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.

Protect Yourself
On the local level, individuals should ensure they are running all of the latest up-to-date software versions and actively updating your virus protection definitions. It’s always a good idea to change your passwords regularly, use stronger passwords, and never store them anywhere in plain-text. There are several password management applications out there that use encryption methods against your master password database which will make it very difficult to decrypt should the database fall into the wrong hands. An example is KeePass, a free open-source password manager  that uses the best, and most secure encryption algorithms.

Continue reading “Cyber Security Awareness: Are you and your website protected?”

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InMotion Hosting Labor Day Campaign

Vector Smart Object

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. 

 

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15 Steps to Grow Your Business Online

featuredarticleimage2You started your very own business; congratulations! Now that you’re a business owner, have you ever wondered about the possibilities for advancing your business online? This article will walk you through the essentials necessary to growing your business online.

3 Major Components of a Website

First thing’s first: Does your business have an online presence? Having a website allows your customers to easily find you by putting information about your business online. If you have merchandise, creating an online store will allow you to sell to them online as well!

  • Secure a domain name: Your domain name is a reflection of your business. Branding is important so create one as relevant to your business as possible.
  • Find a hosting company: A good hosting company is integral to operating your business online. Find a host that can meet your business’ needs and is capable of scaling with the growth of your online presence.
  • Build your website: The look and feel of your website is also important. There are several options available if you are inexperienced with creating a website from scratch. WordPress is a good starter platform to use and also includes free templates that you can customize yourself. If you don’t want to build it yourself, there are numerous options available to you online.
    • One is to have a web-design professional custom craft a website exactly as you want it. Feel free to check out our web design options here.
    • Another would be learning how to create a blog from scratch using the easy step-by-step tutorial from one of our partners How To Start A Blog 101.

5 Important Considerations:

You will need to increase visibility in order to use your new website as an asset to drive traffic to your business.

  • Responsive: Is your website optimized to be viewed on any screen? With the rise of mobile search traffic, Google has included mobile-friendliness as a criteria for ranking websites viewed on mobile browsers, making it very important to have a version of your website be responsive on a mobile device.
  • SEO: Search engine optimization (SEO)  is making the content on your website refined so that search engines like Google can find you easily to show a potential customer’s search query. SEO is important to ensure that when people use keywords relevant to the services you offer, that you become one of the top search results.
    • Check out this article for more information about boosting your SEO here.
  • Updates: Once you have your website up, you need to maintain it by providing fresh content for your customers. Keeping things new will have them coming back for more. Find a comfortable cadence that you can maintain and update it to showcase new products, deals, or incentives.
  • User Experience: Have your friends and family go through your website and try to purchase or request services. Are there any hiccups or roadblocks in the process? Have them QA the content for flow and if any questions are going unanswered.Analyzing and making changes to this can help reduce bounce rates and shopping cart abandonments.
  • Competition:  Look to your competitors and check out what their process is like. Pay attention to where their services lack so that you can make improvements onto your page accordingly.

4 Marketing Techniques to Start Today

Now that you have a fully functioning website that has online visibility to your customers, the next step is marketing your business.

  • Target Customers: Make sure that you don’t wait for visitors to just come to you. Actively look for an audience that may be interested in your products and services. Develop an audience and demographic you want to target.  All social media platforms have statistics, as well as Google keyword planner. Do some research on what your customers are looking for using their tools.
  • Network: Make connections with people relevant to your business and industry. A large network can help you expand both your business and your potential customer reach. This will also bolster your company’s brand identity. LinkedIN is a good resource to meet industry professionals.
  • Email Campaigns: Capturing an email is just as important as capturing a sale. Emails can build a refined and targeted list of people that are genuinely interested in your product or service. Emails can be used to send your customers updates on new items they might be interested in, upcoming sales, or even just a thank you coupon code for their next visit. Give your customers an incentive to keep coming back! Use tools like Constant Contact or MailChimp integrations.
  • Advertise: Want more people to know who your business is and what it offers? Find advertising opportunities where people with relevant interest can learn more about your business. Google AdWords is a great place to start.

3 Crucial Customer Support Responsibilities

Finally, you want to ensure your company upholds a high-quality of service to keep your customers satisfied and coming back. This may seem “obvious” but don’t let the obvious fool you. Countless businesses lose sight of customer service as their business grows. Here are the best ways to stay engaged with your customers:

  • “Oh, the Humanity!”: Let your customers know that your business is run by real people that care about them. When your customers love your business, not only will they be returning customers, but they will also recommend you to people they know, enhancing both your brand and customer base.
  • Customer Feedback: Give your customers an opportunity to review your business. Ask for and welcome consumer feedback. This information can be very valuable in figuring out pain points of your customers as well as ways to improve your business and stay competitive. When you make changes to improve their experience, your customers will love you for it!
  • Customer Support: When your business doesn’t offer customer support, your consumers are left in the dark to figure out everything themselves. If they can’t figure it out they may never want to return to your business. Support is essential to the post-consumer journey and can give your customers the confidence to buy your product, knowing that help  is available.

Following this guide will have you well on your way towards a healthy and successful online business!

 

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6 Ways to Be Productive This Summer

SummerIMAGE

The inevitable slow-down that is often associated with the summer months is upon us. School is out, the heat is in full swing, and summer vacations are on everyone’s mind. The high temperatures of the summer months may leave you with low energy levels at the office as you fantasize about relaxing at the beach, kicking back and sipping on a mai tai, and wanting to be anywhere but the work place. Don’t let the summer daze bog you down! Use this time to be productive both in and out of the office.

Here are some things you can do to stay focused and productive, even when the summer heat has you daydreaming.

1)      Keep Cool: It’s summer time and the heat is sweltering, but it doesn’t mean you have to be! Make sure you are comfortable in your workspace, even if it means cranking up the AC, installing a desk fan, or finding a different location to get your work done. Don’t let the heat cause your productivity to melt with it. Keep hydrated throughout the day, or take a quick break to catch some fresh air and pick up some iced coffee. Have some fun with it too, try out a new juice or refreshing smoothie.

2)      Start with the Hardest Tasks: If the morning is the time of the day you feel the most energy, start it by tackling your hardest tasks. It only gets hotter into the afternoon, but if you’ve got your momentum rolling at the start, it’ll be hard to put a stop to your productivity. Prioritizing the big tasks when you’re the most productive can increase the chances of you finishing your responsibilities for the day. Close any distraction that might get in your way, like Netflix, your cell phone, or your favorite social platform. The ability to multitask is a great skill, but it should contribute to your work productivity and not subtract from it.

3)      Target your Goals: Finding yourself with a lot of free time this summer? Focus on your goals, whether it is life goals or career goals. Figure out what you need to get done in order to reach them. Don’t wait until the busiest time of the year to get cracking. This is a great time to reassess your goals, especially if you feel like they are out of reach. Remake and adjust your goals if you feel that priorities have changed and tailor them to your current needs. Break down your goals if they seem too large for you and make reaching them more feasible.

4)      Summer Campaign: Summertime means summer sales! If you have your own business, consider creating a summer campaign to boost your sales for the summer. Advertise ‘Hot’ deals for a nice sizzling summer theme and plan out a marketing strategy that will help you target and reach out to your audience. Summer campaigning can effectively increase your business revenue so use this time wisely!

5)      Learn Something New: Keep your brain in tip top shape by challenging yourself to learn something new like how to start a blog. Some fun tech ideas include learning how to code, putting together your own robot with a raspberry pi, building your own customized computer desktop, or attending a tech conference to learn about new technology that you are interested in. Keeping your brain busy for the summer will help you be more productive. Use what you learn and see how you can become more efficient, save money by doing something yourself, or start something new.

6)      Plan a Vacation: Do you find yourself day dreaming about that boat cruise you didn’t take, or that travel abroad you didn’t have the chance to schedule. PLAN IT! Instead of fantasizing about what ifs and maybes, grab a calendar and plan your next vacation. Having something to look forward to can alleviate the stress of the work environment. If anything, your next vacation should be something you work towards by finishing up all your work before your adventure. Planning ahead of time can also save you a good deal of money with cheaper airfare and hotel deals. Plus, putting in your vacation request now will guarantee you’ll be able to take it versus waiting till the last minute when everyone’s trying to take a vacation at the same time.

 

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The 8 Minute Promotion

The 8 Minute Promotion

8 minutes is the amount of time it takes for the sunlight from the sun to reach the Earth. On the flip side, 8 minutes is also an important number to us, as that is the amount of time it takes to sign up your domain, and hosting to get your website online.

Soon (and by soon we mean June 21st) the official day of Summer will be upon us. Pagans used to call this day “Midsummer,” and even Shakespeare took the celestial event as a name for one of his plays with “A Midsummer’s Night Dream.” It’s a special time of the year, and we want to celebrate it with you!

We want to know what YOU are doing on your website, your blog, or your online store to promote Summer.summer-special-icon

If you are an InMotion Hosting customer email us with your website, and a short description of how you’re using digital marketing to get more traffic, or get more sales. Pictures or screen shots are a plus!




The winner of the most creative promotion, creative/graphic, or engaging social post will be featured on InMotion Hosting’s July newsletter. It’s a great way to promote your business, and it’s our way of saying thank you to you!

 

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Effective networking strategies to build your small business’s customer base

The key to developing a profitable company is a growing customer base interested in purchasing your goods or services. In order to build this demand, it is critical to create a process for scouting and developing new clientele. Building your customer base will take time and effort but the important part is to focus on finding out who your target audience is, where to find them, and how to captivate them.

Defining your target audience should be top-of-mind when expanding your customer base. You want to qualify potential customers and not waste your time or money pursuing unqualified leads and contacts. Analyze your company and product and ask yourself the following questions:

  • Who would be interested in buying my products?
  • How and where will I sell my products/service?
  • How did my competitors get started?
  • Who has already bought my products?

After you have defined your customer and their purchase cycle, start networking! Below are a few ways to actively seek your target audience and find qualified purchasers.

1) Events: A big part of growing your customer base is networking. People use the term “networking” all the time, but essentially networking is any way in which you cultivate productive relationships for your business. Attending events and conventions that are relevant to your industry is a perfect place to immerse yourself in the right crowd of potential customers. Take time to socialize with other business owners, exchange business cards, and gather information. Ask pointed questions to help understand your customer and make sure to LISTEN to what they have to say. Often times their pain points differ drastically from what you initially perceived.

To stand out and really be ahead of the game, give a talk or presentation about your business. Public speaking builds credibility with your audience and prospective clients. It puts a face on your company: a person that your customers can talk to, relate to, and ask questions.

Social Media

Relevant: How Much to Spend Online Marketing

2) Use Social Media: Almost everyone in this day and age uses one of the following social media outlets: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram or Pinterest. Use this to your advantage. Create a brand profile and use social media to stay connected to your customers. Entice them to add and follow your company by providing special deals and updates. Make your brand known and gain visibility. Keep in mind when your customers follow, like, and share your content, they share it with the rest of their network. Incorporate an interactive aspect to your posts by including a poll or shareable picture. Remember, keep it simple and keep it interesting. You don’t want to spam your customers with useless content.

3) Create Email Campaigns: Use email service providers like Constant Contact or MailChimp to send and create emails for your customers. Take advantage of memorable dates, such as holidays, to plan for campaigns that are attractive to your customers and easy to remember. Find out what kind of emails resonate with your particular recipients by interpreting the email analytics. Develop an email marketing strategy to retain your customers and keep them coming back!

Below is a snapshot from MailChimp to show you how easy it can be to decipher how well your email campaigns are doing. See how many people open your email and click your provided links.

MailChimp

Sometimes finding new customers is as easy as pleasing your current ones.  Have a good solid product; listen to your clients’ complaints and address them. Reward them for being your customer; show them you care by listening and working out their problems. A company that is customer oriented will retain and develop a much larger customer base. Once you know your current customers are satisfied with the quality of product or service you sell, they won’t hesitate to refer you to their friends and family looking for a similar product or service.

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4 Things We Learned During Small Business Week 2015

4 Things We Learned at the 5th Annual Small Business Week Event sponsored by Constant Contact

InMotion Hosting attended the 5th Annual Small Business Week put on by Constant Contact at Pasadena City College on May 13th, 2015. The event was organized by the Small Business Administration (SBA) with the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) as a primary sponsor.

The event brought together over 1,000 business owners, social media professionals, marketers and web designers and hosted them in small business workshops and keynote lectures orated by business leaders. InMotion Hosting had the opportunity to attend a variety of these workshops and lectures. A lot of them had some major similarities in the concepts that they shared in order to establish a successful business. Here are some business solutions that will help you promote your business and build a stronger customer following.

 

1) Email is Not dead!

Whoever started the rumor that “email is dead” must have had a marketing campaign go awry, because email is most definitely alive! Email addresses are the greatest asset that you can get at a conference – especially one that is tailored to small businesses or your specific industry. People opt in on their own volition because they’ve liked you (or what you’ve said) enough to offer you a way to keep in touch with them(i.e. they want to hear from you). Email addresses are free and nearly effortless to collect, and once you have enough people opt in to your email list – you’ll have yourself leads to contact in the event of a promotion. Email marketing can only be dead if you’re doing nothing with those email addresses.

Check out: E-mail marketing 101 

2) Be Useful to Your Customers

If you either have a business with a list of products or you’re looking to start your first business, always remember to ask yourself: What does this product solve? Products are popular to consumers because they are useful to consumers. Part of creating a successful business is bringing people onboard and then helping them become successful. Tesla Motors can’t sell a $100,000 car run by a battery if consumers didn’t want to save on gas. The same thing applies to SaaS platforms or web design. Sell useful products, but more than that, offer your customers information on how they can improve their business, their website, their product, and even themselves.

Check out319+ Site Hosting Tools You Can Have 

3) Say Thank You

When you have a consumer become your client, they essentially are the people who are proving that your business model works. Does this not invoke a feeling of gratitude in you? Sure, sure, they should be thankful for your product or service, but remember, they took the chance on your new service, so – be thankful. This has to do with the model of good customer service (and social responsibility too), but more than that it’s just a nice thing to do. Some might say “nice doesn’t sell!” – on the contrary though! “Nice” doesn’t need to sell. Consumer loyalty is your goal with this gesture, and in order to have the loyalty of your customers, if nothing else, say “thanks.” This can be done through text, phone, social media, whatever you want.

We suggest not up-selling in a ‘thank you email’ if you’re really just starting out. A promotional offer that you can afford (like a discount on service) would should be considered if you’re large enough of a business to handle the promotion.

4.)  When Going to Trade Shows: Be There!

A lot of times, especially these last 10 years, everyone who is seen on a smart phone is assumed to be ‘busy.’ There is no doubt that if you are a business owner, you’re busy with ideas, content, emails, promotion, etc, etc, etc.  BUT. When you go to trade shows, workshops, and conferences, it’s tempting to check your email because you don’t know anyone around there and you want to look “successful” by being “busy.” And hey, maybe you really are busy.

But you’ve taken the day off to attend an event to network and learn – so we suggest you: network and learn. Some of the best business partnerships start at events and conferences, and we’ll guarantee you that shaking a hand and getting a cell phone number from a potential business partner can do more than a blast email to people who have never met you.

Be there – Be aware 

In all – customers and business owners are people. Sounds like an obvious fact but it’s something we sometimes forget when we are blasting off as entrepreneurs or in an enterprising role. Sure there are those who just want something and go to a place to process the transaction – you can offer that too. But when you’re looking to grow your business, you have to communicate, and actively reach out to your customers. If you don’t, then your competition will most definitely have that advantage over you. 

 

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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.

 

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Top VPS Hosting provider chosen by WebHostingSecretRevealed.net

Being Ranked the Best VPS Hosting Service


Every business starts out with the philosophy that their operation is going to be different. They are going to do what the “big boys” aren’t doing and that’s engaging with their customers and listening to their comments, suggestions and even complaints (if it comes to that). And, for the most part, when a business is small enough it can handle this level of rapid and personalized service. But as most businesses do, you grow – which is great for you and your bottom line, but what usually takes the first hit? Yeah, customer service.

Sometimes you’re so busy growing your company that you let customer service dwindle to a “just enough” attitude. It happens, but it shouldn’t!

InMotion Hosting prides itself as being a top web hosting provider with the industry’s highest rated customer service. As we’ve grown our products, we’ve made it an absolute necessity to grow the capabilities of our customer service team in order to continue to thrill our customers.

Take our Virtual Private Servers / VPS Hosting package. It has become an industry leading product, being one of the first to offer free SSDs with 20x faster hosting as well as the best resources for the lowest prices.

WebHostingSecretRevealed.net, an authority in ranking web hosting companies has picked us as their top pick for VPS Hosting, for the last three years in a row. We have gained this authority within the select and discerning web hosting community not only because of our product features like Free SSDs, Free backups, Unlimited websites, Full cPanel license, and our competitive pricing but also significantly because of our continued focus on always keeping the customer first.

 

Review_webhostingsecretrevealed_inmotion_hosting_best_VPS

As WebHostingSecretRevealed.net mentions:

“No matter how efficient and feature rich your VPS hosting provider is, some problems arise from nowhere at times. In such situations, you need a handy support team to sort things out. If they are unable to provide 24/7 customer support, they simply are not worth the money you spend. If you face some serious issue with your website and it goes unfixed for too long, you may lose your potential visitors and that could mean you a lot depending on the type of website you have. It is better to test the customer support team of a hosting provider before determining whether to go with them.”

We implore you. Give InMotion Hosting a call. Ask about our VPS hosting VPS Hosting. Sign up for a monthly plan to test us out. We’ll check in right after registration to make sure you can set-up your VPS the way you want. We offer 24/7 U.S. based technical support and our well- structured and detailed online support center has all the answers you need. We’re not here to just sell products, we’re here to see you succeed.

Your success is our success – and it all starts with a conversation.

So what are you waiting for? Explore your options for success!
Call us at 888.321.HOST(4678)

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Dream On: National Small Business Week 2015

Making Small Business a Reality

As a small business owner, you wear many hats during the initial phases of selling your product or service. You need to get a lot done but may not have the time or even the skill sets. You need to design a flier, but you don’t how to use Photoshop. Or you need to file state, local and federal taxes but you have no clue about accounting. You have figure it out as you go along. It’s daunting to say the least.

wear-many-hats

 

Along with a million things you need to do to run a business, add to that a website that’s excruciatingly slow, has multiple server crashes and to top that a hosting company that doesn’t really care about you. Sometimes it seems like as a small business you never get a break!

You are not alone, but there is hope for you!

This week the Small Business Administration has announced its annual “National Small Business Week” and InMotion Hosting couldn’t be happier to be part of it. The National Small Business week – May 4th to May 8th – put on by the Small Business Administration (SBA) has been announced by the President of the United States since 1963 in recognition of the colossal contributions that American small business owners and entrepreneurs have on this country’s ideals and economy.

InMotion Hosting believes it has the responsibility to support the American Dream by providing the hosting infrastructure, services and support that allow small businesses have a presence on the internet. Whether your small business is in a garage or in a high-rise office. Whether you are on your own or have a team. A website is your business’s access to the over 3 billion people connected to the web, and we’re here to help you get (and stay) in front of them.

Tag your business posts with #BizInMotion & #DreamSmallBiz if you’re a small business yourself or to show your support for small business!

Every business idea starts as a dream, and this week – you can make that dream a reality with a website.

We’re not here to just sign people up for hosting – we’re here to see your website through to launch and support you post-launch! That’s real talk, it’s not a pitch. We believe in supporting businesses. Even our flagship product is named Business Hosting.

InMotion is employee-owned with a core set of values, not influenced by the motivations of shareholders. With our U.S.-based customer support centers that are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and our multiple US server locations, InMotion Hosting wants your American business grounded and running after the moment you sign up on a hosting plan.

      Related:  Read our “Core Values: What Does Your Business Stand For?” blog post

You may not reach success today, but we believe you’ll be closer to it than you were yesterday once you start your website.

Because we know the American entrepreneur. We are one of them.

 

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