Category Archives: Main

How to Choose Web Hosting for Your Blog

It’s time for someone to take a stand against all of the terrible hosts out there. What’s so hard about offering a credible service without any dubious marketing terms or lies? Yes, finding a good host is a little harder than stumbling across one of the thousands of terrible hosts, but it’s time well spent. Here’s exactly what you need to look for in a host for your blog.

Bandwidth and Disk Space

Unlimited bandwidth is a lie, pure and simple. The fact is that unlimited bandwidth doesn’t even exist because there’s a constant flow of data and even all of the servers in the world couldn’t provide this. While there are some good hosts that offer this service, and it’s really not that bad for very small websites that need less than 10GB of bandwidth and disk space, it’s terrible for anyone looking to scale up. It’s much better to get metered bandwidth and disk space with a specific limit. This ensures that you know exactly how much you are getting. Don’t know how much you need? Just multiply the size of your common Web page by your average number of visitors. It’s a fairly simple equation.

Automated CMS Installation

A good host is going to have cPanel, which is also going to have an automated CMS installation program like Softaculous or Fantastico. Yes, you can always install WordPress or Drupal manually, but most of us don’t know or care to know how to do this. Ensure the host has an automated installer for your blog. Uptime Bad hosts are better known for their downtime than their uptime. A host’s job is to keep your website up and running. While downtime is inevitable and it will happen, it should only be for a few hours to days throughout the year. If your host doesn’t supply at least a 99% uptime guarantee, then leave immediately. You aren’t getting the service that you deserve, and who knows what other corners the host is cutting. It’s better to have 99.9% or higher, but 99% should be the bare minimum.

Customer Service

You don’t always need to call customer service because email and live chat are often just as good, but please oh please make sure the customer service team is good. Don’t assume that they will be professional. Most bad hosts have awful customer service teams that just won’t help you out. Grill the customer service team before using the host. Ask about what they will do if a hacker attacks, if their server goes down or if you have a hard time doing something common (like installing a script or using cPanel). If the team doesn’t seem helpful, then move on.

Loading Speed

Hosts don’t like advertising their loading speeds for one reason or another. Maybe it’s too geeky for common users, or maybe it’s because a lot of them want to hide something. Never, ever use a host without ensuring that their loading speeds are good. If your website loads very slowly, then this doesn’t just annoy visitors. It ensures that your site’s search engine ranking will drop, you will get fewer organic links and your number of active readers will decrease. Yes, site loading speed is a big deal and your host has to help you out if you want to survive.

Conclusion

There’s no reason to use a bad host for your blog, and I hope that you never pay a dime to these companies. Most good hosts are about the same price as the bad ones, but the service is much more valuable. Remember, you need a Web host that will help your business grow, not destroy you from the inside.

Not Just for Talking and Texting: Simple Tips to Make Your Android Device More Functional

You own an Android, unlike cell phones of yesterday. The Android is more like a computer than a phone. But some people are intimidated and a bit lazy in getting to know their device, only using it for talking and texting. If that’s all you’re doing with your Android then you’re doing it wrong. Here’s how to make your device more functional.

Be a Pro at Photos

All of your photos can be kept in one place. Most people don’t need a camera these days. But it’s difficult to keep track of photos for later retrieval via a phone. You can create folders within Photos to categorize items. Furthermore, you could search for folders using the voice function. Why waste time toggling through icons?

Get to Saying, “Ok, Google…”

Start using the Android’s voice assistant option. There are tons of useful voice commands at your disposal including record a video, take a selfie, set a timer, etc. Aside from telling, you can ask about things like the weather, what time is the (your team’s name) game, etc.

Use a Mouse

Some people are unaware they can use their Android device with a mouse. Some apps are just easier to use with the aid of a mouse. Alternatively, you could plug your Android into a portable device or home PC. There are other plug-in compatibilities. Use a Bluetooth-enabled mouse or a keyboard if you would like.

Stop Using Data for Navigation

Google Maps is a great service. It’s useful to pull up the information when driving and in need of directions. However, you may grow alarmed to see your data getting used at a great rate, especially if you’re overseas. However, Google Maps allows Android users to view information without using data. Look for the ‘offline areas’ option from the overhead map view.

Take a Screenshot

It’s pretty handy to take a screenshot if you want a copy of your friend’s picture, see a meme you want to share, or if you would like to capture headlines to back up an argument with a spouse. All you do is press the power and volume-down button at the same time. The screen will flash and you’ll hear a shutter sound. You can then save the shot in a certain folder or upload it to social media.

Seta Data Limit

We’ve all been there. No one wants to get an enormous smartphone bill from their carrier. It’s easy to lose track of allotted data but not when you set a limit on your phone’s controls. Be alerted as soon as you exceed the limit set and never have to pay for going over again!

Turn Off Autocorrect

There have been funny and not so funny stories created by the autocorrect function. Android thinks you mean one thing and automatically corrects your spelling. This could be annoying to downright disastrous depending on whom receives a text from you. Don’t worry about it after turning off the autocorrect function.

 

Is Your Small Business Overspending?

When starting your own business, it’s best to eliminate the fluff. Too many small business owners fail because of overspending and an inability to budget. Here’s a list of the best ways to take control of your small business and save big.

SUPPLIES AND SERVICE

Frugality is your friend – instead of purchasing the newest software and technology, consider utilizing free software to facilitate operations. Hootsuite offers limited social management tools for free. Asana and Wrike offer free project management systems. WordPress, Wix, Drupal, and others offer free content management. Insightly has a free customer relationship management system, and so on. There are many other free, “freemium” or free-trial software that smaller enterprises can use as they grow. This will help the business operate more efficiently, save costs on budget and allow the company to fully evaluate the software before making the investment in paid suites.

EMPLOYEES

Often times, the people who work for you will determine the success of your business. To lower spending, new businesses should limit managerial hierarchies and contract freelancers when appropriate. You will pay a higher hourly rate for a freelancer than a full-time employee, but contractors tend to have varied experience, meaning they require less management and even less of your valuable time. Writers, designers, software developers and marketing experts are just a few of the roles that many startups hire on a freelance basis in order to cut spending. Additionally, freelancers can work out of their own homes, saving you money on office space and other resources.

OFFICE SPACE

In its early stages, you can save a great deal on rent, utilities, and supplies by running the business from your home. Of course, some businesses require a retail space or office to operate effectively. To minimize costs, consider joining forces with another small company to rent a shared office. You can split expenses and utilities down the middle, and even go in together on office supplies and furniture.

ADVERTISING AND DESIGN

Instead of hiring that top-rated design agency, consider performing some of your marketing efforts in-house. By developing your website and improving your social media presence, you can reach your audience without spending a fortune. As an added bonus, business owners performing some of their own marketing have the opportunity to gain valuable insight by interacting directly with their customers.

T R AV E L & EXPENSE MANAGEMENT

An often overlooked consideration of new businesses, travel and expense (T&E) actually make up the second largest operating expenditure after payroll. According to a recent Entrepreneur article, overspending actually eats up a fifth to a third of total T&E on average. As a startup, you have the power to tackle this trend upfront, before it becomes an issue down the line. Typically, if no policy exists, or the policy does not set clear limits, employees pick the airline, hotel, restaurant, and/or rental car of their choice—usually with convenience, not money in mind. People tend to spend more when it’s not their money. Divvy is the first free and fully automated spend management platform. It includes all of the features of cloud-based automation, without the pesky hidden costs. Within a matter of minutes, Divvy gives you visibility and control to every part of your businesses finances. For example: setup budgets and company spending policy down to each employee. Get real time spend insights. Send/block funds in real time. Generate IRS compliant digital receipts on all company purchases (AKA no more manual reimbursements or filing expense reports). The best part: it’s free.

Constant Reminders of Your Business


A lot has changed for the last couple of years when it comes to marketing and advertising a business. For example, social media have been very popular when it comes to the Internet, but outside of the Internet giving away promotional items such as printed tote bags has become a very effective way of advertising a company.

I heard about promotional items for the first time already some time ago, but I never really had a chance to learn everything about them. I am sure that most of you have received a promotional item such as promotional bags at some point so you know exactly what I am talking about here. I myself looked up the term promotional items on the Internet. I discovered that many companies use this strategy to market their services and they are very successful at it.

It seems that people give promotional items in many parts of the world, not only in the United Kingdom. You can give many business promotional items to your customers for free like cups, pens, pencils, or calendars with the logo of your company imprinted on them.

There are many good items which you can choose to give for free, so make your choice wisely. Another good idea for promotional products are cups. Each person needs cups to drink from. By offering cups to drink from to your customers, you give them something valuable, something that they need on a daily basis.

Advertising your business can mean a lot of fun for you and your associates. Take your time to sit down with them and start thinking about promotional items you could offer to your customers. Always look for better and better ways to advertise your business and you will find what you like the most. If possible, try to find at least a few ways to advertise your business and keep doing them until it brings money to your business. Never give up and always be on the lookout for better products that are likely to bring you money in return. Never settle on giving away mediocre items. Only this way can you be sure that you are truly successful.

Making Improvements to Your Home: Financing Future Fixes and Upgrades

With large-scale home improvement projects steadily on the rise for the past few years, more people than ever are making serious renovations to their home. Whether it’s a simple re-decorating job or an entire kitchen re-vamp, making some form of home improvement is something almost all homeowners will do in their lifetimes.

But whilst the thought of improving the look of your home is exciting, the cost can be enough to stop projects before they’ve even got off the ground! But there are multiple ways to finance home fixes and upgrades that almost everyone can apply for, meaning you can have the home of your dreams as long as you keep up with repayments. So, if you’re desperate to re-vamp your home but are put off by the potential cost, here are some financial solutions to consider.

Credit cards

Most suitable for smaller, less expensive projects, credit cards can be a great way of financing your home improvements. If you have an excellent credit score, you’ll likely qualify for a credit card with a very low-interest rate meaning that, when the time comes to start paying the card’s balance, interest won’t give you a nasty surprise!

But making the decision to use a credit card must be done with caution. Analyze your budget and if you’re not 100% sure you’ll be able to make every single repayment back and pay for your home improvements in full, don’t take the risk as you could end up in serious debt if you’re not careful.

Unsecured personal loan

More suitable than a credit card for medium-size projects that cost up to $50,000, unsecured loans are a good option. One of two types of personal loan (we’ll get onto the second type in just a moment!), unsecured loans don’t require collateral, are relatively easy to apply for, and you can make your repayments over a period of years if you wish. If office or business-related improvements are what you’re looking to do, compare business loans to find the right option for you.

However, unsecured loans often come with high-interest rates simply because the lender is at risk. So again, in a similar way to credit cards, analyze your budget beforehand and ensure you can meet both the payments and the accompanying interest rates.

Secured personal loan

Unlike unsecured loans, these loans require collateral that the lender will take ownership of if you’re unable to make the repayments. But, because this significantly reduces the lender’s risk, secured loans often have the lowest interest rates of all!

But, as you’ll have collateral on the line, taking out a secured loan if you’re not 100% sure you can handle it is deadly. So, before signing on the dotted line, make sure your finances can manage.

When your home needs an upgrade, making the necessary improvements are often much easier said than done when on a budget. But by analyzing your finances and project cost, you’ll be able to make the best possible decision specific to your circumstances, giving you the dream home without the financial worry!

How To Keep Your New Business Going And Growing

Starting a new business can be one of the most exciting things that you ever do. In addition to helping you attain the financial freedom you’ve always wanted, running your own company can empower you to set your own schedule and spend more time with loved ones. If you’re interested in accomplishing these objectives, learning how to keep your new business on the path to growth is immensely important. Below you’ll find three strategies that can help you make this happen:

1. Utilize Online Marketing Services.

One of the best ways to keep your new company on the path to growth is utilizing online marketing services. These services can help you share your product or service line with prospects in the internet sector. Also note that online marketing is great for expanding your organization’s sphere of influence as you’ll be able to advertise your product or service line to people all over the world. Some of the digital advertising services you may want to invest in include

• search engine optimization
• online reputation management
• responsive web design
• social media optimization
• web design and development
• content marketing

Another online marketing service that might prove beneficial to your organization is domain name services. These services are provided by organizations like Network Solutions. This company specializes in assisting clients with the process of obtaining premium domain names.

2. Network.

Networking is important at any stage of business development, but it is particularly important when your company is in the incipient stages of growth. This is the case because continually connecting with people who could eventually become customers or business partners helps ensure that you can optimize conversion rates and make your organization more influential. There are several ways that you can optimize the networking process. One of them is by taking an impromptu speaking course that helps you gain confidence when you interface with prospects!

3. Read More.

Reading can enhance any aspect of your life, and this includes your business life. For example, reading business books can empower you to remain in tune with contemporary best practices and effective methodologies. Reading can also be a precursor to you becoming a thought leader within your industry as it provides you with the foundation of information necessary to publish your own articles regarding subjects that are important within your chosen sector. Some other benefits of reading include the ability to enhance your vocabulary, sharpen your memory, and improve your critical thinking skills. Some of the business books that you may want to use to generate these outcomes include:

• How To Talk To Anyone
• What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast: A Short Guide to Making Over Your Mornings-and Life
• Good to Great
• How To Win Friends And Influence People

Start Building Your New Business Now!

If you’ve invested your heart and mind in the idea of making your new business successful, you need to start thinking strategically right now. Three strategies you can implement to get your new business on the path to continual growth include utilizing online marketing services, networking, and reading more!

Organization and Motivation: Is Working From Home Right for You?

Just had a baby and you can’t imagine leaving her at a daycare while you return to an office job? Maybe you have moved to your dream home in the country and the commute to the city just isn’t worth it. For whatever reason you are thinking of working from home, you need to weigh the pros and cons. It can be the perfect arrangement for you and your family, but it is not for everyone.

Know thyself

Are you self-motivated, with strong time management abilities? Or do you put everything off until the last minute, assuming you will have everything you need in order to get the work done? If you tend to be a King or Queen of Procrastination, you might find that working from home is too distracting for you. It requires setting a schedule and sticking to it. Successful home-workers do meal planning just like the rest of us. They leave housework to the evenings and weekends and they avoid taking social calls during business hours. Can you stay off Facebook and avoid the temptations that threaten to pull you away from the task at hand? If you are able to focus at home, you might actually find you are even more productive than in the office environment.

Maintain a work/life balance

Whether you are running a business or working a salaried position from home, you need to ensure you protect yourself from work overload. It’s far more difficult to leave your work at the office at the end of the day when the office is at home. Make sure you join some sort of professional business or social network outside the home so that you meet other adults face-to-face during the week. This is important quality time for you when you work at home and see no one but your family most days. Pick up the phone and speak to your clients or colleagues, to have that adult connection during the day. Make sure you book regular vacations and take days off too.

Lay the foundation for success

You don’t have to put all of your eggs in one basket from the beginning. Perhaps the smartest thing to do is to try working from home just one to three days a week at first. If it works out and you get into a routine, you might decide to transition to working from home full time. You may find it difficult to command a high wage while working from home, as senior management and executive positions are not usually accommodated in this working environment. If life hands you a surprise or an unexpected opportunity and you need some money in a hurry, you might consider looking at http://unsecuredpersonal.loans/. Many unsecured loans do not require collateral.

With careful consideration and planning, working from home can be an ideal situation for you and your family. You just need to treat it like any other job, with a firm schedule and commitment to completing assignments on time.

 

A Look at Your Options for Financing Your Business

Every business needs financing – whether you’re a small, medium, or large business, there will always be a need for initial investment. It gets worse when, after much work, the enterprise actually starts to show promise and more funds are needed for expansion and growth. The manager or business owner is often confronted with a difficult question: to what extent are they willing to give up their own stake in the business for the benefit of the business as a whole?

The advantages of private equity financing are real, and should never be doubted. On the other hand, they also come with some disadvantages, and that’s where the trouble lies. Here’s the good news: there are ways in which you can find the perfect balance. In fact, you can get the best of both worlds. Here’s a look at your options for financing your business.

Private equity is on the rise

The appetite for private equity on the British market has always been very popular, and it continues to rise. Though alternative financing deals have also become popular and more established (think of loans through a bank, or more recently: angel investors and such schemes), most people continue to see private equity as a means of continuing their personal mission whilst giving them tax relief.

Checking the risks

There are, however, some important drawbacks everyone should be aware of. The most important disadvantage is the risk that the investor’s goals may be quite different than those of the entrepreneur; the investor is looking for a return on investment and will have an exit strategy, whilst the entrepreneur is more likely to be emotionally involved.

Asking important questions

In order to make a sound decision that fits you best, you should ask yourself the following questions:

  • Does my business have a good management team that can deal with adversity and change in plans?
  • Do I have a good and reliable supply chain?
  • Are we confident of the financial forecast?
  • Do we have a solid business plan that would convince parties with different interests in mind?
  • Do we have a good product or service, and what are the chances of growth given the current business environment?

In the end, there is really one (and only one) important question to ask: is this your private business, something you want to make a stamp on for the history books to show, or is this a business for most everyone, which can grow in ways you may not now anticipate? It’s a personal question, to be sure – but it’s also a practical question. It’s a dilemma that only the entrepreneur can solve. It’s a matter of finding out what is most important to you, as advised by the business strategists and accountants in central London from GSM & Co.

Image attributed to Stuart Miles/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/finance-post-it-note-means-crediting-or-profit-photo-p258982

Matthew David Parker on the Basics

Matthew David Parker is an influential Las Vegas photographer that has presented Las Vegas and its people in a manner in which offers a fresh perspective on the intrinsic planned and unplanned beauty of Las Vegas. Because of this, Matthew David Parker has a following of loyal viewers that await his latest offerings.

So much of art in general and specifically photography concerns the way the artist goes about capturing light. Because of the purity of light, many beginning photographers think good photography occurs because of a camera instead of because the photographer utilized the camera to capture the light in a thought evoking manner because the magic of photography and art in general is light. After the elements of art and photography are taught, it is with an understanding then that the budding photographer realizes the camera is designed around the principle of capturing light and not just an instrument to capture an image.

However, in order to do this artistically, the photographer must be able to manipulate the camera or otherwise manipulate themselves, the camera and even the time of day and weather conditions in order to maximize the effectiveness of this light. So a basic camera is set up so that a person can affect this instrument to capture light. The basic theory surrounding this will give us three tips, and each tip will be a point in a theory called the exposure triangle.

It is not only believed theoretically, but proven in many situations photographically that good shots only occur when these three points of the triangle can be manipulated most effectively by the camera’s operator. These three elements are aperture, shutter speed and ISO, and they affect the image that results from a camera’s shutter opening, collecting light and producing an image. So our three tips are a primer on these elements.

Aperture is defined as the size of the dimensions of which a lens can open, and a small number corresponds with a wide opening because the size of the aperture determines how much light is allowed into the camera through the lens, but aperture also effects depth and blurring among other things. The aperture is expressed in a number set like f/5 or f/11 for example.

Next is shutter speed, but is more accurately defined as the length of time the shutter is open, so slow shutter speeds allow more light in because of the amount of time the shutter is open is greater. Faster shutter speeds allow photographers to freeze motion or to make effects from the slower shutter speeds like motion blur because shutter speed makes the camera very sensitive to motion. Shutter sped is expressed as measure of time in very small increments of seconds like 1/200 sec up to 5 sec in some cases.

The third point of the exposure triangle is ISO. Cameras have a light sensor, and the measure of a camera’s light sensor’s sensitivity to light is called ISO. Cameras that possess very high ISOs are utilized to take photographs in darker situations, but with a negative side effect of producing often grainy images. ISO is expressed as 100 ISO to 6400 ISO for example.

 

A Few Words about Debt Settlement

It is true that today many people are in debt. As a matter of fact, the number of people who are finding themselves in this sort of predicament is truly staggering. It is something that has never been seen before. Just look around you and you will know exactly what I am talking about here.

The truth is that once you start being in debt, it might not be that easy to have your financial life under control. You will soon start realising that those who gave you the money start having demands that are usually high to fulfill. This is something that happens to many people, but fortunately such situations can be easily avoided with the help of debt settlement companies who are there to help.

Those who are in debt usually seek debt negotiation help that can relieve them of debt as soon as possible. When you want to succeed in debt settlement, you will need to negotiate the settlement with your creditors. You need to be prepared for the negotiations and you definitely should never ever go for it alone as it can end really badly for you. In other words, you need to take all the necessary steps to ensure that you are as prepared as it is possible because only this way can you succeed. This might not be an easy process, as you will have to convince your lenders to reduce your payments even if you are very late with your payments.

I am sure that you would all agree that having a credit card debt can be a stressful experience especially for those who happen to find themselves in such a situation for the very first time. Since it might be very difficult, I suggest that you use the help of professional finance advisors. Professional advisors will help you with credit card debt reduction in a way that nobody else can help. I am glad that companies offering debt settlement services exist, as usually debt settlement can be confusing for an individual. As I have learned from my own experience, the whole process can be difficult to understand for an average person such as me or you. This is why, if you found yourself in a financial crisis, know that things do not look as bad as they seem to look even if they look really bad. In every situation, there is always a solution. If you struggle paying your debts, know that debt settlement benefits are bigger than filing for bankruptcy. Debt settlement or debt negotiation can solve all your problems. The companies who specialise in such matters will make you debt free in no time, even sooner than you might think. Debt settlement advisors are trained in credit negotiation so that they can help whoever asks them for a helpful hand as this is something they do on a daily basis. They are professionals who negotiate with creditors every day. Debt negotiation services are available to you no matter where you live or where your country is located.