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Top threats to your business

By Jorisse G | Friday, 1 September 2017
Some things are a threat to your business. Some things are not. What's definitely not a threat is a planet four times the size of the ...

Top threats to your business

By Jorisse G | Friday, 1 September 2017

Some things are a threat to your business. Some things are not. What's definitely not a threat is a planet four times the size of the Earth coming to destroy us all.

Another day, another crazy conspiracy theory that the world is going to end. This time, it's not Mayan. It's apparently an ancient Sumerian prophecy about the fictional planet Nibiru. However, your website – and your business – could be threatened by other forces.

Luckily, some things are still under your control, especially when you have the help of a Crazy online solutions provider.

Things that could threaten your business:

Data loss

Rather than worry about losing your business to planetary destruction, worry about data loss. Losing any type of data can adversely affect your operations. Even when there is no financial risk attached to the data you lost, there can still be significant negative effects.

This is especially true if the data happens to be unrecoverable. Consider this: 60% of small and medium businesses that experience data loss are projected to shut down within the next 6 months.

As it happens, there is a way that you can protect all your files, photos and more. With Cloud Backup, you get unlimited backup for your PCs, Macs and other devices, all in one account.

Security breaches

Any breach in security can be distressing, especially when you have to constantly worry about it happening again. To prevent this, make sure that you have proper security measures in place.

With Website Protection and Scanner, you can rest easy knowing that your site is well protected against malicious hackers and other threats.

Unusable (badly designed) websites

Web design is a crucial aspect for any business. Not just the look of the site, but all of the functionalities as well. This is why you need to make sure that your website has a simple, professional look. Look into the web design of your site, or you can opt to create your own look and feel by going for an easy Web Builder that lets you create exactly what you want to see.

Not being found online

Getting a website that's modern and professional is half the work. Other stuff you need to put focus on include being found online. This is why it's important for you to make sure that your website has the exposure that you need. Take the first step by making sure to incorporate SEO so that your website can be found by the right audience.

What is not a threat to your business:

Nibiru/Planet X

The chances of your business getting annihilated by an alien planet along with humanity and everything else may be a long stretch yet.

And while NASA has confirmed the presence of a planet in deep space, named Planet X, it's best to worry about things you can control. Extinction-level events tend to be unstoppable anyway. If it helps, scientists have already debunked the idea that a planet or any object of similar size will collide with or pass by the Earth and destroy us all.

Time to go back to the real world, then.



Dos and Don'ts of starting a home business

By Nicolo Nasol | Friday, 25 August 2017

Because of the grand leaps the Internet has done in recent years, running a homebased business has now become as viable as having an office-based job. Today is the best time to start a homebased business.

Working from home gives you many great advantages. First off, you can finally say goodbye to that dreadful rush-hour traffic you experience at a beginning and end of your workday. Also, there's nothing that can compare with the comfort you feel when you're home.

Many have chosen to start working homebased and running their own businesses because of its many advantages. But some have failed in their endeavours because they have not prepared themselves enough.

What follows here will be the Dos and Don'ts when running a business at home.

The DOs

DO
ESTABLISH A SPECIFIC WORKPLACE AT HOME.

Install yourself where you can do solid hours of work. It can be in your bedroom or kitchen — anywhere as long you have everything you need in order to work.

DO
DESIGN YOUR HOME OFFICE.

That is one of the great things about having a homebased job: you have the freedom to design your own workplace. Make it as comfortable as much as you like. It helps to set a distinction between work and home.

DO
SET YOUR "OFFICE" HOURS.

Though you no longer work at an office, it does not mean you can work without a schedule. You must still have regular working days in order for your business to work. Being time flexible and able to choose your own peak hours is among the advantages of working at home. Doing this also balances your work and home errands.

DO
ESTABLISH YOURSELF ONLINE BY MAKING A WEBSITE.

You need to market yourself and your business so that your target audience reaches you. Boost your social media as well. This can be a challenge, but the payoff is huge. Also, research the ways on how to brand yourself effectively online.

The DON'Ts

DON'T
FORGET TO MAKE PLANS.

A homebased business is still as serious as an office-based job. Having a plan keeps you focused and on track with your goals. You may also check on your taxes and insurance as you may need coincide them with your new business. You are still not exempt from legal obligations.

DON'T
DO IT ALONE.

Even though you're now working for yourself at home, it won't be to your advantage running a business on your own. Don't hesitate to ask for help and make partnerships.

DON'T
SPEND MORE THAN WHAT YOU MAKE.

Keep track of what you're earning and spending, and don't mix your home expenses with your business expenses. Without financial stability, any business won't stand from the ground, let alone survive in the long run. Set your financial goals as early as possible.

DON'T
OVERBOOK ON YOUR TASKS.

Though it's good to have many bookings and work, it won't do any good if you won't be able to cater them effectively. It's tempting because more work means more profit; however, too much work can burn you out and affect your work negatively, causing bad reviews from your customers. So keep your bookings under a manageable level.



When do most people decide to purchase a domain name?

By Jorisse G | Friday, 18 August 2017

Business owners come up with a name for their domain using a variety of reasons that may be unique to them. The timeline for choosing also varies. But how much does it matter when businesses decide to buy their domains? Here we’ll explore more.

Time to decide

There are several general requirements for a domain name to succeed. It must be short and easy to type, with the right keywords, avoiding numbers and hyphens. Local targeting is recommended, such as incorporating a country code extension like .AU to let customers know where the business operates. The name also has to be fairly memorable, with the appropriate domain extension to go with it.

These suggested practices are easy enough to follow, but can be made more complex if the chosen name has already been registered. A lot of extensions are available as an alternative option, or the business can just start all over again and find another name.

Most people tend to decide on their latest domain name as soon as they have the idea to set up their website, whether for online business or for personal use.

Level of satisfaction

A national survey previously conducted by Wakefield Research had shown that about half of small business owners ended up not completely satisfied with their domain name. More than half would opt to change their existing domain name, if given the opportunity.

Several contributing factors could lead to this mindset. The study also showed that most small business owners lacked the knowledge to make informed decisions on purchasing domain names.

Consequences of domain naming

Domain names are the equivalent of business cards in the online world. Having the right name can lead to more opportunities for the business. This is why careful consideration must be done.

Naming too early in the idea stage can lead to some terrible domain names. Unfortunately, these get preserved on business cards for years.
Registering too early pushes Australian customers who cannot register a .AU without an ABN to select a lesser known TLD. As a result, they miss the chance to build a solid online presence.

Opportunities for localised reach and confidence in their brand will not be readily established.

Key takeaway points

Research is the key. The best time to register a domain name is after significant research has been conducted. Businesses need to know the terms people are likely to look into in their particular industry.

Business owners need to know as much as they can about their target audience and conduct several brainstorming sessions before making a final decision. This way, all angles would be considered and the value of the chosen domain name is clear.

Domain names, like everything else that relates to business, need research and proper decision-making. While many domain name providers offer affordable registration, the value of the domain should not be taken lightly. It is the first thing that customers will know and keep in mind about the business, so careful study and decision-making are necessary.



5 great things you can do with WordPress

By Nicolo Nasol | Friday, 11 August 2017

Powering over 700 million websites worldwide, WordPress stands as the top blogging software today. (That is 27% of the world's total websites.) Since its rise in 2003, WordPress made site building easier for everyone. In just a few steps, one can launch a working website. Even without coding skills, one can still customize engaging websites.

Such is the revolutionary approach of WordPress. What started as a blogging platform has now grown into a powerful web content management system (CMS). Not only does WordPress lets you create blogs, it also lets you create a fully functional website.

WordPress is open source — meaning you can use it for free! Great, right? But the even better thing is that there are currently over 2,600 themes and 31,000 plugins available for free! (Take the YOAST plugin for example, which is a great help to generate SEO traffic.)

Now you can almost do anything. Here are 5 of the many great things you can do with WordPress that will fit your specific field.

1

Blog or Personal Site

WordPress started as a blogging tool in 2013 and has come a long way from that. With all its features and tools polished and matured throughout the years, WordPress definitely stands as the best choice for those who want to start a blog or run a personal website. Simply the most reliable because it's proven and time tested.

2

Portfolio

WordPress offers a great space for online portfolios. For photographers, writers, artists, graphic and web designers and developers, etc. WordPress is rich when it comes to themes and plugins — mostly free of charge!

You can upload add albums or whole galleries of your work. This also serves a great starting point for entrepreneurs to experience running their own site.

3

Organisations and Clubs

Nowadays, a group should have a blog or a website. Having an online identity is necessary. Most people go online now—especially on Facebook — and so are looking forward the announcements, updates, and news to be posted online. Also, WordPress is a great for holding online forums (with its plugin bbPress and other social features).

4

Schools and Companies

Around the world, WordPress powers hundred thousands of institutions. Because of its powerful content management system, it makes the website easy to manage no matter how large it is.

5

Businesses, E-commerce, Shops, and Start-Ups

The easiest way to build a professional and engaging website is through WordPress. From big names in business to budding start-ups, WordPress has been a go-to platform. WordPress offers many tools for business websites that let you accept payments, transact deals, do inventory, advertise, effectively manage your business, etc.

Crazy Good News for PH!

Filipinos get a huge 50% off on .COM and .PH for every WordPress hosting purchase this coming Aug 15-17, 2017. This is for the first 200 customers only. And lot more comes your way this August!



Flash finally scheduled to die in 2020

By Jorisse G | Friday, 4 August 2017

Last year, we've explored the various reasons why Flash may be nearing its sunset. We've also written previously that Google may have put an end to to the popular plugin. Now, the time has finally come for the software to end its reign.

Adobe announced in an open letter that it will end the development of Adobe Flash Player by 2020. The software company will stop updating and distributing the freeware, encouraging content creators to move to new open formats.

Until then, Adobe will continue providing security updates for Flash, which will still be compatible with the majority of browsers.

Flash: An ageing standard

Most of the major web browsers have already ended their support, including Firefox, Safari and Chrome. Microsoft has announced the same. The preference leans toward HTML5, which improves browser performance, increases security and extends battery life.

In its letter, Adobe pointed out that its own tools, Animate CC and Premiere Pro CC, have also incorporated HTML5. The company explained at length how the decision was finalised:

But as open standards like HTML5, WebGL and WebAssembly have matured over the past several years, most now provide many of the capabilities and functionalities that plugins pioneered and have become a viable alternative for content on the web.
Over time, we've seen helper apps evolve to become plugins, and more recently, have seen many of these plugin capabilities get incorporated into open web standards. Today, most browser vendors are integrating capabilities once provided by plugins directly into browsers and deprecating plugins.

Microsoft Edge will ask for permission to run the plugin for most sites on a first visit throughout the rest of 2017 and into 2018. User preferences are saved for following visits. By the mid-to-late 2018, Flash will be disabled by default, and by 2020, the ability to run Adobe Flash will be removed from Microsoft Edge and Internet Explorer.

Possible threats

During its heyday, Flash took the online world by storm. However, Flash content has been a liability in the past, with attackers introducing malware through unsanctioned back doors. As a result, the number of attacks on both Android devices and PCs has been high.

Steve Jobs made the then-shocking announcement on April 2010 that Apple would not support Flash on the iPhone and iPad series. Two major points stand out why Flash is being discontinued. First, newer and better formats for video existed, the second is that Flash has issues with security and performance.

Soon enough, more developers followed. It was a bold move for the company at the time given that the software was crucial to many browser-based games and sites, such as YouTube.

Flash Player has received criticisms for its tendency to accommodate malware despite the changes made by Adobe. HTML5 video player has been adopted more and more as people gave their system security more priority.

In Adobe's public statement, the company disclosed that it will work closely with Apple, Facebook, Microsoft, Mozilla and Google to end the distribution of Adobe Flash appropriately. Measures will be taken to ensure a seamless move to other standards.



Dos and Don'ts of Email Marketing

By Nicolo Nasol | Friday, 28 July 2017

Email marketing has been proven time and again to be an effective method for communicating with your customers, including sending updates on your new releases and promotions, and even asking them for their opinions that can help you improve your business.

According to a benchmark report from MarketingSherpa, 72% of people prefer to receive promotional content through email, compared to 17% who prefer social media.

Why use email marketing, you ask? To begin with, an email is a more personal approach when it comes to connecting with your customers. An important thing is that it expresses how much you value your customers. An email delivers your message far more effectively than social media.

While email marketing is effective, you must consider the Dos and Don’ts. And here are the top reasons for each:

The DOs of Email Marketing

DO
conduct A/B testing.

You need to pay attention to the data from your previous campaigns so that you can find ways to get better results. Test the subject lines,image placements, colours, and designs; gather the data; and take note what areas you can improve.

DO
strategise your email campaign.

Failing to plan is just planning to fail. To save time recovering from errors that could have been avoided in the first place, deliberate, discuss, and construct a plan with your team. Remember that your e-mail represents your business — your brand.

Sending one email at a time consumes a great amount of time and energy. It's a good thing technology has solved this problem, such as Email Marketing from Crazy Domains. An email automation product makes efficient use of your time.

The point of email marketing is to personalise your approach, but if you send mass emails to a non-segmented audience, then it defeats the whole purpose. Your customers have a variety of wants, needs and desires. Make sure that you are sending relevant emails to your customers: the key is to send the right message to the right person at the right time.

The DON’Ts of Email Marketing

DON'T
be generic and boring!

Using a weak subject line with your email marketing loses your brand value—and with it transactions. First impressions are critical when it comes to this. Since customers receive a lot of email every day, they don’t want to waste time opening something that don’t sound interesting or relevant to them. Write simple, concise, yet catchy subject lines.

DON'T
break spam laws.

(CAN-SPAM Act outlines several restrictions that apply to e-mail marketing. Recipients have the right not to receive unwanted emails from companies.) Sending spam is simply illegal, and hence unprofessional. Needless to say that this will negatively affect your email campaigns.

DON'T
forget to be mobile friendly, or else you will miss a huge audience.

Stats reveal that a third of all emails received were read on mobile devices 50% of the time.

If your emails aren’t designed to fit into the smaller screens of the mobile phones, then your email simply won’t work. Go with a responsive design (this can increase email clicks by 130%).

DON'T
buy lists!

Though this may quickly expand the reach of your email campaign, you won’t definitely get what you paid for. Aside from negatively affecting your campaign as well, lists aren’t even reliable for your business.

A wide reach is essential for marketing, but you should never neglect quality. E-mail marketing works best when you are able to send a relevant message to people who need that certain information.



Everything you wanted to know about Net Neutrality but were too afraid to ask

By Jorisse G | Friday, 21 July 2017

The internet provides different experiences for different people based on what they want to see. Enjoyed by consumers and businesses alike, this degree of freedom is made possible by net neutrality, the guiding principle of the internet.

This neutrality allows people to freely communicate online in an internet that enables and protects their right to free speech. This means that internet service providers (ISPs) provide open networks without blocking or discriminating against content or websites.

The risks associated with the removal of net neutrality can seriously affect daily life and how people interact on the web. How and why? Read on to know more about this important principle.

What exactly is net neutrality?

The rules around neutrality allow people to make their own choices on what sites and apps work best for them and their needs. These rules make the internet free, so to speak. Without rules in place, ISPs will be able to select which apps and websites you can visit. They can speed them up, slow them down, or block them outright.

How it works is that ISPs can prioritise websites that pay extra fees as opposed over those that don't. In addition, ISPs could also add more to your monthly internet bill by charging you more when you access sites that use more data.

Why is it so important for business and daily life?

Net neutrality prevents ISPs from interfering with consumers' choices in browsing. With the rules in place, they are unable to manipulate access as they please. This means that an ISP's business agenda, pushing certain products and services, is not allowed.

Without it, the internet as we know it would cease to exist. The open internet helped usher in innovation and became a platform for people without a voice. Without it, the web is a closed network ruled by companies deciding which websites or apps can succeed.

Tech giants generally love it

Net neutrality receives strong backing from tech giants that flourished under open internet rules. These include companies such as Facebook, Amazon, Microsoft, Google, Twitter, Yahoo and Netflix.

These companies argue that net neutrality helped them to establish their businesses and ultimately succeed. They view net neutrality as something that can also help new businesses to pave their own path to future online success.

Net neutrality today

Recently, net neutrality has made the rounds of the news as the biggest companies on the net urge the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to preserve net neutrality rules.

The group argues that an open internet encourages openness and non-discrimination. This benefits consumers and society at large. This responds to current FCC Chairman Ajit Pai's campaign to repeal the legal framework that forms net neutrality.

It's important to keep yourself informed on what net neutrality means today, especially since changes could be in place soon. Internet neutrality is essential for startups, small business owners and entrepreneurs that rely on an open internet to launch websites, create ad campaigns and reach more customers. It's what nurtures growth, innovation and competitiveness.



The importance of customer experience

By Jorisse G | Friday, 14 July 2017

Exceeding customer expectations and meeting their needs for convenience is a key to customer satisfaction, loyalty and business growth. A solid strategy for customer interactions is called customer experience, or CX.

These days, customers hold the freedom of choosing between competing businesses for products and services. For companies, a positive customer experience is crucial to stand out and encourage more conversions.

A recent study found that 89% of customers stop shopping at online stores after a poor customer service experience. With this in mind, here is the top reasons to focus on customer experience for your business.

Customer experience and customer satisfaction

The dedication you put into CX will improve customer satisfaction. To do this, focus on both the small interactions with customers, and also on the bigger picture as well. When you focus on the larger aspect, you apply consistency across the whole experience.

Think on what you want to deliver and align your whole customer experience. With this in mind, you'll be able to make sure that you provide a positive experience across your customer service, tech support, sales, or accounts.

Customer loyalty

The highly competitive business world offers many different options that consumers face every day. To set yourself apart from competitors, business owners should provide an excellent customer experience. Customers will then want to stay with that particular brand.

Good customer experience is unique for customers, something that they may not get from another company. When a customer recognises that quality, loyalty is established. And loyalty is built out of customer experiences that go beyond what consumers expect.

Avoid customer churn

The dreaded customer churn is when a customer ends their relationship with a company. Surprisingly, customer churn is not caused by pricing, but is mostly a result of poor customer service.

By focusing on customer experience, you'll be able to identify areas in your business where there may be poor customer service. You can then work on a strong, consistent approach and make sure that you don't go below the standards you've set.

More referrals

Happy customers are more likely to share their positive experiences with friends and family, as well as across social media and online forums. These referrals are very valuable for business, as referred customers have higher potential for retention.

Improved revenue and sales

Satisfied customers are more likely to spend more with the services or products that you offer. They are reassured with the business and more comfortable with their wallets. This is definitely one big aspect that you should never overlook.

Customer experience is here to stay, a big factor that businesses focus on. Embrace customer experience and engage with your audience, creating experiences that go beyond expectations. You will then begin to see growth as you build stronger customer relationships that last.



What is website analysis, and why should you do one?

By Jorisse G | Friday, 7 July 2017

Many small businesses make the mistake of having an "if you build it, they will come" approach to their websites. But the key to fully taking advantage of what the internet has to offer is to ensure that your website is able to convert visitors into real leads, constantly. And what do you need? Website analysis.

Analysing your website goes beyond simply ensuring that everything works as it should. There are a lot of reasons why you should do it, and here are some points you should consider:

Clear and relevant content

When it comes to getting more customers, you need to make sure that the information you provide is enough. Through website analysis, you'll be able to see if your website provides good descriptions that are clear and relevant.

Don't make your customers think; make sure they readily "get it" – including what benefits your service or product can bring them. Your website should be constantly updated with fresh content to make sure it stays relevant.

Mobile-friendliness

Being mobile friendly is critical if you want visitors to find your site. Analyse your website using Google's mobile-friendly tool to find out if you are on the right track. Remember that if you miss out on this, the search giant could be blocking you in more than half of searches from potential customers.

Good calls-to-action

A call-to-action is necessary so your site visitors know exactly what they have to do next. These should be stated clearly on each page. By doing this, you'll lessen the tendency of prospects to hit the back button because they don't know what to do on your site.

Gathering leads

Your website can be a gold mine for leads when you invest time, effort and resources in developing it to its full potential. Analyse whether your website has an option for capturing these leads once they come in.

One way of implementing an effective lead capture form is to give value in exchange for of visitors contact information. People can hesitate to give out their contact details, such as an email address, so make sure you give them a good incentive to do so. A useful free trial or a sample product in exchange makes them more willing.

Optimisation

One question you should ask yourself during website analysis: is your site optimised with all the necessary tags for on-page optimisation? Have you included relevant keywords in your title tags? Other things you should take into consideration include heading tags, alt attributes and Meta descriptions.

Analytics

Have you installed analytics software on your website? Google Analytics is a great place to start, plus you get a lot of help to use it. Analytics helps you determine what works and what doesn't. It's a valuable tool in understanding people's activities on your website, including the pages they visit, how long they stay, and the actions they take on your site.

Blog and social media

Your online presence isn't complete without a blog or social media. Blogging offers a great opportunity for you to get more leads and improve your ranking. Your blog should be updated at least once a week with relevant and interesting content.

Linking your social media accounts is your way of keeping instantly connected with customers and prospects. Some may think social media is separate from their website, but in truth they are more of an extension. Furthermore, you'll be able to get more visitors to your website through social media.

Through website analysis, you'll be able to look at these different elements and keep your website aligned with your business goals. You'll be able to determine weak and strong points, and which areas you can improve on to make sure your website is performing at its best.

Determine the information that you need for your website analysis and get moving on it. Once you've completed your checklist, you'll be left with the important data you need to move forward and make your website stronger.



Crazy Domains PH integrates Dragonpay

By Nicolo Nasol | Friday, 23 June 2017

Got no credit card or PayPal account? No problem! Crazy Domains PH now accepts Dragonpay, taking cash payments for online transactions.

Addressing increasing demand for more payment options, Crazy Domains has integrated this unique and flexible payment solution into our system. In addition to all the usual methods, this provides a new option to customers.

Since Dragonpay is an online payment solution, it is a very handy channel for processing transactions to pay for the goods and services you purchase online.

Because in developing countries like the Philippines, the use of credit cards is less common, this is a great alternative. Fully integrated into payment systems, customers can now send payments at their own convenience through the following methods:

Online Banking with Dragonpay

This secure and convenient method allows you to pay in real time online using your debit card account. Just as much as any credit card ever could, Dragonpay supports many major banks in the Philippines: BDO, BPI, Metrobank, RCBC, RCBC Savings, Unionbank, UCPB, Chinabank, PNB, and EastWest Bank. More banks will follow in the future.

Most of all, to assure the safe transmission of your valuable data from your browser to their server, Dragonpay uses secure socket layer (SSL) technology. This is the encryption technology used by all financial institutions around the world. Dragonpay does not store your banking ID and password. Online banking transaction costs PHP 10.00.

Over-the-Counter Bank

With this method, you can walk in to a branch in any supported bank. The banks that currently support this method are: BDO, BPI, Metrobank, RCBC, Chinabank, EastWest Bank, Land Bank, Maybank, PNB, Security Bank, UCPB, and Unionbank. Over-the-counter bank transaction costs PHP 15.00.

Over-the-Counter Non-Banks

Furthermore, you can also walk in to non-bank outlet to do your transactions. Bayad Center, LBC, SM Payment Counters, Robinsons Department Store, Cebuana Lhuillier and M.Lhuillier are all supported, with branches nationwide. Dragonpay supports mobile transactions as well through Globe GCash and BPI BanKO. Over-the-counter non-bank transaction costs PHP 15.00.

In all transactions, Dragonpay monitors account activities and sends an electronic notification to a merchant once a deposit/payment has been processed.