NUFFNANG

Search Blog Content

Friday, December 18, 2009

Computer Memory is an Essential Part of the Computer


Computer memory is an essential part of the computer because it allows it to store vital information that you will need. Whether the information is in the form of pictures, data or sounds, a computer with a lot of memory can store it for you. There are three basic types of computer memory and you will need to know a little bit about each to ensure your computer is running effectively.

Random access memory or RAM is the same thing as your computer memory. RAM is the main memory center, so essentially, it is the most important. Your RAM is used almost every second you're on your computer each day. The reason RAM is so crucial is that it is used to store your files and programs and it affects many other computer aspects as well.

DDR computer memory can be bought to increase the amount of memory you have, but first you will want to learn a little more about your computer. Understanding how it works will help you work better with your computer.

The more RAM computer memory your computer has, the faster it will work for you. If you find that you're computer has been very slow lately, you might want to look into buying some DDR for it. If you aren't sure what to buy or how to install it, it's best to let a professional do it this time around. You will find that all electronic stores that sell RAM will offer optional installation services for a small fee. If you choose this option, it would be a great idea to ask them exactly what they did so you can do it yourself if the need ever arises again.

But, if you know a little something already about computer memory, why not install your DDR program yourself? It will save you some time and money and your computer will be back to working at optimal speed in no time. Either route you choose, don't neglect the health of your computer. If it starts working differently than it ever has, get it checked out or troubleshoot the problem yourself. This will ensure that it stays working great for years to come.

Source: Free Articles

About the Author:

James Hunt has spent 15 years as a professional writer and researcher covering stories that cover a whole spectrum of interest. Read more at www.computer-memory-central.info

Friday, November 27, 2009

About Versions Of Microsoft Servers


By: joy brown

Microsoft has been launching innovative products one after another for all segments be it students, businessmen, professionals, home, office and the like. Millions of users across the world using Microsoft products well validate their demand and popularity as well as their dominance in the market. Microsoft Servers, also called Windows Servers, target the wider business market.

Small and medium enterprises with 75 or less workstations/users and running a network infrastructure, both Internet access and intranet management, can opt for the Windows Small Business Server. A number of user-friendly and useful applications are perfectly integrated to enable smooth activities in a workplace. The greatest advantage of the Windows Small Business Server Premium is that it caters to demanding IT needs in small businesses as it comes with a blend of Windows Server 2003 and Exchange Server 2003 technology in addition to Microsoft SQL Server 2000 and ISA Server 2000. If the user already has an established software and wants to incorporate the Windows Small Business Server Premium, this 100% compatibility software is the best and would leave no room for complaints. Here are some features of this software:

Shared access to the Internet
Protection of local network through a firewall
Access to Remote Web Workplace and Outlook Web
Windows SharePoint Services facilitating a preconfigured internal website for sharing of information in a collaborative work environment
Access to email, remote desktops, etc. via Remote Web Workplace
Access to schedule, email, calendar, task information, etc. in wireless gadgets and mobile phone
Efficient running of network through use of end-to-end network administration features.


SQL is the short form of Structured Query Language; it is a database management language used in computer terms. It focuses mainly on query and updation of data, creation and modification of any graphical depiction of a database structure, and data access control. Microsoft SQL Server is a database server based upon relational algebra; T-SQL and ANSI SQL are its query languages. Microsoft SQL Server is one of the most demanded of Microsoft Servers and has been introduced in a number of variants over the years - SQL Server 2005, SQL Server 2008, and SQL Server 2008 R2 in 2005, 2008, and 2009 respectively. User variability and multiple editions according to the uses with different features is the inimitability of the Microsoft SQL Server. Editions include compact, developer, embedded, enterprise, evaluation, express, fast track, standard, web, and workgroup, all available with Microsoft SQL Server as the prefixes. Supporting different data types with a capacity to contain multiple OS-level files including other files and objects, data storage is one aspect that the user experiences a win-win situation. Each database has allocated storage space, divided into successively numbered pages, each 8 KB in size. Furthermore, buffer management, protocol layer, logging & transaction, concurrency & locking, data retrieval, and more make the Microsoft SQL Server a value-for-money software.


Efficient business operations and managing of in-house network activities become an easy affair with Windows Servers.


Article Source: http://www.articlesnatch.com

About the Author:
The new
Microsoft Exchange Server 2007
is imbued with further upgraded and advanced features for the new generation PC users. You can buy MS Software online through internet. Buy office 2007 small business.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

How To Recover Deleted Photos From Digital Camera' Sd Card?


By: Judith Law

Most digital camera enthusiasts may meet the situations that deleted the photos inexpertly, for example the camera fell into the toddles hands. Sometimes when back from the journey we can only find that the computer cannot recognize the SD card. Most people cannot find out the way for the SD card recovery and just lost the photos. Relax, please.The followings are some ways you can try for SD card recovery and Photo Recovery.
1. Repair the SD card the computer cannot recognize. If you meet this situation, try to take the SD card out and put it back in. On rare occasions, computers don't recognize that the information on the card changed. After the card is removed and reinserted, the computer should reload it. You can also try refreshing the window by right-clicking and selecting "Refresh" from the list. This is the easiest and the basic method you can try to find your SD data back.
2. Check the camera and make sure the SD card is inserted right and the Camera settings are correct. Sometimes the SD card may not insert correct or camera's settings may have been changed and the data was saved to the internal memory so you cannot find the pictures on the SD card.
3. Recover Photos and make a SD card recovery for the deleted photos. If the methods tried above cannot fix the problem or you have deleted & formatted the photos from the SD card, you may need a photo recovery tool or Data recovery tool. An online search will turn up a plethora of data-recovery-utilities, most of them offer a free version that can show you a preview of photos that can be recovered, but require you to buy the software to do the actual recovery. I have tried 6 photo recovery tools and the price of them is at a range from $39 to $129. My favorite Photo recovery tool is Wondershare Photo Recovery; it has a powerful photo recovery program and has a relatively lower price.
There are some more tips for you before recovering your photos. The first one is, do not use your SD card for any other data transfer or storage because it may cover the original data. The second is, do not storage the recovered data in the lost datas folder. It may also cause the conflict problems. So how about the result of your photo recovery?

Article Source: http://www.articlesnatch.com

About the Author:
This author is a student in Winston Collage who has great interests in System Security and regularly writes for Wondershare Photo Recovery.

Microsoft Small Business Financials 7.5 Migration To Dynamics Gp10.0 Notes


By: Andrew Karasev

If your organization has Microsoft Small Business Financials 7.5, 8.0 or 9.0, you should think about the future of your Corporate ERP application. Small Business Financials is finalized on version 9.0 and recommended migration path is to Microsoft Dynamics GP 10.0 Business Ready with Business Essentials license model. If you are current in Microsoft Business Solutions annual enhancement program you should expect refund for the price of your current Small Business Financials, when you purchase Dynamics GP licenses. In this small publication we will give you technical highlights on migration, and what to expect:

1.Upgrade Path. You should first upgrade Small Business Financials to version 9.0. Second Step is Migration Tool: SBF->GP 9.0. Next step is preparation of Dynamics GP 9.0 for upgrade (SQL Scripts). Next step is applying Service Pack 3 or 4 for Dynamics GP 9.0. And then final migration to Dynamics GP 10.0 SP3 or 4

2.Additional steps in Dynamics GP 10.0. As Business Ready comes with multicurrency, you may decide to disable it or enable (it is enabled by default to give you the option to deploy multicurrency). If you would like to setup Multicurrency, you should follow enabling technical paper, or simply set it in Tools->Setup->System->Currency (add at least one currency, such as Z-US$ and make if functional and reporting). Grant access to the currency for your company in Multicurrency Access Setup, Pick Currency for your Check Books (may need to do it in SQL Scripts)run Check Links for your Financial Series

3.Sales Order Processing Setup. In our experience we had to reset SOP Transactions (Invoice, Quote, Sales Order, etc.) next number reset

4.Test Migration. This step is recommended, especially when you cannot stop operations for several days to test and fix on the fly production upgrade

5.Customization Upgrade. If you have Dexterity or Extender customizations for SB Manager/Financials, you should consider Extender or Dexterity programmers to review these add-ons and make them compatible with Dynamics GP 10.0

6.User Training for Dynamics GP 10.0 interface. Code base for Small Business Financials and Dynamics GP was very similar and tables structure was near identical. However User interface in Small Business Financials was simplified. This is why you may expect some learning curve from your users, as they are discovering Dynamics GP. User training may be recommended
7.Please, give us a call 1-866-528-0577, or email us help@albaspectrum.com

Article Source: http://www.articlesnatch.com

About the Author:
Andrew Karasev, Alba Spectrum, 1-866-528-0577, help@albaspectrum.com http://www.albaspectrum.com Please visit our info portal http://www.pegasplanet.com Serving Chicagoland and Northern Illinois customers in Chicago downtown, Naperville, Lisle, Schaumburg, Aurora, Joliet, Romeoville, Downers Grove, Plainfield, Evanston, Glenn Ellyn, Wheaton, Batavia, St. Charles, Elgin, Crystal Lake, Morris, Channahon, Kankakee, Lombard, Hinsdale, Des Plaines, Gary, Oak Park, Alsip, Lyons, plus San Diego

Friday, November 20, 2009

Virtualisation: A Look Into What It Is


By: Netpros

Virtualisation is an ideal technology and process that helps in reducing the costs, improving the efficiency and recovery process from any disaster. And that is the main reason why it has become the buzz-word around the world for those who are interested in designing and implementing latest infrastructures. It is a wide term that refers to a whole lot of technologies which enable different operating systems to run simultaneously on a single physical resource. They are becoming popular now-a-days because they are very cost effective. And the Virtualisation consultants too are on great demand as they can handle problems related to this new technology with great ease and efficiency.

With the help of Virtualisation, one can use the server capacity in a better way and thereby mitigate system costs. Similarly, because of pooling in storage, the Virtualisation consultants can improve on the percentage of capacity utilization rates too. One can get faster backups by taking snapshots of the data. Yet another basic advantage of the virtualisation technology is that one can deploy any new system without getting into the processes of ordering new hardware. In the process one gets to save a lot of installation and testing time too.

Virtualisation allows for automatic management wherein the capacity gets added automatically if the database has no provision for space anymore. Application testing becomes easy with Virtualisation as one can just create a replica data to test the application and as a result one need not get into the actual production data. The basic advantage with Virtualisation therefore remains that it ensures heterogeneous servers can coexist while running diverse operating systems. The application Virtualisation provides more flexibility and efficiency and the desktop Virtualisation provides more manageability so that the software rolls out smoothly and easily. When the storage is segregated from application Virtualisation, the chances of encountering a server failure are minimized.

When one computer does the job effectively of multiple computers, while sharing the resources that are available in one computer across various other environments along with saving energy and lowering the costs, offering high end security and better desktop management, all the IT business owners would definitely want to take advantage of whatever Virtualisation and application Virtualisation bring with them.

Virtualisation is in short, nothing but a software technology that helps in better disaster recovery process when one builds a virtual infrastructure. Thin software enables the creation of virtual machines that contain virtual machine monitor and allows for multiple operating systems to run simultaneously on one physical computer. So, one can do away with the model that emphasizes on one server one application. So, in a way Virtualisation has brought in a revolution of sorts and with its industry cutting-edge technology, has found to be very effective in enhancing the flexibility and utilization of the hardware. Virtualisation consultants can therefore, help in equipping various companies with this new software technology so that they too can store more on space, cooling and other cost related issues. They are responsible for making the Virtualisation projects run effectively and with greater efficacy.

Article Source: http://www.articlesnatch.com

About the Author:
Reliable and Hassle Free IT Support in London by Netpros Virtualisation, Virtualisation Consultants

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Microsoft Pulls Windows 7 For Netbooks Tool


By: Michel Smith

In a significant development, software giant, Microsoft, has made a decision to pull its Windows 7 for Netbooks downloading tool. This will be enabled from an online store. This step is touted by some analysts in response to accusations that code for the tool was ripped off from a CodePlex-hosted open-source project. The Windows 7 USB/DVD Download Tool (WUDT), which was the original program, came into being with an intention to help Microsoft make the most out of netbooks' perennial popularity among consumers. The Windows 7 USB/DVD Download Tool (WUDT) was pulled off from the online Microsoft Store since the program had a code from the GPLv2-licensed ImageMaster project. The USB/DVD Download Tool was earlier brought into being as a method for netbook users, without DVD drives on some of them on their devices, in order to install their machines with Windows 7.

The ImageMaster project is has been intensely described as a .Net C# application for reading and writing disc images. Microsoft decided to pull the WUDT from the offerings on the Microsoft Store, even though the "Windows 7 for Netbooks" page still tends to be active without an "Add to Cart" link. It can be recalled that WUDT was initially targeted to make porting Windows 7 onto netbooks a simple process. Netbook users sans DVD drivers can be in a tricky situation. For them the Windows 7 USB/DVD Download Tool will click an ISO image and then make a bootable UDB device which can be used to install Windows. Also, users have to configure their netbooks BIOS before it can be booted off that USB device or external DVD player. Even though netbooks are popular Redmond said in public that "ultra-thins" have the potential to do a lot more better and can run higher-margin versions of Windows. It has decided to start introducing ultra-thin PCs although a little expensive than netbooks around the time when the year comes to an end.

Article Source: http://www.articlesnatch.com

About the Author:
Michel Smith is a technical expert with iYogi. iYogi a Computer, computer help and technical support vendor is the winner of Red Herring Top 100 Award. iYogi provides computer help, windows 7 support, computer support, Microsoft support, dell support, computer repair, computer tech support etc. by Microsoft Certified Technician.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

by: Christopher Smith The most difficult challenge most web designers face is getting traffic to your site. There are plenty of companies who promise


by: Christopher Smith
The most difficult challenge most web designers face is getting traffic to your site. There are plenty of companies who promise to send traffic your way. Sadly, most of this traffic is not qualified. Yes, your hit counter will move higher, however, if its not qualified, you may find you have unhappy visitors to your site. Unhappy visitors will not click on your ads or purchase your products.

Once you have optimized your site, consider submitting it to every search engine. If you want to get spidered quicker in Google, have a web page with a PR of 4 or higher point to your site. Your site will be spidered within a couple of days!

One myth I would like to bust is that PR is a measure of a web site. Its not. I receive countless emails offering a reciprocal link with their PR5 or PR6 site. Unless my link is appearing on the main page, or a page that has PR6, I am not getting a share of PR6. Most likely, my link will appear on a page that has a PR2!

Page rank is Google's ranking of that specific page's relevance. Just because the main page has a PR of 4, does not make every page on the site a PR4. Beware of sites who claim that they will exchange links with you and its to your benefit since they have a PR5 or PR6. Where is your link appearing? If its on a page that has a PR of 4 or 5 or 6, great!

Reciprocal linking, if done properly, will ensure that your keywords are at the top of the search engine. If you have a popular keyword, youll need to have more back links. Pick your link partners properly, and ensure that they are linking to your keyword.

For example: if your site is www.joesdinner.com, consider sending out requests to relevant higher ranking pages to start with, followed by lower ranking pages and ask web designers to link back in a manner so that your url is a hyperlink for your keyword, not your site url or site name.

Presuming their keyword is "best dining in new york", having links pointing to your site with an anchor tag incorporating your keywords will improve your search engine rankings dramatically.

Once you have established a collection of sites pointing to your site using your keywords, you will start receiving reciprocal link exchanges from other sites. This is where you can start to be particular.

If you want to maintain an effective PR and attract better sites for linking, follow these tips:

a) Is it indexed?
While their site may be indexed, the page where they are placing your link, is it at least indexed by google? If you type in allinurl:www.sitename.com/links/right_here.html and there are no results, consider declining their offer. If the page your link appears on has not been indexed, there is no benefit whatsoever to you. If your pages have PR, they may consider placing your link on another page. If the page your link appears on is indexed, but does not have PR, consider accepting their offer. While the page today may not have PR, it will in time.

b) How many neighbours?
The value of the page rank is shared with each of the links on that page. If you are splitting that PR with several other sites, your share of PR will be small, which doesnt help you. Reconsider accepting any link exchanges if your site is 1 of more than 30 - 40 sites that will appear on that page, unless its a very high PR. Further, if there are too many links on that page, Google may consider the page to be part of a link farm, which may end up penalizing your site.

c) Is it relevant?
Google is big on relavancy. Ensure your links pages are relevant. If you operate a site about golf, having links from cooking sites will not help you establish your page rank. It may cost you more than you get in return.

How to Find Good PR sites:

a) Do a search for them by typing in your keyword and start asking for reciprocal link exchanges. Take a look at their PR and go from there. Remember, its the number of sites that backlink to you that matters, not strictly the PR of the page. I would rather have 50 pages that have a PR1 pointing to my site, than to have 5 sites that have a PR5. Of course, if you can get 50 pages that have a PR5 pointing to your site, you are laughing!

b) Take a look at your existing link partners and check out their links pages. Its clear the people appearing on those links pages are interested in reciprocating.

c) Purchase software that will help find quality link partners.

It is important to attract higher PR sites when you are on a reciprocal link campaign. However, its not the most important thing when it comes to search engine rankings. Its the backlinks that point back at you that are key. The more of those, the better off you will be for your keyword.

Remember: every page starts off as a PR0. Just because its new doesnt mean it wont get a higher PR once google gets around to assessing a score. If the page your site appears on is indexed, and its a relevant site of quality, consider exchanging links. You'll grow a large list of link partners in a short period of time, and increase your search engine rankings in the process.

About the author:
Christopher Smith has been helping people make money through Google Adsense by providing them with the Top Paying Adsense Keywords for his visitors to Adsense Heaven. http://www.adsenseheaven.com

Web Site Analysis - A Study in Damage Control


by: WG Moore

In my last article, ‘Web Analytics – Getting It Right’, I discussed some of the powerful ways that web site statistics can be used to improve an ecommerce business. That article was about success. This article shows that no matter how hard you try, you can still get it wrong. This is a story about failure.

It is often difficult and embarrassing to admit failure and sometimes it is even difficult to see it, even when it is right in front of us. But only by examining our failures can we hope to improve and progress. Hopefully, this article will help others avoid the same mistakes we made.

Keep in mind that web analytics is not always about counting traffic. In fact, that is usually only a small part of it. It is mostly about offering better products and services, improving the website and making each visit to our website a more pleasant experience. It is also about building customer loyalty and confidence.

This incident started when we received a request to cancel web site tracking service for an account. This happens occasionally, but of course, a cancellation is never a welcome sight. Try as we might, we cannot please everyone. So we learn to accept these things; it is just business.

However, it is our policy to investigate every cancellation and try to determine what went wrong. Once someone has decided to cancel, there is nothing that can be done about it. It is too late. Any damage has already been done. We know that we cannot recover a lost account, but we always try to learn something that will help prevent such things happening in future.

The first thing we did that morning was to close the account as requested and issue a credit. We then wrote to the web site owner and informed them that their request had been taken care of. We made no excuses nor did we try to recover the account. But we did ask for help in understanding why they were unsatisfied. We asked a few simple questions as to the reasons for the cancellation and what we could do to improve the service. Our request went unanswered.

Next, we looked up the account details to see what we could learn. We were shocked! This account had been open less than 24 hours! Not even one full day. To be honest, this stung. It was almost personal, a real slap in the face. It was not so much that we had lost an account, but that it happened so quickly. Such a thing had never happened before, so it was a rude awakening.

Once we located the account, we were able to ‘drill down’ to see every aspect of our client’s visits to our web site.

The original visit came from someone searching for a way to monitor traffic on multiple websites. This was indicated by the keywords used in searching the web. In the one day that we did business, they made three visits, looked at 96 pages and spent an average of 14 minutes and 7 seconds on each visit. The average of 26 seconds per page is a bit long, but the 96 pages visited are what really caught our eye.

Bear in mind that that was not 96 different pages, but simply 96 page visits. Some pages were visited several times. Our visitor detail page lists each page in chronological order as it occurs. This lets us see exactly what visitors find of interest and gives us some idea of what is going on in their minds at the time. Keywords and on-page links tell us what subjects were important.

In this case, our visitor went directly to the products page to see what we had to offer. They next looked at the pricing page to see if it was affordable. They returned to the products page using a link that discussed our risk-free, money back guarantee. So we know this was an important consideration.

They then started the purchasing process, but changed their mind and went back to the pricing page for another look. From there, they returned to the buying process via a link that talked about a special offer we had at the time. So now we also knew that the offer had appeal.

In fact, our guest made three attempts at buying the product before finally completing the sale. The very fact that they did buy on the first visit is also a bit unusual. Most people shop around and come back several times before buying. But there was not enough time between visits for this to have been the case. But then again, perhaps they had been shopping around before coming to our site. So this alone was not given much weight. It was just something we noted.

Next, our new client followed the usual procedures: going to the login, changing the default password, setting up the account and looking at the reports. From here, the first signs of confusion and uncertainty begin to show.

Our client next went back to the products and pricing pages. Since no links were used from these pages, we are not sure what they were looking for. But they again returned and logged in and tried to look at statistics. A few minutes later, they returned again to the product and pricing pages for another look.

Finally we began to get a hint of what was wrong. Our client now went to the tutorials and features pages, examining at length an article on analyzing the website data. Then back again to the statistics analysis. So now we begin to see that our client was unsure of exactly how to go about gathering and using the information from their website.

From here their confusion seems to increase. They went again to account setup and then to the help pages. They repeated this process several times over the remainder of the last two visits. Finally, they gave up and cancelled the account.

Our next step was to examine our late client’s site setup parameters. We found that certain fields were not set up correctly, confirming our growing suspicions that our instructions were not clear enough. By looking at the pages visited and examining the subject matter of those pages and links, we know that our visitor became frustrated at not being able to see statistics being gathered in real time from their site.

And the most telling feature of all came from examining the client’s web pages. They had never installed the tracking code on the pages so that statistics could be gathered in the first place! And indeed, there were no records from this account in the database.

This made it obvious that although we had sent them the tracking code to be placed on their web pages, we failed to provide guidance that showed exactly how and where to install the code. We failed to explain its importance and how it worked. This was a very basic and stupid mistake.

Most of our clients are pretty tech-savvy, and since we had never had a problem like this before, we had forgotten that not all of our customers are technically proficient. As if that were not bad enough, our whole business was supposed to be focused on the small web sites. It should be obvious that these people were not likely to be technical people.

So what did we learn from all this? First and foremost, our communications were bad. This client never asked for help. But then, no one should have to ask. We should have offered it right from the first, along with an easy link to reach us. We should have made our introduction more personal, giving a sense of friendliness and concern.

We also learned that our tutorials did not answer our client’s questions. Neither did our help files.

Now we have had to re-think our entire presentation and procedures. We have begun a process of updating and rewriting our tutorials and help files, adding video demonstrations and more graphics and examples. We have added help notices in our introductory email to new clients.

Even though it was only one customer out of many, it was a very important customer. They all are, as this quote from Brent Oxley of Hostgator shows:

“One unhappy customer is worth the weight of 1,000 satisfied customers in terms of how they can affect future business, so we strive to keep as many people happy as we can. We may receive 500 letters of praise in a month, but it is that one letter of dissatisfaction that keeps us up at night wondering how we can make things better.”

The process of updating our site is still in progress. It is not an easy job. Some items have been completed, but it will take some time to get around to them all. A website is a constant process of change and improvement. Nothing stays the same for long in the internet world. We made the mistake of getting too complacent. It took a harsh reminder from a dissatisfied client to set us straight.

It is too late to bring that customer back. They are gone forever. But perhaps we can prevent such a thing from happening again. Perhaps you can use our failure to build on your success. I hope so.

About the author

WG Moore is a web analytics specialist with over 20 years of hardware, software and web development experience. Visit http://www.webstatsgold.com for more articles and information on web analytics. You may contact him at will@webstatsgold.com

Permission is granted for this article to forward, reprint, distribute, use for in ezines, newsletters, websites, to offer as free bonus or part of a product for sale as long as no changes are made and the byline, copyright, and this resource box is included.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Web Analytics - Getting it Right


by: WG Moore

Understanding and using web analytics.

In recent years, website marketers were concerned with increasing ¡®hits¡¯ and the ¡®stickiness¡¯ of their sites. They were concerned with increasing page views and the amount of time spent on the site. This is definitely a hold over from the paper based businesses of the past, and has proved to not be of much use in the fast moving internet world.

As a result, hits and views are no longer considered useful metrics for evaluating website success. They simply don¡¯t provide the right kind of information needed by online marketers. Now they look at conversions, drop-out rates, return on investment and revenue per visitor.

Internet marketers of today want to make more money. To do this, they must understand their visitors, their motives, where they came from, what they were looking for, and how they found the site. And most important of all: what made them make the decision to buy or what made them abandon the purchase.

In order to accomplish this, they need a powerful new set of analysis tools; tools that are fast, accurate and easy to use. And most important, these tools must be able to measure performance over time. That is, the marketer needs to be able to set a baseline for any metric and then measure a percentage of increase or decrease at a later time. And the time frame needs to be long enough to show meaningful results ¨C usually 30 days or more.

Here are a few common problems solved by the proper use of web analytics:

Good traffic, but a high Bounce Rate

A ¡®Bounce¡¯ is a visitor who comes to your site and leaves without looking at any other pages. The number of bounces is compared to those who visit more than one page to give a ¡®Bounce Rate¡¯. All websites have a bounce rate. Whether it is high or not is relative to the site. Only numbers taken over a period of time will show an average for any particular site.

There are two main problems that lead to a high bounce rate: Attracting the wrong kind of traffic and not giving the visitor what they were looking for.

To identify the first case, open the New Visitors report. This report should contain a list of unique, first-time visitors. The report should also show the first page visited and where they came from. The origin may be empty, due to a number of reasons outside the control of the analytics package. Select a visitor that came from a search engine. Now ¡®Drill Down¡¯ by clicking on the selected line and opening a detail view of this visitor. The detail page will show the search term used to find your site.

Was the search term relative to the subject matter of the landing page? Were they only looking for something free? Looking at a number of search terms will reveal if the wrong kind of traffic is coming in.

If the search terms are appropriate, then the searches are driving qualified traffic to the site. If this is the case, the high bounce rate is due to the page content not properly addressing the visitor expectations.

High Drop-Out Rate

According to Jupiter Research, 71 percent of sites do not analyze customer drop-out rates, even though 66 percent of consumers reported having abandoned a purchase while on a website.

The drop-out rate will show an increase, or hopefully, a decrease with time. A properly designed buying process will capture personal contact information before continuing with the checkout process. This contact information can be used to contact the lost sale and discuss the reasons.

The Drop-Out report should show the visitor, the product and date and time of sale. Select one line in the report and drill down to view the contact information, if available. Call or email the visitor to learn the reasons for abandoning the sale.

Also, the internet marketer should discuss the buying process with current customers. This is an excellent method of increasing customer loyalty. It also provides an opportunity to gather testimonials. Most buyers will have visited several times before they bought. Ask why they didn¡¯t buy the first time they visited the site. Also, ask why they came back and what motivated them to buy.

Poor Return On Investment

Probably the most difficult challenge faced by internet marketers is controlling costs. Traffic acquisition can be an expensive proposition, so it is important to get the most out of every click.

The best marketing reports reveal where the money comes from, who the money comes from, and what marketers can do to improve revenues. Marketers can use this information to increase advertisements on sites that reach the most interested parties, provide a better selection of products for different types of visitors, or offer better service to their most valuable visitors.

The marketing reports should show sales grouped by campaign or affiliate. At a minimum, they should show units of sales by product and product options, and preferably revenue.

Compare advertising costs with revenues to identify the most profitable campaigns. Often the marketer will find that one campaign may bring in more visitors, but conversion is low, whereas another might bring in fewer, but more qualified visitors who purchase more.

The use of A/B testing to increase pulling power of ads is vital to keeping ad costs down and attracting qualified visitors. Here, the marketer will find it easy to measure changes and evaluate overall performance. Instead of taking months to identify and understand the effect of a change, it will often show in hours or a few days. This agility means that even smaller e-commerce sites can succeed on limited budgets.

Path Analysis / Clickstream Analysis ¨C Understanding visitors

Not really a problem, but vital to keeping a healthy web business running smoothly. The marketer is also able to identify new trends and opportunities by evaluating the visitors¡¯ interest in various content available on the site.

The ideal path through the site should go from the landing page to the products page to the orders page, from there to the checkout and finally to a ¡®Thank You¡¯ page.

Deviations might include paths to tutorials, articles and other information pages, but these should be kept to a minimum and always lead back to the main path.

Again, the marketer can select a particular visitor, buyer or drop-out and then drill down to the detail page to reveal every page visited and path taken, as well as the amount of time spent viewing each page. Knowing how long it takes to actually read the page will reveal the amount of interest in the subject matter. Combining this information with keyword searches will reveal how appropriate the content of each page is to the visitor¡¯s interests.

In Summary

The value of the analysis far exceeds the nominal cost of the web analytics service. Indeed, it may spell the difference between success and failure. Good web analytics packages can be hard to find, but need not be expensive. Increasingly, more and more comprehensive reports are available at better prices.

To be effective, the marketer must understand what to look for and how to apply the knowledge revealed by the analysis. The learning curve is not steep, and the rewards can be significant.


About the author

WG Moore is a web analytics specialist with over 20 years of hardware, software and web development experience. Visit http://www.webstatsgold.com for more articles and information on web analytics. You may contact him at will@webstatsgold.com

Permission is granted for this article to forward, reprint, distribute, use for in ezines, newsletters, websites, to offer as free bonus or part of a product for sale as long as no changes are made and the byline, copyright, and the resource box below is included.

SEO Content Distribution Linking For Newbies


by: Joel Walsh
The new buzz on the internet is all about getting one-way links by distributing content to other sites in exchange for backlinks. As with every other SEO or website promotion technique ever devised, there are plenty of newbie myths about it that can ruin your chance for success before you even start.

Newbie Myth 1: The "Duplicate content penalty."

Some webmasters worry that if the content on their sites is suddenly on hundreds of other sites, search engines will inflict a "duplicate content penalty." Why is this concern unjustified?

* If this were true, every major newspaper and news portal website would now be de-indexed from the search engines, since they all carry "duplicate content" from the news wires such as

Reuters and the Associated Press.

* Thousands of self-promoting internet gurus have proven that distributing content is an effective method of improving search engine rank.

* Even more thousands of content websites have proven that republishing this content does not carry any search engine penalty.

True, the first website to publish an article often seems to be favored by search engines, ranking higher for the same content in searches than higher-PageRank pages with the same content. But the "duplicate" pages do show up in the search engine results, even if lower than the original site. Meanwhile, the reprint content has no effect on the ranking of a site's other pages.

The only duplicate content penalty is for duplication of content across pages of a single website. Meanwhile, there is a sort of "copyright theft" penalty, whereby someone who copies content without permission can be manually removed from search engine indexes out of respect for the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. But that penalty is only for flagrant theft, not minor mistakes in attributing reprint content.

Newbie Myth 2: The goal is to get in article clearinghouse websites.

There are over 100 popular, high-traffic websites that act as clearinghouses for content made available for redistribution. These websites include isnare.com, amazines.com, and goarticles.com.

Many novice content-distributors are upset when the article clearinghouse websites, with tens of thousands of articles each with a backlink, pass negligible PageRank. But the point of distributing content to those websites is for other website owners to find your content and put it on their websites--not to get a backlink directly from the clearinghouse website (though this is sometimes an unexpected bonus).

Plus, to maximize PageRank-passing links, you also have to submit articles to website owners individually. It's not a small amount of work. But there's no substitute for a polite, individually crafted email recommending a website owner complement his or her existing articles with one you've written.

Myth 3: Any content will do.

Reality: It should be obvious that many website owners, jealous of their link popularity, will only republish exceptionally high - quality content. For articles, this means a unique point of view and solid information that cannot be found just anywhere, ideally presented in compelling language in a web-optimized format by a professional published writer. You can conduct a content distribution campaign with bad content, but you'll be handicapping yourself from the start.

Myth 4: Distributing content is easy. Just hit "send."

Reality: Content distribution campaign requires skillful planning to target publisher websites effectively.

This is essentially a four-step process.

1. You must identify the categories of websites most likely to republish your articles. These categories range from the very broad, such as internet, business, and family, and can go as narrow as family-friendly internet businesses.

It's a careful balance: you need to make your target category narrowly relevant to maximize the value of the link and your chances of getting your article accepted for publication. But if you target too narrow a category, you'll lower the maximum number of links you can hope to get.

For instance, a website on web content writing has to target its content distribution to more than just sites focusing on web content. There are only so many websites devoted to web content as a topic of interest, and besides, many such websites would be competitors. Distribution should target broadly relevant categories, such as web design, webmaster issues, writing, marketing, business, website promotion, and SEO. Yet some broadly related categories, such as internet or publishing, are not relevant enough to yield good results.

2. To maximize success, you must have articles custom-created for each major category you want to submit to. "Incorporating Content in Web Design" and "Marketing with Content" would be possible titles for a web content-writing website owner targeting web design and marketing websites, respectively. An article about web design won't appeal as strongly to marketers, or vice versa, so simply submitting to websites having to do with "the web" would not be as effective.

3. For maximum success, articles custom-written for a category then often have to be refined for sub-categories. For instance, "Incorporating Content in Web Design" becomes "Incorporating Content into Flash Web Design," or "Incorporating Content into Accessible Web Design." Sometimes the refinement is just a "find and replace" of one keyword for another, sometimes just in the title. Sometimes, entire paragraphs have to reworded or removed.

4. Once you've identified sub-categories of websites, you still have to be able to meet the requirements of individual websites. Some sites only publish articles up to 500 words, some only do how-to articles. Owners of high-ranking websites can afford to be choosey. To really maximize results within a sub-category, you need at least three different articles of varying lengths and focus specifically geared toward that sub-category.

In the end, distributing content for website promotion and inbound links is a marvelously effective way of promoting a website. But it's not magic beans. Like anything else having to do with achieving success on the web, it takes hard work and knowledge to be successful.

About the author:
Joel Walsh is the owner of UpMarket Content, offering a fully managed content distribution campaign guaranteed to get you at least one hundred one-way inbound links for every three pages of content: http://upmarketcontent.com/website-promotion-package.htm[requested HTML anchor/link text: website promotion content distribution]

Friday, November 6, 2009

90s Web Design: A Nostalgic Look Back


by: Joel Walsh
A nostalgic look back at 90s web design, and a warning to anyone whose website is an accidental anachronism.

Remember the days when every PC was beige, every website had a little Netscape icon on the homepage, Geocities and Tripod hosted just about every single personal homepage, and "Google" was just a funny-sounding word?

The mid-late 1990s were the playful childhood of the worldwide web, a time of great expectations for the future and pretty low standards for the present. Those were the days when doing a web search meant poring through several pages of listings rather than glancing at the first three results--but at least relatively few of those websites were unabashedly profit-driven.

Hallmarks of 1990s Web Design

Of course, when someone says that a website looks like it came from 1996, it's no compliment. You start to imagine loud background images, and little "email me" mailboxes with letters going in and out in an endless loop. Amateurish, silly, unprofessional, conceited, and unusable are all adjectives that pretty well describe how most websites were made just ten years ago.

Why were websites so bad back then?

Knowledge. Few people knew how to build a good website back then, before authorities like Jakob Nielsen starting evangelizing their studies of web user behavior.

Difficulty. In those days, there weren't abundant software and templates that could produce a visually pleasing, easy-to-use website in 10 minutes. Instead, you either hand-coded your site in Notepad or used FrontPage.

Giddiness. When a new toy came out, whether it was JavaScript, Java, Frames, animated Gifs, or Flash, it was simply crammed into an already overstuffed toy box of a website, regardless of whether it served any purpose.

Browsing through the Internet Archive's WayBack Machine, it's hard not to feel a twinge of nostalgia for a simpler time when we were all beginners at this. Still, one of the best reasons for looking at 90s website design is to avoid repeating history's web design mistakes. This would be a useful exercise for the tragic number of today's personal homepages and even small business websites that are accidentally retro.

Splash Pages

Sometime around 1998, websites all over the internet discovered Flash, the software that allowed for easy animation of images on a website. Suddenly you could no longer visit half the pages on the web without sitting through at least thirty seconds of a logo revolving, glinting, sliding, or bouncing across the screen.

Flash "splash pages," as these opening animations were called, became the internet's version of vacation pictures. Everyone loved to display Flash on their site, and everyone hated to have to sit through someone else's Flash presentation.

Of all the thousands of splash pages made in the 1990s and the few still made today, hardly any ever communicated any useful information or provided any entertainment. They were monuments to the egos of the websites' owners. Still, today, when so many business website owners are working so hard to wring every last bit of effectiveness out of their sites, it's almost charming to think of a business owner actually putting ego well ahead of the profit to have been derived from all the visitors who hit the "back" button rather than sit through an animated logo.

Text Troubles

"Welcome to…" Every single website homepage in 1996 had to have the word "welcome" somewhere, often in the largest headline. After all, isn't saying "welcome" more vital than saying what the web page is all about in the first place?

Background images. Remember all those people who had their kids' pictures tiled in the background of every page? Remember how much fun it was trying to guess what the words were in the sections where the font color and the color of the image were the same?

Dark background, light text. My favorite was orange font on purple background, though the ubiquitous yellow white text on blue, green or red was nice, too. Of course, anyone who will make their text harder to read with a silly gimmick is just paying you the courtesy of letting you know they couldn't possibly have written anything worth reading.

Entire paragraphs of text centered. After all, haven't millennia of flush-left margins just made our eyes lazy?

"This Site Is Best Viewed in Netscape 4.666, 1,000x3300 resolution." It was always so cute when site owners actually imagined anyone but their mothers would care enough to change their browser set up to look at some random person's website.

All-image no-text publishing. Some of the worst websites would actually do the world the service of putting all their text in image format so that no search engine would ever find them. What sacrifice!

Hyperactive Pages

TV-envy was a common psychological malady in 1990s web design. Since streaming video and even Flash were still in their infancy, web designers settled for simply making the elements on their pages move like Mexican jumping beans.

Animated Gifs

In 1996, just before the dawn of Flash, animated gifs were in full swing, dancing, sliding, and scrolling their way across the retinas of web surfers trying to read the text on the page.

Scrolling Text

Just in case you were having a too easy time tuning out all the dancing graphics on the page, an ambitious mid-1990s web designer had a simple but powerful trick for giving you a headache: scrolling text. Through the magic of JavaScript, website owners could achieve the perfect combination of too fast to read comfortably and too slow to read quickly.

For a while, a business owner could even separate the serious from the wannabe prospects based just on how (un)professional their business websites looked. Sadly, the development of template-based website authoring software means that even someone with no taste or sense whatsoever can make websites that look as good as the most biggest-budget design of five years ago.

Of course, there are still some websites whose owners seem to be trying to spark a resurgence in animated gifs, background images, and ugly text. 'll just have to trust that everyone is laughing with them, not at them.

About the author:
If you want to avoid these mistakes in your website Joel Walsh recommends you check out http://www.ezgenerator.com/documents/167.html?%20web%20authoring%20software[Publishthis article on your website!Requirement:live link for above URL/web address w/ link text/anchor text:"web authoring software" OR leave this bracketed message]

The Five Steps of E-Commerce


by: Lois S

You set up a retail business, you advertise in your local newspaper, you get customers coming into your store, and you receive payment at the cash register. Create an online store, and...how do you get customers? How do you receive payment? The concept is the same, but the steps are different.

Step 1: Create your website

If you don’t have web design skills, you can hire a qualified web designer to create a website for you, or you can use an online site builder. Think of it as hiring an architect and an interior decorator compared to setting up shop in an existing store.

Using a web designer

With the services of a web designer, you can have a unique website template and website customized to your specific needs. A web development team can also add features such as Flash headers or any programming needed for your site. If your company image is critical, a custom-designed site that conveys the right professional image is a must.

Using an online site builder

An online site builder is the budget way to go. With site builder programs such as Site Studio, your website can be online within minutes. A step-by-step menu allows you to choose a layout and colors, and then add a site description, a logo, and content. Your template may not be unique, but your content will.

Step 2: Set up an e-commerce store

Your customers will browse at your website, select some items, and then pay for them. When you set up an e-commerce shopping cart, you’re providing a way for your customers to bring their purchases to the cash register. The program you choose will allow you to enter your products in the database and allow shoppers to choose products when they click on “Add to cart” or something similar.

Two well-known shopping carts, osCommerce and Miva Merchant, both allow you to do these tasks:

Add, edit, and delete product categories and other information

Set tax rates and charge tax

Receive payment via numerous online and offline payment processing methods

Bill customers

And much more



osCommerce

osCommerce is an open source program. Store owners can set up their online stores using osCommerce with no costs involved. For small stores, it has all the features you need for an online store. Drawbacks of osCommerce are that customization is not easy, and online stores using osCommerce tend to look similar.

Miva Merchant

While Miva Merchant carries a price tag of $995, some web hosts offer Miva Merchant licenses with their hosting plans. If you choose Miva as your shopping cart, be sure to host your site with a host that provides Miva support. Its learning curve is steep, and it requires the support of people who know how to work with it.

With the price and the steep learning curve, you get more features, and you can customize the program more. Add-in modules can be bought that perform a number of tasks. In addition, a strong support community is available in the Miva user group forums.


Step 3: Get a merchant account and payment gateway

When customers arrive at the checkout counter, you need a way for their payments to be transferred from their credit card accounts to your bank account. The method you choose may depend on your sales volume.

For high-volume sales, an e-commerce merchant account plus a payment gateway will meet your needs. A merchant account provider authorizes the transfer of payments to your account, and a payment gateway transfers the information from your customers’ financial institutions to yours.

Most merchant accounts have setup fees, transaction fees, monthly fees, and statement fees. The transaction fees are less than what you’d pay using a third party credit card processor such as PayPal. With all the fees, however, the overall cost is typically lower only if your monthly sales volume is over about a thousand dollars.

For medium and low volume sales, PayQuake and PayPal are viable options.



PayQuake

PayQuake offers three merchant account types to choose from. Although they all require payment gateways, the two smaller plans have no monthly minimums. You can upgrade to a higher or lower plan if your needs change.



PayPal

PayPal has become a household name. Customers can send payment through PayPal via credit card or via money that they transfer into their PayPal account. While the fees per transaction are higher than with merchant accounts, there are no setup or monthly fees, and you don’t need a payment gateway. You pay only when you have financial transactions.

Fore more details about these options, see WebSite Source Hosting Solutions: E-Commerce.


Step 4: Create a secure payment environment

A Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificate enables you to receive credit card information securely from your customers. When a payment page is using SSL data to encrypt data, a small image of a lock appears at the bottom right of the screen.

Some web hosts offer SSL certificates as part of their hosting packages. If your web host package doesn’t include SSL certificates, you can purchase one separately.

With PayPal, no SSL certificate is required.

Step 5: Generate traffic


Your products are on display in your newly designed store, your shopping cart is set up and ready to use, and you have everything in place to be able to receive payments securely. Now all you need are customers.

This is where marketing comes in.

Submit your site to search engines.

Advertise your site.

Keep your company name in front of your customers with a regular email newsletter.

Add more content to your website to keep it fresh.

Monitor your website traffic to see where it’s coming from and how you can increase traffic for key content areas.


For related information, see these pages:


Do-It-Yourself Search Engine Optimization

Promote Your Domain


About the author:
Lois S. is a Technical Executive Writer for http://www.websitesource.com and http://www.lowpricedomains.com with experience in the website hosting industry.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Build websites easier with premade templates


by: Alexandru Marias

To most people the process of building a web site remains somewhat of a mystery. This confusion probably stems from the fact that there is a cornucopia of web sites on the Internet. Even with wide variety of sites, every single one can be divided into two sections: front-end and back-end.

The front-end is the first thing that it is designed. It encompasses the look and feel of a web site. This is probably the most established part of the web site production process. Design has been around since Guttenberg printed his first bible. Much of what has been used in print media (especially art magazines) has transferred to the web.

Most well thought out web sites start off with sketches on paper. We like using the big huge box of crayons, the one with the crayon sharpener built in. Most of the colors in the "big box" are pleasing to the eye and are web friendly. If you use begin paying attention to sites you'll notice that only a few colors are actually used, 256 to be exact. Only about 100 of those won't give you a headache when you look at them. On request we will give these early designs to a client that wants to control the look and feel of their site. The site, of course, never ends up looking like the early designs. The same idea and concept is there but because of restrictions colors and whole images are lost.

This brings us to the next part of the front-end, the actual site creation. This is what many people view as the most important, which is what separates a professional looking site from an amateur one.

The images are created using products from across the board. Mainly, designers stick to industry standards like Photoshop and Illustrator. After getting the basic image in terms of proportions and size the designer should create the static HTML page.

This is the basic page you would see if you viewed the page source. This is one of the most rewarding, most hated and most tedious part of the web design process. Each browser displays a page differently. Since most users either use Internet Explorer 4+ or Netscape 4.5 we cater to those two. Sometimes we build a different site for each, trying to maintain the same layout.

That concludes the front-end section. Personal sites and some small business sites stop here. While this maybe acceptable today, tomorrow any web site hoping to attract and keep visitors is going to have a strong back-end.

There are many sites and website designers that offer premade templates, these have the entire graphical layout that a page needs.

For those with little or no experience with website design software, templates have quickly become a practical solution to professional website design. Most of the top end sites offer a huge selection of very impressive, easy-to-edit website templates. All you have to do is check your email containing the link to download the .zip file. The html in these templates is compatible with Adobe GoLive, Macromedia Dreamweaver and Microsoft Frontpage. The major advantage is the price, they run anywhere from $20 to $70. Another great advantage is you don't have to hire a web designer, who usually takes 1 to 2 weeks to produce a page of such high quality. Webmasters, either novice or expert, can easily save thousands of dollars on design fees by using website templates.

There are also some exception sites, such as http://www.web-site-templates.org
that provide packages of templates at one price, instead of providing a different price for each template.


About the author:
Alexandru Marias is an IT student mentaining software sites like: www.amicutilities.com,www.downloadsplaza.com, www.fungamesplaza.com, www.bluedownloads.com

Monday, November 2, 2009

Fast Web Design For The Skint Webmaster


by: T. O' Donnell
About two years ago, I had a go at commercial web site design. I put a medium-sized ad in a London classified ad paper. Nothing fancy: "Web designer seeks work ..." etc. This was expensive, about £500 for a month's run.

Got a few replies. Lesson number one: advertise where clients of the calibre you want will see it. The clients I got thought £300 was a lot for a web site. They didn't want to pay web hosting. They wanted a lot of bang for their buck. 'Mission creep' was a term I grew to know and loathe.

This set me thinking: how could I give these people all they could ever want, but not spend a lot of time and money? Lately, I realised how.

So how can you get a full featured site up in a day? Easy (ish!).

1. Mambo Content Management System http://www.mambo.com

I wish I'd found this software a couple of years ago. It's freeware. The default set-up allows people without web design skills to update the site. It has a WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) option. This adds HTMLArea code to text input form fields. Each HTML code input box becomes a mini HTML editor.

If you can use Microsoft Word, you can add formatted HTML code to the site.

To get it running you need to know how to install MySQL databases, or have PHPMyAdmin as part of your web-hosting package.

You can add articles, edit them, send emails to members, and be contacted by users.

The only criticisms I have of this software are:

1. The admin interface is confusing. It's all there, just finding and using it is the problem!

2. You need to search around template sites to find ones suited to your site purpose. I wanted simple, clean, business ones. Most of those available seem to have a fat graphic which covers half the screen. There are more restrained ones out there.

These are minor gripes, compared to the relief of finding what is essentially a web site in a box. It can be installed in an hour, once you get familiar with it.

To add ecommerce to your site:

Oscommerce Shopping Cart http://www.oscommerce.com

Again, this is a full-featured, freeware software. You can add lots of freeware 'plug-ins' to it, to get a professional shopping cart.

Therein lies the danger. Some of these plug-ins require altering or overwriting the default cart files. When you try to upgrade the cart version later, you may 'break' it, by overwriting a plug-in, thus creating errors.

The trick here is to only install plug-ins that add files (rather than overwrite them) or that require minor alterations to existing files.

What I do is download all the versions of the plug-in type I need e.g. a WYSIWYG editor. I then choose the one which has the least files, or which creates a new directory for its files. If it requires that important files be overwritten, or is complex, I chuck it.

Mambo and Oscommerce. Don't try to integrate them! Hyperlink from one to the other. I've tried integrations of other softwares, like PhpBB and PhpNuke. Fine, when it works, but when you upgrade one or the other, arrgh!

*Keep databases separate*. If one goes skew-whiff, then at least the other will still work. Same goes for adding chat rooms and the like. If they're all running off the one database, and that database becomes corrupted ...

It may offend your sense of tidiness for your visitors to have to sign up twice at your site, but you'll thank me for this sage advice later. Remember KISS is the basic rule of computing (Keep It Simple, Stupid!).

About the author:
T. O' Donnell ( http://www.tigertom.com) is an ecommerce consultant and curmudgeon living in London, UK. His latest project is an ebook on conservatories, available at http://www.ttconservatories.co.uk.T. O' Donnell freeware may be downloaded at http://www.ttfreeware.co.uk.

Cheap Webhosting - Is It For You


by: John Pierce
There's an old adage which states that "You get what you pay for".

In most areas of life, and business, this holds true. Not necessarily so, however, in the webhosting industry. Often, you pay too much, and don't get what you pay for.

Several weeks ago I got a call from a web designer friend of mine.

"John," He said "You won't believe this".

He went on to tell me about a Plastic Surgeon he was redesigning a website for. This client was paying $600.00 per month for his webhosting account.

"The incredible thing is" He related, "I can't get the current host to return my phone calls or emails".

After looking at this clients needs, I was shocked to find that there was nothing special about his site that justified his being on anything other than a basic shared webhosting plan. We quoted him a monthly rate of under five dollars.

In this case, the client was being raped by an unscrupulous host who was not only overcharging him, but not even providing the basic support he needed.

This is an extreme example, no doubt, but it all to often characterizes the poor deal which most website owners fall into.

Several years ago, there was no such thing as a webhosting industry. Nearly all websites were hosted by local ISP's. The average monthly cost for hosting a website was $20.00 per month. Often, if you called the ISP with a technical question, they would tell you to buy a book or take a class.

Around 1996, we saw the emergence of a few "webhosting" companies. These were companies which were strictly committed to hosting websites. Using the economy of scale, they were able to offer incredibly useful webhosting packages for around $10.00 per month. What's more, some of these companies provided useful tech support which was geared towards meeting a website owners needs.

Fast forward to 2005 and we now see the emergence of a new type of web host - the cheap webhosting provider. These are companies which offer hosting for less than $5.00 per month.

Generally, cheap webhosting providers are newer companies. There's a reason for this. It's extremely difficult for the older companies to lower their prices when they already have a large customer base which pays higher prices. They'd be slashing their gross, and most companies just can't afford that.

So how do cheap webhosting providers offer such a low price to begin with?

Part of it is that servers, hard drive space and bandwidth are much, much less expensive than they were several years ago. Cheap webhosting providers capitalize on this.

Another part is that cheap hosting providers use a different business model than the older providers. Webhosting is a very competitive business. Until recently, web hosts attempted to compete by providing the most tools and features. The problem with this model is that not everyone needs everything. Most web hosts provide free backup services to all of their clients. Backups are costly, and not everyone needs or wants them, but everyone pays for them because they're built into the cost of the package.

A cheap webhosting provider, on the other hand, might give you the basic features that everyone uses, but offer weekly backups as an available add on feature, putting the cost of backing up websites on only those customers who want that service.

This all sounds great, I know, but what about service? Will I get competent and fast customer support from a company which charges me $4.00 per month?

The answer, surprisingly, is usually yes.

Obviously, not all cheap webhosting providers will give you great service. But not all expensive webhosting providers will give good service either. Our Plastic Surgeon friend couldn't get his $600.00 host to return his emails.

But, with a cheaper provider, the key for the providers success is customer retention. A savvy web host will endeavor to please his existing clients by providing the best support possible.

About the author:
John Pierce is a technology writer and the Customer Service Manager for Gold Zero Web Hosting - http://goldzero.com-and the Webmaster for Cheap Webhosting Info Guide - http://cheapwebhostinginfo.com

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Computer Internet Security: How Viruses Can Destroy Your E-business


By: Barry Kareful

It is amazing how many people; both casual Internet "surfers" and online marketers choose to ignore computer internet security. Perhaps it is simply due to ignorance as to how widespread and dangerous computer viruses are or that they are simply "too cheap" to invest in quality internet security products. Then again it could be a matter of their naive belief that "it will never happen to me". Whatever the reason, with some computer industry reports claiming nearly 5,000 "new" computer viruses being discovered each year, whether you are a casual Internet surfer or a serious online marketer, you cannot afford not to take computer virus threats very seriously! Just imagine logging into your computer one fine day to check your bank account or PayPal account only to find all your funds are gone! Your hard earned money, either from your traditional job or online business (perhaps both) have been stolen. Yes, there are viruses out there that are capable of gathering sensitive data (passwords, credit card information, etc.) from your computer without your knowledge and sending it back to the criminals that wrote the virus programs. Good-bye savings! So it is well worth your while to invest in the best internet security software that you can afford. So what is a computer virus anyway? In simple terms, a computer virus is a program that has the ability to spread throughout your computer and/or network by attaching itself to your program files or host files. Once the computer virus has copied itself throughout your computer system, depending on the type of virus, it starts to interfere with the normal operation of your computer and /or network in a variety of ways which we will discuss in a later article. Unfortunately computer viruses come in many different forms, so there is no one common cure that will prevent and destroy all the many viruses out there. Some of the more common viruses are:
  • Boot sector viruses that focus on infecting the boot sector of a hard drive as well as the "master boot record". Simply starting or "booting" your computer is enough to activate this nasty critter if your computer is infected.
  • File infector viruses like to go after your application programs by attaching themselves to the code of the host file. This allows them to spread from one computer to another over a network once the host application is utilized by the computer user (you).
  • Macro viruses are actually tiny programs on their own which can infiltrate an application program and then begin to replace normal programming code to cause unexplained and potentially destructive behavior, which may result in data loss and more.
Other virus types that are becoming more common and that you need to be aware of include:
  • stealth viruses which have the ability to hide from all but the best internet security programs,
  • time bomb viruses that are written specifically to become active on a certain date or time specified by their creator,
  • polymorphic viruses have the built in ability to actually change their code to fool basic antivirus scanning software until they are ready to strike,
  • multipartite viruses are a combination (or hybrid) of two or more viruses such as a boot sector virus and a file infector virus,
  • logic bombs are written to strike when a certain event, predetermined by their creator, happens. Until that time, they behave like a time bomb virus, lying in wait.
On final tidbit of information just in case you still are unconvinced of the seriousness and threats to your computer internet security posed by computer viruses. Depending on your information sources, estimates of new computer viruses discovered each month range from as low as 100 upwards to over 500! Clearly it is no longer a question of "if I do get a computer virus infection", but rather, "when I get a computer virus infection". In my next articles we will discuss Antivirus software, what it does, how to tell if you have an infected computer and/or network, and what you need to look for in a good Antivirus software program for your internet security system.

Article Source: http://www.articlesnatch.com

About the Author:
Barry has earned several awards for his article writing efforts on a variety of topics. Visit his website Computer Internet Security.Com to learn more about computer internet security or to discover his recommended best internet security software.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Choosing A Web Designer: A Plan To Guide You Through The Minefield


by: Robin Porter
Choosing a web designer can seem like a daunting task. They come in all shapes and sizes – from freelancers working at home to glossy new media agencies, and there is as much variation in prices and service as there is in size.

So how do you choose the right one for your business?

Select Your Marketplace

Firstly, decide what market your would like to select from: local , national or overseas.

If you would feel more comfortable meeting your designer, and running through your project face to face (maybe it’s the kind of project that needs to “evolve”) ,and your ethos is “quality of service” rather than “Pile ‘em high, sell ‘em cheap” then a local web designer is for you. They can usually provide better back up, and be able to meet face to face to discuss your project and iron out any problems should they occur.

If you are a bit more budget conscious, then it makes sense to select from a “wider pool”. Getting quotes from designers across your country will usually obtain a more competitive quote. What you lose in face-to-face service is made up for in cost savings, and all but the largest web projects can usually be sorted out via telephone and email these days.

For the extremely cost conscious and value for money orientated (some would even say “brave”!) there is the overseas market. If you know exactly what you are looking for and can explain your project thoroughly and clearly in writing, then there are huge savings to be made. But what you save in price is invariably countered by having to do a little more work on your side – particularly when it comes to communication!

Finding Web Designers

To find a list of local web designers consult your Yellow Pages (or equivalent) or do a web search for “web designer “ “your area”. Looking further a field, you can do a web search or check out directories such as www.recommended-web-designers.co.uk . For overseas designers, go to web sites such as www.elance.com or www.rentacoder.com, the latter offering the benefit of escrow and arbitration services.

Draw up a shortlist

Draw up a shortlist of 3 or 4 designers to speak to. You can do this by visiting their websites, getting a feel for the type and size of business they are and looking at their online portfolio. Then call them – ask them questions about the type of clients they work for, timeframes and any other technical questions you have. Get a feel for how they communicate – whether they are on the same wavelength as you.

If you opted to go overseas, the websites already mentioned have ratings systems which can help you decide, and you can also send and receive private messages to ask questions.

Get Quotes

Once you have your shortlist, you can get quotes. For a straightforward website this can be a simple fixed price – for a more complicated project that is likely to evolve, you may just want to get a budget price at this stage, and then pin down details and a fixed price with your preferred bidder later. Always specify your expected timeframe for completion when obtaining quotes as this can affect prices.

Get References

Once you have your preferred bidder, get references. Any established web designer will be able to provide details of satisfied clients. Email them and ask if they were happy with the service received, if the job was completed on time, how unforeseen problems were dealt with etc.

Remember to trust your instincts: If you are not entirely happy with the references you obtain, walk away and select another designer.

Appoint your web designer

You now have a fixed price, references, and confirmed timescale for your project. Now appoint your designer!

Most have standard agreements –read them carefully, and if in doubt get your legal adviser to look them over. Make sure timescales and project milestones are specified, as well as payment terms. Find out how alterations to your project are dealt with – in terms of cost and delays – and how disputes if they arise would be settled.

Finally, when you are completely happy, sign on the dotted line and look forward to a productive working relationship with your web designer!

About the author:
Robin Porter has been CEO of of London based web designer Arpey Internet (http://www.arpey.co.uk) for over six years.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

The 10 Most Important Questions To Ask Your Web Host NOW!


by: Bob Roth
So, you’re looking to build a web site or so fed up with your current web host that you are desperate to transfer your site elsewhere? You may not even be aware of your current host’s vulnerabilities in an industry where each week there is news about a host going down for one reason or another. Your first problem is narrowing the thousands of choices down to a few that you can research further. Seek friends or associates that have a web site and ask for their advice. Visit one of the many forums about web hosting, ask the members for advice or search threads from those that have asked before you. Once you’ve located a few hosts to research, the ten questions below will take you a long way towards making an informed decision. You may be able to find many of the answers to these questions on the hosts’ web sites, but always feel free to call the host and quiz them about their operations. The quality of the answers and degree of professionalism you get from a potential host often transfers to the type of support you’ll receive once you become a customer. Without further ado, the ten question to ask your web host:

1. How long has the web host been in business?
2. Does the web host own its data center?
3. How many upstream Internet providers does the web host have?
4. Does the web host monitor its customers’ sites twenty-four hours per day? How?
5. Does the web host provide 24/7/365 phone and email support?
6. What levels of redundancy does the web host’s architecture provide?
7. Does the web host automatically backup customer web sites in case of data loss? How often?
8. What is the web host’s billing policy?
9. Does the web host provide the features that you need for your web site?
10. Does the web host have the products and services to handle your growth?

1. How long has the web host been in business?
The length of time that a host has been in business can be related to their ability to provide a quality, reliable product. If your host can satisfy its customers, then those customers are likely to stick with the host’s service. Therefore, stay in business. There are, of course, situations where this is not applicable or becomes a bit hazy. Be sure to also inquire about whether a host has recently been involved in a merger, acquired what was once a well-known brand name, or launched a new brand. If any of these apply, then delve deeper into the story behind what has happened and determine whether quality resources are still with the company.
• Complete a domain name “whois” lookup on the web host: http://www.internic.net/whois.html. Type in the web host’s domain name and determine what year the domain was registered. If only registered in the recent past, ask the host about it. If the domain name was recently registered this is not necessarily a red flag. Simply inquire with the host about it. They may have recently launched an affinity-based brand to cater to your market.
• Type the host’s name into a search engine and check out the results that you get, other than those from the host itself. You may run across reviews, interviews, or industry articles about the host.

2. Does the web host own its data center?
A data center is the foundation from which all products and services are built upon. If your host owns its own data center, then they are likely quite entrenched in the hosting business. They also have an experienced staff and knowledge base from which to draw from when supporting your web site and building new products. In other words, if a host owns its own facility, then it controls more of the variables that can make or break your web presence.

3. How many upstream Internet providers does the web host have?
Your web site performance is not just a measure of your web server's speed. The ability of your web host to route traffic through the cleanest Internet connections is also of great importance. It is crucial that your provider have multiple connections to the Internet. Accidental fiber cuts in construction or telecom work and data center equipment failure can cause your site to go offline for an extended amount of time. This can be avoided if your web host has other connections to the Internet that will reroute traffic that would have normally been carried on the failed circuit. Yes, this means your host must also have extra capacity on hand to handle normal traffic levels when one connection is lost; which is another area where a host can attempt to cut cost. This is much like when driving your car, there are several streets that you can take to get to your desired destination. Sometimes you will encounter construction or an accident that will require you to take an alternative street. Well, the Internet works the same way. There are several routes that traffic can take to a destination. Your host should be able to choose the cleanest, or most efficient, route to your web site visitor. In fact, your host should be able to continually tune these routes to find the best path to your visitors. Another way to achieve this is by minimizing the number of different networks traffic will pass through before reaching its destination. It is extremely important for your host to have direct connections to networks that have lots of eyeballs. In other words, your web site will be served better if your web host is using connections with networks that facilitate Internet access to large volumes of subscribers.

4. Does the web host monitor its customers’ sites twenty-four hours per day? How?
There are a couple of factors that can influence the answer to this question. Does the host own its own data center? If not, then they are physically removed from their servers and likely paying a co-location company to provide monitoring for them. When another company controls the environmental systems that provide the home for the host, one can argue that you’ve created another potential point of failure; that being the communication of an issue from the data center to the web host. That point of failure can increase the latency between an issue and its resolution, resulting in increased downtime for your web site. Second, if your web host has an issue with its own infrastructure, then there may be travel time associated with their engineers getting to the data center to resolve it or, once again, increased latency by trying to remotely resolve an issue.

5. Does the web host provide 24/7/365 toll free phone and email support?
You might be surprised at how many web hosts don’t provide 24/7/365 support. The industry’s hosts run the gamut from only email support to providing phone and email support 24 hours per day and 365 days per year. The best way to eliminate not having support when you need it, is to choose a host that can assist you whenever you need it. When an idea wakes you from a slumber at 3 A.M., it’s nice to have your host on the other end of the phone to discuss it. When your site malfunctions due to a programming glitch the night before your store is to open, it’s wonderful to have your web host on the phone to decipher the issue with you. When your cat accidentally deletes some important files, know that your host is there to help recover them. Also make sure that your host is providing support over the major holidays. Many web hosts will close their support center, decrease their support to only email, or send their support team home with a pager to be called in case of emergency. All of these decreases can create latency if your web site goes offline. And, holidays are often days which persons will spend time on the Internet after they’ve completed all of their social plans. Matter of fact, word-of-mouth business is one of the most effective means to customer acquisition. When people get together, they exchange ideas.

6. What levels of redundancy does the web host provide?
Failures that cause your site to lose connection can happen. Therefore, it's crucial to find a provider whose hosting architecture provides the least-risk of failure. Redundancy is necessary. Single points of failure are very bad, but many hosts attempt to cut costs by risking single points of failure. Ask your web host about their redundancy in server architecture (web, email, and DNS servers), load-balancing, and file storage.
A web server is the hardware and software combination that serves requested web pages, files, or other information. Servers answer requests from web browsers to provide information from web sites, email, and databases. They then send that information to the requesting browser. Load balancing divides the amount of work that a server has to do between multiple servers, which also adds redundancy, so that more work gets done in the same amount of time and, in general, all web sites requests within the network get served faster. The load balancers stay in constant contact with the servers to determine how busy they are and/or if one of them has failed. It may sound like a no-brainer, but having your site connected to the Internet is the whole reason for having a web site and a load-balanced, redundant network is vital to that endeavor.

Has your email server ever been down? Redundancy is also vital for email and DNS servers. A Domain Name System (DNS) server translates requests to locate a web site. As you can imagine, keeping email and DNS servers online is a mission-critical task for a web host. For file storage, seek a host that uses a reliable storage solution with multiple auto-fail over and hot-swappable drives to ensure continuous delivery of your web site.

7. Does the web host automatically backup customer web sites in case of data loss? How often?
Backing up web sites should be a routine part of your web host’s operation. Backup is the activity of copying files or databases so that they will be preserved in case of equipment failure or any other catastrophe.

8. What is the web host’s billing policy?
Look for a web host that provides a money-back guarantee. This will allow you to try out the host’s service. Should you find that the service is sub-par in site performance, reliability, or lacking the features that you seek, the ability to request your money back, within the parameters of the guarantee, is priceless and liable to save you from later trouble. It is always a good to idea to inquire about the web host’s cancellation procedures. There are many out there who require you to send them an email or make a phone call to cancel, which can extend the time frame to cancellation. A host who is confident in their service will have a cancellation form or online avenue within their control panel. Now, they will likely also have a retention program, so don’t be surprised when they call or email you to ask why you are leaving. After all, your feedback helps them to evaluate their service.

9. Does the web host provide the features that you need for your web site?
Sometimes people choose a host because it has the exact feature set that they need, but later find that feature set means nothing when access to those features is unreliable. Make sure that a host has your desired features and is also reliable. To make sure that the host you are evaluating has everything you need, use the following list:
• A domain name, but be sure to look for hidden registration fees or renewal fees
• An ample amount of versatile email accounts including web-based, POP3, and IMAP
• Email spam filtering and virus protection are a must these days, unless you are providing this on your own
• Enough disk space to meet your site’s needs
• Monthly bandwidth allotments that will cover your traffic and the ability to increase that allotment based on your site’s success
• Site building tools such as extensions for FrontPage or other online/downloadable site building programs
• Ease of upload to your site via FTP or other means
• Access to a robust traffic analysis program or the raw logs for you to process yourself
• Programming languages, including CGI, PHP, MIVA (if needed)
• Ecommerce shopping cart alternatives
• Database capability, dependant upon your application preference

10. Does the web host have the products and services to handle your growth?
You might be surprised how many sites that once started for fun or as a hobby have grown into some of the most popular sites on the Internet. Hence, you never know when you’ll outgrow your current product or service and need to move up the ladder to the next rung. Make sure that your web host can meet your anticipated growth, not only within the product range of shared hosting, but should you ever need a dedicated server or co-location solution, your host is there to discuss and provide the best solution.

Do your homework by using the above questions as a template and you will likely save yourself some major headaches down the road. If you’ve gathered information about multiple hosts, you can now compare apples to apples and decide on the best host for your needs. Hopefully, the work that you’ve done will avoid forcing you to use your gut, but rather make an informed decision based on the facts. Perhaps, the best piece advice that you will find in any article or forum about choosing a host is, if something seems too good to be true, then it probably is.

About the author:

Bob Roth is a Marketing Consultant and the Director of Marketing for SimpleNet.com Web Hosting. He has worked for some of the most influential and successful companies in the world. Distribution of this article allowed by linking back to http://www.simplenet.com/jump/articles