Why Your Eco Marketing Isn’t as Green as You Think

Save the whales…collect the whole set! It’s a fun joke, but it’s utterly ironic in the face of the current “green” trend in marketing lately.

If you can claim to be eco-friendly in some fashion or another, you might boost your numbers. But how eco-friendly is your marketing strategy? Are you just saying you’re eco-friendly? Can you deliver what you promise?

Let’s take a few moments to look at what a real and sustainable eco marketing strategy looks like. And then we’ll see if your strategy stands up to the test. Scroll on to see.

1. The Three Legs of the Eco Marketing Stool

Stools are only as good as the legs holding them up. And if one leg breaks, the whole thing comes tumbling down along with its occupant.

The three legs of a sustainable marketing plan are these: Approachable, Doable, and Believable.

Approachable

What do you imagine when you hear “approachable?” Do you imagine someone who is forceful about their beliefs to the point of exclusion? Or do you imagine someone who just wants to share their beliefs?

Being eco-friendly is founded on belief. It ties into a particular worldview. And this worldview is quickly becoming the norm in our society.

Two things you can do to make your eco marketing approachable:

1. Make it Inclusive

Plug into to how your customers and clients feel about the environment and how society feels as a whole. Don’t try and push extremes as those will push people away.

2. Make it Neighborly

Does the cause affect your clients and customers directly? If you’re not seeing the numbers, it could be a simple matter of thinking too big. Try and find a way to connect the cause directly to your clients’ situation.

Believable

How believe is your ploy to affect change? Are you trying to save a whole rainforest? That might not be believable.

Are you trying to raise money for an eco development non-profit organization? Some organization that promotes sustainable farm practices?

Are you donating money from every transaction to help biohazard cleanup in the nation’s rivers and streams? You have to remember that it’s the small believable things your customers will be willing to help out with.

Find ways to make your own business eco-friendly. And then, use those actions in your eco marketing plan.

Doable

If you can’t follow through with the promises you include in your eco marketing, how long do you think you’ll retain people’s loyalty? Promise the moon only if you can deliver the moon.

Don’t promise the moon and deliver the sky.

If you do promise more than you can deliver, you’ll sink your marketing ship and damage your credibility.

Instead, start small. Where can you donate funds? How can you change your own practices in your own business?

Are there eco-friendly businesses in your area with whom you can affiliate? From a coalition of eco-friendly businesses and offer customers discounts on each other’s businesses for coming to yours.

If you reach too high, you’ll end up looking like the over-zealous eco-pirates on Whale Wars.

Standing Out and Keeping Up

Whatever your marketing theme is, make sure it stands on all three legs.

Now is the time to evaluate your brand and its message. Once everything’s up and running the way you’d like, make sure it stays there and works for you — and the audience that’s listening.

A Look at The Financials: Tech Startup Business Model

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It is essential to look at the financials of a tech startup business model if one is to understand today’s digital landscape.

Everything is different in today’s world, from the financials to the factors that are crucial to a business’s success.

Understanding the financial factors in the startup business model comes with experience and studying many different startups. Every case is different, but there are common threads that unite all startups.

Financials of the Startup Business Model: Complicated, Yet Simple

The startup business model is a complicated yet simple one.

Long-standing business practices are part of it, but they are not everything. Much has changed in the business models of today, especially when it comes to fundraising.

One example is the changes mentioned is that, unlike traditional businesses and companies, startups are funded in many different ways.

The tried and true financial lessons and practices no longer apply across the board in today’s business world.

Financial Details of Startups

In the world of startups, some are supported by investors and some pursue high risk business loans. Others are launched by a wealthy founder who can put in a large chunk of his or her own personal savings.

Financial factors that are examined in the startup business model include monthly revenue growth, revenue run rate, gross and net margins, burn rate, and more.

Still, despite the uncharted territory of the financials of the startup business model, more people than ever are pursuing this path.

Startups Continue To Be On The Rise

Startup funding applications are growing at an exponential rate, especially in the US. Each year breaks records set in the previous year when it comes to the founding and growth of startups.

In the midst of the startup frenzy, it’s necessary to take a step back to judge the success of your startup, especially when it comes to financials. This is important for anyone involved in the startup business model, at any stage of the game.

But how can you be confident in the strength of your startup business model? Creating financial projects is one way to do this. One must take into consideration sales projections, budgets, and more.

Other Important Factors to Consider in the Startup Business Model

Of course, this may be a given, but it bears repeating because it cannot be stressed enough. In today’s digital landscape, having a website that is up and running quickly is essential.

We have discussed before why website speed is only increasing in importance for any and every business that relies on their web presence to generate sales.

Businesses must also think about SEO best practices in order to fully optimize their web presence and maximize profits.

Having a website is a great first step, and no startup today can survive without one.

But having a fully functioning site that runs quickly and provides a great user experience is also an extremely significant aspect of the startup business model.

Today, it’s not enough to just have a website. It must be a great website that experiences few technical difficulties and provides an easy way to accomplish your online goals.

Use our website performance monitoring service to ensure that you get notified any time there are problems with your site. We also have a quick check tool that will ensure you are the first to know if and when your site goes down.

7 Things to Know About FCC Internet Neutrality Rules

fcc internet

The internet has changed everything about our lives.

The ways we communicate, shop, and work have all been impacted by the internet. The web also makes a wealth of information readily accessible at your fingertips.

The internet has come to be regarded as a free and open public forum. Recently, internet users have worried that this freedom could be compromised by ending Net Neutrality.

Net Neutrality is an FCC internet policy that supports an open internet. But what is it exactly? Let’s take a closer look at seven things you should know.

A Brief History of FCC Internet Policy

The FCC first adopted Net Neutrality, or Open Internet rules, under the Obama administration in 2015.

The basic principle behind Net Neutrality is that all internet traffic should be treated equally. This means that internet service providers cannot provide faster speeds to websites or customers that pay more.

Net Neutrality Does not Give the Government Control of the Internet

There is concern over whether these rules would increase government oversight of the internet. Users were concerned that the policy could be a threat to their privacy and cybersecurity.

In short, Net Neutrality does not give the FCC, or any other government agency, control of the internet. The policy provides no additional authority to censor legal content on the internet.

In fact, Open Internet rules prevent internet service providers from blocking lawful content. This rule protects the internet from censorship.

So we’ve got an idea of what Net Neutrality does and doesn’t do. But what would the internet look like without Net Neutrality?

Sites Could Pay for Faster Speeds

One feature that Net Neutrality prohibits is charging certain websites for faster speeds. These so-called “fast lanes” could allow companies to pay for faster loading times.

Many internet users fear that changing Net Neutrality’s current policy could end online streaming as we know it.

Under existing rules, it costs the same amount to access a streaming site like Netflix as it does to access any other service. This is despite the fact that streaming online videos requires much more bandwidth.

Without these FCC internet rules, internet service providers could charge higher prices to access streaming services. This could make the cost prohibitive for most users.

Internet Service Providers Could Offer Preferential Treatment

Many internet service providers would have a direct incentive to charge more to access streaming sites.

Lately, many consumers have been turning to “cord-cutting” for their home entertainment needs. Because of the inexpensive costs of services like Hulu and Netflix, they’ve been ditching expensive cable plans. This trend has led to a cut in cable’s profits.

In many areas, cable television and internet service are sold by the same companies. For instance, Comcast, Verizon, Spectrum, and others all offer packages that bundle internet and cable service.

In short, internet service providers could charge users more to access Netflix. This could make a cable package look appealing.

Not only that, but some internet service providers actually own their own streaming services. For instance, AT&T owns DirectTV. Without Net Neutrality, AT&T could charge less for customers to access their own product.

These changes to current FCC internet rules could greatly limit consumer options.

Protecting Consumers

The rules of Net Neutrality are intended to protect internet users. The FCC internet policy insists that the internet is more like a public utility than a good that can be regulated by market forces.

For instance, Americans don’t buy their electricity or water from a private company. Instead, they purchase it from a government utility agency.

This centralized system ensures that prices are consistent for consumers. It alway maximizes the access that consumers have to these essential services.

The creators of Net Neutrality suggest that the government should treat the internet in a similar way. Because internet use is so ubiquitous, many consider it a necessity, rather than a luxury.

These rules are intended to regulate the price and distribution of internet service so that more Americans can continue to access it.

Are the Burdens Too Heavy for Internet Service Providers?

Whenever a consumer protection is passed, there is bound to be pushback from for-profit companies. All consumer protections cut into company profits to some extent.

Internet service providers complain that FCC regulations hinder their ability to regulate traffic. In some ways, this is true.

Net Neutrality does not allow service providers to place regulations sites because of the bandwidth they use. But providers are still able to block traffic from sources that pose security threats. They can also regulate traffic issues in times of high use and congestion.

Internet service providers also argue that Net Neutrality discourages investment in bandwidth. Remember, providers do not have the ability to charge more money for using more bandwidth. The companies argue that this makes the product’s value much less attractive to investors.

Since Net Neutrality has only been in place since 2015, the implications of this claim are still playing out.

Internet Rules are Changing

As we all know, the 2016 election brought a new administration to Washington DC. Ajit Pai, chairman of the FCC, has indicated interest in rolling back certain Net Neutrality regulations. It will be many months, if not longer, before we know the full effects of this move.

That said, Net Neutrality is not the only FCC internet rule that is changing. Earlier this year, Congress voted to overturn an FCC Broadband Privacy rule.

This rule required internet service providers to inform users that they were collecting data. It also required transparency about how the data would be used. Additionally, service providers had to take precautions to ensure consumer data was protected.

Again, these policy changes are extremely new. It will be a while before we can understand their full impact.

That said, these recent moves regarding FCC internet rules indicate that we might be entering a new age of internet policy.

Where do you fall on the Net Neutrality debate? Do you believe ending Net Neutrality would impact your business? Let use know in the comments!

Top 5 IT Admin Errors that Lead to Network Downtime

downtimeCreating and maintaining a website is crucial for businesses today. And if you don’t want your customers to switch to one of your competitors, you better make sure your online presence is conveniently accessible.

But today it’s no longer enough to just have a website. You must be prepared to manage things like downtime.

Why Downtime Management Is So Important

Downtime refers to periods of time when a system, such as a network, becomes unavailable. This hiccup can have detrimental effects for your business. And it happens probably more than you think.

Businesses deal with unplanned downtime an average of 13 times per year. The average cost of just one hour of downtime for a highly critical application? More than $82K.

But network downtime costs affect more than real dollar amounts. It can also negatively affect a company’s reputation, SEO and SERPs, loss of data, and the customer experience.

All of these, of course, are bad news for a business’s bottom line.

Consider the fact that 81% of shoppers conduct online research before making a purchase. Now, imagine someone was trying to either conduct further research on one of your products or was going back to your site to make a purchase.

If your site was down and refused to load because of an internal issue, chances are that person would do a Google search for the same type of product and look elsewhere.

After all, convenience and timeliness have everything to do with the customer experience and how customers—both new and existing ones—perceive your brand.

Research shows that companies that prioritize the customer experience earn 60% more profits than their competitors.

In August 2013, the New York Times’ site went down—but only for two hours. Still, one of its top competitors, the Wall Street Journal, took advantage. The Journal temporarily dropped its paywall in an effort to convert Times’ readers.

Additionally, the Times’ stock dropped.

Downtime can happen due to a number of reasons, some of which are within your control.

In fact, human error is the cause of as much as 75% of downtime.

Below, we discuss the top five preventable IT admin errors that can lead to network downtime.

Top 5 IT Admin Errors

1. Failure to backup systems.

This may sound like an amateur move for IT professionals, but it does happen.

In order to salvage intel if a system goes down, a clear backup plan is needed.

Make sure your backup is fully functioning the way it should be for whatever type of infrastructure you have.

Double check that all intended storage devices are included in the backup, and be aware that the backup you’re using is the most current.

Another error that some companies face is cutting corners by not investing in the most current updates or security measures.

These investments will actually benefit you in the long run.

2. Not getting everyone on board with policies and procedures.

Training is a crucial aspect of almost any job, but especially in a position where instrumental data is involved.

In this case, it’s important to make sure there are policies and plans in place for staff to follow consistently.

You want to make sure your IT team is following these procedures across the board. Aside from regular check-ups, make sure there are policies in place—what to do and when to execute on them—when things do go wrong.

This protocol should include a comprehensive checklist and regular testing procedures. Testing is non-negotiable but it’s important to also remember to test partial parts of a whole system.

Partial failures can occur in both the network hardware as well as in electrical switchgear.

What are your recovery options? Do you know how much storage your system can handle? Are you keeping up with updates necessary to speed up any slowdowns? Is your backup equipped with the most current information? And are you documenting the details of each issue?

Is your backup equipped with the most current information? And are you documenting the details of each issue?

These are questions your team should always be asking themselves and know how to answer.

Having post-procedures in place when things slow down or go down is key. It prevents more chaos around an already stressful situation when time is of the essence. It also minimizes downtime.

3. Taking security lightly.

Another cause of downtime is through intentional human error in the form of a cyber attack.

Cyber attacks occur when stored information systems are not fully secure. And they’re quite common.

The number of reported data breaches last year was 781. This number has increased 23% since 2013.

Cyber attacks do more than threaten the loyalty of your customer base and the reputation of your company. It also costs a lot of money in recovery.

The average total cost of a data breach in the U.S. is $6.5 million. And the global cost of cyber attacks in 2019 is projected to be $2.1 trillion.

Make sure your security systems are tight, consistently tested, and updated when necessary.

4. Not investing in redundant parts.

When purchasing parts of a system, such as CPUs, fans, and power supplies, an IT manager may initially choose the cheaper option to save the department money. Cheaper options usually include one set of parts to a system.

However, if downtime should occur, getting those redundant parts for backup errors will cost you time and money. And that’s something you’ll want to avoid for the sake of the company’s reputation as well as your own.

Preparing for an outage means investing in the protection of the parts needed for the system to run, even if that means it’ll cost you more to begin with.

Consider which elements should be redundant—from batteries to Internet providers, and everything in between.

5. Not investing in a real-time service.

It’s nearly impossible and unrealistic to manually check your website every few minutes.

As a business owner, you’ve got a million and one things on your to-do list. Your staff is busy with their respective tasks.

Even your IT team, the people in charge of making sure your systems are secure, has a lot of other responsibilities to manage.

It’s also important to note that your employees aren’t working 24 hours like your website is.

Investing in a service that notifies you in real-time if your site goes down is a big piece of the puzzle to minimize the duration of downtime.

Have questions about how this type of service could help your business, or just want more information? We’ve got you covered here.

Secure Web Hosting for Your Business: What to Watch For

secure web hosting Security. Sounds like a powerful word, doesn’t it?

Truth is, it is powerful.

Think about the difference between the term “web hosting” and the term “secure web hosting.” Sounds like you would consider choosing the second one, right?

Over the years, online security has become vital. Registering a domain name, designing a killer website and being online is no longer enough.

After all, when you create a website, it’s like you put all your information on a cyberspace where hackers can enter and grab all the information they might need. The first thing you want to do is look for a host which provides you with the security needed.

Before we start, let’s take a look at the types of people who might want to break your website’s security protocol:

Identity Thieves

These hackers have one simple goal: Gather essential information about their victims and use them for personal gain.

Either it is your e-mails or your clients’ information, these hackers will definitely benefit from you and move on to their next victim because that’s what they do.

Actual Thieves

Do you know how much money moves via wireless signals, optic fibers, or even cell phones? Literally billions. We hate to be the bearers of bad news, but there are people who have the knowledge and the resources to steal parts of these billions.

If you own or run an e-shop, secure web hosting is absolutely essential. Look for web hosts featuring SSL certificate, and secure all the data transmitted to and from your website.

The Tricksters

To be honest, they are the worst. They just hack a website, take it down or even destroy it just for fun. However, even though it is a hobby for them, their work can definitely cause a number of problems to you and your business (loss of revenue, your clients will lose their trust in you etc.)

Are you are an individual trying to secure their essential information or a company monitoring a bunch of websites? The list below will definitely help you with your web server’s security:

Secure Web Hosting Basic Tools

Before you go deeper into the world of secure web hosting, there are three basic tools you have to learn how to use. All three of them will add a basic layer of security to your website and they will help you avoid all the drama hacking comes with:

Anti-Virus Software

Think of the internet as a hospital where 50 percent of the people are affected by a virus and the other 50 percent are visiting. The point is that anything that is online is vulnerable to viruses and your website is not an exception.

Find an open-source cPanel or Plesk anti-virus software and scan all of your directories for suspicious files that could destroy your online presence in a snap. Two of the most popular ones are ClamAV are avast!

Rootkit Scanner

Think of rootkits as small spiders that sneak into your web server. These spiders are so tiny that your anti-virus is not always able to detect them, so you need a rootkit scanner to get rid of them.

Firewall

Sure, it sounds like a really fancy term. You have certainly watched movies about hackers trying to break a company’s firewall and get into the server to steal valuable data. However, the truth is that not all firewalls are equally strong.

Use a basic, free firewall to protect your server and block unauthorized access. It might not be as strong as CIA’s firewall, but it will get some job done.

Whatever you do, when looking for a host you have to make sure they offer you all these three basic applications to optimize and improve your server’s protection. Since they are not so sophisticated or that hard to find, they will most likely be free of charge.

FTP Settings

FTP stands for File Transfer Protocol. A useful protocol for every time you want to upload new files on your server. Generally speaking, FTP is a secure protocol, but this doesn’t mean that hackers are not able to attack it by modifying your uploaded files.

Talk with your web host provider and ask about SFTP availability. Yes, you guessed it right, that “S” stand for “secure”. This tiny little layer of protection will not be all you are going to need but it will be just another way to help you rest better at night.

After all, secure web hosting involves a number of steps.

Extra FTP tip: We are sure you already have, but we have to mention it. Uncheck that option which says “Allow Anonymous Uploads” and “Allow Anonymous Logins”. This will help you block strangers from uploading files to your web server. You’re welcome!

Updating Your Control Panel

Whatever your web hosting control panel is (Plesk or cPanel) make sure you always update it to the latest version. You see, the latest versions usually fix all the security bugs the previous ones had –and, trust us, you want that fix.

Talk with your host and ask them about your control panel’s updates. Do they automatically do it for you? How does your server’s updating process affect your website? Yes, all you have to do is ask.

Backup Like There is No Tomorrow

You already know how important backups are but, for some reason, we always feel the need to remind it. Because no matter how important backups are, people always tend to forget about them. If you are one of them, have one of your employees do it for you.

Even after you have done your best to protect your website from annoying intruders, unexpected things can always happen when you are at least prepared for them. There is only one solution to this –more common than you think— problem. BACKUPS.

No matter what attack or unlucky incident you may be dealing with, a backup will never disappoint you. It will always be there for you and help you get your website up and running at no time. Eat that, hackers!

Most hosts come with tools to help you manage your backups, but what about theirs? Ask them how often they backup their servers, what procedures they prefer, and where they store the data collected. After all, you have the right to know!

Monitoring your website 24/7 might sound hard and the truth is that it really is. Being on the constant lookout for cyber-attacks; trying to figure out what has gone wrong; searching for that part of your server that needs extra attention. It is a hard word.

If all of the above, sound intimidating, feel free to sign up today and get your own, personalized website report! We’ll be happy to help!

The Dyn DDoS Attack that Broke the Internet: Here’s What Happened

Dyn DDos AttackEven internet giants can’t consider themselves infallible in 2016. This is especially true after the most recent DDOS attack that took down websites like Twitter, Reddit, and Netflix.

Understanding DDOS attacks is helpful to knowing why your favorite websites are down. It’s also helpful when putting plans in place to protect your own website.

SiteUptime provides network performance monitoring services that make sure that your website is accessible from many points of the internet.

You’ll love our affordable service plans. SiteUpTime helps protect your website from hackers looking to steal information or bring your website down with a DDOS attack.

These attacks may seem random and unpredictable at times. There seems to be little anyone can do to prevent the internet from “breaking” during the time when these hackers wreck their havoc.

What a DDOS attack is

“DDOS” stands for Distributed Denial of Service. These attacks happen when a number of hackers and their bots go to a site all at once. This rush overwhelms the servers and causes the service to fail.

During this downtime, there isn’t much web hosts, web developers, and individual users can do to bring the website back to working order. This is evident in the latest DDOS attack on Dyn, a widely used internet performance manager.

These attacks, sometimes coming from the “darknet” can cost just $150 for a week-long DDOS attack. This makes the chances of a DDOS occurring higher since these cheap prices are in the budget for most people with malicious intent.

Interestingly enough, these attacks do not typically occur as an attempt to steal data from websites. But, in some attacks, this information can become compromised.

Instead, DDoS attacks block others from accessing the site and the information they have on it. Favorite videos on Youtube, sending out orders on Etsy or viewing your personal bank account information can all be stopped with an attack.

Ensuring that your website is secure is a first step in ensuring that a DDOS attack doesn’t harm your business.

There are ways to take steps that can help you avoid or prevent a DDoS attack. Try giving your employees additional training in online security and creating detailed online policies and strategies.

Botnets

Botnets are a network of computers that have been infected by malicious viruses that remain hidden on the computer until an event like a DDOS attack occurs.

During this time, the “botmaster” is able to coordinate an attack and collect control of infected computers. Just one botnet could bring down a website.

However, these botnets may work collectively to target larger websites and networks in order to bring down the sites for a longer period of time and over a larger geographical area.

In the case of the Dyn DDoS attack, a collective of hackers and botnets worked together across the globe.

Since they were located in different areas, the botnets completely took out Dyn databases on the east coast of the United States.

This was accomplished by them targeting the Dyn servers that linked back to the East Cost but were located in other countries.

The Dyn DDoS attack

On October 21st, 2016, your access to many favorite websites may have suddenly stopped working.

Some of the websites that were taken offline caused massive problems. Twitter, Reddit, GitHub, Etsy, Imgur, PayPal, Spotify, Yelp, and the PlayStation Network reported problems stemming from the Dyn DDos attack.

Problematically, this attack stopped users from accessing their information and cost these companies hours of business. For internet-based companies, this can be devasting.

SiteUptime aids in internet performance monitoring to find out exactly how much downtime your web site endures.

This information, along with the other data our services gather, can help with your personal understanding of DDos attacks in relation to your business.

As some have noted, DDoS attacks typically target a single website. Usually, this happens when someone or some group has a personal reason to remove that company from full online functionality for an uncertain amount of time.

In the case of the Dyn attack, the unprecedented incident took out a host that allowed multiple large websites to function.

Surprisingly, for this DDoS attack, Network World reported that only 10% of the world’s botnets were involved in the Dyn DDoS attack.

This particular DDoS attack took out websites for the east coast for almost the entire day– beginning at internet “primetime” in the morning and a third wave of the attack occurring just after 4pm est.

What’s happening now

As for Dyn, all of the websites taken down by the October 21st attack have returned to full function. Users can once again enjoy their services and business owners can go back to providing goods and making their living.

However, this massive attack has called for a review of the way websites and servers currently run.

Improving the technology and coding behind websites like Dyn may be able to prevent a future attack, but staying one step ahead of massive networks of hackers is a difficult task.

The remedy to this problem is not very clearly, unfortunately. As with many things coming from the dark side of the internet, finding out motives and solutions will be difficult.

Dyn has produced a piece that outlines the impact, timeline, and possible solutions to remove the possibility of DDoS attacks from happening in the future.

While SiteUptime is absolutely on board with fighting for a solution, it is our biggest priority to keep you up-to-date with the correct information.

We help your business by monitoring the internet performance of your website to provide great service to your customers.

Conclusion:

The DDoS attack on Dyn is a good example of why internet security is an important topic that should be at the forefront of any business owner’s mind. Security is important regardless of whether or not the company is small or large.

SiteUptime provides monitoring locations across the globe to test the functionality of your website from different points on the map.

With multiple locations, SiteUptime checks that problems like DDoS attacks don’t take down your website to different user groups.

Our locations are currently New York City, San Fransisco, Portland, Brazil, Ireland, Australia, and Singapore. Being across the globe is just another step we take to ensure that your website is monitoring and prepared for problems like DDoS attacks.

Network Performance Monitoring: 4 Reasons Your Site Goes Down

If you have a business, chances are you also have a website that brings in new customers from the web.

Providing network performance monitoring to over 125,000 websites, SiteUptime understands the necessity of having a funetwork performance monitoringnctional website that is reaching customers in order to keep businesses successful.

We know that a site that is up 99% of the time still equates to 7 hours out of every month where customers simply cannot reach your business website. For a new customer, this downtime is disastrous.

SiteUptime provides network performance monitoring services that make sure that your website is accessible throughout time and from multiple points of the internet. With our affordable service plans, you can be assured that your website stays available for your customers.

To best protect your business from the problems associated with websites going down, here are our top 4 reasons for site crashes.

What can network performance monitoring do for you?

Network performance monitoring can best be defined as the process of testing your website from multiple access points and time to check accessibility and the way your site is able to perform under various circumstances

SiteUptime has monitoring locations across the globe to test the network performance of your website from a comprehensive standpoint. Whether you are a web design or hosting company, or an individual website owner, network performance monitoring can help bring in a customer base you may have previously been missing.

With SiteUptime, your website will be monitored from varied geographical locations like New York City, San Fransisco, Portland, Brazil, Ireland, Australia, and Singapore. The scheduled testing that occurs from each of these locations will test the functionality of your website and verify any errors that occur.

Unfortunately, without a network performance monitoring system, it is difficult for website owners to effectively track what is going on.

The data you could be missing without network performance monitoring.

Network performance monitoring not only assists business owners in maintaining their e-consumer base through the knowledge of when their site is down, but it also offers an important mass of data that may otherwise be missed.

Shopping Cart Functionality

As a business that allows for online shopping, knowing if your customers are able to use their shopping carts and purchase their selections without error is integral to ensuring that customers can buy your products.

Uptime

As mentioned earlier, a website that is up 99% of the time is still down seven hours out of the month.

Studies have shown that 78% of customers have left without a sale or purchase due to bad service on a website, so knowing the amount of time that your site is properly working is key to understanding what you’re missing out on.

Website Visitors

Knowing how many people visit your website can also help business owners understand what functionalities can best provide service to their customers.

Similarly, business owners are able to tailor their specific web packages to match the hits they are getting.

Broken Links

Remember that blog you posted in 2012? The internet does, though you may not. That specific blog can still be getting hits in 2016 and onwards if your SEO is still hitting the right marks.

It’s not reasonable for you to have an eye on every single link you’ve ever used to ensure that it is still working, but a network performance monitoring system is able to do so for you.

Page Speed

Knowing how quickly your page loads can help you understand whether or not customers are likely to stick around until your website is fully accessible to them. As we all remember the days of dial-up, slow web access is not something to be desired.

Network performance monitoring enables you to understand why your website is slow and what you can do about it to increase the success of your website and, as a result, your business.

The top 4 reasons your website is down

Server Overload

Once of the top reasons that websites go down is because of a server overload.

This is sometimes seen as a “good problem” to be having, as it means that too many people are trying to access your website at the same time. Though there is room for celebration (you are getting tons of new customers after all), you must ask yourself why you aren’t able to serve all of those customers.

Another common cause of server overloads is because your website is under attack by a hacker or group of hackers. These overloads, called DOS (Denial Of Service), occur when a hacker uses multiple computers that are often infected with viruses to view your website at the same time, causing your website to go down as a result of the overwhelming demand and traffic.

Hacking

In relation to DOS attacks, hackers can cause your website to go down for a multitude of reasons. When your web security is compromised through accidental leaks of information, hackers can take down your website to retrieve your data and create harmful waves felt throughout your business.

Client database information, bank access, and other key components to your business may become compromised without the proper network safety being practiced.

Coding Errors

Another common reason for sites to go down is an error in coding. Though your developers should be working to prevent problems happening within the coding of your websites, errors can and will occur.

When a circumstance is not properly tested and prepared for, it is possible for the “perfect storm” to come together and cause your site to go down if all the right conditions are met that you coding is not ready to handle.

Datacenter Problems

As most websites use data centers to store their information and run their site on the backend, it is not uncommon for these centers to experience errors and downtime of their own. If a natural disaster occurs in the area of your center, this is an unavoidable reason for your website to go down.

In these cases, clear communication is needed to work with the center to get things up and running again.

We’re here to help.

SiteUptime is here to provide you with unbeatable network performance monitoring services for competitive prices.

We are also here to support our customers with educational information that can help with the way you understand how to protect your information online and how to better your website all through our blog content. Our comprehensive FAQ page also holds tons of valuable information for you.

To get started with network performance monitoring on your site, contact us!

Site Monitoring Tools: 4 Big Reasons You Need Them

Branding seems to be the hot new buzzword these days. People talk of crafting and protecting brands, of their customers making a connection with their brand, not just their company.

site monitoring toolsIt’s more than just your product or your information; branding encompasses the look, feel, and experience of a company or person.

Small businesses often have a more intimate relationship with their customers; in these cases, branding is a very big deal!

Your website is a direct 24/7 portal between your customers and audience to you and your brand.

But what happens if there’s an issue with your site and it goes down or pages won’t load? Is your website secure? And, how does it affect your Google rankings?

A website without site monitoring tools makes itself vulnerable to a host of issues that can quickly grow beyond your control.

If you think you can handle it on your own, read on to find out the four biggest issues that threaten you and your brand and what you can do now to protect it.

Time On Your Hands

Time is money – that old adage is truer than ever these days.

If your site has any issues, and it goes down, how quickly do you think you would be made aware of it? How much effort do you think it would take to really get to the root of the problem?

If you’ve got a small company or just run the website yourself, you might be caught unaware by a small problem that grew large while you weren’t looking.

At this point, you’re losing precious time dealing with it.

A site monitoring service nips this issue in the bud. You won’t have to be combing through logs for information or manually compiling data.Your website is a direct 24/7 portal between your customers and audience to you and your brand.

But what happens if there’s an issue with your site and it goes down or pages won’t load? Is your website secure? And how does it affect your Google rankings?

A website without site monitoring tools makes itself vulnerable to a host of issues that can quickly grow beyond your control.

These tools compile your IT info into one place for easy access, improving efficiency in real time.

With your site being monitored twenty-four hours a day, you can spend your valuable time crafting your posts or filling orders instead of keeping one eye open for problems.

Get Notified Before Your Site Suffers

Not only will your IT data be easily accessible in one central location, you will receive proactive notifications when something goes wrong.

Things that would usually go unnoticed are immediately brought to your attention, allowing you to take the steps needed to right your site.

Your website will suffer if your disc space fills up, causing the whole operation to lag or even fail.

If your anti-virus protection is out of date, it could cause a huge issue not only for your customers but for your own computer as well.

Twenty-seven percent of blogs or websites are run on WordPress. If yours is one of them you should know themes need to be updated often to prevent any kind of security risk.

Site monitoring tools are a proactive way to take control of your site and ultimately, the user experience.

The sooner you know there’s an issue, the quicker you can react.

Gain Insight And Understand How To Improve

You might think your website is perfect the way it is.

Of course, that’s how one feels after pouring their time and energy into creating something, especially something as personal as a brand website.

But, is it really all that great?

What if your hi-res images create a long loading time? Or those animations that you thought were eye-catching were actually ignored and just ate up space?

Is your load speed dragging and effectively killing your Google search results?

Yes – your website’s overall health and quality might be affecting your standings in Google rankings. If Google crawls your site and sees it’s down, you drop lower on the list.

Monitoring your site’s performance can really make that much of a difference which is why it’s always good to get another opinion.

With site monitoring tools, you’ll get a look into what works and what doesn’t on your website. Once you can see the bigger picture, you can start making decisions that will improve the overall health of your site.

Getting to know your site, you’ll see if your site isn’t responding the way you want it to, and from there you can get it where you need it to be.

The Worst Crime: Going Offline

What’s worse than having a site that loads slowly? A site that doesn’t load at all.

Going offline is incredibly costly, and not just from a financial perspective.

Imagine how you would feel about a site that suddenly wasn’t available.

Would you trust it with your credit card information? Would you feel that the info in the blog was legitimate?

The damage to your reputation is one of the biggest issues of site downtime.

You’ll lose money, true, but you’ll lose your customers’ trust and that’s almost impossible to get back.

Slow load time, being hijacked by malicious code, and a total site shut down – this is a business’ biggest nightmare.

Up to 40% of visitors to your page will click away from your site if it loads too slowly. Can you take that kind of hit?

All of the above points combine to make sure this never happens to you and your site.

Understanding your site, early detection of any issues, and saving time in dealing with these issues are the ultimate way to preserve your standings and improve user experience.

Site Monitoring Tools Are Vital For Your Website’s Health And Performance

Killing your user experience.

Wiping your website’s views on Google.

Losing customers and money.

Spending time on minor issues that spiraled out of control.

Leaving your site vulnerable to hackers and viruses.

Do you need more reasons to protect your brand?

Keep your peace of mind with a reliable and affordable service like SiteUptime.

SiteUptime has several plans – one of them at zero cost! – that will make sure your site never suffers any of the above pitfalls.

They’re available 24/7 in various locations around the world, ensuring there’s always someone watching out for you.

Their remote locations always verify their findings too so that you’re never sent into panic mode over a false reading.

Try it out and get a look into your website’s performance. A simple tweak might be all it takes to keep your customers happy and ultimately boost your bottom line.

How to Backup Your WordPress Site for a Quick Recovery

Your website is the face of your brand.

It’s the first place most people go when they go when they hear about you, and if the site is down or crashes while they use it, 39% of users will leave and never come back.

backup a wordpress siteAnd if you don’t have a backup to restore everything quickly, you could find yourself having to build it back up from scratch, losing potential customers and profits in the meantime.

This is why it’s so important to learn how to backup a WordPress site. You cannot afford to have your website go down without a plan in place to fix it.

Don’t get caught in the nightmare scenario of losing everything! Follow our helpful guide to learn how to protect your site and your brand when stuff goes down!

Why Sites Go Down

Your hosting provider could go down for a number of reasons, and it happens to everyone once in a while. But if it becomes a common occurrence or if the outage lasts for long stretches of time, then you might want to consider porting your site over to another host.

But before you go moving your site around from host to host, you should understand the potential reasons your site might go down.

You’ve Been Hacked!

Okay, it’s not as bad as it sounds. Hackers sound really scary (and if you’re not protected against them, they are), but almost every popular website gets hacked at one point or another.

Any good hosting provider has a variety of protective measures against hackers and you can sign up for site monitoring to be instantly notified when something is going wrong.

They may be looking for personal, financial, or customer information and cause your site to crash in the process. It often requires a full restore to remove any malicious code, which is a great reason to learn how to backup a WordPress site.

My Plugin Broke Everything

While hackers can occasionally break through your security and bring down your site, the far more common reason your website will go down is because of YOU.

Websites are made up of thousands of individual lines of code that all have to work with each other.

When you install new updates or plugins to your site, you’re introducing or replacing hundreds of lines of code with new information.

Because many of the most helpful plugins are made by a third-party developer, sometimes old plugins don’t work with new WordPress updates, visual plugins conflict with your theme, or multiple plugins clash with each other and your site goes down.

A quick call to customer service will usually resolve the issue pretty quickly, but if you have your WordPress site backed up, then you can take care of it yourself even faster!

How to Backup a WordPress Site

Now that you know how easy it is for your site to go down, you should be prepared for the eventuality that it will happen to you.

But that doesn’t have to be a stressful prospect because learning how to backup a WordPress site is easy and solves the problem instantly!

1. Make Additional Copies of Intellectual Property

A lot of creativity goes into creating a website, and that creativity is valuable. When someone tries to steal your intellectual property and pass it off as their own, you need to have proof that you or your employees are the creators and owners of that content.

If you’ve created blog posts, “about” pages, graphics,  or anything original for your site, you need to have it backed up somewhere offsite and offline. It would even be smart to have multiple copies on different devices in case one of your backups is lost.

2. Take Advantage of Your Web Host Backups

This is one of the easiest steps to take to back up your website. If you have a managed WordPress blog, your web host will often include free backup and recovery that will allow you to restore your site with a single click.

However, your host is not a dedicated recovery service, so you may end up in a situation where they won’t be as responsive as you need them to be or they don’t have a recent backup. Consider as a backup to your backup.

3. Use Dedicated Backup Software

There are also many paid and free plugins available that make it easy to backup a WordPress site.

Some of them even make it easy to download the files directly to your computer so you can restore your site by yourself the moment you know it’s down.

4. Save Your Files Manually

To create a recovery of your website, you need to download your entire WordPress directory using an FTP program like FileZilla or Transmit.

Navigate to the Home directory and locate your WordPress directory, then compress the folder into a .zip file and download it to a hard disk.

Whenever your site goes down, you can upload this backup to the FTP program and restore your site to the state it was in when you saved it.

Come Up With A Disaster Recovery Plan

Now that you have your backup, you need a recovery procedure to put into action the moment your site goes down, so you can keep your downtime to a minimum.

Monitor Your Website 24/7!

Obviously, you can’t constantly refresh your website waiting for it to crash, but you can enroll in a website monitoring service that will watch it for you.

They send you an alert in two minutes or less when your site has gone down, so you can restore it quickly.

Keep Track of Software Logs

Most web hosts will keep audit logs of your website’s operation that you can request to get an idea of how your site is supposed to look when it’s running normally.

When your site disappears, audit logs can also be a good indicator of when and where things went wrong.

Check Your Plugins!

As we mentioned above, plugins are a common culprit in bringing down your website.

If you just added a handful of new plugins or updated WordPress and your site went down, try uninstalling them or restoring your site before you panic.

Learn How Your Backup Software Works

If you want to resolve your issue as fast as possible, then you should know exactly what will happen when your website does disappear and you need to defer to your backup.

If all else fails, call customer service and ask them to explain what steps you need to take to get your backup implemented as fast as possible.

Summary

Your website is potentially the most important interface between your business and your customers. When it’s down, your customers are leaving, and you’re losing money.

Educate yourself on the potential causes of website outages, keep close watch over your site’s operation, and take the steps to restore your website the moment it goes down to keep your business and your clients happy!

E-Commerce Security: Keep Your Website Up this Holiday Season

e-commerce securityFor many companies, the holidays are the busiest time of year. 74% of retailers say that they make 20% of their annual sales each December.

Now, that’s a reason to be merry! But a lack of e-commerce security could put your company at risk.

But, let’s take a step back for a second. Because a lack of e-commerce security could put your company at risk.

While your site may run fine the rest of the year, the increased traffic around the holiday season causes many unprepared retailers to experience crashes. These crashes are caused because too many users are trying to access your database at once. Since it can’t handle all these requests, it crashes.

Any downtime on your website means that customers will go looking elsewhere. They’re busy and trying to get all the gifts they need in time for the holidays. They won’t wait around for your site to come back online. This is why small companies lose more revenue because of IT issues than any other sector.

While essential to be informed if your site goes down, in the best case scenario, it won’t go down at all.

So how do you keep your site from crashing and ensure that even if it does, it gets back up in no time? Read on to find out.

Read on to find out.

Prepare For Increased Traffic Through Scalability

Gone are the days when companies would buy excess server space that would sit unused most of the year, just to be prepared for December spikes.

To avoid this massive expense while still ensuring you’ve got the extra capacity when you need it, look for a web hosting service that provides a flexible, cloud-based plan.

This way, you can increase your plan’s capacity just for when it’s necessary, and go back to regular levels throughout the year. You only have to pay for what you need, but you still get the security of knowing that your website will be prepared for the incoming flood of holiday shoppers.

You only have to pay for what you need, but you still get the security of knowing that your website will be prepared for the incoming flood of holiday shoppers.

Even Traffic Distribution Through a Load Balancer

Related to scalability, load balancing helps spread out the traffic coming to your site across multiple servers, reducing the chance of a crash.

Even if one of the servers fails, your website won’t go down. Instead, your traffic will be distributed across the remaining servers until the crashed one can be repaired. This is a valuable redundancy that decreases the chances of crashing.

In addition to providing e-commerce security and ensuring your website stays up and running throughout high traffic, load balancing also reduces overall latency for site visitors. This is great news for the busy holiday shopping season!

Session Persistence is a Must Have for E-Commerce Security

The only thing you need to worry about is ensuring that your provider for your load balancer ensures session persistence. When a shopper is filling their online cart, the information about their selections is stored in their browser until they move to the purchase page.

If the load balancer changes which server is handling a shopper’s request partway through their purchase, it can lead to errors and failed transactions.

Session persistence means that a user’s entire shopping session is handled by a single server. As long as your load balance provider guarantees session persistence, you won’t have to worry about any purchasing issues. You can rest easy knowing your shoppers’ purchases will remain secure.

Load balancers can be provided by your hosting service provider.

Content Delivery Network

A content delivery network (CDN) can prevent crashing as well as increase your website’s speed. This is highly important considering 51% of online shoppers say that slow speeds are the number one reason they abandon a purchase online.

This option makes use of pulling and caching content from your server and distributing it to secure servers all over the world. When a shopper accesses your site, their computer will pull the information from the server nearest to them. This reduces the overall stress on your server and increases the efficiency of your system.

A content delivery network system shifts the burden of your traffic load from your own server to the CDN’s network.

This is an especially good option if your business plans on selling internationally. Your customers will have a good online experience whether they’re in New York, Paris, or Tokyo.

Use caution with this option. Some content delivery network services don’t manage dynamic content very well. If your website uses a good deal of dynamic content, make sure that your provider will accommodate your website properly; otherwise, your shoppers won’t get the full benefit.

Making Sure Your E-Commerce Security Solution is Working

Once you’ve selected a way to manage spiking traffic around the holiday season, you must monitor your website’s performance to ensure that everything is working as well as you would hope.

This means being constantly vigilant for site outages and crashes. For example, if you scaled up your website plan to account for additional traffic but visitors exceeded your expectations, your website could still go down.

That’s why many companies use a website monitoring service. A monitoring service will let you know the moment your website crashes so you can fix it immediately. Remember, you can lose about 8% of your daily sales for every hour that your website is down. This is even worse if your website goes down during peak shopping hours.

Knowing the moment your website goes down means you can reduce downtime and reduce the amount of lost revenue by getting it up and running again as fast as possible.

You can also use statistics gathering about your uptime and downtime. By getting hard data about your website’s performance, you can improve on your crash-prevention solutions. For example, if you notice your website is still going down at certain times, you can increase your data plan or speak to your hosting service.

By bringing them useful data, you can determine a solution that provides what you actually need, instead of just springing for larger, more expensive plans.

(Gift) Wrapping Up

Now that you know what solutions are out there, you can upgrade your website to avoid any costly outages during the holiday season.

Whether you go with a load balancer, a scaled-up cloud plan, or a content delivery network, always make sure to monitor your website’s performance and watch for outages.

By keeping your website up and running, you will ensure a magical shopping season for you and your customers alike!