June brings us World Juggler’s Day on the 17th, presented by the International Jugglers’ Association (IJA). Henry Ford made his first operational car this month in 1896. Celebrating birthdays in June are Superman; the Olsen twins, Mary Kate and Ashley; Oscar the Grouch from Sesame Street; and architect Frank Lloyd Wright. Father’s Day is celebrated on June 15, along with the first day of summer on the 18th. And, in the words of English philosopher Sir Bernard Arthur Owen Williams, “If a June night could talk, it would probably boast it invented romance.”
Within the startup movement, there are plenty of events happening globally in June 2014. The Rackspace Startup Program is here to keep you up to date with valuable information on events and happenings inside the global startup community. What follows is a partial list of global startup events complied by the contributors of StartupDigest:
Humanizing Healthcare Technologies
Oculus Rift Cake Walk, Demo and Swap Meet
Austin TechBreakfast: EasyPaint, OAG Analytics, and More!
Founder Institute on Creating an A Team
Internet of Things Lab for Social Good
European Geekettes Demo Day
Exit Con 2014
Silicon Canal Beers
Girl Develop It Boulder One Year Birthday Bash
Crowdfunding for Nonprofits and Causes
HacksHackers Buenos Aires
WMM 2014: Magnetism and Metallurgy International Conference
Side Project Cincinnati
Ohio Growth Summit
WordPress Basics 101
Venture Cup Startup Competition Final
TIA Startup Alley & Disruptors Competition
Lean Startup Machine Dallas
TEDxMileHigh 2014: Emergence
Startup Weekend Denver
Startup Weekend 2014
Wayra Call Dublin 2014
Intro to 3D Printing
Hamburg Geekettes & Open Tech School Hamburg Hackathon
12min.me – Ignite Talks Vol. #8
App4Finland – Kilpailu Starttaa Vuodelle 2014
Upgraded Life Festival
Pancake Science Sunday
Learning Exchange Speed-Friending
Pirates on Shore: Budapest
Lean Startup Machine (Hyderabad)
Great Indian Marketing Weekend (Gurgaon)
Expo Delle Startup
Startup Grind Kansas City Host Toby Rush
Python User Group Riga Meetup
TechHub Riga Monthly Meetup
iPhone App Development 1 Day Crash Course
PHP Web Development 1 Day Crash Course
TheStadiumBusiness Summit 2014
Tech All Stars 2014
Startups Uncensored with Scott Cook of Intuit
Silicon Beach Fest 2014
How to Create the Right Conditions for Growth – IoD Manchester
Startup Weekend Creative Industries
Tech Cocktail’s Miami Mixer & Startup Showcase
AmericaPack Summit Florida 2014 – Innovative Packaging Design
Munich, Let It Rip! – Startup Community Event
3rd Annual Conference Regulatory Process Excellence Pharma
New York City
Startup Socials Mixer New York June 2014
Thinkers & Makers: Hard Problems
Platform Thinking with Sangeet Paul Choudary
The Connected Conference
Expert Chats: Learn from the Mentors of Action Stack
SOFTECH.PH:The Philippine Software Engineering Conference
OEN 2014 Entrepreneurial Summit
Elevating Impact Summit: Lifelong Changemakers
CED Raising the Dough- Life Science
San Diego Startup Week
CoFoundersLab Matchup San Diego
Crossover Edinburgh Conference
The Next Billion: A Forum on the Connected World
How To Pitch Your Startup to Venture Firms
Seoul Vienna Startup Connect
Startup Grind hosts Dave Goldberg, CEO of SurveyMonkey
Gründergrillen – Powered by bwcon
Business Shorts Networking | Sydney | Michael Haynes
Graduate Web Developer Hiring Event
EST Speaker Night: Startups That Leverage On Language
Robot Club #7
Part 2 – Celebrate Tech Entrepreneurs & Techies in Tampa Bay!
Agile Open Florida
HackerYou’s Summer 2014 Front-End Bootcamp
2014 Technology Impact Awards
From Now: A Conference About Humanity with Technology
Startups…get involved with the movement and participate in an event in your community. There is no better time than now to build or strengthen your network. Networking with other entrepreneurs allows you to form and maintain a strong circle of contacts that will serve you well for years to come. If you are an entrepreneur with a new idea in cloud computing, an application that makes people’s lives better or the next big thing online, contact the Startup Team and let us know about it.
The post Alternatives To Traditional Business Start-Ups appeared first on HostGator Blog | Gator Crossing.
So You Want to Start an Online Business
You’ve heard the tales about how much money can be made online, and how it’s just there for the taking. You’ve decided that you want to get a piece of that pie, and who wouldn’t? Humans have always looked for the next big thing that will allow them to advance in their personal lives, giving them the availability of taking more time to do the things that they desire, or the activities that they enjoy.
There are many different concepts that a person thinks of when the image of making money online comes to mind: some think of the crypto-currencies that have been in the news in recent months, others think of the concept of setting up a storefront, while others still think of the various types of online trading that may be done, from penny stocks to the stock market to foreign exchange. The fact of the matter is that if you can dream it, you can do it (as long as it’s not illegal, of course).
Alternatives to the Traditional Online Business
Freelancing – Just because you’ve decided to switch over to making your money online, it doesn’t mean that you have to either start your own company or work for someone else’s company. There’s the option of being an independent agent, either setting up your own website to promote your services, signing up on a website designed to connect freelancers to those looking for freelancing services (careful – not all of these are legitimate), or some combination thereof.
Crafts and Other Made Goods – Perhaps you really like making something. Whether it’s sitting down after a long day and crocheting blankets as you watch a movie, making jewelry while you wait for the timer to let you know that your meal is done, or perhaps you like to sit in the yard, watching the sun go down, drinking a beer as you whittle animals out of pieces of wood. All of those little things that you’ve been making over the years, the items that are now sitting around your house, or in boxes in the attic or the garage, can be cleaned off and sold online for a pretty penny. You can either make your own site or use one of the many different forms of online medium available to do so.
Services – Maybe you have a talent, one that people come to you about all the time, asking for your help in decorating, begging you to help them pick out an outfit, requesting that you tell them how to fix their lawnmower, how to trim their trees, or how to get rid of weeds. Heck, maybe you dabble in graphic design in your spare time or really enjoy correcting people (and you’re telling them constructively and not giving them false corrections). All of these and more may be bartered and traded online. There are those who make their money simply sitting around all day and playing video games, streaming the games they are playing to their audiences; people pay money to watch them play just to have something to do. If you can dream it, chances are, you can do it.
How Do I Get Started? This Sounds Great!
For starters, don’t quit your day job. Though making money online can be far easier than the traditional nine to five, and it does have the benefit of allowing you to do the things that you enjoy as opposed to things that feel like “work,” remember that it will take work to get you to the point of being able to do the things you love online as your job, thus allowing you to feel as though you won’t be working another day in your life. You’ve got to get out there and make a name for yourself, build up your client base, and promote yourself and your products or services. It can take anywhere from six months to a year, sometimes longer, before you are able to comfortably step back and say that what you do online is what you now do for a living. It’s possible, and it’s worth it, but it’s not an easy path, but nothing worthwhile ever is. Just remember – if you can dream it, you can do it – and we’ve got the hosting that can help you on your way!
Image Source: therisetothetop.com. (2011). Different. Retrieved from http://www.therisetothetop.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/BeDifferent.jpg
Louis Winthorpe III: Fifty bucks? No, no, no. This is a Rouchefoucauld. The thinnest water-resistant watch in the world. Singularly unique, sculptured in design, hand-crafted in Switzerland, and water resistant to three atmospheres. This is the sports watch of the ’80s. Six thousand, nine hundred and fifty five dollars retail!
Pawnbroker: You got a receipt?
Louis Winthorpe III: Look, it tells time simultaneously in Monte Carlo, Beverly Hills, London, Paris, Rome, and Gstaad!
On the off chance you don’t have access to a Rouchefoucauld, and if many of your visitors are coming from all over the world, or if you are doing a number of posts that require your readers to switch between timezones (i.e. events, stargazing, travel, etc.), timezone awareness is critical.
Happily, there are multiple timezone plugins for WordPress® that make timezone management a manageable proposition. Here are a few of them:
Downloaded more than 27,000 times, TimeZoneCalculator has been in ongoing development since 2005. As such, there are flavors of it that are backward-compatible all the way to WordPress 1.5. It has a drag-and-drop admin interface and is based on the PHP timezones database.
XorBin Digital Flash Clock
If you’re going for the retro look, XorBin’s Digital Flash Clock might fit the bill. It’s easy to set the display timezone and has a variety of skins to choose from. XorBin also offers an Analog Flash Clock and Countdown Clock.
The LocalTime plugin automatically translates post dates and times into a visitor’s timezone. In the example above, the Final Gear site is automatically translating the time of the next episode of Top Gear US into my local timezone, even though all of the site times are created in GMT + 0. This is a great use of this plugin. If you need to automatically show information that is translated in time to the recipient’s timezone, such as for an upcoming event, this is one to check out.
One note: This plugin has not been updated for a while, so be sure to test it with your WordPress installation before committing to it.
In additions to the plugins above, there’s also a fun JourneyCalculator based on the TimeZoneCalculator, which is highly useful if you or your site visitors are traveling between international timezones. It does wonderful things like telling you not only the duration of your trip, but also which direction and how far to change your watch across dozens of destinations worldwide.
So, world traveler: what tips, tricks and plugins do you use to manage international timezone issues on your site?
The post Right on time: Timezone plugins for WordPress appeared first on GoDaddy Blog.
Speaking of Drupal, we are looking forward to being a part of next week’s DrupalCon 2014. This year’s DrupalCon is taking place in one of my favorite cities, Austin, and has a full schedule of conference sessions, social events and networking.
The very first DrupalCon happened in 2005, and was a gathering of 40 to 50 individuals at a small venue in Antwerp. Here’s what some of the earliest participants remember about that experience:
Flash forward to 2014. This year’s event will host thousands of attendees and will feature five jam-packed days of sessions. Are you going to be there? If so, let us know! We’d love to learn more about how we can help and best support the Drupal community.
See you in Austin!
The post DrupalCon? That’s bat country. appeared first on GoDaddy Blog.
You can’t take website security seriously enough — especially if your customers entrust you with their credit card information and other sensitive data. From using strong passwords to defending your site against images that attack, taking the important steps necessary to protect your website from security threats isn’t a maybe — it’s a must.
“Constant vigilance and layers of security are your best defense as always. It’s much more cost-effective to put security in place proactively rather than react after an attack.” ~ Neal O’Farrell
In “8 Malware Threats to Watch Out For,” website security guru Neal O’Farrell (remember that guy?) outlines today’s top threats to your website’s integrity. “It only takes one to ruin your day, but many businesses fall victim to all of them, at the same time,” Neal writes. Yikes.
Watch out for these bad buggers
1. Banking Trojans (from Citadel to Zeus) focus on stealing bank account logins.
2. Backdoor Trojans give hackers admin access and rights to a computer or network.
3. Keyloggers steal anything that’s typed on a keyboard or touchscreen.
4. Ransomware (i.e. Cryptolocker) encrypts data then ransoms its release.
5. Exploit kits give cyber crooks malware upload options.
6. Bots take control of infected computers to assist in other crimes.
7. Drive-by downloads help malware.
“They don’t necessarily break into the bank, just cut the hole in the roof for others to climb through.”
8. Advanced Persistent Threats are a type of (generally sophisticated and long-running) attack that usually involves malware.
That’s scary stuff. Want to learn more? Head on over here.
[Full disclosure: Neal O’Farrell is an advisor to SiteLock, a security product that GoDaddy offers.]
The post Top 8 website security threats appeared first on GoDaddy Blog.
Open source Content Management Systems (CMS) like WordPress, Drupal and Joomla! have now been around for a decade or so, doing their part to make the internet a more manageable place. At its core, a CMS structures the experience of developing, managing and consuming a website. Chances are good that a big chunk of the content you’ll read on the web today (including this post) is being delivered through an open source CMS. FedEx and The Washington Post are using Drupal. Coca-Cola France and Sony Music are using WordPress. Harvard and IHOP use Joomla!
From humble beginnings (Drupal’s roots go back to university students in Antwerp in 2000) to powering some of the biggest sites on the planet, open source CMS platforms have evolved into world-class software platforms. Each one has been developed and maintained by a community of thousands. Not only is each one free to download, but the open source format means that the platform is continuously being improved to support new challenges and technologies.
Use the infographic below to decipher some of the key differences between these three popular CMS platforms.
There’s no one-size-fits-all solution here; choosing the right platform depends on your goals, technical expertise and the desired functionality of your site. In addition to hosting thousands of deployments across open source CMS platforms, Rackspace Digital also specializes in massively scalable enterprise content management systems like Adobe Experience Manager and the Sitecore Customer Engagement Platform.
Read the full Knowledge Center article on open source CMS platforms.
It’s here. We’d let it sneak in the door, but .NINJA is the coolest marketing opportunity since they turned on the Web.
So you want a super sweet .NINJA domain to show off to your friends? Here’s how easy it is to get started. Simply punch (err … click) the ninja below and you’ll be on a majestic journey searching for your very own .NINJA:
Click the ninja for $14.99 .NINJA domains. Better yet, the price drops to just $12.99 if you buy any other extension (e.g. COM, NET, DANCE, CLUB, ORG) at the same time. Unleash your inner ninja today, with a new .NINJA domain name from name.com.
It’s a much better way to get a ninja for your business than what we tried:
By Rajat Mukherjee, Head of Ecommerce, Yahoo Small Business
Today, we are announcing the Yahoo Live Store badge program, which is a new way for eligible online merchants to showcase their achievements, inspire shopper confidence, and promote their most popular products with dynamic badges they can post to their website.
Live Store badges are driven by powerful analytics built into the Live Web Insights platform. Real-time data from tens of thousands of eligible sites across more than 30 store categories allows us to determine which stores are the top performing with respect to repeat visitors, quickest time to checkout, engagement, and more. Using this data, we’ve created a set of awards that merchants — both large and small — can highlight to potential customers. The current awards include: Engaged Visitors, Loyal Following, Top Destination, Pro Seller, Easy Shopping, and Secure Checkout (available to all Yahoo stores).
The trust-building badge appears on the lower-corner of the merchant site, and when a visitor hovers over the badge, the panel expands to reveal more information about the store.
[Yahoo Live Store badge]
[Yahoo Live Store badge with user interaction]
In addition to awards, the Live Store badge highlights top-selling products from the online store. This feature can help drive better discovery of popular items that consumers want.
Want to make sure Live Store Badge appears on your store? Yahoo and non-Yahoo merchants with Live Web Insights installed can easily incorporate the Live Store badge into their page design with one-click. Since some awards may be calculated within store categories, you should update your store category in the Live Web Insights store settings. Log in to Live Web Insights — or sign up for free — today!
OpenStack Summit Atlanta is in the books. It was a great event that brought together thousands of developers, operators and users of OpenStack. There was a ton of excitement around the project. With that in mind, we want to dig deeper into the past, present and future of OpenStack. In this video series, we hear straight from some of OpenStack’s community members from Rackspace about how the fast-growing open source project has evolved, what it needs to continue thriving, and what it means to them personally.
In the video below, Diane Fleming, Rackspace Software Developer and one of top contributors to OpenStack documentation, talks about how documenting OpenStack APIs– from Nova to Swift –helps her contribute to the community in a major way.
“I love documenting APIs and I guess the reason for that is because it’s something I can figure out,” Fleming said. “I can look at the code. I can run the code. I can see the results. I can see when things are broken. And, I don’t know, it just makes me happy when I get things to work.”
Be sure to check out previous installments in the “Why We Craft OpenStack” video series featuring Rackers Kurt Griffiths, Jarret Raim, Ed Leafe, Chuck Their, Glen Campbell and Anne Gentle.
At the end of last year, Google announced their new Shopping Campaigns, which is a new campaign structure for product listing ads that offers a better way to manage the unique challenges of scaling Google Product Listing Ads (PLA). Shopping campaigns, which has several retail-specific features, presents a new phase in the development of Google’s feed-driven shopping ads.
The new structure will present cleaner, more intuitive methods of building out campaigns across catalogs of all sizes for many advertisers. For experienced advertisers with sophisticated campaign structures already in place, some features may be limiting. If the advertiser builds the campaign correctly, Google Shopping Campaigns will afford more discoverable views of performance by individual products, brands and categories.
Custom Labels and Product Groups
Currently, PLA campaigns use “product targets” to organize inventory, that specify which products in the feed should trigger PLA campaigns to appear for related searches. Shopping Campaigns will use product groups instead of product targets. This will allow advertisers to be more precise and have more control with their targeting.
Using groups gives advertisers the ability to segment their products using any of the attributes in the product feed including ID, product type, brand, product category and condition, as well as up to five custom labels. Custom labels allow advertisers to create even more precise groupings of their products, such as breaking out top performing or on-sale products. Custom labels and additional product details will be available in AdWords to tag and organize specific product traits.
Advertisers will then be able to use these groups to subdivide their products up to five times within Shopping campaigns, creating highly-specific product groupings. All products that aren’t placed in these groupings will be organized into an “everything else” grouping.
Shopping campaigns will also allow the ability to prioritize specific products or segments within the campaigns without having to make bidding adjustments or the need to adjust negative keyword strategies. This will be very helpful during promotional periods.
While PLA reporting capabilities were somewhat limited in regards of precision, Shopping campaigns will also allow performance visibility by individual item ID/SKU, as well as product attributes or custom labels. Even if the advertiser has an “all products” campaign catch-all, Shopping Campaigns will have reporting on product level metrics.
Shopping campaigns offer more robust competitive insights than PLA campaigns, with Impression Share and CTR/CPC performance benchmarking data at the product group level.
Impression Share data will enable improved budget and bidding strategies by showing advertisers how often they are showing in auctions for terms related to their products. Google is also releasing a bid simulator feature, to offer bidding and impression volume predictions, for bid changes against competitors who are competing in the same auctions.
Google is in the process of working with agencies and search management platforms to add support for Shopping campaigns. While timing has not been confirmed, integrations are likely to occur in the beginning of summer. Since these tools aren’t yet available, advanced campaigns would need to be constructed manually, or through the AdWords API.
With API information just released in March, it will take time for bidding platforms to develop their offerings to support integration with shopping campaigns.
Shopping campaigns allow retailers to add a promotional message to all of the products within a particular ad group.
Shopping campaigns are a noticeable improvement over traditional PLA campaigns because of easier, more intuitive management of product groupings and exciting new reporting capabilities.
With the simplicity of managing Shopping campaigns, it is expected that more advertisers will take advantage of PLAs. A retail-centric experience for campaign management may be more attractive to small and medium business advertisers who may not have robust product feed and campaign management capabilities. As new potential advertisers enter the market, there is a possibility of CPC increases due to new competitor volume.
Despite the threat of rising CPCs, advertisers will have new layers of data in their toolbox for granular SKU level optimizations and on-demand competitive knowledge for more informed bidding and budgeting decisions.
Google is also anticipating building more tools and features into the Shopping Campaigns to further improve PLA management.
With so many new top-level domains (TLDs) being offered, 1&1 has launched a new Domain Showroom to make it easier for users to browse and select the most optimal domain name. The new Domain Showroom provides news and information about upcoming and recently released TLDs, as well as important information about the domain registration process. By using the more comprehensive search function, you can now easily find every TLD available for registration, including the eight that just launched this week!
These unique domain extensions provide businesses with brand new opportunities to secure a relevant domain name, helping improve their online brand and marketing. This week, businesses operating in the travel and tourism industries have a number of new domain possibilities to choose from, with five of the new TLDs being relevant for them:
.CRUISES, .FLIGHTS, .RENTALS, .VACATIONS, and .VILLAS are all great options for travel and tourism businesses to consider. Customers searching for specific travel arrangements will recognize the website URL as a place to find information pertaining to travel arrangements and other vacation needs. Additionally, .WIKI and .NINJA provide website owners the opportunity to register a unique domain name for their website.
For the first year of registration, .NINJA can be registered for $14.99; .WIKI, .RENTALS, .IMMOBILIEN and .VACATIONS for $19.99; and .FLIGHTS, .VILLAS, and .CRUISES for $39.99.
Visual content is everything in our picture-obsessed culture, so it makes sense to market your products and services on Pinterest® – the fourth largest traffic-driving site on the Web. Pinterest is like a virtual inspiration board that helps pinners (Pinterest users) organize and share pictures of things they like – making it the perfect place for businesses to showcase their products.
Social media has transformed the way we learn about products – it’s like word-of-mouth marketing on steroids. But Pinterest is different than most social platforms because it captivates pinners and inspires purchases. In fact, 70 percent of pinners use Pinterest for shopping inspiration. That’s a substantial number, especially when compared to only 17 percent of people using Facebook® (the most popular site on the Web) for the same thing.
Quite honestly, Pinterest is pretty darn simple, so now that you have the skinny on what it is, let’s dive into what it can do for your business:
Boost referrals and website traffic
With more referral traffic than LinkedIn®, Google+® and YouTube® combined, Pinterest is the ultimate money machine for small businesses. You can drive a consistent, valuable stream of traffic to your website by pinning (uploading) pictures of your products and linking the images back to your site. That way, when pinners click on your image, they’re directed straight to the page where they can buy it. Genius!
Build your following
Your business is ramping up for superstardom, but it needs a group of devoted followers to get there. People love to be inspired by images (and products they want or need), and when they find something that speaks to them, they’re hooked. Pinterest is a free social catalog for your product, and by honing in and engaging with its millions of users, you can turn pinners into loyal fans and unlock your business’s explosive online potential!
It’s time you start winning by pinning. Pinterest has a ton of helpful content for small businesses poised for success. Best part is – most markets haven’t even tapped in to Pinterest’s power – so it’s a great opportunity to build credibility, establish relationships with prospective customers, and become an industry leader. What are you waiting for? It’s free, so get started today!
The post Pin to win: Take a poke at Pinterest for your business appeared first on GoDaddy Blog.
If you were to make a top-five list of the reasons you use WordPress® to build websites, I’ll bet it would look something like this:
Easy to set up and customize.
Oodles of themes and plugins.
Clients can edit their Web pages.
Clients can edit their Web pages.
Clients can edit their Web pages.
Clients don’t need to know HTML
Am I right? Not long ago, the Web was made of flat-file HTML websites and homegrown CMS applications. If a dentist wanted to update the call-to-action on her home page herself, she would have to find a crash course in HTML, warm up to a plain text editor, and ask her cousin to explain FTP. O’Reilly books have some pretty cute critters on the cover but most dentists are interested in making beautiful smiles, not beautiful websites.
WordPress can still be overwhelming
Enter WordPress. Now we can build a beautiful website and hand over the content to our clients. Sort of. I know some of you cringe when I say that. Not that you don’t trust your clients; they know a lot more about teeth than you do. It’s just that WordPress can be a little overwhelming to the uninitiated. Our clients need something a tad more straightforward. When they log in to wp-admin, they don’t need to know what plugins are installed, if your installation is up-to-date, and what the latest WordPress news is. They need to know how to update the content on their website.
Customize WordPress to work for your client
You’re in luck. Making a custom WordPress installation for your client is just as easy as installing a theme and editing your WordPress preferences. As a bonus, you can create a branded CMS site that feels like their business. Happy clients, we all know, are the best kind of clients.
Michelle over at Mommy Misadventures has a great tutorial that walks you through it and helps you lessen “dashboard overload” when your clients log in for the first time. From Michelle:
“Branding your WordPress installation helps give your clients an immediate sense of ownership by putting up their logos in key areas. Furthermore, you can help lessen Dashboard overload by only showing them the essential menu items, and hiding potentially damaging options. This not only eases your clients into using WordPress more confidently, but helps to protect your hard work at the same time.”
Follow her instructions and you’ll have a custom login, logos, footer, dashboard, and menus in no time.
So, the next time you hand a WordPress site over to a client, you won’t have to say:
“Yeah, this is the dashboard. Ignore all this stuff.”
Instead, you might try this phrase on for size:
“As soon as you log in, you’ll see everything you need.”
I know, I know, that’s almost as beautiful a sound as waves on a private Caribbean beach. You’re welcome.
For more great tips, check out the GoDaddy Tool Kit on BlogHer.
The post Customize WordPress Admin to prevent dashboard overload appeared first on GoDaddy Blog.
Ok so you´ve installed prestashop. That was the easy part, now comes the hard work. Prestashop is a very complete e-commerce application, it has lots of themes and plug ins available and setting everything up takes a bit of time and patience. What we are going to do today is put the shop in maintence […]
The post How to install Prestashop using Softaculous (part II) appeared first on Small Business Marketing, Domain Names & Web Hosting Blog | Pickaweb.
How to install Prestashop using Softaculous (part I) Prestashop is one of the best e-commerce solutions available and...
What is Softaculous? Softaculous is a very popular auto installer application that you...
WordPress Install Part 3 – Changing a WordPress Theme In this video we will change the WordPress theme from...
So you’ve made up your mind that you’re going to move workloads onto a service provider’s infrastructure. Now you’re faced with a big question: should I rebuild my environment while migrating to avoid more disruption later? Here are eight pros and a few cons to consider when making your decision.
Pros: The Case for Rebuilding Your Environment
You’re already going through the migration process. Migrating workloads requires an assessment, planning, and implementation process – as does rebuilding your environment. Doing both tasks at once is a two birds, one stone situation.
It’s the better approach for the longer term. While it may be tempting to simply migrate over your workload, you aren’t solving the existing performance and administration issues. Rebuilding gives you a much better foundation for the future and provides you with better long-term flexibility. Interestingly, Forrester Research conducted a study and found that 83 percent of organizations feel their existing infrastructure is constraining their ability to modernize their applications.
Performance, performance, performance. Rebuilding means you can use newer high performance hardware and upgraded OS capabilities. For instance, migrating from Windows Server 2003 to Windows Server 2012 R2 allows you to take advantage of enhanced security, configuration options, and website performance capabilities of IIS 8.0.
You get a new configuration. Over time, your workload gets bogged down with bloated configurations and work-arounds, which can hinder performance, flexibility, and security. Wiping your configuration clean and starting over makes your post-migration life much easier. In addition, a recent study from an information security organization found that 70 percent of web applications suffer security vulnerabilities due to incorrect configurations.
Allows you to address configuration issues. Your old environment may be preventing additional needed configurations due to difficulty or high risks of making them in your legacy environment.
Fix stability and reliability issues. Legacy software and operating systems are notorious for stability and reliability issues. IT studies indicate organizations devote around 70 percent of their average budget to legacy software maintenance. Why migrate old problems?
It’s the best path to software modernization. To reduce organizational risks, most modernization projects are done incrementally over a period of time. Rebuilding your environment during your initial migration provides a solid foundation for a modernization project.
You only need to focus on the application server image. The migration will only need to focus on the specific application data image, not the entire server, so the new footprint will most likely be considerably smaller.
Cons: The Case Against Rebuilding Your Environment
It simply takes more time. A straight migration will always be faster than adding in a rebuild. Resources available or organizational time constraints are sometimes realities that you can’t overcome.
It’s difficult to automate. Migrations and rebuilds run the gamut – many available automation tools won’t work. In addition, many migrations/rebuilds are moving the workload into a virtualized environment that requires a pristine image so it can be easily replicated for scalability and implementing disaster recovery. You’ll need to have a more hands-on approach, and that will mean more time.
There can be serious configuration challenges. This depends on the quality of the available documentation for the legacy configuration. If the documentation is limited, then rebuilding the configuration will be a cumbersome process, with the potential to miss important aspects of the configuration.
There can be skill or knowledge gaps. As a system administrator, you try to keep abreast of new technologies, but migration and rebuilding will inevitably get into areas you won’t be intimately familiar with. You can get stuck or do it wrong. This is actually quite common and a reality in today’s complex IT world.
The new environment might require extensive testing. New hardware, OS, and configurations mean you’ll most likely need to conduct more thorough testing to ensure everything works at deployment. The organization risk is higher, and requires more resources and longer timelines.
We Believe the Pros Outweigh the Cons
Taking everything into consideration, we typically advise a rebuild of the environment in conjunction with a migration as the benefits usually outweigh the challenges. And the good news is Rackspace provides tools and resources to help mitigate the challenges of a migration and rebuild.
How Rackspace Can Help
Rackspace provides both DIY and supported resources for migrations and rebuilds.
Reference Architecture Tool - Plug in your Windows requirements and this tool will provide you with a customized infrastructure reference architecture. Go to the tool.
Download the Rackspace Cloud Assessment Tool - For Windows migrations, use the Rackspace Cloud Assessment to help you determine your requirements
Rackspace Migration Services - Rackspace provides complimentary migrations for like-to-like migrations and comprehensive support for complex migrations. Go to the Rackspace Migration for more information.
Rackspace Partner Ecosystem - Rackspace has an extensive network of system integrators and partners who can work with you on the entire migration and rebuild process.
PlaceFull app powers real-time online bookings: commercecentral:
How many bookings did your business get last night while you were sleeping or over the recent holiday weekend?
If you don’t have an online booking solution, probably zero. And that’s a shame, because over 35% of all bookings occur after normal business hours with the peak booking time being at…
Many companies that came to prominence in the age of the internet understand that their brands exists both on and offline. However, more traditional brick and mortar companies—those that sold goods when a shopping cart was something you physically pushed in a store— may find themselves struggling with creating their online brand. Here are three considerations for those companies as they look to ramp up their online presence.
Offline Brand Reputation Influences Online Behavior
Technology may have leveled the playing field for new, upstart businesses, but when it comes to brand loyalty, research shows that established, offline brands have the advantage.
One academic study found that offline perceptions of a brand translate to a higher degree of online loyalty. In fact, well-known brands “have greater-than-expected loyalty when bought online compared with an offline environment and conversely for small share brands.” Any well-established brands that are not taking advantage of an ecommerce strategy should strongly consider it.
Additionally, as a smaller brand transitions to an online marketplace, that company must have a dogged determination—and maybe some clever digital marketing strategies—to overcome their better-known counterparts.
The Front Door To Your Business Is The Web
Many storeowners have tasks besides stocking the shelves and cashing out customers. They understand that cleaning the windows, sweeping the porch and picking up parking lot trash are key to establishing curb appeal to bringing business inside.
Yet, as Susan Jacobs of All-State Legal pointed out in a recent Fox Business article, “Today’s consumers are increasingly likely to first encounter your brand online than off, and even those who get their first impression of your brand in print often follow up with a Google search.” In other words, all that work done to make an engaging physical space could be lost on many of the modern consumers.
Just like you wouldn’t have a dirty entrance to a store, you need to ensure that your online presence is welcoming. Brand consistency between your main website, blog, shopping cart, social media and banner ads is not only necessary, it’s key to making that important first impression to the modern shopper.
Taking Social Seriously
Sure, there is a lot of discussion of funny cat GIFs and photos of food on social media, but the digital world is ripe for conversations about your brand. A study released by Twitter at the beginning of May looked at how users were exposed to brands and whether they took action. In a sample size of 12,000 people, Twitter found that half of the respondents mentioned a brand 15 or more times.
The report goes on to say that, “With so many people following and mentioning brands, it’s not surprising that a whopping 99 percent of Twitter users in the study were exposed to a brand-related tweet in the month of January alone.” The study drives home the point that social media users are being exposed to brands simply through their own personal contacts, regardless of any paid online advertising.
But does all this brand exposure drive results? The answer is a resounding “yes.” The study found that 54 percent of the Twitter users have taken an action after seeing a brand mention in a tweet. Those actions include checking out the company’s website or Twitter profile; an online search; simple consideration; or even retweeting the brand mention.
Looking or help with your online brand? Connect with Rackspace Digital, the team of infrastructure specialists for content, ecommerce and mobile applications.
*Photo by Michael Bäumert via Flickr.
Within the past decade, advances in technology continue to exceed the expectations of today’s generation. The ability to arrange travel, network across multiple industries and communicate with colleagues around the globe with a simple click solidifies the role the Internet will always play within the business world. Therefore, it is surprising to see that although 97% of consumers go online to search for local services, 52% of small and medium business owners still do not have a website according to Yodle’s Small Business Sentiment Survey. While business owners can blame a wide range of factors for not making the leap online, 1&1 Internet has introduced solutions to put an end to the excuses.
“I don’t have the technical knowledge to manage a site on my own”
Looking at an empty Web space can be intimidating. Without the technical knowledge of coding, or a Content Management System (CMS) such as WordPress or Joomla!, a professional website may seem out of reach. It can take years to master these technical skills. Not only is it a time commitment to learn the inner workings of website design but there is also anxiety in doing the job correctly. As a self taught, or even someone who is familiar with website management, daily edits, system updates and website security are all reasons for concern. Having the confidence that you can fix any issue on your own is enough to keep the technology novice up at night.
Solution: A valuable solution for these business owners is using a website design application based on a “do-it-yourself” (DIY) model. 1&1’s MyWebsite tool is the perfect solution for the website beginner. With pre-defined content, navigation and images specific to the user’s business industry, they are offered a starting point for an effective online presence. Eliminating the need for a technical background, 1&1 MyWebsite ensures that editing the site is simple and direct, with much of the editing tools operating with simple drag and drop functionality. All that is required is a Web browser and an Internet connection to access your 1&1 MyWebsite account. With one, simple login, you can manage, update, fix or redesign your entire website without having to input one piece of programming code.
“But I don’t have time”
A favorite excuse among busy SMBs is the amount of time it requires to create and manage a website which is a true concern. On average, a start-up or small business only has 1-4 employees wearing multiple hats throughout the day, from Chief Financial Officer to Receptionist. Hoping to save time, SMB’s hire a Web professional to create a professional website for their business. But this is not always the best option. Depending on the designer’s workload, wait times could be days before getting a site up and running or updates made. Furthermore, if updates to the site need to be done, it will often happen based on the professional’s schedule.
Solution: Web hosts are starting to develop more managed solutions for business owners who have such limited time to dedicate towards a website. Recently, 1&1 introduced it’s MyWebsite Mainained by Experts solution which allows SMBs to focus on the business tasks at hand while experts handle the site. This managed solution ensures that updates and maintenance are conducted on a timely basis, without the need for users to spend time in front of a computer. By relying on a team of professionals to create and manage the website, SMBs have more time to dedicate to their daily business operations. Furthermore, they still maintain the control and freedom to make edits and decisions themselves as needed.
On average, if a professional designer or agency is hired to create a customized website it is expected to take upwards of 15 hours. This results in anywhere from $400-$1,400. These are big portions of a start-up’s already limited budget. A viable option for cost conscious SMBs looking to expand on their online presence is social media. Participating in popular social platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Google+ offer businesses unlimited space to communicate and engage with their audience. Experian Marketing Services found that consumers spend 16 minutes out of every hour online on social networking and forums. This is a great opportunity for businesses to cash in on this valuable avenue without a large financial commitment, but an online presence should not stop there. While social media does answer the need for communication between the business and consumer, there are always limitations and it should remain connected to the professional website. With social media, you are limited to consumers who are only on those platforms, therefore although the most cost effective solution, depending on a business’ audience social media may not always be the best fit. Ideally, social media should be used as an addition to a website as oppose a business’s sole online solution.
Solution: A common concern for SMBs, budget plays an important role when selecting the right online solution for your business. 1&1 understands this need and offers inclusive packages to ensure that your business has everything it needs for a successful online presence at an affordable cost. For example, 1&1 offers a multitude of tools and packages that help business make the leap online. Different MyWebsite packages can include a free domain, email addresses, social media integration and management, SEO assistance as well as online marketing features. It is key for business owners to look at all of the inclusions a Web host is offering before making a final purchasing decision.
There are indeed options available that answer all of SMB’s excuses for needing a quick, cost effective and worry free online solution. As one of the first responders to address all of these concerns, 1&1’s MyWebsite Maintained by Experts package is the ideal option for a professional online presence without the need for a large time commitment, frustration or heavy investment. Operated by the 1&1 Expert team, they create a customized and professional website based on the user’s unique specifications. Once designed, the Expert team helps link to social media pages, provides experienced search engine optimization (SEO) help, performs maintenance, delivers Site Analytics and more. Now users can be confident that their website is being properly managed so they can focus purely on their daily business operations.
Starting at just $49.99/month, the 1&1 Maintained by Experts comes in a Basic, Plus and Premium package- all offering customers the opportunity to have a professional website with “peace of mind” that experts are managing the site.
The post 4 Website Add-Ons That Will Help You Grow Your List appeared first on HostGator Blog | Gator Crossing.
Your email list is a very powerful sales tool. Emails and newsletters are an effective, easy way to engage with your prospects, current customers, and other interested parties. If you aren’t utilizing your website to help capture visitors’ information and grow your list, you are missing out on an important marketing opportunity. Here are four simple website add-ons that will help make the process easier.
1. Integration with Facebook/Twitter/Pinterest/LinkedIn
Social media is an integral part of so many people’s days. You want to make your social media presence well-known on your site, while making it easy for your visitor to share your content with others.
Evaluate your business audience and pick the two most-used social media platforms and establish a strong presence there. Then, add the corresponding social media buttons in prominent places on your website.
The benefits to this technique are two fold. First, you can often capture your visitors information when they share your page via your own social media buttons. You will know what content they find interesting and then have a way to engage them in the future. Second, they are essentially endorsing your webpage to their friends and network, effectively garnering more visitors.
2. A pop-up email capture
When someone visits your site the hard work has already been done for you – they are already interested. One easy way to get their information is through a simple pop-up. Pop-ups can be fairly controversial and there are lots of people out there that don’t like them. However, there are multiple methods that are both unobtrusive and effective.
These tools include pop-down bars, splash pages, hover boxes, and more. Do your research and look at all the options available to determine which one will work best for your customers. Keep in mind that you don’t have to assault them with a pop up the second they visit your site. You can wait until the second or third pageview before displaying the pop-up in order to ensure that they are interested.
3. PDF downloads and premium content
Content is an excellent way to drive traffic to your website. Quality content will help engage your reader and develop your authority in your area of business.
One great strategy to further grow your list is to offer PDF downloads or premium content, but only after they sign up for your email list. The content would still be free, but you can request a certain amount of information from your customer before they receive it.
The added benefit of this route is that you are not just gathering their email address; you will also learn what topics interest them based on what content they clicked on or which PDF they downloaded. Make sure that the content is high-quality and useful though; tangible value is a boon for business.
4. Subscribe via comment form or checkout process
Consider all the places on your website where you’ve already requested your customer’s information. When customers are examining or commenting on your site, chances are they are required to provide their name and email address. Since they are already giving you their information this is a very simple place to add an opt in box.
Make it an obvious part of the form fields to increase the subscription rate. Consider having it say something interesting such as “subscribe to our awesome newsletter for discounts and exclusives” rather than just “subscribe.” The more information you provide your customer with, the more likely are to opt in.
Rather than growing your prospect list by buying names from a large company, you can start by looking at your own website to grow your list. These simple add-ons will help grow your list with very little effort on your behalf.
1&1’s Joomla! Specialist Viktor Vogel will be speaking at this year’s J and Beyond conference. The session, Joomla! multiplied – How to run Multiwebsites, is a joint presentation with Gerald Martin. They will discuss how Joomla!, when paired with some non-commercial extensions, can be used to manage website content and support layout changes. While Gerald will talk about the overall approach in general, Viktor will speak about the technical solution.
J and Beyond is one of the largest international Joomla! conferences. Each year, Joomla! experts and developers come together at this event to share ideas, gain knowledge, and meet other community members face-to-face. The conference facilitates the community collaboration and discussions that will shape the future of the platform. Themed “Investing in our Future”, this year’s event will take place in Konigstein, Germany from May 30 – June 1. Viktor’s session, Joomla! multiplied – How to run Multiwebsites, is sure to leave a lasting impact on viewers of the conference’s “Integrator” track.
Viktor Vogel, 1&1 Internet’s go-to Joomla! Specialist, is a core contributor and active member of the Joomla! community. With more than a decade of experience working with the content management system, Viktor offers his expertise and passion as he helps users reach new heights within the Joomla! platform. Some of Viktor‘s notable contributions include the EasyCalcCheck Plus (ECC +), Simple Image Gallery Extended (SIGE), and Easy Frontend SEO (EFSEO), as well as developing over 30 other helpful extensions (components, plugins, and modules) that are available for free. Through his affiliations with CMS Garden and J and Beyond, Viktor proactively collaborates with other experts and participates at some of the world’s most important events dedicated to the platform. As a 1&1 Joomla! Specialist, Viktor continues his developer work within the Kubik-Rubik Project, contributes to the improvement and expansion of the Joomla! core and community, and furthers the optimization of 1&1’s hosting environment for Joomla! installations. Check out his private Joomla! project ‘Kubik-Rubik Joomla! Extensions’ and follow him on Twitter @ViktorVogel.