Archive For: December, 2012

6 Must-Know WordPress Tips for Small Business Owners

6 Must-Know WordPress Tips for Small Business Owners
If you are a small business owner expenses and advertising costs are never far from your mind. Starting a business with a limited budget doesn’t mean you need to forgo a stand out web presence. WordPress is the answer small business owners have been looking for.

WordPress Is Easy To Use

One of the most challenging decisions to make when developing a website for your business is what platform to use. A custom design requires extensive programming knowledge, and for most small business owners, budget comes into play. Hiring a competent web developer can be costly. If you don’t shell out bucks for an easy to use content management system, otherwise referred to as a CMS, you’ll likely have to pay an ongoing monthly fee to a webmaster for site updates. This can be a costly process. Plus, you lose the ability to quickly update your site on your own. You’ll be stuck waiting for your webmaster to get around to it.

WordPress is the most popular blogging software on the market. It’s widely used around the world and has been adopted as the go-to CMS for countless small business and corporate websites.

Why Small Businesses Should Use WordPress

You’re looking for more online exposure for your business. You want to save money. The budget isn’t right. The list goes on, but the running theme is you want to save money, while still having an incredible online presence. When you want to update your website in a fast, efficient, and cost-effective way, WordPress is the tool you need. WordPress is the most popular blogging tool used today, but it can also be a powerful content management system for your website. Entrepreneurs are discovering peace of mind, security, and support by putting WordPress in their business toolbox.

Fast, Efficient, Cost Effective. Small business owners don’t have all the time in the world. In fact, they have considerably less. It’s true. If you’ve ever managed a business you know one thing for certain: there’s always a few more things that need done. WordPress gives you the ability to quickly upload images, post blogs, and add content to your website.

Easy To Have A Great Design. You can save money and still have a great looking website. WordPress relies on themes to transform its look. A simple search on Google will uncover countless free themes you can use for your website. If you’re looking for a more robust option you can purchase a premium theme for your site for as little as $35 – $40. Want to know where to look? Themeforest has the most extensive collection of WordPress themes and authors around. Developers sell their templates on the site and users are able to leave feedback, so you can have an idea of what to expect before you buy. Plus, the majority of WordPress developers on the site offer support either through email or via a forum.

Out-of-the-Box SEO. To drive traffic to your website, you need to attract potential clients. WordPress enables you to easily optimize your site for the search engines through the use of plugins. Most bloggers and webmasters recommend using WordPress SEO plugin by Yoast.

A Plethora of Resources. There are countless WordPress developers, bloggers, and forums offering advice and tips on customizing and maintaining your site. If you run into trouble or are having trouble with configuring your website an answer is typically a Google search away.

Easily Customize with Free Plugins. One unique feature of WordPress is it is an open-source platform with countless developers. There are many free WordPress plugins available that can add extra functionality to your site, like social plugins and banner ads.

Manage Your Time. WordPress gives you the option to schedule your posts. This can be a great timesaver, which lets you write your posts when you have time and schedule them for times when they need to go out.

Affordable Web Hosting Solutions. It doesn’t cost an arm and a leg to get your WordPress blog online. Affordable WordPress hosting isn’t hard to find. It’s important to choose a reliable web hosting company that has a proven track record and understands the specific requirements needed for WordPress web hosting.

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5 Questions To Ask Your Managed Web Hosting Provider

5 Questions To Ask Your Managed Web Hosting Provider
Delegating responsibility for your business’ online presence is not a task to be taken lightly. Before placing this crucial task into the hands of a managed web hosting provider, due diligence is called for.

Even the most tech-savvy business can benefit from outsourcing certain aspects of server administration. It’s just more cost-effective and time-saving to focus on what you do best, without having to factor the constant logistical demands of a dedicated server into your daily considerations.

However, it is ultimately your duty to ensure that the managed web hosting provider you select is not only competent, but appropriate for your business needs.

You can’t rely upon your dialogues with managed hosting providers when it comes to determining your specifications and their ability to fulfill them. Their job is to sell you what they have. Your job is to buy what you need. And Job One is ascertaining what, exactly, you need in terms of managed web hosting.

Choosing a Managed Web Hosting Provider: 5 Questions You Need To Ask, and Why You Need The Answers

1. Windows, or Linux? Your web designer can best apprise you as to which operating system the hosting servers should support. Depending on the nature of the website under development, you will find your online presence optimized by a platform which the prospective host may or may not be able to deliver. If they only offer one, make sure it’s the right one.

2. Bigger, Better, Faster, Stronger? If you’re planning to utilize resource-intensive site features like high-resolution images and a large video database, you’ll definitely want to take storage and bandwidth into consideration. Don’t just settle for the bare minimum; remember, the goal is to expand, and it’s desirable to find a web host which can continue to meet your needs over time.

3. How reliable is the server? Uptime percentages differ by fractions and may be calculated somewhat arbitrarily. Find out how the hosting provider defines “downtime”, and what it translates to in concrete terms of hours/minutes per year. It’s pretty much self-evident why you’d want to keep downtime to a minimum.

4. What additional features am I looking for? Additional domains, email and FTP accounts, ecommerce capabilities, security features, money-back guarantees- do your homework, find out what your options are. A general grasp of what’s available will help immensely when it comes to deciding what you can and can’t live without.

5. Define “Managed”? When you make the decision to utilize a managed web hosting provider, your primary requirement is support. Ongoing support. Whenever there’s a malfunction, a question, or a necessary directive, you should expect someone on the other end of the line who can assist you in a prompt and efficient manner. 24/7 access to competent professionals is the cornerstone of managed web hosting, and the quality thereof should be your paramount concern. Trial offers are a good way to size up the available support you can rely on from a given provider. If the emergency hotline goes to voicemail or online tech support is an automated troubleshooter, you may find it advisable to shop around.

Your relationship with your managed web hosting provider is the factor that separates “passing the buck” from adding a new member to the team. Communication is essential. Without a functional collaboration, an off-site server will tend to be more of a burden than an asset, so make sure you are dealing with a web host who understands your needs and is able to provide the level of hands-on expertise your online presence demands. Remember, you’re counting on them!

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