Serving the Planet Earth from New Hampshire, USA

These days, it seems everywhere you look someone is offering "nearly free" hosting. Offers for $10 bucks a month seem great, but before you whip out that credit card and get locked in for 3 years, you might want to consider the repercussions of getting a cheap host.

Adwords Express Click Fraud

I've used Adwords and Adwords Express for a long time, even went through their certifications and became a Partner (only after I sold enough Ads). That being said, I have a bone to pick with Google, and it seems I'm not the only one.

What is Adwords? Adwords is Google's Pay Per Click program, where you can buy keywords and get your ad on the top of the search results for that word or phrase. You can have a text or image ad, and the cost per click is determined by an auction-type system, where businesses compete with each other, while Google makes all the money.

Hacker Blocker

2016 broke all the rules and boundaries on the web, from fake news to hacking our democracy. Not only did hackers attack large organizations, but our servers as well. In the last 13 months, we saw an amazing uptick in attacks on our web server, mostly from Russian and Chinese IP addresses, but also from IPs here in the USA. When it first started back in late 2015, we started recording, vetting and blocking offending IPs in our server's firewalls, in an attempt to stop the barrage of attacks ranging from Brute-Force admin logins to SQL Injections and File Uploads. At the time, we had no idea it would grow into the beast it did.

WordPress v Joomla

The eternal question - which is better, WordPress or Joomla? I have been working on both since 2006, and 10 years later, I think I have enough sites under my belt to give a true developers' point of view, that will try to separate fact from fiction, without hyperbole or bias. I'll compare the basics you probably already know, then dive into code changes, plugin support & customization and user ease-of-use, environment & security and other factors you don't see elsewhere; and don't find out about until it's too late.

Large Company

As a small business that has been passed over by large corporate clients for being too small, I understand the frustration in being "the little guy" trying to get ahead and build a business. While my company has all the boxes checked, from 5 star Google reviews to over 10 years in business, it has been nearly impossible to convince larger corporate clients to hire us, based on our small size. Let's take a look at that mentality.

Webmaster
I've been building and maintaining websites for over 10 years and it still gets me when someone tells me they think I sit around all day collecting fees and drinking beer. First of all, I prefer Earl Grey tea, second of all, I only wish my job was that easy. Between keeping up with updates and warding off hackers, it's a wonder I have any time to do anything but be a webmaster. Here's how my day goes...

Local SEO SEMI know, here is yet another SEO article that will reveal the 'local SEO magic formula' for getting to the top of the search engines. Sorry to disappoint, but the truth is there is no magic formula, just some copy-editing work and a little expense. I'm going to break it down for you, and explain why each SEO factor is important, and what it really does for your ranking.

Since Google has the lion's share of searches online, we all want to be on the top of Google. If you are a local business, the secret to top organic and Maps listings is an optimized website, complete Google Listing and Customer Reviews, although is less competitive markets, reviews won't count as much. But for most of us, having great reviews on Google is essential to top ranking, trust me.

One of our clients is a Addiction and Recovery house in Laconia, NH and we are talking today about the stigma associated with this terrible plague of heroin addiction across the country. It seems every day there are more stories of overdosing, addiction epidemics right in our own communities, and politicians punting the issue or giving us platitudes. We also noticed that while websites for dealing with this issue are popping up across America, there are not a lot of web design companies that want to even touch a project involving addiction.

riverbankhouseWhile they reasoning is understandable, protecting their reputation and all that, I personally find it distasteful that they have such high opinions of themselves, or worse, a low opinion of people dealing with heroin addiction and recovery. Maybe it's because people in my family have struggled with addiction and alcohol abuse, and I have seen firsthand what it does to the people I love, but I for one and proud to be a part of the recovery process that has to happen in America.

But that's not what this article is about; it's really about creating a website about a 'taboo' subject, and getting over the hurdles society itself puts in front of these topics. From sex enhancement to drugs and alcohol, there are many subjects that you may want to base a website on, but how do you get people and search engines to take you seriously?

Optimizing Down Time

Every business has lulls in traffic for various reasons, from seasonal to the condition of the Dow Jones. As a SEO specialist it's my job to get my clients (and myself) to the top of the search engines, a process that becomes more complicated and costly every month it seems. So once the site is optimized, sitemaps submitted, backlinks building, social networks joined and a partridge in a pear tree is all done, now what do we do when the phone is still quiet?

I may be a little old school, but I like to network with people in my down time. This can be done dozens of ways from the standard Chamber of Commerce network groups to joining a chat room, but I find that getting out of your box is the best way to make connections, without even trying to; and you can get much more than new clients out of it.