Image Hosting Flood?
Archives for March 2005
Michal LaSalvia of EZHOSTINGPRO has created a script for remote cpanel backups. It is a basic shell script that will allow the server owner to charge for remote backups. Basically those users that pay for a remote backup service will be added to the flat file by the server admin and have a backup script put in there home directory. The only thing that is not automated is the process of adding the new user to the database and placing the placing the backup script into the users home directory.
Michal currently has the customers fill out a form and upon submission of the payment he will create a remote ftp account and add the customers account to the backup.
## EZHOSTINGPRO BACKUP FTP SCRIPT v1.0 ##
## Created by Michael LaSalvia ##
## http://www.ezhostingpro.com/backup.php ##
## 2/23/04 rev 1 ##
## 1. Create a file called cpbackup.txt in /root
## 2. Place account names you wanted backup
## 3. Save file in /root
############ DO NOT EDIT BELOW #############
for users in $(cat cpbackup.txt)
rm -rf /home/$users/cpmove-$users.tar.gz
mv /home/cpmove-$users.tar.gz /home/$users/
chown $users.$users cpmove-$users.tar.gz
chmod 777 cpmove-$users.tar.gz
– This script must be ran as root user to be able to call the cpanel pkgacct.
Script 2: This script will be edited with the users ftp credentials and placd in the user home dir.
## EZHOSTINGPRO REMOTE BACKUP ##
## created by: Michael LaSalvia ##
## (c)EZHOSTINGPRO 2004 ##
## DO NOT EDIT THIS FILE ##
## Name this file bkftp.sh chmod 777 ##
### VARIABLES ###
#var_targetdir=’public_html’ /* implemented in vs2.0 still in testing
ftp -n $var_remote <<END_SCRIPT
quote USER $var_ftpuser
quote PASS $var_ftppass
rm -Rf cpmove-$var_cpaneluser.tar.gz
Here are some additional comments by Michal:
Test it out if you get any errors or issues contact me and I will correct it. This script is still in the works but this is a working model of it. Next version will have a payment system that will add the users to the db and auto place the files in the correct directories.
This code is not to be changed or sold – it is is released under the left hand gpl.
Please contact Michal for questions or concerns.
About the Author
EZHOSTINGPRO was started back in 1997 by two individuals that were dedicated to providing premium service at discounted prices to the masses and not just tech savvy individuals.
Our dedication to our customers has made us one of the largest hosting providers around along with our low prices and highly trained technical team that can answer any of your questions. We strive to provide the best customer satisfaction possible because if you’re not happy then we’re not happy.
What is a data center?
A data center is a facility used for housing a large amount of electronic equipment, typically computers and communications equipment. As the name implies, a data center is usually maintained by an organization for the purpose of handling the data necessary for its operations. A bank for example may have a data center, where all its customers’ account information is maintained and transactions involving this data are carried out. Practically every company mid-sized and upwards has some kind of data center, and large companies often have dozens of data centers.
As data is a crucial aspect of most organizational operations, organizations tend to be very protective of their data. A data center must therefore keep high standards for assuring the integrity and functionality of its hosted computer environment. This is depicted in its physical and logical layout.
Prior to and during the dot com crash, thousands of square feet of general-purpose data centers were built in the hope of filling them with servers for web hosting and application service providers. This demand went largely unrealized.
A co-location centre is a type of data center.
A data center can occupy one room of a building, one or more floors, or up to the whole building. Most of the equipment is often in the form of 1U servers (so-called "pizza boxes") racked up in 19 inch rack cabinets, which are usually placed in single rows forming corridors between them. This allows people access to the front and rear of each cabinet. Some equipment such as mainframe computers and storage devices is often as big as the racks themselves, and are placed alongside them.
The physical environment of the data center is usually under strict control:
Air conditioning is used to keep the room cool, generally around 17 degrees Celsius. This is crucial since electronic equipment in a confined space generates much excess heat, and tends to malfunction if cooling is not handled.
Backup power is often available. This can include one or more uninterruptible power supplies and diesel generators located close by.
Data centers typically have raised flooring made up of 2 foot (600mm) removable square tiles. These allow (in theory) all data and power cabling to be laid neatly and safely in cable trays below.
Data centers often have elaborate fire prevention and fire extinguishing systems. Using water on operational electrical equipment can do just as much damage as a fire so using it is not an option – also ordinary water and electricity don’t mix well. Originally halon gas was used in the event of a fire to extinguish flames – an inert gas that pushes all the oxygen out of the room. However this has now been banned in some countries because of the danger it poses to people if they are trapped in the same room without emergency breathing oxygen supplies. More recent alternatives include Aragonite and FM200, and even systems based on ultra-pure water.
Physical security also plays a large role with data centers. Personal access to the site is usually restricted to a select few. Video camera surveillance and permanent security guards are almost always present if the data center is large or contains sensitive information on any of the systems within.
Communications in data centers today are most often based on networks running the IP protocol suite. Data centers contain a set of routers and switches that transport traffic between the servers and to the outside world.
Some of the servers at the data center are used for running the basic Internet and intranet services needed by internal users in the organization: email servers, proxy servers, DNS servers, etc.
Network security elements are also usually deployed: firewalls, VPN gateways, Intrusion detection systems, etc. Also common are monitoring systems for the network and some of the applications.
How to motivate your staff?
As a web hosting business owner, you face the important challenge of getting the most from your employees. Perhaps you have a staff that already feels overworked and depressed. This can have significant consequences in regards to quality of service for your business. A loss in quality will eventually result in less revenue. This is something you need to prevent or that you have to fix if it already happened. But how do you motivate staff that feels depressed? How do you keep motivation high and the staff emphasized about their tasks?
What does a great business manager do that an average business manager doesn’t? Motivate, motivate, motivate—and I’m not talking about the occasional pep talk or a halftime speech. Great managers motivate their staff on an ongoing base to prevent having staff members slipping into that dark hole of fading motivation.
To motivate and to retain your employees, you must understand how they want to be rewarded. What makes the employee feel appreciated? Nearly employee has a preferred reward structure. This is usually a combination of compensation (money), work-life balance (time off), and recognition (e.g. employee of the month). Compensation is not limited to pure cash (salary, bonus pay, etc.) but can also be in form of gift certificates or even movie tickets. Time off is not only the available vacation. Imagine walking up to an employee at lunch time and sending him home for the rest of the day just because. Or sponsor a night at a close by vacation resort. You get the idea. Recognition can include formal awards, public acknowledgments, and title changes. A title change should usually be accompanied by a salary increase though.
Different employees will value different combinations of motivation. Not everyone is alike, and the possible combination of rewards will change over time the same way as aspects of employees’ work life and personal life change. Employees with families will are more often motivated with work-life balance affecting rewards. Younger employees are often motivated more by compensation and recognition. They might have to pay off student loans, car loans or are planning on buying a house or apartment soon.
You, the business owner should think about recognition and rewards for each budget year. Put some money aside for these things. You will most-likely have limited resources with which to reward your employees. Being creative can still get you going. Suppose one of your employees has recently worked way beyond the call of duty and went several extra miles for a customer. You could reward him with a 150 dollar prepaid gift certificate (compensation), an afternoon off (work-life balance), a special award at a team meeting (employee of the month = recognition). The options are there – you just need to put them into the right perspective.
But this is not everything about team morale. If morale is already down you should work on the cause for this and not just patch the open wound. Talk to your employees on a regular base. A weekly team meeting might be a good thing. Let everyone explain (in high level words) what the planned tasks for the week are and make sure that help is available where needed. No employee should feel left alone with a huge task on his or her plate. Be sure to set clear, obtainable goals for every team member and work with your staff to build a strategy to attain those goals. Be aware – you will have employees who do not need much supervision and others that do to do a great job. Great business owners always have their finger on the pulse of the team and individual’s morale.
Sell With KISS, As In “Keep It Simple, Stupid”
One of the most useful and fundamental communications lessons that has been repeated to me over the years, ever since my earliest days of formal business training, is the fabled, famous, and fabulous “KISS” formula.
In my college marketing class we were told “Keep It Simple, Stupid!” When I entered my three-month sales-training orientation at New York Telephone way back in 1968, it was a more refined “Keep It Short and Simple.” New York Telephone didn’t want us recruits to hear negative words like stupid. In Army OCS we were given a variation of KISS. KIFSS wasn’t quite as short and simple, but it left its firm, indelible training mark with a greater sense of, uh, military bearing. Even though he was never in the service, I see from recent news items that Veep Dick Cheney has picked up that same military jargon.
However we choose to use it, simple messages have the greatest impact. That is why concept slogans like “Intel Inside” are so successful.
Think about how the major players in today’s highly successful technology sector apply the KISS formu-la. Microsoft simplifies its message in its definitive product names: Word, Office, At Work, Excel. These are all KISS names that don’t require you to think too much to figure out what the products are about.
If your product or service is not already a household word in your vertical niche market, rather than rely on words like fast and easy, what you really need to convey is a word that you can brand that tells it all.
Which brings us to your message. Here’s are four steps for simplifying your marketing message and defining your market position.
Think of all the things you do and sell as accommodations to meet customer demands, and then work up a more narrowly defined, focused list of those things you prefer to sell to make money.
When you get right down to it, you probably offer a lot more products and ser-vices than you want to, but you have to, in order to meet certain customer expectations.
This is fine, but let’s face it. Unless you’re a distributor like Wal-Mart or Costco, you don’t really want to promote everything you sell, do you? I know I don’t. Loss leaders are not a part of the value-added service niche that we are comfortable with, although dozens of Internet companies are willing to lose money to buy market share in the hopes of selling, not profitable products, but their own stock on Wall Street. I’ve been read-ing the red-ink quar-terly financials of the latest of these short-term wonders.
Determine who your com-petition is and what makes him/her better.
Determine why other people buy from him and not from you.
How does a fresh competitive analysis assist you in simpli-fying your message and improve your chance of success? First, it’s a reality check to determine if you have chosen the right niche to domi-nate, or if you merely are suffering the after-effects of second-hand smoke from Cheech and Chong’s cigarettes. (If you don’t understand this, ask your folks and I guess I am older than I think).
Second, how can you even con-sider communicating a competitive positioning message unless and until you can verbalize what you are competing against?
Now, let’s discuss what you bring to the marketplace that’s newer, cheaper, stronger, better tasting, less filling, fat free, or otherwise truly unique.
Under no cir-cumstances are you allowed to say that you “care more” than the com-petition, or that you are “more service oriented”. Everybody says that.
You are not all things to all people, but you are all things to some people, sort of like Rush Limbaugh or Ralph Nader. You probably fit the same description. If you take the time to write down what you do that is all things to some people, you can take it all the way to the bank.
You’ve defined your focus, decided where you can’t beat the competition, and determined where you can beat them cold. Now tie it up in a neat verbal bundle.
Remember, the point of all this is not to see how cute you can write; that’s my job. Instead, just try to communicate simply and directly what you do and what you want the reader to do (like call you). Most importantly, don’t forget to test your message on the unsuspecting to see if what they read is the same as what you think you wrote.
A winning message is one that can be read on Monday and recalled on Tuesday or, dare we hope it, Wednesday. I test my mate-rial out on friends, relatives and the guy who owns the local diner – people not in the business.
I figure that if those outside the business can easily understand what I’m talking about without explanation, then I won’t have to worry that my message is too obscure or cryptic. That’s the heart and soul of the KISS formula.
(From “Smart Marketing – What big companies practice and you should learn about marketing branding and business development” by Stan Rosenzweig).
About The Author
Stan Rosenzweig is a sales trainer, marketing consultant and author. He creates customized corporate sales training and directs strategic marketing, product development and cost management consulting for large and middle sized companies.
For ten years, he was senior contributing editor for a major computer trade publication, writing over 120 articles on sales and marketing management. He has published five books, including “Smart Selling”, “Smart Telemarketing”, and “Smart Marketing” which can be sampled at http://www.salestipwebsite.com.
Rosenzweig has written and collaborated in writing of monographs for clients, including “Engineering a Technologically Superior Building”, “Technology Construction Planing – Completing The Project Management Mission”, and a series of self-paced training courses for specific clients.
This article is copyright 2004, Stan Rosenzweig.
Beefing Up Your Company’s Security Playbook
by Manny Novoa, HP – http://www.hp.com/sbso/index.html
The shift to a digital, mobile and virtual world means that even the smallest businesses are increasingly at risk from cyber threats.
Other factors that motivate companies to deploy IT security solutions include SPAM prevention, desire to reduce the risks associated with Web-based business operations and regulatory compliance.
The Sarbanes-Oxley Act for instance, has a provision mandating that CEOs and CFOs attest to their companies having proper “internal controls.” If a company’s IT system is not secure, then management is at risk signing off on internal controls, so it becomes necessary to ensure auditable security measures are in place.
While many smaller business owners now understand the need for increased IT security measures, it may be confusing trying to determine where to begin. The following are four critical areas to help small and medium businesses (SMBs) beef up their security “playbooks.”
1. Build your offense.
The most crucial component of securing your business is to develop a security program that educates you and any employees on the vulnerabilities of technology, and puts in place processes to help avoid risk. No matter how much secure technology you have in place, you can’t be safe without support from your technology users. A robust security governance policy, including basic IT security training for all new employees and strict user access policies, is also key.
Your governance policy should cover the basics such as “thou shall not post your password next to your monitor, open suspicious looking e-mail or give anyone your password, or thou shall be fired,” to ongoing education about the latest external threats. It’s also wise to set specific access rights to help prevent employees from inadvertently giving outsiders access to sensitive information, and to potentially protect from malicious insiders.
2. Block and tackle.
The key to protection from external threats is to have several layers of defense. As the magnitude of e-mail virus damage has proven, humans are fallible, so barriers such as firewalls and virus software are a must. Additional hardware-based solutions can provide added data protection—especially important for portable devices. In the case of theft, it’s the DATA on the system that becomes the clear concern, not so much the loss of the actual device.
For example, HP’s Protect- Tools portfolio includes Embedded Security and Smart Card solutions for select HP business desktop and notebook PCs. HP’s ProtectTools Embedded Security solution can protect user data and access to the system by using an embedded chip for added data encryption. The HP Smart Card security solution uses a creditcard-like security device to make system access more secure, by combining something the user has (a Smart Card) with something only the user knows (a password/PIN).
3. Keep on your toes.
Sometimes glitches are discovered in software that may leave a system or network vulnerable to attack, so ensuring timely patch management is critical. Even a virus utility or personal firewall is only as good as the last update for “known” attacks. Proactive policies must be put in place to “force” users to update these periodically or automate that update process.
IT vendor’s offer technology patch management solutions, such as HP’s Client Management Solutions, to facilitate this process and help automate IT systems updates.
4. Have a strong second string waiting to take the field.
A final recommendation is to have a consistent data backup program. Daily data backup to an onsite, or preferably off-site, storage solution can protect a company from losing significant portions of its critical financial data and intellectual property in the event of a security breach.
Look for PCs that offer local recovery, like that provided by Altiris on HP desktops, to prevent loss of individual user data in the event that an employee opens an infected e-mail that destroys information on their system. A company can usually recover from loss of one day’s data, but loss or damage of all electronic company information can be devastating for a small business.
Article provided by HP’s Small and Mid-Sized Business Unit
Know How DNS Works
Domain name Servers (DNS) are an important but invisible part of the internet, and form one of the largest databases on it. Each machine on an internet is assigned a unique address, called an IP address, which is 32 bit number and is expressed as 4 octets. The method user to represent these IP addresses is known as dotted decimal Notation”. A typical address looks like this: 184.108.40.206
It is very difficult to keep in mind the IP addresses of all the websites we visit daily, because it’s not easy to remember strings of numbers. However, we do remember words. This is where domain names come into the picture. If you want to connect to a particular site, you need to know its IP address but do need to know its URL. The DNS gets the mappings of the IP addresses and the corresponding names.
Names and numbers
DNS converts the machine names (such as www.xyz.com) to IP addresses (such as 220.127.116.11). Basically, it translates from a name to an address and from an address to a name.
The mapping from the IP address to the machine name is called reverse mapping. When you type http://www.xyz.com into your browser, the browser first needs to get the IP address of www.xyz.com. The machine uses a directory service to look up IP addresses and this service is called DNS. When you type www.xyz.com your machines firsts contacts a DNS server, asking it to find the IP address for www.xyz.com. This DNS server might then contact other DNS servers on the internet. DNS is therefore is considered as the global network of servers. The great advantage of DNS is that no organization is responsible for updating it. It is what is known as distributed database.
The three letter codes
A DNS server is just a computer that’s running the DNS software. The most popular DNS software is BIND (Berkeley Internet Name Domain) DNS is hierarchical, tree-structured system. The top is donated by’.’. And is known as the root of the system. Below the root there are seven immediate sub domain nodes and these are ‘com’, ‘org’, ‘gov’, ‘mil’, ‘net’, ‘edu’, ‘Int’, etc.
DNS consists of two components
This performs the task of looking up the names. Usually, there is one nameserver for a cluster of machines. If the nameserver does not contain the requested information, it will contact another nameserver. But it is not required for every server to know how to contact every other server. Every nameserver will know how to contact the root nameserver, and this in turn will know the location of every authoritative nameserver for all the second level domains.
This runs on a client machine to initiate DNS lookups. It contains a list of nameservers to use. As we have read, the function of each of these nameservers is to resolve name queries. There are three types of nameservers-primary nameserver, secondary nameserver, and caching nameserver. The secondary nameservers are configured for backup purposes. Caching nameservers only resolve name queries but do not maintain any DNS database files. It is important to note here that any change to primary nameservers needs to be propagated to secondary nameservers. This is because primary nameservers own the database records. The changes are propagated via a ‘zone transfer’.
DNS uses principle of ‘caching’ for its operation. When a nameservers receives Information about a mapping, it caches this information .further queries for the same mapping will use this cached result, thereby reducing the search cost. The nameservers don’t cache forever. The caching has a component called time to live (TTL) and the TTL determines how long a server will cache a piece of information. So when the nameservers caches receive an IP address, it receives the TTL with it. The nameserver caches the IP address for the period of time then discards it.
When a process needs to determine an IP address given a DNS address, it calls upon the local host to resolve the address. This can be done in variety of ways:
Table look up. On UNIX hosts, the table is /etc/hosts.
The process communicates with a local nameservers. This is named on a UNIX system.
By sending a massage to the remote system that is identified from the information in the file/etc/resolve.conf.
When a nameserver receives a query for a domain that is does not serve, it may send back a referral to the client by specifying better nameservers. Typically operate in the recursive manner wherein any DNS server passes requests it cannot handle to higher level server and so on, until either the request can be handled or until the root of the DNS name space is reached.
The nameservers contain pointers to other nameserver with the help of which it is possible to traverse the entire domain naming hierarchy. A host with the initial nameserver addresses has to be configured. After this, it is able to use DNS protocols to locate the nameserver responsible for any part or the DNS naming hierarchy.
Thus when a nameserver receives a request, it can do one of the following:
It can answer the request with an IP address. This method is called iterative. In this, the client simply asks the server to resolve a domain name. The server accesses its database, finds its IP address and sends that back. If the server does not find the address, it sends back an error ;DNS not found’). Contact another nameserver and try to find the IP address for the requested name. Send back a referral to the client specifying the IP address of better nameservers.
A popular user interface, called ‘nslookup’is available on the UNIX system. With this, you can perform any DNS function. This program also displays the result to the user. Using is nslookup, you can obtain a listing of all the hosts in a zone. In order to do this, you first need to identify the nameserver for the zone.
The threats that are associated with the DNS are due to the lack of integrity and authenticity checking of the data held within the DNS. Also, other protocols can use host names as an access control mechanism. The internet engineering task force (IETF) has come up with DNS security (DNSSEC) extensions to DNS protocol. The main objective to DNSSEC is to provide authentication and integrity to the DNS. These are provided through the use of cryptographic’
About The Author
Birbals, Ebirbals, SeoBirbals, Hbirbals
Unlimited Bandwidth in Web Hosting
Bandwidth is the amount of data transfer that you are allowed to have for a hosting package i.e. Let’s say you have a web page that is 48KB in size, now each time a user opens your site and goes to that page S/he downloads 48 KB of information on to their computer. If a 100 users view that page one time each then there has been a total of 4800 KB of data transferred from the server on which your files are stored for the computer of users.
Size of web Page: 48 KB
Number of users who viewed the web page: 100
Total amount of data transferred: 48KB * 100 = 4800 KB
Bandwidth is the term that is used to denote the amount of data that has been transferred from your web space.
The amount of bandwidth that you require while choosing a host depends on two factors:
> The size of your site.
> The popularity of your site.
If your site is not very huge and you do not have any audio/video downloads and it’s not very popular i.e. not a lot of people visit your site then you do not really require a lot of bandwidth, on a average a web site uses up only 500 MB of bandwidth per month. Or if your site is small but extremely popular then you might have to go for a web hosting package that offers high bandwidth.
On the other hand if your web site is huge, providing audio/video downloads, as well as being very popular then you would certainly require a huge amount of bandwidth. Let’s say you have a video file that is 150 MB in size and in a single day a 100 visitors download the file. This means that 15 GB of bandwidth will have been used. If you multiply that by 30 days for the month it comes to 450 GB.
The unlimited bandwidth controversy
For some time now a lot of hosting companies are supposedly providing “unlimited bandwidth” for their web hosting packages.
It’s absolutely true, you can have unlimited bandwidth. However, you will need an unlimited amount of money by your side! Jokes apart, if you ever come across such a host it would be best to turn around and run back the way you came from.
Just think, if you can get unlimited bandwidth for $25-30 a month then why aren’t big companies like Sun, Microsoft etc. not hosted there? In fact, why isn’t everyone hosted there? For that matter, if unlimited is a standard feature then why don’t all the hosts offer it? Is it because it is expensive and requires better hardware? No, it’s because some hosts are honest and don’t give in to such gimmicks.
Statistically speaking, a T1 Internet connection (huge broadband) equals approximately 500GB per month and costs around $1200 per month. So how can it be possible to get the same or unlimited for $30 a month?
There are a lot of ways you can be duped by these ‘ unlimited’ hosts; here are just a few of them:
The secret of ‘unlimited’ is actually buried in the Terms of Service by the host. Do not be surprised to find that unlimited = 15 GB.
The host may restrict the sort of files that you can host on their server. Generally image galleries and audio/video files attract a lot more downloads thereby resulting in higher bandwidth consumption. So if there are no files of this type, your site won’t really require a lot of bandwidth.
Some newly opened hosts use it as a scam. They take your money and after a few months when their server starts to become slow or reaches its limit, they run… with your money!
Some hosts outline in their Terms of Service that you can have unlimited bandwidth as long as you qualify for it. i.e. Your site must use less then, let’s say 2 GB of bandwidth in order to qualify for the unlimited bandwidth feature. As soon as your site goes over that limit they either start charging you for it or cut off your downloads altogether.
In life it’s a universal truth that you always get what you pay for, and it’s no different for web hosting.
If a host is using a cheap advertising gimmick like ‘unlimited’ bandwidth they maybe lying about a few other things too. Their ‘dedicated’ support team could be a single person (the hoster itself in most cases) sitting in front of a computer and taking your calls.
Do you really want unlimited bandwidth hosting from hosts that have very limited resources at their disposal? Or, do you want to go for a host that has spent thousands of dollars on setting up a good network infrastructure, servers, and a highly qualified and dedicated support team? The choice ultimately is yours and yours alone.
About the Author
Tax Time May Mean Big Savings For Small Businesses
For many small businesses, tax time may be the right time to invest in new computer systems and related equipment. That’s because there are a number of tax deductions available to companies that replace old technology for newer systems.
Couple that with what many say are lower prices on new IT equipment, and many businesses could end up paying less taxes while increasing in productivity. The following tips may help your company make tax time compute. They come from the experts
•Replace older technology.
Congress has increased the amount businesses can write off on new equipment purchases to $102,000 for 2004 taxes. The increase, known as the 179 deduction, has been extended
through 2007. Since PC prices have dropped more than 40 percent since 2000, many companies have invested in new PCs and servers and will continue to do so in 2005. In addition, it is a perfect time to invest in a variety of products that improve data and system security from hackers, viruses and worms.
•Consider bonus depreciation.
A 50 percent depreciation bonus is available during the first year of service on certain capital assets acquired before January 1, 2005. The bonus depreciation applies to most equipment, machinery, and office furniture.
• Check the R&D credit.
Companies may be able to take a 20 percent credit for the cost of technology research intended to be useful in developing new or improved business components.
•Depreciate computers and electronic equipment.
Computers or other equipment used for personal purposes—such as handhelds, scanners and copiers—may be eligible for a limited depreciation deduction if they are also used for business. For depreciation tips, see IRS Publication 946 or your tax advisor.
•Take advantage of PCs.
Use your PC for bookkeeping and other small business processes that can help increase productivity and streamline operations—but be sure to track your usage. Depreciation
can be limited if use of the equipment for business purposes is below 50 percent.
•Look into leasing.
Leasing technology equipment lets businesses expense—rather than purchase outright—IT equipment. Small businesses may be able to triple what their budget would ordinarily be able to support.
•Take security precautions.
Avoid being the latest victim of identity theft and make sure all your personal and financial information is well protected with the latest technology. Take time to assess your company’s technology security priorities. Then hire a reputable vendor to help you review the wide security choices available on the market to figure out which product/solution makes the most sense for your business.
•Recycle your technology.
Many states offer tax credits for individuals or corporations that recycle equipment. Also, most major computer vendors let customers return any computer hardware through take-back and recycling programs. For instance, in addition to its standard recycling program, HP offers an acquire-toretire asset management service. It can help small businesses manage their IT investments in a costefficient manner—and dispose of equipment when it’s time to move to newer technology.
•Donate PCs to charity.
Many charities accept old PCs as part of their exempt functions. Companies can use such programs to trim bloated inventory, obtain tax deductions and give back to the community.
•Keep it in the family.
The salary paid to a family member is a business deduction. Family members can assist with bookkeeping, administration, marketing and other aspects of your business. Your teenager may be the perfect IT specialist for your company.
Article provided by HP’s Small and Mid-Sized Business Unit
301 Redirects and Search Engine Optimization
There are multiple reasons to redirect URLs. For one, your web pages may have moved but their old URLs may still live in users’ bookmarks or in search engine indexes. Without implementing some sort or redirection, that traffic would be lost to a 404 Error Page.
On occasions, you may also want to register several extensions for your domain name: ‘mydomain.com‘, ‘mydomain.net‘ and ‘mydomain.org‘, and have ‘mydomain.net‘ and ‘mydomain.org‘ automatically redirect visitors to your site, hosted under ‘mydomain.com‘.
Furthermore, if your company sells several products, you may want to give each of them an individual domain name, and have it point to a specific subdirectory of your main site. For example, if you own a site called ‘businessvideos.com‘ that sells a product called ‘Marketing Made Easy’, you may want to set up a domain such as ‘marketingmadeeasy.com‘, and redirect it to subdirectory: www.businessvideos.com/marketingmadeeasy/.
There are several ways to redirect domains, however, most of them will get you in trouble with the search engines. The search engine friendly way to redirect URLs is to use what is know as a 301 redirect (you can see how Google and Yahoo! specifically endorse this kind of redirection). Here is my take about the different redirection methods and their implications on search engine optimization:
You could register an additional domain name, park it, and make it point to the DNS servers of your main site’s hosting account, so that when somebody types the additional domain, they will be transported to your main site. However, this approach may lead to search engines listing the same content twice, one for your main domain, and one for your additional domain. In the past, unscrupulous webmasters would use multiple domains to spam search engines and directories, making them list the same pages hundreds of times under different domains. Even if your intentions are good, we don’t recommend this approach to redirecting your additional domains, since search engines may penalize your site for duplicate content.
302 and 301 Redirects
When a request for a page or URL is made by a browser, agent or spider, the web server where the page is hosted checks a file called ‘.htaccess’. This file contains instructions on how to handle specific requests and also plays a key role in security. The ‘.htaccess’ file can be modified so that it instructs browsers, agents or spiders that the page has either temporarily moved (302 redirect) or permanently moved (301 redirect). It is usually possible to implement this redirect without messing with the ‘.htaccess’ file directly, using your web host’s control panel instead.
>From a search engine perspective, 301 redirects are the only acceptable way to redirect URLs. In the case of moved pages, search engines will index only the new URL, but will transfer link popularity from the old URL to the new one so that search engine rankings are not affected. The same behavior occurs when additional domains are set to point to the main domain through a 301 redirect.
The URL Forwarding Feature
Most domain registrars offer a feature called URL Forwarding. With this feature, you can register a new domain, such as ‘mydomain.net‘, and have it point to mydomain.com (or to any other URL). The problem, however, is that registrars usually do this by implementing a 302 redirect (page moved temporarily). While Google handles 302 redirects very well, passing link popularity from the additional domain to the main one, other search engines don’t do this well, diluting link popularity by splitting it between the two domains, and negatively affecting rankings. Therefore, it is better not to use this method, and implement a 301 redirect instead.
Redirecting Old URLs
To ‘301 redirect’ an old URL to a new one, just go to your web host’s control panel, and choose the “Redirects” option. You can then set up the redirect by filling the blanks. You want to chose redirect option “Permanent” to implement a 301 redirect.
Redirecting additional domains
To 301 redirect an additional domain (like in the case of the .net or the .org version of your domain name), you have to set it up as an add-on domain with your web host (some hosts offer this option for free, and some others charge a small monthly fee per domain). If the additional domain was not registered with your web host, you will first have to go to your domain registrar and change the DNS (domain name servers) to the DNS of your web host (you may have to wait a couple of days before this change becomes functional). Once you’ve done this, go to your web host’s control panel, choose the “Add On Domains” option, and set up your add on domain as follows:
New Domain Name: additionaldomain.com (Do not put any http:// or www)
Username/directory/subdomain: additionaldomain (Enter ‘additionaldomain’ by itself. Do not put any ‘.com’ or ‘www’)
Password: 123ABC (Enter whatever password you want).
Then, set up the redirection by filling the appropriate box with the URL of the landing page (where you want your traffic to go).
Once your additional domain is redirecting to your landing page, take this one last step to see if everything is working fine: go to a server header checking tool, type your add-on domain in the query box and hit enter. If you get a message similar to this: “Status Code HTTP/1.1 301 Moved Permanently”, then your 301 redirect is working.
You can also use 301 redirection for common mispelled versions of your domain name, or for other good domain names that you don’t want your competitors to get.
About The Author
Mario Sanchez publishes The Internet Digest ( http://www.theinternetdigest.net ), an internet marketing content site packed with useful articles and resources, and SEO Tutorial (http://www.seotutorial.info) where you can learn the basics of search engine optimization in four easy steps.