Endurance International Group (EIGI) – IPO

Endurance International Group (EIGI) has officially completed their IPO. Endurance is the parent company to some of our favorite web hosting brands including but not limited to: BluehostiPageFatcowHostmonsterJusthost .

For years Endurance has been acquiring some of the world’s largest and most successful web hosting providers and as a result has grown into one of the biggest networks of hosting companies on the web. Some of the most recent (and largest) acquisitions that Endurance has made include our top rated host Bluehost and Hostgator!

On Friday, October 25th the management and owners of Endurance gathered in New York to ring in the bell on the Nasdaq exchange. The companies IPO was set at $12 per share which was valued slightly lower than expected. Initially experts valued Endurance in the 14-16$ range.  The current evaluation of the company most likely falls between 1.25-1.5 BILLION dollars!

One concern investment bankers had with Endurance (who is trading under the symbol EIGI on the Nasdaq) was the high level of debt that the company had on its books. Although this is a valid reason to be concerned, as a avid follower of hosting news, I believe much of this debt was compiled when Endurance recently acquired brands:  Hostgator, Bluehost, and Hostmonster. Endurance plans to use funds raised during their IPO to pay down debt which should ease concerns of investors.

I have been following Endurance brands for years and over the past year I have really noticed that EIG has been perfecting their sales & marketing strategies. I believe with the new acquisitions and masterly unselling skills you will witness high profit margins in upcoming quarters which should drive up the value of this company to its original predictions.

endurance

I am no way an expert in the stock market and comments in this post are strictly my option. However, I do have years of experience monitoring web hosting providers and believe Endurance to be one of most successful and fastest growing companies on the web. I believe you are looking at a company that has a long and profitable future ahead!

Congratulations to Endurance (EIGI) on your successful IPO launch!  

What Makes Bluehost.com the Best Host? (Infographic)

Bluehost.com is named the “Best Web Hosting Provider” by BestWebHostingGeek.com! With thousands of hosting providers on the web, choosing just one host as THE BEST is actually a very challenging task. We actually put a lot of time, effort, and research into our decision and understand that our credibility is on the line each and every day as we make hosting recommendations. In this article we wanted to give you a full and detailed explanation as to why we believe Bluehost is the best web hosting provider on the web. Our team has put together an amazing infographic explaining the features and functions that makes Bluehost superior to other hosts. Discount on Bluehost Web Hosting: We have partnered with Bluehost.com to provide you with an exclusive discount on their hosting. If you click on our $3.95/month promo (aff) link you will automatically receive this special discount!

Bluehost (infographic)

Bluehost Compared to Other Hosts:

Recently we conducted research comparing the best web hosting companies on the web. In the study we compared hosts based on four different criteria and Bluehost won three out of four of the categories. Our study found that Bluehost was overall the best hosting provider closely followed by iPage. We highly recommend reading the hosting comparison study before making a final hosting decision.

Bluehost.com History:

Bluehost was founded in 1996 by Matt Heaton in Provo, Utah. This great web hosting company has grown over the years into one of the largest shared web hosting providers in the world! In the past few years Bluehost has experienced some of the fastest growth in its history. As you can see from the infographic as of (July 30, 2013) Bluehost has significantly more websites hosted on their servers than other well-know large hosts:

  • Bluehost: 1,859,792
  • Dreamhost: 1,242,946
  • Hostmonster: 702,076
  • Justhost: 349,995
  • Fatcow: 284,231
  • InMotionHost: 236,487
  • GreenGeeks: 38,625

This great web hosting provider has led the industry with many innovative changes positively effecting the way shared web hosting works. In addition to this innovation, Bluehost can accredit much of its success to all of their senior management and support staff who have maintained the “customers first” mentality for years! I personally know James Grierson, the VP of Marketing and Business Development at Bluehost, and can assure you that much of their growth is a direct result of the work and expertise of this very talented individual.

Bluehost.com – Different Types of Hosting:

After years of solely offering shared web hosting, the management at Bluehost decided they wanted to offer their customers a wide range of hosting options. A few months ago Bluehost made the huge announcement that they had officially launched VPS and Dedicated hosting. This important step was a game changer and allowed Bluehost to cater to websites of all sizes; whereas, before they only focused on small to mid-sized sites. This great host offers four different types of hosting and a variety of price points within each type. I will outline the different types of hosting that Bluehost.com (aff) offers their customers:

  • Shared Web Hosting –  The most affordable type of hosting allows you to share a server and the server resources with other Bluehost customers. Shared web hosting is ideal for 80% of websites on the internet and perfect for small to mid-sized websites. The shared hosting plans at Bluehost start at only $3.95 a month. [br] [br]
  • VPS Hosting – We loved the VPS hosting at Bluehost so much that we actually recently purchased this plan for BestWebHostingGeek.com.  VPS hosting gives you much more control over your website since there are much fewer sites being shared on the server. Bluehost will allow you to have your own IP address and you will notice much faster speeds with VPS hosting. This type of hosting is PERFECT for mid-sized websites and plans start at $29.99 a month! [br] [br]
  • Dedicated Hosting – This option is ideal for large websites who receive thousands of visitors per day. Dedicated web hosting grants you complete control over a server and allows you to customize it completely as you see fit.  This type of hosting is the fastest; however, it is also quite a bit pricer. Dedicate hosting plans at Bluehost start at $149.99/month. [br] [br]
  • Reseller Web Hosting – Reseller Hosting is for those looking to run their own mini-web hosting company without having to worry about the technical aspects. You are allowed to sell hosting to clients and Bluehost will handle all of the hard work (such as billing, technical, etc). Bluehost offers an exceptional reseller hosting plan starting for only $19.95 a month!

TIP: Unless you own a VERY large and popular website we highly suggest you purchase a shared or VPS hosting plan. Most of the sites that we own are hosted on a shared hosting account and we have never had any issues what-so-ever.

What Separates Bluehost From the Pack?

As we previously mentioned there are thousands of web hosting providers in the world; however, Bluehost tends to lead the entire industry in innovation. There are four characteristics that we believe makes Bluehost the best hosting provider in the world:

  • Web Hosting Resource Protection – Bluehost was the first to develop a comprehensive script that protects their shared hosting users from server-overload (a common shared web hosting problem). Many features are comparable to VPS hosting and give users a consistent and fast server experience regardless of what others on the same server are doing with their accounts. [br]
  • Mojo Marketplace – This is a game-changer! Not only does Mojo Marketplace have the largest collection of 1-click installs available on the web, but they also allow developers to add scripts, themes, and services to their directory. With Mojo Marketplace you can instantly and automatically install popular scripts like WordPress, Joomla, etc. to your Bluehost server. [br] [br]
  • World Class Support – No one likes to purchase a product and realize after the fact that it is a major challenge to get support. Bluehost has one of the fastest and most helpful support staff teams on the planet! Support is provided by: telephone, e-mail, support ticket, live-chat, help desk, etc. [br] [br]
  • Blazing Fast Servers – Google now uses “website speed” as a ranking factor; therefore, it is essential to keep your websites running fast. A variety of factors such as their new state-of-the-arch datacenter, perfect server-optimization, VPS protection, and partnership with CloudFlare ensures your website will be one of the fastest on the web!

Freebies! Freebies! Freebies!

Ok, I want to do some quick math for you guys to show you how on the financial end you come out way ahead with Bluehost.com! The basic (and most popular) hosting plan at Bluehost will set you back only $3.95 a month ($47.40/year). Bluehost is one of the few hosts that will give you a FREE domain name when you sign up for hosting… That alone is a $15/year expense given to you for FREE! Also, there are a variety of FREE marketing credits that Bluehost offers their users. Credits to advertising services like: Google, Twitter, Yahoo, Bing, and Facebook add up to well over $200 in FREE money/credit.  When you sign up for Bluehost hosting you will actually financially come out ahead several hundred bucks and you will still get high quality hosting as well!

Bluehost Reviews:

Prior to signing up with any host we encourage our visitors to research the host and read a variety of reviews. BestWebHostingGeek.com editors have reviewed Bluehost and allow other users to share their experience as well. Feel free to check out our Bluehost Reviews before you decide to purchase hosting.

Bluehost $3.95 Promo Rate:

Normally Bluehost web hosting pricing starts around six bucks a month for a basic shared web hosting account; however, we have formed a partnership with Bluehost that allows us to offer the exact same hosting plan for only $3.95 a month. Should you choose Bluehost.com for your hosting needs, feel free to take advantage of our exclusive partner discount. In order to enable this savings simply click on our Bluehost $3.95 Promo Link (aff) or you can click on the banner below.

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(Advertisement) – Bluehost $3.95 Web Hosting

Web Hosting Comparison – Real Facts & Figures

There are plenty of web hosting comparison sites on the web but in our opinion very few of them really take the time to conduct thorough research to compare and contrast popular hosts. Our goal was to use a variety of  reliable metrics to truly find “the best web hosting” provider.

Before conducting our experiment we went out and found the five largest hosts that consistently are being named as the “best host” on top hosting review sites like BestWebHostingGeek.com. Our research found that on average Bluehost, Hostmonster, iPage, FatCow, and Justhost ranked higher than all other hosts on the web. For today’s quest to compare the top hosting providers we will study these five hosts.

Our researchers found that these top-tier hosts often offer users many of the same “Features & Functionalities” so we decided to look deeper at four-specific metrics not normally compared to determine the best host.

We will be examining the follow:

  • Total Number of Customers Hosted on Servers
  • Price Comparison
  • Amount of “Search Traffic”
  • Poll-of-Polls – Massive Study of User Reviews

    Reported on: July 29, 2013
    Reported on: July 29, 2013

Total Number of Customers Hosted:

For today’s research we are going to be utilizing a variety of assumptions. The first being, “A company that has historically grown faster & larger than other companies must be producing an overall superior product”. This assumption is based on the common marketing strategies that say, “Word of Mouth is the Best Advertisement” and “A Good Product Sells Itself”. If a company provides a GREAT product than naturally it will gain more exposure and ultimately grow larger and more successful than its competitors.

On July 29, 2013 our researchers utilized the research tools from WebHosting.info to determine the total number of clients that these top five hosts have in total. The results were as follows:

 

  1. Bluehost  – 1,895,702 
  2. Hostmonster – 702,076
  3. iPage – 567,293
  4. Justhost – 349,995
  5. Fatcow – 284,231

By an overwhelming margin we found Bluehost to have the largest client-base followed by Hostmonster, iPage, Justhost, and lastly by FatCow. Bluehost and Hostmonster are sister companies and we believe it is no accident that they rank the highest in total number of clients.

Price Comparison:

BestWebHostingGeek.com researchers had a in-depth discussion to determine if “Price Comparison” should be a factor when attempting to find the best host. Our team decided that out of the four categories price was actually the least important to determine “HOST QUALITY” but was still very significant if the true goal is to fully compare hosts.

price comparison

    1. iPage $1.99/mo. – Out of the five hosts iPage was the most affordable hosting option. There appears to be a special promotion running for limited time. 
    2. Justhost $2.95/mo. – Justhost came in as the second most affordable host; however, their rate was nearly one dollar more per month than iPage.
    3. Fatcow $3.15/mo. –  Slightly behind Justhost was FatCow who advertised a rate of $3.15 a month.
    4. Bluehost & Hostmonster $3.95/mo. – Bluehost and Hostmonster tied for 4th in the affordability category. Both of these hosts have 3.95 rates; however, you must click on one of our promo links to enable this discounted rate.

Sometimes individuals have a really low budget when starting a website and price plays the biggest role in choosing a host. However, with less than $2/month difference between all the hosts we put little weight on this category.

Amount of Search Traffic:

This is one metric that many ignore when determining the overall quality of a web hosting provider. Our team researched back several years to determine how often users searched for the brand name of each of our hosts on Google. (For example, “Bluehost”, “Hostmonster”, “iPage”, “Fatcow”, “Justhost”.)

An upward trend in search traffic could signify that the host is doing something right and growing while a significant downward trend may signal a host that is diminishing/not growing. The graph below should give a clear visual as to how each of our five hosts have grown throughout the years.

searchtraffic

(Click to enlarge)

 The results of this particular category were very interesting! Out of the five hosts only two had strong signals of groth, one host was steady, and two hosts were gradually losing momentum.

  1. Bluehost (GROWING) – The fastest growing host and also historical most successful host of the five was by far Bluehost. As a whole Bluehost has shown steady growth since 2005 and is currently at its peak signifying successful, long, and steady growth.
  2. iPage (GROWING) – Another host that has shown significant growth signs is iPage. Similar to Bluehost this host has continued to grow since day one and is currently near its all time peak.
  3. Fatcow (STEADY) – This host is not growing or dropping, from what we can see Fatcow has maintained pretty consistent traffic over the last five years.
  4. Justhost (DECLINING) – Justhost seemed to have peaked in 2010 and has since witnessed a gradual decline in exposure and traffic.
  5. Hostmonster (DECLINING) – The largest decline in traffic has been witnessed by Hostmonster. This host has been around for many years and grew steadily but in 2009 things started going downhill. Since this time Hostmonster has witnessed the largest decline in search traffic.

Based on this graph it is clear that Bluehost and iPage are the only two hosts out of the group that are showing significant signs of growth. This could be caused by a variety of factors including: Customer Satisfaction, Innovation, Word-of-Mouth, and Quality of Products.

Poll-of-Polls – Massive Study of User Reviews:

In any scientific study the larger the study sample the more accurate the results. Our team of researchers decided that utilizing and reading user reviews was by far the best way to determine the QUALITY of a host. A host that was working hard to innovate and provide great customer service would ultimately have more satisfied users than a host only focused on their bottom line.

In order to provide the most accurate results in this very important category we calculated and converted user-reviews from ten large hosting review sites and averaged the ratings to determine the most accurate score of satisfaction (10 = most satisfied, 1 = not satisfied).

averageuser

Overall average ratings for all five host were impressively high; however, there was a clear winner in this category.

  1. Bluehost – Users clearly scored Bluehost as their best host, the company’s average rating checked in at an impressive 9.37/10.
  2. iPage – The second highest average was achieved by iPage.com who also had an average rating over 9.
  3. Hostmonster – Hostmonster squeaked by Fatcow and had the third best user rating.
  4. Fatcow – The fourth highest user ranked host was Fatcow who achieved an average rank of 8.75/10.
  5. Justhost – In 5th place with the lower customer satisfaction rate was Justhost with 8.67/10.

 Summary & Analysis:

BestWebHostingGeek.com set out to compare web hosting providers and attempt to determine the overall “best web hosting” provider. Instead of simply comparing features and functions of each host we attempted to dive-in to deeper research to determine which host is truly the best at gaining & keeping satisfied users.

Our team analyzed four different categories: Total Number of Customers Hosted, Price Comparison, Amount of Search Traffic, and a Large Collection of User Reviews. In each of the categories we were able to determine which hosts were the best out of the group. To determine an overall winner (best host) we decided to assign a numeric score to the winner of each category (5 points for best, 4 for 2nd, and so on). After adding up the scores were able to determine two clear winners:

resultsBluehost – 17 Points

iPage – 16 Points

Hostmonster – 10 Points

Justhost – 9 Points

Fatcow – 9 Points [br] [br]

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(Advertisement) – Bluehost $3.95 Web Hosting Promo Link

Best Strategies to Increase Website Traffic! (Infographic)

Every website and/or business owner share a common goal of increasing traffic to their website. I’m not talking about [junk] traffic that can easily be achieved by paying some “traffic-sales” company. I am referring to QUALITY traffic.

We spent a LOT of time on this article trying to provide you with a huge list of strategies. Gladly we put our reputation on the line saying that if you utilize a combination of our suggested methods you will witness a HUGE growth in traffic.

BEFORE WE GET STARTED: It is important to understand that the internet is rapidly changing. If your goal is to achieve long-term/reliable increases of traffic to your website, you should pay close attention to this next VERY important piece of advice.

*Increasing traffic requires a special kind of mindset! To properly achieve this goal you must always have the mindset of growing and increasing your Brand. I would highly recommend staying away from any traffic schemes that do not promote your businesses’ brand in any way.

“The goal of all successful sites should be to drastically increase traffic for a long, reliable, and sustainable period of time. To achieve this you must dedicate all of your time, efforts, and resources towards building a quality and recognizable Brand. Having a memorable website name and logo plays an essential role in long-term Brand recognition.”
 – BestWebHostingGeek.com

The team at BestWebHostingGeek.com wanted to provide you with a quick & detailed visual outlining the different ways to increase traffic to your website. The infographic below will give you a full outline of what we believe to be the most effective strategies. Below the infographic we will touch on each method in greater detail.

(Infographic) Proven Strategies to Increase Traffic to Your Website: 

Increase Traffic to Your Website (Infographic)

There are essentially three different places that you should turn to if you wish to rapidly increase traffic to your site. First, you should focus on on-site steps that will help prepare your site for success. Next, you should turn two the remaining two off-site methods (free & paid). We have broken down each category further in order to provide you with a complete guide to achieving website growth.

Essential On-Page Strategies:

  1. Regularly Publish Content:[br]The most important thing you should be doing if you wish to increase your traffic is give others a reason to want to visit your site. You should be regularly writing content related to your niche (expertise). When you publish content on your site there are a few things that you should keep-in-mind. All of the content should be original, it should be well written (little to no errors), should be informative, and most importantly you should ask yourself if the content adds value to the internet. [br] [br]Every successful website should have a blog and be actively publishing on it. Research clearly shows a link between actively blogging and traffic increases to websites. We’ve outlined the simple steps to creating a blog in a previous article. Take the time to publish only QUALITY content. I would rather publish one well researched article than five low quality ones. [br] [br]
  2. Optimize Website For Search Engines: [br]In order to optimize your website for search engines it is important to understand exactly what they want and don’t want. Google is the largest search engine and their rules should be your primary focus.[br] [br]In order to give you a clear understanding as to how you should operate if you wish to receive traffic from Google, the company has written several documents called: Webmaster Guidelines.[br] [br]Reading Google’s guidelines is essential if your desire is to increase traffic through natural search; however, many website owners fail to even take the time to read this important document. Our research team decided to ask 50 random webmasters if they have ever read the document provided by Google. To our surprise only 26% of those interviewed claim to have read the entire set of guidelines.[br] [br]There are a few easy steps that you can focus on immediately to optimize your website. First, you should use accurate and descriptive Titles to describe your pages and content. NEVER use short or misleading titles. Next, when you add tags to posts please make sure the tags accurately describe the content in the post. The purpose of tags are to help users find content thus [like the Titles] should be very descriptive. Another great way to optimize your site is to make sure you have a clean permalink structure. For example, a website with the following structure “www.yoursite.com/post-about-you/” is much more clean than “www.yoursite.com/493/434234/ga3/post/about/23493.php”. If you are using a service like WordPress they make it extremely easy to adjust your permalinks. Lastly, you should take the time to make sure your website is fast. In the past Google has admitted that speed plays a role in their rankings and that website’s should be fast in order to improve user-experience. There are many way you can speed up your site and so far the best free tool that I have seen to help with this process is called, “GTMetrix“. [br] [br]
  3. Incorporate Social Tools: [br]I have always heard the saying, “The best advertisement is word-of-mouth”. As a website owner you should make it as easy as possible for your readers to share your site and content with others. Most popular search engines have tools & widgets that you can place on your site to allow users to share your content. The most popular among them all are Facebook, Google+, Twitter, Pinterest, and LinkedIn buttons. [br] [br]We found some interesting research that showed just how much these social buttons can help a site gain traffic. ABCNews reported that after adding the Facebook like button their site’s traffic increased by 190%. Similar to ABCNews, Gawker reported a 200% increase, and most impressively SportingNews.com reported an astonishing 500% increase in traffic. [br] [br]Google has provided a few tools called, “Rich Snippets” that you can add to your website in order to improve the look of your search results. Authorship, Reviews, Music, and Movie Listings are just a few of the snippets you can add to spice up your search results. You can see a full listing of snippets on the Google Webmaster page. [br] [br]
  4. Start a Newsletter/Mailing List: [br]Recently we decided to start our own newsletter as a way to share our best and most popular content with our followers. If you are looking for a great way to keep visitors returning to your site we suggest signing up for a nice mailing service (like MailChimp) and allowing your visitors to register for your e-mail newsletter. Your newsletters should include the titles of your best content and a brief summary of the content. When users click to read more they will automatically be taken to your website.

Best “Free” Ways Increase Traffic:

  1. Utilize Social Media: [br] A large portion of a successful website’s traffic should come directly from free social media sites like: Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, LinkedIn, etc. You should create a profile for your website on each of these sites and work to grow your network of followers on each site. There are a variety of ways to grow the number of followers on your pages. Our favorite strategies include: inviting friends & family, interact on others’ pages, and hosting contests to gain more followers. [br] [br] You should regularly be sharing content from your website on as many social media sites as possible. If you really want to see rapid traffic growth you should be focused on creating content that is “Shareable” that could potentially go viral. Videos, research, case-studies, infographics, and e-books all had a strong track record in being “shared” by others. [br]
  2. Gain Strong Links From External Sites: [br] The best links you could possibly gain are received naturally from authority sites in your niche. We do not recommend purchasing links as a method to improve rankings because that directly violates Google’s guidelines; however, some “NoFollow” advertisement link purchases can help drive targeted traffic to your site. The best method to gaining links to your site is to create content that is so good others want to share it. [br] [br]
  3. Guest Blog Writing: [br]Often popular sites in your niche will allow for “Guest Blogging”. If done properly this can benefit you and the other site. The perfect scenario of Guest Blogging allows for you to create well-written and informative content that will help drive traffic to the other site; however, in the content you may naturally reference your website a few times which will also increase your traffic as well. [br] [br]
  4. Participate in Online Forums & Communities: [br]Again, this strategy is great because it can benefit everyone if used properly. If you register at a forum in your niche and help others within your expertise you not only help them but it also gives you a chance to share your website/brand. Following the rules of the community you should gain permission to place your website’s link into your profile page & forum signature. I often find that these forums/communities are great mediums to share and ask for feedback regarding new content.  [br] [br]
  5. Utilize Free Press Release Services: [br]Press releases have long been a way to make an announcement of some sort and gain media exposure to your brand. There are many press release services on the web, some that cost, and a few that are free. If you do not have a huge budget but still looking for great results I highly suggest promoting your announcement through a service like PRLog.org, Newsvine.com, or PitchEngine.com. [br] [br]
  6. Sharing Quality Videos on YouTube: [br] Millions of people turn to YouTube each day and not only to watch something funny or listen to music. For example, “How-To” videos are extremely popular as it allows experts to demonstrate a skill or knowledge with someone needing information in that area. Utilizing free video creators on your computer and a simple web cam or video camera you can create your own videos regarding topics in your expertise. Once you publish this to YouTube you can reference your site/brand in the video as well as the description.

Best “Paid” Ways to Increase Traffic:

  1. Pay-Per-Click Networks: [br]If you have a budget and looking for a quick way to bring in targeted customers you may want to turn to Pay-Per-Click networks. When you use these networks you agree to pay a set fee for every click/visitor the network sends you. Google Adwords is by far the largest and most used pay-per-click network; however, there are several others out there to choose from including but not limited to: Clicksor, Yahoo Advertising Solutions, DigitalPoint, and BidVertiser. [br] [br]
  2. Banner Advertising: [br]Another great way to increase branding and traffic to your website is to purchase banner advertising on sites related to your niche. My favorite banner advertisement network is BuySellAds; however, there are a few other good ones out there including: Adroll.com and BuyAds.com. [br] [br]
  3. Sponsored Reviews: [br]Sponsored reviews are another great way to increase traffic to your website. You can use these services to promote your website and brand to other visitors on the web. In order to follow Google Guidelines make sure you have the writers clearly label their posts as a “sponsored post” and use “nofollow” links. Two sponsored review services that have been around a while include: SponsoredReviews.com and Reviewme.com.  [br] [br]
  4. Sponsored Social Media Advertising: [br]Want to have celebrities or other popular companies promote you to their followers? There are now a few services out there that allow you to purchase a “Sponsor Tweet” or “Sponsored Post”. This is a great way to get some high profile notoriety to your website. Using a service like SponsorTweets.com or IZEA.com will not only increase your traffic but also will promote your Brand which should always be your goal. [br] [br]
  5. Direct Social Media Advertising: [br]Another great medium for advertising your website is on social media sites. Sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram all have ways that you can buy advertisement on their network. If I am spending money for traffic I like to receive targeted visitors to my site and Facebook allows for VERY targeted advertising. [br] [br]
  6. Premium Press Release Services: [br] Previously I touched on how press release services can drive traffic to your site. There are free and paid services our there; however, if you are looking to get the most exposure to your announcement or news it is good to consider a premium press release service. The most widely known and best premium press release services are: PrWeb.com and BusinessWire.com.

Summary:

Driving quality traffic to your website should be a primary goal of all webmasters and business owners. When developing a long-term strategy to consistently increase website traffic you should focus on anything that promotes your brand as a whole. We encourage you to utilize the different methods outlined in this article if you want to see rapid growth in traffic to your site.

Currently we are working on a HUGE case study to show the effects these methods have on website traffic when combined. We will release our results in a few months; however, in the meanwhile if you enjoy this content please share it with others!

Also, the team at BestWebHostingGeek.com pay our bills from commissions earned from our site when someone signs up for web hosting. If you would like to help us out and also get a discount on hosting please consider purchasing or switching your web hosting provider to Bluehost. In our opinion Bluehost is the best web hosting provider in the world and everyday we put on reputation on the line promoting this great company. If you click on the banner below you will have a special $3.95 Bluehost promo rate enabled which will save you on your purchase and will also help us to continue offering our services and great content well into the future. Thanks for your help!!

Bluehost - WordPress Web Hosting
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How do Social Media and Blogging Affect the Way an Organization Handles Customer Feedback? (Full Research Paper)

In the lastest series of posts we have attempted to explain (using a great deal of research) why it is extremely important for businesses and individuals to have an online presence.  This may include but not be limited to:  Websites, Blogs, Facebook Page, Twitter Account, etc.

Our team of researchers came up with some interesting facts when researching for our article about the Benefits of Websites and Social Media Use for Businesses.   This interesting information discussed how websites give business owners greater control over customer feedback which is VITAL to maintain positive branding.

When looking at these facts I started flashing back to my college days when I wrote a research paper on How Social Media and Blogging Affect the Way an Organization Handles Customer Feedback.  I started digging around and I actually found the old paper.

This was written several years ago and there are a few gramatical and spelling errors throughout and I apologize for that; however, I decided to go ahead and post on here since this information is very informative and relavant to the content we have been discussing.

I believe any business owner struggling to see the importance of online marketing should read this paper.  It includes many real-life stories (both good and bad) about how organizations have been affected by Blogging and Social Media.

Click to Download Research Paper (.PDF)

Social Media / Blogging - Affect on Customer Feedback

Interested in having better control over your image/brand?  Creating a blog is the fastest, easiest, and most affordable way to do this (as you can see in our research).   We recently wrote an article with a video that explained how you can create a blog in literally a matter of minutes.  We encourage you to check it out!

Questions You Should Ask A Web Host

There are literally thousands of web hosting providers on the internet. Our team of professional web hosting experts have taken the time to review a large portion of the available hosts. From our experience we have found that a few hosts really stand out from the pack and provide EXCELLENT hosting at affordable pricing. We outline who we believe to be the top hosts on our homepage sidebar.

Although we have outlined five excellent hosts there is still a chance that you may desire to host with another company. In fact, every host specializes in something different so the real key is find a company that aligns with your personal needs. Should you find yourself attempting to decide on what host to hire, there are always a few questions that I recommend getting answered. I have outlined some of those questions below, we suggest searching the hosts’ website, reading reviews, and even calling the host if needed to answer these questions.

  • Question 1: What type of hosting plans do you offer?

    There are several different types of web hosting including but not limited to: shared web hosting, VPS web hosting, dedicated web hosting, reseller web hosting, and cloud hosting. The most affordable option of all these will be “Shared Web Hosting” and this type of hosting will work for 97% of websites. Make sure you find a host that offers the services you need.

  • Question 2: What is the cost of the hosting plans?

    When looking at web host’s it is important to understand how much it is going to cost you. I would not only ask what the initial purchase price is but I also would ask what the renewal rate is going to be. A lot of hosts will charge significantly more when it comes time for renewal. However, some hosts like (HostMetro) pride themselves in never raising the rates on you.

  • Question 3: What level of 3rd-party application support do you offer?

    WordPress, Joomla, Magento, and other third party applications have became extremely popular over the years. Some web hosting providers will provide support and will help you with these third parties application when you encounter a problem, others will not.

  • Question 4: What sort of security policy you have?

    DDos Protections, Site-block… You may never need them but it is always good to have protections in place just in case. Most reputable hosts like Bluehost, iPage, etc. have the best security policies while many newer hosts may be lacking in this area.

  • Question 5: What level of technical support you provide?

    If the host does not provide friendly, fast, and 24/7 customer support I would highly suggest staying away.  A good host will offer a variety of ways to get support including: support tickets, live chat, e-mail, telephone, etc. From my research Bluehost definitely excels in this area.

  • Question 6: Is it easy to get hold of the technical team?

    This is not a problem you will encounter with a major host (like any of the ones promoted on our site) but if you decide to go with a small/new company this is definitely something to consider.

  • Question 7: Do I have to pay extra for technical support?

    Again, this is rare with major hosts like those listed on our site; however, there are a select few number of hosts that will try to charge you for technical support and I would definitely try to avoid these hosting providers.

  • Question 8: Can I have the copy of contract?

    Just make sure you understand the rules. Most hosts have a Terms of Service that will act as your contract. Make sure you take a few minutes to read over these Terms. Don’t be surprised later by what you did not take time to read.

  • Question 9: Is there any flexibility in the contract?

    A great example of this would be money back guarantees. This will give you a little time to make sure you like the host prior to being locked into a contract.

  • Question 10: What are the possibilities to void contract?

    Most hosts will not allow you to void a contract; however, some may allow it and pro-rate a portion of your money. Hopefully this is something you will never need to worry about; however, this is good information to know it advance.

  • Question 11: What type of hosting servers you offered? (Share, VPS, Dedicated server hosting)

    We kind of touched base on this in question 1; however, some hosts offer multiple hosting plans and types. I am a fan of these types of providers because you can start off with the basic/most affordable plans and then if your website grows you can easily migrate to another server in the future if needed. Bluehost (our favorite host), for example, offers shared, dedicated, and reseller hosting options.

  • Question 12: What If I need to switch servers later on?

    Godaddy and 1and1 web hosting providers are two of the larger ones that you may have heard of. However, in our opinion these two hosts make it harder than most to migrate your site. Once you host with them you are almost stuck. That is why I do not like these two particular hosts. Just make sure you research and see how hard it will be to switch servers in the future.

  • Question 13: What would be the additional charges in order to get additional bandwidth and space?

    A lot of hosts offer unlimited bandwidth and unlimited disk space. Meaning (in most cases) you won’t have to worry about hidden charges. However, some hosts still charge fees based on usage. Just make sure you understand those fees in advance.

  • Question 14: What type of control panel do you provide?

    Different hosts offer different types of panels. For example: HostMetro uses Cpanel, iPage uses vDeck, and Bluehost offers an awesome custom version of Cpanel.

  • Question 15: How much authority do I have over the server?

    When you have a shared hosting account there is a good chance you may have limit authority in certain areas of the server. Hosts do this to protect others who share the same server. For the most part you will not need a lot of control for your site to operate; however, really advanced websites will definitely need more authority to get certain scripts to work.

  • Question 16: Can I get sample websites hosted by you (HOST)?

    You can tell a lot from a sample. However, the number one thing you can test is the speed of the site.

  • Question 17: What sort of back-up policy you have?

    Even the best of the best web hosting providers have hard drive failures, it is just something that is going to happen. If all of your hard work is on this server this can be a pretty devastating problem. Hosts that create backups for you on a regular basis can really help you feel better in case of a hard drive crash.

  • Question 18: Is the back-up service is included in the web hosting plan or have to pay separately for it?

    From what I have seen, many hosts offer a basic backup plan which backups your data periodically. They also offer a more advanced plan that backups your website on a more consistant basis.

  • Question 19: Are you going to provide free domain registration service or I have to buy one?

    Some hosts like Bluehost will give you a free domain name when you purchase a hosting account (this is like a $15 savings for you). Other hosts charge additional fees for the domain when it comes time to checkout.

If you are researching an unfamiliar web hosting provider these are 19 different questions that you will most definitely want to have answered prior to signing up with that host.

The purpose of BestWebHostingGeek.com is to take away some of your research time and provide you with a list of quality and affordable hosts. We stake our reputation on the five hosts listed on our homepage and feel confident any of these hosts will make you a very satisfied customer!

Qualities of a Reliable Web Host

We have found that most individuals find our site while searching for the best hosting provider. Let me start off by being completely honest when I say that narrowing down “the best” host is nearly an impossible task because different hosts cater to different customer needs. Our team of experts attempt to provide you with a list of hosts that we believe to be the best based on a number of factors and user reviews; however, the final decision is ultimately up to you (the consumer).

Instead of telling you who we believe to be the most reliable web host, we decided we would take this opportunity to educate you on what to look for during your search for the perfect web hosting provider. We will outline the four main categories that separate a mediocre hosts from a world-class reliable web hosting company.

Qualities of a Reliable Web Host

Top Notch Hardware:

Trustworthy hosting providers make sure their customer’s websites are fast, safe, and always running. New hosts often lack the funding needed to build a strong infrastructure; whereas, established companies that have been around for several years have had the opportunity to create and reinvest into an infrastructure that is world-class.

You may be asking yourself what we mean by “infrastructure” or “top notch hardware” so we thought we would try to go into some detail.

First, it is important to understand that web hosting is actually a very complex operation that requires multiple processes and a great deal of expensive hardware. With the risk of getting too technical I will try to keep things very simple. Servers are basically large and very powerful computers that are stored in very complex facilities called “datacenters”. Between the servers and the datacenter are a variety of hubs and switches that protect the servers and manage bandwidth to and from the servers.

Just like buying a car, web hosting providers have to buy or rent all of this equipment in order to have a fully operational business. Like purchasing a car they have the choice to buy quality new equipment that is expensive or perhaps lower quality used hardware that is more affordable. Hosts that use older/less-reliable hardware tend to see more server and hardware crashes and cannot protect their users as effectively from attacks (such as a Ddos attack).

A good reliable host will invest a great deal into their equipment and will not try to save money in this specific area. In my opinion the hardware is the backbone of all hosting services and vital to their short term and long term success.

Quality Customer Support:

A proven host will have a quality customer support system in place. If the host does not offer around the clock support to customers than what is a customer going to do when their website needs troubleshooting in the after hours?

Reliable web hosting companies should offer support via many different channels. Some examples of these potential channels include: E-Mail, Ticket Support, Live Chat, Telephone, and even possibly provide a comprehensive help desk to aid you with different issues.

When searching for a host do not take customer support lightly. At one time or another you will need support with some issue, I promise.

Company Policies:

This is my “Catch All” category; however, I think any respectable web host will have company policies centered around their users. When hosting a website you won’t want to encounter unexpected billing charges or slow servers due to abuse by another user.

Rules are a good thing when implemented properly and that it why I believe a reliable hosting service will have a well thought out Terms of Service. (You should always read these TOS.)

A good company will spend lots of time and resources developing a set of guidelines that achieve two primary goals. First, the company policies should protect their users from other users. Secondly, should protect users from the company itself.

What do I mean by this exactly? A great web hosting providers will not only have rules to protect what users can do on their servers to make sure they are running in top-notch shape, but they should also enforce these rules. A good host will also offer their users protection through a money back guarantee just in case the user is not happy. Different hosts offer a variety of different time periods for the guarantee; however, I believe that the longer the guarantee is for, the more confident the host must be in their product.

Proven Track Record:

It may seem like a cliche; however, there truly is a reason that a host has been around for a long period of time. The hosting industry is a very competitive business and startups in this niche find themselves failing on a daily basis. Companies who have weathered the storm truly have survived because they have proven themselves reliable to their customers as a whole.

We have ranked BlueHost as our personal favorite web hosting company because they not only provide affordable and quality hosting but they have been around for years. This did not happen by accident, no doubt it is important to look at the host’s history before making a purchase.

Conclusion:

Although BestWebHostingGeek.com takes great pride in providing honest reviews and ratings to our users and believe our top 5 hosts are truly some of the best out there, we also believe the final decision should be yours. To help you stay informed and know what to look for in a host we hope to educate you in the process.

Before making your own choice on what hosting package to purchase please make sure the host is reliable. Ask about their hardware, study their customer support, read their company policies via the Terms of Service, and finally research the history of the host. A company who passes these four tests will no doubt be able to provide you with a consistant and reliable hosting experience.

How Web Hosting Server Location Matters in Web Hosting

There are many aspects of web hosting which people overlooked and they don’t realize the importance of it in terms of web site performance. One of those aspects is hosting server location. Many people do have this question in mind that, does server location matters in terms of hosting?

Well, yes server location matters a lot in terms of web hosting especially if you have a business website. First we’ll consider importance of server location in terms of search engine, in terms of business website one might need to target local search engines in order to get targeted traffic. For instance if you need to target specific geographic location to get traffic then the hosting server should be located in that area so that one can get highly targeted traffic.

Beside this server location matters if you need to target specific country, one need to buy local server with local IP so that people can get your website on top whenever they search about your business. Search engine track the IPs of users in order to identify the location of sources and show them the closest searches first according to the geographic location of the server.

As compare to that if you are willing to target global audiences than you website must be available in different languages so that people can access it in their own languages. In order get benefited globally one need to sign up for multiple server locations; it is a bit expensive option for pretty useful one as it makes your website available locally to the user.

So if you are planning to host business website and need to target specific location or looking for global traffic keep these things in mind while signing up for a host.

Things to Consider While Searching For a Host

Selection of a host is pretty painful task as there are a lot of web hosting companies; people got confuse to pick a reliable host. All the hosting companies’ claims to provide reliable hosting services but only few of them meet the standards. To figure out the best web hosting company one has to look out for the key elements of reliable hosting services.

Internet Connection:

You need to find out what sort of internet connection are they using for the hosting server is it dial-up or DSL both these connections are not quick enough to support hosting server and your website will have slow response time or might not be able to function properly. Make sure your hosting provider has digital cable connection which is fast and reliable.

Reliability:

A reliable web host offers maximum uptime and quick response time. Every hosting company claims to provide maximum server uptime but later on you have to face server downtime to make sure that they are providing maximum uptime you need to read user reviews.

Term & Conditions:

Before signing up for a host you have to carefully read their terms and conditions. Most of the people ignore this section and suffer later on. Let suppose companies offering unlimited bandwidth and space doesn’t mention fair usage policy but if you read terms and condition section it’s clearly written over there. So in order to avoid any kind of bad surprise must read this section.

 Technical Support:

Technical support is a core element of web hosting. As your hosting server is away from you need a proper channel to communicate with your host. Most of the companies offer limited technical support but a reliable hosting company’s offer 24/ technical support in order to facilitate their clients and resolve their issues instantly. So Always opt for 24/7 technical support.

Affordability:

Affordability is a major factor to consider while selection of a host. Most of the companies include hidden charges or charge you for the services you are not even using. So carefully read your hosting plan and review its prices as well. There are so many well reputed cheap web hosting companies which are offering reliable services in low price.

Bandwidth & Space:

Most of the companies offer unlimited bandwidth and storage space but later on when your bandwidth limit exceeds, they don’t provide you additional bandwidth and quote it under fair usage policy. So you have to make this clear that there is no such term like unlimited exists in web hosting world. Carefully select your hosting plan and do read their terms and conditions.

E-mail Addresses:

Different hosting plans offer different numbers of email addresses. Most of the companies offer POP3- emails addresses.  Nowadays companies are offering 1000 of email accounts as a part of your hosting plan.

Check User Feedback:

Always check user feedback before finalizing a host. It really helps you to figure out the quality of services and what sort problems their existing users are facing.  Also keep in mind that you should check maximum number of reviews because most of the people write fake reviews and give negative feedbacks without even trying that host.

Why Web Hosting Control Panels?

While choosing a hosting plan people are worried about managing it and that’s why they look for something simple and easy to manage. Most of the people don’t have much knowledge about server management but with the latest web technology one can easily manage his/her hosting account using control panels.

Control panel is a web based interface which allows you to manage your hosting account. It allows managing domains, email accounts, site templates, database and other useful marketing tools as well. The reason to introduce control panels for hosting servers is to make things simple and easy to manage, most people don’t have much information about server management so control panel has made things easy.

Selection of Control Panel

Well the first thing should be clearer in your mind is that every webmaster needs a control panel in order to manage his hosting account. Now as it has become an essential element of web hosting so every web hosting company provide control panel along with hosting plan. A top web host offer various types of control panels, so that one can choose according to his/her understanding. While looking for a control panel one has to keep following things in mind:

User-Interface: An interface of a control must be user-friendly as you have to manage your website on daily basis so it should be easy to understand and learn. These days graphical user-interface control panels are available so that one can easily keep track of his/her hosting activities. Also most of the control panels provide several options to customize them according to their interest.

Operating System (OS) Support: Selection of a control panel depends on OS as well, various types of control panels are offered depending on the compatibility of OS. For Linux based users cPanel is the most commonly used control panel while for Windows based server Plesk is the right choice.

User Requirements: Before finalizing any control panel one has to analyze his requirements as well and on the priority of features one can pick a suitable control panel as control panel provide various applications that might be useful in terms of website design, development or promotion.