What is WordPress?

It is software that is used to publish blog websites!

Its very good software, open sourced thus cost effective and extremely flexible to do more than just blogs (web logs).

WordPress although best suited for blog websites, can be easily configure to be used for more traditional websites with many pages and a full menu structure, including a full shopping cart and many more really good plugins.

WordPress Content Managed websites have been around for a long time, so why blog about it?

To answer my own question, as a hosting company and web developers that primarily develops content managed websites (websites that can be edited easily via an admin or back-end facility) we have noticed a trend towards WordPress websites for a few reasons:

IDS WebDesign is focussing more on WordPress as a Content Managed Website solution  and have the in-house skills to develop the required templates.

Shared Hosting in today's world is a completely different 'animal' to what is was a few years back. Many in the industry who hear of this type of hosting today still believes it to be inferior. It might have been before, but with the advance made in server power, lowering machine cost, greatly improved software and security measure, shared hosting has become stable, reliable and amazingly cost effective.

Although Shared Hosting in our opinion can be used in most website applications, it's not suitable for every occasion and script. it is used mostly for entry level projects, but can and is used for some very large sites and applications.

If you look at a scenario of an entry level website and email facility from a new business, especially an online business not so much a brochure type website facility. At some point if the online business keeps growing the website, database and email server will require more power, more memory, space, custom server settings, dedicated IPs, higher levels of security, and dedicated server or larger VPS infrastructure will be needed. Quite often the hosting provider might approach the online business to say that the shared environment is not going to be so effective and a better solution can be found.

For the business that' just showcases its products online with a contact form etc, this scenario can remain comfortable on a shared hosting environment for its entire lifetime and operate at its most efficient without a dedicated solution.

Shared Hosting is also scalable which allows for growth. Need more space, its usually just a case of upgrading to a larger package or subscribing to more space on the same hosting package. IDS Hosting offers an overage facility which allows for growth in space usage, over and above the subscribed capacity.

For Business Entrepreneurs serious about managing risk and staying online no matter the odds, we recommend the Business Hosting Package. Based on a shared environment initially. it's a one stop get it all no matter what's needed. A bolt on approach with easy to set up and configure to what's required at the time, as the business conditions change so the facility is tweaked to s new level.

When you are ready to select a Hosting Package for a Website or embark on a Website Project, there are a number of key issues to look at. One can draw up a pretty complicated flow diagrams to direct you through the process. From our experience most people seem to jump in the deep end and deal with issues or obstacles during the process or find out afterwards that there are problems or better ways to get a better result. This of course is a huge generalisation but most will agree there is a bit of truth in this way of doing things.

We have been in the Website Hosting and Development Business long enough to give sound guidelines on Website Development and how that should be integrated with the relevant Business Model, Marketing and Digital Marketing Strategies. We would like to point out a few areas that will help make this process more focussed with better end results.

Itemised Considerations in Selecting the Correct Business Hosting Facility.

  1. Host Where Your Market Is! Your Website Hosting should be as close as possible to your Market. This way you will give your users the best possible website speeds. Another consideration is to host in the same time zone as your clients. This way any hosting issue can be attended to sooner than later. Data centres do updates and backups at night this could mean arranged outages could occur in your office hours and running backups will influence server response times.
  2. Shared or VPS Server, what should it be? Shared Hosting is when server resources are shared amongst users, this can influence server performance at times, reduce server flexibility wrt specific server requirements, it is however the all round most cost effective solution. VPS Hosting creates virtual 'containers' for each user reducing the effect each user has on the other. This service is more costly than Shared Hosting, but compared to a dedicated server solution, a good compromise. What do most of our clients and returning clients select? Most go for the Business and Website Shared Hosting. The reasons we believe that choice is most by our clients is the Shared Hosting platform is built into extremely powerful machines that very seldom loose performance due to user activity.
  3. Speciality or General Hosting Solution? Speciality Hosting is when Hosting is offered for a specific solution whether it's for a special type of Website type, such as WordPress Hosting or eCommerce Hosting or General Hosting Solution type such as Shared Hosting or VPS Hosting. Speciality Hosting can be used for general purpose hosting, WordPress Hosting for example can be used for an HTML Website, it is however configure to work best for what it is configured for, since there is usually a premium for Speciality Hosting.
  4. Business Hosting? Surely all Hosting can be used for Business! This statement is correct, however there's Hosting and then there is HOSTING. Business Hosting brings all facets of Hosting and complementary services to one place, to be reminded to what is available and to use this technology to your advantage. For example, and its sad to admit, in our experience but most users/business people do not make regular backups of any kind. So a good business person manages risk, lose your emails or lose your website this will affect your business. Malware can destroy your website integrity, as a provider for a large volumes of websites, this happens all to often. These and many similar incidences can be managed by using facilities offered in Business Hosting, its not rocket science, just common sense.
  5. Why Resell Hosting? This might appear to be a silly question, with an obvious answer, read on! Wanting to start your own Hosting Company is a good reason to resell hosting, but another good reason to purchase Reseller Hosting is for Website Developers to Host their own websites, to do this on a reseller hosting package. This facility gives greater flexibility to your clients, easily allocate resources and specific needs for scripts, and this is only the start of what can be done in a Reseller Hosting environment. Not ready for a dedicated server solution for your medium to large website, a Reseller Hosting Package will work, full control of the server resources, custom configuration, your own IPs and much more!

IDS Hosting has a great product for anyone who just wants an email facility and no web site hosting. You will have full Control Panel access to:

So how do I go about setting up an email account with IDS hosting?

How much does it cost?

View the latest prices on our website under Hosting >> Email Hosting.

Why do I need my own domain for an email account?

To have a custom email address is the purpose of the exercise, for your business etc.

name@mydomain.co.za is an example. You or us register the ‘mydomain’ with the relevant registrar, like co.za, org.za, za.net etc and you add in the name before the @ sign via your Control panel, here you can add anyname or word. The custom email creates a good impression all round for a business, club etc.

As your business grows and you employ more staff you can allocate each with a new corporate email address which you can set up to be accessed via your email client such as MS Outlook,MS Express, Mozilla Thunderbird etc. at no extra cost.

To start a new web site there are quite a few questions you need to ask yourself.

Here are a few:

  1. Do I really need a Website?
  2. What are my goals for my website?
  3. What’s the purpose of the website, am I selling or promoting?
  4. Do I know what are the components of setting & running a web site?
  5. Do I have fresh content?
  6. Who sets it up, me?
  7. What will it cost to set up and to run?
  8. How do I get traffic to my site?
  9. How do I measure the success of my site?
  10. How do I keep my site relevant?

Each one of these points is a complete study on its own, and volumes can be written about them.

We will touch on each to help give you some ideas:

Do I really need a Website?

If you can answer this question honestly you can save yourself a lot of money and hard work.
If you do not need a site and force your way to setting one up it may just end up being a pet project/hobby, nice to have, but does not serve a purpose.
Will it add value?

What are my goals for my website?

What do you want to achieve with the site, have you got a clear goal/s in mind?
Your goal might even be to learn to put a site together,  it may not always be about marketing a product or service.

Whats the purpose of the website, am I selling or promoting?

The use of the site will determine how much you will need to spend, the look & feel of the site.

Do I know what are the components of setting & running a web site?

– Design & Development, whats it going to look like, not what I like, but what does my market like, do I know my market?
What am I offering that is unique, why would my market come to me and not to another, this is all captured in the design as well.
Who is going to do the development, what level of development do I need, can I go opensource and customize, do I go for a new look
and go via a developer setting it up from scratch, does your developer have a feel of your products.

– Hosting, now that’s an easy question to answer, IDS Hosting, perhaps a bit biased here, but finding the right host can be difficult, I have always gone
by word of mouth, a good reference. We of course would recommend IDS Hosting, but then we at IDS cannot offer every hosting requirement out there, looking for a Linux based OS, Joomla friendly, we can help.

– Upkeep, this is a tough one, how many times have you found a web site with stale content!!

Do I have fresh content?

Good clean, fresh, clear content. Google loves quality content, keep it fresh, even if its a catalogue site, keep updating adding news, how many sites have you gone to the news page and it says the news will be added soon, and you go back weeks later and its the same … not good! Rather dump the news page, good intentions don’t come through well on a web site … its content, content content in a good clean simple wrapper.

Who sets it up, me?

Who knows your product the best, you? then you are the best person to set it up, but do you know how, do you have the time, it takes a lot longer than what you think?
Learning to set up a website while there is a time constraint and a steep learning curve is not so good for the heart … not recommended!

What will it cost to set up and to run?

This wil take a bit of research, some believe that to pay a lot means you get a good product, this is not true, but many fall into this trap,  some go for the big names who advertise on TV, the big budget boys, you just paying for their huge overheads. well here I am a biased again, IDS Hosting can set you up very cheaply, you have a stable, reliable & quick foundation at a very reasonable cost. How can we do this, simple: volumes &  competition. In a very competitive market you need to know your stuff, do it fast and right, thats us! Bad news travels fast in this media, so we make sure we always have good news to spread about our costs.

How do I get traffic to my site?

This question should really be first for those who are selling a product or service.
To get traffic to your site is no easy and cheap exercise be warned, and if you are not going to use a SEO specialist this is a whole new field to learn and you might find out things like your entire sites design and setup is not liked very much by some very large search engines, and they will not change there rules for you, so you will need to change your set up which could mean a whole new design and approach …  talk about chicken & egg.

How do I measure the success of my site?

No good setting up a site and hoping for the best, it needs to be measured, do you know how to measure, what to measure …
For starters Google Analytics is amazing and gives you so much info you need a degree to understand it all, a good place to start, and many stop there, this is not a bad thing either.

How do I keep my site relevant?

This is the million dollar question, how do I  keep people coming back, is there a good reason for them to come back, do they speak, blog & twitter about your site, if you can get them to do that you will be loved by Google, but to get this right you need to have the right content in at the right time.

I hope we have touched on a few issue to give you food for thought in setting up and running your web site.

Should you need help with hosting, contact us, we are reasonable, dependable, stable and all those nice sounding words, you see ”We Love to Serve”!

What are my domain name extension options in South Africa?

There are a few options for South Africa with respect to Domain choices.The domain you select can have an impact on your web site. The Domain extension is supposed to give more information on the purpose of the website it is linked to. A co.za domain is for commercial purpose hence the co, an abreviation for commerce. An org extension is used mainly for non-profit organisations.

How important is the Domain name?

The domain name is a very important factor in getting traffic to your site if you are depending on organic search engine traffic, ie traffic from a search engine such as Google that has found your site by means on there bots and not using a sponsored advert approach.

The Domain name needs to tell the user what the function of the site is, eg IDS Hosting, we know its a hosting site, else you need to work very at branding your site like FaceBook. If you have never heard of FaceBook and you where told about it, you would ask for an explanation of wht is it, where MySpace tells a little more of what there function is.

So when when your main keyword for your site, like Hosting is for IDS Hosting is in the domain name it carries more weight than if it is a co.za or anorg.za for a search engine pioint of view. That’s why choosing a domain name & extension is very important. What you gain on a search engine by having a name for example of: freshfish.org.za which sees the fish which might be an importantkeyword, others may think its a non profit organisation.

How search engines see ZAR extensions?

If you wish to have an international web site but select a co.za extension you will not get very far as Google via there Web tools does not allow you to focus your site on any other country other than South Africa, so you are pretty much snookered there. but you could look at a second level domain such as za.com or za.net if you would like to keep the SA flavour for local market interest as well.

The South African Market is not as sensitive to .com or .net tld’s as the international community is to co.za tld’s so this is also a consideration, but the problem is that you will probably not find a domain with your keyword in it unless you go toa long three word domain name such as chipsfreshfish.com which is long and cumbersome.

Sponsored Ads.

Even though I mentioned above that domain names are not so important in sponsored links as in organic search engine links, having your main keyword in the domain name isa plus and this is seen by Google adwords (sponsored links), and thus a bonus and it does stand out more to catch the eye of your potential clients.

How do I go about obtaining a domain and what do I do with it?

To purchase a domain you need to find out what domain you want, so you need to search for it, you can start by searching for the domain in the IDS Domains Checker:  client area

Once you have found your domain/s you need to decide what you are going to do with it:

  1. You can create a new hosting package and have your new domain as its primary domain, if you purchased more than one domain you can park the other domains under the primary domain, so the secondary or parked domain/s will also point to the primary domain and hence to the contents of your web site.
  2. You can park your domain with IDS Hosting in a special package we created, but this is only for parking and you have no access to your domain via a personal control panel. This is for storage purposes only as most SA registrars unlike most international registrars do not allow parking on there systems. The parking is to ‘store’ the domain/s until you are ready to link it to a hosting package and develop a web site.

What are my nameservers?

Nameservers are allocated to specific servers, to find what your hosting account nameservers are this information can be found in your Welcome email sent to you  when the account was created. Contact support to have this information resent if required.

his question is asked many thousands of times on Google PER MONTH.

So it makes sense to answer it …….

This term can be used in a few disciplines, Internet have adopted it as well. Its in the IT world that we will discuss HOSTING briefly.

As a HOSTING company its very important to our clients that this term is well understood.

There are three aspects to HOSTING.

A good comparison would be of a house, with an address and a stand to build the house on:

So when you hear someone saying you need hosting for your website, its saying you need a piece of internet space to install and operate your website on.

There are so many types of hosting packages and types of servers (the computer used to host your website) and that will not be covered in this blog.

Should you require hosting for a website, or a blog (web log), or just to have your own email personalised email address our products are extremely reasonable.

IDS Hosting & WebDesign.

We would like to answer a few HOSTING questions that we are asked frequently and that are asked very frequently on most search engines:


These questions are asked thousands of times a day on search engines, we will give short simple answers to help you on your road to a better internet experience:

The questions above might seem a bit cryptic and incorrect grammar, but this is how thousands of internet users are asking the questions:

  1. What is Hosting? this question we have covered in another blog on this site, click this link and you will find the answer.
  2. What is Hosting a domain? As with a website, a domain (which is the websites address) also needs to be hosted somewhere. International domains such as .com & .net, .co, .org etc are hosted at the domain registrar, this means you can approach a domain registrar, like ENOM or Godaddy & purchase a domain without a hosting package, in a place to install a website. These domain hosts or domain registrar’s normally give you admin access to update the domains nameservers to point to a website. Your hosting company will give you the Name Server and then your domain is pointing to your website, this process can take up to 48 hours to resolve. BUT with our South African users, the CO.ZA registrar does not HOST YOUR DOMAIN, the domain is hosted with the hosting company, such as IDS HOSTING. The registrar only diverts the request to the hosting company. Thus in this case the domain host is the hosting company.
  3. What is hosting a website mean? The hosting company, which is the company that has access to a server, which is a computer with a hard drive (the space where data is kept) will place your website on its server, give it an allocation, so it can be found again, give it an address so those browsing the internet will have access to it. With all that said, it just means the hosting company, like us at IDS HOSTING, will place your website in a safe place and allow it to be seen on the internet via an internet browser such as Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome etc.
  4. What is hosting a bandwidth? This phrase does not really makes sense, but its how many have asked the question. Bandwidth or traffic as its also referred to is the amount of data that is or has passed a certain point of measurement. It is used to configure hosting packages for example. IDS HOSTING entry level package for example has a bandwidth of  4000mb for R20/month. Thus every calendar month 4000mb of data is allocated to your hosting account. Every time a website page is opened, a file is downloaded, email is sent or received, the size of that action is subtracted from your 4000mb. A website page is say 75kb in size, so when somebody opens that website, 75kb is subtracted from the 4000mb. At the end of the calendar, its reset to 4000mb again, no matter what its value is.
  5. What is hosting server? This is the server, or computer that’s specially made to keep your website & emails on. Servers normally have quite a number of hard drives, and large amounts of RAM.
  6. What is WordPress? This question is asked thousands of times on the search engines, we have answered this in more detail in another post.

I hope we have managed to answer a few of your questions.

Should you require HOSTING or WEBSITE DEVELOPMENT, please contact us

When faced with the challenge of setting up a new website what’s the first thing one generally thinks of?

The look of the website!

And so we set off to create a look and feel, then we start filling it with info, normally adding pages as we create until we feel enough has been said … does this sound familiar? You might not do the website yourself, but probably followed the same thought pattern to some degree.

What you have now is a website which looks OK or maybe even good, filled with information, now what do you need to do?

Now your work starts, you need to get your site seen on Search Engines, and this is probably the first time you or most of you have thought about Marketing your site or making it more visible to Search Engines from the time you started designing your website.

When engineers build a car, long before they reach for the sheet metal and welding machines, they know what the car will look like and all its specs, and even for what country it is designed for, because what sells in the UK will not sell in the USA.

So back to websites!

You need to put a lot of thought into building a site before you even think of doing it.

As developers and host, we have many times been approached by clients who have spent huge amounts of time and energy building a website, then published it on our servers, then as an after thought sent us an email asking what we as hosts going to do to get there website to number one position on Google.

If you want traffic to your website via Search Engine searches, then you need to start from the end and work backwards, this will prevent a lot of duplicate work and time wasted.

So what does this mean in practical terms!

Our advise is before you even think of what colour scheme the site will have or the menu structure etc …. make a list of your main keyword/s that will best describe your new website. This might sound silly, but its not that easy, then under each keyword list a few less important but applicable words to each main keyword.

A website with the least amount of main keywords, even down to one main keyword will probably perform better than a website that has a wide range of unrelated keywords. Search Engines such as Google will visit your newly published website and list all your websites words and the frequency and placement of them to find a theme that runs through your site, and this theme is where it will index your website. So if its very diverse it gets a bit confused, and gives it a poor rating and in some cases will not even index your site at all.

Once you are happy that your keyword structure resembles your business or hobby etc website, start working around these keywords always keeping them in mind right down to style, colour, site flow, menus, text, images.

Thus if you set up your website looking Back to Front, you stand a much better chance of organically setting up your website without knowing all the SEO information, and your site will beat a lot of others to the top of the pile in its relevant keyword/theme category.

Happy Web designing!!

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