10 Benefits of Cloud Hosting For Manufacturers

10 Benefits of Cloud Hosting For Manufacturers

Industries all over are learning about the benefits of cloud hosting, and watching as profits rise and IT costs fall. There is one industry where cloud hosting is making a big impact: manufacturing.   1416399_blue_and_cloudy_skies_1 10 Benefits of Cloud Hosting For Manufacturers

The top manufacturers see why cloud computing is such a benefit to their business. They are trying to streamline the process for everyone along the supply chain, becoming easier to work with, and see cloud-based manufacturing applications such as Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), and many have embraced cloud-based applications company-wide.

Top 10 Cloud Hosting Providers

Why Cloud Computing? 10 Benefits of Cloud Hosting For Manufacturers

If you are a manufacturer, you must strive to bring a high level of accuracy to your operations. Interaction with services, distributors, and suppliers should be quick and easy, but still bring the most amount of information as possible available to everyone. Forbes' reporter Louis Columbus talked to manufacturers in the industrial, high tech, and aerospace and defense industries to figure out why cloud computing is vital to their day-to-day operations.

Here's what he found out:

  • Cloud-based platforms make it easier to conduct configure-to-order, build-to-order, and engineer-to-order business. In other words, this platform allows the manufacturer to more easily access information pertaining to that specific custom order, minimizing the chances the order will be incorrect, thereby minimizing the chance time and money are wasted.
  • Supplier-specific portals and platforms for collaboration are available instantly, making it easier to place orders without downloading and incessant updating of software. You can find out where that order is in real-time, and see other vital information exactly when you want to. In services are “it” right now for cloud integration. This can be iPhone integration, voice-activated controls like OnStar in your car, and other services. The more services you can bundle, the better. It's shaping the way manufacturers are strategizing their latest products and services, and breathing new life into an old product is as easy as adding cloud-based in services.
  • Cloud platforms used in manufacturing, especially high-tech, aids the collaboration process during product development and accelerates the time-to-market goal. It's easier than ever to keep track of indirect and direct sales using a cloud platform that tracks sales results, comparing them against individual, group, and division quotas. A simple dashboard interface displays all pertinent sales information regarding each and every rep and the profits brought in by sales managers. Marketing in the cloud using automated applications that not only allow the planning of the next marketing campaign, but the execution and tracking of sales data as well.
  • The cloud aids manufacturers when automating support, customer service, and order status inquiries online. Columbus notes that not all manufacturing industries are on board yet, but those in the high tech industry use the cloud for automated self-service the most. More and more, there is a reliance on two-tier ERP strategies in order to become more efficient when material planning, managing suppliers, and lowering the cost of logistics. Microsoft, Acumatica, NetSuite, and Plex Systems lead the way in ERP systems.
  • Cloud-based Human Resource Management (HRM) systems allow headquarters to easily access information that is kept globally, making it easier to do payroll, hire, keep track of time, and manage the workforce. Cloud-based applications can help manufacturers streamline processes and tasks, giving them more time to focus on developing new products and save money needed to invest in these new ideas.

Can you envision cloud hosting helping your business?

Creating Fresh Blog Content

Fresh Blog Content

A blog is a funny thing. Most websites need to have a blog in order to stay current with readers. Setting up a blog is one of the first things that most people do right after signing up with a cheap website host too. The problem with most blogs, though, is the content.  fresh blog content

When content becomes stale, there's little you can do to breathe life into it. Trying to invent new and interesting topics daily is a tough chore. Unfortunately, neglecting to fill your blog with inventive content is a lot like putting a nail in that proverbial coffin: it's not a good idea. So, what then? How do you make sure your blog stays fresh?

Fresh Blog Content: Here are some ways to keep your readers entertained.

1. Make it personal. Lately, I've been getting a lot of these requests from clients: “make this really personal, a blog is better if the writer is engaged!” Those clients aren't wrong. A blog should be personal – with a business angle. Don't lose sight of what you believe in, but keep in mind that your blog has a purpose.

2. News! Nothing sells better than news. If there's something happening in your business world, blog about it! No idea what's happening? You probably should find another occupation. Seriously. You have to be involved in your business from all angles. Read news, all the news, all the time – and let people know what you think about current events.

3. Get real. Sure, your website exists to make sure that your business thrives (otherwise, what are you paying that cheap hosting provider for?). But, that doesn't mean that your readers want to read about your business all the time. Got cultural anecdotes? Recent interesting stories? Ideas that you have thought about? Write about those things.

Fresh Blog Content: Mixing It Up

Fresh blog content isn't just about what's happening with your business. There are only so many press releases that a person can read! Try to make your blog about you and your business. You'd be surprised at how much people want to know about the person behind the blog. Let people know who you really are. Even if they're not commenting, they're reading (right?).

The trick is to put it all into a giant bag and mix it up (just like Shake ‘N Bake). Add some of you, some news, and some business topics. This is the winning blog formula. Got blogging questions? Ask me!

Starting a Hosting Company: Important Advice

Starting a Hosting Company

You have a buddy that knows his way around the hosting and IT world. You have a few tricks of your own too. But, do these two things combine well enough for you to start your own web hosting company? It may all sound like easy money at first, but you have some pretty tough competition. Amazon, GoDaddy, and Google are all in the hosting game. So are thousands upon thousands of smaller companies all looking to do the same thing.  starting a hosting company

How can you succeed? What will set your company apart? Here are seven essential steps to starting your own hosting company that you must (must!) read through before you rent out office space or starting looking for contracts.

1. Set up your hosting plans. Your clients will want options. Lots and lots of awesome options. If you don't have some great plans, you won't get any clients. Go with three to five plans to begin with, and move down or up from there. If you have too many plans, people will get confused. If you have too few plans, well, people will move on.

2. Create a solid website. Would you choose a cheap hosting provider that has a really bad website? Probably not. So, why should anyone seeking a new host sign up for one of your packages if your site looks like it was designed by a toddler?

3. Make sure your site is secure. No security certificate? No way to prove that your site isn't a total rip-off? Better get that part of your business plan in order, pronto.

4. Find a reliable reseller hosting provider. If you don't have one, you won't succeed. It's really that simple. You'll want a reseller hosting company that has experience, customer service, and a rock hard reputation.

5. Understand the costs. Every business has a startup cost. What are the costs associated with starting a hosting company? Around $2,000 – to start. However, there are lots of ongoing (monthly) costs to consider too. You also have to pay employees. Going to ask people to work for free? Good luck!

6. Know your limits. It's beyond idiotic to think that your company can handle “the whole nine yards.” You can't combine every possible service on the planet into one messy hosting company offering. Find a few things that you're good at, and stick to those few things.

7. Be realistic. It takes months to build any kind of company. You aren't going to make money overnight. Heck, you might not even turn a profit in a year. Hosting is one of the most saturated markets out there. That means that you'll be lucky to see any kind of a profit anytime soon.

Starting a Hosting Company: If this is the business that you really want to be in. I have two suggestions for you.

  1. Read this blog every single day. We offer unbiased advice, reviews, and a way for you to get in contact with an expert at any time.
  2. Realize that you will have to work a lot of hours. Hosting companies don't just develop over night. Spend the time, work it all out, and follow the tips listed above.

Otherwise, your site will go the way of so many hosting companies before it – to the Internet graveyard.

7 Ways To Improve Your WordPress Site’s Performance

Improve Your WordPress Site's Performance

If you frequent the Ananova blog, you know WordPress is the most popular CMS. It is simple to use, and makes even a beginner feel like an old pro! Improve Your WordPress Site's Performance

Businesses of all sizes and individuals alike rely on a cheap hosting WordPress site each and every day to bring information to the masses or sell their products. However, there are sites that perform poorly, losing users and ultimately, business. In fact, users probably won't ever return to visit your site if they have a poor first experience. That's if they can even find your site in the first place: Google uses the performance of a website to rank it for the search engine.

How can you make sure your site performs at its best, doing its job as a marketing tool for your business? here are seven easy things you can do to avoid dreaded performance problems.

7 Ways To Improve Your WordPress Site's Performance:

1. Step Away From The Plugins!

Yes, WordPress has thousands of plugins. That doesn't mean you should be installing every last one of them! Because of the sheer volume of plugins to do everything you can imagine, there are those that are written poorly, slowing your site down in the process of running. Things that can affect performance: the plugin relies on either excessive or unnecessary JavaScript in order to run; images are resized through HTML; an unnecessary JavaScript library is loaded; and loading JavaScript in the header instead of where it belongs, in the footer.

Before you install any plugin, consult the WordPress Plugin Directory. Look through reviews of that plugin, paying close attention to those who report problems. Search Google for similar information, and look at the code after you install it, seeking out any of the mistakes listed above. Above all else, think about the value this plugin is bringing to your site. Does it improve your site? If the answer is “no” or “maybe,” don't install it.

2. Update Plugins And WordPress

If you don't update WordPress or plugins when it is time, you are ignoring important performance enhancements and bug fixes. Don't ignore this!

3. Easy On The Share Buttons

Those cute social network sharing buttons require JavaScript to run properly, resulting in a slowdown. Use only those that you feel you must. As long as the big 2 are there (Facebook and Twitter), you should be good.

4. Assure Files Must Be Loaded On A Page

Why would you have your website call up a file that is in no way necessary to the functionality of that page? Assure unnecessary files aren't being called up by relying on conditional tags to see code to assure a file is only called when it needs to be!

5. WP SuperCache And WP Minify Plugins

WP SuperCache is a caching plugin that makes your site faster. It serves the majority of visitors' static HTML files, negating the need to process scripts and query the database each time a page loads.

Minification is another great way to speed things up: it removes unnecessary comments, spacing, characters, line breaks, etc. from JavaScript and CSS to cut down on file size. Oftentimes, it is a significant amount!

It should be noted that a site should not have more than one caching plugin installed.

6. jQuery Delivered By Google's Content Delivery Network

Chances are pretty high a visitor to your site has the jQuery library already on their machine. This is thanks to Google's CDN, used often to serve the jQuery library to websites all over the Internet. WordPress, by default, does not rely on the CDN, so include the following code into your functions.php file to ensure your users aren't loading up one additional, unnecessary file:

if( !is_admin()){
wp_deregister_script(‘jquery');
wp_register_script(‘jquery', (“https://ajax.googleapis.com/ajax/libs/jquery/1.6.4/jquery.min.js”), false,'1.6.4′);
wp_enqueue_script(‘jquery');
}

7. Add Code From The HTML5 Boilerplate .htaccess File

You can change up the .htaccess file that comes with WordPress in order to improve the performance of your site. You can: name an expiration date for common file types which makes it easier for the browser to cache files; enable gzip compression, making files smaller when sent to a browser; and force the latest IE engine.

Simply review the comments located in the .htaccess file to see what the file is doing. You should not replace your current .htaccess file with the Boilerplate .htaccess. The code contained within the .htaccess file in WordPress is required for WordPress to work properly. Instead, add the Boilerplate .htaccess file after the current contents of the .htaccess file in WordPress.

Do these tips help you? Is there any advice we can provide to improve your WordPress site? We'd love to help!

Why Your Website Needs A Blog

Why Your Website Needs A Blog

Starting up your business' shared hosting website was a no-brainer. It is obvious how valuable a business website is these days. You may have even integrated social media into your online repertoire, another excellent idea. With the amount of people relying heavily on sites like Twitter and Facebook to get their information, you'd be a fool to ignore their potential for increasing your customer base. Why Your Website Needs A Blog

But did you think about adding a blog to your shared hosting website? If the answer is no, you should really think about it. Why? Well, let's say you've set up your website and Facebook page.

Your customers have ‘liked' your page. You post information on deals and specials, and maybe a question or two every now and then (when you remember.) But did you consider writing up something interesting pertaining to your business or industry, if not daily then weekly?

Why Your Website Needs A Blog?

1. Blog Share your knowledge : Showing your customers you know your stuff when it comes to your industry is always a great idea. It shows that you are an expert of sorts, and the chances they think of you when they need a little assistance or advice are much higher.

2. Blog Inhances SEO : If your website has a blog and you can remember to post regularly, your website moves up in the search engine, thereby exposing your website to more potential customers.

3. Blog Show your personality : While your business doesn't have a personality, the people that work there do. Customers love to get to know the people behind the scenes, whether telling the stories of their contributions to the business or personal stories. Either way, when your customers feel they “know” you and your employees, they will feel more comfortable with your business in general. They'll want to come back time and time again in order to shop with their “old friends.”

4. Blog Interaction : You can post content on your blog that gets a reaction from readers. Maybe you've posted a topic regarding your industry that is controversial – expect some friendly arguments, and even some sharing. You know, the “Wow, you need to read this!” posts that abound on Facebook. This increases the eyes on your website! You could post an interesting topic or a how-to that people will find valuable. Don't forget to ask questions at the end to get your readers' opinions!

5. Blog Expand your network : As long as you are posting valuable content, your readers will share like crazy, which leads to more loyal readers.

6Blog increases.More website visitors : In that act of sharing, new readers will want to see what your business is all about. As such, they'll start clicking through other pages on your site.

7. Simple : It really isn't that difficult! If you find daily blogging is too much for you, post once every few days. Blogging platforms typically allow you to schedule a post as well, so you can spend a day writing up content and schedule it to post over a series of days. This allows you to free up more time in your busy week, while still posting content on a daily basis. You don't need to take any special classes either, as the majority of blogging platforms are relatively easy to get the hang of.

8. Cheap : Many blogging platforms are offered for free, meaning it's not adding any additional expenses to your budget.

9. Free advertising By Blog! Promote new products, spotlight old products to breathe new life into them, or demonstrate ideas pertinent to your industry.

Blogs are not a replacement for your website, but a wonderful enhancement. You'll find, upon adding blogging to your routine, that your website visitors and sales will increase!

Do you maintain a blog, or have you been thinking about it? What benefits to your business are you seeing?