Archive for October, 2010

What Small and Mid-sized Businesses Should Know About Web Hosting?

October 26, 2010 | By | Reply More

Reading time: 2 – 2 minutes

Small and mid-sized businesses nowadays need to expand their presence online especially when getting customers and profit is at stake. If you are a business owner or is planning to start one, you just simply can’t rest on your laurels even though you’re reaping revenues offline or on site.

The Internet has been expanding at an enormous rate as users continue to grow and more eyes are driven into this virtual world. Given this vast numbers, would be great if your business will get a share of this audience that are willing to buy online and engage with your company in the fastest way possible?

A great website doesn’t begin with simply having a domain, it must also have a reliable web hosting service that will keep it live 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and 365 days a year. The competition is pretty stiff in this industry thus, these web hosting providers have to battle for every customer that they could find.

There are endless promotions from different web hosting providers online so it’s essential to find out the exact type of hosting solution that fits your needs without wasting unused resources and to avoid throwing money down the drain since bandwidth costs are most often fixed for shared hosting services.

In case you need more freedom from the technical requirements of maintaining a website, you can always dig the help of managed hosting services.

Existing web-based businesses who already owns their servers but want adequate space, temperature control and security for their hardware on an enterprise-like setting, collocation solutions is the key.

Based on experience, start-ups normally start small and with newly built sites, it’s expected that there would only be few traffic so it’s practical to begin with shared hosting services. By the time a need arises for more bandwidth to handle traffic spikes, then you can upgrade anytime.

Google Pagerank Storm: Are You Hit?

October 22, 2010 | By | 6 Replies More

Reading time: 2 – 3 minutes

For quite sometime that I have been waiting for another pagerank update from Google, it was to my surprise that Software Critics was hit. It wasn’t just a hit, it was a hard one. A downhill fall from Pagerank 3 to nothing was quite disappointing but there’s really nothing much that I could do now, it already happened. For this alone, I would have to wait for a few more months to find out if things would change in case I decided to change my SEO strategies.

NASA´s Terra Satellite Catches Powerful Supertyphoon MegiSuper Typhoon Juan (Megi) has gone away and so as the pagerank of this site but what remains is my positive outlook that somehow, I could still get it back. I’m not really that obsessed with pagerank than I was when I’m still starting this site. Monetizing this virtual space was my first priority when I started blogging but as I learn new things, I have been exposed to the many realities that webmasters face and one of which was Google’s occasional pagerank surprises.

There’s no sense in being sad but what’s really ironic is the consistent amount of traffic this site is getting regarless. This only means that pagerank is not the end of everything. SERPs work differently in treating which page of a site is relevant to a user’s query. I don’t need a site with high pagerank but no traffic.

Well, life goes on. Who cares about Google’s pagerank anyway? That algorithm which no one knows how it’s computed (and quite over hyped) can only do far worse than keeping the self-esteem of a person who only wants to write and share his thoughts.

If you’ve been blogging enough for quite sometime, you’ll know that oftentimes Google is just a pain in the neck so smile when that pr bar becomes white for white is cleanliness…a fresh new start. But when it turns Green, you’ll know it’s harvest time. Everyone has its own season.

Are you having a fresh new start or harvesting the bounty that Google dictates?

Why Video SEO Matters To Online Marketers?

October 18, 2010 | By | Reply More

Reading time: 2 – 2 minutes

Achieving high positions in search results pages is probably one of the ultimate goals of web development and online marketing. Ecommerce websites battle for supremacy in their chosen keywords or key phrases. In this matter, SEO (search engine optimization) comes into play and in this highly competitive industry, rankings matter especially in the top positions in Google, Yahoo and Bing particularly in the well coveted number 1 ranking.

High rankings on search results pages for specific keywords targeted for your business matters especially when you aim for high ROI. More than just ranking for keywords, ranking for videos nowadays play a significant role in putting your words across to your audience and with millions of videos being consumed online each day, the ranking of your video content in the SERPs (search engine results pages) can make or break your business’ success thus, Video SEO saves more time and effort in marketing your products and services online rather than placing it on other avenues such as PPC, or something similar.

The compelling properties of videos make it a more powerful and effective medium of communication and with more and more people consuming videos online especially on YouTube, Vimeo, and Daily Motion among others, the stakes are just getting bigger than you can imagine.

Services offered by 99moves focuses in placing your videos to rank higher in the SERPs which not most companies do. With approximately 70% of Global web users online consuming video content, it means that there are more eyes coming from Google than on any sources that’s why having your video to rank high in the biggest search engine can make a difference.

Have you ever tried optimizing your videos in the SERPs particularly with Google? If not, then you’re certainly losing significant numbers.

If you do, what steps are you taking in order to place your videos to rank higher in the search results pages?

Get Free DVD Ripper Software This Halloween from Software Critics

October 18, 2010 | By | Reply More

Reading time: 2 – 2 minutes

As an administrator and editor of this software review site, one of the perks I have is to be able to test some tools and applications first-hand before they even go out of the market or sometimes being contacted to promote products in behalf of software developers and publishers.

We have worked closely with some and among which are the makers of MacX DVD Ripper Pro and WinX DVD Ripper Platinum—Digiarty Software Inc.

They have chosen Software Critics again to promote one of their best selling products, the MacX DVD Ripper Pro inline with the upcoming Halloween as they celebrate its foundation.

macx dvd ripper proThe MacX DVD Ripper Pro designed for Mac has the capacity to access all types of DVD protection technology including CSS encryption, Sony ARccOS encryption, RCE Region protection, Disney X-project DRM, and a lot more. It also support ripping DVDs to AVI, MP4, MPEG, FLV, AVI, iPhone 4, iPad, iPod touch 4, PSP, Apple TV, etc. It stands out among similar DVD ripper software in market by speed, quality and DVD encryption ability.

Windows users aren’t forgotten since they can also take advantage of the same features that MacX DVD Ripper Pro can offer via the WinX DVD Ripper Platinum.

This free software giveaway started last Oct. 12 and will end on Oct. 28, 2010. So, if you’d like to get a free licensed copy, simply sign-up to our newsletter by filling out the form on the right. Existing newsletter subscribers can get their copy by visiting the Software Critics Fan page particularly in the Discussions section on Facebook but you have to “Like” us first if you haven’t done so.

What’s Behind Every Free WordPress Theme?

October 14, 2010 | By | 3 Replies More

Reading time: 2 – 3 minutes

If you have been planning on starting a blog or a website using the WordPress platform, one of the primary things to consider is the look and feel of your site. WordPress, being an open source content management system platform, has tons of themes available online that anyone can use and adapt for their websites.

WordPress offers a lot of themes on both WordPress.com and WordPress.org (the self-hosted). Self-hosted sites with its own domain and web hosting is the easiest to customize and therefore widely used.

There as many Premium or paid WordPress themes as there are free WordPress themes thus users have so much option to choose from so the only way for a theme developer to standout is by using the right marketing tools, SEO, and the finest designs plus superb customizability that is not found on other themes.

Building a website powered by WordPress doesn’t stop with having the right design but also on choosing the right web hosting provider. There are so many fly-by-night hosts around so reputation checking is a must.

There are also dedicated WordPress web hosts that concentrate on just hosting WordPress sites because they feel that they can be more efficient on giving solutions to their customers rather than being a turn-key web hosting solutions provider.

TopWPThemes.com showcases free WordPress themes such as Kronos, Jocasta, and Irene among the collections it have. Some well-known premium theme developers also giveout free themes but most of the time, support for these themes are rather unavailable to say the least thus, the best way to keep these generous theme developers is to lend them a hand by giving donations for their hard work and relentless effort.

The WordPress community doesn’t require its users to pay for the themes or plugins they get from the site but the challenge here for us is on how to keep these free themes and plugin developers from becoming extinct.

While we have the chance to ask questions to these free theme developers when problems arise, would it be right if we give back to them their due?

Blog Automation WordPress Plugin for Non-Techies

October 14, 2010 | By | Reply More

Reading time: 2 – 2 minutes

Blog automation has never been easier with the many tools that you can find online. Some are even expensive to the extent that it costs up to hundreds of dollars. For starters, spending this much on an online investment is quite heavy considering that earning online is not a get-rich-easily scheme. It requires hard work more than any other.

So, why am I featuring this kind of tool on this blog? Well, most of you may not know that I have been quite busy working as a freelance web developer for WordPress-powered sites and there was one client that I have done some research for, wherein as a result, I happen to have bumped into this great plugin called the MultiPress Autoblogging plugin.

At first, I was quite hesitant to use it but since my client wants automation for content creation on his sites, we tried this and eventually after the trial period, we ended up using the plugin.

Setting the plugin on WordPress is definitely a no-brainer. It doesn’t need much technical know-how to understand what fields require information such as keyword filters and resources to grab content from among others.

It was truly a great tool to have for internet marketers especially those wanting to create affiliate sites with too little time to write for content on their sites.

In order to get a special reader-only deal from Software Critics, here’s an invitation-only code that you can use to enter the site and make the purchase. The code is JHH7KL644GHLFSS. Use this code as you follow the link to the download page here.

You have 15 days to try it out and believe me, you wouldn’t say no after you’ve tried it.

ActivTrak Launches Free Employee Monitoring Software

October 13, 2010 | By | Reply More

Reading time: 2 – 3 minutes

This is a Sponsored Post written by me on behalf of Birch Grove. All opinions are 100% mine.

Keeping a watchful eye on your employees especially on what they do online and how they are maximizing their time during work hours is crucial to maintaining productivity levels in the organization.

At home, parents also have the responsibility to monitor what their kids are doing especially when they are exposed to the threats of cyberspace.

In line with these measures, Birch Grove Software, a company based in Texas has developed a free employee monitoring software called ActivTrak that can track computer related activities in detail from application logs, documents opened to sites visited in just a few clicks from a remote desktop in real-time.

Log-analysis

The software has a client-server architecture that allows an administrator to install invisible clients on the computer being monitored which any user without administrator rights can remove or deactivate.

The free version of ActivTrak can only monitor up to three (3) computers (without any functional limitations) which is enough for small private business and homes with children using computers regularly.

Compared to most types of remote monitoring software that I used, ActivTrak is the only one giving their tool for free and not just for one but for three computers as clients.

Being a software critic myself, I normally have to try and test these tools before posting about them but this time, I’m leaving it to you, the reading public, to find out and tell me what you think about this software.

You can download activtrak from here and use it for free. I might as well come up with another post about this so stay tuned.

Visit my sponsor: ActivTrak helps to monitor 3 employees for free.

Get the Latest WordPress for iPhone plus other WordPress Mobile Apps

October 13, 2010 | By | Reply More

Reading time: 2 – 2 minutes

Mobile blogging is becoming so common these days so it’s impossible not to see applications here and there for smartphones that caters to this growing number of users. Being a smartphone user myself, I have taken advantage of WordPress for Nokia specifically for the Symbian S60v3 to be able to update my sites while on the go.

Updating your WordPress-powered sites while traveling has never been this easier because through your mobile phone, you don’t have to carry that bulky laptop with you to complete such task. iPhone or iPad users however can’t be any happier with the newly released WordPress for iPhone version 2.6 application (which also works on the iPad) that provides users with more features that can help them maximize their mobile blogging requirements.

Wordpress iPhone app

Read more about the latest WordPress iPhone app here.

Blackberry enthusiasts can also mobile blog using the Blackberry WordPress app while the WordPress for Android phones makes it easier as well for its user to do the same.

Blackberry WordPress App

Having these WordPress applications installed on our mobile phones definitely makes blogging so much easier and fun. Simply connect to the internet and you’re off to creating and sharing content to the world in just a few touches as they happen.

Surviving 56 Sage Street like in Real Life

October 7, 2010 | By | Reply More

Reading time: 2 – 3 minutes

We are faced with challenges each day both easy and hard but the more we’re able to survive as we progress in this game called life, the more we get up each time we fall, the more we become better individuals.

Who would ever think that what happens in real life can be turned into a free game that people can enjoy but learn something out of? Yes, you’ve read it right. A free online game entitled 56 Sage Street which was powered by Adobe can turn your gaming experience into a positive and rewarding past-time that guides you in finding the right job in a virtual city, find places to stay, meet new challenges and mingle with other characters or individuals playing online in order to make it to the top.

56 Sage Street

The idea of the game is more like surviving each day in the city like most of us face everyday from the moment we wake up ‘til the time we get back home and manage our lives and our family.

The game is best played by acquiring as many jobs as you can in order to get money while taking into consideration your health and appearance like in real life. Although money is involved, the game also tackles decision-making and spending finances wisely as the game progresses.

More than just an online game, 56 Sage Street is turning the gaming experience into a more productive hobby. So, if you’re in for a sensible and almost like in real-life type of flash game, then Barclays’ 56 Sage Street is for you. If you need more convincing, then better watch the video below.

This is a Sponsored Post brought to you by our friends from Barclays.

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10 Indispensable Utility Apps for Symbian S60 Smartphones

October 7, 2010 | By | Reply More

Reading time: 5 – 8 minutes

The use of smartphones is becoming mainstream and its evolution has taken the utility of mobile devices to another level. Smartphones operating on Symbian, which is the name given to a united group of open source operating system along with software platforms especially designed for smartphones, the Symbian S60 series is the most used Symbian OS. The base or the S60 series was created by Nokia, a reputable mobile brand, who has marked its contribution towards the Symbian foundation and one of the largest mobile phone manufacturers in the world adopts the S60 series software in their smartphones including companies like Lenovo, LG Electronics, and Siemens among others.

Symbian S60 series is a complete operating system that supports applications such as C++, Python, and Adobe Flash as well as Java MIDP. The S60 series facilitates installation of registered programs from registered developers which increases the application access in the smartphones. There are several indispensable applications that you can download and use on your Symbian S60 smartphones and the best ones have been compiled just for you.

  1. Google maps. Google map is probably one of the most important applications anyone must have. They act as a guide and a reference when one is out in an unknown area. Google map application helps one to find out the exact location of a place where one is standing. The application works well on the S60 5th edition which is especially designed for smartphones. The application displays both the landscape and portrait mode along with touch-panning of maps in the countries where such facilities are available. Astonishingly, the centric search tool in this application can search for the nearest pizza corner or plumber and even hairdressers.
  2. YouTube for Mobile. Yes, you’ve read it right. YouTube now have its mobile version to make it easier to watch videos directly from your mobile. The flash player installed on the phone helps to play the video. Although certain delays occur when viewing videos due to functioning of the flash player, this application still works equivalently well on facilities with Wi-Fi and 3G but the basic idea is to get a hold of a good connection as fast as possible. Picture quality at some instances may not be crystal clear however; one can manage for a time being with QVGA image quality.YouTube for Mobile
  3. Gmail. The Gmail facility in your smartphone allows you to keep on track with your important emails. It is a java based application which provides you with similar benefits that you can get on a PC. Gmail enables email forwarding, saving and making selections from your mobile.
  4. BBC player. For all entities whether belonging to the corporate world or from the security market. This is one of the most awaited applications in the S60 series as BBC player provides the user with an option access a multiple choice of media in form of TV, Radio, etc. It has come out to be one of the best applications in terms of utility and user interface. The application is precise and very helpful.
  5. Opera mini. The Opera mini application is a compulsion for every internet addict. The application helps an individual to browse the internet faster and that too at a reasonable speed. The opera mini latest version is packed with features like multi-tab browsing, download resume, and bookmarking among other things which enhances the facility of browsing. You may also try Opera Mobile in place of this one.
  6. Quick office v6 (upgrade). This application is common among smartphones regardless if you’re a businessman or a student. The Quick Office V6 helps you manage your presentation and text documents on the go by way of such application. Managing your documents on the go has never been so simple.Quickoffice
  7. AccuWeather. Supported in the Symbian S60 series, this app tells you about the weather forecast and the temperature. When one is not sure about the present conditions, one can definitely make use of this application to get some information with respect to the current climatic condition.
  8. Ovi. Nokia Ovi is one of the latest sensations in the world of Symbian application. Nokia Ovi helps an individual keep a back up of his vital documents and folders that are stored on his smartphone into his Windows PC or Mac. The application reduces worries of the owner in terms of loosing his valuable information and it can accommodate up to 10 GB storage for such purpose.Nokia Ovi
  9. Wireless keyboard. A very vital application which facilitates the use of wireless keyboards in case of full touch screen smartphones. Nokia 5800 is an example of such beautiful creation which has no keypads attached to it so this application allows the use of wireless keyboards. *This functionality can be found on the Nokia E71 and can be helpful when blogging using WordPress app for Nokia.
  10. Fring. How can one forget Fring when it comes to smartphone applications? Fring is a newly released application that uses the integration to Skype to facilitate VoIP on smartphones. The application allows a user to keep in touch with all his friends and colleagues at any time. *In this regard, you may also try Spokn for the E-series and N-series phone since it is easier to use or Skype for Mobile instead. There are a lot of upcoming VoIP apps for mobile phones nowadays so it’s better to really know which one works best.

There you have it, the ten (10) indispensable applications that support Symbian S60 OS. I hope that you’ll find this post very helpful since each of them have functionalities that are very handy and in all cases a necessity for smart smartphone users. Keep locked in and see you next time for more great posts like these.

Mr. Thomas Davies, a versatile application developer, who is currently working on problems relating to streaming video problems and free podcast software. He has spent 25 years of his life for software development and is still working on them with keen dedication to provide the world with something new over and over.

*Editor Notes.

Treat Your Kids This Summer at Pizza Hut for Free!

October 6, 2010 | By | Reply More

Reading time: 2 – 3 minutes

There’s really no better way of spending this summer in the UK with your family where you can bond and share happy moments taking pictures and spending quality time either on the beach, camping or visiting your local zoo.

But when hunger kicks in, there’s a much better place to satisfy those appetite and it’s only at Pizza Hut where Kids Eat Free so not only will you enjoy your meal-time together but you can also save.

Kids Eat FreeThis summer, Pizza Hut brings the joy to every kid with their free meal offer wherein for every adult meal main course or adult lunchtime buffet purchased, an accompanying child can choose from either a FREE 2 course kids meal (includes a drink) or a FREE kids lunchtime buffet (includes pizza, pasta and salad).

The promo is extended until January 9, 2011. For more details regarding this offer, you can visit this link http://bit.ly/a1DhgJ.

At Pizza Hut, the fun never stops. At the bottom of any Pizza Hut receipt, you’ll find an offer code. All you need to do is enter this code at http://www.pizzahut.co.uk/familyadventures in order to get great deals on a wide range of fun-filled family activities and adventure getaways including holidays, theme parks, zoos and a whole lot more. Like most child psychologists advise, the early stages of a kids growth is crucial since this is where they can remember the most of their childhood days so let’s make the most of it, make it fun and show them that we care and love them. So, eat with them everyday while you can and give them this summer treat only at Pizza Hut!

Pizza Hut

This is a Sponsored Post brought to you by our friends from Pizza Hut.

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Rackspace Chat Support Blunder

October 6, 2010 | By | Reply More

Reading time: 3 – 4 minutes

Well, to tell you what, embarrassing mistakes doesn’t only happen over the phone. In fact, companies offering chat support services are never an exception but could be even worse.

This site’s hosting is about to end in a the next few weeks so I was trying to check on other web hosting providers on the possibility of switching host since these past few months was really bad in terms of the quality of hosting that I was getting from BlueHost. In fact, it even had a DDOS attack on its servers several months ago that paralyzed all of my sites and I can never forget that because of the revenue losses and that they didn’t even announced anything about it on their Twitter account.

I was looking at transferring to Hostgator as I have tried them in the past but I would also like to consider cloud hosting so I thought of checking with them and so as a result, I became engaged with a chat support agent and here’s how the conversation goes:

Welcome to Rackspace. How can I assist you?
You have been connected to Gerben G.
Customer: hi.
Gerben G: Hi there, how can I help?
Customer: Do you now offer paypal payment modes?
Gerben G: Well, we are PCI compliant. Just give you a full idea of what Rackspace would offer; we would manage the network, hardware, operating system, data back-ups and actively provide patching. This is then backed up with the most aggressive SLA’s available. You can also choose to have remote access to the server so that you can install/upload what you require. How does that sound so far?
Customer: that’s not my question!
Gerben G: Well, basicly we only do the hosting, so you can install and run what you want on that, but we don’t offer that
Customer: you’re not getting my question do you?!??!?!?!
Customer: i was asking if you’re accepting paypal!!1
Customer: how can that be hard?
Gerben G: Sorry, no we don’t accept paypall yet
Customer: that’s what I was trying to know.
Customer: bye.
Gerben G: Bye
Your session has ended. You may now close this window.

As you can see, my question is pretty clear. I have already asked this sometime ago so I am aware that they do not offer Paypal as a payment method so I thought of asking the same question hoping that this time they would but I was wrong. I tried again to find out if they already do but instead of getting a straight forward answer, I got annoyed with an answer which is not even related to what I am asking.

sarcasm

I know you guys at Rackspace wanted to promote your services but please, learn how to answer questions correctly first so I can be impressed because this scenario only made me go away even further from considering your services as I am afraid that this could happen again in case I took your services and the chat agent who handles the concern could hardly even answer a very simple question.

Do you have a similar chat support experience as I do? Please share them.