The Hosting News

Top 5 Tips for Moving to Full-Time Freelancing

Are you thinking about freelancing full-time? It’s a great time to go for it and give it your full focus. You can be a successful full-time freelancer if you know what you’re getting into, from the preparation to the routine you setup for yourself. Not only should you be prepared financially for the transition, but you should under the legalities of your new role and how to make money from it. Make sure you have a solid routine and workspace to handle the work, and use a business plan to follow along the way. Here are the top five tips that will have you making full-time freelancing a reality this year. Getting prepared Make sure you’ve saved some cash to get you started in year one. It’s going to be a challenge building the business and you aren’t likely to bring in a profit at first. Have savings to get you started and continue to save to make sure you can sustain yourself while things are slowly progressing. You’ll also need money to pay for the start of your business, such as a business website, business cards, memberships with business organizations, and literature to help you in your new business. You’ll also want to make sure you’ve thought through the legalities of your new role. Some businesses will take advantage of the status of independent contractor in order to save on their taxes. For example, some clients may want you to do full-time work while still calling you an independent contractor, which means you are not getting the perks of full-time employment but you’re too busy with this client to have the opportunity to do other work. Remember that your status as an independent contractor means that you’ll have the freedom of making your own schedule, the control over where and how you do your work, and you won’t have taxes withheld from payments. Come up with a business plan and pricing strategy Now you’ll need to think about a reasonable pricing model for clients and a business plan for the long-term. You’ll have to consider many factors in your pricing strategy, knowing that you’ll have to pay out of your own pocket for things like health insurance, business equipment, professional development, wearing other hats like marketer and administrator, and taking time off. Charging just for the service provided without considering these factors may cause you to undersell yourself or undercut other local professionals. Once you’ve figured this out, you’ll have to come up with a business plan for the long term. Instead of treating it as a job-to-job career, think of the long-term plan to achieve your goals and continue to get new clients. Figure out your target market, how to market to them, and what services you could ideally offer to them. Then put it on paper in order to have a goal to look at each day. Get a great workspace Now that you’re set up for success, you’ll need to start thinking about the day-to-day operations. You’ll need to devote an area to working in order to avoid mixing your work and home life. You may even prefer a local coffee shop or co-working space. In addition, you’ll want to figure out a routine that works for you. It may be tempting to use your work time for personal errands and tasks. Figure out what time of day you work best in order to improve productivity. Having a consistent schedule is the key to success for a freelancer. Make sure you are marketing Marketing is a huge priority for freelancers. You’ll also need to be networking when you can. You want clients to come to you rather than always to be the one chasing the clients. Make sure you are building a website that shows off your talents well and make professional contacts. Meet people through professional groups and attend events of local organizations. Make sure your happy clients are putting testimonials on your website in order to show new clients that you have a great reputation. Be willing to turn down offers Just because you want all of the work you can get right now, it doesn’t mean you can’t turn down jobs. Sometimes you have to say no to projects because it’s not a good fit or it’s not worth your time. Don’t take a job just to have more jobs because you could end up doing a poor job and hurting your reputation. You also don’t want to be overworked or miss the right opportunities from being too busy. You’ll love full-time freelancing if you go into prepared and ready to work!

Spending on Data Centers from Google Up in 2016

Google spend more on data centers in 2016 than it did in previous years. It’s expected that this amount will continue to go up in 2017, as well. Over 2016, the company spent nearly $11 billion on data centers, which is up from about $10 billion in 2015. A large amount of the capital expenditures for Google goes to data centers. Part of the spike in the amount spent was due to the March announcement that Google would invest more in data centers to support its cloud services. Read the full story here.

Cloud Behemoths Continue to Take Public Cloud Market Share

Public cloud service providers, including Amazon Web Services, Microsoft, Google, and IBM, account for 63% of the public cloud market share. AWS alone accounts for 40% of the market share, with Google, Microsoft, and IBM accounting for 23% of the total public IaaS and PaaS market share. Smaller cloud providers’ market share has dropped 4% in the last quarter of 2016 compared to the last quarter in 2015. Small to medium-sized cloud providers make up just 18% of the overall public cloud services market, according to Synergy Research Group. Amazon Web Services is expected to continue to rule the market and cut into smaller providers’ market shares in the coming months. Read more here.

Endurance International Group to Cut 90 Jobs in Austin

The Endurance International Group recently filed paperwork with the State of Texas that declares its plans to cut 90 jobs – less than one third of more than 300 employees – from its Austin office. The cuts will affect A Small Orange and HostGator staff. These 90 cuts are in succession to the 400+ jobs that were eliminated when the group closed a Bluehost office in Utah back in January. Directly afterward, EIG announced they would be expanding and hiring more employees in Tempe, Arizona. Endurance International Group announced in an email statement the following: “Shifting our resources and attention to centralize support is a long-term strategy for the benefit of the business and our valued customers. This strategy will ultimately enable greater efficiency across our family of Endurance brands. It is our priority to ensure a mindful transition for our valued employees and we are extremely grateful for their dedication.” Read more here.

Alleged Security Problems Cause Rackspace Customer to Sue

i3 Brands Inc., an e-commerce company filed a lawsuit against Rackspace recently. They’re seeking over $1 million in damages due to inadequate and non-existent security, according to an article in the San Antonio Express-News. The Del Mar, California company believes Rackspace breached their contract because i3 Brands suffered from security crashes and breaches. Rackspace hasn’t acknowledged receipt of the lawsuit yet. Read the full story here.

Most U.K. Companies Lack Board-Level Digital Defense

Less than 5 percent of U.K. companies claim their boards of directors include individuals with information technology or cyber security expertise. This comes in contrast to a recent report showing a vast majority of directors naming identity hacking and other digital threats as serious risks. “With the pervasive nature of technology and the focus on cyber risk it is alarming that only one in 20 boards disclose that they currently have board members with specialist technology or cyber background,” the head of cyber risk services at Deloitte, Phill Everson recently reported. Read more here.

Tesora Bought By Stratoscale

Tesora, the Cambridge, Mass based database-as-a-service provider was sold to Stratoscale. Stratoscale provides software defined data center solutions and delivers an “on-premise AWS region.” The company is based in Israel. Ariel Maislos, CEO and founder of Stratoscale said in a statement, “This acquisition is an important milestone in Stratoscale’s ability to help customers on their journey to the cloud, organizations want to consume database as a service in a click-of-a-button. Stratoscale is happy to bring Tesora onboard to make this a reality.” The company also announced on Monday, a fully-managed and AWS compatible relational database service is available. Read more here.

Most Common Hosting Issues Bloggers Face

Hosting is vital to any website or online entity. If you don’t have great hosting, you’ll struggle to get any type of success out of your blog. As a blogger, it all starts with hosting. You want to be able to share your blog posts all over social media and let people find and read your content fast and easy. However, bad hosting may prevent this if your site is down or moving super slow. There are many issues you can run into as a blogger with bad hosting. Here’s a look at the seven most common issues you may run into with hosting. Slow Moving Blog There is nothing more annoying than doing a Google search, finding what sounds like the perfect article and clicking on it just to watch the page take forever to load. Most will leave and look for another article after less than 10 seconds. Your blog needs to load fast or you won’t be able to keep your visitors on your site. Slow load speeds also hurt your SEO, which can cause you to rank lower than you need to. Usually, they are caused by not using the right plugins on WordPress, but they can also be caused by a bad hosting company. You shouldn’t experience slow load times unless you have lots of traffic and the wrong hosting plan. If this is the case, you may need to upgrade to VPS or a dedicated server. Downtime It’s bad enough when your website moves super slow, but when it’s simply down, it can kill you. Some visitors may assume your blog doesn’t even exist anymore. However, it’s probably your hosting causing the issue. If you’re site goes down, you need to contact support immediately. It may not be the company’s fault, especially if you were hacked or did something to cause the issue without knowing it. However, support will get you back up and running. When downtime happens too often, you need to move to a new hosting company. There is no excuse for it and you shouldn’t suffer much downtime ever if you have a good hosting company. Bad Technical Support A hosting company with good technical support makes a huge difference. However, when you suffer with bad support from a hosting company it can be a nightmare. Slow responses, poor answers or simply not offering much help means it’s time to jump ship and find a real hosting company with great support. Hacked Account While a hosting company getting hacked isn’t a sign they are a bad company, it can be an issue. Hackers have gotten very smart over the past few years and they target hosting companies, in some cases. Make sure your hosting company provides excellent security and DDoS protection or you may suffer downtime due to a hacked account. There are several hosting issues bloggers could face and you may not be immune from them no matter which company you choose. However, if you choose a good hosting company, you may be in better shape and when issues do happen, they will get solved much faster than with a bad hosting company.

Security Issue Causing Vulnerability to Content Injection Attacks Fixed by WordPress

Sites using WordPress 4.7 and 4.7.1 were vulnerable to content injection attacks before WordPress rolled out 4.7.2. Mark-Alexandre Montpas, a Sucuri security researcher let the WordPress team know of the vulnerability in January. The issue was a big deal for WordPress users that could have had any content on their pages or posts changed. Hackers could have also added in shortcodes and exploited other vulnerabilities by infecting the SEO of a site or making it seem like spam. Read the full story here.

7 Top Tips for Improving SEO with WordPress

If SEO is one of your main marketing strategies, it’s a good idea to know how to improve it. There are several things you can do to make your SEO better with WordPress. Here’s a look at the seven top tips for improving your SEO with WordPress. Optimize Images Often, those new to WordPress and even some veterans will forget to optimize their images. This is important to your overall SEO as it can help increase the speed of your website, along with other things important to SEO. High-quality images are a great way to make your business website or blog stand out. However, if you let them remain as huge files, they will take forever to load. You can use one of many minimizing or “smushing” plugins as one step in the process of optimizing your images. Another thing you want to do when optimizing your images is add an ALT tag to each one of them. This should be a form of your main keyword, but also need to make sense with the image. Keep Your Content Unique Avoiding duplicate content is another good way to improve your SEO. You want to make sure every URL is unique and has unique content. You can use a tool like Copyscape to run each URL if you’re worried about duplicate content issues. Choose the Right Web Hosting If you don’t have good web hosting it could keep you from getting indexed and it could be slowing down your website. If you take this a step further, bad hosting could cause your site to go down, which Google and other search engines don’t like. This can cause problems, so make sure you get the right WordPress website hosting before you do anything else. Create an XML Sitemap With an XML sitemap, you provide an easy way for the top search engines to crawl your site and find your pages and posts. This is an easy thing to do and all you have to do is use one of the many plugins that allow you to create an XML sitemap for your website. Avoid Keyword Stuffing While this tip isn’t specific to WordPress websites, it’s a very important one for SEO. Keyword stuffing has been out for many years and simply won’t work. You want to keep your content written around a theme instead of around a keyword. Usually, using a few keywords for your content will help keep it cleaner and help you to keep from keyword stuffing. Use the Power of a Blog A WordPress website is great, but adding a blog makes it even more powerful. If you want to really build your SEO, you need to add a blog to your website. This will give you the ability to target long-tail keywords and you will also be able to build a better profile with regular, unique content. Of course, just like any other content, your blog posts need to be high in quality or Google won’t like your site. Keep Slugs Short When creating slugs for your posts and pages, five words is the max. Keeping them short makes it easier to get clicks to your articles and Google likes this. You also want to make sure you use dashes and not underscores. The underscores confuse the search engine bots. There are many other things you can do to increase your SEO with WordPress. However, you should start with these tips and build upon them. Make sure your content is always high quality or it may not matter what you do.

Seculert Purchased by Radware

Radware, a cybersecurity company, recently acquired Seculert, to help augment its data center security abilities. Seculert provides machine learning technology able to analyze systems for threats before an attack happens. Radware believes this acquisition will allow them to move forward with better security and ability to prevent attacks. The threat analysis will give the company a panoramic view for their data centers. Read the full story here.

Workers Frozen in Place After Order from President Trump

Khash Sajadi and Omid Scheybani are locked out and locked in of the United States after the executive order from President Trump. The order targeted seven predominately Muslim countries and these two, along with others were caught in the policy causing chaos around the world. Many companies are reacting to this including Google, Deloitte LLP and McKinsey & Co. These companies and others have told employees to cancel any trave plans for outside of the country. Scheybani, a graduate student at Stanford University is a dual citizen of Iran and Germany. Scheybani is stuck in Palo Alto, CA. Read the full story here.

SoftLayer Cloud Outage from IBM Limited to User Portal

According to IBM, the SoftLayer Cloud Outage is limited to the User Portal. The outage happened last Thursday and the company says it didn’t have an effect on any infrastructure applications. The issue was due to a planned interface update, but not being able to access the user portal isn’t a small issue. It’s a major concern for cloud customers. IBM hasn’t said whether they knew the update would cause outages or not. Read the full story here.

What Belongs on your Social Media Calendar?

When you’re trying to maintain your social media calendar for your business, it can be challenging to keep track of all of the different platforms available, how often to update them, and how to stay relevant on all of them. Sometimes it just takes an hour or less each day to maintain your social media marketing, depending on how well you are at automating processes and what your level of experience is. If you’re feeling overwhelmed and you aren’t sure what to keep on your social media calendar, use this guide to determine how to handle each major platform and what you need to schedule besides time to publish content. What all do I need to schedule? Along with scheduling time to publish new blog posts, you’ll need to incorporate time for other social media related activity. Think about it; if your customers only saw your newly published posts but there was no other interaction, would they continue to follow you? Make sure you are reviewing what your customers say about your brand, products, or your industry. Take the time to respond and show your customers that you care about their feedback, whether it’s positive, negative, or a question that needs answered. Schedule time to come up with unique campaigns and fresh content on each social medial platform, review your analytics to make sure things are running smoothly, and learn about new features offered on each platform that could help you and your future strategies. The importance of Facebook A good place to start is by focusing on Facebook, being one of the most used social media platforms. It’s easy to create different profiles for your business that is separate from your personal, and to create or join groups. Show off your brand through your profile and post updates daily or weekly. Post the occasional video and monitor incoming messages or comments. It’s a great way to invite others to follow you and easy to promote your page on your website or other social networks. Be sure to engage your with your customers through groups and take the time to create retargeting ads. How to tackle Instagram Another popular platform is Instagram, known for its photo filters and short captions. Use the simplicity offered here to post an image or video each day. You can always schedule updates out once a week through social media management tools. You’ll get a notification reminding you to publish the update at the scheduled time on your mobile device. Use this platform to be on the top of your follower’s news feeds through the Instagram Stories feature. Then promote your profile on your website and other social media platforms. Just like Facebook, you’ll need to respond to comments, direct messages, and mentions. Make sure you make your profile a business profile by converting it in your settings, which will help you in offering more contact options and giving you access to insights. Lastly, create retargeting ads targeted to your ideal customers. Keeping Twitter up to speed Twitter is the other biggie next to Facebook, where you’ll want to keep up with it several times per day. Your Twitter account can be scheduled to publish for you through social media management tools. Just like your other social media platforms, be sure to add links to all of your pages in your email signature and other network’s profiles. On Twitter, you can save a search for people having a conversation about a product or service that you may want to sell to them, such as seeing a tweet where someone was looking for a service that your brand offers. You can search for anyone that is mentioning your brand or specific products or services for an easy way to reply. Lastly, you can create retargeting ads for those that visited your website but didn’t complete one of your conversion goals, such as subscribing to your email list or making a purchase, in order to remind them of what they viewed. Don’t forget LinkedIn Sometimes LinkedIn gets overlooked since this is a more professional website meant to help people network easier. Make sure you make a personal profile, company page, groups, showcase pages, etc. and post updates daily. You can create a showcase page on LinkedIn to show off your popular products and you can use your personal profile to engage with target customers. Create groups or join them, monitor your notifications in case you have comments to reply to, and promote your page on your email signature and other platforms. Don’t forget other popular platforms like YouTube where you can post videos, Pinterest where you can create promoted pins of your images, and Snapchat where you can advertise easily. Make your social media calendar more complete by scheduling these tasks for each platform, and you’ll find that your daily upkeep is much more manageable than you thought it could be.

Huge Cleveland Data Center Acquired by H5

H5 Data Centers announced they have acquired the huge ByteGrid Data Center called Cleveland Technology Center. This center covers 330,000 square feet and provides a ton of data center space. The long-haul internet routs of the data center attracted H5. It connects to both western and eastern United States locations not going through Cleveland and Atlanta with low-latency routs for the Midwest and East Coast. Major areas, such as Chicago, Washington D.C. and New York City are connected through the data center. Read the full story here.

440 Bluehost Employees Getting Laid Off

Endurance International Group, the parent company of Bluehost, will be closing the Orem, Utah office. This will result in laying off 440 employees, according to VentureBeat. The layoffs will include more than half of the employees at Bluehost including human resources, training staff, customer service and accounting. Employees were given a memo about the layoffs on January 19, 2017. The laid off employees will receive one month’s salary and COBRA benefits for three months, along with two weeks “standard severance” and one week per year of employment. Layoffs will run from March to October of 2017. Read the full story here.

Launch of New Office in Columbia Announced by AWS

Amazon Web Services has announced a new office launching in Bogota, Columbia. The global headquarters of the company is found in Seattle, Washington and they offer many cloud servers including storage, IoT options, computing and security. This new office will be the second in Latin America for AWS with the other located in Brazil. Many leading Columbian companies already use AWS and some Columbian government agencies do, as well. A full team will be established in the new office with account executives and technical support. Read the full story here.

Microsoft Wants to Defend the Constitutional Rights of Customers

Microsoft is trying to halt the sneak-and-peak searches the FBI wants to do of e-mails. The ability to stop this from happening may depend on the company’s ability to defend the constitutional rights of customers. A judge in charge of deciding if the case will move forward told attorneys to be prepared in court on Monday. Microsoft has a lot at stake with this case. If they win, it will block the United States from secretly looking at customer data stored in the cloud, which includes email. Tech leaders, such as Amazon.com, Google and Apple have supported Microsoft since they file the lawsuit in April. These companies all believe the future of cloud computing and mobile depend on the privacy of the data. Read the full story here.

Facebook Data Center Hardware Going to Market

Recently, a group of network software and hardware companies have decided to bring a data center network hardware designed by Facebook to market. The first public demo of the OS running on configurations of what is known as Facebook’s Backpack and Wedge 100 switch platforms was delivered on Tuesday by Cumulus Networks. Cumulus plans to make Backpack configurations with Linux pre-loaded. Pre-ordering has already started and this is the first modular system to be running Cumulus. Read the full story here.

SEC Will Investigate Yahoo Due to Hacks

The Wall Street Journal has reported that The Securities and Exchange Commission in the United States will investigate Yahoo Inc. The reason for the investigation comes from the well documented data hacks the company suffered over the past few years. This investigation could provide a blueprint on how companies are expected to respond to data hacks. It should provide some guidance to the SEC when handling these types of situations. Yahoo suffered a massive data breach in 2014 with about 500 million accounts hacked. Another breach had happened in 2013, which impacted about 1 billion accounts. The 2014 breach wasn’t reported by Yahoo to the public or their investors until two years later. Read the full story here.

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