What is cloud hosting?

Monday, May 23, 2011

Cloud hosting diagram

What is the “cloud”? And how is it different from the internet?

The cloud is software that allows the computing capacity of computers or servers on the internet to be shared.  Not all the internet uses cloud technology and cloud technology does not impact storage capacity.   Amazon played a key role in the development and subsequent spread of ‘cloud computing’.  In 2006 Amazon discovered that like other computer networks, they were typically using less than 10% of available server capacity, the 90% ‘available’ capacity was mostly idle just to have capacity to handle occasional spikes.   Amazon made a significant capital investment; software and hardware that drove the implementation and subsequent spread of cloud technology; others followed.
The concept of the cloud can be compared to how your local power company delivers electricity to your home.   Rather than each home possessing and maintaining individual generators with capacity to handle each homes peak demand, power companies link the demands of the entire service area into a network of power grids.   The power company still has capacity limitations but for example not everyone uses their oven at the same time; business peak requirements differ from residential; power can be shifted were needed within the grid.
Computation or server capacity can be shared much like electric power.  Rather than dedicated servers with capacity to meet peak demands servers are networked together.   When internet users access a specific website they no longer find that site on a specific server, but at a ‘virtual location’ which may shift from one server to another as demand shifts.   Networked properly; if one server crashes (we’ve all seen that) the website merely moves to another virtual site.

If I have a website what will be the effect of moving to cloud computing?

As recently as a few years ago a locally hosted or in-house server was often a cost saver and more secure.    Now you will find your cloud hosted site more cost effective more reliable and more secure.  The security of a local or in-house server was somewhat illusionary, often a result of being too small to be a target for hackers. Your cloud hosting devotes whatever resources are needed to avoid viruses and hackers.  It is inevitable that a single server on the internet will at some point either crash or require maintenance; your cloud hosted site merely moves to a new ‘virtual location’.  That does not mean you will never have a problem, but any issues will be rare and software related.   Larger sites; those requiring substantial bandwidth in addition to improved security and reliability should see some reductions in hosting rates, reflective of optimized computing capacity. 
At Santek we feature the benefits of a ‘state of the art’ cloud hosted site.   We have contracted commercial bandwidth or computing capacity at commercial rates.   This allows us to split this capacity while handling all billing and support for your website in-house.   The result competitive rates and the best personalized support available anywhere. 

Increasing web traffic

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Increasing Web Traffic

Let me start by saying there is no one single thing or action that will increase traffic to your website. A combination of several techniques will maximize traffic to your website.

In this post I want to share some effective tips that will bring your website more visitors, while working with very limited budget.

First things first, before we can start increasing traffic to your site, we need to know what is currently happening on your site. In order to analyzing traffic to your website you must have some sort of web activity monitor installed. My favorite is Google Analytics. It's free. You have to love that, and its extremely powerful. All you need is an account with Google. Knowing what is happening with your website is crucial.

Instructions for installing Google Analytics are provided once you log-in to your account. But if you get stuck, contact your webmaster. If you do not have a webmaster. Give Santek Online a call, we are happy to help (801) 572-3200.

Below are some inexpensive ways to increase web traffic to your site.

Write informative articles that are relevant to your website and target audience

You may have heard the term “Content Is King”, If not, now you have, and it's true. Offering free relevant content will give your site credibility and keep visitors coming back. Blogging is a great way to accomplish this. Sharing your knowledge and expertise of your specific business or market is a great way to bring more focused and quality traffic to your site.

Post your articles to “Article Directory Sites”

Article directory sites are a great way to create back-links to your site. By submitting articles allows others to post your articles on there websites and blogs. Be sure to include links back to your site in the articles you submit.

Click here to view a list of the top article directory sites by page rank.

Add a “Links” page for your site if you do not already have one

Contact related but non-competing sites and request a link exchange. This is known as “link building”. You will want to exchange links with as high ranking sites as possible. Click here for a page rank checker tool.

Keep the sites you link to relevant to your websites content. Linking to anyone and everyone will dilute the page and lower your ranking.

Get involved by posting to related blogs and forums

Join the conversation by posting comments or answering peoples questions on other blogs and forums. Most blogs and forums these days will allow you to leave comments. Take advantage of  this by leaving positive feedback or possibly sharing additional information that others will find useful. And of course do not forget to link back to your website. Comments you leave on a blog or forum stay there permanently.

Don't be shy, get out there and join the conversation.

Set up Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and other social network pages for your business   

Utilizing these social networks that already have millions of users can give your website a lot of exposure. These networks can provide a quick way to inform hundreds of people of specials, deals, and upcoming events.

Offer Something For Free, users love freebies

Offering a relevant service, downloads, e-books, or products for free is a great way to bring quality traffic to your site. This is also a great lead generation tool, by having visitors fill out a short form to take advantage of the offer.

 Maybe offer something for visitors to become a fan of your Facebook page, join your newsletter, or

Analyze your site's traffic daily

This is extremely important. By analyzing your sites traffic daily, you will be able to identify what is working and what areas have room for improvement. Using the analytic software installed on your site will tell you what content is drawing the most traffic. You can them use this data to maximize traffic to your site through your marketing efforts.

Be Patient, Be Consistent

These techniques take time, don't get frustrated if you do not see results over night. Following through with these actions will pay off over time.

These are some techniques that have worked for me. Please feel free to comment or add some suggestions of your own. I would love to hear from you.

Take a look at some of the Search Engine Optimization services offered by Santek Online.


How To Make Your Website Mobile Friendly

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

How important is it to have a mobile friendly website?

mobile-phoneIf your website does not currently have mobile-friendly version, you are not alone. The majority of sites today do not have mobile-friendly version. It is true that mobile browsing is on the rise, yet despite this fact, it is still a very small portion of current web traffic.

Looking forward we can all see that mobile browsing will play a major roll in the future of the web, and with the constant introduction of new mobile devices this is sure to increase.

Making your website mobile friendly can help provide a better user experience to mobile users by making it easier to browse and load faster on a limited connection.

Will your audience benefit and use your website if it is mobile friendly?

Another solution to capture some of the ever growing mobile traffic is providing a mobile app for a specific service. By providing an integrated and fast service from an app you can provide a user with useful information while cutting out pages that are cumbersome to read through on a mobile device. Many sites such as Facebook and Twitter, currently have mobile apps that provide a condensed but useful service to users on the go.

Which solution is is best for you?

Should you continue with a traditional website, create a mobile friendly version, or invest in a mobile app? One of the most important things to consider when making your decision is your audience, and how they are using your website. Analyzing the traffic to your site can give you a good idea of how much of your user base is currently viewing your site from mobile devices, and if it is worth it to invest in a mobile solution.

What is search engine optimization (SEO)?

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

search engine optimizationWebsite search engines include; Google, Yahoo, Bing, to name a few of the largest.

The objective of SEO is to improve the volume and or quality of traffic to a site or web page using unpaid methodologies; as opposed to Search Engine Marketing (SEM) which deals in paid inclusion.   E.g. “pay per click”

Each search engine has its own differing algorithms used to rank a site.   The leading search engines provide general guidance but do not disclose the specific algorithms that each uses; for example Google says it ranks sites using more than 200 different factors.  

Early search engines (mid to late 1990’s) relied exclusively on Meta tags, headings, keyword density and other factors exclusively within the webmasters control; leading some to abuse and manipulate the rankings.   Search engines responded by developing more complex ranking algorithms which factored in features beyond the webmasters control.

Current search engines are very sophisticated; factoring in ‘on-page and off-page factors’ From traffic to URL date; Personalizing each search based upon an individuals previous search history and using the web search history of all its users to populate search algorithms. 

Search engines approve even encourage optimization techniques which conform to guidelines and avoid deception.  However be aware that use of deception and manipulative techniques may result in automatic reductions in rankings or outright elimination of a site from search results. 

Initial website design factors have a lessened but still significant influence on SEO.  Google and Yahoo still use ‘spiders’ to crawl and index a website; site set-up and content still play a big role.  URLs may need to be submitted to guarantee site inclusion.  Cross linking of pages and links to other websites can have a positive effect, beware of ‘link spamming’.

Content is king!  Frequently searched key words, phrases and content that is relevant and updated will optimize your search results.

Here are some SEO services
Santek Online provides:
  • Analyzing Your Competitors
  • Keyword Research & optimization
  • On Page Optimization
  • Off Site Optimization
  • Content Development
  • Meta Tag Refinement
  • Social Network Setup & Integration

Types Of Websites

Monday, October 11, 2010

Brochure Site:

Brochure sites resemble printed material

  • One or more basic informational pages
  • Social networking

Resource Site:

Generally considered entry level for business site

  • Home page with links to multiple resource pages
  • Customer Email inquiry capability
  • Social networking


E-Commerce Site:

Allows customers to search and find desired product or service from an extensive list

  • Scalable; designed for expansion – new products, services and/or website features
  • May be designed to link to existing management systems; customers, inventory etc.
  • Shopping cart function allows for on-line orders
  • Merchant account and SSL key
  • Advanced firewall security system
  • May include sophisticated administration & management systems allowing for:
    • Order processing shipping & order tracking
    • Product inventory management; pricing/quantity
    • Special offer and product/service promotions
  • Social networking

Corporate Site:

Advanced tools incorporated with the web for office automation and client tracking

  • Scalable; designed for expansion – new products, services and/or website features
  • May be designed to link to existing management systems; customers, inventory etc.
  • Designed to resemble existing systems for ease of implementation
  • Searchable, secure, real-time customer/investor information
  • Advanced firewall security system
  • Secured remote access to admin/management sections – remote office
  • Social networking

In any website a content management system (CMS) which allows ‘user friendly’ updates to content is something to strongly consider. Additionally your website should be design for Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Social networking integration using current online trends.

Our Web Design Process

Professional Web Development

  1. Project Development Phase
  2. Graphic Design Phase
  3. Website Development/Coding Phase
  4. Website Launch

Custom Built Websites

Mellco Landscaping Inc.Mellco Landscaping Inc. Mellco landscaping has been providing award winning landscaping to custom home builders and homeowners for over 15 years.