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

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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.

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

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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

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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

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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

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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.

COVID-19’s Impact on Online Business

New COVID-19 Resources Available - International Society of Nephrology

The radical transformation in how people across the world are living during the Coronavirus pandemic is having a significant impact on internet businesses. While some are seeing sales plummet, others are struggling to cope with growing demand. In this post, we’ll look at how the online marketplace is changing in the current circumstances.

1. Growing demand for streaming services

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Millions of people are turning to movies and box-set series to keep them entertained while they are cooped up indoors. As a result, streaming services are seeing growth not just in the amount of time people are watching but in the numbers of new customers flocking to use their services. In Europe, Netflix has had to reduce its picture quality by 25% to ensure bandwidth capacity.

Increased demand means that in North America, Netflix is now forecast to more than double expected growth in new subscriptions, from 1.6% to 3.8% over the year – and that’s in a region where it is already well established. Internationally, growth is expected to rise by over 30%.

It’s not just Netflix that is benefitting. So too are other streaming services, like Amazon Prime Video, Hulu and Now TV. Recently launched services like Disney and the BBC-ITV venture, Britbox, which may have struggled to compete, might find opportunities that wouldn’t have arisen in normal circumstances.

2. Online gaming taking off

No Dice, All Bets Are Off | Outlook India Magazine

Although a narrower market, younger people forced to stay at home are driving up demand for gaming. This isn’t just increasing subscriptions for online gaming services but also helping retailers of downloadable PC games. PC gaming platform, Steam, for example, has seen its highest number of users in 16 years with traffic spikes of over 20 million at times.

3. Big impact on PPC ad spending

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The travel industry has been one of the most affected sectors by the virus and this has resulted in a slump in advertising from travel-related businesses, with some market experts suggesting it could lead to 15 – 20% reduction in travel advertising revenue for Google and Facebook. This figure is likely to be compounded by all the other businesses that rely on tourism also cutting their ad spend.

It is not just travel-related businesses who are reducing advertising. With many companies forced to close due to the effects of social distancing, they too will be cutting back or suspending advertising altogether. In 2018, McDonalds spent over a billion dollars in advertising just in the US. It has now closed all its UK stores and is shutting thousands of others globally as the pandemic spreads. It obviously won’t be damaging its cashflow by spending huge amounts on ads over this period. With industries such as entertainment, high street retail, restaurants, etc., also affected, Google and Facebook could see ad revenue fall by up to 45% over the next few quarters.

However, it is not all bad news. With fewer advertisers competing for ads, the cost per click in many sectors is likely to reduce, meaning those companies that can still derive value from advertising will see their budgets go further. In addition, consumers are clicking on more ads associated with employment, education, hobbies, leisure, arts and entertainment.

4. Holiday bookings won’t dry up

COVID travel: Where to book your trip once pandemic deals dry up

While travel is out of the question for most people at the moment, more than half of those who take frequent holidays are likely to book trips further into the future. Business travellers are even more likely to make long term bookings. While this is not the immediate relief those in the travel industry and all the depended industries need, the taking of deposits can help with current cashflow problems. Most of these bookings will take place over the internet.

As the pandemic begins to recede, it is predicted that most holidaymakers will, initially, seek domestic holidays where there is likely to be less disruption impact by failing tour operators and airlines and where the impact of the virus is more certain than abroad.

5. Global increase in online shopping

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As fewer people go out, their shopping habits are moving online. Even retailers seeing a boom in sales, like supermarkets, are having more customers using their delivery service simply to avoid the risk of going to the store.

This rise is happening globally. An Ipso-Mori study found that 18% of UK consumers were shopping more online. In countries which have been more badly affected, the numbers of people increasing their internet shopping is even more substantial: 31% in Italy and 51% in China. However, the biggest increases are in countries like India 55% and Vietnam 57%. This rise has meant some companies are struggling to cope with demand. Amazon, for example, is so busy it is recruiting 100,000 additional staff, raising wages and making its employees work overtime to meet demand.

One area of particular growth is in the use of grocery apps, which are seeing unprecedented numbers of downloads in the US. Instacart downloads during March are already more than triple that of February while Walmart’s app has seen a 160% rise.


Coronavirus is having a significant impact on consumer behaviour and this is affecting internet businesses in different ways. For many, there are challenging times ahead as consumers drop plans to travel and stop online bookings for local businesses. However, there has been a sharp increase in online shopping with some retailers having to expand their workforces to cope.

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