.Sydney Domains Have Arrived

.Sydney Domains Have Arrived

Since Sydney officially became a city in 1842, it has grown into one of the world’s most iconic cities. From the Sydney Opera House to the Harbour Bridge, Darling Harbour, Bondi Beach and so much more. By associating your brand with Sydney you’re onto a winner.

Melbourne beat Sydney to be Australia’s first city web domain back in late 2014, and since then there has been huge demand for it. Now you have the chance to leverage the “Sydney Brand” with an online presence that will resonate with the Sydney population and those wanting to do business with those based in Sydney.

Did You Know?

harbour-bridge

Sydney Harbour Bridge

• 60 percent of Australia’s top 100 companies are headquartered in Sydney.
• Sydney accounts for over 25 percent of Australia’s total economic activity including services, manufacturing, mining, finance, property and retail.
• Sydney’s Central Business District (CBD) is the largest office market in Australia offering 4.6 million square metres of office space.

Register Your .Sydney Domain Now

Getting your slice of the .sydney pie is easy – you can register by clicking below. You’ll need to have an address in NSW and we suggest you read the .sydney policies before getting started.

Get your .sydney now!

 Or call a geek on 1300 722 504

Cricket World Cup Domain Name Deal

Cricket World Cup Domain Name Deal

There has never been a better time to register a new domain name with Host Geek than right now. For the duration of the ICC Cricket World Cup the Geeks are offering 20% OFF selected Domain Names.

Use the promo code “CRICKET” on checkout to receive this deal.


The discount applies to the following domains:

.com.au
.net.au

.org.au
.co.nz
.co.uk
.in

freebies

What’s included with your Domain?

Free Email Forwarding

Once you register your domain,  if you only want to use it for branding purposes we’ll allow you to forward your emails from you@yourdomainname.com.au to you@gmail.com or you@yourISP.com.au. You can forward to one email address!

Free Privacy Protection

When you register a domain, you risk exposing your name, address, email, and phone number to spammers, marketing firms, and other online fraudsters. Host Geek will offer you privacy protection FREE with every domain name purchase.

Free DNS Management

We provide you with the tools to control your domain settings with the click of a button. Forwarding your domain to another website or redirecting emails to one account is easy with this service. You have full control of your A records, CNAME and MX records.

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Register your new Domain by visiting our Domain Name page. 


Terms and Conditions: Offer cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer and applies to new registrations only. Offer is valid until March 30th, 2015. There are certain eligibility requirements to register the domains offered in this promotion – please consider these requirements by visiting the respective Domain Authority’s website or call us on 1300 722 504. 

eCommerce Conference and Expo Melbourne

eCommerce Conference and Expo Melbourne

The 3rd annual eCommerce Conference & Expo is fast approaching. This is Australia’s only event that focuses on finding, converting and retaining customers online and this is the third Annual event. Once again, the Geeks will be exhibiting at the Expo so we’d love for you to drop by and visit us at Stand 4008.

Why would you come to eCommerce Melbourne?

  • listen to leading experts from the world of eCommerce
  • get loads of practical advice at the workshop sessions
  • meet leading industry suppliers at the eCommerce Expo
  • take advantage of some excellent networking opportunities

expo

The Conference segment of this event will be bringing the cream of the crop to Melbourne. The speakers will arm you with new skills, fresh ideas and better ways of getting things done within the world of eCommerce.

Some key take-outs you can expect from the Conference

  • Understand customer clicks to tailor campaigns to the right audience
  • Leverage digital commerce to achieve international success
  • Increase the retention rate of your customers population
  • Foster customer loyalty with excellent customer service
  • Optimise for a multi-device and multi-channel world
  • Target content to speak to the specific needs of various customers
ecommerce-melbourne-expo

The Geeks at eCommerce Expo 2014

To read more about the eCommerce Expo and book tickets click here.

You can order tickets to the Expo for FREE or buy tickets for the conference. Tickets to the Expo won’t be free on the day so get in now. We’re looking forward to seeing you there!

Magento v WooCommerce

Magento v WooCommerce

A common question that the Geeks get asked is “which self-hosted software is best for building an online store”? We’ll address that question shortly, but let’s not get ahead of ourself. First, let’s make sure you understand the difference between “hosted software and self-hosted software”.

Hosted Online Stores: This is where you can build a website on the software provider’s servers. If you choose this option you’ll be setup very quickly and you won’t have to find a web host as this is taken care of for you.

The down side to these solutions is the cost of hosting and sales commissions can really add up! In addition, there is often much less design flexibility and when you outgrow the software, it can be a massive headache moving to a new provider.

Examples of hosted solutions include eBay, Volusion and Shopify.

Self-hosted online stores: With this option you’ll decide on which shopping cart software best meets your requirements (such as Magento or WooCommerce). Once you make a decision, you’ll then need to choose a web host who will store your website data for you. Choosing this option requires a little bit more work at the start of your journey.

The benefit of this option is having much greater design flexibility, lower costs, no commissions on what you sell, no price increases as you add more products to your range and if you decide to move to a new provider, you have full control of your data.

Examples of self-hosted solutions include Magento, WooCommerce, Opencart and Zencart.

Which self-hosted online solution is best for you?

For newcomers to the online sales world, it can be overwhelming as there are so many choices which vary significantly in ease of use, features and price. The best choice for you will depend on what you’re hoping to achieve, your levels of technical ability and budget. In saying that, having used a lot of different software to build eCommerce websites we believe there are two options which are excellent choices for a large majority of users out there – Magento and WooCommerce. 

We’ve compiled a review of Magento and WooCommerce below which we hope will help you make an informed choice. Feel free to give the Geeks a call on 1300 722 504 if you’d like to discuss your website requirements.


Magento_logo

Overview: Magento, an eBay owned company, is the leading eCommerce solution with 240,000 merchants worldwide using the software. It is free, Opensource software that allows you to build powerful online stores. If you can imagine your online store, chances are Magento can make it a reality.

Skill Level Required (if not using a developer): Intermediate to Expert.

Popularity: Around 30% of top 100k eCommerce websites use Magento.

Pricing: Free Community Version plus an option for large enterprises to purchase an Enterprise Version which is around US$15,000.

Recommended Hosting: Magento is resource hungry and Host Geek therefore recommend opting for a Magento VPS Hosting Plan as a minimum (avoid shared hosting if your budget permits). You can view the full Magento server requirements on their website here.

Features: Out of the box, Magento provides a stunning range of features which are scalable and flexible.  To check out the full range of features visit their features page. Although Magento has loads of features included in their free offering, most users end up spending additional funds on Extensions to increase the store’s functionality.

Setup: Magento has a setup wizard which makes installing the software simple. However, once you’re setup it becomes a bigger challenge to make changes and alter settings. For those that don’t have a reasonable level of technical expertise (or the budget to pay someone that does have these skills) you might struggle with this software.

 

woocommerce_logo

Overview: WooCommerce is a relatively new shopping cart having been launched in 2011. It comes in the form of a WordPress plugin and is very popular with WordPress users thanks to it’s simple setup and intuitive nature.

Skill Level Required: Beginner through to Expert.

Popularity: Around 8% of top 100k eCommerce websites use WooCommerce.

Pricing: Free – Opensource.

Recommended Hosting: WooCommerce is simply a plugin for WordPress – this means there are fewer server requirements in comparison to Magento. If your server supports MySQL and PHP you will be unlikely to have any issues. For smaller online stores, you can get away with shared hosting; however, as your website visitors increase and your store increases its products you’ll start to experience growing headaches and a VPS or VDS plan will be required.

Our WordPress Hosting plans are ideal for online sellers as our plans save the headache of having to perform software updates. You can view the full WooCommerce server requirements on their website here.

Features: With the free WooCommerce plugin you’ll be able to start selling quickly and easily. WooCommerce is compatible with a huge range of WordPress themes so you should be able to find a design that looks professional with relative ease.

On the negative side, there are a lot of basic features that you may require that don’t come with the free version of WooCommerce. For example, if you want to setup recurring payments or you want to take payments directly from credit cards rather than using Paypal, you’ll need to buy a WooCommerce Extension. The last time we checked, there were 326 available extensions with only 35 of them being free.

Setup: If you’ve used WordPress before you’ll find setting up WooCommerce very simple. It is simply a case of installing the plugin. Even those new to WordPress will find setting up a website with WooCommerce very intuitive. You can change a wide range of shopping cart options and alter the look of the cart fairly easily and if things get too tough, there is a very helpful community forum. There’s also a huge number of developers available that you can outsource if you get stuck (for a price).

The Final Verdict

When building an eCommerce store, it is hard to go past Magento for a compete package. The wide range of features and professionally designed themes will really help the chances of making your online store a success. It should also be pointed out that Magento was specifically built for online stores – it can therefore handle large stores with ease, so long as the hosting is sufficient.

On the other hand, if you’re new to online selling and you don’t have a huge number of products, WooCommerce will do  fantastic job and it will be a lot easier to use.

How to unblock an IP with Host Geek

How to unblock an IP with Host Geek

If you’re unable to access your website, emails and cPanel, a common reason is that your IP has been blocked. For security reasons, our firewall may block your IP address if you have a few failed login attempts trying to login to your hosting account within a short period of time. This includes all methods of logins for your hosting such as cPanel and e-mail accounts.

In addition to typing in the wrong password multiple times, another common cause of IP Blocks is when a user adds a new device, such as an iPad or Smart Phone, to their network but enters an incorrect password. The device will repeatedly try to login and will eventually cause your IP to be blocked.

Some common causes of IP Blocks

ipblock-causes

How to unblock your IP

Host Geek has made it very easy for you to unblock your IP Address.
1. Login to your Host Geek client area https://clients.hostgeek.com.au/clientarea.php.

client-login

2. Once logged in, our system will automatically check for a block and remove it. If your IP has been blocked a notice will display at the top of the page saying the IP was blocked and has now been unblocked (see below image). You should now be able to login to your hosting accounts.

IP-Block

Please Note: You will need to check that you’re using the correct passwords on all devices or an IP Block will be likely to reoccur.

3. After logging into your client portal if the above notice does not show, then an IP Block is not the issue. In this case, you’ll need to create a support ticket here. Please provide as much detail as possible including screenshots of any error messages that are displayed on your client portal page.

How to manually check if your IP has been blocked

Host Geek also allows its clients to manually check if their IP has been blocked. This is a very useful tool for clients with Reseller accounts as they can check if their customers have been blocked. The steps are:

1. Login to your Host Geek client area https://clients.hostgeek.com.au/clientarea.php.

2. Click Support from the Top Menu then select Unblock IP Address from the submenu.

manually-unblock

 

3. Enter your IP Address in the form then click Check for IP Block and Remove. Please note: In most cases your IP Address will automatically populate in the form. Our system will then check if the IP Address has been blocked and will unblock if necessary.enter-ip

If you are a reseller you may need to request your customer’s IP Address. They can find this by visiting the website www.whatismyipaddress.com. On the homepage of this website their IP address will be displayed.

 

 

Major Linux Vulnerability Discovered

Major Linux Vulnerability Discovered

Summary

Researchers at cloud security company Qualys have discovered a major security hole, GHOST, in the Linux GNU C Library (glibc). This vulnerability enables hackers to remotely take control of systems without even knowing any system IDs or passwords.

Vulnerability Severity

High

The Geeky details of how GHOST works

The security hole can be triggered by exploiting glibc’s gethostbyname functions. This function is used on almost all networked Linux computers when the computer is called on to access another networked computer either by using the /etc/hosts files or, more commonly, by resolving an Internet domain name with Domain Name System.

If you’d like more details about this vulnerability read the full story here.

Solution

No action is required by Host Geek customers. Our engineers are currently applying a patch to mitigate the risk and we will continue to monitor the situation for any further updates.

If you have any questions regarding GHOST please email support@hostgeek.com.au.

Free Hosting for Melbourne IT Clients

Free Hosting for Melbourne IT Clients

Calling all Melbourne IT customers – try out our web hosting for a month free and discover what our Geektastic Support is all about!

geekIt has been a long few months for many website owners who have their website and emails hosted with Melbourne IT. The Sydney Morning Herald is reporting:

“Angry customers of Australian web hosting company Melbourne IT are threatening to leave the company after a “migration” left their websites and email offline, in some cases for up to a week. The Herald also reported “some customers complained of waiting up to two hours or more to speak to someone at Melbourne IT’s “24/7 Support” centre – only to have their call cut off”. The full story can be read here.

Host Geek prides itself on offering a 100% Australian based support team that’s there for its customers when needed. We value keeping jobs in Australia and will never outsource our call centre overseas to save on staff costs. The end result – a support offering that sets the benchmark amongst Australian web hosting companies.

Try Host Geek for FREE

If you have had enough of Melbourne IT’s poor support, we encourage you to try out Host Geek. We are offering all existing Melbourne IT customers a FREE month of hosting to try us out. If you aren’t happy at the end of your trial, you’re welcome to move to another host – but we’re confident you’ll want to stay!

Why Choose Host Geek as your alternative to Melbourne IT?

  • 100% Australian based support staff.
  • FREE (and fast) migration of your website to Host Geek.
  • Australian based servers.
  • Specialised WordPress, Magento and Joomla hosting available.
  • An Aussie company with 10 years of hosting experience.
  • Scalable plans that grow with your business.

How to take up this offer

To take advantage of this offer and migrate your website away from Melbourne IT follow these steps:

1. Visit our web hosting page and choose a hosting plan that’s best for you.

2. Sign up using promo code MELBIT to get your first month free. You’ll need to select monthly billing when you checkout but you’ll be able to change this to quarterly, annually or biennially at the end of the free month if you prefer.

 

Come across to the home of Geektastic support now!

View Hosting Plans

-Offer can only be used by new Host Geek customers signing up to a monthly shared, reseller or email hosting plan. Offer only valid for current Melbourne IT customers. Offer cannot be used in conjunction with other Host Geek offers.
-Offer allows for one website per account to be migrated. Please contact us on 1300 722 504 if you have multiple websites that need migrating.

Seasons Greetings From Host Geek

Seasons Greetings From Host Geek

The team at Host Geek would like to wish everyone a Merry Xmas and a Happy New Year.

2014 has been an exciting year for us with the introduction of several new services including Hosted Exchange and WordPress Hosting.

Looking ahead to 2015

Next year we will continue to introduce new services to help Australian businesses succeed. In particular, we see podcasting continuing to be a strong trend in 2015. Podcasting allows businesses to provide useful audio content to their target audience in an extremely flexible format. We will be introducing a fantastic new podcast hosting service in 2015 to allow you to easily offer your listeners audio in podcast format. Watch this space!

Xmas Support Hours

We will be providing a skeleton support staff from Dec 23rd – Jan 5th. During this time we will still be offering Geektastic email ticket and phone support. However there may be a slightly longer response time for low priority issues. There will be no phone support on Dec 25th and Jan 1st.

Tell us what you think

We love hearing your feedback so feel free to contact us on 1300 722 504 or use our contact us page. It’s great to hear glowing testimonials but if you have some constructive criticism or even suggestions for new products then we’d also like to hear that.

From the entire team at Host Geek, we’d like to thank you for your loyal support in 2014. We wish you and your family a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

4 Quick Google Analytics Tips

4 Quick Google Analytics Tips

For many small business owners Google Analytics either seems a too much effort for little reward. It can cartainly come across as daunting for some. But if you jump in and start testing out this handy analysis tool you’ll quickly get a feel for the basics. Before long, you’ll be measuring all sorts of metrics on your website and have a much better understanding of what works and what doesn’t on your site. To get you started, here are a few getting started tips when using Google Analytics.

1. Consider Different Timeframes
By default, Google Analytics displays statistics from the last 30 days which provides a good idea of how you’re tracking short term. It’s important to extend that timeframe out to 6 months, 1 year and even further to gauge longer term trends.

2. Don’t just analyse top level data
Google Analytics makes it possible for you to gain a real insight into how people behave when they’re on your website. You can easily view your homepage’s bounce rate and whether that rate is trending up or down over time. However, statistics can be deceiving. It’s crucial that you drill down into segments to get a better feel for what the data is telling you. For example, instead of just looking at overall bounce rate, drill down to determine the bounce rate by age or georgaphical location. Are there certain segments that are more likely to bounce from your page and if so, can you do something about it?

3. Understand your conversions

If you’re only measuring your website’s success on a metric like unique visitors you’re not getting the full picture. For most websites, it’s not the number of people who arrive on their website that is the big win, it’s the number of conversions. A conversion could be considered a newsletter signup, visiting a specified page, an eCommerce sale or any other action you specifically want your visitor to undertake. Using Google Analytics you can track your conversions by setting up a Goal and finding out how your customers behave.

4. Understand Technology

Consumer technology preferences are constantly on the move. There is a clear trend towards mobile devices whilst desktops are becoming less favoured. Choice of browser has also changed significantly over the last 5 years. It is important, however, that you have a good understanding of how your visitors are viewing your website. Is your target market a hip, younger crowd that embraces the lastest technology? Or perhaps an older demographic that is clinging to technology from the 90’s? By understanding your audience you can tailor your online content to meet the technological demands of your audience.

It’s time to get your hands dirty

Don’t be afraid to have a crack at Google Analytics. Yes, there is incredible depth to this analysis tool and it is powerful enough to provide extremely insightful data. But the beauty of Analytics is that is is also designed with the complete beginner in mind. Have a go next time you have a spare hour, you’ll probably gain some insight into your customer that’ll help you achieve your business goals.

10 Must Read Content Marketing Tips

10 Must Read Content Marketing Tips

Content Marketing isn’t a concept that’s new to the online world. However, in 2012 the interest in this topic began increasing exponentially.

 

A major driver of this interest has been the last few Google Algorithm updates. I won’t go into detail about what these changes were. In a nutshell, the changes have meant that websites can no longer solely rely on Search Engine Optimisation techniques to rank on page 1 in Google. Google now has a much greater focus on quality content. The onus is on the website owner to provide their visitors with relevant, interesting, useful, original, compelling content. By doing this, your content is likely to be shared on Social Platforms and linked to from other websites. The end result – you’ll not only drive a stream of traffic from external social pages and websites, you’ll also be likely to feature higher up on Google.

Content Marketing doesn’t need to be rocket science. Most businesses have their own area of expertise. The key is to find out what your website visitors need, what information do they lack, and what are their pain points? You’ll then match your expertise with the “content gaps” and provide information that’s needed.

The information created will include the keywords you want to rank on in Google, but thats a secondary consideration. Your main focus should be on providing something that’s useful.

Before you dive into producing your first blog, infographic or white paper, I’d like to suggest you take a look at this compilation of 10 content marketing tips. These could be the difference between your website achieving fantastic results or simply pounding out content for little result.

 

1. Do some stalking

Join a Facebook Group or two and see what your target customers are talking about, what questions they have, what are their frustrations?

2. Define Personas

Gather every piece of information you have on your existing and potential customers. Then create personas of your typical customer so that you have an acute understanding of who they are and what information they need.

3. Don’t be afraid to be controversial

When you write a blog or design an infographic, don’t be too formal and stuffy (unless your industry really expects this tone). Don’t be afraid to go against the herd and be different.

4. Get help

Can your staff share the load and create content for you? Perhaps you can ask customers to submit advice or photos using one of your products? Guest bloggers are another option to consider if you don’t have a lot of time on your hands. Also, contact Host Geek on 1300 722 504 if you need professionals to take care of this project for you.

5. Review data

Take a look at your Google Analytics figures or the information from whatever analytics tool you use. Check out the most popular blog posts and create more content on this topic.

6. Create a style guide

Essential for effective branding and to keep your content looking professional. A style guide doesn’t have to be the size of “War and Peace”. It can be as simple as a page or two outlining what font types, font size, colours, image styles, logo sizes and any other information relating to the styles you use online. Once you have this sorted, stick to it and ensure all other contributors follow these guidelines too. To get started, here are some cool examples of styleguides.

7. Reuse Content

You can easily repackage the existing content you’ve published in another format. Why not use the information from a popular blog post to create an infographic or video.

8. Quality Counts

Don’t obsess with pumping out a blog a day if the quality is going to suffer. It’s better to put out one amazing piece of content each week than to produce 20 articles that don’t get read.

9. Create a Media Calendar

This is a great way to keep your posting consistent and it takes the guesswork out of what you’ll produce. You’ll also be able to align your content with your key business events to support the engagement process. Check out these Content Calendars to get you started.

10. Keep SEO in mind

Look for keywords that you’d like to be featuring higher up on Google and create your content based on these keywords.

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