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  • Advertising on Social Media

    No comments April 26th, 2016 0 View(s)

    There are nearly countless methods of social networking on the internet, with the numbers growing every day. Naturally, a few names standout as the top platforms: Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Google+. Small businesses likely cannot afford to choose more than one of these platforms, though the visibility is certainly worth the investment.

    Where will you receive the best results?

    Here is a breakdown of the pros and cons of advertising on the top social media platforms:

    Facebook

    Pros: Facebook has the largest number of users (over 1.19 billion and of those at least 700 million users are active daily) and will give you immediate visibility with a wide range of audiences. It offers advanced targeting options so that small businesses can advertise to their specific clientele. Targeting options are: location, gender, likes/interests, workplace, relationship status, and education.

    Cons: In comparison to other sites, Facebook’s provided metrics are very small. Additionally the expense for a small ad may not offer increased traffic enough to justify its cost.

    LinkedIn

    Pros: The user base is made up of mainly business professionals, which gives the platform a high conversion rate. Categories like employee title, location, and demographics allow targeting to specific audiences. The platform is growing swiftly, particularly in markets such as India.

    Cons: Click-through-rates are fairly low, though the ones that do click are usually invested. Compared to other platforms, advertisements are expensive. Additionally remarketing options are not available.

    Twitter

    Pros: With its use of hashtags, Twitter allows targeting of users based on their current interests. Like Facebook, Twitter has a dedicated user base (over 320 million active users, with 1.3 billion total). Its ad format is much more straightforward via promoted tweets, which appear like any other user’s tweet. Promoted accounts and trends are additionally beneficial.

    Cons: Apart from hashtags and keywords, Twitter’s selection of interests to choose from is fairly limited and makes it difficult to target by interest. Twitter keeps quiet about its ads’ success compared to other platforms. Also the cost can be unthinkable for small businesses, especially for “promoted trends.”

    Google+

    Pros: As a search engine itself, Google knows how to use SEO benefits. Its audience is more tech-driven (a pro for some companies and a con for others). The advertiser does not pay for their ad unless someone clicks on it and at that point, pays per click.

    Cons: Google does qualify hovering over the ad for two seconds or more as a click. This platform does not receive as much traffic as the other sites mentioned, with a mere 300 million monthly users (although this includes use of Google’s other products like YouTube). Also targeting options are limited and promotion policies are restrictive.

     

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  • Primary SmarterMail System Migration

    No comments April 23rd, 2016 1 View(s)

    Currently we are doing a live copy of all the mail data on our primary SmarterMail MX01 system. This migration is currently copying all data to a new high-performance RAID system. This new RAID system backed by a larger disk array size (6x the size of the current system), higher performance SAS drives and twice the amount of cache.

    Our current system in use today is a very strong solution, but with the increase and growth we are seeing with our mail system, the RAID subsystem and the drives are no longer able to keep up with the demand of IMAP, ActiveSync, EWS, and the SmarterMail web interface with large mailboxes.

    We are planning to have this completed by this weekend so that we may switch the server’s components. Once we’ve confirmed the data migration has completed we will announce the scheduled outage.

    If you have any questions, comments or concerns please contact the support department for your service.

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  • MSSQL01 Outage (Resolved)

    4 comments April 19th, 2016 40 View(s)

    Currently the MSSQL01 SQL Server is offline due to a failure in the RAID subsystem. During a normal rebuild of the RAID array after a failed drive had been replaced, additional drives failed within 5-10 minutes of each other causing a loss of the RAID and all data stored within it.

    Currently the server is being restored from the last bare metal backup image (12:06AM MDT). We expect this rebuild will take a few hours to complete. Once done, the server will be restored to full operational status.

    Thank you for your patience during this time.

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  • TS01-GA Network Outage

    3 comments April 18th, 2016 11 View(s)

    Currently the data-center that hosts our TeamSpeak services in Atlanta, Georgia is experiencing a network interruption. Network engineers are currently working to resolve the issue. At this time we do not have an ETA.

    We’d like to thank everyone for their continued patience as this issue is being addressed.

    Thank you for choosing ASPnix!

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  • Denver Colorado Outrage / Service Interruption

    No comments April 17th, 2016 0 View(s)

    This evening at 4:08PM MDT an electrical issue with one of our cabinets power delivery units (PDU) caused a brief interruption or all servers and services in our Colorado data-center. Technicians were dispatched, however upon arrival were unable to identify any issues as services had resumed normal.

    Another electrical issue at approximately 5:25PM MDT caused a major electrical fault in the cabinet that handles all network communications for our network. The fault triggered the data-center power delivery systems to cut power to the cabinet resulting in a full outage of our Colorado location. The technician who responded found the power delivery unit had fully failed. Once the unit was removed, power was restored to the cabinet.

    The total outage time was about 58 minutes between the 2 interruptions.

    After contacting Level 3’s electricians and discussing options to better handle these unfortunate events in the future, we will be purchasing additional electrical equipment to have better fault tolerance for these issues in the future.

    We apologize for any inconvenience during this time. If there are any questions or concerns, please open a support ticket the technical support department for your service.

     

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  • MX01 SmarterMail Upcoming Scheduled Maintenance

    No comments April 15th, 2016 1 View(s)

    We will be updating our MX01 server to the latest build of SmarterMail on Saturday April 16th at 10PM MDT. The upgrade is expected to take 20 – 30 minutes. This is a minor build that addresses a few minor reported issues.

    For the full changelog and release notes, please visit the SmarterTools site at https://www.smartertools.com/smartermail/release-notes

    Scheduled Date: 04-17-2016
    Scheduled Time:
    4:00 AM – 4:30 AM UTC
    Max Outage Duration: 30 Minutes

    If you have any questions or concerns please contact our support department.

    Thank you again for choosing ASPnix as your web hosting provider!

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  • Color Psychology pt 2

    No comments April 14th, 2016 2 View(s)

    If you haven’t yet, take a look at our first post on colors. This follow-up will focus more on the marketing potential in color and how to utilize that.

    First off, you have probably seen a color wheel, but do you know how to utilize it?  These terms may be helpful:

    Color wheels are a helpful tool for assembling colors and intensities that complement each other. The hue is the brightest form of the color shown on the outside of the wheel. These are the purest form of the color and are not diluted with any white, black, or grey. Next is the tint, which has been mixed with white for a more pastel version of the same color. Third on the wheel, nearing the center, is the tone, which is the hue mixed with true grey for a more muted version. Lastly, closest to the center, is the shade which is the hue mixed with black for a rich, deep result.

    Often in marketing, tints are used for female products while shades promote products geared toward men.

    Think of the common colors we see around us. Pink is often associated with confectionary shops, red with fast food, calming greens with bookstores or organic markets, while blue is a common color in insurance companies and banks.

    Color’s influence cannot be overstated.

    The most important thing is that your design promotes readability. Blunt, complementary colors keep the text from fading into the background without contrast. For images or logos, colors schemes with the central item being the brightest color will focus attention without straining your viewers’ eyes.

    Color schemes that consciously direct the eye’s path are often the most successful. For example, a website with a grey background, black text, and some red framing. If you organize the red so that it is associated with buttons, essential elements, and action, readers will be “trained” to recognize the highlighted sections as important.

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  • Web 1.0, Web 2.0, Web 3.0

    No comments April 12th, 2016 0 View(s)

    For those who frequent the internet and technical articles, the terms Web 2.0 (or 1.0 or 3.0) surely have surfaced and may be confusing. What is the difference between the three and why does it matter?

    There is no hard and fast classification as these terms are broadly used, but basic definitions can still be applied to each.

    Web 1.0 refers to the very first implementation of the web in which users could read but not interact with or contribute to the information they found. This read-only format was used simply to establish an internet presence and widen contact with audiences by making their information readily and easily available.

    An example would be shopping cart applications which mainly function as an online, seachable catalog with the advantage of shopping and purchasing from any location. The purpose is convenience and accessibility.

    Web 2.0 is the term for a read-write arrangement that allows contribution of and interaction between the users. This goes beyond (although it does include) comment sections or availability of a rating system or feedback. Think of websites like YouTube or Twitter that rely upon user contribution and uploads. The users become integrated and invested in the information. The purpose here is connection and contribution.

    What comes next? Numerically, it is obviously Web 3.0, but its functions are less obvious to imagine. The idea is a read-write-execute version of the web. This latest development is still in process. Ideally Web 3.0 will reduce the communication gap between computerized applications and users so that technical data is more accessible and readable to humans. From there, applications will have the potential to communicate directly to each other and simplify the need for user instruction. This will allow for broader, more instinctive search engines and intelligent, computerized interpretation of information.

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  • New – Database Vault for Windows!

    No comments April 6th, 2016 0 View(s)

    ASPnix is pleased to announce Database Vault for Windows – a brand new database backup management application. Database Vault offers a simple all-in-one solution for creating and managing MySQL and Microsoft SQL Server database backups. No need to have multiple applications for different SQL database engines, let Database Vault do it all!

    database-vaultDatabase Vault has the ability to store database backups to a variety of storage locations and solutions, such as a local disk, external USB drive, network storage, or an offsite FTP server. More storage locations such as Dropbox, Amazon S3 and Google Drive are coming soon!

    A single installation easily manages an unlimited number of database backups and versions. Backups take almost no time to create, and multiple databases can be backed up simultaneously, streamlining the process. Database Vault supports both full and incremental backups for Microsoft SQL Server, as well as supporting SQL Server’s native backup compression. Additionally database backups can be compressed to save space, password protected, and AES-256 encrypted for security. Database Vault has email notifications support for successful or failed backups and can include the backup task log file for a quick diagnostics of what has failed or gone wrong. 

    Database Vault integrates with the Windows Task Scheduler to allow backup administrators to schedule and plan backup tasks or directly edit the scheduled task within the Windows Task Scheduler, allowing optimal control over the task’s execution.

    Database Vault has been tested with databases from only several MBs all the way to 100GBs and handles databases of all sizes with ease!

    For a limited time, we are offering a $50 off launch promo on both the MySQL and Microsoft SQL Server backup options.

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  • Scheduled Weekend Windows Server Maintenance

    No comments April 5th, 2016 0 View(s)

    Beginning at 9PM MST on Saturday, April, 9th we will be performing thorough maintenance and standard cleanup on our Windows Web servers, SQL servers and our DNS servers. The following maintenance activities will be executed on our servers over the weekend…

    • Cleaning of ASP.NET temporary directories and other temp directories
    • PHP and 3rd party components updates
    • GeoIP database update
    • Windows Updates
    • Update PHPMyAdmin to latest version

    This maintenance period will apply to the following server systems…

    • WEB12
    • WEB13
    • WEB14
    • WEB15
    • WEB16
    • MYSQL
    • MSSQL
    • NS1
    • NS2
    • NS3

    During the maintenance period each server may be unavailable or sporadically online. We expect 15 – 30 minutes per server. We appreciate your patience during this period. No other servers or systems will be affected by this.

    Scheduled Date: 04-10-2016
    Scheduled Time:
     3:00 AM UTC
    Max Outage Duration: 30 minutes per server

    Thank you for choosing ASPnix as your web hosting provider!

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