14 Jun 2017

Understanding the Website Migration Process

While there are numerous rationales for migrating a website from one domain to another, there are specific questions site owners should always investigate prior to initiating any type of website migration. If your organization is currently considering migrating to a new domain, consider this website migration checklist first.

Explore the Available Options for Web Hosting

It generally pays to start planning a website transfer well in advance of the anticipated date for the move. One of the reasons organizations routinely consider a website migration is an unhappiness with the current provider. That means any provider selected must have the capability of meeting the organization’s current needs and, almost more importantly, have the capability to meet future needs as well. A successful website migration strategy must anticipate future needs and ensure the new provider has the capability of adapting to new technology and software.

Backup All Existing Website Files First

Backup your files before website migrationTo avoid losing valuable data, back up all files to a safe location before starting the website migration process. Consider using experts to ensure the backup process goes smoothly. While there are numerous plugins and applications available to assist with the process, it pays to work closely with a professional to prevent problems from developing. Having a complete backup available is a safety measure and should not be ignored under any circumstances.

Transfer Data Files and Website Files

Here’s another place where the assistance of experts can be helpful. All files must first be uploaded to a public_html directory using the new web hosting account. It’s vitally important that every step in the process be completed correctly to avoid issues when establishing the new website. The ultimate goal is to ensure the new site runs properly once the website migration is complete. When all necessary steps are completed correctly, the new site should function exactly as the old one did. If changes are being made to the site, discuss how to best implement those changes with a website expert.

Transferring the Domain Name

Here is another issue commonly causing issues during a website migration. In many cases, an organization’s domain name is registered along with the existing web hosting company. If that’s the case, the host should provide a guide outlining the steps required to successfully transfer the domain name. Determining how best to register a domain name when migrating can be complex, and there are a couple of options available. It pays, at this point, to discuss the pros and cons of each option with website migration experts, as doing so can prevent future complications and, in some cases, save money.

Moving Email Information to the New Site

Also transfer your emails when moving to a new hostThe majority of site owners elect to have their email accounts managed by their hosting company. If that’s the case, there is also a procedure available to ensure all email is transferred properly. If you’ve elected to host your email accounts elsewhere, the transfer process is simplified, as only the DNS information will have to be modified.

Finalizing the Process

Once the files are transferred to the new host and any required modifications are made to the configurations, the process is nearly complete. At this point, it’s vitally important to verify the site functions properly. Testing procedures are used to ensure all the site’s features are functioning properly. Hosting companies routinely provide some assistance with this process, but the onus to make sure all aspects of the site operate as needed is normally on the site owner.

If everything functions properly, now is the time to end the relationship with the former hosting organization and delete all files from their old locations. If all the files were properly transferred during the website migration, the site should operate seamlessly, with visitors being completely unaware of the changes. However, it’s common to encounter some issues during the migration, suggesting it is advisable to have some level of expert assistance available to deal with any problems encountered during the migration or when testing the site in its new location.

Once the website is up and running, it pays to continually monitor it to quickly identify potential issues and ensure the site’s search engine rankings don’t suffer. SEO efforts should continue unabated to further ensure the site fulfills its objectives.

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08 May 2017

How to Create and Manage a Multilingual WordPress Site

It’s undeniable that the internet has prompted increases in globalization and access to information. Today, people all the way across the planet from each other can communicate in real time, and anyone with a computer can access information from across the globe. Sites like WordPress, which is sometimes referred to simply as “WP,” allow just about anyone to create a unique website. However, while this internet giant hosts fully one out of every four websites currently in existence, only a quarter of these sites are available in multiple languages. While the more than three billion people using the internet on a daily basis speak hundreds of languages, many of these languages are either underrepresented or completely unrepresented on the internet.

 

What Does That Mean For Businesses?

Increasing multilingualism on the web comes with a host of advantages for business owners in addition to the obvious benefits of facilitating better communication and allowing more internet browsers to comfortably surf the web. A Multilingual WordPress site is much more likely to attract international business, which not only increases traffic to the site but also improves the chances of even a small business expanding its reach. By addressing potential customers or clients in their own language, businesses can also create a more comfortable browsing experience, increasing conversion rates and brand loyalty.

 

An Overview of Options

Although WP does not directly support multilingual blogs, it does support extensions that make it possible to create them. These extensions are created by third-party developers and are generally quite good. However, using a Multilingual Plugin isn’t the only way to create an effective multilingual website. A web hosting tool called WP Multisite can also be quite an effective means of accomplishing the same goal. Read on to find out more about each of these solutions.

 

Using Plugins to Create a Multilingual Blog

As one of the first multilingual plugins that became available on the platform, the WPML plugin is well-developed and uniquely equipped to handle just about any multilingual website. Although the content itself still needs to be translated by a native speaker or translator, once it is created, the plugin makes it simple to toggle back and forth between languages. This is accomplished via something called a language switcher. Placing one or more of these in prominent positions on the website allows visitors to easily choose which language they want to use to view the page.

When it comes to the translations themselves, most businesses find they get the best results from translations provided by native speakers, despite the extra cost. However, desktop translation software is available for those who don’t place a high value on readability. Either way, there are thousands of developers and a great many excellent translation services that are fully integrated with the plugin, meaning that any content needing to be translated can be sent directly from the dashboard instead of manually copying and pasting it elsewhere.

 

Using Multisite to Create a Multilingual Blog

The second option for multilingual blog hosting is the use of a tool called Multisite. As the name implies, this tool allows developers to host multiple sites on the same server using the same IP address. That means users can create multiple blog sites that say exactly the same things in different languages and manage them concurrently using the Multisite interface. The process of creating and maintaining this network doesn’t require much more than managing a standard site. Unlike the most popular multilingual plugins, though, Multisite does not include fully integrated translation services.

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20 Apr 2017

Tips for Improving WordPress Pagespeed

It seems like everyone has a website. When it comes to creating an effective site, having a beautifully designed and easy to use website is important, but it just isn’t enough. Other considerations, search engine ranking, play a huge role in determining the amount of traffic that will be directed to any particular site. WordPress has made establishing a well-designed personal or company website extremely simple, and tons of internet users have taken advantage of the platform as a result. Once viewers are there, though, there is one aspect of user experience that can literally make or break their viewing experience: WordPress Pagespeed.

Why Speed Matters

Modern man has an attention span that is practically growing shorter by the day. This shortened attention span dramatically impacts how internet users navigate around the web. Recent reports have indicated that even a 2-second delay in load times can reduce visitor satisfaction by almost 4%, leading to a lower conversion rate and lost revenue. Website speed is so important that many potential customers will not even wait around for the initial page to load before deciding whether they are interested in a company’s product or service. If the load time is too long, they’ll go elsewhere.

On top of all that, many search engines, including Google, have begun to include site speed in their site ranking algorithms. That means faster-loading websites get ranked higher on their search results, driving more traffic to them.

How to Tell if a WordPress Page is Slow

It’s important to take note of the fact that website load times are not consistent across every user’s computer. All too often a site’s creator will simply load the page on his or her browser, note that everything pops up quickly and looks correct, and call it a day. This is a huge mistake.

Modern internet browsers cache data for easy retrieval, so revisiting a site causes load times to decrease substantially. WordPress Pagespeed will appear to be extremely quick, but this will not necessarily reflect the experience of the average visitor. The best way to tell how quickly a site will load on an unfamiliar computer is to perform a speed test, which can easily be found online.

Common Reasons for Slow WordPress Pages

Large images and other files that are not optimized for web use can cause slow load times, as can poorly coded plug-ins and external scripts. Web Hosting servers that are not properly configured can also cause slow a page down, as can server overloads. Of course, individual users have more control over some of these factors than others. Most WordPress users don’t necessarily have the extensive coding experience necessary to improve plug-in codes. There are, however, some simple steps that just about anyone can take to improve load times.

Find a Better Host

How to improve wordpress pagespeedThis might seem obvious, but many users just don’t give it much thought: shared hosting leads to slower response times. It’s always a better idea to entrust hosting to a managed hosting service than it is to share resources blindly with other WordPress Users.

Use a Better Caching Plugin

Plugins are extremely useful. Those that utilize web caching can even be useful in improving response times. They generally work by causing certain elements of the page to be cached for easier retrieval, and thankfully, they are plentiful on the internet. Just be sure to find a reputable source for the download.

Optimize Images

As noted above, large images can seriously slow down a website. However, poor quality images that load quickly won’t be getting any business or individual any points when it comes to professionalism. The best solution is, once again, plugins. Simply download a plugin that automatically optimizes images for use online by reducing file size without reducing image quality.

Optimize the WordPress Database

Optimizing a website’s database can be extremely time-consuming and boring if performed by hand. Thankfully, there’s a plugin for that. Whether using a plugin or performing these changes manually, the goal is the same: to reduce the overhead of unnecessary files such as post revisions, drafts, and span.

Keep the Site Updated

It’s important to update frequently in order to address any potential bugs and other issues. Failing to keep a WordPress site up-to-date can lead to slower load times, as themes and plugins may end up falling behind on updates as a result.

Split Up Comments

It’s a good idea to include a blog on just about any website, and tons of comments on those blog posts are a sure sign of a generally engaged audience. Unfortunately, though, they can really take their toll on site speed. Be sure to break them up for best results.

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29 Mar 2017

Shared Server vs Dedicated Server: What’s the Difference?

When a business owner launches or upgrades an e-commerce website, they may have to choose between a Shared Server vs Dedicated Server. There are many important differences between the two Hosting options, and potential customers should do their own research before making a decision. In the guide below, readers can learn the most important differences between shared and dedicated servers.

 

Server-Hosted Sites

With a shared host, there are other sites on the same server as the customer’s website. When customers choose a plan with a Dedicated Server, their sites are alone on a server.

 

Disk Space and Bandwidth

In shared hosting packages, the customer is allotted a limited amount of bandwidth and disk space because others are on the server as well. Customers can face steep charges if they exceed their allotment. However, with a dedicated host, disk space and bandwidth are unlimited, with no sharing involved.

 

Cost

In shared hosting packages, resources are divided among multiple users, so operational costs are split as well. Users of dedicated servers can expect to pay higher costs because they’re not sharing resources with other website owners.

 

Security

With a shared web hosting plan, the host company installs server security apps and firewalls. However, those on dedicated plans must take responsibility for their sites’ security. Shared hosting plans come with higher risk because other sites are hosted on the same server.

 

Desired Amount of Control

Dedicated servers offer users greater control as they have the ability to add their own scripts, applications, and programs. By comparison, shared servers give users no such ability. With a dedicated package, the user gets improved flexibility and security to go along with the higher level of control.

 

Potential Blacklisting

On shared servers, there’s a greater risk of search engine blacklisting. If another site owner engages in unethical practices, the entire IP range may be blacklisted. On dedicated servers, a site will not be blacklisted unless the owner does something dishonest.

 

Response Time and Performance

On a Shared Server, traffic may be high—which can deplete bandwidth and other resources and cause slow response and loading times. This is not an issue on dedicated servers because resources are not shared.

 

The hosting option a customer chooses will depend on their website and server needs as well as their budget and the amount of control needed. Regardless of which hosting type is chosen, it is vital that customers make informed decisions.

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03 Mar 2017

Determining a Site’s Webspace Requirements

To be published, a website must have Web Hosting, which is storage space rented on a provider’s server. Many things determine a website’s success, but load times and bandwidth are two of the most important considerations. The site’s content determines how much space is necessary, and the site owner should follow certain steps when buying web hosting space.

 

Bandwidth and Disk Space

Although these terms are confusing to some, it’s easier to understand them with a little explanation. Disk space is the amount of physical storage required for a website. It comes on shared, dedicated, and virtual private servers to suit the needs of any business owner. Bandwidth is a measurement of the amount of data transferred at one time, and it is attributed to the user rather than the site itself.

 

Disk Space Calculations

All of a site’s data is stored on the system’s hard drive if the owner is building a site on the Windows OS. However, when the owner buys webspace, they need to estimate how much disk space the site will occupy. Before making that determination, the site owner should answer the following questions.

  • What category does the site fall into?
  • How big is the webpage?
  • What are the site owner’s future plans for the site?
  • How many individual pages will be used?

 

Site Category

Websites are grouped into several categories, as listed below.

  • Simple sites have static content, text files, and HTML. They do not require a significant amount of webspace.
  • Sites with dynamic content have image, audio, and video files as well as scripts. They may require a bit more webspace.
  • Personal blogs sometimes have video and image files, so storage requirements can vary.
  • E-commerce websites are a way to exchange information with consumers. As such, they require a high amount of storage for high-resolution image files.
  • Music/video websites are a genre that requires a high amount of webspace.

 

Determining a Site’s Storage Needs

When designing a website, it’s a good idea to have a rough estimate of its size. The owner should know what’s going on the website, such as images, text, or a combination of the two. Page structure is an important consideration, and the site owner should decide on an overall look and feel before the design phase starts. By following these steps, the owner can determine their webspace needs.

 

File Types and Hosting Plans

Basic static sites and personal blogs may contain simple text files, and the page size would be small. However, if image files are to be included, it’s important to know their quality. It takes more webspace to host high-quality images than it does to host low-resolution files.

 

Plans for Future Growth

Today’s website may be a static one with minimal space requirements, but things change and companies grow. When businesses expand, the corporate website’s scope increases. While estimating webspace requirements, the site owner should think of future scaling. In many cases, multiplying the site’s current size by a factor of four or five can provide a fair estimate of a site’s future requirements.

 

Factors Determining Storage Space Requirements

Two primary factors affect clients’ webspace requirements. Email accounts can greatly increase a site’s storage requirements, particularly if they receive a significant amount of spam. Database connectivity can greatly increase the site’s storage usage, and owners should consider these factors when purchasing a hosting package.

 

Unlimited Isn’t Always What it Claims to Be

Many web hosting companies offer unlimited disk space, but it’s up to the consumer to know what they need. While some sites may need unlimited storage, smaller sites could find better ways to use those resources. As mentioned earlier, the site owner should measure the size of the page before buying a hosting plan.

 

Focus on the User to Determine Storage Needs

Web development and design are largely based on the needs of those using the technology. Users are the most important stakeholders for business websites, and those that are hosted and developed according to users’ needs are typically more successful. When deciding on a web hosting package, many aspects must be considered, but bandwidth and data space requirements are certainly important factors.

 

Leave Room for Growth

Personalpolitik in den wachsenden UnternehmenMost sites do not use an excessive amount of bandwidth. If a site doesn’t do much streaming or host large files, the owner may be able to use a small package of about 10 GB per month. However, such numbers are only estimates, and things can change quickly. Because most site owners don’t want to change hosts or plans every time they need more bandwidth, they should give themselves reason and room to grow. These factors can affect a site’s bandwidth consumption.

  • Layout changes can increase a page’s size
  • Traffic growth can make a site consume more bandwidth
  • Adding more pages can increase page views, particularly those from the search engines’ spiders. If a site owner adds more domains, it’s typically easier to do so under an existing account than with a new one.
  • Spikes in traffic, such as those caused by viral social media posts, can cause a site’s bandwidth usage to double or triple in a month or less.

Though a site may only use a percentage of its allotment, the site owner can save themselves from hefty overage fees by planning ahead. Extra bandwidth is relatively inexpensive when it’s built into a hosting plan, and it’s well worth the additional investment. By buying some extra bandwidth, a site owner can not only future-proof their hosting plan, they can get the reassurance of knowing they’re ready for the unexpected.

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24 Feb 2017

Exploring the Options for a New Domain Name

While the domain names currently in use have proven useful, the available options are shrinking fast. That’s especially true with the ideal combinations so often touted by internet experts providing clues for new organizations seeking to enter the online fray. That’s why a plethora of new options are becoming available. Before delving into the newest options, it’s important to grasp the historical significance of domain names and why new trends are so important in 2017.

Domain Names Are a Recent Development

Relatively speaking, the entire concept of domain names is new. The very first .com address wasn’t registered until the mid-1980s, but the trends in the naming of domains have rapidly evolved. What was fashionable even a few years ago now appears trite. However, that doesn’t mean some of the original ideas aren’t still sound. For example, virtually every industry expert suggests shorter names are far more effective than longer, complex ones.

That ideal presents some very real problems. There simply are too few combinations of four or five letters available to meet the needs of businesses exploring their online marketing options. According to industry data, every possible four letter combination is already owned by someone. Not every owner of a name actually uses the name, and domain name owners are all too willing to sell a name for the right price. In other words, early adopters grabbed all the combinations as investments knowing new organizations needing specific companies would be willing to pay the price for a name later.

Are Trendy Names Good Options?

trendy-domain-names

Just like questionable fashion choices from the 90’s, “trendy” domain names are outdated fast

One of the ways to obtain an original domain name is to get creative with the process. For some startup companies, their company name may not be an actual word or series of words. Rather, it will be something simply made up as a way to find a way around having to purchase a domain name from a dealer. While that won’t work with four-letter names, it’s a viable approach for slightly longer names.

New trends also follow any initial success of a product. Apple is a good example and is often cited as a case in point. Once the company introduced the iPhone, iPad, and other devices, copycats quickly grabbed up just about i-Everything name available. That might, in fact, work in some cases, but not in most. There are simply too many options to purchase in the off chance the right one may actually become valuable.

While using trendy name options for domains may seem clever, the majority of “cute” names so commonly used in the past now seem hopelessly banal and dated. It’s far better to take the time necessary to develop a name that’s both unique and memorable rather than be limited to the holy grail of a four-letter name. However, in 2017, there are more options available than ever before.

Looking Into the Future

Even though those great four-letter names are already claimed for the .com domain, that doesn’t mean new businesses won’t be able to come up with something truly unique and meaningful in 2017 and beyond. That’s simply because the floodgates have opened, and new top-level domain name options are springing up everywhere. Even though the prevalence of .com names will continue to dominate the online environment into the future, newer options are making it possible for companies to explore other domain naming choices.

Country-specific domains are now commonly used in addition to .com, .net, .org, and other top-level domains. In addition, new top-level domains are already approved and will be seen more commonly. For examples, .chat and .blog are new entries in the naming battles for 2017, and many others are in the works. Hundreds of applications have been received by ICANN in just the past few months, and the organization is anticipating many new top-level domains will be approved in the near future. That will open new options for specific industries, making it once again possible to check domain options and register names that are easier for anyone to remember and use.

Staying on Top of Industry Trends

The best way for any type of organization to stay on top of new and emerging domain name trends is to work with industry experts familiar with not only the existing top-level domains but also emerging ones. New organizations or those seeking to update their branding efforts are strongly encouraged to work with internet industry experts from the very beginning of those efforts to ensure the names being considered are available and, if not available in the .com environment, what top-level domains may be workable.

Top service providers have the resources available to help clients resolve all their cloud, server, hosting, and managed services needs. They understand how important your success is and take the steps necessary to make sure your organization reaches its short- and long-term objectives. Those companies also tailor services to meet your needs—both existing and anticipated.

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17 Jan 2017

Web Hosting Tips for Startup Owners

When a business owner brings a company online, they typically concentrate on site design and content with Web Hosting coming in a distant third. Many business owners don’t think about hosting until the site becomes overloaded or there’s a question about cost, but this approach can be disastrous. Before considering hiring a web designer or purchasing a WordPress plugin, a startup owner should think about the kind of hosting they’ll need to keep the business running smoothly. Below are several tips on what to look for when choosing a hosting provider for a business website.

Shared Hosting Packages

On the surface, the concept seems simple. In shared hosting, the business site shares a server with many other sites. While this idea is acceptable for personal websites and small blogs, it really won’t work for a startup’s site that’s growing and bringing in more traffic every day. When site owners want to create viral content and lead generation campaigns, shared hosting simply isn’t enough.

Dedicated Hosting

With dedicated hosting packages, the business owner doesn’t have to share a server with other sites. Therefore, if a spam website slows down all the other sites on shared servers, the startup site won’t be affected. When sites run smoothly on a dedicated host, the user experience is better, the site is less likely to crash, and there will be fewer serious issues.

Managed Dedicated Hosting

With a managed hosting plan, the business owner doesn’t have to worry whether something will happen to their site because the hosting company will take care of problems as they arise. When a business is in the startup phase, the owner is likely to be very busy—and choosing a managed, dedicated host will allow them to focus on getting the business off the ground.

Now that business owners know about their hosting options, it’s time to learn how to choose the right hosting company. Below are some tips for startup owners on finding a reliable web host.

Selecting a Web Host

Many companies go for the cheapest, the most popular, or the biggest web hosting company they can find. However, these strategies don’t always work, and there are other options available. The web hosting industry is full of companies offering a variety of packages and plans. Variety is a good thing as it means startups can find the right package regardless of their needs. With such a wide range of options, clients can find a host that shares similar values and offers the services they need without all the unnecessary extras. When selecting a hosting company or package, business owners should consider the following factors.

  • User reviews
  • Downtime
  • The host’s customer numbers
  • The host’s history
  • Whether the company is eco-friendly and uses sustainable practices (if that’s important to the business owner)
  • Which services and packages are offered
  • What the service contract is like

By considering these factors, among others, startup business owners are more likely to find a host that suits the company’s needs and budget. Below are a few more tips for new business owners on finding quality web hosting.

Service Drill-Down

Now that the business owner knows what he or she should look for in a web host, they should learn which services they’ll need to run a business. Here, startup owners can learn what they need in a web hosting package.

  • Support for databases. If a client decides to run an e-commerce website, they should look for a web host that offers database support. This is important because the database is where all the company’s information is stored for future access.
  • Customer service. While there are plenty of cheap hosts available, users get what they pay for. Low-grade hosting plans often come with bare-bones customer service, which isn’t very helpful for a business owner. If a client runs a startup, they should look for a plan with free customer service included.
  • Good scalability. Most businesses start with an eye toward growth, and the owner should choose a hosting provider that can grow with the business. When choosing a host, find out if other customers were able to grow or if they had to change providers during the growth phase.
  • Transparent pricing. While most hosts are upfront about pricing, others try to hide behind gimmicks and promotions. Startup owners are typically budget-conscious, and they should look for a host with a transparent, easy-to-understand fee structure.

There are many considerations to make when choosing a web hosting company, but one thing is clear: customers should not pay for services they don’t need. Conversely, they should be willing to pay a little extra for beneficial services, especially during the startup phase. There are many web hosts that cater to owners of startup companies, and clients should practice due diligence in finding the host that fits their needs and the company’s budget.

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02 Jan 2017

How to Avoid Data Loss and Protect Your Company and Customers

Whenever anyone hears a news report about some company’s massive data loss, the instinctive reaction is a sigh of relief that this happened to someone else. The sad truth is that everyone needs to know how to Avoid Data Loss.

Most data loss can be avoided. It would take far more time, effort, and money to recover from a data loss than to prevent it from happening. There are several common causes of data loss.

Files Deleted Accidentally

Probably most people have discovered they didn’t have a current backup after accidentally deleting an important file. It’s so common that this is not always thought of as data loss, but it can serve as a wake-up call that better backup procedures are needed.

Hard Drive Failures

online backupEvery week, about 140,000 hard drives crash in the U.S., approximately 60% from a mechanical failure and the remainder from general misuse.

A hard drive can fail because of:

  • Wearing out, overheating, exposure to magnetic fields or power surges
  • Being dropped
  • A failure in the internal file system
  • Human error, such as improper formatting or tampering
  • A single catastrophic event such as hot computer temperatures or repeated hard reboots

Malware and Virus Infections

A survey of IT specialists found that 35% of their companies had lost data because of a malware infection. Email-based attacks and phishing are the most common means of entry. Data can be lost, stolen, or encrypted. One computer or the entire network can be infiltrated.

Ransomware attacks are increasing. A hacker infiltrates the system with a virus, steals or encrypts the data, and demands a ransom. Master hackers now sell ransomware software to others as a business opportunity. One stolen health record sells for several hundred dollars on the black market.

Tips on Protecting Your Data

Data Storage

  • Avoid Data Loss by storing data in different locations. Create two or more partitions if the system has only one hard disk
  • Store data on an external hard drive

Control Access to Data

  • A significant amount of data is stolen by employees
  • Stringent security precautions and procedures will protect data by restricting access

Backups

  • Backup data on a regular schedule
  • Ensure the backup is not in the same physical location. Backing up to the cloud is the ideal solution for most people
  • If backups are made to an external hard drive, do not leave it in the same location as the computer(s) where it would be vulnerable to fire or other catastrophes
  • Adopt proper data protection strategies and workflow processes.

Antivirus Software and Firewalls

  • Use high-quality antivirus software and keep it up to date
  • Use both hardware and software firewalls
  • Professional IT support will monitor systems 24/7, use more effective antivirus software that is available over-the-counter, and ensure backups are always current and protected.

Power Failures and Power Surges

  • Unexpected shutdowns can crash computers and destroy data
  • Surge protectors with battery backups allow the user to save files and shut down their system normally.

Current and protected backups are the primary way to prevent data loss. An online backup service will be worth its weight in gold if the unexpected happens and they have preserved the only copy of your most critical data. Protecting the hard drive and other hardware is also important, but hardware can easily be replaced. Confidential and proprietary data are irreplaceable.

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12 Dec 2016

4 Benefits of Using a Managed Server

When it’s time to compare the costs and benefits of third-party hosting versus in-house server maintenance, companies should note that the benefits are mostly in support, security, scalability, and reliability. By leaving the IT duties to the experts, business owners can save money and devote more time to daily operations. Below are some of the other advantages of  Managed Server services.

Security

The best data centers will invest the time and money on audits that ensure their network security, company policies, and employee training meet the nation’s standards. The old standard, SAS 70, was originally used for financial reports, but it has been replaced by SSAE 16 and/or SOC 2 and 3 as a measure of excellence in a data center.

Managed hosting providers also offer timely, relevant software updates that ensure a customer’s servers are fully protected against the newest malware and viruses. Offsite backup is a crucial service that can save a business from disaster by keeping vital data and critical applications available and safe.

Top-Quality Support

When customers hire a company for managed server services, they get the benefits of a team of responsive, certified, and experienced staff who can offer 24/7 server and physical data center monitoring to stay on top of any issues that may arise. While some companies have not yet grown to the point where they need a dedicated, in-house IT support team, a managed server comes with the highest level of support. Professional support saves customers money and time that is better spent on running the business. When a company outsources its hosting and IT duties, it can save money in two ways. Firstly, fewer new hires will need to be made. Secondly, the company will spend less of its valuable time training those new employees.

Reliability

When a company is not exclusively focused on information technology, managing servers in-house can be a significant burden. Concerns over uptime can inhibit the company’s growth, and they can gradually become a big distraction. Managed and dedicated server hosts can offer quality data infrastructure to ensure maximum uptime and reliability. Because these companies are dedicated to data center operations, they should already have an uninterrupted network connection and power supply with no single failure point. This reliability makes managed hosting a worthwhile investment for a company of any size.

Scalability

Dealing with an outage during a time when the business is outgrowing its service or product demands can be a real inconvenience, and it can be costly. A managed, dedicated server host typically has the additional space to support corporate clients’ future expansion needs. With the support of experienced, professional staff, clients can deploy a new server and rely on full support. Additional managed services can make it easier to update or monitor bandwidth, CPU, and disk space usage by sending a request or logging onto a portal.

Running a business is difficult enough without having to worry about server downtime, data loss, and unauthorized access. With managed server and IT services from a local company, corporate clients can be assured of flawless server deployment, maximum uptime, and minimal hassle or delay.

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26 Nov 2016

7 Benefits of an Online Backup Service

As internet connections become faster and servers become more affordable, online backup has changed from a concept to an indispensable service for many businesses. There are many benefits of online data backup that just aren’t found in USB flash drives, CDs, and external drives. While some of these benefits are obvious, others are less apparent.

1. Extra Security with Online Backup

While some users rely on USB drives, these have little value if they are lost or damaged. Many risks, such as computer viruses, fire, flooding, theft, and hardware failures can occur when backup copies are stored away from the computer. When the main drive is lost, a user can recover all important data from an Online Backup and keep all valuable files.

2. Fully Automated Backups

Companies should create their own protocols, such as making weekly backups to external hard drives or DVDs. However, copying files in this way takes considerable effort, and there’s always a risk of forgetting files or skipping backups. Luckily, top quality online backup providers offer a fully-automated solution that makes backups on a regular basis.

3. Recovery is Easier When Online Backups are Used

When crisis strikes, the importance of a backup plan becomes very apparent. The best solutions allow companies to recover their lost data quickly without any disturbance in the organization’s workflow. The best providers offer fast recovery and free trials so clients can determine whether the service fulfills their needs.

4. Data Versioning and Retaining Earlier Copies

Some things just can’t be done via manual data backups, and versioning is one of these things. Online data backup providers keep sequential copies of data, and clients can search or recover data from these earlier copies. This service offers a true value if a client works with regularly updated data files and they need to recover information that was inadvertently deleted or overwritten.

5. Syncing Data on Multiple Devices

Synchronization is another important feature that just can’t be done with an old backup system. Fortunately, clients can easily sync data with an online backup provider. It is possible to start with a file on the desktop, work with it on a laptop, and provide finished products on a tablet. It is amazing how much a client can achieve with a decent productivity tool.

6. Saving Time and Cost

Buying backup media and drives can be expensive because they need maintenance, upgrades, and time to work properly. Many clients admit that the time-saving capability of online data backup is the biggest benefit. For small and medium companies, outsourced backup solutions from an online provider can result in significant savings.

7. Peace of Mind

It is nearly impossible to assign a dollar value to peace of mind. However, by using an online data storage solution, a client can have fewer worries about losing important data. By letting the professionals take care of the hard work involved in data storage and retrieval, a client can save money and time while gaining reassurance. When partnering with a reliable provider, clients can spend less time worrying about data and more time running the business.

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