Filter: Web Hosting

spyware

Spyware Detectors Remove The Hidden Enemy

Your business may be under attack from a silent enemy that is hard to detect. It works stealthily in the shadows to access and exploit your critical business information, sensitive confidential data and intellectual property, for commercial gain. The term ‘spyware,’ covers a wide variety of such sinister software programs that installs on a computer without the user’s knowledge to essentially hijack web browsers, monitor all user activity on a machine, open backdoors for remote attackers, steal personal information, display unsolicited advertising, and slow PC performance.

The threats and risks posed by spyware for businesses include loss of productivity, profitability and credibility, liability from privacy violations, increased helpdesk cost, and damage to brand reputation. Spyware remediation and countermeasures to keep your company computer systems as safe as possible are in fact as critical as antivirus and antispam measures.

How Does Spyware Work?

Spyware generally falls into two broad categories.

  1. Surveillance software that includes applications such as key loggers, screen capture devices and trojans used to collect sensitive information about the user for monetary exploitation

 

  1. Advertising spyware that can be used by legitimate companies to log information about the user’s browsing history, personal details and online shopping habits to download and display advertisements on your computer utilizing your system resources, such as RAM and CPU.

Once installed on a computer, the program begins logging keystrokes, monitors online purchasing, websites visited, personal data or scans your hard drive to gather valuable information, all of which is then silently transmitted to a third party via file transfers to be aggregated and used for either legal or illegal purposes.

How Does Spyware Infect A Computer?

Spywares are designed to do its work without attracting suspicion and uses a number of convincing disguises to get installed on a user’s computer.

Spyware can be downloaded from web sites, direct file sharing programs, free downloadable software, or even be hidden in email attachments and instant messaging applications. Users can unknowingly install the spyware by clicking on the attachment or weblink, or by downloading the software.

Spyware often relies on “Drive-by installs,” wherein innocuous-looking pop-up windows with “OK” or “Click Here To Read” buttons which, when clicked, leads to the spyware being downloaded. This method of infection is usually accompanied by some form of adware, unwanted toolbars, links, new bookmarks in web browsers, or users get a host of pop-up ads.

Spyware also uses flaws and security holes in certain web browsers.

Often users receive spyware by unwitting accepting an End User License Agreement from a software program.

The new breed of spyware is both clever and tenacious enough to remain undetected for long periods of time. This is when spyware detectors come in handy.

What Are Spyware Detectors?

Spyware detectors are antispyware programs that perform routine checks on the computer to block and prevent spyware infections so that your system is clear of any unwanted and threatening software. Antispyware applications protect organizations from spyware intrusions by automatically scanning and sending potential spyware to quarantine potential malware so that you can delete threats before they can do any damage to your computer software.

They also monitor incoming data from email, websites, and downloads of files to stop spyware programs from being installed. You won’t have to worry about which email attachments are safe to open or whether certain software is suitable for download.

Spyware detectors also send out alerts when a spyware tries to install itself on your computer and warns users against suspicious links within emails, websites and live chats.

Antispyware programs can speed up the computer and browsing performances by removing spyware, adware.

Install Antispyware To Protect Your Business Computers

Today, spyware detectors play a critical a role in securing an organization’s system, just like the antivirus and personal firewall software. Always purchase your antispyware program from a retail store or reputable online retailer so that you get a legitimate program. There are many free antispyware programs available on the net but some of these are really spyware programs in disguise and can end up infecting your computer.

Choose the best spyware detector for your business. One that can help scan, detect, remove and block spyware using a friendly and intuitive interface. There are some antispyware programs such as Malwarebytes, SuperAntispyware and Spybot – Search & Destroy  that have been designed specifically to protect your machine from spyware, while others block both viruses and spyware serving as a great endpoint security system, such as Avast Endpoint ProtectionSophos Endpoint Protection or McAfee. Bitdefender’s GravityZone Business Security package is a more comprehensive security system that can easily detect and fight a variety of malware, ransomware and zero-day threats that may go undetected by traditional security products. For organizations that use a range of different devices and platforms, it may be good to give Trend Micro Worry-Free Business Security a try, as it provides protection for Windows, Mac, mobile devices and servers. Moreover it also stops emails carrying sensitive information from being sent out accidentally or even deliberately.

In today’s world of data threats, your business just cannot do without antivirus and antispyware software. Also implement proactive measures, such as being selective about what you download, reading licensing agreements, being aware of clickable ads and antispyware scams, to deal effectively with both known and unknown threats.

website for sale

Brief Guide On How To Sell Your Website

Think of websites as digital real estate that you have built painstakingly, with endless time and effort. Just like traditional real estate, quality websites and domains with steady traffic and revenue can increase in value over time. The art of creating websites, renovating them and developing them into financially lucrative online assets so that they can be easily liquidated for a profit, is commonly known as website flipping.

There are people who do not want to build a website from scratch as they may not have the knowledge or setup required to do so. They want to find and buy a turn-key, move-in ready website to get them going, without the initial investment needed to build, expand and grow a site. So if you own an established website with a history of rapid exponential growth then it may be a real cash cow and there may be a significant upside to selling your web asset online. Whatever your reason for wanting to sell a website, you can divest yourself of a web property by listing it on a marketplace and selling it.

Websites For Sale: The Website Sales Process

Once you decide to sell your website, you may have questions about the unknown variables involved and the actual process to make the sale. The deal flow is actually quite straightforward, whether you decide to sell it on your own or hire a professional website broker to handle the entire process.

  1. Prepare your site for selling
  2. Provide real facts and figures about your site
  3. Determine a proper website valuation
  4. List your site on a marketplace
  5. Manage the auction
  6. Post-sale

Prepare Your Site For Selling

Preparing an optimized, ready-to-sell website involves publishing stellar content, including videos, for a built-in reliable, repeat customer or audience base. To boost the value of your website before selling it you need to ensure it is optimized using responsive and user-friendly design and clutter-free layout that is easy to navigate. Most importantly, you need to monetize your website before you put it up for sale with proper ad placement (Google Adsense) and links to affiliate networks (Amazon, RewardStyle). Then you need to put together substantial information that can show the value and earnings of your site to potential buyers.

Provide Real Facts And Figures About Your Site

Buyers want to see proven results, specifically about traffic analytics, revenue stream proof, affiliate network reports, expenses and net profit. They want to see detailed records of traffic and revenue metrics to ensure that your site is actually bringing in the big bucks. You should aim to have at least 12 months of Google Analytics traffic data, and other provable, accurate financial records from merchant accounts and CMS platforms

Determine A Proper Website Valuation

It can be tricky figuring out your website’s actual value.  The amount of money that someone is willing to shell out for your website will depend on the website traffic, potential and actual ROI (return on investment), site ranking and the risk associated with your business model. Lower risk and high ROI will obviously fetch a higher price.

To get a general idea of what your website can potentially sell for at auction, use the following formula-

[Your site’s average earnings over a 3–12 month range] x (10) = Your base listing price

But there are wild fluctuations within this range too. Alternatively you can use a value calculator to get a good estimate about the potential sell price of your site.

List Your Site On A Marketplace

There are quite a few options to sell your site online from-

If you decide to sell through a website marketplace, you need to set up an auction for your website by providing historical information about your site, detailed traffic and financial information. Be transparent and open when discussing different factors related to your site such as business model, marketing efforts, growth opportunities and your reason for selling.

Manage the Auction

Auctions require patience as most bids typically come in the final 24 hours of an auction ending. Most importantly stay active through the auction process and take the time to monitor comments, and answer any questions whenever possible. Potential buyers do not just evaluate the business; they also look at how comfortable it will be doing business with you. So sellers should always respond in a timely manner and not be evasive. Drum up all the interest you can by promoting your listing. You can list a banner on your site advertising the sale or pay for some Facebook or Twitter ads to targeted potential buyers or leave messages on niche forums and communities. If you don’t get any bids at the auction that beat your reserve, or if you don’t get any interest for a classified listing, don’t sell for a lower price just to get rid of the site.

Post Sale

Once your site is sold to the highest bidder, you need to know how the buyer will pay for the asset. It is advisable to always accept payment via escrow, as it is a safe option for both parties. When the money gets placed securely into escrow, you will get a notification via email and can then begin transferring the assets of your site over to the buyer. With the sale closed, you’ll need to transfer the domain to the new owner. Once this is complete, escrow should release the funds to your account.

Final Thoughts On Websites For Sale

The process for selling your website can be challenging but hopefully this information above will help you become adept at building websites, injecting them with value and then getting the highest dollar amount for your website in the event of a sale.  Don’t take shortcuts when setting up your website for sale and you can win a jackpot.

cascading style sheets

Web Design with CSS3: The Next Generation

Cascading Style Sheets, commonly referred to as CSS, is a design language intended to simplify the process of designing web pages. Simply put, its a mechanism for adding style (e.g., fonts, colors, spacing) to Web documents. CSS3 is the latest version creating a buzz with web developers and designers and its important for business owners to understand the basics of Web Design with CSS3 and how it impacts their website.

The term cascading in Cascading Style Sheets refers to how browsers determine which styles to apply to a specific part of a web page. As web applications and technologies used to enhance websites advanced, users of the first two CSS generations found that the mark-up language couldn’t handle the complex requirements of more intricate websites.

To fix this problem CSS3 works in a module system, allowing separate components to be updated and edited gradually and individually, instead of all at once. Some of the most important CSS3 modules are:

  • Selectors
  • Box Model
  • Backgrounds and Borders
  • Text Effects
  • 2D/3D Transformations
  • Animations
  • Multiple Column Layout
  • User Interface

Web designers can build content-rich pages while using relatively lightweight coding requirements for things such as making 3D objects, rotating objects, maximize minimize with the help of hover, active links, and much more. Such an update can save a lot of time and energy, particularly for overworked designers and developers using Web Design with CSS3.

Using Web Design with CSS3, developers can now use impressive visual effects while building interfaces that are user-friendlier. As important, using CSS3 allows for cleaner, more professional looking sites that load faster, even with multiple effects and plugins. Not only is that important to keeping visitors on your website, but site speed is a ranking factor that major search engines take into account when indexing a page.

If you are considering building a new website make sure your web development team is using all the latest and greatest optimization techniques and technologies, including CSS3. By using modern standards like Web Design with CSS3 and HTML5, you can dramatically reduce the cost of building and maintaining a website when compared to legacy HTML-only pages. You can also greatly reduce the amount of physical bandwidth and hard disk space required, resulting in immediate long-term benefits for business.

Web Design with CSS3 is the way to go get started today pick your domain name and get online today with a real responsive design!

google search console

Getting Started with Google Search Console

Most website owners have heard of Google Webmaster Tools, which was renamed Google Search Console (GSC) in May 2015 but many still don’t use it. With most of the organic traffic coming from this search giant, Google Search Console has become ever more important in providing a wealth of search performance data about websites and mobile applications to webmasters, site owners, internet marketers and search engine optimization professionals. Let’s take a deeper look into what Google Search Console can do for you and how do you get started on it.

Importance Of Google Search Console

According to Google, there are best practices you can follow to improve how your site is indexed and ranked in search results. For anyone interested in monitoring and maintaining high rankings in the SERPs, Google Search Console is what you should be reviewing regularly. Along with Google Analytics, adding Google Search Console is one of the first things to do when starting a new site in order to optimize your website for search engines so that you can get an insight into how web visitors found you and other useful details about user behavior on your site.

GSC provides information about your sites performance for specific search phrases and queries. You can find out which of your posts get the most visitors from search or monitor the sites linking to you. It is also possible to detect any page not found errors, other HTML, or security issues that Google has discovered on your site. These are key indicators of the overall indexability of your site.

How to Start Using Google Search Console

Setting up GSC is fairly simple, once you have a Google account. Go to the Google Search Console page and sign in.

Step 1: Add a Property

Google Search Console needs you to add something to track, which it calls a property, and it can be a website or an Android app. For today example, we are going to proceed as though we are working with websites.

Once you have logged in, you will see an Add Property button on the homepage. Type in the name of the property and click the Add button.

Step 2: Verify Your Site

To prove ownership of your site, you get a number of verification options. Choose one. When the verification process is complete, you will see a big green check mark. Google recommends that you use more than one verification method for more resilient ownership.

Step 3: Link Google Analytics

You need to link your Google Search Console to your Google Analytics account so that they can seamlessly share information to provide you with even more meaningful data and reports to analyze your site performance. To do this, go into the site you want to link in the search console dashboard and from the drop-down menu click on the Settings icon to select Google Analytics property. Opt for the appropriate Google Analytics profile on the next screen, and click save.

Step 4: Generate a Sitemap

To ensure that Google is crawling your site properly and indexing all the relevant pages, you need to add a sitemap in any format supported by Google. Whatever method you choose, the end result will be a sitemap where you can point at the file (eg yourdomain.com/sitemap.xml) in Google Search Console.

Step 5: Submit Your Site to Google

You may already have submitted your site to Google when you set it up so that search bots can crawl your site but Google Search Console offers you another way to do this. To register a sitemap in Google Search Console, go to the Crawl menu on the left hand side of the main dashboard and Fetch as Google, then select the Fetch button. When complete, click on the Submit to Index button. Once done, you will get a report that the URL and linked pages have been submitted to Googles index.

The first time you add your website to the Google Search Console account, you will receive a notification from Google with a checklist of actions to Improve the search presence of yourdomain.com and links to other help resources within Google.

Exploring Google Search Console

The dashboard of the Search Console gives you a quick overview of any significant or critical messages that Google has sent you. You can get to know the current status of your site regarding Crawl Errors, Search Queries, and Sitemaps. You will also be notified via email.

The Search Console can be segregated into 6 main sections:

1. Messages – You will get mostly automated messages about your site to alert you to things such as an increase in the number of page not found  occurrences or a drop in rankings. You may also find information regarding manual penalties or other actions too.

2. Search Appearance– You get access to details on how your site and pages appear in the search results, including information about Structured Data (your schema.org data), Data Highlighter, Sitelinks, HTML Improvements (specifically titles and tags of your pages) and errors regarding Accelerated Mobile Pages, which allows you to easily fix any outstanding issues.

3. Search Traffic– Search Analytics allows you to sort and filter information about how well your site is performing in the search results based on queries, pages, countries, devices, search type and dates. You can view clicks, impressions, click-through rate and average position details for each query. You can also find information on backlinks and anchor texts, internal links and mobile-usability issues within the Search Traffic tab.

4. Google index– It provides information on how many of your pages are indexed and what keywords you are using the most. You can also remove URLs from Googles index in here, if you don’t want them to display any longer.

5. Crawl  This section gives you details on Errors (such as 404 page not found) found on your site. You can fix or redirect missing pages to improve the user experience on your site. You will also find Crawl stats on how frequently Googlebot crawls your content

6. Security Issues– If Google detects any suspicious activity within your site, such as malware infection or hacking, you will get a report in this section. It works as a potential warning system and is not a foolproof security system.

Final Thoughts

This brief introduction to the Google Search Console will hopefully have given you an idea about how you can access many powerful tools built into this console to monitor your sites performance in search results and improve content accessibility, detect malware and spam issues too. Google Search Console may lack the flash of Google Analytics, with no nifty charts or real-time data but a little quality time with GSC can vastly improve how your site performs in Googles index.

For a novice, this can be a bit overwhelming. Let us help. At DirectiveGroup we can help you set up and manage your Google Search Console so that you get the most out of it.

This is a guest blog written by Michelle Keyser, Director of Social Media and Content Marketing, at DirectiveGroup, a digital marketing agency, where she is a strategist and blog contributor. Contact them today for more information by calling 1.866.925.9524

The Best Blogging Sites On The Internet

Internet-powered blogs first made its appearance in the late 1990s as a platform to share knowledge, ideas, thoughts, opinions or experiences. What used to be an online journal or diary, with a few followers is now the biggest innovation in the digital publishing industry. Blogging today is a social phenomenon successfully used by millions of individuals and businesses the world over. There are established companies, entrepreneurs, marketers and millionaires all in the blogging business, primarily to boost business growth and make money. Everyone knows that a company blog can improve your sites search engine optimization and herd swarms of traffic to your site through inbound links. But blogging really shines when it is used to promote your brand and also when garnering feedback and opinions through comments within the blog. Besides being a great customer service tool, blogging sites also create advertising revenue, promotes services and helps generate sales.

But first you must identify a blogging platform that is easy to use and has the required customization tools for your needs. Ultimately the goal is for your audience to be able to read and interact with your blog effortlessly.

Popular Blogging Sites

The choice of your blogging platform will ultimately depend on the focus of your blog and whether you want to make money from the blog itself. Here are four of the best blogging sites that you can turn to for creating winning blogs of your own.

Blogger.com

Googles blogger.com is one of the most trustworthy and reliable free blogging platforms in the blogosphere, with tons of features. Blogger supports drag-and-drop template editing, dynamic updating and geo-tagging too. This blogging site has an easy to use control interface and it takes you step-by-step through creating your site within minutes, which is why it is highly recommended for all beginners. You can create multi user blogs (supports up to 100 users), private blogs and blog posts with images and videos easily and can even monetize your blog with Google Adsense, Amazon and other monetization programs. Since Google runs this service, Blogger supported blogs are by default search engine friendly too and very secure. The only downside is limited support.

WordPress.com And WordPress.org

WordPress is a massively popular open source blogging site for hosting and running your blog. Blogs that are part of the WordPress network publish an astounding 2.13 million posts per day. With WordPress.org it is possible to either setup up a WordPress blog on your own server (you will need to sign up with a WordPress hosting provider) or create a WordPress-hosted blog at WordPress.com for free. WordPress is widely supported by most hosting companies. Though it isnt as simple to set up and configure, there are a variety of customizations and options available on this blogging site. WordPress.org has added extra features such as forums, online store, and membership options that can help grow your blog. Besides being highly flexible, there are limitless tools, over 45,000 free plug-ins and thousands of themes to help create a standout website. It boasts of unique features, such as the ability to customize your permalinks. You can use WordPress to manage a single person personal blog, online portfolios to multiple user blogs managed by an administrator or even large eCommerce sites. Thanks to its army of developers, WordPress is constantly improving and being updated. The limitation with WordPress.com is that users are not allowed to add java Script or PHP code into their blog so they cannot use Google Adsense, Amazon or other programs to monetize their blogs. If you wish to place ads and sell affiliate products, then look beyond WordPress.com.

Tumblr

Out of all the blogging sites, Tumblr is the most popular with younger audiences and visual bloggers, hosting over 339.5 million blogs currently. The platform is rather simple to use and focuses on creating a clutter free site based on photos, GIFs and videos, instead of text content. Tumblr supports its community of bloggers through a variety of options for sharing, reposting and reblogging content. You can gain more Tumblr followers and exposure, without spending as much time on original content creation. Bloggers prefer Tumblr because it has hundreds of ready to use themes and lots of ready to use third-party apps. You can even create your own theme and use your own custom domain. It is possible to schedule your blog posts or even post on your blog directly from your email box. You can also publish automatic updates on Twitter and Facebook about your latest blog posts. There is no limit to the number of people who can contribute to your blog on this micro blogging site. Find out more about why you should choose Tumblr over other blogging platforms. Tumblr is not a good choice for those who want complete control over copyright.

SquareSpace

Squarespace has a built-in mobile website, easy to use style editor, free Typekit fonts and appealing templates. It is possible to change everything from colors, to font, to spacing and sidebar width, without knowing how to code. You can add custom CSS on this platform for everything except theme and plugins. It lets you expand your services easily, which is awesome if you are using your blog for your business. Among all the other blogging sites, it is the preferred choice for photographers, online retail store owners, and musicians because their templates can make a site look professional and exclusive.

Your Blog Is Your Home On The Net

Not all blogging platforms are built equal and all of them have their unique advantages and disadvantages. For example, if you post a lot of images then Tumblr should be your pick, whereas for a small business owner, WordPress may be the ideal choice, as you will get full control over your site and also be able to increase your website visibility in search engines. Now that you know more about the best blogging sites available online, you can choose any one according to your blogging needs and embark on your blogging journey.

plesk wordpress toolkit

Plesk WordPress Toolkit

While Plesk offers many potential benefits to website administrators, including compatibility with Windows Server and other leading technologies, the company has also been working to differentiate it from other control panels for content management system (CMS) users. The headline product of those efforts is the Plesk WordPress Toolkit, a comprehensive integration which organizes and simplifies many processes for setting up and maintaining WordPress websites. The toolkit is widely used, and is installed on almost two-thirds of Plesk servers, according to a ZNetLive blog post.

WordPress is the world’s most popular CMS, and powers a staggering 28.5 percent of all sites on the internet, for a market share of nearly 60 percent according to w3techs. It is used by bloggers, entrepreneurs, small businesses, media companies, and enterprises to grow their audiences and engage with customers.

There are two versions of the Plesk WordPress Toolkit available. The SE (Special Edition) version is included with Plesk Web Admin Edition, and meant for use by site and server administrators. The full version is included with Plesk Web Pro Edition and Plesk Web Host Edition. The difference is that some of the advanced features in the full edition, such as cloning and syncing instances and staging environments are not included in WordPress Toolkit SE. With the special edition, updates are manual rather than automatic, and while the Toolkit does include 1-click hardening (more on that below), it only does so for instances which it has been used to install.

The Plesk WordPress Toolkit is designed for easy installation and use. It takes two clicks to install WordPress; one to choose the “Domains” menu under “Hosting Services,” and one on “Install WordPress,” toward the left side of the Domains options. The Toolkit is found on the “Extensions” page, which is seen under “Server Management” on the menu.  There it is the first option among the “Featured” extensions on the right side of the window.

Security

There are several key security features of the toolkit, including 1-click hardening through the security check feature. Hardening is defined by the University of Colorado’s Office of Information Technology as a process which “works to eliminate means of attack by patching vulnerabilities and turning off inessential services. Hardening a computer involves several steps to form layers of protection.”

In the Plesk WordPress Toolkit, hardening improves security by applying concepts like the “least privilege principle” and “defense in depth,” testing a number of known and potential attack vectors, reducing risks and attack surface, and layering controls.

To check WordPress security in Plesk Onyx Web Pro Edition, click “WordPress” under “Server Management” in the menu on the left side of the screen, and then from the “Installations” tab selecting those instances that should be checked, or all. When the user clicks “Check Security,” Plesk scans for the WordPress characteristics that hackers most often use in attacks on websites, such as a label indicating which release of WordPress the website uses, the default “wp_” prefix for database tables, and the privileged default “admin” username.

In addition to assessing each element as secure or in need of attention, the tool also identifies those changes that can be rolled back, and those that may affect plugin performance.

The security check can also be activated from the “Domains” page under “Hosting Services” in the side menu. Clicking on a domain name brings up the option in the “My CMS” section of the window.

Auto-Updates

Updating WordPress versions and plug-ins is critical to maintaining website performance and security, but can be time consuming and sometimes difficult to keep up with for administrators.

Like “Check Security,” “Auto-Update” is found toward the top of the “Installations” tab on the WordPress toolkit page. This brings up a page with options for setting up automated major and minor updates, only minor updates, or turning off auto-update for each or every WordPress instance.

Management Features

The Plesk WordPress Toolkit also integrates most common management functions.

Just like “Installations,” the Toolkit simplifies management of plugins and themes by giving them their own tab, with each allowing administrators to install and uninstall, activate, deactivate, and update them.

The full version also includes several advanced management functions. Websites can be switched to maintenance mode to make changes, debugging tools are available for testing and development, and search engine indexing can be turned off or limited.

Many Other Features

There are numerous other tools and integrations in the Plesk WordPress Toolkit. Along with the quick and easy installation of WordPress instances described above, migrating and cloning instances is simplified, with buttons found by scrolling to the far right of each installation. Administrators can choose to synch files, databases, or both.

Other advanced functions in the full version of the toolkit include a staging environment for testing and development in an exact copy of your production environment.

Reducing Problems, Saving Time

The same motivations that lead website owners and administrators to choose WordPress are reasons to use the Plesk WordPress Toolkit. WordPress allows its users to present their content in an attractive, effective, secure and customized way without developing it from scratch, providing a high level of functionality. Site changes are made according to business needs, rather than according to IT production cycles and capability.

Administrators, resellers and customers love the wide range of sites they can create, and plugins they can customize them with. Making changes that are simple for a single site may be time consuming and complex for those running multiple sites, however. Managing WordPress functions from within the control panel with the Plesk WordPress Toolkit extends the ease of use it is famous for, and provides Plesk hosting customers with the tools to make the most of the leading content management system.

Lunarpages provides plesk licensing for Windows shared, VPS Cloud, and Dedicated servers.

best web hosting

Choosing The Best Web Hosting For Small Business

The Internet has opened up access to global and local markets. We live in a highly connected world today, where people discover brands, products and services by searching on the web. Businesses without an online presence have a daunting task to keep up with competitors who do.  Small businesses simply cannot afford to miss this lucrative opportunity of reaching potential customers 24 hours a day, 7 days a week through their website. Setting up a website requires proper planning, creativity and execution but it should be pretty painless provided you have the right tools at your disposal. The most critical tool in creating your business website is having the right Web hosting service to publish your site online.

What Is A Web Host?

web host is a business that provides the technologies and servers to store and deliver the audio, video, documents, and other files that make up your website and its content so that it can be viewed by anyone on the web.

You can opt for shared, virtual or dedicated servers.

  1. Shared– As the name suggests, your website gets stored on a server with hundreds of other websites.

 

  1. Virtual Private Server– You are still sharing the server but with far fewer websites therefore, your site gets allocated more of the server’s power, memory, and storage space.

 

  1. Dedicated hosting- if your website gets a ton of traffic and it requires maximum data privacy then dedicated hosting is the way to go. You can lease your own server that hosts only your website.

Small Business Hosting Basics

Besides publishing websites, strong hosting companies will take on all technical responsibilities of running and updating your website so that you can focus on business-critical functions. Good web hosting services will also provide businesses with an integrated control panel for easy site management, top notch support and many more useful features such as custom domain names, email functionality, rich website creation tools, one-click installation of supported apps and database support.

Features You Definitely Need From Your Web Host

Before pulling out your credit card and signing up with a web hosting service, it is important to understand the resources you will need based on the type of website you will be running. Though different sites have different needs, here are some factors you must consider when looking for the best web Host for your small business.

  1. Reliability

It is important for small businesses to have reliable web hosting partners so that your site does not experience any downtime. The last thing you need to be worrying about is whether potential customers can access your web page. While most web hosting companies will have the occasional outage, the real differentiator is the recovery speed. Selecting a good web host that can handle a lot of traffic and guarantee high uptime will fetch you the most return on your website investment.

  1. Speed

The difference between visitors landing on your site and backing out or staying on to convert may depend on their web experience. Page load speed and performance rates matter to online users. If a web host is slowing down the speed of your website you definitely need to make changes. What you need is a robust host that can handle large files easily and deliver the performance your visitors expect.

  1. Support

Small businesses often do not have an on-site IT team. When something goes wrong with the site, you need Web hosting services to provide helpful and friendly technical support. Ideally you are looking to get an immediate response from your hosting company when you need help the most. A good host should offer 24/7 phone support, and have options for help through email and live chats so that you find a solution to your problem very quickly. Select web hosts that have active user forums, video tutorials and blogs for additional customer support.

  1. Price

Do not fall for the cheapest web hosting plans. Instead try to get the best services and features for your money.  Shared hosting deals are often sold very cheap on signup prices but are significantly hiked on renewals. So do check the terms of service and go over the renewal prices before signing up.

  1. Security

Web hosting services must have highly secure servers to keep your data safe from frauds and cybercriminals. The best Web hosting companies will offer precise security features to protect against the latest malware or virus trying to affect computers accessing your site. Good web hosting companies will have multiple data centers, offer regular data backups, provide free domain privacy and even have servers with RAID pre-installed  to keep your files safe even if the server crashes. For e-commerce sites that accept payment transactions, choosing a web host that lets you set up Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) to secure the data being transmitted to and from the website is a must.

Get Started Now

Pick a web hosting company with the most features that best align with your website-building goals. Instead of finding the best in the world, your focus should be on finding the RIGHT web host for YOU.

Lunarpages hosting service offers an array of plans for small businesses with robust features at wallet-friendly prices. Try our Lunarpages Business Web Hosting for reliable services, higher resource limits and faster server hardware.

Web Applications

Understanding Web Applications

Without even knowing it, most of us are using web applications on a daily basis.  In fact, Gmail and Yahoo email, Twitter, Facebook, and eBay are used by most of us daily—and they are web applications. We generally confuse these web applications tools for websites.  So, what is a web application and how is it different from a website? What are some different types of web applications?  We will help you decipher which is best for the business functions you want to achieve- a website or a web application.

Website vs. Web Application

The best way to elucidate the difference between websites and web applications is to think in terms of purpose.  Do you want to provide information or do you want to get it?

Websites are simple, static, single page sites or marketing websites for distributing information. Websites generally feature and promote products, services, and organizations through articles, images, video, and files. A site informs the world about who you are and what you offer. For instance, you can check your local Italian restaurant website as a customer to check out the ‘Day’s Special,’ or hours of operation without giving away any information about yourself.

Web applications on the other hand are less focused on marketing and more on functionality to fulfill specific business purpose (submitting, storing, searching, and retrieving data). Web applications are software that runs on the web to provide some kind of service or to improve efficiency. Web applications generally always use databases, and are therefore called dynamic. It requires user interaction, as in the user has to provide information in order for the application to work. The big advantage of a web application is that it does not need the developer to build a client for a specific type of computer or a specific operating system because it runs in a web browser. Users can even be using Internet Explorer, Chrome or Firefox, though some web applications may require a specific Web browser.

An Example:

Think of the website of your bank, which promotes the brand and provides customers vital information about their services, and security features. Any member of the public can view the bank’s website but for account holders, the bank also offers web application tools focused on providing specific functionalities. For instance, to help check the balance on their account, submit an online loan application form, or pay bills online.

Technical Foundation

Websites and web applications both are collections of programming code for delivery of content and functionality on the web. The software run on web servers and is accessed through web browsers on a variety of devices.  Both use the same coding languages and tools (HTML, JavaScript, CSS and others) to develop the software. Web applications commonly use a combination of server-side script (ASP, PHP, or Python etc) to deal with databases, storing and retrieving information and client-side script (HTML, Javascript, CSS and others etc.) to present that information, along with frameworks like Rails, Django, etc. to develop and maintain the application.

Types Of Web Applications

There are three different types of web-based applications depending on the roles performed and logic placed and distributed by the server and the client browser.

Server-side HTML Web Application- In this type of web development architecture, the server generates HTML content and sends it to the client as a full-fledged HTML-page.

JS Generation Widgets (AJAX)- The page displayed in the browser shows widgets, where data is uploaded through AJAX query from the server into the content of the page. Any updates from the server show up only for the part of the page requested by the client.

Service-oriented Single-page Web Apps– An HTML-page is downloaded from the server, which acts as a container for JavaScript code to address a particular web service and retrieve business data only. The data is used by the self-sufficient JavaScript application, which generates the HTML content of the page.

It’s also possible to implement hybrid architecture to meet specific business requirements. The architecture of this collection of logically related interactive functions can consist of a number of components, including-

  • Business application functionality
  • Security
  • Browsers such as Internet Explorer
  • E-Mail functionality
  • Forums or bulletin boards
  • Custom-built Advertising

Web Applications Are The Future

Web apps can be customized and tailored for business purposes, like accounting software, reminder systems, order forms, and sales tracking for time saving efficiencies. Web applications can also be designed to strengthen both internal and external communication and improve data delivery and distribution. Advanced web applications are now available as online portals and eCommerce, which delivers content and the functionality of searching, adding to cart, and online financial transaction.

Most business owners understand the value of websites in their marketing plan but not many know the benefits of web applications and how they can offer stronger products and services, improve SEO, reduce cost significantly and help expand their business. Ultimately, whether you choose a website or a web application depends on your assessment of what you want to achieve.

cool website

The Coolest Websites On The Internet That You Should Bookmark Right Now

Among the millions of websites on the Internet, there are some hidden gems that you may not even know existed. Right from the bizarre to the beautiful, you really can find all kinds of sites on the Internet. We have done some digging for you and compiled a list of the best sites around. There are some entertainment sites, some time-wasters but there are also many substantive sites with beneficial information. Kick back, relax, and enjoy these obscure but interesting nuggets on the Web!

1. Newsmap.jp

Can’t start your day without the news? Newsmap.jp is an extremely convenient way to quickly access the latest trending news headlines of the world in different categories (business, world, sports, or technology) on a single page. You can turn off a particular category from appearing if you are not interested or even focus on country-specific news.

2. Thought Economics

Read interviews with the world\’s leading thinkers, entrepreneurs and the people shaping our future. This digital journal also features opinion editorials on issues pertaining to business, economics, medicine, arts, politics, science and more.

3. khanacademy.org

With a mission of World class education for anyone, anywhere, this learning resource is free and not-for-profit. You get expert created learning content on any subject and at any level. You can learn anything.

4. Mint (USA & Canada)

Want to be smart with your money? Visit Mint, which is the preferred destination on the web for personal finance management, with automatic spending tracker and budgeting tool.

5. Zomato

This tool is a great resource for finding local restaurants and shops in your area. With reviews from fellow foodies, Zomato helps you discover hidden gems and even lets you order food online.

6. BleepingComputer.com

If your computer has been infected with a virus or malware, look no further than BleepingComputer.com, which has a huge resource of security news and really handy virus, ransomware, adware and malware removal guides.

7. The Genuine Haiku Generator

Most peculiar site, amusing

constructs random haikus

Mind=blown

8. Archive.org

Archine.org offers universal access to its digital library of millions of free books, movies, software, music, websites, and more. It is home to the Wayback Machine, which makes it possible for anyone to look up different versions of web pages going back all the way to 1996.

9. SilphRoad

Have you developed a fascination for eggs, candy and stardust suddenly? You may be one of the millions of Pokemon Go enthusiasts. The Silph Road brings the latest research, news, latest trends, and tools for Pokemon Go players around the world.

10. Udacity

Udacity is the pioneer in online education. It offers advanced learning courses designed to directly equip the skills needed to land real jobs at companies you want.

11. Greatist.com

Health is wealth. But unfortunately too often our busy lives take over and we take our health for granted. But now you have Greatist to fall back on. It is a health and fitness blog designed to help you set goals that you can actually achieve on your own terms. It has everything from meal prep advice to happiness guides.

12. Popurls

Finding it hard to keep up with popular social site content, news headlines and video hits? Popurls is the original aggregator that presents all the web\’s headlines in a simple categorized single page.

13. Cracked

The Cracked Daily Hit List is a sure cure for boredom. You can spend hours on this good old American humor site browsing through hundreds of informative and interesting articles and videos.

14. Vumble

Do you want to know what the world is watching right now? Discover the best videos every day on Vumble as voted by users.

15. Forvo

Still going on about tomato, tomahto? Here is the definitive pronunciation dictionary. Get to know how to pronounce ANY word.

16. Project Alexandria

Want help finding your next favorite book? Project Alexandria is a great tool for book lovers. You can enter the Book title or your favorite author name to get a graph showing five recommendations based on similar books.

17. Akinator

This is a web version of the 20 questions game, where you think of a fictional or real personality and Akinator gets to figure it out. It uses Artificial Intelligence to guess correctly almost every time. Have a go at trying to beat Akinator. In fact, it’s so popular that Google offers it as a game on it’s personal assistant, Google Home.

18. Pixel Thoughts

When you feel stressed out, stop at Pixel Thoughts and meditate for 60 seconds. Enter a thought that is bothering you into a star and watch it get smaller till it vanishes. This mindfulness website can clear your mind in a minute.

19. My Script Font

If you are fond of scripts and handwritten scripts, then check out My Script Font. Besides being able to download great web fonts and desktop fonts, you can also easily create a font out of your own handwriting. Download the PDF or PNG provided on the website, write in your own handwriting and upload it back for a TTF/OTF of your own handwriting.

20. Addicted 2 Success

If you want to start winning and turn your life around, then go to Addicted 2 Success for some positive addiction. This thoughtful personal development and self improvement site features articles designed to inspire people.

Other than the 20 cool websites we have shortlisted, there are other more well-known trendy sites such as Reddit, Laughing Squid, Quora, Snapzu, BoredPanda, etc. you can visit just for fun or even as sources of resource.

hosts file

Easy Guide On Modifying Your Hosts File

From time to time you will find it necessary to modify your hosts file, this guide will give you step by step instructions on how to perform modifications which will enable you to override any DNS for a domain or bypass DNS propagation. This is useful when you want to test your website. Modifying your hosts file causes your local machine to look at the IP you specify.modifying host file

To modify your hosts file you would typically add 2 entries so the file that contains the IP address you want your site to resolve to. (In some cases antivirus/antimalware software may need to be temporarily disabled)

Example:

xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx www.domain.com
xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx domain.com

If you would like to disable a host entry simply delete the entry and save the file or just add a # before the entry then save the file.

Example:

#xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx www.domain.com
#xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx domain.com

Editing Your Hosts File On Windows 7 and Vista

  • Click Start > All Programs > Accessories.
  • Right-click on Notepad and select Run as administrator.
  • When Notepad opens, click on File > Open.
  • In the File name field, type C:\Windows\System32\Drivers\etc\hosts.
  • Click on Open.
  • Make the necessary changes to your hosts file.
  • Click File > Save to save your changes.

 

Editing On Windows 10 and 8

  • Press the Windows key.
  • Search Notepad in your search field.
  • In the search results, right-click Notepad and select Run as administrator.
  • From Notepad, open the following file: c:\Windows\System32\Drivers\etc\hosts.
  • Make the necessary changes to your hosts file.
  • Click File > Save to save your changes.

Editing On Linux Including Mac

  • Open a terminal window.
  • Open the hosts file in a text editor (any editor will work) by typing the following line:
  • sudo nano /etc/hosts
  • Enter your domain users password.
  • Make the necessary changes to the host file.
  • Press Control-x.
  • When asked if you want to save your changes, answer Y for yes.

If you have any questions fell free to email us at support@lunarpages.com

 

 

WordPress Design Trends

WordPress Design Trends For 2017

WordPress is an incredible Content Management System for website content creation and design, cornering over 59% of the market share. WordPress-based websites are more dynamic with built-in blogging features, news feeds, sliders, ability to re-design ‘on the fly’ and easy interactive social media integration. Design choices are a vital part of every web development project and your layout is just as important as elegant code, so be sure to have an outstanding WordPress web design expert to maximize returns on your investments. In 2016, new web trends such as hamburger menus and one-page themes relegated old styles such as sidebars and sliders to obscurity. While some of the most popular WordPress design trends of last year will still influence web fashion in 2017—including mobile-friendly designs, vertical split screen, custom illustrations, extraordinary navigation, bold typography and more—it is time to embrace the latest design trends too. WordPress is only getting better with fantastic new features and improvements. Following some simple design rules can turbo-charge the overall design sensibility of your WordPress website in 2017 to make your website discernible from the competition.

Get To Know Current Design Trends

Research and analyze major design trends to stay current and create visual engagement. There is the effective motion design technique of parallax scrolling for added depth and infinite scrolling which have become popular because of the scroll-heavy design trend in favor at the moment. Instead of flipping from page to page, readers can scroll through the site, reducing the number of clicks needed for the user to get the information they need. Parallax creates visual interest in the page design. Another trend that is gaining popularity is material design, which is an effort by Google focused on a mobile-first approach. The idea is to provide a seamless design experience across platforms, products and services. Then there is the card-based design which emphasizes the eye-catching visual display of condensed information to draw in readers.

Importance Of Stylized Fonts

The days of limited fonts are thankfully gone and improved browser support for web fonts means that the focus is firmly on fonts, font sizes and font styles. The ideal stylized fonts and font sizes should draw attention to the content itself and it should suit the overall design of your site. No more safe and boring Comic Sans, Times New Roman and Georgia. Designers are flexing those design muscles to find the perfect font that will make the text in your site more interesting. The way we view text on the web is changing with easily accessible web fonts from Google Fonts, FontArk or Typekit. The coming year will be about making a strong statement with dramatic fonts such as Matthew Butterick’s Typography for Lawyers.

Mobile Usability

Mobile is the future, with more people already using mobile devices to browse the web than desktop devices makes mobile optimization no longer optional, but rather required. Even Google just announced testing of mobile-first websites in November 2016. Google algorithms will soon be indexing content primarily using the mobile version of a site to rank pages. So having a responsive site design is of utmost importance. Check to see if your WordPress site passes the test using Google’s mobile-friendly tool. Mobile-first WordPress themes that are fully responsive and optimized for all mobile devices will be popular in 2017.

Vibrant Hand-drawn Iconography and Illustrations

Icon trends this year will directly impact web design especially WordPress design trends. So, put your sketching skills to use in website design framework—from the site’s background to hand-drawn icons or other web design elements. Vibrant and bold illustrations can be really effective as contrast against clean and simple typography. How about adding a touch of whimsy to your otherwise formal site with illustrated outline icons? Designers also prefer using hand-drawn illustration for Call to Action pointers such as ‘Contact Us’ as a contrasting visual lead-on to increase conversions. This style works seamlessly with almost any design.

Video Headers

WordPress recently introduced Twenty Seventeen in 4.7 or “Vaughan,” as the first default theme for business websites. This new theme has four customizable panels on the front page for displaying content, custom logo upload and extends the Custom Header feature to introduce core support for video headers. Video headers are decorative header images with motion. They play automatically and loop by default. Video headers and video backgrounds have been around in the web design industry but it was rarely seen on WordPress themes. But WordPress developers are now looking to adopt this new WordPress design trends to attract the attention of visitors. Locally hosted mp4 and mov files, as well as YouTube videos, can be used for video headers by default, but it is possible to create custom video handlers for additional sources as well. 2017 will see more WordPress themes with video headers for an enhanced visual experience.

Multipurpose WordPress Themes

Multipurpose themes are going to get even more popular among WordPress users and developers in 2017. Multipurpose themes are extremely customizable and offer more freedom for users to build a more personalized theme for their websites no matter what type of brand, company, organization or cause it may be. WordPress theme frameworks, such as Genesis are set to become trendy. Check out some of the most popular multipurpose WordPress themes including Uncode, Impreze, Brooklyn, Kallyas or Kalium for unparalleled ease of use, flexibility and robust creative power.

What Else?

Designers continue to develop visually captivating and bold styles to convey the brand message, while improving ease of use for the visitor. These are just a few of the WordPress design trends that can help you build a modern and trendy personal or business website also there are may web builders available as plugins for WordPress such as Beaver Builder and Page Builder by SiteOrigin. If you think that there are other WordPress design trends or web design techniques that should have been mentioned in this post, please Tweet your reflections with us using @Lunarpages