Archive for the ‘Hosting’ Category


SEO for small businesses on a budget

Taking a break from usability and operations that I normally address. published an outstanding guideline on setting up and marketing a business online on a budget.

The guide is straight to the point and offers a ton of good information about how to jump into SEO, analytics, hosting, and online marketing. What I like most about the article is that they give specific resources and products to make it happen, rather than the blanket, “you need to do this, find a company to do that, buy something like…” that we all suggest, all too often. Additionally, they pretty much break the costs down to about the cheapest a business can possibly get them for.

Anyway, I highly recommend this article for those new site owners or site owners on a budget that need to just get started with SEO and online marketing…

I will say that the article does not cover anything related to usability, design, or the actual setup of a website, which are extremely important. This article is applicable to businesses that have a website but if you are planning on setting up a website for your business, this article will give you a good direction and options of marketing, seo, and analytics, once you actually get your site up and running.


MySQL 5.1 now supported on Cpanel / WHM

Just found out this morning that MySQL 5.1 is now officially supported on cpanel.

MySQL 5.1 offers some major improvements in some areas to MySQL 5.0. MySQL 5.1 was released over a year ago and it’s been a long wait for those cpanel users needing 5.1 features.

Upgrading is not as easy as the 4.0 – 5.0 upgrade but looks to be a reasonable procedure.


Getting control of your DNS

DNS is one of those things that everybody uses and nobody thinks about. We all just assume that when we type our website in the address bar and it comes up, then everything is OK.

In reality, the way your business’s DNS is handled can be a gift or a curse. I can’t think of a technology that has been under more security scrutiny lately than DNS. Years after our typical DNS system was thought to be safe, huge exploits have been found having the potential to wreak havoc on large portions of the internet.

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**UPDATED** Adding Google Business search to your ecommerce website

Moved to:


The myth of tax free internet sales

It has been a long held belief by most online shoppers that out of state internet purchases are tax free. I have to admit that I believed this for a long time myself, but unfortunately it’s not the case.

Just to dispel any theory dissolving that old ‘Death and Taxes’ quote, internet purchases are not tax free. That’s right. As the wording goes, most internet companies don’t have to collect out of state sales tax. However, consumers, businesses and any end users still must pay a “Use Tax” on non-taxed purchases that they make through mail-order or online.

Most states currently have Use Tax which specifically requires consumers to pay their state sales tax on purchases they make online that are not taxed by the business. There are some exemptions for certain types of products and for states that do not have any sales tax, but for the most part, taxes on these purchases are required to be paid to your state government. With the exception of very large purchases, use tax is rarely if ever monitored, as it would simply be an impossible feat for any state government to handle. However, we can all be sure that states are losing out on millions if not billions in uncollected taxes, so if you aren’t paying them, enjoy the free ride while it lasts.

Here’s a Use Tax table that I came up with covering which states require it:
(Let me pre-apologize about all of the PDF links here, Government websites are about as bad as they come, and in many cases PDF’s are the only pages available.)

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cPanel Security

This is a little plugin that I came across today. Nothing new, but after using it, there’s no way I would setup a cpanel/whm server without it.

ConfigServer Security & Firewall (csf)

This is essentially an extension of iptables firewall that integrates with a nice GUI in the WHM interface. It makes configuring the server’s firewall a snap, and also suggests other security fixes based on how your server is setup.

The installation took about 5 minutes to complete and another half hour to fully configure. You will need ssh or other shell access to install it on a server. This is an absolute necessity for any server. I only wish I would have found it a long time ago, as it is a huge time-saver.


Website Hosting (Data Backup, and Redundancy) – a few tips

I was looking over one of my websites a few weeks ago on a Sunday evening, and I started getting major errors on the site. I logged into my server, and after finding nothing obviously wrong, I gave the server the command to reboot.

About 5 minutes later, after the site didn’t return, I realized that there was a real problem. I called my host and asked them to check my server out. They proceeded to reboot the server, several times, and again nothing. After several minutes of diagnostics, the cause was traced the the primary hard drive, which had failed, mechanically.

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