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Does Your Small Business Really Need A Website?   no comments

Apr 25, 2017 @ 10:54am Small Business,Web hosting

If you run your own small business, you may find yourself asking the question “Does my business really need a website? Isn’t Facebook really my website these days?” Facebook and other social media platforms like LinkedIn, and Twitter, all give you a little space to publish your message. Think of it as a small billboard that you get for free. However, if you want to provide a branded and interactive experience that drives business to you, having your own website is crucial.

Think you don’t need a website because you just have local clients who come to your shop? You can get even more local clients aware of your business by having a website, combined with using social media. For instance, having your own website lets you setup email news letters (so you can re-announce to your current clients to come back in during promotional periods), as well as sell direct to people outside your region. Even if you are a local retailer, focused on walk in sales only, a website won’t hurt you, it will only help promote more people to come in and check you out!

The first step in starting a website for your business is finding a web hosting solution. Web hosting is a type of service that allows individuals or organizations to make their website visible on the internet. This can vary greatly from a simple static web page to a truly interactive video rich experience that drives sales through an online e-commerce shopping cart. Web hosting companies provide dedicated servers or shared space on a server for clients that are housed in an internet connected datacenter. Web hosts can also provide datacenter space and connectivity for other advanced needs beyond just website hosting, such as an office’s central file server, mail server, or even virtual desktops. Web hosting is also commonly referred to as “Cloud Hosting”, or “The Cloud” since your website resides out on the internet, allowing anyone to access the information you want publicized.

Your Web Hosting Provider’s job is to keep your website always online, secure, and fast so that your potential and current clients continue to find and shop with you, and not your competitor. Selecting a reliable Web Hosting Provider is crucial because when you site is down, people cannot get information or make purchases. Every minute your website is down impacts your reputation and could mean losing a potential customer or make your business appear unreliable. Choosing the right Web Hosting provider to fit your business needs can seem to be a large task with all the vendors and options on the market today, but don’t fear, TurnKey Internet has got you covered.

If you are serious about your business, you plan to grow, and picking TurnKey Internet as your Web Hosting partner provides you future growth ready flexibility. TurnKey Internet offers a wide range of cost effective cloud service options and platforms to get your business online. From value-priced Web Hosting Plans, Virtual Private Servers, Dedicated Servers, Managed Servers to Secure Colocation Services, TurnKey Internet can meet your cloud-based needs from one small virtual server, up to hundreds of dedicated servers. The foundation and core of TurnKey Internet is structured for lighting speed and rapid growth through our company-owned network and datacenter.

The question should no longer be “Does my business really need a website?” But rather “Why did I wait so long to start?”

 

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Written by David Maurer on April 25th, 2017

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Developing a Data Backup Plan   no comments

Apr 18, 2017 @ 10:04am turnkey cloud

Is your company prepared for a catastrophe that could result in the loss of your data? You’ve most likely taken out insurance to protect yourself against natural disasters, robberies and similar catastrophic events. Your data should be no different. The only difference is that this type of insurance involves making one or more copies of your information so that it can be accessed if something happens to the original data, whether it’s the result of one of those catastrophic situations mentioned above or it’s something like a hardware failure or a disastrous infection.

 

Onsite Backup

Onsite backup involves you copying your data to a separate or shared drive that is located on the same premises as your primary data source. The most significant benefit of this plan is that you can always have your secondary data right there. If something happens to your primary computer system, it’s normally easy to start utilizing the backup sources, and you don’t need to have an internet connection to do so. The cost of utilizing this type of data backup is usually relatively low, and the process of backing up your data with this method is normally pretty simple.

However, several significant disadvantages exist as well. A natural disaster such as a flood or tornado that destroys your original data will often take out your backup data too if it’s being kept onsite. And if somebody breaks in and steals your primary data, doing the same to your secondary data too can be done on the same trip.

 

Cloud Backup

Those taking advantage of cloud backup options will have their data sent to a remote datacenter on a regular basis. Probably the most significant benefit of going this route is that multiple copies of your data will can be made to stored on multiple servers located in a variety of places. That way if something disastrous happened to one place or server where your backup data was stored, you could simply access an alternate. Your data is safe at these locations as it is encrypted before being stored, and you will generally enjoy unlimited or nearly unlimited storage capacity. Another benefit is being able to automate the process so that you are not dependent on somebody remembering to back up the data.

An indirect benefit of utilizing a cloud backup method is that those who are authorized to do so can easily access the data, whether they are located across town or even on the other side of the world. This is a great benefit for organizations with multiple locations or remote staff.

However, some cons exist with this method. It generally costs a little more to go this route instead of backing up your data onsite, although that is countered by not needing to purchase your own backup equipment. How quickly you can retrieve your data is also going to be very dependent on your office’s internet speed, something that is a non-issue if your data is onsite. You also have to make sure that you research and trust the datacenter provider you are using to back up your data remotely.

 

What to Back Up

Determining what needs to be backed up should be addressed before you look at how you back it up. You can back up everything, otherwise known as a full backup. This obviously requires the most storage space as well as the most time. However, it helps ensure that you will be completely back up and running in a timely manner if some disaster causes your primary data source to no longer be accessible.

However, this is not always necessary. In that case, consider an incremental or partial backup. An incremental backup involves the backing up of only files that had been created or changed since the last time your data had been backed up. This tends to be much quicker, but you do need to then ensure that you have access to several incremental backups in order to fully restore your data. It can also be difficult to organize your files or to find a specific one if you are downloading several incremental backups after disaster struck.

A partial backup means that you are only backing up part of your data, presumably the most valuable portion. However, the difference between a partial backup and a complete backup is usually minimal, meaning that, with a few exceptions, you might as well just back up everything.

 

Organizing Your Backup Plan

Keep some important details of your backup plan in written form. This includes exactly what’s being backed up, when and how often that occurs and who is responsible for ensuring that it occurs at the time it’s supposed to and to the thoroughness that is expected.

Do you want to back up everything that is located on computers at the office? What about data located on laptops or cellphones that are taken to and from home? Is your email or website backed up? Do you want them to be? Do you possess physical forms and documents that you want scanned into electronic form and then backed up in that form so that you are set if something such as a fire or flood destroys the hard copies?

Focus initially on the most important data, whatever would cause the most damage were the information to become inaccessible. These files should also be backed up more often. Of course, it does take time and money to back up your information, but it is well worth it when you consider the repercussions of losing access to it for a considerable time period or forever.

 

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Written by David Maurer on April 18th, 2017

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9 Tips to Increase Website Sales   no comments

Apr 11, 2017 @ 9:54am online marketing

Increase Website Sales

For any business that wants to succeed in the digital era, having a website is a necessity. Converting visitor clicks into sales, however, takes a little more than putting up a working store page. If your sales numbers are not at the level you want, it is time to take a deep look at your website and make a few tweaks to boost your bottom line.

 

1. Add Video Content

Your customers are busy people who don’t have a lot of time to devote to shopping. Long and wordy descriptions of your products are unlikely to excite your customers. A short and engaging video clip, however, can show your product or service in action. You can also use video content to showcase customer testimonials or tell customers about the history of your company.

 

2. Include User Guides and Information

Even if your products or services seem straightforward to you, it’s never a bad idea to include helpful information on how to use your products. Your customers may have questions that aren’t answered by the basic product descriptions, and including user guides can help answer those questions and give your customers the confidence they need to complete their purchases. You may also be able to highlight unusual uses for your products that can expand your customer base into nontraditional audiences. Offer these guides in a variety of formats, including illustrated guides and videos, to accommodate as many customers as possible.

 

3. Embrace a Global Audience

If you want to reach out to a global customer base, your website needs to be usable by more than English speakers. In addition to featuring more languages on your website, you can transform your brand and content to make it more appealing across the globe. For example, if you have a blog on your website and frequently make references to American holidays, your global readers may feel left out. Spending time learning about the meaning of symbols and colors in other cultures can help you come up with a logo that won’t cause cultural issues with potential global customers.

 

4. Add More Reviews

Few customers make purchases on a whim; the discerning customer likes to read reviews from other buyers. Featuring reviews on your website is a good way to give potential customers the information they are usually seeking. Don’t relegate your customer testimonials to their own separate page; integrating reviews throughout your website, such as on a sidebar on each page, can help more eyes see your customer raves.

 

5. Use a Clean and Responsive Design

If your customers have trouble using your website, sales will slack. Today, many web users look at websites through the small screens of their smartphones; using a responsive design will automatically scale your website to the correct screen size. Your website should also look clean for all users and feature intuitive navigation. Although a website with a beautiful design may win awards, too much flash and glitter can impact your customers’ ability to shop. Having a search feature on every page in an obvious place is also a good idea to help visitors find what they need.

 

6. Smooth Out the Checkout Process

Few things inspire customers to abandon their shopping carts like an inexpertly designed and clunky checkout system. Creating a smooth checkout process takes time and more than a few trials. Start by shedding unnecessary steps. For example, forcing your customers to work through an elaborate account set-up process places a barrier between them and a completed sale. Make sure that your checkout pages offer the essential information most customers want to see, including details about shipping and the items currently in their cart. Finally, offer a variety of payment and shipping options for your customers.

 

7. Beef Up Your Hardware

Customers are used to having instant information when they browse and shop on the web. A slow-loading website is enough to frustrate some customers into completely giving up on your business. Removing unnecessary clutter can help speed up loading on your website. Improving your server’s capabilities, however, can lead to a more dramatic improvement in loading times. Using a stable server is also important; you don’t want hours of downtime to hit during your peak shopping hours.

 

8. Use Discounts and Sales to Create Urgency

A shopper who is worried about a disappearing deal is more likely to complete her purchase than a shopper who puts an item in a shopping cart and forgets about it. Discounts encourage hesitant shoppers to make a decision so that they won’t miss out on buying something they want at a better price. There are many ways you can introduce more timed discounts to your site, including special sales days and discounts that are only available for a short window of the day. Placing reminders about these discounts throughout the site, including on the checkout page, can remind the shopper of the discount’s deadline.

 

9. Make Support Easy to Find and Access

Although you strive to offer products and services that will fulfill your customers’ needs, some of your customers will inevitably experience problems with your products. Make it easy for your customers to reach out to your support staff and include a variety of contact methods, including email, phone calls, social media or live chat. Support can help save sales that might otherwise be lost; however, having visible and responsive support options can also give uncertain customers the confidence they need to complete a purchase.

 

The online marketplace is booming, but it’s also a crowded field. Improving your website and your user experience can help your company stand out from the competition. Designing your website with the customer experience in mind can help you to drive sales to your business.

 

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Written by David Maurer on April 11th, 2017

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Effective Security Measures For Your Server   no comments

Apr 4, 2017 @ 10:49am Web hosting

If you run a server, especially for your business or organization, security should be a top priority. Whether the server exists to host files for a website or is networking computers for an office, it needs to be protected from malicious software, exploits and hackers. Failing to secure a server can lead to lost or corrupted data, damage to devices connected to the network and unauthorized individuals getting access to sensitive data. Below are various security measures that you can employ on your server that are extremely effective.

 

Review & Modify Default Settings

Programs running on your server, such as control panels (cPanel, Plesk), CMS (WordPress, Joomla, etc.) and even the operating system, contain various default settings  that need to be reviewed and if necessary modified. They include everything from preset usernames and passwords for admin access to default connection ports. Anything that is left as set up by the software manufacturer may be used as a way to gain easier access to a system. Even leaving the URL for admin access to a server or programs on the server can make it easier for hackers to get in. There are hacking tools that specifically scan websites and servers for default URLs and folders, so changing default login locations is important. On this same basis, it’s a good idea to make sure that directories are protected so that people cannot see their contents.

 

Active Monitoring

A critical requirement to properly managing a server is knowing what is happening with it at all times. Even the best security software cannot prevent all intrusions, and hackers are constantly figuring out new ways to exploit and circumvent security systems. Therefore, it’s important that activity on a server is always being monitored. Things that normally indicate a problem include incredibly high data transfer or processing power use as well as multiple failed login attempts. Brute force hacking involves trying to login to a system over and over again with different login and password combinations. In addition to draining system resources, it can also eventually allow a hacker to find a combination that lets them into your system. Real-time monitoring can help detect these issues and alert the appropriate people, and it can also shut down brute force login attempts.

 

Passwords & Permissions

Another important server security measure is to ensure that all passwords, especially the root and/or Admin passwords, are complex and that people are only given access to areas that they need to do their job. Aside from malice, giving an intern administrative access to databases could lead to major problems through simple error. It’s also recommended to change your passwords on a regular basis, even if they are robust.

There are a number of ways to tackle the issue of making sure passwords are complex enough, including using computer generated passwords or using passphrases. Computer generated passwords normally require certain characters, length and require a combination of upper and lower case letters; passphrases are combinations of words, and they tend to be easier to remember and more secure than passwords. There should also be a set time that passwords expire, which will require users on the network to change them on a regular basis.

Along with ensuring that people are only given access to parts of a server that they need to have, it’s important that permissions are updated when people leave a job or move to a different part of the company. This can be done with proper database management and doing occasional audits to ensure that access levels are appropriate.

 

Updates

One way that hackers get into many servers is by going through weak points that developers did not notice when creating an application or an operating system. This is why both computers and mobile devices need regular updates. Along with offering new options, updates close off back doors and holes in the security of software. Therefore, it’s important that all software hosted on your server is kept up to date. For web hosting servers, that means content management systems (CMS) and the plug-ins the CMS uses must be kept current. Many operating systems and software applications can be set up to update automatically, but if you’re not comfortable with that, it’s important that you have some way of being notified when important changes are available.

 

For those of you who feel there’s just not enough time in your day to employ these server security measures, or if you just prefer someone else does it for you, at TurnKey Internet we got your back. We offer Fully Managed solutions that include Server Hardening. We’ll take care of securing and protecting your server so you can focus on running your business. For more information, visit https://turnkeyinternet.net/managed/

 

 

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Written by David Maurer on April 4th, 2017

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Migrating To The Cloud   no comments

Mar 28, 2017 @ 10:20am New York Datacenter,turnkey cloud

Choosing to migrate your company’s IT infrastructure and data to the cloud is no easy decision. However, the number of benefits that the cloud offers to you and your business can make this change well worth it. The cloud is able to offer you many more security features and guarantees for your data than you typically have in your own on-site server room. Let’s take a look at some of the benefits migrating to the cloud will provide.

 

Better Data Security

Possibly the most important aspect of cloud storage, data security is the main priority of cloud services. With some high-profile companies becoming the victims of data breaches in the last couple of years, cloud providers have upped their investments in access control, identity management, intrusion prevention and virus and malware protection. These improvements have resulted in increased security protocols and more protection for communication between users and servers.

 

Improved Availability

Cloud providers are exceptionally reliable. The connection is on 99.99 percent of the time, only going down for maintenance, and you will have access to your applications and data at all times and from practically anywhere. Data stored in the cloud is available to those who need it no matter where they are located. With today’s internet connections via tablets and smartphones, you will be able to access your data and your applications no matter what you are doing.

 

Reduced Costs

Migrating all of your data to the cloud will allow you to reduce the size and cost of your on-site location. For example, you will be able to remove servers, lower your software costs and potentially reduce IT staff without compromising the integrity or security of your data. Most cloud storage is paid on an as-needed basis, so you will only pay for the amount of server and infrastructure capacity that your business needs, and you can change that amount at any time.

 

Finding the Right Data Center

Once you have decided that storing your information in the cloud is the right decision for your business, you will need to find the right provider and data center. You are placing all of your important data in the hands of this provider, so you must make sure that you choose the right one. Technology is constantly changing and improving, and you need to be able to trust that your cloud provider will keep up with the evolution of security needs. Before choosing a data center, you should inquire about the physical security of the facility, what back-up measures for power and internet are in place, as well as what level of support is available to you if you need it.

When you are searching for a data center, ask potential candidates about their compliance to SSAE-16. This set of standards measures the amount of control that a service organization maintains over your sensitive data and financial information. An audit will report any flaws in data flow. You should also inquire about compliance to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). This regulation ensures the security and privacy of private health information that is stored on cloud services. A HIPAA audit will demonstrate holes in the security of such specific and sensitive data. If your data center choice is compliant with both of these standards, you can rest assured that your sensitive data will be monitored and its integrity will be maintained.

TurnKey Internet owns and operates its own private data center located in New York’s Tech Valley region. Our SSAE-16 Certified data center was a former U.S. Government building that was purchased by TurnKey in 2010. It is made to U.S. Federal Government standards, with 1-foot thick concrete along the perimeter, plus additional reinforced walls and security enhancements. We have installed advanced security systems, and infrared based surveillance monitoring cameras. Employees all undergo background screening, and clients are not permitted within the facility except with photo ID and escorted by trained security personnel at all times. Owning our data center, we have been able to design, build and maintain every aspect of its construction to provide an ideal hosted server environment. This allows us to provide our clients fast, secure and reliable performance at all times.

 

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Written by David Maurer on March 28th, 2017

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What is Colocation?   no comments

Mar 21, 2017 @ 11:10am colocation,Web hosting

Colocation POD

Colocation or ‘Colo’ is a solution offered by major data centers that provides businesses and organizations a place to host their servers and other IT hardware in a secure, high-tech facility. Whether it’s a small business that doesn’t want to hire an entire tech department, a large company that wants the stability and security of a data center, or somewhere in between, Colocation offers benefits to all types of businesses.

 

Security & Protection

Most data centers that offer colocation have high levels of physical security. Features such as security cameras, 24×7 on-site staff, individual cages or cabinets have locks, as well as biometric scanning at all access points and more! If the proper security is in place, a data center may also be SSAE-16 certified. This allows businesses to colocate their equipment and benefit from the SSAE-16 compliance already in place to avoid costly and time-consuming auditing of your company’s office or facility.

With Colocation, businesses own their equipment. Since they own the equipment, only their staff has access to it and the data it holds. Unlike typical web hosting solutions, where data may me stored on a shared server, they will be the only ones with access to their data.

 

Uptime

Most businesses run 24×7. Even after ‘store hours’ a business needs to be online and connected, especially if they operate an online store or website. Being down for minutes or an hour can spell disaster. Imagine an organization’s IT infrastructure down for a day or a week while the power’s down due to a storm.  This disrupts potential clients from accessing their servers! In a colocation facility like TurnKey Internet’s datacenter, your company’s IT infrastructure is housed in our redundant, high-speed Internet-connected facility, with continuous power provided by industrial UPS battery systems and on-site diesel generators for emergency backups.

 

Room To Grow

In a typical office IT environment, if a company quickly needs to increase bandwidth or add physical space to the office, they could wait weeks or even months. When their infrastructure is located in a colocation facility, they can provide huge amounts of additional bandwidth within minutes or hours. A typical data center can have a bandwidth capacity 10,000 times that of a typical office cable Internet connection.

 

Cost Savings

Businesses that build their own on-site IT infrastructure can spend hundreds of thousands of dollars, if not millions, to have the same bandwidth capabilities and enterprise grade power and cooling systems featured at a colocation facility. Fiber optic lines, connecting to major internet hubs across the world are not purchased for pennies either! Add in redundancy to their office, and businesses are paying tens of thousands of dollars a year. On the other hand, if they instead chose to utilize a colocation facility, it might have cost them less than $100 a month.

 

Colocation is the ideal solution for companies, service providers, small businesses and IT resellers who want a stable environment in which to completely control their assets. It provides complete control of your hardware, software and networking to match your needs without worrying about the supporting infrastructure. By colocating with TurnKey Internet, you are able to focus on your business and not on office networking, power or server issues that plague localized installations and office infrastructure. We provide redundant networking, power and cooling to ensure your services remain online and accessible at all time.

 

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Written by David Maurer on March 21st, 2017

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4 Tips to Help Your Online Business Succeed   no comments

Mar 16, 2017 @ 10:31am Small Business

online business

With today’s technology, just about anyone can start and run a business online. However, you need a lot more than a simple HTML page to be successful on the internet. By focusing on key areas, you can help your online business stand out and become a success. Below are four tips to help you get started:

 

Smart, Mobile-Friendly Website Design

Desktop computers were once the primary method of browsing the Internet. Today, people can view the web through a long list of devices, including video game consoles, smartphones and tablets. If your website only has a desktop design, customers using other methods to browse may have significant trouble reading or interacting with your website. A responsive design offers an ideal solution; the design cleverly adjusts to best fit the screen of the user, no matter how big or small.

 

Become a Social Media Master

Social media networks, such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, are not going away anytime soon. Finding your own voice on social media is a great way to gain a wide audience of customers. Some businesses choose to do the bare minimum with social media, such as tweeting the occasional new product or posting on Facebook every other month. This approach may not win you too many followers, however. If you want to take an active approach instead, start by interacting directly with your customers. If someone tweets a question about a product that you make or sell, respond as soon as you can. Every time you post a new blog entry, share it on all your Social Media accounts.

 

Improve & Optimize Your Search Results

Improving and optimizing your businesses search results can be done through a variety of means, including building organic links with other companies or individuals. For example, you could ask bloggers to become brand ambassadors for you in order to get your links on their websites. Fresh content can also be a big boost for your ranking; updating your blog regularly can help with this. Keeping your social media profiles updated with frequent links to your fresh content can also help. If you produce videos, make sure that your video posts link back to your website as well.

 

Develop a Marketing and Advertising Plan

There are many ways to market your company online, including some that won’t cost you a dime. Dutifully building your brand through tweets and Facebook shares will net you some customers, but it may take some time to see the full benefit of your labors. Targeted advertising can help you generate customers more quickly. You can use a number of methods to achieve this, including soliciting bloggers to post about your company and paying for banner advertising on popular websites. You can also produce videos and other multimedia content about your company’s products and services to improve your online presence and build customer loyalty.

 

 

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Written by David Maurer on March 16th, 2017

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Is Your Business Benefiting From The Cloud?   no comments

Mar 7, 2017 @ 10:48am cloud,Small Business,Web hosting

Cloud Benefits

Running a business of any size today requires that you make use of today’s most innovative and affordable technology. Whether it’s to improve performance or Disaster Recovery planning, utilizing cloud-based servers and backup solutions is essential. When you want to expand your brand without putting a lot of money into a restrictive and outdated IT infrastructure, you can stay at the top of your competitive game by moving your company to the cloud today.

 

As the cloud goes mainstream, businesses everywhere are capitalizing on the new technology—both internally and as a potential area for expansion. The faster you move your business to the cloud, the faster you will be able to incorporate new technological advances into your business model. The longer you wait, the more difficult getting a handle on the new services will become. Start now, start small, and soon enough your business will be launching ahead of your competition. It is not every day that an opportunity presents itself to take a giant business leap forward without any risk to the business’ foundation or to day-to-day operations. You can get cloud services up and running while everything else stays in place then, when you are ready to switch over, do it seamlessly and without any glitches.

 

IT infrastructure is extremely costly, from a monetary and environmental perspective. Housing, cooling and powering your business servers requires a large amount of energy. From an individual business’ perspective, this matters, but it also matters on a macro level. Provisioning a virtual cloud server for each of your clients is far more efficient than providing a dedicated server for each one. As more and more businesses move to the cloud, we will reduce carbon emissions exponentially. That alone is a good enough reason to switch.

 

Time is money when it comes to serving your customers. When your IT infrastructure goes down, you are unable to help your clients and thus end up losing money that your business needs to survive and grow. You could even lose sales and profits to your competitors. Because it is not prone to costly, time-consuming outages, the cloud proves to be the better, more affordable option for your business. You avoid losing time and money and your business can grow and profit at a pace that is not available with outdated technology. The latest studies show that more companies of all sizes are deciding to switch to cloud and away from outdated, costly, and time-consuming technology. By 2020, close to 80 percent of all businesses worldwide will have made use of cloud technology.

 

By moving your business to the cloud, you stay on top of your competition and make available technology that will let you serve your customers better and increase your profits to even higher levels. For years, many businesses have been utilizing cloud services to run things behind the scenes. There is no foreseeable end to the cloud—it is growing every day as more people realize how powerful, cost effective and useful it really is—and for many small and medium-sized businesses, the sooner they implement cloud services, the better for their bottom line.

 

If you are serious about your business, you plan to grow – and picking TurnKey Internet as your Cloud partner provides you future growth ready flexibility. TurnKey Internet offers a wide range of cost effective cloud service options and platforms to get your business online. From value-priced Web Hosting Plans, Virtual Private Servers, Dedicated Servers, Managed Servers to Secure Colocation Services, TurnKey Internet can meet your cloud-based needs from 1 small virtual server up to hundreds of dedicated servers. The foundation and core of TurnKey Internet is structured for lighting speed and rapid growth through our company-owned network and datacenter.

 

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Written by David Maurer on March 7th, 2017

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It’s Time to Examine Your Website   no comments

Feb 28, 2017 @ 10:27am Web hosting

Examine Website

Examining critical aspects of your website can help you prepare a strategy to improve customer satisfaction and your own business success. A good website requires many things, including fast loading times, quality customer service and security. Working on these elements early can ensure that your website is ready long before your customers even start to think about using your business.

 

Loading Times

You may want a website with all the latest bells and whistles, but consider your website’s performance before you load it up with high-resolution graphics and elaborate scripts. Sluggish loading times on your website frustrate your customers and may encourage them to go elsewhere. Have your technical support team run tests on your website to see how fast each page loads for the average user. Changes to your design, such as reducing large images and eliminating complex coding scripts, can help your website perform better. You can also opt for a better hosting package for your website to see even more improvement in loading speeds.

 

Search Engine Optimization

Improving your website’s search engine rankings can help fuel the success of your business. There are many ways to help boost your search engine rankings, starting with updating older pages on your website; offering fresh information to your visitors is a good way to impress search engines and show that your website is active. Adding special features, such as a blog, can also help. If your blog content is particularly noteworthy, you can expect more traffic to head your way. Your blog content should offer something useful to readers, such as tips for using your products or services.

 

Mobile Friendly

Thanks to the growth of smartphones and other mobile digital devices, online shoppers no longer have to be chained to their computer desks. Developing a simple and functional theme specifically for your mobile users can increase your potential customer base. The easiest way to do this is to make use of responsive designs. With a responsive design, your website will modify itself automatically to create the optimal layout for the customer’s mobile device; these designs can accommodate both smartphones and tablets. Due to the smaller screen size typical of mobile devices you probably won’t be able to maintain the exact same design from your desktop version, but you can still use the same branding and color scheme.

 

Data Security

Shopping online is always risky; some websites don’t safeguard customers’ data properly, putting these individuals at risk for identity theft and other issues. Investing in robust security software is a good way to protect your customers’ important data. Your technical support staff should keep apprised of the latest developments in online security to help your customers stay safe. To help alleviate your customers’ concerns, you can include information on your website about the security protocols that you use and offer tips on how your customers can shop online safely.

 

Support

Browser problems, incorrect stock levels and missing orders are just some of the common customer issues your staff will need to work through. Having enough staff on hand is an essential ingredient to helping your website survives. If possible, offer a live chat support option to those who are currently browsing your website. Keep an eye on your social media profiles in case a customer tries to reach you through those networks. Some customers may prefer to use email to get in touch with you; using a ticket system to handle incoming customer emails is a good way to keep track of issues. Help your staff to cultivate a customer-centric attitude, and try to anticipate common problems so that you can develop solutions ahead of time.

 

Don’t Forget Social Media

Social media networks offer an excellent way to connect with individual customers, generate buzz about your products and direct traffic to your website. Don’t let your social media networks sit unused with only a link to your website; update them frequently and interact with your customers. Make sure your profile on each platform matches so that you have cohesive branding.

 

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Written by David Maurer on February 28th, 2017

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Simple Steps to Secure Your Website   no comments

Feb 21, 2017 @ 9:53am Web hosting

Secure Website

If you run a personal or business website then it’s vital you take steps to secure your website and protect it from hackers. Criminals have many reasons for wanting to gain unauthorized access to your content, and all of them will impact you and your business in a negative way. By following the steps below, you will not only keep your website and data safe, but also your business.

 

Renaming Directories

When hackers want to take control of your website and to cause damage, they will search for your administration directories. If they can locate them, then the hackers can steal your login details or give themselves access. Many programs are available that will scan websites to find administrative credentials, and you can protect yourself by renaming your directories.

Although this step might seem small, don’t get tempted to overlook it because you must do everything that you can to stay safe. The name that you give your directories is not important as long as you know how to access them when you need to make changes.

 

Complex Passwords

Hackers will sometimes use brute force software to access your administration panel, and they can do anything they want from there. The brute force software works by repeatedly entering different numbers and letters into the username and password fields until it finds the correct combination. You can protect yourself from such attacks by using strong passwords that contain letters, numbers and special characters.

Although it’s still possible for hackers to use brute force software to break into your website, they are not likely to succeed. A complex password can resist a brute force attack for several thousand years before the correct combination is discovered. Unless your website contains extremely sensitive data, the hackers will likely move on to an easier target.

 

Encrypt Your Important Files

Many people store files on their website as plain text, and that makes it easy for hackers to steal and read the information. The problem becomes that much worse when the data contains the credit card numbers of your customers. You can add an extra layer of safety by encrypting your files so that they become all but impossible to read.

An encryption program works by scrambling a file until it’s unreadable, and only the person with the correct decryption key can reverse the process. If your important files are encrypted, hackers will not be able to see them even if they gain access to your website.

 

Update

One of the ways that hackers gain access to a website is by looking for software vulnerabilities. They will reverse engineer software and scripts to find methods to take control of your content and to view your files. To combat that problem, software developers consistently release updates for their programs, which address known weaknesses.

But some webmasters are still reluctant to update their sites because they don’t want to experience any downtime. When you choose not to install recent updates, you are inviting criminals to exploit you and your users. Ensure that you are always using the latest scripts when your goal is to safeguard your website.

 

Backup

When protecting your website data is your No. 1 goal, utilizing a backup solution is a must. However, If all of your files and backups are stored on the same server, you risk losing everything if that server gets destroyed or compromised. The good news is that you can combat this problem by utilizing a Cloud Backup solution. This option involves uploading the data that you want to protect to ‘The Cloud’ – a cluster of servers located in a remote, secure datacenter.

 

Running a business can be very demanding and it may not leave you with enough spare time to regularly maintain your website’s security. If this scenario sounds familiar, your best bet may be to switch to a Managed web hosting solution. TurnKey Internet offers a complete all-inclusive fully managed service that lets you focus on your customers while running your business – leave the infrastructure, software updates, security, backups, and uptime to us. We provide a turnkey solution that employs a unique combination of Application and Network Engineers, deep-level performance monitoring and on-going guidance to maintain and optimize your cloud-based hosted infrastructure. You get all-access to our Support and network Engineers – far more cost-efficient than hiring, onboarding, and building your own team of tech gurus. As technology changes daily, we’ll keep your systems secure and up-to-date, while you focus on your business

 

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Written by David Maurer on February 21st, 2017

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