How to Use Pinterest to Grow Your Web Hosting Business

Use Pinterest to Grow Web Hosting Business

pinterestYou're looking to grow your dedicated hosting business, but can't think of the best way to do this. You've run advertisements on the Internet and in the local paper, added a blog to your website to attract more customers, and even started up social media accounts on Facebook and Twitter. But did you know there's another form of social media that has exploded in terms of transforming businesses?

That's right, it's Pinterest! This highly popular site allows small businesses yet another avenue to engage with their customers and introduce your products and services to more people than ever before. Let's look at the benefits of adding Pinterest to your social media arsenal in order to make your dedicated hosting or cheap hosting company more profitable.

Pinterest: Followers

Utilize the search function in order to gather new followers. These searches should be targeted to bring in those interested in the web hosting industry. Those with a genuine interest will actually read your pins instead of just scrolling past them, increasing the chances of interaction.

Pinterest: Interactions

Besides increasing the eyes that see your products and services, Pinterest can help you better understand your industry. Additionally, you'll see the direction the industry is heading, and might even come up with a new idea or two. Targeted repins and likes of other users' content is another way to increase your customer base. Targeted is the key phrase here: you don't want to waste your time repinning and liking posts from others that wouldn't even have the slightest interest in your business.

A great way to interact with others: collaborative boards. The more active in the Pinterest community you are, the more you will likely be offered the chance to join these boards. If you aren't able to secure an invite, or are repeatedly asked to join boards that have nothing to do with your hosting company, it's quite alright to find boards that interest you and asking the moderators if you can be granted pinning rights as a contributor.

Determine Your Goals

Because Pinterest can do so many different things for different types of businesses, it's important to determine what exactly you are looking for to make the most of your Pinterest experience. Your goals should be similar to your overall business goals, and the clearer you make them, the easier it is to evaluate your progress and reassess if necessary.

Some goals that Pinterest can help your business with:

  • Bringing more site traffic
  • Introducing your brand to new eyes
  • Making more sales
  • Growing your staff

Pinterest Integration And Cross-Promotion

To increase the numbers of followers on your boards, you can put to work your company email newsletter. Go ahead and include a link to your Pinterest account, and feature an article that talks about Pinterest to generate customer interest. Don't forget the power of a good, old-fashioned contest involving your Pinterest boards! For example, have your customers go through your boards and post on your Facebook page their very favorite pin. Those who do this can be entered to win a few months of free web hosting, or something similar. Always be sure to include links to your Pinterest boards on your website and other social media sites as well.

Do you use Pinterest? How has it helped your business?

SEA Hacks US Media Sites Via Third-Party Service

SEA Hacks US Media Sites

syrian electronic army Hacks US Media SitesAre you a regular reader of the Washington Post? Then you may have noticed things didn't look quite right earlier in the week. Hackers were able to breach the dedicated hosting sites for The Washington Post, CNN, and Time by breaching the site for third-party service relied on by all three sites, Outbrain.

The Syrian Electronic Army (SEA) is claiming responsibility, with some Washington Post and Time users to be redirected to the SEA's cheap hosting website when they clicked on Outbrain content, according to Outbrain vice president Lisa LaCour. The CNN site displayed the message “Hacked by SEA.”

The Hack

Washington Post managing editor Emilio Garcia-Ruiz issued a blog post on Thursday:

“A few days ago, the Syrian Electronic Army, allegedly, subjected Post newsroom employees to a sophisticated phishing attack to gain password information.

“The attack resulted in one staff writer's personal Twitter account being used to send out a Syrian Electronic Army message. For 30 minutes this morning, some articles on our website were redirected to the Syrian Electronic Army's site.

“The Syrian Electronic Army, in a tweet, claimed they gained access to elements of our site by hacking one of our business partners, Outbrain. We have taken defensive measures and removed the offending module. At this time, we believe there are no other issues affecting The Post site.”

About Outbrain

Outbrain is a third-party content recommendation service that works “by embedding a widget on websites filled with sponsored links, and it seems as though once the SEA had hacked Outbrain, that gave them access to redirect readers on certain pages to SEA-controlled sites,” said Post reporter Brian Fung. The Outbrain breach allowed the compromise of the CNN and Time sites.

Outbrain was aware of the breach, and issued a post stating “in an effort to protect our publishers and readers, we took down the service as soon as it was apparent. The breach now seems to be secured and the hackers blocked out, but we are keeping the service down for a little longer until we can be sure it's safe to turn it back on securely.”

Not The First Time

There have been other attacks of news media outlets by various countries, such as the Chinese attack on The New York Times website and various other media sites. However, this attack was quite different, according to experts.

CTO of application security vendor Cenzic, Scott Parcel, said that while the prior attacks sought to extract “internal information, such as news sources,” the Post attack looks to drive readers away from the site. Said Parcel, “While sources are critical to news, if readers become afraid that simply visiting the site to read the news threatens their own computers with malware, then the readership could dry up quickly.”

The SEA

The SEA is a group of tech-savvy people working together in order to draw attention to their group and political agenda by going after high-profile media and social networking organizations. No highly sensitive data such as credit card numbers or financial information has been hacked, but passwords and other account details have been published following prior hacks.

“After compromising an account or website, the group typically posts fictitious stories and messages, or messages directed at particular individuals or groups, to draw attention to their agenda,” said Scott Hazdra, principal security consultant at Neohapsis.

SEA Hacks US Media Sites: Just The Beginning?

Some, like Darien Kindlund, manager of threat intelligence at FireEye, believe there may be a bigger attack in the works. “Sometimes, DDoS attacks are a smoke screen for other attacks…It is possible that the SEA wants to monitor Washington Post stories on Syria as China wanted to spy on The New York Times.”

No matter what the reason, it highlights the importance of solid security measures for anyone's cheap or dedicated hosting website. Hackers are out there, are you prepared?

Five Server Buying Tips

Five Server Buying Tips

server rack room Five Server Buying TipsWith the high cost of servers, you probably ended up choosing a cheap hosting company instead of purchasing one for your business. They can cost thousands of dollars. However, the idea of having your own file server in-house may be something you think about often.

Before you buy your own server, you should stop and consider alternatives first. It could save you money in the long run! For instance, did you know that you could configure a computer to act as a server? What about the wide range of cloud hosting options out there, negating the need for physical servers. Or, maybe you should rely on Dropbox or another such service for employees to share files on (for free!)

Five Server Buying Tips: Why A Server

The main reason to purchase a server for your business: it is more secure in terms of data. However, this means you need to secure the actual server as well, not only from theft but also from overheating. Your own server also means you have the control of your data at all times, and you are not subject to the downtime that can sometimes come with a cheap hosting provider.

What about the fact you will need to choose an employee (or sometimes, an entire department) to manage permissions, and maintain the servers? You might have someone on-site already that possesses the technical skill to get this job done, but if you don't, that's another person or persons you need to hire.

Here are things to consider when deciding if purchasing your own server is the right move:

1. How will your company grow?

The goal of every business is to grow, but when you are considering purchasing a server, you need to think about where your company will be in terms of size down the road. After all, you don't want to spend thousands of dollars on a server just to turn around and do it again a few years later because you ran out of storage space! Look at the number of people that will be accessing the servers. If it's a few, a small server will be just fine.

However, if you own a large corporation with hundreds of employees relying on the server, you'll want to look into one that offers excellent processing power, large network capacity, and lots of memory. Don't forget to factor in hard drive size! Don't look at your immediate needs, think ahead and plan for years and years down the road.

2. Find the right server.

Many types of servers exist for a variety of needs. What does your business need? Just sharing files amongst employees in a small office? Choose an option that doesn't have useless features.

3. Guard against overheating.

An air conditioned environment is a great start, but does your server have an internal fan? Other models have heat-sensing technology that detects high temperatures and shuts itself down.

4. Renting is an option.

So the cloud is out due to security risks, but have you considered shared or dedicated hosting? Companies like Rackspace will look at your needs and provide you with server space for a monthly fee.

5. Choose a reputable brand.

Don't want to hire an IT department? There are companies like HP and Dell that offer great customer support for those purchasing servers. If you do opt to purchase a server, be sure that the customer support is going to, you know, actually support you.

Are you considering purchasing your own server?

Best Server Hosting Provider

Why Image Optimization Is Important

Image Optimization

optimize photos for cheap websites Image OptimizationThe right image on your dedicated hosting website, whether on the homepage or embedded within a blog post, is critical. And it isn't just for SEO purposes (although this is a big reason to host quality images, too!) High quality images on your homepage draw people in. After all, an image is the first thing that most people notice.

How do you ensure your images are drawing people to your site? Follow these steps to add high quality images optimized for viewing.

1. Image Optimization: Resize

So you found some amazing images, and chose a couple to load onto your homepage. First, you want to make sure the image is sized to the specifications of the space it will be taking up using your editing program of choice (Photoshop, SnagIt, PicMonkey, Gimp, etc.) Setting up your site to resize large image files per visit means making site readers wait for images to load – and this also lowers your SEO performance. Resize your photos before you post them to your site.

2. Image Optimization: Compress

You need to do more than resize the image too. A digital image contains a certain amount of information, making it either high or low resolution. A high-resolution image can slow down your site substantially. You don't really need a high-res image for a website, either. These types of images are more for printed images or photographs, where detail is key.

Go ahead and compress your image, the display quality won't be affected. You can use the free smush.it tool offered by Yahoo to make this task a lot simpler.

3. Image Optimization: Keywords In File Names

Let's say you sell furniture. You are uploading a picture of your best selling couch to the homepage to entice users to browse your online inventory. Instead of loading “IMG_2034.jpg”, rename the file using keywords — “leather-couch-discount-furniture.jpg.” — in order to optimize it for SEO.

4. Image Optimization: Title and ALT Tags

Putting keywords to work for your site yet again, add a title tag and ALT tags. These fields are important for both SEO and visitors to your website. However, don't make it keyword-rich gibberish. Instead, write image descriptions that sound natural. Use the target keywords in a way that makes sense and is appropriate.

Image optimization is key to improving page load times and, ultimately, SEO. If you go crazy on the keywords, however, you might find yourself penalized by the search engine for over-optimization! This is especially true with Google’s new Panda algorithm, which quickly penalizes sites for bad content – and that includes overly keyworded photographs. Sure, keywords are helpful, but there is such a thing as overkill!

We also want to remind you not to simply right-click and snag photos from the Internet. Using a service like Flickr’s Creative Commons is the best way to go – simply attribute the photographs you download to the person that posted those images, and you are good to go. Otherwise, you risk copyright issues, and that can lead to your cheap hosting site taking down your site temporarily (a real headache!).

Do you already optimize your images? Got any additional tips? Need help? Ask away!

Reliable Top 5 Dedicated Server Hosting Companies

Dedicated Server Hosting

Decisions are tough. When it comes to web hosting, do you go with cloud hosting, a dedicated server, or managed hosting solution? You've settled on the dedicated server option, now the most important decision of all: who's best to host your site?

price guaranteeDedicated Server Hosting
Looking for the best-dedicated server hosting services money can buy? Here are dedicated server reviews of the top five dedicated server companies to help you make your decision.

100tb

Server Location: Plano, TX, US
Price : $139.00/month

100TB

This web hosting company comes in at number three. 100TB will give you a high power dedicated server hosting option that performs exceptionally at an exceptionally affordable price. All of their servers are fully automated, and as such give you a reliable, fast network.

Enjoy the 1Gbit dedicated port, 100TB bandwidth, and 2 X 1TB hard drive. They have a reputation for providing the latest in technology which adds up to an amazing performance. Whether Windows- or Linux-based, 100TB has you covered. cPanel is used for Linux and PLESK for Windows.

High-quality Customer service with free installation or reinstallation of OS and control panel. As well as free transfer from one host to another.

inmotion-hosting

Server Location: Santa Monica, CA, US
Price : $199.99/ month

InMotionHosting

InMotion web hosting company is rated number one when it comes to providing dedicated server hosting services. Founded in 2001, it has fast become the industry leader in reliable and affordable hosting solutions. Their outstanding customer tech support and uptime stats of 99.9% set them apart from the rest, offering their clients feature-rich hosting services they just don't want to part with.

InMotion relies on only Dell servers. Data is backed up on a daily basis. If problems arise and you decide to back out, InMotion offers a 90-day money back guarantee. It isn't likely you'll find this the case, as their customer service is second to none.

Count on unlimited My SQL databases, RAID 1 High-Performance data storage exclusive to elite plans, unlimited FTP accounts, Linux Cent OS for those who prefer it, unlimited email accounts, and unlimited individual c Panel sub-accounts.

Single Hop

Server Location: Lansing, MI, US
Price : $199/month

Liquidweb

Relying on Intel processors, Kingston memory, Western Digital, and Seagate hard Lansing, MI, US-based Liquidweb specialize in Linux or Windows dedicated servers. Whether cloud or cluster hosting, it's easy to see why this is one of the top web hosting companies.

Liquidweb gives customers their own server control panel, requiring no tech support at all. It is essentially an Ajax platform that gives the customers the power to control new tasks like checking bandwidth or restarting the servers.

They rely on the following processors in their dedicated servers:

The Core i3 540 processor
(2 cores x 3.06GHz, 10TB bandwidth, 500Gb disk space, up to 4GB of DDR3 RAM);
Xeon E3-1230 processor
(4 cores x 3.2GHz, 10TB bandwidth, 500GB disk space, 8GP DDR3 RAM);
Xeon 5410 processor
(4 cores x 2.33GHz, 1TB disk space, 10TB bandwidth, and 8GB DDR2);
Xeon 5506 processor
(4 cores x 2.13GHz, 10TB bandwidth, 500GB disk space, and 8GB DDR3.)

interserver

Server Location: Secaucus, NJ, US
Price : $59.00/month

Interserver

Fourth on our list is Interserver, Some of the stand-out features of their dedicated server hosting: allows for SSH root access; uses cPanel; Red 5; Fantastico ready-to-go upon installation; supports FFmpeg, PHP5, and My SQL5.

Customer service is quick to respond to any requests around the clock, providing technical support where necessary. Enjoy free firewall protection and back ups as well.

Up To You

Ananova provides the list of top five dedicated server hosting companies. Hopefully, making the tough decision of which company to choose a little bit easier. Ultimately, it all comes down to your business needs; the amount of space allotted; and how much control over your site you have (a control panel that you, well, control is the best situation)


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Dedicated Hosting Features

  • Rented server housed at provider's premises
  • Resources exclusive for client
  • A client configures, manage and operate it remotely. Root access provided for administration.
  • It offers the medium and large business owners fast, powerful, reliable and professionally maintained a web presence.
  • Client chooses Software, O.S, web server and hardware configuration

Types of dedicated servers

A dedicated server can be of the following two types:

  1. Managed Dedicated Server: Provider maintains and monitors dedicated servers, operating system, and support client.
  2. Unmanaged Dedicated Server: In this case, the server is operated, maintained and managed by the client. The web host only provides storage space, physical security, and the negotiated bandwidth. The company needs to have a team of knowledgeable competent experts to tackle any technical problems that might crop up. But at times the web hosts provide technical consultancy at a nominal fee.

Need for dedicated servers

A dedicated server is an expensive proposition and it is suitable for the following:

  • Large companies with a strong capital base
  • Business with a considerable online presence and an abundance of traffic.
  • Companies that engage in e-commerce through website

Advantages of a dedicated server

Dedicated servers have the following advantages:

  • Dedicated servers provide higher reliability, increased performance, greater security and exclusive use of the server, system and network resources to the client.
  • The sites perform better as in a case of a dedicated server the client has the exclusive server devoted solely to him. There is no sharing involved which adds to the performance of the system.
  • It helps the client in cost saving as the client doesn’t need to purchase or maintain the equipment.
  • The client doesn’t need to spend on a technical team. It is the responsibility of the web host that all technical difficulties are taken care of by him.
  • The web host provider guarantees spare parts/ ability to procure spare parts at a very short notice to cover up common problems related to the server.

Disadvantages of a dedicated server

The following are the disadvantages of a dedicated server:

  • Dedicated servers are very expensive. They are not easily affordable. The companies opting for a dedicated server needs to have a large capital base.

Middle-level companies cannot even meet the expense of a dedicated server.

  • The server is the property of the service provider. The only thing that the company owns is the data.
  • The web hosts charge exorbitantly high fees from the clients. At times they charge extra for consultancy charges in a case of technical knowledge required by the client.
  • Lastly changing the web host becomes impossible. Even if not satisfied with their services compel to continue with them.

In choosing a web host provider for a dedicated server a client has to be very cautious as changing over a web host is not an easy task. Website establishes an online identity of the company and the services provided through websites goes a long way in promoting the brand name of the company which has a positive impact on the sales and revenue generation of the company.