Category: Cloud Business 101

There are hundreds of personal finance software solutions available on the market at this moment. From Mint to Personal Capital, cloud-based software can help you keep track of your expenses, income and personal loans.

Personal finance software is a game changer for people who want to take charge of their finances. This is especially true for busy people who find it easier to manage their accounts using a single software solution.

Personal finance cloud software

If you manage your software using a cloud-based system, your primary concern should be security. According to a recent article published by CNBC, approximately 41 million Americans have been the victims of financial theft.

Is Your Cloud-Based Software Secure?

As the incidences of hacking increase throughout the world, people are becoming more vigilant about protecting access to their financial accounts. Unfortunately, there are millions of people who continue to downplay their chances of getting hacked. Take a look at these recent statistics.

  • 42 percent of consumers do not monitor activity on their credit reports.
  • 36 percent of banking customers rely on unsecured Wi-Fi networks to conduct online banking transactions.
  • 25 percent of American consumers use similar account passwords for all of their accounts.

When it comes to protecting the security of your finances, how secure is your cloud-based personal finance software? If you are not sure about your software’s security, it is a great time to get the knowledge you need to protect your finances. Here are a few things you can do to protect your accounts using any personal financial software solution.

1. Research the software before you enroll in the program

One advantage of having access to the internet is you can get real-time information about cloud-based software solutions. Read customer reviews to determine if customers have experienced security problems. There are articles that have been written that can tell you about the pros and cons of the popular types of financial software.

2. Create strong PINS and passwords for your accounts

Use a combination of symbols, letters and numbers for each account. Using the same password might be convenient, but resist the urge to use the same password and PIN for each account. Be sure to change your passwords frequently.

3. Never save your software passwords on your computer

If you are prone to forgetting your passwords, write them on a piece of paper and keep them in a secure place. Hackers use sophisticated malware to gain access to your computer without your knowledge. It is best to protect your password and not leave your security to chance.

4. Log out of your cloud-based personal finance software completely

If you do not log out on a shared computer, another person can have access to your information. Always verify that your session has been terminated.

5. Take precautions when you are using public Wi-Fi connections

Airports, restaurants and hotels offer Wi-Fi connections with reduced security settings. Although this makes it easier for patrons to access the internet, it provides an opportunity for hackers to intercept your financial information.

Conclusion

Your cloud-based personal financial software is only as secure as the actions you take to protect it. Applying these tips will help you increase the security of your personal finance software.

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You’re probably had enough of hearing about big data and its relevance to your business. It’s 2017, if you’re not collecting AND analyzing big data, you’re getting left behind. No, the conversation is no longer about whether or not you should be investing in big data analysis, it’s how.

Let’s talk data storage. The biggest quandary with big data handling is storage. It’s possible that you could be dealing with petabytes of information over the next few years, and at that scale, investment in the right kind of storage is a must. The major battle being fought is between investing in your own servers (on-premise, private cloud,) or ‘renting’ cloud storage space (public cloud.)

Big data cloud

To make it crystal clear, here’s a brief for you: Cloud storage is data storage that’s still on servers. The difference is that it’s remote, meaning it’s accessed via the internet, not internally, and you don’t actually have a physical server to store your data. Other than that, it’s the same old storage you’re used to.

So just how is this simple difference an advantage? Here are the top five reasons to go cloud with your big data storage.

1. Storage Space

Imagine you invest in your own servers, you get a location, get a company in to fit it, hire people to maintain it – what happens when you’ve filled your servers? Easy, you have to get more. With the cloud you don’t get that because let’s just say that it’s someone’s else’s problem. You can reach your limit and simply upgrade to double your storage capacity.

That’s assuming you can afford to set up your own servers in the first place.

Enter cloud storage. The cloud offers an easily expandable storage space – at scale – and you only pay for the resources that you use. Meaning, you only pay more if your big data is getting, well, bigger.

2. Cost

The cost of setting up your own servers is phenomenal. It’s only a really viable option if you’re a large business that requires such a huge amount of storage that the set up cost of company servers is dwarfed by storage rental.

While renting out storage space via the cloud may seem like an exorbitant cost, when you look at how it compares to the alternative, could you afford that amount in one hit? Very doubtful. And set up is not the only cost…

3. Security

Did you know how easy it is to breach your business premise’s security? Things are no better for your cyber security, too.

How much do you pour into your cyber security right now? Imagine having to protect a thousand times more data that might be even more sensitive. There really is a never ending supply of costs that add up when running your own servers.

But again, if you use the cloud, you’re paying a company to take care of security for you. Of course you have to choose a plan that suits the level of protection needed for your data, but you’ll still be saving even if you have to pay a premium.

4. Backups

Imagine, if you will, that you are company working on the development of a new medicine, things are looking good and you’re already being clever about the way you record your findings using your biology ELN. You’ve invested in your technology and even have your own servers to store the data on. You go to look at your finding from the past few months to carry out analysis only to find your servers have crashed. Ouch.

If you’d maybe thought ahead, you’d have backed up your important data on the cloud as well as keeping it on your servers. Because even if you have the budget for your own storage, bad things can happen to good businesses.

When it comes to big data, the cloud is an invaluable asset to your business and the most realistic in terms of cost. So, look after your data and it’ll look after you.

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Are you thinking about starting a cloud based business? If your idea is popular and you have the drive, creating a successful and popular cloud based business is not an impossible challenge. However, there are certain factors you need to consider before you take this step. Below are the main things you need to think about before you start a cloud based system.

Cloud-based startup

Your Skills and Experience

Like any business venture, you need to have certain skills and experience before you decide to start a cloud based company. If you believe you need to improve your technical and business skills, it may be worth your while completing an MBA in information technology or a more business focused online MBA degree. After finishing the appropriate course, you will be in a much better position to enter the business world.

Market Research

The best product in the world won’t sell if there isn’t a demand for it. This is why you need to research your market and find out if there’s a need for the product or service you are thinking about developing and selling. If not, you may need to go back to the drawing board and reconsider your position. This may be deflating for a new entrepreneur, but it could save you a lot of money and trouble in the future.

Raising Finances

Every business needs money to get off the ground. You should find out how much money your intended project will cost and how much it will cost to stay in business until you start generating a profit.

If money is tight, you may need external help. If this is the case, you should consider partnering with another company, so look for investors or even consider crowd funding.

Your Business Model

Different cloud based companies have different business models and you need to choose a model that is the most suitable for the product or service you are providing. Some cloud based companies decide to charge a one-time payment for their products and services, while other organizations use a membership style model where customers pay for a product or service on a monthly, quarterly or annual basis.

Business and Legal Requirements

From the beginning, it’s crucial to understand that you will be running a real business. There is business and legal requirements you should be aware of before you start trading and receiving payments online. In most cases, a new entrepreneur won’t have this knowledge and experience, so you should consult with a legal professional and a financial professional before you move forward.

Delegation

When you start a business, you will probably want to get involved in all aspects of your new business. However, if you have the finances, hire professionals to take care of certain aspects that you may not be an expert in. This will allow you to focus on your strengths and the activities you specialize in.

Starting a cloud based business could be one of the best decisions you ever make. However, you should consider each of the tips above first before you decide to start this type of company.

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If it’s your first time to conduct an interactive web conference, it can feel incredibly intimidating thinking about how you’re going to get the attention of so many people, much less keep it. But it doesn’t have to be such a frightening prospect, especially once you’ve gotten the hang of it.

Businesswoman using video conferencing apps

Let’s discuss what you can do to keep your audience engaged during an online video conference.

Smile and Keep Eye Contact with Your Audience

Even if you aren’t looking at your viewers face-to-face, you’re trying to make it feel like you’re right there with them despite the fact that they’re just watching you on a screen. Though you can’t necessarily look directly into your audience’s eyes due to the nature of interactive online conferences, you can simulate the effect quite easily. All you have to do is to look directly into your web camera’s lens instead of staring at your screen, and you’ll be able to make it look like you’re making eye contact with your viewers, according to Inc.

You may want to record a video of yourself speaking in order to see if you’re looking away from the camera too often. Better yet, call up a friend online so that he or she can tell you on the spot if you’re not looking into the camera enough.

Use Professional Language and Gestures

While there is certainly a niche market for people who have strong and somewhat controversial personalities, the best way to retain your viewers during your online conference is to be as professional as possible. Thus, if you have a habit of cursing regularly, you’re going to have to practice until you get rid of that bad habit.

At the same time, though, you’ll have to master the art of body language. Smile at your viewers a lot, but not so much that you’ll start to make them feel uncomfortable. Don’t cross your arms or turn away from your audience or you’ll make them feel like you don’t want to talk to them at all.

Pick the Right Words to Get Your Point Across

Sure, you may look charming, having mastered body language all while wearing a professional outfit. But if you aren’t saying the right words, your audience still won’t care no matter how hard you try to convince them about your idea. So take some time to sit down and create an outline of what you want to say during your interactive conference. What’s your main idea? What are some things that will support this main idea? What is your expected audience like? What sort of voice or tone do they prefer? Once you’ve gotten this written down, you’ll have a better idea of what vocabulary you should use to make a connection with your viewers.

Remember: you don’t necessarily need to use incredibly complicated words in order to look smart. It’s how you use simple words to translate complex ideas into a way that’s easy to digest that will impress your audience.

Use Visual Aids, Whenever Appropriate

Most systems for cloud-based enterprise video meetings such as BlueJeans now come with a feature that allow you to pull up documents on the fly and present them to your audience. Thus, whenever possible, try displaying a simple but powerful visual image to further prove your point. A recent trend has been transforming information into colorful graphics, resulting in images that are referred to as “infographics.” You could easily make one of your own using a variety of free or reasonably-priced apps out on the market today.

Video conferencing infographic
Video conferencing

If you want to go a little old-school, though, there’s no harm in actually using a real-life whiteboard and writing on it as you go. Just make sure you point your video camera toward it, and that your internet connection and camera quality is high enough that everyone can actually see what you’re writing.

Don’t Forget to Get Your Audience Involved

Don’t just jump straight into the agenda. There’s a reason why you chose to hold an interactive video conference instead of just recording the whole thing, after all. Make sure that you give your viewers the opportunity to ask questions about your discussion whenever possible. You might even want to schedule a few minutes after your talk as an official Q&A session, letting everybody know in advance so they can prepare their questions as you speak. Even better, you can encourage them to prepare their questions before the meeting even begins, according to Inc. You can go even further by inviting a guest speaker to your online event and interviewing him or her. Better yet, why not include your guest speaker in your Q&A session, too?

If you follow this guide, you’ll be sure to keep them hooked from start to finish. But don’t cram all of that hard work on the night before the presentation yourself. Success comes from being well prepared, so start looking into all of these weeks ahead of schedule. You and your viewers will be glad you did.

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Email has continued to be one of the most vital tools we have in our online communications and business interactions. They serve us daily and are most often free to use. There must be thousands of email service providers out there, but of course not all of them are cut of the same cloth, that is to say, quality of service is varied.

Gmail hacked

Gmail email provider is by far one of the most popular and trusted of all the cloud-based email providers out there today. It is used by millions of people, worldwide, and has an excellent safety rating, uptime and high quality of service in general.

But as always scammers and hackers aren’t far behind the latest technology. They quite ingeniously find new ways to bypass the newest barriers set by tech giants such as Gmail.

So what do you know when you realise that your Gmail has been hacked?

Asides from panic, you need to maintain some sort of composure and take control of the situation before things get out of hand.

Your personal information and even reputation may be at stake, depending on what the hackers have in mind with your account. Knowing that you have sent hundreds, maybe even thousands of emails through your now hacked Gmail account, means that you have enough reason to worry.

Step #1: Claim back your account!

First off, if the hackers have changed your password, you must claim back full access to your account. Change your password to something more difficult to access and if need be, keep a note of your password somewhere safe in your desk or better still, in your wallet.

Step #2: Report to Gmail

The next thing you need to do is report the hacking incident to Gmail. Whoever logged probably already deleted the alert notice that your account has been logged in from a new browser/device. So you might not have further proof to offer in your report. However, email providers take hacking attacks very seriously and will aim to resolve the problem as soon as possible. After all, all that they have is their reputation, and they will want to maintain a high level of trust.

Step #3: Check the collateral damage

After you have reported that your Gmail account was hacked, you should check your sent items very carefully, there will likely be emails sent by the hacker to your contact lists. Quickly delete these emails and check your contact lists for new emails that you didn’t add or that look suspicious. Make note of these email addresses and then delete them from your contacts.

Step #4: Clarify what happens

The last step should be the dreaded mass email to all contacts. Here you should BCC (Blind carbon copy) everyone on your contact list and inform them that your Gmail account was hacked. More often than not, there is at least a couple of contacts who click on the links sent by the hackers, and spread the malware even further. They should be warned that they have possibly been sent malware from the hackers, and that they should check their mobile devices and PCS for any threats.

Good news?

Once you have performed these steps to control the damage done to your hacked Gmail account, you should have full control of your account once more. Something worth noting is, that many of us keep personal information in our emails, thinking that our accounts are safe. If you happened to send or save any financial information in your email, such as, credit card numbers, bank accounts, social security, passport numbers etc, you should report this immediately to the authorities.

Call your bank and ask them to freeze your card from any purchases until further notice; or better yet, have it cancelled. This might seem stressful and an unnecessary precaution, but the fact is that if your Gmail has been hacked, then you must take every step to protect yourself from financial loss.

Remember that hackers aren’t just doing this to spread malware, but to absorb as much personal information from each account as possible.

Conclusion

Having your Gmail hacked is scary, so treat your email passwords the way you would your social security numbers, don’t share with anyone and always report the hack to the authorities, to safeguard against identity theft.

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If you’re interested in creating a cloud-hosted site, such as a Weebly website, it’s important to understand the difference between cloud hosting and traditional hosting.

Cloud hosting is simply computing based on the internet. The data is not stored on a single physical computer or server in a building. It allows webmasters to access the same types of applications through the internet.

Siteground.com explains that this kind of hosting is set up in a way that allows multiple machines to “act as one system”.

Here are some of the benefits it offers overs traditional web hosting:

Cloud hosting

It’s great for scalability

Are you getting an increase in traffic and starting to outgrow the resources of your existing web host? Instead of paying to upgrade a traditional hosting plan or switching from a shared server to a dedicated or VPN server, it might be less costly for you to select cloud hosting. It’s easier to scale up your cloud capacity, as you draw on the service’s remote servers. If you plan on receiving more traffic from Socialboosterz or advertising campaign, you need to be sure that the server will be able to handle the increase in traffic.

Better control over information

The more people who collaborate on documents, the greater the need for control and protection. Before the cloud, it was oftentimes challenging to keep track of which workers had access to which files. They would have to send files back and forth through a messaging system or email. With cloud hosting, all documents, files, images, content, etc… is stored centrally and it’s easier to keep track of who is accessing what. Some cloud hosting providers allow you to add editors to handle different portions of the site with different levels of access.

Reliable automation

IT personnel will not have to worry as much about keeping software up to date. When it comes to cloud computing, the suppliers take care of updates. This results in less downtime.

More stability and security

With traditional hosting, there is always the possibility that the server may crash. Or that the shared server will be affected by a virus on another site. Even if you have your own server, it could become affected by natural disasters. When everything is backed up on the cloud, you won’t have to worry as much about security breaches or instability due to hardware problems.

Changes can be made anytime, anywhere –

Your web designers can easily connect to the host using any PC or smartphone and make changes when necessary. If you need to make any updates to the site or blog, you’ll be able to do so easily. Downtime – if there is any at all – will be minimal. Data is backed up on the cloud every couple of minutes, reducing the risk of data loss in disaster situations.

More and more web hosts are offering cloud plans. This means that pricing is becoming more competitive. It’s easy to find a plan that will suit your budget. However, it’s important to do your research on various companies to determine which one is right for your business. As ComputerNext.com’s blog explains, “the cloud is a very broad concept”.

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The cloud gives us plenty of opportunity to be more cost efficient with our tech expenses.  Unfortunately, the affordable prices to buy storage space and any other cloud-based services is not followed by the prices of gadgets that we use to access the cloud.  The thing is, the cloud is there, and it keeps getting better with age (e.g. more powerful and comprehensive services for the same price tags); this is not the case with gadgets; whether you like it or not, they will decline in value over time.

Mobile cloud gadget

Recently, the cost of tech gadgets has begun to rise in many parts of the world. The materials needed to make new mobile phones, tablets and laptops have gone up, as has the cost of shipping and labour. As a result, if you need to replace your smartphone you can easily end up having to spend $600 or $750 to have to do so.

The fact that money is tight for a lot of our readers has prompted us to write this short post about getting more out of your old phones, laptops, e-readers and smartphones. There is a lot that you can do with them, so our aim here is only to give you ideas, and inspire you to pause before throwing away your old tech gadgets.

Re-use them

There are many ways to re-purpose your older laptops, e-readers, PCs and smartphones. For example, you can easily turn an old tablet into a recipe book for the kitchen, or use one as a dedicated e-reader. Even old MP3 players can be given a new lease of life, as music repositories.

Give them to others

Perhaps one of the best ways to get more out of your technology is to pass it onto somebody else. Giving your old phone to one of the kids can be a good idea, but they tend to want the latest gadgets too. As a result, giving it to an elderly relative is usually a better idea.

If you do decide to give your older tech gadgets away, remember to de-personalise them. You do not want your old letters, photos and other personal information to be read by other people.

This is important even if you are giving items to people you really trust like friends and relatives. After all, you do not know what they will do with those gadgets when they have finished with them. You have no idea whether they will give them as gifts, to people you do not know. If you are not careful, your private information could end up in the hands of a complete stranger.

You can learn how to clear your gadgets of sensitive data, here.

Broken smartphone
photo credit: pni / Flickr

Get broken technology repaired

The fact that the cost of a new smartphone is so high means that it is now cost effective to have a broken one repaired rather than buy a new one. It does not matter where you are in the world repairing your old tech gadgets is now a practical option. Whether you are looking for iphone repair in Miami or Cambridge, in the UK, you can find a firm to do the work. Most modern repair companies now offer their services via the mail. Doing so allows them to serve the entire country rather than just residents in the town or city in which they are based.

Trade it in or sell it

Another great option is to sell your old technology on. If you are lucky, you will be able to trade in your old laptop, or smartphone, when you buy the latest model.

Takeaway

So, there you have it – four ways to make the most of your tech gadgets.  The choice is yours, but one thing for sure, make sure that you don’t keep your tech stashed in your closet or storage room, as it adds no value to you or anyone else.

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Although the internet has provided customers with an assortment of different options for getting in touch with the companies that they shop with, speaking to a ‘real’ person and hearing a friendly voice on the other end of a telephone is still something that most customers want when it comes to having their questions answered and finding solutions to any problems that they may have. Because of this, call centres are still very much a large part of forming good, long-term relationships with customers and building customer satisfaction and loyalty.

Cloud-based call centre

An increasing number of companies are now depending on cloud-hosted call centres due to the numerous benefits that they offer. Here are some of the top benefits of a cloud-hosted call centre:

Cost Effectiveness

Perhaps the main reason why we’re seeing more companies than ever opt for cloud-based call and contact centres is that they are easy to deploy and don’t often require any upfront expenditure in order to do this.

Many cloud-based call centres are based on a ‘pay as you go’ system, allowing companies to choose only the services that they need, resulting in never paying any more than is necessary. Compared to traditional on-premises call centres, this can often be much more cost effective due to less IT expenditure, resulting in higher returns on investment.

Personalised Customer Services

When your company chooses a cloud-based call centre, you will be able to pick and choose specific features and services in order to ensure that your customers enjoy a personalised and localised experience.

The services offered by cloud-based call centre applications can be customised to keep in mind customer demographics, for example languages, average customer age, or their geographical location. This, along with the integration of various applications into the support ecosystem, for example business reporting and analytics, purchase order management, billing software and more can help to improve operational costs and create more efficiency.

Cloud-Based Feedback

Another advantage of choosing a cloud-based call centre is that customer feedback can easily be stored and accessed in the cloud. Using methods such as customer surveys and polls, which can be taken online, over the telephone or via other methods, cloud-based call centres allow you to create better customer profiles from the feedback. Use this to improve the customer experience and improve call centre efficiency.

Business cloud management

On-Demand Support

The rapid growth of online and mobile service is having a significant impact on the demand for 24/7 customer support, which is now more sought-after than ever before and can often be a deciding factor for many customers and clients when choosing a new product or brand. Because of this, it makes sense to use a cloud-based call centre, which will provide your company with various solutions to allow your company to provide round-the-clock support for your customers anywhere in the world, at any time of the day or night.

Takeaway

For many businesses today, cloud-based call centres are the answer to improving their customer services so that they are equipped to meet growing demands.

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When it comes to businesses in the current age, there are more than enough questions which are constantly asked and many of them revolve around saving money. However, while businesses are currently looking for ways to save money and cut back on their general costs, they also must be comfortable with the idea of continuing to grow and come up with revenue producing strategies.

Cloud meeting

The biggest thing you will want to consider is the following few questions when it comes to holding meetings online in order to potentially save your organization money while also improving production and efficiency.

Costs Of Attendance And Travel

The truth of the matter is, while the entire world is able to actually go anywhere for any reason, the costs of traveling has gotten more and more expensive over time.

According to the US News, you don’t just have to worry about the anticipated costs of travel, but you also have to be aware of the unexpected costs of travel that can creep up as well. Plus, when you start to think about the costs of regular travel, you still aren’t even considering the crazy costs that can happen such as being injured or getting sick when traveling, having delays and effects on meetings, or even the possibility of the meeting being all for nothing in case the plans of the party you are meeting happen to change on short notice.

Basically speaking, traveling can be a pretty big gamble and certain companies will spend a considerable amount of time and effort making travel one of their priorities. By having the ability to connect with people face to face, you can literally look them right in the eye as if they were only a few feet from you and then you can go right back to your life afterwards without any sort of travel costs involved in the process.

Traveling Takes Time

When you think about the fact that traveling costs money, you know it can be a considerable expense. However, there has become an even greater cost on your employees when they are forced to travel and that cost is the time that your employees are robbed of and will never get back.

Just trying to get to the airport will take a considerable amount of time to wake up early, beat traffic, arrive hours before the flight to check in, clear baggage, sit around for layovers, and then try to get to the hotel or motel in a reasonable amount of time. This is all before you even consider the time it will take to actually fly and be in the air or be in the taxi.

Cloud conferencing

As simple as all of this might sound to some, it is a complete and utter waste of the employee’s time. That means it is a waste of the employer’s time, because when they are supposed to be getting work accomplished, they are instead stuck wasting time. Video conferencing small business solutions offered by providers like BlueJeans Network can be used as a real substitute for face-to-face time, saving employer’s money on paying their employees to travel. The only thing employees need to do is boot up their computer and log into the cloud – regardless of their location.

Costs Of Stress On Employees

People are routine and they are creatures of habit. When you take them out of their element they need to spend considerably more amounts of energy and effort just to accomplish the same things. Not only does this mean it can take them longer to get into a routine, it can be more difficult to actually accomplish some of the very things that individuals are able to do without even thinking about on a daily basis.

On top of all of the relative inefficiencies of stress, according to Forbes there are even more potential problems as too much stress on the body from traveling could wind up causing employees to become sick and could cost employers with respect to paid time off, increased insurance costs, and general lost time for work getting done. Instead of dealing with sick employees and the stress that follows with travel, it might make more sense to just log into a computer and have online meetings.

Takeaway

Travel used to be the only way to do business and it used to be the norm specifically because employers and businesses didn’t have any other option. When it comes time to potentially save money and be better at what your company does, however, it certainly makes sense to consider making the switch to cloud-based meetings.

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So your brilliant idea has gone from just that, an idea, to a solid business plan that’s ready to go. For the last couple of months you have done nothing but think about how this idea could turn into something excellent. You have gone through the possible difficulties, but the business idea you have is very solid and can stand as a standalone company.

You moved on to the business plan and laid out every single detail. The business plan is not just a small outline, but you have built out all the pieces to make sure your new business, and company, can grow successfully. If that’s the case, your next step may be to start a company website.

Company website security measures

Now, one major concern that you should be aware of is cyber security.  In essence, building a company website is one thing, but securing it is another thing.  Many businesses focus on the former but neglect the latter.  What gives?

Perhaps what’s important to them is what’s seen by the eyes. But, just like any other thing in life, what’s not seen by the eyes will most likely to give you headaches. In term of website building, cyber security is often neglected.  Not providing adequate protection to your business website will potentially ‘disrupt’ your business – in a negative way.

But how bad can it be? Well, consider this: Did you know that 43 percent of cyber attacks are on small business?  What would be the main reasons, do you think? Well, let me tell you something: It’s because many small business owners don’t realize that cyber attack would be destructive.  Therefore, attack preventions are limited, even non-existent on some small businesses.

Three steps to creating a cloud-secured company website

Cloud-secured website

1. Cover the basics

Craft your brand

If you are going create a new company and want to have a company website, one of the key steps is to make sure your branding is complete and aligned. Once you have set with a logo, colors, and general branding, then you can move ahead with your company website. Your website’s look and feel have to go along with the branding of your company, so that’s why it’s key to have your branding done before you start your website.

Pick a domain name

The next step is to pick a domain. You need to buy a domain to register it as your company website. Head to the many online services, or even use these Groupon Coupons for Namecheap, and pick out your company’s URL. It’ll stay with you for a long time so pick one that you love!

Design and develop the website

The next key step to design and develop the website. You can use services that have templates, and make it simple to get your website up and running. Designing your website can be fun and it should be! Like we mentioned, the branding dictates the overall color, design, and feel of your website. At the same time, you have a lot of room for creativity and expression. At the end of the day it is your own company website so make sure it is personal, you like it, and it makes you as the owner very proud!

2. Host on secure cloud hosting

Today, essentially all web servers are located in the cloud.  However, not all use the best practices in securing hosted data and websites.  That said, it’s better for you to focus true cloud hosting providers: Fully secured, scalable, customizable, and distributed.

Read this for knowing the difference between true cloud hosting and “fake” cloud hosting.

3. Screen your website’s incoming traffic in the cloud

Not only securing your website’s hosted data, but you should also securing the traffic that comes to your website from the “cloud”. Using CDNs like Google Cloud CDN, Cloudflare, Incapsula, MaxCDN, and other top CDN providers can boost your website’s security and speed.

Takeaway

It’s about time that small businesses should focus on both the frontend and backend of their websites.  While branding and design are important, those are rendered useless if you’ve got hacked – just ask these victims.

That said, securing the backend of your company website is very important; don’t let your business becomes yet another statistic.

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Software As A Service (SaaS) companies nowadays are faced with a pretty high competition. This was not the case in the past as we only had a few such companies on the market. At the moment we are faced with such a high competition that the smallest things end up making a huge difference.

Most of the business will be handled online, through the help of the cloud and even finding clients is directly connected with the visual image created on the internet. With this in mind, it should come as no surprise to notice that the companies that buy a domain name that is not appropriate will end up facing huge struggles in growing.

Cloud domain name

Choosing The Correct Domain Name

While there are so many things that can be mentioned, everything online starts with the domain name. It is vital that you take all the time that you need in order to make a correct choice. In most situations we see SaaS companies going for the standard format of using the company name in one way or another and then buying the .com domain. That is definitely an appropriate choice but how about taking it to the next level?

One of the most interesting things in the recent evolution of domain technology is the appearance of various extra domain name extensions that are quickly gaining popular. While some of them like .guru and .ninja may seem like a good joke, one domain extension in particular is incredibly useful for the SaaS providers.

We are talking about the .cloud domain name.

This domain extension makes a lot of sense because of the fact that it highlights a huge part of the service that is offered by the company. Since most of the software services offered will be provided through the use of cloud technology, why not clearly highlighting this from the moment the interested client visits the domain?

Ubuntu Cloud screenshot
Ubuntu.cloud

Need some examples of great SaaS companies that use .cloud domain name? Here are some: Ubuntu.cloud, Fashion.cloud, and Weebly.cloud

Memorizing The Domain Name

Every single company out there wants to be memorable. Branding is always a very important thing for the future growth of the company so any step that would make branding better helps, especially when thinking about the huge competition on the market.

Because of the fact that domain extensions .cloud are brand new on the market, the visitors are going to remember this much faster than the regular .com domain, which is basically a standard in all industries. If you want to offer anything that is based on the cloud it is a good idea to focus on getting such a domain name. This is actually something that works with much more than just SaaS companies.

Conclusions

Although we highlighted only two things about the domain name that is chosen by the SaaS company, it should be more than enough to highlight the importance of this choice. Whenever the domain name is not memorable and does not stand out, the potential clients will not remember it. That is why you have to be sure that you will make a choice that is suitable for the business, one that helps branding and promotions.

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The first place that you go looking for information, for anything ranging between finding a good eatery close by to car rental services within 5 miles of a particular location, is a search engine like Google and Bing. With the web being the first repository for market-driven information, web-sites and blogs are often the source from where business-related information is obtained.

SEO techniques are critical in order to maintain market competitiveness and sustain consumer awareness. SEO consists of all activities undertaken to ensure that an organization’s web-site shows up high in the listings whenever users tap their queries in to major search engines to look for services, products or key information.

Cloud hosting enhances SEO

There are several techniques that are used to implement SEO. While many of them are methods related to the way content is authored; there are other methods that can help improve SEO. One among those is cloud hosting. Let us look at a few ways in which switching to cloud hosting can help improve SEO.

High up-time

Each instance of a website downtime would trigger most search engines to lower the authority rating of the website, which in turn would cause page-rankings to go down for all associated keywords. It is critical for a website to maintain high uptime if it is intended to show up high in the search listings. Downtime affects SEO in a couple of ways:

  • It diminishes the effectiveness of your SEO strategy
  • When a search engine is unable to reach your website it reduces the authority rating accordingly. Whenever the authority rating of a website goes down, the page rankings for the site also go down for all related keywords.

One of the biggest advantages of tapping a cloud based hosting for your website is the very high site uptime, typically upwards of 99.9%. Such high uptime ensures that your SEO strategy has the maximum opportunity to be successful. It also does its part to keep page rankings high for your website.

By reducing loading time for the website

There are several factors taken into account by leading search engines such as Google and Bing while determining the rank of a site. While a rank is always specific to search terms, one key influencing factor is the User experience rating(UX) of the site. The UX rating of a site is a summary rating that denotes the quality of all past experiences that users have had with that site. All else being equal in terms of the factors influencing page rank, a site with a higher UX rating will always be displayed higher in the search listing.

Cloud storage

Cloud based providers are able to provide organizations with superior quality of services in terms of responsiveness, experienced IT staff, faster systems recovery after failures and scalable infrastructure. When you contract with a cloud based provider to host your site, you are invariably able to ensure loading times that are consistently lower than competitor websites based on traditional hosting. By achieving this, you are also able to sustain high UX ratings for your site, helping to keep the page ranks with search engines consistently high.

The ‘Local’ Hosting Advantage

One more factor taken into account by search engines while calculating page rank is related to how the hosting location compares with the location where the search is being run. Search engines give priority to locally hosted servers when calculating page rank. For instance, if a user is looking for golf clubs in the UK, seller sites with a.uk extension would be listed higher up when compared to sites with a .de extension or a .com extension.

Before the advent of cloud computing, companies used to purchase domain names and maintain separate web-sites in order to cater to users from different geographies. With cloud hosting providers, this process has become very intuitive and easy, given that the nature of cloud hosting automatically lends itself to making multiple geo sites available at low cost. By improving the ease and availability of local hosting, cloud hosting helps improve the opportunities for a web site to get a high rank during searches.

Bot protection

When a search engine calculates the ranking for a web-site or page, one of the avenues for a significant negative impact on ranking is from bots or malicious programs which tap your site’s content in inappropriate and illegal ways.

Bot and malicious program protection

For example, scraping bots are responsible for a lot of the duplicated content that we see on the internet. The instances we are talking about are those where you see that a website’s content has been exactly duplicated on another site. By scrawling through the site, copying content and publishing them on another site, not only are these scraping bots stealing your content and links, they are also increasing the possibilities for confusion among internet users regarding which site represents the actual web site. Not only does scraping affect the search engine rank for your website, it also negatively impacts your business’s reputation among internet users.

One more type of bots which causes significant amount of damage to your SEO ranking is the link spamming category of bots. Anytime you are opening up the stories on your site for comments or have a discussion forum on your site, these link spammer bots can automatically insert links which are often malicious. You would have seen several such links on the web which invite you to click a particular link to get more information on how to make $$$$$ every day by clicking ads.

Most such links are malicious and their presence on a site is considered negatively by search engines. Search engines maintain specific Trust and Authority ratings for all web sites which are one of the factors taken into account while calculating the rank of a website. Whenever such links are found on a website, Trust and Authority ratings get downgraded which causes page rankings for the website to go down for all related keywords.

Given that cloud hosting providers host your site in a professional and technically sophisticated manner, several advanced tools are employed by providers to protect the site against bot attacks. The use of these tools helps to avoid impacts from bot attacks and consequent hits to your page rankings.

Sophisticated tools and solutions for managing SEO

The fundamental concept of cloud hosting is that IT systems, sites and resources are better located at remote locations where specialized providers can provide higher quality of services and maintenance. By locating all infrastructure at one place, providers are able to deliver cost advantages arising from scale and also provide flexible capacity. In addition, cloud hosting providers also provide management consoles, dashboards and tools that provide powerful capability to manage web sites remotely.

Cloud dashboard

Particularly for SEO, cloud hosted websites come with advanced management consoles and tools to optimize strategy. These utilities can help you implement uniquely customized SEO strategies. Cloud hosted providers are also able to provide web logs and user activity logs for web-sites in a form that is amenable for analysis. Such logs can provide critical input when looking at how well your SEO strategy is working.

For example, consider the case where a smartphone servicing company located in Philadelphia wants to look at data related to the first 5 web-site pages navigated by users who enter from Google off a specific search string (For instance, the string Samsung galaxy S7 service Philadelphia). The advanced reporting and logging capabilities provided by Cloud hosting providers can help access such detailed reports.

The data in these reports can then be compared against data related to pages navigated by users who entered off the same search string but from the Bing search engine. Analysis of this data can clearly bring out the differentiation in SEO capability needed to work with these two search engines.

By way of another useful comparison, this data can also be examined against data related to the pages navigated by users from Google but with a different search string (Samsung service Philadelphia). Such a comparison goes to the heart of what SEO strategy is all about – Analysis related to search strings more effective in driving user engagement and user conversion and how this analysis may be leveraged to improve SEO effectiveness. The tools, data and reports provided by cloud hosting help move data driven SEO strategy from the arena of conjecture to actually being possible.

Ability to better serve mobile

The most important trend in internet computing from the last couple of years is the increasing dominance of smartphone driven internet access. With a majority of Google searches already happening from smartphones, this is not a trend to be taken lightly in the context of SEO strategy.

Mobile shopping

Given that smartphones have smaller screens, limited computing capacity and suffer limitations of battery life, a website that is served to a smartphone can be very different in form and function from the same site served to a desktop. When hosting is done in the cloud, a lot of advanced analytics and data are made available from the provider that is specific to servings for smartphones. This kind of data can be extremely valuable to customize SEO strategy for the mobile web.

To quote one instance, providers can take the rigmarole of providing reports related which mobile browser is enabling the maximum number of user conversions for a particular search string when run only from iPhones. That’s the kind of data and analytics capability that can take your mobile SEO strategy to the next level.

While content remains the core of SEO related tuning and strategy, cloud hosting and the features it provides can themselves help improve the effectiveness of your SEO strategy by leaps and bounds.

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