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Choosing the right hosting company.

When you want to create a website for your company or brand, you don’t only consider the right domain name but you would also need to make sure you select the right web hosting company. Afterall, more than the quality content, website security and performance is very significant when it comes to your branding.

When your website is down, you will start to lose the interest of your visitors resulting to lost of revenue. Aside from that, long downtimes will also cause your search engine ranking to drop. Choosing the right web host will help avoid these problems. Here are some tips on how to choose the right web hosting for you.

Know what type of hosting you need.

Before you go any further, try to evaluate your website needs by asking the following:

–          What type of website are you building?

–          Will you be using common CMS applications like WordPress?

–          Does the website need special software?

–          Is it going to have an online store?

–          How big is it when it comes to traffic?

–          Are there going to be a lot of high-resolution images and videos?

For newbies with small businesses, it is best to start with shared hosting plans. It’s cheap, easy to maintain, and enough for most new sites. You will also need not to worry about the other server-side configurations. Websites with a lot of daily traffic will most likely experience a lot of hiccups under a shared hosting plan. Aside from that, you would also need to factor in the specs of the plan they are offering like the disk space, how many add on domains you can have, number of email accounts, one click installer available, SSH and FTP features etc. You can always scale up to a Virtual Private Server once your site grows and receive a lot of traffic.

Server Reliability and bandwidth

New websites may not use a lot of bandwidth, it is important to anticipate for a sudden spike in traffic. Make sure that the shared hosting plan you will choose does not limit you on terms of bandwidth. It is also important to consider the operating hours of the potential web hosting company you will be selecting. Afterall, some visitors may be on a different time zone. You need to get a web hosting provider that has a high uptime and has a stable network connection.

Sign up fees and renewal

There are a lot of shared hosting deals especially for new customers. Please be advised that this often comes with a much higher renewal cost. Although this is an industry norm, you can always read or check out the ToS for the renewal price. A reasonable renewal amount should not be more than 50% of the sign up cost. For example, the introductory price is at $5/month, therefore the renewal fee should not be more than $10/month.

Upgrade Options

If you expect your website to grow over the years, you would need to leave some room for growth. Choose a hosting plan that is scalable or that can offer you better plans. The ability to have a seamless transition from one server to another if you need to upgrade from shared hosting plan to a Virtual Private server is one important thing to consider.

User friendly Control Panel

A user-friendly control panel with extensive functionality is very important. It doesn’t matter if it’s cPanel or Plesk or even a third-party control panel. Without a user-friendly control panel, you will always find yourself contacting the hosting tech support staff – even if all you need is some basic service.

Security

Security breaches happen. Make sure your web hosting company can provide security to your website like

Backups, Technical Support and knowledge base

Everything fails — this is a fact of life. It is imperative to note that your web hosting provider will have a backup of your server when incidents happen. Your hosting provider should be able to restore your full site in no time at all (or at least, a big part of it). On backups, here are a few key questions to ask your web host:

–          How often do you do full backup?

–          Can site backup be done manually via the control panel?

–          Can I restore your backup files by myself easily so I don’t have to wait for support staff to do it for me during a period of disaster recovery?

When you are researching web hosting companies, you would need to also check out their support group. What are the support channels they provide and if they have a very good knowledge base when you want to do things on your own.

                Read reviews

Researching a web hosting company through third party reviews is very useful in discovering any common issues and complaints from current or past customers. Refer to reputable websites when doing reliability research.

Your web hosting provider plays an important role in your branding. Always consider the big factors and anticipate for future problems that may occur and do your research.

How to avoid non-secure sign on your website.

Having a secured website is important to companies. In September 2016, Google announced that they will be rolling out a few changes. This includes labeling websites without SSL Certificates as ‘non-secure’– especially for web pages that collect credit card information and passwords. They have started labeling some websites during the roll out of Chrome Browser version 56.

Google has been urging website owners to install SSL Certificates and convert their sites to HTTPS. Secure Socket Layer or SSL helps to get the site secured by encrypting the data as it travels from the browser to the server.  This ensures that users can browse and enter their private information without it being compromised by cyber hackers.

When a website is labeled as non-secured in the address bar, it means that the data travels through unsecured network connection. Chances are, cyberhackers can obtain the data and modify it. Google has stepped up its web security campaign by having the Chrome browsers show the ‘Not Secure’ label when users enter any type of data on an HTTP web page, even in Incognito mode. This includes any text entered in the search box. This browser notification alerts visitors that their data may not be totally secure; which may cause some visitors to leave their sessions early.

To avoid getting your site marked as non-secure, you need to install an SSL Certificate to your website and convert your pages to HTTPS. Now that Google is marking non-HTTPS sites as “not secure”, websites with an SSL certificate installed will get the benefit of being marked as “secure” in Chrome browsers. Google previously announced that converting your site as an HTTPS site would boost your search engine ranking factor. HTTPS can also help provide some protection against bad actors in the ad ecosystem. This means that Ad that route you to an HTTP website cannot show on an HTTPS site.

In a nutshell, having an SSL certificate and converting your web pages to HTTPS will secure the data being transmitted from the browser towards the server, this will also help remove bad ads and improve SEO.

What is WooCommerce and how to use it?

If you stumble across this post chances are, you already have an existing WordPress site. If you want to start selling products online, WooCommerce may well be your best option. WooCommerce is a free WordPress plugin made by Automattic, the corporate arm of WordPress and was launched in 2011. The plugin adds an E-commerce functionality to your WordPress site along with its additional features available as an extension in just a few clicks.

WooCommerce provides basic store functionalities right out the box. The plugin can be installed from the plugin repository or straight from your WordPress dashboard. And just like WordPress, WooCommerce is free, open source and has a strong development team behind it. More importantly, it’s easy for beginners to use.

 

Here are some of the WooCommerce features:

  • Sell any kind of products you like: physical, digital or even affiliate
  • Add unlimited products and images
  • Add categories, tags and attributes – including size or color – to any product to make them easier to find and search
  • Show product ratings and reviews on product pages, including a ‘Verified Owner’ label
  • Customize store location with currency, language and measurement units
  • Product sorting and filtering lets customers sort products by popularity, newness, rating, price or attribute
  • Embed products and checkout on any page
  • Geo-location auto-detects customers’ addresses to simplify shipping and tax calculations
  • Choose how you’d like to process payments: use popular providers such as Stripe and PayPal, credit cards, Direct Bank Transfer, checks or Cash on Delivery
  • Choose shipping options and restrict options based on customer location
  • Manage orders and customers with one-click refunds, customer accounts, and guest checkout

 

Installation and setup

The installation is simple and would only take a few clicks in your WordPress dashboard. The inbuilt Setup Wizard will walk you through the basic configurations to get your store up and running. The Setup Wizard will allow you to setup the vital steps and highlights the important options.

To add WooCommerce to your WordPress site from your dashboard head to Plugins → Add New and search “WooCommerce” to locate the WooCommerce plugin. Click Install Now then Activate. You’ll then immediately see the WooCommerce Setup Wizard. You would need to fill in the relevant data for your store. After the activation, you will see that the plugin has added a couple of options and menus once you head back to the WordPress Dashboard.

After doing the initial setup, the first thing to do is to add some products. Those are the things you will be selling. To add the products, go to Products → Add New and you’ll be forwarded to the product page. It’s like adding posts or pages, but specifically for WooCommerce products. You will need to fill in the product name, description, product data, and the relevant images. If it’s your first time adding a product, WooCommerce will provide some helpful prompts telling you a little about each section.

Once you’ve added in all your information, hit publish and you have your first product available on your site. Of course, you will need to also setup the payment gateway unless you are giving the product away for free. WooCommerce comes with a couple of payment gateways built in, including PayPal. There are other options, such as check and payment on deliver too. If you want to setup credit card payment, you may add other plugins for credit card payment such as Stripe. You’ll find your payment gateway options under WooCommerce → Settings → Checkout. Choose either PayPal or Stripe and use the check box to enable your gateway of choice. Then follow the instructions to sign up for relevant accounts and connect them to WooCommerce. With your payment set up, you’re able to start selling!

With WooCommerce, sky is the limit. There are over 450 extensions and counting which means that you can configure your shop in virtually limitless ways. You can install free and premium extensions from within the WooCommerce shop suited for the way how you would like your online store to go.

How to Boost the SEO of Your WordPress Site

How to Boost SEO in WordPress

1. WordPress Blog.

In setting up your new blog, you can use the ‘discourage search engines from indexing this site‘ feature of WordPress until you’re done with working on  the structure of the blog and ready to launch it. This option disallows search engines (bots) to crawl your pages (handled from robots.txt).

2. Update default permalinks structure.

By default, WordPress uses ‘?p=[id]‘ permalinks for posts and this is not search engine friendly. You’ll end up lossing the opportunity to put a few important keywords in post permalinks if you don’t switch to a text-based permalink structure.  It is best to use the format “yourdomain.com/post-name”. Depends on the structure that is more convenient for you.

3. Installing .xml sitemap plugin.

Installing an .xml sitemap plugin is useful for WordPress blogs. It provides engines like Google links to all the pages on your site in a sitemap, preferably in the .xml format, helps them index your site content faster, in an easier way.

4. Install an SEO plugin.

Installing a must SEO plugin as it can take good care of numerous SEO aspects of your blog automatically. Once installed, it is best to enable rel=”canonical” tag for pages on your blog. This helps search engines to determine the original source URLs of content on your blog and eliminates  duplicate content issues from WordPress sites.

What is cloud hosting and how does it work?

What is cloud hosting and how does it work?

A cloud server is a virtual server running in a cloud computing environment that is hosted and delivered through a cloud computing platform via the internet  which can be accessed remotely.

Cloud servers have all the software that is required to run and can function independently as a unit. Below are some benefits that could can give you.

* Cloud server are scalable, they are very easy and quick to upgrade by adding more memory and disk space.
* Cloud server are affordable
* Cloud server can provide user security and stability as any problems in the software are isolated within your environment.
* Cloud server are stable, fast and secured. They avoid the hardware issues in physical server.
* Cloud server provides faster service and more resources.
* Cloud servers can run on a hypervisor. The role of a hypervisor is to control the capacity of operating systems so it is allocated where needed

How Does it Work?

Each server in the cloud helps in carrying out a particular set of tasks. Cloud servers offer more redundancy, if one server failes, other will take its place  to render the required resources.

Register Singapore Domain name

Register Singapore Domain name.

What is Singapore domain? Do I have to register it exclusively in Singapore?

Domains with .sg are Country Code Top-Level Domains (ccTLDs) unique name of Singapore as their own recognition and can only be registered in some accredited registrar of Singapore Network Information Centre (SGNIC).

So far it consists of 7 domain extensions mainly .SG, .COM.SG, .ORG.SG, EDU.SG, .GOV.SG, .NET.SG, .PER.SG.

Everyone can register Singapore domain except for .com.sg as it requires its registrant to present their company registrationname and number. This is to verify and confirm that they are purely doing their business in Singapore.

Your perfect SG domain is waiting for you. With millions of domains registered in Singapore, register and secure yours now.

How to speed up your WordPress website?

How to speed up your WordPress website?

There a lot of ways on how you can speed up your website.

1. Using a caching plugin. This caching role in WordPress should never be underestimated as this helps the speed of your website and its performance. Some caching plugins that you can install are WP Rocket, W3 Total Cache, WP Super Cache, WP Fastest Cache and many more.

2. Optimizing images before uploading them. This will help you reduce the slowness of your website as the image will be optimized.

3. Optimize your pages specially your home page. You will have to remove unnecessary sharing widgets from the home page. Reduce the number of post per page and lastly show excerpts instead of full post.

How to secure your wordpress website.

How to secure your wordpress website.

How do we make sure our WordPress website is secure? How and when do we secure it? This article will provide you details about securing the WordPress website application.

Start securing with your wordpress login dashboard.

1. Using “admin” as the the username is something that you need to change. These username is being used by millions of WordPress users and are prone to hackers.
You can try changing it to the most unique usernames like your personal email address.

2. Setting up complex password. Do note ever use password that is connected to your website name. it is best to use password that has been generated from password generator applications.

3. Adding 2-factor authentication on the login page is also a good way of adding security to your website. Though the user provides login details for
two different components, this will help you secure your website as you will be asked for your security questions.

4. Renaming your login URL. As we all know that the login page can be accessed easily via /wp-login.php or /wp-admin next to your domain name. This way,
you can customize your login URL to something like /mynewlogin.php or /mynewlogin.

Protecting the WordPress folders itself.

1. One of the default folders that requires security is called ‘wp-admin’ and this should not be breached to avoid website issues. Using a plugin like
“AskApache Password Protect plugin” will automatically creates a file .htpasswd that encrypts the password and configures the security-enhanced file permissions.

 

Using SSL to seal your website and encrypt your data.

Installing Secure Socket Layer (SSL) certificate should be considered to secure the wordpress admin panel. This certificate ensures that data transfer between user and browsers is secure that will not let the hacker breach the connection.

 

Installing Plugins for security

Wordfence Security – This plugin is useful to protect and scan your website files at all times.

 

Database Entry

1. Like the wordpress useename and password, your database informations needs to be unique as well. When you set up your wordpress, try updating the table prefix to something different as the default wp_ is already prone to hackers.

2. Use complex password to your database as well.

 

Update your website themes and plugin time to time.

Themes and plugins are all created by developers and needs an update in timely manner. These updates are meant to fix the bugs and security patches. WordPress automatically rolls out the updates for user conviennt which is a good part while plugins may need to update manually.