Should you be using Domain Name Email?

Domain Name Email

So let’s start off by defining what “Domain Name Email” is.

What I mean by this is using an email address that ends with your Domain Name.

For example, [email protected]

Over the years I have seen plenty of businesses (even though they own a Domain Name and have a website), that continue to use either their ISP Domain Name, or a Gmail or Hotmail email address.

It is my opinion that you are probably doing your self a disservice if you adopt this practice.

I believe that it is a bit unprofessional to do this, and could even impact on your potential customers perception of the business.

I read an article from New Zealand recently that stated, “Close to nine in ten (89%) of these consumers know what a domain name is and believe that it’s very important for businesses to use a company specific email address”.

So it would seem that I am not the only one with this opinion.

There really isn’t any reason why you shouldn’t use Domain Name Email. Most Hosting accounts offer a minimum of 5 email addresses, or in the case of our Website Hosting, you get up to 100 email addresses on the Basic Account, and even more with the Standard and Business Accounts.

The other advantage to using Domain Name Email is that you can setup a number of them to use for different aspects of your business.

For example, you could have an email address specifically for Accounts, Enquiries, Technical Support and so on. This allows you to very easily sort and separate email types making it easier to find and refer to emails.

If you like to use a 3rd party email service like Gmail because you can use Google Apps for Business, then fear not. You can still have Domain Name Email because Gmail can be setup use with your Domain Name.

This is what I do and all my emails are across all devices and they are all synced with access to your Contacts and all emails including “Sent” items and “Drafts”.

Get yourself a WordPress Test Website in 2 seconds!!

To put it simply, this is absolutely brilliant!!!

I regularly have a need to create a WordPress Test Website for either customer development reasons, or to test theories and/or plug-in’s, and I usually do it in a sub-folder on one of my existing websites.

This works fine, but there are implications.

For one, there is a drain on my Server’s resources, and I need to exclude the development website from backups. I also use up a spare SQL Database, and then there is the time involved in doing all these things.

And if you experiment on a Live Website and something goes wrong, there is the hassle of troubleshooting and fixing that up too. So it makes sense to use a WordPress Test Website.

But I just found a new FREE service by qSandbox (yes you read that right, a Free Service), where you can not only setup a Test Website for free, but it literally takes only two seconds to setup.

You just visit their website at http://qsandbox.com/app/, and create an account by filling in 3 fields on a Form that include your Website Name, your Email Address and your chosen Password, then click “Create Account and Setup Site”

Free WordPress Test Website

You can watch their informative video below:

The Free Account only includes one website with the following Features:

Basic Free Test Website Features

But for as little as $2/month, you can get a whole lot more including the ability to Import an existing Website and Upload and Edit Themes.

It is certainly worth checking out if you need a WordPress Test Website to test plug-in’s.

VPS? – What is a VPS?

VPS - Virtual Private ServerSo just what is a VPS?

VPS stands for “Virtual Private Server”, and as the name suggests, it is literally a Virtual Server or Virtual Web Host. In other words, it is a “Virtual Machine” on a Computer (a Server), provided by a Web Hosting Company. It is sometimes referred to as a Virtual Dedicated Server or VDS.

Most basic websites are hosted on a “Shared Server”. A Shared Server means that your website shares the Server with 100’s and possibly 1000’s of other websites. What this means is that when there are peak loads, or lots of traffic to these websites, it can affect your website causing it to slow down, or even prevent it from loading at all and “timing out”.

A VPS gives you a way of having your own “Dedicated Server” without actually needing the physical hardware. Strictly speaking, a VPS is a Dedicated Server in a Shared Server environment. ie, multiple VPS’s are located on the one big Server.

Confused yet? It can be a little difficult to get your head around.

Advantages of a VPS

The biggest advantage that I see with a VPS is that apart from the increased speed, you can host more than one website on the one Server. So in my case, I have six websites on a VPS, and because I have Administrative access to them all, I have greater control over what can be done without the need to rely on the Hosting Company. In addition, unlike Shared Hosting, no other websites/users on the Server (that hosts the VPS) can affect your websites because the VPS is isolated from them.

So, given the advantages of a VPS, I made the decision recently to move my websites (including this one) and Spotty Dog Computer Services to a VPS. It’s only just happened, so I’ll reserve my judgement for now on the cost vs speed and reliability, so stay tuned for updates.