Writing a Request for Proposal to Sell Web Design Services

Writing a Request for Proposal to Sell Web Design Services

Because of the way the world is trending with different mobile Internet technologies today, there are many website designers out there looking for work. It’s an incredibly vibrant market, primarily because the number of people and businesses who need websites designed far outweigh the actual number of designers. However, it’s difficult to really get your message across. (more…)

Best Web Hosting Affiliate Programs

One of the best ways to make money online is by selling web hosting services via an affiliate link. The profit margins are so large in the web hosting niche because it requires absolutely no startup costs, you don’t have to buy anything to start selling, and you can quit any time you want. The reason people fail in this niche is because they are promoting companies that pay $40-60 per sale when they could be making up to $125 or so for the same exact sale with a different company. That’s why I’m here to show you which affiliate programs pay the most.

Best Web Hosting Affiliate Programs

Web Hosting Hub – Up To $125 Per Sale

One of the web hosting companies that I promote here on Omega Web is Web Hosting Hub. They are owned by the same company as InMotion Hosting (see below) and will offer up to $125 per sale if you promote both InMotion and Web Hosting Hub on your website or blog. In addition, they have a tiered affiliate program which means you also make money from the people you refer. For example, if Susan refers Johnny to Web Hosting Hub, Susan will make up to $125 for the sale. Then if Johnny signs up for the Web Hosting Hub affiliate program and sells a web hosting package, Susan will make a commission from Johnny’s sales as well.

InMotion Hosting – Up To $125 Per Sale

As I mentioned before, Web Hosting Hub and InMotion are the same company. Web Hosting Hub offers basic web hosting and InMotion offers high-end business hosting, VPS, and dedicated servers. If you promote both InMotion and Web Hosting Hub on your website, they will raise your commissions to $125. Also, just like Web Hosting Hub, they have the tiered affiliate program so you can earn from the people you refer as well.

iPage – $105 Per Sale

One of the most unheard of affiliate programs out there is iPage. I normally see a lot of bloggers promoting HostGator and Blue Host, but iPage actually pays more than these popular companies.

FatCow – $100 Per Sale

The first web hosting affiliate program I ever belonged to was FatCow. They pay $100 for every sale you make but keep in mind that if the person you are referring cancels within 30 days, you will not earn the commission. The FatCow affiliate program is very nice because on average, their hosting plans only cost around $40, so it’s easy to get people to sign up.

Green Geeks – Up To $100 Per Sale

Green Geeks is another web hosting company that uses a tiered system that you can earn from the people you refer. As for their standard earnings, however, you can make anywhere between $50-100 per sale depending on how many customers you refer each month. If the customers you refer make any sales, you will earn $100 tiered earnings.

Blue Host – $65 Per Sale

Blue Host is one of the best web hosting services out there and I see a lot of bloggers promoting it, so I decided to add it to this list. If you promote Blue Host, you will make $65 per sale.

Do you know of any others?

Of course, this isn’t an exhaustive list of affiliate programs. I’m sure there are others that offer $100 or even $120 commissions – it’s just that I don’t know about them at this time. If you know of any other good web hosting affiliate programs, mention them in the comments and I will add it to this list.

Does Your Website Suffer From Server Retardation?

Does Your Website Suffer From Server Retardation?

One of the biggest problems with modern web hosting is choosing a reliable company. Reliable web hosts will keep your website online 99.9% (or more) of the time, deliver the content to your readers in a matter of seconds, and continue doing so no matter what the conditions. Among great web hosts like GoDaddy and HostGator, some sketchy ones have slipped into the business offering what appears to be deluxe web hosting at a rock-bottom price. These web hosts will make your website suffer from what I call server retardation.

Messy Server RoomBy connotation, the adjective “retarded” is often used to insult somebody with a mental disability. By definition, however, the word “retardation” simply means slow or incapable, which is exactly how some web servers act. These retarded servers will harm your website in numerous ways as well as annoy your customers. Dealing with such a problem is simple – simply switch web hosting companies, but diagnosing your website with server retardation is even easier if you ask yourself these few questions.

Do You Host Your Website Yourself?

I have seen many people (mainly IT technicians) who want to set up a home web server and hard wire it into their Internet connection. There is nothing wrong with doing this to host files for your household or set up a small website for your fraternity, but anything with more traffic than a few hundred page views a month will require something a bit more powerful. For more information on this, see my post titled Why It’s Not Worth It To Run a Home Server.

Do You Utilize The Right Hosting OS?

One major reason your website could be running slow is because of the operating system the server runs. Linux has been shown to be the best operating system to run PHP and MySQL-based applications such as WordPress, Joomla, and most forum software. If you are trying to run one of these web applications using a server powered by Windows or another operating system, simply using Linux could fix all of your problems. For more information on this, see my post comparing Windows v.s. Linux v.s. Mac web hosting.

Is Your Web Host Known To Be Unreliable?

Before choosing any web hosting company, do some research about them. Never trust what they have written on their website because web hosting companies are very similar to cable and Internet companies – they just want your money. This is not to say that some companies do not have great customer support, but I’m simply pointing out that these companies will do anything for a paying customer. Ask yourself: how important is it that this company’s servers are wind-powered? Does it really matter that they host my site at four different locations for the best performance? Are their servers really up 99.9% of the time?

I would suggest researching every claim that a company makes by reading web hosting reviews, asking forums, etc. Don’t just accept what they are giving you as facts.

Is Your Website Running Slow?

One of the biggest annoyances as an Internet user is encountering a slow website. It happens to me all the time and I normally give sites a maximum of 10-15 seconds before I click the back button. This is hurting their bounce rate, which is a factor in Google’s ranking algorithm. Not only that, but by me clicking the back button, they are losing a potential customer or reader – depending on the type of site it was.

It’s understandable that your site may be running slow if you are using shared hosting and you have 2,000+ views a day, but if your website is running at a snail’s pace and you’re only getting 200 viewers a day, there’s probably something wrong with your server.

Are Your Readers Getting 500 Errors?

Besides an overload of IMAP connections, the most common reason for 500 errors with shared web hosting is too many requests being held on the server. If your site is getting a lot of traffic, but the server is slow, you are susceptible to getting timeouts. A timeout occurs when too many requests are being placed and held in the server’s queue for too long. Think about it… If you have a limit of 25 processes on your web hosting account, that means you can only have it doing 25 things at a time. If you are getting 3,000 views a day, that means you are getting approximately 2 new viewers every minute. If your website takes 45 seconds to load, then each minute you are racking up 1.5 minutes to complete two processes. Because 1.5 minutes doesn’t fit into that timeframe of one minute, you will eventually receive more processes than your server allows and a timeout (500 error) will occur.

Are Things Like FTP Uploads Failing?

One of the biggest problems I had when I used FatCow web hosting was dropped FTP connections. Back then (about a year ago), I mainly built my websites using Adobe Dreamweaver, so each page would have to be uploaded before it went live on the Internet. To do this, I used FileZilla or the built-in Dreamweaver FTP client, depending on what I was uploading. The problem occurred when I wanted to upload something like an audio file that was 4MB or so. The server would allow half of it to upload before timing out and then I would have to start completely over.

Is Your Server Retarded?

Did you answer “Yes” to any of these questions? If so, your server may be suffering from server retardation. Honestly, the only cure is to switch web hosting companies. I have been with three different companies in the short amount of time I have been running Omega Web (about 6 months so far). Switching a website from one server to another is fairly painless, but it could get a bit tedious if you have more than two or three sites to move. Nevertheless, it’s always important to have a fully functional server behind your website to ensure you are taking care of your customers.

Image Source: IT Resource

Godaddy Hosting Email, Don’t Pay For Email Services Through Your Web Host

Godaddy Hosting Email, Don’t Pay For Email Services Through Your Web Host

After posting about how to connect your custom domain email address to Microsoft’s Outlook.com service, I noticed that I forgot to mention why you should do this. I use GoDaddy for my web hosting and I feel that their email packages are lacking features, overpriced, and slow. I finally decided to use Outlook.com instead and it’s working much better for me – and it’s free.

Some Hosts Charge Extra For Email

In the case of GoDaddy, some web hosts charge you extra money to use their email services. When I was hosting with FatCow, unlimited IMAP email addresses were included with your hosting for free, but GoDaddy charges a fee per month for the smallest plan that includes one email address, 1GB of storage, and only supports POP3. To upgrade to IMAP services, it’ll cost you $3.19 per month extra.

Microsoft Exchange Is Outrageous

The alternative to using GoDaddy’s email services is to opt for Microsoft Exchange. I have used Exchange for about three months in the past and it has wonderful features – email is instant, calendars stay in sync, contacts are on all devices, and I never feared of an email getting lost out in cyberspace. The only problem with Microsoft Exchange is that it costs $8.49 per month for a single email address. This price is way too expensive for an email plan that basically does the same thing as Gmail or iCloud.

GoDaddy’s Email Is Slow and Spotty

After using GoDaddy’s email service for about three months, I think it’s safe to say that it is very slow. When I try sending large files (using Apple’s Mail client, not the GoDaddy webmail), it would often take many minutes to send or simply time out. This is not the kind of service I want to pay almost $40 a year for.

Outlook.com and Google Apps Are Free

What many bloggers and web designers don’t know is that services like Outlook.com and Google Apps allow you to use their servers and it’s absolutely free. Google Apps functions the same way Gmail does and includes unlimited emails, IMAP support, and more. Outlook is Microsoft’s newly-launched web email service and they plan to add IMAP support in the near future.

Information You Should Know About FatCow Before Signing Up

Information You Should Know About FatCow Before Signing Up

FatCow Coupon

If you are planning to sign up for web hosting, I would advise you to read the fine print before you confirm your order. Like any large business, web hosting companies are going to try to squeeze as much profit as they can from each customer, no matter if they are being fair or not.

As I have written about my personal experiences with FatCow before, I am not a happy customer. They suspended my websites without warning, they wouldn’t help me when I asked them why they were suspended, and now when I go to cancel my account, there’s a $35 “early cancellation fee” that I have to pay for.

Nothing Is Unlimited

When you visit FatCow’s homepage, they flash information about “unlimited” storage space, “unlimited” bandwidth, and “free” services. The main reason I chose FatCow is because they offered unlimited web hosting for about $40 a year, which is pretty cheap compared to GoDaddy, Host Gator, and some other popular web hosting companies.

The only problem with “unlimited” is when it’s not actually unlimited. If you are overloading the server that your website is hosted on, they will simply remove it from the Internet. Server overloads can be caused by corrupt programs, an influx in traffic, or many people posting on forums, blog comments, or another program that sends requests to the web server. If you truly had unlimited bandwidth, server overloads would be nonexistent.

“Free” Is The New Trial Version

Another thing that FatCow tries to sell their web hosting with is all the free “extras” you get when you sign up for a plan. The extras can vary from a 1-800 phone number to Carbonite computer backups, but none of it is truly free. If you go to sign up for a service like Carbonite, you will find that you only get a small window of time where the service is free, which is technically called a trial. After, say six months, you will have to start paying for Carbonite yourself and FatCow’s “free extra” will expire.

You’re Leaving Us? There’s a Hidden Fee For That

If you ever decide to cancel your FatCow account (like I did), you will learn that they have a $35 cancellation fee. Most services have an early cancellation fee, but I feel that FatCow’s is a bit excessive. They tell customers that they can cancel the service at any time and be refunded for the remainder of the year they paid for. This sounds great, but when you only pay $40 for an entire year of web hosting, use it for six months, and then pay a $35 cancellation fee, you don’t get refunded anything.

Avoid FatCow, They’re Greedy

Before you even think about signing up for FatCow, just ask yourself if it’s worth the hassle. I know there are many customers who are probably happy with FatCow’s services, but I know I wasn’t. It’s worth finding a web host that tells you exactly how much bandwidth and storage space you get, what their policies are for cancellation, and how they operate without having to find out the hard way.

Why It’s Not Worth It To Run a Home Server For Web Hosting

Why It’s Not Worth It To Run a Home Server For Web Hosting

Windows Home Server

Many geeks who run websites have turned to creating their own home server to bypass web hosting fees. You can create a server using an old computer (I mean old, like one from 2002 would be okay), installing either Windows Home Server, Mac OS X Server, or Linux (the free option), and attaching it to your home network. To create a server efficiently, you will need a well-cooled room that has a wired Ethernet connection to your home network.

If I were to build my own home server to host Omega Web and a few of my other websites, I would personally browse Craigslist or eBay and try to find a cheap, old computer. Even if the hard drive is only 100 GB, it is always upgradeable later if you decide you need more space. Next, I would install Linux on my machine because Windows Home Server and Mac OS X Server are both expensive. After configuring everything with IP addresses, Apache, and the other server options within Linux, you now have a dedicated web server right within your own home… It sounds like a good idea, and if you have an old computer lying around, it won’t actually cost you anything, but it’s not worth the headache.

A server’s job is to wait until an Internet user (client) wants to visit the website. Once they type in www.omegaweb.com and hit Go, their web browser searches to find the server that www.omegaweb.com is hosted on. Once it finds the server, it will then start downloading the web page. After the web page is downloaded, it will appear on the client’s computer for them to interact with. It’s a very simple process, which is why even old computers will function perfectly as a web server.

If you have minimal visitors, this method will work perfectly fine. What causes problems is when you have 50 people trying to access the same website at the same time. The server will then be sucking up more of your bandwidth, which ultimately makes your home Internet slower… This is the main reason I do not have my websites hosted at home because I’m already having problems with my ISP. If your server crashes or the power goes out, your website will be down until you can get it back up. If the hard drive craps out and you weren’t backing up your data, it will most likely be gone forever. In addition to all of these things that can go wrong, some ISPs don’t even allow you to run your own server from your house.

Image Source: Media Smart Server