Author Archives: Charles Mburugu

About Charles Mburugu

Charles Mburugu is a professional content developer and an entrepreneur. He is passionate about subjects such as technology, social media, internet marketing, blogging and SEO.

Guidelines for Keeping Your Blog Safe

blog safetyRunning a blog can be a very effective way of staying in touch with people, either for the purpose of promoting your business or just sharing common interests. However, having a blog comes with its own unique security challenges which you need to deal with so as to ensure the security of your blog, as well as your visitors. Here are some guidelines which will help you keep your blog safe.

1. Regular software updates

Anytime you use software which is obsolete, your blog is in danger of infection by worms and viruses. Therefore, you need to ensure that you update your blogging software as often as possible. Preferably, you should set it so that it updates itself automatically. However, even before a new version of the software is released, you can lower the risk of infection by adding security patches to your current software.

2. Password management

When building your blog, you need to ensure that your password is not too easy to guess. Basic passwords such as ‘wxyz’ or ‘123abc’ should be avoided since they leave your blog vulnerable to hackers and other malicious attackers. A strong password is one that is made up of upper and lower case letters, as well as numbers and symbols.

3. Plugin installation

Plugins make it much easier for bloggers to manage their blogs. For instance, there are plugins for managing comments, optimizing blog posts, blocking spam and managing ad placement. However, there is need for caution when dealing with plugins. Before downloading any, you need to find out its origin. If the source is questionable, do not download the plugin since it might just leave you vulnerable to worms, viruses or malicious attacks.

4. Template safety

Most blogging platforms offer a wide variety of colorful templates which can be used to customize the appearance of your blog. However, you need to beware of template files which might contain malicious code. When downloading a template, take time to check the code for anything suspicious. For instance, you need to ensure that the code does not contain links to adult sites. To be safe, always get your code from trusted sources.

5. Perform regular backups

Despite your efforts to keep your blog safe, attacks are still inevitable. Therefore, it is very important to backup your files as often as possible. Whenever you publish a new blog post or adjust your template code, take time to backup your files on an external device. In case anything happens and you lose the content on your blog, your backups will help you recover quickly.

Factors to Consider Before Choosing a Reseller Web Host

Reseller hostingIf you are planning to get into reseller hosting, choosing a suitable reseller web host is a very important decision that you need to make. However, with the multitude of web hosts out there, making this decision can be a very frustrating experience. Here are some things you need to consider when looking for a good reseller web host.

1. Bandwidth

When it comes to reseller hosting, the number of accounts you can create will be determined by the amount of bandwidth you purchase. In turn, the quantity of bandwidth you will require will depend on the niche you are targeting. For instance, if you are focusing on photography or gaming sites, you will need a lot of bandwidth. However, be wary of sites which claim to offer unlimited bandwidth since this is not possible in reality. In most cases, such sites have a clause in their terms of service that explains what ‘unlimited’ really means.

2. Disk space

Disk space refers to the quantity of space a site occupies on the server. This includes the size of the files you upload, as well as the space taken up by your databases and emails. The amount of disk space you require will be determined by the niche you are focusing on. Once again, beware of web hosts who claim to offer unlimited disk space.

3. Domains

Find out how many domains are allowed in the reseller hosting plan. This will give you an idea of how many customers you can accommodate on the package. The number of domains offered will also determine the pricing of your plans. Nowadays, there are many web hosting companies that offer unlimited domains. This means that your plans will be influenced more by bandwidth and disk space.

4. Control panel options

There are many types of control panels out there. For anyone getting started, it would be advisable to opt for a standard control panel such as Plesk or Cpanel. However, this will be influenced by the niche you are focusing on. A Cpanel with Fantastico would be an ideal choice if you intend to offer your customers numerous easy-to-install scripts.

5. Customer support

The amount of support required will be determined by your needs. Would you prefer sending emails, engaging in live chat or getting support via phone? Before signing up with any web host, take time to test all these support options. Open a live chat and take time to engage with support staff. Call the 1-800 number or send an email and ask a few questions.

6. Hidden clauses

You need to look out for charges which are not obvious, as well as hidden clauses which are concealed in the TOS pages. This includes:

  • Downgrade or upgrade fees
  • Dedicated IP costs
  • AUP/TOS text
  • Advance notice or cancellation fees
  • Email limits
  • SSL costs for self-installation
  • MEM/CPU usage limits
  • Non-refundable set up fees
  • Long term hosting requirements

Conclusion

Besides choosing the right features, you should also consider the host’s operating system. Linux is the most commonly used operating system. However, some hosts run on both Linux and Windows. In addition, you should also look out for factors such as number of emails, databases, ASP and PHP.

Tips for Promoting Your Brand Using Instagram

InstagramSince a picture is worth a thousand words, sharing photos is one of the best ways for businesses to create awareness about their products or services. It allows you to be creative and project your brand in an interesting and lively way. Instagram, which is owned by Facebook, is one of the most popular photo-sharing apps. Currently, it has more than eight million users all over the world.

Here are some guidelines for promoting your brand using Instagram.

1. Use your brand name

If your aim is to create brand awareness, don’t use your name. Instead, use the name of your brand. For instance, if your brand name is ‘Sunset Safaris Kenya’, the Instagram name should be ‘SunsetSafarisKenya’. This makes it easier for users to find you and connect with your brand.

2. Connect with your fans

You need to frequently share photos of your products with your fans. If they like what you have to offer, they are likely to hashtag your images, or even post photos of themselves using the product. Take time to share photos of your fans eating, wearing or using your products. This will encourage them to post more photos which are relevant to your brand. You could also use Instagram to post photos of your employees at work or having fun. This will give your brand a human face and enhance interaction with your fans.

3. Use hashtags

Instagram offers a great opportunity to create awareness about your brand using hashtags. For instance, if your site is about men’s wear, you could post a photo of different clothes and shoes. Some of the hashtags you could use include #menfashion #men’swear #men’sapparel. Therefore, when people search using those hashtags, your photos are likely to appear in the results. If they like what they see, users might even begin following you.

4. Connect your Instagram profile with Twitter and Facebook

Connecting your Instagram profile with Twitter and Facebook allows you to share your photos on these social networks. This offers an opportunity to increase awareness of your brand. However, you need to remember the 140 character limit for Twitter. This will influence the number of hashtags or keywords which can be included in your post.

5. Make use of web profiles

Instagram web profiles allow you to share your profile with other people who are not Instagram users. This means that you can reach more users, even the non-Android and non-iPhone users. In addition, you can share your web profile in different ways, including on your email signature, in blog posts and through social media networks. However, to grant users access to your photos, ensure your brand profile is set to public.

Tips for Choosing a WordPress Blog Host

wordpressSelecting a suitable host for your WordPress blog is a very vital decision you need to make when launching a new blog. Regardless of whether you intend to use the blog for personal or business reasons, having the right host will have a significant impact on the success of your blog. Here are some tips which will help you select the right hosting company for your WordPress blog.

1. Disk space and bandwidth

Disk space is the quantity of space that is assigned to your blog. If you intend to have high quality images, audio and video on your blog, then you will require a lot of disk space. However, if your blog will only comprise of text, you might not need much disk space. Bandwidth refers to the quantity of space needed to accommodate the traffic to your blog. The more people you have visiting your blog, the more bandwidth you will require. Make sure you choose a blog host who can meet your disk space and bandwidth needs.

2. Software installation

Most blog hosting services provide tools which enable you to install and configure content management systems such as WordPress. With such tools, you don’t have to go through the frustrating and time-consuming process of installing software manually. Therefore, take time to look for a blog hosting provider which offers such tools. This way, you will be able to save quite a bit of money and time.

3. Pricing

Blog hosting providers usually offer an assortment of packages, each of which has varied prices and features. Usually, the lower priced plans with limited features are suitable for personal blogs which receive little traffic. However, business blogs require packages with more features. A plan with more features will make it easier for your customers to access and navigate your blog. Take time to consider your options and select a package that offers all the necessary features at a reasonable price.

4. Technical support

The quality of support offered is an important consideration when choosing a blog host. A qualified and experienced support team will enable you to easily detect hitches with your blog, more so those related to disk space or bandwidth. Find a blog host who offers 24/7 support, and can be accessed readily via telephone, email or live chat.

5. Reliability

You need to select a blog hosting company which is well known for its reliability. Find out what guarantee is offered concerning uptime and site speed. Uptime refers to the percentage of time a server is online. Site speed determines how fast your site will load. If the server of your blog hosting provider experiences frequent downtime or is slow, your visitors will end up becoming frustrated.

6. Upgrade options

When launching your blog, you could opt with a low-tier blog hosting plan. Eventually, as the blog grows, you can then upgrade it to include more features. Therefore, make sure you select a hosting plan which will allow you to upgrade your blog in future.

The Importance of a Blog Hosting Service

blog hostingNowadays, a business blog is a vital element for any successful marketing plan. A business blog will enable you to carry out surveys and polls, update consumers on new products, attract more traffic from search engines, and offer special promotions and discounts. Choosing the right blog hosting company will play a major role in the success of your blog.

The following are some of the advantages of working with a blog hosting company.

1. Installation services

When it comes to setting up your blog, hosting companies can save you a lot of time and frustration. This is especially helpful for people who lack the technical skills for installing blogging software manually. Most blog hosting companies provide tools which could enable you install your blog software within minutes.

2. Blog consulting

When you sign up with some hosting companies, you will also enjoy complimentary blog consulting services. Such services can come in very handy, especially for people who have never set up a blog previously. A seasoned blog consultant can offer valuable advice concerning choosing a domain name, selecting the appropriate blogging software, as well as customizing your blog theme. In addition, consultants can offer assistance in installing and configuring tools which will enable you to run your blog better, as well as generate some income.

3. Lower costs

Setting up your own server for hosting your blog would be a very expensive undertaking. In addition, you would also be required to hire an expert to handle the equipment. Having your blog hosted with an established hosting provider is a cheaper and stress-free option. All you need to do is sign up for a monthly or annual hosting plan, and the hosting company takes care of all the technical issues. If you have a blog which receives many visitors, it would be advisable to opt for a dedicated hosting plan which will assure you of sufficient bandwidth and disk space.

4. Plugins, widgets and themes

Many blogging platforms offer a wide variety of free or premium blog themes which you can customize according to your needs. In addition, you will also find many customizable widgets which can be used to enhance the attractiveness and functionality of your blog. The support team of your hosting provider can help you choose and install plugins and widgets on your blog.

5. Upgrades

If you have a limited budget at the onset, you could begin with a cheaper package which can then be upgraded as your blog grows. Many blog hosting companies have experienced staff that can help you upgrade from one plan to another easily and fast. This way, you can minimize the amount of downtime for your blog during the upgrading process.

6. Technical support

The quality of technical support is a vital consideration when setting up a blog. Most blog hosting companies have seasoned technicians who can help you set up and optimize your blog. This will enhance the rank of your blog in search engines, thus making it easier for people to find your pages.