"I want my business to look really special"

Japanese poster with QR codes

Japanese poster with QR codes (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

OK. You can do a lot on the cheap.

Here are some of my recent favorite things to recommend to clients:

  1. QR codes. Museums now use these stamps instead of headsets, for those with smart phones who want audio guided tours. You can also place QR (quick response) codes on your business cards or promotional materials so that when smart phone users scan your QR code, they go to your home page or, for instance, a sales page. FREE.
  2. Google Voice. Have several different phone lines that you need to constantly check for messages? Wish you had transcribed versions of your phone messages? Check out Google Voice, which lets you channel all of your numbers through one phone. When someone calls, all of your phones ring. Answer on the one of your choice, or your callers leave a message in your Google Voice inbox. Really cool — you can switch between your phones during a call (say, if your cell phone loses power) — without your caller knowing. FREE.
  3. WordPress web sites. If you’re at all adventurous, you can set up a WP site on your own URL using a free or purchased design. The beauty of WordPress is that it’s a great CMS (content management system), one that’s really user friendly and also expandable via plugins. It’s often better to hire someone to implement your web site, however, because to have much real user interactivity you need plug-ins and without some guidance, you can easily get lost in the plug-in jungle. A trained WordPresser can also adapt your purchased or original design to your needs. On the other hand, you won’t hurt anything by trying, so if you’re a closet geek, go for it. FREE.

So, the answer to “I want my business to look really special” is to keep checking on new technologies and being flexible.

Happy Valentine’s Day to Basecamp

Google love

Robert Indiana’s Google Love

I usually run a search engine measurement tool once a day for Basecamp Productions … just to see where my key words stand compared to those of other businesses. I do this for each of my clients’ sites as well. But, thanks to a couple of weeks in California and some computer glitches, I hadn’t run my measurement software in nearly three weeks. (more…)

How to rate your web site host? Easy

I host my clients’ web sites, and that’s a lot different than just having a URL that’s hosted by a “GoDaddy” solution. Friends don’t let friends use GoDaddy.

I need my clients’ web sites to be up 24/7, to have email work correctly once configured, and not to spend a lot of time troubleshooting geeky things about hosting.

Some time ago, I had a bad experience with InMotion Hosting.

So I went to BlueHost. I highly recommend these folks. Their pricing has been clear and fair. They are up 100% of the time (in my year with them), and they have a phone number that someone actually answers. YAY.

But BlueHost is making changes. They’re ditching their Reseller program, which means you can’t host your clients’ web sites under an agency account. I can, because I’ve been grandfathered in, but I’m not sure how long I’ll be sticking around.

BlueHost has also changed its policy for support — they won’t spend as much time helping you. I think a premium support plan must be on the way.

How to rate your web host

I do realize that there are many hosting providers out there. And if you need to give good or bad feedback about them, try this link:

Customer Hosting Reviews
Who Is Hosting This

Look — the only way others will know what’s going on vis-a-vis web hosts is if you vote.

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