The True Cost Of Quality Web Hosting

Quality Web Hosting

Quality Web Hosting dollar signWonder what a quality web hosting will actually cost you? You might be surprised to learn that it can be quite inexpensive. But no matter what you pay, if you're a business, you need a cheap hosting website.

No one turns to the Yellow Pages anymore to find a product or service in their area. Instead, they turn to the Internet. A Google search for Chinese food restaurants in your area turns up a neat little map complete with pushpins. Hover over those pushpins and you'll see the address and telephone number, allowing you to call ahead and make reservations or place an order for pickup. If your Chinese food restaurant doesn't have a web presence, you're truly missing out.

Quality Web Hosting: The Problem With Free And Dirt Cheap

Sure, you could go with a free web hosting provider, but it's probably not the best idea you've ever had. These types of web hosting providers do come with a price in the form of ads for their service placed on your website. You have no say in where they're placed or how they appear, and nine times out of ten, visitors to your site will be turned off by them.

It is possible to find a quality web hosting! Sure, there are some that offer little value for you, the webmaster, especially if you haven't the slightest clue about HTML. Though that $3 per month price tag sounds appealing, it comes with the added cost of your time and your sanity.

Quality Web Hosting and Cheap Web Hosting In One

If you spend just a little bit more, even $10 per month, you can find a great cheap hosting company. It's worth the extra money, and here's why:

  1. More bandwidth and disk space. You don't need to worry about your site being extremely slow from an increase in traffic, and you don't need to limit what you post to your site.
  2. Useful control panels and templates to help you design your site, even if you don't have the slightest clue how to write HTML. Often times, these cheap hosting providers offer a free shopping cart and checkout, blog, and more.
  3. Customer service that is available at any time, on any day, when you need them, not just Monday through Friday 9-5.
  4. Available and responsive tech support. Again, available at all hours at any time you need them. You'll need to do some research into response time, but it's worth it when you know that problems are dealt with as soon as possible rather than a day or two down the road.
  5. Uptime guarantees. Now, don't get carried away. You can't guarantee someone 100% uptime. Just not possible. 99.9% is good! Just research their practices in the event of something like power outage or hurricane. Are there generators? How long does downtime historically last for that company?
  6. Security is key. Is data encrypted? Are the servers located in locked, highly secure areas? Are they monitored 24-7? What about firewalls and anti-malware and anti-virus software?

A free hosting company just won't offer all of this and quality web hosting, and neither will a low-quality cheap hosting provider. At the end of the day, your website will bring added profits to your business. Isn't it worth it to spend a bit extra to ensure it's successful as quality web hosting?

Linux Malware: Should You Be Concerned?

Linux Malware:

Linux-Logo1 Linux MalwareIt seems the honeymoon period for Linux without malware might be coming to an end. If you thought avoiding Windows was a safe way to avoid malware for your cheap hosting site, you are mistaken.

The ‘Hand of Thief' Trojan recently discovered has brought Linux users back to reality just a bit, making them question just how safe they really are. So what do you need to know?

Linux Malware: Hand of Thief

“Given the recent Hand of Thief news in which RSA's Limor Kessem explains how a Linux malware kit is sold on Russian websites, I have been contemplating about Linux security again,” said Hans Kwint in a blog post on LXer bearing the title “Linux Malware: Should We Be Afraid?”

“Here's my question to you,” continued Kwint. “Are you afraid attackers [will] break into your Linux boxes? Do you scan for rootkits from time to time, and check md5-sums of executables against your ‘trusted list?' Do you consider one distro safer as another? What is your level of paranoia?”

Linux Malware: Bloggers Respond

And the Linux blogging community began responding to this post.

“Linux malware isn't new, but for one reason or another it never seems to spread far,” said Hyperlogos blogger Martin Espinoza. “Sure, users could be tricked into installing malware from repositories in Ubuntu, but that could happen on any distribution with meaningful package management.

“Linux at least has some generally working security features that help keep infection down,” he added.

Blogger Robert Pogson agrees: “I've been using GNU/Linux for more than a decade and never saw any malware on it while I have seen hundreds of infections on a single PC running that other OS. Malware does exist, but GNU/Linux has so many layers of defense that unless a repository distributes it, the malware may not even run on a GNU/Linux system.

“There are all kinds of checks against that happening unless someone sneaks it into the source code,” he continued. “With the open development process of FLOSS, that is very unlikely to happen.”

Linux Malware: To Worry, Or Not To Worry

Google+ Blogger Kevin O'Brien, in an interview with Linux Girl, points out that any device that runs code is susceptible to malware. Linux has just been lucky thus far, thanks to their security measures. “That is not a very powerful shield, so learning safe computing applies to us as well.”

Mike Stone, blogger at Linux Rants, reminds Linux users that absolutely no operating system, ever, is immune to a Trojan Horse. Even Linux, held high on a pedestal by its users. Stone says, “Who thinks that there's no reason to attack the operating system that runs the majority of the world's websites, a massive chunk of he Internet, over 90 percent of the supercomputers out there and now a vast majority of the smartphones sold in the world?

“The Stock Exchanges in New York, London, and Tokyo all run on Linux,” he said. “No reason to attack that? Please.”

Linux Malware: What You Need To Know

As long as you're cautious and keep security in the forefront, you should be fine. Because according to Slashdot blogger hairyfeet, no OS is safe.

“Hand of Thief is just the beginning, folks, because as more and more virus writers find out that Android bugs can often run on Linux and that ‘How to Write a Linux Virus in 5 Easy Steps' works, then more and more malware writers will simply make their wares cross-platform.” Hairyfeet wonders “whether the Linux community will ‘man up,' accept this is the case and take steps to minimize risks? Only time will tell, but it IS a legitimate threat.”

Do you rely on Linux for your cheap hosting site? How do you feel about this threat?

YouTube: Perfect Website Marketing Tool

Perfect Website Marketing Tool

Youtube Perfect Website Marketing ToolYou've explored numerous avenues to more effectively market your cheap hosting website. But have you considered making a video? Even if you aren't a pro videographer, you can make a valuable video designed to attract more traffic to your website!

Did you know that YouTube is the second largest search engine worldwide? That's right, people turn to YouTube for more than just the latest funny video circulating the Internet or parody videos. There are how-to videos, new product release videos, and loads more. So how can you put the power of YouTube to work for your cheap hosting website?

Before You Start

Planning is key to your campaign's success. You want to sit down and write out a script of sorts, as well as a clear plan and strategy to achieve the goal of your video. Don't just sit down and start filming: really take the time to think about what your customers will find valuable, and deliver it in a clear, easy-to-understand way that still holds their interest.

Perfect Website Marketing Tool: Components of Effective YouTube Video

1. Grab Their Attention : You want the title to be as effective as a catchy headline on a blog post. You want people to see that title and think, “I know exactly what this is about, and I am interested in taking a look to see what it is all about.” Furthermore, you want to cut to the chase and be as quick as humanly possible. Don't bother introducing yourself, people don't really care. Get right into the heart of the matter. You want your viewers to know what the video is going to deal with by six to eight seconds in. Don't make it like a commercial, viewers don't want this. They want valuable content and don't want to spend half a day watching your video to get to the good stuff. If you catch their attention right off the bat and deliver thorough yet concise content, you're successfully connecting with your customers.

2. Professional Effects : While you don't want to bore people with commercials, there are still ways to get your brand logo and information about new products in there. For example, you work for a company that manufactures tools for artists. You can start up a YouTube channel devoted to your brand that offers weekly shows that showcase a specific product you carry, like paintbrushes one week, acrylics the next. You can start each show with the same Intro Bumper, which is easy to create utilizing various software programs like Video scribe[dot]TV or Video Hive[dot]net. You turn a template into a commercial of sorts, one that you include standard in all of your videos. This helps become even more professional in the customers eyes, raising your legitimacy, and increasing viewers.

3. It's All About The Content! You need to get through this as quickly as possible since attention spans are short. Communicate to viewers why your video is important and what they can do after they've watched your video. Include tips and tricks, something entertaining, or instructions — whatever makes sense for the subject. The key is sticking to the topic! Discuss something exciting you plan to show them at the end, a new product coming out, or something special, a teaser of sorts. This will keep the viewer watching! The end should be what is called a “call to action.” There is something that they need to do, and you need to stress the importance of doing it, such as buying a new product while it is being offered for a discount. Don't forget to thank them for watching!

Don't forget to link up your YouTube channel on your blog, website, Facebook page, and Twitter account. Utilize keywords in the video's description for SEO. And above all, have fun with it!

Do you have a YouTube channel for your cheap hosting website?

List of U.S. Government Agencies Using the Cloud

U.S. Government Agencies Using the Cloud

U.S. Government Agencies Using the CloudThe U.S. Government has been making a lot of major cloud deals lately. Some of those deals reach into the millions, and it's clear that the US government trusts the cloud with sensitive data. It's also clear that the US government is trying to save money by switching to the cloud, though this has some people slightly concerned.

Cloud security is always on the back of everyone's mind. Still, plans to move to the cloud forge ahead, with some of the government's biggest departments making the switch.

Here's a rundown of all the government agencies (so far) that are moving to the cloud. U.S. Government Agencies Using the Cloud

1. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) : the CIA caused controversy when the agency chose Amazon as the major cloud host. The agency's $6 million contract is currently being bid on by both IBM and Amazon, after IBM protested the original Amazon deal stating that the bid should be open to other companies.

2. U.S. Interior Department : the interior department has created the Foundation Cloud Hosting program, which will apply cloud technology to database hosting services, web hosting services, virtual machine services, secure file transfer services, development and test environment hosting services, and SAP application hosting services.

3. Defense Information Systems Agency : most people have never heard of this department, but the defense agency is currently negotiating and considering commercial cloud options for both IT and IaaS. The department has millions to spend on the project, and we should be hearing something about this move by the end of September.

Why the Cloud Move?

If the US government can close down physical data centers and replace those centers with cloud hosting options, money can be saved (jobs will be lost, but money can be kept). Today's cloud hosting companies are also a lot more secure than they used to be, and new ways of keeping cloud data secure are popping up daily. So, the government is cashing in on an industry that's quickly moving forward.

Plus, it's hard to forget that the cloud is efficient and simple enough to use. Some departments can get rid of IT altogether and replace tech departments with full-service cloud hosts. Moves to the cloud might become something that's less unusual and more common in the near future.

Big Budgets Go Far

Even though most of the government organizations listed here have major cloud budgets, those dollars will do many different things. It's not just moving to the cloud that costs, it's a variety of things like tech support, and a variety of different projects within one agency. Still, knowing that most of the CIA's data will be cloud-bound makes some people nervous.

How do you feel about government agencies moving to the cloud? Does this make you feel secure, or would you rather see these agencies keep data physical?

If you are considering a cloud move, let us help you with any questions or concerns that you might have. Feel free to fill out the ‘ask an expert' form on this page for further details.

NASDAQ Shuts Down Due to Tech Error

NASDAQ Shuts Down

nasdaqThe NASDAQ exchange stopped for a moment on August 22nd. This caused brokers and investors to pause, panic, and wonder what happened. During the few minutes that the exchange was down, lots of difference speculations and thoughts flew across Twitter and other networks. When a stock exchange stops, people panic.

But, this was just a technical glitch. It wasn't an act of terrorism or any other major phenomenon, as Twitter folks might have assumed. It does bring up an interesting problem, though. You see, the images of men in suits strolling across stock exchange floors screaming numbers and throwing papers is nearly over. Today, computers rule the stock world.

What's Worse?

The NASDAQ (and other exchanges) switched from human hands to computer programs long ago. This seemed like a wise switch. Computers were more effective, efficient, and could sort and sift through numbers faster than a human with a calculator. But, computers also leave room for error, and those errors can be huge.

Even stock exchange systems have to be hosted, and that means that a stock exchange can come crashing down at any moment. Think back to the Facebook IPO a little while ago. Remember when the NASDAQ was fined $10 million for shutting down when Facebook went public? The Securities and Exchange Commission had this to say about the technical glitch:

“Exchanges have an obligation to ensure that their systems, processes, and contingency planning are robust and adequate to manage an IPO without disruption to the market.”

So, even if it's not by human error, exchanges have to make sure that servers are running and processes are up to date. If something goes wrong, the exchange has to pay a penalty (the Facebook penalty was the biggest one ever handed out, by the way). Even though the August 22nd shut down was momentary and didn't stop any trades from happening, really, it still happened.

NASDAQ Shuts Down: Making Sacrifices

While your website may not operate on the same level as the NASDAQ, it's still vital that you keep your systems running smoothly for the sake of your clients. If you own a cheap hosting company, this means making sure that all of your processes are in place too. You might not be fined millions by the Security and Exchange Commission, but you can be sued by your customers – keep that in mind.

The moral of this story is: if you think that your system might have an issue in the near future, fix it before everything goes awry. Otherwise, you could be looking at a hefty lawsuit. The NASDAQ shut down on the 22nd did not damage the market, though many people were in a panic when the exchange stopped working.

Questions? Comments? Want to know what your are responsible for if you run a hosting company? Ask away, or ask a question for an expert to answer.