Category: "Web Hosting"

Easily Preview Sites before DNS Propagates

Since sometime close to forever, the way to preview sites prior to pointing DNS, was to modify the hosts file on your PC. If you’re not familiar with the hosts file, it’s a file on your computer that allows you to take advantage of the DNS lookup hierarchy. Modifying it allows you to view a website on a server that hasn’t had the domain name pointed at it yet. It’s a great trick for previewing sites, but it’s not without drawbacks. Mainly, you’ll need to remember to un-modify it. And for some reason, modifying my hosts file doesn’t work for me anymore.

Then we found https://hosts.cx/ and viewing un-launched sites became much easier. Just enter the IP address and the domain name of the domain name of the site and click Get My Testing URL.

hostcx

This takes you to page with a link to your temporary site for viewing. Plus there’s a QR code you can point and click at from your mobile phone to preview the mobile version of your site too. They did their homework!

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How To Choose The Perfect Domain Name For Your Business

How To Choose The Perfect Domain Name For Your Business

Domains are the real estate of the internet. A great domain name can be the foundation for an empire. A bad one can be exceptionally forgettable. There are a variety of factors that go into choosing the perfect domain name for your website, but at the end of the day it comes down to one thing: you have an important decision to make.

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When Was Your Last Backup?

When Was Your Last Backup?

You spend time building your site, growing your community, and obsessing over every detail — why would backing up your data be an afterthought? Websites crash, hard drives become corrupted, sites get hacked: there are too many things that could go wrong to leave everything to chance.

The short version is this: make sure you are backing up your files regularly.

Why Forum Owners Need to Have Regular Backups

If you run a forum or community, chances are your site sees plenty of updates throughout the day: new topics, new conversations, new members. This is the heart of your site. For a forum owner, having a backup plan in place is a must.

Forums create a lot of content, much of it is user generated. This means that there are people spending time on your site sharing their ideas. Losing this data can be damaging to your brand. Just think about how you would feel if you spent your time building a profile, and then everything gets wiped away. Would you start all over? Maybe. Many people would probably just move on to the next forum.

What Criteria Should You Use For Managing Forum or Website Backups?

There are a lot of things to consider, but you can easily narrow everything down to the following:

  • Backup your data as often as possible.
  • Exclude temporary files and give higher priority to content and database backup.
  • Do NOT save your backup on the same server as your site.
  • Your backup should be easily retrievable.
  • Ideally, you should get notifications after every successful backup.
  • Backups should be compressed when possible to save disk space.

An important thing to consider when running a forum or website that publishes a lot of content is to have hourly backups of your data. At URLjet, we provide hourly backups through our File Guardian system. We take a snapshot of your system configuration — and we do this hourly — so we can restore your website to any point in time, in no time. All backups are kept off-site.

 

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What is Managed WordPress Hosting?

What Is Managed WordPress Hosting?
Managed WordPress hosting can be an invaluable asset to bloggers and businesses. According to the numbers from the United States Bureau of Labor and Statistics unemployment has been hovering between 8.3 and 7.8 for the past year. That does not take into account the people who are no longer claiming benefits. They estimate that 12.3 million people are out of work. Again, they base these numbers upon reported cases. Add the unreported cases and you are closer to 20% of the population. One could argue those numbers up or down on any given month but the bottom line it this: the way that America is doing business these days is shifting.

Quite a few people have begun their own businesses. I’m not talking mid-sized corporations in buildings in the golden triangle. I am talking cottage industries. In the absence of traditional opportunities, resilient free thinkers are devising other options.

Anyone who has ever tackled a startup knows you have enough to do without managing your WordPress hosting. Keeping your product or service up to date and taking good care of valuable customers is challenge enough. Because an online presence is critical for reaching the savvy consumers in today’s market, a good hosting option is worth its weight in gold. For people with an established business or blog, managed WordPress hosting makes sense.

WordPress has become a household word these days. They have built and maintained an excellent reputation throughout the blogging and business communities. If you have ever used it, you know they have made their product simple. They even offer format-adjusting templates so your site is just as accessible on a smart phone as it is on your laptop.
In this article I’m going to focus on some of the reasons why managed WordPress hosting is a good idea.

The First Benefit of Managed WordPress Hosting

Managed WordPress hosting offers ease of use. If you are like my friend Jane, just the sound of the words “new technology” raises the hair on the back of your neck. It isn’t that Jane is technically challenged. It’s just that she’d rather think about other things—like reaching more customers and writing her daily blog. Happily, Jane is not stuck. Managed WordPress hosting provides a solution that leaves her no worries. You can expect top-notch service without the headaches with managed WordPress hosting. Besides, doing your own updates and backups suck.

The Second Benefit to Managed WordPress Hosting

Managed WordPress hosting offers security. When hackers are on the prowl, managed WordPress hosting providers are already on the job, filtering and scrubbing bad traffic and removing malware. That means peace of mind. You can focus on your business, and your customers can access your site without lockout problems.

The Third Benefit to Managed WordPress Hosting

Managed WordPress hosting offers speed. A managed WordPress hosting provider understands the impact of widgets, and knows how to best configure plugins on your site for speed and performance.

The Fourth Benefit to Managed WordPress Hosting

Managed WordPress hosting offers hassle free webpage ownership. That means that whenever software updates are needed, server maintenance or replacement become necessary, or when it is time to backup your site, specialists jump into action and you can do other things.

The Fifth Benefit to Managed WordPress Hosting

Managed WordPress Hosting offers painless startup. Whether you are looking to start a site or move your current site, managed WordPress hosting providers have clear affordable plans and simple step-by-step instructions so you can get started right away. They’ll even set up your site for you if you just don’t have the time or inclination—for free.
The idea of doing business these days without a website isn’t even a consideration. A good website gives potential clients and customers a clear picture of who you are. While managed WordPress hosting isn’t a panacea for the economic troubles in our nation, it is allowing people to get their websites running and their focus back on business.

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Forum Hosting Requirements

Forum Hosting Requirements
Hosting a message board or forum may not be prohibitively expensive, but the tasks of setting it up and appointing competent webmasters and moderators to maintain it could be moderately costly if you don’t shop around for the best deals on the types of services and features you need. There is also a need to allow sufficient time to build up a strong and loyal value-driven community for your site in order to reap the long-term benefits in the future. Every forum and message board community will also have issues with negative posters and negative feedback from time to time. When dealing with these negative elements it is important to realize that while the feedback posted by some of your existing clients may turn off some potential customers and put a damper on your sales abilities in the beginning, instead of getting discouraged, every challenge is a new opportunity to learn from your mistakes and do things better in the future.

Aside from setting up your site, appointing webmasters and selecting the appropriate web host to run it, there are certain other requirements of forum hosting too. A good message board with a strong community of like-minded users will also be a place where the rules are always enforced evenly and predictably. Without a good set of strong rules to ensure the whole operation runs smoothly and a clear set of steps and penalties to handle any violations that everyone can understand, there’s really no need to set up any rules at all.

Board moderation is another area of hosting requirements that can make or break a site. As a site owner, you’ll need to make sure that your moderators are handling their roles clearly and judiciously. All disputes need to be supervised and handled in the same manner for all users and the moderators should not exhibit partiality to any of the members.
When some members feel that they are less important than other users on a board, it can be a constant source of problems that need special handling. It is far better when everyone plays by, and is subject to, the same rules.

It is important to remember that the main point of hosting a forum or message board is to form a healthy community of genuinely interested and committed users that can all be considered as existing customers and of course, potential customers. A good forum with genuine users who are authorities and experts in their fields are the real strength of your endeavor. Other users will recognize this and come back to read and learn more when they trust and value the information provided by your most committed users. This requires maintaining even-handed discipline and
clearly understood rules. Even though a poster may appear to be helping to promote your products or services, when their real intention is posting messages only for the sake of link building or for other financially motivated intentions that are not genuine interaction, it can seriously impair and reduce both the vale and impact of your efforts. If you handle violations in a clear and even-handed manner according to rules that apply the same way to all users, the chances are quite good that you will have mastered the basic requirements of
successful forum hosting.

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Premium Forum Hosting Benefits

Premium Forum Hosting Benefits
Although you can easily find open source scripted discussion boards and HTML set-ups as well as advertising supported free forum hosting services, larger forums with many users really require a paid forum hosting service. If your forum is amateur in appearance and function, it can really put a dent in the commercial viability of a project, and end up costing you both potential customers and dollars too.

A premium forum hosting service provider will take care of all of the details of setting up any type of web message board without you having to install any new software on your own. A good host will know how to address all of the set-up details and provide you with around the clock support too. As with many things in life, when you buy a premium web board hosting package from a reputable supplier, you’ll get what you paid for with more web space and completely hassle-free maintenance for all of your hosting processes, and you’ll usually get a bunch of other built-in features for free too. Just because you’re getting first rate service doesn’t mean you’ll have to pay a fortune for it either, as competition has improved the breed and there are many good board-platform hosting choices available these days. A good provider will provide the installation of any software needed at their end and handle the complete forum/board set-up process while still offering the customer the ability to make sure their new board platform matches the theme of any new or current website they want it associated with. Customization tweaks and other requests should be offered at reasonable costs too.

The more user/visitors a message board or forum has, whether actual or potential, the more it underscores the need for a paid professional hosting service that can help make the most out of it. Both the site owners and the people who rely on their favorite Internet message groups and boards as trusted community resources in the subject area of their particular choice will benefit from a fully functional and professional platform. Web forums provide the worldwide Internet community with the ability to share information and conduct commerce in ways never before possible and they can be profitable too when they are set-up and managed correctly.

A fully functional forum platform will:

  • Encourage users to develop a sense of community.
  • Allow the staff to instantly post announcements.
  • Encourage users to help each other.
  • Active content appears higher in search results.
  • Allow all users to interact in a fun forum atmosphere.

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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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How to Attract New Users to Your vBulletin Community

How to Attract New Users to Your vBulletin Community
When building a new vBulletin forum, many owners want an easy and fast way to gain more members for their community. Unfortunately there is no quick fix for gaining members, but with these tips you should see an increase in traffic to your site.

One of the first things you should do is create board categories for your forum. By having too many categories it makes your site look empty. When guests see an empty message board, they assume no one uses it anymore and will head elsewhere. People come to these forums as a means to be heard and to communicate with others who are passionate about the same topics they are.

Next, you should keep your website clean and bright. Making your website a pleasant place to visit will keep site visitors coming back for more. For example, if you are targeting an older crowd, you should have easy-to-read fonts on a light color background. This will make your vBulletin community look more professional and will encourage more people to stay and register.

The next thing is a mistake many sites do – they hide content from their website visitors. You should never hide content from guests. Forcing them to register will either cause them to leave and get their answer at another website or have them register for the site to get their answer, but never come back again because it was time consuming. You want to have content that will turn visitors into members. Posting content that is engaging to the reader is an easy way for you to gain members that want to comment and share in the discussion.

Finally, before you advertise your site, you should have some content already generated. New visitors will be more likely to comment on existing posts than generating their own. It will also turn an empty site into one with content, something that is very important for vBulletin forums when they start out.

Whether your next forum site is for business or pleasure, the experts at URL Jet can help get your vBulletin site started. We are the #1 high performance vBulletin hosting leader, offering many different services to fit your needs. From web hosting to hourly back-up solutions, URL Jet does it all. Call us today at 1-888-699-2609.

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