16th May 2013

Great Headline?
For any written piece of journalism, be it newsletter, article, blog, etc. the most important part is the headline or title

The first thing a reader will see is the headline or title and it should grab their attention and entice them into viewing your work, first impressions count so it is vital that you never waste such a valuable opportunity. Here are a few top tips for constructing an awesome headline or title

1 Keep it simple
Avoid complicated titles, short and succinct is better than anything long winded and won't bore your readers before they've even started

2 Make it clear
Clear, concise and descriptive titles will let your readers know what the piece is about, make it tantalising enough to tempt them to read further

3 Dramatic
A little drama never hurts, provided you don't overdo it of course, promote the interesting and dramatic elements of your work

4 Sense of urgency
Creating a sense of urgency entices your readers in by making them feel they may miss out on something important

5 Ask a question
Any title that asks who, what, which, etc. is certain to appeal to your readers sense of curiosity, they won't be able to resist finding the answer

6 Numbered lists
10 Top Tips, The 8 best ways, The 9 worst ideas and so on. Incorporating numbers into your title is a great idea, an organised list is easy for readers to read and understand and they will be interested to see what comes top and bottom

7 How To's and How not To's
A title that says you will be giving your readers advice on how to or how not to do something will draw them in, you should always give good advice

8 Be a little controversial
A controversial title that challenges your readers will make them want to read more, make sure you know what you are talking about though because controversy often sparks debate

9 Latest news
People love to be the first to know about any breaking news stories, so a title that offers new, breaking or latest news will attract attention

10 Keywords
Don't forget SEO! Make sure you are using keywords to promote your web presence

14th May 2013

Server Downtime
On the 15th at approximately 11:30 we will be rebooting our Linux web hosting servers in order to apply a mission-critical security patch. At no point were any of our servers compromised. Websites may become inaccessible for periods of up to 10 minutes. We apologise for any inconvenience caused and appreciate your patience throughout this time.

23rd February 2011

Search Engine Optimisation Basics - On-Site SEO
Search engine optimisation (SEO) is a process designed to improve a websites' search engine position within natural or organic search results. The first step is to document a list of keywords that describe the website and the niche the website operates within. It can be a difficult task to choose keywords that are relevant but also not used by every other website offering the same product or service, the Google keyword toolcan suggest keywords and show their competition and number of monthly searches.
Once your keyword list is ready it is time to ensure your website uses these keywords.

The page title is a very short description of the page, and should be different for each page of a website. This is the perfect place to insert some keywords but ensure it is not so many that the title is unreadable.

Heading Tags
Many search engines target the text within heading tags so make sure there are some keywords in H1, H2 and H3

Content Is King
Ensure there is a large amount of informative text on each page with keywords and common phrases which people will be interested in and therefore search for on a search engine. Ensure the keywords are common but not so frequent the text is repeating and unnatural.

Search Engine Optimisation Basics - Off-Site SEO
Once basic website optimisation has been completed you can really focus on Off-Site SEO and get some back links from quality websites. The following are some methods of getting those all important links to your website.

  • Creating content so good and informative that people have to link to it

  • Article writing

  • Forum posting

  • Directory submission

  • Link exchanges

  • Posting on social networking sites (Twitter, Facebook etc)

  • Posting on social news site (Digg, Reddit etc)

SEO Myths

There are many myths within search engine optimisation, some of which are just incorrect and some which used to apply but are now obsolete and provide no benefit now.

Meta keywords
Meta keywords are the keywords that are listed at the top of the webpage, within the HEAD as shown below. Thanks to people spamming the use of keywords to gain a higher ranking, they are no longer used by search engines, there is no harm in having them but they have no effect whatsoever other than adding to the total page content.

<meta name="keywords" content="Sorry, Meta keywords have no effect!" />

Meta description
Although the Meta description is useless in terms of search engine ranking, it is still worth having as it is this content that will be displayed on the search engine under the title, as shown below. This can be the deciding factor for whether a user clicks your link or not.

Google Search

Google Site Map
A Google site map does not directly improve search engine ranking but it does help your site get indexed faster and more of your pages will be indexed. It is possible a page may not be discovered by a search engine crawler without a sitemap.

27th January 2011

Secure your website vulnerabilities
The reason behind hacking a website may not be for the database of user details or customer bank accounts, it is quite likely it is only to create a link to another website in an attempt to boost their website ranking. These websites can then be used to collect bank details from trusting users due to their high ranking in search engines. There are a few steps that can help reduce the risk of your website being hacked.

  • Make sure your local PC virus protection is up to date and all the latest patches are installed.

  • Don't store any log in details on your local PC, including the control panel, billing, MySQL, WordPress and Joomla logins.

  • Change your passwords frequently to something complicated with capitals, numbers and special characters, and as many characters as possible.

  • Ensure all 3rd party software such as WordPress is obtained from a reputable source and always up to date.

There has been a recent influx in the number of PCs that are compromised for the FTP details that are stored, however, the problem may be caused by your own or a developers code. There are some simple steps to help secure your website code. Do not rely on Magic Quotes, use addslashes() to ensure the correct characters are escaped. Ensure you validate all user input, this will make SQL injection more difficult. Disallow HTML input from users using validation, this way JavaScript cannot execute, which can possibly hijack cookies. It may not be suitable to disable all HTML input as text formatting will also be disabled, forums, etc. often format user input. The solution is to only allow some HTML, such as <strong> or <em> another method is to use BBCode with packages such as HTML_BBCodeParser

In the event you discover your website has been hacked the first step is to disable FTP access from the control panel, this will prevent further hacking. Once FTP has been disabled change every password for all your logins, then complete a virus scan on any computer used to access your website. Once you can confirm you computer is virus free, restore your website using a backup, including pages you don't think have been affected. Update any 3rd party software from the vendor, a fix may have been released to secure a possible vulnerability. Ensure PHP error reporting is turned off, this may be excellent for fixing problems during development but it is also telling your users more than they need to know.

This guide has only scratched the surface of securing your website but future guides will cover elements such as advanced PHP security, WordPress hardening and secure sockets layers.

25th December 2010

Merry Christmas!
e-hoster would like to take this opportunity to wish our valued customers, both old and new, a very Merry Christmas and a happy and prosperous 2011.

17th December 2010

Happy Birthday e-Hoster
The 17th of December is e-Hoster's birthday and to celebrate 5 years of hosting we're offering 25% off everything until New year's day. It doesn't matter if you're a new customer or a 5 year veteran, you can still get 25% off your invoice.

Just enter promo code BIRTHDAY

Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

22nd November 2010

The advantages of writing a blog
What is a blog?
Blog is an abbreviation for weblog, which is an online journal (diary) displaying posts in chronological order. A blog is a wonderful and easy way to publish and share content online, it keeps your site fresh and increases your chances of a higher website ranking. A blog will make your site more interesting and attractive to repeat visitors and will also increase the likelihood of generating more sales. A blog is easy to update and once it is installed you will be able to add, edit or remove your posts from an admin control panel, you will also be able to change the whole look and feel of your blog in the same way.

WordPress was once just a blogging tool but it can now be used as a full content management system. WordPress allows you to install plug-ins which will make your life easier and make the user's experience better. There are three plug-ins that no blog can do without, Contact Form 7 implements an easy to use contact form onto your website which allows visitors to send you messages without needing your email address. The second plug-in is Sociable which adds links to your favourite social bookmarking sites on all of your posts, pages and RSS feeds. All in one SEO is an essential plug-in to make your website more attractive to search engines, from automatically optimising your titles to avoiding the typical duplicated content found on WordPress blogs. It even works out of the box so it is perfect for beginners.

A Bloated Blog
WordPress is not without its problems, WordPress suffers from easily becoming bloated and loading slowly, this is due to the amount of CSS, JavaScript and PHP files and the frequent database accessing. There are methods of dealing with these problems, the first is to put all the frequently accessed CSS files into a single CSS meaning only one request is sent to the server. WP Super cache is available, this will create a HTML cache of your pages so when a visitor returns to your website WordPress will not request PHP files from the server. Use excerpts for your posts, this will display a snippet of the post rather than all the text and images in the post. Finally an obvious one is to reduce the size of your image files, high resolution are great but they take forever to load.

31st October 2010

UK Internet £100bn
A recent study has found that the internet is worth £100bn a year to the UK economy. The internet giant Google commissioned the research which found the internet accounts for 7.2% of the UK´s gross domestic product (GDP), this is forecast to grow by approximately 10% each year, reaching 10% of GDP by 2015. The report from the Boston Consulting Group said that if the internet was an economic sector it would be larger than the construction, utility and transport industries. The report also states that the UK is the world´s leading nation for e-commerce.

The Connected Kingdom: How the Internet Is Transforming the U.K. Economy The Boston Consulting Group.

28th August 2010

Mail Box Quota
Your mailbox quotas have again been increased, this will ensure that our valued customers will never have to worry about regular deletion of old emails. From 100MB to 250MB and now 400MB, we are constantly striving to improve your experience.

14th May 2010

Favicon? What does this mean?
Can you see a 16 x 16 pixel icon displayed in your web browsers' address bar? This is a favicon, a shortened and merged version of "favourites icon". A favicon helps you to keep branding consistent, makes your image more professional to visitors, helps your site to stand out in bookmarks and tabs and assists those who are keen multi tab users.

It is quick and easy to create a favicon by using one of the many free generators, i.e. Dynamic Drive or Another way is to use "Gimp", this is open source software where you can create an "ico" file to save your favicon image. Name your favicon "favicon.ico" and upload it to the root directory of your website, then let the browser find it and automatically display it. Of course you can also use the following code in your <head> tags

<link rel="shortcut icon" href="/favicon.ico" type="image/x-icon">
<link rel="icon" href="/favicon.ico" type="image/x-icon">

26th March 2010

FrontPage Extensions
From 1st May we will begin the process of discontinuing support for Microsoft FrontPage Extensions. In June 2006 the Microsoft FrontPage 2002 Server Extensions for UNIX were deemed to be "End-of-Life" which means modern versions of Apache cannot run the extensions. By removing FrontPage extensions we can benefit from the enhancements, security and features that are in modern versions of Apache.

Time line:

  • FrontPage extensions have already been removed from our product feature list for new customers.
  • On the 1st May FrontPage extensions will be removed from eXtend for existing customers.
  • In the months following the 1st May the extensions will be removed from each web server as we move to the latest version of Apache.

7th March 2010

Business Identity
Sometimes it can be tough competing in the world of business, particularly when recession hits, so it is important to take advantage of every possible option to help you to stay one step ahead of the competition.

Your business identity is an extremely useful tool for advertising and helping clients to remember you and your domain name is equally important for the same reasons. The domain name that you decide upon can be enormously influential for your future business success.

14th February 2010

Chinese New Year
Chinese animal years run on a 12 year cycle and on the western calendar February 14th is the Chinese New Year, it is the Year of the Tiger - Happy New Year!

The tiger is the third of the twelve Chinese zodiac animals, Tiger years are big and bold and 2010 is forecast to be an explosive one! The worldwide mood should be optimistic and may even help us all out of the global financial crisis.

1st January 2010

New Year
We wish everyone a happy and prosperous 2010, both you and your website, we will ensure the same excellent service is provided in 2010.

Best wishes for 2010.

28th December 2009

VAT Rate
As you all know the VAT rate will revert back to 17.5% on 1 January 2010, this will not affect any of e-hoster's products in any way.

17th December 2009

Season's Greetings
Season's Greetings and a Happy New Year to all our customers, both old and new.

21st November 2009 - Manage your hosting on the move

Manage your hosting on the move with your iPhone
We have now launched our control panel for the iPhone and Android powered phones. It is very easy to use, all you need to do is login as normal but using your iPhone. When you use your iPhone we will automatically load the correct version of the control panel.

1st November 2009 - Halloween special ended

Halloween special ended
The Halloween sale has now ended.

31th October 2009 - Halloween special

50% Discount
e-hoster is offering a 50% discount on everything for a Halloween special, for both new and existing customers. No trick, only a great treat. Use discount code: TREAT to receive your discount. Happy Halloween. Hurry sale ends 1/11/09 - 12:00 GMT

15th September 2009 - Domain name sale

Domain name .com
Sale on all .com domains now available from only £5.99. Order domain

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