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I just had a client ask me for an evaluation of Earthlink as a web host, after I’d recommended he switch to Bluehost.  I thought it might be useful information to share.  Now, I have to admit that
I love Bluehost.  I’ve been a customer and an affiliate for five years.  So, this “review” is a tad biased but I think you’ll find there are at least some objective criteria!

Earthlink’s main business is an Internet Service Provider, not a web host.  In looking at their website, I see some “red flags”:

  • Features

    Earthlink doesn’t have a “comparison table”  showing features for their hosting plans, like many other hosts do.  So, it’s hard for me to tell if they have all the same services as the other big major web hosts.  However, they do list some of their features here. Compare to Bluehost features.

  • Pricing:

    Earthlink charges $9.97 / month for hosting, but this is an introductory price.  After 3 months the the price goes up to $19.95 / month, which is higher than what I’m used to seeing. Bluehost currently charges $4.95 – $6.95 / month, and that rate stays consistent.

  • Domain Name:

    Earthlink  includes a free domain name registration for 1 year, but charges a fee thereafter.  Bluehost includes a free domain name indefinitely with a hosting acccount.

    The going rate for a new domain name, should you need to purchase one, should be no more than $12 per year.  New domain name registrations with Earthlink cost $20 / year.  New  domain name registrations  with Bluehost cost $11.99 / year.

  • Space Limit:

    Earthlink’s hosting account space limit is 200G.  This is generous; However, you could run up against that limit after a couple years, especially if you’re displaying a photo gallery or hosting videos.  Bluehost has NO space limit on web hosting accounts.

  • Customer Service:

    This comparison is less objective than the others, but….  In my experience, Earthlink customer support has been less than easy to deal with and, on at least one occasion, has been downright evasive when I was asking questions about pricing on behalf of a client.  My family’s ISP was switched from Earthlink to Comcast several years ago, for that reason among others.
    Bluehost Customer Service is stellar!

This post is re-printed from Interconnection.org Newsletter.  You can donate your used computers to Interconnection and know that they’ll be serving a good purpose.

 
InterConnection will always wipe or crush your drive, but you can also do it yourself.

It’s free, easy and safe. Just follow the steps below.

  1. Back up your data (Optional, but recommended).
  2. Go to www.killdisk.com and download the free version of killdisk to get started.
  3. Create a bootable USB or CD. Follow the instructions on how to create a bootable USB or CD.
  4. Boot your computer with the Killdisk USB or CD and follow these steps.
  5. Erase all your data.

Your done! Bring your computer to InterConnection, or wrap it up for shipping. You can download a prepaid shipping label here.

Want more protection?
Get a 50% discount with InterConnection when you order KillDisk Professional Suite 6.0. Go to http://killdisk.com/orderform.htm and order the Active@ KillDisk Professional Suite 6.0. Use discount code InterConnect to receive the discount.

BeauCreations is proud to launch a new website for Aames Plumbing, aka The Pink Plumber.
Visit website

Essential Blogging Apps for 2012

Keep your blog flourishing while you’re out

A fresh stream of high-quality content is essential to your blog’s success. These apps will help you make good use of your down-time to produce great content at the doctor’s office, on the subway ride to work, or anywhere else you might find a minute.

1.Tumblr for Android

Microblogging is ideal for on-the-go updating, and Tumblr is one of the best microblogging clients on the market. This app provides a slick interface to post photos, links, quotes, text, or video to your blog in moments. Posting things you find on the move can also give your readers a richer, more authentic experience, since you’re presenting things from out in the world, rather than what you Google or dream up from your home office. It’s also ideal for skimming your favorite Tumblr blogs for inspiration at any time.

2.WordPress for Android

WordPress’s sophisticated blogging client is elegantly pared down for the mobile app. You have access to the same posting options as you would from your home computer, but in a tight mobile format. Obviously you are still limited by the difficulty of typing from your phone, but a phone with a high-quality touchscreen like the Samsung Galaxy can make posting much easier. Just like at home, you can use your smartphone or tablet to track your blog’s traffic, edit posts, and check other WordPress blogs.

3.Nobody’s Reading My Blog

This 9-part ebook by Robin Nixon provides tips on creating an engaging blog that will keep readers (and advertisers) coming. Nixon’s advice covers both the creative and business aspects of blogging, including tips on creating stimulating, controversial, and trustworthy content, as well as getting your blog linked and noticed by somebody besides your mom. It’s free to download, contains no ads, and is a great resource for beginning bloggers. Intermediate or experienced bloggers may find something they haven’t considered, but this is more of a primer than an advanced text.

4.Posterous Spaces

Posterous Spaces is a less-known microblogging client that allows you to post within “spaces” whose readership you control, much like the “Circles” feature in Google+. This is a good option if you have friends or family with varied interests, or if you want to keep blogging audiences separate. Most blogs allow you to customize the privacy level of your posts; but if you know exactly how you want to draw the content line, and you want a fine-tuned, quick interface, Posterous may be the client for you. Tumblr has a larger readership, and the privacy settings obviously limit who sees your stuff, so it may not be the choice for a blogger looking for mass appeal.

5.Blogger for Android

Blogger is one of the biggest and oldest names out there, so if you have a BlogSpot domain, this app will help you maintain it. In terms of features, the app itself is vanilla—you can post like you would on their website, but not much else. Still, it’s free, and if you use Blogger, it’s the easiest way to mobile post.

6. VideoSpin Touch

This app allows you to record, publish, and upload videos and text from your Blackberry to an expanding collection of blogging and social networking sites. It has a simple, no-frills interface that allows you to post to Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, MySpace, Google Blogger, WordPress, TypePad, LinkedIn, LiveJournal, Live Spaces, and eBay in seconds. This ensures that whatever you have to say can be broadcast to as many people as possible, in seconds. If the developers can iron out this app’s design flaws, it could be the only resource you’d need for mobile blogging—but the reported issues are serious enough that you probably shouldn’t rely on VideoSpin alone for your mobile blogging.

Bio: Jane Johnson is a writer for GoingCellular, a popular site that provides cell phone related news, commentary, reviews on popular providers like T-Mobile.

According to Website Magazine, the number of social media accounts in 2011 reached 2.4 billion.

  • Facebook: 800 million
  • Twitter: 225 million
  • WordPress: 70 million

We just launched a website for Earl Johnson, CPA, a local accountant.  Earl chose to do a Starter Website, a good choice for folks who just need a 4-5 page brochure website with no added features or functionality.

Visit Website

Mr Johnson’s going to have BeauCreations set up and manage a Google Adwords campaign – a good use for the money he saved on the website.  Hmmm. Maybe that’s an idea for a “package” we could offer: “Starter Website and Adwords Campaign“…  ?

WordPress for Beginners (Alpharetta, GA) – Meetup.

This is one of the best marketing messages for our industry that I have seen.  I’ve taken excerpts, and linked to the author.

MORE is a full service graphic design, public relations, and marketing firm created out of the belief that in order for you to reach your full potential you must be noticed. ….
….    At MORE we believe in listening to our clients and working with them to achieve their objectives. For us, a job well done is defined by exceeding our clients’ expectations.
We have found our passion, and our goal is to serve as your firm’s graphic design, public relations, and marketing departments giving you more time to concentrate on what drives you.”

I’m please to launch a new website for Anne Chandler of the Chandler School of Etiquette.  Anne is a terrific person to work with and she walks her talk, professionally, ethically and personally.  We think the website really reflects her style;  elegant and gracious but with warmth and wide appeal.

I’ve no doubt that the Chandler School of Etiquette will be a success, as it represents a culmination of Anne Chandler’s considerable professional experience in education and corporate training, as well as her personal passion to “restore civility”.
Chandler School of Etiquette Website

Google is experimenting with City Pages. If it takes off, this could be important for small business local SEO. And it’s very mobile-device-friendly. It will be quite reliant on your Google Places listing. So that got me looking at my own listing….

Since I work from home and don’t meet clients at home, I’ve always been reluctant to allow my address to appear online. After all, now that we have ” Street Cam”, Google’s will show a picture of my home to all the world – not exactly my idea of privacy.

But the powers that be seem to penalize you for not listing your address all over the place. The “street address” field is required when you activate or update your Google Places listing. They really really really want to list your address – presumable to verify that you’re legit.

All of which makes sense if you are a brick and mortar business, but not if you’re a home office.

So I tried listing the address of a nearby strip mall. Let them show an image of the local Krogers instead of my house! I know – it’s a bit dishonest, but I figure at least I’m indicating what neighborhood I live in and the region I serve. Like I said, I just don’t want to have my street address on the internet.

To be fair, Google now has a box that says “don’t show my business address” – but they still want my address. Today when I visited my Places listing, I checked that box, and removed the shopping center address. So, we’ll see if I get rewarded for this update.

Why am I wondering about getting rewarded? Well truth to tell, I suspect I’m being penalized. You see, I couldn’t find my Places listing no matter what I searched for. Google just doesn’t seem to know it’s there. Here.

In sum (and without sarcasm), I think maybe I was penalized for listing an incorrect address on Google Places, and so I wouldn’t recommend this strategy. But I still don’t advise giving out your home address on the internet. So, this poses a problem for home office businesses that want to have a good listing on Google Places (for local SEO purposes). Now that Google has the “don’t show my address” button, this situation seems to be rectified. Or is it? I guess it depends on how Google weights those with street addresses in their listings over those of us who work from home.