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Website

SEO is an acronym for Search Engine Optimization. SEO is very important for a websites ability to be found on search engines, and its marketability. Basic SEO is a series of optimization that are made to a websites code and content that increases its friendliness to search engines. Search engines such as Google look for specific words and phrases within a website to categorize the website and give it a ranking. The better the optimizations, the higher your websites initial rank will be.

Basic SEO only goes so far though, recent changes to search engines put a lot of weight on traffic to a website, and internal links to the website (for example when someone on Facebook posts a link to your website). To increase a website ranking past its initial position advanced SEO such as pay-per-click campaigns, email blasts and social media marketing techniques come into play. These techniques push traffic to your website and encourage people to link and discuss your website. More traffic and more incoming links to your website equals a higher rank.

The last important thing to remember about SEO is “content is king”, search engines are looking for detailed and UNIQUE content. For example if you browse the internet and copy content from other websites for your new website the website will not rank very high. The search engines know the content is not unique, and they will credit the website that posted the content originally. Unique detailed content will help your website rank higher and with quicker speed then a website with little detail or copied content.

Updating your content regularly will also help your search engine rank. Search engines are looking for “active” websites and will give the best rank to websites that continually update. If you populate your website and then don’t touch it for 2 years the search engines will see this and your rank will slowly decrease as the content becomes more and more out of date.

Your website should be updated as often as possible. Updating your website often can make a drastic difference in your search engine ranking. Search engines are always looking for new information; pages that are not updated for long periods of time will lose rank on search engines, while pages that are updated frequently will gain rank.   Basically updating your website is free marketing for the small cost of writing some words. For some companies and websites this is easier than others. However, it is important to update your website with any new pertinent information as soon as it is available.

Domain & Hosting

A domain is very important so people can find your website easier. When a website is uploaded to a hosting server (see below) by default the website is assigned a unique number called an “IP Address”. This IP address is a series of 4 groups of numbers (for example 192.168.200.101) that identifies the location of your website files on a server. What a domain does is assigns a name to that number for easier navigation (for example www.yahoo.com). Without a domain visitors would have to type in the IP address to navigate to your website; a number that is hard to remember compared to a website address.

Hosting is required because most home and small business internet connections cannot handle publicly hosting a website. Hosting facilities are located next to very high speed internet connections called “backbones” so that your website loads quickly and can be accessed by dozens or hundreds of visitors at a time. The computer hardware that holds your website files are also up to a much higher specification then a home computer, and the servers are stored in a secure and climate controlled room for your websites security and stability.

A website is made up from many different types of files, from images and videos to documents holding the website code. Web hosting is a server that holds the files for your website so the files can be accessed on the internet. Hosting is very similar to sharing your computer files with another computer but on a much bigger scale; because the public can access your website a web host must be able to handle hundreds and sometimes thousands of people visiting the website (accessing files) simultaneously. Therefore web hosts are much more powerful than your average home computer.

Hosting is offered by a number of different companies and is charged on a monthly or annual basis. Here at Ocreative, the majority of our clients host their website and email with us. Since our founding back in 2003, we’ve had our own servers. For a several years, we have partnered with a great IT company called Datapipe for our own high-powered, enterprise hybrid cloud solutions.

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As part of a new requirement from the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) you’ll be required to verify your email address within 15 days of purchasing the domain. If you don’t, the domain name will be suspended until the time you verify your information. It only takes a few clicks, though – here’s how:

An email with the subject “VERIFICATION REQUIRED…” containing a verification link will be delivered to the email address that was entered when buying the domain. After you’ve found and opened the email:

  1. Click the link that begins with “https://approve.domainadmin.com/registrant/?verification_id=XXXXXX&key…”
  2. If clicking the link does not work, copy+paste the text of the link into a web browser’s address bar.
  3. Follow the instructions of the email including:
    • Agree to the Terms and Conditions
    • Click Submit.
  4. After confirming your email address, your domain status is OK and no further action needs to be taken.