Why would I need a private SSL or Dedicated IP

ssl-imageMany web hosts will assume that in our technical age everyone understands terms like Dedicated IP Address, Private SSL Certificate and Domain Privacy. I can assure you that before I started working for a web host I had no idea what these services actually were and why on earth they would be useful. However, with a little research it became pretty clear the advantages of adding these features to your hosting package.

A Private SSL – Secure Sockets Layer – Certificate is recommended for all sites that accept credit card payments or take customers personal information, as it provides your site with the extra security required to protect such details. A Private SSL keeps all the information sent from your site to your host’s server confidential by encrypting it and activating the secure lock in your web browser.

If you think your site requires a Private SSL Certificate then you will also need a Dedicated IP. This will mean that your site is the only one on the internet using that unique IP number. A Dedicated IP is a necessity for most large websites or ecommerce enabled sites. If you website is business orientated and you are planning on a merchant account, Webhostingworld.net would highly recommend that you purchase a Private SSL Certificate and a Dedicated IP.

Both Private SSL Certificates and Dedicated IPs are now available to purchase from Webhostingworld as part of your plan.

 

Four Common Causes of a Slow Website, and How to Eliminate Them

slow

 

There’s an adage that says, “slow and steady wins the race,” but when it comes to your website, that’s a sure-fire way to fail. And in this case, failure doesn’t just mean losing a race; it means losing business. So, let’s identify four common causes of a slow website and eliminate them FTW.

A recent study conducted by Brand Perfect revealed that 67 percent of those surveyed cited a slow-running website as their primary reason for abandoning an online purchase.

Because of this, it’s imperative that you optimize your site for performance at all times. So what causes your site to slow down? More important, what can you do to speed it up? In this post we’ll identify four common culprits and explain how you can speed things up.

Four Common Causes of a Slow Website

1. Unoptimized Images

One of the most common culprits for slow sites is a large volume of unoptimized images. Full-sized images can consume a lot of bandwidth while loading. So, take time to resize your images. Take a look at the image tag – it allows you to set the height and width. Be sure to scale the photos proportionally so that they don’t get stretched or skewed. Then, consider changing image format, which can significantly reduce the file size. Finally, reduce image quality. No, that doesn’t mean making your photos look bad. It just means tweaking some simple settings. For JPG images, this is done by directly reducing the quality. In most cases, a quality setting of 80 to 90 percent will show no significant changes from the original version. And you can go even lower depending on the type of image, the detail, and the colors. For other image formats such as GIF and PNG, you can reduce quality by opting for a smaller color palette.

2. Too Much Fancy Flash

Fancy isn’t always fun. In fact, Flash can seriously slow down your website. Flash is the sumo wrestler of software – it’s big and bulky. And here’s one more vote against it: Flash is almost always incompatible with mobile devices, meaning that a large chunk of your audience won’t even be able to access it. So, if you’re using Flash, you’re slowing down your site for minimal benefit.

3. Bulky Code 

Inefficient or bulky code can create major roadblocks for your site. Many CSS coders may include white space in order to make pages more readable. The problem is, much of this white space can be eliminated while still maintaining readability. Give some thought to removing line breaks and excess spacing as this can do wonders for condensing your code, shrinking file sizes, and maximizing speed.

4. External Embedded Media

Another common culprit for a slow-running website is external media usage. That means cutting down on the videos and shiny stuff – they’re like carbs. Use them in moderation. Although you may find a fun video or smart slideshow that you think is relevant to your business, think twice before embedding someone else’s media into your site. Once you embed external material into your site, your pages will only run as fast as the host site. In other words, if that external site is having a particularly slow day, your site may run slowly too. Don’t let another site drag yours down! Whenever possible, it’s smart to host all content on your own server.

Is your page currently running at peak efficiency?

Use this speedy website checklist to make immediate improvements:

  • Resize your images
  • Change image format
  • Reduce image quality
  • Eliminate or minimize fancy flash
  • Remove bulky code including line breaks and excess spacing
  • Minimize media from other sources
  • Store media on your own servers

How to Promote Your Blog on Social Media

social media

The Basics Behind Successful Social Media Campaigns

To say everyone uses social media is not an overstatement. The vast majority of people and businesses use it in some shape or form. From school kids, to the local cupcake shop, and even the President of the United States — social media is used to share ideas, promote products, and connect people. We’ve found that there are some key factors to sharing, promoting, and connecting successfully on social media.

It may go without saying, but to have your shared content be received well on social media, you need to have something worth sharing, and someone to share it with. The message and the audience work best when joined by mutual interests. The reverse, sending the wrong message to the wrong audience, can have very negative results. Ever offer a doughnut to someone that can’t have gluten? Talk about a disaster!

Avoid those social media snafus. Here is some advice you can start using right away to improve your social media and blog promotion strategies today.

Crafting Your Message

  • Twitter Advanced Search is a great resource for finding supporting remarks on current events.
  • Trendsmap.com view what hashtags are trending and where, graphed out on a map.
  • Google Trends is not only great for comparing search interest on topics, but you can endlessly scroll on the page for a list of trending articles.
  • RSS Feed – if you don’t have any subscriptions to blogs for your personal use, consider setting one up for keeping abreast of trending topics in the niche(s) you care most about promoting socially.

Social Media Loves Images

It’s no secret, everyone loves a good image to accompany a captivating story or article. Posts on Facebook that contain an image get an average of 53% more likes, and 104% more comments. On Twitter, a predominantly text-based social media platform, tweets with images have an even greater impact. Images on Twitter have shown to cause to 36% increase in clicks, 31% more visits to a linked article, 41% increase in retweets, 48% more favorites, and an impressive 55% increase in leads. The moral of this story here is simple: use images, especially when promoting your blog on social media.

Sharing Your Message

There are dozens of articles and tips on how to promote your blog on social media, but the best advice came from a man that died before the first digital social network even existed. Dale Carnegie once said, “You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.” This concept plays out exceptionally well on social media.

Find bloggers in your target niche that you can interact with — we’ll call them neighbors. Read their articles, mention a post of theirs in a post of your own with a link to it, engage with the conversation in the comments. More often than not, this type of engagement will be reciprocated over time, and as a bonus, your neighbor’s audience is now introduced to the new neighbor (you) on the block.

Share at the Best Times

Not all markets have the same audience, but every social media platform has its best and worst times for engagement. Below are the peak times for audience, best times for engagement, and the worst times to post. Keep in mind, the best time for most might not be the best time for you. Make sure to check your analytics on each platform (ex. Facebook Insights) for when your unique audience is the most engaged.

  • Facebook
    • Peak: 3PM Wednesday
    • Best: 1-4PM Weekdays
    • Worst: Weekends, before 8AM, after 8PM
  • Twitter
    • Peak: Monday-Thursday 9AM- 3PM
    • Best: Monday-Thursday 1PM- 3PM
    • Worst: Friday after PM, everyday after 8PM
  • Linkedin
    • Peak: Tuesday-Thursday at noon and 5-6PM
    • Best: Noon Wednesday
    • Worst: Monday and Friday, 10PM- 6AM
  • Google+
    • Peak: Weekdays 9-10AM
    • Best: Wednesday, 9AM
    • Worst: Weekends, before 8AM, after 3PM
  • Pinterest
    • Peak: Fridays 3PM
    • Best: Saturday morning
    • Worst: Weekdays during work hours
  • Tumblr
    • Peak: Sunday-Thursday 7-10PM
    • Best: Friday 7PM
    • Worst: Before 4PM

You may have noticed we left Instagram off of the list above. While Instagram is very popular, its ability to drive traffic is extremely limited. Like a billboard that catches your eye on the freeway, there is value for the brand, but a conversion is hard to quantify.

You may find that you’re not always able to engage with social media at these times, but there are tools available for scheduling and automating. Many of these free and paid tools, such as Buffer or IFTTT, can automate the sharing of your posts on various social networks. Another handy use of these types of automated sharing tools is that you can create a follow up share. Simply set the time a week after the first share, change the messaging to something like “Did you miss this last week?” and set the time to be an hour after the original share from last week. This can help to give those well-crafted articles a second wind, and helps increase the chance of getting in front of those who may have missed it the first time around.

More Social Promotion Tips

These tips and tricks on how to promote your blog via social media are the building blocks from which any great campaign typically follows. Each niche has its own quirks, and you may find that not every social media channel is right for you. Focus on the networks that matter most to your audience. Pay attention to your audience, and what they engage with most. Review what messages have been the best received, and expand on those efforts.

What simple little tricks did you find to be most helpful when you first started building out an audience on social media? Are there any you feel we’ve missed? Share your experience with readers in the comments — who knows, you might make a new neighbor!

Please Update Your WHMCS Installations

whmcs

Hello everyone,

We would like to get the word out that two streams of WHCMS have been updated to v5.2.10 and 5.1.12. These are security releases that address specific privilege and SQL vulnerabilities. It is extremely important that you upgrade to the latest versions of WHMCS as soon as possible in order to protect your company and customers from this new vulnerability.

WHMCS has published more details regarding the vulnerability and fixes here. We urge all customers to log in and update their WHMCS installations to help keep their site, company, and customers secure! You may, or may not, also be requested to perform a small upgrade to your database during the process. This is minimal and completes very quickly in our experience.

To update your website from the WHMCS admin area:

  1. Login to the WHMCS Admin Panel
  2. Hover over the help menu
  3. Click the Check for Updates link
  4. Check to see if your version is different from the latest version. If it is, continue to the next section. If they are the same, you are already up to date and need not continue.
  5. To update your installation:
    1. If you purchased your license from Webhostingworld then contact to our support team regarding this.
    2. If you purchased your WHMCS license elsewhere, please contact them for the latest version, and apply the update.

Thank you for your time, and we hope you stay diligent when future WHMCS updates are released!

WordPress Users: Update your All in One SEO Pack Plugin!

The All in One SEO Pack plugin for WordPress was updated a few days ago to patch some serious vulnerabilities. Thankfully the problem is easy to fix. All you need to do is log into your administrator area in WordPress and update the plugin in question.  Here are more details about the vulnerabilities from the Sucuri blog.

If your site has subscribers, authors and non-admin users logging in to wp-admin, you are a risk. If you have open registration, you are at risk, so you have to update the plugin now. While auditing their code, we found two security flaws that allows an attacker to conduct privilege escalation and cross site scripting (XSS) attacks.

Read all the details on the Sucuri blog.