The Limits of Unlimited Hosting

UnlimitedAnyone who has looked for a host for their website in the last few years has surely seen the advertisements for “unlimited hosting.”  These ads are something of a window back to the days when web hosts limited the amount of disk space and bandwidth (the amount of data transferred over the internet) you received due to the expense of both commodities. Today things are a little different though. Both bandwidth and disk space has become so cheap that almost no one even changes you for them. Instead nearly every host in the business will offer you “unlimited” hosting in which bandwidth and disk space aren’t even measured for somewhere around $5 a month.

So what’s the catch? If these hosts are truly unlimited why are so few large sites using them? I mean couldn’t every site on the web sign up for a Hostgator account and be done with it? Continue Reading

Tools To Grade Your Website

Grading Your WebsiteHow is your site doing? How does it stack up to the competition? What do you need to know to improve?

There are a lot of questions we should be constantly asking ourselves as website owners. Unfortunately there are often few resources to help us in answering those questions.

Over the years I’ve spent a lot of time trying to grade my website and learn where I need to improve. These tools, some of which are new and some of which have been around for quite some time, offer a glimpse into what you’re doing right and what you can improve on. In addition, they can also be used on the sites of your competition or any other site you want information on. In this regard they are just as valuable in figuring out where you want to go as they are in helping you get there. Continue Reading

Professionalism in Social Media

Professionalism in the age of social mediaProfessionalism (from Merriam-Webster):

  1. the conduct, aims, or qualities that characterize or mark a profession or a professional person (see 1professional)
  2. the following of a profession (as athletics) for gain or livelihood

In times past those who knew this definition were easy to identify. You could identify a professional by their clothing, their work ethic, their speech, and a host of other factors. All of these factors contributed to the “qualities that characterize of mark a profession or a professional.” In short, all of these factors were signs of professionalism. From the moment you met a professional you knew their status in their chosen field without a resume, a profile, or any other formal description of their work. You knew it by the way they presented themselves and from the very words they spoke.  Continue Reading

Web Languages For Non-techies

Dictionary of Web Languages
Getting your site on the web can often resemble shopping at an international market in a major city. Their are so many languages being spoken and so many seemingly exotic products that figuring it all out can resemble an impossible task. What are these languages anyway? Most have heard of HTML, but what is all this other stuff? Should we use one over the other? Do we need them all? Here’s a quick dictionary of sorts defining the languages that make up the core of a modern small business websites. Continue Reading

Google’s Second Class Customers

Google PlusTo Google not all customers are created equal. In fact, some are [as yet] forbidden from even using certain products such as profiles and Google Plus. Unlike most products however where paying customers are often allowed to try things first, with Google it is the paying customers that are excluded.

Who are these customers? They are those who use Google Apps, a service which brings GMail and other Google services to one’s own domain. Due to the power of branding and the price of the service ($50/user/year for a premium account) I use Google Apps for all of my domains, both personal and business. Even the Aviation department I work for at SIU uses Google Apps for our email. This means that I can’t be involved with Google Plus, Google Profiles, or a host of other services.

I don’t think I would find this so frustrating if it wasn’t for the fact that myself and so many others I know who use the service do so because we understand both the power of Google’s services and the power of branding. For those of us who use it for personal use (as opposed to just using a standard GMail account) we do so because it is the use of our own domain that demonstrates to others that we know what we’re doing when it comes to marketing ourselves.

Now we could admittedly just sign up for a standard GMail account and get on Google Plus, profiles, etc, but that is a slippery slope when it comes to branding and marketing. First, we would need to use another email account which could cause confusion among people we know. Second, as Google promises to eventually support the service with Google Apps creating a social media account on Google Plus that you plan to close and start over later is akin to social media suicide. When you spend the time cultivating your network, deleting that network and starting over just isn’t a workable solution.

So in the end I, like the millions of other Google Apps fans, must just wait. We’re used to it though. We’ve been the second class citizens of Google since the service first came available and, although Google has made some strides in remedying this, they never seem to follow through all the way.