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.
Continue reading Happy Hosts
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
If all goes as planned this blog will be coming to you directly from WordPress.com.
Big whoop, right?
Continue reading Moved
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.
Google 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.
Continue reading Get to Work with Google Apps
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!
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.
I’ve created a new installation of WordPress on a local server. Soon this site will be moving to that new slice of cyberspace.
I’ll update you on the differences I discover between the hosted blog and the WordPress.com site.
New Location: www.maduko.com
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…
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.
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.”
Continue reading Hepful Tools for Email Newsletters
In the past many of you have asked for advice on registering a domain name. For several years I have done business with Namesecure and most likely recommended their services. I’m sorry to say that won’t be happening any longer.
Namesecure has been a big player in the domain name registrar business since it was “deregulated” back in 1998. They offered features like unlimited e-mail forwarding, domain name cloaking and an easy-to-use web site to manage your domain names and settings. It all worked and through the years I registered and managed a number of domains for myself and clients.
Ocassionally there were blackouts when the domain fell into limbo but these were rare and only lasted, at most, a couple of hours. But slowly they became more common. And then a couple of hours became a couple of days and things got a little heated. I contacted their support and was assured this was an unusual problem that was unavoidable and would not happen again.
A few months later I was moving a site and needed to change the settings for the domain name servers. I keyed in the new entries, saved them and made another pot of coffee. The site never showed up and I assumed it was taking a while to propogate around the `Net. The next day still brought no joy, so I went back to check my settings. D’ooop… it still showed the old DNS. Did I really forget to save it? I got suspicious and entered the new information again and saved it, logged out then went back to check. Same old IP addresses were listed, the Namesecure system was telling me it had saved my entries but hadn’t actually done a thing. Bottom line: it took over two weeks and countless e-mails to support before this simple operation was accomplished.
Scenarios like this have now been repeated several times over the last several months. It really got crazy when I needed to transfer a domain away from Namesecure. The domain was locked, even though I had made sure it was unlocked then the Admin-C contact suddenly changed so we did not receive the transfer request.
I now recommend Go Daddy for domain name registration because their management tools are top-notch and their support has been very responsive. You can even call a 800 number! They also offer excellent hosting packages.
Here’s my preferred list for web hosting at a glance…
Domain Names: Go Daddy or 1 & 1.com
Ecommerce: Yahoo! Small Business
Server Colocation: TulsaConnect.com