Social Media Tips For Manchester Busineses

Why is social media marketing important?

Social Media marketing is important because:

  • It’s the fastest way to spread the word about a new product, service or news item – A tweet can go rival in minutes and spread a message around the Word faster than TV or other traditional media
  • It’s a trend – Millions of people spend a good amount of their time on social media networks so if you ‘need them’ you know where to find them
  • It’s the new marketing – Back in the old days, marketers found out that many people spend time in their cars driving so they thought of the billboards on the roads. Today people are spending time on social media so as a marketer you have to start thinking this way too.
  • It’s the new influencer – Recent studies show that social media is becoming a great sales channel and more and more companies are stating that they get customers from Facebook or Twitter.

social media platform(s) to use

As a beginner to social media you have to choose one or two social media platforms and concentrate on those rather than trying to work on all platforms at the same time. This is a mistake that many beginners do and at the end they quit without having any benefit.

A nice way to find out which platform is best suited to your niche is to find the influencers and analyse where they have success.

For example, find out the leaders in your niche and check out the number of Facebook fans, twitter followers, Google+ followers, Pinterest followers etc.

If they have 100,000 Facebook fans but only 1000 twitter followers then this is a good indication that FB is more suitable for your niche than twitter.

It is also a sign that you are more likely to have success with FB than twitter, so you can use your time more efficiently and engage more on FB rather than any other platform.

Optimize your social media profiles

Once you decide which social media tools you will use (at least for the beginning), the next step is to optimise your profiles on those sites. By optimizing your profiles you increase your chances of getting more followers and it is also a good way to boost your SEO efforts.

Some general rules that apply to all sites are:

  • Use a real photo, showing your face – avoid using animals, places or anything that is not real. Social media is about connecting people and if you want to have a trusted profile you need to get out of your cage and put your face on the web!
  • Write a good description about yourself or your company – What is your background or expertise? What are you proud off? Mention this is your profile.
  • Give an indication to users what type of info you will share – Although this is not necessary, I like to read in profiles what kind of info to expect from the particular person.  For example in my twitter profile I wrote: “..tweeting SEO, social media, internet marketing tips and advice”.
  • Include a link to your website (where applicable) – On Facebook include a link in the ‘About section’, on Twitter and Pinterest in the ‘Web site Section’, on Google+ in the ‘Contributor to’ section. In other words, do use your social media profiles for SEO purposes as well.

 

Connect your website or blog with your social media pages

After you have your social media profiles ready the next step is to connect your website with your social media pages. There is a certain procedure to follow for each platform and it is very important that you do it correctly.

A correct binding between the two means that search engines and social media websites know which website corresponds to which social media page.

For example, when I created the Google+ page for reliablesoft.net, Google+ did not know that this was the official page of the site until I have added the publisher verification code on my site.

Add social media buttons on your website

Besides connecting your website with the respective business pages on social media, you also need to add social media buttons on your website so that readers can easily share your content.

Depending on the platform there are many ways and plugins to do that, I suggest you search Google using “how to add social media buttons to xxxxxx” – replace xxxxx with the platform your website is based.

 

follow the influencers in your niche

So far we have selected the most appropriate social media tools for our niche, optimized our social media profiles, connected our website with the social media pages and added the buttons on our pages for more interaction.

The next obvious step is to find people to follow but most importantly to gradually build our tribe of followers.

I would say that there are 5 basic steps to follow to get more followers and these are described in points 6-10 below.

Before getting into that, you should first find and follow the influencers in your niche.

It is almost certain that they will not follow you back because you have a new account with no followers but doing so is important for 3 reasons:

  1. Social media platforms will use this information to make suggestions on who to follow so by following popular people in your niche is like telling them that you are also in that niche.
  2.  When you follow popular people who are likely to get followed by others as well. A trick many people use is to follow the followers of a popular person because they know that some will follow them back as well.
  3. They will most probably share important and useful information about the niche so you have a chance to learn something new and re-share that with your followers.

Keep a balance between following and followers

Once you start following people you should always have in mind that it’s better to keep a balance between the number of people you follow and the number of people they follow you back.

This is important especially in Twitter, Google+ and Pinterest and the reasons are a lot:

  • Software applications are using this ratio (followers/following) to make suggestions on ‘who to follow’ so if you have a very high ratio you minimize your chances of getting new quality followers.
  • It is a matter of trust – Who do you think has a trusted profile: someone with 1000 followers but following 2500 or someone with 550 followers that follows 510?
  • A balanced profile is better for SEO – SEO’s have been talking the last couple of months about the importance of social media for SEO and how things are changing and although it is not yet confirmed, it is more likely that people with strong social media profiles are in better position that those with weak profiles.

A strong profile in this case is someone that has more followers than following and someone that is followed by people who are considered influencers in the niche.

Share interesting content

This is the foundation for having a successful social media marketing campaign. When we talk about publishing content we always say that ‘content is king’ and this true in social media as well.

If you share interesting and useful content you can get more re-shares, more visitors to your website and under some conditions more customers as well.

What is interesting content? From my experience (and certain studies) this is a combination off:

  • Articles/Stories/Pages related to your niche but not only from your own website.
  • Interesting statistics about your niche
  • Motivational Quotes related to your niche or otherwise
  • Research studies
  • Images and Videos
  • Funny stuff- whatever your niche, you can share once in a while a joke, a funny image or video to make your followers smile.
  • Don’t forget about hashtags – hashtags (#) can make your content more searchable so don’t forget to use hashtags in the networks that support it (Twitter, Google+).

Post many times per day

A common question by people who are just beginning on social media is “how many times should I post per day?” The answer depends on the network. There are many studies analysing the effect of posting frequency and some best practices are:

  • Facebook personal page – As many times as you want
  • Facebook business page – No more than 1-2 times per day and no more than 7 times per week. There are studies that support this guideline.
  • Twitter – The more you tweet the more exposure you get.
  • Google+ Business page and Google+ profile page – as many times as you want but don’t overdo it because this may create the opposite results.
  • Pinterest – a few times per day is enough

follow people

Most people concentrate on how to get new followers but they forget to follow back those who have already followed them.

Every day you should create the habit of viewing the people who are already following you and decide who to follow back.

If you don’t do this on a regular basis then most likely some will un-follow you and this is why you may sometimes notice a decrease in the number of followers.

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Manchester world’s top digital city

Manchester is the home of the computer and technology has long been a part of its history. Baby – the first computer to store and run a programme – was created in the city and celebrates its 70th birthday in 2018. A statue of Alan Turing, the man credited as the creator of modern computing, marks the place in the city centre where he worked to create the Mark1 – the Manchester Universal Electronic Computer – in 1949. But what about today?

Building on this heritage, the metropolitan county of Greater Manchester, for which Burnham is now mayor – including the cities of Manchester and Salford and ten Metropolitan Boroughs – has one of Europe’s largest city economies (£56bn) and is certainly aiming to become one of the world’s top 20 digital cities by 2020. But how?

1) Manchester Network Access Point, or MaNAP, is a major global internet traffic hub and serves the UK’s access to worldwide networks. As such, Greater Manchester is in fact the only city in the UK to offer truly next generation broadband with “fibre to the premises” – a service allowing speeds of up to 100mbps in a true open access network.

2) A £575m investment programme recently completed by BT places Manchester ten years ahead of other UK cities in terms of access to digital communications. At Salford’s MediaCityUK in particular 20m metres of fibre deliver speeds up to ten gigabits.

3) Tim Newns, chief executive of Manchester’s Inward Investment Agency (MIDAS) told Computer Weekly the city already has more than 100,000 people employed in its technology sector, as well as 6,000 technology-related businesses.

4) Meanwhile Manchester has more than 100,000 students studying in one of the four universities located in the city. TechHub, Northern Quarter, MediaCityUK, South Manchester Corridor and The Corridor are all digital clusters within Manchester. And support networks exist including so-called tech “incubators” such as The Landing – a UK Digital Catapult partner, Sharp Projectand Innospace which nurture start-ups eager to join the city’s thriving digital sector.

5) All this makes Manchester the largest UK digital and tech hub outside London – and its growth shows no signs of slowing down. Talk Talk is relocating hundreds of tech jobs to Salford to join Moneysupermarket.com and Auto TraderSainsbury’sand GCHQ are both creating large tech teams there.

6) Unlike cities such as Cambridge and Oxford, where digital innovation is clustered around the universities, the digital and tech industry in Manchester – a far bigger metropolitan area – is more scattered. It is the distillation of success in many industry areas and digital start-ups and scale-ups in Manchester have a wide and growing regional base to serve. Outside London, only Bristol is doing marginally better for start-ups but lacks the broadband infrastructure that Manchester boasts.

7) In some senses, Manchester’s booming global eCommerce industry owes its thanks to the city-region’s heritage. The textile and cotton trade that originally put Manchester on the world map in the 19th century made it the richest city in the world after London for a time. Although the global trade in cotton is long gone, the brick-built mills and warehouses now boast open-plan hi-tech offices, with canal-side restaurants and bars. In 2014, the Globalization and World Cities Research Network ranked Manchester as a “beta” world city, the highest-ranked British city apart from London.

8) There has been a strong broadcast and TV sector since the 1950s. Both the BBC and Granada have studios in Manchester and the phenomenon of convergence – whereby the old “broadcast” TV has now gone digital – has seen this spill out and enrich the tech scene. Salford’s MediaCityUK is now home to large parts of the BBC, ITV and more than 250 small creative and technology companies – including Dock10ANMCDuo Design as well as international offices such as Dutch firm Prowise. On some measures, Salford now outranks London for start-up growth.

9) Manchester was also home to one of the first Internet Service Providers, Poptel, which for the curious companies located on it led to the start of the digital agency scene and much tinkering with new digital products and services – such as The Phone Coop and the Community Broadband Network.

10) Manchester’s digital sector is robustly represented and supported by its own trade association – Manchester Digital – which has grown from 80 members in 2011 to 500 members in 2017. Its high-profile celebration of digital excellence in the region, the Big Chip Awards, has been an annual event since 2004. The Big Chip has loyally traced and rewarded the growth of the digital sector in the region and the excellence of the region’s digital workforce. Having been on the Judging Panel since 2006, I have seen first-hand how the quality of work, range and reach of agencies and profile of clients have all improved, enlarged, and spread both nationally and internationally.

And the sector continues to grow. Indeed supply is currently unable to match demand as permanent roles and vacancies remain unfilled. In Manchester Digital’s 2017 Skills Audit of the region’s digital sector, 83% of companies reported growth in the past 12 months – a figure reliably maintained since 2014.

Today only a quarter of Manchester Digital’s members are digital agencies. Companies affiliated with the trade association now also include infrastructure (ISP and “cloud”-based companies); hosting; eCommerce (retail); public relations, marketing and media agencies; design agencies; technology providers; product developers and consultancy software developers.

All in all, Manchester considers itself peerless as a digital city that’s going places. It’s already in the top 20 European digital cities and is heading for the top 20 in the world. So Burnham is almost right. Manchester might not be “world-leading” just yet but if it continues to grow in the way it has in recent years, it won’t be long until it’s one of the top digital cities in the world.

Google opens Manchester digital garage

Google has opened a new Digital Garage in Manchester as part of a drive to help thousands of people improve their digital skills for free.

Anyone will be able to get free face-to-face expert coaching or join-up to courses in online tools to help grow their career prospects.

The tech giant has announced a new goal to help 100,000 people in the UK find a job or grow in their career by offering free digital skills in more than 200 towns and cities.

Courses on offer include how to build your CV and personal brand online, coding and social media strategy, ranging from beginner to intermediate levels.

Ruth Porat, senior vice president and chief financial officer, Alphabet and Google, said: “We believe there’s an opportunity gap as digital skills become ever more important in the workplace.

“Recognising this, Google is committed to help 100,000 people in Manchester and across the UK find a job or grow their career with new digital skills during the course of the next three years.”

Angela Burnett, local business owner at Speedy Couriers, first visited the Google Digital Garage when it operated from the city’s main library.

She said: “I attended the Digital Garage when it was first here two years ago and I attribute most of the success of my company to it.

“I also completed all the free online courses and have since reaped the benefits – taking my business from a small start-up in my parents’ bedroom to a successful company with 2,000 drivers. I’d encourage everyone to visit and try it out.”

The Google Digital Garage in Manchester, which will be open seven days a week for a year, opened on King Street in the city centre on Monday.

Anyone can sign up for free classes at g.co/manchestergarage

Improve Your Website Security

In recent years there has been a proliferation of great tools and services in the web development space. Content management systems (CMS) like WordPress, Joomla!, Drupal and so many others, allow Manchester business  to quickly and efficiently build an online presence. Their highly extensible architectures, rich plugins, modules and extension ecosystems have made it easier than ever to get a website up and running without years of learning required.

This is undoubtedly a great thing; however, an unfortunate side effect is that now there are many webmasters who do not understand how to make sure their website is secure, or even understand the importance of securing their website. In this post, I want to share with you the top 10 steps all Manchester webmasters and website owners can (and should) take to keep their website secure.

Update The Website

This is something we cannot stress enough. Countless websites are compromised every day due to the outdated and insecure software used to run them. It is incredibly important to update your site as soon as a new plugin or CMS version is available. Most hacking these days is entirely automated. Bots are constantly scanning every site they can for exploitation opportunities. It is not good enough to update once a month or even once a week because bots are very likely to find a vulnerability before you patch it. you need to update as soon as updates are released.  It emails you to let you know when a plugin or WordPress core update is available.

WebSite Passwords

Working on client sites, I often need to log into their site/server using their admin user details and am frequently disturbed by how insecure their root passwords are. It’s scary that I have to say this, but admin/admin is not a secure username and password combination.

  • COMPLEX: Passwords should be random. Do not let someone hack your account just because they could find out your birth date or favorite sports team. Password-cracking programs can guess millions of passwords in minutes. If you have real words in your password, it isn’t random. You might think you are clever for using leetspeak (letters replaced with characters L1K3 TH15) but even these are not as secure as a completely random string of characters. Hackers have compiled some seriously impressive word lists for cracking passwords.
  • LONG: Passwords should be 12+ characters long. I know some in the security community would scoff at a 12 character password and insist that passwords should be longer. However, when it comes to online login systems, any system that is following simple security guidelines should limit the number of failed login attempts. If there is a limit on the number of failed login attempts, a 12 character password will easily stop anyone from guessing it in just a few attempts. Having said that, the longer the password, the better.
  • UNIQUE: Do not reuse passwords! Every single password you have should be unique. This simple rule dramatically limits the impact of any password being compromised. Having someone find out your FTP password should not enable them to log in to your email or internet banking account. Contrary to popular belief, we are not as unique as we believe ourselves to be; if you can randomly generate the password, even better.

 

 

website User Access

This rule only applies to sites that have multiple logins. It’s important that every user has the appropriate permission they require to do their job. If they require escalated permissions momentarily, grant it, then reduce it once the job is complete. This is a concept known as Least Privileged.

For example, if you have a friend that wants to write a guest blog post for you, make sure their account does not have full administrator privileges. Your friend’s account should only be able to create new posts and edit their own posts because there is no need for them to be able to change website settings.

Having carefully defined access will limit any mistakes that can be made. It reduces the fallout of compromised accounts and can protect against the damage done by ‘rogue’ users. This is a frequently overlooked part of user management: accountability and monitoring. If people share a user account and an unwanted change is made by that user, how do you find out which person on your team was responsible?

Once you have separate user accounts for every user, you can keep an eye on user behavior by reviewing logs and knowing the usual behavior (when and where they normally access the website) so you can spot anomalies and confirm with the person that their account hasn’t been compromised.

Change the Default WordPress or Joomla! Settings!

Today’s CMS applications, although easy to use, are horrible from a security perspective for the end users. By far the most common attacks against websites are entirely automated, and many of these attacks rely on the default settings being used. This means that you can avoid a large number of attacks simply by changing the default settings when installing your CMS of choice.

For example, some CMS applications are writeable by the user – allowing a user to install whatever extensions they want. There are settings that you may want to adjust to control comments, users, and the visibility of your user information. The file permissions, which we discuss later, are another example of a default setting that can be hardened.

It is usually easiest to change these default details when installing your CMS, but they can be changed later.

WordPress Extensions

One of the beautiful things about today’s CMS applications is its extensibility. What most don’t realize however is that that same extensibility is the biggest weakness. There are a massive number of plugins, add-ons, and extensions providing virtually any functionality you can imagine. However, the reality is that at times the massive number of extensions can be a double-edged sword. Often there are multiple extensions offering similar functionality, so how do you know which one to install? Here are the things I always look at when deciding which extensions to use.

The first thing I look for is when the extension was last updated. If the last update was more than a year ago, I get concerned that the author has stopped work on it. I much prefer to use extensions that are actively being developed because it indicates that the author would at least be willing to implement a fix if any security issues are discovered or reported. Furthermore, if an extension is not supported by the author, then it makes little sense to use it for your website as it may stop working at any time.

I also like to look at the age of the extension and the number of installs. An extension developed by an established author that has numerous installs is much more trustworthy than one that has 100 installs and has been released by a first-time developer. Not only is the experienced developer much more likely to have a good idea about best security practices, but they are far less likely to damage their reputation by inserting malicious code into their extension. More importantly, the larger the user base, the more incentive attackers have to invest in trying to break it.

It is incredibly important that you download all your extensions and themes from legitimate sources. There are many sites that offer ‘free’ versions that are normally premium and require payment to download. These ‘free’ versions are pirated and frequently infected with malware. The websites offering these ‘free’ versions are setup with only one goal: to infect as many websites as possible with their malware.

WebSite Backups

Like anything in the digital world, it can all be lost in a catastrophic event. We often don’t back up enough, but you will thank yourself if you take some time to consider the best website backup solutions for your website.

Making backups of your website is very important, but storing these backups on your web server is a major security risk. These backups invariably contain unpatched versions of your CMS and extensions which are publicly available, giving hackers easy access to your server.

If you’re interested in learning how to make reliable and secure backups of your website, I recommend you read my website backup strategy guide.

Server Configuration

You should really get to know your web server configuration files. Apache web servers use the .htaccess file, Nginx servers use nginx.conf, and Microsoft IIS servers use web.config. Most often found in the root web directory, these files are very powerful. These files allow you to execute server rules, including directives that improve your website security.

Here are a few rules that I recommend you research and add for your particular web server:

  • Prevent directory browsing: This prevents malicious users from viewing the contents of every directory on the website. Limiting the information available to attackers is always a useful security precaution.
  • Prevent image hotlinking: While this isn’t strictly a security improvement, it does prevent other websites from displaying the images hosted on your web server. If people start hotlinking images from your server, the bandwidth allowance of your hosting plan might quickly get eaten up displaying images for someone else’s site.
  • Protect sensitive files: You can set rules to protect certain files and folders. CMS configuration files are one of the most sensitive files stored on the web server as they contain the database login details in plain text. There may be other locations that can be locked down such as admin areas. You can also restrict PHP execution in directories that hold images or allow uploads.

There are many more rules and options that you can look into for your web server configuration file. You can search for the name of your CMS, your web server and “security” but make sure to confirm your findings are legitimate before implementing anything. Some people post bad information online with malicious intent.

SSL Certiciate

I’m actually of two minds as to whether or not to include this point because there have been so many articles incorrectly stating that installing SSL will solve all your security issues. SSL does nothing to protect your site against any malicious attacks, or stop it from distributing malware. SSL encrypts communications between Point A and Point B – the website server and browser. This encryption is important for one specific reason: it prevents anyone from being able to intercept that traffic, known as a Man in the Middle (MITM) attack.

SSL is especially important for E-Commerce website security and any website that accepts form submissions with sensitive user data or Personally Identifiable Information (PII). The SSL certificate protects your visitor’s information in transit, which in turn protects you from the fines that come along with being found noncompliant with PCI DSS.

Manchester Web Hosting

One of the most important decisions you make when setting up a website is choosing a Manchester web hosting company for your business . The many different types of service and the wide range of packages on offer can leave a newcomer bamboozled when it comes to selecting the right service provider. To help you out, this post will give you an insight into the most important criteria you need to consider.

Hosting Availability

Availability is the technical term used in the industry for reliability and what you need to look for is a web host that can offer high availability. In other words, they will guarantee that your website will stay online and won’t fail due to errors with their servers or be taken offline for long periods during maintenance.

The industry standard for availability is 99.5% but this still equates to your website being offline for over 3 hours every month. Ideally, you want a high availability provider that can offer uptime of 99.95% and higher. At eUKhost, we offer this level for our shared hosting whilst offering 100% uptime for our business packages, VPS and dedicated servers, and cloud hosting.

Choosing a high availability host is essential if you want your website and business to have a reputation for reliability. It helps your customers trust you and guarantees that your site is always there to generate income and maintain the services you offer your customers.

Web Hosting Bandwidth limits

Bandwidth is a term used to describe the amount of data you send from your server to your visitors’ browsers. Every time someone loads one of your pages on their computer or smartphone you are using up bandwidth. If you have a site that has lots of heavy content, such as large media files (videos, images, music, etc.) you may use quite a lot of bandwidth.

Some web hosts or hosting packages set a limit to the amount of bandwidth you can use each month – this is known as bandwidth allocation. For websites that don’t have a lot of visitors, this is not an issue, however, if you find your traffic growing or if there is an unexpected spike in demand (perhaps one of your posts gets a lot of shares on social media) you may find that you go beyond your allocation. When this happens, there are two possibilities, you may find that your host prevents your website from displaying for the rest of the month or you may find yourself being charged for the extra bandwidth you have used – similar to what happens if you go beyond your data allocation with your mobile phone.

Neither paying for extra bandwidth or being taken offline are desirable options, especially as going beyond your bandwidth limit is a sign that your website is doing well. What you really need to look for is a web host that provides either unmetered or unlimited bandwidth on smaller (shared) hosting packages and bandwidth allocations on bigger (dedicated server) plans which are so high it’s highly unlikely you will ever surpass them.

Hosting Disk space

The amount of disk space you will need depends entirely on your personal circumstances. If you are a small business wanting to run nothing more than a website, then you are not going to need huge disk space at all. However, if you are a large enterprise collecting enormous amounts of data and running powerful applications you will certainly need much more space for all the information and programs you need to store.

As most hosting packages have either disk space limits or file number limits, you should carefully assess your requirements and future needs before picking a package that will provide you with the disk space you require. At the same time, you need to make sure you don’t waste money buying space you will never use. If your website is only going to be a few hundred MB in size, there’s no point buying 20GB of disk space.

Technical support

Managing a website can get quite technical and sometimes problems occur that either you don’t know how to solve or which need solving by your web host. For this reason, you need a web host that provides 24 hours a day, 365 days a year technical support. You don’t want your website going offline on Friday night and not being able to talk to someone until Monday morning.

Do note that the emphasis here is on technical support. There are some hosts that advertise 24/7 support but all you get is put you through to a call centre that handles general enquiries. Here at eUKhost, however, you will get complete technical support no matter when you get in touch or whether you communicate by phone, online chat or email.

Technical Information

To enable your website to function in the way you want it to, there is a range of technical operations that you may want to carry out. Whilst, you may not have come across such things as FTP, PHP, .htaccess, MySQL, or cron jobs yet, it is likely that you will as you develop your knowledge of running a website.

  • FTP allows you to upload and download files to your website directly from your computer
  • PHP is the language that many websites are written in, but sometimes you need to use certain versions which are compatible with the software your website is built on.
  • .htaccess is a configuration file which can be edited to achieve many things including helping with site security.
  • MySQL is a form of database needed to run applications like WordPress
  • Cron jobs are tasks you set up to run certain processes automatically at prescribed times.

Some web hosts or some of the packages which web hosts provide do not give users the freedom to use all these services and therefore restrict what they can do with their websites. Ideally, you want to be able to use all of them and should look for a host that enables this. This is especially important for those looking for shared hosting as it’s these packages where most restrictions can be found.

Free SSL

In simple terms, SSL is a small piece of software that enables websites to encrypt data sent from a user’s browser to your server. You can recognise sites that have it as they have an address that begins with https instead of http. If you run a website that takes payments or personal information from customers, then it’s likely that you will require an SSL certificate

You will find that some web hosts’ servers are not configured to enable the use of SSL certificates and this should be checked before signing up. At eUKhost, we provide a range of SSL certificates to meet the security needs of a range of different businesses.

 

Email Services

When you are purchasing a hosting package, you should also check out the email service that is provided with it. You need to make sure that you can set up email accounts that have the same domain as your website (e.g. me@mywebsite.com) and that you can use a range of access methods such as POP3 and IMAP. In addition, you want a service that can be accessed anywhere online and which allows you to set up email forwarding, autoresponding and email newsletters.

You should also look to see how well the service providers protect your email. Do they filter spam, monitor for viruses and malware, and check to see if your email address has been blacklisted? If not, you may want to choose another provider.

Hosting control panel?

A control panel is the place where you manage your website and server. It allows you to make changes to your site, add new features and install new software and updates. It’s also the place where you can upgrade your account and add new hosting services if needed.

Some hosts provide a control panel which only gives you a few options and restricts what you can do, forcing you to go through customer services to do things like add new email accounts or change your password.

Ideally, you are looking for control panels such as cPanel or Plesk which are user-friendly, offer lots of options and which can be learned intuitively.

Website Security

Web security is becoming more and more important and your choice of web host can make a big difference to how well your site is protected. You need a web host that can offer strong firewalls, intrusion protection, and monitoring to defend against malware. In addition, your host should provide a backup service so if your site is taken offline, you can restore it easily and in no time at all.