How Creating Websites Has Changed In The Last Ten Years

Let’s take a short trip down memory lane, back to 2006. Action movie fans were yelling “SPARTA!!!” after seeing the hit film 300. Google just purchased YouTube. And, you were probably rocking out to Justin Timberlake informing us of how he was going to bring “SexyBack.”

With the rapid developments of the Information Age, 2006 seems like ages ago. Nowhere is that more evident than in the web design industry.

For example, have a look at InMotion Hosting’s homepage back in 2006, vs. today in 2016.

 

Continue reading “How Creating Websites Has Changed In The Last Ten Years”

5 Tips For Bing Ads Ecommerce Advertisers

Bing AdsAs an online retailer, how do you bring more customers to your website? Especially, customers that are ready to buy. That’s exactly the question that Mountaineer Brand asked itself just over a year ago. Selling natural handmade beard supplies such as oils, balms and shaving products, the small brother-sister team brought on an SEM agency in July 2015 to help the company reach more shoppers.

The agency immediately began search campaigns with Google AdWords and Bing Ads. Through the implementation of some new SEM strategies and high-value features, the agency helped Mountaineer Brand bring in 1,700 percent more “bearded” leads. And, on the Bing Network alone, Mountaineer brand saw a 1,500% ad spend increase, 2,300% revenue increase and 1,700% conversion increase.
Continue reading “5 Tips For Bing Ads Ecommerce Advertisers”

How to make sure your site is mobile friendly in a ‘mobile-first’ world

mobile marketingThe world is dynamic, and people are moving from using desktops to using the Smartphone in finding information and communicating via the Internet. In lots of countries, the number of Smartphones in use is more than personal computers. All the more reason to make your site mobile friendly. A mobile friendly site is the one that has the correct display for handheld gadgets like tablets, Smartphones, iPhones, and iPads. The site also has minimized scrolling, easy to navigate, loads faster and avoids using flash. Making you site mobile friendly makes you visible to a wider pull of mobile users since your website will be visible in the search results depending on how well you have configured it. There are three things you should know when making a website accessible by a mobile phone user. Among them is: Continue reading “How to make sure your site is mobile friendly in a ‘mobile-first’ world”

Business Startup Checklist

checklistThere are some advantages with providing web hosting to 100,000+ customers over the past 15 years. As small business owners ourselves once, we sought out to create a web hosting company that speak TRULY to those looking to create a solid website that represents the the digital home to their brand.

We’ve seen websites created that have grown from our lowest plan on a shared server, to reaching the need to use a dedicated server. We are proud of this growth – and our customers are happy that we haven’t given up on them throughout their journey.

Throughout those 15 years, we’ve gathered a checklist of processes that, if followed, help keep you and your business website fresh, relevant and optimized. Continue reading “Business Startup Checklist”

InMotion Hosting Labor Day Campaign

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Finding the right host for your website is time consuming at best, and frustrating at worst. Kick back and relax this Labor Day. InMotion Hosting is having its annual Labor Day Promotion starting September 4th – 14th. All products will be offered at an even more affordable price! You’ve done a lot of hard work, we’re here to support you and make it as easy as possible to get online.

Step 1) Choose your domain

Step 2) Select the hosting plan that’s right for you

  • Don’t know where to start? Our award winning, 100% U.S. based customer service is here for you. Call or chat with us to figure out what the best options are for anything you need to host online.

Step 3) Let us build your website

  • Don’t know how to code? Trouble with web design? Our team is ready to custom design and code your website on the WordPress platform. We’ll make sure our designs capture your business vision.

We are proud to support the American Labor force. All of our products are backed with our award winning, 100% U.S. based Tech Support.

Don’t miss out on this limited time, Labor Day promotion. Check out our Press Release Here. 

 

Coding a Revolution: Code District and its Mission

With the advent of coding becoming a Presidential Initiative and a growing extension of the S.T.E.M curriculum to get school children versed in the sciences and computer languages, it should be no surprise to anyone that we are amid a digital revolution. But all of these initiatives will fail if we, Generation X, lack the knowledge to understand what our children will very likely be fluent in: coding. It’s a collective effort  that needs ‘doers,’ and a small company called Code District is taking on the challenge, one meetup at a time.

Last week, Code District hosted an event at InMotion Hosting (IMH) headquarters in Culver City, CA. The casual meetup was one in the many that have occurred at our offices. Just like we’re dedicated to getting businesses running with a proper host for their website, Code District is dedicated to instructing students taught by industry professionals to educate the masses in the computer sciences.

Relevant: Girl Develop It – Steering the Future of Woman In Tech

The event that took place last week at IMH was titled, “Under the Sheet of PhantomJS,” with Buddy Sandidge as the event’s presenter.  PhantomJS is a computer programming  script that is used to enable website navigation and the tracking  of user behaviors online for specific web pages. The event was free to attend and had a successful turn out of a dozen learners!

Code District organizes these meet ups in order to access the community at large into garnering skills in programming to become smarter professionals or to completely grow a new skill in computer programming.

Find out about a Code District’s future MeetUp or check out their formal curriculum.

 

How To Assess Your Hosting Needs

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So you want to get a website up and running? There are a few things you may want to consider before doing so given the current landscape of the web hosting world .

Initially, you will want to complete the basic checklist below:

  1. Search your domain(s) of choice to make sure they are available.
  2. Purchase the domain if available.
  3. Assess which website hosting product and plan you will need.

After you search for and acquire your domain name, take note of what type of website you want to launch.

Website hosting branches typically break down into the following main product categories:

  • Shared Hosting
  • Virtual Private Server (VPS) Hosting
  • Dedicated Server Hosting

Here’s a easy-to-understand video we made on the distinction between the various types of web hosting.

As a startup with no traffic, you can start with a Shared Hosting plan and move up as your traffic scales up. The beautiful thing about website hosting these days is that it is scalable and inexpensive to start building your web presence. But as your traffic and software requirements grow, so will your overhead and need to upgrade.

Most companies offer a free domain in conjunction with your first year of hosting. Some companies bill on an annual basis and some will bill monthly, so find out which payment structure best suits your needs as you forecast your financial budget.

If you are looking to scale as your traffic ramps up, you can look into upper echelon products like VPS Hosting or a Dedicated Server, which will give you more power and resources to run your website more efficiently.

Below are a couple common scenarios potential web hosting customers face when starting their first site:

Blogging:
If you simply want to start a new blog or transfer over from a free blogging solution like Blogger or WordPress.com, we would recommend an entry level Shared Hosting plan, with an ability to scale with growing traffic. With only one database required for WordPress and Drupal installations and caching enabled on our SSD hard drives for all entry level Shared Hosting plans, it will be more than sufficient for starters.

E-commerce selling:
For those of you focused on a website that requires a blog app like WordPress and an accompanying eCommerce plugin such as WooCommerce, we might recommend starting on an entry-level VPS account due to the resource requirements. This setup would use 2 databases as opposed to just one. These are only hypothetical scenarios, and for every case there are a variety of things to consider including system requirements and your website’s current traffic.

If you fall outside of these two common scenarios, we encourage you to reach out to our 24/7 U.S. based support team to see which product and plan best suits your hosting needs before you take the plunge. Rest assured that with InMotion Hosting, even after taking the plunge you will have 90 days to test the waters to see if you need something more, less or nothing at all with our industry leading money back guarantee. Contact us by phone, chat or email.

Top10inaction.com says InMotion Hosting is #1!

It’s always exciting when your hard work gets noticed, especially when it gets noticed by peers in your field, double especially when it gets noticed by a group of people who really know their stuff.

So, that’s why we’re celebrating, because we were just given an epic high five from the folks over at top10inaction.com.  They recently reviewed our products and services (always a nerve-wracking experience) and we were rated the number one web host based on that review!

At InMotion Hosting, we pride ourselves in changing the industry standard for service and support.  We set out immediately to redefine customer service in the tech industry.  More recently, we’ve been upgrading our servers to feature SSD hard drives, and the latest in technologies that not only bring more speed, but keep the servers and networks safe and secure.

top10inaction

top10inaction.com is a great site to help you find the right hosting provider for your needs, and it is a privilege to be rated not only in the top 10, but the number 1 hosting provider on their website.  They evaluate not only uptime and available features, but customer service, company policies, and customer reviews.

So, we’d like to say thank you, to everyone over at top10inaction.com for not only performing unbiased and thorough reviews, but also for seeing in our products and services exactly what we work daily to provide to our customers.

You can read the full review here:

http://top10inaction.com/inmotionhosting-review/

Check it out and let us know what you think!

Top Open Source Applications

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PrestaShop

PrestaShop is one of the fastest growing e-commerce solutions in the market. Prestashop is incredibly user friendly and has a great interface that makes it much easier to setup and manage than some of the traditional platforms like Opencart. With support and technical help available from all regions of the world, PrestaShop has quickly gained a reputation as an all in one e-commerce provider.

Joomla!

The most unique aspect of the Joomla CMS is the way in which the organization is structured. The Joomla! Project takes into account everyone’s feedback and tries to develop Joomla with all the users/developers in mind. Therefore, virtually anyone can become an integral part of the project by just contributing. Whether it’s code, sponsorships, or helping out in forums, you become a true community member from the first day you join. With most of the other CMS platforms, there is usually a straight hierarchy or a chain of command where decisions are made on what features/components/versions to develop next. With Joomla!, that is decided upon by all the users and developers involved. This can make processes a bit longer to complete, but it ensures that everyone’s feedback is taken into account. From an end user perspective, there is definitely a higher learning curve with Joomla! than say WordPress, but the people who are devoted fans say it is the best out there.

WordPress

You may be surprised that the many of the websites that you see on the internet actually use WordPress.  Originally intended as a blogging platform, WordPress has extended its functional reach through continual development and thousands of plugins – many of which are free.  These plugins allow the application to handle website needs such as image galleries, ecommerce shops, and forms – to list a few.  It is often classified as a CMS (Content Management System) because of its flexible nature. Add to this the many thousands of themes that allow you to quickly change its appearance and it’s easy to understand why WordPress is the most used open source application on the internet.  WordPress is easy to use and there are many avenues of support including many tutorials in the InMotion Hosting Support Center. Check out WordPress and you’ll find out why it is the top solution for your website building needs.

Drupal

Drupal is one of the most popular content management systems online. Drupal is the oldest of the Big 3 (WordPress, Joomla, and Drupal), being established in 2001. It is an open source application that is built upon PHP and MySQL. Drupal was conceived as an enterprise system and powers websites like Whitehouse.gov. Drupal has several advantages that make it a power player in the CMS community. It is extremely flexible and can build anything from a small blog to an enterprise level site supporting millions of users. It was built to be search engine friendly from the very start. The Drupal software is very stable and can serve thousands of users at the same time. It is also very developer-friendly, and developers can easily create their own modules and custom solutions.

Breathe New Security Features into your Website with SSL

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Almost every day I hear the term ‘SSL Certificate’ strewn about in conversation with customers.  Most people inquiring about whether we provide SSL certificates are generally interested in some sort of eCommerce solution.  I hesitate to delve deeper into the true powers of SSL encryption often times, but the advantages of being a proud owner of a SSL are overly abundant!

To understand exactly why an SSL certificate is beneficial, it’s important to understand the basics.  Have you ever noticed that when you go to facebook.com, google.com, or twitter.com that your browser automatically displays a lock in the top bar?  If you have, you might have also noticed that the URL in the address bar changed what you typed, and now displays https:// at the beginning of the URL. This means that the site is secured with an SSL certificate, and is forcing you to use that path.  Most SSL certificates contain the domain name, company, address, city, state, and country.  The Certificate Authority, which is the company who issued the SSL, is also in there.  Basically, when a browser attempts to establish a connection to the website through SSL, it will make a check to ensure the certificate is not expired, is from a trusted Certificate Authority, and is being used on the correct website.  If any of these criteria are not met, your browser will warn you, and let you know this site is not a trusted source, and is not being encrypted through SSL.

What exactly can an SSL certificate do for you? So let’s get down to it.  What are some cool things I can do with an SSL certificate?

Secure Your E-Mail

So many clients come to InMotion Hosting because they want a more secure e-mail platform.  Sure, not using a free public e-mail service will do wonders in your control over spam and viruses, and even having your account compromised, but why not take that extra step?  The extra layer of security that can be provided with just a few clicks will allow you to sleep better at night just knowing you’re more secure in your daily messages.

There’s an excellent article available that will walk you through the steps of having your e-mail send and receive over SSL here: http://www.inmotionhosting.com/support/email/email-client-setup/email-client-configuration-email-over-ssl

Connect to FTP over TLS

If you’re in a shared hosting environment, you won’t have access to SSH access, which is required to use sFTP (Secure FTP).  This is for security reasons, but you can easily implement an SSL certificate to securely connect via FTP.  In fact you can use the server’s free shared SSL certificate to accomplish this by following this guide: http://www.inmotionhosting.com/support/website/ftp/securely-connecting-your-website-using-ftp

Website Security

As mentioned earlier in this article, we typically think about the things that NEED to be encrypted to successfully conduct online business.  Of course credit card information would need to be handled with an SSL certificate, but what else on your site could benefit from this extra security?  Well one thing that comes to my mind is your password.  If I’m using WordPress, Joomla!, or any other CMS – SSL can help protect my website from being compromised.  When I login to make a post, or when my users login to browse their accounts, I always implement SSL.  Think about it.  You type in your username and password combination into a webpage. It’s traveling over the internet, leaving your browser, going through a wireless network, going to a router, and an ISP.  At any point this information could be easily intercepted.  If you ever travel and write new content for your websites, or work on a site while you’re on vacation – then DEFINITELY get yourself an SSL to protect this information.  You never know who might be sitting at the same Starbucks, or airport as you – so why just throw your password out there without having it be secure?

You can follow these simple steps to provide SSL encryption to your WordPress or Joomla! site very easily.

WordPress:

You can easily implement SSL over the WordPress admin login, and registration pages by dropping in some code to your WordPress config file (wp-config.php):

define(‘FORCE_SSL_LOGIN’, true);

Alternatively you can force SSL encryption over the entire WordPress admin area:

define(‘FORCE_SSL_ADMIN’, true);

Typically the second option is the way to go, as this will force it over the entire administration area, giving you added security for your administrative duties.

Joomla!:

Joomla! makes SSL encryption very simple.  You just need to login to your admin area, navigate to your Joomla! Login module, and select ‘Yes’ for the Encrypt Login Form. This option will encrypt your login data for you and your users. You may want to go the extra mile and ensure SSL encryption is set across the entire site as well.

Since session cookies are vulnerable, those can be encrypted.  This typically isn’t going to make or break a site as cookies are set to expire anyways, but leaving session cookies unencrypted will make your site susceptible to Man-In-The-Middle attacks, which can pose a threat and compromise your site.  Luckily Joomla! makes preventing this a simple task as well. Go into the Joomla! Global Configuration area, and then go down to the ‘Force SSL’ area.  Selecting Administrator Only will provide encryption for your administrative section, and admin cookie sessions. You can also select Entire Site, which will provide SSL encryption for everything on your website, including the administration area. This will protect all session cookies for all users as well, so if you’re worried that a MiTM attack would be targeted to your user base, then enable the Entire Site option.

While there are many other CMS platforms available and different ways to enable SSL for each, it would be impossible to cover all of them.  You can always force SSL through your .htaccess file as well if you custom coded your page, which will redirect a user who might type in http://yourname.com to be forced and redirected to https://yourname.com automatically.  So we will want to re-write based on the incoming host and request uri to achieve this.  The following code can be used in your .htaccess file to accomplish this:

RewriteEngine On
RewriteCond %{HTTPS} off
RewriteRule (.*) https://%{HTTP_HOST}%{REQUEST_URI}

When forcing SSL across your entire site, make sure you’re not linking to anything protocol specific. Instead of linking to your style sheet http://yourdomain.com/style.css, leave it open as //yourdomain.com/style.css.  It’s good practice to be doing this anyways.

So now that we’ve discussed some of the benefits that you can experience with adding an SSL certificate, what are you waiting for? You can easily obtain a dedicated IP address and dedicated SSL certificate issued by Comodo, one of the most trusted certificate authorities, directly through AMP!

http://www.inmotionhosting.com/support/website/ssl/how-do-i-obtain-an-ssl-certificate