Website Backup

Backing up Your Website is so important, here is a guide on how to do it. So what would happen if you woke up tomorrow and your web host had accidentally deleted your website? It happened to me and you guessed it, I didn’t have my website backup done. That won’t ever happen to me again and I’m here to help you get prepared too.

imagesNightmare scenario. My entire business went down the drain with one mistake by my web host. It wasn’t even my fault, but I had to start my business from scratch because of that one mistake. I’m not alone either: 40% of small to medium businesses don’t back up their data.

If you have a website, today is the day to get your website backup plan straight.

Why is Website Backup so Important?

There are five reasons why you should back up your website:

1. It’s not your web host’s responsibility to make a website backup available to you.
A surprising number of web hosts don’t back up your website regularly. Of the few that do, most of them simply do so for their own protection and don’t make the files available to their customers.

2. Storing the original development site isn’t enough.
If you developed your site on a test server, or your local computer, you may think that’s enough to protect you. However, over time, websites are tweaked and changed and those changes often won’t be reflected in the original version. If you run a forum, blog or CRM system, much of your valuable content is uploaded by your users, and won’t exist in any other place than on your website.

3. You need to be ready to react quickly.
Having an up to date back up in place will allow you to get back online quickly after a mishap. There are many reasons why you need to get your website back online quickly including loss of income and potential SEO penalties (according to some sources).

4. Peace of mind.
Before I started backing up my websites, it was always on my mind that I needed to do something. It was my responsibility and I’d be letting a lot of people down if I lost the latest version of my site.

5. It’s your protection against viruses.
Web hosts don’t tend to proactively run virus and malware scanners against your website. Therefore, keeping a backup may be your easiest, and best protection; allowing you to turn back the clock after an attack. While this doesn’t prevent attacks, it does cure them when needed.

Website Backup Solutions

Now that you know why to back up, let’s look at how!

1. Manual backups.
Let’s start with the most low-tech method: manually FTPing your files to your local computer. The downsides however, are clear:

You have to remember to back up regularly.
It can take a long time to download a big website.
There’s no way to only download files that have changed (costing you time and bandwidth).
You must manually monitor the download to ensure that it has completed properly.
You need to create your own, logical way of managing and storing the backed-up files.
Should you choose to go down this route, let me give you some tips:

Set diary entries and reminders to back up your website and make an effort to never skip the task.
Don’t forget to back up your databases too.
Keep a logical folder structure with the date as the directory name.
Ensure that you back up to multiple hard drives, for maximum protection.

2. cPanel backups.
imagesWebsite Back up with cPanel is easy. But there are some pitfalls to avoid. Let’s start with a brief explanation of how to back up, if you are hosting on a server with the cPanel control panel installed:

Log into your cPanel control panel.
Click on the “Backup” icon.
Select “Generate / Download a Full Backup”.
Select “Home Directory” in “Backup Destination” and enter your email address, before clicking the “Generate Backup” button.
You’ll receive an email when the backup is ready.
But here’s the important thing: make sure you download the backup to your computer and keep it stored safely. You must remember to back up frequently and keep the backup files in a safe place. If your backups are stored on your server and your server goes down, you are essentially left without a backup.

3. Backing up to the cloud.
A cloud solution is the perfect place to keep a backup. It’s ever-expanding and with most systems, is backed up and fully redundant. Solutions for backing up to a cloud include:

Amazon S3: the grandmasterfunk of all cloud solutions. But getting your data onto S3 requires some thinking and will require installing server software, if you have access to do so (for example: CloudBerry Backup Server Edition for Windows users). Failing that, there are tools out there for many platforms, designed to get your data onto S3. For example, WordPress users who can’t install software on their server, may like to look into Backup Buddy, a WordPress plugin that backs up to Amazon S3.

Dropbox: while not intended to be used in this way, Dropbox makes for a suitable backup tool. WordPress users, in particular, may be interested in a third-party plugin that backs up the WordPress installation on a specified frequency.

Manual upload: even if you don’t plan on automating your backup workflow with S3, it acts as a secure, reliable place to store your manually-backed up files.

4. Rsync backup.
Rsync is a piece of software that allows you to copy files from one server to another. It’s clever because it will only transfer files (and even just parts of files) that have changed, saving you time and bandwidth.

Setting rsync up is not a straight-forward process, but if you have a second Linux server under your command, this offers a great way to backup your site incrementally.

If you do this, you’ll still need to back up your database. If you use a cron job to back up your database into the synced area of your directory structure, rsync will take care of the rest. If you have a MySQL database, the easiest way to back it up is to run a script called mysqldump. This is a free script which is often installed by default in Linux and Windows alongside mysql client tools.

5. Automated backup solutions.
Why manage the backups yourself when you can put the experts in control? There are a small number of managed backup services out there, including:

Backup Machine: a feature-rich backup solution founded by the writer of this article. Backup Machine offers free backups, plus automated daily website and database backups.

Codeguard: focusing their features on malware detection and alerts when your website is changed, CodeGuard offers manual and automatic website backups.

Dropmysite: a bare-bones website backup solution that, like the others, connects via FTP and downloads backups. However, this system does not incrementally back up the files; it simply re-downloads the entire website every time.

In Summary

With so many options, I’m sure it’s difficult to choose how to plan your website backup workflow. Therefore, we’ll finish up with some final closing tips to help you move on from here:

1. Choose something that fits your budget and timescale.
The full features of the automated solutions will cost a few dollars a month, but it’s important to weigh that up against the time and stress you’ll save over backing up yourself.

2. Decide on the best backup schedule.
If you have a database or any other dynamic element, ensure that you back up at least once a day. Otherwise, back up as often as your website changes. And, if possible, schedule your backups to happen at the quietest time of your website to avoid any disruption.

3. Check your backups regularly
Several surveys have shown that the biggest pitfalls people make with their backups is that they forget to check them. Ensure that your files aren’t corrupt and that your back up contains everything you need to do a full restore of your website.

There’s just one vital tip left to share …

4. Website Backup Do it now!
Disaster could strike at any time. Back up your website now and back it up every day. If a nightmare strikes, you’ll be ready to take control and get back online within minutes.

Tips To Increase Page Rank

Page Rank is a link analysis algorithm which is used by search engines to determine relative importance of your link within their database. Within this post I will show you how to increase page rank of your site.

So here is how page rank is calculated.

Page Rank is calculated by various algorithms made by search engines, in simple words, Page Rank is calculated upon the number of links on your site; these links Include:

Backlinks.
Inbound links.
Internal links.
External links.
No-Follow links.
Do-Follow links.

Google and other Page Ranking sites analyse these links and assign a numerical page rank from 1 to 10 to your website.

How To Increase Page Rank?

1. High Quality Content:

In order to increase Page Rank you must have unique quality content which your readers want to share with their friends. You can read Tips For Writing Engaging Content.

2. Site Submitting:

To boost Page Rank you must have high quality Backlinks and the best way to generate quality backlinks is to submit your site on different web directories and article directories.

Some Good Web And Article Directories Are:

DMOZ
Best Of The Web
Ezine Articles
Article Base

3. Guest Posting:

imagesThis is one of the most used and best technique to increase Page Rank. Most Blogs have options of guest posting through which you can post at their blog and get two or three backlinks in return to your blog this really helps if you are posting on good Page Rank Blog with the same Niche as yours.

4. Link Exchange:

This is one of the most old techniques but it still works, in order to get a good PageRank you should get higher Page Rank sites to link to your site, through this you will firstly get a good Page Rank and will get traffic from that site.

5. Keep Updating:

Google really likes Sites that keep their content fresh and unique. The more you post, the more Google will crawl your site and the more chances for you to increase page rank.

6. Commenting On Other Blogs:

Commenting is a very crucial process in generating a good Page Rank. In Blogging Community you must be very socially active. Some Blogs are Do-Follow, which can help you generate back links to your site by just commenting on their posts. Nowadays most blogs have CommentLuv Plugin installed on their site which automatically places a link to their last blog post at the end of their comment.

7. Social Bookmarking:

Social Bookmarking is a very effective method to increase Page Rank because by sharing your Site on different Social Sites you will get a free Backlink and Traffic. Some of the most popular Social Bookmarking Sites Are:

Facebook
Google Plus
Squidoo
Digg
Hub Pages
Stumble Upon

8. Website Accessibility:

If Your Website is down for a long period of time, Google may reduce the ranking of your site. So You should always keep Your Website accessible.

9. Using Commonly Searched Keywords:

As You know people search using keywords and not the whole sentence so if you have used a keyword which is very frequently searched then you get a higher chance of your website being visited and MORE VISITORS = BETTER PAGE RANK.

10. Website Advertising:

You can make an Ad or a banner for your site and advertise it on different website, through this you will get good back links and traffic.

11. Create Multiple Pages:

If You create multiple Pages on Your Site this will strengthen your internal linking and will ultimately increase Page Rank.

12. Participate In Forums:

Google loves forums that are most frequently updated and by getting a back link from these forums you will succeed on increasing Page Rank.

13. Using Signatures:

You can add a link to your website in your online signatures. For example, you can add signatures in your email and forum posts but don’t try to spam because you can be blocked.

14. When Does Google Re-Evaluate Page Rank?

Google Re-Evaluates Page Rank about Three to Four times per year, so almost every Three months Google calculates Your Page Rank again.

15. Never Use Illegal Tactics:

Using illegal tactics can get you banned from Google and Google is very smart so never think that you can deceive Google because if they find out that you are using illegal techniques which are against their policy they will block you. Stay away from those tactics using these legitimate techniques will improve traffic.

Installing WordPress

Installing WordPress these days is quite straight forward, afetr the installation process there are a few things to do to get you started.

imagesWordPress is currently the most used and popular platform for creating websites and blogs. It has a highly powerful Content Management System that allows editing, publishing and modifying content from a central interface. You can produce awesome looking websites without knowing any code at all, the dashboard is quite easy to navigate around too, not that technical even for the new kid on the block.

In these articles I will detail for you how to optimise a WordPress site from the beginning after install.

1. CHANGE YOUR SITE TITLE, TAGLINE, & FAVICON

The identify of your website depends upon the title of your site and tagline, this will give your website a professional look. The favicon is also way to stand out from the crowd. To change your blogs title and tagline, do the following;

Click on Settings >> General and then change tagline you like it to be.
To change the Favicon, it is a little harder but first open your Dashboard go to the themes tab and then click on Editor and select Header.php add the bellow code to there and click update.

2. CHANGE THE PERMALINK STRUCTURE

This is an SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) trick to get an SEO friendly permalink structure to your blog links. This is the most important thing to get traffic.
The most common permalink structure is post name itself.
Firstly, click on Settings and go to the Permalinks tab in your WordPress Admin Panel and change your permalink.

3. SELECT A THEME

There will be a default theme in WordPress after the installation. If you want to make your site beautiful & attractive you must change your theme and choose an appropriate one for you. Always remember to use a theme that is Responsive, SEO Friendly & easily customisable.
For installing a theme you need to visit WordPress panel Appearance tab and select themes, if you want to install the themes available on WordPress click Add New. You may want to upload a new theme that is not available on WordPress themes menu, simply click Add new and Upload the theme, you can also preview the theme chosento see what it looks like.

4. PLUGIN INSTALLATION

Plugins are one the most important and attractive part of the WordPress platform. The most important and the must have plugins in my opinion are;

WordPress SEO by Yoast : A complete SEO solution for your website. You do not need to worry about on-page SEO after installing this plugin. There is also a premium version plugin of this plugin. This is one of the plugins that have highest rating.

WP SpamSheild Anti-Spam : The best anti spam plugin for guarding your blog against the spammers. Spam comments are one of the most infuriating things for a webmaster to worry about but after installing this plugin no spam messages will enter your site.

W3 Total Cache : This plugin helps to improve the speed of your website and to enhance the user interface by caching. The plugin creates a cache of the website and in doing so the speed of the website increases.

Contact form 7 : This plugin is used to make a contact page where the visitor can contact with the site admin about any subject that is relevant to them.

Backup WordPress : This free plugin will backup your entire website. This is a great safety precaution for making your site safe from accidental errors.

The above are the most important and essential plugins that every one should have, there are many alternate plugins but you simply must always have plugins on following categories too;
Security, Backup, SEO, and cache.

5. CHANGE THE TIME ZONE

You should change the time zone of your website. This is very important that while scheduling your the post for publication. To change the time zone you must go to Settings tab and select General and find the Timezone and then choose your country’s time zone.

6. CHANGE THE DOMAIN URL

Don’t get confused after reading the title, in this step you are going to set a preferred domain address. The default address will be in such a way “http://www.google.com” but when you change it to http://google.com by removing the WWW will help you to get some traffic because this is SEO friendly URL. This is not a must do thing but doing this is better for you or your business.
Firstly, go to settings tab and select General then just remove the “WWW” and the click save.

7. DISABLE HTML COMMENTS IN WORDPRESS COMMENTS

HTML comments is a vulnerability that could be reason for a hack attack. For protecting your blog from hackers you must use this method to disable HTML comments. For disabling the HTML comment you need add the following lines in your FUNCTION.PHP file

add_filter( ‘pre_comment_content’, ‘wp_specialchars’);

8. CREATE PAGES

Creating pages is as simple as creating a word file, no need to worry about programming languages you just need to open your command panel and then select pages and click add new. Then type the name of the pages that you want to create and type the content and then click publish.

Yes Or No To A Sidebar

Have you ever wondered if your blog really needs a sidebar? If it does, should it be on the left or right side of your page?

Unfortunately the answer is not a simple yes or no. But with some testing, I have figured out the optimal layout for a sidebar on a blog. So, should you be using a sidebar? Well, it all depends.

Visitors come to a blog to read the content. Their main purpose is to devour your information and ask you questions through commenting.

If they really like your content, they may share it on the social media, but you do not need a sidebar for that. You can add social sharing buttons throughout your post or use plugins like Flare.

So, what’s the purpose of a sidebar? Well, it’s an area you can use to promote products or services as well as to get users to do anything else you want.

It has been proved that including your bio on every page of your blog, within the sidebar, is a great way to connect with your readers. This helps build a loyal community, which is the main reason I have a sidebar.

Sure, you can add a bio at the bottom of each of your blog posts, but you have to keep in mind that most people don’t read your blog posts in their entirety. And adding it to the top of each blog post is distracting as people are mainly coming to your blog to read the content, they don’t want to continually have to read about you before they are able to get to the content. In addition to that, if you are trying to get repeat visitors, a sidebar is almost a necessity.

Why? you may ask. Because within it, you can put links to all your social profiles and add an email opt-in box. Plus, you have to keep in mind that a lot of the emails have been collected within the sidebar, and the best part about having a sidebar isn’t even the email traffic. It’s the ranking lifts it provides in search engines.

I link to all the popular guides and posts on this site. The reason for this is that it helps pass search engine juice to all those pages, and it causes them to rank highly in Google. For example, if you search for “online marketing,” you’ll notice that this guide ranks on page one.

Should you always use a sidebar?

Although I recommend using a sidebar, you don’t need one on each of your pages. Consider not having a sidebar on the pages you are trying to improve conversions on or make money from. Why? Because it makes people focus their attention on the area you want, the area where you make money.

So, for my money pages, I tend to have no sidebars.

Also, for any page that has a defined goal, you should consider removing unnecessary distractions such as a sidebar. For example, with my guides, my whole goal is to get you to read each of them from cover to cover. That’s why you won’t find a sidebar on my guides.

The majority of your blog pages should contain a sidebar. For the pages that are focused on a specific goal, consider removing it as it will help boost your conversion rate.

Should you place your sidebar on the left or right side?

I’ve actually tested this one a lot. I prefer the look of a blog where a sidebar is on the right side, but it tends to convert better when it is on the left.

Here’s what I discovered;

When you place your sidebar on the left-hand side, you will get more email opt-ins, and more people will read your bio and do whatever else you promote through your sidebar. But you will also get fewer people to read your content.

I’ve found that having a sidebar on the left side causes a 9% drop in people reading the blog posts. On the other hand, it increases the number of sidebar opt-ins by 13%. Overall, I decided to place my sidebar on the right-hand side even though it generates 13% fewer opt-ins.

Why did I do it anyway? Because it increased the number of blog post reads by 9%. In the end, the purpose of a blog is to educate you through content, so why would I take that away?

In general, you should consider keeping your sidebar on the right-hand side even though it will cause fewer conversions. People are coming to your blog to read, so your primary goal should be to make your content as easy to read as possible.

Conclusion

If you don’t have a sidebar on your blog, you should consider adding one right away, and if you already have one, make sure it is on the right side and contains important elements such as email opt-ins and your bio.

If you are running a corporate blog, instead of your bio, you can always put a quick blurb about your company in the sidebar.

Lastly, you don’t want to have a sidebar on every page of your blog. Consider removing the sidebar from the pages you want to boost your conversion rate on.

What do you think about sidebars? Are you going to have one on your blog?

The Best Website Building Tool

This post summarises what I consider to be the best Online Website Building Tool, also known as Online Website Design & Creation Tools.

Webs claim to be “the world’s largest do-it-yourself website-creation solution” and back this up with a record of over 50 million websites built with them. Formally known as FreeWebs, this tool was created to “open up the web”, allowing almost anyone to design, create and manage their own sophisticated-looking website. In fact, they claim that “if you can use Microsoft Word, you can use Webs”, enabling the average computer user to create websites that would have required a professional Web designer just a few years ago. This increasing web accessibility has been facilitated by ever increasing connection speeds and computer processing power. Webs, however, stands out in its ability to combine these developments in a product that is unique in both sophistication and simplicity. Whether you choose the free version, or to pay, I think that you will be satisfied with the features available, as the simple user-interface makes Webs a pleasure to use for beginner and more advanced users alike.

Registration and creating your own page with Webs could not be easier. Simply choose a name and this will become the address of your website in the format, yourname.webs.com. Furthermore, users paying a monthly fee are able to choose a valid domain name consisting of simply www.yourwebsitename.com (or any other extension) as well as associated Email addresses. This is an excellent, cheap and easy way to present a highly professional image.

Once you have entered a password you will be asked to fill in a few more details before choosing your template and launching your site. With over 300 professionally tested templates from which to choose, chances are you’ll find something both unique and to your liking. Other website template providers do exist that offer a wider selection which advanced users or those with something very specific in mind may want to consider. Likewise, although 90% of users will be more than satisfied with the customisability of Webs’ templates, some may find them a little too rigid for their liking. This said, it would be almost impossible to improve on these drawbacks without sacrificing a certain amount of simplicity and ease of use.

This brings us on to Webs’ website site builder which, we can safely say, is the simplest in this category. It is based on a WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) interface which makes adding new content, pictures, videos, and much more a breeze. By simply pointing, clicking and dragging it is possible to quickly and easily put together a professional looking website without having to understand HTML. Overall, Webs’ web design tools and interface are some of the most intuitive on the market and certainly represent its strongest selling point. Furthermore, there is an advanced mode that enables experienced users to make more complex editions to their websites. When it comes to web storage and bandwidth, users are unlikely to be disappointed as the limits may be quite restrictive. Webs.com is unbeatable for entry-level webmasters but may prove inadequate for much more experienced webmasters.

In order to kit out your website, Webs offer a vast array of features and applications which can be installed to your site with a single click. All the popular applications such as Cafepress Shop, Meebo IM, AllStar Experts, Forums, Blogs, Guest Books and donations are available as well many lesser known and more specific ones. Users can also integrate their Website to social media profiles such a Facebook and Twitter which represent excellent sources of publicity for those on a limited budget.

We were especially impressed with several excellent features that enable you to get started in Ecommerce. Even the free account allows users to list up to 5 items in a WebStore. The Webstore feature is nicely integrated with an intuitive set of options that allows almost anyone to set up their own online business. Items are advertised on your website and can be paid for with either PayPal or Google Checkout. With 4 pricing plans, Webs.com caters for customers who plan to sell a small number or an unlimited number of items in their WebStore.

Whether or not your website is intended for commercial purposes, everyone wants to increase their web traffic. This can be done in two ways: search engine optimization and online advertising. Paying customers of Webs can enjoy access to sophisticated search engine optimization (SEO) tools which allow editing of meta tags, meta descriptions and page titles. Furthermore, the URL is generated from the name of the menu item. Paid accounts also come with Google Adwords and Facebook Ads credit which is a great way to begin experimenting with online publicity and advertising as well as boost visitors to your site. To monitor your Webpage, Webs comes with Clicky as default but users can also add Google Analytics. These tools are brilliant, providing you with in-depth website information, and are free to all. Webs make it easy to integrate these analysis tools to your website so you can effectively track all vital statistics.

In conclusion

Webs does a fantastic job in providing a high degree of sophisticated web design possibilities through, potentially, the most simple user interface available. We are happy to give our #1 spot to this product that makes website creation accessible to all, without significantly sacrificing features or content. Although there are various restrictions depending on what you are paying, we found that, whatever price plan you choose, you will be getting your money’s worth. Furthermore, Webs’ 30 day money back guarantee should give you peace of mind when parting with your hard-earned cash. Finally, as the cherry on the cake, it must be added that Webs’ boasts excellent and responsive 24/7 customer support. For all of the above, we would recommend Webs to all users, from beginners to advanced, to organizations and individuals as a do-it-yourself website-creation solution you can rely on.

Reasons For and against buying an Expired Domain Name.

Reasons For and against buying an Expired Domain Name.

Implementing the use of an expired domain to create a shortcut within any chosen market for search engine optimisation can be very beneficial.

There are good reasons why, as an internet marketer you would want to purchase an expired domain name. Let me introduce you to some of the advantages of doing so.

When targeting your chosen niche market your main aim is to drive traffic to a website or sales page. You can do this by finding keyword rich domain names to target a sub niche relevant to your market. The main advantage of this is that these domain names may not be very competitive; therefore you can become an authority in that niche very quickly. The amount of traffic will govern the speed at which your business will grow.

It is possible when buying an aged domain name that they will almost certainly have established relevant backlinks and a certain amount of authority attatched. This will be of great benefit and save you a lot of time. The search engines will rank the site faster than if you were to start off with a blank canvass. Backlinks are a necessity to online success.

Another great advantage when buying an expired domain name is that they will have page rank. This is a huge added benefit because, again, it takes time to establish a domain name and build up its page rank. When you purchase an aged domain name you can literally buy domains with page rank overnight. This really streamlines the process, so you can build authority and traffic extremely fast!

Domain names expire with regularity every day of the year without fail. This simply means that there is so much choice therefore presenting a massive opportunity for you. This usually means that the competition is not as strong as normal. The price you pay for an expired domain can be as little as $12. That to me presents an absolute bargain deal, besides most of the hard work has already been done for you such as established page rank and authority backlinks. What a great jump start to any web business this truly is.

DMOZ (the Internet’s largest directory system) listing can be very hard to get in to. You submit your website & wait weeks to have somebody (a real human being) review it to see if it is of high quality to be included in their index. But you can forget about this task if the expired domain name you buy is already included in the DMOZ listing. Again saving you time.

So if you have ever wanted to be included in the DMOZ directory but thought that it would take too long, bare the following in mind. Purchasing an expired domain means that it will already be listed in the DMOZ directory. This way, you do not have to spend days or weeks trying to get your website submitted in to powerful directories that have plenty of influence for your domain name.

Take the Yahoo listing, it needs to approve your website and on top of that you are required to pay Yahoo $299 just to join. Why spend the money when you can buy an expired domain name that is already in the listing for only $12?

Of course, there are some pitfalls you should avoid when searching and purchasing an expired domain name. For example, ones that have no real value. You will need to be sure to select ones that have the potential to drive consistent and reliable traffic to the website.

Generally when people notice a good domain name they bid for it too early in the auction process. This can be very detrimental for you because this will draw attention to the auction. Thus inflating the value of the domain name. The most effective time to bid on a website auction is the in last ten minutes. Be patient and bid late to get the best deal and the cheaper price, don’t be too hasty.

Another pitfall to look out for is to assess the competition for that domain name. If you discover a website domain name that includes a keyword that is too competitive you should reconsider the purchase and continue with your search. Remember that if the keyword is too competitive it will be very hard to rank highly.

The main sources of expired domains are places like GoDaddy, NameJet, Sedo, Snapnames, and Flippa. There are over 100,000 domain names expiring every day so I would recommend using an expired domain name service to help you sift through them all.