Hosting Your Web Site – Where not to go.

Everyone of us is trying to save money right now, you here about the economy and everyone’s monetary situation. Four years ago things were a little different, but a few things stayed the same in the way of penny pinching from then till now. One of them was the hosting of web sites (most hosting companies are still using the same software from four years ago too). Just as our techy toys have changed in that time, so has the web and more so.

More and more, online software is becoming the prevalent way to manage data and business. Keeping your information online and running certain parts of your business online, they all require resources from a server, just as your PC does. So ask yourself, “Why do I run my business with a computer that is five to ten years old?”

Now ask yourself, “Why would anyone have a server that is five to ten years old?” There’s plenty of companies out there that have them. And there are even more people that buy into these companies, that have businesses that rely on the web for revenue. And you see them a lot more than you think. Script errors, slow page loads, and sites that just don’t perform up to snuff are some of the symptoms. What is the result of this….? Loss of revenue.

So what do you do so you don’t have a business that is losing you money 24/7 365? Think about what you pay for is what you get, just like anything else in life. A great example of all of this is when you register a domain name at GoDaddy.com. They offer you hosting for a year for a very low price. Now, how many times does the page not load while you are on GoDaddy’s site? They use Windows servers, which are great for an intranet set up, but not for the web, which Linux servers are great for. Why does GoDaddy have this kind of hosting set up for their own site?

Cause they are a domain registrar and they are great at it, nothing more.

They also have reseller programs as well and the affiliates will offer all the services GoDaddy has. This really can get someone started off on the wrong foot. Not only do you have a site hosted on a server that doesn’t have the proper software, configuration, and resources, but also you will have a hell of a time trying to get a hold of the reseller.

There are other companies out there that are even a bigger problem, and they are flat out hosting companies. 1and1.com to call out one of them we have had to bring web sites over to our servers, because of the total lack of software, proper configuration, resources and technical knowledge from the company itself.

So now comes the next question, “What do I do to get a server that will be able to handle my business’ needs?”

Call around. Easy as that. First you’ll talk to sales and they usually answer the phone pretty quickly, but then you need to try to get a hold of support. If they do even have a phone number, see if they answer. The cheap priced hosting companies are not going to have a phone number. So any of your questions, you’ll have to send an e-mail and wait for Mumbai or some little kid in a Chinese sweat shop to wake up and get back to you on them.

Of course we are going to promote our own premium hosting services for your business. We have put together a great deal of depth of knowledge into our systems, to deliver a hosting solution that is on the cuff of the latest technology. We don’t even use your typical web servers, we use systems that are loaded to the max with memory, disc space, and the latest software and configurations. Minus the software and configurations, we can use them for gaming servers as well.

With all this in mind, you have a little bit to go on when you are looking for your platform for your business to be supported by. Good luck and please feel free to contact us with any questions.

Add Images To Box Headings in osCommerce

Add Images To Box Headings in osCommerce

  • Introduction
  • Solution
    • Heading Text Replacement
    • Use Of Cascading Style Sheets

Introduction

Images can be added to each box displayed in the left and right side columns, where the same image is used for all boxes or where different images are used for different boxes.

Solution

  • Heading Text Replacement
  • Use Of Cascading Style Sheets

Heading Text Replacement

The simple method of having images in the box heading is to replace the heading text value with an image.

This can be done by editing the main language file in the includes/languages/ directory, for example includes/languages/english.php.

To replace the Categories box heading with an image, the heading title definition of BOX_HEADING_CATEGORIES will need to be changed from:

To:

define('BOX_HEADING_CATEGORIES', '<img src="images/a_graphic_image.gif">');

Use Of Cascading Style Sheets

The advanced method of having images in the box heading is to create CSS definitions for each box where an image is to be shown.

The following example concentrates on the Categories box and needs the following three files to be modified:

includes/classes/boxes.php
includes/boxes/categories.php
stylesheet.css

The following code should be added to includes/classes/boxes.php at the very bottom of the page right before the ending ?> tag:


class infoBoxHeadingCategories extends tableBox {
function infoBoxHeadingCategories($contents) {
$this->table_cellpadding = '0';

$info_box_contents = array();
$info_box_contents[] = array(array('params' => 'width="100%" class="infoBoxHeadingCategories"',
'text' => $contents[0]['text']));

$this->tableBox($info_box_contents, true);
}
}


The code above creates a new class called infoBoxHeadingCategories which will be used in the Categories box.

The following code in includes/boxes/categories.php:


new infoBoxHeading($info_box_contents, true, false);

should be replaced with:


new infoBoxHeadingCategories($info_box_contents, true, false);

As the new infoBoxHeadingCategories class uses a new stylesheet definition just for the Categories box, the following needs to be added to the stylesheet.css file:


TD.infoBoxHeadingCategories {
background: #33c3d3;
background-image: url('images/some_graphic.gif');
background-repeat: no-repeat;
}

This new class in the stylesheet can have the font, size, spacing, etc. set according to css styles.

SEO to Optimize Your Social Media Profiles

If you’re reading this then it means you probably have at least a base understanding of what social media and social networking is. You probably at least have a Facebook profile.

If you’re more learned in social networking, some of your day’s activities may have consisted of stumbling one of your blog posts, digging a couple articles, posting a bulletin, changing your status update and retweeting a Guy Kawasaki article. However, did you know that no matter what your social media experience, that you can optimize your social networking profiles so that more people can find you?

Just as if you were doing search engine optimization for your website, the first thing you must do to optimize your social media networks is to research. You have to find a niche and decide what keywords you want to use. Try to use as specific as keywords as possible and narrow in on these. The longer the keyword you can focus in on, the more likely you’re going to be found. For example, “discounted hotels in Midtown Atlanta” is going to offer you a much better chance of getting found then just “hotels.”

Next, of course you want to start implementing SEO to your social networks. One thing to keep in mind is that when including links on your social networking profiles, like Twitter, these sites often put a “no follow” attribute on the link. This basically means that most search engines will ignore the link when filtering through content.

Although some of your social networking profiles and information can be found in general search engines, you are ultimately optimizing to be found within that particular social network’s search engine. Twitter for example is quickly becoming known for it’s search box that provides up-to-the-minute search results. With Facebook, although it can be difficult to optimize the information in your profile, you can optimize the titles for search.

Ultimately, the important thing is to first research how to optimize each of your social networks. How to optimize your Twitter profile and posts is going to be completely different then how to optimize your StumbleUpon profile.

Secondly, and here’s the kicker, you have to deliver quality content that engages users. Optimizing your social networks for search engines won’t mean a thing if users don’t take action. Don’t create repetitive titles and posts that strike users as another marketing ploy. You have to give users a reason to friend you or follow you.

Once you’ve gained the trust of that network, only then can you successfully optimize your social media outlets.