Many people think that if you want to run an internet based business from the comfort of your own home or small office, that you are going to need to bring in employees, file for a corporation and even write off a section of your house to take off for tax purposes. While each of these components are possible, in most cases they simply aren’t needed — especially for anyone who is starting or running a blog of their own.
This article is going to give you a run down of some of the best ways to run your blog based business from your home or small office, while also being applicable to startups as well. To help with this process, we took the time to reach out and get guidance from many different internet service providers from around the world. Whether you are located in the United States, Germany or India, as long as you have access to the internet — you are golden!
Depending on your location in the world, you will need to find the right provider that fits your needs. Bloggers within the United States and Canada have plenty of options to choose from, while Australian business solutions available such as iiNet make it easy for kiwis to connect to the internet as well.
Once you’ve found a reliable internet service provider in your area, it’s time to consider your options on what service plan you would go with. In the screenshot below you can see how internet solutions vary basis on if you would like to add in-house phone systems or run a mobile office.
No matter which option you choose, always make sure to go with the right plan and software in the beginning so you don’t need to change everything a few weeks or months down the road. To help with this process, we’ve listed a few more options to consider as well.
In this day and age, you just have to be online, which means that you need to decide on an internet package for your business. The most basic type of internet is broadband, then you have the new NBNs, SHDSL and top of the range Fibre connections.
- Broadband: This might be the type of internet communications you are most familiar with at home. Business broadband bundles include local and standard national calls, as well as mobile and international calls.
- NBNs: Not yet available everywhere in Australia, the new NBN communications networks will give you faster loading times and are well worth investigating for your startup business.
- SHDL: This option gives you high speed connectivity at an affordable rate and is great when you have IP telephony, virtual private networks and video conferencing.
- Fibre: If you require even more broadband speed and connectivity than can be provided by the three previous options and if the internet is critical to your business, then Fibre is your best choice.
Choosing the right internet access speed for your home business will greatly influence how fast you can upload and download content from your office, web site or blog.
One of the best phone solutions for small startup businesses is to use Lync desk phones, which are designed to be used within Microsoft Lync environments. With a Lync handset, you have voice and video conferencing, desktop sharing and instant messaging, as well as local and national calls – and it will expand easily as your business grows.
With a Lync handset, you can make voice and video calls, send files, schedule meetings from your contacts list and let people know your status – busy, offline, available etc. If you are not ready to use Microsoft Lync in your business, then you can simply check out a regular business phone plan.
Not all bloggers need to rely on a heavy phone communication service, as email is the contact form of choice — however, it’s also an option that is bundled into many internet service packages.
If you have more than one employee, to save costs from having multiple mobile broadband accounts, you might want to investigate mobile Fleet plans. With these you can either use your existing mobile phones or include handsets in your bundle as well.
For Microsoft Lync users, all mobile devices will be included in your one single plan, so that makes it easy. Another option is to look for a plan which includes a business tablet, so you can do more work on the go and save money at the same time.
For small startups, it is worthwhile finding a communications solution that not only includes the internet, phone and mobile options, but also hosting for your website. Cloud computing is also a growing trend and is a great strategy for starting a small business on a limited budget.
Getting Your Internet and Blog Business Online
As seen from the breakdown above, choosing an internet solution is a big decision in the beginning, but once you find the right service and level of access — you are good to go!
When making the decision to bring your online business in-house, take the time to consider all of your options and make sure your upload and download speeds are as fast as possible. Consider upgrading to a premium level of service, as the last thing you want to do is sit around in your home office waiting for files to transfer!
Managed WordPress Hosting 101: What Site Owners Need to Know
The first and crucial thing when establishing a website is a solid foundation for running it. Building a website maybe not that hard, especially if you have a WordPress website on your mind, but keeping a website safe and secure is a big obligation.
You can hire professional developers, but also you can take advantage of web hosting providers and choose the packages of the best hosting solution. Nowadays many web hosting companies offer different solutions for maintaining a website. For one price, you can get a whole hosting package that has everything suitable for your website, and the only thing you need to consider is: what exactly your website need?
There are a few different web hosting solutions: shared hosting, managed hosting, dedicated hosting, cloud hosting, etc. Choosing a compatible hosting depends on your website, so think about crucial things, or ask someone with more experience to help you. For example: if you have a small website with less traffic, the best option for you will be shared hosting. You’ll share the same disk space, memory, and power with other small websites on the server for an affordable price.
If you have a WordPress website, we have good news. With the bigger and bigger popularity of WordPress, many hosting providers offer a hosting package specially designed for WordPress websites. This kind of web hosting adds some convenient features designed for easier managing. Keep reading to discover all the benefits of managed hosting and how it can help you to run a flawless WordPress website.
The Difference Between Managed and Unmanaged Web Hosting
The great difference between these two types of hosting is the quantity of responsibilities of hosting provider. Standard (unmanaged) hosting service means that you usually, optimize the website by yourself, keeping it up to date and making sure everything is ok. Managed hosting provider is specially designed for a WordPress website, and it’s much more customized for owners – the provider company will manage your hosting, not only ensuring server security and optimization. Your hosting provider will take care of many tasks that will make your job easier. It offers various services along with the server space so your website will run smoother, with your minimal involving and monitoring it. Hostinger provides hosting solutions for small or medium WordPress websites, so you could think about the offers. Before choosing a reliable hosting company read the reviews, inform yourself wisely – it can save you a lot of money and time.
Managed hosting isn’t so much a plan as it is a description of the services you’ll receive: in one package you’ll get everything you need customized for a WordPress website so you can focus on website content or something more interesting than a monitoring security and all that complicated tasks.
Here are some of the great advantages of managed hosting:
1. Expert team support
The web hosting companies specialized in WordPress have more experience with typical problems and it will faster troubleshoot any bug. Technical problems can happen with any kind of website, and sometimes it can be really hard to solve it on your own, or to explain to your provider what’s happening. So, the best option is to have a reliable host with a personal support team with 24/7 availability, to answer all your questions and concerns. An expert WordPress technical support has the experience to solve any problem immediately. A highly skilled group of technicians will be there for you in case of any emergency: on email, on the phone, on live chat. Everywhere!
2. Backup regularly
As you can assume, backups are your key to security and it’s very important continuous performing them. If you don’t have time to backup a website by yourself regularly, it’s important to find a web host who will do it for you. Some managed web hosting solutions offer daily backups, some of them weekly, and it’s important to decide how often you need copies. After your decision, try to find the option that fits what you want. With managed hosting provider offering backups as many as you want, your website will run smoother and you’ll be peaceful.
2. Scalabity Whenever and Wherever
One of the most important things to look for when signing up for a managed WordPress hosting account, is to make sure they are not just focused on WP-powered sites, but that they also have the tools, solutions and options for scalability in place as well. This will be ideal for any site owners starting off with a brand new site and don’t have a lot of money to spend in the beginning for their hosting — however, when their site starts to pick up in traffic and revenue, the option is also there to upgrade to a better managed hosting plan.
3. Keeping a website safe, not just solving a problem
With managed hosting service, the host team will supervise your WordPress website regularly and keeping monitoring of any suspicious activity. It is extremely important especially if you are a newbie in online business and haven’t experienced recognizing potential threats. The support team of the hosting provider maintain your website and work on preventing any of the potential threats. You must admit it’s perfect resolution: instead of requesting support after some issue, the technical team keeps everything safe all the time.
If you have a high-traffic WordPress website, managed hosting will be the best solution for you. Experienced WordPress hosting provider with expert staff will give you the necessary support and make things easier. WordPress is giving endless possibilities for creativity, so don’t let complicated things interfere with your work. Good luck, and let managed hosting be with you!
Protecting Your Online Business with Cloud Access Security Brokers
No matter if you are a blogger just starting out, or have a full time business online, you need to make sure your site is up at all time ans that your data is also secure. This is something many individuals and brands think they have in place, until a new security leak and hack comes into play. One of the best ways to make sure your online business and customer data is safe, is to make sure you are hosting your site with a reliable solution. As ‘cloud computing’ also becomes more accessible and at cheaper prices, it’s yet another option for keeping your online brand and business safe at all times,
A cloud access security broker (CASB) assists with cloud-based security concerns. While you may have outstanding security measures in place both within your organization and with your cloud service provider, there is still a point of vulnerability between the two. A cloud access security broker helps you protect your data everywhere from the point of origination to its final storage place in the cloud. There are several options available for service providers in this area, so it’s important to know how to assess them and make a fair comparison across all your potential security brokers.
Data Security Measures
The primary purpose of a cloud access security broker is to enhance your data security as information moves between internal or external storage devices and the cloud. While the cloud itself may be safe and secure, the transmission of information can create a weak point where cybercriminals have the opportunity to snag sensitive data en route to its next destination.
When you’re comparing cloud access security brokers, you must assess the details of their security measures. How do they control access? What measures are in place to prevent data leakage? How do they handle encryption key management? Compare providers evenly at this point to see which offers the most comprehensive data security services.
Enhanced visibility is one of the key services offered by cloud access security brokers. Your broker should monitor all content moving in and out of the cloud, performing regular security audits. It’s important that you, as the consumer, have access to data and security logs and regular reports. Your CASB should also provide helpful alerts that will draw your attention to any potential weaknesses and guide you toward the best solutions. Find out how much visibility a CASB provider offers and what form it comes in.
How does your cloud access security provider handle threats? You will inevitably come across cybercriminals who are attempting to access your data. What measures are in place to analyze user and entity behavior and capture these criminals? How does your provider detect data theft, and what steps do they take to then block the criminal from accessing your information? Your CASB should not only protect you from potential threats but also aid in the investigation of suspicious activity.
Discuss compliance requirements with your cloud access security broker. Are they knowledgeable about the latest requirements for legal compliance with data management within your industry? Do they have smart solutions to help you monitor and maintain compliance throughout the cloud? While compliance is an issue that will still ultimately fall on the shoulders of your company, a cloud access security broker should have the knowledge to assist you in this area, and they should always be on the alert for any compliance concerns that you need to be informed of.
Research your options carefully to make sure you’re working with a cloud access security broker that is well-equipped to assist with your industry-specific needs. The best option should suit both the size and scope of your company.
Five Free Web Hosting Providers for First-Time Webmasters
When you’re first getting ready to launch a website, the web hosting provider that you choose is one of the most important decisions that you make. After all, the web hosting company is in control of the infrastructure that powers your website and which serves it up to visitors from around the world.
The problem that many would-be webmasters come up against is that hosting can quickly become expensive, especially if you start to pay extra for optional addons. Not everyone has the money to pay for it all up front, especially if they’re just starting out. It’s usually easier to pay for your website when your website itself is up and running and making money.
That’s why free web hosting is such an attractive choice. Sure, it might not be powerful enough once your site starts to take off, but it can save you from hemorrhaging money when you’re starting out. And so with that in mind, we’ve taken a look at just five of the best free hosting providers and noted down everything you need to know.
Are you ready? Let’s go.
As you can probably guess from the name, FreeHostingEU is a European web host that offers up 200 MB of disk space and 4 GB of bandwidth for free, as well as additional features like email accounts and FTP access.
The venture itself is backed by FreeDomain.co.nr and AttractSoft GmbH, two well-established German companies which also offer paid hosting options for customers who want to upgrade to a more robust plan. True, their paid plans are potentially better suited to other German businesses just from an ease of use perspective and to avoid problems with the language barrier, but their free plans are an attractive choice for users from across the globe.
Better still, FreeHostingEU is one of a number of free hosts which offers powerful one-click installation tools for content management systems like WordPress and Joomla. That’s all you really need to get started, and they also offer support for PHP, MySQL, Perl, Flash and other technologies and programming languages.
All of this combines to make it an attractive choice for those who are looking for free web hosting, and for those who are targeting European markets in particular. At the same time, though, it’s up against some tough competition.
000webhost.com takes its name from the fact that it charges $0.00 for web hosting, and they’re trusted by over 16,000,000 users from across the world. They’ve been going strong for over ten years and promise to be free forever, which is probably why they rank consistently high both on search engine results pages and in lists like these.
000webhost offers a 99% uptime guarantee for their users and they even allow you to view historical logs to prove it. Openness is a theme at 000webhost, and it’s reflected by how open their platform is to different technologies and languages, with support for PHP, MySQL, Curl, GD2, Zend, XML, fopen(), PHP sockets, .htaccess and more.
And if their auto-installers and choice of over 50 popular scripts isn’t quite what you’re looking for, you can also use their inbuilt website builder software to make whatever your heart desires with no coding or graphic design expertise required. They also offer near-unlimited disk space and bandwidth, which is good news if you’re looking for a heavy duty free hosting provider that you can rely on.
If you’re the kind of person who makes purchasing decisions based on user reviews then 000webhost is probably the best choice for you. They have an army of happy customers who are quick to sing their praises on third-party review sites.
Awardspace is another free web host that’s owned by two parent companies (this time it’s AttractSoft GmbH and Zetta Hosting Solutions Ltd). They offer “completely ad-free hosting” and also throw in a free .dx.am domain name, allowing their users to create up to three subdomains for blogs, forums or other areas.
As with FreeHostingEU, Awardspace will allow you to create an email account that’s associated with your website and you can install WordPress and Joomla with a single click. They also have a web-based file manager so you can download, edit and upload files, but you can also just use their free website builder if you prefer the point and click approach.
With 1 GB of SSD storage and up to 5 GB of monthly traffic, Awardspace gives you enough resources to run a small-to-medium-sized website, and they also back up their offering with a 99.9% network uptime guarantee and 24/7 customer service. Those are nice added bonuses from a free host that really has no obligation to guarantee anything.
Awardspace is a good choice if you’re looking for an overall all-rounder with pretty good resource limits and decent customer service. It really depends what you’re looking for, and while Awardspace isn’t about to win any awards for the amount of space it offers, storage space isn’t everything.
If you’re looking for heavy duty hosting then FreeHosting.com is the choice for you. That’s because it comes with a whopping 10 GB of disk space and 250 GB of bandwidth, and they don’t even compromise the integrity of your site by running advertisements. You’ll even have access to FTP uploads and more powerful tools like cPanel.
It does have its limits, though. You can only use it to host a single website and while you can create an email address that’s associated with your account, you’re limited to just the one. You’ll also need to purchase your own domain name unless you use a subdomain such as http://yourdomain.freehosting.com.
FreeHosting.com also offers paid upgrades for users who exceed the impressive resource limits and need unlimited disk space and bandwidth. Upgraded users also get access to unlimited email addresses, which makes it worth going for if you’re using it to host a business website or something similar where multiple people need an email account.
This host is without a doubt the best choice for those who require large amounts of storage space and bandwidth. In fact, some people even use FreeHosting.com purely as a tool to store backups thanks to their generous resource allocations and the fact that they have no limit when it comes to individual file sizes. If you want to upload a 10 GB zip file, you can do.
Freehostia will give you 6 GB of bandwidth and 250 MB of disk space, but unlike FreeHosting.com they’ll also throw in three email accounts. Better still, like Awardspace, they guarantee 99.9% server uptime and offer 24/7 customer service.
They’re able to do this because they also offer paid hosting plans, which is good news if you run out of resources and want to upgrade without jumping to a different provider. Better still, because they provide paid services as well, they take customer service pretty seriously. They even promise to respond to any support tickets within an hour, which you’ll be glad of if you run into any problems or if your site goes down unexpectedly.
When it comes to actually getting started with your website, Freehostia offers a tool called the Elefante Installer which enables you to set up WordPress, Joomla and other CMS software in just a couple of minutes. They’ll even allow you to run a phpBB discussion forum if you’re creating a community site as opposed to one with a commercial focus.
Freehostia is another pretty good all-rounder, and it’s particularly good for non-profits, community organizations and other small teams thanks to the ability to create up to three different email addresses. Plus it’s always nice to have the option to upgrade if you need to.
When you’re first starting out with your website, free web hosting can be a godsend. It allows you to get your site up and running and to start growing it way before you ever need to pay for extra resources. If nothing else, it’s a great way to buy some time so that you can launch with your minimum viable product and test the waters. And honestly, for 90% of websites, free hosting is good enough. People often start out with free hosting and then never upgrade because they never need to.
Perhaps one day you’ll want to upgrade to paid hosting and maybe even a dedicated server all of your own. By that time, though, it’s likely that you’re already making money from your website and so it’ll pay for itself.
In the meantime, you can still get yourself off to a good start with one of these free web hosting providers. It’ll be enough to get your site up and running and to launch it to the world and then you can see how it goes from there. You might even find that free hosting is good enough to power your site indefinitely. Only time will tell.
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