Cloud Storage – Choosing Wisely

Cloud storage is a type of data and information storage option that is obtainable on the net, i.e. “the cloud”. Cloud storage service providers usually offer many different services which mostly revolve around providing data backup for one’s system. Cloud storage services are usually considered to be exceptional substitutes to the normal storage options such as the use of hard disks, DVDs and other media..

There are many different advantages of the cloud storage option. To begin with, storing in the cloud provides a level of security against acts of God and natural disasters such as fire, earthquakes, floods and other unpredictable calamities.

In addition, it allows you to avoid having to install and monitor different storage devices in your limited space, since all the storage transactions will be done by the service provider you have hired. As more and more users and creators of data move to the cloud, it will become more and more the norm for data storage, if for no other reason than it saves space and worry.

Getting just the right cloud storage service provider can sometimes be a challenge. Running into unexpected costs or service interruptions is not something customers want to experience. So, how can you as a client end up hiring the right cloud storage service provider?

Types of Service

Identify the different types of service providers that are ready to help you out. Some providers have complete turnkey systems for their clients. Such providers usually feature applications that move sensitive data to their storage assets in the cloud.

Cloud Storage

Security

You should also try to understand the provider’s level of security. One of the main aims of hiring a cloud storage service provider is to safely store all the confidential or valuable data that you have. It is therefore paramount to your needs that the provider has a robust security system that includes sophisticated encryption safeguards.

Cost

Thirdly, it is important to consider the cost of the prospective service. Encrypting and storing data using different data storage software is usually not cheap. In many cases , the higher the levels of security, and encryption, the higher the costs. There are of course exceptions. Nevertheless, your budget and risk tolerance should guide you as you compare prices.

Reviews

There are many providers out there and it can be hard to pick one without any previous experience with cloud storage. Here is where reviews from experts and users comes in handy. You can read reviews of top cloud storage providers on cloudstorage.co.uk and find the perfect provider for your storage needs.

For those who have the highest demands for security, safety and risk exposure, it is becoming more and more common to approach cloud storage the same way you would approach terrestrial storage—be redundant. What this means is that it might not be a bad idea to host your data on multiple cloud platforms, rather than rely only on one. System failures, software glitches, viruses do happen, and therefore the only true protection is to not have all your eggs in any one provider’s basket.

Best WordPress Caching Plugins

WordPress page load speed can be frustrating, especially if you use a lot of plugins or images on your site. WordPress is a resource intensive way to create a webpage, because every single page is built on the fly using a programming language called PHP, pulling information from multiple files and a MySQL database. This means that a WordPress page can take a lot longer to load than a traditional HTML webpage. Its worth it though, because WordPress lets us create very powerful and complex websites which are easily modified or able to change quickly.

WordPress

Web page loading speed is a very important aspect of your visitor’s experience of your site. Its so important that Google actually considers it a significant factor for search result ranking: Google knows that slow pages are less popular. This is based on their own research, which has led to their very stripped down home page and a limit of 10 results per page. Google discovered that as page load times increased, the number of searches decreased, and so did their ad sales and thus profitability.

WordPress Caching plugins turn dynamic web pages into static pages

WordPress caching plugins make your site faster by serving cached static web pages, rather than creating dynamic pages every time a visitor requests a new page. Caching your WordPress content has several benefits:

  • Pages load faster.
  • Thus your visitors are happier, and more likely to stick around and explore your site.
  • Conversions increased because your bounce rate falls (people stay on your site).
  • The load on your server is reduced: its much easier to serve up a static web page than to run WordPress and build a dynamic one for each page load.

Best Caching Plugins for WordPress

There are a lot of WordPress caching plugins, offering a range of features. Its actually impossible to choose a single best WordPress caching plugin because the performance of these plugins varies a lot depending on their configurations and your web hosting server. Also, most WordPress users would prefer a simple plugin which is set and forget, while others have more time, skill and interest in optimising their WordPress caching plugin.

Choosing a WordPress caching plugin

Choose the best WordPress caching plugin for your server.

Lets keep it simple:

wp-super-cache

  • If your WordPress site is hosted on shared hosting then use WP-Super Cache.

    • WP-Super Cache is relatively easy to set up and performs well in a shared hosting environment.
    • It definitely works better with configuration beyond the default settings
    • You can largely just select all the “Recommended” settings in the advanced options tab.
    • WP-Super Cache doesn’t have a built in minify function. There are separate plugins for this, but be aware minification can break your site.

w3-total-cache

  • If your WordPress site is hosted on a VPS, dedicated or some types of managed WordPress Hosting and cloud hosting then use W3 Total Cache

    • Be prepared to tweak your server substantially to harness the full benefits of W3 Total Cache
    • W3 Total Cache is substantially more challenging to set up, especially if you don’t know the configuration and capabilities of your server (like most people on shared hosting)
    • Setting up W3TC can take quite a lot of time and trial and error to get right. What works on one server won’t work on the next, due to different configuration.
    • Shared hosting greatly limits the extra features the extra features
    • When not set up properly, caching programs can actually make your site run faster. This is more of a risk with W3TC than with WP-Super Cache due to it’s complexity.
    • Some of the options on W3 total cache will break your site (temporarily), so you need to test it as you configure the settings. The minify settings especially often break the CSS of the site, as can other minification plugins.
    • W3 Total cache needs to be set with different setting depending on your server. If you are serious about site speed, it can be worth getting this done professionally.

Continue reading

World Cup Fever Is Real, Awesome, and Can Teach Us Loads About Digital Marketing

It depends on which source you check, but the numbers are still pretty large everywhere you look: over 1 billion people have tuned into the World Cup 2014 to watch the opening game between Brazil and Croatia. That’s a huge number. If you go online and look, you’ll find that plenty of people have gone online to talk about the World Cup, check out merchandise, and basically figure out if it’s really going to come down to Brazil vs. Argentina in the big finale now that both Spain and England are out of the tournament.

Marketing is what connects customers to a brand. Without marketing, there’s no way for customers to stay tuned to what’s coming out. As much as people like to disagree, we’re all buyers where it counts. Get us thinking about something that interests us, and we’re bound to buy it. The trouble comes in when people search high and low for ways to connect a person to their brand.

marketing_football

Why not take cues from the World Cup?

World Cup fever is definitely real. You have people logging onto social media to share all of the highlights of the game, from penalties to fouls to the most emotional of victories. It’s more than just national pride. Watching football is like a large drama unfolding right before your eyes. Who will score first? Will the momentum carry? You can go from knowing a team will take it to being shocked by the surprise victory from the underdog.

2014-world-cup-logo

There were some sponsors that we pretty much could predict would throw their hats in the ring. McDonald’s is well known for sponsoring most major sporting events. Then you have Nike, who sits in pretty much the same boat. But did you know that Castrol oil has a big advertising push? We thought it was pretty cool to link something you think of with cars to something as human powered as football. But if you check out the long ad, it really fits.

Long ads are the name of the game, and one of the best things to take from the marketing examples from these big companies. No, you might not have a multimillion dollar budget for advertising, but you can tell a story that people will connect with. At the heart of marketing rests the people that you want to speak to, along with the product that you want to offer them. Lifeless marketing goes straight to the sale, but vibrant marketing is about people.

World Cup Betting: An Activity Worth Watching

It’s hard to pin down how much money is truly being thrown around when it comes to World Cup betting, but we do know that it’s quite a bit! If you want to make a few bets yourself, you should go with a reputable place to do it. Check out this awesome gambling blog that’ll get you up to speed in a flash: http://blog.betbright.com/. The folks over at BetBright are really good with newbies and veterans alike, and they are determined to turn you into a sports betting fan in no time.

World Cup betting

Even if you’re not much for betting, you have to find it interesting to look at the flow of money. There’s going to be plenty of people betting on this game, to the point where it will dominate the conversation in social media channels, offline, and beyond. What can you do as an online business owner to tap into that conversation while being as authentic as possible? Food for thought, indeed!

Content Marketing: Let Customers Come to You

I’ve been learning a lot more about inbound marketing lately, and it’s really captured my interest. We’re all familiar with traditional marketing strategies that push messages out to consumers, often interrupting them in the middle of something else (such as watching TV or reading a magazine), and therefore only gaining their attention for a short time. If outbound marketing is a push, than inbound can be thought of as a pull. Alex Rascanu highlights this difference as he describes how inbound marketing “earns the attention of customers rather than buying it, makes the company/ product/ idea easy to be found, and draws customers to the website by producing relevant and interesting content.”

Inbound marketing is used to attract visitors to your site, where they can be converted into leads, customers, and eventually brand advocates. The key to attracting these consumers in the first place is content marketing. This means providing consumers with free content in exchange for their time and attention. This content can be blog posts, podcasts, videos, webinars, whitepapers, eBooks, infographics or guides. No matter which option(s) you choose, promoting your brand should always appear secondary to providing real value for consumers either through entertainment or education. For instance, a blog filled with useful tips and advice can make your business stand out as a resource within your industry, and is far more valuable to consumers than a series of posts plugging your products. The Home Depot has recently created a series of how-to gardening videos for spring, and while they feature products available through the retailer, the focus is really on helping viewers make the most of their outdoor space.

content-marketing

While consumers continue to find new ways to tune out traditional marketing, producing great content will make them want to listen to what you have to say. Identifying your target audience and learning their wants and needs are crucial to determining what type of content you will create. Targeting increases the likeness that the people consuming your content will be interested in your product or service. The KISSmetrics guides that I’ve consulted for this post are great examples of content that speaks to a specific target audience of marketers, and has drawn me back their site again and again. Not everyone who accesses your content will become a customer, but every time someone visits your blog, watches a video, or downloads a whitepaper it’s another chance for them to deepen their relationship with your brand and potentially become a buyer.

A great way to expand the reach of your content is through guest blogging. Writing content for another blog helps you to position yourself – and your company – as an authority within your industry. It can also gain exposure and build backlinks for your website.. Just like the content you produce for your own blog, the guest post should be useful and relevant to the audience, not purely self-promotion. However, your author bio should  mention your business and provide links to other pages, such as your website or blog. You can also invite other people to be guests on your own company blog to ensure a steady stream of fresh content.

So what benefits can you expect to get out of a content marketing strategy? Continue reading

Good webdesign will help your business

Many hotels in Oberstdorf and hotels in Allgäu have started to make online advertising an integral part of their marketing campaigns. As a matter of fact, plenty of them have seen a significant increase in sales when they started establishing an internet presence through creating their own home page and website.

Most of them have hired web designers to ensure that their web design would be able to bring in more visitors and potentially more business.

One of the strategies that they used in creating their web design would be including detailed descriptions of the various services, amenities and facilities offered by each hotel. They also included a number of pictures to give online visitors the chance to assess the hotel’s services before they book a room.

They also list down the different features of the different hotel rooms. Some of the hotels even create a video which is like a virtual tour of each of the room types that they offer. This can help potential visitors in deciding which room would be suitable for them.

webdesign

Aside from these, web designers of the hotels’ websites also make sure that they are optimized for search engines to ensure a good amount of traffic coming in. They add numerous articles relevant to the hotel as well as to traveling to Oberstdorf and Allgäu. This can include travel guides and tips as to which tourist spots and attractions they can visit as well as what to expect and what to bring when they visit the regions. As they add these articles, they strategically embed keywords which would be read by search engines, possibly giving the website a higher ranking.

They also do a couple of internet marketing methods such as link building, article marketing and social media marketing. This would effectively boost the amount of traffic generated by the website, which could mean more business for the hotels.

Any company, particularly the hotels in Germany know that having good web design on their website is a crucial part of establishing an effective internet presence. By having a great website, they are able to generate more sales as well as reach a wider market all over the world.

If you would like to find more about web design and online marketing, make sure to visit http://www.londonwebdesigner.co.uk/

What kind of articles? Articles about what?

I am immersed in internet marketing, public relations, advertising, etc…each day from the time I wake up to the time I go to bed. I love this stuff. It’s what makes me tick.

Lately I have been working on a new info product (before you stop reading, I am not trying to sell you anything). I passed a copy off to a friend. He is looking to get started making money online as soon as possible and doesn’t know much about technology, marketing, etc… No Problem I thought. This is the perfect course.

I have been working like a madman to create the simplest step-by-step, no experience necessary, do the work, get the results, online money making guide available. For what it’s worth, I think I did a pretty good job.

article-marketing

Anyhow, one of the components of the program involves article writing. For me, I understand exactly what the purpose of writing articles is and how to spin an article to give useful information and still be promotional. But, like I said, I am immersed in this all day long.

Imagine my surprise when my friend said, “Yeah, this is awesome information and I can totally see how it could work, but if you could just tell me…what kind of articles…or..uh…articles about what?”  That was an ah-ha moment. I had to stop and think…not everyone knows how or what to write about in an article. Well, here are a few tips and some examples.

Okay, my friend decided he was going to become an affiliate of a reverse phone number lookup service. He signed up for Clickbank and got his affiliate ID, but now he needed to know what kind of articles to write to promote this service.

I have to admit, that I have never promoted reverse phone lookup, but if I were, here are the kind of articles I would write:

  • 5 ways to prove your lover is cheating on you
  • Are boys calling your daughter? 5 ways of finding out.
  • Is your husband cheating on you? mine was, and here’s how I found out.
  • You suspect it…but how do you know if it’s true? How to find out if your child is on drugs.
  • Cheating isn’t just for straights…5 tips to find out if your gay lover is cheating on you.

I like list articles. Lists are easily digestible articles with practical advice for a short attention span world.

Now, how do  you use these articles to promote your service?

Somewhere in your article (back to the cheating topic) you say something like…“I suspected my girlfriend was cheating. I would look at her cel phone call list when she was in the shower. I kept on seeing a certain number. I went to the Reverse Phone Lookup and found out it was one of my friends!” Continue reading

How Does Reputation Management Work?

Internet marketing may be cheaper compared with radio television advertisements, but it does not mean that you should immediately make use of the internet as a tool in order to promote your products. Before doing so, you should first be aware of the problems or issues you might face when launching the campaign in the internet.

When using the net for marketing purposes, two of the problems that you might face are low website rankings and receiving negative publicity or comments from your customers who are not happy with the quality of the product that they have purchased. You may be able to resolve the first problem through different Search Engine Optimization (SEO) techniques that may make your website more visible in search engines. Meanwhile, you may be able to deal with the second problem by seeking aid from people who are skilled when in the field of online reputation management.

Reputation Management

It is concerned with handling all the negative information being thrown against you online in a way that they will have minimal or no effect on your business, specifically on the number of your product sales. You may be able to regain your client’s trust and save your online image by doing the following:

  • Analyze the problem and determine how big or small it is. Before taking any action in order to resolve the problem, you should first do research in order to know how serious the problem is. If you were able to know the severity of the issue, then you will have an idea on what reputation management techniques you should use to put an end to it as soon as possible.
  • Interact with your unhappy clients online in order to address their concerns regarding the product. By doing this, clients who are not happy with the quality of the product will feel that you are taking the problem seriously.
  • Communicate with you former clients and ask if they can post comments containing positive information about you and the products they bought from you before. This will show that many people are satisfied with your performance as an entrepreneur and with the product that is in their possession.

Immediate Promotion with Flyers

There are numerous methods to promote a company, but approaching a customer directly and handing them a flyer is extremely effective. It allows businesses to satisfy new customers, offer information about their company, and adds a personal touch to the campaign.

The location for passing out flyers is crucial. Since flyers come with an average response rate of 1.5-2%, businesses will want to boost the total numbers of people receiving flyers. To do this goal, flyers need to be distributed in densely populated areas. Large areas like shopping malls, apartment complexes, and parking lots are perfect.

The kind of products may also influence where you can advertise. For instance, if the business sells sporting goods, a retirement home would not be a great spot to advertise. Locations that could be optimal are parking lots to keep fit gyms and shopping centers, and residential areas. The advertiser has to consider who will use their product and what types of places they would frequent. Once that has been determined, they are able to start marketing there.

Flyers

Other suggestions to consider are target markets as well as their income potential. It is vital to understand if the good or service is going to be widely appealing and affordable to all types of people and income levels. If the method is created for affluent men, it must be marketed differently than if it’s being targeted at middle-class women. Additionally, ethnic groups can also create a distinction in the type of advertising that is done. Marketing to some number of Russians ought to be not even close to the advertising that is performed for African-Americans. Element in all possibilities after which deduce where and how the campaign might be best suited.

If flyers are going to be left instead of distributed, then, that too, requires a befitting location. Places must have high visitors along with a wide selection of people arriving and out. Service venues such as laundromats, barbershops, beauty salons, and doctor and dentist offices really are a prime illustration of pertinent areas. Other sites which have a continuing influx of individuals are bus, train, airports, or subway stations, and fast food restaurants. Flyers could be hidden in inconspicuous places for example in magazine pouches or on chairs as well as in booths. Similarly, marketers could tuck ads in book pouches at the library or perhaps in bathroom stalls and make contact with booths.

Direct marketing is about the locality. Research should be conducted prior to committing ones’ time, money, and efforts in to the campaign. Discover who the prospective audience is and how and where they’ll be bewitched with the advertisement. Get the best locations and use fall off or face-to-face methods to market the product.

Why Should I Set Up a Business Continuity Plan?

Any business can be susceptible to a disaster which unexpectedly disrupts day-to-day business activities. In an age where businesses rely on technology to remain competitive, operating without a disaster recovery plan is a risky business and a serious threat to business continuity for any organization.

The increased reliance on IT infrastructure to streamline business processes and maintain a competitive advantage has made planning for business continuity more important than ever. Planning for business continuity requires a comprehensive assessment of potential losses from a disaster and this can often take quite a bit of time, particularly if there is no recovery plan in place.

The old adage, “Failure to plan means you plan to fail” is quite true when it comes to business continuity. Organizations that do not plan in advance for a disaster typically suffer a significant amount of downtime depending upon the nature and effects of the disaster itself. In fact, failing to plan for business continuity is the number one reason most businesses close their doors following a catastrophe while others that have a disaster recovery plan in place continue to flourish.

Set Up a Business

What is Business Continuity?

Business continuity is sometimes known as business continuance and is a process which defines the procedures which are to be followed by an organization to ensure critical business processes will continue to function during and following a disaster. A business continuity plan includes a solid disaster recovery plan which helps a business to prevent the disruption of services which are mission-critical to business processes.

The process of planning for business continuity involves a decision making process. The plan begins with deciding which functions are the most critical to enable failover systems to be put in place. This is followed by a plan for maintaining critical services at an alternative location along with a contingency plan which outlines events which can seriously impact a business following an unexpected disaster.

Why and How Important Is It for a Business To Have a Strategic Business Continuity Solution in Place?

The importance of a business continuity plan should never be underestimated. In fact, with the increased reliance on technology infrastructures for critical business operations, planning for disaster recovery should be placed very high on the priority list.

Statistical analysis studies have shown that more than 80 percent of organizations which encounter a disaster can expect to go out of business within a year following the event. Regardless of whether disasters occur as the result of a manmade reason or via an act of nature, they can occur anywhere and at any time.

Substantial evidence also shows that businesses which implement business continuity plans prior to a disaster often ride out catastrophes with minimal or no loss of data, hardware, or business revenue. This in turn allows organizations to maintain business continuity and consumer confidence as well as the support of company shareholders.

Business Continuity Plan

When you think about it, what would you do if your business facilities were damaged or destroyed during a disaster? How would you relocate in time to continue serving your customer base? Would you be prepared by having the proper resources, databases, contact information and other necessary items to adapt to these changes?

Having a solid business continuity plan provides answers to these questions by helping you to identify the critical business components. Investing the time in advance will ensure business survival following an unanticipated disaster.

Who Can Help You Setup A Business Continuity Solution For Your Business?

Implementing a business continuity plan will affect your business on many different levels, which is why it is essential to ensure the inception of disaster recovery technologies is done correctly from the very start.

As more companies seek effective business continuity solutions, there is an increased number of business continuity and disaster recovery solution providers which employ a staff of experienced professionals which hold accreditation from Microsoft, Citrix, Cisco, VMware, and other IT sources. Additionally, if you are already using a cloud solutions provider, many of the cloud vendors provide consultants, which have extensive expertise in business continuity solutions.

There is also a host of independent consultants which specialize in helping businesses develop business continuity and disaster recovery plans, like this company for example. In this case, it is important to invest the time to research the company before choosing to employ a business continuity consultant since you want to ensure business processes will continue in the most reliable and effective way possible following a disaster.

What Plans Need To Be Put In Place Before Disaster Strikes? What Are Some of the Best Practices?

Business continuity and disaster recovery plans typically follow common standard procedures, with variations added according to the individual requirements of an organization. The following areas are common considerations which are included in a solid plan for recovery: Continue reading

Top 9 Raw Powers of Social Media while Blogging

Social media has gone above and beyond anyone’s demands as to just how popular it would become. I don’t think anyone knew just how huge Facebook or networks like Twitter would become and how much of an opportunity they are for traffic.

There are different ways to utilize the traffic that you can obtain from both but to properly optimize the blog traffic; you have to understand the power behind social media in order to effectively manipulate it.

Social Media

There’s also quite a lot of things you must remember when utilizing social media as well because everyone thinks their content is viral worthy. What exactly makes something viral and what exactly determines what will go viral? No one honestly knows for sure and that’s the beauty of the internet, we can’t exactly determine what will and won’t go viral. It could happen to anyone and at most times, it seems to happen to random people that weren’t even trying to get their name out there.

  1. It’s free traffic – This means that you didn’t pay a dime for the traffic. Social media is usually spread around by hand and this means that people like your content enough to spread it around.
  2. It can go viral – Let’s face it, a lot of things that end up going viral, aren’t exactly things we predict or expect to go viral. All it takes is one person to share something and you could be behind the next big hit.
  3. Social media has huge influence – People trust links they find on social media websites far more than they do on say Google or anywhere else. People seem to put a lot of trust into social media websites.
  4. It’s like a train that you can’t turn off – This might sound awful but it’s actually a good thing. If something of yours happens to go viral, then you all of a sudden have this rush of traffic coming in and there’s nothing you can do about it.
  5. There’s far more to share – Unlike a normal static page website or a sales page, people can share each post, each page or even each category if you set it up that way. This way, there’s a lot more content to share and more opportunity for your blog to get out there.
  6. People like to read – Not everyone likes to read but people on social media sites love going through other people’s walls, profiles and what not. Social media websites are filled with people who love to read blogs based on things that they want to know more information on.
  7. Google trusts you – Google may not exactly be best friends with Facebook behind the scenes, but Google holds a lot of rapport and authority behind social media website backlinks. There are plenty of different backlinks out there but if you can happen to get a backlink to stick on a major social networking site, then that is absolutely golden. Sites like those are usually well kept so Google knows if one of those sites is referring a link, then it has to be good.
  8. You connect with other bloggers – Networking is a fantastic idea no matter what field you’re in. When you’re sharing your blog out there on the social media networks, it also gives you an opportunity to meet other bloggers in your particular niche and you never know what that could lead to. Perhaps a traffic swap partnership could be in the future.
  9. You’re an authority figure – The funny thing about owning a website or a blog is, when you tell people something and they see other websites and people saying the same thing, they come to think of you as an authority figure and will believe whatever you say. You can become an expert just by telling people you’re an expert.

The social media outlet has been around for a while now but has just recently started booming in the last few years. No one knows how long it’s going to stay, just how popular it’s going to become and if it will ever have a downfall, so it’s best to take advantage of social media now before it’s too late. However, it doesn’t really seem like it’s going anywhere anytime soon and it expands rapidly.

Just a mere few years ago, you would’ve never thought that you’d be using an app like Twitter to talk to people but now it’s a major form of communication for companies and even celebrities. Tweet this, Hash tag this, reply to this, etc is what you hear commonly from these places. The best thing to do when you see a brand new social media platform pop up is to jump on it ASAP before it becomes widely popular so you’ll be on top of the roster for the brand new platform.