Web Hosting

Choosing the Right Hosting Company

Choosing the Right Hosting Company

If you want to run an online business or even have a website for your brick and mortar business then you need to find a hosting company that can host your site.  There are thousands of hosting companies out there so narrowing it down to one that works for you is daunting.

Choosing the right hosting company

Backup

There is nothing worse than losing all the data on your site or having it hacked and you don’t have the backup files to restore it.  Choose a hosting company that offers a free backup service it is even better when you have a one-click backup option.

Scalability

When you are trying to grow your business you often start off with a small hosting package, as your business and your traffic grows you will need a hosting company that will grow with you.  A hosting company should have the ability to upgrade your services to accommodate your new traffic without your site crashing or any downtime.

Analytics

Whether you run an ecommerce site or it’s a regular website, you need to understand the traffic coming to your site and where it has been coming from.  You need to know which areas of your site are underperforming and which has the best conversions.  There are plenty of third party tools you can use but there should be tools that are part of your hosting package.

Customer Support

No matter how good your hosting company is there will still be problems.  It could be anything from being hacked to you not understanding how your services work.  That’s par for the course, but there should still be a good support system in place willing to help you when you need it.  Reaching customer support should be as easy and convenient as possible, they should be accessible by email, chat and phone.  Here are some other things to look for in a hosting company in the video below.

Things to watch out for

Free Domains

Many hosting companies will offer you a free domain for the length of your hosting services and while this probably sounds like a good deal.  Double check that the domain belongs to you and not your hosting company.  If the domain belongs to the hosting company and you want to move your services to another company you could end up paying heavily to keep your domain.

Free Hosting

There is no such thing as a free lunch and there is no such thing as free hosting either.  There are companies out there that will offer you free hosting and that may sound like a money saver you will pay in the long run.  Either they will put advertising on your site or they are completely unreliable and your site will be down more often than it is up and running.

Web Apps

Creating Your First App

Creating Your First App

Ever since the first iPhone launched way back in 2007 the popularity of apps exploded right along with it.  Creating your first app is going to be a bigger challenge than designing a website.  If your app isn’t very well designed or coded then you’re left with an inefficient app too difficult for the user to figure out and they will uninstall it fairly quickly.  When you develop your first app you need to consider the end user and their experience.

Here are some tips to develop a better app that works for you and the user.

  1. Plan carefully before you develop your app. After the app is done and you want to make changes to it, that can be quite complicated.  Before you make life more complicated for yourself, use a wireframe and plan the app out completely before you even start one line of code.  Make sure the user experience is right at each step before you move on and complete your app.
  2. Tooltips are your friends. Your end user can get bored pretty quickly by interfaces that are too busy.  Make sure the app isn’t ruined by text that is splattered all over, use tool tips on icons instead.  Your user gets the chance to explore the icons at their leisure without ruining the experience.  You can always use buttons that will toggle the tooltips off and on for a better experience.
  3. Elements that are related should be grouped. The easier it is to use the app the better.  Make sure that when you put elements on your app that are related together, users can find the information they need without difficulty.  Put the grouped controls under a drop down that way they don’t interfere with the other features that are on your app.
  4. Give your users status messages.  When you use a function on an app the user should know that something is actually happening.  If you use messages like ‘loading’ are big enough to be noticed.  There is nothing worse than trying to input information again and again without knowing if it was accepted.  Status messages let your user know that something is happening.
  5. Avoid using modals they make the user experience awful.  They are as irritating as the old popup windows they replaced, so if you have to use them at all make it very sparingly.  Again if you must use them make them very easy to close with a button or icon that is clearly visible.  On a mobile device modals take up the entire screen so if the user can’t close them quickly they are done with your app.