Recent Posts

What should you look for in a hosting provider? Part 2.

By Alex J | Friday, 13 January 2017
Setting up a site can be hard, especially if it is your first one. Even if you know how to operate...

What should you look for in a hosting provider? Part 2.

By Alex J | Friday, 13 January 2017

Setting up a site can be hard, especially if it is your first one. Even if you know how to operate the CMS, there would still be instances where you’ll need help.

One of the benefits signing up for professional hosting is you can rely on customer support to resolve technical difficulties. This support can manifest in certain ways. The most common being answering commonly asked question through the FAQ pages and speaking with customer representatives to address concerns.

Ultimately, the goal of support is to solve customers’ problems – especially complicated ones. Support is actually one of the deal breakers for customers. No matter how comprehensive services are, if they don’t feel adequate assistance, there is a big chance that they would switch hosting providers.

How can you tell if support is reliable or not?

Mindful of customer’s needs

There are two things customers want from any company: First, they want to be satisfied. Second, they want to feel appreciated. One way for them to feel valued is when their needs are met without much effort. Whether they are simply asking regular questions or are experiencing technical difficulties, what matters is you feel like you got what you want or something even better.

Notify Downtime and Maintenance

It is natural for hosting providers to encounter problems with their servers or networks. When this happens, customers should be notified as soon as possible. Since there is no telling when servers would go down, customers usually get a notification when they log on to their CRMS. It would be more impressive when customers are informed when their sites have been fixed.

Swift Response Time

Customers don’t like to be kept waiting. One way to minimise the waiting period is to give them several communication options. Here in Crazy Domains, for example, our customers can get in touch with our agents through phone and through chat. There are even some companies that have text support. These different mediums allow customers to speak to representatives sooner and not wait long in a queue.

New products and services

People appreciate a one-stop shop. A hosting provider does not have to provide every hosting package imaginable, but there are those that have other online products and services. For example, here are Crazy Domains also have a domain registration service. This way customers could register their name and set up their site all in the same place.

In short…

Support is a really important factor in web hosting. With proper assistance from your hosting provider, you can have a much smoother experience setting and maintaining a website.



The perks of having an attractive website

By Alex J | Friday, 6 January 2017

In order to succeed in business these days, having an online presence is necessary. And what better way to establish that than through a website? But in order to attract visitors to your site, you need to make sure it’s eye-catching.

Having an attractive site may seem insignificant. You might think you can get away with a pretty basic look. However, Google has started penalising websites with poor design. This violation could affect your ranking, especially if Google removes your site from its index.

Aside from avoiding penalties, what could you gain from a well-designed website?

Helps visitors navigate around the site

Website navigation is important because it helps users figure out how to explore the site. However, this doesn’t just involve the placement of buttons and folders. This also involves the color scheme and readability. How do you expect users to get around your site if they can barely read the buttons and links? With proper design, it would be easier for users explore and possibly stay on the page longer.

Lends credibility to your brand

How many times have you left a page simply because it looks flimsy or gaudy? With a professional looking site, users would be more willing to not only stick around but even trust your brand. With a superficial looking site, it wouldn’t be a surprise for some to think your company is a fake or bogus simply because you did not put in enough effort with the design.

Leaves a good impression

Remember your site gives users an idea what your company is all about. If they leave not having understood your brand, then they might not even bother to remember at all. If the design is just right (along with effective messaging), then you might just convince potential consumers to give your products and services a shot. This may not seem like much, but considering the competition, this is enough of a good first impression to convince them for a second or even third visit.

All in all, a well-designed website is another step to engage with your desired audience. If you need help, we can help craft the overall look for your website (Click here for more details).



Enjoy your Christmas with $5* Australian Domains

By Alex J | Sunday, 25 December 2016

Great news! Now that the holidays are here, Dreamscape Networks' Crazy Domains is set to launch its 2016 Christmas Flash Sale. The promo is the company's latest special offer to customers over the holiday period to help streamline the online presence of their businesses.

World's cheapest Australian Domains!

For a .com.au domain registration. The domain will now be available for only $5 AUD per year, with a minimum registration of two years. All .au domains are included in the promo – .com.au, .net.au, .org.au, .asn.au, and .id.au.

The flash sale is the company's way of signing off of 2016 while welcoming a whole new year ahead, and will be valid from the 25th to the 31st of December with 4,000 registrations on offer.

Limited to 4,000 domains available!

The flash sale presents a unique opportunity to Australian businesses. They will have the chance to be seen and heard in the crowded online marketplace with a bespoke .au domain name of their own. It also allows companies to use their desired domain name, which at times would not be possible with a regular TLD.

Boost your Australian ranking

Using ccTLDs is recognized as one of the most effective local SEO strategies. That's because it is one of the most effective ways of notifying search engines and visitors where the site originates. It is also easier to rise up the ranks in the results page because there isn't much competition. If your company plans to target the Australian market, then this promo will definitely work in your favour.

The limited flash sale will be available at Crazy Domains within the promo period, while the number limit of registrations will apply on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Interested customers should head over to CrazyDomains.com.au to know more about the promo and to take advantage.



HTTPS encryption: keeping websites safer for visitors

By Alex J | Friday, 23 December 2016

The average user visits around 130 pages a month, and there is no guarantee that all of them would be safe. In addition, there is a chance that most of them were lead to these sites through search engine results. To avoid leading users to these unsafe pages, Google thought of a way for people to minimise visiting these sites. The search engine giant recently announced that it would include encryption as one of the ranking factors. The company also plans to use its browser to notify users of unsecure HTTPS.

What does this update mean for webmasters?

Google implemented this update in their search engine back in 2014. The company will take it a step further with Chrome. Starting January 2017, the latest browser (Chrome 56) will start putting indicators before the HTTP URLs. The message Google is sending is that safety is a priority. This means that the search engine giant wants webmasters to also look out for visitors. But how does Google notify its users which sites are safe and unsafe? Beside each of the search results, one of three icons would appear. When a white page icon appears, that means the site is not secured with HTTPS. A green padlock shows up when Google deems it safe. Lastly, a red “x” signifies that there is something wrong with a site’s HTTPS.

What is the big deal with HTTPS encryption?

HTTPS is an HTTP protocol that is integrated with extra layers of SSL/TLS encryption. The added layer serves two purposes:

1.It verifies that visitors are communicating directly to the designated server.
2.It serves as confirmation that the server has received the visitor’s transmission.

This kind of system keeps passwords, credit card details, and messages safe from prying eyes. This secure method of exchange would not be possible without SSL certificates. There are several types and each one used for a specific function, namely:

Domain Validated Certificate

This is the cheapest of all the certificates. It validates (usually through email) when a domain is registered. Whoever has admin rights is informed and must then approve the request of the certificate. This kind of certificate should not be used for commercial purposes. It should only be used when security not that big of an issue.

Organisation Validated Certificates

This second type of SSL certificate is for validating domain ownership and other necessary organisation data (e.g. name, city, state, country). Similar to domain validated certificate, the validation could be conducted through email. The difference is organisation validated certificates require more documents for identification.

Extended Validation (EV) Certificates

This is widely considered as the most trusted type of SSL certificate. This is because it also validates the legal existence of a company. With some additional checks, the validation process takes longer because it has stricter guidelines. This is ideal for websites dealing with sensitive information, such as credit card details.

Aside from added security, there are other benefits with using SSL certificates. The right HTTPS protocol could actually minimise load time by 20 to 30%. So really, there is no reason not to get SSL certificates. With our help, you can pick the right certificate for your website. Click here to find to find out your SSL packages.



Logo worth a thousand sales

By Alex J | Monday, 19 December 2016

Graphics play an important part in branding. After all, it is a creative form of communication. You get to convey your message through well designed ads, banners, and all other materials. Other than that, graphics help make a good impression among consumers. And one of the most important graphic markers is the company logo. It goes without saying that it should be well thought out.

When you see the McDonald's golden arches or Nike's swoosh, you know straight away what they are all about. Having said that, the most important function of a logo is it provides a visual representation of the company. In that sense, it is a lot like a person's finger print.

No matter the shape or colour your logo is, it should adequately represent your company. But how do you achieve that but still make it pleasing to the eye?

What does make a good logo?

It should be simple.

The logo doesn't have to be complicated. Remember that it would appear in almost every visual marketing material of various sizes. Ideally it should still be recognisable even on a stamp or sticker, otherwise it'll just look distorted. A simple logo is also much easier to adjust, resize, and edit.

It should be unique.

One of the advantages of a unique logo is it avoids confusion. With so many companies, it's not surprising that some of their logos look a lot alike. As a result, consumers would confuse one over the other (at times not even able to tell them apart). This could be bad for business and potentially drive away customers.

It should be timeless.

Coca-Cola has been around for a long time. The company may have gone through some changes, and even weathered some controversies, but one of the things that remain constant is their logo. It has definitely served the company well because they remain one of the top brands in the world. The decision not to change their logo because it didn't limit their creativity when it came to graphics.

It should reflect that nature of your company.

Could you imagine ToysRUs using a Serif font and used dark colours for their logo? The contrast would definitely put off some people. Some would probably even question the company's true nature. While it is important for the logo to be unique, don't forget that it should also give customers a hint of what your company is all about.

With so many factors to consider, it can be hard to come up with your company logo on your own. If you're really in a stump, there's no harm with consulting with professionals. Our company recently teamed up with Design Crowd to help clients come up with the perfect logo. So, if you need help with the design, feel free to get in touch with us.



Using LinkedIn to promote your business

By Alex J | Friday, 9 December 2016

Social media has turned into a viable marketing medium. One of the most reliable social networks around is LinkedIn because it allows companies, entrepreneurs, employees and job seekers to connect with one another. Through the years, people found more uses for the site and that includes marketing.

There are several reasons you should look into marketing your new business on LinkedIn, namely:

You could easily find companies and professionals within the same industry.

Creating an account also makes it easier for consumers to find you and get in touch.

Having a LinkedIn profile lends more credibility to your online presence.

Based on these figures, there is no doubt that there is a market in LinkedIn you can tap into. The question is how.

Step One: Create an engaging profile.

Before you decide what posts or content you want to share, you must first set the tone for your profile based on the nature of your business. This goes beyond coming up with a description for your company and profile picture. Make sure to include links to your website and share the portfolio of your company in your profile but not in an intrusive way.

Basically, your profile should dictate the identity of your company. And from there, any additional content you share should reveal more about your business.

Step Two: Connect with relevant members.

Like any social media network, one of the benefits of LinkedIn is it allows you to reach out to users (companies and professionals alike) in a similar industry. The site can also help you find and eventually connect with pioneers. This could be the crucial stepping stone in establishing your brand within the industry.

The connections you make would also hopefully attract the attention of other like-minded users. And the more users follow you, the more you could gain prominence in the network.

Step Three: Post relevant content.

This is an important step because it could boost your brand's authenticity and authority. Don't just limit your posts to updates. You could also share with followers some industry norms, trends, guidelines, and other relevant information.

To make your content more engaging, come up with different ways of presenting them. For instance, instead of just sharing articles, you could also post infographics and even videos. The medium could depend on the scope of the subject matter.

With these steps in mind, you can be on your way to boosting your brand in LinkedIn.



Enhance security with two factor authentication

By Alex J | Friday, 2 December 2016

For all the benefits the internet offers, it also has its fair share of risks. If you are not careful, your site might get tampered and violated. Even if you set up the most reliable system, there is a small chance that hackers would find a way to gain access. So how do you stay one step ahead of them?

Good news is there’s a way to throw them off: two-factor authentication (also known as 2FA and multi-factor authentication).

What is two factor authentication?

This is a security system that not only requires a password and username but also an added factor that only the user has. This could be an authentication/verification code or even a physical object. It is entirely up to the company what the two-factor authentication would be.

How does it work?

The good thing about two-factor authentication is it can be customised depending on the nature of your business or the service provided. To give you an idea of what you can work with, you can learn from these companies:

Google

The search engine’s two-factor authentication activates whenever a user signs up in an unfamiliar device. Google has several authentication methods. Users could either choose to receive their authentication code through text or phone call. The company also developed an Authenticator App so that users could still verify their web activities while offline. If you receive a notification through email regarding unfamiliar online activity, you could then decide what to do next. The ideal step would be to change your password.

Paypal

Similar to Google, Paypal also notifies the user of suspicious activity and requests for a confirmation by sending an SMS with a verification code. But if the user fails to authenticate, then the site immediately sets the account on security hold. This method was intended so that it prevents funds from being maxed out mistakenly.

What are the perks of two-factor authentication?

This method adds a layer of security in a customised but still practical way. This customisation also throws an element of surprise, which comes in handy where hackers are concerned because they always rely on staying one step ahead of any program or system. Each network system are not all the same but they do have similarities, which is what hackers exploit. However, the second authentication adds a layer of unpredictability that sets off hackers. The authentication method is also simple enough for users to understand and implement.

In conclusion…

Two-factor authentication is a simple but still efficient method of security. And when you have a website that deals with sensitive information, this is definitely useful for keep data that extra bit safe.



What should you look for in a hosting provider? Part 1.

By Alex J | Friday, 25 November 2016

In this series of articles, we will be tackling the qualities that you should look for and how to gauge their efficiency.

The hosting reliability measurement method.

Response time

Although social media is proving to be a viable online marketing tool, it is still not a good enough replacement for a website. So if you are about to open up your own business, might as well invest in a good hosting service and create your own website.

This leads to the question: what are the qualities of a good hosting provider? First time customers usually look for tight security, considerable memory, sufficient support, and swift loading time. But out of all those qualities, the last one would probably help reduce bounce rate.

Why should sites load faster?

Well, the most crucial time to make a lasting impression is the first time users view a page. How long it takes for the website to load will most likely determine if a user would stick around or not. This period is called the time to first byte (TTFB). What happens during this period is the user (or at least his/her computer) sends a request to the server, the server processes the request, and then sends a response to the user. As mentioned earlier, how quickly the TTFB takes place could determine whether a user stays our bounces.

How does a good hosting provider minimise TTFB?

How long or short the TTFB is could be determined by how effective their servers are. Ideally, the closer the servers are to the user, then the faster the sites would load. This is the reason most established hosting providers set up multiple servers in strategic locations around the world. But it's not enough that they are evenly spread out. The servers themselves should run efficiently on their own.

These days, cloud server is considered the most reliable because of its flexibility, cost-efficiency, security, and eco-friendliness. But how do they minimise down time? Unlike regular servers, cloud servers implement failover system.

Here's how it works: when one or several servers don't work or aren't performing as well, the system then switches the functions of the defective servers to an alternate one. This substitution method ensures that processes still go smoothly despite one or two servers going down. This may not guarantee that sites remain live all the time but it does significantly shorten down time and TTFB (depending on how fast the wonky server gets substituted) and theoretically reduce bounce rate. We, at Crazy Domains, happen to rely on Next Generation Cloud Hosting.

The point is knowing which server providers use could help you take your pick. And one way of measuring server reliability is to conduct TTFB checks. Luckily, there are several testing sites that could measure the TTFB for you, such as bytecheck.com and pingdom.com. If you are thinking about signing up with us, here's one of the results of our TTFB test:



What’s in a name? Deciding on a name for your company

By Alex J | Friday, 18 November 2016

When you introduce yourself to another person, naturally the first thing you say is your name, which can say so much about you. Similarly, a company's name says a lot about their brand.

Here's an example: Nike founder, Phil Knight, initially wanted to call the company Dimension Six. It was only at the eleventh hour when one of the company's first employees suggested Nike (after the Greek goddess of victory).

Although Knight wasn't such a fan in the beginning, the name served the company well later on. After all, some of the most celebrated figures in sports did endorse the brand at some point. Some would even argue that landing a Nike deal signifies a career landmark.

So what can you learn from this example? There are a few takeaways, namely:

Keep it short and memorable

While there is nothing wrong with trying to stand out by coming up with an original name, it could prove damaging – especially when it is hard to spell and pronounce. You can follow the example of BestBuy, Apple, Facebook, and Home Depot and simply use existing words.

Using the right words for your brand name is one way of establishing your brand. You can make them look more catchy by changing the spelling a bit. Founders of Sony came up with the name because it is derived from the Latin word “sonus”, which means sound.

If you do insist on coming up with your own brand name, just make sure it rolls off the tongue easily.

Choose a name that reflects your company

The beauty of picking the right brand name is customers immediately get a sense of what your company is about. But don't pick a name that is too specific. You might risk putting yourself in a box. Try and come up with a brand name that would still resonate even as the company evolves.

Take Netflix, as an example. As soon as you hear the brand, you'd immediately associate it with online streaming of television shows and films. But aside from streaming, the company also revolutionised the way viewers enjoy their favourite series and movies by allowing them to binge-watch.

As a result, the company decided to release entire seasons of their own shows instead of just airing one episode a week. This method has not only revolutionised film and TV consumption but also the production of shows.

Test the name with consumers

Before you go public with the name, it helps to test it with potential customers first. The goal is to test how receptive your target audience would be and if the name would generate a positive reaction. Assemble a focus group and test out the shortlist of potential names on them.

Even more established companies still grapple with their brand name. So if you find yourself unsure about the name you picked, there are plenty of other opportunities to change it even though your business is already up and running.

Accenture, for example, decided to change their name from Andersen Consulting when the name Andersen was tied to accounting scandals. Google was also previously called Backrub but switched to their current name simply because it sounded a lot like the mathematical term googol.

Once you have decided on a name, make sure it checks out. Enquire with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) if it has not been trademarked or copyrighted. Doing this would hopefully avoid conflict of intellectual property. You should also check domain registries to check no other brand used the name for their website.

If you're lucky, then you can also use it for your website, which can potentially boost traffic. Ultimately, the right name not only solidifies your brand's identity, but could also set the course of the company.



Business lessons you can learn from the evolution of carrots

By Alex J | Friday, 11 November 2016

Fun Fact: Did you know that carrots used to be purple?

Before the 17th century, carrots were originally cultivated in a region in Persia (present day Afghanistan and Iran). Back then, they were either purple, yellow, or red. At that time, the vegetable was cultivated mainly for aromatic purposes.

Fast forward several centuries, the Europeans were introduced to carrots when the Moors brought it to Spain. It was only during the 17th century that some Dutch farmers started harvesting the orange variety that we have today.

You must be wondering why this could be a useful piece of information – especially when you run a business. Well, there are surprisingly useful insights about carrots that entrepreneurs can learn from:

Lay the ground work for your business

In order for carrots to grow, you also have to nurture the soil. Nourishing the ground is important to produce healthy carrots. And you should do the same for your business. To lay the groundwork of your endeavours, not only should you plan how to start your business, you should also map out its direction. Think of this as a guide when your company starts to progress.

No need to be original to be different

You don't have to be an innovator in order to succeed. For instance, Apple did not invent the first MP3 player. What propelled the iPod's success was its integration to other Mac devices and user interface.

The same could be said when the Dutch started harvesting orange carrots. The reason people started eating them wasn't just because the colour was different. The orange carrot was plumper and sweeter compared to the purple one, which was why it caught on.

Feel free to experiment different strategies

With a new colour and improved flavour, it did not take long for the Dutch's breed of carrots to spread in other parts of Europe. It also didn't take long for countries like France and England to breed their own variety.

The point is these countries took their own risks and started experimenting. One way to diversify a business is to try out different methods and strategies. Ultimately, one of these experiments will pay off. If not, at least you gathered enough information to help improve your business.

Know where to expand your business

Because the carrot had plenty of uses, it is no wonder that it was exported worldwide. If you want to expand your business, you need to determine which territories your business would most likely thrive in. These days, a lot of businesses are expanding in Asia because it is one of the fastest developing regions in the world. Asia is recognised as a region of opportunity because it still has a developing environment, a growing number of consumers, and advanced infrastructure. All these factors make Asia a promising region for businesses.

Given the carrot's colourful history, it is not surprising that you could learn a few things for your business to grow. By following these tactics, hopefully your business would thrive just as well.