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How You Can Ensure Your Servers Are Totally Fault Tolerant

more serversToday, I’m going to start things off with a simple question: how fault tolerant are your servers?

Can they handle themselves if part of the system stops working?

Will they be able to weather through a software glitch or hardware failure?

Those are more important questions than you might think.

If the systems you have in place for your website, application platform, or network aren’t properly hardened against failure, then everything’s likely to come crashing down the moment one component in the system stops working.

There’s even a term for this sort of thing – cascading failure.

Unfortunately, as we demonstrated in a piece on fault tolerance a few weeks back, building a system that’s well and truly fault-tolerant is a significant challenge – particularly when you’re managing a complex application infrastructure, such as the Netflix API. So what’s a beleaguered server administrator to do, then?

How can you ensure your servers – and the network on which they’re hosted – gracefully handle failure? Continue Reading →

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Python vs. PHP: Which Is The Best Choice For Your Website?

codingPython and PHP are among the most popular web development languages in the world.

Each has its own strengths, weaknesses, and quirks. But which of the two is superior?

More importantly, which one is a better choice for your business?

It’ll probably be easier to start things off with how the languages are similar to one another.

Both are high-level, interpreted languages equipped with dynamic typing.

Both are fairly easy to learn, supported by thriving development communities, and are extremely portable and extensible, and both are compatible with a wide range of operating systems.

Where the two start to diverge from one another, writes developed Sam Norton, is in what they’re best-suited for doing. Continue Reading →

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Build A Business That Doesn’t Eat Your Life

exasperatedIf you’re planning on running a small business, it’s a given that you’re going to be dealing with long hours and lots of stress.

Business ownership isn’t for the faint of heart, after all – it’s a difficult, high-risk lifestyle that’ll crush you if you let it.

But for all the roadblocks you’ll face, it’ll be worth it if, at the end of the day, you’re left with a successful, thriving business…right?

Not always.

“The stories of business success have an underbelly that is rarely talked about” writes Casey Graham, founder of The Rocket Company. “With every success story, there is a backstory.” Continue Reading →

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November’s Roundup of the Best Start Up, Hosting, & Technology Content

3187581564_ae66e1e5e8_oIt was a busy month, as the Holiday season is officially upon us. We hope you had a great Thanksgiving weekend and we’ve put together a list of all the small business, web hosting, and general technology news you might’ve missed this month. There are robots that can teach kids how to code, kids that are passing Microsoft exams, and advice from an 80-year-old man. Firefox is now 10 years old and one company shows you how to recover from a major typo on your very first day. If you enjoy this collection of industry news, feel free to follow us over on Facebook and Twitter. Enjoy!

Small Business and Startup

Why Do Startups Fail, According To Their Founders

The popular tag line is “9 out of 10 startups fail”. This is a study of the post-mortems of those failed startups to see what commonalities there were between them.

The Product Spectrum

One entrepreneur has created a theory to distinguish between what makes a startup succeed and what makes it fail. It’s called The Product Spectrum. Continue Reading →

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How You Can Keep Your Employees Happy (And Why You Should)

happy employeeUnless you’re some sort of hyper-dynamic entrepreneur (or simply a freelancer), there’s a good chance that your business cannot survive without employees.

It’s important that you try to hire only the most dedicated, passionate, and talented people – and even more vital that you take measures to retain them.

A big part of that is keeping them happy.

“[Unhappy employees] are bad news for two reasons,” writes Lauren Drell of Mashable. “First, if they’re unhappy, that could reflect poorly on the company culture, morale, and/or management. Second, it costs 20% of an annual salary to replace a mid-level employee, and it could cost 213% of a year’s salary to replace a C-Suiter.” Continue Reading →

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What’s Twitter Buzzing About this November in the World of Startups, Hosting, & Web Development?

We know that Twitter can be a little overwhelming keeping up with all the latest news, so we’re making it easy for you this again this month. We’ve put together some of the most tweeted, re-tweeted, and talked about stories we’ve come across in one spot for you. Cyberattacks and algorithm updates seemed to dominate most of the headlines, and when they didn’t, people spent their time debating Net Neutrality. Cloud technology and gamification continue to trend up. But the coolest thing that happened this month? We landed on a comet! Read up on all of this and more below. If you enjoy this collection of industry news, feel free to follow us over on Facebook and Twitter too. Enjoy!

Small Business and Startup

Airbnb’s latest video “Wall and Chains” shows how you can use emotional content to connect with your audience.

Continue Reading →

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Word Of Mouth – The Power Of A Positive Testimonial

word of mouthWord of mouth has always been an incredibly powerful marketing tool.

We’re far likelier to trust a product recommendation from a friend, neighbor, loved one, or even acquaintance than we are from even the slickest sales associate.

There are a few reasons for that, but it’s primarily because we know deep down that other consumers probably aren’t trying to sell us anything.

As a result, we’re far likelier to take their testimony at face value.

Thing is, until recently there wasn’t really any reliable way to tap into word of mouth.

Sure, we had product testimonials in magazines and on TV, but those always came across as sort of fake. We had no way of knowing whether or not the people ranting and raving about their brand were paid actors; ultimately, the people giving out those testimonials were little different from salespeople or billboard ads.

They were talking at us rather than to us. Continue Reading →

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5 Ways You Can Appeal To The Local Market

dewsberry market“Marketing is not easy,” writes Neil Asher of Roar Local. “If you’re a small local business with a small budget, it can be even more difficult.”

He couldn’t be more right – especially if you’re a small business owner, marketing can be one of the most difficult challenges you’ll ever tackle.

And yes, that applies even if you start with local marketing.

See, when you’re talking your brand up to prospective consumers, you’re walking a delicate line. On the one hand, if you don’t come on strong enough, you’ll end up being completely forgettable, and people will just go with the competition.

On the other, if you come on too strong, you’ll turn people off from your brand.

What’s a business owner to do? How can you strike a balance with your local marketing efforts; how can you get your foot in the door without irritating everyone around you? Don’t worry – we can help.

Today, we’re going to go over a few awesome (and mostly inexpensive) tactics that’ll get you in good with local consumers – and help you take the first steps towards growing your business beyond its roots. Continue Reading →

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How You Can Keep Your Personal Life Straight While Bootstrapping Your Business

osaka business park“Bootstrapping a business is not without its challenges,” writes Entrepreneur’s Michelle Goodman.

“Besides the long hours and the strain on personal relationships, it can be tricky to split one’s creative juices between two professional pursuits.”

She’s certainly not wrong.

Even when pulling investment capital from other sources, starting a business is an immense, all-consuming undertaking; one which can easily take over your life if not properly managed.

It’s an even more monumental task when bootstrapping. You’ll often find yourself having to juggle multiple professional and personal pursuits – up to and including their business. Continue Reading →

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6 Must Haves When Starting A Small Business

light bulb business“Starting a small business,” explains BrightGauge co-founder Eric Dosal, “is a lot like riding an intense roller coaster. There are tons of twists, turns, loops, ups, and downs.”

He’s not wrong. Running a small business is one of the most intense – yet most intensely rewarding – experiences you’ll likely ever go through.

That said, it’s also one of the most difficult. One slip-up, and everything could come crashing down.

So how can you keep yourself from falling off the proverbial roller coaster?

Here are a few essential tips to help you get your small business off the ground – and keep it afloat. Ignore them at your own peril. Continue Reading →

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