25 Apr

How To Migrate Data Seamlessly To A New Host

One of the reasons that we hear businesses give for staying with their current hosting providers (even if they’re not happy with the service) is because they are unsure about how to make the transition from one host to another. We get it! Transferring all of your business’ important data to a server that may be thousands of miles away can be intimidating.

The good news is that we’re here to help. Because making the switch to a new hosting provider doesn’t have to be stressful, as long as you’re organized!

When deciding whether to take the plunge, consider the strategic advantages a new hosting provider might offer your company. Many hosts will also help you transition to their servers to make sure you’re up and running smoothly!

Still a little nervous? Follow these steps to make sure your transition goes off without a hitch!

Get Organized

Make a plan to ensure that you have as little downtime as possible throughout the transition. Consider moving your files over the weekend so that there is little disruption for your clients and employees. Determine who will be responsible for what tasks during the migration. Evaluate how much of the process your new host will be handling.

When you have a plan in place, inform your clients and followers that you are going to be making the switch ahead of time so that you can reduce the number of website visitors during the transition period.

Choose A New Host

Not sure where to start? Here are the key things to consider when choosing a new host.

Backup Your Data

The goal here is to make sure that you don’t lose any data or functionality while you’re making the switch. If you backup appropriately, you can move to the next step with peace of mind knowing that you can fall back on your existing host, if necessary.

Depending on the structure and format of your website, there are several ways to DIY your backup. However, we recommend checking with your existing host to see if they provide backup services and can send you everything to give to your new host.

Copy Files To New Host

Most web hosting providers offer easy transfer functionality or assistance in making the switch. If they don’t offer personalized assistance, they will likely have applications to help upload your site and files. This is especially true for sites that use common CMS such as WordPress.

Ultimately, you’ll need to load all of your site’s files to the new IP address.

Test, Test, Test

Confirm that everything is working properly and is organized correctly before you begin sending visitors to the site on the new server. Some hosting companies can provide a staging platform that allows you to test your website while still technically in “development mode.” This is helpful in allowing you to preview your newly hosted site and remedy any problems before the site goes “live”.

If you have email addresses associated with your domain, this is the time to test and confirm that they are functioning properly, as well.

Update DNS Information

Contact your domain registrar to update your site’s DNS record to the new host’s servers. Essentially, this is what tells your domain where to point visitors to when they type in your domain name. You’ll first need to identify the new server’s address. Then, update the DNS records within your registrar’s settings. Most registrars like Godaddy and Domain.com have guides for how to do this yourself listed on their sites.

Monitor

Check your 404 logs consistently to make sure that assets like images or files weren’t left behind in the transition. If you notice an uptick, this will allow you to replace any non-working links to restore your site to full functionality.

Transitioning to a new web hosting provider doesn’t have to bring headaches. However, if this sounds like a bit too much for you, consider a host that will handle the transition for you and confirm that everything is working as it should.

Don’t hang around with a hosting provider that’s not working for you any longer. Make a switch that will support your business long-term, today!

23 Apr

SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT: Softsys Hosting Opens Two Brand New Data Centers

Here at Softsys Hosting, we’re dedicated to continually pushing the envelope and providing the best hosting service possible to all regions of the globe. That’s why we’re so excited to announce the opening of TWO new state of the art data center locations. Our 5th and 6th data centers were built with you in mind:

UNITED ARAB EMIRATES

Looking for FAST connectivity to the entire Middle East region? Our new UAE servers are housed in an enterprise location and offer access to the surrounding area along with global connection. They are perfect for businesses that require data to stay in the UAE and want to work with a provider they can trust.

Not located in the Middle East? These servers are still a great solution for businesses that want to offload part of their data to a secondary region.

All UAE Servers have 500GB SSD included and feature 100% premium hardware components to make sure you have the ultimate peace of mind.

AUSTRALIA

Get connected down under with our brand new Sydney data center! Customers requiring Australia-based server hosting and direct customers from Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, and other Asia Pacific locations will enjoy fast network performance and guaranteed 99% uptime from our new Australia servers.

All Sydney servers have DDoS protection included and are priced very competitively compared to other hosts in the region.

Our flagship server management services will also be available for dedicated servers at both new locations!

Want to reserve your server space in one of our brand new locations? We’re offering a $35/month discount for LIFE for everyone who signs up by May 1st. Use the code 35OFF-UAE-AUS at either of the links below to get started.

UNITED ARAB EMIRATES

AUSTRALIA

We look forward to serving you from Australia and the UAE!

04 Apr

5 Digital Marketing Challenges for Small Businesses (+ How to Overcome Them!)

Digital marketing often seems like a challenge in itself. It’s all anyone is talking about but when you try a new strategy it’s tough to see results. It’s as if you’re missing out on a huge opportunity if you don’t explore the world of digital marketing, but you can only invest so much without getting a return.

The good news is that you’re not alone.

We’ve narrowed down the top challenges that small businesses face when it comes to digital marketing. Even better, we have the keys to overcoming them!

Persuading Company Leadership to Invest in Digital

Change can be difficult. When you’ve been successful using the same marketing strategies over the course of the business, it’s tough to convince leadership within your company to take the plunge and try something new. This is especially true if they’ve had a bad experience with digital marketing in the past!

When approaching company leaders about a new strategy, it’s important to lead with the bottom line. What results are you expecting to see from the campaign? How will you measure them? Speak in terms that they are interested and invested in. Revenue not reach. Sales not followers.

If all else fails, take a look at your competitors. Highlight the ways that they are beating you on digital platforms and share your plan to narrow the gap.

Insufficient Infrastructure

One of the key reasons that many digital strategies fail is that they don’t have the proper infrastructure to support the campaigns. Before launching your digital marketing initiatives, make sure that you have the technology, partners, and tools in place to manage the campaigns from creation to measurement.

In some cases, this requires new software tools to manage email lists, automate responses, and capture information. For others, this is a broader-scale look at their technology infrastructure and evaluating everything from hosting to data storage.

Your website is the centerpiece of your digital marketing strategy, so ensure that it’s functioning at a high level with full service hosting and maintenance.

Consistency

Digital marketing places a high value on CONTENT. Social media, blogging, webinars, podcasts… it can be exhausting! Many small businesses start with great intentions, but the content creation falls off as soon as things get busy. In order to avoid that lack of consistency, it’s crucial to plan ahead.

Start by creating a content plan for the next 30 days. Then, identify who will be responsible for creating content. It’s beneficial to have a single person dedicated to content creation so that the voice is similar across all platforms.

Finally, don’t feel obligated to create content from scratch for every channel. Can you repurpose your blog posts into social media captions? Do you have white paper content that can be transformed into a webinar or podcast? Chances are that you have plenty of content available – the key is to share it with your audience!

Proving Value

While digital marketing platforms offer an abundance of analytics, it can sometimes be difficult to tie those metrics back to true business success. The key is to start with extremely clear goals for what you want to achieve. For example, if you are running an ad campaign on Facebook, the metrics that Facebook shares will be things like link clicks, impressions, and reach. So, to set goals for the campaign, it’s important to understand how many link clicks you need to convert the number of sales that you’re looking for.

From there, stay consistent with your measurements. Set aside a time each week or month to evaluate the performance and tweak to optimize success.

Lack of Clarity

If there’s one thing that you take away from this blog post: don’t try to do everything! The digital marketing strategies and options that are available and trendy can be overwhelming, so avoid the temptation to try everything that you hear about. It’s much more effective to do a few things really well than to get burned out on trying each new thing that comes on the market.

If you’re struggling with how to choose a path forward, let your clients be your guide. What channels to they spend time on? What is important to them? What type of content are they interested in?

Focusing on your ideal client and connecting with them online is the key to success in this crazy world of digital marketing.