RSSCategory: web authoring

PPC for Online Business Startups

July 13, 2013 | By | Reply More

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Starting your own business can seem like a very daunting prospect, and it’s true that a successful business requires quite a bit of time and dedication. However, you don’t have to sacrifice your entire life to maintaining a profit either.

Most of your time will be spent getting the business off the ground first, but soon you’ll be able to let it loose and allow it to take flight on its own. Since getting started is the hard part, it’s best when you can take on the advice and guidance of a service designed specifically for your needs.

The SolidCactus.com ppc agency is an example of an online service that will aid you in your new journey. You may feel you’re at a loss of where to begin, but with some measured patience and confidence, you’ll be on your way in no time. The first challenge you must tackle comes in the form of your web page design.

The design of your website is important because it’s the first thing your customers will see and you want them to have fun engaging and navigating your pages. A boring visual with a confusing layout will only urge people to drift away.

After you’ve got the basic set up complete, it’s time to get all the smaller details together. For instance, you may want a call center to monitor and initiate deals or offer customer service. This may seem like a lot to manage, but online companies are waiting to help you out, and for a minimal fee.

Understanding Google to get your site’s SEO on track

April 16, 2013 | By | Reply More

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Ranking for Google has been the most concerns of almost all webmasters and SEO practitioners over the years. Since Google is the leading search engine, everyone wants to be in it and to be on top of it, you obviously have to be on top of your game. But who could possibly say they’ve mastered the Google algorithm and can make the site’s rank at number 1 that easy?

If someone would ever come across as an expert and can make your website rank at the top in less than X months, you better start running away and save your money for something else.

Google has not endorsed any SEO company nor they have openly disclosed their ranking algorithm and search engine practices. They have only setup and released some guidelines for people to follow. The rest is for everyone to figure out for themselves on how they could please the Google bot.

Blogging since 2008, I have figured out that Google has always loved unique and quality content. Something that is shareable. With the use of social media nowadays, everything can get viral and someone can be famous overnight. This may sound like a broken record but it’s true.

While Google has demoted link farms and link building over the years, they have not totally discounted the importance of links however, they have emphasized fully that links must be relevant to the content. Keywords maybe important for the bots but Google have lessen its power since so stop stuffing keywords to your site or Google will look at it as spamming.

Some of the many technical aspects of search engine optimization include sitemap submission via Google Webmaster Tools, Canonicalization, site audit which may include getting rid of spammy links and dead links, and of course, site stats understanding via Google Analytics. SEO search marketing, as some call it, is a cumulative effort of putting all the processes together in order to get high search engine results.

Choosing to do it by yourself or with the help of a company is going to be a huge decision. Either way, it can be very challenging to say the least and it requires a reasonable amount of time to results.

Leads Generation through Localized Search

March 14, 2013 | By | Reply More

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Generating leads is one of the most important factor in measuring online marketing efforts and success. Being next to conversion, as the ultimate goal, leads determine user interest and must be valued as a first step to conversion.
Online presence can be affected by many factors—effectiveness of online marketing efforts, social networking efforts, and search engine optimization goals.

For businesses who’s focused more on the local market than the international market, local SEO services providers can help focus your search engine presence to local search.
Localized search is a filtered but focused search engine marketing that determines user location in rendering search results queries and this makes local businesses a priority in the results.

Internet browsers nowadays normally determine geo-location in rendering search results from a user’s query. Businesses normally appearing in localized searches have maps and pertinent contact information. If your business’ contact information appears on a local search result, chances are, you are one step ahead of the competition.

Services like LeadsbyWeb provides businesses a hand in making their online efforts work for them with strategies such as search engine optimization, paid advertising campaign, local map optimization, and dedicated account management.

These services also tells you which keywords users often use when making a search, helps with building content that Google likes, local map listing for Google, build a leadsite where people can contact you, pay-per-click campaign creation, and refinement of some of your existing programs to get more leads.

Create an Online Store with CommerceSpace

March 1, 2013 | By | Reply More

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Businesses nowadays simply don’t rely now on the physical side of the business where having a local store is enough. With technology, social media and the internet, businesses start to enter into the realm of the future.

Having said that, we can now definitely see our favorite brands—having their own ecommerce store, online shops, an ordering system or a booking system. Some professionals having their own appointment system so it’s definitely the way of the future and how marketing and selling has evolved over the years.

CommerceSpaceAn ecommerce store has so many advantages and it levels-up the playing field for everyone because of the internet. Someone as small as your neighborhood bakery can compete with a large company, for a share of the internet profit using the right online ecommerce solution, like that of, CommerceSpace.

CommerceSpace provides a fully customizable storefront design with social media integration. With today’s cost of hiring developers and programmers to do the job, if you’re in a tight budget and just simply want to get your business out there, it’s the one that fits the bill.

Like most ecommerce sites that has payment module, integrating payment gateway can be costly too but with CommerceSpace, it’s all in there in the package. Shopping carts, secured card processing and Paypal integration are among the many benefits you could get. You can even implement your in-house sale and promotions to attract more customers.

Having an online store has its tremendous rewards, just having the right tools and the adequate support from your chosen service provider or developer; you’ll be in to a great start.

Domain Registration Advice for the New Year

January 2, 2013 | By | Reply More

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The New Year brings a lot of optimism and lots of promise. To the webmasters, like me, choosing the cheapest domain name registration service as much as possible is the only way to go. Personally, I have several domains and every year, I register domains at least two or more new ones on the entire course of the year which can be higher in other webmasters, website developers, or internet marketers who wishes to expand their reach on other online endeavors.

I certainly agree on getting the cheapest domain name registration service whoever, there are still several considerations that needs to be studied when getting one. Unlike web hosting, domain registration can be a little easier. All you need to have is a reliable domain registrar with ICANN accreditation and has a reputable customer service plus allows you to transfer your domains to other domain registrars with ease as some may be difficult to work with especially with policies of staying in the same registrar for several years.

Web hosting services also offer domain registrations alongside their hosting package offers in order to lure new customers, while this can be very convenient for starters, if you wish to transfer your domain to other domain registrar, you would have to deal with their policies in terms of domain transfers which can be a bit of a hassle.

As a bit of advice, it is good to have a separate domain name registrar for your domains instead of having your domain registered through your web hosting service provider. This way, you can easily switch web hosting service in the future without going through the hassle of transferring your domains to another host.

Move up your website’s ranking with WebMeUp SEO Tools

November 10, 2012 | By | 1 Reply More

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webmeupSEO (Search Engine Optimization) has evolved since I encountered the term back in 2008. Then, the process of putting up your site and marketing it out in the open and vast field of web properties on the internet is a huge challenge especially for startups and newbies who wants to make their mark on Google’s top ten search results for specific keywords.

Webmasters, SEOs, bloggers and internet marketers are the first ones to tackle the ins and out of search engine optimization. Whenever there are new updates from Google, these guys, like myself are often the first in line to jump into the news, play the guinea pig, and share the discoveries they’d find.

Before, SEO practices often rely on free tools such as the infamous Google Adwords. But as time goes by, online search engine optimization software became available and made the process a lot more interesting and easier. These tools made promising results as search engines become more and more stiff in terms of filtering appropriate results on searches. As search algorithms evolve and becomes more complex, SEO software becomes the hero to many search engine optimization specialists.

In more recent years, web-based SEO tools become more apparent and easily adopted as the internet use increased dramatically in years. In fact, most practitioners find it more convenient since web-based apps can be accessed from anywhere without the need for any application or software installation on any device, just a web browser and an internet connection is suffice to do the job.

WebMeUp like many other SEO software developers have come to the aid of serious search engine professionals all over the globe.

 

With WebMeUp, users can discover new keywords, check rankings and view ranking factors of any web pages or websites in particular. Ranking factors from Google page rank to Alexa to the number of indexed pages a website has becomes readily available for study. The advent of social media also added social media mentions to search engine ranking factors.

webmeup ranking factors

Of course, like most SEO tools, once data has been gathered for web pages, users can reflect and start to strategize what needs to be done to increase a website/webpage rank.

Backlinks have been very important in the past but as SEO like I said evolved, backlinking has been trickier than ever.

Well, to those who practice SEO like I do, there can only be one thing to remember. Create quality and unique content. Everything’s going to follow afterward. If worked for some and for me, if should also work for you!

How Website Heat Map Works

August 30, 2012 | By | Reply More

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If you are a newbie blogging, chances are, you’d definitely become interested in time with website metrics. These metrics includes your web visitor statistics—uniques, and returning or regular visitors. Of course this is natural because you’d want to think if someone is reading your blog. In the event that in the future you’d like to earn some money from your blogging efforts, you’ll be more than just interested in stats but also in the engagement of users into your website such as where they usually scroll and clicks.

These movements in your website are called website heat maps. These determine how users are engaging with your content. There four types of website heat maps that you can look into—scroll heatmaps, click heatmaps, mouse movement heatmaps, and live click heatmaps.

website heat mapAs web visitors come into a web page, user engagement is already measured other than the usual number of visits in a day, length of visit, browser used and geolocation among others.

Tracking user engagement and measuring results varies depending on the purpose the web owner wants to achieve.

For the general part, web owners would be more interested in determining which sections of their web pages receive the most clicks via click heatmaps. Since most of these sections might have ad placements, the data from these clicks measure which sections produce more revenue and high CTR. Ad placement success is crucial to websites running contextual and graphical ads such as Google Adsense, Chitika, and other CPC ad platforms.

Scroll heatmaps, however, tells if any webpage needs revisions. These data are produced in real-time thus allow web developers to find out if there’s any particularly changes that needs to be done on a page like headlines location, posts and other important sections of a website that needs proper attention. As you see the page scrolling, you will know if a certain post is getting the attention it needs and if there are some that needs to be broken down into smaller chunks.

Mousemovement heatmaps on the otherhand allow web owners to clearly see which sections of the site attracts the attention of visitors through color codes with white being the hottest color getting the most attraction, this heatmap type determine which keywords, images and or buttons get the most attention.

Live Click heatmaps however pays more attention to areas of a website where users click in real-time and is mostly useful when launching new campaigns and landing pages.

Is your merchant PCI Compliant?

June 29, 2012 | By | Reply More

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Did you know that online merchants who accept credit card payments must be PCI DSS compliant? Card transactions online is govern by a set of requirements set by the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) which is designed to ensure that ALL companies that process, store or transmit credit card information maintain a secure environment. Essentially any merchant that has a Merchant ID (MID).

The Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council (PCI SSC) was launched on September 7, 2006 to manage the ongoing evolution of the Payment Card Industry (PCI) security standards with focus on improving payment account security throughout the transaction process. The PCI DSS is administered and managed by the PCI SSC (www.pcisecuritystandards.org), an independent body that was created by the major payment card brands (Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover and JCB.).

PCI compliantIt is important to note, the payment brands and acquirers are responsible for enforcing compliance, not the PCI council.

Having read all this, it’s important to understand that whenever you hand your credit card information online, you are putting yourself at risk, meaning you are vulnerable to security breaches however, you must also be aware that certain measures are being taken to fully safeguard your data online so you can sleep safe and sound and that is what the PCI SSC is working for alongside payment brands to ensure that your information cannot be compromised.

For new startup businesses however, they basically need to acquire a PCI compliant hosting environment in order to solidify their intention of good business and for the security of their customers. Merchants must adapt PCI compliance in order to project an image of trustworthiness and dedication to safeguard their customer’s valuable information and data.

Discovering Reader’s Pulse through Online Polls

October 4, 2011 | By | Reply More

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Creating content that suits a specific online audience is really difficult. It’s called targeting the right readership that would read your online content. Publishing online content is a herculean task thus knowing your audience and what they want is basically on powerful way to finding out what your reader wants and consume on a daily basis.

Running an online survey is one and there is basically countless online surveys software that can be utilized for such purpose. Online polls however can be used to pulse the reader’s quick opinion on a question related to an issue or fact. This enhances reader engagement on a website thus making them part of a voting scheme and counting their opinion on something makes them feel important.

Online polls provides information which may not be in depth but a tip of the iceberg information on what they feel about a topic and writers can make something out of these gathered data into new posts or articles. This provides a readily available sample data for research purposes or article enhancement and lots of other things.

Online polls shape the way websites gather opinions and this form actually works better than lengthy surveys that most people online dread engaging in.

Learning the Basics of SEO for Marketing Efficiency

August 7, 2011 | By | Reply More

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The emergence of social media networks validated the need for businesses to build strong customer relationship. While Facebook and Twitter leads the mainstream social media channel, we still cannot discount the fact that searches online are massive and as millions of users around the globe converge on the internet, SEO has just become an enormous battleground for start-ups and existing businesses in order to thrive and survive.

With almost every SEO practitioners striving to get higher search engine rankings on the big three—Google, Yahoo and Bing, the nature and technicality of SEO has been long vague and unexplored. It has remained unravelled up to this time despite unprecedented studies and experiments conducted by various web masters and internet marketing geniuses.

However, knowing the basics from search engine advice give a much clearer view on how to look at SEO from a marketing stand point. Ecommerce website solutions from SEO Dallas provide most of its clients a clear view of what’s needed to be achieved. As Google continues to change its ranking algorithm, the main turning point of SEO practice is to have it aligned to what works and what doesn’t.

Google search results

SEO (Search Engine Optimization) enables websites to appear on web search results in a numerically ordered sequence with the first having the closest relevance to a search term or query being made with so many factors affecting each rankings including but not limited to local factors which affects search results depending on establishments of proximity of where the search has been made online, e.g. a user from the United States are more likely to see establishments from the US or near his IP or area if he chose to use “hotel” as a search term also called local search.

Pay per click advertisers; however, utilize the upper portion of search results, normally seen right above the organic search results in Google wherein these establishments or companies pay for a certain amount on a specific keyword and bids on it on Google. The winner with the highest bid takes the first spot for that specific search term.

In normal practice, it is very difficult to achieve the first spot in the organic search results, it even takes years especially on highly competitive keywords such as computers, hotels, cars, etc., the more weight a webmaster gives on long tail specific keywords, the more likely that a webpage gets a spot, at least in the top ten but then, the page’s content gives more weight to make it more relevant to a particular search term or keyword.

Marketers, who know as least, the basics on how to get SEO work to their advantage, the more likely they are to achieve the desired rankings for their business in search results pages (SERP).

Making Pnyxe Comment System and Forum Widget Work for You

July 20, 2011 | By | Reply More

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Working with websites for more than a couple of years has really opened up avenues for first-hand experience that is by and large something that not anyone could get from formal classroom training. Successful websites get visitors, returning visitors, and endless traffic without much media promotion and of course, recurring revenues. And with the advent of social media channels like Twitter and Facebook, there are more sources of visitor and traffic surge if enough efforts are undertaken. Not to mention, using the right tools to get traffic.

While most blogs and websites utilize a comment system, not all comment systems end up being effective for its purpose. A regular comment system require a name and an email address to be typed in on a comment box which is pretty basic, however giving an email address that you frequently use is not very ideal for the fact that getting spam from these websites you put your email on can be very risky so the idea of getting a comment posted on a website without having to type-in an email address or even your name is a good option and that’s what Pnyxe’s Comment System offers.

Pnyxe comment system

On the other hand, web admins who essentially want to build friendship or professional relationships with other web admins or authors can interact and be noticed using a comment system where you can achieve reputation over time. The higher that reputation value, the more you get from it and eventually you become a thought leader in the industry you’re in and if you’re trying to build a reputation in your niche, that’s definitely a plus.

Most comments systems like Disqus, Intense Debate and JS-Kit has offered comment linking to social networking profiles which means, an commenter can have his comment posted on Twitter and Facebook aside from having it posted on the site where one lefts a comment which is ideal if you want to bring traffic back to that site. Pnyxe comment system does the same thing plus that comment can also be sent via email to anyone you like, which is a great option to those who wants a little privacy and only wants to share things to selected people.

Although a comment system can be enough, most sites are also engaging in a community they want to build for their user base and having a forum is a solution. A forum widget can definitely add user interaction and staying power for web visitors which are very important for any web master. User or readership engagement is something you cannot acquire overnight without putting in so much effort and valuable content altogether.

Comment systems and forum integration can be very easy add-ons to have on a website but the question is, do you have what it takes to make it work with your content and how much effort are you willing to put in?

How Intuit Can Help You Build Your Website from Scratch

June 8, 2011 | By | Reply More

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Many local businesses have embraced the idea of going online in order to market their products and services. If you are one of the few who has not taken advantage of the online arena, there’s still time and there are a bunch of help that you can get out there but you may have to choose wisely from the many providers of online website development.

Building a website from scratch can be painful at the beginning especially to those who does not have the experience and skills however; there have been wondrous developments on this field designed by experts that help newbies build their own sites in just a few minutes.

Intuit website creation by Homestead can help you build your own website from the ground and up without requiring technical skills like coding HTML, and PHP. With Intuit’s user interface, you can create stunning websites in minutes via drag-and-drop. All you need to have is a little artistic taste and you are good to go on your own.

Intuit Website CreationCustomizing the fonts and the readily available texts from over 2000 professionally designed templates make the task easier plus thousands of beautiful graphics will help you create your ideal website that fits your business image.

Building a website does not have to be rigorous. These days, adopting a contractor or a professional web developer can cost thousands of dollars but with a simple tool like Intuit, there’s no reason why you can’t create your own. Once you have created your website, it’s already a one giant step in making your business known to the world via the internet.

From Zero to Hero: The Google Pagerank Update 2010

December 4, 2010 | By | 5 Replies More

Reading time: 3 – 5 minutes

Unbeknownst to regular web users, webmasters have become keen over the last few years about the stats their web properties are getting especially now that search engine rankings are constantly becoming more of a business than just a competitive part of maintaining online presence.

The impact of Google pagerank still plays a part in any web optimization strategy. SEO (Search Engine Optimization) practitioners strive to propel their websites up in the search engine results pages (SERPs), even freelance web developers compete in this industry so the more they’re able to move their websites up in the ranks for targeted keywords, the more credible they become.

Google PagerankI won’t be discussing the nature of Google pagerank in detail here but the simplest would be—Pagerank is achieved when more quality sites link to your website and that for Google is counted as a vote. A rather corporate standpoint of explaining how the relevancy of a site linking to another and the factors affecting a website’s ranking can be read from Google’s Technology overview page.

My previous post about the pagerank drop of this site back in October simply proves that the algorithm changes and that the search engine giant is working at the background.

Positively, just the other day, Software Critics’ pagerank went back to 3 from nil. The green bar is finally back and that means, its harvest time.

The greenbar if you may ask matters to almost every webmasters as it matters more to advertisers. Sponsors pay for links and in return, bloggers or webmasters earn revenue. SEO practitioners get credibility and rates increase when their projects get some PR boost.

While established sites may lose some PR and retain it back at some point, traffic never ceases. It’s a proven fact. For more than a month that this site had lost its pagerank, its traffic never ceased.

Google was right when they pointed out that pagerank is not really something that webmasters should be focused on, instead efforts should be driven on producing quality content. The green bar is just an indicator not an exact measure.

Overtime, there are several metrices that need to be given attention like ROI, click-throughs, traffic, and social media referrals among others depending on the scope and nature of the website or web business.

If the green bar is somewhat giving you some blues, whine not but continue working hard.
Have you checked your site’s pagerank lately? Check it now to find out.

Check Page Rank of your Web site pages instantly:

This page rank checking tool is powered by Page Rank Checker service

Up next…what I did to regain my site’s pagerank. Stay tuned.

Switching Webhosts: From Bluehost to Hostgator

November 9, 2010 | By | Reply More

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It has been more than a year since I lasted switched hosting. It was at first gruesome because I’m still unfamiliar with the workarounds but as time passes, who wouldn’t learn a thing or two if you happen to have moved web hosting from one provider to another for four times in the last twelve months?

This year, I made a promise to myself to stick with just one hosting provider and made it a point to choose only the best. Last week, my hosting contract has expired with Bluehost. It was kinda okay at first until the final quarter of the year contract came in. All of a sudden, DDOS attacks affected their servers which cause some days of downtime resulting to my loss of revenue.

This has never happened once. Often times, I check the site’s uptime using a third-party service provider and they’ve never missed a day that no downtime was recorded. It was a quite a mess so to speak so I decided to move on to a different webhost. There are many web hosting solutions provider these days that I find it somewhat confusing which ones to chose however, starters can make use of web hosting provider reviews that comes from different sites online. Some bloggers who have been on the industry for quite a while do have some good advice to share, mostly from personal experience.

I for one have shared my stories on this space. Just be wary about web hosting reviews as some may not be as sincere as they should appear because some are just there to promote affiliate products so be mindful of your sources.

Moving on, I just recently transferred my web hosting from Bluehost to Hostgator and so far, the transition has been smooth. I hadn’t run ran across any problems. In fact, they even waived a $10 SSL installation on this site so I’m pretty happy. Well, I’ve been a web hosting reseller for Hostgator sometime in March that’s why I perfectly know how they operate and the quality of service they provide.

For me, the best web hosting is not Hostgator or Bluehost, it’s the web hosting provider you are comfortable to work with and delivers your expectations as they happen.

Google Pagerank Storm: Are You Hit?

October 22, 2010 | By | 6 Replies More

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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

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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?

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

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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.

Blogging Using WordPress App for Nokia E71

August 27, 2010 | By | 6 Replies More

Reading time: 2 – 2 minutes

It has been quite a while since the last time I posted on this site as I have been extremely busy with a lot of things including work and clients so I’m trying to catch up at least on the fastest way I could.

Last week, I just bought my newest buddy, a Nokia E71 phone. It’s a nifty qwerty phone capable of transferring data via WLAN connection so I’m very happy with it. It has a built-in GPS and can also transmit files via the old timer IR and Bluetooth technology.

Since I am using it as my small business phone and it’s one thing that’s also keeping me busy though I thought that I might use it for my cause thus, I installed WordPress for Nokia, an application for creating content on Symbian phones using the WordPress platform.

For the Nokia E71, it’s quite hard to find WordPress compatible apps I was just persistent in looking for one and glad to have been using it as I write. I actually used the USB Cable and the Nokia PC Suite to make the file installation possible. Mobile WordPress App Screenshot I have a lot of things to write about in the next few days hopefully when I get the time to sneak out of work but this time, It’ll be through my Nokia E71 WordPress app. I’m very excited to write more so I do hope that you guys will stay around as I’ll be sharing some tricks using Nokia E71 and WordPress for mobile blogging. Have a great day everyone! You can download the WordPress for Nokia specifically Symbian S60 v3.1 here. Link last updated 13th October 2010.

Web Hosting Reviews, Tips and Blogging All in One Place

June 3, 2010 | By | 5 Replies More

Reading time: 2 – 3 minutes

It’s common for technology blogs to discuss web hosting, review some of them and those that they have subscribed with in the past like I used to do and of course, share some tips in blogging.

The most talked about and rather argued topic on most technology blogs and forums evolve around who’s the best web hosting provider or what’s the best web hosting solution to adopt for your online business.

There is absolutely no perfect host as there is no perfect web hosting platform that you could find in the market. However, there are definitely a few service providers that standout and has been in the industry for years.

If you’re someone who’s new into the business of web hosting, you will really have to do some homework before jumping into a service. Reputable hosting companies normally rate highly on web hosting reviews compared to its counterparts.

Visit some forums, web hosting review sites or ask some webmasters for recommendation. Most of the time, positive testimonials from a friend regarding their experiences with a host do a great deal in helping you decide which host to go for.

Most blogs do cover these areas but they are not most of the time updated. Rarely could you find blogs that cover web hosting reviews and tips on a frequent basis like webhostingfan.com. The latter also features the latest trends in web development, web hosting industry news, content management system basics, domain names and a lot more.

WordPress and blogging-related articles are also featured on the site which can be helpful for those planning to start their own or add functionality on existing ones. Tips on blog management, ways to driving traffic and enforcing security measures on servers are always a good read.

Try visiting the site and start reading reviews on most web hosting companies today. Who knows, this might be the best resource you’ve been looking for.

Will You Ever Consider Paying For Cheap Web Hosting?

April 29, 2010 | By | 2 Replies More

Reading time: 2 – 2 minutes

In more ways than one, writing about my web hosting experiences and other service providers have already been a part of my blogging gig. There are ups and downs along the way but making it this far for almost 6 months on my current host without downtime is pretty satisfying however despite of that, getting a good web hosting service requires money and time for research.

At some point, I do agree with some fellow webmasters I know that “you get what you’ve paid for” however, I still think that if that’s the case in all industries, then there should be no existing competition in the marketplace. Therefore, the end doesn’t always justify the means.

Alternative options are available so we should know that one service after another has its counterpart. It could cheaper in terms of price but could be superior when it comes to service and performance. We’ll never know until we try. That’s what normally happens to everyone else be it a service or a good offline.

For starters, it wasn’t that bad to try cheaper services. This blog even started on a free host but when it gradually grew overtime, I had it moved to a more reliable and paid hosting since it can already pay the bills. There’s nothing wrong with trying out cheaper services, I’m sure there are actually ones that can stand the test of time and can go beyond your expectations.

Consider PacificHost, a shared web hosting service provider with datacenters located in Chicago, IL. With its unlimited hosting for 2.95/month offer, I’m certain that you wouldn’t have second thoughts signing-up with them but again, as I always say, you can only criticize a service when you have tried them.

Uptime and Service quality always comes first on basically all web hosting businesses. Don’t be afraid of failure. It is where we fail the hard way that we learn the most. Your thoughts are welcome at the comments section.

Timeless Thesis WordPress Theme Customizations

April 26, 2010 | By | 5 Replies More

Reading time: 3 – 4 minutes

Countless rave reviews about Thesis Theme for WordPress can be found on the internet if you search it on Google. Having over 4 million search results for the term “Thesis theme reviews”, there’s really no doubt that it was indeed a very popular theme amongst content publishers particularly bloggers.

It was in August 2009 when I first used Thesis theme on this site and the rest was history. I’m not an affiliate marketer making commissions out of endorsing this theme so basically I’m just a fan.

I’ve been exposed to the basic web development components such as HTML and CSS because of this theme including PHP. Thesis is like a framework that is not so friendly for novices and those that don’t have any background on markup languages and custom styles sheets but friendly to those who are willing to learn and earn extra credits for SEO benefits.

The moment you learn how to tweak Thesis using codes to change its layout and colors, the more you get hooked into it.

For so many months, I have scoured the web for useful resources on how to tweak Thesis theme and among those timeless pieces of tutorials that I came across will take the credit for this post entirely.

My current header is a simple art work designed by me using Picasa, Google’s free photo editing software.

Most custom CSS requirements can be fulfilled by using this CSS code generator from DoubleMule.

This site’s custom RSS feed trick was courtesy of Brendan Wenzel.

Thesis Theme header

The full navigation menu tutorial come from the expertise of Kristarella.

With every post that you can find on this site follows several social bookmarking icons right below it and these are all made possible through the savvy codes of Kristi Hines.

thesis social bookmarking icons

Some of the insertions on these site’s pages were actually powered by the Thesis OpenHook plugin where most of the ad codes reside.

One of the favorite customization I’ve done on this blog was the custom three column footer widget shared by Fourblogger.com, a video blog, whose admins are very friendly and selfless.

Thesis custom three column footer widget

These pieces of tutorials serve as guide in making this site look the way it was today. I’m very thankful to these guys for sharing their talents and in making Thesis theme functional and aesthetically inspiring.

Would You Pay $10 For A Full Year Web Hosting?

April 13, 2010 | By | 9 Replies More

Reading time: 2 – 3 minutes

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

You’ve read it right. It’s a ten-dollar web hosting plan for an entire year courtesy of Nexx® Online, Inc. who recently rebranded its web hosting platform and accompanying its launch is an irresistible offer every webmaster should consider.

Nexxbannernoflash
Nexx’s Unlimited Web Hosting plan boasts more than just one full year of unlimited disk space, bandwidth and email but also a free .COM domain name for only $10 with 24/7 Customer Support service, one-click WordPress and scripts installation plus $50 advertising credits on both Adwords and Facebook Ads.

Investing on a reliable web hosting service is probably the best decision you can make if you’re starting out in the online business. Attractive offers always come in handy as web hosts sprung like mushrooms on the web thou some providers simply come and go, only a handful of them remains strong in the industry.

It doesn’t matter how much you pay for hosting because what’s important is the return on investment and the quality of service you’re paying for your virtual real estate.

Paying for cheap web hosting has its drawbacks and I had my own fair share of ups and downs along the way but eventually learned some valuable lessons.

Would you pay $10 for a full year hosting service? Share your thoughts.

Visit my sponsor: Unlimited Web Hosting + Domain Name for $10 @ Nexx

Reader’s Pulse: A Readership Engagement Initiative Survey

April 13, 2010 | By | 3 Replies More

Reading time: 2 – 3 minutes

Understanding your readers and their reactions towards your website are significant indicators in determining the direction where your online efforts are heading. It serves as valuable clues that would trigger changes mostly for the better.

Through the use of surveys, webmasters will be able to come up with right blend of information and design structure which would promote positive results when analyzed carefully.

Having conducted surveys or feedback initiative last year created a whole new outlook in keeping abreast with what most online content consumers dig.

Person taking a customer survey and responding "excellent".

This time around, I’m opening up a new set of information gathering which I think would best benefit the visitors of this site for a much better reading experience which I will call the Reader’s Pulse Readership Engagement Initiative Survey.

Take the Reader’s Pulse Survey Now!

Your responses will mostly evolve on your overall impression of the site—its contents, design and layout and reading experience. Other than that, there’s a field allotted for you to freely speak your mind and most of all, your individual responses will be made confidential.

This endeavor will not push through without your support so I’m reaching out to you, my dearest reader, to share your valuable time and I would really appreciate your opinion. I’ll be waiting for your responses. Thanks!

Take the Reader’s Pulse Survey Now!

This survey is powered by a SurveyGizmo free account. A Reader’s Pulse Survey link can also be found below the comment “submit” button throughout this site.

Changing Your WordPress Theme to Increase Reader Engagement

April 9, 2010 | By | 4 Replies More

Reading time: 2 – 4 minutes

Updated and compelling content, easy-to-use navigation with fast-loading pages and attractive design are just among the salient features readers are looking for in a blog.

Readers arrive on your site’s landing pages expecting that they’ll get the information they’re looking for especially when they came from the search engines.

However, I always feel that changing your site’s theme once in a while does help in keeping your regular readers attention and that it reminds them that the site owner still has the time to keep monotony out-of-place.

I’ve used the Thesis Theme for more than six months, although I’ve made several tweaks with it, I came to the point that switching WordPress theme would be a great move especially when I feel that transition has to take place to spice things up a bit.

reader engagement

In an SEO (search engine optimization) perspective, changing themes don’t matter much as long as you’re using All-in-one SEO plugin or Platinum SEO for non-SEO powered themes although some theme developers would insist that using their SEO-savvy themes provide some edge over the other themes around, it doesn’t bother me as long as good content keeps pouring in.

Visitor interaction matters the most because the actions they take like clicking on your links, your ads, buying something or leaving comments are most likely to be products of good website design and layout.

How often do you encounter sites with cluttered sidebars and headers that almost look like a NASCAR?

More than eating the site’s space with so many distractions, it also slows down the site because of too many “http requests” on the server.

I’m not against blogs with too many widgets or ads but the real point is making it easier on the eyes of your readers. After all, the first thing they’re going to do when they land on your site is have a glance than read your article.

And if they didn’t like what they’ve seen, the “X” button on their screen is just a click away.

Flaunt Your Writing Prowess on ArticleZoom.org

March 21, 2010 | By | Reply More

Reading time: 2 – 4 minutes

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

Most content writers online have in one way or the other came across article directories such as EzineArticles, GoArticles and countless other sites for exposure and marketing. Bloggers being one of them are never new to the benefits that these article directories offer especially when it comes to getting referral traffic.

An article directory serves as an aggregate of the best write-ups coming from writers of various expertise and therefore most of the time is a reliable source of information and entertainment. One of today’s increasingly talked about general article directory is ArticleZoom.org whose platform is built on WordPress.

Logo

Quality content is definitely the most important criteria pushed on their article submission guidelines which utterly speaks about their efforts in maintaining a good reputation attached to their name while at the same time allowing every contributor or publisher to showcase their expertise through their articles and writing style.

Those who are interested in submitting their work on ArticleZoom.org must keep in mind that submitted articles should not be less than 200 words written in English only, must not contain more than 3 links or similar anchor texts, must be of value and should be placed on the appropriate category to avoid deletion or revocation.

Submitted articles should be originally written by you and not reprinted from somewhere else. Successfully submitted articles in return have the opportunity to be promoted via twitter once published.

So, if you’re looking at a better profile boost as a writer, an avenue to showcase your skills and expertise online or just another marketing ground to increase your client count and build your portfolio, go ahead and sign-up with ArticleZoom.org because they might just be the one you’re looking for.

Visit my sponsor: ArticleZoom.org

Conversion Hosting Converts Your Online Efforts into Profit

February 26, 2010 | By | 8 Replies More

Reading time: 2 – 3 minutes

The past few days had been a hustle because my time became so dedicated on my new online venture which wasn’t about tech blogging but is somewhat technical to say the least. Managing a web hosting start-up requires that much time and effort to even complete certain tasks and technical requirements especially at the backend.

Eagerness to learn as well as passion brought me into realizing this project which I’ve thought about since earlier this year. Finally, it became operational just a couple of days ago.

Conversion Hosting is officially open for business and is currently offering shared web hosting space at very affordable rates. Yours truly will be serving as one of the support administrators while being based in the Philippines. Our servers are based in Houston, Texas and is completely Green powered which means it’s environmentally-friendly.

Conversion Hosting

This web hosting investment is truly a big risk on my end however being a Tech blogger, I know that I could certainly deliver a good technical support especially with the many web hosting experiences I’ve gained as a consumer and webmaster.

Understanding web hosting customers’ needs in the perspective of a consumer’s viewpoint definitely gives me an edge to understand the needs of every webmaster who are trying to build their online presence one step at a time.

I would always see my self on every prospective consumer that will come and use the service of Conversion Hosting and from there I would know how web hosting should be done and how it should work for the consumer’s advantage.

Software Critics started out small but then grew gradually. Blogging profit is something I don’t disclose on this site but this is what I envision every domain that will be hosted on Conversion Hosting. However small a website is, as long as it could start on a decent hosting, it eventually can become profitable in the long haul.

Consider hosting your site at Conversion Hosting and we’ll try our best to help you convert your online efforts into profit through our reliable web hosting solutions. Discount coupons will be provided to the newsletter subscribers of this blog so if you haven’t signed up, here’s your chance to do so.

Take a tour at Conversion Hosting and let me know what you think. Cheers!

Do Webmasters Need A Website Monitoring Service?

January 27, 2010 | By | 10 Replies More

Reading time: 2 – 2 minutes

It has been months since I’ve transferred hosting to Bluehost and I must say that the investment is really worth it. For almost three months, I haven’t seen any outages on this site nor have heard of any reports about this site being offline even for a short while.

I’m glad to have made the right choice but if you may ask why am I able to keep track of what’s going on with this blog, that’s because I’m using a third-party service provider to monitor this blog’s uptime every day. I’ve been using Internetseer.com’s free service option since I started self-hosting.

I could even recall those times when I normally send some screenshots of the weekly uptime report to my previous hosts just to let them know that I’m aware of what’s going on with my site. That way, they have no reason not to admit and keep their hands clean when it’s not.

Webmasters really need to utilize third-party web monitoring services especially if they’re on the process of scrutinizing a new hosting company’s performance. A lot of cheap web hosting companies are sprouting nowadays every second, so it pays to be vigilant. Don’t be afraid to complain when there’s something wrong and always aim for value with the money you spent.

Site uptime can make or break your online business so make sure it’s always available when http requests are being sent to your site’s server. The best tip is to ask or consult those people who had the experience with hosting companies because they know who’s who in the industry, makes perfect sense right?

If you haven’t acquired a third-party website monitoring service, share your reasons why.

Free Help Desk Software for PHP/MySQL Powered Sites

January 19, 2010 | By | 5 Replies More

Reading time: 2 – 3 minutes

Support systems for websites are becoming mandatory these days. Commercial sites or even personal blogs need to have effective communication channels prominently displayed on their pages where readers or visitors can reach other than some plain old contact forms. Chat buttons or links work perfectly well but in some instances, emails or written communication complements the need of a more detailed inquiry thus, a Help Desk Software installation will suffice.

Websites using MySQL or PHP language can take advantage of today’s increasing demand for ticket supported sites where users have the ability to send inquiries relevant to the site such as technical issues, bug reporting, site functionality, written articles, and advertising among countless things.

Acquiring a Hosted Help Desk service nowadays can be costly. Although startup businesses may appreciate the use of a Help Desk Demo for a period of time, once the trial has ended, companies have to pay the recurring fees involved not including maintaining the service in case they decided not to seek third-party personnel to make it work.

Using free help desk software for PHP/MySQL powered sites however have a lot advantages primarily because it’s cost-effective, readily available and most of time they are easy to use or implement. Although dedicated support is not available compared to hosted ones, majority of free software have massive users wherein you can easily find support from countless forums and blogs.

There are drawbacks however on free software in terms of security however this issue is often times addressed through consistent script updates from developers which means that webmasters using free PHP software on a self-hosted site must always be prepared to handle minimal site backups during upgrades and are keen enough in terms of securing their sites.

In-house customer support via ticketing system works wonders but along with it comes the challenge of keeping it up if tons of questions start pouring in while at the same time maintaining the quality of the answers and consistently making the website work for what it’s for.

Not even Hesk’s Free PHP Help Desk software can resolve your business’ issues if you can’t even handle them yourself.

Using Blog Comments for Reader Support Issues

January 14, 2010 | By | 1 Reply More

Reading time: 2 – 4 minutes

The comments section of a blog is probably the most dynamic part where most interaction happens. It’s a conversation medium to say the least. However, in terms of dofollow blogs (meaning comments are given weight with pagerank juice equal to a vote on Google by turning off the default “nofollow” links in the comments of a blog) where rewarding your commentators has its advantages, spam plays a large part of the transition however it would be a problem if you’re not using WP Spam Free plugin or Akismet.

As I keep dofollow in the comments, I’m only making sure that the links go to reputable sites as nobody likes to link to bad neighborhoods and neither would I want some Google slap, makes sense isn’t?

However, as time passes wherein most webmasters noticeably recognize blog posts that are timelessly pulling off traffic especially tutorial posts, having a help button would not be suffice although it helps, somehow readers specifically those asking for some help are quite hesitant to leave their message and their email.

Vouching to you readers’ strict email/information privacy is mandatory to get their trust although sometimes “who knows who”, there are webmasters selling their commentators emails for profit to third parties. You can actually notice a lot of guys on elance, odesk, etc. are buying email addresses for their campaigns and those who respond to these acquisitions get something from it.

If you’re a webmaster who had accidentally used your POP3 email/web email address while commenting on some blogs, don’t be alarmed when at some point you’ll be receiving spam. I’ve had that experience many times.

Going back to the main point of this post,

I have decided to reopen all the comments section on this blog strictly for support issues contrary to my usual 90-day comment closed procedure on posts.

There are countless questions coming in from the help button found on the right side of the screen that needs to be addressed. I’m sure this move would benefit readers who happened to have dropped in here for some queries about old posts.

Friendship

Along side this move is my dedication to impose the comment policy on this blog. It would be obvious for a link dropper if old posts get recent comments if those are not support queries.

So, what do you think of this move? This could be testing the water for the meantime but could be permanent as well. You can share your thoughts. I’ll appreciate it.

When Companies Play Down on Blogs: Who Casts the Stone?

January 7, 2010 | By | Reply More

Reading time: 4 – 6 minutes

Promising blogs get traction from direct advertisers—niche or non-niche focused they can be up to the point that some advertisers try to offer something in exchange.

This system is never new, and of course, publishers who would like to earn or make something out of their blogs by trying to become advertiser friendly would definitely embrace the idea.

Sometimes, countless good bloggers even provide their reviews and services for free simply as a result of good communication and trust.

However, if trust has been hammered by a question of character and belittlement, the consequence of such action can be detrimental to good relationships.

Betrayal of Trust

Companies approach blogs to promote themselves—their services, their name and along with that are their integrity that they have handed over for scrutiny. Once a blogger accepted them open-handedly, that’s the time when consensus are formed thus in time builds trust.

If you gave companies a favor of writing for them without asking anything in return, that only means you trusted them. Human nature then speaks of trust and therefore gives something in gratis.

SEO wise, blogs get natural links; high pagerank blogs provide a boost. That’s why blog networks sell blog links for these companies to get found in searches. I hate talking about links and search engine optimization to think that our discussion is based on trust.

However, bloggers should draw the line. I never saw this coming but I did what I have to do.

If you’re aware of the recently concluded giveaway on this blog, you already have the hint on where this post is coming from. But then again, you might want to get a clear grasp on the said event here starting from the announcement of winners up to the comments thread.

Generally, the blogger always has the final say in all things that matters on his blog. Not anyone else has discretion unless there’s a solid agreement in black and white however it’s almost always minimal.

The question at hand is…

If a company does not trust a blogs readership, does it mean as well that it doesn’t trust the blogger?

If a blogger trusts his readers then it follows that whoever betrays his readers’ trust is guilty of betrayal?

You can raise your brows if you don’t agree but that’s how I treat my readers. I trust them and if some entity doesn’t trust them then there’s no way that I could trust such company.

On Companies Disparaging Blogs

If companies don’t need blogs for their online presence then it would be shameful that at this time of day, some still don’t find this platform a critical avenue that needs tapping in order to survive.

It is shameless of a company to drag a blog down the drain after getting what they want for free and then with so much arrogance tried to come out clean to jeopardize a blogger’s integrity.

These shameless companies are like leeches that suck the backlink juices out blogs and when they get what they want, they screw the blog and the blogger.

No blogger would ever back down on these scumbags without vengeance although at some point, it would not be that healthy, forbid the action but sometimes what goes around comes around.

Aversion is human nature’s reaction to unlikely actions geared towards another although not very pleasing, somehow someone has got to face the music.

Use and Abuse

Bloggers have to understand that the platform they use is more than just a piece of land on the internet that they own. It’s a craftsmanship of their thoughts and themselves as a person.

I’m certain that no blogger would allow anyone to look down on them and flush their priced possession down the toilet and drag them down the drain along with these companies’ filthy bossy attitude.

Bloggers must fight for what they think is right and try to preserve their blogs and treat it like their own home.

Dubious guests aren’t welcome as well as arrogant visitors are thrown out of the window and abusive people get slammed behind the door.

The Power of Blogs

It’s pretty obvious that blogs influence are so powerful that it sometimes if not most of the time changes the trends. Mainstream media was challenged and is continuously dwindling down especially with the advent of social media tools that propels blog contents across multiple channels in one click of a button.

The viral reach of blogs is immeasurable and intelligent companies should know that. Screwing a blogger or a blog is never a good idea. Although bloggers are responsible enough for all their actions it is sometimes tempting to get even.

balance

Anyone who’s not guilty must cast the first stone however between blogs and companies, a blogger may not choose revenge but in the end the readers will then most of the time cast their vote and determine whose fate ends in vain.

Last Web Hosting Advice for 2009

December 31, 2009 | By | 2 Replies More

Reading time: 1 – 2 minutes

My web hosting experience was never a close book for the readers of this blog. I’ve through all the ups and downs of web hosting but the best thing about all these experiences is being able to learn from it but the best consolation would be sharing such experiences into a wider audience for the benefit of the many.

There are basically a lot of things to learn about web hosting that I have covered in the past and probably one of the best advice is doing your research instead of grabbing attractive deals that you can find left and right.

Choosing the best web hosting solution for your business or personal portfolio is crucial to your success however you don’t always have to settle for cheap hosting instead focus on the benefits of getting a reliable service which you can actually get ideas from web hosting review sites. There are so many of them to give you much information that you need however I would consider word-of-mouth recommendations to be highly effective.

I never would have less worry if I didn’t ask for my cousin’s recommendation. I’m glad I did. Don’t be attracted to deals and pricing instead do your homework and seek for the best.

Blogging Mafia: Do They Really Exist?

December 20, 2009 | By | 16 Replies More

Reading time: 4 – 6 minutes

Blogging has definitely evolved from being a simple personal journal into a huge threat to mainstream media causing some thousands of print media closures and struggles. Blogs indeed played a major role in shaping the internet and the way information is disseminated across boarders and multiple channels rapidly immeasurable.

One blog post at present can virally transpire across the globe through the influence of social media. It has become mandatory for blogs nowadays to incorporate social media tools in their platform to ensure widespread distribution of content.

With the advent of today’s social media, blogs generally have found a solid backbone for viral distribution and it leads me to thinking if the idea of a Blogging Mafia exists or does it really exists in the first place or if so, will it thrive or remain relevant.

Blogging and Affiliation

If the likes of Darren Rowse or Brian Clark engages only within the circle of elite A+ bloggers, does that make them part of a Blogging Mafia? Or if you’re somewhat close and mingle only to the likes of Yaro, David Risley or John Chow, does that immediately make you one of them? Or affiliation with Chris Brogan and Pete Cashmore already make you a social media guru?

Niche and non-niche blogging could genuinely create close or tight groups sharing the same passion and possibly some ways of thinking. Think about flocks of birds and schools of fishes. Can you see an odd-one out?

a choir of chicks

Although it’s different if we’re going to talk about people—engagement, affiliation or what have you because there’s always a sense of belonging. Mainstream media even have the same thing going around. But what makes affiliation so important?

Considering the way Mafia works, a Mafioso (Mafia member) is not supposed to introduce himself to another Mafioso. If he wants to establish a relationship, he must ask a third, mutually known Mafioso, to introduce them to each other which make sense that if the likes of Robert Scoble introduce you to Michael Arrington that means you’re within the circle. I can be wrong or maybe right.

Associations are pretty important if you really wanted to make a name, at least for infinite reasons. You wouldn’t want to be associated with bad neighborhoods, do you?

To what extent does affiliation can backfire social interaction and transparency? If a Blogging Mafia does exist, it only means that if you’re within the level of plankton, you cannot interact with those within the top of the pyramid of social classes.

It’s a little absurd to think about social classes at this time of age or an apartheid-like kind of thinking where one does not belong to the other. It’s insane.

Blogging Success and Perceptions

If blogging is an instrument that hopefully in the upcoming years would continue to be relevant and alive, I’ll be happy to wake up each day and find that everyone’s all equal. What a perfect world could that be? I guess blogging simply gives each one of us a voice, a rather unique voice that gives us freedom to express ourselves or much more.

I’ve once read of a blogger who said that those who were thinking of a blogging Mafia’s existence are simply jealous of others successes. Such perceptions could have been a little over the top, a character reflected of a Mafioso.

THEY ARE NOT IN THE VATICAN.  MATRIX III?

As Mafia’s are characterized by men often having negative connotations of arrogance, conceited and overly self-assured countenance, it’s undermining of one’s character to be labeled such.

Final Thoughts

We cannot classify ourselves from others and neither it is healthy to tag people as such simply because they don’t conform to our likes or are differ in interests and opinions. We are all different in various ways—character, talent, skills, etc. If a Blogging Mafia does really exist, which I hope not, then I’d burry such idea in a sea of oblivion created by a lame state of mind however if it does and I have no choice but to take a stand, I’d rather associate myself with genuine and truthful bloggers who were humbled by their successes and achievements.

Do you really believe that there’s a Blogging Mafia going on or is it just plain stupid to think that it really exist?

Goo.gl it and Socialize with Google’s URL Shortener

December 16, 2009 | By | 2 Replies More

Reading time: 2 – 4 minutes

Google seems to be jumping on every single platform it can get its hands into and surprisingly, their URL shortening service, goo.gl made its debut. Although there’s no way that anybody can just go into the site and shorten a URL just like stand-alone shortening services like bit.ly, ow.ly, etc., goo.gl however is only available on Google products—Feedburner and Google Toolbar and to think that generally, blogs mostly have RSS feeds powered by Feedburner, it’s pretty clear that Google has capitalized its massive influence on RSS powered sites/blogs.

Feedburner Socialize Service Using Goo.gl Shortening Service from Google

Feedburner Socialize Service Using Goo.gl Shortening Service from Google

To give you a better view on how you can take advantage of this service, log into your Feedburner account and Under the publicize page, you can find the Socialize service on Feedburner. This feature allows you to connect your feed to the real-time social web which means your feeds will automatically appear on your favorite social networks which at present only supports Twitter and can only post a feed on a single Twitter account.

Formatting options however must be within 140-character limit otherwise messages longer than normal will be truncated. Posts depending on your liking could either be just the post feed title, title and body, or the body as the tweet while feed item permalinks will be rewritten using Google’s goo.gl URL shortener. These links will then be redirected to the normal Feedburner URLs for analytics tracking consistency plus the ability to RT your shortened URLs using “Leave room for retweets” option.

Hash tags are also an added option based on item categories. Custom messages can also be added preceding or following the message that is created using shortened URLs. For the meantime, only five news updates can be posted for every feed update.

The keyword filter function will then filter the shortened links to be broadcasted based on a given keyword in a category. A preview is also available to let you see how your tweets will appear given your chosen Socialize options but only new feed items will be tweeted after the service is activated.

With this recent move from Google, I’m pretty sure that it will lessen the use WordPress of plugins that auto-posts newly published articles on Twitter and decreased number of users on third-party web apps doing the same. There would be a sudden shift in number and it can be huge.

How do you think will plugin developers and third-party providers react to this move by Google? We might be seeing a great monopoly of Google on almost every scale but do see it as it is? Your comments are welcome.

When Is Image Hosting On Your Server Not Necessary?

December 4, 2009 | By | 10 Replies More

Reading time: 2 – 4 minutes

After several encounters with horrible web hosting providers, I have learned things the hard way but I certainly believe that it’s all worth it anyway. Looking at the brighter side of things always has its rewards.

I may not be the savviest blogger out there but neither that I claim to be one. I just do my stuff and that’s it.

One of the realizations I’ve had with my hosting experience has something to do with server hosted images. When I started self-hosting this blog, I normally upload the photos or screenshots on my web server. Novice that I am, I certainly don’t have an idea how to back up my image files from my database so it’s been a pain uploading images again after each transfer but after I decided that I should take the route of hosting my images on free third-party hosting sites, that’s when I’ve finally come up with these observations:

While hosting images on your server is a good idea especially if you’re optimizing for Google Image search as image URLs get indexed, it’s not at all practical if you’re on a shared hosting especially those accounts with limited space and bandwidth.

The traffic you can get out of Google Image results may vary depending on your site or blog’s topic. Most of the time, you might be losing bandwidth that you don’t even realize. Preventing your images from hot linking ( also known as inline linking, leeching, piggy-backing, direct linking, offsite image grabbing or bandwidth theft) will do the trick otherwise you might just end up paying more for something that you didn’t even use.

Uploading images on your server can slow down page load. Large images which are not optimized will take a while to load thus creating annoyance on your readers. However, if you’re willing to pay for a VPS or dedicated server, then go head but for practical reasons, why bother hosting your images when you’re not getting any traffic or revenue out of it?

Regardless if your blog is optimized for Google Image search or not, people will come and read your blog not because of the image they saw but because of the value they can get out of your content.

So if you can maximize your revenue by not spending anything for image hosting and not paying much for your web server costs, I believe that the only trouble left for you is how you can create compelling content that will attract consistent and not fly-by readers to your site.

subway rush

If you have something to share be it an affirmation or opposition to what I’ve shared on this post, feel free to have your say at the comment’s section.

Thesis Theme Christmas Tweaks

December 3, 2009 | By | 3 Replies More

Reading time: 3 – 4 minutes

When I started blogging, I have been a fan of magazine style themed blogs but as I go on further with blogging, I’ve decided to switch tastes and basically try some other themes from Typebased, Playmaker to Flexx Themes until I finally embraced Thesis theme.

Although Thesis is pretty much high maintenance in the sense that I don’t have enough knowledge about PHP and CSS, I still decided to use it because I know there’s something about this theme and why everybody’s going crazy about it.

This holiday, I’m actually thinking beyond myself and part of that is basically showcasing the guys that have inspired me to tweak my theme the best way I can even though I don’t have access to the forums.

First off, the Christmas ambience of my header is largely influenced by Sire of Wassupblog.com. He’s been an avid commentator on this blog and I appreciate his interest with what I write.

My header is basically taken from this code:

#header { text-indent: -9999px; }

.custom #header { background: url(‘http://softwarecritics.info/wp-content/uploads/2009/12/software-critics-christmas.png’) no-repeat; text-indent: -9999px; border-bottom: none; }

.custom #header #logo a { display: block; height: 110px; width: 950px; background: url(‘software-critics-christmas.png’) no-repeat; outline: none; }
.custom #header #logo, .custom #header #tagline { text-indent: -9999px; }
.custom #header #tagline { height: 0; }
.custom #header {border-bottom:none; padding:0}
.custom #header { padding: 0; }

I can’t remember whose blog I got it from but whoever you are, thank you for sharing your talent.

Based on the code above, some of the values are pretty much familiar with those using Thesis, the snow flakes however are taken from here.

The custom RSS image tweak was courtesy of Brendan Wenzel’s How to Change the RSS Feed Link to an Image with Thesis Theme tutorial. I really didn’t do much about the codes because like what I’ve said, I’m not really that CSS savvy but I’m glad Brendan helped.

You can see the code below and just change it to your liking.

.custom .menu .rss a { padding-right: 16px; margin-bottom: -130px; text-indent: -9999px; background: url(‘http://softwarecritics.info/wp-content/uploads/2009/12/santa-rss-icon.png’) 100% 50% no-repeat; border: none; width: 120px; height: 145px; }
.custom .menu .rss a:hover { padding-right: 16px; margin-bottom: -130px; text-indent: -9999px; background: url(‘http://softwarecritics.info/wp-content/uploads/2009/12/santa-rss-icon.png’) 100% 50% no-repeat; border: none; width: 120px; height: 145px; }

Santa images are available online and you can just grab whatever you want. I know that those who know Photoshop can do much better than I did with my RSS image button. Suit your style.

Thesis Theme Christmas Tweaks

Thesis Theme Christmas Tweaks

Finally, I want to thank Chris Pearson of Pearsonified.com for creating Thesis Theme for WordPress whose blog often leave me breathless whenever I drop by.

And to all Thesis users who doesn’t get tired of sharing their tweaks and tutorials, you all rock!

In case I’ve forgot to mention your name, please do so at the comments section.

Get the Upper Hand in Web Hosting With Upperhost

November 21, 2009 | By | 8 Replies More

Reading time: 1 – 2 minutes

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

Getting the right web hosting solution for your website or blog is not an easy task. I’ve learned it the hard way and having to transfer from several web hosting providers for four times in than less than a year is no joke.

To get a hint about the savviest players in this industry is primarily the first goal you should be having because these are avenues where major web hosting companies are gauged with regard to performance and reliability.

Hosting blunders is something you wouldn’t want to commit unless you’re not serious enough with what you do. Being novice in the virtual world is not an excuse for lack of information since everything is already within your reach.

If you’re someone who’s looking into the option of getting your online business to the next level, web hosting review sites like upperhost.com will certainly make a great deal out of your internet investment because it will show you the ins and outs of web hosting atrocities from rants and failures to benefits and options.

Choosing the most effective and reliable web hosting solution can become a struggle or a gamble but only those who are willing to pay the price often end victorious.

 

Google Notifications for Software Upgrade Now In Webmaster Tools

November 21, 2009 | By | Reply More

Reading time: 2 – 2 minutes

It has been a year since Google started providing alerts to webmasters for security holes in their websites that makes it vulnerable to attacks. In fact, the message center within Webmaster tools became their avenue in spreading the word to website owners with potentially hackable sites.

This time around, Google will not only isolate potentially vulnerable software packages, but also notify webmasters about the most recent version releases of the software packages or plugins they’re running on their site which would help webmasters to make informed decisions if they would want to upgrade or not. These notifications will be visible via the message center.

ms_pwned

Google sees appending a generator meta tag to specify the software version number help in parsing source code pages that Google will crawl to identify vulnerable sites. Difference in opinions question the security of placing version number in source codes for fear that once worm writers knew it; they would know the type of exploit a website can be susceptible but Google thinks otherwise.

Google blog mentions sending out the first of these messages soon so watch out for it.

Purchasing Localized Domain Extensions

November 17, 2009 | By | Reply More

Reading time: 1 – 2 minutes

Currency can sometimes play a factor in acquiring Domain Name Registration for a website you’re planning to build up. Users of a particular geographic area will most likely prefer buying a domain and hosting using their local currency for ease of use.

Domain extensions having .co.uk signify that a site is geographically targeting users in the United Kingdom but that doesn’t mean that domain registrars would not accept or register other domain extensions which cater to a global audience like .com, .net or .org.

The main reason why geo-targeting for domains is a value-added factor is because it allows businesses to rank high on searches online within the targeted location. Google once pointed out that certain domain extensions like .ca, .co.uk, .be, etc. are automatically prioritized for searches within that geo-location.

Local businesses who wish to established brand strength and online presence in their own country must go after localized domain extensions in order to appear more relevant on localized searchers.

If you’re planning about purchasing a domain name, it’s always advisable that you should consider your target audience or market. If you end up focusing on the local arena and somehow got lucky with your business and wanted to expand internationally, then buying a generic domain extension would be ideal.

HOW TO: Speed Up DNS Propagation after Changing Host

November 17, 2009 | By | 8 Replies More

Reading time: 3 – 5 minutes

One of the things that you would encounter once you changed hosting is for DNS propagation to resolve quickly in order for your website to be back online. At some point, you may want to do something to make it a little faster but there are certain factors that hinder it from occurring.

Before you can appreciate how DNS propagation works, you must first understand that DNS (stands for Domain Name Server) is something that your web hosting provider creates particularly a Master DNS record for your domain. Your domain registrar (the company where you paid to own your domain) then points to your web host’s DNS servers and once the update is completed, outside sources can view your site online the moment they find your site’s corresponding IP address via your web host as the master authority of your domain.

Web hosting environments actually set TTL (Tweaking Time-To-Live) values on their end so as not to overuse the servers from too many requests. Your local ISP (Internet Server Provider) also caches their DNS records in order for them to render webpage requests locally than looking them up online each time thus resulting for a faster web surfing experience.

This caching system however is the reason why your website doesn’t immediately show up online after any hosting transfer. Most of the time, ISP’s cached DNS records are only updated after every few days that’s why you would always have to expect that when you transfer hosting, you’ll be advised that it will take 48-72 hours before you can view your site online.

The time is takes for your ISP’s DNS server cache to update is called propagation. Once it resolves, you can already view your website online.

In my case, it didn’t actually take an entire day before I was able to see my site back online not even longer than 12 hours!

In case you will encounter the same scenario, here’s how you do it:

1. In windows, click Start > Run and type in cmd (a command window will open).

2. Type in ipconfig /flushdns then press Return/Enter.

If the above solution doesn’t work, you may use a frequently updating DNS service like OpenDNS, a fast and intelligent DNS service for free.

To give you a faster result than your ISP server, you can set up OpenDNS using the following servers:

Preferred DNS Server: 208.67.222.222
Alternate DNS Server: 208.67.220.220

These DNS servers can easily be setup in your computer’s TCP/IP settings or router. This step works most of the time like it did for me because this resolves website inaccessibility due to DNS propagation time lag (see XP setup screenshot below).

OpenDNS server settings in WindowsXP

OpenDNS server settings in WindowsXP

Here’s how you set it up on WindowsXP:

1. Press Start> click Control Panel> choose Network and Internet Connections> then click Network Connections> choose LAN connection, right-click then choose Properties.

2. Double click Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) then fill out “Use the following DNS server addresses” with the ones taken from OpenDNS then save your settings.

For more instructions on how to set up OpenDNS on different routers and OS, visit this link.

Web Hosting Sites You Can’t Trust

November 16, 2009 | By | 6 Replies More

Reading time: 6 – 10 minutes

For the past several months, I’ve been very transparent with my unspeakable web hosting experience in belief that it would somehow help those of you who are still on the verge of looking for a better web hosting provider.

My web hosting saga never ends here although at present, I’m happy with the way things are going, it’ll give more justice if I’d be able to share with you few players in the web hosting industry today that I had been a part of for sometime but was never pleased.

I started self-hosting this blog when I purchased this domain from Namecheap.com sometime in February of this year and was free hosted by Byethost. Byethost free hosting was very attractive and somebody who’s just starting up will find them very useful.

However, free sometimes has its downside. Ticketing system takes a day to be resolved, no support for scripting issues especially for free subscribers. I could have been happier but when my blog was hacked, it became the turning point of testing them out on how they would respond to challenging support issues. I never got a straight response instead I was a offered an upgrade to premium because according to them, I would be assisted if I did.

The upgrade alone became a hurdle. I’ve paid via Paypal but never got a confirmation and login details to cPanel and I can’t wait for an entire day for it so I brought up the issue via Paypal dispute and the headache was over.

Weakest points: Payment system isn’t organized. Response system for new registrations and upgrade are not immediate. Email system is atrocious and unprofessional. Premium plans are rather cheap but chances of getting headaches are very high because downtime (although not sporadic) takes days and not hours.

One dollar web hosting can always attract the thrift seeker. You can be blinded by this offer especially if bandwidth and disk space is what you’re after but imagine how this one dollar can screw up your site and lose revenue more than the amount you ever want to save?

I have learned my lesson the hard way over the tacky one dollar web hosting at Webhostingworld.net. Don’t fall for this trap because you just don’t know what you’re getting into.

Pitfalls: Rude and incompetent chat agents, inconsistent support, bridge of privacy—they access your customer account and deletes your support tickets anytime they want (without your consent) even if the issues are not resolved, blocks your access to chat system if they don’t like you or hate you for complaining even if it’s not too much.

They don’t give a damn whether you’ve upgraded or not because at anytime, you’re site can go down and they don’t know what to do. Chat support will attempt to help but instead of helping your site go back online, they’ll screw it up further until you’re helpless.

They don’t refund your entire money even though you’ve paid for their screwed up service for a year. If you upgraded service, they’ll refund the amount you paid to upgrade but the amount you’ve paid for the entire year before you upgraded will remain on their pockets.

Sporadic outages occur at least one or two days within a week in long hours, not minutes. There’s no avenue for voicing out your complain or suggestions. If you’re hosting a site with them at this very moment, backup your site and leave otherwise if you complain and get refunded, your access to your cPanel would be gone immediately like lightning speed. It’s a dead end over there so save yourself from stress.

Web hosting awards and web hosting review tack ratings and testimonials can do much favor for a web hosting provider to look trustworthy and reliable but always beware because you never know if those awards are legitimate.

Let’s base it on the fact that Justhost.com portrays such a savvy image with their homepage flaunting every single badge they can to make themselves stunning. But behind those heavily posted badges is a troublesome service.

Drawbacks: Justhost.com is just another faulty web hosting service you wouldn’t want your site hosted on. Like any disgusting web hosting providers, their chat agents are ultimately rude above all others plus they could ban you on their chat system forever if they wanted to. Complainers don’t have a door for them and they’ll keep you shut when they can.

If you ever run into some errors with your site, they’ll blame you or your plugin if you’re a WordPress user instead of helping you out. If you ever ask for a refund, they’ll give it to you right away but remember to back up before they totally close their doors to you and lose your site forever. It happened to me but I was able to save my files before they did it.

They’re a bunch of crooks that don’t deserve your business. Your $3.95 or $4.95 can do better for you elsewhere.

This Goes Out To. . .

At present, this blog is hosted by Bluehost.com through a relative’s recommendation (who’s a blogger from Kansas City). Word-of-mouth recommendation really works and for bloggers who have been through all the ups-and-downs of web hosting knows it reasonably.

I’m not blatantly recommending Bluehost as the best hosting provider but they have saved this blog when I transferred from Justhost. The loss of revenue from the Justhost scenario was very awful and Bluehost came just in time when Google made the Pagerank update a couple of weeks ago and I was thankful that Software Critics went up to from PR2 to PR4 in just a few months. This blog haven’t turned one year yet but having such an accomplishment after the roller coaster ride is something to be thankful for.

You guys made it possible and with the help of Bluehost for relatively bringing the site up all day and night is worth every single cent. Bluehost may have some blunders but overall, the uptime is pretty reliable and the chat agents are pretty helpful and awesome.

Tony S. of Bluehost chat went the extra mile assisting me on the first few days of the transition. It was smooth indeed. Bluehost email technical support may not be that perfect because they don’t have dedicated email agents per email support case however this issue can be addressed if you’ll specify on the email that you only wanted one specific agent to handle your concern. The chat support however is probably the best that you can get more than any web hosting company today.

Changing host like I said on my previous posts is a tedious task but if it’s for the better then do it. Don’t let crappy web hosting pull you down and your efforts to go waste.

Note: The Namecheap and Bluehost links on this post are my affiliate links which means I get a handful in return you when sign up under me which I’d really appreciate because it will help sustain this blog. Regarding the photo above, if you find it too offensive, please let me know. I wasn’t able to find an emotionally stronger photo so I tried putting that in.

Site Speed Matters in 2010, More Caffeine from Google

November 15, 2009 | By | 17 Replies More

Reading time: 2 – 2 minutes

Google Engineer Matt Cutts has revealed to WebProNews in Vegas where Google is heading and believe it or not, he said that the Algorithm update or Caffeine will go live after the end of the holidays so as not to upset webmasters from any changes in the algorithm but one thing is for sure, Pagerank updates will happen by January 2010 and Caffeine will run in full blast however one of Google’s data centers will be rolling out the update but users wouldn’t notice the shift because it will happen gradually.

The other piece of information that struck me the most is when Google starts considering site speed as a ranking factor come 2010. Matt Cutts providing advice to webmasters about how to make a website faster is forthrightly showing some signs of a change. It may or may not happen but there’s a huge possibility.

Are you even prepared for the big change?

What impact can it bring to blogs and small websites on shared hosting? Or sites with too many affiliate banners hoping for clicks and commissions when in fact these monetization schemes actually slow down page load due to so many HTTP requests? Once this happens, we may also be saying goodbye to widgets, I think. How can a cheaply hosted site compete with sites on dedicated hosting and those powered by CDN (Content Delivery Network)?

Have you already thought of a plan when this becomes standard?

Link Building Strategies That Work

November 12, 2009 | By | 2 Replies More

Reading time: 1 – 2 minutes

Link building is probably the first among any campaign strategy for boosting online presence especially for search engine optimization. Who wouldn’t want your website not to appear on searches?

Getting links from related niches especially blogs do help especially on dofollow blogs where you can leave your links and the bots will follow it thus sharing link juice. However, be cautious of doing this because not all blogs easily give out link juice and allow keywords in the namefield.

Social Media interaction and bookmarking your content will provide more widespread distribution of your online content thus increasing your online visibility. Press releases can also play a vital part in disseminating your business information or content however you must consider spending in return.

Directory submission can also help increase your links but you may have to choose which one to go after just like choosing to acquire assistance from link building services which needs thorough decision making and research so that even if you spend a dime, you can be assured that your money, effort and time doesn’t go to waste.

Have you acquired assistance from link building services before or you solely did it yourself? Do share your techniques at the comment’s section.

Most Outrageous Web Hosting Support Answer

November 9, 2009 | By | 7 Replies More

Reading time: 4 – 6 minutes

A few days ago, this blog was offline due to web hosting problems which means I’ve transferred again to a different service provider after some unresolved service issues that includes chat agent rudeness, incapacity to answer support tickets via email and sporadic outages that takes hours to merely half-a-day before being rectified.

It’s really a pain in the neck and a horrible experience. Loosing revenue alone each day kills my chances of paying the rent. Well, these are just one of the many web hosting issues I got over with and will have to take into account as they are inevitable but when the going gets tough, the tough gets going (reminds me of Joseph P. Kennedy, the father of (U.S.) President John F. Kennedy immortalized by Billie Ocean’s song).

Changing web hosts is probably one of the most dreaded task webmasters or bloggers could get into but having to do it four times in less than a year of blogging, I’ve already learned a lot of things. Learning is an endless process anyway.

One of the craziest things that I have ever come across during my web hosting journey was getting an unlikely answer which I could hardly describe. I’m not really good at writing farce or sarcasm and neither that I’m into it but a certain response that I got from a support ticket made me jump off my seat.

Out of nowhere the answer was like,

“Hey, I’m from Pluto and you’re from Earth. How would I know?”

Alright, let me get this straightened out. Here’s what the story is all about.

I recently transferred hosting and I was setting up the RSS Feed for this site. I was trying to find the FeedBurner FeedSmith Plugin but I couldn’t find it the WordPress plugins repository so I checked all over the web but to no avail (I was able to find it after some days).

I then thought of maybe placing a conditional redirect from http://feeds.feedburner.com/softwarecritics/ to http://feeds.feedburner.com/software-critics, as you can see, the only difference is this “-“(hyphen/dash).

My previous host did it for me so I was expecting that my current host would do so. I asked for assistance via chat but was advised to address the issue via their email ticketing support.

I guess you already know what my question would be. So, here’s the first answer I get.

Email Support Agent A said:

“In your account under the domain section you can setup a redirect with the redirect tool in the cPanel.”

While this seems quite reasonable, I don’t get the idea why this answer came out. Does he know it’s a FeedBurner.com domain?

Email Support Agent B said:

“You can set up a .htaccess redirect.”

This sounds reasonable which I think what my previous host did but to think that I was asking them to do it for me, common sense isn’t that very common? What’s disappointing about this response is that I was given like facts from their knowledgebase which most web forums and help pages provide but I’ve already been there and that’s not what I’m asking.

Finally, here’s the answer that has blown me away so hold on to your seat,

Email Support Agent C said:

“Your previous host still has the domain name feedburner.com pointing to it:
Created on…………..: 2003-12-01.
Expires on…………..: 2014-12-01.
Record last updated on..: 2009-09-04.

Domain servers in listed order:

ns3.google.com
ns1.google.com
ns2.google.com
ns4.google.com

these are google’s nameservers, not ours. We can’t create a redirect for a domain name which we don’t host. If you would like to add this domain to your account, and point it to our nameservers, then a redirect would take effect.”

What?! Does this guy even know that Google owns Feedburner.com and I don’t? I wish I do because if so, then I’d be rich!

See attached email below:

Outrageous Web Hosting Support Response

Outrageous Web Hosting Support Response

What an out-of-this-world answer could this be! I never would have expected this coming from a web hosting provider.

This is so outrageous!

FacesIf you have your fair share of crazy web hosting responses, do share it below.

P.S. I had it resolved somehow, email ticket never got resolved. I’ll let you know on my succeeding posts what I did.

Does Google Pagerank Convert Money?

November 3, 2009 | By | 11 Replies More

Reading time: 2 – 3 minutes

The day before Halloween, Google caught webmasters by surprise by secretly updating Pagerank. Google Pagerank is probably the metric most webmasters go crazy for and mostly advertisers run after to plot their link building strategies.

The importance of this metric has been a long hot debate in the SEO (Search Engine Optimization) industry. I may run out of space on this blog if I would tackle how this metric has changed the web in countless facets.

Start up businesses especially those focusing to get into the SERP (Search Engine Results Page) are gunning after blogs in particular for their link building strategies. In fact, some venture into paid links in exchange of a link or two with their desired anchor text in return for some meager amount.

Google dollarsBlog advertising marketplaces have avenues for advertisers wishing to get the buzz for their product and/or links to their site. This practice has been long controversial because as some say, it makes Google mad thus penalize the sites engaged in this activity. Again, this topic may hold perhaps an entire blog to scrutinize the facts.

Google had recently removed the Pagerank metric in the Webmaster Tools because they don’t want webmasters thinking and focusing about Pagerank which they find silly so omitting such details may sway its implication of having importance.

Lots of reactions came out after such move but for me, search engine rankings and getting found in the SERPs is what matters to me. But the question is, does your Pagerank convert money? How does your website or blog’s pagerank help you generate online income?

If website traffic monetization is possible through Google Adsense, what role do you think does Pagerank play in terms of monetization with the exemption of paid links?

Why Do You Need To Host Your Own Blog?

November 2, 2009 | By | 8 Replies More

Reading time: 2 – 4 minutes

Blogging in its nature is dynamic which means its pages are most of the time being updated to it keep it fresh thus requires a lot of time for content creation compared to static web pages that can simply show several pages for a longer period.

Given this information, blogs in order to become successful needs constant updating and if you’re a blogger that has done it for a while, then you certainly have attached yourself to your blog.

Creating content is no joke because it requires a lot of effort than just merely writing anything that comes to mind. Niche blogs are often the most challenging ones because it requires time and research to come up with good posts worthy of a reader’s praise.

Why do I mention these things when in fact my question is about the importance of hosting one’s blog? Simple, if you love what you do and you’re dead serious about making something out of it like creating a personal portfolio or brand, expanding your business or for whatever personal reasons that made you keep it, isn’t it clear that it’s a possession you hold so dear?

You don’t want to lose your cherished possessions like anyone else, do you? In blogging, writing a blog on a free hosted blogging platform is cheap really cheap because you don’t pay for web hosting in the first place and most of the time, it’s on a free domain extension e.g. yourname.blogspot.com or yourname.wordpress.com. For hobbyists, this can be enough but for those who wish to create their own personal brand and if you’re building a portfolio, hosting your own blog and owning your own domain is crucial to your success because it sends a message that you are professional and trustworthy.

Your content is your cherished possession, and having full control of everything which self-hosted blogs provide is very important because there’s always this pride of having something that you can claim as your own, that’s if you understand what I mean.

Hosting a blog is very cheap nowadays, most of the time shared hosting is the best option for starters. Once you’re able to build an audience and loyal readership, you can then upgrade but it would be advantageous if you’ll seek the help of trusted web hosting review sites for vps hosting or if you’re willing to get a dedicated server in order to cater your website traffic.

Success in blogging is a long and winding road. If you’re up for the challenge at least you must have this passion and it shows when you give importance to things that matters. If you can’t even host your own blog or buy a cheap domain, I doubt if people could trust you.

Reviving Old Blog Posts

October 31, 2009 | By | Reply More

Reading time: 1 – 2 minutes

One disadvantage of blogs is that older posts are often buried in oblivion because of its dynamism and chronological order. Although blogs are search engine friendly, it doesn’t generally mean that all published posts can appear in search results that’s why the necessity of exposing your blog’s content is important to increasing page views and reducing bounce rate.

There are many ways to showcase your older posts which include using plugins (that is if you’re using WordPress). Commonly used are Popularity Contest plus widget, Random Pages Widget and the Static Random Posts Widget which I use.

The latter that was recently released makes it possible to showcase your older posts based on your filtered category and refresh rate you’ve set in the admin panel.

These plugins though can help increase your blog’s page views; it’s not always a substitute for compelling content.

How Do You Make A Website Personable?

October 31, 2009 | By | 6 Replies More

Reading time: 2 – 2 minutes

Having a website particularly a blog which holds dynamic content naturally grabs attention simply because it brings content and drives audience. Not only that blogs are search engine friendly, nowadays, blogs are more than just a regular web journal where a person can write all about himself his daily grind.

Blogs had become popular and is continuously evolving with the aid of social media where bloggers can easily share their posts online to as many people in their circle with the use of microblogging platforms like Twitter and content sharing avenues through Tumblr and Yahoo Meme.

If you’re a blogger or a promising webmaster, would it be great if your name is your domain URL and not yourdomain.blogspot.com or yourdomain.wordpress.com?

Having your name as your domain name makes you more professional and recognizable. It’s like having your own home and in this case, your very own domain is your address that people can easily remember and attribute with especially if you’re trying to build your portfolio and web presence as a business.

There are many domain registrars out there that offer cheap and affordable domain names and if you’re planning to put up an e-commerce business, your Product URL is crucial to building your brand’s identity. It is the information that people will look up on the internet and if they found out that your business is created on a free domain, do you think they will buy from you to think that you don’t even have your own online identity? Think again, will you?

Secure Your Blogs: Upgrade to WordPress 2.8.5

October 23, 2009 | By | 4 Replies More

Reading time: 2 – 2 minutes

Just recently, the blogosphere had been targeted by malicious hackers that affected a lot of blogs and created so much hiatus that its effect was felt on Twitter.

I have experienced this scenario since 2.7 and for those who blogged earlier than I do, perhaps since WordPress came into the scene.

Software Critics was once hacked back in June. I didn’t upgrade the WordPress install then to the latest version. Perhaps it was one of the main reasons why this blog’s security was compromised.

Fight php script vulnerabilities and WordPress blog hacking by updating religiously to the latest release version. Now its 2.8.5 and it was announced a few days ago. Among the highlights of the hardening release for this version includes fix for the Trackback Denial-of-Service attack, Removal of some areas within the core code where some php codes had been evaluated, whitelisting of the file upload functionality for all users and admins, and removal of two tag importers from old plugins.

Prevent your WordPress blogs from being hacked by ensuring that you upgrade to the latest release. I’m sure most web hosts have one click upgrade options available for their customers. You may also get the service of WordPress Exploit Scanner plugin to check for suspicious files and unusual filenames on your website. You may also try to use AntiVirus for WordPress for scanning your templates to protect your blog against exploits and spam injections.

Is your blog already upgraded?

Choosing the Right Web Hosting Solution

October 19, 2009 | By | 11 Replies More

Reading time: 1 – 2 minutes

Choosing the most appropriate web hosting solution is crucial to your business and success. I would like to be more particular on choosing the most relevant web hosting service depending on your needs.

There are too many sprouting and fly-by-night web hosting providers lurking on the web so it’s very important that you know who to trust and do business with.

Part of the challenge is choosing the right web hosting package or solution that exactly fits your needs.

Among the types of web hosting include Shared Hosting, which was the most cost-effective and popular package for bloggers; Dedicated Hosting which was more suited for bigger sites and for those who want full control, more flexibility, and responsibility for their websites. VPS Hosting however offers greater power and performance. Managed Hosting is rather suited for those less technically inclined but it’s rather expensive. Reseller Hosting is good for those with the entrepreneurial spirit.

Making a wise decision can be overwhelming at times given these many options. If you are on the verge of indecisiveness, you can head on to web hosting review sites for added guidance. It always pays to be informed.

Have you ever tried consulting web hosting review sites for help?

Keywordluv Abuse and No Follow Free on Do Follow Blogs

October 13, 2009 | By | 29 Replies More

Reading time: 4 – 7 minutes

When I started using Keywordluv on this dofollow blog, relevant improvements happened—increased number of comments, traffic, and page views. However, I have also noticed that my leniency has got into my limits and is now hunting me down.

Perhaps, I was just a little too unprepared on what exactly I am getting into when I decided to go this way but starting today, I’m making significant and a little tighter changes when approving comments so basically I’m putting up a Comment Policy.

Why do I have to come up with a comment policy when I don’t even plan of doing it ever when I started to blog?

Well, I’m forced to do so and I’m making it clear. Let me tell you what compelled me.

The benefit of getting backlinks through commenting on dofollow blogs is something that commentators should be thankful for especially to the blogger but if it has gone overboard via Keywordluv abuse that’s when you have to draw the line.

It came up to me that there were people abusing Keywordluv by dropping all their keywords as much as they can by using Name@YourKeywords on the name field for the same URL. It was very disrespectful and abusive to the fact that these guys are dragging my site as a link farm!

Another case was this guy using the URL field on the comments form to point to a specific article which was all about dating and that I’m sure his using this blog to get visits for that post. Not to mention people dragging different URLs using the same name and different keywords. Do your business somewhere else!

There was one guy that I’ve spared. He’s doing the same as above although he tried to keep his comments relevant, I just can’t stand the keyword dropping anymore so I just simply edited the name field and removed all the keywords after his name which I’ll do the same for the rest of these guys from the screenshot below:

Keywordluv abuse on blog comments

Keywordluv abuse on blog comments

From now on, I’m not going to tolerate this abuse. I’ve completely removed Keywordluv from this blog and I’ll be implementing a comment policy.

In line with these changes, I’ve also adopted the use of No Follow Free plugin for WordPress. This allows dofollow blogs to control dofollow within the comments only after a commentator has left significant number of comments on your blog.

I’ve had enough of this abuse and these guys need to get a grip of discipline. I’m not taking back dofollow but I’ll be implementing some guidelines that’s for sure will keep this blog free from abusive link dropping and from those people that had been paid to do these link dropping scheme on dofollow blogs who normally left lame and coined comments without getting the gist out of the post.

From now on, I’m placing a Comment Policy which will contain the following guidelines:

  1. No use of keywords on the name field. Strictly nicknames or humanly recognizable names only is allowed. Keywordluv is no longer used so keyword dropping is a no no. Break this or you’ll be mark as spam!
  2. I’m getting the service of an email verifier so I’ll be checking on the email addresses on the name fields for validity. If I find invalid email addresses, I’ll mark it as spam including the IP where it belongs. No Yahoo emails (all extensions) or AOL email addresses allowed in the comment email address field. Rest assured that all emails still remain 100 percent secured.
  3. Offenders caught in the act will have their comment marked spam and submitted to Spam Assassin including their IP address and will totally be banned from this blog including the website IP they represent will be castigated as I’ll report it to your web host for spamming.
  4. Do follow within the comments will only be lifted after 5 (five) approved comments. Five comment attempts within the same day are not allowed and is considered spamming so don’t game the rules!
  5. Spell check and/or grammar check your comments before submitting because I don’t have time to edit those otherwise I’ll delete it and you’ll be wasting your effort.
  6. Using several emails attached to different URLs or Names attached to different emails or any combination thereof will subject your IP to being banned for life.
  7. Stay relevant to the topic and offer your insights to add to the conversation otherwise you’ll end up in the spam together with those guys that are paid to leave comments on dofollow blogs. So clean up those acts!

Giving back to my readers some link love through dofollow and traffic to their sites via Commentluv is an act of appreciation but abusing a good deed has its limitations.

Bloggers who had been on this scenario knows that this has been going on and for once I’ll be holding on some boundaries which I’m sure is clearly understandable.

You can tell me your reactions, suggestions or related experiences on this issue in the comment’s section. Thank you.

Moving Ahead After Webhosting Hassles

October 2, 2009 | By | 9 Replies More

Reading time: 4 – 6 minutes

Many things that have happened these past few days are unfavorable. While these things are something inevitable like the horrifying tropical depression Ondoy that submerged most parts of Metro Manila and its neighboring provinces thus taking away many lives and properties is an earthly ordeal completely out of our control.

On the other hand, if your web host simply cannot deliver the service that they promise even for an additional cost on your part is another story. Here, you can control the situation based on your choices. At the peak of the storm, we’ve had an electrical outage which lasted for days starting on the 26th. When I dropped by to a relative’s house to check things out—emails, website stats and performance and feed updates; I’ve noticed that this blog is down.

I immediately contacted my previous host (since I’ve already transferred hosting a couple of days at this time of writing) to check my site, the chat agent that I’ve worked on did something about it. The result however makes matters worse since it’s no longer showing up instead its home URL redirects to the WordPress installation page.

According to the agent and support emails, they can no longer restore the site backup on their end but that was the same chat agent that often screw up on all matters technically related and once and for all, numerically incompetent to do simple arithmetic when I upgraded my plan. The most annoying thing is they also downgraded my plan back to where it was considering that it has been paid. The downgrade has left my add-on site down as well!

My complete hopelessness for a resolution pushed me to ask a refund for the amount I paid to upgrade the hosting plan. That’s the time when they’ve deleted all my support tickets without even resolving each one. I’ve tried not to be rude but it didn’t work for me.

So, my last hope was to file a dispute with Paypal. My previous host counter offered a transfer of server but it’s not going to help. They kept my money for the upgrade but then downgraded my account after screwing up big time until I’ve reached the point to draw the line.

This isn’t good business and if they don’t need my business, I’d rather go somewhere else where my business is valued. It’s a good thing that through Paypal dispute, my money was refunded although they still owe me part of what I’ve paid for the entire year of hosting other than just the upgrade amount, but that’s fine. I hope that extra money will help them clean up their act or help them pack up because they will run out of business anytime soon.

To all web hosting businesses, screwing up your customers isn’t a good idea and keeping a bunch of idiots on your support and/or chat team wouldn’t help your case. It’s a good thing that I got refunded but may be that’s because I have dropped the Better Business Bureau’s name on my Paypal dispute that made it possible.

I’ve learned my lesson and had given up too many chances and so much time to prove themselves in the span of three months but unfortunately, they blew it.

I rarely even rant about stuff on this blog but this recent incident really triggered me to do so. It’s not that I’m trying to bring someone in bad sight, I’m just here sharing my experience and venting out my horrible ordeal in the hands of an unscrupulous web hosting provider.

For those of you who share the same sentiments or have experienced similar web hosting problems, do share your stories in the comments section and don’t hesitate to name drop those bad hosting providers so they would know where to pick up themselves.

I almost forgot, after getting my refund, they’ve completely removed access to my cPanel without notice which made this blog down for further hours almost three days total blackout.

I wasn’t really savvy at backing up (just being honest here) so I forgot to download the WordPress folders—wp-admin, wp-content, etc. Good thing is I have the XML file I’ve exported from my previous WordPress admin so I just simply uploaded it back here.

The bad thing is most of my images are stored in the previous host’s server so please spare me for all the broken images on this site, I’m doing a fresh upload from my computer and hosting the images outside my web server so it won’t happen again.

Hello World!…Again

September 29, 2009 | By | 6 Replies More

Reading time: < 1 minute

After this site went down for almost three days, it has finally moved to a new webhost on a fresh WordPress install. The site’s outage has nothing to do with Ondoy.

It was caused by a full blown incompetent web hosting provider ripping off every blogger’s pocket. My previous host is not based in Manila so they have no reason not to deliver their service thoroughly by all means.

The succeeding post will tell you the horrific tale that I’ve gone through just to save this blog from a losing end. I would remain resolute in sharing my experience so that you would also get the chance to really know that there’s a true person writing behind this blog.

Integrate Free Audio for Websites with AudioPal

August 23, 2009 | By | 1 Reply More

Reading time: 2 – 2 minutes

It has been a trend for most business sites and affiliate landing pages right now to integrate talking characters. While most of it is animated, some are actually adopting real human face characters.

Some studies show that incorporating this application on web pages actually increases sales. As most business were not yet ready to embrace this simple technology, SitePal, one of the prime providers of this website enhancement have come up with another must sought after application known as AudioPal but this time, it’s free.

AudioPal

AudioPal

AudioPal, now on its beta release is a simple and easy-to-use FREE widget that generates recorded media via embed online audio that you can integrate in your website, blog or social network page without any cost.

Creation of audio recording can come from different ways—phone call, text-to-speech, mic, and uploaded file. Once the audio has been recorded, you can easily play the audio to check the output to your liking allowing re-recording when you like.

Once you’re satisfied with the recorded audio, simply send it to your email and a link to get your audio file or code with then be emailed to you and that’s it, you only have to copy-paste the html code to your web page and you’re done. Simple isn’t it?

According to SitePal, the makers of AudioPal, the widget app is free for the time being and once it becomes a hit, definitely, an enhanced paid version of the product will be offered.

Is AudioPal really necessary or the goodol’ SitePal does the job already? What do you think? Have you ever tried SitePal at all?

Blog Revamp: Embracing Thesis Theme for WordPress

August 12, 2009 | By | 6 Replies More

Reading time: 2 – 2 minutes

A few days ago, I’ve been busy checking some stats of my blog when I figured out that there was a quite big bounce rate going on. Maybe because of the header ticker’s size that it consumes so much bandwidth that it really takes time to load and considering that majority of readers online have very low patience and doesn’t have the entire day to wait for a certain web page to load, they wouldn’t care at all but given this situation, I do.

As a result, I’ve decided to find other ways to reduce my blog’s bounce rate and hopefully find a better theme to use on my blog until I came across the highly talked about Thesis Theme for WordPress. It was nifty, clean, and SEO friendly according to most webmasters’ feedback.

I certainly was skeptical at first so I run a test drive of the theme on my other blog and it was stunningly beautiful. What else can you ask for from a great WordPress Theme that almost has it all? It’s very easy to use, light-weight, and highly customizable.

Like most new users, I’m still trying to learn the tweaks and hacks of the theme so I can get the most out of it especially since somebody just gave it to me and I don’t have access to DIYThemes support forum, so it’s really a hurdle but I’ll give it a go anyway.

For the meantime, I’m pretty satisfied with the theme and hopefully I could do more changes in the next few days when I get the chance. Are you happy with your current blog theme or has recently switched themes like I do?

Blogs with chat service differentiates “Takers” from “Givers”

August 2, 2009 | By | Reply More

Reading time: 2 – 2 minutes

Communication channels within a blog don’t end within the comments or web forms. An interactive medium such as a chat service or widget adds value as it allows openness in communication.

Unlike most prominent blogs, I often question why there’s so much people trying to be noticed by the blog author through the comments section when in fact its owner is just simply concerned about his/her own stats and ad sense earnings.

Like how many of these so called “Probloggers” are actually taking time to comment or even visit their readers’ blogs? Come on, don’t be naïve. Some of these guys might be too busy counting their revenues to think that their time is more preciously spent on other things than visiting nameless blogs.

With that being said, opening channels of communication through embedded chat scripts exudes a blogger’s more personal approach. It’s as simple as giving back to readers what they deserve—their valued time and not those silly contest pieces!

I admire bloggers who open their lines of communication to interact with their readers through these avenues as this shows gratitude. How many among us have received at least a comment from the authors whose blogs we often read? When you give, don’t expect something in return but when you give too much and never got anything back, you’ve created a monster and you’re a fool for doing that. Do you agree or disagree? Have your say.

This post preludes an upcoming review of a web chat tool that is simple and easy to use, can be integrated within a site and connected to your favorite instant messaging program.

When Not to Trust your Web Host

June 23, 2009 | By | 1 Reply More

Reading time: 4 – 6 minutes

The last time when I talked about my blog being hacked on this post entitled, “Blogosphere Alert: Prevent your WordPress blogs from being hacked! I have mentioned that I had my host informed of the matter and consequently they answered after 24 hours long enough and agonizing for serious issues such as these. The fact that they have given a response is not enough reason that gave birth to this post and I would certainly be depriving justice into my writing unless the paradox of today’s web hosting industry is not left in the open.

An hour after the discovery of my blog having lost its main index file (index.php), I immediately rushed a note to my web host to catch their attention regarding the problem. A day after support ticket was submitted, they responded and I quote,

“The index file is missing so the directories are listed… (After giving some pertinent information)… You should upgrade to the most recent WordPress, and then check all files for potential backdoors that have been uploaded. On premium hosting accounts real email addresses are the default offering, we accept Paypal, and credit cards for payment.”

So, can you check the paradoxical statement? Why upsell to a client who has some issues needed to be fixed? Isn’t that rubbish? Why not help the customer and make him satisfied before even thinking about upselling. Isn’t that the right way that do?

Following the response from my web host, I threw in some questions and again, like what I have expected which they do most of the time, another response with an up-selling tactic!

Come on, enough of this non-sense! Help me first before trying to sell me something! There has been quite an exchange of responses that have happened but the end result is me taking my business somewhere else where it deserves.

Okay, so much for the long story although these may have another sequel so just stay tuned. Here are the list which I thought would be helpful in giving any blogger or webmaster the idea when no to trust their web hosting company.

  • If your web host upsells during the course of an issue, leave them. There’s no point dealing with these money ripping businesses that wants more money but doesn’t work first. All they want is your hard earned cash!
  • If your web host doesn’t support php coding inquiries and assistance, leave them. They just don’t know what they are doing or are lazy to do so. If they ask you to upgrade your subscription just to get that service. Don’t get into their trap. It’s going to be the same thing.
  • If your web host offers both free and paid hosting services, think of this. Will they be providing the same kind of support and attention to their free service customers? Or even a fair treatment? Will they be consistent or will they even care at all. Perhaps, you just might be falling into a trap if you choose the free service because at some point, they will in turn convince you to switch for a paid service when the odds are low. Unless, there is a really good reason for you to upgrade by the quality of service they provide.

If your web host cannot provide 24/7 assistance, they are simply no good at all and there’s no reason for you to invest in them.

  • If your web host cannot even construct coherent statements to express themselves like my previous web host does, then they’re not professional and just a bunch of crooks trying to rip off your money. They can’t even educate themselves to formally communicate with you. Imagine receiving a letter with vague responses that aren’t relevant to your question.
  • If your web host cannot understand even simple technical terms and kept on asking things that you’ve already mentioned (for multiple exchanged responses), they simply just cannot comprehend or doesn’t really know what they are doing so they keep asking questions or perhaps they don’t have a dedicated support that handles your case so there’s a possibility that it was being pass around to many different people and you’re running around in circles.

There are just so many indications of when not to trust your web host so in case you think I’ve missed something, feel free to add yours at the comments section.

5 Best FTP Clients for Newbie Bloggers and Webmasters

June 19, 2009 | By | 1 Reply More

Reading time: 3 – 4 minutes

It was only in the beginning of January of the current year when I became familiar in using FTP Softwares so much that I’ve been used to it more than the web interface provided by my web host. FTP clients are a lot easier to maneuver since the interface allows you to simply lunch the program without having to open your web browser in times you need to immediately upload or download something from your site to your computer and vice versa.

I do not want to make an assumption that everyone who will be reading this post knows exactly what I’m saying so I’ll make it simple. FTP stands for File Transfer Protocol, while an FTP client is a software program for your computer which is used to upload and download files.

FTP runs over the Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) usually via the well-known port number 21 (data connections usually use port number 20) for incoming connections from clients. These connections coming from the client forms the control stream on which commands are passed to the FTP server (host) and responses are collected.

For bloggers and webmasters, a user-friendly interface makes the usage experience smooth sailing. The availability of many freeware FTPs are remarkable so purchasing commercial FTP software is unlikely to be recommended even by most experienced webmasters and bloggers.

To help newbie bloggers and webmasters become more productive, I’ve compiled a list of the 5 Best FTP Clients for Newbie Bloggers and Webmasters which I think are excellent.

SmartFTP Client—available to both (32 and 64-bit) Windows OS. I’ve tried using this before but I didn’t like the user-interface because it was so confusing. The application window is clean-looking although it’s just not appealing to use for starters to I looked for something else.

CoreFTP for Windows—I’ve been using this FTP client for quite sometime because it’s so easy to use and navigate. The window may not be good looking unlike SmartFTP but the ability to switch connections from one website host to another makes my life easier. I highly recommend this for bloggers and webmaster managing multiple websites with different host names.

FileZilla for Windows and Linux—this is definitely one of the most widely used FTP client since CoreFTP. I’ve used this software for quite a while but this can only manage one connection at a time so multiple web owners are not advised to use this.

Cyberduck—is another open source FTP client with an easy to use interface with quickly accessible bookmarks. I have never used this so I couldn’t say much about it but it’s worth the try. I’ll update you on this once I get to use it when I can.

WinSCP—is an open source SFTP (Secure FTP which can also refer to SSH File Transfer Protocol) client and FTP client for Windows. Its main function is the secure file transfer between a local and a remote computer. Again, I’ve never tried using this software so any comments regarding this FTP client is most welcome in the comments section.

Adobe BrowserLab: A powerful online tool for cross-browser compatibility testing

June 4, 2009 | By | Reply More

Reading time: 3 – 5 minutes

If you are a web designer, a webmaster, a blogger or what have you, testing your webpage’s renderings on multiple browsers would be a great deal of help to pinpoint issues with browser compatibility. The newly launched Adobe BrowserLab, an online service which is accessible from virtually any computer connected to the internet, can do exactly what every professional web designer aims. It’s multiple viewing, comparison tools, and customizable preferences make it very attractive, savvy and functional.

Adobe BrowserLab users can get actual browser renderings generated in real time, with multiple viewing options via screenshots either on a single view, side by side, or as an overlay view with varied transparencies and added zoom functionality.

Adobe Dreamweaver CS4 software users have access to it adding functionality such as testing local and active content. While everybody is trying to get a glimpse of its limited free preview, I too have tried to be one but unfortunately, I guess I’m missing out all the fun and here’s what I got:

As per Adobe’s advice, the BrowserLab free preview is available only to a limited number of users. How much limited is limited? I have an account but I cannot login. Oh well, this could be a one great online service but it seems that after the limited free viewing, Adobe is likely to open it for a fee. Yes, chances are, once the service goes well and as it seems, it has been getting a lot attention (while writing this article, I have noticed that some tweets having the term “Adobe BrowserLab” contains links poiting to a different site-a somewhat affiliate site, not sure if it’s a scam site with screenshots below. It seems that everybody’s riding the heat.) rather than to Adobe BrowserLab, then expect that the online service, may be discontinued in whole or in part without notice, of course you may also have to expect that some online services, and features, during the preview may not be available in all countries and languages.

Adobe BrowserLab free limited viewing full message

Adobe BrowserLab free limited viewing full message

Affiliate site where tweets about Adobe BrowserLab containg links are pointing to dubious sites

Affiliate site where tweets about Adobe BrowserLab containg links are pointing to dubious sites

Affiliate site where tweets about Adobe BrowserLab containg links are pointing to

Affiliate site where tweets about Adobe BrowserLab containg links are pointing to

The browsers and operating systems that are available for testing in BrowserLab include:

* Firefox 2.x and 3.x, Windows XP and Mac OS X

* Internet Explorer 6.x and 7.x, Windows XP

* Safari 3.x, Mac OS X

Free Twitter Software Craze, Are You Joining?

March 22, 2009 | By | Reply More

Reading time: 4 – 6 minutes

I‘ve been on Twitter for only a few months and it’s quite surprising how Twitter tremendously exhibits so much influence on people in all facets of microblogging. Tweets changing real time like almost every second.

But in all honesty, this social media platform doesn’t really give much traffic to this blog than what I have expected. In fact, in the last few weeks that I’ve tweeted, just a tiny fraction of my weekly visitors come from
Tweeter and majority of those are not from my followers. Meaning, I only get those few traffic when I do some Twitter-searching for people needing some help in some special topics.

I couldn’t find a compelling reason I should admire getting a lot of followers. If those “followers” are quality followers and could become future clients, then why not. Thanks for the follow, that’s all I can say. It simply makes me
happy when somebody follows my updates even though I really don’t tweet a lot. It somehow gives me an idea that I’m making some sense. My Twitter presence is also a test if Twitter, like some people say is really a powerful social media platform. I know what you’re thinking. Twitter fanatics would say, that I still have a lot to learn to make the most of my Twitter presence. Perhaps.

But one other reason why I brought up this topic is this “Free Twitter Software” craze going on now. Left and right re-tweeting of this fancy software. My question is this, why do I have to use this software? Can somebody tell me? Maybe I’m not really interested but let me tell you my reason.

Most of you might have known the Twitter phishing attacks that happened weeks back when prominent personalities like Britney Spears and Barack Obama’s accounts among others got hacked. I’m not going to dig into details but this adds to my case.

Secondly, there was one time when I’ve read some updates from the people I follow. I came across this re-tweet that mentioned about a “Free Twitter Software” and to my curiosity, I’ve opened the link and it brought me to a page where there is this guy (not the one shown on the screen shot) talking on the video and is bragging about the power of getting thousands of followers in just one Tweet. Yes. One click of a button and it spreads like virus!

Free Twitter Software

Free Twitter Software

Sounds amazing? But, here’s the catch. The guy on the said video requires that anybody wanting to have that special piece of software (the Free Twitter software) must type-in their username and password and follow these guys claiming themselves to be its inventor. Well, wait a minute. I would have to give my username and password and follow these guys just to get this software? I thought it was “free”. If I were you, would you give these information just to get that software?

My Software Critics Community Toolbar is free, safe, private and is duly certified by TRUSTe and doesn’t need you to give any information about yourself not even your email!

It’s too risky and I’m not going to jeopardize my security in place of a software that doesn’t prove any claims. Free software is freely distributable although some websites may ask for an email address to give you the download link but this Free Twitter Software goes beyond that! An account username and password in exchange? Woah! Let me give it a second thought.

I never downloaded this software at all for fear of my account security. I’m not a big personality. Just a minute unidentifiable, and almost invisible dot on a map but this is me. If you are reading this and have downloaded the software, you might want to share to me and to everyone else your experience. You might as well want to shed light on this. The comment section below is open.

The guy on the video screen shot is not the same guy I am referring to in the post. This is the second time I saw this kind of video. There are some similarities though with the format of the sign-up form on its page and the terms used by the speaker in referring to this free software. The older versions of the video that I’ve seen a few weeks ago(not the same guy shown from the screen shot above) states the idea behind the software differently in a quite alarming manner. The older video ( I was referring to) doesn’t show on the page of mytweetelite.com.

There might be some differences with the way the idea is conveyed behind the software but why do they have to require some sensitive information when in fact most of the other free Tweeter tools available on the internet is freely downloadable?

Unmasking webpages

December 10, 2008 | By | Reply More

Reading time: 3 – 5 minutes

If you’re frustrated that a website has unselectable text or if you need to view some HTML that’s been encrypted then you just might need an HTML text extractor. HTML or webpage extraction tools are the simplest and easiest way to view and save the HTML and Text from any webpage.

Extraction of HTML from webpages that have “View Source” disabled is possible. For similar softwares can easily cut through pages that have been protected or encrypted with HTML locking programs. Like most programs online, shareware versions are readily available for end-user testing purposes. Not to mention limited trial period.


Since most web designers increasingly protect their web pages by disabling the right click menu and using javascript to hide their text and HTML code. HTML text extraction technolgy has been tested against applications that claim to produce secure HTML, and every time these extraction softwares are run, it unmasks the unseen.

For further details regarding this types of softwares, a message to the author is most welcome.

If you’re frustrated that a website has unselectable text or if you need to view some HTML that’s been encrypted then you just might need an HTML text extractor. HTML or webpage extraction tools are the simplest and easiest way to view and save the HTML and Text from any webpage.

Extraction of HTML from webpages that have “View Source” disabled is possible. For similar softwares can easily cut through pages that have been protected or encrypted with HTML locking programs. Like most programs online, shareware versions are readily available for end-user testing purposes. Not to mention limited trial period.

Since most web designers increasingly protect their web pages by disabling the right click menu and using javascript to hide their text and HTML code. HTML text extraction technolgy has been tested against applications that claim to produce secure HTML, and every time these extraction softwares are run, it unmasks the unseen.

If you’re frustrated that a website has unselectable text or if you need to view some HTML that’s been encrypted then you just might need an HTML text extractor. HTML or webpage extraction tools are the simplest and easiest way to view and save the HTML and Text from any webpage.

Extraction of HTML from webpages that have “View Source” disabled is possible. For similar softwares can easily cut through pages that have been protected or encrypted with HTML locking programs. Like most programs online, shareware versions are readily available for end-user testing purposes. Not to mention limited trial period.


Since most web designers increasingly protect their web pages by disabling the right click menu and using javascript to hide their text and HTML code. HTML text extraction technolgy has been tested against applications that claim to produce secure HTML, and every time these extraction softwares are run, it unmasks the unseen.

For further details regarding this types of softwares, a message to the author is most welcome.

Data Extraction needs?

December 10, 2008 | By | 4 Replies More

Reading time: 1 – 2 minutes

Do you have a group of files that contains important data that you can’t get to? Using data extraction software, you can simply extract any information from any files on your computer or from html web pages. Data extraction technology allows website screen scraping to simply extract email addresses or URLs, or extract your own information using advanced techniques.

Some data extraction software features include the following:
1. Easily extract Email addresses or URLS from text files or the web
2. Extract as you surf pages using Internet Explorer
3. Automatically follow links to extract from entire domains
4. Extract whatever you want from webpages with our NEW powerful javascript enabled rules
5. Search multiple files, URLs and directories
6. Drag and drop files for extraction
7. Export results directly to Microsoft Excel
8. Use fuzzy matching to find information when you’re unsure of exact data
9. Specify wildcards or use advanced regular expressions to match any pattern
10. Copy, Save and Print at the touch of a button.

Some similar software include limited trial versions. Most of which runs on all Windows systems: 95/98/NT/2000/Me/XP.

If you ever come across the need to extract email addresses, or any other data from a group of emails that you have in Outlook, Outlook Express or any other email client then, a reliable data extraction software might just be the one you’re looking for.

For more information regarding these types of softwares, feel free to leave a message.