6 Reasons Why Businesses Should Use The Linux Operating System

Cloud Focused Linux Distros For People Who Breathe Online - It's FOSS

The Operating system (OS) is the program that manages your server’s hardware and software resources and which provides the services other applications need to run. Without it, your server would not be able to function. In this post, we’ll look at the Linux OS and explain why it is one of the best choices for businesses.

1. Linux is open source software

OpenSSF and Linux Foundation offer 3 free courses on developing secure open source software - TechRepublic

One of the biggest advantages of Linux is that it is open source. Unlike Windows, it has not been developed by a single company but by a wide range of contributors. As it is not owned by any individual business, developers are able to take it and make improvements and modifications to it. As a result, Linux has seen constant innovation over its lifetime, where developers have sought to iron out issues and make enhancements that have extended its capabilities. This has led to it being one of the best OS solutions available.

One of the consequences of Linux being open source is that, over time, different versions have been produced. Known as ‘distributions’, each of them takes the Linux kernel and builds their own system around it, each with different functions and abilities. This gives users a greater choice when choosing their Linux OS. Some of the well-known ones are Ubuntu, Fedora and CentOS.

2. It’s free to use

The other major advantage of being open source is that Linux is free to use. As no company owns the software, you cannot be charged a licence fee. That’s brilliant news for small and medium-sized businesses who have to be careful with their budgets. This is one of the reasons that Linux hosting is cheaper than Windows hosting: if you use Windows, the cost of the licence will be included in your hosting fees.

3. It’s perfect for developers

As an open source program, Linux is designed to be played around with. This means that companies with specific requirements are able to give it to their developers to make business-driven modifications which they can trial in cloud-based testing environments. This is exceptionally useful if you are developing a new application or if you have an existing application that isn’t fully compatible with your Linux distribution. The only proviso is that any improved version that comes out of the development process must also be open source and free for others to use.

4. A robustly secure OS

Tips & Tricks - FCI

While no piece of software currently stands invincible against cyber attacks, Linux has consistently proved itself to be highly resilient. Again, this is partly due to its open source origins. With so many developers working on it around the world, any security holes are spotted and dealt with very swiftly with the quick release of security patches.

The other advantage is that Linux is much less of a priority for cybercriminals. Although it is widely used on web servers, it doesn’t feature much in other forms of computing. There are far more home computers to hack into and the vast majority of these are using Windows and Mac OS. This makes them far more appealing prey to the hacker – especially as PCs and laptops are generally less well secured than business servers.

5. A fast performing OS

How to Make Your Computer Faster - Panda Security

As a business, you want your server to perform as quickly as possible, whether that’s to deliver blisteringly fast website loading times or to run big data analyses. Although there are a lot of factors involved when it comes to speed, your choice of OS does play a part.

Anyone who owns a Windows PC will be aware that it can get bloated and sluggish over time. There is always a plethora of background processes hogging the resources and a regular need to defrag the drive and the registry.

What makes Linux faster is that it doesn’t format its drive using NTFS and nor does it have a registry. So, two of the things which are renowned for slowing Windows down are completely absent from the Linux make up.

6. Consider your app choices

Mobile app development in 2021 - evaluating your choices - K&C

When comparing Linux with Windows, you also need to think beyond the operating system itself and to the wider software ecosystem. If you opt into a specific system, you may be restricted in the types of software you can use. Just as an Android phone can’t run an iOS app (and vice versa), there are certain apps that can only run on a Windows or Linux server – this even includes your choice of control panel app. If you’re a big fan of cPanel, for example, you’ll be disappointed to know it’s not compatible with Windows servers.

When making your choice, you also need to consider that the open source nature of Linux has led to the development of a multitude of open source applications which can run on it. These are also free to use.


Linux is an exceptionally popular and widely used server operating system. It’s free to use, continually updated and comes in a range of distributions, each offering their own unique features. It’s a highly secure system, fast performing and works with a huge range of other free, open source applications.

Website Loading Times: 4 Ways They Affect Your Business

9 Ways on How to Improve Your Website's Loading Speed

Here’s a question for you: what’s the first thing any visitor notices on your website ? Your header? Your logo? Your headline? The answer is none of these; it’s your loading time. Before a visitor sees any of your content, they’ll watch your website load. The expectation is that this will happen almost instantaneously. If it doesn’t, they’ll start to leave and this will impact on your conversion rates. But there are other reasons why a slow loading site causes problems: it increases your bounce rate, it makes your site harder to crawl, it gives a poorer experience for your visitor and, perhaps most crucially, it lowers your ranking on search engines. In this post, we’ll look at the importance of site speed for your website.

1. Google uses site speed as a ranking factor

The Google Speed Update: Page speed will become a ranking factor in mobile search

Google’s mission to provide users with the best possible search results means it is actively demoting slow loading websites. It doesn’t consider it good business to send visitors to websites that take too long to load as it reflects badly on itself. So, even if your content is great, your ranking in search results can still suffer. And this means less traffic and fewer sales.

What’s more, this applies to searches done on mobiles as well as on computers, so if your desktop site runs fine but your mobile site is sluggish, you’re still going to rank lower.

2. Site speed affects search engine crawling

Learn To Conduct Search Engine Optimization With These Suggestions - OSS Blog

If you want all your content to be searchable on the internet, search engines have to discover what’s there. This is done through what is known as site crawling, where a search bot will go to your homepage and follow all the links until it has made an inventory of every page it can find. These pages and their content are then indexed so they can be searched for.

When undertaking a crawl, a search engine needs to send requests to your server to receive information about your content. However, as each request uses up a part of your server’s resources, search engines are reluctant to send too many in case they slow your website down for genuine visitors. If your loading times are slow or you have a poor server response time, then, to prevent overburdening your website, search engines will crawl fewer pages. As a result, not all your pages may get indexed or updates to existing pages may not get noticed.

This should not be a big problem for small websites, however, if you have a large website that is constantly adding new content or if you have a significant amount of older content, it could be an issue. One way to improve crawling efficiency is to improve your site structure. Delete outdated content, eradicate any broken links, put in redirects where necessary and tidy up your menus and categories.  This will cut down on the amount of unnecessary crawling a search engine has to do, so it can focus on the content that counts.

3. Faster sites have higher conversion rates

Page Speed and Decreased Conversion Rates: 2019 Statistics

While studies into the effects of site speed have come up with different figures, they all agree on one thing: the faster a website, the higher its conversion rates. HubSpot looked at 12 different case studies and showed that a 1 second delay in loading times reduces conversion and revenue by 7% and page views by 11%. Similar results were shown for bounce rates: the faster the loading times, the lower the rate. A page that loaded in 9.9 seconds had a 58% bounce rate, compared to 12.8% for a page that loaded in 2.4 seconds.

This goes to show that even the smallest delay can impact your bottom line. Quite simply, the longer people have to wait, the fewer of them are going to stick around all the way to the checkout. To grab those sales and remain competitive, you have to have a website that loads faster than your competitors.

4. A faster website equals happier users

3 Speed Performance Metrics that focus on User Experience

If you want visitors to stick around until they purchase something, you have to provide them with a great experience. This is especially so if you want to retain those customers over the long term. Studies have shown that site speed is an integral part of creating a good user experience – this is why Google places so much importance on it when ranking sites. The statistics for conversion rates and bounce rates back this up.

If you want to improve your brand reputation and increase customer loyalty, making your website faster should be one of the things that you consistently try to achieve.

How to improve your site speed

Organizational Speed in the Digital Age | Corporate Compliance Insights

The first stage for anyone wanting to make their site faster is to discover its current desktop and mobile loading times and to find out where improvements need to be made. You can find this out easily by using the free Google PageSpeed Insights Tool. Just type in your URL and it will give your site marks out of 100 for its desktop and mobile loading times. The higher the mark, the better. Of more value, it will also identify the issues which are causing your loading times to be slow and provide you with a list of modifications that can make it load even quicker. These will include things such as caching, compression and image optimisation.

Another issue which can affect your loading times is the performance of your web server. This can be due to your host using slower hardware or not configuring the server for optimum speed. For those on a shared hosting plan, it can also be due to other users hogging all the server resources and your host not dealing with the matter.


As you can see, slow loading speeds can affect your site in all kinds of ways: lowing search engine ranking, preventing pages from being indexed, reducing conversion rates and revenue, and negatively impacting the user experience. Hopefully, the information provided here will help you check your own site speed and put measures in place to make it load faster.

7 Mistakes to Avoid When Starting an eCommerce Business

Why Ecommerce Businesses are Thriving - Hedge Think

If you are investing time, effort and money in setting up an online store, you want to make sure it is successful. Often the focus for startups is on the products being sold and creating a website with the right brand image. While these are obviously important considerations, there are other matters which if not handled correctly can cause your fledgeling business to fail. Here are seven mistakes that eCommerce business should avoid.

1. Ineffective product photography

Is Bad Product Photography Impacting Your Conversion & Return Rates?

For all its convenience, the big drawback of purchasing anything online is that consumers don’t get to see the product in real life. For most consumers, the biggest clue to what a product looks like is the photograph. The product image, therefore, is crucial to achieving a sale. Indeed, for 82% of Netflix viewers, it is the main factor in helping them choose a movie – so much so, that the company now serves different images to different audiences.

One of the mistakes new eCommerce business companies make is to overlook the importance of the product image. Photographs not only have to be of a high quality, but they also need to be resizable and show the product in a way that is compelling. For many products, a single image will not suffice. You may need to have a series of images showing the product from all angles and others which zoom in to show features and details. This is what customers want and those stores which provide this are going to get more of the sales.

2. Badly written product descriptions

How to write product descriptions that sell

If a product image catches the visitor’s eye, the next stage of their purchasing journey will be to read the product description. Although no-one is looking for a long-winded essay, generally, customers do want more than a couple of lines of text. The more information you can tell them about a product the more they are likely to find a feature or a benefit that makes them want to buy it.

Any text should be in plain English with technically accurate spelling, punctuation and grammar. Details given must be accurate and include things such as size, colour, weight, energy efficiency ratings and part numbers.

3. Dodgy customer reviews

16 Tips to Handle Negative Customer Reviews Online

After images and product descriptions, one of the other major factors that help consumers make purchasing decisions are customer reviews. Reviews are increasingly important as they let potential customers discover what others think about a product, warts and all.

However, as the BBC recently highlighted, there are some ecommerce business that will write 5-star reviews of the products they sell or pay individuals to write 5-star reviews for them. Consumers, though, are a sceptical lot: just as they are alerted by gushing product descriptions, they are equally as suspicious of a product with a perfect run of 5-star reviews. The moral is a simple one – don’t be tempted into writing 5-star reviews of the products you sell, not only is it likely to get you into hot water, it can have the opposite effect on sales to what you intended.

4. Aggressive returns policies

How To Write An Ecommerce Return Policy (Real Examples)

From a legal point of view, online customers in most countries have the legal right to return goods bought online. In the UK, for example, the Distance Selling Act means that anything purchased online from a business (not from private individuals) can be returned within 14 days of delivery. They then have 14 days to return the products and the refund must be given within 14 days of their return.

While these protections are statutory, many ecommerce business have other clauses in their policy designed to make it difficult to return the products – such as making the customers pay for return postage or requiring special repackaging conditions. While some of these conditions are understandable, the main consideration should be on how these affect purchasers. If your returns policy puts customers off buying from you, it will lose you sales. Offering free returns may improve overall sales and help retain customers, even if it is inconvenient and costly.

5. Hard to navigate site structure

10 Ways Website Structure Can Affect SEO

It can be a challenge just to get customers visiting your site. When they do, you want to make the most of the opportunity while they are there.  You can’t do this, however, if they can’t easily find what they are looking for.

A user-friendly website enables customers to find products without any hassle. The easier it is, the more chance they will buy from you. For this reason, make sure you have your products correctly categorised and that you use menus and search bars. The search feature, in particular, should enable visitors to refine their search by things like price, colour, size, brand, etc.

6. Complicated checkouts and unexpected surprises

Checkout Page Optimization: 22 Best Ways to Recover Lost Sales

You will be surprised by the number of people who abandon a sale at the checkout. There are two main reasons for this. One of the big issues is that some eCommerce business companies hide their shipping costs until the very last part of the process. When customers suddenly see how much more things are going to cost, they bail out of the sale. It is always better to include shipping in your product pricing and state that you offer free shipping. If you can’t do this, be upfront and transparent about what the costs are before customers get to the checkout.

The other chief culprit is an over-complex checkout process. Forcing customers to register on your site, fill in detailed forms or having list after list of last-minute bargains thrown in front of them can leave some customers just to click on the X. If you have a sale in the bag, don’t lose it by making customers jump through unnecessary hoops. If you want this information, ask for it after the sale has been completed.

7. Poor website loading times

12 Reasons Your Website Is Slow (And How to Fix Them) - DreamHost

This is a problem we have mentioned numerous times before: a slow loading website sells fewer products. Even something as small as a one second delay has been shown to reduce conversion rates and website revenue by 7% and cut the number of page views by 11%. Quite simply, in the age of superfast broadband and 4G, consumers don’t wait around for a hanging website to load.

With increased competition meaning ever-smaller profit margins, improving your site speed by one second can be the difference between success and failure. To solve this problem, visit Google’s PageSpeed Insights Tool to discover how fast your site is loading and what you can do to improve your site’s speed. In addition, make sure your site is hosted with a service provider that uses high-performance servers that are optimised for website hosting, this can make a real difference.


As you can see, there are a lot of mistakes that new eCommerce sites can make which can have a negative impact on the performance of their business. Hopefully, the information provided here will help you avoid them and give your site the best chance of success.

What are the differences between IaaS, PaaS, SaaS, CaaS, and MaaS?

Cloud Ace Blog 2019-12-10 - Differences between SaaS, PaaS, IaaS and DaaS

Confused by all the different types of ‘as a Service’? It’s not surprising. When you’re considering a managed service, you’ll frequently come across a range of IT acronyms, such as IaaS, PaaS and SaaS. Although you’ll soon learn what each one stands for, understanding what they mean and what kind of services each one provides can be a challenge. To help you get your head around the concepts and be able to differentiate between each service, this post will provide an overview of the main aaS types you are likely to find.

Iaas: Infrastructure as a Service

What is IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service)? | The Iron.io Blog

Infrastructure as a Service is when the service provider supplies the preconfigured hardware and equipment you need to run your business’ IT system. In this way, you lease the use of hardware rather than owning it, and the service provider takes responsibility for the effective operation and maintenance of the equipment.

IaaS often includes the use of a server and storage, as well as failover server replication, remote backups, load balancing and firewalls.

In most situations, customers are charged on a pay as you go basis, where the more resources you use, the more you pay – with the advantage that you can be flexible when it comes to scaling up or down. As this is the lowest level type of cloud service, infrastructure software, such as an operating system, are not usually included so you would need to provide your own.

PaaS: Platform as a Service

What is PaaS (Platform as a Service) in Cloud Computing? | Benefits of PaaS - MilesWeb

Platform as a Service goes one level higher than IaaS, providing both the hardware infrastructure and the web applications that organisations need. Using this kind of service means companies can often save on the cost of acquiring these applications for themselves and do away with the burden of deploying them or managing them. The savings come from the fact that the software licenses are owned by the service provider and the costs for these can be shared out among those who opt to use them.

One of the advantages of using PaaS is that you can be guaranteed that the applications are entirely compatible with the service provider’s system and, being based in the cloud, they are also web accessible.

Users will have total control over their apps and, for some solutions, may also take control over the hosting environment. However, as IaaS is part of PaaS, they won’t have to deal with the more complex burdens of managing the infrastructure.

Benefits for PaaS for enterprises include a quick time to market and speedy solutions for application design, development and testing. It can also provide these services significantly cheaper than doing them in-house.

SaaS: Software as a service

Software as a Service – #SaaS – How to make real strategic choices – Xorlogics

Software as a Service is essentially software made easy. Service providers offer a range of on-demand applications, such as enterprise resource planning (ERP), HR, customer relationship management (CRM), payroll and productivity apps like Microsoft Office. Subscribing SaaS users can access these easily through an internet browser.

One of the main advantages of SaaS is that the management of the applications and the server they are housed on, together with the storage and backup of data, are all taken care of by the service provider. In addition, as they are cloud-based applications, it enables users to log in to the services from any compatible device with an internet connection and ensures that data can be easily synced across devices so that everyone has the latest versions of files and documents.

CaaS: Communication as a Service

Cloud Services Part 1

Investment in the creation of an enterprise level, unified communication system can be very expensive when you include components such as email, telephony, online chat, VPN and video conferencing.

Communication as a Service can bring several benefits to businesses. Firstly, it removes the burden of managing the services by transferring responsibility to the service provider and, as a consequence, it saves money by removing the need to employ staff to undertake that management. Also, should an issue arise with one of the communication systems, the task of dealing with it is left to the service provider who will be in a much better position to provide continuity of service through their redundant, failover resources.

MaaS: Monitoring as a Service

Monitoring as a service (MaaS) | Omnilogy

With so many critical applications being moved to the cloud, monitoring the performance of cloud-based applications has become crucial to ensure that businesses do not suffer from unnecessary downtime. This has led to the emergence of Monitoring as a Service (MaaS), which removes the need for expensive in-house tools to keep an eye on applications and infrastructure and replaces them with a service provider hosted, internet-based, monitoring dashboard.

This enables users to monitor the status of their critical apps on a pay as you go basis and, crucially for many businesses, can be accessed over the internet.


As you can see, there are clear differences between these types of cloud services, hopefully, this post has given you a better understanding of what each type is and how it can benefit your organisation.

The Most Recent Website Development and Digital Marketing Trends

ETSOFT INDIA- Web Designing | Web Development | Mobile App Development | Digital Marketing Company : Etsoft.in

As the share of online shopping continues to grow, the amount companies spend on website development and digital marketing is increasing by around 30% year on year. Underlying this investment is the need to stay ahead in an increasingly competitive market. Companies are using their marketing budgets in a range of ways, from mobile websites to augmented shopping experiences. Here, we’ll look at some of the hottest trends currently having an impact.

1. Data-informed strategies

Data informed research | Amanda Englert

Today, pretty much every major business decision makes use of data and this includes digital marketing plans. It is now commonplace for businesses to integrate market, competitor and customer data and use it to inform their marketing strategies, right down to how they design and manage their website. They use a wide range of data sources to achieve this, including data on online engagement, order fulfilment, purchase history and retail trends.

Integrating this data helps produce more innovative and highly targeted digital marketing strategies that are better able to achieve the specific goals of the organisation and which work best within its operational and financial constraints.

2. Mobile-first websites

Mobile First Web Design | Mobile First Websites

Mobile-first websites are those where the main focus is on the mobile user rather than the computer user. Although this is something which has been pushed by Google and could be of benefit in SERPS ranking, the main reason for building websites for mobile devices is that people are shifting more towards them. In the UK, we already spend twice as much time, per day, using a smartphone to search the web than we do a laptop. This has, unsurprisingly, led to significant growth in the amount we spend when using our phones.

As this trend is set to continue, companies are investing more and more into providing better mobile-friendly sites. It is no longer good enough to simply use a responsive theme if all it does is rejig the layout of a computer-based website for display on a mobile phone. Instead, developers are being asked to produce flatter websites where all elements are more mobile-friendly and which are optimised for quick loading, regardless of the type of internet connection being used. These sites are often single page (using scrolling instead of page to page navigation), have minimalistic, grid or card style designs and feature fewer images.

3. The customer-experience

What is Customer Experience: Strategy, Examples, Tips | Hotjar

Business has become increasingly focused on pleasing the customer over the last few years and this means looking after them at all stages of their dealings with you. To do this, you’ll need to provide personalised experiences that are engaging, simple and rewarding. And more than ever, you’ll need to do this in a way which they find ethical.

This means providing them with tailored content and products, giving them all the information they want in the most accessible of ways (think online chat, FAQs, knowledge bases, how-to videos, etc.) making purchasing and the delivery of goods as simple and convenient as possible (e.g. next day delivery, in-store collection, local pick up points) and rewarding them with customised offers, loyalty bonuses and the like.

4. Omnichannel marketing content

Omnichannel meaning: Definitions and examples of good and bad strategy

Content marketing has become an indispensable element of today’s successful digital marketing strategy. However, in the same way that customer choice has pushed for omnichannel shopping, content marketing strategies must also make use of the wide range of channels that audiences frequent. This means more than simply putting the same information on Facebook and Instagram, it requires a strategy that coordinates content in a way that is consistent, integrated and, above all, seamless across the devices and channels your customers like to use.

5. Building trust

10 steps to building trust that lasts - Nan S. Russell - Municipal World

Modern, highly literate consumers are far less taken in by advertising than they used to be. Every schoolchild is taught the techniques of writing persuasively and so understands the nuances of an advert. Today, therefore, ads are no longer taken at face value and customers are looking for additional social proof before they purchase. This comes in the form of recommendations or social likes by people they know, online customer reviews, independent professional reviews, influencer recommendations and products or services which are featured on reputable sites.

Rather than focus your marketing budget totally on promoting your own company directly to your audience, today, it is important to get others to promote you too. This means building partnerships with other customers, influencers and media organisations and enabling customer reviews about your products or about your business itself.

6. The rise of augmented reality

The Rise of Augmented Reality. The development of augmented reality… | by Vera Ortega and Leopold Gaebler | Medium

Augmented reality has been around for a few years and is beginning to take off in a big way. Essentially, it is a way to use digital technology to provide additional value to customers. For example, there are now apps or website platforms that let customers try products on before they make online purchases. One well-known UK optician has recently put augmented reality to good use by enabling customers to see what their spectacles will look like on their face. Before this, customers had to visit the shop before making a purchase decision, now they can do it online. Estate agents also use augmented reality to give home hunters a virtual tour of a house. No longer relying simply on photos, searchers are given a much-improved understanding of the home’s interior. In this way, those that do go for an on-site visit are already more inclined to put in an offer.


There are many factors influencing how businesses are updating their websites and digital marketing strategies, from advances in technology to shifting patterns in customers’ expectations and browsing behaviours. Hopefully, this post will have shown you what these influences are and the reasons why the trends mentioned here are having such an impact.

The Smart Business Choice: Managed Hosting

Top 6 Benefits of Managed Hosting Services For Every Business

Sometimes it doesn’t make sense to do everything in-house. You wouldn’t deliver your own letters, service your company vehicles or rewire the offices; you’d pass those tasks on to expert third parties like the Post Office, a garage or an electrician. Surprisingly, not every company uses the same logic when it comes to the complex matter of managing their IT infrastructure. There are, however, several advantages of moving away from a DIY approach and opting for managed hosting services and in this post, we’ll explain what they are.

Managed hosting – the basics

Managed vs. unmanaged hosting | Tom's Guide

Managed hosting is a service designed to alleviate the server management burdens faced by in-house IT staff so that they can focus their time and efforts on business-related projects. Offered by leading service providers like Anteelo, it provides companies with all the hardware and computing resources they need (servers, high-speed storage, network, RAM, bandwidth, CPU, etc.) and provides a flexible range of management services which reduces the time, money and effort needed to carry them out in house.

With the hardware being housed securely at the service provider’s datacentre and its expert IT staff taking care of management, admin and technical support, companies find it easier and more cost-efficient than operating their own system on-site.

Range of managed hosting services

Best managed web hosting services of 2021 | TechRadar

Different service providers offer different ranges of service. In general, however, the typical managed hosting package will include datacentre operations such as server housing, site security, national grid and back-up power, air-conditioning, building maintenance and IT engineers, etc., together with hardware and networking.

Aside from managing the infrastructure, other aspects of the provision will include the operating system (including updating and patching), application infrastructure, application installation, real-time server monitoring, performance optimisation, Next-Gen firewalls, intrusion prevention and remote backups. In addition, there is expert technical support on tap, 24/7.

Many hosts offer a flexible range of services, extending beyond those mentioned above to include such things as application management. Here at Anteelo, it is even possible to create bespoke IT solutions to meet the precise needs of your organisation.

Versatile uses of managed hosting

Managed Hosting: Managed Servers, Yönetilen Sunucular - Mitues

Managed hosting is ideal for a wide range of computing scenarios, offering practical solutions for website hosting, running legacy applications, extending company infrastructure and more. By providing single tenancy hosting, it is also beneficial for companies which need outstanding IT performance, significant data storage and which wish to make use of data analytics. Many organisations also use it to back up data and for disaster recovery.

The single-tenant hosting that comes with managed services also provides better compliance for organisations which need sensitive or personal data stored securely.

Aspects of managed hosting to consider

Managed Hosting Services: How Can Customers Benefit? - ITSM.tools

Aside from the information mentioned above, when looking at different managed hosting solutions, organisations should also consider the following aspects:

  • High availability: If you are hosting mission-critical apps on your managed service, it is crucial that they stay online all the time. Make sure you opt for a provider which guarantees 100% uptime.
  • Control panel: Although a managed solution, there are still aspects of your IT that you will need to take care of in-house, such as managing user accounts. A quality control panel, like Plesk or cPanel, will make this much easier to do.
  • Firewall: Not all firewalls offer the same level of protection. Next-Gen firewalls, like FortiGate, offer the most advanced protection from a wide range of threats.
  • Port speed: Port speeds of 1GB offer the network performance needed for faster loading websites.
  • Highperformance: Whether carrying out data analytics or handling thousands of customer requests simultaneously, you want hardware that can perform exceptionally, such as Intel Xeon CPUs and SSD hard drives.
  • Full root access: You should have total control of your server, so make sure your provider enables full root SSH / RDP access.
  • Technical support: IT issues happen for a variety of reasons and when you least expect them. For this reason, 24/7 expert technical support is absolutely essential to help you get things sorted in the quickest possible timeframe.


The range of services included in a managed hosting package can make it more expensive than unmanaged hosting, however, it can work out significantly cheaper than managing your system in-house. You won’t, for example, need to spend capital on hardware or pay for overheads such as server housing, IT staff time, power or insurance. Aside from the savings, many of the technical headaches caused by IT management will be taken care of on your behalf, freeing up your staff for more critical tasks. In addition, you’ll benefit from tighter data security, enhanced compliance and servers which perform better.

8 Reasons Why Cloud Hosting Helps Businesses Compete

5 Best Cloud Hosting Companies In 2021 - Productivity Land

Organisations are flocking to cloud computing in greater numbers than ever before and many are expanding their use of it. This comes as no surprise, given the many advantages that cloud migration brings. In this post, we’ll look at how the cloud hosting enables its users to outperform their competitors.

1. Cloud users save money

4 Ways Cloud Computing Can Save Money | TechnologyAdvice

One of the primary reasons that organisations migrate to the cloud is to cut costs. By using the hardware and services of your cloud provider you’ll no longer need to spend enormous sums on purchasing your own hardware. And that’s just the start of your savings. As you won’t need a data centre any longer, you can eliminate the expenses of running one. The money spent on maintenance, management, space, security, air-conditioning, power, insurance, etc. can all be put to better purposes.

2. Instant scalability

How Cloud Can Bring Instant Scalability to Your Business | TECHNIA

Being competitive means being able to adapt at speed to market demands. One of the drawbacks for businesses running their own data centre is that scaling up can be a slow and expensive process. If you are getting increased traffic to your website and you need additional resources to cope, scaling up can involve purchasing a new server, setting it up and getting it online. This can take quite some time to do. When you use the cloud hosting, your service provider’s vast data centres mean that you can have all the resources you need instantly.

Another issue faced by organisations scaling up in-house is that the additional resources they acquire aren’t fully utilised. For example, your company may get high traffic for certain periods but for the rest of the time, the new server sits idle. This doesn’t make it the wisest investment. Cloud services, however, are charged on a pay as you go basis. You only pay for what you use, so during quieter times, the costs are minimised.

3. Speedy application deployment

Speedy Framework

It’s not just scaling up that can be done quickly in the cloud hosting , the deployment of the critical applications needed to give you the edge in a competitive market can also be done instantaneously. This can be particularly advantageous for smaller enterprises as it gives them the same speed of deployment as larger competitors who have superior in-house capacities.

Cloud-based apps require far less time for successful execution, most of them being available immediately on signup, giving you instant access to game-changing technologies such as AI and machine learning.

4. 100% uptime

100% Server uptime – why aren't you achieving it?

Today’s organisations rely on critical applications to run their operations. The disruption caused by downtime is a major issue, as events such as server failures can cause operations to grind to a halt. Fixing the problem can be difficult and time-consuming and the resulting losses and reputational damage can be substantial.

In a cloud environment, server failure cannot cause downtime. As clients are hosting on virtual machines, when a physical server error occurs, the virtual machine is simply moved to another part of the server cluster. This hyper-converged infrastructure protects organisations against everything from hard disk issues to entire server failures, guaranteeing 100% uptime for critical applications.

5. Latest technologies, exceptional performance

Must-Know Event Technology Trends for 2020 | Social Tables

Another problem with in-house data centres is that the technology organisations purchase or lease soon become less competitive than the newer, high-performance products that are regularly released onto the market. Continually updating is both expensive and disruptive and this often puts companies at a disadvantage.

For cloud service providers, investment in these new technologies is a necessity in order for them to remain competitive and meet the growing expectations of their clients. The advantage for cloud users is that they will see their applications running on the latest, high-performance servers without the need to invest in the technology themselves. These are servers where performance is consistently optimised, using powerful processors, blisteringly fast SSD drives and load balancing to maximise speed and capacity utilisation.

6. Increased security

Increased security automation supports reliability, efficiency and compliance for grid operators | POWERGRID International

Every organisation has concerns about security, so it’s good to know that cloud providers are obliged to comply with stringent security regulations to safeguard customer data. Your provider will protect you against hacking, malware and internal data theft. Using state of the art firewalls that feature intrusion prevention and in-flow virus protection, threats will be detected and isolated long before they reach your server. Other security features include data encryption, remote backups and VPN.

7. Organisational transformation from working online

Careers - A&F Business Consultants

As a cloud user, your employees can access your system from anywhere with an internet connection and this has helped many organisations to reap the benefits of remote working. It enables companies to employ highly skilled members, no matter where they live, and bring about more flexible working hours. It also means they can save on the amount of office space needed as staff can collaborate in real-time using online conferencing and through the sharing of synchronised files.

Furthermore, as employees can access the company’s system using connected devices such as smartphones and laptops, many companies have dispensed with these costs by introducing a ‘bring your own device (BYOD)’ policy that uses authentication to maintain security.

8. Do more with technology

Do We Really Need It? On The Excess Of Technology

Perhaps the biggest benefit of the cloud is that it is a technology that enables you to do more with other technologies. With Big Data analysis, machine learning and AI all rapidly deployable, just imagine what potential cloud brings: personalised marketing and communications, improved customer services, discovering new development opportunities and much more. Cloud is also the ideal place for companies wanting to take advantage of the Internet of Things, augmented reality and the other ground-breaking innovations that are helping to reshape the way the world works.


Cloud hosting enables even the smallest of companies to take advantage of the technologies that are transforming today’s marketplace and working environments. In doing so, it makes them far more competitive, while enabling them to spend less and do more. At the same time, these organisations can also benefit from the cloud’s high-performance and reliability, its scalability and flexibility and its highly secure environment.

Before registering a domain name, think about these six things.

How to Protect Yourself from Cybercrime? • neoAdviser

Choosing the best domain name for your business is a critical but often challenging decision. Get it right and it can attract lots of visitors to your website and improve your online presence. However, before you make a final choice there are a number of things you need to consider and, in this post, we’ll look at what they are and explain why they are important.

1. Getting the basics right

My Strategy Plan | Get the basics right

Before coming up with ideas for a domain name, you first need to consider how visitors will use them. If someone is looking for your website, they’ll need to remember what it is called and then type it into the search bar. A good name, therefore, is one which is easy to remember and easy to spell. Keeping it short and simple and doing away with over quirky spellings make for a good starting point.

2. Keyword names versus brand names

Difference Between Business Names, Brand Names and Domain Names | BrandBucket

There’s lots of debate about whether your domain name should contain keywords, e.g. cambridgecleaners.com or brand names, e.g. hargreaves.com. In reality, there is no right or wrong, however, the choice you make should decide upon the market you are in and the long-term goals of your business.

A brand name is unique and once your business is established can have a status that attracts customers because of your reputation. If you are in a market where brand is important, then that option might be best for you.

Keyword-based domains help people associate you with the products or services you sell and/or the location where your business operates. Cambridgecleaners.com would be helpful to anyone in Cambridge looking for a cleaner because the name says it all. A potential issue, however, is if your company diversifies or specialises in the future and the keywords in the domain name don’t accurately indicate what you do.

3. Finding your ideal domain name is already taken

How to choose perfect domain name for your website? - Whizsky

This is a common problem and not simply because there are other organisations with the same name. Some companies register thousands of unused domain names just so they can sell them at a profit when someone else wants them.

If you find that the domain name is already taken, the first step is to visit the site and see if the website is live and being used. If it is and the site looks successful, there’s little chance of you being able to purchase it and you may need to seek an alternative domain name. If there is no live site, there is a much better chance that it can be purchased. You should check the Whois database to find out the site’s owner so you can make an offer. There are, however, no guarantees the owner will sell and they can charge what they like.

4. Finding your ideal domain name is being used on social media

10 Tips Before You Buy a Domain Name - The Media Temple Blog

While your ideal domain name might be free, it is also a good idea to see if someone else is using that name on social media. If you want to create a brand called GameU and register the GameU.com website thinking you’re good to go, it can be disconcerting to find out immediately afterwards that there’s a massively successful GameU YouTube channel with 10 million subscribers. Chances are, everyone who visits your website would be looking for the YouTuber, not for you. It’s the same with influencers on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

5. Choosing the right domain extension

Com vs .Net: Choosing the Right Domain Extension | Elementor

Domain names come in two parts, the part before the dot and the part that follows it. While the first part is important for your branding and for helping people find you, the second part plays a number of important roles and shouldn’t be overlooked.

The second part of the name is known as the Top Level Domain (TLD) and this is used to categorise your website so that users and search engines have a better understanding of what its purpose is. We all know, for example, that .gov is for government websites, .co.uk is for UK companies and .org for non-profit organisations.

Not so long ago, choosing the right TLD was a fairly simple affair as there were few to choose from. Today, however, there is a far greater number and more are being added all the time. The good news is that many of these are keyword-based and this means that there is less need to use keywords in the first part of the domain name. Some examples of new TLDs include .London, .restaurant and .finance.

One of the advantages of these new TDLs is that it gives people more chance to get the domain name they want. If hargreaves.com has been taken by a builder in Macclesfield, the chances are that hargreaves.london or hargreaves.cafe is still available.

6. Registering multiple extensions

Process for Brand Registration in India - IndiaFilings

It is common practice for companies to register multiple TDLs associated with their brand name in order to protect their reputation.

If you ran a successful eCommerce store called abcfashions.com and only registered that one domain, it wouldn’t take long for others to register an abcfashions.co.uk or abcfashions.co website and pretend to be your company. They may sell counterfeit versions of your products to unsuspecting customers or just plain steal from them. All of this can have a devastating effect on your reputation. This is why registering multiple TLDs became so common.

This may be something you want to consider. However, with so many TLDs available today it would cost you thousands of pounds a year to register them all. Instead, it might be worth registering the ones you think most useful. If you have a .co.uk TLD, for example, it might be wise to consider registering the .co, .com and the .uk versions at the same time.


As you can see, there are quite a few things you need to consider before choosing a domain name for your business. You need a memorable and easy to spell name, to consider the use of keywords or brand names, to check whether it is already registered or being used on social media, to pick the most appropriate TLD and to consider whether to register multiple TLDs. If you are looking for a domain name for your website, you can search for and register them on our Domain page.

Cloud Computing : 6 Most Common Applications

Cloud computing: A brief history, where we are today and what's next

Cloud computing has become very popular for businesses. As of 2018, over three-quarters of enterprises were already using it and more are adopting it every day. If you haven’t considered it yet, that’s possibly because you’re not sure what you can use it for. To give you an idea, here we’ll show you the six main ways it is being put to good use.

1. Big Data analytics

Real-Time Big Data Analytics: A Comprehensive Guide

Today’s businesses collect vast amounts of data on all manner of things: customers, operational processes, logistics, machinery health, product condition and much more. The value of that data comes from making sense of it, using it to come up with solutions to problems or discovering new opportunities. To do this, however, you’ll need to conduct Big Data analytics and this requires the use of substantial computing resources, often over short periods.

Those resources would be incredibly expensive if you had to purchase them and for much of the time would stand unused. Convincing the finance director this was the wisest use of the company’s money would be a difficult challenge. The advantage of cloud computing is that its pay-as-you-go pricing means you can access all those resources for the times you do need them but not pay for them when you don’t. This way you can carry out Big Data analytics whenever you need but do so affordably.

2. File storage

Cloud File Storage, Store Files & Documents Online - Zoho WorkDrive.

While it’s true that you can store your files in many places, what makes the cloud so appealing is that files can be accessed, edited and shared anywhere with an internet connection and this opens up a variety of opportunities for mobile working, collaboration and even improved security.

What’s more, the cloud provides high-speed, high-availability access as well as offering scalability to increase or decrease storage as demand requires – again paid for on a per-use basis.

3. Testing and development

Why Use Automation Testing Tools in Accelerated Development cycles

Developing a new application or platform in-house can be an expensive and long-winded process. It involves significant spending, time and staff involvement and requires the procurement, installation and configuration of hardware. This means it takes longer to complete a project and can put your company at a disadvantage with competitors.

Cloud computing can make testing and development quicker, less expensive and less complicated. This is because there are various pre-existing and perfectly suitable cloud environments already built and ready to use out of the box.

4. Disaster recovery

The Importance of Planning for Disaster Recovery | Caylent

Lots of companies use the cloud as the solution for their disaster recovery needs. Continuous backups of your servers in the cloud mean that you’ll no longer need to pay for a separate, redundant DR site of your own. Not only is recovery much cheaper, it’s also far quicker, ensuring your business is back online in no time at all.

5. Data backups

Data Backup and Recovery: 9 Benefits

Traditional methods of backing up data have tended to be complicated and time-consuming, often requiring portable drives or even tapes being shipped to remote sites for storage. This is also a technique that can back-fire if the drives are too small for the data or are discovered to be defective.

Cloud-based backup is far easier to carry out and more secure. You can schedule backups to meet your needs; store them remotely on virtual servers, knowing that if the physical hardware hits a problem the data is still available; they can be encrypted for increased security and checked to make sure the data is not corrupt. And as with all cloud storage, you can have as much space as you need without fear of running out.

6. The Internet of Things

An Introduction to the Internet of Things

The internet of Things is beginning to transform the way we live our lives and increasing numbers of enterprises are making use of it. An IoT system works by collecting data from large numbers of connected sensors and uses this to make intelligent decisions – often using artificial intelligence and machine learning.

To take advantage of the IoT, the cloud is needed to analyse that data and make insights from it. A smart traffic system, for example, can monitor traffic conditions across an entire area, discovering where issues arise and using AI to quickly reroute or slow down vehicles in order to prevent a hold up. This kind of intervention would be almost impossible to gather without the capabilities of cloud.

Cloud’s scalability is also important for IoT. As a company grows, so might the number of IoT devices it sends and receives information from. More devices mean it will need larger computing resources and this can be achieved quickly and easily in the cloud without the need for significant capital investment.


Cloud enables businesses to do many things that, without it, they would find more expensive, overly time-consuming or beyond their in-house IT capabilities. From basic solutions, like storing files and backing up data, to highly sophisticated processes, such as Big Data analytics and IoT data processing, the potential of the cloud is enormous. Indeed, what we have discussed here barely scratches the surface and there are even more developments yet to come.

6 Signs That Your Website Is In Need Of An Upgrade

The Importance of Updating Your Website: Top 8 Reasons - Mind Studios

Nothing stands still in business and that includes a website. Trends change, new technologies are developed, search engines modify their ranking criteria and customers have ever-increasing expectations. A website that was the best thing since sliced bread when you launched it several years ago may now be due for an upgrade. Here, we’ll look at some of the signs to look out for.

1. Your site doesn’t rank well

What to Do if My Content Doesn't Rank: Why It Happens & How to Fix It

One of the first clues that you need a website upgrade is if your site is performing less well than it did in search engine results. Search engines are forever moving the goalposts when it comes to how they rank websites and older sites often come out badly as a result. This can be because many of your earlier pages were created using now outdated SEO techniques which no longer carry much weight or, even worse, are penalised for contravening the latest webmaster guidelines.

While it is important to keep abreast of SEO trends and to update your optimisation accordingly, sometimes a complete overhaul may be what’s needed to bring your site up-to-date and to ensure all your content is fresh and relevant.

2. Your website is chaotic

Your Website Visitors Are Evolving: Are You Changing With The Trend? - Web Hosting Blog by MilesWeb | WordPress, Cloud & SEO Tips

One of the issues that all websites face is how to manage growth. As the years go by, you’ll make lots of changes to your site, adding pages, posts, products and other features, while removing others.

Sometimes it can be difficult to keep tabs on these changes and they can lead to a number of problems. You may end up publishing duplicate content, have links to content which is no longer there or, perhaps worst of all, having two versions of the same page but with different details, such as pricing, which can cause issues with customers. You may also have features which no longer work properly or which don’t comply with the latest legislation, such as GDPR.

If your site is getting into such a chaotic state, then it can often be better to start from scratch and create one which is better organised and where everything works as it should.

3. Outdated styling

Better Off Dead: 10 Outdated Web Design Trends We're Happy to Forget - HIPB2B

Design trends are continually changing and although you can’t update your website every time a new fashion appears, there comes a time when it begins to look out of date. This isn’t a good thing on the internet where visual impact is so important, so, if your website is still wearing flares and sporting a kaftan, it’s probably time for a makeover.

Typical things to look out for are dated images that no longer depict the modern-day and tired looking layouts, fonts and backgrounds. Updating to something more modern will give visitors the impression that your company is forward-thinking and on point.

4. Not mobile-friendly


Google wants website owners to have a ‘mobile-first’ approach to web design, where the focus is on building the mobile site first and then adding other features for devices like tablets and computers. The reason for this is that although we do most of our browsing, around 60%, on mobile phones, many websites do not function well enough on smartphone screens.

This requires website owners to go beyond using responsive themes as even these don’t always put the needs of the mobile user first. They may render the website in a way that is readable, but often some of the functions don’t work effectively and some of the navigational features are not user-friendly for the thumb-operated screens.

With increasing numbers of people browsing and buying on smartphones, any website that doesn’t provide for these users is going to lose out and find their search engine rankings getting worse.

5. Poor user experience

4 Signs of Poor User Experience | Zivtech

Where, once, customers simply wanted the cheapest prices, today, many of them will purchase from the website that offers them the best user-experience – even if the price is a little higher. This is great news for those working with small margins but means you will need to upgrade your game when it comes to your website.

Providing a great customer experience covers all aspects of a website. It needs to be easily navigable, have detailed information (i.e. text, images, video and other content) that directly answers the questions customers have. It needs to offer users the opportunity to get quick responses, such as those offered by live chat. It will provide personalised shopping experiences and offers, swift delivery, customer reviews and additional services like wish lists or gift wrapping. It may also offer expert advice in the form of blog posts, engaging content (such as competitions) and even reward schemes for loyal customers. Importantly, a simple and quick checkout process is also needed.

6. Slow loading

Google to penalise slow loading mobile sites from July | OKO

Customers expect websites to load instantly, so if yours takes its time to render on their device,  you may lose a lot of business. Even a one-second delay has been shown to drop conversions by 7% and up to 40% of visitors abandon a website when the landing page takes more than a couple of seconds to load. Few people are ever going to make it to the checkout if this happens on every page.

If that doesn’t encourage you to upgrade to a faster website, you also need to remember that search engines use loading times as a ranking factor. Speeding up means you’ll rank higher and get more organic traffic, whereas being slow will have the opposite effect. You should also consider moving to a faster hosting package as this, too, can dramatically speed up your site.


Websites are like cars. When we first get them, they are shiny, new and have all the latest features. However, after a few years, they have been superseded by shinier and newer models that have even smarter features. If the signs mentioned in this post apply to your website, then it may be time to upgrade to one which is better suited for today’s internet.

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