choosing a WordPress hosted website or not.

If you want to just get used to WordPress and try different things out then by all means register your chosen website at WordPress.com. Please note that your URL, or web address, will be a subdomain of WordPress, for example mychosensite.wordpress.com and it doesn’t really give a professional image to your business, however it will make you more confident using your WordPress website. You can always buy a domain and forward it to your WordPress.com website if you decide to keep this as your main website.



Source by Lesley J Johnston

Creating a Data-Driven Web Site (Almost) Automatically

If you have a database of some type and need to create ASP.NET web pages to allow users to list, add, edit or delete records from that database, you have a couple of choices. One way is to design and code all the pages yourself (making use of any existing routines you may have). That can be very involved — not only do you have to create the user interface, you also have to figure out the best way to access the database, provide for user authentication, web site security, reporting, data import and export — a whole list of necessary features. In many cases there may be an easier way — an ASP.NET code generator.

There are various code generators available, ranging from simple template types to very sophisticated programs like IronSpeed Designer. Some of these generators offer only minimal help and some are excellent products, but come with a high price tag. I’ve tried several different ones and finally decided on ASP.NET Maker (www.hkvstore.com). It’s reasonably priced at $200 and includes free download of any minor upgrades for 12 months. It works with Microsoft Access, Microsoft SQL Server, MySQL, Oracle or any other database that supports ODBC or ADO connectivity, and just by selecting various options on screen you can generate a full set of web pages to list, add, edit, delete, or search for database records. You can also set up a user registration system, advanced security features, file uploading, simple reports and exporting of data to csv, Excel or Word files.

Need some extra functionality? You can do that too. ASP.NET Maker gives you the option to enter your own custom code (in either VB.NET or C#) for various pre-defined server events (such as “Page_Loading” or “Row_Deleting”). Your code can be stored as part of the.aspx web page or you can select to use a separate “code behind” file. You can also enter Javascript to handle client-side processing like custom form validation. All your custom code is saved as part of the project you’re working on and is automatically included each time you make changes to the project and re-generate your web page(s).

I should mention that ASP.NET Maker uses HTML controls, not asp.net web controls. If you want to use custom code for something other than the server events provided for in ASP.NET Maker, you have a couple of options. There is a switch in the master template file that controls ASP.NET Maker which can be set to add “runat server” to each HTML control; that will allow you to catch certain information on postback. If you’re using a code-behind file and are used to working with regular asp.net controls, you can also add your own form statement. Just insert something like before the statement generated by ASP.NET Maker. Then code your asp.net control(s) inside “form1” and end with a . Once you’ve done that you can manipulate your asp.net controls and the information from those controls in the code-behind page. The only problem is that you’ll need to save your pages that have this kind of customized code and copy them back into your project each time after you re-generate your web pages (to over-write the standard pages ASP.NET Maker creates).

The heart of ASP.NET Maker is the set of screens where you enter the information the system uses to create your web pages:

Data Source Setup:

You use this screen to enter information such as your database type, server name, port (if not the default), user id, password, database name and connection string.

ASP.NET Settings:

This screen lets you set the default date format and whether or not you want to use caching. You can also set various options for file uploading, creation of audit trails, and for form validation processing.

HTML Settings:

This screen lets you enter a title for your website, the character set, font and text size you want to use as a default, a site logo (if you have one), and footer text (if any). There are also tabs which allow you to edit the default theme for your site and the default CSS styles (although I’ve always used the default settings and they seem to work pretty well for our users).

Security Settings:

You can enter a hard-coded administrator ID and password on this screen and you can also set up optional User ID and User Level Advanced Security to protect your data from unauthorized access.

Menu Editor:

The menu editor allows you to modify the default menu that ASP.NET Maker generates for your web site. You can add, edit or delete menu items, move them up or down, hide certain items – even add menu options that redirect to non-ASP.NET Maker pages.

Table Setup:

This is the most complex part of your project setup. The upper section of this page is a grid showing the available options for each table in your database. The lower section of the page contains table-specific options and master/detail setup information for whichever table is currently selected. You can select which tables you want to generate web pages for, what caption you want to display for each field in the table, whether of not you want to apply a filter to the records in the table, how you want the records sorted, and a variety of other items such as whether you want to enable inline add, edit and copy, whether you want to use CAPTCHA on the add page to prevent automated posting, and whether you want to allow updating of multiple records at the same time.

Generate Settings:

This is where you specify the location of your source files and the destination folder for the generated asp.net files. You can also select to automatically browse your web pages once they have been created since ASP.NET Maker uses a copy of the freeware Cassini web server to run asp.net pages.

ASP.NET Maker also comes with a fairly comprehensive help file which covers how to create your project step by step. In addition, the help file includes brief tutorials on master/detail files, file uploading, user registration, advanced security options, custom views, and creating simple reports.

I’ve actually used ASP.NET Maker to generate the majority of the code for a human resources package and for a time clock system. It won’t do all the work for you, but if you’re looking for a quick way to develop a data driven web site with minimal hand coding, ASP.NET Maker may be worth looking into. It has limitations, but it does pretty much what it claims to do and it seems very stable — thanks no doubt to the sizable number of people who use it and have beaten most of the bugs out of it.

I’ve covered the main points in this article, but it’s basically just a quick overview of the product. If you’re interested getting a little more in-depth look at ASP.NET Maker, you can download a trial version at http://www.hkvstore.com.



Source by Paul Love

Ways You Can Make Money From Niche Marketing

Niche marketing is a term you will often come across mentioned on online chat rooms and forums in connection with ways to make money online. Basically, niche marketing refers to a segment of a market where there are opportunities to sell to people with specific interests and needs. A niche in the market can be a relatively untapped and moneymaking resource because there are more purchasers than sellers or, in other words, fewer competitors for your business. The following text is about how to build a profitable niche marketing business.

The initial step in identifying niches you can turn a profit from is to perform some market research and there are web sites on the Internet that make this relatively easy. By going to the ClickBank and Amazon web sites, for example, you’ll quickly realize that there are a wide variety of possible niches you can research. They have made this simpler in the way that they have many different categories and you can also oftentimes see what is selling well. You will want to note down several of these products so that you can refer to them when you would like to go on to the next phase of your research.

Once you have several prospective markets to investigate, you need to start to do some keyword research to find out if there are niches you can compete in and that have the potential to generate you some money. Tools to help you perform keyword research are numerous, some free and some you pay for, but the free Google keyword tool is just fine when starting out. The chief aim in keyword research is to begin with broad category words and progressively drill down into longer key phrases that still have a reasonable search volume. Oftentimes these ‘long-tailed’ keywords will have less competition and are the ones you should be aiming for in your niche market.

The way to check on the amount of competition for your selected keyword phrases is to type the word within quotation marks into the Google search bar and hit enter. You will then see the number of search results returned for that term and this is also the number of web sites you will be competing against. Evidently, you don’t want too much competition for any of your keyword phrases. Some of these longer key phrases will be the names and model numbers of certain products which are search terms used by people who are about to buy rather than those merely searching for information.

The important initial step of market research is done and now you can make a blueprint for your new site based on the keywords you have selected. A quick and direct way to create a niche site is by using the WordPress blogging platform for which there are many no-cost templates and plug-ins. If available, you should pay for a domain name that contains one of your keywords or phrases which will help to get your site rank high up in the search engines. Don’t use brand names because this may lead to issues later on.

After you have optimized your website and start to see traffic numbers go up, you can then brainstorm about ways to earn money off your visitors either for a steady income or with a view of selling the web site on later.



Source by Stevie Vigus

How to Build a Business Online – From Scratch

Selling an online business service may require less capital than a company selling a physical product. Which is ideal if you have a low budget to start your online business.

All successful products and services are designed to solve a problem for a customer.

Start your business by identifying a customer problem and solve that problem with a product or service.

  1. Know who your customer is: How does your customer shop? is it online, is it by credit card, do they purchase related products? Be able to track your customers buying habits to find a history of what they have purchased enabling you to target them with related products. – Do a customer survey. Are they mostly women, what age are they, how much are they willing to pay for your product? This will help you focus and pinpoint with more accuracy where to advertise and who to. – Develop a Marketing strategy with your ideal customer in mind. Find out if they are on Facebook, YouTube or reading a magazine, then target these with your advertising campaign.
  2. Solving a customer’s problem: People buy when they have a problem, it’s usually urgent so be quick and efficient at fulfilling their needs. – Ask your existing clients what their major problems are and see if you can provide a solution. – Know your Industry or niche, look at your competitors, what are they offering that you don’t.

Once you have this knowledge you can design your online business. Create an engaging website that is easy to navigate. Post good content that keeps viewers coming back to your site. As customers use your products and get the results they want they may buy from you again.

Loyal customers will recommend your products. Generating referrals are the fastest way to grow your sales and will naturally create Brand Loyalty.

Getting Your Product Online

It is critical that you have an engaging, simple to use website. WordPress is by far the easiest I have found (being non-techy) and is used by over 20% of all sites on the Internet. Your goal is to provide value, information and an easy way to buy your product.

1. Advertise & Marketing: Get yourself on Facebook. There are 1 billion people on Facebook every day..it’s mind blowing. Someone somewhere needs your product, but before you self-combust and declare that you don’t know how… remember we all have to start somewhere and If you are serious about being Online then get on Facebook. Enroll on an Internet course, Do your research as there are hundreds of courses out there to choose from. Please make sure they teach you how to use business.Facebook.com.

Market your site on all the Social Media platforms that your customers are on IE Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest to name a few.

2. Be consistent: Post regularly and keep your information up to date, you could offer a discount or a free download. Set yourself a time limit every day to market your product. Use e.ggtimer this is a fantastic tool enabling you not to lose track of time, it rings a bell every 25 minutes so you can stop and move onto something else.

3. Get Help – If like me you have limited savings and couldn’t afford to pay for help use online tutorials from YouTube. Google and YouTube anything and everything you need to know But be careful. I found that some YouTube videos are out of date especially when trying to keep up with the changes that some companies IE Facebook make (it feels like every 5 minutes) It is incredibly frustrating when you try and compare what’s on your screen to what you are looking at on the YouTube video.

4. Provide an opt-in button: Make it easy for your customers to opt-in to your emails or subscribe to your site. If a viewer subscribes to your site then they are more likely to buy from you.

5. Track: It’s important to know who is buying your product and what they are buying. Analysis your website traffic, the number of opt-ins and percentage of viewers you who convert to customers.



Source by Louise Hunt