Low Price Hosting can cost you in the long run
In today’s oversaturated hosting market, it is remarkably easy to find hosts touting nigh-infinite resources for low, low prices. Unfortunately, going with one of these hosts can be a very high-risk gamble for a multitude of reasons!
Your neighbors on shared hosting could be your downfall
Not your next door neighbors, but the neighbors that share your hosting server with you! (This is where the term “shared hosting” comes from.) Just because your website is legitimate, doesn’t mean any of the others you share a server with aren’t targeted for spamming or phishing users. This could potentially hurt ranking on search engines.
Shared Hosting Opens your Site to Attack
In addition to that, malicious attacks on those other sites could potentially affect yours, depending on the security of the server and web host. You could be powerless to even attempt to fix an issue like this, without a chain of support emails with your web host.
Shared hosting companies tend to oversell their servers to the point where sites are still useable, but quite slow. Google has stated that site speed will affect search engine optimization (SEO), so a decision to use a shared hosting service could push your site down search engine result pages (SERPs).
Malware attacks on dynamic websites are an incredibly common occurrence nowadays, and sites coded in PHP, like WordPress, are one of the biggest targets. Without constant scanning and monitoring of your site’s files for changes and specific malware attacks, you could easily get infected and not even know it before Google flags your site as distributing malware to users.
Getting back off that list can be a difficult and harrowing experience, possibly involving hiring an outside source to fix your site for you.
A service, such as CloudFlare, can help prevent some of these issues by masking your website’s true IP address, but this will still not solve everything. The best method of prevention is to use a Managed Hosting service, with a team of professionals that can monitor your website and know how to fix it when it does break or get attacked. A managed, and possibly dedicated, hosting service will make sure that your site is running the fastest it possibly can.
Here are just a few examples of real people’s issues while on shared hosting services or self-managed hosting services:
Be Like Water, My Friend
When I began this post, I solely had the intention to give some props Seth Godin’s post, First, Do No Harm–Three Rules for Public Interfaces . However, it became somewhat of a therapy post for me to realize I need to release control and flow with the chaos of project development. Seth’s post is great advice to interface developers and designers to shift focus towards three rules to always remember when developing a public interface.
- Rule 1: The more often something will be used, the simpler it’s design should be.
- Rule 2: Keep your interface accessible to the greatest number of people.
- Rule 3: A good interface just works. It doesn’t call attention to itself simply on the merits of being “designed”.
It’s certainly nice to be reminded of these amidst designer-centricity and user apathy.
These are rules I try to champion, though I’m still guilty of not always applying it to my work. Why is that? Sometimes I’m too self-centered when I’m in the heat of a project, “How do I feel about this design? Does this represent me? Will this look good in my portfolio?” While it’s important let the design be an expression of the designer, it’s absolutely necessary -for a successful interface- to remove one’s self from the equation and take in alternative perspectives. True good design should work so well as to be seamless without kicking you in the head declaring, “Look! Look how well designed I am!” We get so caught up “designing” something we lose sight of who and why we are designing for.
Other times it’s laziness. Simple as that. Accessibility sometimes feels like a chore, or a second-hand task that usually finds a home in the ethereal ditch of a project’s “someday features”. We need to remember to put these goals at the forefront of our process. The wider audience we can reach with one interface the better.
So let’s remember to follow these 3 simple rules and design for the customer.
You’ve worked with your consultants and experts, and your SEO campaign is underway. Now, you want results. It’s understandable. You want to see your website climb up to the top of the search results, and beat out the competition.
But, in the world of online marketing, patience might be more of a virtue than you think.
SEO Campaigns — How Long Until I See Results?
Truth of the matter is, good SEO takes time. There are many steps involved in a good SEO campaign, such as
- Researching the competition, and seeing what they’re doing to stay on top.
- Researching your market, and coming up with goals (phrases you want to rank higher for, geographies you want to focus on, etc.)
- Coming up with a plan to reach these goals.
- Allowing time for Google, and other search engines, to see the work you’ve done to improve your site.
A Good SEO Company Will Go Slow And Steady
In it’s beginnings, years ago, Google was not savvy to some of the “black hat” SEO practices. It was easy to, say, stuff a website with just keywords, and get it ranked higher overnight. But Google has wised up. Nowadays, doing this will get your site penalized — Google could even refuse to index it at all!
Nowadays, the best course of action is to build links at a steady pace. Spamming, as quick as it’s results might be, is not good for the long-term success of your SEO efforts.
Building Trust With Google
The best way to make Google trust you, and reward your efforts with higher rankings, is to build a reputable site. They want to know that your website is in it for the long haul. Some of the things you can do to build your reputation are
- Link exchanges with other reputable, well-established websites.
- Guest blogging on high-profile blogs.
- Consistently publish new and updated content.
These things, however, take time. Finding which websites to partner with for link exchanges and guest blogging can, in and of itself, take a lot of time. Great SEO is not a “quick fix” — it is an ongoing, evolving, ever-changing project. A great SEO expert — an authentic SEO expert! — will not just stuff keywords into your site and call it a day. They will work with you, on a consistent basis, to adapt to your site’s needs and Google’s changing algorithms.
Also, do not forget — Google trusts sites that are in for the long haul! The more time your website has been around, and the more consistent your updates to it are, the more attention Google will give it. It is not unheard of for Google to take a month or two to look over new or inactive websites — you need to buildd up your reputation, before Google will give you more of it’ss time!
Good SEO Is Quick — But Great SEO Takes Time
The more careful your SEO expert is, the more time your campaign might need. Keep in mind, an SEO expert who takes the time and care to slowly gain traction for your campaign is more valuable than one that “stuffs keywords”. The results will be slower — but more permanent. With a great SEO campaign, your website will not only climb up the SERPs — it will build a respectable online presence. Your website will not just be the hot commodity of the week, it will be a permanent fixture on the web.
Would you rather spam your way to the top for only a week — or build a reputable, reliable, prominent web presence that keeps you on everyone’s minds forever? Do you want good SEO — or great, authentic SEO? Your call!
The conclusion is, great SEO takes time. With patience, however, the benefits for you (and your business) could be great — and very well worth the wait!
DNS Propagation SIMPLIFIED
Imagine a DNS (Domain Name Server) is a conductor that points someone in the direction of your business (Your website). When someone asks the conductor for the name of your business(Your domain name), they look up where your business is located and points that person to that business.
Since there are people all over the world using this system there need to be conductors all over the world. These conductors know where all of the businesses are in the world. However, they can not be reviewing all of the businesses all of the time. What they do is periodically check with the other conductors to make sure the business is still in that same place. If your business does move, it takes them a little time (up to 48 hours) to find out from the other conductors where the business is now located (your new website server).
When the IP (Internet Protocol) address for a domain is changed, there is usually a waiting period before all the of Domain Name System servers (DNS servers) across the internet holding the now incorrect IP address update to the new, correct one.
What is DNS Propagation (Technically)?
This is usually referred to as DNS propagation, although this is a technically incorrect term. DNS servers do not spread new information to other DNS servers, which is what the term propagation implies. Rather, they cache records with a certain Time To Live (TTL), and after they expire, they query other DNS servers for the current information.
Often, a time like 48-72 hours will be given as the total time for a propagation, but this can be complicated to actually estimate. DNS servers all up the chain cache the information for different times because they last queried for the information at different times, and then your individual computer will cache DNS entries and possibly your internet browser (Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer) as well. The “48-72 hours” number is usually taken from the default cache time for Top-Level Domain (TLD) DNS servers (like com, net, org).
So if you’re told your new site is live but you don’t see it quite yet, don’t worry! Let the internet get it’s act together, and eventually your new site will turn up.
Lately, Google authorship has been on everyone’s minds. From an online marketing standpoint, it’s a very useful concept, and, if you’re looking to take your company or business to the next level, claiming authorship of your content online is a wise step to take.
What Is Google Authorship?
Authorship tags are, simply put, a way to link any content you write online back to your Google Plus profile. They provide a glimpse, right on the search results page (SERP), into who the author of the page is.
On the SERPs, they look a bit like this.
Why Do Lawyers, Doctors, Dentists and Caterers Need Google Authorship?
There are many ways your website — and your business! — can benefit from Google authorship!
- Google likes well developed websites. Making sure that your authorship tags are correctly set is considered “best practice” (the most optimal, accepted way to make a website.) When you set up your authorship tags correctly, Google recognizes as a sign of a website maintainer who cares, and who strives to make sure the website is up to the best standards. This is rewarded with better search rankings.
It makes your website stand out. Take a look at the SERP above. Did the result with the author’s picture to the side catch your attention first? It’s been proven that having an image to the side of your result will increase the likelihood of people clicking through to your site.
Professionals – It builds your online reputation and image. When you sell a service, you’re also selling yourself. Maintaining an online reputation is half your battle (giving great service is the other!) Making sure that everything you write has the appropriate authorship tags reduces plagiarism, as well as helps people remember you. It’s a great tool for developing an online presence.
Understanding Google Authorship
Is Google Authorship a new concept for you? Do you feel overwhelmed, and wondering where to start setting up your authorship tags? There’s nothing to worry about — at Authentic Web, we strive to always be on top of the latest SEO and social media practices. We’ll be happy to get your site setup with Google authorship tags!