RECENT POSTS

Your Business Phone Service can be a lot Cheaper!

Business Phone Service

Expensive Business Phone Services Traditional businesses probably call their local phone provider (AT&T, BellSouth, etc.), and setup a business account with multiple extensions. In other cases they get a business phone service from their internet service providers. Some businesses have a work from home or have a remote team that needs to be on the same phone system and use popular VoIP based services such as Vonage Business, RingCentral or Nextiva. These services tend to be cost-prohibitive for some businesses or start-ups and creates a fixed or variable cost per extension. We were using a popular VoIP system that worked well with our distributed team, however, it created an added cost per extension and/or direct line. Our company requires several direct lines and a main line because we provide white label services to some of our partners. Some of these services charged for every feature we would need such as a conference bridge, a call tree and others. Our First […]


Developing an Application? Define your MVP first!

Define Your MVP

What is an MVP? According to Wikipedia an MVP (minimal viable product) is a product with just enough features to satisfy early customers, and to provide feedback for future development. Some experts suggest that in business to business transactions an MVP also means saleable: “it’s not an MVP until you sell it. Viable means you can sell it”. Before you decide to build a new product or application, make sure you define your MVP first. It is very common that a client approaches us with an idea to automate or streamline existing processes to increase productivity. We find that often that their ideas are very large and can take a long time to develop. This can cause a lot of a lot of feedback, delays, changes and revisions. Even worse, when put in production, the actual usage is much lower than expected. These problems can happen because you didn’t take an MVP approach or the MVP was poorly defined.  You […]


Create a VPN Server on a budget

how to setup vpn on a budget

You don’t need to spend a lot of money to have a VPN for your workplace.  It is pretty easy and cheap to do. Besides, it can really make things a lot more secure for your work. What is a VPN? VPN or Virtual Private Network is a way to keep things as secure as possible in a company or organization by creating a “tunnel” between your remote location and your office’s network. With a traditional VPN it makes it easier for you to connect to your company’s network, access files and applications and more. This way it doesn’t matter where you are because when you use it you will work as if you were in the office.  All the data, files and applications you normally use in your office will be accessible from any location. How can a VPN be useful or more secure? An office can control and separate things from the inside and the outside network. For example: your network […]


What is cloud hosting and why use it?

what is cloud hosting

What is Cloud Hosting? Cloud hosting is when you are able to combine several servers or machines to work together and act as one big scalable hosting server. On top of that you can set up multiple virtual environments and containers inside this cloud and each one will work independently. This provides improved scalability (it is much easier to increase resources, processing power, disk space, and more). So in effect, a cloud hosting solution can be seen as a very big server with tremendous resource capacity, high network speed and intelligent software that allows an administrator to create independent smaller hosting environments that share resources effectively without affecting each other. Advantages of Cloud Hosting With traditional dedicated or shared hosting providers (these ultimately depend on a single server) it is harder to scale and has less disaster recovery options. If multiple hard drives fail, or a RAM chip goes bad, it affects the entire server. It is harder to scale […]


Your website needs a check-up!

website check-up

Have you done your Website check-up? Your website is your online business card, so it is important that you monitor your website and make sure it is in good hands. Many business owners have learned how to manage their own sites, run campaigns and often do a good job. However, more often than not, there is something that can slip by. Maintaining a website is very time consuming and now more than ever, because it is never finished! In order to be relevant, you need to be adding and updating your website content, ensuring the overall design is still up to standards, and that the message is geared to your target audience. Updating your website is takes a lot of time so you need to make sure you are editing the right pages with the right content. Whether you manage your own website or pay for a service to do this for you, here is a list of basic things you can review […]


Validate your HTML code | W3C Validation

Validate your HTML Code

What is HTML validation? The world wide web consortium (W3C) is an international community that has defined the de-facto standards of how to code HTML on your website. Without them, people who make web browsers would not know what do change in the code to render (show) your web pages correctly. There has been many versions of HTML standards, the latest version is HTML5 which added cool features such as improved video, image rendering on the fly and geolocation. For HTML code to work properly on the latest browsers it needs to be written correctly and that is determined by the W3C standards, so when you validate your html code against these standards then your web page will have better chances of showing up correctly and consistently on all browsers. The good news is that the W3C offers an online validator for HTML and CSS so check them out! How can you validate your HTML? Besides the traditional way of validating […]


Difference between domain hosting and web hosting

difference between web hosting and domain hosting

It can get confusing on understanding the difference between domain hosting and web hosting. Often when I ask a client “Where is your domain hosted?”, they say one of the following: “Oh, I have everything in GoDaddy or X service.” “What’s domain hosting? I bought the domain many years ago, I don’t know.” “Don’t you host my website? You should know.” “I don’t know, ask my IT guy.” What is a Domain? A domain is the “master” address of your internet name, for example nearsource.net is our domain. You purchase domains at registrar sites, for example we have our own registrar nearsourcehosting.com available for clients to register domains. There are many popular registrar sites like www.godaddy.com and register.com. These usually also offer web hosting as well (explained later in this article). Domains are normally purchased (registered) for 1 or more years and needs to be renewed yearly or when it expires. There is no one-time purchase option when registering a domain. […]


Follow These Basic Guidelines to Effectively SEO Your Website

Effectively SEO Your Website

For most people, search engine optimization (or SEO) can seem like some secret art that only a select few “hackers” and digital experts can understand. In reality, SEO can be practiced by anyone, regardless of your technical expertise or understanding. Effective SEO requires a lot of common sense and you can really improve the search rankings of your website by following a few simple rules and executing on them properly. If you follow these rules (even if you don’t understand why you are doing them at first) you will gradually see your website climbing in the search rankings. My name is Tim Stoddart. I am the owner of Stodzy Media. Today, I will guide you through the key points that will undoubtedly get you started on your SEO journey Let’s get started Create Valuable, Well Written Content Writers will always have a job in the SEO world. To be able to create well written, long form content is such a […]


WordPress 4.8 coming out in June 2017

WordPress 4.8 June 2017

WordPress 4.8 is already announced to be released in June 2017! This is not a security update or minor update like the past releases earlier this year. It is the first major release for 2017. WPbeginner.com has release an article with screenshots and an overview of what is coming out. If you are a WordPress enthusiast, you should check it out. Some changes that are coming: Text Widgets will now have a visual and text editor instead of just a text editor. New Image widget for sidebars New Video widget to embed videos from different sources such as Youtube and Vimeo Updated News & Events widget in the WordPress admin/dashboard page Full article below: http://www.wpbeginner.com/news/whats-coming-in-wordpress-4-8-features-and-screenshots/


How and why to use images on your website

Images On Your Website

There are many reasons to add images on your website and blog posts. Besides illustrating your content, it makes your site look nicer, more user friendly and can help you with your SEO (Search Engine Optimization). You don’t want to have a boring page with just paragraphs and no images. It has been proven that adding images increase the chances of user engagement, social media sharing and can increase your site traffic. However, you need to do it right otherwise you won’t get the most benefits out of them. If your images are too large, it will make your page load slower and page load speed is an important factor for both user experience and SEO. You have to make sure you have rights to use your images, you can’t just do a Google search and grab images and put them on your site. Where to find images for your site You can use your own photos, design files or […]