Happy Hosts

Who do you use?

I’m often asked who I recommend for web hosting, domain names, etc. Here’s the answer…

I register domains through Go Daddy. Despite pushy upsells and tacky advertising campaigns, they have been reliable over the years. Regardless of who hosts my site, all domains are centrally managed through one Go Daddy account. The only “add on” I recommend is the privacy option. There is so much spam and junk mail targeted at domain registrations it really is a worthwhile addition.

30%* off! The products you love at a price that loves you back!

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More Net Neutrality Nonsense

So it appears the fox-guarding-the-henhouse approach to regulation continues.

For someone who claims to be working for the American people, Ajit Pai sure doesn’t seem to care what they have to say. In his announcement today that the FCC would vote whether to roll back net neutrality rules on December 15, he made no mention of the inconvenient fact that his proposal had attracted…

via The FCC’s craven net neutrality vote announcement makes no mention of the 22 million comments filed — TechCrunch

Get to Work with Google Apps

A few years ago I migrated our office of about a dozen people to Google Apps. It’s one of the smartest I.T. decisions I’ve ever made.

GoogleAppsCouponGoogle Apps for Work allowed me to retire our aging Microsoft Exchange server, a headache I was more than happy to be rid of. No more software patches, no more obsolete hardware. Our domain email moved over seamlessly with no interruption and users were immediately able to access mail from whatever device they preferred using Gmail.
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Don’t Give it Away

Search engine traffic is like manna from heaven. But are you giving away your blog’s precious search engine street cred? If you’re not sure just look at your site’s address. Is it your domain name? Good!

Wordpress Hosting from GoDaddy.com! 125x125 But if you see blogspot or wordpress in your blog or website’s address then it’s not so good. Here’s why:

Google indexes your web content and identifies it with your site’s domain name. Like here it would be recorded under maduko.com. Many bloggers use free tools like Blogger or WordPress to publish their sites. Most of them are indexed under those domains- great for Blogger, not so great for you.

Absorb More Search Engine Goodness
But reassigning that sweet search engine goodness and getting credit for your content is easy. All you have to do is become… Master of Your Domain. Seriously, if you register a domain name and assign it to your blog you’ll immediately take ownership of your content, improve your search engine ranking and see more visitors. The process varies but overall it’s pretty simple.

Most domain registrars try to make this easy and cover it in their help files. If not check the support section of your host. For example, Blogger allows you to set up your domain name for free. If you use WordPress.com look at their option to Map An Existing Domain. It only costs $13 per year and is well worth it.

No. While a domain redirect might be the easiest way to get your domain name linked to your blog, it is not optimal. That’s because your blog articles still appear under your host’s domain name. Even if you home page appears with your domain in that address bar try clicking on an article link. If it isn’t under your domain you’re still giving away your content.

Let’s Get Real-Time

Google Analytics Gets Real

Google’s new interface for their popular website traffic tool got a major overhaul recently. The whole thing is a cleaner design- in typical Google fashion. But the most intriguing new addition is the real-time stats feature.

This Beta feature is available from the Home tab of each site you’re tracking in Google Analytics. The main view shows you active visitors, their referring site, keywords, most active pages and the visitor’s geographic location. This is a fascinating new tool and really adds to the plethora of data Google Analytics provides.

Along with the real-time stuff the upgrade provides tighter integration with Google’s Webmaster Tools (formerly known as Sitemaps), a page flow visualization feature and enhanced conversion tracking for e-commerce sites.

There are other stats tools that have offered such detail on real-time visitors. But many of them require much more cumbersome code to be added or bombard you with irritating banner ads whenever you access the reports. It’s about time Google finally got on board!

Learn more about Real-Time Stats and Google Analytics…

Browser Hijackers Arrested

Chalk one up for the good guys.

Operation Ghost Click is being hailed by the FBI as the “biggest cybercriminal takedown in history.” A group of scumbags in Estonia using malicious software (or malware) called DNS Changer were arrested. They supposedly had control of more than four million computers worldwide!

The DNS Changer, as the name suggests, redirects the domain name system server settings on a computer to those of a bogus server. So your search in Google returns valid results, but when you click on Pepsi.com you get Perestroika.

Oh, and it’s a real PITA to uninstall.

The scammers made money by redirecting the Web browsers of infected computers, then hijacking revenue clicks and replacing legitimate advertisements with their own. American authorities estimate that the criminal take was over $14 million, all of it from online advertisers and publishers.

The company name used by the gang was Rove Digital, which was also one of the early investors in ChronoPay, a Russian payment processor whose principal founder is also in prison currently on cybercriminal charges.

Hepful Tools for Email Newsletters

No matter what you market, you probably send out emails. You might also publish a magazine, and you probably have a website, but everyone reads email.

It doesn’t take very long to realize the most common tools available are not the ideal solution for managing and sending emails to a large audience. Outlook is notorious for sending messages that are not standards-compliant. As anti-spam tactics get more and more stringent, it’s become risky to send large mailings from your personal computer for fear of being put on the dreaded “blacklist.”

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