Early Thanksgiving/Black Friday Data Reports Suggest Strong Retail Sales

Thanksgiving has passed and the holiday shopping season has officially begun. Though many consumers started shopping earlier in the month, Thanksgiving and Black Friday sales are some of the first indications of how retailers will fare this holiday season. The reports and analyses are still being produced, but initial figures on Thanksgiving and Black Friday sales are encouraging.

According to the annual International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) Thanksgiving Weekend Shopping Report, more than 145 million adults spent time at malls and shopping centers and estimated spending, on average, $377.50. In addition to all the gift buying, venues for dining and entertainment also benefited from an added $78.70 in sales per adult.

The vast majority of consumers (87 percent) shoppers took advantage of in-store and online purchasing on Thanksgiving and Black Friday. Not only were there a lot of people shopping, nearly three out of four (74 percent) Thanksgiving/Black Friday shoppers spent the same or more than in 2016.

The news was especially good for brick and mortar retailers. ICSC estimates that 75 percent of all spending was captured by retailers with a physical presence. This doesn’t mean that people weren’t shopping online. However, retailers like Walmart, Best Buy and other physical stores with online components fared better their online-only competitors.

The data clearly shows the benefits of having an online store for small business owners with a physical location. While it may be too late for a business to setup a full ecommerce website from scratch between now and Christmas, there are some things current website owners can do to make their site more appealing to holiday shoppers. For example, having a way to buy online and pick up in-store has extra benefits. The ICSC survey found that 69 percent of those purchasing online and picking up in-store (click & collect) made an additional in store purchase

“Thanksgiving Weekend is a great indicator for what will be a holiday season full of spending, as we are seeing a very positive consumer sentiment and willingness to spend,” said Tom McGee, President and CEO of ICSC. “Shopping centers across the country should feel very optimistic about the season ahead. While the shopping season is longer this year, it’s not coming at the expense of the most popular shopping day of the year.”

Now that Black Friday has passed and Cyber Monday is here, businesses need to finalize their plans for December. It’s important that promotions in December meet the expectations of consumers. The ICSC data suggests that retailers will need to be as generous or more so than they were for Black Friday.

Three out of five (60 percent) consumers anticipate similar deals/promotions to the ones they saw this weekend. And more than one in four (28 percent) consumers said they think the deals/promotions in December will be better than what was found over the past weekend. Only 12 percent of consumers assume that December deals/promotions won’t be as good as the ones they saw on Black Friday.

Since deals and sales are some of the greatest motivators for consumers during the holiday season, business owners need to make sure their site prominently features their best deals and that these are also advertised heavily in search and social media campaigns.

For more recent data about creating a better holiday marketing campaign, read this article on last minute shoppers.

Miramax, Weinstein, Hollywood and Sexual Harassment The number one way to gut-check your company's culture.

The flood of women coming forward in recent weeks to tell their stories of “Me Too” has shed a light on the fact that it’s not only Miramax, Harvey Weinstein, and Hollywood but our country at large that has created a culture of mindlessness when it comes to sexual harassment.

These revelations are raising awareness across the business sector as companies try to make sure they and their employees do not fall prey to a mindless culture.

Brenda’s story.

Brenda was a newly minted VP on her first business trip with Miramax. She had turned in early after dinner as to make a good impression on her boss and fellow employees leaving them in the bar downstairs.

When she woke up to a knock on her hotel room door, the voice on the other side was a familiar one, so she opened it.  

Before she knew what was happening, her boss pushed the door open and threw her on the bed. He pinned her down but was drunk and she managed to wriggle away, locking herself in the adjoining room.

Weeks later her boss had not spoken a word to her about that night. No conversations, no “I’m sorry,” it was business as usual.

When she mustered up the courage to confide in her boss’ boss, he apologized for the unfortunate incident, but he let her know that if she went public, he would deny their conversation ever happened.

I asked Brenda if the fear of it happening again stayed with her while she was at Miramax. She said, “Oh yeah, it wasn’t if, in my mind, it was when. I learned that’s how it was there.”

In business, we talk about culture. It’s a buzzword. How do you create a good, a healthy, a positive, a winning–the adjectives abound followed by the 4, 5 or 6 steps you need to create that culture.

But the culture of your business doesn’t live in your mission statement or in your HR manuals, it’s a living breathing thing. It lives in the decisions you make and in the way you handle people, especially those who have less power.

A culture is a set of set of norms, values, and behaviors of a group. One definition says it’s the way we do things around here. However, if those ideals are left to collect dust in the pages of your mission statement, your mission will get lost.

The biggest reason the culture of a business will fail is mindlessness. When a group or a company of people go mindless, they begin to accept things they would not normally accept under the banner of this is the way it’s done around here, regardless of what it says in the manuals.

In a mindless culture, all manner of bad, unsafe and repugnant behavior can become part of a company’s tacit traditions, including sexual harassment. These behaviors infect and redefine a group’s stated core values.

Mindlessness can become systemic, as employees old and new become acceptant of the prevailing culture that is practiced, not preached.

Brenda experienced the real values held at Miramax. At minimum, her bosses were supporting a culture of mindlessness with respect to women and they expected Brenda to drink the Kool-aid.

The systemic mindlessness of Hollywood is being exposed as scores of actresses are coming forward with remarkably similar stories of sexual abuse.

Many of these women, like Rachel Mcadams, were sent to hotel meetings with predators by their own agents, some of whom were also women, aware of the danger but gave no warning.

In order to weed out systemic mindlessness and any accepted norms that go against their core values, companies need to gut-check their culture.

Introducing mindfulness, the practice of being present and attuning to the people around us can help employers better monitor the direction their company’s culture has taken.

Employees trained in mindfulness are not as susceptible to the priming of a culture, especially if it is wrought with questionable values. Mindfulness practitioners are proving to be more compassionate toward others and are prone to make moral choices.

One surprising study showed that mindful people are less likely to fall prey to the “bystander-effect” and are more likely to speak up when confronted with the suffering of others or injustice.

Some of the old guard in Hollywood has admitted to knowing about the sexual misconduct of Weinstein and others but did nothing. The “bystander-effect” was a key reason so many in Hollywood stayed quiet for so long.

Creating a space that is safe and supportive for employees to speak openly and honestly about their experiences goes a long way toward maintaining a company’s integrity.

While sensitivity training is important, it falls short of creating a culture that is aware, compassionate and attuned to others.

We have an opportunity in this moment to become mindful of how power is wielded and lorded over others. It’s time for a gut-check, not only of our business culture but the culture of our country at large.

Celebrating a Win? Boost Customer Engagement With These 6 Tips

After a big company win, you’re ready to kick back and celebrate. And you should — but not before you spread the word and catapult your news into even more engagement for your brand.

These six entrepreneurs share the creative ways in which they announce company wins. The good news? Your customers are ready to celebrate with you as long as you keep it authentic.

Post a screenshot.

Nothing beats that feeling of genuine excitement when you first receive good news. And you can spread the joy to your audience by making them feel as if they were there, too. Kris Ruby, president of PR firm Ruby Media Group, broadcasts exciting news just as she receives it by sharing screenshots.

“If your company recently won an award or was inducted into an association, post a screenshot on Instagram and Facebook of the email you received with the news,” she says. “This is an authentic way of sharing and makes your audience feel like they are reading the news right alongside you. We have used this tactic with clients and the posts garnered extremely high engagement.”

Tie it to what’s trending.

Brandon Harris, founder of marketing agency NuMedia, knows that a simple way to get your news to trend is to piggyback off of topics that are already trending. In particular, relevant influencers who have a large following are a great resource for spreading the word.

“If you can be creative and tie your news to popular trends, you can win points with your base and trend with the news. If there’s a popular influencer who’s a great fit, have them announce it to their followers,” he says. “Use your news to offer something appealing to your base in celebration to see if you can get a surge in business without devaluing your brand.”

Host a press tour.

“An ‘if you build it, they will come’ strategy can work wonders,” says Aaron Schwartz, co-founder and COO of international shipping company Passport. Whether you travel to another city or stay local, creating a sense of urgency will draw in more press contacts.

“Plan a trip to New York or L.A., or even stay in your hometown. Send a personal email to all of the relevant press you want to target about the news you have to share and let them know that you’re free for one-to-one discussions over a two-day span,” he says. “They’ll be likely to engage given that your story sounds urgent and interesting.”

Create custom celebratory swag.

Your whole office deserves to celebrate after a big company win, and decking them out in commemorative swag is a fun reward. Dan Golden, president of digital marketing agency Be Found Online, finds that offering unique, branded gifts is win-win because it is also an opportunity for employees and followers to engage on social media.

“This year, to celebrate our sixth year in a row on the Inc. 5000 list, we created custom six packs of beer. Everyone in the office got a six pack, and we shared pictures on our social pages and blog,” he says. “It was a funny, engaging and useful way to casually spread the word, and one that reflected our fun culture.”

Have your customers announce it.

John Rampton, founder of scheduling tool Calendar, doesn’t save all the glory for himself — he asks customers to share news on behalf of the company. By empowering your customers as spokespeople, you can create authentic brand ambassadors.

“We’ve made different customers our spokespeople and had them announce it on their social media sites and online platforms,” he says. “We have found that our audience likes to hear what our customers have to say more than the company since that is what companies do all the time. This gets their attention.”

Go live.

“Social is everything these days,” says Suneera Madhani, co-founder and CEO of financial services company Fattmerchant. Take advantage of social media’s ever-growing presence in the lives of your audience by meeting them on a popular platform.

“Creating a live Facebook video or Instagram story allows you to reach your audience in new, innovative ways. Consumers are already spending a lot of time on these platforms,” she says. “Consumers respond to authenticity, so speak from the heart and you’re sure to make an impact. All you need is your iPhone and some genuine excitement.”

Every Entrepreneur Should Think More Like a Scientist. Here's How.

Don’t be intimidated by experimentation. Sure, it sounds complicated — test tubes bubbling away in a perfect arrangement while people in lab coats jot down notes. And yes, it can sound expensive — hundreds of man hours, expensive equipment, possibly specialized consultants or labs.

In reality, experimenting isn’t expensive or difficult. Every product-based company and startup should embrace basic research principles, as there are a lot of good cues that businesses can take from researchers working in the hard sciences. Here are a few basic (and proven!) principles to start with:

1. Have a product hypothesis.

You may have learned it in elementary school, but having a working hypothesis is a bit harder than it seems. Say you’re a product developer and you have a technology for smarter, faster bluetooth connections. Your first instinct will be to explore all of the applications of that sweet new technology and look for the most useful and profitable ones.

But before you begin, bring a hypothesis to the table. Exploring a ton of information without a grounding research question or theory can make it difficult to know if you did a good job, or even when you should stop exploring.

A hypothesis is an essential rudder when looking for your best course of action. Make a statement that can be proven or disproven, and before you start your experiment – make sure either answer would provide valuable next steps for the team.

2. Search wide, then dive deep.

Before you invest a lot of time in a single area — say, heavily targeting a specific audience or adding a specific set of features — it’s critical to know you’re on the right path. One of the most common mistakes I see people make: Their intuition kicks in and they go with their first idea, then only explore that option.

Take a large set of options, be they design decisions or market strategies, then test them against some of the best criteria you can measure. Then, and only then, will you have the confidence that an experiment is working or not.

In our hypothetical super-bluetooth example, we would pick a criteria like potential market size, then consider different industries like medical devices and consumer electronics against each other. We may all emphatically believe that the applications for smartphones will make consumer electronics the true winner, but we won’t know until we explore how exactly how many pacemakers or hearing aids need our super-bluetooth.

After testing a broad set of options, you’ll be left with a smaller and more manageable set of categories to explore in order to move your project forward.

3. Fail hard and often.

If you’re approaching decisions and problems with a hypothesis, then doing a fair and rigorous job at testing them, at some point you should find yourself disproving an assumption — being wrong. This is essential to a good experiment; it proves you’re serious about finding the right answer and not validating your own assumptions into an echo chamber.

If you’re just dipping your toes, it won’t hurt to go with some relatively binary tests at first, looking at just X and Y. Eventually, a well-designed experiment will test a number of different hypothesis and variables at once, hopefully giving more invalidated assumptions than validated ones as the experiment goes on.

In these cases, being wrong is exceptionally valuable; it closes off a worthless course of action and frees you up to dive deeper on a more valuable one. Once we prove that our super-bluetooth is best suited for the consumer electronics industry, we should feel comfortable being wrong as often as possible when looking for the first devices and applications to pursue first.

There’s a classic quote from inventor-mogul Thomas Edison that gets referenced in these sort of lessons that I’d like to leave you with — here’s the most accurate version I could find, published in American Magazine:

“After we had conducted thousands of experiments on a certain project without solving the problem, one of my associates, after we had conducted the crowning experiment and it had proved a failure, expressed discouragement and disgust over our having failed to find out anything. I cheerily assured him that we had learned something. For we had learned for a certainty that the thing couldn’t be done that way, and that we would have to try some other way.”

Designers, app developers, marketers and business leaders — don’t be afraid to experiment more scientifically. You can apply these techniques to a massive portion of the decisions you make without a lab coat, without big data, and without a big budget.

5 Things The World's Most Exceptional Thinkers Have in Common

Originals drive creativity, innovation and ultimately change the world. History’s best minds have a lot of things in common. Every great achievement you have heard about or probably used came from exceptional thinking. From Einstein to Jobs, and Musk, here are five things the world’s greatest minds have in common.

1. Exceptional thinkers start their day on purpose

Success can only be achieved by design. Without a plan, you can’t make progress. In as much as original and exceptional thinkers embrace the opportunity to defy convention, they maintain schedules that make it easy for them to get things done.

They do their best work on purpose. Their deliberate actions make the biggest difference in how they achieve their goals, visions, and purpose in life. They value improvement, hence the need to keep schedules that allow them to live in the reality of making progress. Exceptional innovators are constantly fixing and iterating. 

2. Great thinkers look for patterns and connect ideas

The ability to make meaning from unrelated ideas and information is unique. Most innovators are great at it. It’s called Apophenia, the tendency to attribute meaning to perceived connections or patterns between seemingly unrelated things. 

Original thinkers and creative people intentionally look for patterns within their industries and other unrelated industries to be able to spot relationships that others cannot.

After dropping out of school, Steve Jobs wandered into a calligraphy course. It seemed irrelevant at the time, but the design skills he learned were later useful when he built the first Mac Computer. You never know what will be useful ahead of time.

Steve once said, “You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backward. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future.”

The best minds in the world are great bridging the gap between unrelated concepts and ideas.

3. They value learning 

Curiosity is a big driver of creativity and novelty. Creativity happens when you make the effort to learn or try something new every day. Original thinkers know and understand the importance of connecting ideas, even the most remote ones to create something truly unique. They learn new skills that complement what they do. 

At the age of 14, Leonardo da Vinci began a lengthy apprenticeship with Andrea del Verrocchio, a well-known artist in Florence. He was exposed to a vast range of technical skills including, metalworking, leather arts, carpentry, drawing, painting, and sculpting. He learned a wide breadth of skills. 

If you’re a writer, you could take up photography. Start enhancing your career with the skills that complement it. The connection between ideas doesn’t happen unless you explore it a little.

4. They are insanely curious

Nothing beats a curious mind! Great minds make room for different mental models. They don’t disregard other ideas. They look for meaning in every pursuit. The most innovative and exceptional thinkers in the world are also the most inquisitive among us.The best way to connect dots is to be intellectually curious about the world around you.

F. Scott Fitzgerald, a great American novelist once said, “The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposing ideas in mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function.” 

Einstein made a profound statement about questioning and staying curious. He once said:

“Don’t think about why you question, simply don’t stop questioning. Don’t worry about what you can’t answer, and don’t try to explain what you can’t know. Curiosity is its own reason. Aren’t you in awe when you contemplate the mysteries of eternity, of life, of the marvelous structure behind reality? And this is the miracle of the human mind — to use its constructions, concepts, and formulas as tools to explain what man sees, feels and touches. Try to comprehend a little more each day. Have holy curiosity.”

Maintain to curious mind to explore and discover amazing ideas, innovations, and products that could spark new concepts for your next big idea. To improve your sense of curiosity, all you have to do is to embrace new ideas and try new things to stimulate your mind and senses.

5. Exceptional minds take productive breaks

According to research, your brain gradually stops registering a sight, sound or feeling if that stimulus remains constant for too long. You lose your focus and your performance on the task declines.

Great thinkers make time on their calendars to think, wander and refresh the brain. You can’t benefit from focused attention for too long. Sustaining attention on a task for an extended period of time can deplete your ability to think and create.

 Successful innovators and original thinkers know the importance of stepping away from projects briefly to re-conceptualize the problem with new perspectives.

Take intentional breaks by going for long walks, meditating, exercise or indulge in daydreaming. It pays to connect with your subconscious.

The Secrets Of Good Web Hosts: What You Need To Know

You just selected your domain name and are searching for a company to host your site. Where should you start your search? What do you look for in a web hosting company? What makes one site reliable while another isn’t? See this page and read this article to answer some of the most common and pressing questions concerning web hosting services.

When registering a domain name through a hosting company, make sure this provider offers the most popular forms of payment. If they offer to accept payments via PayPal, you’ll have an avenue of recourse to recoup your money if anything goes awry.

If you do not have much experience in web design, pick one of the web hosts that has excellent customer service instead of a lot of other extras. As a newbie, you are more likely to have questions about the basic features that come with your package. Good tech support beats any number of extra bells and whistles hands down.

Prior to signing on the dotted virtual line, make sure that you know the details of your commitment with a host provider. You should know about hidden fees that their advertisements don’t mention. Look for set-up costs, hidden usage fees, and pricey penalties for contracts dishonored. These can become a huge bill if you are unaware of what is going on.

How much traffic you get will affect the size and price of the web hosting plan you need. Figure out what a host will cost you. Some hosts will charge you a flat rate, and this will increase as your site gets more traffic. There are other hosts that will charge you according to your traffic.

If your website is brand new, a web host that boasts SEO services may be the right fit for you. This feature often allows you to streamline the process necessary to add your website to major search engines. You may need to register the site yourself as this allows you more control.

Do plenty of research about the hosting companies which you think would work for you. When you buy a car you compare the makes and models, and the same strategy will apply to purchasing web hosting. You may see certain issues with their service, which may be deal-breakers.

If you are serious about keeping your site current, then choose a web hosting service with cPanel. This feature allows you to quickly add a variety of popular digital applications to a website. It’s very intuitive, and it can be installed easily. Also, it makes management easier for your site.

You may not be satisfied with what a free web host has to offer. Although it may look like a great price now, later on when your needs grow it might not be right for you. If your website is growing, you could be tied to a free hosts that won’t let you grow. Having to switch when your website is popular can cause you a major headache down the road.

Almost every web host has additional features available in their packages, although the exact add-ons may vary from host to host. When you are comparing web hosts, ensure that the service you are looking at includes any specific features you need. For instance, one host may offer a low price package, but you can find you really have to get the higher priced package to get the feature you want.

Choosing a good host is an important part of setting up a website. Once you know where you should start and what you should be looking for in terms of a web hosting provider, then it shouldn’t be that difficult to get your website created and running. Use the advice from this article to quickly get your site running.

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Take A Look At These Web Hosting Tips

Web hosting might initially seem to be a difficult topic. But learning the basics and getting some smart tips under your belt will be a big help. Read the following tips to help you be better prepared when shopping for the right web hosting company.

Before you choose a web host and plan, carefully examine the provider’s website. A website that’s good will have a lot of resources that document the different tools you can use to make the most of your site. Ask the hosting company if additional information and tutorials are available to those who have signed up for an account.

Choosing a host which offers SEO options can help to boost your traffic. This will mean that the host registers its sites with the relevant search engines. On the other hand, if you’re willing to do the work of registering with search engines yourself, you can use your expert knowledge of the site to write detailed descriptions. You might get a better ranking that way.

Just because a web host company is free, does not mean you should rule it out entirely. While a lot of free web hosting providers will place annoying, unprofessional looking ads on your website, there are a few free hosting providers that don’t force any advertisements on your site at all. Think about it, having a free web host could keep you from spending thousands on hosting costs every year.

You will want to check on the reputation of a web hosting company. This is important. Research web hosts to see which have a trustworthy reputation and a long record of good service. A company that does not offer quality customer service and innovative services will be easy to recognize as well.

If you are new in web design, choose web hosts that gives good customer service as opposed to someone that has more features than you currently need. As a beginner, you will find that you have many questions as to how to utilize certain features of the web hosting package. You will benefit more from the technical support than the extra fancy applications that other web hosts may offer.

Look for hidden costs and scams. Many hosts talk about low prices, but then they add a lot of extra fees. Find out every potential fee upfront to avoid shock when you receive your first bill. Opt for a service package that meets all of your needs and allows you to remain within your budget.

Make sure that you back up your own site; do not count on the web host to do it for you. While your host may provide routine backups of your data, having your own backup will ensure that your data is never lost for good.

Monthly payments are the optimal way to handle your web host transactions. You never know what the future will hold when it comes to your business or the web host. If your business grows too big for the host or your business closes, you may lose the money you paid, unless the host states otherwise.

Find a web host that is very effective when it comes to communication. Your web host should give you ample warning about updates, maintenance, and planned downtime. They should want to interact with you. Your ability to quickly contact them if a problem occurs on your end, is also important.

Web hosting services charge you based on the kind of traffic your site is getting. But this is not a given, many web hosts use a formula based on your traffic whle some charge a flat rate.

Hopefully, you now have a better understanding of the details behind web hosting and how to find the right web hosting provider for your website. Follow these tips throughout the process of uploading your site online.

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Web Hosting Basics: What To Do And How To Do It

If you want the world to see your website, you need web hosting. You may, however, not know the first thing about it. The thought of your website in data center in a galaxy far, far away might seem harrowing, but it’s important that you know some a few simple facts about hosting websites in order to run a successful site. Read the following article for tips on finding the best web host.

When moving your website to a new web hosting service, make certain that your new web host will let you transfer your domain name, as well. Some hosts own the domain when you sign up for service (if you received it for free, for example) and you will have to buy a new domain when you move.

You should consider purchasing web hosting services over utilizing free ones if your budget will allow for it. Although free web hosting providers can be useful, if you are running a business website, it is important that you use a professional web hosting provider. This is because free web hosts usually place advertisements, which you have no control over, onto your website. These adverts can really annoy your visitors, and even cause them to leave your site, vowing never to return.

You may need to upgrade the services you receive from your web host as your website’s traffic grows. Ask if there are any procedures they use to make sure that the upgrades happen in the timeline promised. It usually does not take a lot of time for a simple increase of bandwidth to your site. You should also be able to easily change from a shared platform to your own dedicated server.

If you have financial restrictions, consider a free web hosting service. If you do so, you may have ads pop up on your web site, and you will not have as much space for your files. However, if you wish to have a professional site, you should avoid this type of web hosting.

If you’ll have to upload big data amounts, you’ll have to check the uploading method that a hosting service uses. Uploading is much faster and easier if you can use an FTP program. Those that are technologically handicapped should choose a service with a good online manager.

Can you talk directly with current and former customers of web host companies that you are considering? You can narrow down your choice for hosting services by the ability to question those on staff, and by how capable they are of meeting your needs. You can be more confident about your site after you choose a good company based on these discussions. You can get great information from current customers of a web hosting company.

Have an idea of your requirements for disk space and bandwidth. This can vary greatly depending on the type of website you run, as well as how much business and traffic it gets. Look first for one of the many companies that offer unlimited storage and unlimited bandwidth. If you have insufficient disk space or data transfer, your website will have lots of downtime.

Free web hosting should not be a consideration, unless you’re posting nothing more than a small, insignificant personal website. Although it may look like a great price now, later on when your needs grow it might not be right for you. If your site ends up growing rapidly, you may find yourself stuck with a host that cannot grow along with you. Changing hosts can cause big headaches, so choosing a free host may end up costing you down the road.

You may have arrived at this article with little to no knowledge about web hosting, or where to learn more. Now that you gained some knowledge through this article, you should have a much better idea about web hosting. Remember what you read here to make the best choice for your web host.

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Tips On How To Get Better Web Hosting

Even though you’re likely familiar with the term web hosting, it’s also likely that you don’t really understand what it means. What a web host does is allows someone else a server that holds the information from their site so that people can view a person’s site 24/7. If you want to learn how web hosting benefits you and your website, keep reading for solid advice about web hosting.

Avoid registering your domain name with your web hosting company if you want to own it, long term. While it might be convenient, registering your name with the company that hosts your site can put your ownership of the name in jeopardy if something happens to your provider’s business. Try a site that’s independent to have your name to yourself for good.

Test the customer support at any web hosting company you are considering by calling and emailing them. It is important that a provider offers courteous, accessible assistance. Knowing the kind of service you are going to receive beforehand will save you some grief down the road.

Because you like the way the company designs, does not necessarily put you with them. However, by using a variety of companies, it can take a little longer to fix something if it goes wrong because there are more systems to go through.

Don’t get sucked into a hosting agreement that contains huge hidden fees. Many hosts talk about low prices, but then they add a lot of extra fees. For this reason, it is wise to find out what is included in your hosting plan and which features you require. Select a provider who can meet your service needs at a price you can afford.

Find out what kinds of web pages you can create using each potential web host. Some free sites do not allow you to add your own scripts to the static pages they offer. If you have the need for dynamic scripting pages, your only option may be to find a pay host that is affordable instead.

Consider downtime before choosing web hosts, and don’t accept excuses for these outages. Some hosting services could use electrical outages as an excuse, or they could come up with other reasons. However, the great services find methods of keeping your site up and running. A free or low-cost company will wind up costing you big time if your customers often cannot access your site – don’t accept any excuses!

Back up your content regularly! Even if the hosting service that you have chosen offers an information backup service for you, take the time to backup the information on your own to be sure that you do not lose your work.

There are certain circumstances in which you may want to try out a VPS (virtual private server) hosting plan. VPS plans will let you have control over everything that has to do with your web site, this includes all of your software installations and deletions, it is like you have your own server. Before choosing a VPS plan, you should make sure that you are familiar with how to run a server, or you will be at a loss as to what to do.

Take time to read online reviews for a lot of web hosts before making your choice. They will alert you to any issues people have had with a company and what the host did to make it right. When you do this, you ensure that the host you’re getting is good.

Overall, web hosting gives people an opportunity where they can make their own webpage and provide their content on a server that somebody else runs. After reading these tips, you should start looking at different web hosting services and choose the best one possible.

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Cutting Edge Web Hosting Tips To Help You Get Your Website Off The Ground

Do not be tricked into underestimating the impact of a web hosting provider on the performance of your website. The truth is that the more effort you put into selecting the right choices in life, the more you’ll get out of it in the end. The helpful hints in this article will give you the knowledge you need to select the host, which will offer you the greatest advantage online.

Choose a host that doesn’t have many outages. Downtime means lost business, so seer clear of companies with many outages. These outages indicate a lack of professionalism and adequacy; avoid these providers at all costs.

Be aware that web hosts can either use Linux or Windows as their server operating system. Each of these operating system differs in features and interface. Linux is often cheaper to use compared to Windows, and can result in having lower monthly payments for your website.

Make use of all available directories of web hosting providers. Directories offer detailed information about different options, and allows you to quickly sort and compare providers based on the most important qualifications. Then you may compare the costs of those you like and read their reviews.

If you have the ability to cancel at anytime, you are probably using a good web hosting company. Look for a company that guarantees its services by allowing you to cancel your contract without penalty. It isn’t necessary to get trapped into a contract that you can’t cancel or pay a cancellation fee to end a contract.

Look for a long-term relationship with your web host. It is likely that you foresee your website’s success, and will have no need to sever ties with your host anytime soon. Ask them about a cheaper rate for a longer term contractual agreement. This may save you a lot of money.

Being present in web hostage outage forums, can help you stay updated about the hosting service. This will make it easier to determine whether outage problems are server-wide or just limited to your own website. It also allows you to confirm whether or not the problem is a known issue, and how soon you can expect resolution. If it is your web host, and the outage is for a long period, keep up with the forums. Join in an effort to alert the company about it.

When planning on transferring to any new host, see if you can transfer your domain name beforehand. There are some hosts that do not offer that service, and this will cause you to lose the name of the site that your visitors have grown to know.

If a web host you’re considering has significant downtime, you need to question whether they’re right for you. Review their schedule for maintenance to see if you can handle your site being down during those times and for the specified duration. If they seem to be offline during peak hours or frequently throughout the month, you need a better host.

Do you know how much bandwidth will you need? What about disk space? The size of your site and the traffic it generates influence these factors. Many companies offer that their accounts are unlimited, though it is important to understand any fees that may accrue. If your web hosting service does not provide you with enough file space or bandwidth, your site will not work the way it needs to.

Before you commit to a single provider, contact customer support for a more in-depth look at your options. They need know they will be courteous, professional and experienced. Knowing ahead of time what kind of service and turnaround time you can expect can save you from potential headaches if problems arise later.

If you need to, consider doing an upgrade to a specifically dedicated server. It allows you a greater amount of bandwidth, space for storage and security. This allows you to give your customers the best experience when visiting your website. The more your customers enjoy using your site, the more likely they are to visit it again or buy something else from you in the future.

Many people choose the wrong web host because they’re ignorant to their own needs. Knowing what you’re looking for will help you to avoid many of the mistakes people make which lead to web hosting horror stories. Take the strategies you learn here, and apply them while searching for a great hosting company.

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