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Revolution, Marketing or Just Men’s Clothes?

This year has been a real learning curve for me personally as I have embarked on a marketing mission for Ingenuity. With a marketing budget in my hot little hand, I bee-lined to the nearest Men’s fashion store to invest in some garb to make the guys look as good as they host. Thanks to Mirrian at YD Mount Ommaney for the clothes, Clyde at E.Ze Beads for the screen-printing and Big Hit Teamwear for the embroidery, Pete and Glen now look the part as we trail all over Brisbane going to Networx Marketers Meetings events and all over Ipswich to Ipswich Chamber of Commerce events. I have met so many interesting and insightful people and continue to be amazed at the variety of great venues our city has to offer.
Aside from the Networking and fashion hunting, I have had the absolute pleasure of talking to some of our clients about what they do and don’t like about Ingenuity. Annoyingly for me, the reviews were all overwhelmingly positive, making my job of finding ways to improve the company more difficult. After doing some competitor research it became increasingly obvious, that unless you were in the IT industry, it was almost impossible to decipher the content being spewed forth from web hosting companies’ websites. I cringed to think that that might be us too.
I put it to the boys that we start an…

AUSTRALIAN WEB HOSTING REVOLUTION.

A simple matter of using plain English, demystifying web hosting and answering the questions that people have about web hosting while continuing to provide the service we were already providing that was so far above the industry standard.
We started the year with a complete overhaul of the website, which continues to be a work in progress as we attempt to revolutionise Australian web hosting, with continuous updates and information added to our knowledge base.

Of course this isn’t enough, and we continue to try and find new ways to communicate our message to the world; Ingenuity Hosting is the mate who fixes your email, finds you a web developer, puts you in touch with someone to fix your PC and if you have a business; Ingenuity Hosting is Your Online Tech Department.

Help us get our message out there and follow this link  Like Ingenuity hosting on Facebook to our Facebook page and hit that like button and you will go in the draw to win 2 tickets valued at $270 to FBall – Riverfire Cocktail Ball to be held on the banks of the Brisbane River at Riverlife Function Centre, Kangaroo Point on Saturday 3 September. For all the details go to www.fball.com.au.

 

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New Web Hosting Plans & Hosting Services

Over the last few months the buzz-word here at Ingenuity seems to be ‘New‘.

In the last post we talked about our re-branding and the new-look logo and website. In the next few posts we’ll tell you all about some of our upgrades to existing services like our webmail interface as well as our new tools to help you manage existing services like emails, databases and domain names.

It’s now the new financial year and we have a bunch of new web hosting products and services to share with everyone.

Let’s start with our new Hosting Exchange email services:

If you’ve worked in any corporate environment your emails were most likely setup on a Microsoft Exchange Server. It’s the most common setup for large organisations, and provides some fantastic features such as shared calendars, public folders, contact lists, tasks and full, real-time synchronisation with portable devices. But for something like this, you normally require a dedicated server to run the Exchange software and an IT Department to maintain and administer the service for you.

For slightly smaller organisation that didn’t have the budget for a server, software licensing and a team of geeks to look after it all, an email system like this just wasn’t a possibility… until NOW with Ingenuity’s new Hosted Exchange Email Service!

With our Hosted Exchange offering, you gain all the benefits of a corporate email service such as the shared calendars, contacts lists, tasks, public folders and all the other stuff mentioned above but most importantly full synchronisation with of all emails – including sent items, on your portable devices like your iPhone, iPad, Blackberry or Android smartphones.

What’s even better is that all your emails are stored in ‘the cloud’ so you can access them from anywhere and know they are safe and backed-up if anything ever happens to your computer.

More specific information about our Hosted Exchange Services here.

On the topic of Cloud services and back-up’s – don’t forget we do that too. Click here for more info about our:  Cloud Servers and Cloud Hosting Solutions, Virtual Private Servers (VPS), Dedicated Servers and Server Colocation as well as Offsite Back-ups.

The other brand new service that we’ve just launched is our iMicro plan – a micro-site hosting solution!

One of the most common online marketing strategies used by the big brands are micro-sites. Have you ever been to a large corporate site that sells a wide range of products or services and when you’ve clicked on one of them, it’s taken you to a smaller site specifically designed to promote that service, product range, make or model?

These smaller sites appeal to both users and search engines because they condense all the relevant info into a few pages so you don’t have to wade through a huge, confusing corporate website with thousands of different products just to find the info you need.

We’ve also found that more people are blogging than ever before (some even taking advantage of our $50 WordPress Install offer mentioned on our homepage) and a lot of our clients are now setting-up small corporate blogs to associate with their main company website.

So to accommodate the uptake of these small niche marketing sites and low-traffic corporate blogs, we’ve launched our iMicro hosting plan.

With this package you’ll get 20Mb of webspace and 5Gb monthly website traffic all for just $9.95 per month.

This package is available to anyone with a main website setup on iBiz plan (or above). So if you’ve been thinking of adding a blog or want to promote a product to attract the attention of the search engines but didn’t want to pay for a full hosting account – then this is the plan might just be what you’re looking for.

If you’d like more details on our iMicro hosting or are interested in setting-up a Hosted Exchange email service – give us a call on 1300 664 643 or email sales@ingenuity.net.au

For all our latest updates, don’t forget to subscribe to our RSS feed or follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

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Ingenuity Hosting – All Shiny and New

Over the last few weeks we’ve been very busy reinvigorating the Ingenuity brand! We now have a new logo, a new website, new business cards, new business shirts are on their way and this has all happened within a month.

It all started nearly a year ago when we decided it was time for a new website. Our old site was looking a bit dated (and it was starting to get embarrassing given that we’re a web-based company) and just really wasn’t up-to-scratch anymore. Just like the builder whose house is in desperate need of repair or the plumber with leaky taps, we had neglected our own home while trying to fix everyone else’s.

So our ninja’s aimed their shurikens at our evil nemesis – Procrastination – and BAM, the re-branding process began.

The first step was a new logo

Even though I quite liked our old logo there were a few minor issues with it and it was time for a change. A logo should be unique, recognisable and clearly represent your company. At the same time it needs to be simple and versatile so it can be used on stationery, shirts, cars and anything else we feel like branding.

Our old logo was a stylised lightbulb which was supposed to suggest ‘bright ideas’ – something often associated with the word ‘ingenuity’. Only problem was, people often didn’t even realise the image was a lightbulb. Further to that, the layout and gradients made it difficult to put on anything other than our website and business cards.

As a direct result of this personal experience, mixed with a bit of common sense, we knew the attributes of a good logo and the things we wanted to avoid when our new logo was designed… but we had no real clue of what our logo should look like. This made the design process quite tricky until a friend suggested we try 99designs.com.

At 99designs, you launch a design contest for your specific design project. You nominate a monetary prize along with a brief of what you want (or don’t want) and the competition begins. Within 7 days you have hundreds of design entries to choose from. There are few things that make this site awesome.

  • You are presented with creative ideas from hundreds of different people. Everyone has their own style and skillset which means you get a wide variety to choose from.
  • You can provide feedback while the competition is running which can really help turn a good design into a great one.
  • It’s quick – the contest only takes 7 days from start-to-finish. So if you’re in a rush or have a specific deadline, you know you’ll have the finished product within a week.
  • It’s cost effective and the price is fixed right at the start, so there’s no squabbling, miscommunication, disagreements or any hidden fees or charges. Further-more, if you decide none of the designs are what you wanted, you’re not obligated to choose a winner and you get your money back.

So we launched a contest and within a week we had a whole selection of very cool and very unique designs. There were so many great entries, we genuinely couldn’t decide, so posted some of the better designs on our Facebook page and asked our fans for their feedback. As a side-note, if you missed-out on this because you weren’t a fan, you can always become one now :)

When the feedback was reviewed and all votes counted, the winning entry was chosen and is what you see in the top left corner of our site. Internally we’ve affectionately dubbed the symbol as “The Man Button”. Some have said it looks a bit like a computer chip, many said hi-tech, others said Aztec and one even said it could be construed as a phallic symbol. We see it as a symbol of our companies invigorated image and bright shiny future.

Then came the website

From years wasted spent surfing the net, plus our background in SEO, we knew the traits of a highly effective website. We also knew the message we wanted to communicate – that we’re a fun, yet professional team of geeks that genuinely care. But we weren’t 100% certain how we were going to bring all this together through code, text and imagery.

To gain some much-needed inspiration, we spent a few days looking at visually appealing and informative websites. We began working on a structure that suited our industry and something users were familiar with from othe providers without taking them too far from what they have come to expect from Ingenuity Hosting.

The result of two weeks solid work is now our new website. We did all the design, development, content creation and artwork in-house fueled by frequent coffee breaks and those ever faithful Krispy Kremes, using strong teamwork to keep the day to day of the business running without a hitch.

Given our core business is hosting services from Email to Cloud and everything in-between, the decision to challenge ourselves with the new website was a brave one.  It sure was fun, and as hosting providers, the development of our own site has given us a true insight into the world of a web developer and graphic designer and a real appreciation of what is important to them.

As we all know websites are organic, constantly evolving beasts. With the help of some of our strategic partners we are on a mission to make the website even better; with more information, clearer navigation and better graphics. So stay tuned and tell us what you think!

 

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We’ve updated our plans

Last month we waxed lyrical about our new services and improvements. We promised fabulous adjustments to our existing plans that were to be tailored to better suit you and your needs and would we disappoint you?

Drum roll please . . . introducing, new and improved:

i-Lite with double the amount of web space now 100Mb and 5 times the monthly traffic now 10Gb, 20 mailboxes and like all our plans it has Email Autoresponders UNLIMITED Email Aliases and Detailed Website Statistics. It is clear to see why our most affordable package is our most popular.

i-Biz has to be our best value product for small business. With a higher capability than i-Lite it features MySQL Database and Shared SSL Certificate. It now comes with 3 times the amount of web space and monthly traffic, up to 300Mb and 15Gb respectively.

Often overlooked, but brilliant if you have a busy website and don’t want to restrict your content and capabilities are our:

i-Corp with 500Mb of web space and 20Gb of monthly traffic
i-Prem with 1Gb web space and 40Gb of monthly traffic
i-Gig with 2Gb of web space and 60Gb of monthly traffic.

The advantage of upgrading your plan is avoiding running out of web space or exceeding your current traffic quota. If this happens, your site could incur additional charges or be temporarily disabled . . . never a good thing, especially if the reason your quota was exceeded was due to a lot of visitors! And with over 79% of Australians with broadband, more people are trying to access your website faster than ever before, meaning your site could potentially be reaching its traffic quota and you may not even know it.

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February News from the iNGENroom

So much to do, so little time, but who needs sleep with all the excitement, iNGENUiTY are rolling out new services and improvements like sushi ninjas. After extensive market research Ingenuity now know how we can provide all of what our customers need as well as all of what they don’t – sure our Market Researcher’s eyes may be burning – but it’s a small price to pay! Hours of coffee and Krispy Kremes, have born awesome adjustments to our existing plans – now tailored to better suit you and your needs. More details about the new plans in next month’s newsletter.

Also iN News:

  • The new server is almost ready which means more Web Space and Faster Sites for everyone, plus the addition of an Application Firewall, details below
  • This month we would also like to introduce our new VPS solution, details below
  • And of course there is the Server Co-Location and the Corporate Spam Filtering as discussed in January’s newsletter.

Virtual Private Server (VPS) Hosting

A VPS is a powerful system that may be divided into independent sections; each section operating as a small dedicated server. Each VPS comes with your choice of operating system, has its own dedicated section of processing power, hard drive space, memory and can be used for whatever purposes you need it for. To find out more go to www.ingenuity.net.au/virtual-private-hosting.php or call us on 1300 66 46 43.

Application Firewall

The Application Firewall on our new servers will go towards making a more secure environment; mitigating such problems as Credit Card Fraud, spam creation and distribution, and tracking of common errors.

Wishing you all the best for the holidays and a safe and happy new year!

The Ingenuity Team

Don’t forget you can keep up with all the news at Ingenuity by following us on:

Facebook: facebook.com/IngenuityHosting
Twitter: twitter.com/IngenuityHost

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When Free Web Hosting Really Works

In today’s context, if you don’t have a presence on the web, you’re likely to be thought of as ancient and out of touch with reality. Every business, small or big, has their own web page where they provide information about their services and products and using which their customers can reach out to them. Most individuals have their own space online, either by means of their social networking page or through their own blog page. So if you’re not online, it’s like you don’t exist. Getting on the Internet is not that big a deal – there are various hosting providers who allow you to set up your site without charging you for the privilege, but before you jump on this bandwagon, you need to know if free web hosting really works for you. It is viable only if:

You’re ok with the ads: Free web hosts make their money using the ads they place on your site. They’re sometimes irritating to your visitors, especially if they’re in the form of annoying pop-ups that jump up every time they open or close a page. Other ads may be in the form of banners or frames, so unless the sponsored links are unobtrusive, there’s no use of signing up with a free provider.

You don’t plan to expand: Free web hosts give you limited storage, which is ok if you’re starting out. But if your site picks up and needs to expand, you’re going to have to move to a paid host who offers more storage space and more email ids. Some hosts also limit the size of files that you’re allowed to upload, so if you have large pictures or other graphical images and videos, you may find yourself unable to put them up.

You don’t require speed: When your site is hosted by a free web host, it’s usually one among thousands on the same server. So it is slow to load, especially during peak traffic hours when most other sites on the same server are also being accessed. This could cause your readers to see a link that the site is unavailable at the moment, and if they’re not particularly looking for your site, they move on to the next one on their search list. Free hosting is ok if you’re not expecting too many visitors, but then again, if you’re not looking to attract traffic to your site, what’s the use of being online in the first place?

You don’t need too much bandwidth: If your site is heavy and takes time to load or if it has too many graphical images, you may find yourself being asked to pay for the use of your web server. Yes, you did sign up for a free web host, but there are some providers who charge if they find that you’re uploading and downloading more than the norm.

You don’t need FTP access: With a free web host, you’re only allowed to upload content using your service provider’s builder, so if you need access through email or via any browser of your choice, free is not the way to go.

Some people prefer to start out with a free host, and as their requirements grow, they migrate to one who must be paid. Changing hosts is a complicated task, especially because your site has to undergo downtime, so if your traffic is going to be adversely affected because of this, it’s best to go with a paid host right from the beginning. The choice of a web host must be made with care, because sticking to the same provider will pay off in the long run. Costs must be weighed against benefits, and adequate research must be done before you choose a web host that’s right for your needs.

This guest post is contributed by Barbara Williams, she writes on the topic of Computer Technician Schools . Email her at: barbara.williams07@gmail.com .

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System Upgrades and Other January News

System Upgrades

As was introduced in December’s Newsletter we will be upgrading our servers to offer PHP 5.3 by default. PHP 5.3 is more robust, has increased security and provides improved functionality.

For you this means that if your site is developed in PHP4 and older versions of PHP5 they may encounter some functioning problems. We recommend you contact your web developer or us here at Ingenuity on 1300 66 46 43 and we can refer you to someone who can help.

Some more exciting developments here at Ingenuity have been the addition of some new products and services on offer to our clients:

Server Co-Location

If your company has a dedicated server to handle your IT related tasks such as hosting websites and managing email you may have encountered some common problems. Housing a server at your business premises can be slow, impact on the reliability due to a lack of constantly monitored environmental controls and redundancy in case of power failures, not to mention housing a server yourself can become quite costly due to internet connection bandwidth quotas. If you would like to improve the efficiency of your server and avoid such issues, Ingenuity provides different server co-location plans.

To take advantage of this service go to www.ingenuity.net.au/server-co-location.php or call us on 1300 66 46 43.

Corporate Spam Filtering

Spam is a problem that most of us will experience at some point by doing no other wrong other than simply having an email address. Ingenuity is now offering Corporate Spam Filtering to help your business tackle this all too common problem. As the name suggests, this isn’t the basic type of spam filtering that can easily be exploited by professional spammers – this is a corporate solution with proven results to considerably reduce the amount of junk emails received.

If you are interested in this product please follow this link for more information www.ingenuity.net.au/corporate-spam-filtering.php or call us on 1300 66 46 43.

Don’t forget you can also follow us via Facebook and Twitter.

Posted in Ingenuity Stuff, Web Hosting News | 1 Comment

Christmas Trading Hours and Server Upgrades

Earlier today we sent-out an email newsletter to our clients about “Christmas Trading Hours and Server Upgrades”. If you’re not on our mailling list, here’s what we had to say:

We would like to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and to advise you of our trading hours over the holiday period and some upgrades we will be making in the new year.

Christmas Trading Hours

We will be closed over the Christmas period from 12pm Christmas Eve and will re-open 9am Monday the 4th of January. Some of our staff will still be on holidays in the week leading up to Christmas and the first week after we re-open, so please be patient if it takes a little long for us to respond to your enquiries.

For absolute emergencies, if you need to get in contact with us during the times we’re officially closed, you can contact us on 1300 664 643 and you will be transferred to our after-hours service and we will take your call or get back to you. Please note that we charge a fee of $220 per hour for this service.

System Upgrades

Here at Ingenuity we pride ourselves on being at the forefront of the industry, constantly striving to improve our service to our clients and the products that we offer to them. In line with this philosophy we are pleased to announce the roll-out of upgrades across our entire server system. We will be upgrading our servers to offer PHP 5.3 by default which is more robust, has increased security and provides improved functionality.

While we have always supported PHP5 and PHP4, for our clients whom have sites developed in PHP4 and perhaps old versions of PHP5, this means that your site may encounter some functioning problems. We believe that it is important to move ahead and make upgrades whenever possible and we would invite you to also take this opportunity to upgrade your own websites. To bring your website up-to-date we recommend you contact your web developer or us here at Ingenuity on 1300 66 46 43 and we can refer you to someone who can help.

Some more exciting developments here at Ingenuity have been the addition of some new products and services on offer to our clients which you can find out about in next month’s Newsletter.

Wishing you all the best for the holidays and a safe and happy new year!

The Ingenuity Team

P.S. If you would like to keep up with all the news at Ingenuity you can follow us on:

Facebook: facebook.com/IngenuityHosting
Twitter: twitter.com/IngenuityHost
Or have a look at our blog: www.ingenuity.net.au/blog

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Fake webmail account upgrade emails

Recently I’ve noticed a few fake webmail account upgrade emails floating around. If you see an email with the info below, please ignore and DO NOT REPLY as they are not from us. Here’s an example of the email I received:

Attn: WEBMAIL ACCOUNT Subscriber:

This mail is to inform all our { E-mail Account Users} that there we will be upgrading our site in a couple of days from now. So you as a Subscriber of our webmail e-mail account users, you are required to send us your Email account details so as to enable us know if you are still making use of your mail box. Furthermore, be informed that we will be deleting all E-mail Account that is not functioning so as to create more space/room for new user. so you are to send us your original mail account details which are as follows:

*User name:
*Password:
*Date of birth:

Failure to do this will immediately render your email address/account deactivated from our database. You can also confirm your email address by logging into your webmail account if it’s still active before sending it to us.

Thank you for using our Webmail Email Account!

Yours In Service.
The Webmail Email Support Team
Webmail Admin Service.

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Jacques Tits wants my Asian domain names

Today I received the following email:

Dear Manager,

We are a professional Internet consultant organization in Asia, which mainly deal with the global companies’domain name registration and internet intellectual property right protection. Currently, we have a pretty important issue needing to confirm with your company.

On 2009-03-11, we received an application formally, one person named “Jacques Tits” wanted to applied for the Internet brand “ingenuity” and some domain names through our body.

During our preliminary investigation,we found that these domain names’ keyword and internet brand is identical with your trademark. I wonder whether you consigned “Jacques Tits” to register these domain names through us or not? Or is “Jacques Tits” your business partner or distributor in Asia? Currently, we have postponed this application of this company temporarily already. In order to deal with this issue better, please let the principal make a confirmation with me by telephone or email ASAP.

In addition, I must state that we have time limited for one person or one company’s registration. It is just 15 days. If your company files doesn’t resent within the time limited. We will unconditionally authorized the application of ” Jacques Tits”.

Thank you for your cooperate.

I’ve seen variations of this from some of my clients and it appears there has been a very big push by the Asian domain registrars to get more clients.

Normally if there is an opportunity to own a domain name, I say “go for it” as domains are like property – if you are lucky enough to purchase a house in the right area, as the population grows and property becomes scarce, and you maintain that house well, it will be quite a valuable asset in the future. Last year I read that there were officially no more combinations of 4-letter dot com (.com) names available.

Also, domain names can have an impact on how well your website ranks in the search results as well. It’s important to understand that by having a domain name with some keywords in it won’t magically boost you to the top of Google – lots of other work is required to achieve this, but it certainly doesn’t hurt having a few of these domain names up your sleeve.

But like I said (in the property example) above, you need to nurture and look after your domain name for it to have any worth – which means that the domain name should have some relevance to your business or personal life and if possible – attract some interest from others as well.

It is for these reasons I’d say that having an Asian domain name isn’t something most small Australian businesses really need.

The domain would mainly attract the attention of the Asian market and if you really want to focus on this demographic, you should have your site translated into the necessary dialect, then there’s the consideration that China restricts access to a lot of external websites, so even with the translated pages, you still may not get that much traffic.

So while most domains are a great addition for any business to have, unless you’re planning on selling to the Asian market, I think you can let Jacques Tits’ have these domains.

Posted in Domain Names | 1 Comment