General

View from my “office”

I’ve been working in this great office off and on this summer.  You certainly can’t beat the view – provided by Mother Nature!

Previous attempts to work in another part of the yard yielded unacceptable screen viewing.  A search for devices to shade my laptop screen was pointless – there doesn’t seem to anything practical available.  I discovered a portion of our deck is shaded pretty much all day.  It makes a very comfortable office. (The Skeeter Vac visible in the distance helps a lot as well)

Today the smell of the Butterfly Bush (to the right in the photo) was very strong, even from 15′ away!

Scott

Web hosting doesn’t have to be expensive

Why do so many web hosting companies charge so much for web space?

One of the reasons could be that they have their own web servers and it takes a lot of manpower to keep things running smoothly. To have your own servers means that you have to have a secure climate controlled room to keep all the hardware running safe and cool. You need to have technicians monitoring the equipment to make sure it is running efficiently.

But with so many businesses offering 3rd party web hosting – they own and maintain the servers and rent out space to other businesses that, in turn, re-sell the space – there is little need for small businesses to maintain their own servers.

That’s what Your Digital Coach does. We rent a large amount of space from a 3rd party hosting company at a discount. Then, in turn, we offer it to our customers at a discount. We’re happy because our hosting costs are being covered and our customers are happy because they are paying a fair price for web hosting services.

What do you get when you buy hosting from Your Digital Coach?

This list is very extensive, but I’ll give you the highlights…

  • Web hosting provided by one of the world’s top 10 web hosting companies with more than 2,500,000 hosted domains. They have over 400 employees to provide superior around the clock support.
  • Access to a very user friendly control panel – cPanel – that allows you to manage your web space, email accounts, software, statistics, and many other features of your web space
  • Access to easy to use scripts to install all of the most popular web software such as WordPress, Drupal, shopping carts, forums, and more!  You also have the ability to upgrade many of these programs with just one click.

The biggest difference between many web hosting companies and Your Digital Coach is that we won’t just sell you web space and leave you on your own to try and figure it all out.  We’ll coach you through the steps to set up your very own web site.   We can either help you build your site or we can build it for you.

So, if you are in the market for web hosting, check out our hosting plans.  You will not be disappointed!

Scott

Summer’s here! Get some fresh air!

One of the things a good Digital Coach should do is to make people’s work lives more comfortable and healthy.  So here’s a tip that should help get you out of the dull office environment.

I decided to take my office outside the other day and work in the fresh air for a change. Was I in for a surprise!

I sat at our coffee nook, opened up the laptop and wondered why I couldn’t see anything on the screen. Then I moved closer to the screen and could barely make out the login screen. There was just enough sun coming through the trees that my eyes adjusted for that and made the relatively dim screen even dimmer!

So, I went on an internet hunt to find a solution. I searched for “laptop umbrellas” and found this interesting article…

You can see the post on Free Ideas Space.  It’s definitely an interesting use of, hopefully, an old laptop but not exactly what I was looking for.

I continued that search for a few minutes and found lots of laptop bags that come with regular umbrellas for rainy days, but nothing that I was looking for.

I changed my search terms to “using a laptop outdoors” and had a little better luck.  I found lots of folks talking about the problem of using a laptop with a glossy screen outside, and a few tips.

Thomas N. Burg had this unique, and inexpensive device posted on his blog.  He calls it a “Sunbox”. I’m sure it works well.  I’ll let you decide if you want to  use something like this.

I did find lots of forum and blog posts with people asking the same questions and getting the same answers – move to a shady location (easily done), get a laptop with an anti-glare screen (expensive), put the laptop away and have a beer!  One person did suggest adjusting the screen brightness.  Why didn’t I think of that!?

So I did.  After setting the brightness slider to the maximum level I could see the screen a little better – it was usable.  Unfortunately, setting the screen brighter will draw more power from the battery and reduce how long you can use your laptop without plugging in.

Here is another source I found with some tips for using a laptop in the great outdoors – Web Work Daily

Just the Facts Please (pt2)

Web Site Statistics – A Case Study

Last month we looked at the web site statistics for two clients. We’ve tried a few inexpensive things since then to see how they would affect the visits to their sites. Well, things are looking up, but we have a long way to go.

Client #1
We didn’t really do all that we hoped to do last month to try to bring in more traffic. I did get his site listed on several web directories that cater to the types of products this client sells, but I had hoped he would have posted updates a little more frequently. Even so, traffic to his site is up by 15% and the number of pages visitors have looked at is up by almost 30%.

I think that regular updates to his site will definitely help to increase traffic, but I’m going to investigate a few other alternatives this month.  I’m sure that as we get closer to the Christmas season traffic will naturally increase as well.

Client #2
So far we’ve just scraped the surface of what we can do with this site.  We’ve been testing some AdWords advertising and have tweaked the keywords on his web pages.  The statistics are not dramatically improved but they do show that we are on the right track.

Visits to the site are actually down about 7% but the number of pages viewed is up by 30%.  So although we aren’t seeing an increase of traffic we are reaching a more focused audience.  They are interested in what the site has to offer and are spending time looking around.  We’re not sure if this increase is translating into conversions to customers, but it is encouraging.  We have to work on some tools to measure conversions.  Hmm….

It’s also encouraging to see that search phrases other than the company name are beginning to show up.  Finally, people that do not know about his company are beginning to visit his site.

We recently changed his Adwords keywords and we will be looking at the daily budget to see if it can be increased.  We’ll also be looking at on-line directories and the possibility of submitting some articles to on-line magazines to further increase visits to his site.

This exercise has been quite interesting to me so far.  I am learning many ways that I can help my clients to market their sites and their products with a little cost as possible.  I’m looking forward to finding new ways to accomplish this.

Stay tuned!

Scott