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Is Your Website Trapped In The 1990s?

Whilst many things from the 90s may have made a comeback over the past few years (after all, that not-so-long-ago decade was actually childhood for nearly half of the population), web design does not fall into this category.

It can be quite entertaining to look back at some of the eye-burning websites that major brands started off with in the mid-90s, including huge names like Yahoo!, McDonald’s and even Google. But the problem is that some websites have never moved away from the design features that made 1990s websites so basic and ineffective in the first place.

Retro” is not an excuse for any of these design faux-pas, so make sure you don’t have any of them on your site if you expect to be taken seriously.

1) Welcome screens

Back in the first years of the internet, home users tended to stay within the safe confines of their internet provider’s homepage portal. Sites like AOL were the main hub and most people were too scared to venture away. Entering a strange web address to visit an external site was scary (and extremely slow).

Perhaps this explains why many 90s website designers chose to add simple welcome screens, which would load relatively quickly (in a matter of minutes, if you were lucky!) to let users know they had found what they were looking for. The only downside of these welcome screens being they’re ugly and horrible and unnecessary they make your users want to close their browser. It’s been 20 years. Please remove them.

2) Aggressive backgrounds

Web designers in the 1990s loved to play around and show off with any small detail they could customise. It wasn’t about making things easy, or even attractive. Everything was built on the excitement factor of surfing the web, balanced against the need to cram all your site’s files into a very small amount of web space.

The result was often the use of repeated images, like tiled backgrounds that stretched on forever, clashing mercilessly with any text content that was unlucky enough to be slapped on top of them. Backgrounds should actually be as simple as possible to draw attention to your content.

3) Choice of fonts

Font fashions have changed over the years. Back in the day, options were very limited and none were particularly classy. Now, there is no longer an excuse. Fonts should be chosen because they look professional and are easy to read. If your website mixes and matches many different, hard-to-read fonts, it doesn’t just look trapped in the 90s, it looks a mess.

4) Out-of-date SEO techniques

This is a major point that could be actively harming your business. Gone are the days when search engine optimisation was as simple as stuffing loads of keywords onto your website so Google knew it was there. Now, search engines are highly sophisticated and they learned how to recognise these techniques about a decade ago. If you don’t remove them and use more natural SEO, you could be penalised in the rankings.

5) Too many distractions

In essence, what a modern website needs to be is clean, simple and easy to understand. A few impressive visuals can be great, but never at the expense of navigation or common sense. 1990s websites were usually cluttered with badges, banners and anything that flashed, moved, sang or otherwise put on a show for the audience. If you still have any of these left, please axe them immediately. Welcome to the 21st century!

How Does The Internet Change In Just One Second?

As we all know, the sheer volume of tiny interactions going on at any time on the internet is just incredible and hard for anyone to get their head around. It’s amazing when you consider how many millions of people are taking action online at any given second. Here are just a few statistics about what happens during just one of those seconds.

  • Nearly 800 photos are uploaded to Instagram
  • Over 1,200 new posts are added on Tumblr
  • Almost 2,500 calls are made on Skype
  • Over 7,500 tweets are sent out
  • Total internet traffic exceeds 42,400 GB
  • Nearly 60,000 searches are made on Google
  • Over 68,000 videos are viewed on YouTube
  • Over 2.5 million emails are sent (two thirds are spam)

This is all pretty incredible, and difficult to visualise for most of us. A few more facts about internet usage in 2017 include the following…

Between 2010 and 2014, the number of internet users increased by 50%. Over 3.5 billion people in the world have access to the internet, and hundreds more are getting it every minute on average. This is now approximately half of the population of the planet, and soon we’ll surpass that point.

Around 600 websites are created every day. Since 1991 when the first website went live, it took 23 years to get to one billion in total. The figure now stands at approximately 1.15 billion. More than three quarters of these are simply parked domains waiting to be used.

Between 2007 and 2012 was the fastest period of growth for the internet. In that time, the number of Google searches and the number of websites both more than tripled.

In total during one single day, Google processes an average of one query per internet user. That’s three and a half billion every day, and 1.2 trillion searches in a full year.

You may be interested in:

https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2017/03/op-ed-the-internet-belongs-to-the-people-not-powerful-corporate-interests/Op-ed: The Internet belongs to the people, not powerful corporate interests | Ars Technica

 

 

Web Hosting Trends In 2017 & Beyond

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Since all websites need hosting to get online, and the number of websites on the internet is increasing by approximately 600 per day, it’s no surprise that one of the biggest and most competitive online industries is web hosting. In order to stay competitive, hosting companies are having to step up their research and development fast, getting on board with the latest trends as soon as they become profitable.

As a result, we’re seeing better and better services being launched all the time. It can be confusing for customers who simply want reliable and straightforward hosting, but ultimately the competition and fast pace of this niche means that services are getting better and prices are being driven down. Here are just a few examples of emerging trends that we think are going to be huge over the next 12 months.

Growth of free web hosting

A massive portion of the market is for free web hosting. Many website simply don’t have huge requirements and the marginal costs for hosting providers of hosting these websites is negligible. As pressure is on prices to go down, it’s no surprise that many firms offer completely free hosting services. These aren’t necessarily completely basic offerings, either, as many of them include a range of benefits, free website builders, technical support and more.

Hooking customers in with the offer of a free hosting service is a great way for companies to get in contact with customers, provide good value and start learning about any up-sells they might be interested in. It’s a long term business model that relies on saving customers money in the short term so they are willing and able to pay for upgrades later. As such, it’s worth attracting clients with the best free offering, and we can expect these services to keep improving throughout 2017.

Seamless digital experiences

What exactly does that mean? In essence, people are getting more savvy about using multiple channels to communicate with each other. That includes businesses like web hosts, so it’s more important than ever to stay active and consistent across different social media and other communication channels. Customers expect to be able to get in touch with the right person to help them, on the platform of their choice, at the touch of a button.

If you’re able to deliver this service, you can build up a relationship with that customer more easily in a subtle way. A never-ending series of digital interactions will increasingly shape overall customer experiences.

SEO matters more than ever

Being found on search engines is increasingly essential for all successful websites, given that so many people rely almost completely on their smartphones to access information over the internet as and when they need it. There is a decreased emphasis in society on actually knowing and retaining information, because it’s so easily accessible, and technology is only increasing this effect.

Until we reach the point that humans really do become mindless drones and the world around us reaches true science fiction status, competing and succeeding in this context is still important for online businesses. Web hosting providers will be taking this seriously if they want to do well, making it easier than ever for their customers to take their websites to the next level and easily implement search engine optimisation strategies in order to help them reach a wider audience.

Individual apps are being killed off

There was once a time when mobile applications were suddenly the next frontier, and businesses with the budget to do so were clamouring to be featured on app stores in an effort to reach more customers. Now, as smartphones have infiltrated our daily lives over the course of a decade, it has become clear that the majority of people spend most of their time interacting with online a few core apps. They use their internet browsers and a handful of social media apps to facilitate all their engagement with most brands.

The result of this is that having dedicated apps becomes a waste of time and money for businesses who do not rely on app functions with their primary service delivery method. Therefore, increased emphasis is transferred to the existing mobile internet presence of the brand, which is led by a website in almost all cases. Web hosting providers will be increasingly supporting businesses as they adopt this approach, as well as providing those customers with newer and easier ways to interact with their own audience.

3 Ways of Taking Server Backups

backups

Backups are necessary to keep your data safe from any hackers, power related problems, mechanical problems or any disasters. We upload lots of data on our server these days. If these are lost, then we will be in serious trouble. So, it’s mandatory to take regular backups. Here are the three ways you can take backups of your data.

1. Full Backups

This way you can store a copy of all your files, and it occurs automatically. You need to preset a schedule, and the backup will take place automatically. The files are compressed so that they don’t take much space. Full backups can take up a lot of network bandwidth. However, restoration is easy in case of full backup.

2. Incremental Backups

This kind of backup will save your disk space as they only backup files that have been created or altered since the last backup. So, the volume of data that is backed up is smaller. This type of backup uses less network bandwidth. This type of backup, however, increases computing overhead as each source file must be compared with the last full backup to find out whether data has been altered or not. Restoration of files can be difficult as it is difficult to locate a specific file to restore.

3. Virtual Full Backups

This type of backup uses a database to manage and track the data that is backed up. A full backup is only taken once. It synchronizes backup data to the database at a regular interval. This type of backup is done automatically with the help of backup software. The user gets the same experience as a full backup.

All these backup solutions have their advantages and disadvantages. You should choose one that best suits your requirements. If you choose an external free web hosting provider, then it’s the responsibility of the hosting provider to take the backups. So, you won’t have to worry about server backup.

5 Benefits of Cloud Hosting Solutions

cloud-hosting

Cloud servers are virtual servers that run on cloud computing environment. You can call every cloud server a virtual dedicated server. The cloud servers run as software independent units. So, it doesn’t have to depend on the centrally installed software. Here are the major benefits of cloud hosting solutions.

  • You can easily modify the server software whenever you want to. With other hosting solutions like private virtual servers, it is not possible. With a cloud server, you can even modify the operating system kernel.
  • As a software problem is isolated from your environment, cloud servers are much secured. Other cloud servers cannot harm you. It the others overall their cloud servers, it won’t have any influence on your server. The resources of cloud servers are dedicated.
  • It has the best stability/cost ratio performance. They don’t suffer from any server hardware problems.These servers are fat, secure and stable.
  • Cloud servers are economically efficient than the traditional dedicated servers. You can get more resources for the same price.
  • It has great scalability feature. You can easily upgrade your server. The business needs change often due to the increased number of customers and other factors. With a cloud server, you can easily upgrade to a better package if you need to.

These are the reasons why cloud servers are becoming increasingly popular. You get more resources for an affordable price. So, you can think of switching to cloud hosting solutions and enjoy all the wonderful features it has to offer.

Infographic by The SBA
Infographic by The SBA

5 Features to Look for When Choosing a Web Hosting Company

company

It is very expensive for businesses to have their servers. Various costs are involved, like the setup, IT support, etc. So, many companies use a hosting provider. This is a much affordable and hassle-free option. When selecting a web hosting company, you should consider the following features.

Backup Services

Hard disk failure and viruses can cause the websites to lose their valuable data. So, it is very important to have backups. You should choose a hosting company that provides regular backups. Some providers keep backups every 24 hours. An option must be given so that you can download your copies if you need to.

Customer Service

The web hosting provider you choose must give excellent customer service. You can face problem while browsing any time of the day. So, you should look for a provider that offers 24/7customer service.

Scope for Scalability

There should be enough room for scalability. If your business grows, you will get more visitors to your site. So, you should upgrade your plan to meet your changing requirements. The hosting provider you choose must provide you such options.

Guaranteed Uptime

Downtime is a common problem for many hosting providers. Downtime occurs due to equipment failure or power outages. The hosting company you choose must have generators so that you can get uninterrupted service. Good hosts provide 99.999% uptime.

Reputation

A hosting company with a good reputation has less downtime and an excellent customer service department. You can read various online forums before deciding which web service provider to choose.

You should consider all these features before deciding on a hosting service provider. A good hosting company can give you excellent service at an affordable price.