Did you know that the heavy equipment manufacturer Caterpillar, often abbreviated as Cat or CAT, ranks above the domestic animal of the same name, as well as the insect, in a search on Google for the word “cat”?
How can a company that has been around for little more than a century outrank an insect and a feline that have been around for thousands of years? There’s always something else ranking higher than you on a Google search results page. That, my friends, is the awesome power of search engine optimization, or SEO.
So, What Is It?
As the full name of the abbreviation implies, SEO involves the optimization of online content to appeal to various guidelines, standards, rules, and preferences used for displaying search results to Internet surfers, searchers, and shoppers.
People use search engines, primarily Google, to find things on the Internet. If you want to be found, you either have to give your website address to each individual personally (which is impossible), or you need to optimize your content so the search engine will find your site worthy of being included in a result list.
Why Should I Care?
The goal is to have first-page ranking because studies show that many people don’t even look beyond the first page. Even more so, such as in the case of Caterpillar, you want to have the No. 1 rank, because 33 percent of search traffic goes to that coveted position.
Some things search engines like to find on websites when considering them for search placement include the following:
- Contextually relevant keywords and key phrases within the site copy that pertain to the search terms, including long-tail and geo-targeted keywords for niche and location-specific searches.
- Content that is original, valuable, and meaningful. Duplicate content can get penalized by search engines.
- Authority, content that’s back-linked on relevant expert sites, and a large quantity of social shares.
- Optimal site performance in terms of page load times, functioning links, bounce rate, and easy navigation
- Log into your control panel at my.ixwebhosting.com
There are also things search engines do not approve of, like keyword stuffing, duplicate or “thin” content with little substance or value to the visitor, back-links to questionable sites, and the use of coding tricks to superficially create visitor or search engine appeal. Some of these techniques are referred to as “black hat SEO” because they are unethical, improper, or frowned upon by search engines and marketing experts.
When you’re ready to take your online marketing to the next level and gain the exposure you need to achieve your marketing goals, start thinking about SEO. Ensuring that your site is properly optimized for search engines is an essential requirement, and there are plenty of tools to help you along the way.
For more information on web hosting that makes implementing your SEO processes easier than ever, check out our selection of affordable web hosting plans.
If you have ever done very much posting on the web, you have likely turned to images to help illustrate a point you were trying to make. When you pull that image from somewhere else on the Internet, do you ever consider who made it? Do you know if you have permission to post it on your website? This is an issue that many bloggers and website businesses in the U.S. and abroad face.
Countries all over the world are starting to crack down on copyright infringement, meaning users of images need to be more conscious about the permissions they have to use certain pictures. Should you as a web host offer stock images to customers so as to cut down on rampant infringement? There may be many benefits to doing so.
The Infringement Predicament
Nearly everything is just a click away thanks to the Internet. Information all over the world is available in just a few seconds. If you have the technological know-how, then taking information or images off of someone else’s page is also very simple. Many authors and creators attempt to mark their works in such a way that they cannot be used without identifying the original creator. Yet there are still people who take the work of others and tout it as their own. When this kind of use of someone else’s material falsely attributes work to another or infringes financially on the original creator, it is known as copyright infringement. While such infringement has always existed, it has become much easier to do thanks to Internet access.
More Countries Are Joining the Copyright Battle
Although the enforcement of copyright seems to be prevalent mostly in the United States, more and more countries all over the world are joining the copyright battle. Most countries have some sort of copyright law that protects a written piece of work for the life of the creator plus an additional 50 or more years after the creator’s death. Movies are usually copyrighted for 50 years following creation, and images may be copyrighted for at least 25 years after creation.
Your Role in Copyrighted vs. Fair Use Material
How does the use of copyrighted material affect you as a web host? It’s not like action is taken as soon as something that is copyrighted appears on a site that you are hosting. In most cases, there is only legal action if the original creator cites infringement. In this case, you and the client accused of copyright infringement would need to be notified and given a chance to take the material down. It’s often more of a nuisance than anything else, since many of your clients might not even realize they are breaking any copyright laws.
Fair use material, on the other hand, can be used on anyone’s website. In fact, there are businesses dedicated to providing customers with a wealth of stock images they can freely use—provided they subscribe to the service. With careful searching, there are also sites dedicated to providing copyright- and royalty-free images for anyone to use at no cost.
What Options Do You Have?
You have a few options when it comes to helping your customers avoid copyright infringement. You can notify your customers any time you find out they are using copyrighted material without permission. You can purchase smaller stocks of images and provide them to your clients with your hosting service. You can also create your own images and provide or sell them to your clients for use.
Purchasing Smaller Stock Sources
There are some companies that sell stock images at a specified price per image. If you want your customers to have a variety of images to use that are not tied up under copyright, you may be able to purchase a set of these images. There are many benefits to using stock images from another source.
- You don’t have to stress about creating them
- There are a variety of subjects and styles to choose from
- The images are already appropriately sized for use on a website (in most cases)
There may be specific rules and regulations regarding the use of certain stock images. You will want to make sure that you are allowed to share whatever stock sets you purchase or download with your customers. You also might not be able to charge your customers for certain sets after purchase. Although stock images may help you and your customers avoid copyright infringement, make certain you are using and providing them to your customers appropriately.
Starting Your Own Image Stock
If you really want to avoid the risk of copyright infringement altogether, you can create your very own image stock. This may or may not be difficult to do depending on your skills as an artist or photographer. Although it can take some time to build up your very own stock, creating your own set has many benefits, including that you know who created the image and you may be able to charge extra for using them. In fact, creating your own image stock can be a great way to collect a little cash on the side, especially if you make the images available for purchase by more than just your hosting customers.
Your Customers Aren’t the Only Ones Affected by Infringement
Although it might seem like a harmless act, copyright infringement is very serious. When someone uses another’s work without permission, it can affect the reputation and even the finances of the original creator. In essence, violating copyright is violating a part of someone else’s livelihood. As a web host, it is your duty to make sure your business is following the laws of your country, and that even images and work created in another country are used in compliance with that country’s copyright laws. When your customers break copyright laws, it affects you and the original creator of the work. If the fear of copyright infringement has you down, then you might consider offering stock images to customers in order to cut down on infringement. This lets you know where the images came from, and it can even earn you some extra income if you sell your own image stock. It also gives you a way to provide your customers with other options if you need to ask them to remove copyrighted images from their sites. You can help to cut down on the spread of copyright infringement. Take action today.
Top image ©GL Stock Images
The Internet in North Korea is down on Monday after intermittent outages throughout the weekend, according to several reports on Monday.
The post North Korean Internet Down Amid Sony Hack Accusations appeared first on Web Hosting Talk.
Everyone with a comprehensive website has experienced that nightmare moment when the server goes down on their website. If you operate an online business, having your website go down for even a few moments can completely ruin your sales, so it is important to make sure that you have a through plan of attack once you discover that you may be having website problems.
Check Your Internet Before Getting Started
This may sound obvious, but before getting into a major website reboot, check to make sure that it has actually gone down. If you were informed by a client that they were not able to reach your site, make sure to visit it yourself in order to confirm that it was not their home internet causing the problem. If you are experiencing the snag on your computer, try rebooting your system, refreshing the site, and even trying to view it on a completely different computer in order to confirm that it is not the internet in general causing you website problems. You can also try visiting a robust website or search engine, such as Google or Yahoo, to see if loading these sites causes you trouble as well. If they appear to be down in addition to your site, you are most likely experiencing a problem with your Internet, rather than your host.
Access Your Backup
Once you have confirmed that your Internet is definitely not the problem, you can proceed to begin accessing your backup. When selecting your host, hopefully you have confirmed that they utilize cPanel with full standard backups. For easy access, it is a good idea to always keep a recent copy of your cPanel backup on your desktop or in a remote server such as Amazon S3. That way, when you need to get your page up quickly, you are not stuck searching your system for your backup. When setting up your backups, make sure that the frequency is congruent with how frequently your data changes. If you update regularly, it is a good idea to ensure that your backups are running consistently so that you do not lose any information.
In this example, we will also be taking advantage of Cloudfare to get your website back up and running. When setting it up, make sure that it is set up directly through Cloudfare and not through the host’s cPanel. While many hosts utilize Cloudfare integration, this method to get your site back up and running takes advantage of the software independently.
Routing to the Backup
After you have gone through the preliminary steps to confirm your backup, here is how you can get your website back in minutes:
- If you do not have a secondary host, make sure to quickly purchase one. Two of the best options to get a fast response are SiteGround and WHGeeks.
- Restore your cPanel account by uploading the backup to your account. When you open a support ticket to request that your cPanel be restored to their server, make sure to express the urgency of your situation and confirm that your new host is able to get your website up quickly.
- As you are going through this process, do not alter your domain’s nameservers. Since you are taking advantage of Cloudfare, your nameservers should be pointing directly at it.
- Log into your Cloudfare account. In the DNS settings, change your IP address to that of your new server. When signing up with your new host, you should get an email with a temporary IP based URL that allows you to access your cPanel account. Use this IP address to update your server.
After you have re-routed your IP address to the new host, your website should be back up and running momentarily.
What to Do in the Future
Now that your website is fully functioning and ready to collect more views, there are a few things that you can do in order to make sure that your website is disaster-proof in the future.
- Create multiple back-ups of your website. In addition to using Cloudfare, you can also take advantage of extra back-ups on third party programs like NameCheap and Dropbox. This way, you can ensure that your site will always be up to date and can instantly access the latest backup.
- Have your backup host ready to go. In order to skip the process of finding and purchasing an additional host, having one at the ready with the IP address handy is a great way to get back up even faster.
- Conserve your emails. If your email is also connected to your web server, it is possible that they can potentially be lost in a hosting malfunction. To avoid this, sign up for Google Apps and set it up for business. This way, you will make sure that you won’t lose all of your email information and will be able to still send and receive mail while getting your site back online.
- Sign up with WPCurve. This third party system actively manages your WordPress sites and also handles other aspects of your website like plugins, site speed optimization, coding, and email form integration. If you have a WordPress site, make sure to take advantage of this handy tool.
- Clean up your website code. If you are noticing that it is very complicated and messy to get your website back up and running, look into potentially redesigning your site into a clean, easy to manage template.
- Become knowledgeable and backup savvy. In order to avoid panicking in the heat of the moment, gain control by becoming even more familiar with how your website works. Research further about how hosting, domains, and your FTP function and how each of them play a part in your website experience. Knowledge is power, especially when it comes to backups.
Having your website go down can instill panic into even the bravest of hearts. Make sure that you are continuing to back up your site regularly in order to prevent disaster down the road.
Most importantly, take a few deep breaths and stay calm as you are getting your site up and running. When your website goes down, feel confident and know that you are able to solve the problem yourself without relying on your original host server to go back up and fix itself.
Top image ©GL Stock Images