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  • 8 Simple Ways to Improve Your Online Traffic Without Even Mentioning Email

    No comments February 16th, 2018 6

    As a smaller business its often hard to exist in the same market as so many of your bigger competitors. Without huge budgets and stacks of resources its difficult to drum up new ways to drive traffic towards our sites. Without traffic we can’t create leads, without leads we can’t create sales and without sales we won’t be very successful. This article will cover a few ways to help improve your web traffic.

    Facebook

    I bet you knew that Facebook could be used as an advertisement platform but did you know that you can use it as a way to return traffic that have already been to your blog or website? Installing Facebook tracking pixel on your site will allow you to remarket your brand to as few as 100 previous visitors.

    Twitter

    Twitter, much like Facebook has a pixel that once installed can be used in the same ways. Twitter unfortunately has a higher minimum on their services. Twitter provides service targeted towards 500 people and up.

    Fix your headlines

    Studies have shown that the vast majority of people will only ever read headlines. Focus your energy on making them better. They should be the best part of your ads.

    Blog more

    Seriously, blogs do increase traffic. There are plenty of successful people who swear by them because of this fact. The best way to maximize your blogs exposure is to leverage them across your social media accounts. Make sure your social media accounts are all sharing your links and spreading awareness about everything on your blog.

    Blog Exchange

    Find bloggers who write about similar content. Find others in your same industry and are about the same size. Reach out to their editors or site admins. Ask if they would be interested in featuring some of your articles in exchange for featuring some of theirs. It could be a nice way to expose your brand to new traffics.

    Contribute to other sites.

    Forums are a great place to help others. So is YouTube. Make and share content to help others while you share your brand and inevitably people will come back to you.

    Consider producing a webinar.

    Round up a few guests or maybe just do one by yourself and teach about something you know a lot about. Any topic could work if done well.

    Start a Podcast.

    Podcasting is a great way to generate interesting content and also demonstrating your own expertise. A customer that finds you this way is likely to trust you a lot more than one who just follows an advertisement or finds you by accident. Consider interviewing someone with a larger fan-base.

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  • What is VPN? Why use it? How do I get it?

    No comments February 15th, 2018 5

    The internet is still a pretty unsafe place. Hackers and other criminals are stealing information all the time, governments and big telecom companies are trying to pry into our browsing habits to control and capture what information we access. There are a whole host of unsavory things out there and a VPN is an effective tool to help protect you from it all.

    Public networks are where a lot of attacks happen. Notoriously, criminals lay traps found freely on public networks. Working remotely might be opening you up to a whole lot of nasty things. Your personal information, your companies private information, your financial information and your job are more often at risk than you are probably aware.

    So What Is VPN?

    A Virtual Private Network (otherwise known as a VPN) is a slick method in which a person like you or I can avoid the booby traps that seem to be everywhere now. They have become a standard security practice for many people in various industries but there is a real need for more people to learn how they work and how to protect themselves. Too many people are still vulnerable to easily preventable security threats.

    VPN’s have become the gold standard with big corporations for 2 simple reasons. VPN is not just effective, its also cheap. Because it is a dedicated connection and encrypted, even if a thief was able to capture some of your data in an attack it still wouldn’t make sense to them because they simply wouldn’t be able to decrypt it. Furthermore, a personal computers IP address is replaced by their VPN providers IP address. Meaning your browsing habits, your downloads (yes, including torrents) and what videos you watch are now anonymous. Want to watch a new episode of a TV show in another country but keep getting warnings like “This content is not available in your country.”? Simply switch your VPN to one with an IP located in that country and voila. All of the regional videos with none of the hassle of being geographically located within that countries borders.

    How to get a VPN.

    Establishing any connection with a VPN is essentially the same. You would connect to whatever network you wish to use and turn it on. That is basically it. Everything else is done for you by the client software. Companies like ASPnix offer premium VPN service for between .13 and .14 cents a day ($50 a year). The service just runs in the background. Most users don’t bother to turn it on or off again. There isn’t any change in speed or performance so nothing is really lost by staying safely behind the VPN all of the time afterwards. I use it myself and can’t say enough nice things about it.

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  • How to Install Lets Encrypt

    No comments February 13th, 2018 27

    If you haven’t considered adding SSL encryption to your webpage yet, you should. SSL encryption has a lot of benefits to consider and really no reasons not to. If making sure your visitors feel safe seems important to you, or if SEO results matter much to your site, then you probably should follow along with this very simple tutorial. This article is really meant to walk you through how easy it is for anyone to set up.

    The first step is logging into your account at ASPnix.com. Once you log in you should see the Client Area. To advance just click on My Services Tab.

    Click on the blue “manage” button.

    Scroll down until you see the Login to cPanel button and click on it to begin.

    Now that we are in cPanel just scroll down until you see the security options.

    Then click on Lets Encrypt SSL

    Go ahead and click “+Issue” and click next afterwards.

     

    There you have it, a simple FREE option to install SSL certificates for yourself. These simple SSL Certificates are really perfect for most uses and if after you use Lets Encrypt you still want more out of your SSL, then consider upgrading to any of the paid SSL services available.

     

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  • 6 of the Weirdest WordPress Plugins on the Internet

    No comments February 12th, 2018 27

    For fun we are reviewing the top 6 strangest WordPress plugins around. They might not help improve your site much, or add to your productivity today but they will certainly give you a chuckle.

     

    Asteroidshttps://wordpress.org/plugins/asteroids-widget/

    In case you or your visitors need to blow off a little steam there is always Asteroids Widget. This clever little gadget gives you the chance to blow up the content of your page by shooting holes in it. Fans of the original asteroids might get a kick out of zooming around and blasting your text to smitherines.

     

    Barrel Rollhttps://wordpress.org/plugins/barrel-roll/

    This plugin will actually cause your page to do a barrel roll. When any user on your site types in “do a barrel roll” they will get a surprise. The entire page will roll a full 360 degrees. If thats not strange enough the creators specifically ask that you reach out to them and send them fan poetry.

     

    Hello Darthhttps://wordpress.org/plugins/hello-darth/

    Fans of the dark side might enjoy having Darth Vader quotes invade a little of their space. When active it will randomly select Darth Vader quotes (courtesy of IMDB) and will place these quotes in the upper right corner of the admin area.

     

    Captcha Garbhttps://wordpress.org/plugins/captcha-garb/

    Looking for a fun alternative way to prove your visitors are in fact real live people and not bots? Try out Captcha Garb, with it you can upload your own images and turn them into puzzles to be solved. If you are not feeling too creative you also have access to 58 puzzle images which are provided for you.

     

    Shoot the Zombiehttps://wordpress.org/plugins/shoot-the-zombie/

    Release the zombie apocalypse on your page! When in use a simple shortcode allow you to reveal a button which when pushed bring the dead to life on your screen. Once a zombie pops up you will need to shoot it.

     

    Never Gonna Give You Uphttps://wordpress.org/plugins/never-gonna-give-you-up/

    The most ridiculously useless wordpress plugin award goes to this one. When activated it ads the lyrics to the famous Rick Astley Song to the top corner of the admin page. In other words installing this plugin is in a way like rick-rolling yourself.

     

    I hope you enjoyed these, and in case you didn’t already know ASPnix has excellent fast and reliable Linux and Windows Hosting, featuring simple WordPress installation, high reliability, low prices, and honest service. Consider them next time you build a webpage.

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  • A Simple Explanation Of Lets Encrypt SSL Certificates

    No comments February 9th, 2018 19

    Let Encrypt is a Certificate Authority (otherwise known as a CA) that provides FREE SSL certificates. The intention of giving away these free certificates is to promote a more secure internet and although they are free certificates, they are by no means less safe. Today we are going to talk about the benefits of this type of SSL and when it’s most appropriate to use it.

    The first obvious benefit is that it is FREE. Not a trial, or a less secure version of the real thing. We literally mean that it costs no money for use. The second feature that should be pointed out is that it is secure. Lets Encrypt is meant to push webmasters towards using safer practices when they otherwise would not. This security benefits all of us who use these websites and protects us all from risk of man in the middle attacks or data theft. Finally, the impact on your sites SEO. Google has been pretty clear about how it intends to reward SSL users with better search results.

    So if this one is free why would anyone buy SSL?

    That is a very good question. Despite there not being any difference in quality of protection there is a clear difference in the way in which each is intended to operate. Lets Encrypt certificates do not provide Organizational Validation (or OV for short) and instead can only provide Domain Validation (or DV). The DV certificates can only provide a secure connection to the website and don’t validate any additional info. They don’t verify who is purchasing the certificate or require further email verification.

    If they are different which one should I use?

    If your site is a Business, or you ever process payments or sensitive personal data from your customers, you should definitely choose to pay for SSL. You are offering a further level of protection that makes a powerful difference in the eyes of your customers. You and your site are showing them that you are safe, secure and certifiably trustworthy. In all other instances there is Lets Encrypt.

    For more information regarding using Lets Encrypt and SSL in general at ASPnix see here.

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  • Worpress Plugins For Producing Mobile Responsive Websites

    No comments February 8th, 2018 17

    Today about 60% of the traffic to almost any website is made up of people on their phones, tablets and devices. That means that your site will be experienced more on mobile than any other platform. Furthermore, there is no sign of change in the future. Each year, mobile browsing will play a more and more significant role in the marketplace compared to traditional desktop browsing.

    Although WordPress continues to be a dominant force, it is not typically mobile friendly right out of the gates. Today we are going to go over various ways in which we can improve usability and user experiences

    WP Touch

    WP Touch is a very simple solution even for users with limited technical experience. This is one of the more popular solutions available. WP Touch works simply. It was made to recognize when visitors are viewing from a mobile device and then display a mobile optimized version of your site to them. Basically, with this solution you will have 2 different versions of your site, One for regular browsers and one made just for mobile. There is a free version of this plugin available and a paid version but even the free version comes with a lot of useful features.

    WordPress Mobile Pack

    This program allows you to repackage your existing web content into a mobile app for various platforms. The intention is to replace the need to create a whole different app and instead allow us to utilize the content that’s already available on our website. Webmasters can create a professional look that really feels like a native running app on mobile devices.

    WP Mobile Edition

    This is a plugin that features a complete toolkit to optimize your pages. Different themes are available right out of the gates. Best of all WP Mobile Edition brags that it will work without writing a single line of code. As a bonus feature visitors also have the option to choose between desktop and mobile viewing.

    If you are looking to try out any of these, ASPnix provides FREE starter Linux accounts with 1 click WordPress installation. Even paid services are as low as $5/mo. Linux Hosting / Windows Hosting

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  • Should I Choose Linux or Windows For My Website?

    No comments February 7th, 2018 28

    To a lot of us the difference between hosting solutions seems like a no-brainer and to others it seems a lot less obvious. This blog is meant to dispel a little of the confusion and hopefully help us all make better decisions.

    The first difference between the two major operating systems in use for hosting is certainly the most obvious. If you are actually planning on interacting with your server directly then by all means you will certainly want to seek out the OS that you are most comfortable interacting with. For the rest of us there are different tools which are meant for managing our content. Tools such as cPanel or WebsitePanel.

    When you are just getting started try Linux Hosting, an interface like cPanel can certainly help relieve some of that anxiety newcomers to web design often get but many users might see Linux as a bit foreign. You may be accustomed to using Windows primarily in other instances but don’t let that scare you away in this instance. Linux as an option for servers is typically appealing because of its simplicity. Installing certain programs and add-ons is very easy and can be done from cPanel. Because of this easy to use interface, its long history in the industry, and its security features Linux is the operating system in use on more than 60% of the worlds webservers. The cPanel interface is great at helping to do all of our software installations and management simply and quickly, especially with more repetitive tasks. WordPress, Drupal, and even Joomla are just 1 click to install. PHP, Perl or MySQL are all notable reasons to lean towards Linux as well.

    Windows Hosting takes a different route for software installation. There are a number of interfaces available for Windows. One popular option that is open source is WebsitePanel. Being open source means that users and companies can alter the software to make it more efficient or beneficial. For instance ASPnix provides their own customized version of WebsitePanel to customers. ASP (ActiveServerPages), VisualBasic, or Microsoft SQL databases are all common reasons to depend on a Windows OS. WebsitePanel has these and other options available, .NET framework or SharePoint are also both accessible on Windows servers.

    Ultimately, either solution has its benefits it’s up to you to determine what is best for your own use.

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  • Have you considered Teamspeak?

    No comments February 6th, 2018 22

    Are you a business looking for an excellent way to communicate? Do you and your friends want a better way to chat while gaming online? TeamSpeak might be a solution to consider. 

    TeamSpeak is an industry leading communications platform that offers pro level service and functionality without breaking the bank. The software is FREE, runs great on even the most basic computer hardware and is even accessible to users from their smart phones. 

    To begin, you are going to need to set up the TeamSpeak software onto a server. If you already have a server that can act as a host there is no cost. If you are like most of us and don’t want to bother with running your own server, you might consider looking into a hosting company like ASPnix to do all of that stuff for you. They will charge a monthly fee but typically most companies won’t charge much for the service. Check out ASPnix’s TeamSpeak Page for more info. 

    If you want to try the software out before you make any commitments, download and install TeamSpeak from teamspeak.com. The entire download is completely free and afterwards you wont have any trouble installing it onto your machine. The software is very easy to install and run on both Mac and PC. Once you begin, the software runs a setup wizard the first time which will help you set up your microphone, pick a nickname, etc. There are also apps available for using TeamSpeak with your phone. You can find them on Google Play and the App Store for IOS. 

    Lastly, now that the software is installed, you just need to point it to a server address. For example this address – ts3server://ts01-co.aspnix.com:9987 is the free trial server.

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  • What is TCP/IP?

    No comments February 5th, 2018 25

    TCP/IP is otherwise known as Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol. These protocols are meant to govern devices on the internet and when devices are within a private network.

    TCP/IP specifically dictates how internet communications should be exchanged through packets, transmitted and received. These procedures are meant to make our networks more reliable. Failures when they occur are easy to recover from automatically.

    There are two main parts to these protocols. The first is TCP. Transmission Control Protocol defines how communications are assembled and transmitted across networks, and it addresses which order things should be reassembled in.

    IP is how we label and reach out to the correct destination.

    In the 1970’s, DARPA (The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) created these procedures for use in the earliest incarnation of the internet. This predecessor was called ARPANET. TCP/IP was made with Unix Operating Systems in mind but it has been a component of every OS ever built since.

    Today TCP/IP uses a mode of communication which we refer to as “Client/Server”. The “client” in this instance is a word meant to describe a user or a computer which is provided for. While a different computer which is known as a “server” provides service to the client.

     TCP/IP Functionality

    The application layer is what gives applications standards to exchange data back and forth.

    • HTTP – Hypertext Transfer Protocol

    • FTP – File Transfer Protocol

    • POP3 – Post Office Protocol

    • SMTP – Simple Mail Transfer Protocol

    • SNMP – Simple Network Management Protocol

    The transport layer is meant to maintain communications across the whole network.

    • TCP – Transport Control Protocol

    • UDP – User Datagram Protocol

    The internet layer/network layer is what connects different networks to allow them to exchange packets back and forth past network boundaries.

    • IP – Internet Protocol

    • ICMP – Internet Control Message Protocol

    Lastly, the physical layer is the components in a network.

    • Ethernet

    • LAN – Local Area Networks

    • ARP – Address Resolution Protocol

    Final Thoughts

    TCP/IP is not controlled by any company or person. It is a compatible with everything and meant to allow us to communicate with every other system. Hardware systems and networks need this common protocol to allow everyone to connect simply and efficiently regardless of type of machine network, etc.

    If you enjoyed this article check out some of our other tutorials and blogs at ASPnix.com

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  • How does an SSL Certificate work?

    No comments February 2nd, 2018 31

    Before we start, what is SSL?

    SSL stands for “Secure Socket Layer”. This is a standard technology used to create an encrypted channel between a server and a browser. This is meant to allow sensitive information to pass securely between a user and a server without being at risk of data theft or “man in the middle” attacks.

    How does an SSL Certificate work?

    SSL Certification builds a secure connection that will ensure visitors are safe and secure, meanwhile browsers offer us visual cues like the lock icon or a green bar to let us know when we are safe.

    These certificates use a pair of keys; a private and a public key. These keys work together in a way that enables an encrypted connection. The SSL Certificate also contains the identity of the owner of the website.

    How is an SSL Certificate made?

    To get an SSL Certificate you can make a CSR or “Certificate Signing Request. This will provide a private and public key on your own server. The data file from your CSR is then sent to a SSL Certificate issuer otherwise known as a CA. In this case CA stands for “Certificate Authority”.

    What follows next is that the CA makes a data structure meant to match up with your private key. This is done without the CA ever even seeing your private key.

    Next, after you have an SSL Certificate you will need to install it onto your server. Different instructions are necessary depending on your server.

    In the end it is of the utmost importance that an SSL certificate is trusted and signed by a CA. Browsers will not trust a SSL Certificate that isn’t trusted by a CA. This means that in order to be a fully trusted SSL Certificate the site must undergo an audit to be further held up against standards that the browsers and Certificate Authority both agree are necessary.

    Did you know that ASPnix provides multiple SSL vendors as well as multiple certificate types to its customers? Check out their SSL Certification services.

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