06 Sep 2016

How Important is Web Hosting for your Business

What Makes Great Web Hosting Services

Many small businesses often make the mistake of choosing bad web hosts. Perhaps one reason for this is that most of them think that it doesn’t matter and it won’t affect their income. Actually, it is quite the opposite. Here are some reasons to consider great website hosting services:

Prevent potential loss of revenue.

One advantage to having having good hosting is that you can avoid frequent downtimes. When your site is down and unavailable, your potential customers wont be able to find your site and learn about your products and services. If you’re running an e-commerce site or an online store, the effects could be more detrimental as the downtime is preventing customers from buying anything from you.

By selecting a great web host, you can help minimise the risk of experiencing technical issues that will cause your site to go offline. Redback offer a 100% uptime guarantee for our Premium WordPress Hosting Service.

Protect your search ranking.

The main objective of SEO (search engine optimisation), is to ensure that your site will rank high in search results so potential customers can find you. If your website is often experiencing technical issues, or is down frequently, Google’s search spiders won’t be able to access and crawl your site. As a result, your search ranking will suffer. Even if your website doesn’t experience frequent downtimes, but loading times are slow, it’s very likely that your search rankings will also be affected negatively.

Web hosting from a great supplier helps you rank higher. Search engines, particularly Google, use site loading times and availability as a ranking signal, having an excellent hosting service that can help you with these issues is an advantage.

Better protection and security

There is no magic pill that will make your site invincible against viruses, hackers, and malware attacks. In fact, even the biggest and most popular websites get attacked from time to time. However, choosing a reliable hosting company can go a long way towards protecting your site from potential attacks. Your hosting provider should be able to provide you with technical support, protection and help you solve security issues in case your site gets hacked. And more importantly, they will be able to create a backup of your data, thus, making it easier for you to restore your site after an attack.

website hostingAvoid Off Shore Hosting Companies

These days, there are many companies offering a wide range of hosting services that meet the different needs of a business. But if you are going to get a hosting service, make sure you avoid a hosting company that is based abroad. Sure, their services might seem cheaper, but  they come with a myriad of problems, some of which are discussed below:

Support Issues

If your web hosting and domain service provider is based on the other side of the world, it can present a problem if your site is having technical issues. There is nothing like an Australian Technical Support Desk. Our team understand your needs far better than someone from another country, and if you ever have issues, we’ll fix it straight away. Don’t wait for your ticket to pop up in the queue. Time is money in Australia so you need to demand the best service.

Slow Server

The physical location of a server can affect how fast it can load a particular webpage or website for you. If you go for an offshore hosting company, it is very likely that your web visitors will experience slower loading times, which will affect not only your search ranking (as discussed earlier), but user experience, as well. Therefore, if you are an Australian business and you’re targeting locally based customers, then it makes perfect sense to choose an Australian web host to ensure reliability and fast loading times.

Bad Business Image

If your website is suffering from downtimes and it takes a while before your offshore web host can fix it, not only will it affect your profit potential, it can also affect the image of your business. This spells bad news for the future of your company as it can impede with the growth and development of your business.

Shared Server Resources

Most of the off shore hosting companies offer discounted rates simply because your website will be stored on a server that has maybe 200,000 other sites on it. All for these sites utilise the servers resources at the same time, effecting the speed and deliverability of your website.

While it may seem that offshore web hosting services are a cheaper alternative, when you consider the exchange rate, bank fees and foreign currency exchange charges it may not be the case. Therefore, the best website hosting for small business is still the one offered by a local company. With the proximity of their servers and their business hours similar to yours, you can avoid hosting problems and issues that can affect the image and profit potential of your company.

Contact Us today and we will help you evaluate your current hosting requirements and give you free expert advice on how to improve your current situation.

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14 Feb 2016

Gold Coast Web Agency Graphics Online in Liquidation

disaster-recovery-150x150One of the most important rules of establishing an excellent online presence is to get secure and reliable web hosting services. To make sure that your little corner of the Internet will survive no matter what, it’s important that you take caution when choosing your web hosting service provider. Gold Coast Agency Graphics Online recently dished up some challenges for their customers.

Worrells Move In on Web Agency Graphics Online

Recently, it has come to our attention that Graphics Online, one of the better known digital agencies and web hosting service providers on the Gold Coast, has gone into liquidation (see ASIC Notice). This unfortunate event was so sudden it sent the local industry buzzing, leaving many of their customers stranded. Nobody had expected that one of the well-established web agencies in the city would suddenly disappear just like that overnight.

Clients of Graphics Online received notifications from the company’s liquidator Worrells, that the content of their websites and/or other services hosted with the now defunct digital agency should now being moved to other web hosting service providers. If you’re a customer of Graphics Online and you have been affected by the company’s sudden demise, this indeed can be a very traumatic time for you. What if something goes wrong with your online assets in all this confusion? Who will be responsible for the potential loss of your valuable online data?

Digital Agency LiquidationsRecovering Your Website Site From Graphics Online

Nobody knows exactly what happened to Graphics Online that led to its liquidation. However, there have been reports that the company claims that it had been a victim of cyber attacks.

Cyber attacks are a known threat for everyone who has a website or any form of online presence, unless you have a serious security and backup plan in place. If you were a customer of Graphics Online, here’s how to recover from potential loss, and the team at Redback Web Solutions will help you all the way.

Step 1:

Firstly, it’s important to gain access to your hosting account, and your domain name. We know that Graphics Online outsourced their website hosting, so we will seek out the supplier and assist in accessing the data that is stored on the server.

Step 2:

We will contact the domain registrar and assist you in transferring the domain name to our registry so once again you will take control of your online assets.

Step 3:

Getting you site migrated is a tougher challenge. Graphics Online used a proprietary CMS (Content Management System) Called GoCMS. You can’t simply move the website to another server, as part of the data stays on the main server that’s required to run the site. This is one of the reasons we have always advised businesses never to use a Proprietary CMS system (see our blog article about Why You Should Avoid Bulk Hosting and Automated Websites). We recommend and build sites using WordPress, the world’s largest and most popular CMS which you can freely move at any time. Best of all it is open source – which means its free to the public. So step 3 is to open a new hosting account. We suggest a Premium WordPress Hosting account to make sure your security and backups are always maintained correctly.

Step 4:

Have your site or contents migrated to the new server. This may mean re-building the site or having new framework made available by way of a template. It may also be a good opportunity now (taking advantage of the disruption) to make sure that your site is mobile responsive (works perfectly on all devices) and is optimised for the Search Engines. This can certainly increase your presence on Google, in turn gaining you more customers from your site.

Why Redback Web Solutions – and how can we help you?

We have migrated a number of customers in the past from the Graphics Online GoCMS system, and we will make the process as stress free as we can for you. Our dedicated in-house team of experts are always here to help, and our first class data centre will never let you down.

Safe and Secure

Redback Web Solutions understand that not all cyber attacks can be avoided, so the best course of action is to stay vigilant and be prepared at all times. This is why we always make sure to use the latest server technology and firewalls to ensure the safety and security of our customers’ data. We also have powerful contingency measures in place, such as solid backups and data recovery systems, so we’ll know how to solve a problem instantly in case disaster strikes. This is one of the reasons why so many of Australia’s business trust us, and we’re the preferred supplier of the Small Business Association of Australia.

Australian Servers

Our client’s web sites are all hosted on our high speed Australian servers, and we provide 24/7 Australian support. Best of all we guarantee that your valuable data never leaves the shores of Australia and offer a 100% uptime guarantee.

Stable Company

Redback Web Solutions is a 100% Australian Owned Company, and has been servicing the industry for over 15 years. As one of the premier digital agencies in Australia, with offices in Melbourne, Brisbane, on the Gold Coast, Sydney, and Perth, we serve up a complete range of digital solutions that include not only hosting and website maintenance services, but web design, SEO and marketing as well. We are the one stop digital shop.

If you need web hosting services or to recover your site following the Liquidation of Graphics Online, you can trust and rely on us. Contact Us 24/7 on 1300 768 100 and we will get you back online and give you the peace of mind that you need.

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08 Dec 2015

Why You Should Not Use Proprietary Content Management Systems (CMS)

Why You Should Not Use Proprietary Content Management Systems (CMS)

These days, having a website is a must for all businesses. Regardless of whether you sell stuff online or if you only have a brick and mortar store, establishing an online presence is essential to the growth and development of your business. With a massive audience waiting for you online, you  don’t want to miss the perks of promoting and advertising your brand on the Internet.

If you’re planning to set up a website for your brand or business, it’s wise to avoid companies that offer off-shore hosting and automated websites on Proprietary Content Management Systems. Sure, using them may appear to have advantages, but there are many disadvantages that may hurt your business in the long term.

shopify

Shopify is one of today’s biggest online shop builders. Data showed that it is currently powering over 200,000 online shops in the different parts of the globe. While it is very flexible and offers visitors a clean and organised look, it has known weaknesses, too.

Can be expensive.

In addition to a monthly service fee, customers are required to pay up to a 2% transaction fee for their plans. Basically, it means that if you make a sale worth $100, you will pay an extra $2. Or if you earn $10,000, you will pay an extra $200. According to Shopify, the fee is intended to cover the technology and other expenses it takes them to power your sales.

You have to pay extra if you want to use certain apps

One of the things many business owners like about Shopify is that it offers them more than 1,100 apps that can help beef up the functionality of their sites. However, many of these apps are not free and if you want to use them, you will have to pay an additional monthly fee, which is not cheap to say the least. For example, equipping your Shopify store with Freshbooks, which is an accounting/booking software, will cost you USD $31.99 every month.

It can be challenging to customise your site

Customising your site via HTML and CSS is not as straight forward as when using other platforms. Perhaps one reason for this is that Shopify uses its own coding language called “Liquid.” If you want someone to help you modify your online store, it is very likely that you will have to hire a Shopify expert, which won’t be as affordable as hiring a normal programmer.

squarespace

Squarespace is basically a SaaS-based content management system. It is composed of a website builder, blogging platform, and hosting service.

Adding, dragging, and dropping Blocks are slightly buggy

Squarespace has its own basic website building components called Blocks, which include text, image, and slideshows. However, rearranging them can be quite a pain. If you want to re-organise content on your site, you have to be extra patient if you are using Squarespace.

Customising the style of your site can be overwhelming for some

One of the cons of using Squarespace for your site is that it has the Style Editor that allows you to customise anything and everything on your website without having the need to use coding. However, it can be a double-edge sword as the numerous styling and design options can overwhelm some users.

weebly

Weebly is a web-hosting service that has its own drag-and-drop website builder. As of August 2012, the company hosts more than 20 million websites with more than 1 million unique visitors every month.

Design templates could use some improvements.

One common complaint among Weebly users is that the design templates are too basic. If you want to use an advanced design for your website, you have to look elsewhere because according to the company, Weebly is all about keeping things very simple.

Template customisation options are limited.

When it comes to customising design templates, your options are limited, as well. You are allowed to change only the font styles and overall colour scheme for each template. This basically means that if you want to spice things up, like change the menu bar colour or adjust content width, you will have to modify the codes of the template.

Blog features could do better.

Another problem with Weebly is that it has yet to incorporate today’s latest blogging functions. Like the design templates it offers, the blogging tools are too basic. Some web experts even call them “primitive.”

wix

Wix is a cloud-based web development platform. Through their online drag and drop tools, you can create HTML5 websites and mobile sites.

Large advertisement on the free version

If you’re going to use Wix’s free website builder, be prepared to have a large and very prominent Wix logos and ads on the side and at the bottom of your website.

You can’t change your template

While Wix has many pre-made design templates you can choose from, you cannot change it later on once you’ve made your choice. If you want to change the look of your site, you have no choice but to rebuild it from scratch.

Not advisable for online merchants.

Another disadvantage of using Wix is that their platform is not suitable for building an online shop. It is because their e-commerce tools are not advanced enough to help you manage your store.

Off Shore Hosting Creates The Biggest Problems

All of the service providers above host your website and your data off shore. There are no guarantees that your privacy or your customer’s privacy are kept safe, and because of the large number of other sites resting on the same server, you open yourself up to hacks and malware attacks.

If you are an Australian Company, should be hosting your website on a quality Australian Server. This is your storefront to the world, so keep it safe.

Don’t Get Locked In with a Content Management System

Proprietary CMS (content management system) means that the platform has been developed and owned by the company and it is not open source (free to the public). Companies who operate on Proprietary CMS have the ability to hold your business to ransom. I recommend to steer clear of using any Proprietry based CMS, as you will never own your own website and will be forever paying a monthly rental fee. Worst yet – you will be unable to move your site away from this company.

WordPress is the world’s most popular platform, it’s free (open source), and you can move your website to any hosting provider that you choose at any time.

So if you truly want a safe and long term online asset for your business, and want to avoid problems and inconveniences, talk to us today about building you a WordPress site on our High Speed Australian Servers, with Premium WordPress Hosting. It will be much better value in the long term.

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