Online Training Innovation in Healthcare

Although most people use the internet  to keep in touch with their friends, which means spending a lot of time on various social networks, or YouTube, which boils down to cat videos, there is a lot more the internet has to offer us.It provides us with a free, easy way to educate ourselves and acquire knowledge in certain fields.

However, while that is good, it might not mean much in the real world, ruled by formalities and bureaucracy. You might possess all the knowledge on the certain subject, but if you lack a degree or at least a certificate recognized by some institution, it might not be worth a lot.

Online Learningonline training

But, things are beginning to change. With the development of technology, new chances are being created for additional education. High-speed internet and the latest software technologies allow for real-life education to be transferred into the digital realm.

While online training courses and even online education set up by some of the universities have been around for some time, it has been made even more accessible by technology such as Skype, which allows for one on one tutoring and training, webinars and conference. Interactive websites can be used to set up tests for the students etc. Your usual communication via email and messenger still has its place, as well.

Alright, so most of you will be quick to point that the professions that benefit the most are software developers, engineers, journalists or designers. What about the rest of us? Well, you shouldn’t worry, because things are starting to look up, and more and more training courses for previously unavailable professions are starting to pop up everywhere.

For those of you who are considering a career in medical care for example, things are even better. According to, medical assistants and nurses have a high rate of employment, and the demand is ever increasing, due to aging nation, and better health care, which results in people living longer lives. Medical careers have many online courses available to people of different entry level education – there is something for everyone.

Of course, becoming a full-fledged medical assistant or a registered nurse requires quite of a bit of hands-on training on real people, but there is also a fair amount of medical theory involved before you actually have your first patient.

That’s where online training courses come in, allowing people from all corners of the country to participate and educate themselves. You will be able to have one on one training session with skilled medical professionals, participate in interactive online seminars and workshops and consult with some of the finest experts in the field. Much of the course work can be completed online, with a follow up practical training module for many courses.

Becoming a medical professional has many benefits. It is one of the most sought out vocations, which allows the people that choose it to constantly expand their knowledge and climb the ranks. One can start as a medical assistant; become a registered nurse, which can be gateway to becoming a nurse practitioner, which is seen as the gold standard amongst nursing staff – just check out a Nurse Practitioners salary scale here.

And since those opportunities are becoming available online as well, it allows many people to have career they’ve always strived for, with great prospects and salaries!

Online training is here to stay and has spread to many career choices not immediately associated with distance learning. Of course technology already plays a huge part in more traditional college education but as time goes on you will see more emphasis on distance learning using the internet.

Why IMAP is Better Than POP3

Mac Vs. Windows. iPhone Vs. Android. PlayStation Vs. Xbox. Most of the big rivalries boil down to subjective preference, but when it comes to POP3 VS. IMAP, IMAP is objectively better than POP3 in so many ways, and POP3 is not appropriate for the modern emailer.

Using Exchange is okay is a good alternative to POP3, especially if you’re using it for work or school. Exchange is similar to IMAP, but it’s owned by Microsoft, so it’s not available in every location.

Why Does it Matter?

When picking an email client to carry your email, you must choose between POP3 and IMAP. These clients come in the form of desktop programs or apps. When it comes to web email such as Gmail or Outlook, this isn’t a choice, so don’t worry about it too much.

poP3 is not supported when it comes to Window’s 8’s Mail application, so if you have a POP3, you need to work around it to access your POP3 account. Some did not like this change, but it’s needed in order to get people away from POP3 and to a better client.

So What’s Wrong With POP3?

POP3 used to be the ideal way of accessing your email, but it hasn’t kept with the times. Back in the ‘90s imap vs pop3 emailand early 2000s, POP3 did make sense. It allowed you to access your email on one device only, and back in those days, most only had one computer in their home. In an age where most people have multiple devices to access their email, it’s archaic to use a client that just lets you choose one. Also, POP3 makes you download the emails to your desktop. The server had poor storage, so it was vital for you to download everything. Nowadays, you can’t backup your email through automatic cloud storage, and it’s annoying to download each individual email.

There are some POP3 services that try to keep the emails on the server. Instead of deleting them, the service will mark your email as read. But they can’t be downloaded again, making this a big problem.  Your email will not by synched up on your devices, or online.

At this point, you can see some major problems with POP3, and understand why companies are making the change. So why is IMAP so much better? Let’s find out.

The Benefits of IMAP

IMAP synchs, not just downloads, and synching is something that’s important in the modern age. IMAP will synch any change to the client’s server, and will treat the server as the main spot for where your email is stored, not just downloaded to your device. Business users take note please!

For instance, when you look at an email account with thousands of unread emails on a client that’s IMAP, you can look at them instantly. The emails won’t download one at a time until you’re allowed to open them. You can download files automatically, though. Also, attachments won’t download until you view them, allowing you some security. If you read an email from the server, it will be marked as read anywhere, and if you organize or delete any emails, every device you’ll be using will follow suit.

To compare, POP3 is just a downloader, putting your emails on one device. IMAP allows you to access your emails from anywhere, including cloud storage. IMAP makes sense in the modern world, while POP3 should just be a relic from the early days of the Web. It has little place in modern times.

Using IMAP

So how does one use IMAP? It’s just an option you pick whenever you set up your account via an email program.

When it comes to outdated programs, they may use POP3 by default, and newer programs may still support POP3. But newer applications should have IMAP as its default. Double check to make sure your client is using IMAP and not POP3.

What if My Client Doesn’t Have IMAP?

In case if your client doesn’t have IMAP whatsoever, get a new client.  Odds are, you’re using a program that has needed an upgrade for quite some time. Mozilla Thunderbird is a good one to choose, and Outlook is one that you can’t go wrong with. Best of all, email services like Outlook or Gmail will allow you to get your old POP3 emails, allowing you for easier access.

There’s literally no good reason to use POP3 over IMAP. However, some may see it as an extra security measure. After all, if your emails are deleted from the server and stored on your computer only, it’s harder for people to access them, right?Not exactly. If someone is monitoring online traffic, they can still archive your emails. POP3 does not improve the security of your emails at all.

So overall, if you’re still using POP3, make the change. It’s 2016, not 1995.

The Best WordPress Plugins From 2015

WordPress has a huge variety of plugins that you can use to help customize your site the way you want to. Tens of thousands of plugins give you the option of control, and you can create your site the way you want to.

That said, only a handful of these plugins are any good. Many are garbage, and will not get the job done. This guide will help separate the wheat from the chaff and give you a list of some WordPress plugins that you can’t live without. Here are the top twelve plugins of 2015. Based not only on popularity, but from their usefulness as well.

WordPress Newsletter Plugin

In the past you would have to pay a third party to let you send out newsletters to your subscribers. But no more. This plugin does it all from your WordPress site, and does it well. Newsletters can be a great addition to email services.


This allows you to fly over the competition by giving you great features. These include stats, social networking, subscriptions, forms, and so much more. With the latest version, you also have support for Multisite. No longer do you have to sort through your connections on an individual basis. You can connect to everything through your super admin account, making it way more convenient.

Google Analytics +

This plugin allows you to track and view Google Analystics statistics. Google Analytics+ works for any installation, single or multisite. All your stats are in front of you, with pretty and easy to read charts and graphs, all in your dashboard.

iThemes Securitypc security

Formerly known as Better WP Security, this plugin gives you more than thirty ways to protect your site and keep it as secure as possible. A few features include Obscurity, which changes the URLs for your WordPress dashboard areas. This includes login and admin. Also, you can scan your site and figure out where vulnerabilities are. Then you can fix them in seconds. Besides that, you can detect bots and backup your database so that you can easily recover your site in case something was to happen. If you’re looking for an alternative Sucuri Security works as well.


Think Apple’s Time Machine for the WordPress site. If you’re not familiar with that, let us explain. This plugin creates snapshots of anything you need, all from content to files, and gives you the ability to restore your content any time you want. It’s also easy to use and is Multisite compatible. You can also save your snapshots to storage areas such as Dropbox and Amazon S3. If you need an alternative, BackWPup or BackupBuddy do the trick as well.

Ultimate Branding

Ultimate Branding allows you to rebrand your admin area by white labeling it, all from the admin area to the dashboard, and even the login page. You can change your WordPress logo to your own logo, add help content, and change your favicons to your suiting. You can even remove all mentions of WordPress so that your potential clients don’t look down on you.


With Membership, you can create your own membership site, just like The New York Times. Essentially, content is provided to users who pay for it, and the visitors receive limited access. That said, wait for Membership to change its plugin. Some new changes are coming, and they claim that Membership will soon be easy to use.

Pro Sites

With Pro Sites, you can create a profitable blog or website, just like You offer your users the opportunity to upgrade their sites and get new features including more storage and premium themes, all for a small fee. It’s a way to make a buck.


Your photos can reduce your site’s speed if you’re not careful. This is where comes in handy. It gets rid of metadata from JPEGs, compresses them to their optimal level, and gets rid of unused colors as well. This means your JPEGs are a lot smaller, and you can allow your site to run faster.

WordPress Beta Tester

If you’re a WordPress developer or user, and you’re serious about it, you need this plugin. It allows you to install to the latest release or the beta versions of new WordPress releases. Since this is a beta tester, you should not use it on live sites.

Infinite SEO

With Infinite SEO, you can boost your site’s ranking with ease. It gives you easy title and meta data optimization, and plenty of site-wide linking. You also get complete Moz assimilation too.

WordPress Reset

If you want a way to test all sorts of plugins, themes, and other applications that can get cluttered, WordPress Reset is for you. It resets your database back to default and deletes everything. This way, you won’t have to remove your plugins in a painstaking manner.

These are just a few of the many plugins available, and this is just the surface. Try testing these out, and look for other WordPress plugins to experiment with as well. With WordPress, the choices are limitless. If there is one you really like let us know in the comments.

How to Remove Your Blog from the Internet

Got an old blog somewhere online and need to get rid of it? Its not as straightforward as you might think. Depending on which blog platform you use, the process of deleting an unwanted blog varies.

There are a few reasons someone would want to delete their blog, even after they’ve spent so much time writing content. Whatever the reason, it’s important to realize that once you delete the blog, you lose the content. So, if this is something you plan to do, make sure you save any content that you want to keep. You can copy-paste the content or find some other way to export it if there are hundreds or thousands of posts.

Today, we’ll discuss three major blog sites: Blogger, WordPress, and Tumblr. The steps for removing content from these platforms is fairly simple.


Google’s free blogging platform comes with good technical support. It’s was easy to find the steps to take in order to delete your blog from your Dashboard. There is also support for restoring a deleted blog and for exporting the content of a blog you want to delete. Here are the steps for deleting your Blogger Blog:

1.    Sign in to and access your Dashboard.
2.    Beside the blog you want to delete, click the drop-down menu to the right of the gray Post List icon.
3.    Select Settings.
4.    Click Other (under Settings) on the left side of the page.
5.    At the top of the page under “Blog tools” click Delete blog.
6.    Click Delete this blog.


WordPress (not .org) has a great troubleshooting guide if you have trouble with the following steps. A note: once you delete your blog, the URL will be disabled, and you will be unable to use it again. So, keep that in mind. You can always delete the posts without deleting the whole blog.

1.    In your site’s dashboard, go to Tools → Delete Site
2.    Click the dropdown menu and choose the option: Permanently delete my site’s address and all content
3.    Check the box that says I’m sure I want to permanently remove, and I am aware I can never get its content or its address back.
4.    Click the Delete Permanently button.
5.    The blog owner will receive an email with a confirmation link. If you are absolutely sure you want to delete your site, click on the link.
6.    After clicking the link in the email, your site will be permanently deleted.


Like Blogger, you can manage many blogs under one account. In Tumblr, however, there are different protocols for tumblr-logo-image-12deleting a primary versus a secondary account.

Deleting a Primary Blog
To delete your Primary Blog, you need to delete your whole account.
1.    Visit and login.
2.    Click “Delete Account” under “Closing Your Account”

Deleting a Secondary Blog
1.    Click Settings (the gear icon) at the top of your Dashboard.
2.    Click the name of the blog you’d like to delete on the left side of the page.
3.    Click “Delete blog” or “Leave blog” at the bottom of the page.

Easy enough for these ones. One thing to remember – although your blog has been deleted the content will still be in Googles index – for up to several months. If you plan to use the same content online again, you may need to wait until it has been removed from the index.

Think About Using Cell Phone Monitoring for Your Small Business

A few years ago this would probably have appalled you. Cell phone monitoring software – more commonly known as spy software, would have seemed extremely shady. The truth is that this type of software was marketed in some very unsavory ways.

Not only has this type of software really advanced in terms of its abilities, but the companies involved have become more mainstream in their marketing approach.

I have discussed a few of the issues you need to be aware of when managing company cell phones in this article. For many small companies using cell phone spy software can be a great option and help them to control costs as well as having some added security and tracking benefits.

Still not convinced you might have any problems – here are some interesting reports about company cell phone use and abuse!

Is this legal?

It is legal to install cellphone monitoring software on a company cellphone but there are certain conditions.

  • Any adult user of cell phone must first be informed that it is being monitored.
  • The cellphone also has to be owned by the company – you cannot monitor your staff’s personal phone.

These are the most basic guidelines you have to meet but it would be wise to seek legal advice before installing the software.

Legal policies may vary in different states and countries. Just telling staff that the phone is being monitored is often enough to curb any unofficial use.

What Can Monitoring Software Do?

Cellphone monitoring software has come a long way in the last couple of years. With the rise of the smart phone – phones with cell phone monitoring softwareInternet access, the technology has really grown. Most people are shocked at what this software can do. As time goes by people are realizing that it actually can benefit your business and need not be viewed as some shady practice – assuming you abide by the laws of course.

Here are a few of the things you can do with this type of software:

  • Record calls – available with a few of the more advanced programs
  • Monitor text messages – see the content of actual sms text message
  • View all emails sent and received
  • Track the cell phone via GPS and view where it has been
  • Control the phone remotely – locking it deleting data, blocking apps and more.
  • Monitor social media sites and messenger services

This is only a brief outline – they can do much more.

Depending on the software spy program you go for the capabilities can be quite astounding. You can have almost total control and insight as to how the phone is being used or abused.

If you feel that your staff are abusing the company cell phones this can be the very tool for finding out in no uncertain terms if they are. It can also be used as evidence when they claim they haven’t used the phone for personal use.

The tracking abilities are also a great way of monitoring staff when they are working out of the office – sales staff on the road for example.

Learning More About Cell Phone Monitoring

Before you rush out and buy the first program you find online you need to be aware that there are many scam products around. The software is usually sold as a digital download and has been targeted by some very unscrupulous companies. You need to do your research before buying monitoring software.

It is also quite a sophisticated product – it is easy enough to install and use but to the un-initiated it can seem quite complicated at first.

I can recommend a website called – The Spy Software Guide. They have a very informative website with all of the information you need to get started with cell phone monitoring software. They also have some great reviews of the more reliable products on the market as well as installation and usage guides.

I cannot stress enough the importance of finding reliable help before rushing in to any purchase. I have only given a brief description of this software here and you will need a lot more information before you are ready to proceed.

Cell phone monitoring is no longer a taboo subject – it is now viewed as a very useful tool to help companies manage their cell phones and their staff. You don’t need to turn into some dreaded Big Brother firm but you may need to save your business a lot of money. Money which is wasted by staff and their obsession with the online world. Time is money as they say!

Small Business Cell Phone Management – Why You Need a Plan

If you are a small business owner and your company supplies staff with a cell phone, you need to get smart and look at ways to manage them. No matter how small the company, unregulated cell phone use can cause you some major problems.

This subject is often overlooked and because of its importance I have a whole section of this site dedicated to better cell phone management. You need to be aware of the potential problems and then realize that there are many different programs to help you – if you know where to look!

The Problems – What Problems?

Okay, so you are supplying your staff with mobile phones and of course you are paying the bills. Nowadays of course cell phones are much more than just phones, modern phones are many portable computers. You can go online, use social media and they can store important and often sensitive data -not just make calls.

The first problem you’re going to think of is the staff running up large bills on personal calls, pretty obvious and very common. Don’t wait until a large bill arrives before you address this issue. Set solid guidelines right from the start and make it cell phone managementclear that the company cellphone is for company business only, no personal use.

You might think that your staff making personal calls is not that big a deal, especially with some of the call and data plans available – there’s not that much money involved- right? Wrong!

The actual cost of the call or text is the least of your worries. You need to consider the amount of time they are wasting on non-business activity.

How much do you pay your staff per hour? Time soon adds up, how many hours per month could a staff member be wasting on personal calls, web browsing, texts and Facebook? Given how much time most people nowadays spend on these activities you might get a shock at how much this adds up over time. Then multiply it by the number of staff who could be doing this.

As you can see the potential for loss, from your point of view, is substantial and should not be ignored. Good management systems need to be put in place and you need to make your staff aware of these problems. You do not want them to think that you are just being petty over the small cost of a few phone calls or texts – there are much wider implications. Make them aware of the time issue and its associated costs to your business.

Here is an interesting article with some stats about cell phones in the workplace – worth a quick read.


Get Systems in Place from the Start

It is a good idea to draw up some sort of contract at the beginning when you supply a staff member with a company cellphone. No matter how formal or informal, make it clear that you have set policies for cell phone use. This can avoid fallouts and bad feeling down the line.

Not only is it important to have a policy regarding the use of the company phone but you also have to address their use of any personal cellphones. If they spend time on their personal cell phones, again they are doing so to your cost. As we have discussed the time cost to you is the major factor. People need to be aware that work time is exactly that.

How Can Technology Help You?

In an ideal world you would follow the examples above and everyone would behave in a responsible manner – but this is not an ideal world. More and more companies, large and small, are turning to technology to help manage company cellphones and their use.

There are a wide range of software programs to help with cell phone management but often people are unaware of what the software can do and how you can get the most from it.

You can use simple apps which will give you detailed logs of data usage and call time – allowing you to monitor the individual phones. This can be limited in many ways as it will not differentiate between company and personal use – instead you can only view how many minutes or how much data were used.

Other software can protect the phone – security apps which can help trace a lost or stolen phone and some which can even remotely delete sensitive data from the phone. Of course if there is any sensitive information held on your staff phones you needed take steps to protect them. Encryption software can be another very useful tool in more sensitive lines of work.

Cellphone monitoring software has become very popular especially amongst small business owners. I go into more detail in another article here, but the software can be used legally and ethically and allows very advanced monitoring and control. Monitoring software can provide a complete solution in one package, and for relatively little cost.

As always it comes down to your personal needs. A small company with reliable staff and perhaps nothing more than an informal agreement will keep everyone safe and happy. Being aware of the potential problems is the first step to assessing your business needs.

Common sense should also play a role – no one is suggesting that your staff are not entitled to make a few personal calls here and there. But when it escalates and multiplies, you can end up with serious problems.

Learning about some of the technology available to help you manage your company cellphone is important – and hopefully this site can help you. Be sure to read some of the associated articles on this site.

Dropbox – Secure File Storage for Small Business

There are some tools which quickly become essential for tech related management and Dropbox is one of them. I first started using Dropbox when I built my fist small business website and I would literally be lost without it.

What is Dropbox?

Essentially it is a software application for securely storing and syncing files – but it is so much more. It is available across different platforms and different systems – Windows, Mac, cell phones and tablets.

You can save your important files and then access them online from any other device you have set up. You can evenhow dropbox works simply log on to the Dropbox website and work on your files online from any device – anywhere.

You can also give others access to some or all of the files in your account – enabling sharing. When you change any file it is saved and updated – synced. The power of this simple set up is great for any small business.

No more worries of losing your data when your computer dies. For anyone who remembers the days when you could lose everything in one go Dropbox is a savior.

Best of all – Its Free. There are of course paid plans but straight out you get 2GB free storage. This is more than enough for most small business users – I have been using it for years and have never needed to pay for extra storage. Most of your files are very small – unless you store a lot of video.

So Dropbox gives you a secure free storage facility and easy file management – best of all, it is really easy to set up and manage. I can’t speak highly enough – plain and simple software and it’s free!

How it Works

When you sign up and install Dropbox it creates a folder on your computer hard drive which is securely stored in the cloud – cloud storage (check this out if you are lost). This protects you from losing your data – ANY files: accounts, invoices, pictures, video and website contents – any important files you do not want to lose.

This is your Dropbox – you can now save all of your important files to this folder. You can simply drag and drop existing files and when you create new ones you simply “save as” and save in the Dropbox folder.

This folder is saved in the cloud and can then be accessed from anywhere or any internet enabled device. The file is automatically in sync – if you go in and change a file the changes are saved and whenever you access it again it is up to date.

The DB folder itself is easy to organize. Just like ordinary folder management in windows you can easily create a filing system using folders and sub-folders. You can move and save everything very easily – just drag and drop or save as. Highly organized filing for free!

The system is password protected to keep things safe. If you want to allow someone else to have access to your files remotely you can set this up – you can choose to share all files or only certain ones – with as many people as you wish.

More adventurous users can use Dropbox for more complicated tasks – if that’s your thing but I like to keep things simple and efficient.

How I Use Dropbox

Everything I create, write or just want to keep safe goes in my Dropbox folder. I have it organized into different folders – my own filing system, all within Dropbox. Set up different folders for – invoices, letters, photos, contacts, website content. If you already have organized folders simply transfer them into your DB folder.

I access the files mostly from home but when I’m at work I can easily use them – I also use my mobile to open Dropbox.
The syncing feature works perfectly and saves you worrying about files being updated. I remember running around withdropbox file sharing prices memory sticks between different computers hoping not to wipe something important.

There are similar products available now online but to be honest I have looked at them and didn’t bother trying them. I have a software product which works perfectly – I don’t think it can be any easier or more efficient than Dropbox – “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!”

If you value your small business files you really need to look at using Dropbox. Whether you make use of all of the features or not, the secure storage is more than enough reason to get started. Save time and have peace of mind – and don’t worry, there is no big learning curve. It is really easy to get started and will not be a time suck. You can get started here –

Why You Must Avoid Pre-Made Business Websites

If you’re thinking it’s time to get started with your first small business website you might have been tempted by some of those pre-made, ready to go website offers. Well that is your first bad idea, for a number of reasons.

The advertisements make them look so easy and this can be appealing when you haven’t got a clue about setting up your own website.

Just to be clear I’m talking about the services offering pre-made websites for – solicitors, plumbers, gardeners – any business. They use set templates, stock photos and content. Just add your details and get a 5 page website – ready to go! All for only $xxx or $xx per month.

What is So Bad?

Everything from the set up to the pricing. If you know nothing about websites and how they work you are just the kind of prey they are looking for!

Let’s look at prices for a start. Most work with an upfront payment to make the site and get it hosted etc. Nothing wrong with avoid pre made websites that in itself – but for a similar cost you will find loads of small web developers who will do a basic design and setup – and it will be much better in the long term.

What they often don’t tell you in the beginning is that after the first year you will have to pay hosting costs of xx per month. This is where they really make their money.

Most beginners have no idea how much it costs to set up and run a website. It is one of those rare times when people are actually shocked to find out how little it actually costs – at least at the beginning.

For a standard website you have basically three costs.


  1. You need to register your own Domain Name – the etc. This costs about $12 per year – although with some hosting you get a free domain name for the first year. This cost needs to be renewed each year – or for several years at a time.
  2. Next you need a hosting account. This is basically the online storage of your site – it makes your site available to view online. Hosting can cost as little as $2 per month but expect to pay about $6 per month for one of the bigger companies. Remember you can change and upgrade hosting as your site grows. Hosting is relatively cheap and one of the basic accounts will be fine for most small business sites needs.
  3. Design and set up costs. If you are not comfortable doing this yourself you will need to pay someone to do it for you. You can look online for small web developers or try Odesk – who will do this for very little cost. I would strongly advise you to get them to set the website up on WordPress as this will make it easy for you to manage the site yourself in the future. is the site where this software is supplied – don’t confuse it with – it is a platform for hosting blogs – not what you need.

If you can, invest just a little time and learn enough to get started – it is really easy to get started with website software such as WordPress. There is no coding or anything too technical to get a simple site up and running. Check out a few of the articles on this site to get you started – do not be afraid to learn, it really is easier than you first think.

Back to Those Websites

So now you get the idea that you are not really going to save money with these cheap looking websites, in fact they will cost you more – and not just cash!

One of the big problems I have with them is their setup. The company often retains ownership of the Domain name and they control how much your hosting is going to cost going forward. You are at their mercy – if your website grows and becomes popular and maybe even profitable to you – they have it under their control to some degree. If you go the self registered and hosted route you are totally in control.

Your domain name is your Brand on the web – how people will find you and you need to own and protect it. It’s not just as easy as registering a new name – you will have lost time and web presence if you have to start moving to a new web address.

The other major drawback with this type of pre-made site is how they set them up with stock content and images etc. This is important to how the search engines work and in particular – Google.

For someone to find your site on the web they will need to search on Google or some other search engine. If you use the standard text, images and design from these companies you are going to be at an immediate disadvantage.

Because large numbers of people have bought these designs with the stock information the search engines will sometimes not even add them to their index – they see it as duplicate content. This can lead to you not being able to find your own site in a Google search. If you can’t find it – how will anyone else.

Anyway, I think I’ve gone on enough to get the point across. Avoid these pre-made websites at all costs. You don’t need to spend a lot to get started with a simple self hosted business website. Try it yourself or pay someone a small amount to set things up initially. Don’t get caught out like someone who doesn’t know any better – because now you do!

Laptop vs Desktop PC for Small Business Startups

This is a subject which really fascinates me. Not whether a laptop is better than desktop PC, but the bigger issue behind this – managing money at the beginning. What do you really need to be spending money on when setting up your small business?

I think we can all agree that it is virtually impossible to start up and manage any small business without at least access to some sort of computer. Whether it’s simply too send and receive e-mails or to access information on the web – at some point you will laptop vs desktop pcneed a computer. Even the local Plumber uses one – right?

People starting their own business often ask me – should I buy a laptop or desktop PC? I usually ask them a question back – what have you got. You see technically for most businesses at the start it does not matter.

I know people running large businesses with a simple home computer and they do just fine. Of course things may change as your business grows – but at the beginning simply use what you have available.

Over the years I have started several small businesses with varying degrees of success. For some I started on a shoestring budget with virtually no money and for others I had good resources to fund the start-up. You know what I have found? The businesses started with very little money were the most successful, at least in the short term.

A funny thing happens when you have finance available at the start of the project. You tend to get carried away and whatever budget you have you will spend. When I look back at some of these projects I can see what money was wasted buying things which were not absolutely necessary for the running of the business. A year down the line when money got tight I certainly regretted some of my expenditure.

When you start a small business on a shoestring budget you tend to make do with what you have and to question every little item you think you need. This leads to better decision-making and helps you set up a lean business which can grow.

Start with what you have available. Use that old laptop or the family PC to start with. When your business starts to grow and you really need a dedicated computer, then buy it, but only when you are making money. Keeping your costs down at the start is more important than which computer you use.

Food for Thought

My first business was run using the latest computer technology at time. I had an Acros PC with a 33 MHz processor and a 233mb hard drive – no internet connection of course (it hadn’t really started for ordinary folks!). And yes that was a 233 Mega byte hard drive – not Giga Byte! My Android cell phone has more computing power than that first PC but you know what? It did the job!

Why Your Business Needs an Online Presence

You know, I honestly believe that every business needs to have a website. Even the smallest business can benefit from having a website. In its simplest form a website can be the modern equivalent of a business card. But if you don’t have one – you are missing a trick.

You might have your small businesses running along just fine and think building a website will be too difficult, too expensive or you simply don’t need one. You are wrong on all counts. Getting started with a small business website is a lot easier than you think and it doesn’t need to cost a lot, in fact you can get started for free.

If you are totally new to websites it can be a little intimidating at the start. There is so much jargon and it seems like you need to learn an awful lot. Start off small and keep things really simple and you will be building something for the future which can also benefit you now. My advice is to get the most basic set up started and you can change things as you learn and as you go along. In my opinion a one-page website with all your contact details is better than no web presence at all.

Don’t be afraid of the technology. It used to be a complex process to build a website but thanks to modern software it has become really easy. If you can type and use a mouse you’re good to go!

What Type of Small Business Website

As I said, if you’re totally new to all of this, just start off small with a few pages about your business. You can create a sort of business card or advertising for your business. Of course your small business website can be so much more.

If you sell products it can become an online store. In fact if your business sells products, you really need to get started now! Online sales of just about everything are growing at a tremendous rate. If your business does not have an online presence you’re going to be left behind. Again you can start off small and expand as you learn and become more comfortable. You don’t need to become Amazon overnight!

You can make your website as showcase for your services. As well as all your contact information and services you providesmall business websites you can put together a simple portfolio of some of your past work. Pictures are a great way to show off your goods and services. Some service businesses can really benefit from having great pictures of their work online.

A small business website can be a great way to communicate with your customers. You can set up customer services and handle questions and complaints in an efficient way which can ultimately save you time and money. Email can be automated – a great marketing tool. Websites can grow and become interactive with features such as forums and chat.

Over time your website can grow to be whatever you want it to be. Most small businesses start off with a simple website with contact details and a few pictures. In time they can grow to be very busy online stores with more complex features. The important thing is to get started now.

How Much Is This Going to Cost?

For some reason people with no experience online seem to think it is going to be expensive to set up and run a website. The fact is that costs are very low if you know what you’re doing. You can even get started for free.

There are many services where you can set up a simple website totally free. These can be good to get started but I do recommend one important point. These are basically free hosting sites where you can choose your website name and it will be created and hosted for free on their site. Now what I recommend you do at the very least, is register your own domain name (your business Then if you wish you can have it hosted on the free site. This ensures that you own your domain name and in the future when your business grows you can take this name and host it yourself.

Don’t get bogged down the details just register a domain name it costs about $10 per year to keep the name registered. Namecheap is a good domain registrar to check out – they have lots of information to help you get started.
A Couple of good free places to host your website are or – go ahead and check them out. They have easy drag-and-drop software which you can play around with and it is possible to create a pretty smart looking website. Remember to do it on your own domain name and it will always be within your control.

Want to Take it a Step Further?

If you don’t want to go the free hosting route it is still very cheap to get started in the traditional way. This is the way that most small business websites will be set up in the beginning. Again you start by registering a domain name for around $10 and then you buy your own hosting account which will cost from as little as five dollars per month. At the beginning this will be your total costs – around $70 per year! Check out Hostgator or BlueHost – both reliable hosting companies.

Setting up your small business website this way is definitely the best way to go and gives you the most control going forward. Again aim to start small and keep things simple at the beginning. If buying a domain and setting up your own hosting sounds complicated don’t worry – you can check out articles on how to do this very simply on this website.
What are you waiting for, go get started today – you know it makes sense!