InMotion Hosting

The Official InMotion Hosting Blog

The New VPS S-Class Hosting: More RAM. More Storage. More Bandwidth. FREE SSDs.

September NewsletterWe are excited to announce the release of the next generation of Virtual Private Server hosting at InMotion Hosting: the VPS S-Class. The new VPS hosting product line brings a number of significant enhancements to the legacy VPS-1000, VPS-2000 and VPS-3000 packages, including free solid-state drives (SSDs) and drastically increased RAM, storage and bandwidth. The wholesale VPS upgrades are consistent with our mission to bring customers the most comprehensive web hosting experience possible with top-of-the-line service and support.

The development of the revamped VPS-1000S, VPS-2000S and VPS-3000S came as a result of in-depth product evaluation including intensive market research, security and scale concerns, fundamental feature analysis and customer surveys and feedback. In short, we wanted to make sure we are bringing you industry-leading Virtual Private Server hosting that meets all of your needs and addresses all of your website’s digital requirements.

Whether you have a blog with increasing traffic, a growing business, or a website running complex and dynamic applications, our new VPS hosting packages have the power, performance and reliability to ensure your site will run seamlessly. The upgraded S-Class maintains many of the features that made InMotion Hosting an industry-leader, including automated backups, unlimited websites, burstable RAM, free cPanel and WHM, SSH and root access and much more.

Not sure which hosting plan fits best fits your site and needs? Not a problem. Check out our comparison page to find out everything you need to know about shared, VPS and dedicated hosting and which product suits you best.

Team Member Profile: Jerrett Farmer

Jerrett FarmerHometown: Latham, OH
Position: Marketing Production Manager
InMotion Hosting team member since December 2013

How did you get started in the web hosting field?
The first website I ever worked on was the X-Files website in the mid 90s. At that time time I did not know anything about web hosting. Five years later I started freelancing on the side and making websites. Then web hosting became a big deal to me. I found generally the experience with web hosting services to be similar to banging one’s head against the wall. Around 2004 or 2005 I came across InMotion Hosting and was amazed at their service and quality of their product. After using their service for seven years I made the move from video games to working in web hosting. I saw that InMotion was hiring and went for it. Easily the best job I’ve ever had.

What’s your current role at InMotion Hosting? What do you like most about it?
I am the Marketing Production Manager and I love Free Food Fridays.

Coolest gadget you own, want, or have read about?
My six year old daughter Ella.

What would you like to tell us about yourself?
I am what I am.

What’s one word that would describe your personality?
Ambiguous.

Does Your Business Website Have the Right Messaging?

When it comes to your online business, having the right copy is as important as the products themselves. Having poor messaging can turn potential customers away from your business for good. So how do you know if you have the right messaging? Take a look at your website and then ask yourself these questions:

  1. Do you list your features and explain why these are better than your competitors?
  2. Does the site explain a particular problem your product solves for your customers?
  3. Do you have clear instructions and “call-to-actions” informing the customer on what to do next?

If you were able to answer “yes” to all of the questions, then good job on your website. Your content makes it easy for shoppers to clearly distinguish the advantages of your products over your competitors. It also makes it easy for your customers to either checkout, or find a way to get a hold of you for more information.

However, if you answered “no” to some or all of these questions, then now is a good time to go back, review your copy, and make the proper content changes. Here’s breakdown of each question and why they are important.

List Features and Explain Them That Your Competitors Don’t Have

When shoppers come to your site, it needs to be clear to them that your product is superior. A way of doing this is listing out your features and then explaining these features. You should also do some research to get ideas about what your competitors are doing.

Explain the Problem Your Product Solves

When people shop, they are primarily looking for something that solves a particular problem they have. Be sure your content explains this. If it’s not clear what benefits you offer, then chances are potential customers will leave your site.

Clear Call-to-Actions (CTAs) Makes Your Site User-Friendly

“Learn More”, “Order Now”, “Call Today” are examples of clear CTAs. These tell your shoppers what they should next from the page they’re currently on. The purpose of this is to invite shoppers towards an action which hopefully results in a sale. Also, if this is a link, be sure that it stands out since it is the primary action you want your customers to take.

Building Trust with a Blog

Engaging your customers is important, and there’s no easier way to do it than with a blog. Blogs allow you to display your expertise within your industry, keep readers up to date on new products or upgrades, and provide news about your company. Plus, it gives your customers a reason to keep coming back to your website.

If your business does not already have a blog and you want to set one up, then we would recommend WordPress. Installation is easy, its dashboard is well thought-out, and maintaining it just takes a single click. For installation instructions, we have easy-to-follow tutorials depending on the type of hosting product you have.

Our Business Hosting comes with Softaculous which allows you to easily install WordPress with a few clicks. Read more about the installation process here: How to install WordPress using Softaculous.

If you have a VPS or dedicated server, then you will need to do a few extra steps for installation. You can find the installation instructions for VPS and dedicated servers here.

These are just a few simple tips to improving your business website. Of course, these tips alone won’t guarantee an increase in sales. But what it is, it’s a step in the right direction towards making your site easier for shoppers to get information and ultimately lead them to buying your products.

WordCamp Maine 2014 – WordPress and “lobstah”

WordCamp Maine 2014 header

I recently had the pleasure of visiting beautiful Portland, Maine for the first ever WordCamp Maine. Living in the city for so long and only traveling to large cities for WordCamps, I wasn’t sure of what to expect with a brand-new WordCamp out in the middle Maine. Well, to my surprise, it was an amazing trip full of wonderfully knowledgeable individuals who truly cared about WordPress as well as open source software.

Being a smaller WordCamp, I felt as if it was much easier to connect with people a lot closer than other WordCamps I have attended. If you have attended larger WordCamps in the past, you may have found that there are usually somewhat of common people that hang out together. Of course, absolutely anybody is welcome to walk up to whomever they want and strike up a conversation, but groups are sometimes formed that can discourage new folks in the community from talking to the big name “circuit speakers”. What I felt at WordCamp Maine was exactly the opposite of that.

Typically when I attend a WordCamp, I go with an agenda of who I want to speak with and the particular topic I want to discuss. At this smaller WordCamp, my approach was to wander up to absolutely anybody and strike up a conversation. From the very moment I arrived at the speaker/sponsor party to the very end of the day Saturday, I was constantly asking people what they did with WordPress and what they are currently working on. Sure, it may have been a bit strange to some for someone to randomly approach them and ask them about their work, but learning more about everyone’s jobs and upcoming projects was well worth it bit of creepiness I could have possibly portrayed.

The arrival

Not very often do I get the rare opportunity to arrive in a city with much time to explore. Typically, I fly in, get to a speaker dinner, get much less sleep than I should, attend the conference, run to the after party, then catch a flight home in the morning. When I had the opportunity to arrive in Portland on an early flight, I knew I had to make the best of it.

As I had not seen Chris Wiegman of iThemes Security since WordCamp Miami, and he was arriving a bit earlier as well, I saw it as a perfect opportunity to connect with him. After a few text messages back and forth, we took a short walk (that felt like an eternity uphill) to downtown Portland. There, we decided to grab a bit to eat and chat about WordPress, airplanes, and stray cats for several hours before we had to head over to the speaker/sponsor party. Walking the city of Portland was never on my bucket list, but it was certainly a pleasure.

The speaker/sponsor party

wordcamp-maine-jeff-and-chrisAt WordCamp Maine, I had the pleasure of being part of an incredible group of speakers, and bowling alongside them as well at Bayside Bowl. If bowling skills had a direct correlation to WordPress development/design skills, I think we would all be in some serious trouble.

The organizers had the right idea when they decided to encourage people to randomly bowl together so that everyone would be almost forced, in a sense, to talk to people whom they don’t know. It certainly broke the ice well and led to some great camaraderie between individuals who may even be business competition.

Overall, the speaker/sponsor party was a great success and I highly encourage other larger WordCamps to encourage conversation and teamwork from the very beginning just as well as WordCamp Maine did.

The main event

Just a quick walk from my hotel was WordCamp Maine, located at the Maine College of Art. I especially loved they layout of the WordCamp in which most would walk by the Happiness Bar and it was very open and inviting. As the majority of my memorable discussions occur at the Happiness Bar, that was my direct target.

At WordCamp Maine, the keynote was John Eckman of 10up, one of the largest WordPress development and design studios out there. In his keynote, John discussed his roots and the community spirit of the open source community, especially WordPress. It was quite possibly one of the best keynotes I have been to recently due to the direct connection I have with the WordPress community and its impact on me both personally and professionally. In some way, WordPress has shaped our lives and John did an excellent job in describing that feeling.

I spoke at my typical 3:00PM time slot on choosing a WordPress host. As it was a smaller WordCamp, it was a smaller crowd which was nice as I was able to read everyone a lot better and determine where more emphasis may need to be placed. I felt like the audience certainly learned how to better choose a host for their WordPress site in an unbiased manner.

After speaking, all speakers are highly encouraged to sit at the Happiness Bar for an hour to further discuss any topics that may have been left out. During that time, I had the pleasure of meeting Jeff Ackley who is heading up the Ecosite Competition which is an effort for developers to provide websites for eco-friendly organizations. We were able to have some great conversations about eco-friendly datacenters and helping the environment as developers as much as possible.

Why WordPress Maine was awesome

Firstly, no WordCamp can be a success without the organizers that give their lives to it, the volunteers who work hard to keep things running smoothly, the speakers for providing excellent subject matter, and the sponsors for footing the bill. A big thanks goes out to all of you for working so hard to make the very first WordCamp Maine such a success.

WordCamp Maine was a great approach towards bringing people together, regardless of their status within the community. I feel that the organizers worked especially hard to keep a large amount of diversity within the group. As WordCamp Maine grows, I hope to see those values continue through many successful years.

I had a great time speaking at WordCamp Maine and hope to see you all next year!

Team Member Profile: Jason Hong

13c9c48Hometown: Los Angeles, CA
Position: Affiliate Manager
InMotion Hosting team member since February 2011

How did you get started in the web hosting field?
This was my first professional job in the web hosting field. InMotion took a chance with me because I had some international BD experience and I was a Systems Analyst for around 7 years, so I had the technical background to learn the industry quickly.

What’s your current role at InMotion Hosting? What do you like most about it?
I am the Affiliate/ Business Development Manager with InMotion Hosting. I like the fact that this is one of the most challenging positions I’ve had in my professional career. The industry itself is very competitive, and the day to day challenges with affiliates and Google keep me on my toes, so no two days are ever alike.

Coolest gadget you own, want, or have read about?
I’ve read about a device that can store multiple credit cards, IDs, and cards all in one secure digital card. I’ve been looking for a way to make my wallet thinner since the 90’s and they finally invented it. Just took 20 years…

What would you like to tell us about yourself?
I’m older than I look.

What’s one word that would describe your personality?
Flexible

WordCamp Milwaukee 2014 – WordPress and Cows

Last weekend, I had the pleasure of attending and speaking at WordCamp Milwaukee. I had the pleasure of having great discussions with both existing friends within the WordPress community, as well as meeting some great people.

The speaker/sponsor party

The speaker/sponsor party took place at the Brewhouse Inn & Suites on Friday night. I decided to take a walk there from my hotel room so that I could soak in a bit of Milwaukee on the way there but little did I know, the walk would be much more longer than expected.

Once I arrived outside the venue, I spotted plenty of familiar faces, including Dre Armeda and Lisa Sabin-Wilson. We had a few good conversations, and I was introduced to Marc Benzakein of ServerPress before making our way inside.

Finally inside the party, everyone was quite lively and ready to share information on various projects that we were working on or recently released. Inside, I found more familiar faces, such as Michelle Schulp, Dan Beil, and Syed Balkhi, as well as giant cheesehead hats and the most comfortable WordCamp Milwaukee sweatshirts I have ever worn (Seriously, these sweatshirts are amazing).

As the night went on, everyone had an incredible time. Towards the end of the night, I was able to speak with Sam Hotchkiss, who is the organizer of WordCamp Maine which I will be speaking at as well.

Sam and I shared a cab back to our hotel rooms in which we spoke briefly about his product BruteProtect which prevents brute force attacks against WordPress site using global cloud-based rules. It is certainly a quality product and can greatly prevent attacks which are rising on a daily basis.

Overall, the speaker/sponsor party was a great opportunity to have fun and enjoy ourselves before we get down to business at the main event.

Saturday at WordCamp Milwaukee

Rather than attend all of the talks, I decided to take more of a personal approach to WordCamp Milwaukee and focus on meeting plenty of new people. It was quite a success in which I simply sat down next to people and introduced myself. This approach allowed me to learn more about people I have never met before and their upcoming projects, as well as inform them about what I do and how it could benefit them.

Of course, no WordCamp can be complete without some sort of great food and WordCamp Milwaukee certainly delivered with bacon and fried cheese curds. I may have gained 5 pounds from it but there are no regrets whatsoever. It was absolutely delicious.

My presentation promptly commenced at 3:00PM and I was ready to get started. At this WordCamp, I chose to speak on WordPress optimization techniques to get faster speed and more performance out of an existing setup. I feel that the audience gained a significant amount of information from my talk and got a deeper look at site performance from a hosting perspective. For more information on my presentation, you may view my slides on SlideShare.

Post-WordCamp festivities

After WordCamp Milwaukee, even with all of the great bacon and cheese, I was absolutely starving. Thankfully, Syed Balkhi invited me to dinner with him, Nik V, and Chris Christoff. We made our way to Benihana for some great food and even better conversation. At dinner, I came to the realization in how close this community is, in that you can mention someone’s name that you may have never seen in person, but still know who they are and what they do. Even a 15 year old kid like Nik has an impact on the WordPress community and can add a great amount of value to it.

Of course, one of the best parts of any WordCamp is usually the after party. If there is someone that you have been wanting to meet or have a discussion with, the after part is the best way to site down, have a drink, and make great conversation. At the after party, I spoke to numerous people, both established in the community as well as just starting out. Every conversation with a hit. As always, WordCamp after parties as perfect to just relax and talk about anything that comes to mind with great people who all share a passion for WordPress.

Conclusion

Overall, WordCamp Milwaukee was an amazing experience that makes me wish I could have stayed just one more day to say the least. The entire weekend, I could just feel the passion coming from everyone there.

I want to thank all of the organizers, volunteers, speakers, and attendees with my deepest gratitude for making WordCamp Milwaukee an amazing event. I’ll see you all next year!

Joomla Day Minnesota Recap

The fun began early!

Working with InMotion Hosting’s Customer Community team has it’s payoffs: learning about Joomla, writing tutorials that help 100,000′s of users, and getting my hands dirty from time to time with some development work.

Every few months I get to travel and attend some great conferences too. Last March I attended Joomla Day Boston 2014. Over the weekend I had the privilege to both attend and present at Joomla Day Minnesota 2014!

Before the event started, the gracious organizers took some of the event’s sponsors out to a Twins game! Unfortunately the Twins didn’t win, but that didn’t matter, watching the game from the box seats helped make the night one to remember.

Sessions and Speakers

STATE OF THE JOOMLA! UNION

Rod Martin was the event’s keynote speaker in the morning. His talk was all about the current state of Joomla!.

Do you remember being 10 years old, and do you understand how far you’ve come since then? Do you know that Joomla is turning 10 next year? That’s right, and Rod did an excellent job through his stories driving home that point.

The evening before his presentation, Rod and I had some time to talk WordPress, Joomla, and Drupal. He has significant experience in all three, and he wasn’t shy about praising his favorite (guess which CMS?). I saw his optimism and excitement for the future of Joomla during our conversations and while he took the podium.

The Success of Joomla 3!

Michael Babker, member of the Joomla Leadership Team, spoke in the afternoon on some of the successes of Joomla 3.

Some of the highlights shared during his talk included:

Free Schwag!

USB thumb drives, cool iphone chargers, and free hosting! That’s right, I came packing! How cool is it when your job is to give away some cool schwag to fellow Joomla users? Very cool!

If you ever see us at an event, stop by and say hello! And don’t be afraid to ask, we’re usually equipped with goodies you can take home and show off to your friends.

Looking forward

This year was the first year for Joomla Day MN. There’s no doubt that this was a very successful event! A big congratulations goes out to Demo, Ryan Book, and the other event organizers.

The event went so well that the team is already organizing Joomla Day MN 2015! Next year the event will be held at Mall of America. My fingers are crossed – I hope to attend!

Thank you Joomla Day MN!
Brad Markle

5 Misconceptions Marketers have about their Customers

Understanding your target audience and customer base is the most important component in formulating effective marketing campaigns and communications. While understanding the value of your product to your prospects is the first step to increasing conversions, a lack of knowledge of your customers’ tendencies and pain points will sabotage your efforts.

Here are five common misconceptions marketers have about their customers, and some helpful suggestions for how marketers can align their efforts with the mind of the most important person in their business: the customer.

1. You = Your Customer

As much as we may want to believe this, it isn’t true. Many marketers and business owners fall into the trap of thinking that they know everything about their customers and how they behave. Don’t let personal opinions and preferences dictate the design and content of your website.

Re-align: Continuously interact with your customer find out who they are and what they want.

  • Use email and social media to deliver surveys and feedback forms
  • Place comment boxes on web pages
  • Utilize analytics software (like Google Analytics) to understand what your customers are telling you with their behavior on your website
  • Take advantage of web-based testing with services like UserTesting.com

2. The customers don’t know what they want

A 2012 report titled “Digital Evolution in B2B marketing” put out by CEB and Google revealed that, on average, customers progress nearly 60% of the way through the purchase decision-making process before engaging a sales rep.

Re-align: Recognize that today’s customer is educated and in most cases has already done a great deal of research before initiating the sales process.

3. More is better

Even though the consumer may be in the market for information, that doesn’t necessarily mean that more information is better. Ease of access to information and clarity of messaging is more important. According to Taylor and Francis Online, you only have about 0.05 seconds to make a good first impression on your website. Make it count.

According to a study by Google, users’ first impressions of websites are influenced by two design factors:

  • Visual complexity: How complex is the visual design of the website
  • Prototypicality: How representative a design looks for a certain category of websites

Re-align: Follow the K.I.S.S. principle (Keep it Simple, Stupid) when it comes to your web design and content and you’ll have a better chance to keep your customer on your site (and convert).

4. My customer doesn’t use mobile devices

According to the annual State of the Internet report by Mary Meeker from KPCB, mobile usage continues to grow rapidly and is at 25% of Total Web Usage vs. 14% Year over Year. This trend is even more prominent in emerging markets. For example, in Asia mobile usage is more than 35% of total internet usage. Mobile data consumption is at an all-time high of 81%, with video content being consumed even more.

Re-align: Start preparing your mobile strategy NOW if you haven’t already.

5. Personalization is optional

This is true, but it’s no longer about just including the customer’s name in an email message. Personalization has become much more sophisticated over the past few years.

According to a study last year by MyBuys and the e-tailing group, customized messaging and promotions based on past shopping or buying experiences increases the likelihood of buyer engagement and corresponding sales.

Re-align: Understand that consumers are aware of online personalization and they  tell us that they both value and expect it, as it makes it easier for them to find products that are most important to them.

WordCamp Chicago 2014: The Bean, the Blues and a ton of WordPress info

wordcamp-chicago-banner-and-tower

This past weekend, I got to do two things I’ve been putting off for awhile. Visit Chicago, and go to a WordCamp. I’m glad I finally did, because I got to see an awesome city and meet a ton of amazing people that help make up the close-knit WordPress community.

The city

On Friday, we started exploring the city and ended up seeing the Cloud Gate (also known as “the Bean”) in Millennium park that showed off the city skyline in a very unique way. The architecture of Chicago was simply stunning and I was in awe just walking around it.

There was a Blues festival, as well as the Chicago Electronic Dance Music Festival going on, so the city was packed with people, and the weather was beautiful. I had a lot of fun exploring the city, but was even more excited to start digging into WordPress.

The food

wordcamp-chicago-food

After asking the locals, both Lou Malnati’s Pizzeria and Portillo’s Hot Dogs were the unanimous places to go for authentic Chicago style deep dish pizza, and a hot dog. Neither place was quick, and they were both packed, but man the food was worth it!

The talks

wordcamp-chicago-talks

I was looking forward to some great WordPress talks. I’ve seen quite a few online, but being live in the same room as the speaker made the info resonate with me even more.

At WordCamp, they split talks up into 2 or 3 tracks, so you can’t listen in on every single one. With the ones I saw, I gained some useful knowledge from every single talk.

  • There was the “It Starts With Good Posture – Website Security (WordPress)” talk from Tony Perez (@perezbox) of Sucuri. He had some great security tips for making sure your WordPress site was as secure as it could be for any type of attacks.
  • Dan Beil (@add_action_dan) taught us “How NOT to develop (With WordPress)“. There were some great tips on how to get organized and make your development life much easier.
  • Josh Broton (@joshbroton) had a great talk on “You Don’t Need jQuery” that showed how you could easily squeeze a precious 100ms of loading time out of a site that relies on jQuery by instead using vanilla JavaScript.
  • Joe Casabona (@jcasabona) had a really informative talk about “Responsive Design with WordPress” that went over why designing for mobile first and then scaling up is the way to go. I even picked up a signed copy of Joe’s book after listening to him talk on the subject.
  • There was a whole team of 3 including Pete Mall, Brian Krogsgard (@krogsgard), and Sara Cannon (@saracannon) that basically held a panel on “Do Big Things With A Small Team” where they told the story of how their small team at Range was able to take on huge projects and still stay on top of them.
  • Sara Cannon (@saracannon) followed up the panel with a cool talk about “Smart Design: Icon Fonts, SVG, and the Mobile Influence” that showed some really cool ways to make sites load fast and scale but still be pretty.
  • The last talk on Saturday was none other than lead developer of WordPress Andrew Nacin (@nacin) with “Advanced Topics in WordPress Development”. It was exciting to learn about the plans of WordPress to become an auto-updating platform. This would be great for the entire community by helping plugin and theme developers only having to support the latest version of their plugin, knowing that when someone downloads their plugin it will be auto updated along with the rest of the WordPress core.
  • Sunday morning with breakfast in hand Josh Leuze (@jleuze) started off the day with a talk on “Building Your First Widget“. It was great presentation on how to get some simple widget interactivity into WordPress in no time.
  • Lisa Ghisolf (@gizmodesign) gave a talk on “A house with no walls: Creating a site structure for the future” which covered using site maps, content strategy, and mobile to give the best user experience you can for your site.
  • One of my favorite talks was from Ben Lobaugh (@benlobaugh) on “From Zero to WordPress Hero” which basically just talked about not being afraid to dive into the WordPress community and start making an impact.
  • There was some great business advice in the talk from Rebecca Gill (@WebSavvyMrkting) on “Solutions Before Developement: Creating WordPress Products That Actually Sell“. She explained how her own WordPress business was able to grow and flourish using some tactics to keep everything on track.
  • The last talk of this WordCamp for me was from Julie Cameron (@jewlofthelotus) on “Surviving Support: 10 Tips for Saving Your Users and Yourself“. This talk was probably the most directly related to what I do day in and day out in the InMotion Customer Community department.

The experience

WordCamp Chicago was a great time and I learned a ton, I also met some great people and I’m sure I’ll bump into them again at future WordPress events. Going to my first WordCamp and seeing the WordPress community up close in person has really opened my eyes to all the possibilities that WordPress allows for. I really appreciate InMotion Hosting sending me out there to bring some of that great community back to our ranks.

If you have a chance to go to a WordCamp and you’re putting it off like I had been, do yourself a favor and dive in! If you happen to join the great learning and networking experience that is WordCamp, let me know! (@JacobsLadd3r)

Increase Website Performance with Managed Hosting

Our Managed Hosting team was created to ensure your server is properly setup the way you need it. In operation since early 2013, this team has helped hundreds of customers solve their unique hosting challenges. They are software and hardware experts and know how to optimize high volume, high demand websites.

What can Managed Hosting do for you? That depends on what type of server you have and what your overall needs are. For example, if you’re looking to increase the performance of your WordPress site, our team can install plugins, check your database settings, and give your entire site a thorough review. They can then provide recommendations to improve performance and implement them for you.

That’s just one example of what Managed Hosting can do. Below are some specialties of Managed Hosting.

Shared Hosting Reseller Hosting VPS
Hosting
Dedicated Servers
Application Performance Tuning
Database Optimization
Complete Site Transfers
Security Implementation
Server Administration
LAMP Stack Tuning
Custom Hardware Setup

You can read more about what Managed Hosting can do here.