Thursday, March 31, 2011

New site

Guys,

The WRL is now at its new digs. The URL you'll need is http://webmasterlibrary.gridlines.net/ .

RSS is set up over there, so you should be able to change your feed without much trouble.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

How to Promote Affiliate Marketing on Facebook Correctly

by Adrienne Smith

Facebook (FB) is a very popular site these days and seems to be growing in numbers each and every month. People are now promoting their affiliate products there because they have been hearing how successful everyone else has been. In this article I will share with you how to promote affiliate marketing on Facebook correctly.

Facebook is moving up the ranks and is predicted to outperform Google in the very near future. When people are searching for things they are interested in or want to locate, they can do it just as well in FB as they can on Google. The difference is that they will locate information based on what their friends and other people may think of the products or services instead of just locating information on specific topics.

It's become so popular that Facebook started charging for ads similar to what Google does with pay-per-click. That really is the best way to get in front of the people you want to see your information.

The way their ads are set up is you can have only the people see your ads that are in a particular location, age, background or even race. If you know who your target audience is, you can promote your products just to them and only them. FB allows you to really narrow down your search field way more than Google ever did.

You also have the people who share things with their friends on their walls and through email messages. There is a right way to do this and a wrong way and so many people do this the wrong way.

FB is a social networking site so people forget that the reason most are even on this site is to chat with friends, maybe locate old friends, keep in touch with family or meet new people. It's a great way to network and learn more about what people are interested in, what they enjoy doing and if they are interested in creating extra income.

But you need to find these things out about your new friends first before promoting anything to them. Let's say for instance you are interested in affiliate marketing so you are meeting new people who are also interested in learning. After you have taken the time to find out where they are with their particular journey, then and only then should you introduce them to whatever product you may have to offer.

You don't want people thinking that the only reason you are on FB is to promote products. Sure, that might be the only reason you are there but this is also an area where you need to build relationships. If you have learned anything about the online industry up to this point you will know that if you aren't connecting with people and caring what they are doing, it will be difficult for you to have success.

Building a list and promoting to that list over and over again is your ultimate goal. The people who join your list will remain there because they know, like and trust you. If you haven't started building that type of relationship with them yet, you will soon learn that this is an area you will definitely need to concentrate on.

I hope this information was helpful with understanding how to promote affiliate marketing on Facebook correctly. Whatever you do, don't spam your friends. Don't plaster your ads all over their walls or send them tons of links through emails. Build a relationship with them that will last and you will start seeing success from using Facebook.

About the Author

Discover what it takes to really build a successful affiliate marketing business. Grab my proven step-by-step marketing system for free.

Be sure to visit my blog and read more about my journey as I started my affiliate marketing business from scratch. Just visit www.newsuperaffiliateblog.com.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Blog vacation

Guys,

The WRL will be on vacation from April 11 - April 23, 2011.

Article posting will resume on Monday, April 25.

Also, the WRL will be moving to it's own domain in the very near future. Look for a link to the new blog space here in the next day or so. The blog will hopefully move in time for the first April article posting (this Friday).

Off Season Services Make Your CPA Site Pay Off

by Brian O'Connell

I know, it's tax time and your task manager is looking kinda full. You aren't really worrying about accounting website design at the moment. I know you need to find time to do other stuff (like sleep, eat, and use the rest room), but have you ever thought about how much quicker and more effortlessly your company might grow if you could disseminate your work load out over more than just tax time?

The real key to building a CPA firm is getting clients to utilize your off-season services.

This brings us back to your website. There's a number of ways your website can help you sell services beyond tax preparation, but there are three features in particular that can help.

As is often the case the biggest problems are the most obvious, so let's start there. When it comes to selling off-season services the most basic the most obvious feature on the site is all to often designed to appeal to the site owner rather than convert a prospect.

I'm sure you already have at least an "Our Services" page, or better yet; a whole section where each service has it's own page. Personally I prefer you give each service it's own page, but using a single page is OK as long as you are using bookmark links to make it easy for visitors to find what they're looking for. This is nothing new. This feature is pretty much standard even on bad site designs. Unfortunately just having a page isn't good enough. The content on the page has to be good, too. It's less important to explain the service than it is to illustrate the benefits of the service. Long drawn out descriptions will bore the visitor, and if you make them too technical you could even make them feel stupid. All the visitor really cares about is how that service can benefit them, so concentrate on that. Put a contact form on each service page so night owls and users who might be too shy to call have an alternate means to contact you immediately.

Another great tool for cross selling off season accounting services is your online newsletter. Again, almost every accounting website design already has this feature, but there is another fundamental mistake that most accounting and CPA websites make. You don't want to spend too much time on taxes. It's understandable why most newsletters make this mistake: there's a lot of tax news year-round and it's fairly easy to use this information to "fill" a newsletter. Make sure each newsletter has one or two strong articles about your off-season services. Write it using the same marketing style you used on your service pages. Make benefits to the client the focus of each article. You don't need, or even want, to tell them everything. Just explain the benefit and position yourself as the expert to turn to in order to implement the strategy.

The least obvious cross-season marketing instrument on your website may not be as obvious, but it's often more effective. Your website design should include a "free reports" section. You want this to be a large section, and you want to write these articles using the same marketing principles we've already talked about. While these pages won't generate quite as much traffic as your service pages or newsletter, but the leads they generate will be white hot! Not only are people on these pages displaying a huge amount of initiative simply by looking over this information they very likely already use your services to some degree or another, so the accounting professional they turn to will almost certainly be you!

Make sure this section is neatly organized into categories that allow visitors to pursue their interests without having to muddle through a bunch of information that doesn't apply to them. Categories should include topics like "Business Owners", "Individuals", "Life Events", and "Investments". Add a "send this article to a friend" link to every report. You never know when a visitor will discover a report that applies to one of their friends or relatives, and this can become a very robust referral.

The content on an accounting website is every bit as imperative as your design. Take a close look at your website. It's a simple enough affair to examine your content and copy and make sure the separate pages live up to the comprehensive design.

About the Author

Brian O'Connell is the owner and founder of CPA Site Solutions, one of the nation's leading website companies oriented entirely to accounting website design.

Friday, March 25, 2011

4 Questions That Your Ecommerce Website Design Need To Answer

by Clara Ghomes

An ecommerce website is the gateway of your business to the wide world of inline trade. If you make sure that your business place is in top condition and equipped with the latest gadgets and amenities, the same care should be afforded your online presence.

The way that your ecommerce website design is done needs to meet some strict criteria if you want it to be your strong point in taking in clients and sales.

Is your ecommerce website accessible 24/7?

Business never sleeps, most especially online. Millions of potential clients are always available, and transactions are always in demand.

To make the most of the power of the internet to funnel clients right your computer screen, your ecommerce website must offer a reliable entry point. Downtimes are the death song of any online business, one that a clever businessman needs to avoid at all cost.

Start up online businesses is more in need of good ecommerce website design to help strengthen their presence.

Are you getting the lowest cost overhead in your website operation?

Money and monthly payments are important part in running an online business. Establishing your brand online will need investments for bandwidth, storage, maintenance, and future expansion.

Proper planning can make an ecommerce website self sustaining after a short while, financing its operation from its own income.

Your ecommerce website should be designed to make money and not to suffer financial losses. Some sites take a long time to recoup their investments, but a good site will ultimately return a profit after sometimes.

Ease of Use

Your website design should be targeted to the most number of users. You can only gain more followers and attract more customers if they will know how to do business with you through the site - the easier the interface to use the better for the customers.

Remember that not every internet user has a degree in computer science, so it is important to make sure that the design is easy to follow.

Clear instructions are important feature of a user friendly site, one that will relieve you of a lot of future headaches that may result from client complaints.

The user friendliness of an online business is an important consideration that customers look into. Doing business in a way that makes the user confident of what to do in every transaction is a sure way to attract loyal client base.

Complete Features

A good website design should incorporate features that are needed to help secure online transactions such as selling and buying.

Every aspect of these transactions should be held with the best security measures in place to earn the confidence of your customers.

Important features that aid the user experience when transacting with your ecommerce site will help build trust between your and the clients.

An online business can rise and fall with your Ecommerce Website Design. Consequently, the financial performance of your business will be affected by how your website offers services to the clients.

About the Author

Looking for the best Ecommerce Website Design? Visit onlinewebconsultants.com to learn more about the best ecommerce website designers. The site features a lot of information to help you build the best ecommerce site.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Article Marketing Strategies, Explained and Uncut

by Avner BEN

Here is where you are standing. You researched and selected a niche market to promote, started building your blog or website and you are thinking, "Wow, there are a lot of sites out there on the Internet to compete with" and you ask yourself, "What can I do to draw attention to my business, what do I need to do next?" Most of us that have taken the leap to build an online business have faced this dilemma on the road to becoming successful Internet/Affiliate Marketers. One thing is clear, if you want to succeed in growing your online business from its infancy to prosperity, the way that most of us do, on a small to none existent budget is by learning how to plan and apply effective Article Marketing Strategies to drive thousands of visitors to our blogs and websites. This article focuses on and explains some key methods that you can use to market your online business.

Writing Articles

The key to a good article marketing strategy is to write informative, compelling and useful content. There are many good reasons to ensure that your articles are well written. If you concentrate on writing high quality articles, the greater the likelihood that many readers will read them and become loyal readers for other articles that you write and publish. Articles can become viral and therefore there's no telling how many people will eventually see your articles. Write them well. My articles are normally anywhere between four and seven hundred words in length. The key to using this strategy to get attention for your online business is to write well and write often. The more articles that you can write related to your business the better. The next step is to submit your articles to online Article Directories.

Submitting to Article Directories

There are many online article directories to which you can submit your articles. Concentrate, initially, on submitting your articles to the better directories. They are better because articles submitted to them rank higher on Google, Yahoo and Bing. Usually, I start my strategy by submitting to Ezine articles, Go Articles, Article Base and a few other top notch directories. Secondarily, you should also submit your articles to other article directories. The more places your articles are found on the Internet, the better it is for you. Different sites will allow you to submit articles that you have authored, on their sites fairly easily. In fact, you can submit the same article to many directories if you rewrite them to obtain 30-50% uniqueness. Be careful to follow all submission guidelines of each respective directory or your articles may get held up in a queue or rejected. The next step is to apply.

Applying Your Strategies

The 3 methods I use to apply it for maximum impact are:

* Direct Article Marketing to my sites
* Article Marketing to drive traffic to my sites
* Article Marketing to get backlinks to my sites

These few points that I have explained in this article are the foundation for planning, building and applying an effective article marketing strategy; which if, pursued diligently should draw the attention to your online business and the success that we all aspire to achieve.

About the Author

Avner BEN is a Senior Technical Communicator, Information Architect and Internet Affiliate/Marketer. If you want to know more about planning, writing and implementing effective Article Marketing Strategies, visit my web site at http://makemoneymarketingnow.com/article-marketing-the-cornerstone-internet-marketing-success.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Quality Website Guidelines, Developed With Google's Webmater Tools

by Tucker Stoffers

Design and Layout

Navigation - Every website has a different way of guiding their users. Make sure your website's navigation is easy, clear and concise. Here are a few tips:

• Link it up! Make sure every main and essential page has a minimum of one available link on each page.
• When all else fails, have a Site Map. Search engines need a site map to quickly discover the vast detailed world contained within your site (and not miss anything!).
• Do not over link any one page.

Content - Your content is one of the most important factors in it's importance in the eyes of the search engines as well as what actually happens on your site. Your content is what determines you conversion rate and how many visitors you are getting... not much that could be more important so try to remember:

• Have Purpose, the more useful your site is the more people will use and share it. Create quality content and tools that will help the people that find it.
• Determine relevant keywords for your site, and more importantly use them. Utilizing your keywords naturally through the site is the first step in the direction of having an optimized site.
• Use text instead of images to display important information. Search engines can not see images and as such have to rely on "ALT" tags to determine the images objective. As such the "ALT" tag doesn't have as much prominence as text. When you do use images for make sure to include "ALT" tags to ensure maximum optimization.
• Use your keywords in your links. When you are placing links throughout your site make sure the anchor text is relevant to the page it is pointing to.
• Make sure that your elements and ALT attributes are descriptive and and keyword rich.

Technicality

Userability - This may not be a word, but it should. The look and feel, the content, and even the prices and quality of your products and services are all useless if your visitors cannot view the site correctly or if the site takes too long to load (the internet makes for some very short attention spans). The following is some great advice to keep in mind:

• Use a text browser to review your site. Most search engine spiders see your site in a similar fashion to a text browser. Helpful little features like JavaScript, cookies, or Flash keep your site from being functional in a text browser, odds are the crawlers will have trouble too.
• Test your site using multiple operating systems and browsers. Google Chrome, Firefox, IE, Safari, and Opera should give you a full sampling on the browser side.
• Make sure your server supports the If-Modified-Since HTTP header. This allows your server to update the search engines on your content changes. Supporting this feature saves you bandwidth and overhead, some people call that a no brainer.
• Keep an eye your site's performance and load times. Every search engines goal is to provide users with the most relevant results and a great user experience. If your site's goals don't match yours your impressions may go down. Tools like Mozilla's Fast in co-operation with Google Webmasters can help your optimization and tracking efforts.

Quality Assurance

The Basics - Every website and business online would benefit from adhering to following basics. Much of these are a given, but with businesses struggling to achieve profit the illegitimate or "Black Hat" practices can seem enticing. Learn from the experience of others... they are not worth it! Google recommends asking yourself "Does this help my users?" and "Would I do this if search engines didn't exist?" when considering determining if the technique is black hat or not.

• Keep the user in mind when creating your pages, not the search engines. Deceiving your users or or the search engines by presenting different content to each is a term commonly referred to as "cloaking." Cloaking is one the oldest and most frowned upon black hat techniques.
• Avoid linking to sites known to be using black hat techniques, or your own ranking may be negatively affected.
• Don't use unauthorized marketing programs to submit pages, check rankings, etc. Such programs violate Google's Terms of Service.

Specific Guidelines - As much as Google loves to be shrouded in a cloak of mystery, they have made a few things cut and dry. Google is big on quality content, quality marketing techniques, and honest business practices. It will always be in your interest to follow these directives.

• Avoid hidden text or hidden links.
• Don't use cloaking or sneaky redirects.
• Don't send automated queries to Google.
• Don't load pages with irrelevant keywords.
• Don't create multiple pages, subdomains, or domains with substantially duplicate content.
• Don't create pages with malicious behavior, such as phishing or installing viruses, trojans, or other badware.
• Avoid "doorway" pages created just for search engines, or other "cookie cutter" approaches such as affiliate programs with little or no original content.

About the Author

Tucker Stoffers CEO this

We are here to cater to the small business and their SEO Needs

We have the search engine marketing experience to help your business reach it's potential.

Friday, March 18, 2011

How Cloud Hosting Functions And Runs Web Hosting

by Dirik Hameed

Many have seen those commercials from Windows that proclaim, when problems arise, "to the cloud!" and are probably wondering what exactly a cloud is and how for example a VMWare host works. Cloud computing is a solution that, as an online business, you should be researching in depth and considering making the transition to this an the solution to your networking and server needs. Due to the capabilities that this options allows for, many see cloud hosting as the wave of the future of networking.

The cloud, in its basic form, allows for the pooling of resources from a large number of different computers in a way that lets you allocate them to processes and applications that need them most, using a virtual environment. When it comes to the home user, this means that the resources from all the computers available in the home will be pooled together for the virtual sharing of resources. When it comes to businesses, most don't have the resources at their disposal, from their combined resources, to run the daily processes and networking functions required of their business. For a business, this doesn't mean that you are out of luck if you wish to have a cloud network.

Cloud hosts are network server hosting companies that specialize in cloud networking. You purchase your resources, functionalities, and customization through a company, just as you would with a dedicated server, and they provide you with all the resources that are necessary to meet all the needs of your business. This solutions comes without all the issues and hassles of hardware and server maintenance. You pay for your services monthly with cloud hosting, just as you would with any other networking solution. But rather than managing your network via a physical server, it is managed in a virtual environment. Many have found that working within a simplified virtual environment has a lot of benefits for their business and is even easier to use.

Choosing a cloud host for your networking needs in no way limits your options. Versus the dedicated server, they compare favorably on every count. This networking solution can be completely customized the exact needs of your business, just as you can with a physical dedicated server. You get all the speed and reliability you need for data transfers with cloud hosting solutions. With virtual private network technology, cloud servers are now as secure as dedicated servers, and offer the same level of advanced functionalities that physical servers do. Technology, as it always does, continues to advance, meaning soon these options will surpass the capabilities of the vaunted dedicated server.

What makes these options most attractive is, perhaps, the fact that these are less frustrating and less expensive alternatives to the physical dedicated server. Due to the virtual nature of these servers, hardware is at a minimum, and maintenance can be done remotely. Clients have these savings passed on to them as the inputs required are so much more minimal. Any bit of savings helps, big time, during these trying economic times, as we are all well aware.

Look into your options for cloud hosting today to see how it could benefit our business and help you save a bit of money as well.

About the Author

For a first rate VMWare host package check out Virtual Internet. Virtual Internet are a leading cloud computing host.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

The Place of Video in Internet Marketing

by Mrmarketology11

The Place of Video in Internet Marketing
The question that keeps surfacing recently is the place of video within the overall marketing mix. I think there is no question that video and audio are becoming more and more powerful tools in the marketing mix. I have talked about the "un-ad" in previous articles which in large part addresses this issue.

With the preponderance of advertising we are all tired of being held hostage to TV ads, radio promotions and the like. However, for those who have embraced the internet we have learned the value of being able to control content. For this reason, video and audio files can be a powerful part of your marketing mix.

The primary way to promote your message in a customer friendly way is through the use of video. Short videos and audios provide bite size snippets of information that visitors can digest in their own time, on their own schedule and according to their interests. This means the control for deciding what content they will view or listen to is entirely in their hands.

Properly edited video that includes exciting content and special effects such as animated graphics provides a unique experience and gets a customer interested. Video is allows you to keep your business profiled 24/7. It allows 24 hour accessibility and good video provides a level of interaction that pulls your visitors in and makes them feel a part of the action.

For the business owner, videos are very affordable and save companies a lot of money when compared to traditional TV or radio advertising. The ability of videos to be shared through social media and optimized with SEO tagging offer unparalleled access to target markets.

As an example of the importance of video as part of a strong marketing mix note that there are more YouTube videos watched every month in the U.S. (10 Billion), than there are searches on Google. It's obvious businesses can no longer afford to ignore the power of video. In fact, the role of video should constitute a significant portion of your marketing efforts.

How should you use video? How to videos that explain how your products or services work are a great way to integrate videos into your site. Videos are also good for testimonials and as "tours" of your business. We all understand that familiarity and confidence in a company are crucial to building rapport and trust with potential customers. Videos can help visitors understand who you are, what you do and how you do it. Videos give a face and a voice to your brand. They can be a very effective tool in building rapport and trust. Videos that demonstrate a value your company holds can also be very effective in promoting a specific aspect of your business or to address a key value you believe your customers are concerned about.

If you do not provide videos on your site now is the time to get on board. There are many companies that specialize in producing videos. They can provide voicing, staging and scripting or work with your own people to produce a broad variety of short videos geared to promote your business and provide interaction with your target market.

About the Author

This marketing article is provided by Marketing Consultant, Mr. Marketology, of the Internet Marketing

Monday, March 14, 2011

Affiliate Marketing and you – What You will have to Keep in Mind

by Affiliate Resource

Certainly, there is little doubt that online affiliate marketing has become the most financially rewarding and fastest expanding options available for generating revenue on-line. Having said that annually thousands of individuals embark on the road to immediate Internet success and fall short miserably. The reasons for failure are many, lack of skill, not enough resources, an substandard strategy, insufficient instruction and also giving up are amongst the top vision killers in this particular profession.

This article will attempt to offer several recommendations for the ambitious beginner beginning their own on-line project, to help get a fundamental understanding of the tools one needs, the mind-set one has to have, and a minimum of a direction to move in.

Choose something:

There are a variety of activities geared at creating wealth on-line. Affiliate marketing, article marketing, marketing using PPC or (pay per click) or ad-words, niche internet marketing, blanket, targeted, email and also marketing marketing! As you commence your job in on-line internet marketing there is a huge selection of promising routes one can choose. Deciding which opportunity matches the individual's disposition best is is going to be the first and most important decision the beginner will need to make.

Do you like variety? Then perhaps affiliate marketing could be the path you ought to select. Affiliate marketing is just advertising and marketing another party's product or service, and trying to create the most effective way to turn people on to what is being offered. Possibly you are really a hands off individual, one that wants to set it and forget it, in that case then one should think about an ad-words type of strategy. An ad-words campaign can be produced by discovering a service or product, setting up a web page centered on that then driving visitors to it with the intent of making sales or affiliates, or even better, both!

Get on the web.

It stands to reason that if one is going to attempt to make a living on-line, one has to have developed a presence on-line. There are a number of considerations here. You actually will have to have somewhere to put your website. This is the job associated with the web hosting provider. There are several different types of web hosting services to choose from; free web hosting, shared (virtual) hosting, dedicated hosting and even collocated hosting. There are typically numerous pros and cons to each. Free website hosting is of course free but is not really the way to establish one self as being a professional. Shared site hosting is a viable choice for the new online marketer, it is very affordable, and provides practical supporting resources. Shared hosting stands out as the minimum that an internet business really needs in order to develop a professional presence on the internet. Dedicated web hosting is the next step up, it offers much more in server space and traffic allocation however it's expense reflects this fact. Lastly you can find Collocated Internet hosting, the highest priced choice and truly unnecessary until one's company is literally at the enterprise stage.

Learn the business:

It's a well known fact that anything we do needs to be learned. Even though you will find the rare natural born talent for any field, most people will likely need to study and seek an education from some professional within the industry we are considering. There are numerous experts in affiliate marketing, individuals that definitely have produced crazy amounts of money on the web putting to use fairly basic techniques. Your actual assignment being a new affiliate marketer is research! Analyze all of them, the well known, the prosperous, the failures, every shred of information you can find relating to this industry, the better off you'll be over the long haul. When you've had the opportunity to review a number of the available professionals pick one that you really feel a logical and intuitive connection with and employ their procedures. All to often new internet marketers might jump from one school of thought to another without actually giving any one method the opportunity to mature.

Learn to write and write well:

Among the key aspects of online marketing is having the capacity to write, the more effectively a person writes, the better one will be perceived by prospective customers and also peers. Of course there are ways around this particular necessity, you may hire a 3rd party to come up with articles, there's a couple of useful suppliers that fill this specific function quite well. Yet another affective strategy is to get well crafted article content with regards to your selected subject matter and employ computer software to 'spin' the copy so that it is essentially different than the original. While there are plenty of strategies one could utilize to obtain subject matter for their needs, learning how to generate content articles for by yourself will pay for off in perceived expertise along with pleasure in one's work. You should not be afraid of alternative content material creation tactics, especially in the early on phases of your professional career. There is a saying in on-line advertising and marketing; content is king, with that in mind the more effective the king, the bigger and healthier the kingdom. Take time and energy to study the craft of article writing.

Be fearless:

A very important idea to bear in mind is that you simply will certainly make errors, potentially huge errors at the start. One can not allow this likelihood to dissuade them from your task at hand, building the business. Embrace each and every problem as a lesson, every hard bump as an possibility to progress. Certainly, there is sometimes a tendency for the newbie to second guess themselves to the point of paralysis. Examine your final decision, adhere to the method, breathe deeply, pull the trigger. Many times it is going to turn out good, sometimes it doesn't. "That which does not kill us makes us stronger."--Nietzsche

Treat this situation like a legitimate business.

It is a legitimate business, and as such it will take work and lots of it. Presently there are plenty of self proclaimed gurus who will be thrilled to take your hard earned cash and explain how Online promotion is not actually work, that earnings is going to drop like manna from heaven, sorry to say, it's not actually so. Now there are definitely are a ton of sales being made with on-line small businesses but they aren't likely to fall at your feet. You have got to work at the very least several hours a week to build the business, also it may take several months before a income is realized.

You shouldn't surrender:

Typically the failing rate pertaining to on-line businesses draws near 98%, it has been a long kept feeling that practically all you to do was create a web site and tens of thousands of potential customers would be lined up around the world throwing revenue at you as you sat comfortably on a pristine sand shore watching your Paypal or Clickbank account explode; not quite. The best thing is that you can go a long way to improve those chances through one simple little idea, not giving up. One more regrettable temptation for the beginner, when not having realized $10k within their first weeks is generally to decry the project they've chosen to move forward with proclaiming; It's all a gimmick, I knew this wouldn't work! This all occurring in week three of their undertaking.

Well, don't simply just sit there:

If you are considering a profession in on-line marketing and advertising perform your due diligence and prepare. Locate a highly regarded teacher and strategy and adhere to their advice. After you learn the guidelines only then can you start expanding and testing and bending the rules.
Find a product in which you're interested, one which appeals to you on a variety of levels. Examine it's viability; who else is doing the idea and how many competitors are there? Is the concept of the program something folks are actively taking a look at as an opportunity?

Identify a reasonably priced web hosting account, a shared hosting account is all you'll need for now. Search for a provider which offers limitless data transfer as well as server space as well as unlimited domain hosting. Take a look at their standing in the community, take a look at what individuals have to say about them. Not all web hosting accounts are created equally, analyze and try to get the most effective value for your money.

Conduct some researching regarding article writing, how to do it correctly, what methods to utilize, but most importantly, begin writing. In the beginning make an effort to get one strong properly put together short article committed to it's final stage weekly, with time and with practice as your skill level improves you could be turning out articles once or twice every day should you so choose. Quality of material is better than quantity, aspire to do both well.

Do not allow minor set backs and even initial problems to condemn you to inaction. Henry Ford once said; "Whether you think that you can, or that you can't, you are usually right." Take the sporadic flub as a development experience, learn from it and deal with it.

Undertake this chance seriously, this is a actual business and needs to be treated and nurtured just like a more traditional business. Plan on investing real time and effort on the internet marketing business, and be aware that just about anything truly worth obtaining will be worth working for, and nothing substantive will come simple and easy. Simply following these fundamental and straightforward points can provide the aspiring new entrepreneur powerful base to acquiring their goals.

About the Author

Want to read additional information on the best strategies on-line?.Be sure to visit our site concerning the finest websites to start your own career get your own profitable website, all you need to make money.

Friday, March 11, 2011

SEO Tips: How to Write Content that Converts to Sales

by Russell Barnstein

Writing content that results in conversions requires a direct approach that wastes little time getting to the point. You have only seconds to capture the attention of your reader. In your first few sentences, you must establish the value of your content; it should be entertaining, informative, insightful, and/or allow a reader to solve a problem, find a product, or engage services. If you don't make this instant connection with your reader, you'll lose them before the end of the first paragraph.

Once you've used the direct approach to capture your reader's attention, it's crucial to keep them engaged by offering real value in every word. Any web content that you create must be impactful at all times; there can be no "fluff," no wordiness- in short, no boredom. A great deal of content on the web today is nauseatingly riddled with useless, boring information or incomprehensible sentence strings thrown together to con the search engines. While this ploy might work with the bots for a time, it won't work with flesh and blood human beings. Bad content destroys readership and your reputation with it.

As you can see, the first two steps are really the same: get a hook in your reader in the opening sentence, and then keep them hooked until they convert. This requires powerful words that deliver a compelling message. Words that convey profound meaning and a sense of urgency are critical to persuade readers who are wary of the web's deluge of garbage content. Every sentence you construct must guide the reader to the inevitable conclusion that they should convert by buying your product, signing up for your newsletter, joining a club, filling out a survey, or whatever else you'd like them to do.

Writing content that converts for sales materials, SMM, SEM, or SEO purposes, or for general web content doesn't have to be done by a professional writer. Anyone can do it. Short, simple and monosyllabic words that say exactly what you mean must be employed. Don't try to talk over your reader's head in a show of intelligence, and don't dumb your writing down because a demographics report told you that your target market has a 9th grade education. Be yourself, and be honest. Today, the internet has become so fully integrated into people's lives that we are actually becoming increasingly more adept at interpreting personalities, recognizing fakery, and sensing ulterior motives hidden in web content.

Regardless of what type of content you are crafting, you must ask for the sale repeatedly. Embedded in your writing should be multiple calls to action. If your content is effective and accurate, many of your readers will be compelled to convert before they're done reading the content. Allow them a visible means to do so with an anchor link in the text at a critical point. A call to action is the same as asking for the sale, so be certain to provide plenty of easy options for your reader to convert the moment they're ready.

Finally, your content should end with the same sense of urgency that it began with. The last paragraph should read more like the beginning of the next step, which is for your audience to convert immediately after reading. Don't forget, you're not saying goodbye at the end of your written content- you're attempting to say hello to a new customer. Act like it.

About the Author

Need more tips for writing SEO content that sells?

Want expert SEO services from the same author who wrote this article? Contact Russell Barnstein at Content for Conversions today and start seeing results sooner than you might think.

Content for Conversions provides professional SEO web content that sells. Please contact us today at one of the above links to learn how we can help to propel you to the forefront of your targeted markets and niches.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Improve Website Bounce Rates - 3 Easy Tips to Help Get Lower Bounce Rates

by Zak Simpson

Bounce rates are often overlooked by most site owners because they are frequently tricky to address. The bounce rate basically represents the number or percentage of visitors to your internet site who "bounce" away to a different web site after landing on a page of your web page. As they are not browsing your internet site there is undoubtedly a reason and it's something you require to address. As you can imagine the lower the bounce rate your web page has the much better your web page is performing and the additional visitors you can potentially convert to your cause or sell items to. So why do men and women bounce? Extra importantly how can we minimize these bounces?

Tip 1. Bad Website Design - Try to make it functional and look incredible

This could sound like a quite obvious and quick to identify problem but typically a web page owner will be blinkered into loving their web page and will not see it's pitfalls. Look at your competition and see what makes their web site look excellent and work well, draw inspiration from them to re-design your own landing pages. If most of the competition are performing some thing one way and you are performing it yet another there is probably a reason for this. If your web page already looks great make sure you have not overlooked an additional area that is critical like the navigation being uncomplicated or your sales message being diluted by too a lot other facts.

Tip 2. Bad Content: Don't add Content Unless it's Top quality Content
Your visitors will be looking for great top quality content, if you offer rubbish content your visitors will soon loose interest and leave your site. By not offering quality content you will not entice them to navigate further and deeper into your web page. If you can't honestly say you would come across content fascinating don't add it to your site as it is highly unlikely other will either. The fundamental rule of thumb is, if you would not recommend the content to other people don't put it on your internet site.

Tip 3. Website Load Times: Get the Content to Visitors Rapidly

We know visitors to your web-site want to come across things rapidly with good navigation so make sure they can see the pages swiftly too. If a website takes too much time to appear users will tend to hit the back button and uncover some thing else. You possibly do this yourself don't you? Typically load times over three seconds are considered slow so check your site on a couple of different computers and see how you shape up. If you discover your web page taking over 3 seconds to load you may possibly need to look at hiring a web design company to enhance it. Server speed can usually be increased and will make a difference to load times for little funds. Moving to a new faster server can price as little as £100 additional a year!

About the Author

This article was written by Lee Samson who runs Samson Web Design, a web design business and search engine optimisation company based in Sussex, UK. If you are looking for web design or SEO advice or a quotation for any web based project get in touch using the link above.

Monday, March 7, 2011

The Big Picture with Your Accounting Website Design

by Brian O'Connell

Accounting website design is a well-developed skill. Your website serves a lot of functions, but all these functions boil down to one underlying principle. Your website will entice customers. It will also help you increase client satisfaction and client retention. It will even help you handle your accounting business more efficiently. but these functions all have an identical purpose: Making money. A professional website is a place of business, and it's content should be chosen to that end. If something doesn't make you money, or save you money, don't put it on your site.

The earning and/or saving benefits for most of your content is usually somewhat obvious. Just having a website shows your prospects that you're keeping up with the times, and suggests that you can be trusted to adapt to their needs. Perhaps more importantly it gives people a chance to get to know you a little before calling you. A good web design can go a long way to helping people overcome their natural fear of strangers. Your website is a natural vehicle for providing useful tools to improve client satisfaction. Providing online file transfer and storage and posting tax forms on your website not only improves client retention, it also increases your office efficiency and reduces your expenses.

You save a fortune in postage and printing each year by posting your tax organizer and newsletter on line.

Some of these benefits, however, are not as obvious. At first blush it may look like your website is giving a lot, some even seem to believe too much, away. Features like interactive financial calculators and free reports may seem frivolous, but they are actually powerful marketing tools, and prospecting for new clients is arguably the most important function of your website.

Free reports, I'm often told, give away what the accountant is selling but nothing could be further from the truth. Free reports and financial guides are carefully written to cross-sell your services. They're specifically chosen to showcase ways your client can save money and position you as the expert to turn to fort help. It's a dreadful mistake to remove them, or even make them harder to access. But the ability to increase your billable hours is only one reason to keep these features available and public. This seemingly frivolous content is also central to bringing new clients into the practice.

It's very unusual for a visitor to convert to a sale on the first visit. I've seen it happen a lot, but it's an exception rather than the rule. Perhaps the visitor already has an accountant she likes. Perhaps she's still using a 1040ez. Remember, the average life expectancy of a client/accountant relationship is 6 years. Assuming you're actually planning to stay in business for any length of time this means it would be wise to treat just about everyone who visits your site as a long term prospect. Maybe her accountant is at the end of his practice. Maybe her accountant will get married and move away. Perhaps he'll take a corporate job. Whatever. Even poor folks could need you someday. Income changes. They could marry into different circumstances. Next thing you know they're buying a house or starting a business. I'll never forget the panic I felt the first time I laid eyes on a 1040 long form and knew I needed to fill it out.

A good selection of interactive financial calculators is a really great tool for bringing in new clients. It's remarkably easy to get into the habit of using these tools, and they are carefully chosen to appeal to your influencers. Business owners will also find reasons to use your site. Even if they're not quite ready to change accountant's yet, your site is a handy way to grab a W-2.

By eliminating this content you will be seriously reducing the marketing potential of your site. Even requiring a login is a huge mistake. As a rule people are wary of getting their email address "trapped". Those who give it to you probably won't use your content very often. People are lazy. Even if they have a login they'll rarely use it, and even when they try they'll often forget their login info. The value of having regular users far outweighs the value of any emails you might trap by requiring a login.

Look at the Big Picture

Even if a visitor isn't necessarily ready to hire you today, we still want her visiting your site. Your accounting website design ought to be built accordingly. Give your guests a quality and amount of content that will keep them to return over and over again. You're getting your brand seen by prospects. If you can keep your brand in front of the prospect until they really need you it's a sound bet that you'll be getting a nice, hot phone call from lots of them in the end!

About the Author

Brian O'Connell is the CEO and founder of CPA Site Solutions, one of North America's largest web companies dedicated entirely to accounting website design.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Is Google Analytics The Best Way To Record Website Visitor Statistics?

by Shirley Crichton

When you've set up a website and you've gone live to the world, the first thing you'll want to know is who's been visiting your site and how did they like it. So, how do you check your website visitor statistics, the number of visitors, where they came from, what they did on the site, etc?

Well, you need to use some form of visitor tracking, which is a piece of code that you add to your site that does all that for you. The code will link to a tracking facility and record statistics about your visitors and where they go on your site.

Probably the best known and most widely used is Google Analytics. It's free and it's available at Google.com, all you have to do is sign up for an account.

When you put in your information, Google analytics will generate a specific code for your site, which you can paste in to the page you want tracked or into your main website template. It's really simple to do in HTML if you're using a blog or content managed system, or it will take your webmaster just a couple of minutes to do it for you.

Then, once the system has been running for a few days, you'll get an incredible amount of useful information on the performance of your site. Some of this information is very detailed and will be of more use as you get more experienced with the site and your marketing campaigns but, for now, you'll probably find that the dashboard showing an overview of your site performance is enough to start with.

The dashboard comes up when you sign in to your site's account. Shown on it are the key results that you can use to assess your site's performance and each element on the dashboard can be expanded to show more and more detail within that element.

The first element is a graph showing the number of visitors each day, usually what most people initially want to see. For more detail, you can pick alternative statistics like what percentage were new visitors, how long they were on the site, how many pages they viewed and how many left without viewing a second page ( the bounce rate).

This is the information that will tell you how many people you're getting to your site and how interesting they're finding it when they get there.

In the content overview window, you can find these statistics for each of the individual pages on your site. Here, there's even more detail available, for example, which page visitors entered or exited by, or which keywords they used to find that page.

When you look at all this information, at first it may just be too much, but, as you experiment with it, you'll find that it contains the feedback you need to make changes to your site and content, so that visitors stay longer and view more pages.

Also on the dashboard you'll find a map showing the visitor numbers by specific countries. This map gives you access to your detailed visitor statistics on a country by country basis, so that you can target your content more specifically.

The last element on the dashboard is the traffic sources report, which shows the percentage of traffic coming to your site directly, through referring sites and via search engines.

If you are regularly writing articles or getting links from videos or other sites, (all very effective and free ways of increasing your traffic), then this report will be of great interest. As well as showing the total percentage/number of visits through referral sites, it will also show, in more detail, every site that is referring traffic to you and the number of visitors coming from each one. This information is essential to gaining a really good picture of how your article submission sites or individual referral links are performing.

As you will see, Google analytics is an indispensable free tool which will become more and more useful as you develop your site and begin using paid methods to bring in traffic. When you're at that stage, you can start setting targets and using the more advanced reports available to confirm that you're getting positive results for your expenditure and actually making a profit. But more on that in another article.

About the Author

Shirley Crichton is a UK information marketer, passionate about sharing what she has learnt with people new to this often confusing world . Do you want to learn more about getting your internet marketing business started and profitable? Claim your free and comprehensive 95-page report ' Online Marketing Made Easy' at http://www.ShirleysOnlineMarketing.com to give yourself a head start.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Website Usability Tips and Checklist

by Alfred Winston

Web developers currently spend a lot of energy on search engine optimization, but that's only half the battle. Once you get visitors to your site, you need to keep them there--and convince them to take action. That is the role of website usability. A website needs to be above all, attractive, well-written, and easy to navigate. A highly usable website will deliver better conversions and more return traffic. This isn't hard to achieve; just keep the following tips in mind during the design phase.

Keep it Simple

Beginning website designers often get caught up in the capabilities of WYSIWYG design tools. It's easier than ever to incorporate flashy elements, animations and transitions, and heavy graphics, but that doesn't mean you should. Incorporating these bandwidth-intensive components may make your website look too crowded, take too long to load for low-bandwidth visitors, and may actually distract the reader from what you actually want them to do. Use these elements sparingly.

A Flatter Sitemap

It's easy to get lost in one of those huge brick-and-mortar superstores, and it's just as easy to get lost in a huge website. You can avoid creating the virtual equivalent of frustrated customers pushing their shopping carts through ladies' lingerie while trying to find the automotive department by flattening out your sitemap. No matter how large your site, a visitor should never be more than two clicks away from their desired destination. Make sure to have a link to the main landing page on every page.

Consistency on Every Page

If you've had several team members working on the site, you may have some pages with different colors, styles, and fonts. This will only cause your visitors confusion, and make your site look unprofessional. Create and enforce a uniform style guide if you have multiple people uploading content.

Your Company Brand

Your company brand and identity are important to reinforce your message and to create a comfort level for your visitors. A good brand strategy is more than marketing, it's also a usability function--a recognizable brand will help visitors recognize who you are and what you're offering at first glance. New visitors that may not yet be familiar with you should be able to glance at your brand, your logo and your tagline, and see within a few seconds what your value proposition may be.

"Above the Fold"

People in the newspaper business understand the "above the fold" rule--it means that important news and headlines should go above the place where the newspaper is folded. In the virtual world, this means that the most important parts of your landing page should fit into the screen at first glance, without requiring the visitor to scroll down.

Pay Attention to Your Title Tags

The tag is a small thing but is nonetheless very important. This will give the visitor an immediate look at what your page includes--and this tag name may also show up in the search engine results. Ignoring this tag may yield confusing or non-descriptive text such as "index" or "page1". Make your title tag text short and descriptive, and try to include your main keyword.

Review and Site Testing

Finally, never assume what you have in your mind is going to appear on the screen. Once the site is complete, take time to look through every single page, test every link, and do some usability testing with a live audience.

About the Author

Our Portland Website Designers are experienced in design of informational and eCommerce applications. Web Design Portland and its development begin with your primary objective in mind and fulfill your needs. Portland Website Design services provide high quality affordable small websites and web development in Portland.

Monday, February 28, 2011

How to choose web hosting

by Mike

1. Advertising

Most free web hosts impose advertising on your website. This is done to cover the costs of providing your site the free web space and associated services. Some hosts require you to place a banner on your pages, others display a window that pops up every time a page on your site loads, while still others impose an advertising frame on your site. There is really no hard and fast rule which is to be preferred: some people hate a pop-up window, other webmasters dislike having to stuff banner codes onto their pages, and many people cannot stand an advertising frame (which may cause problems when you submit your website to search engines). Whichever method is used, check that you're comfortable with the method.

Note that free web hosts without forced advertisements aren't necessarily good news. Without a viable means to recover the costs of running their server, many of them close with alarming frequency.

2. Amount of web space

Does it have enough space for your needs? If you envisage that you will expand your site eventually, you might want to cater for future expansion. Most sites use less than 5MB of web space. Indeed, at one time, one of my other web sites, thefreecountry.com, used less than 5MB of space although it had about 150 pages on the site. Your needs will vary, depending on how many pictures your pages use, whether you need sound files, video clips, etc.

3. FTP access

(In case you're wondering: What is FTP?)

Some free hosting providers only allow you to design your page with their online builder. While this is useful for beginners, do you have the option to expand later when you become experienced and their online page builder does not have the facility you need? FTP access, or at the very least, the ability to upload your pages by email or browser, is needed. Personally, I feel FTP access is mandatory, except for the most trivial site.

4. File type and size limitations

Watch out for these. Some free hosts impose a maximum size on each of the files you upload (including one with a low of 200KB). Other sites restrict the file types you can upload to HTML and GIF/JPG files. If your needs are different, eg, if you want to distribute your own programs on your pages, you will have to look elsewhere.

5. Reliability and speed of access

This is extremely important. A site that is frequently down will lose a lot of visitors. If someone finds your site on the search engine, and he tries to access it but find that it is down, he'll simply go down the list to find another site. Slow access is also very frustrating for visitors (and for you too, when you upload your site). How do you know if a host is reliable or fast? If you can't get feedback from anyone, one way is to try it out yourself over a period of time, both during peak as well as non-peak hours. After all, it is free, so you can always experiment with it.

6. Perl and PHP

(In case you're wondering: What is PHP and Perl?)

This is not particularly crucial nowadays for a free web host, since there are so many free script hosting services available that provide counters, search engines, forms, polls, mailing lists, etc, without requiring you to dabble with Perl or PHP scripts.

However if you really want to do it yourself, with the minimum of advertising banners from these free providers, you will need either PHP or Perl access. Note that it is not enough to know they provide PHP or Perl access: you need to know the kind of environment your scripts run under: is it so restrictive that they are of no earthly use? For PHP scripts, does your web host allow you to use the mail() function? For Perl scripts, do you have access to sendmail or its workalike?

7. Bandwidth allotment

Nowadays, many free web hosts impose a limit on the amount of traffic your website can use per day and per month. This means that if the pages (and graphic images) on your site is loaded by visitors beyond a certain number of times per day (or per month), the web host will disable your web site (or perhaps send you a bill). It is difficult to recommend a specific minimum amount of bandwidth, since it depends on how you design your site, your target audience, and the number of visitors you're able to attract to your site. In general, 100MB traffic per month is too little for anything other than your personal home page and 1-3GB traffic per month is usually adequate for a simple site just starting out. Your mileage, however, will vary.

Choosing a Commercial Web Host

1. Reliability and speed of access

Not only should the web host be reliable and fast, it should guarantee its uptime (the time when it is functional). Look for a minimum uptime of 99%. In fact, even 99% is actually too low - it really should be 99.5% or higher. The host should provide some sort of refund (eg prorated refund or discount) if it falls below that figure. Note though that guarantees are often hard to enforce from your end - the host usually requires all sorts of documentation. However, without that guarantee, the web host will have little incentive to ensure that its servers are running all the time.

2. Data Transfer (Traffic/Bandwidth)

Data transfer (sometimes loosely referred to as "traffic" or "bandwidth") is the amount of bytes transferred from your site to visitors when they browse your site.

Don't believe any commercial web host that advertises "unlimited bandwidth". The host has to pay for the bandwidth, and if you consume a lot of it, they will not silently bear your costs. Many high bandwidth websites have found this out the hard way when they suddenly receive an exorbitant bill for having "exceeded" the "unlimited bandwidth". Always look for details on how much traffic the package allows. I personally always stay clear of any host that advertises "unlimited transfer", even if the exact amount is specified somewhere else (sometimes buried in their policy statements). Usually you will find that they redefine "unlimited" to be limited in some way.

In addition, while bandwidth provided is something you should always check, do not be unduly swayed by promises of incredibly huge amounts of bandwidth. Chances are that your website will never be able to use that amount because it will hit other limits, namely resource limits. For more details, see the article The 

Fine Print in Web Hosting: Resource Usage Limits.

To give you a rough idea of the typical traffic requirements of a website, most new sites that are not software archives or the like use less than 3 GB of bandwidth per month. Your traffic requirements will grow over time, as your site becomes more well-known (and well-linked), so you will need to also check their policy for overages: is there a published charge per GB over the allowed bandwidth? Is the charge made according to actual usage or are you expected to pre-pay for a potential overage? It is better not to go for hosts that expect you to prepay for overages, since it is very hard to foresee when your site will exceed its bandwidth and by how much.

3. Disk space

For the same reason as bandwidth, watch out also for those "unlimited disk space" schemes. Most sites need less than 10 MB of web space, so even if you are provided with a host that tempts you with 200 MB or 500 MB (or "unlimited space"), be aware that you are unlikely to use that space, so don't let the 500 MB space be too big a factor in your consideration when comparing with other web hosts. The hosting company is also aware of that, which is why they feel free to offer you that as a means of enticing you to host there. As a rough gauge, thefreecountry.com, which had about 150 pages when this article was first written, used less than 5 MB for its pages and associated files.

4. Technical support

Does its technical support function 24 hours a day, 7 days a week (often abbreviated 24/7), all year around? Note that I will not accept a host which does not have staff working on weekends or public holidays. You will be surprised at how often things go wrong at the most inconvenient of times. Incidentally, just because a host advertises that it has 24/7 support does not necessarily mean that it really has that kind of support. Test them out by emailing at midnight and on Saturday nights, Sunday mornings, etc. Check out how long they take to respond. Besides speed of responses, check to see if they are technically competent. You wouldn't want to sign up for a host that is run by a bunch of salesmen who only know how to sell and not fix problems.

5. FTP, PHP, Perl, SSI, .htaccess, telnet, SSH, MySQL, crontabs

If you are paying for a site, you really should make sure you have all of these.
Note that some commercial hosts do not allow you to install PHP or Perl scripts ("What is PHP and Perl?") without their approval. This is not desirable since it means that you have to wait for them before you can implement a feature on your site. ".htaccess" is needed if you are to do things like customize your error pages (pages that display when, say, a user requests for a non-existent page on your site) or to protect your site in various ways (such as to prevent bandwidth theft and hotlinking, etc).

Telnet or SSH access is useful for certain things, including testing certain scripts (programs), maintaining databases, etc. MySQL ("What is MySQL?") is needed if you want to run a blog or a content management system. Cron is a type of program scheduler that lets you run programs at certain times of the day (eg, once a day). Check to see if these facilities are provided.

6. SSL (secure server), Shopping Cart

If you are planning on doing any sort of business through your website, you might want to look out to see if the host provides these facilities. These facilities normally involve a higher priced package or additional charges. The main thing is to check to see if they are available at all before you commit to the host. You will definitely need SSL if you want to collect credit card payments on your site.

7. Email, Autoresponders, POP3, Mail Forwarding

If you have your own site, you would probably want to have email addresses at your own domain, like sales@yourdomain.com, etc. Does the host provide this with the package? Does it allow you to have a catch-all email account that causes any email address at your domain to be routed to you? Can you set an email address to automatically reply to the sender with a preset message (called an autoresponder)? Can you retrieve your mail with your email software? Can it be automatically forwarded to your current email address?

8. Control Panel

This is called various names by different hosts, but essentially, they all allow you to manage different aspects of your web account yourself. Typically, and at the very minimum, it should allow you to do things like add, delete, and manage your email addresses, and change passwords for your account. I would not go for a host where I have to go through their technical support each time I want to change a password or add/delete an email account. Such chores are common maintenance chores that every webmaster performs time and time again, and it would be a great hassle if you had to wait for their technical support to make the changes for you.

9. Multiple Domain Hosting and Subdomains

For those who are thinking of selling web space or having multiple domains or subdomains hosted in your account, you should look to see if they provide this, and the amount extra that they charge for this (whether it is a one-time or monthly charge, etc).

10. Server

Is the type of operating system and server important? Whether you think so or not on the theoretical level, there are a few practical reasons for looking out for the type of server.

In general, if you want to use things like write/use ASP programs, you have no choice but to look for a Windows server.

Otherwise my preference is to sign up for accounts using the often cheaper, more stable and feature-laden Unix systems running the Apache server. In fact, if dynamically generated pages that can access databases (etc) is what you want, you can always use the more portable (and popular) PHP instead of tying yourself down to ASP. Another reason to prefer Unix-based web hosts (which include web hosts using systems like Linux, FreeBSD, OpenBSD, Solaris, etc) using the Apache web server is that these servers allow you to configure a lot of facilities that you typically need on your site (error pages, protecting your images, blocking email harvesters, blocking IP addresses, etc) without having to ask your web host to implement them. Knowledge about configuring Apache servers is also widely available, and can be found on thesitewizard.com's 

Configuring Apache and .htaccess pages as well.

For those interested, you can read another discussion on the matter in the "Should You Choose a Linux or a Windows Web Hosting Package? Is There Such a Thing as a Mac Web Host?" article.

11. Price

I was actually hesitant to list this, but I guess it's futile not to. However, I would caution that while price is always a factor, you should realise that you often get what you pay for, although it's not necessarily true that the most expensive hosts are the best.

12. Monthly/Quarterly/Annual Payment Plans

Most web hosts allow you to select an annual payment plan that gives you a cheaper rate than if you were to pay monthly. My current personal preference is to pay monthly with all new web hosts until

About the Author

Server administrator