Top 10 Reasons I Recommend iPage To All My Clients

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[Disclosure: I do receive commission from iPage on any sales made via the links and banner advertisements clicked in this post.]

Let’s talk about hosting. Anyone that has purchased a website design through me will know that I highly recommend iPage hosting.

In this post I thought I would dive right in and explore why iPage is my go to hosting company of choice and how you could benefit from using their services.

If you want more information on how to build a site using iPage, head here.

What is website hosting

While this may seem like an obvious question for some, the fact is many people that come to me looking for a small business website are not necessarily aware of what hosting is, and what options are available to them.

To answer that first question, website hosting is basically the service you use to look after all of your website data so people can access it online.

A good hosting provider will have features such as daily back up of your website, fast reliable servers (the machines that store your website data) and other addons to make sure your website is available 24/7 and that hackers cannot get in there and corrupt your data.


So why do I recommend iPage to all my clients?

1. Reliability

The main reason from my point of view is that they are very reliable. In all my time using iPage I have never experienced any server downtime with either my own, or my client’s sites.

2. Excellent Support

Secondly, their support is fantastic. When you are dealing with websites and the myriad configurations with WordPress updates, different themes and plugins as well as security issues – problems can and do occur.

Whenever I have encountered an issue that I have not been able to solve myself, the support team at iPage have been very quick to answer my tickets.

The end result is the client has their site issue resolved within hours. Both myself and my clients are happy with that outcome.

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3. Unlimited disk space & email addresses

The beauty of iPage is that as your business and website grows, you have a plan that will perfectly accommodate your needs. Unlimited disk space means your site will never have to be moved to a different service, or be prompted to pay for upgrades. Your plan takes care of all of that from the start.

4. Easy to use Site Builders

If you decide to opt for iPage without using my web design services, it is possible to get up and running very quickly with the free site-builders. Right from the iPage dashboard you can access easy to use site-builders such as:

  • Weebly
  • WordPress


5. Free Domain Name Registration

This is an excellent offer for all those starting out with a new website online. With iPage signup you get your domain name registration absolutely free.


6. First Class Site Security

You can be confident that your data is safe and secure with iPage. Each plan comes with a free security suite with business verification, malware scanning, and network scanning within a highly-secured data center.

7. Free Marketing Tools

On signup with iPage they very kindly throw in marketing tools to help you spread the word about your website. These include $100 Google AdWords credit, $100 Yahoo/Bing credit, free listing, and more!

A perfect starter package for a successful online business.

8. Free eCommerce Tools

Even the lowest price package with iPage comes with free eCommerce solutions so that you can begin selling online with out fuss. These include:

  • A free online store (an out of the box feature to begin selling products)
  • Paypal integration
  • AgoraCart shopping cart
  • OpenCart shopping cart
  • PrestaShop shopping cart
  • Zen Cart shopping cart


And a whole lot more. Believe me, as a web designer, having access to all of those features straight from the hosting plan is an absolute treat. Amazing value for money.

9. 30 Days Money Back Guarantee

Although I have never had a client that has needed to use it.

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10. Exceptional Low Cost Yearly Plan

Finally, the iPage unlimited hosting package is so ludicrously low priced, I never have any problems suggesting to my clients that this is the package to go for. At around 2$ per month it is by far the best valued hosting service available in the world today.

…. And that is why, I recommend iPage to all my customers.

If you’re interested in checking out what offers they have currently, just click on the banner below. If you want any more information about their hosting or help getting set up, just drop me a message using the contact form.


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5 Small Business Web Site Marketing Tips

Ok, so you have had a small business website nicely designed for you. You’ve paid the web designer and now you’re waiting for the traffic to come knocking on your website ‘door’ and increased business as a result.

Unfortunately having a website built for your business is just the first step. A lot of work is needed to get it out there and make sure people notice.

Here 5 fundamental onsite (meaning what you can do with your actual website) marketing optimization techniques. Quite simply, by following these steps your small business website will perform that much better.

1. Create lots of good, quality relevant content

content-is-kingYou can’t look at an article on SEO without seeing the term ‘content is king’. So I will get it out of the way first.

There is certainly truth in the mantra. If you want your business website to do well with the search engines, you have got to make sure the content is of good quality and is relevant.

The more of this glorious well written content you have on your website the more the search engines can scan and therefore index you for the type of search terms you are targeting.

Which leads to the importance of Keyword research. Gone are the days where you can stuff your site with keywords you would like to be ranked for.

Now careful research is the order of the day. Using the Google Keyword Planner, you can find out the sorts of words your potential clients are keying in to Google to find what they need.

Then you write content that uses these keywords (in a natural and readable context), so that Google will rank you higher when those terms are searched.

The important thing here is remember to write for your audience, not the search engines. Keep in your mind why would people come to your web site? How do you offer them anything more interesting and informative than another competing website in your field.

If you stand out by giving something original and worthwhile, both your audience and Google will appreciate you.

Try to set aside an hour a day (or at least an hour a week) to adding new, quality content to your web site.

2. Keep your content Fresh

fresh contentSo you’ve built up a load of content for your small business website and feel you can relax for a bit. Not so I am afraid. If you allow your content to become stale and old it will lose relevance. Google actually tracks how often a website is being updated when it visits the site for indexing.

The more often your site changes the better your rank will be in the freshness category.

The best way your website can be designed to allow for all the fresh new content you are writing from step one, is to include a blog. Platforms such as WordPress are built in a way that Google loves. If you add fresh content through your blog, with good navigation through the use of tabs and categories, (this basically means your content is ordered in a way that makes it easy for a visitor to find what they want), your site will perform well.

And once again your website visitor is happy.

3. No ‘Black Hat’ SEO Tricks

Black-HatAll over the internet you will find deals for 1000 quality back-links, or SEO tricks for success. All with the aim of fooling the system so you can reach higher position in Google. Any tactic of this nature is considered ‘Black Hat’.

These techniques did work once upon a time, but with Google’s continuing algorithm updates, (the now infamous Panda and Penguin), your small business website will quickly be penalized if you have used such tactics.

The simple solution to this is to not play that game. These days the effort involved pursuing black hat principles in a way that doesn’t get you punished by the search engines, is so difficult, you may as well expend that energy doing it the correct way. (Also known as ‘White Hat’)

By following the recommendations of the search engines – (most will set out rules for web masters that outline what they would like to see in a website ) and articles such as this, your website will perform all the better. More importantly, it will continue to do so even after the most recent Google algorithm change.

4. Links – Both inbound and outbound links should be relevant

linklink exchanges really are a thing of the past. These days it is all about quality over quantity. And a quality link comes from being placed on a site that is relevant.

In short, you need other websites in your niche (with as high a page rank as possible) to be connecting to you. The anchor text, (the text used to link back to your website) is important in that it needs to be descriptive of the keywords you are attempting to rank for.

If you are going about link building yourself, target blogs and forums in your niche. Leave valuable comments with a link back to your site and not only will you be spreading the word of your business, you will be showing potential clients your knowledge and ability to help.

Links to this very website are placed within small business website forums through out the web. I have left what I thought to be helpful advice and I have generated leads from this.

5. Structure – Organize your small business web site so people can find that lovely content

site-structure-seoIt is an obvious point, however both the search engines and your audience will appreciate you if your website is well structured.

It is amazing how often people forget this and opt for sloppy navigation with their website, with dead links and hard to find information tucked away in the far reaches of the site.

The search engines bots work by breaking down websites into elements based on the structure of the pages. If your structure is coherent, the bots will like you and you will be graded higher in this part of the ranking algorithm.

Your audience works on reaching your site by wanting specific information. If they can get that quickly and efficiently, (people rarely read through web pages, they scan headings and bulleted lists to find the detailed sections of interest) they will like you and maybe come back for more.

In both cases a well structured small business website will perform so much better than one that is a hodge-podge of information haphazardly thrown together.

Use relevant headings, and tags. Organise sections of content into groups, or create link pages that cater for a particular topic and pulls together all your content in that area. Make sure your menus and sub menus are clear. Use bold and bullied lists to present key points. And get rid of any dead links.

Simple site TLC and some thoughtful reformatting can turn your small business website into a worthwhile hub, engaging your audience and more importantly converting those leads.

To Conclude

babyThere are of course many more areas you can tweak and play with when it comes to increasing the overall performance of your website. However, in my opinion, few are as important as the steps above.

In later tutorials I will be going through each of the steps in more detail.

If you feel that your website is lacking in any of the areas above, or you would just like an appraisal of your sites performance, please feel free to contact me.

I offer absolutely free, no obligation consultations, and web design health checks.

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SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) is an essential part of managing your own website. If you do not pay attention to this your website is likely to be lost in the vastness of the Internet, meaning potential customers cannot find you. By following the 10 SEO tips below you can ensure that your B&B website appears higher on search engines, which will in turn help increase your bookings.

1. List Your Website

If you haven’t already done so, list your website in local directories. Even though you will be placed alongside other B&B businesses, this will signal to search engines what your website is about, which city you are in, and for which searches your website should be displayed. Websites such as Google Local, are free and are essential in increasing SEO related to searches that are made local to your area.

Spend some time listing yourself and claiming your profiles in the top local directories for your city, town or country. Always ensure that your information is consistent and that you use the same name and address formats when listing yourself in local directories.

2. Fresh Content – Start a blog

Fresh content is one of the most important factors in website SEO. Search engines love a freshly updated site. A blog area on a B&B website is essential and is also a great way to showcase your local knowledge.

Make sure you cover topics that people will be searching for, such as the latest events, things to do and activities in your area. You never know. Someone who is looking for information on an event near you, may find your website and then end up booking their accommodation with you as well.

3. Add your address

By including a footer area in your website design, you can have all your business contact details on every page of your website. This is used as a local ranking signal, and informs the search engines which city and country you are in. It also ensures that you appear for the correct searches when people are looking for a place to stay in your area.

4. Local Partnerships

Links from other websites form a large part in search engine rankings and being found online. The more links from local websites that you are able to get, the more likely you are to rank for searches for accommodation in your area.

Spend some time forming partnerships with other local suppliers, like tour providers and restaurants. Make sure that as part of these partnerships these suppliers link back to your website from their own websites.

5. Guest  Reviews

Your website should always have a testimonials page. This is one of the simplest ways to add new content to your website. Also, don’t be afraid to ask people to leave reviews on any of the websites you are listed. Such reviews will make your business more credible, and if they are on a recognised website, are often displayed within the search results in Google.

6. Add Sharing Buttons to your Website

Does your website contain sharing buttons so that articles, images and general content can be shared easily across the numerous social media sites that exist today? Can I ‘Like’ your B&B with a click of a button? No, then you are missing out on the power of social media.

By allowing your website to be shared easily across the main social media websites, you are not only increasing your audience, you are increasing your SEO. Search engines value such links very highly indeed.

7. Social Media Connectivity

Does your current website automatically post any update you make to your social media profiles? If not you are missing a powerful SEO trick. As stated above, search engines love fresh content. They also love links from social media sites. If your website is configured to automatically post your latest content on social media websites, you are achieving both of these SEO tools in one very simple step.

8. Avoid using Flash and images as text

Search engine cannot read flash and images as text. So, in general, stay away from both as content mediums. What’s more, flash images are not compatible with Iphones and Ipads. If your site has a flash gallery – there’s a large audience that cannot see your site properly.

9. SEO Friendly Page Titles

Are your page titles optimized to be SEO friendly? Start by ensuring that every page of your website has a distinct and SEO-friendly URL that describes what the page is about in a few words. For example, if you have a page about your room prices, instead of ‘www.mylovelyb&’, your URL needs to be converted into something like ‘www.mylovelyb&’. This is clearly much more search engine friendly and is very important if you start adding blog content to your website.

10. Add your website to Google Analytics

Did the designers who created your website site add Google Analytics. If not, you are missing a fundamental way of your site being read and analysed by the world’s largest search engine. GA enables you to see exactly where your website visits are coming from, and the behavior of the viewer once they are there. Essential information to see where and how you B&B website could be performing better.

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Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) – Made Simple

Search Engine Optimisation – What is it?

Search Engine Optimisation is the technique used to make your website appear higher in search engine rankings such as Google and Yahoo. Great SEO is vital in today’s internet market place. A wonderfully designed website is all well and good, but if no one knows about it, your website is useless. If you want people to see your website it is obviously important to appear as close to page one of their search as possible. SEO will do this.


Search Engines – How do they Work?

Search engines such as Google work by trawling the entire web, automatically making a record of the content a website contains. Using complicated algorithms (the exact details of which are undisclosed) Google will rank a website, based on variables such as relevant words and content, how often it is updated, and the quality/relevance of sites that link back to it, in order to give your site a ranking in line with the search terms you use.


Website Design – Maximise SEO

The websites I design all have inbuilt SEO tools. This very website has an inbuilt plugin to encode the site with search terms relevant to the nature of the site. These are called Metatags and descriptions.

Every website I create will have the same facility, contain key words for SEO relevant to your website and are easily edited by you should you need.


Key Words & Content

One of the most important aspect when designing a website is the content itself. Generally you will be providing the content, however where necessary we will make edits so that your site is SEO friendly. Techniques such as using your key terms in the title and first paragraph of every page will be used where appropriate. Image file names will also contain your key terms. These subtle website design techniques are what they call ‘White Hat’, meaning they are organically created to provide an efficient website, that the search engines will detect and rank accordingly.



Decent back-links are vital to successful SEO. The more respected websites linking to your pages the better. So how can you make that happen? The best ‘White Hat’ technique (ie organically created back-links), is to produce great content that other sites will want to link to. It can take some time to create such a buzz around your content however.

Signing up to forums is another way of creating back-links. Leave helpful advice on your business area on blog comment sections and forums, and in your signature, leave a link to your website. As long as the subject is relevant, your link will not be considered spam, and the back-link will good.

Social media bookmarking is another excellent way to create back-links. (Check out our article here).

Posting excerpts of your latest website news on social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter, ensures great high-grade backlinks, and will help bring fresh traffic to your website.


Great Content, regularly updated

I brushed upon this earlier, but one sure fire way of increasing your SEO is relevant original content, updated often. The search engines recognise this, and your customers will keep coming back to see what new information you have. There is no substitute for this.


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Social Media Bookmarking – What is it?

What exactly is social bookmarking?

Quite simply, social bookmarking is what you are doing every time you ‘like’ something on Facebook. You are leaving a link to an item on a social media website. This link is called a back-link.

Google loves social media back links, especially if they originate from high ranking websites such as Facebook. Such links serve to increase your ranking, and of course can lead to increased traffic to your website.

Every time you create a valuable post, you should submit it to all the social media websites available. (The obvious ones being Facebook, Twitter, Stumble-upon etc. There are hundreds more).

Submitting your posts manually can be time consuming. You have to register an account with every social media site you wish to use, and then submit your post to each of them individually.

SB1 Design, can automate this process for you. Using syndicate accounts such as Onlywire & SocialADR, I can effectively submit your website to all of the major social media websites with a click of a button. Instant high-grade back links.

I also make it easy for visitors to your website to submit your pages to social media sites. I incorporate simple submission icons in all my designs. Just one click and a visitor can post your items on which ever social profile they wish.

It is important to realise the power of social media bookmarking. It is fast becoming the must-do for Search Engine Optimisation. My website design takes this into account during every stage of the creative process.

Contact me today to see how I can help you maximise your online presence.

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