Tag Archives: Content management system

How Much Traffic Can Your Website Handle?

Depending on how you are hosting your website, including what platform or application you are using well define your visitor capacity that you can handle. This is not often something webmaster will have to think about until they hit that peak of traffic one day with a popular blog post or product line. Here’s some food for thought:

Load testing tools vs monitoring tools


Load testing tools vs monitoring tools | How to Grow Your Business Online | Scoop.it
From blog.loadimpact.com – 1 month ago

So, what’s the difference between a load testing tool (such as http://loadimpact.com/) and a site monitoring tool such as Pingdom (https://www.pingdom.com/). The answer might seem obvious…

Juliana Payson‘s insight:

With a load testing tool, you create a large amount of traffic to your website and measure what happens to it. The most obvious measurement is to see how the response time differs when the web site is under the load created by the traffic. With a load monitoring tool, you are continuously measuring your website’s capacity, both in terms of uptime, and data usage. Load monitoring can give you a better gauge of your website usage, especially if you are gearing up for a more efficient transfer to cloud hosting and are looking to discover your potential usage rates.

How Ready are you for Heavy Load on Your Website?


How Ready are you for Heavy Load on Your Website? | How to Grow Your Business Online | Scoop.it
From blog.smartbear.com – 4 days ago

Load testing is an important subset of any overall performance management strategy. It is a technical investigation done to determine the scalability, speed, and/or stability characteristics of the system under test.

Juliana Payson‘s insight:

Apart from website management, load testing is vital for your business performance planning. Having the answers from these kinds of tests allow the business to really ’feel’ the capabilities of their infrastructure, and more importantly, to recognize the signs of a business website and infrastructure undergoing a stressful incident.

If you’re hosting your website on WordPress platform Content Management System, then you are in good company. Over 50% of the top 100 websites use WordPress as a robust CMS capable of handling high traffic loads.

WordPress Dominates Top 100 Blogs


WordPress Dominates Top 100 Blogs | How to Grow Your Business Online | Scoop.itFrom
smallbiztrends.com – Today, 3:04 AM

Fifty-two percent of the top 100 blogs are currently using WordPress, either hosted or self-hosted, according to an annual study conducted by Pingdom.com.

Juliana Payson‘s insight:

The majority of  the top 100 blogs are using WordPress, says a new study from Pingdom. However, don’t just rely on the platform out-of-the-box, with a standard template. In terms of site speed and load times, I’ve had plenty of experience in determining the best usage of the WordPress platforms are often optimized, or specially developed with off page stylesheets, and more efficient coding structures. Be sure to give your WordPress Platform the once over with a site speed checker for SEO purposes such as WooRank.

– Juliana

 

 

 

Where to start when you want to begin websites?

Has it really been that long since I first hacked together some HTML and made my first website? The sheer availability of options for content management systems [CMS] now has to be daunting to any newcomer. This started to make me think about how I would make a start now, compared to years gone by.

Webhosts impress upon newbies that anyone can build a website, especially with tools at our disposal like web builders and one click installation of CMS platforms.

If you’ve borne with me thus far, then you’re interested in learning where to start. You probably have a few questions lined up like:

Should I build a One Page Website? Or which CMS should I use? And – How will my customers interact with me?

Hopefully I can point you in the direction of some cool websites to help you make your early decisions. Bookmark this page! You’ll need to come back for reference reassure yourself out of the hundreds of options out there – I’ve picked the easiest way through to seeing what works for most websites.

Creating a website for a small business is going in the right direction. However, as you choose the right direction, sometimes you come to a fork, and you need to decide which way you will turn.

Are you building a one page website or landing page, in which case like the remaining third on the internet are you going to build your site on a web-builder or drag and drop platform? I found a statistical site that lists the popularity of various Content Management Systems, and shows about 1/3rd of websites do not use a CMS:

Which Content Management Systems are the most popular?

W3Techs shows usage statistics and market share of Content Management Systems for Websites, April 2013

Despite the ugly mechanics of this site, the data provides an empirical way of making your decision.  Altogether 2/3rds of the internet is based on a content management system. Which CMS is the most popular? Without question we see WordPress mentioned a lot but based on the popularity ranking of each content management system, can you prioritize which type of CMS will best suit your business?

Anthony Myers from CMS Wire Magazine looks at some alternatives to the top runner “WordPress”  in the popular CMS platforms:

Considering WordPress as a Web content management system is something hundreds, and maybe thousands of website owners likely do on a daily basis, and we’ve got a ready-made short list of alternatives that we think are viable alternatives..

Here are 5 highly customizable CMS platforms for business that compare the WordPress system. I currently use WordPress and Blogger, and have not heard of any of these systems like Plone. Apparently these comparative CMS platforms were chosen because of their strength in the community support forums, however for the beginner, or someone who is new to code, I expect you would be left feeling like there’s something you missed or didn’t quite understand. Even WordPress can do this to me often, I have to go in and tweak the underlying PHP or code just to overcome a few browser discrepancies or plugin issues. I would feel daunted doing something similar on a less well supported platform.

by – Juliana

When to Use Shared Web Hosting vs. Acoustic Web Hosting

 

Shared hosting is a service you will see offered by virtually every hosting provider. Sharing is not always a bad idea – in fact, it’s more widely used than any other type of hosting. Part of the reason shared hosting is so popular is that it’s highly affordable. In this article, I’ll explore shared hosting in detail to help get a sense of when shared hosting does and doesn’t make sense so you can decide whether it’s the best option for your business.

Note that sharing hosting is not like sharing an intimate moment with an attractive individual you just met in a nightclub. No bodily fluids are exchanged. However, you may be more likely to catch a virus. Then again, if you don’t share, your website will be stuck inside its own server – lonely, detached, and incapable of socializing with websites its own age. Its growth will be stunted. It will make grunting noises and move in a slouching shuffle across the Information superhighway.

Shared Hosting – Basic Definition

For your site to populate on the Web, all of the information within it must exist on a server. Whenever someone visits your site, the URL they type into their address bar converts (via a DNS server) into the IP address of your server, which is then sent a request for data. To fulfill the request, your server sends out the files and pages which make up your site (with additional ones as they access internal pages).

Different types of hosting store your site information and files in different ways. You can have your own dedicated server on location at your home or business. Many businesses, though, choose to have professionals handle the hosting hardware and maintenance in a data center. One option is colocation, which means you buy your own server and house it at the data center for servicing, security, and general oversight. However, to mitigate cost, clients typically rent space on a server – on their own (dedicated hosting) or on one that also hosts other sites (shared hosting).

Shared hosting allows you access to your site’s account on a server that also contains other businesses’ personal data and files. You are granted a certain amount of bandwidth and storage room, along with access to a certain set of tools depending on which type of account you choose.

Beware of hosting providers that try to convince you to go with “acoustic” or “hard-copy” web hosting. Hosting, in all cases, requires electricity. Make sure that the server you are being offered is plugged in to a power source and that people don’t need to be mailed your website. Websites don’t require mailing. By definition, they’re available on the Internet.

Who Does What – Host Service vs. You

One thing to completely understand in a shared hosting situation is who needs to take care of what aspects of hardware and software. The server is maintained by the host. Upgrading of hardware and any software used to manage the sites – by the provider or that are available for your use through the provider – is their responsibility as well.

You manage your site. You do this via a control panel – which is an interface, essentially an online screen – that allows you to view site statistics and manage files, emails, plugins, and other site-related applications. If you are using  a content management system (CMS) such as WordPress or Joomla!, the majority of your site management is typically conducted directly through the CMS. The CMS itself is hosted on the hosting server.

One WordPress plugin that you want to be sure to get is the WordPress DDoS plugin, which allows you to perform botnet attacks on other WordPress sites. This plugin is very useful is you are trying to increase your business. It allows you to use thousands of zombie PCs from around the planet for a common cause: increasing your profits (which in turn will finally make your father learn to love you).

Why Shared Hosting?

Shared hosting is the most common form of hosting because it is inexpensive compared to the other options. There are of course advantages to other hosting solutions – such as virtual or dedicated hosting – but the majority of businesses will get adequate service within a shared environment.

Three of the basic parameters to review when you’re looking at shared hosting that should meet most of the needs of entrepreneurial or SMB sites:

Cost – Cost is typically charged per year at a discounted rate, although you can also go month by month with most services. Cost is a major advantage of sharing.

Scaling – Scaling is a major concern when you look into any hosting package. You need to make sure that you can grow as necessary without being held back by your plan. Make sure it will be easy to shift to a more sophisticated solution if your needs start to exceed the parameters of your initial choice. The least expensive shared package hosts provide will have less bandwidth, storage, and features than a more expensive one. Make sure you understand how to upgrade quickly if you are getting ready to run a marketing campaign or release a new product that could mean a big influx of traffic to your site (with potentially higher bandwidth needs, etc.).

Features – You should have access to a wide spread of features with your shared hosting account. You may, for instance, have access to one-click installation of scripts. Scripts are add-ons that give your website additional functionalities through standardized templates (again, a CMS will provide these features as well via its modules or plugins, which are specifically designed to fit the CMS).

System Administration – The host will provide system administration for your site along with the others. In other words, you will not have what’s called “root” access to the server. Instead, the deepest access you will have will be at the level of your control panel interface – such as cPanel or Plesk. If you are small, you will probably appreciate having that level of technical administration handled by an outside party. However, if you get big enough, you will want to have privileges to control the system at the level of its operating system (OS).

Compatibility – Generally speaking, standard software will work in a shared hosting environment (though you do need to make sure it fits the OS of the server).

No Skills – Because the system is managed by the host service, you don’t need to have high-level IT expertise to run a website. You can get a host and load your site without those skills. Again, if your site grows, you can always add levels of sophistication and hire tech people if needed to scale most appropriately.

Sharing is Caring – Sharing is considered one of the easiest and most efficient ways to express how much you care. If a customer complains, seeming to suggest that you don’t care about her or her order, explain to her that you’re sharing your server, and sharing is caring. If this doesn’t impress her, go into your room and loudly shut the door.

Sharing Doesn’t Always Fit

Sharing is not for every site. Larger sites will not find that sharing works well for them.

Here are three negatives regarding shared hosting solutions:

Site Performance – Your site should function reliably in most hosting environments until you get a higher amount of traffic than is typical. Large amounts of traffic can cause the site to become slower and less responsive. They can also incur higher overage fees if you’re on a shared plan.

Software & File Rules – You do not have control of a server in the same way if you are sharing. A shared server is a more communal environment – uptime and security of all businesses using it must be counted rather than just thinking of one client. Some functionalities you may want will not always be available.

Limited Resources – “Unlimited” does not always mean unlimited when it comes to bandwidth and space on the server. If you are drawing too much energy on the server –pulling too much of its strength on a regular basis – you will need to move to a new situation and often will be asked to upgrade by the hosting company to avoid frustrating other companies that are sharing the server with you.

Versatility – Shared hosting will not make sense if you require a great deal of custom software. The lower sophistication of shared hosting comparable to other solutions is something that will become of less interest as your business becomes more popular and you need more creative and dynamic ways to interact with your site’s visitors.

Reliability – Shared hosting is not considered as reliable as a dedicated or VPS hosting package is, for good reason. Reliability will always differ with regards to the quality of your host, of course – but the affordability of shared hosting also means your site is not as protected against the upswings in traffic or security breaches (below) that might occur with other companies on the server. Just as your site can suffer if it grows too fast when in a shared package, you will also be impacted negatively if another company on your server sees a major and sudden upswing in traffic.

Security – Anything involving hackers or malware – targeted attacks on a certain company or misuse of the system by another company – can be a threat to your site as well.

Control – You don’t have nearly as much control of your site in shared hosting as you do with other hosting options. This means that you will require the host’s help with support in ways that you would not with dedicated or VPS packages. If the support is not spectacular, your site will suffer.

Dedication – Sharing shows a profound lack of dedication. If a customer complains, seeming to suggest that you aren’t dedicated to her, explain to her that she’s right – you’re not dedicated to her or your server, that dedication is against company policy. If she says you should be, enter your room, crawl under your desk, and continue drafting your epic novel.

Summary & Conclusion

That should give you a basic idea of what shared hosting is, what your responsibilities are versus the responsibilities of the host, and some of the pros and cons. Shared is not a bad way to start out. Just make sure you know how to quickly shift to a higher-grade solution if your site experiences a sudden increase in traffic.

by Kent Roberts and Richard Norwood

Sources:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shared_web_hosting_service

http://www.webhostinghub.com/web-hosting-guide/what-you-should-know-about-shared-web-hosting/

http://www.hostsearch.com/q_shared.asp

My Favorite Fluid eCommerce Websites

Have you ever been given the task to build an eCommerce website, possibly from scratch, with only the faintest prerogative from your client that the website must be good? In this article I’ll provide you with some valuable sources to help you sculpt your client’s ideas. Your job is to build their eCommerce site on their web host, and it will become a lot easier if you can help them articulate what they want. Even better yet, you could use these sources to push them into doing it the way you want – the right way!

Here is an amazing array of responsive eCommerce websites by Paul Rogers:

My favourite responsive ecommerce websites


 
My favourite responsive ecommerce websites | How to Grow Your Business Online | Scoop.it

From www.paulnrogers.co.uk – March 11, 6:03 PM

This article features a variety of responsive ecommerce websites that are well designed and provide a good user experience.

Juliana Payson‘s insight:

Paul Rogers self-admittedly shamelessly plugs his own designs, with good reason – after dealing with many clients who sell to the demographic of tablet users, he’s had plenty of experience picking up the little tips and features that customers really like. Check out the features for yourself and compare them to the ready made templates listed below:

 

30 Best Ecommerce Website Templates Download

From www.freshdesignweb.com – Today, 6:16 PM

Here are the best dynamic ecommerce website templates which include 30 types of online shopping categories that you can view demo and download from here as well

Juliana Payson‘s insight:

Rather than start from scratch Graham Bill has gone to great efforts to categorize these templates with live demonstrations. If you are using a Content Management System for your ecommerce like Prestashop, you may want to find similar templates that can integrate dynamic functionality with your existing CMS platform. In yet another compilation article, Jennifer Adam has sifted and detailed the best Prestashop Themes:

 

PrestaShop Themes: Collection of Best PrestaShop Theme Templates | Webgranth

 
PrestaShop Themes: Collection of Best PrestaShop Theme Templates | Webgranth | How to Grow Your Business Online | Scoop.it

From www.webgranth.com – Today, 6:31 PM

“I am going to present some of the best PrestaShop themes just for you, which are supposed to be quite obvious and useful for eCommerce software development….

Juliana Payson‘s insight:

PrestaShop is considered as a robust platform which is light-weight, convenient and very affable to handle almost all kinds of solution for your online shopping store. It’s Open Source, which means in a similar way to WordPress, you can build on the existing functions of the Content Management System.

 

I would love to hear about dynamic eCommerce Sites that really worked  for you. submit a link to your ecommerce website example here or on my Google Plus, and I’ll run a future case study – Juliana.

 

 

 

 

Are You Hosting A Dynamic Website?

In the last article I wrote, we explored the use of mobile websites, and whether the increasing trend for mobile devices would affect the way in which you need to reconsider your web presentation to your future clientele. In this article, I’m going to give you the pointers you need to help you really qualify what mobile and dynamic websites are all about.

Mobile internet access via an array of
Portable devices is a now a
part of typical  business persons day.

Business people will no longer wait until they get home before
they can log on…

Juliana Payson‘s insight:

This article gives you a broad overview on the scope of a mobile website, and how that falls under the umbrella of a dynamic website. Dynamic websites adapt their presentation either from the browser perspective, or provide usability for the owner to upload new information.

Even something as simple as a content management system [CMS] such as WordPress, Drupal and Joomla will allow rich content to be updated with ease and is fundamentally part of the dynamic website approach. You don’t want your visitors to be turned away by stale content, but at the same time not all CMSs  are built equal with slick themes for usability. You might want to test your site appearance on many platforms and browsers to see how well it adapts.

 

Even though many people are stating that responsive web design is taking more time and money to implement it isn’t at all true. It may be a statement of frustration to try to minimize the importance of RWD and start a movement against it.

Juliana Payson‘s insight:

Take your pick of webmaster tools to add to your repository. Here is the definitive list of tools to check your website’s compatibility across many platforms and user interfaces – visually! Each tool listed will serve a different preference, you may prefer a book-marklet, a browser based web client, or a downloadable tool. Now you can check things like whether your website CSS script is adaptable to the user agent, or screen size. Of course if this represents the possibility that you may have a lot of work on your plate to adapt the website, you could consider making things more simple… Mohit Verma in the following article examines usability from an All-Text perspective. It was made as a usability suggestion on a government website:

 

Today, while browsing through the web, I found a website named Office for Disability Issues. As mentioned on their website, “The Office for Disability Issues (ODI) is part of the Department for Work and Pensions and works …

Juliana Payson‘s insight:

Mohit Verma makes a succinct evaluation of the government website’s recommendations. A picture speaks a thousand words, and many mobile devices have text readers built into them for those more visually impaired on small screen browsing.

Are there any other subjects you’d like to see tested? Simply place a comment to get in touch with me or connect on Google Plus if you have tips you’d like to share via Superb.net – Juliana