What’s managed in managed dedicated hosting service?

There’s no clear guidelines nor industry standards set to define the management role of dedicated server providers.

However, in most cases the server hardware is owned by the dedicated hosting providers where in some cases, they will provide support for your operating system or applications. Thus for such kind of managed dedicated hosting, users get full control on the server via web based control panel on top of a team of technical personnel readily available to handle all server and network related functions and problems. These dedicated hosting is sometimes known as the ‘managed dedicated server’.

As per listed in Wikipedia, server management can include some or all of the following:

  • Operating system updates
  • Application updates
  • Server monitoring
  • Simple Network Management Protocol hardware monitoring
  • Application monitoring
  • Technical support
  • Firewall services
  • Antivirus updates
  • Security audits
  • DDoS protection and mitigation
  • Intrusion detection
  • Backups and restoration
  • Disaster recovery
  • DNS hosting service
  • Load balancing
  • Database administration
  • Performance tuning
  • Software installation and configuration
  • User management
  • Programming consultation

Dedicated hosting providers define their level of management based on the services they provide.

In comparison, fully managed could equal self managed from provider to provider.

InMotion Hosting: What you need to know as a customer

What types of service do InMotion Hosting offer?

InMotion offer Unix hosting in shared, semi-dedicated (VPS), and dedicated servers.

How can I pay InMotion Hosting as a customer?  

InMotion accept all sort of credit card payment (Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Discover), check, money order, but not PayPal and cash.

Do I get a free trial with InMotion Hosting?

Yes. InMotion offer a long 90-day money back guarantee on all shared hosting services; and 30-day money back trial period for VPS and Reseller hosting.

However, you’ll have to provide your credit card information and pay up front when you signup. If you are unhappy with their service and decide to cancel your account within the trial period, you can then ask for a refund.

Domain name registration fee is non-refundable. This means if you obtain a free domain from InMotion during signup; that registration fee will be deducted from your refund.

There will be no refunds upon completion of the 90th/30th day of subscription.

They good?

Excellent. Server stays online all the time and network speed is above average.

The team at WHSR ran three rounds of tests at WebPageTest and the average Time-to-First-Byte (TTFB) is below 500ms and rated A by the system. Details are published here in WHSR InMotion Hosting review.

Can I upgrade my hosting plan with InMotion half way through my subscription?

Yes. You can always start small and upgrade your web host in later stage (when it’s necessary).

Bold Grid? InMotion Hosting?

BoldGrid is a WordPress-based site builder tool developed by InMotion Hosting. The tool comes free when you order InMotion Hosting.

Here’s a video tutorial on how to get started with InMotion’s BoldGrid.

After sales technical support?

Phone, email, and live chat support is available 24/7/365 at InMotion.

cPanel/Plesk?

cPanel.

Can I host adult websites at InMotion Hosting?

Nope, InMotion do not allow adult content (pornographic material), they do however, allow certain types of artistic material.

PHP 7? 

Yes. But it is not by default at this time of writing. Last time I check (~18 months ago), you need to contact support to initiate the update.

Special discount?

Students with a .edu email get 50% discount with InMotion Hosting.

Read more

Here – InMotion’s official FAQ section.

And Here – Notable features & InMotion review.

Three Essential Elements in a Successful Blog

Good writing is at the core of any good blog, so is timely and accurate information, and good presentation. Anyone who’s ever started a successful blog did so with these three basic principles intact.

However, a lot of unsuccessful blogs also started under the same conditions, but either ultimately failed or never even got out of the starting gate.

Sadly, good writers have not always embraced modern technology in ways that make complete sense for their particular skill, and that explains the difference, in many instances, between successful and failed blogs. By themselves, good writing skills are almost never enough to carry the day when it comes to creating a flourishing blog.

Below are the must-have elements for any realistic hope at creating a successful blog.

1. Is Your Blog Search Engine Friendly?

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)

You can have the most useful blog in the world, but if no one knows it exists, it’s of little use to anyone and you’ll quickly tire of the endeavour. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a natural process used to create high visibility for your blog in search engines through the proper use of keywords.

The term “natural” is used to describe the method because there’s no paid advertising component attached to SEO.

High placement of your blog in any search result can be achieved through the specific use of keywords in the HTML code used to create your blog, the headlines of each of your entries, and the content under each headline.

When considering the keywords you will use, it’s important to think about the words or phrases someone is likely to use when they begin their search. It’s okay if your list of potential keywords is extensive. However, short and concise phrases are your best bet. Your chances of a searcher using an exact two- or three-word phrase are much higher than with an eight-or ten-word phrase.

Page Title

Beginning with the HTML code that will describe your page, identified within the “<title> and </title>” tags, describe your blog as accurately as possible. If your expertise is documenting bicycle adventures through the United States, your description should be right to the point:

  • US Bicycle Adventures | Bike Tours Throughout The United States

This information lets users and search engines know the exact topic of your blog. Your title also includes likely keywords and phrases someone interested in bike tours will enter as a search string:

  • Bicycle
  • Bicycle Adventures
  • Bike Tours
  • Bike Tours US
  • Bike Tours United States

Headline

Similarly, when considering keywords in the headlines of your blog entries, you’ll want to stay with these types of keywords. If you’ve ridden extensively throughout Georgia, include the word Georgia and any relevant city or trail name in the headline for any blog entry dealing with bike tours in Georgia.

Use this approach to identify any key information about your post if it’s information likely to be searched, such as:

  • Road Tour
  • Family Tours
  • Family Casual
  • Off-road Trails
  • Scenic Bike Tours
  • Aggressive
  • Casual

Terms like these are not only relevant to your headline as they’re quite descriptive, they’re also the exact sorts of things potential blog followers will search for related to their interest.

Body

When writing content, it’s important to not overuse your keywords. Search engine algorithms sniff out gratuitous keyword usage, and as a result your work will be “penalized” as it will have the feel of “spam.” If your particular article is about casual, family-oriented scenic bike tours in Savannah, Georgia, then those are pretty much your keywords. Use such keywords two or three times throughout your article:

  • Family Oriented
  • Family Bike Tours
  • Casual Bike Tour
  • Scenic Georgia
  • Savannah
  • Georgia
  • Savannah, Georgia
  • Georgia Bike Tours

These are very likely keywords and keyword combinations someone will use when searching for a casual, family-oriented bike tour in Georgia. You are giving your blog a high probability of being found through a search engine because you’ve used keywords relevant to both your blog and potential readers, and you’ve used them on your title page, in your headline, and in your article.

There are different approaches to creating SEO content. Becoming familiar with various key concepts will serve only to improve the visibility of your blog through search engines. Do your homework. There are plenty of online and offline resources available.

2. Let Your Readers Respond

Don’t bore your audience

Lecturing is a form of communication best left to law professors and upset parents. For successful blogging, however, it’s a quick path to finding a new hobby.

Successful blogging is as much about creating a dialogue with your faithful readers as anything else you’ll read on this page. Providing a way, or ways, for your blog readers to communicate with you will not only give you the feedback you need to fine-tune your content, it’s also the best way to ensure you’re not boring them to the point of leaving your blog.

Readers want to respond with relevant information, or legitimate critique, or just to say hello, or to add anecdotes of similar experiences. Creating a true dialogue with your subscribers involves them in ways they deem important, which is part of the reason they’ll have any interest at all in your blog.

Getting reader feedback is also a way for you to keep your content fresh, to get new ideas, and to network with others who share your expertise or interests. Most pre-configured blog hosts offer the ability to add comments to your blog in a variety of different ways, including:

  • A general comment section for your overall blog
  • Comments attached to each separate post

Additionally, comments can be sent to your email or your smart-phone as a text message. You can also respond directly from these sources, giving you the ability to respond as quickly as possible to any comments on your blog. This is a standard feature of any successful blog.

3. New Content to Your Readers

Once you’ve created a good blog using good SEO methods, you’ll want your readers and potential new readers to know about each new bit of content as you post it. There are a few tools readily available designed to push your content.

One of the most tried and true methods of getting your newly published content in front of your regular readers is to deploy a technology known as RSS, sometimes referred to as Really Simple Syndication. In a nutshell, RSS provides blog owners a simple and automated way to deliver ever-changing content to regular blog subscribers.

If you write a daily sports blog and use RSS, your regular subscribers will automatically receive an update in their RSS Reader each time you update your blog. This is a convenient way for your regular readers to stay up-to-date on information of interest to them, and an equally convenient way for you to self-promote your blog.

Most preconfigured blogs, like Blogger, WordPress, Tumblr, Xanga, and Weebly include RSS widgits and capabilities as part of their service offering. Just a few minutes reading through their documentation will help you get familiar with how to use RSS, and how to ensure each new entry is being automatically delivered to interest followers of your blog.

RSS Readers come in many different formats, and are frequently included as a part of a larger communication package.

  • Google Reader is a built-in part of their popular Gmail electronic mail program.
  • Outlook, an email program included with Microsoft Office, includes a built-in RSS reader
  • Mozilla, the makers of the popular Firefox web browser, offers a built-in reader with email client called Thunderbird

Regardless of the specific RSS Reader used by the regular followers of your blog, the content on your blog will be sent to readers every time you publish something new. In an era where everyone has a lot of choices and outlets for getting their various news and information, RSS is an excellent and simple way to keep your blog in front of your followers. Consider it a key element to any successful blog.

 

[Infographic] Data Centers Are Big

Data centers are something we are constantly reliant upon for everyday functionality, whether we’re online shopping, booking flights, and performing a cheeky Google search.

Computing demand at data center recorded more than 50% growth in the last 5 years.

And when data centers go down, the losses are crazy.

  • $69 trillion would be lost per hour if all data centers in the world go down at the same time.
  • 59% of Fortune 500 companies experience a minimum of 1.6 hours downtime per week, which could potentially lead to $46 million annual losses in labor cost.
  • Google’s 5 minute outage in 2012 has led to 40% drop in worldwide Internet traffic.
Source

 

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.