Industry Buzz

Servers - VPS Hosting now available!

WhopHost News -

Virtual Private Servers also called VPS Hosting is now available on our hosting. VPS is partitioning a physical server into multiple Virtual Servers having the appearance and capacity of a dedicated server. Each Virtual Server runs independent from the others on the physical machine. Also VPS has its own OS, and each server can be independently rebooted.

New InstallCentral Interface (More Apps, Plus It's Now Free!)

iPower Web Hosting Blog -

So the blog has been dormant for a little while, due to a myriad of reasons. First, we've been busy developing. Secondly, it's been the holidays (Happy New Year!). Third, we've been busy doing more development and fixing the mail issue, which for the majority of customers has fortunately been fully restored. (We're still working diligently to recover a few customers' email -- eternal thanks for being patient!)In any event, we've been hard at work here. And with that hard work comes some positive changes from time to time. Most recently, we've been busting our butts for a much-needed and overdue InstallCentral revamp/upgrade. InstallCentral, for customers who aren't familiar with the term, is our application installation center -- or, more plainly, the place where you can add cool thingys to your site like blogs, galleries, forums, etc. Best of all for you guys? It's now freeeeeee.OK, as a product manager, the free stuff is great, but the best part for me is that we have a new interface that makes browsing the applications a breeze. Instead of listing every application on a single page, forcing you to scroll to find what you're looking for, our new design uses a tabbed interface that presents applications by category, i.e., blogs, content management systems, forums, photo galleries, etc. And not only that, our new interface now employs a "My Apps" tab that lists all of your installed applications, version and upgrade information, plus quick access to log into the admin page for your application.Also, you may have noticed we removed the individual icons for each application you've installed from the "Scripting & Add-ons" section of your control panel. The goal was to unclutter that section of your control panel, and provide you one location from which to manage each of your applications. To access your apps, just click on the "InstallCentral" icon, and you'll be taken to your personal "My Apps" page.Oh, and did we mention that we've added 13 new applications to our installation center? Check 'em out:* b2evolution* PixelPost* Drupal* e107* Mambo* ZenCart* Simple Machines Forum (SMF)* ZenPhoto* MediaWiki* Moodle* OpenRealty* phpFormGenerator* SugarCRM

Online Sales Down So Far this Year? Don't Fret

iPower Web Hosting Blog -

comScore released a report today indicating that up until Cyber Monday (which was this past Monday, Dec. 1st), e-commerce sales had been down by about 2% compared to November last year. However, probably due to holiday sale prices many online retailers tout during the post-Thanksgiving shopping frenzy, Monday yielded a 15% jump over last year's Cyber Monday sales.Additional key findings from the report include:* Overall, retailers appear to be giving more aggressive discounts this year in an effort to encourage consumer spending; 51% of consumers surveyed indicated that the number of discounts and promotions seem higher this year than last year (compared to 12% who thought discounts were fewer).* 39% of those surveyed indicated they felt the crowds at retail stores were fewer this year than last year, whereas 7% felt the number had increased.Of course this is great news for our e-commerce customers here at IPOWERWEB. We truly hope your online sales end up following the post-Thanksgiving trend reported by comScore! Check out today's press release for more details on the report.And at the risk of irritating some of our readers with an upsell, if you haven't already, it might be a good time to take advantage of a couple of the discounts *we're* offering for e-commerce-izing your site .... If this annoys you, feel free to skip the following bullets ;)* CM4all E-commerce is available for 1/2 price off your first term (month, quarter, year) through Dec. 18.* Existing ShopSite customers can take advantage of 1/2 price off their first quarter or year for ShopSite Manager or Pro (call us for details: 888-511-4678).* PowerPay (our preferred credit card processing partner) is now offering the Authorize.Net Fraud Detection Suite--included with your payment gateway solution.Okay--you can open your eyes again.

Find Wikipedia (MediaWiki) a Pain to Edit?

iPower Web Hosting Blog -

If so, then good news for you! Looks like in the near future, MediaWiki, the free open source software used to create Wikipedia, will be bringing in some new software developers to determine some of the barriers to entry for first-time editors. The Wikimedia Foundation was been awarded a $890,000 grant from the Stanton Foundation to make collaboration easier for those of us who have some great knowledge to share, but may not quite understand how to use the funky MediaWiki editor. Check out the full article on CNET >>As you may or may not know, IPOWERWEB offers a bunch of open source applications through InstallCentral, our open source application installer. We don't have MediaWiki yet, but we're planning to add it (and a number of other applications) to our suite in the coming months. Keep an eye out--and hopefully by the time we add it, MediaWiki will have come out with a newer version of the software to make editing easier for everyone.

Want to Improve Search Engine Visibility? 15 Tips

iPower Web Hosting Blog -

If you use your website to get noticed--whether on a business-related or personal level--then chances are you're looking to increase your search engine visibility. I came across an article today in my Google Reader that outlines 15 solid tips for doing just that.Written by social media marketer Mike Fruchter, this article is immensely helpful in outlining some key methods to getting search engines to "like" your site. And if you like what you read, I highly recommend following Mike's blog (or perhaps Louis Gray's, where the article was written) for more tips on social media marketing, or tech stuff in general.So, without further ado:http://www.louisgray.com/live/2008/11/15-tips-on-improving-search-engine.html

Who are you, Customers?? We want to know!

iPower Web Hosting Blog -

So I'm hoping that a few of you have had an opportunity to try out our QuickStart Wizard, which we launched a couple weeks ago. If not, I encourage you to log into your control panel and try it out. We want all the feedback we can get because it's important to us that we construct tools in a way that enables you to get your account set up easily.As a starting point, last week we actually brought a few customers into our offices to record and test the usability of both the QuickStart Wizard and our registration process. We used Webex to record their entire experience--yes, we analyzed every mouse click--and stumbled upon some interesting findings. I won't get into specifics for these tools at this point, since it's too early to definitively say what's working and what's not, but I think it's fair to say that we can't always predict what our customers will do and think ...Because we're not mind-readers, but we want to know what you're thinking, I'm happy to announce that, at the directive of our new Director of Customer Experience (yay!), we've started a few rounds of customer focus groups, aimed to help us dissect the diverse brains of our subjects--ahem--customers. The goal of these sessions is to figure out a few different things:who our customers arewhy our customers choose uswhat our customers wantwhat our customers aren't getting from us that we can improve/provide to themSo far, I think we've validated our suspicion that the type of customer we attract runs the gamut--anywhere from those who are completely new to web hosting and are trying to get their business online for the first time, to people who have been doing this since 1998 and have about 15 accounts with us. In addition, we learned that many of our customers choose us based upon the price/quality balance, which we see as a pretty nice compliment. When it comes to what customers want, as you might have guessed, these answers vary based upon experience level. As many of our preliminary findings have shown, we need to dig into these responses a bit more to determine who, exactly, our different user personas are, and what we can do to help satisfy each type of need.One overarching theme we've found so far is that we provide a lot of services our customers don't know about. For instance, if you're worried about knowing when your site and/or email might be experiencing a service interruption (yes, I am admitting that they *do* happen from time to time ...), did you know that you can get updates sent to your email account on file via our CAML? (Pronounced "Camel," CAML is our "Customer Alert Mailing List.") This email notification basically lets you know that we've posted an Important System Alert in our Support Center, and that your site and/or email may be affected. We update these alerts as changes occur to keep you informed about the state of your account. To sign up to receive CAMLs, visit our Support Center and click the link below our Important System Notices that says, "Receive System Alerts via e-mail."Another request we got was for more simplicity in our control panel. (Of course, that was said on the heels of one customer, who was more familiar with our services, indicating that he found our control panel to be very easy to navigate.) I'm not advocating that our control panel is the simplest tool to use (in fact, we're currently devising a strategy to improve the functionality/simplicity of the layout--so stay tuned), but did you know that we offer different control panel interfaces? We have four different control panel "skins," which you can customize to a certain degree. Just click on the "Preferences" link at the top of the control panel, and you'll see that you have four different layout options from which to choose: icon, icon plus, text, and text plus. We've even created an animated tutorial to guide you through your options for layout and customization.Which brings me to my final point for the evening. We have lots of tutorials. And lots of help information in our Knowledgebase. I'm not saying we'll have everything you need in there to assist you with your account, but I just wanted to call out the fact that we do have online resources to help, and they're probably worth at least a look-see.The bottom line here is that we want you to "help us help you." We realize we need to do a better job communicating some of the resources we have to offer, but it's also important that customers fill out our surveys to let us know what is, and what isn't, working. We cherish your feedback--both the good and the bad. So please keep it coming.

Improving "Early Life" -- What's Your Take?

iPower Web Hosting Blog -

So we've got some shocking news here at IPOWERWEB.We've been informed that some of our customers get confused when landing in the control panel for the first time. Yeah, apparently it's not intuitive that when you click on "POP Mail," it's the same as clicking on "MailCentral." And who knew that it wasn't obvious that the "Set Site Editor" page doesn't actually let you start creating your website.These nuances, which we tech geeks at IPOWERWEB have come to know and love (okay, not really), present a bit of a problem for new customers coming on board. Our site essentially says, "Our hosting plans include great website building tools, unlimited email boxes and a free domain name! Go after it!" And I guess the process of signing up and logging into the control panel for the first time doesn't mean customers instantly know that clicking on the "WebSiteCreator by CM4all" icon is probably their best bet for starting a new site if they don't know any HTML.So where does that leave us? With a bunch of somewhat confused customers calling our support team within their first 48 hours on IPOWERWEB. Our bad.But, before you throw in the towel, let me say this: we are looking to make a change. We get it now. We realize it's not fun for you to employ the "hunt and peck" method to figure out just which of those little icons will actually be the key to creating your first mailbox. We want you to be happy with your IPOWERWEB account, not feel like you've just stepped into a 2 sq. mile corn maze with no iPhone serving Google Satellite View.And without further ado, let me present the first step to our solution. Our support, product management and development teams have designed and developed a QuickStart Wizard to walk customers through the first three steps to setting up a hosting account (which, coincidentally, are the top three reasons customers call us): adding a domain to your account; setting up mailboxes; and getting a site started and learning what the heck your FTP settings are.But the greatness doesn't stop there. After you've run through the QuickStart Wizard for the first time (and completed all the tasks), it turns into a QuickStart Manager, which will always be accessible from the top of the control panel (next to the "Preferences" icon), should you want to go back and manage your domains, email and website from the wizard. Same goes for existing customers: even if you've already set up your account, just click the icon and try the wizard on for size the next time you want to create another email box, etc.Okay, so bottom line? We want your feedback. When this product launches next week (fingers crossed), we want to know -- is it intuitive? Does it make setting up a domain, email address and website easier? What do you like? What don't you like? Tell us by leaving a comment! With your input, we'll be able to improve the next release, and ultimately use this tool as a model off which to base revamps of other tools in our control panel.

Set Up a Holiday Store

iPower Web Hosting Blog -

It's not to early to begin thinking about the upcoming holidays. November and December are the busiest shopping months of the year online! Why not take advantage of this and get a holiday store set up on your site? Don't have time to do it yourself? IPOWERWEB can help!A typical online store can take several weeks at best to develop, even months under the most ideal conditions. That kind of time isn’t available in the middle of October to be ready for the holiday season, and we’d like to offer our customers who don’t already have an online store, the opportunity to establish a presence for their products, begin selling, accepting credit cards, etc. · This promotion will run from October 15th, and orders will be accepted until November 7th.Here's what you'll get: A complete online store solution and installation Fully-integrated online payment gateway using PowerPayFREE osCommerce ApplicationAbility to add up to 20 products to the storeStore administration trainingFor orders received and customer requirements satisfied by November 7th, we will GUARANTEE completion of the website on or before November 22nd. If you have completed all of your ‘to-do’ list activities and we’re still unable to complete the website by November 22nd, we’ll give you a 100% refund.Price: Only $499.00Get started now!

SubmitNet Partnership

iPower Web Hosting Blog -

Are you looking for a way to attract more visitors to your site? SubmitNet can increase your site's visibility, as it optimizes your site and submits it to all of the major search engines, month after month.And, with no downloads or installation, SubmitNet makes search engine optimization simple, allowing you to access your SubmitNet control panel from any computer!Increase your search ranking today with SubmitNet's Basic Plan, which provides you with automatic monthly submissions and reports, and is FREE with any hosting package. If you are looking for more, such as keyword and MetaTag analysis and creation, sign up for a Gold or Platinum Plan at a special IPOWERWEB discounted price. The sooner you submit your site, the sooner search engines will recognize it! So, optimize your site now!

E-mail through Exchange Hosting

iPower Web Hosting Blog -

Use Microsoft Exchange so that you can use Outlook to Access, Sync and Share E-mail, Schedules, Contacts and Tasks with everyone in your business. Right now, IPOWERWEB is offering a FREE 2 month trial of Exchange hosting!Exchange Hosting, the latest in e-mail management and collaboration from Microsoft, allows you to take your communications to the next level--and on the road!With Exchange Hosting you can ... Access your e-mail, contacts and schedule from any location via OutlookUse your PDA to sync your e-mail, contacts and scheduleShare e-mails, contact info and schedules with clients, employees--even family membersUtilize Microsoft Outlook for your computer and Outlook Web Access for online access And, it includes free Microsoft Outlook desktop licenses (load it on all the machines you use!) Learn more about Exchange HostingThe 2 month trial won't last long, so try it out now!

Promoting Your Web Site

iPower Web Hosting Blog -

Your Web site is a valuable marketing tool. Are you taking advantage of it?Leveraging Your Domain Name: If you're not including your Web site address on your business cards, e-mail signature, stationery, flyers, brochures, advertisements -- anything and everything you create for your business -- you're missing out on valuable opportunities for potential customers to learn more about the services you provide. Are you using an e-mail address at your domain, or does your return address promote yahoo.com or gmail.com instead?Search Engine Marketing (SEM): When done right, search engine marketing can reach a very targeted audience. It takes some money to establish a presence, but IPOWERWEB hosting plans include free credits for some of the major ones: $50 for Google AdWords, $50 for Yahoo! Search, a 90-day trial for the Best of the Web directory, etc. They're free to try, so see if one or more of them work for your business, and if so, use them to get some additional momentum behind your brand. If you're really ready to dive right in, TargetClicks can be an effective SEM option -- and they do all the work for you.Search Engine Optimization (SEO): We also have a team of search engine experts who can help you optimize your Web site so that search engines link to you naturally, without having to pay for placement via ads or sponsored links. SEO plans start for as little as $149 -- but we'll give you a consultation for free! Learn more about or SEO services >>

Rapid SSL

iPower Web Hosting Blog -

IPOWERWEB is introducing a new dedicated SSL certificate called the RapidSSL. Before now, we only offered one type of Dedicated SSL Certificate, the QuickSSL Premium Certificate, issued by GeoTrust.RapidSSL is like the QuickSSL Premium Certificate in that it:- Offers commercial-level protection starting at 128-bit encryption.- Is compatible with 99%+ of browsers.- Safeguards access to your site over "https," rather than the less secure "http". However, the RapidSSL Certificate differs from the QuickSSL Premium Certificate, because RapidSSL:- Is backed by RapidSSL, not GeoTrust.- Is not compatible with mobile devices.- Comes with a $10,000 RapidSSL Warranty against mis-issuance of a certificate—not the $100,000 GeoSure Protection Plan, which covers loss of use, theft, or corruption.- Costs only $39.95/yr, as opposed to $99/yr for the QuickSSL Premium Certificates.More information on our SSL Certificates >>

Design Services on Sale

iPower Web Hosting Blog -

What's stopping you from adding a blog to your site? Or a news feed? Or a photo gallery? If you don't have the time or aren't sure how to get started, we can help!Our Web design professionals can integrate these services FOR you, saving you both time and aggravation, while making your site an exciting place to visit. After all, if you aren't interacting with your site visitors, you're going to lose them!Best of all — for a limited time, our most popular services are on sale at a fraction of what they would normally cost.SAVE BIG ON SITE ADD-ONSHave you seen our "à la carte" menu for Web development services? Our design team doesn't just do design — we can help with anything from copywriting to e-commerce! Check out our full menu »For a limited time, we've put our most popular services on sale, including: Gallery2 photo album application WordPress blogging software The award-winning Joomla! content management system Integrated rolling news feeds Dynamically generated FAQ pages Lead-generation/contact formsSave now on these services and more! Or give us a call at 877-513-7446 for a free consultation. Tell us what you want to do, and we'd be happy to walk you through your options!

RatePoint partnership

iPower Web Hosting Blog -

One way to sweeten customer experience is by demonstrating that you welcome and are receptive to feedback. And nothing says "good business" like receiving positive reviews--it's direct proof of your success! In an effort to help you solicit and display customer feedback on your site, we've partnered with a company called RatePoint--and as a valued IPOWER customer, you have access to a 60-day trial membership. If you haven't activated your free trial yet, learn more about it.RatePoint provides an official "consumer-approved" seal for your site that visitors can click on to read real reviews, as well as submit their own. You then approve positive reviews, which posts them to your site, or respond to any negative feedback privately through the RatePoint-moderated dispute resolution process.Plus, you can solicit additional feedback through a suite of RatePoint's site tools, which include customer feedback buttons and popups, auto-generated e-mails, customized surveys and more!You can increase customer retention and show your visitors that you're a company that's worth doing business with by trying RatePoint, free for 60 days.

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