April 2011 Newsletter

The last month has been unbelievably busy here at BetterWebSpace, with server moves, new clients and becoming a UK domain registrar.

Server moves are going well, users of Harry and Hagrid have all now moved to Ron, and users of Dumbledore and Hermione should keep their eye out for move notification emails in April/May. We have no immediate plans to move users on Hufflepuff or Ravenclaw at this time.

We’ve also been running a new operating system on Ron that allows us to limit how much memory or CPU time any given account is using, this effectively allows us to stop one user hogging all the resources on a server so we will be rolling this out to all servers during the month of April.

This month sees the full launch of our affiliate scheme and a special offer for UK domains as we’ve just become a UK domain registrar, read on for more details…

We Pay You!

We have some great customers who regularly tell us they love what we’re doing, and a few post on Twitter or Facebook (we really appreciate that!). We’d like to start rewarding those who are passionate about our honesty and customer service!

You can now refer new customers to us using our affiliate program, this has been in beta-testing with several users recently and we’re finally ready to open it up to all of our clients!

The affiliate program pays out after 60 days at 3.5% recurring, at our current pricing structure this is £0.53 per year on a basic Easy 1 package and £0.70 per month on a basic Easy Reseller unit. Affiliate commission is only available on hosting and reseller accounts (no earnings from domain names) and whilst the amounts sound small they soon mount up if you’re referring a few clients every month.

For our top earning affiliates who consistently refer 5 new accounts per month the percentages go up to 5% of the ongoing revenue. When you’ve referred 5 users in a month please raise a support ticket and ask for your commission to be increased to 5%, providing you refer 5 accounts again the following month your commission will remain at 5%. If you are unable to reach 5 you will be allowed one months grace (and a chance to refer 5 in that month), before your commission rate is returned to 3.5%.

If you would like your account activating please contact support today!

BetterWebSpace is now a UK Domain Registrar

Like many of our resellers, since we began back in September 2002 we’ve registered domain names through a 3rd Party and in some cases we will continue to do so. However we noticed a while ago that we needed a little bit more control over our UK domain pricing, so in late February we became a UK domain registrar!

What does this mean to you?

Firstly it means we can offer you better deals on UK domain names, (read on for more about that), secondly it means you will soon be able to manage your UK domain names through our client portal, modifying nameservers etc (this feature is already available for some of our .com customers, other .com customers will be getting it soon).

To celebrate this fact we’re offering a special offer (and no it’s not an April fools joke!) from 1st April to 8th April (midnight BST) if you order a UK hosting package with a .co.uk domain name we’ll let you have the .co.uk domain name for just 7 pounds*! To take advantage of this just enter the code: BWSREG0411 at the checkout!

* The domain name will renew in future years at full price. You can make multiple orders taking advantage of this offer but it will only be applied once per order.

Until next time…

How do I get to be number #1 in Google? (Kids in the Playground!)

This must be the single most common question we’re asked every month!

We generally tell people that there are two answers to this:

  1. You pay Google to be there (see Google Adwords), or
  2. You become “popular” enough to be there (see below).

Google is trying to mimic human thought and interaction in a lot of ways, presenting the most popular and relevant information for any given search at the top of it’s results. For a long while I’ve used a playground analogy to explain this as it’s something everyone understands….

Google and The Playground


Being Popular (LinkBuilding)

  • If you’re the new kid in the playground, you have no popularity whatsoever and nobody knows who you are, this is the same as having no links to your website. Nobody knows you exist and so people are unlikely to visit you!
  • If you start talking to the other kids, you’ll gain some popularity (probably!) and hopefully they’ll start talking about you to their other friends (in a good way).

    In this scenario the other kids are owners of websites and are providing links on their websites to you.

    The alternative here is to stand on a box and shout, this is advertising yourself (whether free in the form of Twitter/Facebook, or paid) and will help attract attention.

  • However not all friends are equal (see how close to real life this all is?), making friends with a popular kid is like getting a link from the BBC or some other very popular website, this will really help your site!

Being Relevant (SEO)

If to all these new friends in the playground all you talk about is things they’re not interested in, then they probably will stop listening to you. Sites won’t link to you, and Google will realise you’re not relevant as well.

Make your contact relevant using your keywords, sensible content and structuring your site well to help Google crawl it.

Finally : Cheating

Nobody likes a cheat, least of all school children! Cheat the system at your peril, the other kids may ignore it or may report it to the Headteacher (Google!) and generally there’s no right to appeal when Google puts you in detention!

Paying for Friends!

There are companies who will both make sure your content is well structured, relevant and will get links for you from other sites for you. We’ve just partnered up with one who will be doing this for our customers at very reasonable* rates. Contact us if you want more information on this.

* Reasonable we’ve added a note to, this is manual labour intensive work it doesn’t come cheap!
Anyone that is offering to do this for you at low cost (and is probably promising you the earth!) may be using automated tools (this is the same as putting posters all around the playground saying what a great guy you are – everyone will eventually ignore them!) or is cheating on your behalf, and if they’re cheating on your behalf it’s you that will end up detention!

Creative Commons License photo credit: rachaelvoorhees

March 2011 Newsletter – Retirements and Changes

An Apology

We’re already on the 2nd March which means I’ve already broken my main New Year resolution of having regular newsletters, but I’ll be completely honest we’ve been too busy to sit down and write something!

We’ve been:

  • Working with our resellers to utilise our designer (more information to follow on this in coming months for our regular users, but do contact us if you have design work that needs doing!).
  • Beta-testing our affiliate program (let us know if you want to be involved in the final stage of the beta), and
  • Redesigning and reprogramming your sites to do some pretty amazing things!

So although it’s an apology it’s all good news! We’ve also taken some time to re-plan our server strategy so read on for more….

Server Retirements

All servers eventually reach an age where it’s best to retire them for all concerned, many have hard disks that have seen out a long and eventful life, or their operating system just can’t face the next upgrade. We have several servers in this situation at the moment and will be gradually replacing them over the coming months.

This change will also mark a change in direction from BetterWebSpace, in the past we’ve used small servers, placing fewer users on each one. Going forward we’re going to be using far more powerful ones allowing us to do some far more powerful things!

Retirement of Harry

The retirement of server “Harry” came as an unexpected surprise in February, whilst we had been planning to retire Harry and migrate the users to a new server this month, we had hoped to do it on our terms – Harry seemed to have other ideas as we started to see the early signs of hard drive failure.

Thankfully Harry managed to provide a skeleton service for two days whilst we migrated sites to a new server “Ron”. Ron is the first of our more powerful servers and users from other servers will soon be migrated to Ron who is running the latest versions of PHP and MySQL.

Customers on Harry who had been utilising our backup service experienced the skeleton service for only a few hours before they were migrated to other servers, whilst all other users remained on a skeleton service whilst their data was migrated. Please remember that backups are your responsibility, if you think you may need them then make regular backups of your site(s) or subscribe to our fully automated off-site backup service.

Facebook & Twitter

We wouldn’t be an internet company if we didn’t have both of these now!

We try to keep updated with what our clients are up to regularly on Twitter and it’s also the place you’ll find the latest status updates in the event of any problems, so why not follow us today?

We love actually getting to see who our customers are on Facebook! We’re trying to build our following on Facebook so if you are a client and a Facebook member please do “like” us, once we have a bigger following we hope to put out more special offers and news on here!

Remember to keep an eye out for server migration information later this month!

Kind regards,
Keiron @ BetterWebSpace