If you’re reading this blog, there’s a good chance that you’re either an internet marketer, or part of a dev team.  The problem with these two people, is that usually, they don’t know each other’s jobs.

Situation: John Marketer goes to Susan Developer about a technical issue.  Susan Developer spits out tech mumbo jumbo and John Marketer is confused and frustrated.


Susan Developer needs to tell John Marketer about a potential problem with SEO, but John Marketer has no idea and writes a blog post full of Google red flags.

This happens more than you think because of a simple disconnect between the two teams.  Well to fix this problem, I have created a big glossary for you guys to clear up confusion.  Trust me, you’ll need this, I still refer back to this everyday.  You’re welcome

1. Anchor text , anchor link – When a word is clickable thus containing a link.

2. Backlink, back-link – a link from an outside website (outside source) that redirects to the original website.  (i.e. the links that point back to your blog)

3. Broken link – a link that fails to connect to it’s intended destination

4. Cloaking – When a website shows one version to the user and a separate falsified version to a  search engine.  For example,  showing your users the normal page, and then having the search engines see a keyword stuffed splash page thus boosting your ranking.  DO NOT DO THIS.  If a search engine finds out you are employing this black hat SEO practice, you will be severely penalized and potentially banned from Google (i.e. BMW Germany and Google)

5. Contextual marketing – Based on what a user searches and which pages he visits, how an advertiser takes that information and markets specifically to that individual.

6. Conversion ratio – This is the number of sales or leads generated divided by the number of visitors to your site.  Conversion ratio could be applied to any number of business goals.

7. CSS – Cascading Style Sheet – Used for programming, this document will tell the browser how to display websites.

8. Domain Name – website name – Domain name is or URL (Universal Resource Locator) is a unique  alphanumeric name and attached to a certain IP address. While every address has an IP address they also have domain names for simplicity.  (i.e.,

9. Duplicate Content – This is when there is similar content on one site and another. Basically I posted this gollsary on another blog, so I have created completely new content here for best practice SEO.

10. Email marketing – business promotion and brand recognition/management through the use of email contacting.  While this has worked from some marketers, this has gained a bad reputation because of spammers.

11. External links – any links that point to a website

12. High quality links – links from highly ranked and relevant websites

13. Hit – a single visit to a website from a person or automated program

14. Host / webhost / hosting server – The host or webhost is the company you choose to put your website online. If you need to know more, check our about us.

15. HTML– Hyper Text Markup Language.  It is a language of programming used to display websites elements which the browser reads and shows the viewer.

16. Impression – a single view of the web page or an advertisement by the Internet user.

17. Internal links – links in a website connect the user to other elements or pages within the same website.

18. Internet Marketing – a broad term, internet marketing refers to the business promotion and brand management of a company through the use of various avenues via the internet.

19. Internet Traffic – The number of visitors a website receives

20. IP address – Internet Protocol is a unique numeric address identifying any device connected to the Internet.

21. Delivery – The use of IP addresses search engines use to show the user local search engine results.  I.e. when you type in dry cleaners, Oleg’s cleaners in Moscow doesn’t appear.   This method is being used not only by Google but by many internet marketers.

22. Keyword – Popular words employed by search engines to find relevant websites in organic searches.

23. Keyword Phrase – Combination of keywords

24. Keyword stuffing – Another blackhat SEO practice, this is the overuse of keywords in a page.  This practice will actually penalize your ranking from the search engines.

25. Landing Page – a landing page is a web page designed to be highly relevant to an advertisement or query.  These are very useful for pay per click advertising.
26. Link bait – Any compelling article or content that brings attention to a website.  (i.e. lolcats)

27. Link building – an essential SEO practice, to  create links to a page and in and around a page to increase conversion ratio and page rank for a search engine results page (SERP).

28. Link juice – this refers to the authority of th links that link to your page.  Different SEO practices are utilized to maximize the ‘link juice’ your page obtains.  For instance, if there is duplicate content, then the 2 pages will share the juice unless you tell the search engine to give one site all of the authority.

29. Long tail keyword –similar to keyword phrase, this is multiples permutations of keywords to create a search query.  T

30. Low quality link – Links from low-ranked or irrelevant websites. is a high quality link, is not

31. Market analysis – A broad term, Market Analysis is tthe researching of a market.  This includes who the potential consumers are, and all aspects of their commercial interests.

32. Market value – this expression refers to the expected price obtained for sold goods or services in a given time period.

33. Meta Description– This is the short description beneath a title tag in a search engine results page.  There is no need to stuff this with keywords as it does not carry much SEO weight.  However, with a captivating meta description it can bring more users, which does affect SEO.

34. Meta tag – Information enveloped in the head portion of an HTML document.  Meta tags provide various information about the website to the search engine allowing for better indexing and cataloging.

35. Nofollow link – This can be a bit confusing, allow me to clarify.  This is a meta tag that tells a search engine not to follow (click on) a certain link.  There’s certain pages that have duplicate content that need to link juice, like the archives page on your blog.  You can tell the search engines to not go to these parts of your blog, thus preserving all link authority where it belongs.

36. Off-page SEO –  These are the SEO practices you employ off your page to increase page rank and visibility.  This includes external link building, link baiting, being active in online communities, and many more.

37. On-page SEO – In contrast to off-page SEO, on-page are the SEO practices you employ directly on your own website.  This includes title tag optimization, meta description optimization, keyword phrase strategies, internal link building etc.

38. Organic Search Results – These are the results that show up through a search.  For example, Google search ‘webhosting’, and those results were found organically.

39. Page Rank – a hypothetical value of a web page.  In an organic search which entry you are on that page.  This is very dynamic, and hundreds of factors can determine your rank.

40. PPC – Pay-Per-Click – PPC is an online marketing strategy where a businesses pay based on the traffic they receive.  Examples of PPC are the advertisements on the right hand side of a SERP in a Google search, or the advertisements you see on facebook.

41. Redirecting – This is an instruction telling a search engine to go into another page. This is a crucial technique when it comes to fixing duplicate content issues.  Instead of always creating unique content (which is the best SEO practice), there are times when duplicate content is unavoidable.  Therefore, by redirecting search engines, you avoid penalties and preserve all link juice.

42. RSS – Rich Site Summary- This allows subscribers to get laters updates from a specific website.

43. Search Engine – A  computer program which searches internet documents for certain keywords.  They then index those documents and display those documents in a certain order of results.  The big three search engines are: Google, Yahoo, and Bing.

44. Search Engine Marketing – SEM –SEM is a branch of internet marketing that deals with business promotion through the use of search engines.   SEM deals with very closely with SEO to maximize exposure using search engines.

45. Search Engine Optimization – SEO – This is the practice of using different techniques to increase exposure and to ultimately increase page rank for websites.

46. Search Engine Spider – A computer program deployed by the search engines to travel the internet and gather data from websites and index them for the search engines.

47. Search engine submission – An online request to a search engine to catalog your website or a web page.

48. Search term  or search query– Words or phrases input into search engies to bring up search results.

49. SERP – A Search Engine Result Page – The indexed results that appear when you search in a search engine.

50. Social media marketing – Specific marketing strategies based on the utilization of online social media sites i.e. Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Reddit, etc.

51. Unique Visitor – Unique visitor is a new person who visits a website once in a certain period of time.

52. Web Analytics – This is the analysis of a given website that tell the webmaster number of visitors, conversion rates, and other performance factors intended to understand and optimize web usage

53. Website Traffic – The number of total visitors a website receives in a given period of time.

I’m sure there are some I have left out.  Leave a comment if you think I should add to the glossary!

For almost three decades now, the conventional wisdom about Macs and viruses has been simple: They don’t get them. Viruses are made for PCs, they say, which means Macs aren’t vulnerable to them. And whenever the latest virus scare goes cycling through the PC world, my fellow Mac users and I can relax, if not outright throw our heads back and laugh.

That may be about to change.

If Macs don’t get many viruses, it’s not because they’re magically or systemically immune; it’s because virus coders usually target the bullseye, the most vulnerable, most populous demographic, in order to give their viruses the widest spread. Historically, that’s meant targeting Windows, which in the past, has had not only many more vulnerabilities, but a much wider audience.

However, two key trends are on the move right now. One, PC users are migrating to Windows 7, which is intrinsically much stronger than its predecessors. Two, OS X is starting to capture a wider and wider market share. Those two factors combined may, very soon, make OS X a more appealing target for coders who want to do harm.

Of course, in no way does that mean “jump ship.” What it means is “be proactive, and be ready.” Outfit your Mac with a professional-caliber virus security program, if you haven’t already, and surf the Web carefully and responsibly. All the usual rules of thumb for minimizing risk still apply; stay away from the Internet’s bad neighborhoods, don’t open spam (especially not attachments), block pop-ups except from sites you trust, and so on.

PC users have dealt with virus threats since the days of floppy disks and dial-up. Should the need arise, Mac users can too.

Ryan Graff

Host Duplex would like to welcome its newest blog contributor, Ryan Graff.

Since earning his degree in film studies, with a minor in writing, Ryan has spent the last ten years working as an editor, writer, filmmaker, video game designer, and, briefly, mental ward receptionist. He has written several screenplays, including the award-winning fantasy Skyhammer, and recently worked as original writer and designer on Konami’s Vandal Hearts: Flames of Judgment. When not at his day job, where he edits text for a game publisher, he works freelance as a script doctor and video editor.

As a member of the Host Duplex blog team, Ryan will work closely together with the core staff to help explore and explain a variety of topics in the web hosting industry. More to come soon!

We talked earlier about the importance of redundancy. Naturally, an equally critical concern is security, both of the data itself and the servers that host it. After all, if you choose the wrong web hosting provider, your e-commerce site might end up stored in their basement or garage.

Host Duplex spares no expense when it comes to protection. Steadfast‘s Chicago data center houses the majority of our servers in the Equinix building, renowned throughout the industry as a fortress to be reckoned with. (Just getting into the building requires a background check, for starters.) There, each server has two power supplies, each with its own feed, battery backup, and diesel generator capable of running each machine for hours. Beyond even that, Steadfast has a contract with a local fuel provider to bring in extra diesel fuel immediately should any major outage ever occur. Not to be outdone, we have our own large stock of parts stored at our facility, ready to remedy any hardware issues at a moment’s notice.

On the software side of the occasion, our automated monitoring system keeps a constant watch for exploits, vulnerabilities, and any suspicious behavior, keeping our live staff alert around the clock. Our management service, should a client choose to make use of it, also installs and configures the client’s firewalls, while at the same time optimizing server performance, running updates, and performing weekly checks across all systems. (Clients always have the option of installing and configuring their own firewalls, of course.)

Together with some of the industry’s brightest minds and strongest facilities, Host Duplex ensures that your data is as safe and rock-solid as it possibly can be.

When you hear the words “customer service,” what comes to mind? Most likely, frustration. Too often, paying customers run up against convoluted voicemail systems, long wait times, and, if they’re patient and lucky enough, disinterested phone reps who may or may not care about the issue, may or may not be able to fix it, and may or may not speak their language.

That’s not to say that there aren’t good customer service reps. There most certainly are. Unfortunately, it’s the negative experiences that tend to stick in our memories more than the smooth and positive ones. Good businesses are aware of that, and take steps to ensure that every interaction with a client goes as smoothly as possible.

Needless to say, that goes double for the business of web hosting, where time is measured in milliseconds, and every millisecond of down time is a potential drain on a client’s income. A paying client deserves stability and security, but more than that, he or she deserves to know that, should any issues ever arise, customer service will be on the job at once.

How It’s Done

To ensure that the dozens, hundreds, or thousands of active clients all receive the attention they deserve, a worthwhile provider uses both live, 24-hour technicians and a system of automated monitors. The automated system keeps constant watch, always on the lookout for anomalies of any kind; should one ever occur, the system notifies the live techs at once with a chain of alerts and notifications. With this system in place, a client rarely has to call in at all.

Treating the Client Right

On those occasions when a client does call in an issue, there are certain expectations of professional courtesy that every rep and technician should meet. A worthwhile web hosting provider treats each client with respect, not only as a paying customer and as an individual, but as someone who’s entrusted a part of their livelihood, sometimes a critical part, to the provider’s care. Whatever the issue might be, a web hosting provider’s customer service and tech support departments have the professional and ethical obligation to guide the client toward a solution, and to do it in a friendly, approachable manner.

In a perfect world, we’d all associate customer service not with frustration and disappointment, but with hardworking, courteous professionals who’d help us out right when we need it most. For now, what we can do — right here in this business, where customer service is crucial — is work toward that ideal by setting an example every day.

When choosing a web hosting provider, it’s tempting to go with the cheapest possible option. After all, why pay anywhere from $10 to $40+ a month when you can pay five bucks or less?

Well, several reasons.

Since the early days of the internet, fly-by-night providers — and even a few of the larger, more established ones — have been offering ridiculously low prices, often packaged together with impossibly lofty promises (check out the earlier entry on “unlimited” bandwidth). Before signing on with that kind of deal, here are a few things to consider:

What Rock-Bottom Prices Really Mean

  • A provider’s hardware budget comes, in large part, from their hosting fees, or lack thereof. A provider who charges pocket change isn’t likely to have much more than pocket change for maintenance, upgrades, or overhead. It’s not uncommon for budget providers to host their clients’ sites on ramshackle custom-built machines, machines that often fail, without enough redundancy in place to keep their clients’ sites up when they do go down. It goes without saying that even a few hours’ down time can cost an e-commerce site hundreds, thousands, or more in lost business — much more than they “save” on hosting fees, and that’s if a few hours is all it takes for the site to come back.
  • On a related note, a provider who skimps on hardware isn’t likely to spend much on customer service either. When it comes to e-commerce, tech support has to be decisive, effective, and immediate — and more than that, a paying client has the right to know that it will be. Sadly, there’s an entire genre of stories about poor customer service, much of it online. A fly-by-night provider might take hours, even days or longer, to answer back, and may or may not be able to solve the problem. In the worst cases — they’ve been rare, but they do happen — entire websites have been lost.

Bargain-bin rates are certainly eye-catching, and they may appeal to your pocketbook, but be aware of those long-term costs, and always read the fine print.

When you invest a little extra, you’re investing in better hardware, ongoing upgrades, higher security, capable customer service, and, above all, reliability. What it all adds up to is peace of mind, and that’s something more valuable than any discount.

Hello all.

I wanted to step in and provide some advice (while trying to be as unbiased as possible, of course) for those of you shopping for web hosting providers.

While there are hundreds of hosting providers out there, there are many areas you should research when it comes to your next hosting purchase. I’ve personally read and heard hundreds of horror stories. Believe me, asking questions and taking your time will save you hours (sometimes days) of time and effort, not to mention headaches.

I listed some topics and questions to ask and think about when making a decision on your next web hosting provider. These are especially important if you’re generating income from your site.

1. Background
What type of technical background do their employees have? Are they a legitimate company? Have they incorporated? Are their employees in-house or do they outsource? Ask questions. Call them, email them, chat with them.

2. How long have they been around?
You would be shocked at the number of fly-by-night operations around. Hosting companies come and go more often than you can imagine. Horror stories about them are scattered all over the internet, stories so bad that they’re almost unbelievable. Some of the clients we’ve brought in were burned in the past by those same companies, and burned badly. In the worst cases, the companies lost all their clients’ data, which is especially heartbreaking since several of them depended on their websites for their sole source of income.

3. What do their clients (past and current) say about them? Read reviews.
Google is your friend. Search forums. Do they have a Facebook page? Read testimonials.

While doing your research on reviews, be wary of fake review sites. There are many of them. I’d avoid the ones that display “Top 10 Hosting Companies” on their homepage, etc. Many of our competitors like to create their own hosting review sites, and consistently rank themselves at the top.

4. What is the average response time to support questions? (Experienced techs are key!)
Response time is important. You don’t want to be waiting until the next day to hear back. Resolution time is more important. There are companies who boast about a quick response time, but what good is that going to do if the issue is prolonged and hasn’t been resolved? This is where it pays to go with a company with knowledgeable techs.

5. How many clients are on each server? What is the average load on the server?
I’ve seen companies pack as many as 5,000 clients into a shared environment onto one machine. Yes, it may be a fast server, but any more than a few hundred small sites is asking for trouble. I like to call these companies “shared jam operations.” You’ll see this with providers who offer plans at <$5 per month. Things may be great at first, but as they pack on more clients, you’ll quickly notice the performance decline.

6. Where is their datacenter?
The geographic location itself isn’t always important, but are they in a legitimate datacenter and not in their own basement?

7. Do they provide network redundancy?
Who are their network carriers?
Note: As a heads up, be wary of ones that use Cogent as a primary carrier.

8. Power redundancy?
Ask for more details; how far do they go to ensure constant power? A battery backup from Best Buy won’t do anything to keep your site online. How often do they test their generators? Have they been performing maintenance and replacing the batteries in their UPS (Uninterruptible power supply) systems?

9. Hardware Redundancy?
Do they offer RAID? If you’re not familiar, RAID provides protection against the failure of a hard drive.

What types of hard drives do they use? Are they consumer grade drives or enterprise grade? While performance between some consumer grade and enterprise grade drives are nearly the same, consumer grade drives have a much higher failure rate, and you’d be surprised at the number of providers using them. Enterprise drives are thoroughly tested and built with better components.

10. What type of technology do they use? (Control Panel, Virtualization Technology)
Does it include 1-click installation of popular apps/software?

Everyone is going to sell you on their control panel. It may not be the most important factor. IMHO as long as it is very secure, easy to use, and does not affect performance, you should be fine. cPanel is the most widely-used control panel in the hosting industry today, and it has been for years. We use them because it is the most tested and secure system available. Plesk is another very reputable control panel company.

If you are purchasing a VPS or going with cloud services, be sure to read up on their virtualization technology. Some systems are built much better than others, but all have their pros and cons. A VPS is much better than being on a shared platform, and all of these technologies provide isolation from other clients in one form or the other. We chose XenServer technology because it provides the most isolation of anything available today. IMO, it’s even better than dedicated servers because of its scalability. You can dedicate more CPUs, RAM, and/or hard drive space, all on demand.

11. What type of scripting/programming languages does your site require?
If you are having your site designed, be sure to ask your developer what programming language they are using. Is it PHP, ASP, ColdFusion etc? If you are using ASP, you’ll want to be hosted on a Windows platform. (There are some providers that have managed to provide ASP using Linux, but I wouldn’t recommended it.)

12. Feature set
What features do you require? WebMail, email forwarders, 1-click installs? Be sure to ask the host if it is included in their packages.

13. Bandwidth and Disk Space
In the last 5 to 7 years, there has been an ugly trend in the hosting industry. Many companies are now using the terms Bandwidth and Disk Space simply for marketing. The average shopper looks at the numbers. Most will ask, “How much disk space am I provided with?” “How much bandwidth?” A number of companies advertise 1TB of disk space, 3TB or even worse, “Unlimited Disk Space, Unlimited Bandwidth. All for less than $10/month.” Think for a second; is that possible? If it were true, Facebook would be on this $10/month plan. Clearly, it’s not. It’s all about numbers.

Once you go above a certain threshold with a provider, it’s very likely you’ll be suspended — or sometimes even terminated — for either too much CPU usage or resources. Read the fine print. Many companies state that if you use 10% of the server’s resources, you may be suspended or terminated immediately. IMO, if you plan on expanding, you should avoid these “unlimited” plans altogether.

Hopefully, these questions will help your decision making.

We pride ourselves on service, support, and provide personal attention. (Yes, I know it sounds cliché, but read our reviews, and check our Facebook page; it’s true.)

If have questions about about us or hosting in general, please feel free to contact us anytime 24/7 by phone. 312-957-6000 or call us toll-free 877.7.DUPLEX

HostingCon 2010 is off to a great start. An estimated 1500 attendees are at Hostingcon. This morning has been filled with great speakers.

I recently had a run-in with a certain appliance company when they came into my condo to perform maintenance on a refrigerator.  I was appalled at how rude, discourteous, insulting and borderline racist the repairman was.  I won’t go to into details what happened in the altercation, however swift action was taken.  While I was upset at what had happened, I was pleasantly surprised at the caliber of professionalism of the customer care staff.  They promptly offered multiple apologies and assured me of swift punishment for the said individual.    I’m actually still receiving emails and tweets with apologies from the company.

Within 30 minutes of sending the formal complaint via email, there were representatives immediately calling my direct line to offer apologies.  This kind of response is absolutely necessary in our industry.  Web hosting needs to have immediate response and readily available technicians at all times.  There is nothing more frustrating than having downtime or a problem and having no one to turn to.

Ever since our launch, we have always stressed excellent customer service.  Having great customer service isn’t a hard task.  We keep our formula simple to make life for you guys easier.

1. Quick Response – We receive real time updates so the instant we receive a ticket, we are immediately at work to answer your questions.  If there is an issue, our philosophy is FCR, that is first contact resolution. We do our best to make sure the first response you receive is a resolution. Our executive staff receive live updates and are under the same protocols as our regular staff members. Many of our new customers have worked directly with our CEO to bring their websites over, we are always ready to work.

2. Courteous Professional Technicians – To work as a support staff, credentials aren’t enough.  I don’t care if your last name is the Michael Massachusetts Institute of Technology.  Our staff has to be personable, friendly, and professional additional to being knowledgeable.  I cannot stand when I contact a company and their customer service representatives sound like they absolutely hate life, or when then they’re outsourced and can’t speak my language.

3. Updates – Should an issue arise, we will immediately begin updating our customers using not only via traditional methods including email and phone support, but also via social media such as Twitter and Facebook.

These 3 simple rules serve as the umbrella for the conduct and protocols of excellent customer service.  By keeping it simple, we eliminate any ambiguity on how our customers deserve to be treated.

There’s been a very ugly trend in the web hosting industry as of late regarding ‘unlimited’ bandwidth plans.  Web hosting providers are advertising ‘unlimited’ bandwidth in order to seem like they can provide something they cannot.  This is simply an IMPOSSIBLE task.  When a customer then exceeds their cpu LIMIT as stated in the terms of service their service often gets suspended or even completely terminated (wait i thought you said it was unlimited?!).

The reason for the existence of these plans is that for the majority of websites who consume such a small amount of bandwidth, bandwidth seems unlimited because they don’t have the capability to exceed.  If you’re never exceeding and there’s no problems, then the bandwidth does in fact seem unlimited.  However, websites that have high traffic, i.e. online retailers that have plenty of graphics and customers will be affected by high bandwidth.

Keeping it Simple

Disk Space: The space on the server you have to completely store your website

Bandwidth: Amount you have to transfer web pages from the servers to your browser (FF, IE, Safari, Google Chrome) etc. that the visitor is using.

Think of a car,  The entire car is the disk space.  Some cars can hold 2 people, some can hold 8.  The gas would be like the bandwidth.  What affects your bandwidth would be the things that affect gas mileage.  The more of those things you have on, the less mileage you get.  Now imagine, an automaker advertising that they are offering cars with unlimited gas tanks, and gas mileage is a non issue.  Sounds fishy doesn’t it?  Now lets take the car for a drive with the Air Conditioning on until the gas runs out.  We now go to the automaker and complain, and they simply say that according to the terms of service, we weren’t allowed to drive a certain distance anyway, so to remedy the situation, we have to buy a bigger car with a bigger gas tank.

OR, you exceeded your bandwidth so you now have to buy a bigger plan that allows more bandwidth and is much more costly because the webhoster lied that they could provide unlimited service.

Now What?

To avoid situations like these, simply estimate your bandwidth and choose the appropriate plan or our specialists can help you with this process.  You may have noticed that HD does not offer an unlimited plan.