Archive for Wordpress Websites

Cheap Shared Web Hosting Leads to Demise of New Website

It's been years now we've been harping at anyone who will listen to get rid of their cheap shared web hosting in favor of more reliable VPS hosting or managed WordPress hosting. Certainly, if you have a wordPress website and it contributes in any way towards earning revenue for your small business, it's time to get with the times and sign up for reliable web hosting. In fact, if you use WordPress, your best choice is to use WordPress managed hosting.

If you are one of our regular visitors you know how important it is to start your online presence off on the right foot with a rock solid online foundation. Yes, that foundation starts with a well built website, but the next step is to insure your site is using a reliable and high performing web hosing solution, NOT cheap shared web hosting. Nowadays, you want a host using php7 because it's light years faster than the 5.6. Then, you'll want SSL/https, auto updates and built in backups. There's much, much more to choosing web hosting, but that's for another post.

Sad but True Story of Web Hosting Gone Wrong

Today we share a real life true story about how cheap shared web hosting contributed to the demise of a new, contemporary, income earning website. In fact, the site was down for about 11 days, resulting in an estimated loss of at least $110,000 in revenue. As we share the story, please keep in mind we will not get into the difference between good hosting vs cheap shared web hosting, and we're not going to compare one web host to another. We have no ax to grind other then my professional opinions about how important it is for us all to be using reliable and fast performing hosting.

This Website does NOT use Cheap Shared Web Hosting
This site now uses a high performance VPS Web Host!

Nice New Website Generates Leads

We recently developed a very nice new WordPress business website for a reputable home improvement company located here in the US. The site turned out great and the client walked away very happy. We later noticed they were averaging almost two form fills per day from leads many salespersons would kill for.

The business obtains leads via various advertising strategies, directing prospective customers to visit their website or call to set an appointment. An in home appointment is scheduled, a salesperson visits and sells home improvement services ranging from a couple grand to much more. Making some conservative assumptions, if the average sale is worth 10K each, and say they actually convert a measly 100 deals per year, that equals $1,000,000 in revenue that can be attributed in part, to their website. Not bad!

Cheap shared website hosting nightmares
This poor woman looks a bit miffed! Perhaps her website went wonky due to cheap shared hosting?

Bad Advice Leads to Poor Decision

One problem though, upon completion of the new site the client decided to keep their site at their existing cheap shared web hosting account and passed on our offer to move them to our Liquid Web Virtual Private Storm Server. Some might call this crazy thinking! Personally, I'll NEVER understand why any small business, relying on their website for leads, uses cheap shared hosting as opposed to more reliable, faster and up to date web hosting.

This decision was made based in part, on poor advice from their trusted in house IT person. The client also decided against signing up for our ongoing website maintenance package which includes the VPS hosting, regular backups, updates and security. As much as we disagree with the cheap shared hosting decision, they are the client, it's their money, and their decision. However, as the saying goes, you make your own bed, but than you have to lay in it.

Most Trusted Premium WordPress Backup Plugin

Cheap Shared Web Hosting and Backup Plugins Not Allowed

Just before turning this site over to the client we attempted to install our favorite backup plugin, just for our own piece of mind so had our own copy of the website and database files. We were NOT being paid for this, but we wanted something, just in case the cheap shared web hosting backups failed. Unfortunately, because the web host wants to charge the client extra for their own website backups, anytime you try to install a good backup utility plugin a message pops up stating this was not allowed. At this point we could only hope, if there was ever a problem the web host's backups would work. As most of us know, hoping rarely works out and almost never gets the job done!

Houston, We Have a Problem!

Fast forward two months and we discovered something went very wrong with the website. Upon our review we discovered all the posts, pages and images had disappeared. After a bit more investigation and questions to the client, he honestly admitted the cause could be due to some work their ad agency was doing. Alternatively, we supposed it might have simply been a WordPress update gone wrong, occurring at the same time as a major server event. Regardless, the cause doesn't matter and we know from experience it's NOT worth the time and money to troubleshoot and fix. The best and most cost affective solution is to simply restore the website to a previous backup. Of course, in order to do that you must have reliable website backup files and database. Oh, oh!

Web Host Website Restore Failed

Continuing our story, after another day or two the client got back to us and requested we work with his web host provider to restore the site. Doing our part, we performed a full website restore using the web host files and site restore functionality, which failed, repeatedly! Then, the web host agreed to perform the website restore for us. More time passed and during which the cheap shared web hosting provider tried on multiple occasions to restore the site. We even received emails stating, your site has been restored and this support request is considered resolved. Yeah, right! The bottom line here is, the website backups our client had been paying a small premium for, failed when they were needed most. We really wanted to childishly point our finger and yell, "THAT'S WHAT YOU GET," but we held back.

As it turned out, this problem was no everyday occurrence and the web host finally kicked the support request to top level. Even the top level support people were unable to restore the website. Sometimes, after a restore process was complete, the site and it's files would be available for a few minutes. Then, poof, the site and most of it's files would disappear. Luckily, we were able to download some of the files while they were available, knowing they would help with what was to come.

The Worst Case Scenario Comes True

As I'm sure you probably guessed, we had to completely rebuild the website, starting from scratch. Thankfully, I still had most of my original development files along with some screen shots and my notes. It also helped having the image uploads that were previously sized and optimized. Still, it's probable the website would have never failed had the client agreed to leave their cheap shared web hosting environment and move their site to our private VPS. Even so, had the problem occurred and the website crashed, we have reliable backup files coming out of our ears enabling us to restore any site in just a few minutes.

Looking back, it's ironic how one of the reasons the client originally refused our ongoing maintenance package was because they were already paying extra for backups provided by their web host. Of course, we must remember, this is NOT a VPS web host but instead, they had a cheap shared hosting account.

In Conclusion

If you are operating a small business and your website plays any part, it deserves to be hosted at the best and most reliable server available. Truly consider how important your website is to your business, either at the present time, or in the future. Typically our small business websites should be a professional representation of our business. They are also our social hub, lead generator, mobile web app, blog site and so much more. Please folks, no more cheap shared hosting! No more paying to re-build a website when it could have been easily restored. Do it right from the beginning, avoid cheap shared web hosting and give your website the home it deserves.

Disclosure Note: I provided two or three links in this post to Liquid Web VPS and Managed WordPress Hosting. Be advised, I use both of these hosting services and can honestly state, Liquid Web is the BEST hosting provider I've ever used. I'm also hearing good things about Site Ground, so if looking to get rid of your cheap shared web hosting, choosing Site Ground or Liquid Web is a great choice. Also, if you found this post helpful, I would sincerely appreciate using my links to get started.

Think Twice Before Signing Up for a Free Advertised Website

Pete Gregory Internet Marketing Certified ProfessionalIn the interest of public awareness, we must advise our visitors to, think twice before signing up for a free advertised website. We’ve all heard or read promotional advertisements urging us go online and create a lovely website in minutes, for free. Come on now! Most of us clearly understand nothing is really free, at least nothing worthwhile. Without even checking out the various different companies offering the free sites, we must think for a minute of the amount of money that is being streamed into paying for these ads. That’s right, it’s mega bucks! So, these companies are paying for high dollar advertising and offering free websites out of the kindness of their hearts? Of course not! In fact, having one of these sites may actually cause the small business owner or individual more harm than good. Here’s the scoop!

Before we go one step further please know, you can have a real WordPress website (WordPress is the greatest web content management system in the world), with your own domain and hosting, up and running within a day or two for next to nothing. Yes, you will have to pay about $20 a year for a dot com domain name and then plan on about $30-$40 per month for good managed WordPress hosting. You will have a real, search engine friendly website that you maintain and operate. You don’t need to sign up for any special deals, and you won’t get hooked into paying for service or feature upgrades later.

Questions to Ask Before Going With Free DIY Website

To help our visitors and clients think twice before signing up for a free advertised website, we’ve developed a list of questions to consider before using one of these sites.

  1. Will your free website have your very own .com domain name or will it be associated with another name? Who pays for the registration of that domain name? Unless the domain name is your own, walk away. Remember, it only costs about $12 per year for your own domain.
  2. What content management system will be used to manage your content? The WordPress CMS is an open source platform created and maintained by tens of thousands of talented developers throughout the world, for free. If it’s not WordPress, don’t bother!
  3. Will there be any outside advertising on your site? That is, any ads that are not created and posted by you? If the answer is yes, run away now!
  4. Will there be any hidden code referencing other entities, or an outgoing links to other websites? I doubt anyone will admit to this, but it does happen. If yes, walk away now!
  5. How well will your free website be set up for Search Engine Optimization? Research shows, seo optimization for website platforms such as Wix and Squarespace do not come close to comparing to WordPress. A highly regarded SEO expert dug in her heals and extensively researched the seo optimization of these sites and the results were eye opening. Have a look here.
  6. Where is your website going to be hosted and will there ever be any charges for this hosting? If your site is not being hosted by a reputable company, such as Liquid Web, SiteGround, WPEngine or another reputable hosting company, be very cautious. Be sure to research the hosting company.
  7. What terms and conditions must be agreed to allow you the use of this site? Be sure to read the small print. This is where they will get you, I promise!
  8. In order to receive one of the “free” websites you will likely need to provide personal information. Will any of your information be shared? Will you be deluged with any marketing information? Remember, nothing worthwhile is really free. Typically, these free services are very limited and once you are committed and hooked in, you’ll end up spending money! Later you discover it would have been much smarter to choose a different route.

Without any further comment we must advise, don’t fall for signing up for one of these advertised free websites! You will spend valuable time adding or changing content, you won’t have control, you will be a target of up sells, unwanted advertising and used to the benefit of others. This will end up costing you time and money, we promise!

If you’re interested in our partial or full website creation service at an affordable price, contact us today! No matter which service is selected, you will have an awesome, optimized WordPress site with your own domain name, own hosting, and your own control. Please contact Pete Gregory at 661-406-2959.

We hope you found this post helpful and be sure to, think twice before signing up for a free advertised website.

 

WordPress Website Building for the Complete Novice

If you’re a complete novice but interested in building a WordPress website, it no longer requires a technical guru to create and manage a real WordPress website. Don’t misunderstand, it’s takes some tutoring and hard work up front, but HTML and CSS code is no longer a requirement to edit and maintain a site. Don’t get me wrong, unless you know some code you will not be able to create a fully customized site, but if you’re willing to compromise you can get by without it. Once the site is up and running, posting current content, such as special sales, offerings or product information can be done in minutes, and it’s almost as easy as writing an e mail. No code needed! There’s really no limit on what content you can create, and the more original, relevant and current, the better it will rank in the search engines.

If you have no idea what I’m talking about, you’re not alone! I remember when I started up a business as an independent sales consultant and I didn’t have a clue what WordPress was or what a blog was. I had heard the term “blog” before, but really didn’t know what it was. If this sounds familiar, rest easy. None if it is as hard as you might think and it doesn’t take long to learn and get started. Here are some tips about how to get started with building your own WordPress website for the complete novice:

Tip #1 – Be cautious of your source of information. Technology changes so fast the information found in the search engines becomes outdated quickly. The search engine results are full of information about this topic of WordPress website building for the complete novice. Most of the information is good content, but much of it is outdated and no longer accurate. That’s a typical problem with information found online, and is a subject for a whole other blog post. You don’t want to waste time reading or watching tutorials only to find out later it was outdated.

Tip #2 – Unless you have lots of time on your hands, hire a consultant to assist you and point you in the right direction. Assist Start provide this service and often it just involves pointing the novice in the right direction. This way, you’ll at least know the information will be current and useful. It’s a big time saver. When I first started I wasted hundreds of hours devouring outdated content. I’m glad I did and I learned plenty, but if I had it to do over again I would have found a consultant for direction.

Tip #3 – Instead of hiring a someone to build your WordPress website, hire a consultant that might be willing to help and teach to do it yourself. Again, it’s still time consuming but at least you won’t be floundering in the dark and wasting precious time. Most web designers are not interesting in working with the novice website builder one on one, at least not at an affordable price. Still, if you can find someone qualified and willing to provide instruction, you’ll be miles ahead and save time in the end.

Tip #4 – Whatever you do, make sure you know how to maintain your site when it’s complete. We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again, a website requires continual attention, just like a garden. if you don’t feed and care for it, it will die.

Tip #5 – We’ve all seen or heard the ads of websites offered for free that anyone can create. I highly suggest all my clients avoid these like the plaque. If you really must have one of these sites, be very cautious. First, make sure you can use your own .com domain name with the site. Verify it is a WordPress site. There are a couple other site platforms that are okay, but nothing beats WordPress! Next, confirm your site name is not associated with anyone or anything else. Remember, nothing is really free and you usually get what you pay for. Usually, anything offered for free is associated upgrades that are not free. The next thing you know, you’ve got time invested in working on a “free’ site and then you find out it won’t perform the way you’d like. There are many more reasons to avoid this type of website but that’s a subject for another post.

Summary – WordPress website building for the complete novice is certainly possible, but it does take research, tutorials, and time up front. Unless you have extra time on your hands, I would highly recommend you hire a consultant to work with you in building a simple and inexpensive WordPress website or setting up a free themed site. You can have your site up and running in a day or two, and start creating blog post content immediately. For the novice, I highly suggest starting out with blog posting in the WordPress environment. The newbie will quickly learn their way around wordpress and in a short time make the natural transition to simplified website building.

Share Your Thoughts!

Let's Schedule a Time to Talk About How We Can Help You Reach Your Goals

Let's Connect