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Is Cloud Computing Safe?

Cloud computing is a revolution in the world of Internet technology. It has made a variety of new things possible and much more efficient, such as saving time, energy, and costs!

However, there are positives and negatives to this revolutionary technology. Although the cloud has opened up all of these “never-before-seen” opportunities, there are several concerns by clients – especially when it comes to the issue of safety. Since the mechanisms of the cloud are controlled by people in unknown locations, there is genuine fear about the safety and security of personal data.

What are the safety concerns?

There are two major concerns when it comes to cloud safety. The first is the thought of hackers having access to your information by illegal or unauthorized persons. This can lead to a compromise of classified or private information. Hackers can actually capitalize from your data or use it to cripple your business. The second concern is the malfunction of the infrastructure by the cloud storage service provider. There are a few companies out there that have collapsed and lost vital client data forever because of this. While there is a very small chance of this happening, many are still wary about the potential it has to collapse a business.  

There is no question that these concerns are real. However, the answer to safety lies with the cloud service provider. Before you register a free account or hire the services of a cloud storage company, read about their terms and conditions. In fact, ask about these safety concerns. 

You will be amazed at some of the safety policies out there. Just in case data was compromised or lost, the company must have a cause of action that is supposed to remedy your problem. Many companies will state that their safety policies are top-notch and that there is no fear whatsoever of such happenings. 

How do I protect myself?

Obviously, it is not enough to just hear the words; you need to be protected in writing. So yes, the fears pertaining to safety are very real – make sure you are covered in the contract or agreement you sign just before you get access to their services. 

You want to work with a cloud service provider that stores a backup copy of all your data. In addition, you need to know what procedures to follow in case something bad were to happen and your data was compromised. With this assurance and knowledge, it is much better to operate in a cloud. It is always wise to work with companies that have been seen to perform better in this area, though. Not every cloud storage service is worth considering. With that being said, we’ll make the decision easy on you and refer you to our services! Our services and staff are the BEST!

In life, there are no guarantees and in this regard, you need to be prepared with an assurance from the cloud service provider. Also, be very keen and conduct thorough research and know what the law in your area says about cloud safety. Don’t stop there! The country where the dedicated private servers are stored will have certain laws governing the operations; seek to find out whether you can find proper reprieve if anything goes wrong in a different location. 

Is cloud computing safe?

To answer the question: yes, cloud computing is absolutely safe. While there might be some flaws and drawbacks, the benefits of cloud computing outweigh the bad. If you’re nervous about something going wrong, be proactive and have a plan. Cases of hacking and loss of databases in the cloud are very rare, but they can happen. So, if it does, be prepared! You most likely won’t need to worry about any of that happening, especially if we are your cloud provider!

How to Choose The Best Domain Name For Your Brand

Choosing a domain name that fits your brand could possibly be the most important thing that you could ever do for your website. It is pivotal for your success. A good domain name can be an extremely profitable marketing tool to help grow your brand. 

A strong domain name can create so many opportunities for your business, such as professional credibility, visibility, and mobility. Your domain name can also help you in search engine rankings. As you begin to grow your business, your name will become more recognizable by Google, in turn, drawing more customers to your site. 

The actual process of choosing a domain name can be intimidating. If you choose the wrong name, you risk damaging your brand or hurting your search rankings. Your name should compliment your business and create a lasting impression on your customers. In this article, we will share tips, tools and steps to choosing the best domain name for your brand.  

1. Use a .Com Domain Extension 

There are tons and tons of different domain name extensions available today, ranging from .com, to .net, .org, .online, .wine, .life, .jewelry, .photography and so on! There are 280 Internet domain extensions in total, so you would have a wide variety of extensions to choose from. We recommend choosing a .com extension, as they are viewed as the most credible type of website. As cool as it would be to have a unique looking domain name, stick with the .com extension. Believe it or not, .com is the most memorable domain extension. Those who aren’t as “tech-savvy” will automatically tack .com to the end of your domain, whether or not it ends with .com. It might be smart to just avoid the creative extensions and stick with ‘ole reliable.

2. Keep Domain Name Short 

It is important to include keywords into your domain name, but don’t overdo the length. Keep it short so that it is more memorable. Standard rules say to keep your domain name under 15 characters or less. Anything longer than 15 characters can start to get hard for users to remember. Longer domain names also come with the risk of a misspelling, deterring those users away from your site 

3. Keep it Brandable and Unique 

Along with making sure that your domain is short and ends in .com, you should also make sure that it’s unique and creative. Your business name should stand out in your users’ minds, so they never forget it! Before choosing your name, do some research on other blogs/websites and find out what words and names they are using. That research will come in handy more than you think. In the midst of creation, it will help keep you away from a copyright nightmare, yet inspire you to create something that fits your brand. Think of some names that are catchy, yet brandable. For example, websites like Amazon, Google, Target, and many more have very catchy business names that have shown to be wildly successful over the years. 

4. Leave Room to Expand 

When choosing a domain name, do not limit your options. If possible, think about where your business may be in a few years. If you see your business expanding, then do not limit your business! For example, a hair stylist might choose a domain name such as hairstylespace.com, but later might want to offer more services. Instead of branding the website hairstylespace, the hair stylist may want to consider a different business name that would encompass all of the services they offer. Keep in mind that moving your site to a new domain can be a pain in the rear end! Not only that, but it can cause many downfalls, including losing search engine rankings. Our advice is to do yourself a solid and create a flexible name from the very beginning. 

5. Avoid Hyphens and Double Letters 

Stay away from creating domain names with hyphens or double letters. Hyphens can easily be mistaken for suspicious content or spam, which will deter users from visiting your site. Domains with hyphens are also more prone to typos. If you choose a domain name with a hyphen, users may get confused and end up on your competitors site instead. It’s also a good idea to avoid using double letters because it increases the chances of making a typo. For example, let’s say you decided to make it: egggrass.com. Notice the three G’s in the domain name? That kind of a domain name will end up causing typos. Do your best to avoid things that would cause confusion! 

Choosing your domain name may seem like a daunting task, but at the end of the day it should be a fun and creative process. This is your opportunity to define your brand’s message and mission! If you need help with this process, the Hostirian team is filled with creative professionals who’ve done this for years! If you’re running out of ideas, they can help you determine the perfect domain name for your website. If you want to check to see what domain names are available, we have that too!

Websites vs. Web Funnels: Which is Better?

a computer monitor displaying images of pink things

Nowadays, there is a hype surrounding funnels that I just don’t understand. Don’t me get wrong, funnels are great. However, no matter how many different ways marketers try to convince you, funnels cannot replace your website. They just can’t. 

You may be convinced that using a web funnel will bring you more leads than you would receive on a website, but don’t be fooled. There are several indisputable differences between web funnels and websites that you should know before you make any final decisions. 

Marketers may try to convince you that funnels are all you need, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Yes, funnels have their own specific purpose. There is a reason that they exist, and when utilized correctly, can be a very effective way to bring in leads. But, trust me when I say, they’re not all that and a bag of chips, despite what you may have been told! You absolutely need a website.

I’m getting ahead of myself. Have you ever heard of a web funnel? If not, let me explain. That’s what this article is about, right?

What is a web funnel? 

A web funnel is basically an automated sales process that controls every stage of the customer’s journey. Funnels essentially guide users to a web page that sell your products or services. The funnel process is simple. It usually starts with a user clicking a URL from an email, a social media post, or online ad. That click would take the user to a capture page that introduces them to the product or service you are trying to sell. The capture page usually includes a call-to-action (CTA) button that entices the user to purchase, download, or receive something from you. The catch? You get their information. 

The more capture pages there are in a funnel, the more chances a person gets at obtaining information and upselling their product.

This is what marketers are not telling you…

Marketers say websites are in the past, irrelevant, and dead. To be completely honest with you, that couldn’t be further from the truth. 

What those marketers aren’t telling you is that web funnels limit you in what you are able to do. Funnels do not allow you to share your brand story. They don’t allow you to add extra information regarding who you are or why your customers need your product. You have control over how the page looks and it’s content, but you do not have control over how much you are able to add. It’s essentially a sales page.

Marketers say that web funnels allow you to sell a product online, faster and easier, than you ever have before. They say that click funnels take you through the steps of what they want you to do. That part is true, but that’s their entire purpose. That’s all they can do.

Think of it like a house…

Hostirian’s Success Manager, Brian Montgomery Jr., metaphorically related web funnels to a single room in an entire house.

“Think of it like a house,” he said, “A funnel is like the bedroom. You can only do one thing in there- sleep. Just like a funnel, there’s only one function. Think of the rest of the house like a website. With a website, you have so many opportunities to show your brand to the world. Just like a house has a variety of rooms that are made for specific things.” 

I thought Brian provided an incredible visual for those who are struggling to understand the difference between a funnel and a website. When you think about it, you wouldn’t be able to just live in your bedroom, right? You would need a bathroom, a kitchen, and some space to walk elsewhere. It’s similar to a website! Your website provides all of those extra “rooms” or in this case, pages, for you to tell your brand’s story, sell products, and list virtually any information you would like. It is nonsense to assume that you don’t need a website. I am also not saying that you don’t need a funnel. In fact, funnels can be incredibly helpful. But, you need a website first; It completes your house.

Which is better?

When considering which route you should go, we suggest investing in a website. There are so many things that you cannot do when only utilizing a web funnel. Trust me, I’ve heard all the excuses! 

“Websites are too expensive.” 

“I’m not tech savvy.” 

“I don’t have the time to manage one.” 

No matter what you may come up with, my team and I have heard it all! But, did you know that nearly 81% of people research a business or service on the internet prior to purchasing an item? There are so many positives to having a website that marketers do not mention. Websites also have incredible potential to generate leads if you build your website the right way.

Having a website adds instant credibility to your brand. Over 55% of people say they will not trust a brand that doesn’t have a website. A website helps build a great first impression. Websites are designed to attract new customers to your business and make you more money. A website will save you time, as the answers to questions and inquiries will already be listed on your website. Having a website also isn’t as hard or expensive as you might think. Most web hosting companies, like Hostirian, make the process quick and simple, so you don’t have to spend days or weeks worrying about making your site look just right. Although I could go on and on about the positives of websites, the most important part of having a website is having control of your brand. Your website acts as a platform that shapes the perception of your business that funnels or social media cannot provide. 

When it comes down to it, I cannot answer the question “which is better?”, simply because there is no competition. The fact is that you need a website. A web funnel should be an extra addition that you add to your social media, emails, or online ads. A web funnel will never be able to replace what your website can do for your brand.

Why Social Media is Important for Business Marketing

There’s no getting around it. Your business needs to have an online presence. But, not just that! You need a social media presence! That’s just a fact. Social media is an essential piece to any marketing strategy, whether you have a small business or a giant company.  

Social media is essential because it allows the opportunity to connect with your customers, promote your brand, and increase your sales. We live in a social-media consumed world. Over half of the entire world uses it! That’s 3.8 billion people who are interacting on various platforms daily. Facebook is the most popular platform, with 2.7 billion active users. Instagram and YouTube trail close behind with millions and millions of users combined.

Social media has not only changed the way people communicate with their friends and neighbors, but it has changed the way that brands sell their products. It has become a place where brands and companies are able to share original content and grow their brand.

As easy as it may seem, social media can be difficult to utilize effectively. Most brands struggle with creating a formal strategy to push out information, while other brands struggle with building a loyal following. These things aren’t as difficult as they may seem! You can build a loyal following and create an effective strategy by trusting the process. Social media is incredibly important for these reasons. 

1. Engage with Customers 

Social Media is an effective way to interact and engage with customers that you wouldn’t otherwise have the opportunity to engage with. Communication with your audience helps your brand in so many ways. The most important part is that it creates a relationship between yourself and the customer. The relationship that you have with your customers is setting the stage for potential conversions. Not only that, but opening the line of communication to your customers allows you to receive public feedback on your products, gain trust and loyalty from your customers, and grab the attention of new faces. 

It also gives the customers quick access to your inbox when they have questions or comments about your brand! Social media has given brands the ability to expand their business past their small hometown shop. 

2. Increased Website Traffic 

For a business or a brand, the purpose of social media is to expose their products or services to a larger audience and funnel those people back to their website. Social media was not meant to be used in place of your website. For businesses, it has been used to bring people to their actual product. Social Media is free to the public due to the ads displayed to users. Take advantage of that opportunity! Your online presence is meant to promote and advertise your brand further than you could advertise it traditionally. It is an effective way to show the world your products and then funnel them to your actual website to purchase the item. You can increase your chances of people visiting your website if you regularly promote your blog content, make your content sharable, and continuously engage with your audience.

3. Impacts SEO

To much surprise, your social media impacts your SEO. You may already be aware that your business listings are incredibly important. Your listings are the reason that anyone on the internet can call, locate your business, or view your business hours. It can be a pain to input your business information into several different locations, but you need to have them to optimize your website! Your business listings extend to your social media pages. Your social media is a great place to list all of your business information so that you can optimize your brand for SEO. This means that you should include in your online profile a keyword-rich description, an indication of your services, your hours, phone number and address that matches your google profile. When your social media listings align exactly with your google profile, your website will be trusted and you will be better optimized! 

4. Brand Recognition

Having multiple profiles and accounts for your brand will help your visitors build brand recognition. This means that the more content you post on social media, the more your audience will recognize your brand’s colors, logo, design, and products. If your customers really like your products and services, they may even share it with their friends! ( meaning that your content is reaching more people). The more often your audience sees your brand on social media, the more willing they are to eventually make a purchase. For this reason, some brands hire representatives or influencers to promote their products with the intention of spreading awareness of their brand. 

5. Cost-Effective 

Another great thing about social media is that it is a very cost effective way to advertise your products and services. Creating an account is free for most all social networking platforms. For the most part, the only thing that you will have to dish out are funds for paid advertising. Even with paid advertising, you wouldn’t have to spend a lot. A social media account is one of the best ways that you can promote your brand on a budget. A cost-effective marketing plan is so important because it allows you to hold a bigger budget for other marketing possibilities. The goal is to make your brand known to the public. You can do this by investing in social media and saving that budget for other opportunities to grow your brand! 

Social media is a crucial part of business marketing. For all of these reasons and more, social media will help you gain more website visitors, help you be recognized, and initiate more conversions. If you still have yet to create a social media profile for your brand, start now! It’s never too late! Take that first step, create a profile and start creating a relationship with your customers.