Monday, November 26, 2012

Happy Cyber-Monday

Online, small businesses are on a more equal footing with the big guys than in the brick and mortar world. Shoppers don't have to physically go to another place to view what the small business has to offer and it is often simpler to find a phone number, email address, and get a response back from a small business than it is from a large guy if there are questions or if your customer is searching for a very specific holiday gift request.

So on Cyber-Monday, even if you don't have an online store, you can bet that with the right keywords, people will be visiting your site, viewing your information, contacting you, and coming into your brick and mortar store to buy what they need for a perfect gift.      

Monday, November 19, 2012

Small Business Saturday

Don't forget to get out there for Small Business Saturday, this Saturday, November 24th. With so many of the big guys open on Thanksgiving Day, it is more important than ever that small business differentiate themselves from the rest with family values and a saner way to shop the holiday season.

Through websites, blogs and social media this is a great opportunity for small businesses across the nation to tout their superior services, unique offerings, and their support of local communities and people. Local, small businesses are the keepers of values that never go out of style.

And don't forget to support your own local small businesses through your purchases this holiday season.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Hosting that's Best for You

Where do you host your website? What are your options? When will you know that you need to upgrade?

Most websites are hosted with web hosting companies like A typical site is housed on a web server with many other sites. A web server is just an ordinary computer with special software and security set up. The cheaper hosting is cheap because the resources required (ie: gigabytes, bandwidth, software,etc.) are shared with many other sites.

Once your site requires more band width or storage space, dedicated web servers can be purchased. Some web hosting companies also require a dedicated server if you need to install an SSL certificate for additional security. A dedicated server isn't necessarily a server that is physically separate from another server, but may be partitioned separately virtually on the same computer hard drive. Because this requires separate software and software licences, hosting on a dedicated server can be quite expensive.

Another option is hosting on your own hardware. This requires a dedicated computer; not one that you or your staff would normally use. You'll need to make sure you have a good broadband connection and in most cases a dedicated IP address assigned by your internet provider. You'll also need to install the web software necessary and make sure the system is properly running at all times and backed up. The software should be updated when necessary. This option is best when you have IT staff with time on their hands.

Websites can provide marketing, sales, customer interactions, and customer service at reasonable costs. Keep in mind bandwidth needed, storage space for your site to expand, and security requirement as you shop for hosting.