Website Hosting Checklist – How To Find The Right Provider

13 February 2014
Choosing a website host is an important decision. You want a host that is affordable. However, you also want a website host that offers the features and functions you need. Here’s a quick checklist to make sure you’re finding the right provider.

Is their control panel user friendly? Many hosts offer free demonstrations or tours. Take advantage of these to make sure it’s a control panel that makes sense and is easy to use.

Building your own site or looking for a website builder too? Some website hosts offer site building tools. These can be wonderfully useful if you’re not interested in getting into the technological side of building a website. However, if you are building your own website using any number of software programs or languages, make sure the host has FTP transfer. This is the system you’ll use to upload your web pages to your host’s server.

Can you upload your files easily?  Some website hosts are only compatible with certain file types. Make sure your website builder of choice works with your host before you pay for their services.

Are they big enough for your needs?  Look for data space, bandwidth and file size limitations. You don’t need to go crazy however a host does need to accommodate your current needs and give you some room to grow.

Server reliablity. Occasional downtime is expdected however it should be rare and you should be forewarned when the servers are going to be down. Ideally, your host’s server should be up and running 99% of the time.

Security. If you’re doing business online then security is a must. Even if you’re not doing business online, you’ll want to do everything you can to protect your website from hackers. A secure host is essential.

Features and functions. What do you need your website to have?  Do you need a shopping cart, email or autoresponders? Do you need to be able to sell advertising? Do you want analytic and reporting functions to track traffic and website visitor behavior?  Make sure your website host has all the features and functions you need before you sign up and transfer your domain.

User reviews. This is the last thing to look at once you’ve narrowed down yoru choices and before you compare price. Make sure the company has a solid reputation in the industry. There are a lot of resellers out there, you also want to make sure you’re dealing with an acutal hosting company and not a reseller – you’ll get a better price and better customer support.

Finally, it’s time to compare price. If a website host meets all of the above criteria and fits your budget, you’ve found a good company. There are many wonderful website hosts out there. Spend a bit of time researching based on your needs and you can’t go wrong.



Need Traffic? Fast Solutions To Drive Traffic to Your Website

12 February 2014
Website traffic is for many business models, the key to profits. The more traffic you have, the bigger your bottom line. Whether you’re launching a new product or just want a quick influx of cash, sometimes you need tons of traffic quickly. Here are 5 fast solutions to drive traffic to your website.

#1 Social media. Social media works quickly and if you have a large following on any of the social media sites, you can generate a ton of traffic to your website quickly. The key is to create attention grabbing posts that arouse curiosity, make people laugh or stir up a controversy. You want to generate click throughs to your website.

Make the most of your social networking tactics and use technology to get the job done. For example, one StumbleUpon post can be integrated with both Facebook and Twitter profiles so you’re making waves on all three social sites at once.

#2 Article marketing. Article marketing works well when you concentrate your
efforts on quality article marketing sites with large audiences. One well written and informative article, rewritten a few times, and submitted to a handful of directories can generate the traffic you’re looking for. Be sure to include a bio box that includes a call to action and a link to your website to motivate click throughs.

#3 Blogging. Post on your own blog or be a guest blogger on a blog with a large number of subscribers. Like social networking, if you offer an informative, controversial or entertaining post, you’ll have people clicking through to your website like mad. Of course, if you also promote this wonderful blog post(s) via social media, you can double your traffic results.

#4 Video content. It’s amazing how quickly a video can go viral. Like print content, videos that entertain, stir up a bit of controversy or offer tremendous value cause a buzz. They’re forwarded to friends and downloaded on laptops and mobile devices around the globe. A good video can generate all the traffic you need. Again, integrate a bit of social media to promote your video, blog about it too, and you can multiply your traffic results.

#5 Partnerships. Partnering with a relevant or compatible business can work quite well to generate traffic fast. The key is to come up with a mutually beneficial agreement. Find people in your industry that are willing to work with you and help each other drive traffic. A partnership may include guest blogging on each other’s sites, swapping advertisements or even promoting one another in your ezine.

It’s possible to drive a ton of traffic to your website fast. The trick is to have a plan in place, know your audience and your goals, and take action. To your success!


Nature – The Ultimate Playground for Kids

11 February 2014
Every year parents spend hundreds if not thousands of dollars on toys and activities for their kids. While many of things are great for keeping young minds and bodies active, many of them are unnecessary. Sure kids need structured play, but they also need “free” plan and this is easy to do when the world’s largest playground is right outside your back door. Why not let them play outside?

Every toy, book, and TV show that comes out has been designed and redesigned several times in order to make it educational and entertaining for children.  The great thing about nature is that, while being entertaining and stimulating to the imagination, it’s also educational. Nature can teach children the basics of science, economics, and creativity.

It’s cheap. Depending on where you live, exploring nature is usually pretty inexpensive, if not free. It may mean going out in your backyard, local park, or perhaps going to the local nature center or state park (which usually have low cost fees or memberships). This way, you don’t have to pay for expensive toys, jungle gyms, or memberships to expensive entertainment centers, but you still get the benefit of stimulating and educational play.

It makes them think. Lately there’s been a trend in education towards inquiry based learning. Researchers have found that if students explore and experiment to figure out answers on their own, they’re going to learn better, and retain more information. It also helps them develop skills to be able to learn things on their own later. What better environment to learn things than out in nature.  There are lessons for kids of all ages to discover about the world around them.

It may help the world. Everyone these days is trying to be more green and more environmentally conscious. What better way to help do your part than to get your children interested in their own planet than right now when they’re young and impressionable? What might be a fun time for them now, might be a future hobby, career, or world saving invention.

It’s fun. While it’s easy to forget, childhood isn’t just for learning about how to be an adult, it’s also about having fun. Nature gives kids a chance to use their imagination and be free to just be kids.

While unstructured play outside is great for kids, you can also find a lot of places offering structured classes and learning sessions for kids that focus on the natural world. Check your local park, zoo, or museum. There’s a good chance they have classes you can sign up for, and since many of these places are not for profit, they’re usually affordable as well as informative.

Across the world, there are millions of dollars being spent to help promote sending your kids outside to learn from nature.  That’s because spending time in the outside world is so important for developing minds. It can also be a great escape for you as well.

Green Energy – The Way of the Future

10 February 2014
You may have heard a lot about green energy the past year or so. Whether you’ve jumped on the green energy bandwagon or not, it is definitely not a trend. Green energy is the way of the future. Let’s take a look at exactly what green energy is, why it’s important and how you can use it to improve your life and your environment.

What is Green Energy?

Green energy is energy that produces little if no by products that harm the environment. For example, fossil fuels like oil are expensive to mine, destructive to the environment during the actual drilling process and produce many toxic byproducts. These very same by products have been directly contributing to greenhouse gases and global warming not to mention polluting our waterways and air.

Green energy, like solar, wind, and geothermal do not cause destruction to the environment either during their harvesting stage or as a byproduct. When you use solar cells for example to store and create energy, you’re using energy directly from the sun. There’s no by product create and no waste.

Benefits of Green Energy

The benefits of green energy are vast. Initially you may think about two primary environmental benefits. They include no waste or pollution from the energy sources or emissions. Eliminating harmful emissions would drastically improve our planet’s outlook and virtually eliminate global warming caused by greenhouse gasses.

Additionally, green energy means no more destruction of the earth as we harvest fossil fuels. No more oil spills, digging in the midst of our pristine wilderness and destroying our natural resources.

However, beyond the immediate and apparent environmental benefits, in the long run green energy is significantly more cost effective. Imagine if your entire home ran on energy from the sun?  How much a month would that save you in heating your home and in your electric bill?

Over the course of a year you’d save a thousand dollars or more, right?  What about over the course of ten years?  Yes, initially it will cost to transfer your energy source from fossil fuels to green energy sources, but that initial expense is usually paid for within a few years.

Green energy is infinitely sustainable and economically sound. That’s why it is the wave of the future.

How to Use Green Energy

The good news is that green energy can be utilized in smaller increments. You don’t have to change your entire home over to sustainable fuel sources in one fell swoop. You can add a few solar panels, use passive solar, and support sustainable practices. Some energy companies even offer a membership where you can specify a certain amount of your energy come from wind or solar. This depends on where you live but check it out. Finally, you can support businesses that use green energy.

It may take a while to spread throughout the world, however green energy is more than a passing phase, it is the wave of the future.