Here Comes Black Friday / Cyber Monday 2017

Over the next few weeks you will see a ton of promotion advertisement.

These ads will come in various form via various channels.

Banners. Popups. Videos. Text.

And you’ll see them in your email inbox, Facebook Newsfeed,Twitter, and some of the websites you visit.

Stores and online retailers will be running big sales the whole week of Thanksgiving, including the holiday itself. Online deals can be found throughout the month – starting with China 11.11 sales, and then Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

Consumerism has changed the holiday and festive season.

And it has became a tradition for some people to celebrate their festive by spending money online and at stores. People thought they can buy their ways to happiness (you can’t).

Some crazy Black Friday / Cyber Monday numbers

ADI expects the Thanksgiving weekend to account for $19.7 billion in online sales this year (2017). That represents $1 of every $6 (18%) expected to be spent online for the entire holiday season (source).

In 2016, Alibaba smashed online retail record by recording $17.8 billion worth of gross merchandise volume.

Total online sales from November 1st – December 31st, 2016 hit $91 billion – a 11% increase compare to 2015 according Adobe Digital Insights (ADI).

In hosting industry, we’ve seen companies slashing their prices up to 80% last year. I wouldn’t surprise to see a bigger price cut in Black Friday / Cyber Monday 2017.

Now…

Yes, these deals can be real money savers – but don’t fall for them. At least, not every one of them. A dollar spent is a dollar lesser in your wallet.

There’s no point to buy things at 60 / 70% cheaper that are useless to you.

Have a shopping list ready – jot down only items that are needed and their current selling price – buy them only if you need them.

Happy Thanksgiving and Happy Shopping everyone!

 

Little-known facts about domain names

Some are some random facts domain name I found interesting.

  • Domain registration was free before 1995. Network Solutions was the first organization to start charging for them – at $100 for 2 years registration. Read the Untold story of SAIC, Network Solutions, and the Rise of the Web.
  • Google is originally named Googol. Sean Anderson misspelled the name and registered it as Google (source).
  • .top, .xyz, and .loan are the top 3 new generic TLDs as of October 2017 (source).
  • There are 2,966 ICANN accredited registrars at time of writing (see every one in this .csv file).
  • GoDaddy is the #1 domain registrar. The company holds more than 51 million domains at time of writing (source).
  • All possible two letter combinations domains are taken.
  • So are four letter combinations domains (source).
  • In December 1999, Microsoft Inc. forgot to renew the domain name Passport.com, causing its Hotmail service crippled. Michael Chaney, a Linux programmer and kind soul, paid the $35 fee, posted the receipt and “Merry Christmas, Microsoft” on Slashdot, and  handed over ownership back to Microsoft (source).
  • Mike Mann sets the record for most domains (14,962 to be exact) registered in single day in April 2012 (source).
  • You can register a .tk domain for free (do it now).
  • symbolics.com is the very first domain name registered on the Internet is , which was registered on March 15, 1985 (visit online).
  • The growth of domain was slow in the beginning, in October 1990, there were only 1,151 .com domains registered (source).
  • Commercial use of the Internet was first permitted in 1988 (source).
  • LasVegas.com was sold for $90 million dollars in June 2005. The payment is scheduled to be completed over 35 years –  spanning from 2005 to 2040 (source).
  • The second (CarInsurance.com, $49.7 million) and third (Insurance.com, $36.6 million) most expensive domain names are acquired by the same company – QuinStreet (source).

Having fun so far? I’ll keep updating this list in future. Come back for more.

 

8 Simple Domain Tips

  1. Name your website using your association name. Example: Sony.com, Tesla.com, and Amazon.com.
  2. Generic names are cool but most of them are reserved by domain registrant. So unless you have a fat wallet and willing to spend thousands for just a domain name, you can forget about registering single word (or phrases) as your domain name.
  3. Shop at Flippa to see if a desired domain is for sale.
  4. Avoid hyphenated domain names.
  5. Consider varies TLDs when the “.com” and “.net” if your desired domain names are taken. Example: WebHostingSecretRevealed.com is taken; try WebHostingSecretRevealed.biz 😉
  6. Both short and long domain names have their pros and cons. Short domains are easier to remember and easier to be ‘branded’; long domain names on the other hand may consist of more descriptive keywords (which allow your users to understand your business instantly).
  7. Domain name tools are helpful, sometimes. Try MakeWords, Dot-o-mator, and NameBoy.
  8. Think ‘FUN’ and think outside the box. Sometimes, your sense of humor is your best friend when if comes to picking up the right domain name – remember D-E-F-I-N-I-T-E-L-Y.com?

Well, choosing a domain may not be as simple as perceived but it doesn’t have to be such a grueling challenge either. I hope things are easier when you apply tips above.

More website tips here.

Write Useful Web Headlines: 13 Rules & Tips

  1. Always outline your content with headlines.
  2. Short, concise headlines work best. Avoid jargon and fancy words.
  3. Don’t dive deep. Use headlines and sub headlines to segment your content.
  4. Ask question in headline. (Keep the question short and answer the question in the next paragraph though.)
  5. Think “what, why, how, and when”.
  6. Write as if you are speaking to your site visitors. “How do you do X” is better than “How do one/a person/users do X”.
  7. Leave spaces above and below your headlines.
  8. Make headline levels obvious. <h2> and <h3> should look different.
  9. Numbers are good for headlines.
  10. So is the phrase “How-to”.
  11. Action phrases are your friends. Use’em for instruction headlines.
  12. Include keywords in your headlines if possible.
  13. But remember always, that you are writing for real human, not search engines.

I also like Jeff Goins’ headlines tricks for its simplicity and efficiency. You should read that up.

 

What makes a good web host? Factor #3: Customer supports

Customer service is a tricky thing to gauge.

Most web hosting companies will respond to inquiries about new packages.

On the surface, the customer service department can seem friendly and easy to deal with, but what happens after you sign up for a web hosting package with the company?

If your site does go down, you want the assurance of knowing the customer service department will respond quickly and solve any issues you might have.

Here are some tips for making sure the customer service is stellar.

  • Are there multiple ways to contact the company? Look for a company that offers a 1-800 number that is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You should also be able to file a tech support ticket via e-mail, a support control panel or even via a live chat.
  • Ask what their average response time is for troubleshooting problems.
  • Contact other clients and ask them if they are happy with the company’s customer support.
  • Visit any online forums you can access through the hosting company’s website. Often, customers will lodge complaints on the discussion boards about issues like customer service or response times.

Tip

I visited 20+ hosting companies’ website, asked for support via their live chat system, and recorded time taken to reply my requests.

WHSR users love that case study.

You can check it out here.

Spoiler: SiteGround stood out as the winner in this experiment.

What makes a good web host? Factor #2: Hosting features

Another set of questions to ask when you are examining your hosting options: What comes with your hosting package? Does it meet the needs of your company? What about as your website grows and you add new features?

Look at everything from how easy it is to install popular items like WordPress to how server backups are done and how sudden spike in website traffic is handled.

Some of the basics you might want to compare include:

  • Does the host support video and audio streaming?
  • Is the control panel easy to navigate and understand?
  • Can you work with an SQL database easily? Are there wizards available, such as MyPHPAdmin?
  • Is one-click app installer, ie. Fantastico, used?
  • Is dedicated IP included in your package? If not, how much does it cost to get one?
  • Can you easily backup your site?
  • Can you host your own e-mails (and check them using web browsers)?

What makes a good web host? Factor #1: Uptime guarantees

Having a bad web host can be almost as bad as not having a host at all.

The last thing you want? Server outages.

Which is why I emphasize a lot in server uptime in our hosting reviews.

Why is hosting uptime so important?

The term “Hosting Uptime” refers to how long a server has been running.

100% uptime means the host is running all year long. 24x7x365.

Each 0.1% drop in your host uptime is ~44 minutes down time in a month.

99.9% uptime equals to 43 minutes and 12 seconds downtime in a month.

99% uptime equals to  7 hours and 12 minutes downtime in 30 days.

In today’s economy, business is global. You’ll likely find visitors from all over the world in your site stats. Users in Asia are coming to your site while you are sleeping.

You are losing business opportunities when your site goes down. Even if it’s four a.m. in your timezone.

Your website needs to stay online 24×7.

WHSR uptime for the last 30 days – report generated by Pingdom.

This explains why good hosting companies always come with at least 99.9% server uptime guarantees and provide compensation if their server goes down for more than 45 minutes in 30 days.

Because time is money.

The next time you go shopping for a web host…

Check if there is a uptime report or estimation. We want nothing less than 99.8%.

Ask how are users compensated if the server goes down more than an hour in a month?

While a dollar or two in compensation might seem paltry, a company that offers this refund is more likely to work hard to keep your site up and running, so they do not have to pay out those fees to their customers.

Inquire about the company’s backup plan in case of a power outage or if the server you are on crashes.

Double digit growth on worldwide hosting demand

Demand for the Internet Hosting Services industry in the US grew substantially over the past five years due to high demand from companies hoping to expand their web presence. The annual growth rate has been 11.2% in the period from 2010 to 2015 and this trend is expected to continue in the five years to 2020.

Asia = almost half of global internet users; but US host more than 80% of world’s websites

Asia, as a continent, has the most internet users. It accounts for 48.4% of global internet users. Though more than 80% of the world’s websites are hosted by a US-based provider.

No company has a monopoly. In most countries the top global companies occupy less than 20% of the market. France is the only exception with OVH dominating over 60% of the local market.

GoDaddy still the biggest domain registrar

GoDaddy.com remains as U.S. (and world) top registrar with 52,020,828 domains and more than 55% market share.

At this time of writing, Amazon hosts the most websites (2,078) in world’s top 10,000 ranking, as per BuiltWith.com’s study.

The price of hosting a website is normally associated with the amount of service the hosting company provides. A dedicated server solution with 24/7 managed support is typically many times more expensive than unmanaged shared hosting (multiple websites on a single server) solutions.

According to the level of management offered: A managed server means less work for you but also less flexibility, an unmanaged server means more flexibility. There are packages that offer some management services so unmanaged/managed is only the two extremes, there is a spectrum of services in between.

Source: Managed vs Unmanaged WordPress Hosting.