Monthly Archives: September 2010

Custom 404 Error Page

Oops….Error 404 – Page Not Found

I know we all dislike this page, so do our visitors and potential customers!

Most of the time, visitors would just click the “Back” button after seeing this irritating error page without knowing if there’s any alternatives. It could be a big turn-off for your website visitors who could be your potential customers.

Creating your own Custom 404 Error Page can probably solve your problem. Today, 404 error page can be entertaining. Below you can find some entertaining custom 404 error pages contributed by some of the creative web designers:

How to make a Custom 404 Error Page?

Step 1: Creating/Modifying the .htaccess File

You can always check whether you have the .htaccess file through your FTP client software (such as FlashFXP). It is usually located at your /public_html folder. Otherwise, you will have to create a new one.

You can simply create one with a text editor (such as Notepad on Windows) and type the following:

ErrorDocument 404 /404page.html

The link in Blue is the URL where your custom 404 error page will be shown. Please make sure that you put the 404page.html file in the main web directory for the above directive to work.

The next step is to save the file. Click “Save As” and save the file name as “.htaccess” (otherwise, Notepad will append a “.txt” extension behind your back when it creates the file).

Step 2: Creating Your Error Document File

There are several tips you should know before creating your own custom 404 error page:

1. Error page should resemble your web page – so that users won’t feel completely lost

2. Apologize for inconvenience – even though it’s not your fault, at least users will feel better

3. Search box within the 404 error page – users can find what they are really looking for

4. Link the users back – the ultimate solution

5. A sense of humour – turns annoyance to smile

After creating your custom error page, please make sure you save it as “404page.html” (the same title as the one in your .htaccess file).

Note: You should make your 404 page larger than 512 bytes; otherwise Internet Explorer (IE) will load what it calls its built-in “friendly HTTP error message” instead of your 404 page. Other browsers work well.

Step 3: Testing the Error Document

When you’re satisfied with your page, you can now upload both .htaccess and 404page.html files into your root directory which contains all your other web pages (/public_html).

Test it by typing a URL that you know does not exist. You will see your custom error page.

Next, you should test to see that the links here lead to the pages you intended it to lead.

That’s all, Happy Trying!

Why Self-Host WordPress is Better?

There are a lot of people who are able to earn substantial amounts of cash with the use of blogs. Blogs are usually created to express your views regarding something. However, since you are doing it, you should not miss the opportunity of making money from it right? Many people are able to earn money through affiliate marketing, selling ads spaces, and many more with the use of blogs. Now, if you want to start an online career with blogging, you need to know that there are 2 types of blogs in general. The first one is the free option which is provided by Blogspot, while the other one is called self-host, which means that you provide your own hosting. You can always begin your career with the free version. However, many would do this just for the purpose of practicing. Once you are able to get the hang of it, then you should proceed in making and posting blogs through the paid version. There are a lot of reasons why you should go with the self-host version of blogging through WordPress.

Control

If you continue with Blogspot, which is owned by Google, it means that you do not have full control over your web page. With this, Google may delete your Blogspot whenever they deem it necessary without even informing you of their intention. This becomes a possibility due to the presence of several web spammers. Since Google supports the cause to control these spammers, they have included a feature in Blogspot for anyone to report a certain blog as a spam. If someone just has bad intentions towards you and your blog, he can easily report it as a spam. You may not be informed when this is done and Google will have the final say on what to do with your free blog. With this, there is a possibility that Google might remove your blog. Because of this, all your work may just go to waste and you will need to start from scratch. Many bloggers have already encountered this, which is why more and more people prefer the paid option.

Enhancing SEO

If you do your self-hosting with WordPress, you will be enhancing your Search Engine Optimization (SEO). This is because WordPress has a lot of tools to make it possible. One example is the available of plugin that is not available through Blogspot. Because of this, you will be able to enjoy more targeted traffic to your WordPress blog. As you may know, the more people visiting your site, the more chances you will have in making more money.

Credibility

When you proceed with your blogging career through WordPress and have it hosted by the web hosting company (such as Serverfreak), you will be able to build your credibility. When you self-host a blog, you will be able to choose your own domain name with it. People will always appreciate it more, when they are visiting sites with unique, simple, and easy to remember domain names. Therefore, you will be able to build your own brand and make your website gain a more professional reputation.

A lot of advantages can be derived from self-host blogs. Today, many web hosting companies including Serverfreak are offering special hosting package for self-host WordPress blogs. You can now start your own online career with a self-host blog. The good news is that you can even import your existing blog from Blogspot to WordPress at a click! What are you waiting for?

The Small Business Guide to Google Apps

Google Apps for Business is a reliable, secure web-based office tools for small businesses. Its powerful applications like Gmail, Google Calendar and Google Docs help small businesses reduce IT cost and help their employees to collaborate more effectively. At $50 per year per user, the fully integrated apps system is certainly cost-effective, helping small businesses to have smooth workflow.

This article will discuss on the three of the most useful applications – Gmail, Google Calendar and Google Docs, and how can small businesses utilize and benefit from them.

Gmail

Screenshot of Gmail

There are many advanced features of Gmail which make communication among you, suppliers and customers easier.

The first big advantage of Gmail is that it functions in the cloud. This means that one doesn’t have to worry about downloading messages to multiple locations or syncing various devices. Your inbox will look the same from any web or mobile connection. And with 25GB of email storage per user (with a paid apps account), it is unlikely you’ll ever have to clean your inbox or delete old messages.

Conversations are “threaded”

The other benefit of Gmail over the traditional webmail is that conversations are “threaded”. Emails with the same or related subject lines are grouped together in a thread so you can see all the messages sent and received on a topic in one place (instead of clicking “Next” over and over again to check emails). When a new message is received, the entire thread is bumped to the top of your inbox (refer to picture below [1]). Now, checking mail is no more a hassle!


Referring to [2], Gmail has a “Search Mail” function which allows you to find a specific email (even the very old ones) efficiently. The keyword can be the information or the person involved in the email conversations. To ease the process of finding and reading emails, you can even “Label” your emails in different categories: Follow Up, Note, To Do List, etc. [3]

Gmail also has a chat feature built right into the interface that allows easy communication between you and employees or among different work teams. Chat history are also stored in Gmail so that you can search and refer to them later. How to find them? Just type the keyword or the person and “Search Mail”.

Chat Feature of Gmail

Not only that, Gmail is “smart” too. Frequently, we send emails with attachment, and yet we tend to forgot to attach the attachment! Gmail has this feature Forgotten Attachment Detector which will notify you if you’ve mentioned an attachment in an email, but forgotten to add one.

Forgotten Attachment Detector

Oops….have just sent a wrong email to a wrong person? Undo Send gives you a few seconds after sending a message to click “undo” in case you forgot something, or sent it to the wrong party by mistake!

One more feature which I personally like about is that…you can change the theme for your Gmail. Some of the themes are even dynamic – its colours will change according to the time!

Themes

Google Docs

Screenshot of Google Docs

Google Docs is a web-based suite for word processing, presentation building (similar to PowerPoint), spreadsheets, and web forms. All the work is done in a web browser, and all the data is saved in the cloud.

Initially, I find it (the software) a bit slow especially when I try to edit and save the documents. Since all the work is done in the web browser, it is not as stable as Microsoft Office.

However, a good side of Google Docs is that you can now share and collaborate any documents with your employees (refer to picture above [1]). You can also set permissions for specific users to view and edit documents. You can also grant permission for those outside your office network to view and edit documents, which can be especially useful for sharing information and presentations with clients or colleagues. In terms of collaboration, multiple users are allowed to simultaneously view and edit documents. Each user is marked with a specific colour; by looking at the colour, you can actually know that who is editing which part of the document.

Referring to [2], it is recommended that you to create several folders to categorize your documents, in order to keep your work organized. Otherwise, your Google Docs dashboard might get a little messy (just like mine).

Creating own survey form using Google Docs

Did you know? You can create your own survey form by using Google Docs. You can set your own questions [1], and when anyone replies to your survey form, his/her answer will appear in a new spreadsheet [2]. You can compile their answers or even do some statistical analysis if you want to.

Calendar

Screenshot of Google Calendar

Google Calendar provides an efficient and intuitive way to keep appointments and events synced across your entire business. With calendar sharing and permissions (similar to those in Docs), you can add other employees’ calendars to your own, and vice versa, in order to see and manage the big picture of your team’s time. You and your multiple employees can coordinate meetings, calls, or appointments without scheduling conflicts.

In addition, if you realise, Google Calendar has actually marked all the public holidays in your calendar to remind you should take a break and it’s time to spend time with your family (refer to picture above [1]).

The Calendar app can also be used to create events through Gmail. The new feature is that you can set up your working hours so that other people will know your time availability before they invite you to events [2]. By adding your employees’ email addresses to an event, they will receive an invitation to respond. Responding ‘yes’ automatically adds shared event to your calendar that each invitee can view and add notes to. It’s a smart way to coordinate meetings and keep everyone in the loop.

Invitation to an Event

This article originally appeared on the American Express OPEN Forum, re-posted by Matt Silverman and summarized by WOW.

How to Deal with Negative Feedback from Customers

Having a website presents you a lot of opportunities. Most of the opportunities available when you have a website are money making ones. However, it would also give you a way of soliciting views of people who are using your service or have bought your products. In line with this, having a website, means that you will also provide a portion of it for customer feedback. Customer feedback can help you in a lot of things. For example, positive feedbacks would inspire you to do more, so that they remain satisfied with the kind of service you have provided them with. Negative feedbacks though are some kind of challenge in your part. If you do it constructively, then you can make a positive result from it, by basing your improvement on the criticisms that have been posted.

Products and service providers’ reviews are there not to solely promote the product or company in question. The review is posted on the internet to help people make a sound decision in signing up with service providers or buying certain products. In other words, honest reviews would have positive and negative things found on it regarding the product or services it is reviewing. Therefore, one will be able to see whether the product or service is the one he is looking for.

Focusing back to your business, you should be able to respond to a negative feedback effectively when one is being raised by your customers. Just being silent about it would not do any kind of good for you or for your potential customers. Whatever kind of feedback has been posted on your website about you and your team, you should not react to it with so much emotion. Too much emotion in any kind of business is not good. It will prevent you do to the right things, as well as make you do something that would make the issue such a great deal, when it is just a simple remark. Keep in mind that every person has a right to his or her own feedback.

It is imperative that you take quick action whenever you receive a negative feedback. If you are going to take care of it properly, then you will be able to ensure that it will not become something big. However, if you do not have an immediate solution to the problem, make sure that you set expectations properly. In this example, you can promise the other guy that you are still looking for an available solution. Give a timeframe on when you can provide the solution. Set a deadline for yourself, so that you will be able to maintain your desire to provide the solution and make your customer happy.

Keep in mind that every business will have to go through negative feedbacks. It will depend entirely on you on how you want to respond to it. Keep in mind that professionalism is very important, and you want to view the negative feedbacks as constructive criticism.

Would like to give Serverfreak some feedback on our services? Click here

NEW Twitter

Great news to all Twitter fans!

Twitter has made a great announcement that a new version of Twitter web interface is coming out!

Not only with new design, the new Twitter will integrate multimedia into the stream!

The multimedia partnerships they hinted at earlier today extend to 16 different companies: DailyBooth, DeviantART, Etsy, Flickr, Justin.TV, Kickstarter, Kiva, Photozou, Plixi, Twitgoo, TwitPic, TwitVid, USTREAM, Vimeo, yfrog, and YouTube. In addition, many of the best features of Twitter clients like Tweetie, Seesmic Desktop, and TweetDeck now becoming a part of the default Twitter interface. Now Twitter will feel a bit more like Facebook.

Take a look at the video below, you’ll find out more interesting features about the NEW Twitter:

How to improve your SEO with minimal cost?

One of the most important things you will need when you start your own online business is a website. However, building your website entails a lot of work. Aside from that, when you finally are able to build and launch your website, you will need to make use of a number of internet marketing strategies so that your website will be exposed to as many people as possible. The more people visiting your site, the more chances you would have in increasing your revenue. Therefore, you need to make sure that you practice certain techniques in building your site, as well as after launching it. One of the techniques used is called SEO or Search Engine Optimization. This technique involves a lot of methods, which could even include the making of your own website. One of the company’s you can tap for web development is called Serverfreak. To get to know more about it, and see if its web development team applies certain techniques to make it SEO friendly, you can always check it online.

Search Engine Optimization, is often used by a lot of online marketers, to make sure that their websites would appear on the first results page of the search engine, or at least on the second page. This is because in most cases, people will only consider viewing the first two pages of the results, when they search for something online. In other words, if your website will be placed or ranked on the third and forgoing pages, then there is less likely that your website would be viewed by a lot of people. When this happens, your website would not be able to earn you money. Keep in mind that the volume of traffic is one of the keys in earning a lot of money on any kind of online business.

To make use of SEO, you can either make use of the methods yourself, or you can hire someone to do it for you. However, if you want something less costly, then you should do it yourself, or perhaps seek the assistance of your web developer. Building your website is important in SEO as well, since it should have the right kind of content, optimized by keywords so that it would be seen by different kinds of search engines. Therefore, if your web development service provider is quite competitive, then there is more likely that your website will be optimized effectively.

In addition to building your website’s content, you can also write articles to maximize the potential of your website to be found by web surfers. If you write the articles yourself, you will definitely be able to save a lot of money. What is important is that you are able to optimize it with keywords. You can always make use of different kinds of tools online, so that you will be able to determine which kinds of keywords should be used for your website.

Submit your articles to a variety of available article directories on the web. Do not forget to put the link of your website on it. You should also make use of the articles as additional content on your website, so that it will get indexed by the search engines. You should begin practicing SEO already upon website creation. Therefore, check it out soon, so that you will be able to know the kind of website development service they can provide.

Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri

Serverfreak Ingin Mengambil Kesempatan Ini Untuk Mengucapkan Semua Umat Islam Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri, Maaf Zahir & Batin!

Di Syawal yang mulia ini, kami ingin mengambil kesempatan mohon maaf sekiranya ada tersilap kata tersalah bahasa sepanjang berurusan dengan anda semua.

Semoga Syawal ini memberikan anda seribu penghayatan & kebahagian di samping keluarga tersayang.

We at Serverfreak would like to take this opportunity to wish all Muslim friends and clients Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri!

In this meaningful Syawal, we would also like to take this opportunity to apologize for any wrong doings or harsh comments we might have done while servicing you.

We hope this Syawal will bring you and your family peace & happiness!

For your information, our Technical Support Team will continue to operates 24/7 as usual during the Hari Raya break.

 

Warmest Regards,
Serverfreak

 

5 Fun Facts You Didn’t Know About Google

Google – what a familiar name to every Internet user of the world. How many of you have set Google as your home page? How many of you will type “google.com” whenever want to SEARCH for something?

Google began in March 1996 as a research project by Larry Page and Sergey Brin, Ph.D. students at Stanford working on the Stanford Digital Library Project (SDLP). And now, it has become the most widely used web-based search engine in the world.

Here we bring you 5 fun facts about Google which are pretty interesting. Hopefully it cheers your day up!

1. The First Google Doodle

Google’s famous homepage “Doodles” (the changing Google logo graphics) are well known and enjoyed by millions around the world as a way to mark an event or anniversary. But did you know that the very first Google Doodle was designed as a kind of “out of office” message?

The first Google Doodle was a stick figure drawing, the idea was to let people know that Larry and Sergey (the founders) would attend the Burning man festival at Nevada for a few days (so that their users would know they were out of office and couldn’t fix technical issues like a server crash). This first ever Google Doodle was made in 1999.

There is a team of designers who are behind the doodles you see on Google.com. The main lead being Denis Hwang who is supported by Micheal Lopez, Ryan Germick, Susie Sahim and Jennifer Hom.

So, there are actually how many Google Doodles have been created so far? I have found this interesting video on YouTube, summarizing all Google Doodles for 10 years. Enjoy guys!

2. Google’s First Ever Tweet

Ever wonder what’s Google’s first ever Twitter post? Probably you need go to Google’s Twitter and keep pressing the “More” button to figure it out! We can tell you now – this message, sent in February 2009, reads “I’m 01100110 01100101 01100101 01101100 01101001 01101110 01100111 00100000 01101100 01110101 01100011 01101011 01111001 00001010.”

For anyone not fluent in binary, here’s a hint — it’s a well known phrase from the company’s homepage.

Got it? Yes, it reads: “I’m feeling lucky”.

3. Google Rents Goats

Google rents out goats. Ha, this might be funny but it’s REAL! Google has rented a herd of goats from California Grazing to replace the lawn mowers that normally cut the grass in the fields around its headquarters.

How many goats are there?  There are 200 of them which roam around for a week eating the grass. Not only that, these goats will fertilize the land at the same time — yes, that way.

Google claims the goats will cost about the same as lawn mowers would. The lawn mowers are losing their job to goats!

4. Google’s Impact on Language

“Google” is in the dictionary! In 2006, Oxford English Dictionary added “google” as a verb to their lexicons.

What’s more? A Google staffer is commonly referred to as a “Googler”, while a new team member joins as a “Noogler”. Nooglers also used to wear a colorful hat with a spinner on top. According to a former employee, those hats are now pretty scarce in some offices, instead: “Every Noogler gets a yellow smiley balloon and a nameplate.”

5. The Google Logo Was Not Centered Until 2001

Google’s famously sparse homepage is considered a classic design in the online world. The Google logo, however, wasn’t actually centered on the page until March 31, 2001. As early users will remember, the homepage had a bias to the left-hand side, and even earlier — back in 1998 — Google sported a Yahoo-style exclamation mark.

This article is contributed by Amy-Mae Elliott and summarized by WOW.

Choosing a Domain Name

If you are planning to establish an online business soon, you will need to be willing enough to make the necessary sacrifices to attain success in it. For example, you need to invest enough time and effort to be able to run your business properly. Aside from that, if you really want success bad enough, you will have to invest some money on it; but, it does not necessarily mean that it would require huge amounts of it. Part of an online business that may require for you to cash out is the making and the launching of a website. Part of website launching is making its domain name and registering it. Now, there are many domain name registration providers available in the market these days, including ServerFreak!

A review regarding this domain name registration and web hosting company will present you with a lot of facts about it. More importantly, it will help you come up with a decision on whether or not the company is your choice for registering your domain name. Furthermore, it will also give you more insights on what you should be looking for in a domain name registration provider.

Once you are able to build your website, register its domain and launched it, it actually does not stop there. You will have to make use of several internet marketing strategies that would help you in exposing your website to as many people as you can. This is called generating the volume of traffic to your website. More people visiting your site mean that you have a greater volume of traffic, which would also mean that you will have more opportunities in closing out deals. In other words, website traffic generation is very important. You should make use of techniques as early as possible to make sure that you are able to achieve it. In fact, choosing the kind of domain name you want to register for your website is already a factor, which can influence the kind of volume of traffic your website will enjoy.

It is a very big factor since people’s first impressions on websites usually lasts. In line with this, you should make sure that you choose the domain name of your website carefully. You want something that would be short, easy to remember, and catchy. Before going any further though, it is best that you become more familiar with what a domain name is all about. A domain name is the internet address where your website would be found. It is the combination of words that a person would type on the address bar on his web browser to visit a particular website. Keep in mind that it is very important to have your own domain name. This is because your domain name would reflect the kinds of products you sell, aside from giving your website more credibility.

Choose a domain name that is simple and easy to remember. Obviously, no matter how simple it is, if it is too long, then people, even you, may not be able to recall it easily. Through review, you will be able to acquire information, on how to create your own domain name with this provider easily. However, before you begin creating your own domain name, provide yourself some time to give it some thought. It is always better if you have a few choices of domain names, since there is a possibility that the domain name you want is no longer available. Get your own domain now!

Import Your Blog from Blogspot to WordPress

One of the online opportunities you can take advantage of these days is creating blogs. Creating blogs is so easy since all you need to do is follow the simple steps provided by blogspot. With blogspot, the very first thing you may do is create your account. After which, you can proceed with the creation of your blog. Creating a blog with blogspot is very easy, since all you need to do is select the theme and templates to build it. Once you have chosen from the various options, you can proceed by uploading your content on it. Now, blogspot is a free service, and if you want to earn more from your blogs, you want to get your own web hosting company and transfer it to WordPress. To achieve this, you can subscribe to the web hosting and import your content from blogspot to WordPress.

http://www.blogger.com

In moving your blog to WordPress, you should know that there are issues that may not be favorable for you. In relation to this, you should make sure that you follow certain steps in doing the move. One of the issues you may encounter is that, some of the articles you have in your blogspot may already have been indexed by the search engines. This could mean that they are already ranking high in search engines, whenever people search for information with the use of certain keywords. This is of course, a very good sign; however, when you transfer them to WordPress, it means that you may also need to change your domain name. When you change it, your articles may lose all their high rankings in search engines.

Another downside that you may encounter when you move your blog to WordPress is that, people who are already used to view your blog for updates may lose their way. Some of these people might have already bookmarked your blog for easy access. Whenever they use it, they will find nothing when you have already transferred your blog, especially when they use links to access your blog from other sites.

All in all, the issue that you may be able to encounter when you do this move is lost in traffic, and that you may have to start from scratch. Starting from scratch would mean that you may also lose all the money making activities you have been enjoying with your blogspot. Therefore, it is imperative that you find a work around first before you make the move.

The good news however, is that a solution has already been made available regarding this issue. Such a solution usually involves giving WordPress the authorization to access your blogspot account. After which, WordPress will then be able to import all your old blog posts to your new WordPress site. It would also include importing comments that have been posted on your posts; therefore, everything would stay the same. This is usually the initial step that would be taken in importing your blog to WordPress effectively.

Such information can be accessed on a lot of blogs and sites on the internet. It is a good idea though that you acquire a good hosting service along with WordPress, so that it will work at its best. It is one of the web hosting providers you can tap for WordPress. Once you have done this, all you need to do is locate a good source for the information of importing your blog to WordPress. This will ensure that you will be able to import everything without losing traffic, search engine ranking, and RSS subscriber.