What is G Suite and Why Should I Consider Using It?

Are you looking for one of the most feature-rich and user-friendly solutions on the web that combines email, cloud storage, productivity software, calendars, and more? Do you hear people talking about how great they think Google’s products are and find yourself wondering what G Suite (formerly known as “Google Apps”) is? Continue reading “What is G Suite and Why Should I Consider Using It?”

Cyber Security Awareness: Are You and Your Website Protected?

cybersecurityarticleInternet security has always been a major concern for businesses and website owners. In today’s online world, these threats are becoming more and more widespread and diverse in nature. With so many attack vectors and vulnerabilities being discovered daily, it’s more important than ever that you keep a close eye on potential security risks. In this article, we’ll go over some of the best practices you can employ to keep yourself and your website protected. Continue reading “Cyber Security Awareness: Are You and Your Website Protected?”

2015: The Year of Productivity

9 Ways to be More ProductiveStaying productive is one of the most challenging things we face in our daily lives. Whether working or taking care of things at home, we are busier than ever. And while it may seem that every day a new tool is developed to help make our lives easier, sometimes these tools serve as more of a distraction than an aid. So let’s cast all distractions aside and make 2015 the year we commit to being more productive. Here is a list of 9 things to help you do just that. Continue reading “2015: The Year of Productivity”

CPU Usage Graphs for Business Class Customers

Ever wondered how much CPU you use in a month? 24 hours? We are excited to announce an awesome new feature for our Business Class customers (Launch, Power & Pro accounts) that allows you to learn exactly how resource intensive your website is.

To access your usage graph, simply select “Resource Usage,” in the Logs section of cPanel.
To access your usage graph, simply select “Resource Usage,” in the Logs section of cPanel.

This feature will be enabled in mid April. To learn about your CPU usage, simply click “Resource Usage” in the advanced settings section of your cPanel and the graphs will populate.

 

An example of a shared CPU usage graph.
An example of a shared CPU usage graph.

This tool can assist you in determining when you may need to upgrade your server to a VPS. As always, if you need help understanding your usage graph, our support representatives are standing by 24×7.

Jeff Bishop is a Product Manager at InMotion Hosting. He has worked on building out InMotion Hosting’s product offerings including Web DesignPremier SupportDomain ConciergeCommercial Class Dedicated Servers and more. In the future he will be working on new and improved VPS packages, server clustering and more! When Jeff isn’t busy being a nerd at work he likes to hike at Runyon Canyon in Los Angeles and go bar hopping.

Installing Moodle Using Softaculous

Moodle, an acronym for Modular Object-Oriented Dynamic Learning Environment, is an open source suite of software tools that is designed for those who wish to create educational courses or web pages that have a more natural and organic method of learning and teaching. Appropriate for use on Windows, Apple and Linux operating systems, Moodle software allows for complete customization and changing of base code to meet the exact needs of the programmer and educator.

Moodle can be easily installed via the cPanel with the program Softaculous.

First, sign into your cPanel and get Softaculous up and running.

softaculous cpanel

Once you have the program running, locate the Educational tab in the left-hand sidebar and select Moodle.

educationalCMSinstall

A window that has the option to install Moodle
should appear.

Once installation is selected a window with a series of question prompts will appear. Fill these boxes in, choosing the name you want for your main file directory.

In Directory:
The directory is relative to your domain and should not exist. e.g. To install at http://mydomain/dir/ just type dir. To install only in http://mydomain/ leave this empty.

 

This is also where you will set the parameters for your site. Here you choose the type of encryption and security you want. This is also where you will set up an administrative log in that provides access to all elements of the program. You will need to select a user name and a very strong password.

installmoodle

You can choose to have a copy of successful installation confirmation emailed to you, if you wish to have additional copies of this information, at this point in the process.

Once this information has been filled in, select Install at the bottom of the window.

Common Errors

Hopefully the installation should run smoothly. But Moodle is a dynamic platform that requires some up-to-date features of the latest PHP server software. If you get a message like this:

thePHPversionislessthantherequired

The following errors were found :

  • The PHP Version is less than the required 5.3.2

howtocheckyourphpversionSimply check with your host provider that your server is running the required version of PHP to get Moodle up and running. You can check this in cPanel yourself by looking at the left-hand sidebar. If you have a VPS or dedicated server, this is something you can upgrade quite easily for yourself to fix the problem.

 

When the installation is complete, you should receive a confirmation message. If you chose to have one emailed, you should also receive that shortly after the completion of your installation.

With Softaculous, installing Moodle is as easy as a few simple clicks and providing a few pieces of basic information. That is all it takes to install a powerful suite of software tools that allows programmers, developers and educators to work together to create new types of learning and educational modules that use a revolutionary way of teaching.

Moodle Back-end

moodleadmin

Moodle provides a powerful suite of tools that allows for complete customization to meet the exact needs of the developers and educators. Free, open source software tools such as Moodle allow for easy access to powerful technologies that can be tailored to meet individual needs. Moodle works across the main operating systems and is free to use and manipulate to the needs of one’s site or educational program.

Consumer Driven Web Trends, Predictions for 2013

In a previous post on “Online Research Methods” I demonstrated some of the research techniques available to SEOs, writers, marketing experts and big data analysts. During my own research on web trends I have made some interesting discoveries that can help you learn about upcoming web search behavior related to your own niche.

I’d initially like to expand on use of the research methods I use from the original research method infographic. I have a personal interest in finding out what our own audience would love for me to write about, either through feedback, or understanding our audience demographic better. Taking a refreshing new look at where your audience comes from once in a while is a great exercise once in a while from a marketing standpoint.

First off I’d like to show you the “Google Trends” tool. There is a similar tool in Adwords that shows you a volume of search against certain keywords. The Adwords Keywords tool is insufficient for projecting trends for as there is no historical data. To ascertain what trends are breaking out, what is current, and relevancy to other behaviors that are following the same rate of change and seasonal behaviors, you’ll need the Google Trends tool.

Adwords Keywords tool is a great tool for scraping together a bucket list and finding which keywords present current opportunity for optimizing your site or advertising campaign. If you want to get down to the real nitty-gritty and find out why the opportunity exists, you need to find which opportunities are growing, plateauing, or falling.

Below is a graph I screenshot from the Google Trends tool. It has it’s own forecasting tool in it, and a bunch of related terms suggested for you to plug in and test out. I simply used search terms relevant to our audience taken from our popular posts and after a few permutations of related keywords. I found something that stood out as a rising trend that warranted further investigation. I’ve overlaid the trend graph with a the rough projection so you can see what caught my attention:

Out of all the interest in online web applications and and developer tools, the term “web apps” seems to show a distinct seasonal activity on top of a steadily increasing trend.

Clicking on the “web apps” tab gives us further segmented information on this activity. Google shows us not only is the term rapidly increasing in frequency of search but alongside it are many new breakout terms related to mobile devices. Note the mention of “android web apps”, and “web apps iphone“.

Where Is This Online Trend Behavior Coming From

Head on over to Google Correlate, which finds search patterns which correspond with real-world trends. Here we can see what consumer driving forces are behind online trends by matching search volume patterns. Search terms may not be related, but by comparing seasonal behaviors you can tie-in the effect of the real world events.

In the case of the search term of “web apps”, Google suggests that the behavior for “iphone web” closely matches all the smaller seasonal peaks and possibly sale periods. Google has in it’s algorithms a correlation coefficient called “r”. The closer the correlation coefficient is to 1, the less variance there is between two trending behaviors.

I will certainly be paying closer attention to iPhone developments and releases now, with a view to how they impact our mobile app behavior.

How Much to Spend Online Marketing [Infographic]

Earlier in the year, we conducted a survey of website owners and managers to understand their online business. We wanted to learn something about the real issues that online business owners face when making decisions about their online advertising budget. Is social media marketing really free? Is it an important investment? The feedback may surprise you! As much as 35% of website owners are not spending on any marketing or advertising at all.

I have made a few assumptions in deriving this research, and for those academics who want to qualify the number crunching, please write a comment for me, and I’ll see if I can follow up personally. Following is an infographic showing some key results. The survey is still open, so we can take another look later on to compare differences in people’s spending budgets in 2013.

Click to Zoom, Right click to download –>

small business spend online advertising
Creative Commons License
Survey Results Spend on Online Marketing by InMotion Hosting is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.
Link to this article, share these results by copying the code below:

 

Demographics

We had 147 responders in June 2012. Our responders were prompted by our newsletters, and some social media feeds. The majority of the responders are therefore from our own customer base. Responders were divided into the amount they invested on their website hosting. Based on what they spend on web hosting, we have grouped the respondents by the type of hosting technology they use.

The ratios of groups sizes to one another seem to match patterns we see in our existing customer base. For example, more than half of the respondents are on a shared hosting plan. A smaller proportion of the respondents use Virtual Private Servers. Finally the smallest group spend on the dedicated servers.

147 respondents is too small a sample to give an accurate assessment of spending on online advertising. However, it is a significant pool to start to see spending habits and determine the focus for the next set of research. Let’s get started!

Website owner community: What portion of website owners are currently marketing?

Out of all the respondents that showed an interest in marketing costs, only 65% of them reported they actually put their hands in their pocket and spent money on promoting themselves. The average spend amongst those that did budget for online promotion was a surprisingly meager $202 per month.

We segregated spending into three different categories.

  • Spending on online advertising This includes all forms of paid advertising including Facebook paid ads, Google Adwords and Display Networks.
  • Spending on SEO – or Search Engine Optimization. This includes text-brokering, paying for press releases, link building, CRM subscriptions and analysis tools.
  • Spending on Social Media. This includes monthly subscriptions to CRMs for social media management, automation and scheduled posts tools, multiple account management tools.

 

How much do website owners spend on online advertising?

# respondents Web Hosting Totals Facebook ads SERPs Ads Display Network
147 All WebHosting Plans $12,730 $1,370 $7,070 $4,290
82 Shared Hosting $3,920 $650 $1,810 $1,460
50 VPS Hosting $6,550 $660 $3,600 $2,290
15 Dedicated Hosting $2,260 $60 $60 $540
Creative Commons License
Survey Results Small Business Spend on Advertising by @JulianaPayson is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.

Across 147 respondents,  $12,730 a month is being poured into advertising. More than half of this money is going directly into Google Adwords Search Advertising. Of course dividing these numbers up into average spending across each web hosting group reveals a general trend that can be seen in the infographic. The more hosting horsepower individuals are investing in, the more advertising dollars they are spending.

What is not shown on the graph though is something harder to explain: That out of our sample of respondents the biggest pool of spending are those in VPS hosting, attempting to draw in their traffic mainly through Search advertising.
One insight the survey results seem to offer, is that as websites progress up in resource requirements, advertising focus moves away from paid search listings, to banner advertising on display networks.

How much do website owners spend on SEO?

# respondents Web Hosting Totals SEO Tools PR SPIN CRM
147 All WebHosting Plans $5,390 $2,940 $1,110 $1,340
82 Shared Hosting $2,300 $1,290 $460 $550
50 VPS Hosting $1,960 $1,120 $450 $390
15 Dedicated Hosting $1,130 $530 $200 $400
Creative Commons License
Survey Results How Much Spending on SEO by @JulianaPayson is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.

SEO spending is hard for people to quantify, so the questions were designed to prompt users into thinking about their spending habits.

Classic SEO spending comprises of subscriptions to SEOmoz analysis tools, and a lot of time backlinking and site restructuring. This represents the “SEO Tools” column. Next I have “PR Spin”, prompting individuals to admit to budgeting for text-brokering, press releases, or maybe even paid link-building services. Finally, and I think this is the most important for modern SEO, is the investment in CRM suites like Buzzstream for tracking those new webmaster to webmaster relationships and general business development.

The spending reports are not surprising. The biggest pool of spending is represented by those using Shared Hosting. These individuals are competing with other thousands of similar more established businesses. As the business becomes more steadfast and require more resources due to high traffic, they focus on more on embedding themselves into the web ecosystem using CRMs.

 

How much do website owners spend on Social Media?

# respondents Web Hosting Totals SMM Suites automation web 2.0 plugins
147 All WebHosting Plans $1,290 $430 $500 $360
82 Shared Hosting $440 $180 $150 $110
50 VPS Hosting $840 $240 $350 $250
15 Dedicated Hosting $10 $10 0 0
Creative Commons License
Survey Results Business Spend on Social Media by @JulianaPayson is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.

Overall, Social Media tools receive less monetary commitment than any other form of online promotion. Even if you add in spending on Facebook promotions at an additional $1,370 across the board for all website groups, this total of $2,660 per month across our entire respondent pool represents a small amount of commitment.

This result was surprising. The importance of social media engagement for businesses is constantly over-hyped, yet here we have results that show it is the smallest portion of spending across the board by all online business.

Perhaps the general public opinion is that social media is free, and therefore should not be invested in. Our survey attempted to draw out any hours used and not accounted for by asking respondents what hours they spent doing online activities. There was simply not enough hours tallied up to draw any meaningful conclusion. There were not enough hours in any one category of activity to determine if site owners focus more on one job than another in marketing their websites.

One consistent fact across all responses, was that there is an even distribution of spending among all website owners. An average spend of less than $10 per person per month and no significant big spenders makes the social media marketing scene a steady outflow, but not an investment spend.